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To Grit Or Not To Grit, That Is The Question! + 1

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Hey guys, okay so I have just finished reading and re-reading the Practical feeding chapters in the Gerald S Binks book " The Challenge"

 

Now there is two well respected Contributors in this section from Australia, they are Henry George from Brisbane and Kelwyn Kakoschke from Adelaide. Now these two breeders both offer up grit to there budgies as does Gerald Binks himself. Mr Binks goes into great depth in Practical Feeding - 1, Page 86, explaining reasoning behind the giving of grit to our birds, and to quote Mr Binks "Grit is essential. No Grit = no teeth = poor digestion" Now I have already made my mind up inregards to weather I was going to give my birds grit, and I will continue to do so, it is not uncommon for me to see my birds ferriting around in their grit tray every now and again, the parents of one nest do so on a regular basis!

The question Im asking is (if not to personal) do you give your birds Grits, and if not, can I please ask why?

 

ALSO:

 

From my recollection Budgerigars are Lactose intolerant, BUT.......

In the book Henry George and Gerald Binks both feed their Breeding Birds a cube of bread soaked in Milk!!!!!! and Now to quote Mr Binks again:

"Milk, we are both familiar with, as a nutritious food. As every housewife knows, it is graded in degrees of richness and fat content. Use the richest source available to you when making up your soft food mixture. Propriety baby foods are an alternative".

Question : Does anyone here feed their birds the milk soaked bread, and if so are there any side effects?

 

Thanks for reading

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I do give my birds grit, sporadically, they seem to love throwing it around and others I know do the same, but I dont really know much about the technicalities.

 

I would like to comment on the milk statement though. Last night at our budgie meeting, a prevalent breeder was asking everyone how their breeding season is going and giving tips etc etc. He also happened to mention that if you find a day old baby cold and warm it, you may bring it back to life (which I have read in several forum topics here anyway) but he then said to feed it warmed milk and glucose. I hadnt heard of this before. I didnt ask any questions (it was my first meeting and I was being a listener more than a talker), but I was curious to this, as you pointed out Pippi, birds are lactose intolerant. Also, day old babies are recommended to be fed warmed natural yoghurt also.

 

I am glad you brought up this topic, both the grit and milk questions and I look forward to the discussion and other members responses :wub:

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Hey Sunnie, I have heard of both of those before as well, so I to will find it interesting as to what other show breeders have to say on this topic.

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Grit is a grey subject all budgie owners and breeders use it - ..... YES just read on before y'all jump the gun at me :wub:

 

 

But there are actually two types of grit: soluble and insoluble. Soluble grit include cuttle bone, oyster shell, limestone, and gypsum.

Soluble grit is dissolved by acids as it passes through the bird's digestive system, therefore there is little danger of it piling up in the digestive system or causing blockages, cause it dissolves.... it does little to aid in the digestion of whole seeds. It does, however, serve as a source of calcium and other minerals.

 

 

 

Insoluble grit is mainly in the form of silica, ranging in size from sand to small pebbles. Insoluble grit remains in the gut / gizzard and is thought to aid in the breakdown of food. :wub: Yep Bet you didn't know that :wub:

 

Birds have a muscular part of the stomach called the gizzard, which grinds and crushes food. The smaller part, are then more easily broken down by digestive enzymes as they go through the digestive tract.

 

Some wild birds eat grit, which passes to the gizzard where it helps in this grinding process. It aids in removing the outer fibrous shell around some seeds (e.g.; sunflower seeds), if the shell was not removed with the beak prior to the seed being swallowed

 

So technically we all use Grit by the good grit :D

 

Milk - I haven't tried this - Been told that Budgies are lactose intolerant so if i was to use milk for a reason i would have chosen a soy or Non cow milk one .....

Edited by Neat

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I dont use standard grit, but I do supply to the breeder cages finger drawers of MURPHY'S MINERALS and F-VITE and whole egg powder...all seperately for them to take as they need it.

I have heard of the bread and milk thing but I have yet to try it.

I also know some breeders feed their birds cooked chicken and steak.

 

 

F VITE is a combination grit, protein, energy, vitamin and mineral supplement, which is especially beneficial for breeding and young molting birds, but is used all year round. Parents actually look for it when feeding young, because it is rich in the trace elements so vital for growing babies. Babies fed by parents, which are given F-Vite grow quickly, are robust and pink. There is no need for any other kind of grit, cuttlebone or mineral powders during the breeding season.

Edited by KAZ

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WOW, thanks Neat I must say that is impressive, very well put!

 

Kaz, can I ask where you get your F Vite from?

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WOW, thanks Neat I must say that is impressive, very well put!

 

Kaz, can I ask where you get your F Vite from?

Through my club products table. BUT it is a Rob Marshalls product and available online I believe

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Thanks Kaz, Just found it! I will read up on it.

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Neat and Kaz, I am going to add your statements to the FAQ's if you don't mind we have never reallyhad a good explanation of Grit or Not. Very interesting.

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Good call Elly!

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The products I use are not grit exactly...it is very fine powder.

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I am different :blush:

 

I don't use grit exactly. i give my birds soil from the root ball of fresh veggies and grasses that are pulled from my (chemical free) garden - This gives them natural minerals and grit and it is good for their immune system. Oh and i worm them regularly.

 

My budgies go completely crazy for soil!

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My adult birds are supplied with cuttle bones, iodine blocks and dishes of beach sand, which they like! The babies don't get the beach sand because they might go silly on it and get impacted crops.

 

I don't give my young uns milk soaked bread - yet, so far they're doing very well with the soft food I provide.

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No worries, I am happy to help ...

