Any seasoned and dedicated bird breeder, will likely have tried several if not all the different types of commercial egg-foods over the years with varying success. Whilst some waxbill species can have a broad pallet and be willing to try and eat most things, many other waxbill species can be a lot more challenging when it comes to finding ways to get the required nutrition into them, making it difficult to find a quality one size fits all, or egg-food eaten by all species recipe. It was this thinking, and also because of my suspicions that my Black Crowned Waxbills were turning their beaks up at every egg-food I was offering them that I went on the hunt for a way to make my own recipe.
Although the wild cousins of Waxbills are highly unlikely to be including and sort of bird egg into their natural diet, egg contains an abundance of nutrition, in-fact all the building blocks for life, and is classified as the most nutritional food we can eat ourselves. The wild cousins of waxbills are more than likely getting their nutrition from a much broader variety of seeds, insects, and plants then we can ever offer them in captivity, therefore by supplementing our birds with egg in their diet we can ensure we are giving them above adequate nutrition for bringing them into breeding condition, producing eggs and raising chicks successfully. The Egg-food recipe I will be sharing with you in this article is based on a recipe from a dedicated Waxbill breeder in Holland called Bonne Weuring with my own adaptations. My 2022-2023 breeding season has been my first time using this recipe and I have to say that it has been my most successful year with breeding Waxbills to date. I have had Black Crowned Waxbills actually eating egg-food for once, as well as laying fertile eggs for a change. They have also been parent rearing as have my Black Cheeked Waxbills, a notoriously difficult species to not only breed but to get to parent rear their young.
So if you are interested to learn how to make my “Egg-food” then please continue reading for the recipe and the different steps of preparation involved. I have highlighted with links to our store each of the ingredients (apart from eggs) for your convenience.
1 Chicken Egg
60g of Superfine Rusk (12 heaped teaspoons)
10g of Naturally for birds “Prima” (2 heaped teaspoons)
5g of Micro-Nutrients (2 heaped teaspoons) This product is very light weight.
20g Fonio seed (4 table spoons)
10g of Naturally for Birds “Protien Boost” (2 heaped teaspoons)
1g Nekton Biotin ( 1g spoon)
1g Nekton E (1g spoon)
To find these ingredients to purchase simply click on the links (the name of each ingredient) to take you to where you can find them in the store. Chicken eggs however will have to be purchased from the supermarket. To make a bigger batch in one go simply double up or even tripple or more all the ingredients. 10 Eggs will make just over 1kg of eggfood with all the other ingrdients added.
Please note for the optional ingredients that the Nekton E is recommended only during the first 6 weeks of the conditioning phase and up until the first egg has been laid. Nekton E is a vitmin E product and can improve fertility.
For the option of adding Nekton Biotin, I will add this to my egg-food mix when I am sure I have chicks in the nest. Because you might find yourself in the position where you have different pairs at different stages of breeding, it is useful to make 2 or 3 batches of the eggfood mix at the same time and label them accordingly so you can give the right recipie at the right time to the right pair. Of course the Nekton products are not essential to the recipie being loved and taken by the birds, you can’t go wrong by increasing vitamin E into a birds diet to enhance fertility, and Biotin contains the necessary nutrition for rapid and good feather growth, making sure those fledglings have all they need to build their feathers before jumping the nest.
What you will need
1 gram spoon, provided by nekton products.
- Step one: Boil the egg for 7 mins. Once boiled removed the water and allow egg to cool down in room temperature. Once the egg has cooled remove the outer shell. Cut the egg into halves or quarters and place in the food processor.
- Step Two: Add the 60g or 12 teaspoons of Superfine Rusk and turn the food processor on. Once the Egg and Rusk has been blended to a very fine powder turn off the food processor, then pour the blended ingredients into your mixing bowl.
- Step Three: Add 10g of Prima (2 heaped teaspoons) 5g of Micro-Nutrients (2 heaped teaspoons) 20g Fonio seed (4 table spoons) 10g of Protein Boost (2 heaped teaspoons) into the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Step Four (Optional) You may also wish to add 1g Nekton Biotin (1g spoon) into the mixing bowl if you have nestlings or fledglings as this product contains all the necessary nutrition for feather growth. You may also wish to add 1g Nekton E (1g spoon) If you are in the process of conditioning your birds to breed. Nekton E contains Vitamin E which can improve fertility but it should not be fed once incubation begins as this can interfere with the brooding process.
- Step Five, Thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Once the ingredients are mixed it is ready to be served with live food and/or chitted seeds and milking stage. Watch out for our Part 2 & Part 3 Articles on these foods. Once the batch has been completed it can be stored in a closed container inside the freezer. I reccomend making no more then 1 months supply at a time, this ensures freshness and prevents food from going off. Simply take out what you need as and when but don’t keep the container outside of the freezer for more the a couple of minuets at a time.
Article By Paul Bancroft