FAQ

What diet should I feed my (macaw, cockatoo, amazon, cockatiel, etc.)?
The diet you should use for your bird is usually more dependent on its age and physical condition than it is on its species. For example, most baby birds need to be fed a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. With few exceptions, Psittacines will grow well when fed our Formula 3 Handfeeding diet. For 1-3 months post weaning, feed one of our Breeder diets to help them get the extra protein, vitamins, and minerals needed during this growth phase. If your bird is overweight, you might want to consider feeding our Low-Fat diet. This condition is more common in Amazon Parrots than it is in most other groups of birds. In general, adult Psittacine birds should be fed Roudybush Maintenance diet. This diet has shown to do an excellent job of maintaining normal adult Psittacines.
How much and how often should I feed my bird?
The short answer here is that they should have feed available all the time. They will regulate how much they should eat without the need for you to intervene. The exception to this is the time when you are trying to reduce the weight of your bird. In this case some restriction may be needed. You may want to feed your bird only once a day, and then feed only about three quarters to two thirds of the feed it would normally eat in a day.
I am trying to change my bird's diet to Roudybush. How can I tell if he's eating the pellets or just grinding them in his beak? I don't have a scale to weigh him.
The best way to tell whether a bird is eating a new food, and you can’t weigh him, is to examine his droppings. If the droppings have not decreased in volume and have not turned light green, it is likely that the bird is eating the new food. If the droppings turn light green and then over time turn a darker green, your bird is starving and needs access to its familiar food before you try converting him again.
Will the Rice Diet stop my bird from feather plucking?
It is intended for granivorous (grain eating) birds, primarily Psittacines (parrot and parrot like) and a variety of Passerines (song and perching birds).
What is a squab, and how does nutrition differ for them?
A squab is an unfledged pigeon or dove. Pigeons and other Columbiformes are a little different from other species of birds. When parents are feeding chicks they produce a substance called “crop milk”. This is a material that is shed directly from the crop walls and is high in fat and protein. The chick’s need for this material decreases over time and eventually disappears. At this time, their nutritional requirements are similar to those of parrots. Our Squab Diet is formulated to replace the “crop milk”, and gradually be replaced by Formula 3.
Should I feed pellets with Lory Diet?
Lories do very well on the maintenance diet. In fact, feeding this diet with the Lory Nectar will result in drier, easier to clean-up droppings making lories all that much more pleasant to live with. You can also offer the Lory Nectar as a dry powder to further help make the droppings drier.
What size pellets do Lories, pigeons, & doves eat?
There is some degree of size difference among different species of birds, so these recommendations are generalizations. If you have an unusually small species then pick a smaller size pellet. Also keep in mind that the smaller the size pellet the bird eats, the less waste and the less mess it will make. As a generalization, most species of doves and pigeons do well with the Crumble size pellets. Lories do well on Small pellets, and Lorikeets do well on Mini size pellets.
I do not breed my bird but she lays eggs at the bottom of her cage, what should I feed her? Should I supplement her diet?
If your bird lays occasional clutches of eggs but does not raise its own chicks the Maintenance diet is sufficient and does not need to be supplemented. If your bird does raise chicks you will want to use one of our Breeder diets. If you have a bird that is a chronic (constant or very frequent) egg-layer or a bird that has a tendency to develop hypocalcaemia (like African Greys) mix 2/3 Maintenance with 1/3 High-Energy Breeder diet to supply the added calcium and vitamin D3 these birds need. If your bird also has a tendency to become overweight mix 2/3 Low-Fat Daily Maintenance with 1/3 Breeder diet to supply the added calcium and vitamin D3 without supplying as high a level of fat.
Can I feed Roudybush to my Eclectus?
Roudybush diets are safe to feed to your eclectus. In fact there are many eclectuses that thrive on Roudybush. Typically we recommend that your eclectus eat the Low-Fat Maintenance diet. Eclectus appear to be very sensitive to high fat levels in their diet and can appear to have dull or dark coloring when the fat level in their diet is too high.
