Rabu, 29 Desember 2010

How to Cut Small Chain Links for Bird Toys

How to Cut Small Chain Links for Bird Toys

Birds can be quite clever and rewarding pets, but they require stimulation to be happy and healthy. Toys can be very entertaining for a bird. While bird toys are easily purchased, you can use your own creativity to make some yourself just as easily. Chains are very useful for making bird toys and can be easily cut to custom lengths, but some caution must be taken to ensure that your pet does not harm itself on a toy.

Instructions

    1

    Spread the chain out on a smooth work surface.

    2

    Pull out the link you want to cut using a jewelry pliers. It is easier to see what you are doing if you hold the link so that it is at a cross with the other links in the chain.

    3

    Snip the link with a wire cutters using your other hand. You can use the jewelry pliers or a needle-nose pliers to remove the link, depending on the strength of the metal.

Senin, 27 Desember 2010

How to Make Your Own Forging Toys

How to Make Your Own Forging Toys

Forging toys, also known as foraging toys, are one type of enrichment toy important to pet birds. Chirp n Squawk advises, "Forging enrichment is perhaps the most important thing that you can provide your parrot to reduce behavior problems." Research has found that these toys "led to a significant decrease in the incidence of feather-picking, obesity, pacing, bar chewing and other health and behavioral problems seen by vets." Color, size and material of an enrichment toy will determine whether a parrot will play with it, so experiment making different toys to see what your bird likes.

Instructions

    1

    Cut four small rectangles of paper and glue them in the jewelry box as walls to create five compartments. Make the paper rectangles -inch taller than the open box and -inch wider, so you can fold tabs to glue to the box. Cut five different shapes out of the box lid, such as a circle, square, triangle, rectangle and heart, spacing them so that each shape matches up with a corresponding compartment. Puncture the top of the box using a scrapbooking paper punch and insert the scissors to cut the shape. Cut a piece of bright tissue paper to size and glue inside the perimeter of the box lid, covering the shape cut-outs. According to veterinarians, Doctors Foster and Smith, "Hand-crafted cardboard forging boxes provide birds with an outlet for natural chewing and foraging behaviors. Clever cut out windows pique bird curiosity with glimpses of tempting toy pieces." Fill each compartment with a different type of bird treat, such as seeds, millet, pine nuts, berries or corn. Tie a sisal string around the box and hang it from the top of the cage.

    2

    Cut a Wiffle ball in half with a jigsaw or tin snips to make a homemade buffet ball. Fill it with fresh vegetables, like broccoli, zucchini, cucumber and carrot slices. Glue the ball back together with quick-drying glue, but avoid getting any glue on the food. Place the ball on the floor of the cage, so the bird can roll it and peck at the food inside.

    3

    Fill an empty bathroom tissue roll with a variety of bird treats to make your own fun barrel. Place the filled roll horizontally on top of a sheet of tissue paper. Gather the tissue paper to the center of the top and tie a sisal string around it. Wrap the string around the fun barrel a few times, tie it around the top of the tissue paper again, and hang it from the top of the cage.

Minggu, 26 Desember 2010

How to Make a Cage For Two Parakeets

How to Make a Cage For Two Parakeets

Parakeets are delightful birds to keep in your home but truth be told, they are somewhat destructive when it comes to traditional wooden cages. At the same time, the commercially available cages frequently are pretty but if you have an ultra modern home design they just do not fit in. Instead of foregoing the joy of feathered companionship altogether, why not combine your penchant for modern minimalist design with your love for parakeets, and learn how to make a cage for two parakeets? You will be using an inexpensive piece of modern furniture and a few readily available materials your local hardware store and pet shop are sure to stock.

Instructions

    1

    Obtain a metal stand alone shelf that measures about the length of four parakeet wingspans, is about two wingspans deep, and about three wingspans tall. IKEA is a perfect place for such shelving but you might already have something else in mind. The trick to choosing the right kind of shelf is to find one that is basically open on four sides.

    2

    Measure the sides of the shelf and write down the height and width. These measurements will vary, depending on the kind of shelf you are using. Subtract 1/10th of an inch from each side but not the tops and bottoms.

