Food Questions

Roudybush Direct

Q: Which Breeder diet should I use and when?
A: The Breeder and High-Energy Breeder diets are formulated to meet the needs of growing chicks and are recommended to be fed to parents when they are feeding chicks. They are not needed for pairs to produce eggs or to incubate, though you may want to feed the Breeder or High Energy Breeder Diet during these stages to avoid changing diets just as the chicks hatch. If you are breeding a species or pair of birds that raises light-weight chicks or that needs additional fat in the diet choose the High Energy Breeder Diet. The High Energy Breeder Diet may also be helpful in overcoming low temperatures when chicks are being raised. If you have a species or pair of birds that raises chicks that are too fat, choose the Breeder Diet. For most purposes the High Energy Breeder Diet is the more palatable diet and should be your first choice.
Q: I started my bird on Maintenance Diet to get him used to pellets. Now I want to switch him to Low-Fat, but he won't eat it. What should I do?
A: The easiest thing to do is add limited amounts of Low-Fat to the Maintenance diet until he gets used to having less fat in his diet. As soon as he is used to one level of Low-Fat in his dish, increase the proportion of Low-Fat in steps until he is eating nothing but Low-Fat. It may help to mix the two kinds of feed for a minute or two to allow some of the fat from the Maintenance Diet to coat the Low-Fat feed.
Q: How do I properly store my Roudybush, and how does that affect its shelf life?
A: Good food quality can be maintained by keeping your Roudybush foods cool and dry. Keeping the food cool prevents the fats from becoming rancid and also prevents the vitamins from being destroyed by oxidation. Keeping the food dry will avoid mold growth. Roudybush plastic pouches (44 oz., 22 oz., and 8 oz.) can be placed in the refrigerator to extend the use by date in 3 years or in the freezer to extend the use by date 6 years. When removing the food from the refrigerator or freezer it should be allowed to return to room temperature and then any condensation on the outside of the bag should be dried off before using. Again upon removing the food from the refrigerator or freezer let it return to room temperature and dry the condensation from the outer plastic bag before use. Roudybush products are labeled with a “Use By” date. This is not an expiration date but rather the date through which the food should remain wholesome if stored at room temperature.
Q: What are the ingredients in your diets?
A: The main ingredients in our Maintenance and Breeder diets are corn, wheat, and soy meal. To that we have added vitamin and mineral supplements, and an all natural preservative. Please contact us for additional ingredient information. (800) 326-1726
Q: What is the difference between the Breeder and High Energy Breeder Diets?
A: The difference between the Breeder diet and the High-Energy Breeder diet is the level of fat in the diets. The High-Energy Breeder diet is the same as the Breeder diet except that more soybean oil is added. All breeder diets are formulated to meet the needs of the chicks the parents are feeding. A higher energy diet may be required by some species of birds. Foremost among these birds are the macaws that are suggested to need more fat in their diets than other psittacine birds. Either diet will work well for most birds, but if you see any indication that your chicks need more fat than is found in the Breeder Diet, then feed the High-Energy Breeder diet.
Q: Why is the High Energy Breeder Diet a different color than the Breeder Diet?
A: These two diets are different colors for the same reason that the Maintenance and Low-Fat diets are different colors. The Maintenance Diet and the High-Energy Breeder diet have soy oil added to provide the higher fat content.
Q: When my birds aren’t breeding, should I feed Daily Maintenance?
A: The Maintenance diet is best for birds at maintenance that are not overweight. If your birds are on the Maintenance diet, it is only necessary to switch them to the High-Energy Breeder diet if they will be raising their own chicks, or if the hen is laying an excessive number of eggs.
Q: How do I know if I should feed Low-Fat Maintenance?
A: The Low-Fat Diet is intended for obese birds. In general, a bird can be considered obese if it is 15% over its expected weight for that species. To be sure, you can always seek the advice of your avian veterinarian.
Q: Why should I feed my bird Low-Fat Maintenance?
A: The Low-Fat diet is formulated for birds that are overweight. In general, a bird can be considered obese if its body weight is 15% or more than its expected body weight for that species. The Low-fat diet is valuable because obesity increases the risk of heart disease (in longer lived species), lipoma formation, egg binding in reproductively active hens, respiratory distress upon excitation or stress, and increased anesthetic and surgical risks. If you think your bird may be obese, it is advisable to have your bird examined by an avian veterinarian.
