Rabu, 30 Juni 2010

How to Store Chicken Feed

How to Store Chicken Feed

Chicken-feed, just like people-food, can spoil and attract rodents if not stored properly. Prevent wasted feed and money by keeping your chicken-feed in proper containers and making sure the containers are in a secure space. This will prevent contamination of the feed and keep other animals from trying to get at it. Storage containers for the feed are inexpensive and can be found lying around the house or can be purchased in a store.

Instructions

    1

    Keep only a small supply. You'll want to make sure that you have enough food to feed your chickens but not so much that it goes bad before you can even feed them. The shelf-life for chicken-feed is short. It loses its nutritional value quickly and is susceptible to bug infestations and spoiling. Make sure that you only keep a three- or four-week supply of feed in order to prevent your feed from going bad too soon.

    2

    Store your chicken-feed in an airtight, resealable container. A plastic or metal trashcan with a tightly fitting lid works best, but you can also use jugs, plastic bins, jars, plastic ware or old coffee cans. It will work as long as the container has a lid that can be closed tightly.

    3

    Place the feed container in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. A storage shed works well. Do not place the container directly on the ground because condensation will form on the bottom of the container and the moisture will spoil the feed. Place the container on a wooden pallet where the air can circulate underneath and keep it dry.

    4

    Watch the "use by" dates on the feed. The nutrients and vitamins in the feed are usually depleted by the time the "use by" date passes, making the feed less potent and nutritional. If your chickens aren't getting the nutrients they need, they cannot grow or produce eggs.

    5

    Protect your feed from rodents. Despite keeping your feed in storage containers, rodents might still be attracted to the bins and will try to find ways to chew through the containers or get into them. Distract them by placing rat traps around the storage area. The rats will go for the traps first and will get caught before they even get to the feed.

    6

    Keep the storage area clean. Spilling chicken-feed on the ground around the containers will attract more rodents and vermin to the storage area. Once they figure out there is a source of food there they will keep coming back. Clean up any feed spills immediately and discard it so the rodents don't have a reason to come back.

Minggu, 27 Juni 2010

How to Build Parrot Cages

A fundamental prerequisite of the compassionate caretaking of parrots is a roomy cage that is sturdy, safe and secure. In temperate climates parrots may be caged outside. Outdoor space is ideal for building a parrot cage, which only requires a few basic supplies. The following instructions explain how to build an outdoor parrot cage measuring 8 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet in size and complete with shelter from the rain and cool nights. The measurements of the wood used to build the parrot cage frame may be adjusted to create cages of varying sizes.

Instructions

    1

    Dig four post holes into the ground using the post hole digger. Position the holes in the outline of a square so that each hole serves as a corner and each is 8 feet apart. Dig the four corner holes approximately 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 2 feet deep.

    2

    Mix a batch of the fence post mortar in the 5 gallon plastic bucket.

    3

    Insert the 4 inch by 4 inch by 10 feet pieces of lumber into the corner post holes. Hold the pieces of lumber straight upright and use a level on top of the lumber to achieve a level standing beam. Pour fence post mortar into each hole while holding the corner post upright and allow mortar to set and dry.

    4

    Attach four of the 2 inch by 2 inch by 10 feet pieces of lumber to the four corner posts to create a square roof frame. Use the electric drill and the 3 inch long wood screws. Place one of the 2 inch by 2 inch by 10 feet pieces of lumber against the outside edge of one of the corner posts and parallel to the ground so the other end meets the other corner post. Make the ends of the lumber flush and use two wood screws on each end of the roof support, drilling them into the corner post. Repeat using the other three pieces of 2 inch by 2 inch by 10 feet lumber.

    5

    Attach the four remaining 2 inch by 2 inch by 10 feet pieces of lumber to the bottom of the four corner posts where the posts meet the soil line. Attach the lumber to the outside of the corner posts and parallel to and against the soil using the electric drill and 3 inch long wood screws.

