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Kathy Adragna from Michigan asks: My 5 year old parakeet died two days ago. The vet said he died of liver disease probably due to his diet. I have a second keet same age male who I'm afraid will die too if I don't change his diet. Both birds were on a fortified seed mixture their whole life. In addition to the seed, they ate millet and egg busciut. Gravel in their cage. That's all. Tried numerous times to introduce fresh fruits & veggies. I recently purchased the Twin Beaks® Aviary's Herb Salad™, along with samples of pellets and nutra berries i received from the vet. It's been three days now and by keet don't want anything to do with the new food. I've tried mixing with his old seed mixture, and by itself. He won't even go near it. I'm afraid if I keep trying the new food, he'll starve. Can he starve to death even with food available? He won't let me handle him, so I can't hand feed anything to him. Otherwise appears very healthy. Will he eventually give in on his own. Should I take away completely the old seed mixture and offer only the new?
Hello Kathy, I would suggest that you put your remaining parakeet onto my Health Programme for Parrots. You can find the schedule of use for these products on this website. You can still use the seed mixture with this Programme and do not have to worry about getting your guy to eat fruits or veggies. I do not recommend feeding pellets to caged birds. All the best, Rob

Barbara Pawson from Michigan asks: Thanks for your help with my last question. I know that avocados are poisonous and can kill quakers. I am wondering if apricots are too. Can I feed our quaker dried apricots, or will this kill him? Thanks so much for your help. I can't seem to find this out online. Barbara
Hello Barbara, I have not heard any toxic problems with apricots except that they can be fungal in nature. All the Best, Rob

Johnny Repko from Celina, Ohio asks: I am currently using the core supplements from Dr. Marshalls progam and have a question concerning egg food recipies. I am interested in making up egg food in bulk and freezing it and using it as needed. My question is, do I use the turbobooster and e-power in the egg food recipie or do I use another supplement of choice. And if I can use another supplement in my egg food recipie, what would you recommend? Many Thanks.
Hello Johnny, You can definitely use the TurboBooster and ePowder in your eggfood receipe, but I would not mix it into the egg before you freeze it, but rather right before you feed it to the birds.

If you do not want to mix these 2 products into the eggfood after defrosting the eggfood, then I would recommend adding the TurboBooster and ePowder to the seed mixture. If you do this you do not need to use any other supplements, other than the remaining products in my product line for the Health Programmes. All the Best, Rob

Johnny Repko from Celina, Ohio asks: I have just received my starter pac and was wondering if when preparing the seed with the TurboBooster if I could prepare enough seed for a week and keep it stored in the refigerator instead of preparing the mixture daily.
Hello Johnny, I do not recommend mixing the TurboBooster days ahead, even if it is stored in the refrigerator. However Laraine has told me that she has done it for up to 4 days with no adverse effects, when she has had to travel for business reasons. Best of Luck, Rob

barb onnen from south dakota asks: Dear Dr Rob, I have two pair of gouldians, one pair on eggs and another looking interested in starting a family. I would like to start my birds on your system. Is it ok to start them now? I wanted to make sure any chicks produced get off to good start. Thank you.
Hello Barb, It is best to start the Programme well before breeding starts so as to give them time to get used to it and for full benefits during breeding. Now would be an okay time for the pair who is starting to get interested as they are preparing to nest. And also for the incubating birds so that they can get used to the new tastes before they start feeding babies. Best of Luck, Rob

Christie Webb from California asks: Dear Dr Rob, I have been feeding a pelleted diet to my cockatiels and Indian Ringneck for a few years now. Are there any pelleted diets out there that meet the nutrition requirements for Lady Gouldians? I have asked this of a few of the companies out there, but would like an unbiased answer. Thank you!
Hello Christie, I am not aware of any pelleted diets for finches here in Australia. I would suggest that you investigate Harrison's brand and see if they have one for finches. All the Best, Rob