Q: What are the dimensions of the pellets?
A: The diameter of the pellets are: Mini 3/32”, Small 5/32”, Medium ¼”, and Large is ½”.
Q: How do I get a Careline Diet?
A: All of the Careline Diets can be obtained through your avian veterinarian, or through Roudybush with a prescription from your veterinarian.
Q: What is the difference between Nectar 3, Nectar 9, and Nectar 15?
A: These formulas are used in rehabilitating Hummingbirds at different life stages. These diets are not for use in Hummingbird Feeders! Nectar 15 is formulated for hummingbird chicks from 0-3 weeks of age. It contains 15% protein. Nectar 9 is formulated for fledgling hummingbirds from 3-6 weeks of age. It contains 9% protein. Nectar 3 is formulated for adult hummingbirds at maintenance. It contains 3% protein
Q: What are the different ages the nectars and formulas fed at?
A: Formula 3 is formulated for hand feeding to granivorous chicks until weaning. Different species will wean at different ages. When your chicks start showing feathers you can leave pellets in the cage. The chicks will start to investigate the pellets and eventually eat them. Continue to feed Formula 3 until you are sure the birds are eating on their own and maintaining body weight. The Squab Diet is formulated as a “crop milk” replacer in Columbiformes species (doves and pigeons). This diet is handfed to chicks from hatching until 7-14 days of age (7 days for smaller species and 14 days for larger species). At this age, begin using Formula 3 and gradually phase out the Squab Diet. Nectar 15 is formulated for hummingbird chicks from 0-3 weeks of age. Nectar 9 is formulated for fledgling hummingbirds from 3-6 weeks of age. Nectar 3 is formulated for adult hummingbirds at maintenance.
Q: Where can I find your products?
A: Our products are found in pet stores& veterinary clinics throughout the world. If you are located in the U.S. try using our store and veterinary locators on this site. If you are unsuccessful, give us a call and we will contact the distributor in your area to locate a store. If you are in another country, call us to have a distributor help find our products in your area. U.S. (800) 326-1726.
Q: What type of Roudybush Diet should I feed my pet bird(s)?
A: Roudybush Maintenance Diet, the most commonly fed Roudybush Diet, is designed to be fed to most healthy adult birds. It is a single formulation that comes in 6 different pellet sizes allowing you to feed any pellet size they prefer. Typically, the best way to choose a pellet size is use the size of your bird’s beak as a guideline, feeding larger pellets to birds with larger beaks. For more help or suggestions on pellet size visit our Bird Food Selector.
Q: Why don’t you have different formulations for different birds?
A: We do, where it is appropriate. We have a diet specifically for hand-feeding squab, the young of pigeons and doves; a family of diets for feeding birds with specific nutrient requirements based on their health or condition; a family of diets for birds that have a high sugar intake, including lories and hummingbirds; both breeder and maintenance diets with greater or lesser amounts of fat; and hand-feeding diets for granivorous birds. We don’t make the popular species specific diets. Why? There simply isn’t enough reliable information available to make theses kinds of diets and be sure that the bird’s requirements are met. We believe the companies that are making them are skating on thin ice if they claim they know the nutrient requirements of specific species of birds and We don’t want to join them.
Q: How long have birds been eating Roudybush bird food?
A: Birds have been eating pellets formulated by Tom Roudybush since1981. When Tom established Roudybush Feeds in 1985, he began donating feed for the cockatiel and Amazon flocks at UC Davis. This means that flocks of birds have been eating Roudybush Feeds since 1981.
Q: Aren’t seeds the natural diet for birds?