    6

    Cut five square pieces of the 1 inch gauge wire mesh to 8 feet by 8 feet. Use the tin snips and make straight cuts.

    7

    Attach the wire mesh squares to the sides and top of the wood framework. Lay the wire mesh squares against the wood frame one at a time and use the staple gun to tack into place. Fold the top edge of the wire mesh around the roof supports to create a tight fitting seal. Use a generous amount of staples and staple them into the wood in an even, uniform manner to ensure a clean looking cage.

Sabtu, 26 Juni 2010

How to Disinfect Your Dead Bird's Cage

How to Disinfect Your Dead Bird's Cage

Disinfecting your bird's cage should be a regular procedure, and a cage should certainly be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after the death of a bird. The last thing any owner wants to deal with after the death of a pet is the thought that their new pet could be infected by the bacteria that harmed their old animal. The steps in disinfecting a cage are generally the same as for a normal cleaning, but with more emphasis on killing germs than just freshening up the cage.

Instructions

    1

    Remove all of your old bird's various toys and accessories. If you intend to use the cage again for a new bird, disinfect them using the same process detailed here and set them aside to put back into the cage. If you don't intend to reuse them right away, disinfect them and put them into storage.

    2

    Throw out all toys and accessories that are wooden or contain food. Bacteria from your previous bird may have infected the items, and you don't want to pass anything on to your new bird.

    3

    Take out the removable tray at the bottom of the cage and empty it out.

    4

    Soak the cage and the removable tray in hot water with either vinegar or bleach for 10 minutes. Use a solution that is 10 parts water to 1 part bleach or vinegar. For example, measure out 10 cups of water and add 1 cup of vinegar. This will kill germs and loosen any dirt or droppings that could be hard to get off. Rinse the cage and tray with clean water when the 10 minutes have elapsed.

    5

    Scrub both the cage and tray to remove any crust. A dish or bathroom brush should work just fine for this. Once the cage is free of dirt, spray the cage with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to create a powerful disinfectant. Just spray an area with vinegar and then spray same area with the hydrogen peroxide. The vinegar and hydrogen peroxide will mix together and disinfect the cage, and since this mixture is non-toxic rinsing the cage again is optional.

    6

    Reassemble the cage or put it into storage until you are ready to use it again.

Jumat, 25 Juni 2010

How to Make a Hanging Bird Toy

Although there are a variety of toys on the market for birds, hanging toys are by far the most common and popular. Most hanging toys consist of a series of wooden shapes that attach to the top of the cage with a quick-link. Many people choose to make their own bird toys both to save money and to ensure that the parts used are as safe as possible.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a length of cotton rope 3 or 4 inches longer than the size of the toy you are making. For example, if you want to make a 12 inch toy, cut a 15 to 16 inch length of rope.

    2

    Wet one end of the cotton rope by dipping it in clean water. Tie the wet end onto the quick-link, making sure the knot is very tight.

    3

    Wet the other end of the cotton rope and twist tightly to make a pointed tip. This will make threading the parts onto it easier and will help prevent raveling. You can also wrap a small piece of masking tape around the tip to secure it.

    4

    Thread pre-drilled wooden parts onto the rope. Alternate colors and shapes to make the toy more visually appealing.

    5

    Securely tie off the end of the rope. Leave an inch or two of extra space between the knot and the wooden blocks, so that they move freely on the rope.

    6

    Cut three or four additional lengths of cotton rope, 6 to 8 inches long. These will be used to add "legs" to the toy.

    7

    Tie one end of each of these lengths of rope, and string several wooden parts onto each. Leave two inches of extra space on each "leg."

    8

    Attach a leg to the main toy by tying the open end of the leg's rope onto the center rope of the toy's "body," between blocks. The leg should extend outwards and hang down from the toy, much like a frond on a palm tree.

    9

    Attach the rest of the legs in the same manner, varying their locations to make the toy more appealing.