Which Breeder diet should I use and when?
The Breeder and High-Energy Breeder diets are formulated to meet the needs of growing chicks and are recommended to be fed to parents when they are feeding chicks. They are not needed for pairs to produce eggs or to incubate, though you may want to feed the Breeder or High Energy Breeder Diet during these stages to avoid changing diets just as the chicks hatch. If you are breeding a species or pair of birds that raises light-weight chicks or that needs additional fat in the diet choose the High Energy Breeder Diet. The High Energy Breeder Diet may also be helpful in overcoming low temperatures when chicks are being raised. If you have a species or pair of birds that raises chicks that are too fat, choose the Breeder Diet. For most purposes the High Energy Breeder Diet is the more palatable diet and should be your first choice.
I started my bird on Maintenance Diet to get him used to pellets. Now I want to switch him to Low-Fat, but he won't eat it. What should I do?
The easiest thing to do is add limited amounts of Low-Fat to the Maintenance diet until he gets used to having less fat in his diet. As soon as he is used to one level of Low-Fat in his dish, increase the proportion of Low-Fat in steps until he is eating nothing but Low-Fat. It may help to mix the two kinds of feed for a minute or two to allow some of the fat from the Maintenance Diet to coat the Low-Fat feed.
How do I properly store my Roudybush, and how does that affect its shelf life?
Good food quality can be maintained by keeping your Roudybush foods cool and dry. Keeping the food cool prevents the fats from becoming rancid and also prevents the vitamins from being destroyed by oxidation. Keeping the food dry will avoid mold growth. Roudybush plastic pouches (44 oz., 22 oz., and 8 oz.) can be placed in the refrigerator to extend the use by date in 3 years or in the freezer to extend the use by date 6 years. When removing the food from the refrigerator or freezer it should be allowed to return to room temperature and then any condensation on the outside of the bag should be dried off before using. Roudybush feeds in paper bags (10, 25, and 50 lb) should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed before being placed in a refrigerator or freezer to extend the use by date. Again upon removing the food from the refrigerator or freezer let it return to room temperature and dry the condensation from the outer plastic bag before use. Roudybush products are labeled with a “Use By” date. This is not an expiration date but rather the date through which the food should remain wholesome if stored at room temperature.
What is the Rice Diet used for?
Rice Diet is a maintenance diet formulated from rice products, vitamins, and minerals. Birds showing signs of allergies (such as feather picking/self mutilation) to other food products may benefit from this diet. After a complete work up by an avian veterinarian, this diet can be used as a further diagnostic tool to determine if your bird might be suffering from food allergies.
How do I use the Rice Diet?
Once your bird has been safely switched to this diet, do not give it any other food items for up to 10 weeks. Do not give any treats unless it is unseasoned rice or a rice product with nothing but rice on the ingredient list. Keep a diary of your bird’s preening and feather picking or mutilation behavior. If you see a decrease in itchy behavior or an improvement in feathering, continue to feed the rice diet. If your bird has allergies, it might be allergic to several different things, but if food items are one of these things you may still see improvement by eliminating exposure to that one allergen. Once you have fully evaluated the results of feeding this diet, if you want to give your bird treats, you can add one food item back at a time (avoid complex processed products which may contain more than one ingredient). If itchy behavior re-occurs you know your bird reacts to that food item. Remove that item from the diet and wait until the itchiness subsides before adding another food item. If your pruritic bird is housed with a normal bird they can both eat the Rice Diet because it is a normal maintenance diet for any bird that is not laying more than 8 eggs each year, or that is not feeding chicks. For birds used in breeding, use the Rice Diet in the off-season to help determine if plucking behavior is due to food allergies. Then (recommended with a veterinarian) use the knowledge gained to develop an appropriate diet for the breeding season.
How does the Rice Diet work?
It works by eliminating all potential food allergens except those found in rice.
Is the Rice Diet available in samples?
No. It is not available in a sample size because it can take up to ten weeks to fully evaluate the usefulness of this diet on a bird.
