Nita's Nest Beginning With Birds Diet Pg.2
EGGFOOD
Eggfood is a term that sometimes means different things to different people.  What I call eggfood consists of mashed hard-boiled eggs with a commercial nestling food (I like Abba Nestling Green) added to give a crumbly mixture, neither too dry nor too soggy.  I add the eggshell, broken into the smallest pieces possible. I sprinkle Prime vitamins and some spirulina over all, and mix it up.  This is very good hi-protein supplement especially good for molting or stressed birds and those with babies to feed.  It also is an important part of bringing birds into breeding condition.  Feed it in a separate dish and be sure to remove it before it spoils.  (I am able to very accurately estimate how much I need to feed, so I generally place it directly on the seed in an amount which will be consumed within a few hours.  Birds feeding babies get eggfood several times a day.)
SPRAY MILLET
Spray millet is relished by most birds, especially by smaller birds.  Sometimes a bird that is under the weather can be enticed to eat spray millet when he is reluctant to eat his regular fare.  Newly purchased birds can be helped to locate seed dishes by hanging millet over them, so that the ends trail into the dishes.  Baby birds that are ready to wean will usually eat spray millet first when they're learning to crack seed.

OTHER ITEMS
A few other items round out the supplements.  We keep a dish of Petamine in all our cages, along with a separate dish of oyster shells/sterilized eggshells.  A cuttlebone should be in every cage, and a mineral block is also a good idea.

SHARING SOME OF YOUR MEALS
It should be said that if your bird becomes a "part of the family", you will likely end up sharing some of your meals and snacks with them.  Although we don't always eat healthy food,  please be sure your bird does.  Avoid the junk foods and stick to pastas, veggies, and maybe a bite of mashed potatoes.  I give my African Grey well-cooked chicken bones and she loves them, but I limit them to no more than once or twice a week.

WATER
Water should be changed daily and the dish thoroughly cleaned.  If you use a water bottle or tube and then feel you only need to clean and refill it when empty, you are asking for trouble.  This is a haven for bacteria, especially in hot weather.  It really doesn't take long to clean out the water dish every day.  Ask yourself if you would drink from it and act accordingly. 

Twice a week I add Vanodine V.18 to the water, following directions on the container.  Gouldian finches need iodine and that is why I began to use this product.  

Twice a week I also add apple cider vinegar to the water, in the amount of 1 drop per ounce.  Many believe it helps to maintain a healthy gut in the bird.  There are conflicting reports on whether or not it actually serves a useful purpose, however the research I have done indicates it will do no harm so I choose to continue it.   I know that my birds are extremely healthy, from the smallest finches to my 17-year-old Grey, so I believe these things help.
VITAMINS
You may give vitamins in the water or sprinkled on soft food (a better choice) if you like.   Given in the water they may cause some birds to avoid drinking, and in very warm weather they can cause bacteria to grow in the water in a short time.   I used to give Nekton S in the water twice a week, but now sprinkle Nekton or Prime on eggfood or mixed veggies instead.

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Anita M. Golden
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