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Nourishing the Nest

Breeding diets benefit both parents and chicks

By Margrethe Warden

There are thousands of species of birds that occupy a diverse geographical range in the wild. Their diets, like their colors, run the gamut, even among birds living in the same region. Within our own aviaries, diets vary, and among bird breeders the methods for feeding vary, too. No wonder many people are confused about what to feed to whom and when.

Aviculturists know that breeding birds’ nutritional requirements differ from those of non-breeding birds. In the wild, seasonal factors — the availability of certain foods, changes in the weather and increased daylight — trigger the breeding cycle. This increased availability of certain foods provides supportive nutrition during the breeding season and added nutrition for parents feeding chicks. Without these trigger foods and conditions, the birds might not have a productive breeding season.

**For the full article, pick up the February issue of BIRD TALK**


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