What ingredients in the Rice Diet differ from the other diets?
Other pelleted diets contain ingredients other than rice, rice products, vitamins, and minerals. The other ingredients include things like corn products, wheat products, and etc.
What are the ingredients in your diets?
The main ingredients in our Maintenance and Breeder diets are corn, wheat, and soy meal. To that we have added vitamin and mineral supplements, and an all natural preservative. The Rice Diet is composed of rice, rice bran, rice protein concentrate, vitamins and minerals. This may benefit birds that are allergic to food items other than rice. Food allergies can be displayed by itchy behavior such as feather plucking/ self-mutilating.
What is the difference between the Breeder and High Energy Breeder Diets?
The difference between the Breeder diet and the High-Energy Breeder diet is the level of fat in the diets. The High-Energy Breeder diet is the same as the Breeder diet except that more soybean oil is added. All breeder diets are formulated to meet the needs of the chicks the parents are feeding. A higher energy diet may be required by some species of birds. Foremost among these birds are the macaws that are suggested to need more fat in their diets than other psittacine birds. Either diet will work well for most birds, but if you see any indication that your chicks need more fat than is found in the Breeder Diet, then feed the High-Energy Breeder diet.
Why is the High Energy Breeder Diet a different color than the Breeder Diet?
These two diets are different colors for the same reason that the Maintenance and Low-Fat diets are different colors. The Maintenance Diet and the High-Energy Breeder diet have soy oil added to provide the higher fat content.
When my birds aren't breeding, should I feed Daily Maintenance?
The Maintenance diet is best for birds at maintenance that are not overweight. If your birds are on the Maintenance diet, it is only necessary to switch them to the High-Energy Breeder diet if they will be raising their own chicks, or if the hen is laying an excessive number of eggs.
How do I know if I should feed Low-Fat Maintenance?
The Low-Fat Diet is intended for obese birds. In general, a bird can be considered obese if it is 15% over its expected weight for that species. To be sure, you can always seek the advice of your avian veterinarian.
Why should I feed my bird Low-Fat Maintenance?
The Low-Fat diet is formulated for birds that are overweight. In general, a bird can be considered obese if its body weight is 15% or more than its expected body weight for that species. The Low-fat diet is valuable because obesity increases the risk of heart disease (in longer lived species), lipoma formation, egg binding in reproductively active hens, respiratory distress upon excitation or stress, and increased anesthetic and surgical risks. If you think your bird may be obese, it is advisable to have your bird examined by an avian veterinarian.
What are the dimensions of the pellets?
The diameter of the pellets are: Mini 3/32″, Small 5/32″, Medium ¼”, and Large is ½”.
How do I get a Careline Diet?
All of the Careline Diets (with the exception of the Rice Diet) can be obtained through your avian veterinarian, or through Roudybush with a prescription from your veterinarian.
What is the difference between Nectar 3, Nectar 9, and Nectar 15?
These formulas are used in rehabilitating Hummingbirds at different life stages. These diets are not for use in Hummingbird Feeders! Nectar 15 is formulated for hummingbird chicks from 0-3 weeks of age. It contains 15% protein. Nectar 9 is formulated for fledgling hummingbirds from 3-6 weeks of age. It contains 9% protein. Nectar 3 is formulated for adult hummingbirds at maintenance. It contains 3% protein
What are the different ages the nectars and formulas fed at?
Formula 3 is formulated for hand feeding to granivorous chicks until weaning. Different species will wean at different ages. When your chicks start showing feathers you can leave pellets in the cage. The chicks will start to investigate the pellets and eventually eat them. Continue to feed Formula 3 until you are sure the birds are eating on their own and maintaining body weight. The Squab Diet is formulated as a “crop milk” replacer in Columbiformes species (doves and pigeons). This diet is handfed to chicks from hatching until 7-14 days of age (7 days for smaller species and 14 days for larger species). At this age, begin using Formula 3 and gradually phase out the Squab Diet. Nectar 15 is formulated for hummingbird chicks from 0-3 weeks of age. Nectar 9 is formulated for fledgling hummingbirds from 3-6 weeks of age. Nectar 3 is formulated for adult hummingbirds at maintenance.
