My Nesting Food Recipe
by Darrell Horst

Published in the Pacific American Singer newsletter, volume 6, number 2, April 1999.

I actually should say Ella Galik's recipe. She shared it with me last year and it has become a staple for my conditioning and nesting food. I've altered it slightly to fit the items I have available. I know many of you have your own favorite recipes. Many people have been very successful feeding just commercial nesting food. I guess there is just this feeling I have that I want to play a part in the raising of my chicks and making this nesting food up every couple of days gives me that satisfaction.

This conditioning/nesting food includes 2-tsp. couscous (which I barely cover with water and let it absorb the water. I add this to ½ cup Bisko, 1 T. graded carrot, 1 T. graded apple or other fruit, 1 T. graded broccoli or other green veggie, ½ tsp. scraped cuttlebone, 1 T. soaked seed, ½ tsp. bee pollen and 1/8 tsp. of poppy seed. I give about ¼ teaspoon of this mixture to each bird on a daily basis. If a hen is incubating eggs, I do not feed this when she is sitting on eggs. I resume the nesting food the day before the chicks are due to hatch. Once the chicks are hatched the above recipe is increased to provide enough nesting food for the young chicks. I feed them twice a day. Since I'm gone all day, I feed this in a flat dish or lid to help keep it from spoiling. I add about 1/3 of a hard-boiled egg to this recipe on the weekends. Weekends also give me a chance to alternate this recipe with a cornbread recipe.

If I'm getting my hens ready for breeding, I will add about a pinch of wheat germ to their portion of the above conditioning food. I will occasionally (once per week) add the wheat germ to the males food also. (Other than wheat germ, other conditioning food items to consider are bee pollen, soaked hemp and sprouted seed). Again, in small quantities.

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