A: No, but they can be part of it. Birds in the wild eat a variety of foods including other plant materials besides seeds and animal material such as insects and other small creatures. Some birds such as Keas will even attack sheep or other large animals. Birds will also vary their food intake to accommodate changes in nutrient requirements such as when they are feeding chicks, which require much more concentrated diets than their parents. Seeds alone do not provide all of the nutrients needed for growth or maintenance. Some of the nutrients required for maintenance are often deficient in seed diets and include vitamin A, vitamin D3, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, sodium, vitamin B12, selenium and iodine. Growing birds would need other nutrients in addition including additional total protein, methionine, lysine, tryptophan, phosphorus, and some of the other vitamins. One other thing to keep in mind when we look at the diets of birds in the wild is that wild populations often fail. That is they either fail to produce young or in severe cases have high mortality of adults. When you look at what birds eat in the wild and use it as amodel for what they should eat in captivity, you may be choosing a year when young died in the nest or adults starved from difficult foraging conditions. Feeding a formulated diet allows you to avoid these potential problems and concentrate on other requirements of your birds.
Q: Why are Roudybush Maintenance, Low-Fat Maintenance, Breeder and High-Energy Breeder diets steam pelleted versus extruded?
A: There are three main reasons for this. Steam pelleting allows a milder processing of the feed preserving some nutrients that are destroyed by the higher temperatures and pressures of extrusion. These nutrients can be added in excess before extrusion or supplemented by application of nutrients after extrusion to overcome this issue, but we prefer to avoid the lack of control inherent in these processes when I can. Steam pelleting results in a denser pellet than is generally produced by extrusion. This allows the use of less packaging material and requires less storage space for the same weight of food. This results in less environmental impact from packaging manufacture and disposal and in easier handling all the way from us to you. The third reason for using steam pelleting is that it saves energy compared to extrusion. The steam pelleting process uses many times less energy than extrusion of the same amount of feed. This is, again, an environmental concern.
Q: Why doesn’t Roudybush add sugars to their diets?
A: The main reason we don’t add sugar to our diets, except for the diets of birds adapted to high levels of sugar, is to avoid the growth of yeast. Yeast, Candida albicans, is a common oral and gut infection in birds. Birds resist yeast infections by passing the yeast through the gut at a rate that keeps the level of yeast low. In the presence of sugar, however, yeast thrives and multiplies and can infect a bird eating a diet containing sugar. If yeast infections are common in your bird or if you are treating a yeast infection in your bird now, eliminate sugar from the bird’s diet if possible. This will reduce the rate of reproduction of the yeast leading to easier resistance to or elimination of infection in your bird.
Q: Why doesn’t Roudybush add colors to their diets?
A: Colors in feed can cause a number of problems. Many birds will select specific colors out of the mix and avoid others leading to waste. The synthetic pigment used in many diets can stain the bird or furnishing in the area where the bird is kept. This has kept birds out of shows and led to expensive cleaning or dying of stained materials. These synthetic pigments also show up in your bird’s droppings and interfere with the use of droppings as a diagnostic tool by your veterinarian. At a critical time in your bird’s life this can result in a delay in diagnosis and treatment of a health issue.
Q: Can I feed Roudybush to my Eclectus?
A: Roudybush diets are safe to feed to your eclectus. In fact there are many eclectuses that thrive on Roudybush. Typically we recommend that your eclectus eat the Low-Fat Maintenance diet. Eclectus appear to be very sensitive to high fat levels in their diet and can appear to have dull or dark coloring when the fat level in their diet is too high.
Q: My eclectus has an overgrown beak is this because of his diet?
A: Eclectus commonly overgrow the tip of their upper beak. This overgrowth does not appear to be diet related as it is commonly seen in eclectuses on many different types of diets. There has also been speculation that the overgrowth of an eclectus’ beak is actually due to liver disease. In some cases this is true but the vast majority of eclectus with overgrown beaks are actually quite healthy and do not have liver problems. Typically beak overgrowth due to liver disease looks very irregular. The beak will appear gnarled, have irregular surfaces, lumps or bumps, pitted surfaces, and be abnormally soft. If your bird’s beak appears healthy but is simply overgrown your veterinarian can easily trim your bird’s beak to prevent the overgrowth from impairing your bird’s ability to eat and function normally.
Q: Reduced Food Intake?
