An Ounce of Prevention



Ounce of



Billions are spent on finding cures,

little on keeping disease from occurring!

While I have always thought that my birds have been of the highest caliber, I have never seen them look healthier and act happier than they have been these last 13 years using Dr. Marshall's Health Programmes. The results have been nothing short of spectacular! My birds' energy levels are much higher; colors are brilliant; feathers are tighter; droppings are small, firm little nuggets. As each breeding season finishes, I am seeing offspring that are larger than their parents, have even tighter feathering, deeper, richer colors and a strength and endurance that I have never seen in any of my birds before.


Welcome Friends!
If you were a regular visitor to my old website; you may have read a previous incarnation of this article. Please continue reading, as I have updated my experiences over the last 9 years since that article was written. This article was originally written after my first Breeding Season using Dr. Marshall’s Health Supplements. That was back in the Spring of 2005. A lot can happen in 11 years. I have gained experience, tweaked the Programmes and received feed back from others who are using them now and hope to impart even more information to those of you who are using the Programmes or who may not yet have tried them.

In using Dr. Marshall's programmes, I have only had to use medications on my blue-back mutations as I am working to improve their strength and vitality. I directly attribute the lack of need for medications to the use of Dr. Marshall's quality supplement regime, and especially the KD Water Cleanser and Megamix water additives. My original breeding stock when I went on the Programmes back in 2003, some of which were 6 to7 years old, became much more active after starting on Dr. Marshall's products, but their new found vitality could not compare to what I have seen in the young adults produced each of the last 5 breeding seasons.

The offspring are larger than their parents, have even tighter feathering, deeper, richer colors and a strength and endurance that I have never seen in any of my birds before. Whenever one gets away from me inside of the aviary, it can take an hour of chasing before it even begins to get winded enough to catch in a net. This happened during the 2007 breeding season with an 8 week old female who I now call "Jet". Not only did she remain on the loose for 3 days before being recaptured, but it took both my sister Kathy and I to run her down. She is pictured at the top of this article hiding behind some rocks in the aviary.

Over the last 5 years I have successfully bred my year old Gouldians reared entirely on Dr. Marshall’s Health Programmes. Some had not yet reached a year of age when they were set up to breed, and yet none of them ever experienced any egg-binding issues and all successfully raised their own babies. One hen, that was hand-fed by me, successfully raised 3 clutches with her mate and had already started on a 4th before I stopped her. While she was hand-fed using Nutri-Start, each day I mixed her formula with the same drinking water that was given to my breeding birds so that she too would have the benefit of the Health Programmes.


's Health Programmes consist of 7 products:

TurboBooster: is a concentrated form of energy, coupled with stress relieving vitamin B and the oil based breeding vitamins A, D, E, and K. It provides birds with the fatty acids, protein and minerals necessary for good health, fertility and breeding results. It has been designed to replace or augment softfood or soaked seed as a source of energy and protein for feeding parents. It provides every benefit of soaked seed but none of the potential dangers because it is a sterile product. TurboBooster is most often used together with F-Vite and E-Powder on seed or mixed into softfood. TurboBooster should always be kept refrigerated. Seed on which it is coated should not be left in the cage for longer than 24 hours when temperatures are above 72° F (25° C). Uneaten remnants of any soft food or sprouts which have been mixed with the TurboBooster should be removed within 6 hours.

F-Vite: is a grit, vitamin and mineral powder that replaces the need for any other form of grit. It provides all the necessary minerals, mineral salts and trace elements in a sterile form. The shell grit portion of F-Vite is baked at high temperatures to ensure sterility without damaging the potency of the minerals or grit. Unlike other grit or oyster shell products, you needn't worry if F-Vite becomes damp or wet because there is no bacteria in it that can grow, multiply or cause harm to your birds under damp conditions.

ePowder: is made from the by products of cultured yeast and is an excellent source of Thiamin and B vitamins. It provides a constant supply of energy that promotes good health and protects the birds from stress. It accelerates growth in chicks and energizes feeding parents so that they can feed to their offspring's full potential.

