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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is a tablespoon of feed ? Is that a heaping tablespoon or level ?

The pros say 2 tablespoons of seed mix per bird is about right . I can't tell , it seems they are either wasting it or act like they are starving . Its hard to tell who's the culprits too . Some eat more , some are bullys and I think they are eating more than their share letting some come up short .

How do you feed ? I was feeding 2X per day as much as they wanted and seemed they were waisting a lot , lately trying 1x in the late afternoon as per the 2 tbs a bird formula and they look at me like I'm starving them . :confused:

Ferals forage constantly , so I dont know whats the best way . These are just free fly pets not competitive birds . But I'm getting tired of the waste .

hambone
 

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I will usually put down about an ounce per bird per day to start with. This will be a bit more if they are working (training or racing). They have to clean up everything though, no waste. If there is anything left in the feeder after about 10 minutes or so I will cut it back.

I will also use Barley as a judge. While this grain is great for them, has everything they need nutritionaly, they don't really like it and will eat all the other grains first. If they are finishing the Barley I know that it is about right.

Also, don't let them fool you. They will act like they are starving even when they are not. They are smart that way.

Dan
 

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yes just what learning said.....I do not race..but I do fly my birds, I have a large measuring cup and have settled on the 1 oz per day for starters, so they get am feeding and pm feeding that add up to about 1oz per bird a day. If they are taken out on a toss, I will up that the day before and up a bit when they get back, if they are hangin in the loft or just being loft flown, 1 ounce per bird seems to be the right amount, they only have a few seeds left in the feeder when all are finished. they come to the feeder hungry, but not crazy hungry, my birds don't feel overweight but not thin either. but if you race this gets a bit more involved.....it is a science and an art at that point....sometimes just trust your own judgment and experiment a little.
 

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Measure out your feed at 1 ounce per bird, then put just 1/4 of it down in the feeders. If you put ALL the feed down at once, then they're going to pick out what they like first and the slow eaters will get the crappy stuff that's left........after putting down 1/4, make them eat it ALL before you give them another 1/4 or so...........
This is the way I call my birds in. I put maybe 8 ounces of feed out for the 42 birds.......if only 20 trap, they aren't going to get too much to eat. Then I add a little feed until they're all in. If you've got some birds that didn't fly..........then they don't deserve their pick of the good stuff while the ones flying get what's left over.
 

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Do you fly your birds Hambone, like those that have responded do?
 

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Do you fly your birds Hambone, like those that have responded do?
Honestly, it doesn't really matter. In fact, it's all the more reason to keep an eye on what and how much they eat if they aren't flying.
The same principles still apply. Flying or not, they WILL eat what they like first IF they have that choice. Take the choice away from them and they will learn to eat what's put in front of them.
I don't fly my breeders but they don't get all they want to eat and get to waste any of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi everyone and thanks for the tips ,

Yes I do fly them , they are in an open loft and I lock them in at late afternoon.

Ok , I'm going to measure more carefully instead of the tablespoon method . They are ALWAYS hungry it seems and I've been giving in to them . I think what they are doing is picking out the good stuff and wasting the rest . I give them safflower seeds , sunflowers and peanuts too in moderation , so they cant be starving .

Whenever I go out to them they are like dogs begging for treats . :D

Now does greens count in this as a food too . I've been giving them lettuce , and greens too lately . So should I cut back on the seedfood then , or the same 1 once per bird along with the greens ?

hambone
 

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Hi everyone and thanks for the tips ,

Yes I do fly them , they are in an open loft and I lock them in at late afternoon.

Ok , I'm going to measure more carefully instead of the tablespoon method . They are ALWAYS hungry it seems and I've been giving in to them . I think what they are doing is picking out the good stuff and wasting the rest . I give them safflower seeds , sunflowers and peanuts too in moderation , so they cant be starving .

Whenever I go out to them they are like dogs begging for treats . :D

Now does greens count in this as a food too . I've been giving them lettuce , and greens too lately . So should I cut back on the seedfood then , or the same 1 once per bird along with the greens ?

hambone

Are they a good weight? You know, I have nothing against open loft. I do it myself a few months out of the year, however, when the birds are allowed to forage on the ground, they can pick up worms very easily. They can almost eat all they want and if they have worms, will still be hungry. I'm going to make an "educated" guess and say that it's probably pretty darn hot in AZ right now? They probably don't even need 1 ounce per bird unless they are doing A LOT of flying. When my birds are on open loft, they do SOME flying, but the majority of thier time is on the ground/loft/house so it's not like they're getting a major workout, unless Mr. Hawk come visiting once in a while. :rolleyes:
I would make sure they don't have any worms, measure enough feed at 3/4 of an ounce per bird and ration it out little by little and see what happens.
Now, when I have my birds on open loft, I don't ration their food. They have food in front of them 24/7. Not ALL of it, but I'll give them a little and a couple of times a day, I'll walk out to the loft and if all the food is gone, I give them more. If there's still some left, then I just leave it until it's all gone.
 

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Hi everyone and thanks for the tips ,

Yes I do fly them , they are in an open loft and I lock them in at late afternoon.

Ok , I'm going to measure more carefully instead of the tablespoon method . They are ALWAYS hungry it seems and I've been giving in to them . I think what they are doing is picking out the good stuff and wasting the rest . I give them safflower seeds , sunflowers and peanuts too in moderation , so they cant be starving .