Where can I find your products?
Our products are found in pet stores& veterinary clinics throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
What type of Roudybush Diet should I feed my pet bird(s)?
Roudybush Maintenance Diet, the most commonly fed Roudybush Diet, is designed to be fed to most healthy adult birds. It is a single formulation that comes in 6 different pellet sizes allowing you to feed any pellet size they prefer. Typically, the best way to choose a pellet size is use the size of your bird’s beak as a guideline, feeding larger pellets to birds with larger beaks. For more help or suggestions on pellet size visit our Bird Food Selector.
Why don't you have different formulations for different birds?
We do, where it is appropriate. We have a diet specifically for hand-feeding squab, the young of pigeons and doves; a family of diets for feeding birds with specific nutrient requirements based on their health or condition; a family of diets for birds that have a high sugar intake, including lories and hummingbirds; both breeder and maintenance diets with greater or lesser amounts of fat; hand-feeding diets for granivorous birds and our rice diet for birds with food allergies. We don’t make the popular species specific diets. Why? There simply isn’t enough reliable information available to make theses kinds of diets and be sure that the bird’s requirements are met. We believe the companies that are making them are skating on thin ice if they claim they know the nutrient requirements of specific species of birds and We don’t want to join them.
How long have birds been eating Roudybush bird food?
Birds have been eating pellets formulated by Tom Roudybush since1981. When Tom established Roudybush Feeds in 1985, he began donating feed for the cockatiel and Amazon flocks at UC Davis. This means that flocks of birds have been eating Roudybush Feeds since 1981.
Aren't seeds the natural diet for birds?
No, but they can be part of it. Birds in the wild eat a variety of foods including other plant materials besides seeds and animal material such as insects and other small creatures. Some birds such as Keas will even attack sheep or other large animals. Birds will also vary their food intake to accommodate changes in nutrient requirements such as when they are feeding chicks, which require much more concentrated diets than their parents. Seeds alone do not provide all of the nutrients needed for growth or maintenance. Some of the nutrients required for maintenance are often deficient in seed diets and include vitamin A, vitamin D3, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, sodium, vitamin B12, selenium and iodine. Growing birds would need other nutrients in addition including additional total protein, methionine, lysine, tryptophan, phosphorus, and some of the other vitamins. One other thing to keep in mind when we look at the diets of birds in the wild is that wild populations often fail. That is they either fail to produce young or in severe cases have high mortality of adults. When you look at what birds eat in the wild and use it as amodel for what they should eat in captivity, you may be choosing a year when young died in the nest or adults starved from difficult foraging conditions. Feeding a formulated diet allows you to avoid these potential problems and concentrate on other requirements of your birds.
Why are Roudybush Maintenance, Low-Fat Maintenance, Breeder and High-Energy Breeder diets steam pelleted versus extruded?
There are three main reasons for this. Steam pelleting allows a milder processing of the feed preserving some nutrients that are destroyed by the higher temperatures and pressures of extrusion. These nutrients can be added in excess before extrusion or supplemented by application of nutrients after extrusion to overcome this issue, but we prefer to avoid the lack of control inherent in these processes when I can. Steam pelleting results in a denser pellet than is generally produced by extrusion. This allows the use of less packaging material and requires less storage space for the same weight of food. This results in less environmental impact from packaging manufacture and disposal and in easier handling all the way from us to you. The third reason for using steam pelleting is that it saves energy compared to extrusion. The steam pelleting process uses many times less energy than extrusion of the same amount of feed. This is, again, an environmental concern.
Why doesn't Roudybush add sugars to their diets?
