alternated with sparrows and mice would probably be o.k. The thing with chicks is that not only are they missing certain things nutritionally because of being underdeveloped, but they are oftentimes the young of a 'white meat' kind of bird and most of the prey species in the wild are of the 'dark meat' variety. vitahawk might make up for alot of the deficiencies as well. A few years ago the zoo here lost a peregrine to a heartattack. The raptor keeper unofficially blames it on the diet of only farm raised courternix quail. Supposedly, they are fattier than a peregrines normal prey sources in the wild. I saw some of those quail come in looking really nasty with ugly growths on their feet and face. (prefrozen)Not frounce or anything, it mostly looked like birth defects or some sort of bacterial infection. I couldn't understand why he didn't push to find a different supplier or try different kinds of diets if he really didn't like the quail. I guess I'll never understand the way some people think. michelle
I like six week old cockerel, but hatchlings have never been my thing. Cockerel really give the bird good color and tecture. Quail is the best food i've found. I would love to feed Bob White instead of cortunix b/c of the fat content. By doing that however, you step into the game laws and how many you can have in posession at once etc. I'm still talking to my Agent about that. FB, one person i know who flies a kbird said that he suppliments its diet with chicks. He also goes to the bait shop and buys crickets from time to time. Most of his birds diet consists of the birds it catches.
Several years ago I raised a monitor lizard I had him for years I should of said he died a few years ago. I had him for about 13 years but the question is when he was young we fe him crickets, we gut loaded the little guys before we fed them to him. That is feed the crickets food that is rich in vitamins and water. when the monitor ate them, it ate what they ate. I was wondering if this would work with RTs, Peregrines, and Kestrels. or any other bird.
This link is pretty good for exotic game birds. www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html I heard some concern about dark meat vs white meat. This site would be able to tell you which was which and ship you the color you want. Hope this helps.
Wow! McMurray Hatchery. I bout 200 chicks from them and 0ver 225 lived! they always pad their order to make up for any losses in shipping. I've always been told that the ark meat is higher in protien therefore better for the hawk. Any one else?
The Kestrel falconers I know all recommend stocking up on starlings/sparrows before you trap an AK. They will also feed mice. But they highly recommend wild game as much as possible for many different reasons. I plan to feed some cortunix quail as well as mice and rotate with wild game when I get my AK. My sponsor uses day old chicks in rotation with quail for his larger birds.
My girlfriends kestrel is fed completely on bulk frozen medium sized mice. I plan on give her some quail also, but for many years, she has subsided on mice alone, and has done great. No health problems at all, and plenty of energy. Note, this bird is also 12 years old, so her food isn't affecting her that i can notice. Although now that the she has come to a colder climate, from palm springs to san diego, she does eat two a day from her usual one a day.
I'm leary of feeding the w/c birds around here as the main diet as I worry about poison. So I'm just relaying what I'm told by other more experienced Kestrel folks. I plan to feed mainly quail and mice with some other stuff for rotation.
" Insanity takes its toll..........please have exact change"
I haven't seen a reply to the crickets question, so I'll pose it again. ;D It would be good to know, as I breed them. (not that I'll be agle to get a Kbird, but that's beside the point) Crickets are very easy to breed if done properly, and cheap to maintain. Gutloading works very well on lizards (I know from experience) so why not kbirds? They are high protien for their size, much higher than most animals. They are eaten in the wild, so digestion shouldn't be a problem. Anyone able to confirm/disprove the theory?
Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he'll be warm for a lifetime.
Crickets as a supplement to a whole carcass diet of mice and sparrows would be fine. I would suggest up to 80% of a kestrels diet be made up of mice and sparrows and the rest can be things like crickets, mealworms, day old chicks, etc. For example, if your kestrel eats about 20 grams a day, I would want at least 15-17 grams to be mouse or sparrow and the rest can be the other stuff like crickets. The gut load for reptiles may not have the same range of nutrition that a raptor would need, but I'm sure you could try to feed Vitahawk to crickets, they may eat it. I think the theory about the biggest problem with feeding crickets is that when hunting a kestrel will focus on whatever it eats regularly. If your feeding your kestrel crickets then take it out to find some mice or sparrows to hunt, she may fill up on grasshoppers and such and you'll have to take her home with a crop full of bugs and never see a good chase on a sparrow. If all she ever eats at home is sparrows, then that's what she's likely to look for when you take her out hawking.