Preparing the Mix
Preparation of the egg food is quite simple. Boil two eggs for at least 20 minutes. Cool the eggs and remove the shells. Dry the shells in a microwave or toaster oven. That makes the shells brittle. Place the dry shells in a 2-quart stainless steel mixing bowl. Grind the shells into small flakes with the dough blender, then place the eggs in the bowl and chop them. The eggs will be somewhat sticky, so add breadcrumbs and mix with the dough blender. Continue adding the rest of the breadcrumbs and blend completely. Put the mixture in a closed container and keep in the refrigerator.
Most small birds eat this egg food recipe quickly but may not eat all of it immediately. The food will dry out within an hour when served in a shallow dish. From then on the food will not spoil, since it is completely dry. My birds eat the dry food for 24 to 36 hours when I have been away. I find it is insurance that the birds will not run out of food. They do not scatter the mix and blow it out of the dish when flying away from it. The calcium from the egg and from the eggshells is sufficient for my birds. I do not find it necessary to supply cuttlebone or mineral blocks as calcium supplements. You can add other ingredients, such as soy protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. I find that the plain, easy-to-make formula does just fine.
The Benefits of Bread Crumbs
It is easier and practically as cheap to buy breadcrumbs as it is to make them yourself from bread. The contents of a can of crumbs and a loaf of bread are very similar. The analysis is different, as can be seen in Table 1. You will find this type of information on the packages.
Table 1 Bread Crumbs Compared With Fresh Bread Ingredients Bread Crumbs Fresh Bread 15-oz. can 20-oz. loaf Ingredient Weight (Grams) Weight (Grams) Total Fat 16.16 88 Carbohydrates 297.49 176 Sugars 28.33 44 Protein 70.80 44 Table 2 lists the abundant vitamin content of eggs, seven amino acids, plus six foodstuff materials. Table 2 Nutrient Analysis of One Large Hard-Boiled Egg (50 grams) Vitamins Vitamin A 260 International Units Vitamin B-1 0.04 milligrams Vitamin B-2 0.14 milligrams Vitamin B-6 0.06 milligrams Vitamin B-12 0.66 micrograms Vitamin C 0 (Birds make their own from glucose) Vitamin D 27 International Units Vitamin E 0.88 milligrams Vitamin K 25 micrograms Folate 24 micrograms Pantothenic Acid 0.86 milligrams Nutrition Content Carbohydrates 0.6 grams (1.2 %) Cholesterol 274 milligrams (0.005 %) Fat 5.6 (11.2 %) Protein 6.1 grams (12.2 %) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids 0.7 grams (1.4 %) Saturated Fatty Acids 1.7 grams (34 %) Water 37.3 grams (74.6 %) Amino Acids Arginine 388 milligrams Cystine 145 milligrams Histidine 147 milligrams Isoleucine 380 milligrams Leucine 533 milligrams Lysine 410 milligrams Methonine 196 milligrams Threonine 298 milligrams Tryptophane 97 milligramsIf egg is so good, why mix it with bread crumbs? Egg by itself is difficult to prepare in a form that small birds will eat. Crumbled hard-boiled egg particles tend to stick together and are unwieldy. Bread crumbs not only condition the egg so that it s free flowing but also keep it finely divided so that small birds can pick it up and eat it. Table 3 lists the nutrition breakdown of a large, hard-boiled egg listing calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. So, you can see that adding egg to bread crumbs greatly improves mineral nutrition values.
Table 3 Mineral Content of One Large Hard-Boiled Egg (50 Grams) Calcium 28 milligrams Iodine 26 micrograms Iron 1.04 milligrams Magnesium 6 milligrams Phosphorus 90 milligrams Potassium 65 milligrams Sodium 69 milligrams Zinc 0.72 milligrams Table 4 gives a simple ingredients statement for bread crumbs, two hard-boiled eggs and the mixture of one 15-ounce can of bread crumbs mixed with two hard-boiled eggs. Table 4 Ingredients--Bread Crumbs, Eggs and Egg/Crumbs Mixture Bread Crumbs Two Hard-Boiled Eggs Bread Crumb 15 0z Can (100gm ) Egg Mixture Weight Weight Weight Ingrediant Grams Grams Grams Percent Total Fat 14.16 11.2 25.36 4.83 Carbohydrates 297.49 1.2 298.69 56.88 Sugars 28.33 0 28.33 5.39 Protein 70.80 12.2 83 15.80Formerly a research chemist, Kenneth Karsten, Ph.D. has been breeding birds for the past five years, focusing on Gouldian and society finches, and canaries.
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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.