Young magpie diet ... note the fruit intake difference

Subject: Young magpie diet ... note the fruit intake difference
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:33:41 -0700 (PDT)


Feeding Insectivores



Magpies, Ravens, Kookaburras, Swallows, Blackbird, Sparrow, Starling

Natural Foods

Ground Insects ? Termites, Beetles, Ants, Winged Insects ? Mosquitoes, Flies, Moths, Foliage Insects ? Scale, Bugs, Aphids, Insect Larvae, Spiders, Caterpillars, Crickets & Worms.

Basic Recipe:

1kg Minced Chicken Frames
2 Eggs (scrambled)
2 Weetbix
70gms Wombaroo Insectivore Mix
1/2 Cup Rice Cereal (optional)
1 Cup Grated Cheese

Add water if mix is too dry.

All these birds eat insects and bugs which contain meat (protein), cereal and grain extracts (carbohydrates) and other minerals. Some will eat mice and small animals / reptiles or pick at animal carcasses.
The ratio 60% protein, 40% carbohydrate is a good balance for their diet.
It is essential that we get the birds eating their natural foods, so don?t forget to give them insects, bugs, and chopped up mice as well.
Special note......Some birds such as magpies, hawks, owls, cannot digest everything they eat such as beetle legs, wings, mouse fur, bones etc. As a consequence every now and then they cough up a "cast" which looks like a black pellet made up of all these bits and pieces.
A quick simple food is to feed the bird on soaked Pedigree Puppy biscuits a rice based product with added vitamins and protein.

Murray Magpies

1 kg Minced Chicken Frames
1 Egg (scrambled)
1 Weetbix
35gms Insectivore Mix
½ Cup Apple Sauce ( Stew your own apples or use baby apple or apple sauce).


Soaked Pedigree Puppy Biscuits
Wombaroo Insectivore
High Protein Rice Cereal

Cut soaked biscuits into very tiny pieces. Dip in a mixture of 1/3 cup water, 2 teaspoons insectivore, thickened with rice cereal to a runny custard consistency.

Offer thebirds mealworms (heads removed) and any other small insects you can find such as moths, flies, aphids. Swallows do well if offered a wide variety of insects.

Offer extra water at each feed using an eyedropper. Swallows need lots of fluid or they become constipated.

When swallows come in to care and are weak offer glucose and water dribbled over the beak. Then start adding the above ingredients to the glucose and water as the bird becomes more active.

Swallows need to be fed every 10-15 minutes from sun up to sun down.

Swallows are very temperamental birds to hand rear in captivity. A high death rate is common. These birds should only be reared by carers that are home all day and can supply regular feeds.

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