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The perfect time to change your bird diet!

Time to change your bird diet

Many people ask when it will be the best time to change a diet of a bird. Well, now will be perfect! The best time is outside the breeding season, witch for the most of the species is between October and March. This way you have time to make a proper adaptation without interference in this sensitive period.

And why? It’s simple. Stress. Any change results in stress. Stress can be good of course and it’s a natural consequence of any change. However stress release for example adrenaline, which is a hormone that can be connected to all the body hormone receptors. This will result in less receptors for the hormones released during the breeding period which can result in infertility, pairs that enter in breeding mode at different times and loose of breeding behavior between many others.

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Wisbroek Parrot Fruit Blend Booster - 10kg

Switch to new diet

These observations can lead to a wrong conclusion: The diet we choose to replace for the old one was not good because the birds didn’t breed. Wrong! This could also be a reason of course but a new diet needs time to have an impact, whether it’s good or bad. So most likely the bad results of the breeding season in this case could be just stress caused by a diet change in the wrong period.

We always need to keep in mind that it is not enough to just have a better product. You also need to provide the best advice and guidance. As Wisbroek we aim to have the best food. However this needs to be supported with husbandry knowledge and that’s what we do and work for every single day.

So, if you think of changing to Wisbroek feed, as we hope so , the best time will be outside the breeding season. Again: this depends on the specie, the place in the globe, the weather, etcetera. We are talking about a period that can be between 6 to 8 months so you will have plenty of time to let your birds adjust to the new diet.

Advice

The way you should change is quite important. Never do it in one time.

We advise the following way:

Day 1 – 3: 80% Old pellet, 20% Wisbroek pellet

Day 4 – 6: 60% Old pellet, 40% Wisbroek pellet

Day 7 – 9: 40% Old pellet, 60% Wisbroek pellet

Day 10 – 12: 20% Old pellet, 80% Wisbroek pellet

After day 13: 100% Wisbroek pellet

And there you are! Your bird is now eating Wisbroek pellets, minimal stress, gradual change and prepared for a super breeding season!

Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to consult us.

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The importance of natural ingredients in pellets

Protein and fat values

Not only in animal nutrition but also in human food as well, it’s in our days common to talk about protein and fat values. It’s something that’s much more in our minds than some decades ago.

Human food is not our specialty, but animal nutrition is, specifically birds. It’s a fact that the amount of nutrients in pellets are very important! But more than that, and what many people forget, is how crucial the source of those nutrients is. It’s not difficult to create a pellet using some basic materials as a base like corn or soya and add some artificial ingredients to get the values that are believed to be the best for the target specie. Well, a pellet like this, when we look at the numbers in the label, seems to be really good.

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Pellet

However, the used ingredients to reach these values aren’t similar with what the bird eats in the wild. So it doesn’t only matter what the value of protein is, but also where it comes from. For example, if the main source of our protein in a pellet is from a GMO or a crop, and the pellet is for a carnivore, the intake and usage of that protein will be deficient and not efficient.

It’s all about the natural ingredients. When you choose a pellet for your bird it’s highly recommended to look more at the list of ingredients and not only at the standard values of protein, fat and other nutrients.

Vegetal oil

Another example is when there is vegetal oil added in a food for stilts or sea ducks. They need oil, but it must be from an animal source, like fish for instance. If the added oil will be from plants, their feathers will later be really greasy because their body can’t metabolize this type of oil. That’s why Wisbroek Sea Duck FloatingWisbroek Micro 22 / 40 and Wisbroek Ibis – Flamingo Floating are coated in high quality fish oil. Besides this it contains EPA/DMA, which are essential fatty acids not produced by the animals. Good for embryo development and it also will prevent heart diseases and promotes a healthy brain.

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More than just values

So as you can read it’s much more than just values. A good quality of natural ingredients, and of course adequate to the target specie, can bring much more than just protein, fat etc. Furthermore it can bring some simple things that are often forgotten like taste, smell, coating, but also really important things like the fatty acids I mentioned before!