    10

    Hang the toy from the top of your bird's cage, using the quick-link. Be sure the quick-link is secured tightly to prevent the bird from removing it. If you have a large parrot, you may need to tighten it with pliers.

How to Build a Budgies Nest

How to Build a Budgies Nest

The cheeping of budgerigars, or budgies for short, is a common sound in pet bird cages. The exotic birds, ranging in a variety of colors, are the most popular, and one of the smallest, pet parrots. Originally from Australia, they have been kept as pets since the 1700s throughout Britain and its other colonies. Creating a nest for the birds is simple as they do not have the normal nesting material of birds.They only need a box.

Instructions

    1

    Drill a hole with the large drill bit on one side of the box, in the middle.

    2

    Place the thick particle board piece on the work surface. Chisel a shallow hole with gradual edges in the middle, about 1/8-inch deep in the middle.

    3

    Sand the hole down until it is completely smooth. This is where the eggs will sit. Insert it into the bottom of the box, with the shallow hole facing upward.

    4

    Measure 1/2 down from the hole, in the middle, toward the bottom closed off area of the box. Drill a 1/4-inch hole where the marking is using the drill bit. Feed the doweling through so 1 1/4-inch juts out on both the inside and outside of the box. This will allow the bird to get in and out of the box.

    5

    Sand down all sharp edges in the box, such as the entrance hole and the poles jutting out. Place the large piece of thick particle board on top of the box. Set the nesting box in the cage so the top of the box rests against a wire side for support, yet has enough room to be lifted off the top for access to the eggs.

Required Equipment Needed to Care for Your African Grey

Required Equipment Needed to Care for Your African Grey

African grey parrots are intelligent, responsive pets that require a great deal of care and attention. The basic equipment is fairly straightforward but you also need to commit time and be able to pay for emergency veterinary services. It is also advisable to remember that African greys can live for more than 70 years. If you are unsure what your domestic arrangements will be in even 10 or 20 years time, this might not be the pet for you. If you have decided to go ahead with adopting an African grey, obtain the necessary supplies first.

Cage

    Although African greys should not be kept in a cage continuously, they do need one. Purchase the largest cage possible. The bare minimum is 30 by 30 inches, assuming the bird will be allowed out for several hours a day. Perches need to be about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. A cage cover to provide a quiet, dark place at night if you have lights on in the room is a good idea.

Food Supplies

    African greys need a high quality pellet food specifically for them, to supplement with fruit and vegetables. The parrot also requires food and water bowls.

Exercise Equipment

    A simple wooden frame for the play area, which should be a room, helps to ensure the parrot gets enough exercise through climbing and makes it less likely he will damage furniture. These frames can be homemade and built from non-toxic wood such as apple wood, though they can also be found in a pet store.

Toys

    All pet birds need toys to keep them occupied, especially highly intelligent ones. Purchase a wide selection made from non-toxic wood or another safe material such as tough plastic, so there are enough to alternate regularly.

Grooming tools

    Pet nail clippers, a plant spray bottle and a birdbath are the basics for grooming a parrot. A dishpan works as a birdbath, but buy a new one and only use it for your parrot. Don't use the spray bottle for cleaning preparations or anything else other than water. As with all the parrot equipment, it is best to have a dedicated bottle.

Other

    A bird carrier to transport the parrot to the vet is also essential. Cleaning supplies such as sponges and buckets solely for the parrot prevent the transmission of infections from bird to human. Plain household bleach, rather than scented cleaners, is necessary.

Kamis, 24 Juni 2010

DIY Projects: Wooden Bird Cages

Building a wooden birdcage is a relatively simple project that will ensure you will wind up with exactly the cage you are looking for to house your birds. Before you start, it is important to identify what kinds of birds you will be keeping and if you would like a freestanding birdcage or one that hangs from the ceiling. Plan where in your house you will be keeping the birdcage so you can plan if you would like to build a square, round or rectangle cage.

