Lesson 8: The Progressive Weight Management Paradigm


This lesson takes an in depth look at ABI's progressive weight management paradigm as it relates to birds of prey.

  • Below is an example of a feast and fast training week. As noted in the lesson, how we feed our birds depends on how fluent they are on a behavior. If they are in the early part of their learning curve, for instance, we will need to feast them heavily when they reach a new step.

    Feast and Fast
    Day 1: ~40% Base Diet Simple Behavior
    Day 2: ~150+% Base Diet Big Behavior
    Day 3: Fast
    Day 4: 75-85% Base Diet Work towards goal behavior
    Day 5: 75-85% Base Diet Work towards goal behavior
    Day 6: ~40% Base Diet Simple Behavior
  • Metabolic amounts for doc, mice, rat, quail
  • Remember that this discussion about weight management is being applied to birds of prey only. There are some small raptor species, like kestrels and screech owls, that are not safe to use the "feast and fast" method on.
  • Some families within raptors, like Accipiters, have a very delicate metabolism.
  • As noted in the lesson, it was imperative that Guinness did not rehearse fearful behavior around grey haired men. We applied a number of training strategies to set him up for this, and part of that was increasing his motivation when it came to the point in his training where he needed to come near them.
  • Here is a graph showing a Red-tailed hawk on feed up. Where their weight levels out is what their ad-lib weight is:
  • This is a basic guide on the nutritional values of different food types. It will take 145g of day-old chick to get the same amount of nutrients as 100g of mouse.