Please forgive my posting this publicly, but I've lost the personal
email address of the lady who asked me.
Anne & Roger A. Green, Atriplex Services, Morgan, Sth.Australia
Environmental Consultants & Native Plant Nursery.
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"Atriplex Services" <>
Re: fig bird diet
"Jenny Bradford" <>
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 14:55:18 +1000
I used to be a Wildlife Carer, and found the same problem with figbirds, and
as far as I know it is quite a common problem. I did raise one
succcessfully, but attribute it more to good luck. I have heard a theory
that the birds a missing out on some essential enzymes. Apparently the
fruit their parents feed them is regurgitated and consequently contains
certain stomach enzymes which work in a similar way to a mother's milk in a
I believe that it could depend on how old the baby is when it is taken in by
a human. Perhaps the more advanced baby figbird already has sufficient
enzymes to carry it through the crucial period. You have to also remember
that they don't only feed their babies fruit, there are lots of grubs and
insects in their diet. I tried to get all my birds onto mealworms, because
they are at least live food and contain lots more essential nutrients than
any human concoctions.
You could also try acidophollus (spelling?) powder, although it is an
expensive experiment and I am not sure that it will work the same on a
bird's digestion, as a humans.
Hope this helps
Jenny Bradford, Pomona, Qld
From: Atriplex Services <>
Date: Thursday, 23 July 1998 21:56
Subject: fig bird diet
>Can any of our vets/physiologists please throw any light on this
>problem, being experienced by a wildlife carer in Queensland?
>> She is dealing with baby Figbirds, which are fine as long as their
>> natural foods trees are fruiting. But when they have to substitute
>> fruits, they lose the birds, because she thinks they aren't getting what
>> they need from the food, and die of malnutrition. They get bunged up,
>> get the runs, it goes straight through without giving them any nutrition.
>Anne & Roger A. Green, Atriplex Services, Morgan, Sth.Australia
>Environmental Consultants & Native Plant Nursery.
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