DufoPlus: is an injectible grade vitamin supplement. This is the purest form of multivitamins available. It is a potent, water soluble, sugar free multi-vitamin that contains vitamin A, all of the B vitamins, especially Thiamin, vitamins D and E. To protect its potency, it is preserved in nitrogen and the concentrate should be kept refrigerated at all times once you receive it. Because it is sugar-free, it can safely be left for 2 days without harm caused by bacterial growth. DufoPlus is normally used in combination with IofordNF.

Ioford: is a mineral health stimulant for caged birds containing iodine, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. These last 3 ingredients are scientifically balanced to provide hens with exact proportions for the production of eggs. It is used in a cocktail with DufoPlus for 2 consecutive days each week in most Health Programmes. The concentrate should be kept refrigerated after opening.

Megamix: is a blend of unbuffered citric acid and surfactants which acidifies foodstuffs and water being stored in the crop. It is also used to maintain normal, small, firm droppings in birds housed in humid or damp conditions. In this way, it protects the health and vitality of the flock by counteracting the negative effects of poor weather conditions, which raise the alkalinity of the gut and make birds susceptible to the "wet diseases" of Ecoli, Thrush, molds and fungus. It can also be used continuously in those aviaries using water supplies that have a pH above 7.5, for this will also expose the birds to the "wet diseases". An added benefit is that it will also prevent growth of bacteria, mold or fungus in the drinking water receptacle and keep them sparkling clean.

KD Water Cleanser: contains organic acids that protect the health of seed eating birds by acidifying the water they drink and thus the contents of the crop. This is especially helpful to young in the nest who are most at risk from contaminated food because it stays in the crop for a prolonged period of time. The air we breathe is full of mold, bacteria and fungal spores that are practically impossible to remove. As these settle on our bird's food and water supply, they begin to multiply which can cause problems for our birds, especially those not in top health or living under stressful conditions which will suppress their immune system. Contamination entering the mouth in the form of foodstuffs and water is the most common cause of disease in our caged birds. There is no residual effect of KD on the birds because it is immediately neutralized after the food leaves the crop and enters the highly acidic stomach (proventriculus.) The blend of organic acids, hydrogen ions and surfactants also helps to keep the water containers clear of sludge, bacteria and fungus.

Supplements work as a System
These individual supplements have been designed to operate as a system, and have a synergistic effect on the bird's health when they are used together. The above brief descriptions may seem to indicate that any of these products in and of itself would be enough to use alone. But you must remember that as a system they compliment each other to make a total package. I would not be able to predict usage rates of any one of these products by itself or in conjunction with another supplement system. I am not implying that one of Dr. Marshall's individual supplements could not be used separate from his system, only that my experiences have been with the system as a whole. You would have to experiment on your own if you chose to use only one or several of the products.

Customer comments
I receive feed-back from customers who are using only one, or a couple of Dr. Marshall's health products and are having good success. The following information came to me from one such customer. Other customers are also reporting success using just part of the Health Programmes. One reason they are delighted with the products is because they have been provided charts detailing when and how much to give the birds during each yearly cycle. This was not an aspect of the Health Programmes that I had considered. I realized after hearing the comment that for a beginner, Dr Marshall's Health Programme charts made caring for their birds and sticking with the programme very easy to do. The Charts left no doubt in their minds what should be used and when.

Exception to the SYSTEM rule…
F-Vite would be one exception to the above statement about Dr. Marshall’s Health Products being used as a SYSTEM. I feel that it would be much more beneficial for your birds to use F-Vite in place of an oyster shell or grit mix because the oyster shell in F-Vite is sterilized and does not contain the harmful bacteria that can grow and multiply in other mineral products should they become damp or wet. I have found, however, that it takes a few months for birds to accept the taste of the F-Vite when provided "free choice." Therefore, I recommend sprinkling it over their seed mix daily or adding small amounts of it to crushed, sterilized egg shells for a few months before providing it "free choice" in a treat cup. After that brief period of time, I have found my birds jumping on the newly filled feeding dish when the F-Vite is replenished, especially during the breeding season.

Continue on to part 2: Prevention Rather Than Cure




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