With this taken in mind, let’s take a look at the final composition of our Wisbroek feeds. We always use natural ingredients in our pellets, in some cases more than 30! But at least so important is that all nutrients are in perfect balance without adding artificial ingredients!

This is the core of the success of Wisbroek pellets. We always use high quality ingredients in every product, thinking all the time on the feeding strategy of the bird in the wild  and taking the challenges of breeding them in captivity into considerations. Of course the most important is to keep researching and developing in order to always have the most complete feeds.

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How can our pellets be used as a supplement?

Pellets

It’s a fact that some species of birds don’t like te eat pellets due to their feeding strategy. When this is the case, we need to use supplements to fulfill the gap of nutrients that the other foods present.

What if we could fulfill this gap with our pellets? I will give several examples:

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Inca Sternen

Shore birds, are fantastic flyers and basic fish eaters. At Wisbroek R&D Center, when we present them the fish we sprinkle Wisbroek Micro 22 over the fish. It’s a high quality extruded pellet that, when it gets in contact with the fish, will absorb some water of his body and gets glued to the fish! So when the sterns eat the fish, the pellets are also eaten! What’s really amazing is what we saw with our Incas at Wisbroek R&D Center: after some time the birds started to eat the Micro 22 dry that we offered in an extra dish! Probably because of the coating with fish oil, the taste pleases them. They are in a mixed aviary with Chilean Flamingos and we often see them eat the Wisbroek Ibis – Flamingo Floating as well, probably because it is also coated with fish oil. How awesome is this? Now we just present fish and pellets to them and they look perfect and are breeding as well!

Fruit eaters

Here the case is different. These birds should have pellets in their daily diet. The composition of the fruit present on the market is not even close to the ones they eat in the wild. However it is also known how difficult it is for some birds to feed them pellets. At Wisbroek R&D Center we also had some cases like that. So we thought in the possibility to use our Wisbroek Softbill Diet Small as a supplement over the fruit. It worked perfectly! Because it’s also a high quality extruded pellet, absorbs some water of the fruit and gets glued to the fruit.

Well, fruit they like, so when some pellets are glued to the fruit, they have no chance rather than eat everything! Because the pellets also taste like fruit, eventually they start to eat them dry as well. We just need to keep presenting them to the birds!

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Insectivores

Some insectivores like the Common Hoopoes or the Bee-eaters will for sure not eat pellets. But they love mealworms right? So what about just feeding the mealworms with the pellets? More information about this can be found in another blog, but to give an example this year we got a pair of Common Hoopoes with 9 babies. And they only eat the mealworms gut loaded with our Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating and Wisbroek Softbill Diet! Cool isn’t it?

(Blog: https://wisbroek.com/en/mealworm-nutrition-how-important-this-can-be-for-the-health-of-the-birds/

At the Wisbroek Research & Development Center, our most important task is keep researching the best ways to nourish a bird. Developing the highest quality feed is a precondition for success, but also brings a responsibility to research the best ways to feed those pellets. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, because sharing knowledge is for sure one of the keys to success for the worldwide aviculture.

Do you have questions about this blog or our feed? Do not hesitate to ask your question via our website www.wisbroek.com or send a mail to info@wisbroek.com.

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Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating: Why we don’t have a Breeder and a Maintenance variant

Ibis-Flamingo Floating

We are regularly asked why we do not have a Maintenance and Breeder variant of Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating. Before going deep in this subject we need to keep in mind that many concepts of the past are changing and improving through years of research! It’s a fact that for some species, such as parrots for example, it is crucial to adjust diets between seasons, mostly due to the need to increase/decrease the levels of protein and fat. For flamingos the most important thing is to provide a top nutrition all year long. The percentage of pellets that the flamingos will eat, will vary depending on the time of the year. In the winter they will eat more feed than in the spring and summer. Due to higher maintenance requirements at a lower temperature, but also due to the absence of “natural” feed additions (insects, algae, buds, grass seeds) in winter. In this way they will not lose their condition during the hard winter and they will reach the breeding season perfectly in shape.