Judith Crain from Illinois asks: Hi, Dr. Rob! I have just started my Gouldians and Owl finches on your Health Programme using Turbobooster, E powder, F Vite, Ioford, and Dufoplus. Should I continue to give them a calcium supplement such as Calcium Plus along with this, and if so, how often? Thank you so much for your kind help! Best regards, Judy
Hello Judith, There is liquid calcium borogluconate in the Ioford, so aditional liquid calcium should not be necessary as long as your hens have had a good diet leading up to this time. Their calcium storage should be fine. If you are unsure if this is the case, then 1 additional day during each week, you could add your liquid calcium in the fresh water. All the Best, Rob

Shazia from Pakistan asks: Dr. Rob, I have a 5 months old indian ring neck.i don't know from where she reached the bucket of onions she ate them.since then she's not feeling well.she vomited a couple of days back,she's become fluffy,she is sleepy all the day,her breast bone is prominent due to weight loss.plz help me as i can't make an access to a vet becoz there aren't experienced vets in our area.thanks.
Hello Shazia, Onions are toxic to birds as are avocados and tomatoes. If the bird is able to overcome the initial toxicity, it should be fed with a high energy emergency formula such as "ER Formula" and the diet supplemented with Miniboost to promote a strong recovery. It is important to try and rebuild the bird's energy levels (i.e. restore weight loss) so that it is able to overcome the toxins from the onions. All the Best, Rob

Kathleen Hintz from Novi, Michigan asks: I am wondering if the following seed mixture is OK to be used for sprouting for OWL finches? Sunflower (in shell), Wheat, Spelt (hulled), Triticale, Barley (hulless), Oats (hulless), Millet, Buckwheat (in hull), Brown Rice, Green, Crimson, Blue and Red Lentils, Adzuki Beans, Mung Beans, Fenugreek, Brown and Golden Flax, Alfalfa, Red Clover, Mustard, Daikon and China Rose Radish, Quinoa, Sesame, Amaranth. Thank you for your help. Sincerely, Kathleen
Hello Kathleen, I have found that when sprouting seed you don't want to use more than 2 or 3 different seeds in the mix at one time. Seeds germinate at different rates, so it is best to find seed that sprouts in a similar time frame

Be very careful about fungal toxins when soaking and sprouting seed for your owl finches. I recommend soaking the seed in KD Water Cleanser, with several KD rinses throughout the process. If the seed develops any "off" odor, or fungal growth during the process, throw it away. These toxins can be deadly to your birds. All the Best, Rob

ROCCO CICIRELLO from STATEN ISLAND NEW YORK asks: My canary has been on a pellet diet for months. I was told by a very reputable canary breeder [LINDA HOGAN] that all she feeds her birds is vitamin fortified seed diet called L'AVIAN PLUS CANARY FOOD. He's been on this now for about 3 weeks, and he loves it. He looks better his feathers are tighter, and he's singing nice. I give these seeds, a little Petamine and some greens or fruit. Do you agree with this diet. Thank you.
Hello Rocco, This is a better diet than seed alone but still lacking in minerals and fatty acids so may not support a moult or breeding actvitiy. Rob

ROCCO CICIRELLO from STATEN ISLAND NEW YORK asks: Hello Dr. Rob. Is there a such thing as an iodine deficiency in canaries? because the pellets and seed bags say nothing about iodine in them. what do you recommend?
Hello Rocco, Iodine deficincy certainly does occur in canaries. Our product, Ioford manages this common cause of infertility in canaries. Rob

Karen Golden from South Burlington, Vermont asks: I am reading Dr. Rob's pamplet on superhealth products for finch etc aviaries..can saniclens be used in place of KD powder?; it says DufoPlus is a sugar free water soluble vitamin as a good thing but on the back, it refers to New NV Vitaminerals that are a sugar based water supplements like this is a good thing so I am confused about the appropriate role of sugar in my gouldians' diet? Also, is "soaked seed" something you do and if so, how, or do you buy seed already soaked? How long will soak seed be fresh and usable? And, if I have Guardian Angel to use intermittantly, and some vitamin like dufoplus which I don't have yet, should I also be adding iodine to the water? Thank you, Karen
Hello Karen, DufoPlus is a sugar and glucose free, water soluble vitamin that is preserved in nitrogen and Ioford is a sugar free mineral supplement. They are part of my routine Health Program. It is good to use sugar free supplements because there is less likelihood of bacterial growth in the drinking water.