    3

    Visit your local hardware store and ask to have four sheets of Plexiglas precut to your measurements and the edges smoothed. For a small fee, the odds are good that a customer service professional will be glad to do this. While you are there, buy a tube of clear Liquid Nails for small projects.

    4

    Glue the Plexiglas to the exterior of sides, front, and back of the shelf with the Liquid Nails. Measure carefully and ensure that the sheets are centered on the shelf, thereby leaving a 2/10th of an inch gap at each corner. This provides some much needed ventilation from all sides.

    5

    Purchase a screen cover with hinged doorsuch as they are commonly used for reptile cagesfrom your local pet shop or online. Be sure to measure the top of your shelf first so that you are certain you get the right size. This will be the top of your cage for the two parakeets. Secure the top with the clips provided or buy them separately if the cover does not already include them. If you cannot find the right size, make up the difference between the biggest top and the cage with stainless steel mesh.

    6

    Buy a flexible screen cover. This will be the bottom of your cage. Since you are working with a shelf, the flexible screen will sit on top of the shelving and provide the foundation for the cage liner you might use to catch bird droppings. Since it is made of mesh, it allows for sufficient airflow to discourage the growth of mold. Secure it tightly so the parakeets will not get their little feet caught.

    7

    Install the water by hanging it over the side of the cage as you would in a terrarium. This is the advantage of using a small animal water bottle. Place the cage liner on the bottom of the cage and place the tip proof food dish filled with parakeet feed on the bottom. Place the bird perches into the cage by either securing them in the corner gaps of the cage or by using a coil that hangs from the top.

    8

    Position the cage in a draft free area that is not subject to direct sunlight. Ideally this should be a room where there is a lot of foot traffic and social interaction since parakeets are notorious for their social nature.

How to Clean a Bird Cage

Birds can be very messy. They throw food, spill their water bowls and deposit droppings on the bars of their cages. All of this can quickly lead to mold growth and an unhealthy environment for your pet bird. Along with daily changes of cage liners, the cage itself should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month.

Instructions

    1

    Remove everything from the cage. This includes toys, perches, accessories, food and water dishes, and the bird itself. These should all be cleaned separately.

    2

    If possible, break the cage down to make cleaning easier. This is not absolutely necessary, but does make corners and crevices easier to access.

    3

    Take the cage outside for cleaning. Using a hose with a sprayer or pressure washer attachment, spray down the entire cage, paying special attention to any visibly soiled areas. Try to use the force of the water to spray off any droppings and food debris.

    4

    Use a stiff brush to scrub away any remaining visible dirt, droppings, or other matter. Be sure to check corners and gaps where the cage panels are attached. Rinse away the debris with the hose.

    5

    Using a diluted mixture of bleach and water (1 tsp. bleach for a 16-oz. bottle) in a spray bottle, mist the entire cage. Allow to dry in the sun, or rub down thoroughly with towels. Be sure the entire cage is completely dry before putting the bird and accessories back in the cage.

Sabtu, 25 Desember 2010

Safe Electric Heaters for Birds

Safe Electric Heaters for Birds

When you have birds in your home, keeping them warm when the weather turns cold might mean using a heat source in addition to your furnace. Being informed and using caution when choosing a space heater or heat lamp can prevent needless tragedy.

Heat Lamps

    Farmers were the first to use heat lamps for the purpose of keeping chicks warm. Later, in trying to duplicate climate, owners and breeders of exotic birds used heat lamps for both emergency heat and to keep brooders warm. Different from table lamps, which produce heat only when lit, heat lamps provide a continuous source of heat without upsetting the birds' sleep cycle.

    Using a table lamp might provide sufficient heat during the day, but when lights are turned off at night, temperatures can drop. While most birds can withstand colder temperatures for the short term, exposure to drafts over a longer period of time can cause them to become ill.

    Halogen bulbs are very hot and can shatter if splattered with water, so use caution if used near a cage or if your bird flies free.

Ceramic Heaters

    Like red heat lamp bulbs, ceramic heaters don't disturb day/night cycles because they don't use light. Ceramic heaters are available in various watt outputs and will not shatter if hit with water. However, these heaters can become very hot, so they must be kept a safe distance from the cage.