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Maintenance- and breeding feed

Now, what will happen when we do not give enough fat during the low season and we increase the protein a lot in the breeding season? Well, during the winter, the birds will then have insufficient fat values to transform into energy, which they need to endure the cold. This will make them burn protein to convert it into energy. This is a process that is not efficient at all, and also causes liver damages due to the overwork of this organ. But assuming that the bird endures the winter like this and, before the breeding season starts, we dramatically increase the levels of protein, he will use this amount of protein to burn into energy and to replace the levels he should already have. And this can work, but in a long term it is a disaster.

The key

The key, in our opinion and experience, is using a top feed all year long, like our Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating. With a percentage of 19% crude protein and 9% crude fat, the bird will have 365 days per year the adequate level of fat. This allows him to use this total 19% of protein only for the target metabolic processes, and never to burn this to replace the required energy, which is provided perfectly by the 9% crude fat.  On top of this our feed is coated in fish oil which will make it more palatable, making it easy to train the birds to eat it dry and therefore avoiding waste. It will also make the pellet much more difficult to break up and turn into dust, even if the pellet is soaked in water it will remain intact for longer. We also have added EPA and DHA; that are essential fatty acids that the birds cannot produce themselves. They are really good for the embryonic development, prevent heart diseases and promote a healthy brain.

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Secret of the breeding success

Trigger the birds for the breeding season will not be necessary through the feed. It is the weather, the balance of the group, the aviary, the availability of nesting places and an appropriate soil and a lake/pond. This combined with a top nutrition all year long is the secret of the breeding success of this amazing specie.

Would you like more information about Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating or do you have any questions about the nutrition of your birds? Then contact us via info@wisbroek.com. We like to help you!

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Vlog: Which feed is best for which duck?

In this new vlog Tiago Nabiço, Manager Operations at Wisbroek, explains the difference between Wisbroek Sea Duck Floating and Wisbroek Waterfowl Floating and describes the differences between birds and their nutritional needs.

Watch the complete video below.

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Mealworm nutrition – How important this can be for the health of the birds

Mealworms

Mealworms are an excellent source of protein for your birds. Live mealworms are packed with protein and moisture and are an excellent bird food. However when we buy them it’s really difficult to know exactly what was feed to them before. And from one perspective yes, they are “bags” of protein, but these “bags” can also carry more undigested feeds that might be not good for our birds nutrition.

With this in mind, we at Wisbroek, as soon as we buy the live mealworms, put them on a diet for 5 days of 70% Wisbroek Softbill Diet 7.0 and 30% Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating pellets. Both soaked in water. And why soaked? Because if the mealworms don’t have the proper humidity they will start the metamorphose to the next stage and we don’t want that. Normally it’s given apples and carrots to provide the needed water, but if the pellets are soaked, there’s no need to do it. And because of the manufacturing of our pellets they will soak the water but stay in the original shape of a ball. Just a little bigger. It takes more than 2 days to turn into pap which give the mealworms enough time for eating all pellets.

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2 kinds of pellets

You might wonder why we mix these 2 kinds of pellets (Wisbroek Softbill Diet and Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating)? The Ibis-Flamingo pellets contain Canthaxanthin from the spirulina algae. So this will be a natural source of carotenes that will not be digested from the mealworms and will be carried by them as a vessel and eaten by the birds. That will give the birds small but enough quantities of carotenes that will enhance their colors! All the things that we don’t want to give to the Softbills like the fish oil present on the Flamingo food, the mealworms will digest! Then with 70% of Wisbroek Softbill Diet the mealworms will carry all the necessary nutrients that our bird needs.

It’s known how difficult it is to make an insectivore bird eating a pellet, but it’s also clear for us that our Wisbroek Softbill Diet is perfect for their nutrition! So feeding these pellets through the mealworms is how we provide the birds the necessary nutrients to thrive. And it works perfectly!

I strongly believe that nowadays even with the best feed (which we believe we have), it’s crucial to provide also advice in the nutritional husbandry. Because we can offer the perfect feed, but if the bird doesn’t eat it, that’s a problem. The Wisbroek team is continuously researching to find the best feeding techniques and we are always available to share this knowledge with all the bird technicians around the world!