How frequently does an accidental observation lead to the invention of a significant new product? Alexander Fleming’s finding that “a mould colony possessed anti-bacterial capabilities” is perhaps the most famous example. That insight, followed by a lot of hard effort, gave birth to the antibiotics business, which has saved millions of lives.
What follows is a description of the invention of a feeding system for Budgerigars, which began with a fortuitous observation as well.
Gould brought the Budgerigar to the United Kingdom in 1840. These birds were tiny, weighing around 35 grams and measuring about 6.5 inches long.
The Budgerigar Society, founded in 1925 by a group of foresighted enthusiasts, provided the impetus to realize the potential of this magnificent bird. While the Budgerigar Society Standard for an exhibition bird is now around 8.5 inches in length, this is not the only modification. Others include the breadth of the face, the thickness of the shoulders, and the firmness of the body, with the whole frame covered with feathers ranging from “Yellow” to Buff to double-Buff. The birds have a lot of underdown, and directional feathering is becoming more common.
The fanciers continue to enhance the species’ immense genetic potential, constantly looking for that additional dimension that would ensure success on the show bench. Of course, this implies that today’s exhibition bird is substantially different from Gould’s originals. If we are to continue developing the species, we must recognize these alterations and the metabolic needs they may have caused.
We must now consider the larger changes that have occurred as the young Light Green bird has grown into the display bird we know today.
The world’s human population is growing at an alarming pace. It would be classified as a plague in any other species, but since it affects humans, we strive to disregard that fact. As a consequence of this rapid rise, more food must be produced. That rise in production has often had to come from a reduction in land area. More intensive agricultural practices were used to obtain the higher production.
New grain types provide several times the yield per acre of earlier kinds; intensive use of chemical fertilizers increases production from the fields further; and all of this, together with quick re-use of the land for the following crop, adds to the strain on nature.
Without a question, enough food has been produced to fulfill demand, but what about the quality? Can we be certain that today’s high-yielding cereals and seed crops provide the same nutritional balance as previous kinds under a gentler farming system?
Part of the matter is academic, since without new kinds and greater yields, we would not have been able to feed the world’s population to the amount that we have. Many more individuals would have perished as a result of famine. However, the issue remains, “Is the total nutrition from seeds and grains as high as it used to be?”
The answer to such a question is doubly significant to a Budgerigar enthusiast since it may influence not only his or her personal nutrition, but also the well-being of the birds.
For a potential response to such a query, we must now look to Murphy & Son Ltd, whose founder was operating a Biotechnology bureau at the turn of the century, much before the term biotechnology became the buzzword that it is today.
For the last 102 years, the firm has been intimately involved with the fermentation and food sectors. Over the years, the laboratory has monitored goods and provided technical assistance, as well as acquired abilities in yeast management and fermentation behavior.
Some years ago, during the course of their everyday job, it became clear that fermentations were sometimes slowing down, yeast vigour was being impaired, and yet there seemed to be a sufficient supply of primary nutrients.
A thorough analysis indicated that there were instances when the amounts of trace nutrients and minerals were somewhat lower. These were not significant changes, but since trace metals play a crucial role in live cells, the effects of adding trace minerals to the growth media were investigated. In many situations, the outcomes were fairly spectacular. Yeast cells grew swiftly and created healthy new cells, and fermentations restored to normal.
So Murphy & Son Ltd has a new product that will continue to service the fermentation sector when it encounters difficulties. The “Wisdom of the Yeast” could still be there if it hadn’t been for the arrival of a Budgerigar aficionado, particularly the creator of this page, John Bell.
It was not a huge leap of logic to realize that if yeasts, which rely on cereal grain products for nutrition, may suffer from nutritional shortages in their diet, Budgerigars and other grain and seed-feeding birds might as well.
The tedious, laborious inquiry and observational work that followed the original notion will not be discussed here, but the study resulted in the invention of a regulated feeding system that offers a balanced meal for the birds while being simple to manage for the fancier.
It is critical to recognize that Pro-System delivers a balanced diet, and that supplementation is both unneeded and unwanted. The author is always glad to talk about feeding with fans who have a favorite vitamin.
To provide a notion of the simple simplicity of the food, the following menu was used in the primary breeding trials:
|Plain Canary seed||50%|
|Mineralised grit with oystershell||Available at all times|
|Pro-mineral Supplement||Available at all times|
|Vitamin Supplement||Solution: 1 tablet to 1.5 litres water (renewed daily)|
It is also necessary as a general guideline to keep all utensils and equipment, such as nest-boxes, clean. Boiling for several minutes in an appropriate disinfectant solution is preferable if possible.
Some observations made throughout the trials are especially significant.
- Fertility and hatching rates were outstanding, especially in older chickens ranging in age from four to seven years. Several acquired highly fat birds were put in the main flight, where Pro-Mineral and Pro-Vitamins were accessible. The majority of these birds lost weight, became active flyers, and resumed reproducing.
- Adult birds neglecting to feed their offspring has nearly completely disappeared.
- Excessive swelling of breeding chickens was not seen; hens looked to be comfortable and passed firm fces while exiting the nesting-box in the morning.
- During egg-laying and incubation, the fces from the breeding chickens were tiny, hard, and odorless.
- During egg-laying, sitting, and chick raising, all nest boxes remained fully dry. This is a very significant trait because it prevents germs from multiplying.
- Within minutes of introducing the birds to the Pro-mineral-containing feeders, they were clearly enjoying it. Earlier observations and estimates about cuttlefish eating had presented a conundrum, since the quantity ingested was significantly in excess of what should be necessary for egg-laying demands. Following the introduction of Pro-mineral, it was evident that the birds had been devouring the cuttlefish for trace mineral needs and, as a result, had consumed an excess of the cuttlefish’s primary minerals.
- As previously stated, one characteristic of this technique allows the birds to subsist on a diet similar to that of their native desert environment. The dry droppings are a common element of their water conserving strategy.
- Whole groats soaked in cod liver oil and let to soak for 24 hours prior to feeding are an excellent supplemental supplement for breeding birds. Only 1 ounce per pair each day. Rate of use: 4000 I.Us Vit A to 1000 g groats (the ratio of vit A to vit D should be 10:1).
N.B The above has been provided so that individuals who use it may verify the A to D ratio on the specific brand of Cod-liver Oil they use, since this can vary greatly.
The status of the droppings may provide an intriguing diagnostic characteristic, since only two birds had moist droppings for a lengthy amount of time throughout the trials. This was identified as a mild Trichomonas infection, albeit it had not progressed to the point of producing “reaching,” which is generally linked with this issue. After establishing dry droppings as the usual, a departure may be seen as a warning to thoroughly study the bird.
It is advised that Dr. John Baker’s findings on Trichomonas and his treatment with Emtryl be followed as a matter of good practice, and that the whole flock be treated once per year as a matter of routine.
Fanciers visiting breeders who have previously employed the Pro-System for a whole breeding season have commented on the increased level of noise and activity. A definite indicator of health.
We are left wondering how much we humans are suffering from trace nutrient deficits after seeing the significant improvement in the Budgerigars.
Editor’s note: According to Dr. John Baker, who has conducted some research on this topic, modern intensive agriculture may have reduced the amount of micronutrients in seeds, and while this may occur occasionally with certain types of excessive fertilizer use, it is equally likely to occur when crops are grown on naturally deficient soils. Furthermore, a seed diet alone is inadequate for top performance since seeds are inherently deficient in certain micronutrients independent of soil type or fertilizer application, necessitating some sort of supplementation.
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