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Chick health - a guide to success

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Eggfoods

Young chicks are very dependent on the feed from their parents (or you if you are handrearing!) and the quality of the food is very important. Eggfoods are great for increasing the protein and vitamin/mineral content of the diet for better chick rearing results. They are also a really great food for adding other supplements to as the parent birds will rear their chicks with the eggfood passing on all the nutritional benefits.

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Feast Eggfoods
• Very tasty, so your birds will love it.
• Contains powerful anti-coccidial herbs to prevent going light in young finches and canaries.
• Contains prebiotic herbs to boost the digestive and immune functions.
• Enriched with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and protein.

Useful equipment for hand rearing

Crop tubes

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• Stainless steel crop tubes for hand feeding chicks or sick birds.
• Can be attached to syringes to allow for accurate feeding.
• Available in straight or curved varieties.

Syringes

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• For measuring liquids, hand feeding or for use with crop tubes.
• Various sizes available. Large 60ml syringe suitable for hand feeding larger chicks (catheter tip).
• Can be attached to crop tubes to allow for accurate feeding.

Hygiene matters

We all know what a disinfectant is supposed to do, but did you know that different types of disinfectants kill different bugs? Did you also know that disinfectants can also be adversely affected by the materials which they are cleaning?

Avisafe is a liquid based product available in both a concentrate and pre-diluted form. The concentrate has a shelf life of two years and when diluted, stays active for an amazing six months.

Avisafe kills yeasts, fungi, viruses and bacteria therefore you can be assured that you are providing your birds with the highest levels of hygiene. Avisafe is non-corrosive, easy to use but most importantly does not give off any toxic fumes or smells.

Avisafe can be used in the presence of birds so long as there are no puddles of disinfectant left. The product is extremely cost effective and the dilution rates for the concentrate version is as follows:

1 part Avisafe to 100 parts water for cages, food and water containers, incubators, brooders and perches.

1 part Avisafe to 50 parts water for hand-rearing implements, nest boxes and heavily soiled areas.

Effective against Avian Flu when used at a strength of 1 part Avisafe to 10 parts water.

Avisafe

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Keep the bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast infections at bay by disinfecting your bird room thoroughly with Avisafe, our very effective and economical, low allergenic, DEFRA approved disinfectant.


Other common chick related problems solved...

Slow crop
Usually caused by a candida (yeast) infection, crop function slows and can stop completely, with devastating outcomes. Candida is always present in the air, so for prevention ensure you thoroughly clean utensils and bowls (disinfect with Avisafe). For chicks with a problem, do not feed until the crop is empty. Put drops of Potent Brew straight into the crop as frequently as possible. Mix Potent Brew into the feed (eggfoods, handrearing foods). Not all chicks can be rescued, but many can be.

Diarrhoea
This needs prompt attention. At breeding and chick rearing time, keep Potent Brew on hand. If diarrhoea occurs, give plenty of Potent Brew, direct to the beak. With live beneficial bacteria and enzymes it works wonders. Better still, feed Potent Brew regularly during the rearing and weaning periods to support chick’s digestive function, keep nests drier and healthier and nip upset stomachs in the bud.

Chicks struggling to wean
Ensure you keep providing a diverse diet. Eggfood remains important for most species; keep up soaked seed if the adults were having it. Up the protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals by adding EasyBird Rest, Moult & Show, or Daily Essentials3 with a little ProBoost SuperMax, or Feather-Up. Alongside one of those groups, add Calcivet. For birds really struggling at this point, mix Guardian Angel in the water as well for an extra pick-me-up.

Poor feathering
Fledging, 1st moults, all moults – these are always physically stressful times. Protein levels with good amino acids and chelated calcium are very significant. EasyBird products, Daily Essentials3, Feather-Up and Calcivet are important products. If the bird doesn’t get enough of these ingredients then it will be physically stressed and go downhill healthwise.

Rickets and broken bones
If you are seeing nestlings with broken bones it’s a clear sign that there is insufficient chelated calcium in the diet, not that the hens are sitting too tight. Up the Calcivet levels for all your birds, as if this is showing with one nest, other babies and adults will also be suffering, even if not so visible to you. Rickets is also the result of too little chelated calcium and a common problem among hand reared birds. Just add Calcivet to eggfoods or handrearing foods, or add to water.

Going light
Young canaries/finches/poultry or pigeons going light, losing weight with razor sharp breastbones, often eating nearly constantly, particularly around the 13 week age, is a sign of Coccidiosis. Caught early these birds can be rescued, but leave it too long and their liver will be permanently damaged leading to ill-health and death. Flourish, or any of our Feast eggfoods which already contain Flourish, help redress the balance in a gentle but effective manner. Acox/Coxoid are approved anti-coccidials to add to drinking water, but are not our first choice for such young chicks

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