    Many ceramic-type heaters are designed specifically with birds in mind. Infrared heat panels, for example, only reach a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and attach directly to the cage to better focus heat where it is needed. Others have dimmer switches for power adjustment.

    Be sure and keep the cords and switches of heaters and lamps that are positioned close to cages out of reach of the birds, which love to chew.

Invisible Dangers

    Some heat lamp bulbs are coated with PTFE (Polytetraflouethylene), a plastic substance known under the brand names of Teflon, Silverstone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph, and T-Fal. When heated, the fumes emitted by PTFE are fatal to birds.

    In addition to some space heaters, sources of PTFE in the home may be the plates on irons and ironing board covers, burners on stove tops, waffle makers, electric skillets, coffeemakers, griddles, and many other kitchen appliances and utensils. Dangerous fumes can develop at temperatures as low as 285 degrees Fahrenheit, and need only be inhaled for a very short time to be fatal.

    Self-cleaning ovens can also emit harmful fumes. For this reason, birds should not be kept in kitchens.

Rabu, 22 Desember 2010

Best Suited Cages for Parakeets

Parakeets make interesting pets and can add joy to your household. It is important to find the right cage that is the most suitable for your parakeets, so that they might live the happiest possible life. Remember, you should always keep parakeets in pairs, as they are very social birds.

Right Size and Configuration

    Although most parakeets can't fly very far, they do like to hop from place to place, so the cage should have at least three different levels, which are defined by various perches inside of the cage. A good dimension to follow would be that a cage for a pair of regular sized parakeets should be 59"x32"x59" (150x80x150 cm). You might want to find a bigger cage for bigger birds, or to give your birds more room.

Bars and Accessibility

    The bars on the parakeet cage should be close together. Parakeets should be able to wrap their feet around the bars so that they can use them to climb from one place to another. The bars should be close enough together so that the birds cannot stick their heads between them. The cage should also have several different openings so that you can provide the birds with food and water, and so that you can get the parakeets out of the cage when needed. Different openings will allow you to reach in at different angles to catch them (they tend to move around the cage) and to change food change water and clean easily.

Items Included

    Parakeets should not be in a cage that has only bars and a floor. There needs to be several levels of perches extending the width of the cage. The perches should be of varying sizes so that the birds can exercise their feet. Ladders to climb up, dangling bright-colored objects, toys, and mirrors are all important to include in your parakeet cage as well. A good parakeet cage should also include a food and water dish system that is easy for you to use. The best food and water dishes will attach to the cage in some way. They will also be easy to lift out of their brackets and remove from the cage to clean and refill. A system that is permanently attached to the inside of the cage is not a good idea.

How to Color Bird Toys

How to Color Bird Toys

Birds kept in captivity use toys for exercise, stimulation and amusement. Parrots in particular benefit from having an assortment of toys available. Parrots that become bored may develop bad habits such as screaming, biting and feather plucking. There is no need to buy expensive bird toys when you can make entertaining and colorful bird-safe toys yourself for a fraction of the cost. You can make bird toys from many different materials, but you can only color those that will accept a water-based dye. Cotton fabric, sisal rope and bird-safe wood are ideal materials for colored bird toys.

Instructions

    1

    Pour 16 ounces rubbing alcohol into a 1-quart glass or metal container.

    2

    Add 1/2-ounce coloring to the rubbing alcohol and stir with a metal spoon until the coloring dissolves. The color will dry lighter than what it appears, so add more coloring, 1/4 ounce at a time, until the color is slightly darker than what you want.

    3

    Place the bird toy in the rubbing alcohol/coloring mixture. Use metal tongs to turn the toy until it is soaked with the mixture.

    4

    Remove the bird toy from the mixture, using the tongs, and check the color. For deeper coloring, leave the bird toy in the mixture for a longer period.

    5

    Lift the bird toy from the mixture when the coloring is complete. Hold the toy over the container and allow the excess liquid to drain back into the container.

    6

    Place the bird toy on a paper towel to dry. All traces of alcohol must evaporate before you give the toy to your bird.