Whenever I go out to them they are like dogs begging for treats . :D

Now does greens count in this as a food too . I've been giving them lettuce , and greens too lately . So should I cut back on the seedfood then , or the same 1 once per bird along with the greens ?

hambone
The greens should be in addition to the seed and so you should not cut back on the seed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK everybody,

Some good advice all around . I'm going to change the way I feed and divide the meals over the day and measure it out more accurately . Discipline , both for the birds AND me ;) I just want the best but I tend to spoil all my pets .

As for worms ... its possible . I check poops all the time and see nothing unless they are microscopic . I didnt think anything could live in this dry soil here where I am . They are all good weight , I dont actually measure with a scale but they feel and look good . I've got some stuff coming for that just in case ( worms ) . Oh ! and I use ACV in their water all the time too .

One problem is I have some ferals that raid the feed too .... I dont know how I'm going to solve that one . Thats a hazard with an open loft like I have . They are friendly birds but are taking advantage of me . They eat and leave , eating some of my guys chow I'm sure . It throws off my measurements . How do you handle that ?

Thanks for clearing that up about the greens too . I like to use that for my powdered vitamins so I know they are getting a full dose . They wolf it down

hambone
 

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Can't help ya with the ferals. I don't have them here. If you've got them near you and your loft is open, there's not really anything you can do to keep them out.......although it's NOT a good idea to have the two mixing. I don't have anything against ferals, but I don't want MY birds living with THEM and I don't want THEM living with MY birds...........
 

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What kind of greens to you feed? I tried lettuce a few years ago and all they did was play with it.....tossing it all around.........:rolleyes:
Do you chop it up real fine or what?
 

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While you have a LOT more birds and racers to boot, Renee, you might try this, just for fun. You too, Bob...

Kale or Romaine or any dark green lettuce: take a leaf out to your loft and tear off tiny pieces and drop them to your birds...see what they do.

Squeaks discovered the joys of greens when I accidently dropped a piece of lettuce while making a salad. Now, when he's in the kitchen with me, I will drop little pieces of lettuce to him. Don't know who enjoys it more...him being able to nail those pieces in jig time or me, laughing and trying to still tear off tiny pieces! He gets 'em ALL!!

Love and Hugs and Scritches to ALL

Shi/Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/Woe :)
 

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While you have a LOT more birds and racers to boot, Renee, you might try this, just for fun. You too, Bob...

Kale or Romaine or any dark green lettuce: take a leaf out to your loft and tear off tiny pieces and drop them to your birds...see what they do.

Squeaks discovered the joys of greens when I accidently dropped a piece of lettuce while making a salad. Now, when he's in the kitchen with me, I will drop little pieces of lettuce to him. Don't know who enjoys it more...him being able to nail those pieces in jig time or me, laughing and trying to still tear off tiny pieces! He gets 'em ALL!!

Love and Hugs and Scritches to ALL

Shi/Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/Woe :)
I knew you did that and I'd love the SEE it (hint hint:D)......LOL, but your kitchen floor isn't covered with pigeon poop either...;)......I don't really want to drop mine in the floor, but I don't think putting it in feeder would be quite the same as putting FEED in a feeder.........LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok , for the feral problem I take responsibility for that ... I am too soft hearted and I started feeding them near the loft , my bad .... because it created a problem . Homer will run them out if he sees them , but sometimes he is away . I dont like them mixing either because of fear of disease . I think as I monitor the feed situation and cut back they will leave and not return (hopefully) ... sigh ... I hate to do it , but there's a limit . There is always fresh water available for all critters out here though .

Renee I buy these bags of salad fixings already bagged for about $2.00 apiece and then with my trusty Chinese cleaver I chop them up to maybe 1/4 inch pieces . There is carrots and couple types of lettuce in there . I spinkle some powdered vitamins (Prime ) and toss it up and they love it . At first they didnt like it but soon learned to love it . Same with Spanish peanuts .. they wouldnt eat them until they found out what they were missing :) Now they crave them .

Silly birds huh ? :D

hambone
 

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Two tablespoons are fine as a starting base. Add more if they are active or if the weather is cold. These birds can beg like kids and if your heart is soft, they can take advantage of it. They sure do that too here at my loft and I get suckered in! What happened, unfortunately, is not good. They ended up fat and unfit for flying which gives them great disadvantage to my resident hawks. I still remember one of them so fat that when a hawk got him, both fell from the sky because he was too heavy. I was laughing and at the same time ended up worried. My kindness of giving them more food actually can be the end of them.

Pigeons eat vegetables, too. That is good. I myself ended up giving them salads one time, but I don't do that anymore. I just let them forage and eat my garden.
 

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too

One problem is I have some ferals that raid the feed too .... I dont know how I'm going to solve that one . Thats a hazard with an open loft like I have . They are friendly birds but are taking advantage of me . They eat and leave , eating some of my guys chow I'm sure . It throws off my measurements . How do you handle that ?

hambone
If you let them out in the morning, and lock them up at the end of the day, couldn't you feed them before letting them out, and then feed them again when you lock them in at the end of the day? That way, you don't leave feed around for the ferrals to get to.
 

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I take either carrots, or kale, or bean sprouts, or spinach, even chard. Chop it in very small pieces, put it in a flat dish, and put it on a table out in the loft. They love it. Different birds have preferences to which veggies they prefer.



 

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That's what I do too.
 

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I've seen videos where people just toss the whole greens into the aviary, and their birds pulled off pieces and ate it, but they were also walking all over it, and must have been pooping on it. More natural I guess, but certainly not as sanitary. LOL. Some people hang it where they can get to it and pull pieces off, but my birds weren't very impressed by this method. They're spoiled. They like their veggies cut up bite size for them. When I tried hanging it, they would pull off large pieces that were too big to eat. And most ignored it. So for me anyway, the cut up in the dish method works best.
 
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