The main reason we don’t add sugar to our diets, except for the diets of birds adapted to high levels of sugar, is to avoid the growth of yeast. Yeast, Candida albicans, is a common oral and gut infection in birds. Birds resist yeast infections by passing the yeast through the gut at a rate that keeps the level of yeast low. In the presence of sugar, however, yeast thrives and multiplies and can infect a bird eating a diet containing sugar. If yeast infections are common in your bird or if you are treating a yeast infection in your bird now, eliminate sugar from the bird’s diet if possible. This will reduce the rate of reproduction of the yeast leading to easier resistance to or elimination of infection in your bird.
Why doesn't Roudybush add colors to their diets?
Colors in feed can cause a number of problems. Many birds will select specific colors out of the mix and avoid others leading to waste. The synthetic pigment used in many diets can stain the bird or furnishing in the area where the bird is kept. This has kept birds out of shows and led to expensive cleaning or dying of stained materials. These synthetic pigments also show up in your bird’s droppings and interfere with the use of droppings as a diagnostic tool by your veterinarian. At a critical time in your bird’s life this can result in a delay in diagnosis and treatment of a health issue.
My eclectus has an overgrown beak is this because of his diet?
Eclectus commonly overgrow the tip of their upper beak. This overgrowth does not appear to be diet related as it is commonly seen in eclectuses on many different types of diets. There has also been speculation that the overgrowth of an eclectus’ beak is actually due to liver disease. In some cases this is true but the vast majority of eclectus with overgrown beaks are actually quite healthy and do not have liver problems. Typically beak overgrowth due to liver disease looks very irregular. The beak will appear gnarled, have irregular surfaces, lumps or bumps, pitted surfaces, and be abnormally soft. If your bird’s beak appears healthy but is simply overgrown your veterinarian can easily trim your bird’s beak to prevent the overgrowth from impairing your bird’s ability to eat and function normally.
Reduced Food Intake?
Occasionally we at Roudybush make an enhancement to our feed. Usually this goes unnoticed by you or your bird, since most of these enhancements keep us on the cutting edge of food safety and technology and is not major additions to the diet. An example of this is the inclusion of yeast cell wall extract. Yeast cell wall extract binds aflatoxin, an extremely toxic product of a mold. This mold is common and often grows on wet feed or foods. When a bird ingests aflatoxin from any source along with Roudybush Pellets, the aflatoxin is bound by the yeast cell wall extract and its toxicity to your bird is reduced or eliminated. Your bird remains happy, healthy and normal. You may have no idea that it was exposed to a potent toxin. This is what we strive for with our products-birds that remain happy, healthy and normal even when exposed to conditions that would otherwise harm them. However, upon occasion your bird, because of its exquisite abilities of discernment, will detect our enhancement. Because birds are such creatures of habit with respect to their choices of foods, they may reduce their food intake for a time when they detect an enhancement. Eventually they get used to the subtle change and return to a normal food intake. There is no reason for alarm. We have simply kept our product on the cutting edge, and your bird caught us at it.
What is the process by which Roudybush products are made?
This depends on the diet. Unlike some manufacturers who only use one technique such as extrusion, we match the technique to the diet. We use simple blending of appropriate ingredients in some powder diets, steam pelletizing for our pellet and crumble diets, and extrusion for diets that are difficult to make by steam pelletizing (such as our Rice Diet).
How long have you been in the industry?
Roudybush has been manufacturing bird food since August of 1985.
Why did you change your packaging?
Many factors went into this decision, but the change was finally made because it was more beneficial for the birds. First, the “window” allows owners to view the product within to help ensure they were getting the right size pellet for their bird. The stickers on the cartons were an improvement, but still left room for a lot of confusion. Secondly, the resealable zipper helps maintain the quality of the feed. The cartons did not reseal, and were therefore vulnerable to pests and mold in high humidity.
How long will it take to process/ ship my order?
Roudybush makes every effort to process and ship your order as quickly as possible. Most orders are shipped no later than 2 business days from when they are received, usually the same day. Our shipping department operates Monday thru Friday.
What are your hours of operation?
We are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time. We are closed on weekends and most holidays.
Where are you located?
