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The Rice Bird

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The Rice Bird

Name Dutch: rice bird
Scientific name: padda oryzivora
Origin: Indonesia, China and the Philippines.
Age: 5-7 years (With peaks up to over 10 years old!)
Height: About 14-15cm
Birth: Egg laying (about 4-6 eggs per nest). These hatch after about 2 weeks.
Activity: Day active
Legislation: CITES B It is mandatory that the bird has a life ring with unique identification.
Climate: Humid and warm (The rice fields of Indonesia)
Stay: A spacious aviary.
Minimum size: 100x50x50cm. ''The bigger the better''.

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The Rice Bird originates from Indonesia, China and the Philippines. The Rice Bird lives there in large groups. They fly over the rice fields, to plunder them together. They owe their name to this way of life. The rice farmers therefore hate the birds and even consider them a pest. Which is a shame because rice birds are beautiful birds to see. The rice bird has a black head with white cheeks and a red bill. The top and chest are blue-grey and he has a black tail. The belly is light gray with a pinkish tinge. The rice bird can grow to about 14 to 15 cm. On the outside there are no essential differences between men and women (pop). At most small differences between bill and head, large ones and shape can reveal the gender. Men are clearly recognizable by the vocals.

The Rice Bird can be kept indoors in a cage, provided that it is spacious enough for at least a couple of Rice Birds. The Rice Bird can be kept with other birds, but they must be of the same size. Especially during the breeding period, the Rice Bird can sometimes be annoying to conspecifics or other birds, but that does not always have to be the case. The Rice Bird can also be kept in an outdoor aviary, provided it has a night loft in which the birds can retreat against the frost.


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Planting in the cage/aviary is not necessary, but the birds do like it. The Rice Birds can hide or build a nest in a conifer or ivy plant. Sand or wood chips can be used as ground cover on the bottom of the cage. Wood chips are preferred, as they are less likely to smell bad and last longer. You can also opt for Corbo, this is a corn cob-based ground cover that lasts 3 times as long as sand. It absorbs up to 300% and does not dust. But nowadays there are all kinds of new types of bedding, such as Discovery Bedding. We recommend using natural wooden sticks in the cage, because the birds can sharpen their nails better here. Sticks of different thicknesses are better for the paws and nails.


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The Rice Bird eats a diet of different (tropical) seeds. Ready-made food is available in the store, such as: Prestige Premium, which contains all kinds of seeds that they need. There is also Xtravital from Beaphar, it also contains all kinds of seeds, but this contains egg food as extras, so a more complete food. What the Rice Birds do need extra is Paddy. That is dried rice, with the shell still around it, because the Rice Birds need it very much, just like in nature. What the Rice Bird also really likes is spray millet. It contains even more extra proteins. The Rice Birds like a piece of fruit, apple, etc. every now and then. Grit and stomach gravel are also on the main menu, so put this in a separate container so that the birds can absorb as much as they need.

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Only the man sings, a clear beautiful and very audible melody. There are very minor differences in size and bill size/color between males and females, but the song is the male's most important feature. The Rice Bird is very suitable for the companion aviary, provided the other birds are about the same size or larger. If you have a large aviary with plants, the Rice Birds can easily be housed with other birds, or together in a group. It generally goes well with smaller birds such as zebra finches.

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More information?

Would you like more information about the rice bird and its care? Then visit our store and ask your questions to our bird specialists.
You can also call 070-3637272.

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