After being told from too many breeders to use grit I did some research on it ....

 

It is a fine line but there is Grit which is hard and course and there is Grit which is powdery and etc

So this is where it can confuse alot of people they should change the name :blush:

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Guest DrNat

Iodine, calcium and charcoal bells.

Chunks of charcoal.

Fine pink shell grit.

Cuttlebone.

Native flowers and branches.

Seed sprouts (with or without the dirt)

Fruit and veges.

Egg and biscuit.

Lactose free UHT milk.

Natural bread made from either wheat, rye or oats, or other grains as desired.

Very hard boiled chicken eggs, dry the shells in the hot sun for a day, grind the shells to dust and put in the shell grit.

And of course seed mix and water.

 

The more variety you give them to choose from and as safely close to natural as possible the less problems you have. Whatever nutrition is fed to them, the ones that survive and reproduce will be those who adapt to the conditions provided.

 

One of my hens picks up her calcium bell and puts it in the water container when breeding because she likes to drink the calcium dissolved in the water instead of eating it dry. Why waste money on a liquid calcium supplement when they do it themselves! It is all calcium carbonate (calcium bells, plaster, seashells, oyster shells, egg shells, crustacean shells, shell grit, limestone, chalk, calcite). They can be very intelligent.

 

For the aviary budgies, when I put a birdbath in there in the morning for them to play in I can not be home all the time to take it out after a couple of hours when it all gets dirty, often this does not happen until late afternoon. The problem with this was the birds drink the dirty water and get sick.

 

So, a while ago I started to put a sprinkling of ground cloves in the water to keep it cleaner, or sometimes whole cloves if that is what is available. They drink it, it doesn't seem to harm them, infact it probably is good for them because the cloves are antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and naturally balanced unlike the water disinfectants and chemicals used otherwise. It smells nice and inhibits the bacterial and coccidia growth, so it doesn't matter so much if they drink it in the afternoon when it is a bit dirty and stale by then.

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One thing I have noticed is the parents feeding chicks seem to deliberately seek out their own droppings and pick through them before going into the nests to feed it to the chicks. This is not due to lack of food. I am thinking that their must be "something" in these droppings that the baby birds need.

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One thing I have noticed is the parents feeding chicks seem to deliberately seek out their own droppings and pick through them before going into the nests to feed it to the chicks. This is not due to lack of food. I am thinking that their must be "something" in these droppings that the baby birds need.

 

That would be bacteria required in the gut to break down the food. I would assume that the chicks would have a sterile gut until the parents give them the correct flora via their food - hence feeding of droppings

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That is spot on KAZ & LIV

 

This is why it is important to make sure that the 2 weeks leading up to breeding that the parents are in TOP HEALTH and get

the required Vits, Minerals and food- and during hatching of the eggs they are given High Protien - High Calcium which gives them the best start in life :D

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Thank you one and all, I have learned alot in here, I just thought the mother of my babies was being gross when she picks through the poops. I also noticed today when doing the box check that mum is also doing a few poo's in the box that that the babies seem to pick a themselves, they pick at that and the millet spray that goes in daily.

Kaz I ordered some of the F - Vite today as well as a few other products that the girl on the phone said were also very good!

I have found that when I pull what I call the budgie plants out and place them in the avairy my birds have a tendancy to roll in the dirt more than eat it!

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Added to FAQ, views of Neat and Kaz

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Whenever I have my budgie (my tame one) inside, and drink milk he always steals some, at first I was a bit concerned but if I only let him have a little bit, he seems perfectly fine... But thats just one budgie, other budgies may be different.. :D

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Great topic! Very interesting read. There are many grits avaliable on the market. Silica sand is a very fine grit, canunda is very small shells, and then you have othe grit that ranges from fine to corse. On the bottom of my cages I used breeders choice cat litter (its a 100% recycled paper product). I sprinkle fine grit over the litter. If they need grit they will naurally forage around the bottom of the cage to find it.

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hi all i always feed my birds chicken carcus and they hog it down ,along with fresh bread daily veggies ,i even burn my own gum log in the fire pit and give it to them all, but only for one day every few days for one month, as the have the iodine bells cuttle fish. linseed i add once a month. i feed home grown millet ,weat, and canola, fresh gum and native nuts off various plants (washed), red soil from fire pit and from root ball of grown seeds mandarins bananas apple so on so on. and shell grit of the small variety. If i go out anywhere i always on look out for a treat to bring home for them i feed left over porridge but take it out with in half hour my birds have never been sick except this year when i did not quarantine a new bird. I remove everything every night and they never get the same thing i always rotate. My breeders get a bit of rearing mix as well as the above i find that the chicks throats are a lot more full when mum and dad has this on offer. I am not a show breeder just a hobby to keep me sane but i do try to stick to the breeding regime of no more than one clutch for my hens. In may just after a molt and then oct last eggs laid before the heat wave and i stagger my breeders so they have a good long rest before second clutch 3 to 6 months depending on birds condition and i wait one year before letting them sit. As to grit or not to grit i believe yes but like you have all stated small and fine i am a strong believer of recolds even for just a backyarder

Edited by **Liv**

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okay... sorry I'm a bit new to this... I've read through all the posts and I have come to the conclusion that I can get the F-Vite and give that to a budgie all year round to replace the need for a cuttlebone, iodine bell or grit.

(Of course give them fresh uncooked green veges, carrots and the like also... and good seeds of course!)

 

Would that be okay?

 

Thanks >.<

Edited by Vicky

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As far as i know you can only get F-Vite from Dr Rob Marshell in Sydney.

I did use this product but now use True Grit from veta farm, birds love it.

Edited by **KAZ**

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