GSB Q & A – Part 1 – Feeding

Harker's HormovaQuestions to Gerald Binks courtesy of the UK Budgerigar Forum website,, organised by Mick Freakley.

Q1: Please explain your feeding regime – including any extras you may give for the breeding season, and do you stop these extras at the end of the breeding season?


Keep a variety of seeds so that the birds can select what they want, but keep the canary seed content high as it contains the highest protein.

Extras are a multivitamin (Abidec here in the UK) and vitamin B12 (Cytacon here in the UK), plus the seed mixture is given a low dose of cod liver oil (vitamins A & D) all year, to ensure that the birds’ metabolism is high and they then breed well, rather than sit there and do nothing.

I also give Hormova and essential minerals.

Routine is year round. Budgerigars object to changes in diet.


Q2: Please explain the importance of giving grit in our birds’ diet


Whatever else you may have read about grit not being needed, forget it.

Nature provides an organ in the digestive system called a gizzard. It is a very strong muscular organ with a tough lining. Its purpose is to muscularly move and – provided there are two types of grit being provided (soluble and insoluble) – it will work perfectly to grind down the seed intake so that it is easily digested.

No grit – no proper digestion.

Grit must be replaced weekly – no longer than that.

No grit — no teeth!


Q3: What single product do you consider the best you have used throughout your breeding career? Also do you think it is still a strong contender among the other maybe more modern, products?


Undoubtedly Hormova – not Hormoform.

It is sold by Harkers in the UK and used by some European breeders.

It recently changed its base powder from a red appearance to white. Some breeders find the birds reject this and I have passed that back to Harkers and they are looking to change it back again.

I thought it would make no difference and said so – but I was wrong.

Fed in finger drawers, the overall vitamin content is perfect and I first saw it 55 years ago in Joe Collyer’s aviary. Fertility and chicks were there in bucket loads.

Many modern products are made by well meaning manufacturers – but they are in the main, not budgerigar breeders.


Filed Under: Feeding



About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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  1. Frank Menezes says:


    I was wondering if anyone knew of a Hormova distributor in Canada or the USA?

    Failing that, if someone knew of how I could order it from the manufacturer or a UK company that was willing to ship to me in Canada?

    I have searched and contacted several online companies in the UK but they are unwilling to ship.

    Thank you,
    Frank Menezes
    Bytowne Budgerigars
    Ottawa Ontario Canada

  2. Carol Hughes says:


    I too was wondering if Hormova, or a product of its equal, could be purchased in New Zealand.

    Thank you,
    Carol Hughes, Feilding, New Zealand

  3. John Noble says:

    could you tell me how much Hormova you put in your finger drawers and how often do you give them it

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