During our visit to Versele-Laga, Dr. P. Ghysels gave us a talk on the food of birds and the requirements of this food. This presentation, based on scientific research and experiments, was clear and easy to follow, with plenty of examples.
The result is that we are smarter on the point of food, but we are not yet specialists in bird food.
This article is based on the presentation of Dr. Ghysels and presents some points to be aware of.
For our birds, this balanced food consists of the following ingredients :
1. Protein, fat and carbohydrates.
2. Minerals and trace elements such as zinc, iron, etc.
The amount of protein needed depends on the situation. During breeding and moulting, this amount is significantly higher than during the resting season. Seed mixtures can never be adequate enough to provide the normal situation.
Carbohydrates are found in starch form in plants and seeds. Fats are concentrated sources of energy. Too much fat in the food causes a bad function of other materials in the digestion of food. The history of omega-3s is a good illustration of this case. Fats are found in oil-rich seeds. These seeds can constitute at most 1/5 of the mixture.
Minerals and trace elements must be presented daily. These elements constitute the "fitness" of the bird.
For the female, limestone is a primordial necessity. At each egg laid, the amount of limestone of the female decreases by 20%. During the breeding season, the female must be able to hold her limestone stock to the maximum. During this period, it is therefore necessary to provide extra limestone in the food.