Soya Musca™ is a powdered formulation of vegetable and protein (insect) based nutrients compounded to serve as a broad spectrum, easy to use and thrifty way to easily add insect value to the aviary diet. It has been successfully included in the diets of several hundred species of finches, softbills, hookbills, game birds, waterfowl and small mammals.
Soya Musca™ came about through a conversation with a friend who had many nice birds, mostly finches. He had been using my dehydrated insects to supplement his flock, but it became apparent that we needed to find a way to both stretch the insects and create a useful, more bulky and therefore easier to gauge product for the bird kitchen. He suggested that I use a soy flour as a carrier and that it be soy protein concentrate rather than soy protein isolate. The isolates available were too high in mineral salts including monosodium glutamate. These mineral salts had caused problems recently in other companies’ formulations. The combination of the dehydrated ground insects, soy flour and dried spirulina powder as a natural source of vitamins and minerals, makes up Soya Musca™. I started using this mixture on my own flock of finches, softbills, hookbills and fowl. I found that it was easy to incorporate Soya Musca™ into many kinds of uses and that had an easily noticeable, almost magical, improvement in the diet.
Using Soya Musca™ you can improve other brands of pablums and soft foods by simply mixing it in. Soya Musca™ moistens very easily and can be used wet or dry in combination with other foods. You can continue using your favorite brand and still get the benefits of the Skipio’s diet. As a dry powder it can be sprinkled over fruits and vegetables. When considering adding it to seed mixes, some birds will adhere and consume this combination if the seed has been oiled. Soya Musca™ can be incorporated into egg bread recipes either by mixing it in the batter or powdering the breads after their baked. It can also be mixed in with nectar gels, but caution should be taken to keep those preparations fresh. I have found it useful to think of Soya Musca™ as a condiment. Since I have kept a lot of softbills I used a lot of Soya Musca™ with both fresh fruits and vegetables as well as canned fruit cocktail. I also took the advice of a Skipio’s customer and used Soya Musca™ in a pint jar with a piece of fly netting secured with a rubber band over the top, sprinkling everything as if I were powdering my French toast with powdered sugar. This is more economical and covered better than using a spoon.
Many people have reported that babies raised using Soya Musca™ are very robust. They develop a good skeletal structure and a nice musculature. Their feathers are strong, colorful and they grow out beautifully. This product also helps encourage feeding among parents or fosters as well as aids in times of feather molt. My own opinion is that these positive results are largely part is due to the lipids provided by the insects. The added nutrient value of Soya Musca™ when fed to adult breeding birds causes them to produce more eggs with seemingly enhanced viability. Soya Musca™ also most commonly makes an excellent additive of protein in any hand feeding formula (2 tbsp per 1 cup of mixed formula).
Having raised birds myself I found that the ease-of-use and adaptability, applicability for many species and economic value makes Soya Musca™ the most valuable contribution my work has made to the bird kitchen.
The dark side: yes, even lovely, healthy, benign Soya Musca™ has a dark use. It is not inherent in the product, though. It comes from misuse. Adult birds with Soya Musca™ in their diets produce more eggs. Some years ago I heard of this misuse with Psittacines, mostly South American parrots and Aussie budgerigars. The birds were forced to over produce eggs. When I confirmed this information I became more careful about the product sale and backed off on its promotion. With proper, humane use, however, there have been nothing but enthusiastic responses from bird breeders bird keepers alike.
An example of what good can come from this product; I’ll recount the experience from another customer. These people, who have retired, were professional bird importers who brought birds from Africa. With their first use of Soya Musca™ they found a rapid improvement for their birds that were being held in quarantine. Once confident with the efficacy of Soya Musca™, kilo sized packages were carried by the owner on collection trips. His method was to buy birds along the course of a multi-country trek. When birds were purchased they were left with a supply of Soya Musca™ that was to be used in conjunction with whatever food the birds were currently eating. When the birds were collected on the return trip the birds continued on the Soya Musca™ diet through transit and quarantine. Toward the end of the life of that company the mortality rate of the imported birds was dramatically reduced. The down side of this effort was that it became quite difficult carrying a spare suit case through customs that was filled with kilo sized bags of white powder!