A: Occasionally we at Roudybush make an enhancement to our feed. Usually this goes unnoticed by you or your bird, since most of these enhancements keep us on the cutting edge of food safety and technology and is not major additions to the diet. An example of this is the inclusion of yeast cell wall extract. Yeast cell wall extract binds aflatoxin, an extremely toxic product of a mold. This mold is common and often grows on wet feed or foods. When a bird ingests aflatoxin from any source along with Roudybush Pellets, the aflatoxin is bound by the yeast cell wall extract and its toxicity to your bird is reduced or eliminated. Your bird remains happy, healthy and normal. You may have no idea that it was exposed to a potent toxin. This is what we strive for with our products-birds that remain happy, healthy and normal even when exposed to conditions that would otherwise harm them. However, upon occasion your bird, because of its exquisite abilities of discernment, will detect our enhancement. Because birds are such creatures of habit with respect to their choices of foods, they may reduce their food intake for a time when they detect an enhancement. Eventually they get used to the subtle change and return to a normal food intake. There is no reason for alarm. We have simply kept our product on the cutting edge, and your bird caught us at it.
Q: Why do my pellets have dark green spots?
A: As of March of 2017 we began to add alfalfa to our diets.
Q: How to Put a Bird on a Diet
A: There is a great deal of confusion about putting a bird on a diet. Many people believe that they can simply get the number of calories in the diet, restrict the bird’s food intake and suddenly the bird will lose weight and come out just fine. But it isn’t that simple. It’s in not the calories in the diet; it’s how many the bird can get out. The first thing to know is that there isn’t a certain of calories in a diet except as determined by a device called a bomb calorimeter. That involves the complete combustion of everything in the diet and the release of all the energy in the diet. But the bird can’t do that. It can only get some of the energy out of the diet. The rest primarily ends up as fecal matter and urine. So, what we’re really interested in is the amount of energy the bird can get out of the diet. Bird’s digestive tracts are not all the same: An example of a bird that can get a lot of energy out of the diet is the goose. Geese are cecal fermenters. They put much of the indigestible material from the diet into their ceca (appendix in humans) and allow bacteria to break it down there. Proportionally, the ceca in a goose (there are two) are much larger in the than the appendix is in a human. Once the indigestible material is fermented it can then be exposed to digestive enzymes by reverse peristalsis, which amounts to running the digestive tract backwards for a time. If you compare this to a psittacine such as a cockatiel, parakeet or parrot, the difference is obvious. Psittacines have no ceca and so no mechanism to digest fiber. It passes through them undigested. And in addition, there are also no charts that tell us the amount of energy a psittacine bird gets from the diet. So how do we put a bird on a diet? The Diet First you are going to need a scale. The scale should be the right size to accurately weigh your bird. If you can afford it, I recommend a scale that has an integration function. This is a function that allows the bird to jump around in a vessel on the scale for about five seconds and then gives you an accurate weight of the bird, and it makes weighing the bird much easier. When weighing your bird, put the cage or vessel (if one is needed) on the scale and either zero or tare the scale. Next put the bird on the scale inside the cage or vessel and weigh it. At this point you are ready to put the bird on a diet. It’s relatively simple. First weigh the bird and write that and the date and weight on a chart. (A calendar works well for this.) At the same time begin weighting the bird’s food at the same time each day. Subtract the amount of food in the feeder at the end of the first day from the total amount of feed in the feeder at the beginning of the day. Then refill the feeder and weigh it again. This will be the weight of the feeder at the beginning of the second day. Do this for several days and get an average amount of food disappearing from the feeder each day. Once you have an average amount of feed that disappears from the feeder each day put only that amount of feed in the feeder. At this point you need to watch the bird to see if it is throwing feed everywhere. Watch it for a day of two. If it continues to throw feed out of the feeder, put small amounts of food in the feeder for a while to get the bird used to having limited amounts of feed in the feeder. Do not let the bird starve. If your bird is losing weight rapidly, it may be starving particularly if it has thrown much of the food out of reach. They can starve for a for a day or two, but it is best not to reach that point. Once the bird is used to the partially filled feeder, begin reducing the amount of feed the bird has available. Reduce it about one percent per day until the bird is losing weight. Then feed the same amount each day until the bird’s weight stabilizes or until it has lost enough weight. If the bird still needs to lose more weight, decrease the amount of food offered to it by about 1% per day until it begins to lose more weight again. Then repeat the cycle until the bird has reached the desired weight. Do this process with a veterinarian involved to assure that you are doing things properly.