The following 5 measures should be applied to keep birds of all spe- cies healthy in captivity:
Hygiene / Vitamins, amino-acids, mineral salts and trace elements / Intestinal flora / Liver Immunostimulants
These last four products are to be administered for care purposes at a light dosage once or twice a week all year long. Depending on their specificity, it will sometimes be necessary to increase the dosage according to the bird’s lifespan.
1 / L’HYGIENE :
- Hygiene should be considered on a daily basis. This concerns the quality of the facilities (ventilation, orientation, humidity, temperature, etc.) as well as food quality (mould, dust, toxic contami- nants) while always bearing water quality in mind. This also concerns personal hygiene measures: never handle a healthy bird after handling sick or dead birds without disinfecting the hands beforehand. Vigilance is also an essential factor for breed hygiene management. • Hygiene also means that serious disinfection formalities should be fol- lowed. Facilities and all equipment need to be disinfected and controlled for pests at least once a year according to a very precise operating pro- cedure (contact us). This step can be carried out at the last moment be- fore beginning to prepare for reproduction (4 to 5 weeks before the estimated beginning of the laying period). • Lastly, quarantine is also an essential factor for protection of breed health. In this way, new comers, which are potentially healthy illness car- riers, are isolated as completely as possible. The most vital first step is to use an insecticide against lice. Lice are known to be carriers of ill- nesses like lankesterellosis and other viruses that could cause primary infections responsible for a much higher amount of secondary bacterial and parasitic diseases than is often thought. All too often, bird owners strive to treat consequences of these problems without solving their ori- gins. At the end of the quarantine, bird owners have an opportunity to carry out a real bleaching procedure on new birds, if possible according to the results of an analysis and an antibiogram. - IMPORTANT: The term bleaching only applies to the complete disin- fection of breeding facilities that is simultaneously carried out with a the- rapy using a medicine that is certain to be an efficient treatment against the microbe that needs to be eradicated. When disinfection and treatment are separated, the microbe will stay in the breed and cause new morta- lities almost immediately.
2 / VITAMINS, amino-acids, minerals and trace elements :
The food given to captive birds will never be as complete and well-ba- lanced as the food available to wild birds. Even if store food allows the avoidance of deficiencies causing illnesses, deficiencies still remain ine- vitable. Insufficient nutrient intake is responsible for immune failures and decreasing breeding performance in terms of the number of young birds being bred and in terms of their quality (especially size and feathers).
A deficiency is a lack that has a visible pathologic consequence: illness. The deficiency is invisible but it seriously handicaps birds’ reproduction performance and beauty. Prefabricated food cannot contain all active ingredients necessary for birds in captivity to be in top form for two reasons. Cost and preservation. Indeed, it is impossible to increase the grain potency in vitamins and other nutrients. In addition, if a producer put a feed on the market that contained as many nutrients as necessary and, therefore, had to in- crease his prices, he would no longer be competitive and consequently sell no more of it. Even if the producer were to make this special effort, such feeds would need to be preserved in the refrigerator, which is not technically viable for most breeds. Properties of different vitamins will not be discussed at this point, but it should be emphasized that VITAMAX* is the most economical vitamin complex because it is the only vitamin complex so complete and containing such concentrated components.
3 / INTESTINAL FLORA REGENERATOR :
The intestinal flora is also called “barrier flora.” That is the reason why probiotic lactic ferments are the main pillar of bird health.
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It is the bird’s very first quasi “immune” defense. Its good quality is ne- cessary all through the year to resist illness but also is essential in birth and weaning times as well as during antibiotic treatments. Intestinal bacteria, also known as “saprophytes,” are beneficial for diges- tion and assimilation and, therefore, for growth and overall health. Antibiotic treatments damage intestinal flora. That is why it is vital to re- generate intestinal flora after antibiotherapy and to seriously reinforce them from birth until the end of growth. When it is born, the fledgling does not have efficient intestinal flora; its parents, by feeding it, stimulate the intestine of the fledgling. The reinforcement of feeding fosters immunity and growth of young birds. While weaning, birds have problems feeding themselves and digesting. This makes them tired and reduces their im- mune resistance. During this critical phase, opportunistic germs and pa- rasites are more likely to become pathogenic. Anything fostering digestion, immunity and nutritional efficiency will consequently foster weaning, growth and molting, which is about to start.
That is the reason why ORNI PROVEN* is recommended: a pro-biotic lactic ferments mixture of the latest generation.
4 / LIVER HEALTH
The liver is the great metabolic factory of organisms. Its condition deter- mines the bird’s health directly. Medicines and dyes, even food dyes, remain chemical products that wea- ken the liver. It is consequently vital to give the bird a depurative hepa- toprotective therapy during the dyeing process and after using an antibiotic. In the same way, fledgling feeds are too rich for adults. Fled- gling feeds weaken their livers and fatten adult birds. This can handicap their quality as feeders and the success of the next brood. It is recom- mended to give adult birds a therapy between two laying periods to re- lieve their liver. Lastly, feather quality is directly connected to liver health. Beautiful feathers will never be achieved without a perfectly healthy liver. The intake of these supplements is also very beneficial during weaning and molting phases in order to foster assimilation, growth, coloration and feather quality. Liver products are all protective and depurative at the same time but in different proportions.
5 / IMMUNITY STIMULATION
Obviously, birds’ immune resistance should be reinforced in order to avoid illness, especially during birth and weaning periods, which are the most critical phases of a bird’s life. Immunity and illness resistance cannot be “produced” in the last minute after administering vitamins for a couple of days.
The following means are at the disposal of bird owners: vitamin C, royal jelly, herbal extract (echinacea and eupatorium) and homeopathic medi- cines. For year-round care purposes and for weaning periods, concen- trated herbal extract ORNI TM 9* is recommended. However, in birth cases, the freeze-dried royal jelly powder ORNI ROYAL* has proven to be extremely efficient. As with all royal jellies, it has one defect: its price. It should only be kept for the first fortnight of life.
To conclude, new mutation colors are found more and more. Mutation implies “fragility.” The excessive use of antibiotics, especially for prevention, fosters resistance phenomena and, therefore, reinforces germs. More and more powerful and resistant microbes are emerging. More and more badly identified diseases are emerging. To conclude, breeding birds are globally becoming more and more fragile and exposed to more and more dangerous microbes. In this situation, it has become more and more vital to use nutritional sup- plements to breed healthily and successfully. Hygiene, prevention and vigilance are required to foster the natural strength as well as the beauty and reproduction performance of stocks. Bird owners should try as much as possible to reduce the use of medicines.
These 5 health pillars provide owners with the most important advice; the rest is optimization. Even if finishing touches can make the difference at a higher level, owners’ priorities should rest on this basis. Before trying to improve anything else, owners need to ensure that the health pillars are managed properly. les piliers de la santé.