Management

Save the occasional Ivomec® sheep drench added to the bath water for the control of ectoparasites, our birds have NOT received any antibiotics or other medication this year. Yet, they appear to be healthy and in good condition.
I bred 20 youngsters to satisfy my own curiosity this year and added them to the Alberta Classic loft as I know this loft to be infected with circovirus. In spite of this, not a single bird got sick. Quite the contrary, they appear to be in excellent condition which can be observed to advantage at exercise time. I will give a pictorial representation of the probiotic concoction I have been mixing with 5 kg of feed every day:
½ tsp of dried pigeon droppings, certified to be free of pathogenic micro-organisms. ¼ tsp instant baker's yeast 1,200 mg of a Pro-Biotic blend of:
  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • S. thermophilus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
2,000,000,000 active cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus 250 ml milk powder
The above is mixed well in a blender with enough distilled water to give 400- ml total solution. The closed jar is then kept in a warm place for 24 hours,
after which time it will be mixed very well in the blender again before being mixed with the grain. Please note how solid this mixture has become.
It will smell very acidic after incubation which can be confirmed with a strip of lithmus paper.

The feed - probiotic mixture is left to dry for a few hours at room temperature. I have been using a feed mixture of:

  • 2 parts of corn
  • 2 parts of wheat
  • 2 parts of oat groats
  • 1 part of milo
  • 1 part of safflower
  • 1 part of field peas
I do not think that the "correct" proportions really matter all that much as different birds will prefer different grains. Even a human being could obtain enough of all necessary amino acids by eating nothing but wheat as long as that person would eat enough to fulfill his/her caloric needs. That would be accomplished much easier for a bird but variety of grains is still desirable because various grains are grown in different soils and do contain somewhat different minerals and fats.

This above was last up-dated on September 1, 2004