Happybeak is located Pakuranga, Auckland. However, our products are available nation-wide. For more information see our website, or call (09) 5373741
How can I be on your website?
If you are a store or a veterinarian and you carry Roudybush products you can be added to our locator. You can send an e-mail using the “contact us” link, or just give us a call at (09) 537 3741.
Can I use the Roudybush Logo on t-shirts, banners, etc for my store or at shows?
The Roudybush logo can be supplied to you vial e-mail or on a CD. You will also receive a book of our Standards to make sure you use the logo appropriately. Call us on (09) 537 3741
How much will my freight be?
Ordering from Happybeak you will pay a flat rate of $9.99 excl GST on orders over $40 and a flat rate of $4.99 excl GST on orders under $40.
Will you ship Parcel Post?
Roudybush will ship parcel post. Please call the office for more information at (09) 537 3741.
Repackaging: A Bad Idea?
If you search the Internet you will upon occasion see among the legitimate sellers of Roudybush products a few companies that buy our products in large packages and repackage them into small packages. The main advantage to the consumer is that these packages may be a little cheaper than small packages filled by Roudybush. There are reasons why they might be cheaper and I would like to review some of these reasons here. Repackagers frequently have low overhead. Their facilities are commonly uninspected garages or other buildings connected to their aviaries or homes allowing food to be exposed to bird feces or other contaminants. Another “contaminant” commonly found in repackaged food is an insect infestation. Labels from repackagers are often simply pieces of paper that are stuffed into cheap zip lock polyethylene bags. Their labels often fail to include legally required information, such as their contact information and our “use by” date, which is our lot number. The polyethylene bags favored by many repackagers are fragile, pass air through the plastic easily and often have no seal except the zip lock, which anyone could open and close without your knowledge. At Roudybush we discourage the repackaging of our products. The seeming advantage of a reduced price is over shadowed by the risks and losses in the repackaging process. We encourage you to seek other ways to get our foods and protect yourselves and your birds from these risks.
What is an elimination diet?
A diet designed to detect what foodstuffs cause allergic reactions by eliminating suspect food items from the diet, followed by separate and successive re-introduction of foods back into the diet until the food(s) that causes the symptoms is discovered.
What is pruritic behavior?
It is itchy behavior. In birds this can be demonstrated by agitated or irritated preening behavior instead of calm, methodical preening.
How many birds have you tried the Rice Diet on (or have any birds been successfully treated with the Rice Diet)?
In over two years of testing prior to releasing the Rice Diet, out of 24 birds placed on the Rice Diet 7/24 showed complete resolution of abnormal behavior. Another 8/24 birds showed partial resolution of abnormal behavior (estimated at 25-95% resolution by owners). Nine birds showed no improvement.
What is the Iron Content of the Lory Diet?
The iron content of the Lory Diet is 60 ppm.
I have heard that processed foods cause kidney disease in birds. Is this true?
There are many misconceptions about this issue in birds. Tom Roudybush participated in a study at UC Davis in 2000/2001 in which normal grey cockatiels were fed diets with up to 70% protein for one year. No clinical signs of kidney disease were seen. The kidneys were examined microscopically at the end of the experiment and no significant abnormalities were found. Toxic levels of Calcium and Vitamin D3 may cause kidney damage, and kidney problems may be an inherited defect being bred into lines of color mutation birds. Until more information is available in psittacines, Roudybush, Inc. advises bird owners and breeders to exercise common sense and feed their birds diets that lie within safe ranges (safe from both deficiency and toxicity) based on research performed in any avian species studied so far, including poultry. Don’t feed your birds a deficient diet in order to protect the few birds that might have an underlying kidney malfunction.
What is a Maintenance Diet?
A maintenance diet is a diet that has been formulated to meet the needs of a bird (or other animal) when that animal is an adult (i.e. not growing or maturing), and is not in need for nutrients for some additional purpose such as laying eggs, illness, or some productive work (i.e. plowing for field horses, running races for pigeons). Molting is not enough of a stress to require more than a maintenance diet. Roudybush Maintenance diets are formulated to allow for egg laying in most psittacine birds.
