In Your Backyard!
Did you know? Birds have a tough time finding enough calcium in their natural diet, especially when laying eggs and during chick development.
Answer true or false to the following questions (answers are at the bottom).
- The amount of calcium found in the natural diet of many birds (including seeds and insects) is inadequate for producing eggs and birds must seek calcium-rich foods as a supplement.
- Birds that lay more than 2-3 eggs must markedly increase their calcium intake during the days the eggs are laid.
- In egg-laying females, most dietary calcium is used for shell formation. In chicks it is used for the formation of skeletal (bone) production.
- When adult birds lack enough calcium in their diet, they will utilize calcium from their own bones, eventually leading to weak and porous bones.
- In growing chicks, a calcium deficiency causes skeletal abnormalities including rickets, lameness, enlarged and painful joints and misshapen bones.
- When eggs do not have enough calcium, they have thinner than normal shells causing the embryos to dry up due to excess evaporation.
- If adult birds don’t eat enough calcium, they may not lay as many eggs as normal.
- If given a choice between two foods that are identical in every respect except calcium level, chicks and egg-laying females will select a calcium-adequate food more frequently than a deficient one.
- Egg Essentials is the only WBU exclusive food with packaging that calls out the importance of calcium to the mother and baby birds.
- Presenting calcium-rich foods helps supplement the dietary needs of birds during nesting season. It helps the birds have more healthy babies and could stimulate greater activity at feeders.
Wild Birds Unlimited foods with added calcium include the following. These foods can help differentiate you from the competition. Make sure customers understand the benefit of offering calcium rich foods.
Spring Nesting Blend
Calcium Care Suet Dough
PB & J Suet Dough
Answers (questions 1-10 are all true).