Instructions

    1

    Start building your basic wooden frame by sanding down each piece of wood that you will be using for your birdcage. This will ensure you won't get splinters while you construct the remainder of the cage and your bird will stay safe while housed inside.

    2

    Cut each piece of wood to the desired size based on how large your cage will be. Take four pieces of wood and attach in the shape of a square or a rectangle using wood glue. Attach four more pieces of wood in the same size square or rectangle you have just previously made. One of these will be the top and one will be the bottom of the cage's frame structure.

    3

    Affix four equal sized pieces of wood to each corn of the top and bottom of the frame's structure, creating a cube.

    4

    Cut the wire to a size that wraps all the way around the outside of the cage frame and fits snugly. Using a nail gun, affix the wire all around the top, bottom and down each side of the frame. Cut two more pieces of wire that will snugly cover the top and bottom of the frame with no gaps. In the same way, attach one piece with a staple gun to the top and one piece to the bottom of the wooden frame.

    5

    Cut a square out of the wire on one side of the frame with a straight razor. Make sure the square you cut is right next to one of the wooden frame pieces and is large enough to get your hand through. Cut another piece of wire that is just slightly larger than the hole you have cut in the cage.

    6

    Affix one side of the door hinge to the wood on the side of the cage next to the door opening and the other side to the edge of the wire that will be the door. This will attach the door to the cage.

    7

    Attach a hook to the top of the cage if you plan to hang it from the ceiling or a stand. If you want a freestanding cage, attach four evenly cut pieces of wood to each bottom corner of the cage with a hammer and nails.

Rabu, 23 Juni 2010

How to Mix Pet Focus Concentrate

How to Mix Pet Focus Concentrate

In order to keep pet birds healthy and happy, keep the cage or aviary clean and free of potentially life threatening germs. Pet Focus Aviary and Cage Concentrate, made by Mango Pet Products, is an avian specific disinfectant that is effective against both mildew and disease causing pathogens. Just 1 oz. of the concentrate makes a full gallon of spray disinfectant formula, making it easy and economical to use.

Instructions

    1

    Fill the empty jug or container with 1 gallon of water.

    2

    Measure 1 tbsp. (equivalent to 1 oz.) of Pet Focus Concentrate, and add to the water.

    3

    Place cap on water container, and shake to mix well.

Selasa, 22 Juni 2010

Supplies for Making Bird Toys

Supplies for Making Bird Toys

You don't always have to purchase expensive toys for your pet birds. Actually, many items can be found within your very own house to create fun toys that your birds will enjoy playing with for hours. In a way, some birds are like small children and are easily amused. Toys that are bright in colors, fun to chew on or make noise will keep a bird entertained.

Plastic Bottle and Large Beads


    Get a plastic bottle with a lid, and get some large beads or wooden beads to place into it. Be sure they are large enough so that your bird cannot choke on them. Put the beads into the bottle, and place the lid on it. Let the bird roll it around or try to find a way to get to the beads.

Cardboard Rolls


    Cardboard rolls from toilet paper or paper towels are fun for birds to shred or roll around. Birds can look through either side of the holes, maybe try to climb in them and then chew them to their heart's delight.

Unfinished Wood and Non-Toxic Food Coloring


    Visit a nearby craft store to see if they carry unfinished wood parts. Be sure that they are fine-grained to make them easier for chewing. Use some non-toxic food coloring or even kool-aid to dye the wood. Tye the wood pieces to some shoe string and hang it in the cage so the birds can have something fun and colorful to chew and pull on.

Rattles and Noise-Makers


    Find rattles or other toys that are noisemakers that are often sold for small children to play with. Larger birds also enjoy playing with these toys, and most of these are safe and created with non-choking parts. Be sure that the toys have non-toxic paint and are all natural as well.

Safety First


    Certain paints and materials could be harmful to your pet bird if ingested. If you are unsure, call your local pet store or veterinarian. Think of your bird as a small child: anything small that could be swallowed is a choking hazard.