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FEATURE


of nutritious grains, such as cooked brown rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, barley, and pasta, as well as whole-wheat bread and unsweetened whole-wheat cereals. Hand raised youngsters enjoy Kellogg’s Fruit Loops – they’re a good way to teach youngsters to feed themselves as the babies enjoy playing with them. Cooked legumes such as yellow maize, lentils and standard pigeon mix are an excellent addition to the diet. Sprouted Seeds: These are an excellent source of nutrition, being rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Many consider sprouted seeds to be nature’s best food. Sprouted mung beans go down like a treat. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: A cuttlebone is good for extra calcium – these can be gathered from the beach, boiled for an hour and then sun-dried. Inlanders can buy cuttlebones from pet stores. Generally, if your birds are being fed a well-balanced diet vitamin and mineral supplements are not needed. New arrivals, though, particularly those


which have endured a long journey in a travel box, do benefit from a booster course of vitamins and minerals. Slender-billed Conures: their diet is simple – a good seed mix, with plenty of smaller seeds, sprouts, rose hops, mixed fruit (especially apples and pears), veggies (particularly beetroots, carrots, spinach and broccoli), pellets and nuts (pine nuts are a favourite). Sunflower seeds are best avoided but if you must, opt for sprouted sunflower seeds over dry seeds.


Amboina Kings: they enjoy a smorgasbord of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and a staple pellet diet. Steer clear of dry sunflower – apart from being too high in fat, the discarded husks are messy.


On a Mission Brent is keen to track down other breeders who are interested in these less flashy species. His mobile number is +27 (0) 82 452 1830.


BIRD SCENE 21


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