Yeast & Cod Liver Oil?

The following enquiry was recently received:

From: Bill Gillen, Australia

Hi Gerald,

Page 78 of your book “Best In Show” lists purified yeast powder.

I’ve asked all over Australia about it – but to no avail.

A company in Luton (UK) advertise it – 1kg for 398.80 UK pounds – is this the yeast you speak about in your book, or, is there another type of yeast powder (that is not so expensive)?

I have had the worst 2 years breeding ever and I now wish to try cold liver oil and yeast as recommended by you.

Gerald responds:

Dear Mr Gillen,

You are safe to obtain Brewers Yeast from any source.

You may find that health shops are the places to visit – you will get small quantities from there, or an enquiry at your pharmacy may bear fruit.

However, do remember that “Best in Show” was written by myself in 1974 and I would strongly advise you obtain “The Challenge” from me first so that all that you read is fully up to date.

That is not a sales pitch – just a sensible recommendation.

I still give cod liver oil, but not yeast these days!

Gerald S Binks


Filed Under: FeedingHealth



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.

RSSComments (14)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Heather Burke says:

    What ratio of cod liver oil to seed do you use?

    Heather Burke

  2. Hi Heather,

    I use a ratio of two teaspoons of cod liver oil to 12 pounds of seed.

    More information can be found in the “Fertility & Feeding” article.

    Further uses for cod liver oil can be found in these articles: “cod liver oil


  3. Leeia Fox says:

    Hey Gerald,

    I was wondering about cod liver oil and it going rancid.

    How long can it be in the seed safely before the seed can start to go off?

    Many thanks
    Leeia Fox

  4. Gerald S Binks says:

    Dear Leeia,

    A good question, and one which worries many fanciers who use cod liver oil for its vitamin A & D content as well as its high iodine factor.

    Any fancier who wants a perfect source of the above vitamins is well advised to consider using cod liver oil, which in my case is mixed in with a seed mixture daily at the rate of 5 mls to 6 kilos for about two minutes, before it is offered to the stock 24 hours later.

    Ceratinly cod liver oil (CLO) will become rancid after a period – unlike a cod liver oil emulsion (e.g. Scott’s Emulsion) which deterioriates very rapidly. In both cases, once the new bottle is opened, airborne bacteria start to begin the process of rancidity – which of course we do not want.

    However, it was proven many years ago, in an article I received when owner of Budgerigar World Magazine, that CLO-coated grain is quickly absorbed through the husk into the kernel. Thus rancidity is mainly confined to the exposed husk surface where, of course, it becomes shucked by our birds and is discarded.

    Your question relates to how long before coated CLO seed grains become a hazard? That, in a temperate climate, is about a week, but in a hot climate you can halve that time. The answer, therefore, is to be clean at all times about removing scattered, but still full, seed grain, that has been lying about for a longish period.

    As a great advocate of its usage I do not find any serious problems from using CLO and I would go as far as to say that I cannot breed the numbers of birds that I do without its use.

    90% of the questions I get asked from breeders that cannot breed birds always comes down to a lack of vitamin A & D. Care should be taken that the dosage per day, throughout the year, is not overdone. Twice as much CLO is not twice as good. Indeed it is harmful, as both vitamins are not excreted and are stored in the liver – which can lead to very difficult diagnostic problems in a sick bird.

    Finally remember halibut liver oil and wheat germ oils are so rich in International Units (by which fish oils are graded), that similar rates of dosage can be quickly fatal. CLO is safe to use and should only be bought in the smallest bottles available for obvious reasons. Stocks should be kept in the fridge until ready to be opened.


  5. sidharth says:


    I am from India can i use CLO for lovebirds.

    What is the expiry time for the CLO coated seed – when should it be removed after coated with CLO?

    sidharth, India

  6. Hi Sidharth

    Yes, you can and ratio will be the same as explained by Gerald, but do not forget to clean the seed mix before mixing and better to offer on daily basis as fresh moreover not don’t give them in the hot summer.

    Keep one thing in mind friend, prepare less and offer in small quantity that will be best and easy to understand.

    We are breeding our bird in cage and that’s required balanced diet.

    Thank you very much, feel free to ask.

    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan

  7. sidharth says:

    Can I use the CLO coated seed throughout the year or not?

    Also tell me how many days can I use the CLO coated seed.


  8. sidharth says:

    Hi Habib Ur Rehman

    Thanks my friend it’s great to hear from you.

    I used it on sunflower seed because it’s easier to use than on regular seed.

    I am new to lovebirds but not budgerigars. I have about 15 pairs of lovebirds (for about two years), 20 pairs of zebra finches, 2 pairs of cockatiels, and 2 pairs of spangle American budgerigars.

    Thanks for your advice.

    Due to my lack of knowledge about breeding lovebirds, I am losing lots of chicks – about 50% of my hatching chicks don’t survive!

    Is it enough to provide multi-vitamins for our birds only in the first week of each month?

    Also, all the vitamin supplements are separate ones – can I give them each day after another for the first week of the month, and then only fresh water? Please guide me.

    Can anyone recommend any good multi-vitamins available in India please?

    I am an MCA student, but even my studies are easier than studying about birds! Because the mistakes I make with the birds leads to their death.

    Seeing my chicks dying is so bad.

    Once more thanks for you advice.

    Sidharth, India

  9. REF: CLO for Lovebirds.

    No, my answer Sidharth.

    In winter season you can use on daily basis upon guideline as prescribed and do not use in hot summer.

    It’s a dietary requirement but question – when?

    Understand the logic just behind the CLO offering and mostly all question are interlinked with breeding.

    The birds love to breed throughout the year but it’s important to consider the climate/weather change effects.

    It could be the case that the love-birds are being given too much food, but it could also be the case that a certain ingredient, which is absolutely essential for a particular species of bird, is not being given.

    Keep your Lovebirds happy.

    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan

  10. sidharth says:

    Thanks a lot Habib Ur Rehman.

    Now i understand about CLO.

    But what about multi-vitamins? How can I give that to my birds?

    I think I am over feeding my birds. I provide regular seed in a full cup and fill it when it reduces, plus one feed per day of sprouted and rinsed seeds.

    A good number of chicks hatch, but only two or three or nothing survive.

    Sidharth, India

  11. You are welcome Sidharth.

    Nothing is difficult in this world but you need to explore.

    I recommend that you visit / join:


    You should also Google “Avian Nursery Management Group” & “Lovebirds Community Groups”.

    You can easily find my contact number from the world helpline for any quick assistance:

    Habib Ur Rehman, Pakistan

  12. sidharth says:

    Thank you Habib.

    Do you know about any good sites for Lovebirds please give you best one…

    Sidharth, India

  13. Nichole Breu says:

    Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this subject last Saturday.

  14. Hi Sidharth

    Find the link of Pakistan Association for Lovebirds (PAL) from

    PAL affiliated with Agapornis Breeders & Exhibitors ABE (USA) an International Organization for Lovebirds.

    Read few recent article on PAL by Didier Mervilde

    Thank you
    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

Leave a Reply