DIET & ITS IMPORTANCE IN AVICULTURE
One of the more forward-thinking and progressive aspects of Aviculture is that of diet.
We really don't have to think back so far to see the evidence of the 'traditional' ways we cared for our birds. Thankfully with the advancements in science we can now make smarter choices when caring for our flock.
Around the World there is great evidence of bird-keepers underachieving in this area. Quite likely the plight of some Nectarivore species in the Americas was due to a lack of knowledge about the complexity of the diets for that particular group of birds. Hookbill keepers have become far more progressive, with fantastic pelleted diets being utilised more and more.
When we look inwards at those who keep Wildfowl, it is a regular occurrence to feed a diet similar to that of poultry. By this we mean offering a basic scratch mix, and little else. Of course, the birds survive and often breed. This was unfortunately what many of us based our 'success' on, as opposed to delving deeper into the topic of diets.
It's interesting, especially when we look at tropical species like the Gallopheasants, to think that a little more progression in diet could provide us with stronger, healthier, and longer-living flocks. Think about their natural environment; foraging on the forest floors, relishing fallen fruits and berries, or searching for insects and larvae. It's certainly a lot different to how we've replicated that in Australian Aviculture.
We have to think the same for waterfowl. Do the birds dive for food? Forage in grasslands? Skim the surface for aquatic plants and insects? We have to adopt more knowledge from how the species maintain themselves in the wild, as opposed to a 'one-diet-fits-all' regime.
Thankfully all of this information is becoming more available, and The Pheasant and Waterfowl Society of Australia is proud to promote best-practice in this aspect of Aviculture. For the health and longevity of our birds, we need to advance our practices.
Below are links to some more detailed information on two aspects of feeding our birds.