I saw Zinc Oxide listed as an ingredient for your diets. Can't that cause Zinc Toxicity in my bird?
Zinc, like many elements, is a dietary requirement for birds. Without some zinc in the diet, birds can suffer from zinc deficiencies. Zinc toxicity occurs when birds ingest and absorb levels of zinc that are too high. This has occurred with some metal toys and cages. The zinc oxide in Roudybush diets is formulated to maintain a healthy bird, and will not cause toxicity.
How much research has been done & what benefits are there to feeding pellets?
Tom Roudybush researched avian nutrition at the University of California, at Davis. For more specific information see “Consult the Bird Brain” on this website. Pellets offer several advantages. First, birds cannot selectively eat when their base diet consists of pellets. In other words, when birds are fed a mixture of seeds, many birds will eat only the best tasting seeds (which are often the most fattening), and throw the rest to the bottom of the cage. This leads to an unbalanced diet. In addition, Roudybush does not add any colors to the pellets, so birds cannot select a specific color to eat, which can change the color of their droppings. This ruins the ability to evaluate droppings for disease and health of your bird. Second, pellets are 100% edible. Most seeds are 20-70% hulls (shells) which leads to a lot of waste and mess. Finally, pellets undergo a gentle steaming process which eliminates harmful bacteria, fungus, and insects while still maintaining the vitamin potency.
What does the Careline do to improve my bird's health?
The Careline diets are formulated to reduce the stress on specific organs in disease states. In other words, if your bird is diagnosed as having a problem with a specific organ, a Careline Diet would reduce the workload (and thus the stress) of that organ.
Reduced Food Intake?
Occasionally we at Roudybush make an enhancement to our feed. Usually this goes unnoticed by you or your bird, since most of these enhancements keep us on the cutting edge of food safety and technology and is not major additions to the diet. An example of this is the inclusion of yeast cell wall extract. Yeast cell wall extract binds aflatoxin, an extremely toxic product of a mold. This mold is common and often grows on wet feed or foods. When a bird ingests aflatoxin from any source along with Roudybush Pellets, the aflatoxin is bound by the yeast cell wall extract and its toxicity to your bird is reduced or eliminated. Your bird remains happy, healthy and normal. You may have no idea that it was exposed to a potent toxin. This is what we strive for with our products-birds that remain happy, healthy and normal even when exposed to conditions that would otherwise harm them. However, upon occasion your bird, because of its exquisite abilities of discernment, will detect our enhancement. Because birds are such creatures of habit with respect to their choices of foods, they may reduce their food intake for a time when they detect an enhancement. Eventually they get used to the subtle change and return to a normal food intake. There is no reason for alarm. We have simply kept our product on the cutting edge, and your bird caught us at it.
My bird has a tendency to become 'egg bound' how do I avoid this problem and what causes it?
There are many causes of egg binding. Cold environmental conditions, laying a first egg, laying an abnormally large egg, laying a thin shelled or soft shelled egg, hypocalcemia (lack of calcium circulating in the blood–usually a problem with not enough dietary calcium or vitamin D3). Make sure your bird isn’t being subjected to unusually cold temperatures during egg laying. Make sure your bird is being adequately supplemented with calcium and Vitamin D3. Birds exposed to direct sunlight for 20 minutes two or three times a week minimum can manufacture their own Vitamin D3. Exposure to full spectrum lights with UV range to allow birds to manufacture their own vitamin D3 is risky for two reasons: the bulbs lose the UV potency over time, as quickly as 3 months, and the bird needs to be within about 6-8 inches of the light to benefit from it. Seeds, fruits and vegetables do not contain vitamin D3. Your bird needs to eat a pelletized diet containing vitamin D3 or get an avian multivitamin with vitamin D3. You can give your bird plenty of calcium but if it isn’t getting adequate vitamin D3 it will stop absorbing the calcium from its diet. Roudybush diets are adequately supplemented with vitamin D3 and no further supplementation is needed. Birds that lay 6-8 eggs/year can receive enough calcium from Roudybush Daily Maintenance or Low-fat Maintenance. If your bird lays more eggs/year than that you’ll need to mix one of the Roudybush Breeder diets with the maintenance diet. Mix High Energy Breeder with Daily Maintenance at a ratio of 1 part breeder to 2 parts maintenance or mix Breeder with Low-fat Maintenance at the same ratio. This should be adequate for egg production out to 20-22 eggs. If your bird lays more than that, mix the breeder diet with the maintenance diet at a ratio of 1 part breeder to 2 parts maintenance. If your bird hatches chicks and feeds them remember she needs to be on 100% High Energy Breeder or Breeder to meet the growth requirements of the chicks.