The NV Powder is an electrolyte/glucose, vitamin/mineral supplement that would be used for stressed birds, or sick birds until you could assess what may be wrong and then treat with the appropriate medication.

Soaked seed can be a very important part of the breeding program for all birds. Feeding sprouted seeds to parent birds provides their babies with an instant source of energy. However, there are real potential dangers associated with soaked or sprouted seed as a source of energy and strict soaking protocols must be followed. I would not hold soaked or sprouted seeds over, but prepare a fresh batch for each day.

Ioford is a very good source of iodine for your birds. All the Best, Rob

Charity Frazer from Idaho Springs, Colorado, USA asks: Shalom, We live in Colorado, USA and we have 3 Pairs of Gouldians, 2 Pairs of Owls, 4 pairs Society Finches and 2 pairs of diamond back doves. All birds are 1-2 years old and look healthy - active, alert, singing, most of them are mating and laying eggs, but about 95+% are infertile. We are using 24" x 16" x 16" breeder cages. They are eating finch seed and some Feast ( we were told by a local breeder that he adds 100g ProBoost SuperMax and 1-1.5 cups SoyaMusca by Oregon Feeder Insects Corporation to 1 Kg Gold Label Feast. We followed his advise about 2 weeks ago and it seems that the birds are not eating it much.) Once a week or so we give them leaf lettuce or apple or broccoli, but the Gouldians are eating little if any of it. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I change the water. On Wendsday in 1 quart of water I give them 1/4 teaspoon Daily Essentials 2, 1/8 teaspoon Saniclens and 2 drops Liqui-kelp by World Organics Corp., on Monday and Friday I add 4 teaspoons Calciboost. When we first bought the birds, about 6-8 months ago, the 2 pairs of society finches gave us 5 very healthy chicks from 7 eggs, but after that first clutch we haven't gotten another chick, and we've had about 61 eggs laid! The Gouldians have laid a total of 30 eggs and all were infertile. The Owls mate alot but have never laid an egg. We live at almost 9,000 feet elevation and we are wondering if that is our problem, another breeder just a little lower that we are is having similar problems.We have tried the Breeding Aid and that didn't even help. We would like to breed Gouldian and Owl finches, diamond back doves, peach face lovebirds, cockatiels ect. for a living. Between the Ott lights and the natural light ( bright but not direct sunlight ) they are getting 13 hours of light a day. We are home most all the time. We have them in a room next to the kitchen. There is some traffic in that room but it doesn't some to disturb them. Do you have any thoughts? Thank you for your time. Charity Frazer
Hello Charity, I highly recommend that you stop using the Soy. That is way too much soy and it as well may be toxic at those levels. Some reports say that it can also cause infertility.

Your problem may be Ornithosis carried by the Cockatiels or The Doves. These are high risk birds for Ornithosis. I would try the Doxycycline/Megamix trial on the finches and monitor their response. If it is positive, I would recommend this treatment until negative response exhibits. All the Best, Rob

Cathy Yocius from New Jersey asks: Just to let you know on Friday night, I began to sprinkle the F-Vite and E-Powder on the parents' sprouts and seed and also mixed into the Feast and their dry seed. Friday night when I checked the nest, while the chicks had some food in their crops, their crops were not that full and "bubble boy" made another appearance. Saturday, the chicks looked better, and by Sunday afternoon, to my great relief and shear joy, the chicks had very full crops and no sign of "bubble boy". The parents seem to have more energy, too. Could those two supplements have made that much of a difference in just 2 days? I can only assume, yes.I am eagerly awaiting the TurboBooster that I have also ordered. Thank you again for your help. Cathy
Hello Cathy, I am so pleased to hear of the quick results your chicks have demonstrated. Please keep up the good work and let us know how they progress. Rob

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