I want to try Roudybush bird food for my breeding birds, when is the best time to switch them? Is it ok to switch them during breeding season?
The best time to switch your birds is when you first shut them down from breeding. This will give you the maximum time for them to adjust before you want them to breed again. Breeders will often start eating a pellet but their perception (not reality) is that it isn’t adequate or appropriate for raising babies–sort of like famine conditions vs the abundant feast of nuts and seeds they used to get. It takes some birds a few months to fully accept the pellets and decide they can raise babies on it. One thing that helps when you start setting them up for breeding after making a switch to pellets is to still provide any treats or soft foods you used to provide at breeding season. Some people say that switching your birds during breeding season works well because they switch more quickly because they have to feed their chicks. I believe that is a risky, dangerous method. Some birds may not feed it to their chicks or feed it in too low amounts and my experience is that many pairs of birds will go out of production and not lay eggs if switched during the breeding season or too close to the start of breeding season.
I am having a problem with 'soft eggs', how do I correct this problem and prevent it in the future?
Soft eggs or thin shelled eggs are usually a problem of your hen not getting enough calcium and/or vitamin D3 in her diet. If you cafeteria style feed it might mean the hen isn’t making good choices (a very common problem) or if you provide calcium via a cuttlebone or mineral block you may have a hen that doesn’t like it (also a very common problem). For hens that produce soft shelled or thin shelled eggs you need to put them on a pelleted diet appropriate to their level of egg production. Birds that lay 6-8 eggs/year can receive enough calcium from Roudybush Daily Maintenance or Low-fat Maintenance. If your bird lays more eggs/year than that you’ll need to mix one of the Roudybush Breeder diets with the maintenance diet. Mix High Energy Breeder with Daily Maintenance at a ratio of 1 part breeder to 2 parts maintenance or mix Breeder with Low-fat Maintenance at the same ratio. This should be adequate for egg production out to 20-22 eggs. If your bird lays more than that, mix the breeder diet with the maintenance diet at a ratio of 1 part breeder to 2 parts maintenance. If your bird is currently laying soft eggs, give her a few weeks of High Energy Breeder or Breeder to replenish, then put her on whatever mixture is appropriate for her level of egg production. Remember that when they hatch chicks and feed them, they need to be on 100% High Energy Breeder or Breeder to meet the chicks’ requirement for growth. If you pull eggs and incubate them, the pair can stay on the mixture of a maintenance diet and a breeder diet.
Which Breeder diet should I use and when?
The Breeder and High-Energy Breeder diets are formulated to meet the needs of growing chicks and are recommended to be fed to parents when they are feeding chicks. They are not needed for pairs to produce eggs or to incubate, though you may want to feed the Breeder or High Energy Breeder Diet during these stages to avoid changing diets just as the chicks hatch. If you are breeding a species or pair of birds that raises light-weight chicks or that needs additional fat in the diet choose the High Energy Breeder Diet. The High Energy Breeder Diet may also be helpful in overcoming low temperatures when chicks are being raised. If you have a species or pair of birds that raises chicks that are too fat, choose the Breeder Diet. For most purposes the High Energy Breeder Diet is the more palatable diet and should be your first choice.