Rabu, 15 Desember 2010

DIY Jungle Gym

Parrots are active birds that need a lot of room to move about and explore; much more room than a cage can offer. Jungle gyms (also known as play gyms) are a great way to give your pet bird some much needed play time. Parrot jungle gyms can even help reduce cage aggression, excessive screaming, or other problem behaviors by keeping birds busy and in close contact with their owners. You can save money by designing and building your own jungle gym. An easy and inexpensive way to build a jungle gym is by using PVC pipe.

Basics of a PVC Pipe Jungle Gym

    With a PVC pipe jungle gym, the PVC pipes are put together as a frame for the jungle gym. Then non-toxic tree branches are screwed on level areas of the frame to make perches. The PVC can also be wrapped with rope or other fabrics to make different textured perches.

Designing Your Parrot's Jungle Gym

    Draw out how you would like the play gym to look. Things to consider are the size (how tall and wide it should be) and where to hang the toys. Include measurements in the drawing for each length of piping that you have included in the frame.

Supplies

    Take a list of the supplies you need to your local hardware store. You will need enough PVC piping for the entire project so add all of the lengths together. Buy enough PVC elbows, one for each corner of the frame. You will also need to buy PVC cement to glue the pieces together and a PVC pipe cutter. For the perching you can buy rope and/or use non-toxic tree branches from your back yard. Screws will be needed to attach the branches to the PVC. The screw length will depend on how thick the branches are. Buy a little extra of each item just in case you need it. You will also need a drill if you don't already have one.

Build the Jungle Gym

    Start by putting together the PVC frame. Cut the pieces of pipe to the size you need glue them to the elbows (corners) as your design calls for. The PVC cement will have instructions on its use on the label. If you make a mistake in the process the pipe can easily be cut out and replaced, or you can chose to redesign your project as you work on it. Once the frame is ready you can place the tree branches on top of the frame and screw them down to make perches. If you are applying rope it can be tightly wrapped and tied at the ends.

Final Touches

    To add toys or food bowl hangers you can drill holes into the PVC at any spot you would like to hang toys or food and water bowls.

Selasa, 14 Desember 2010

Can a Parakeet & Cockatiel Be Kept in the Same Cage?

Can a Parakeet & Cockatiel Be Kept in the Same Cage?

Parakeets and cockatiels are social and brightly colored birds. Their small sizes and similar friendly temperaments allow them to be compatible with each other. They can live in the same cage, but only as long as they are trained and their individual needs are met.

Parakeet Facts

    The Indian Ringneck parakeet requires a bit more training.
    The Indian Ringneck parakeet requires a bit more training.

    Parakeets are extremely social and like to have toys to keep them occupied. In the wild, they flock as a group, so it is helpful if they have a companion to interact with. They can be trained to talk and they often chirp when they want attention. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and fruit, and occasional cooked meat is acceptable.

Cockatiel Facts

    Cockatiels can be blue, yellow, or white.
    Cockatiels can be blue, yellow, or white.

    Cockatiels are easier to tame than parakeets. They mainly whistle but are able to say a few phrases with enough training. Hard-boiled egg, fruit and soft breads make up their diet. They are susceptible to some fatal diseases, such as wasting disease, which affects a cockatiel's nervous system and organs.

Cage

    Both birds are high maintenance, but with each other's company they will stay entertained. It is recommended that these birds live in the largest cages possible with some flying room, preferably square in shape. Use wire cages and avoid bamboo cages, since the birds can gnaw through the bars. Line the cage with old newspapers or a similar material to keep the space sanitary. Large, outdoor cages might be the best option if you live in a warm area.

Senin, 13 Desember 2010

How to Make a Play Area for Your Pet Birds

How to Make a Play Area for Your Pet Birds

Birds are social creatures who love to play. To keep your bird happy and healthy, provide it with a play area to exercise outside its cage. Play areas or playpens provide a way to bond with your bird and socialize it. Pet birds love interaction with their owners, so giving them a space within your living area will provide them with hours of entertainment. Create a fun, safe environment for your bird.

Instructions

    1

    Designate a place in your home for your pet bird's play area. Depending on the size of the bird, pick a suitable space in an area you and your family spend time in so you can play with and supervise your bird. Make sure the space is free of wires that your bird might chew on, ceiling fans and toxic plants, and that it is away from the kitchen area which contains many dangers to your bird, including toxic fumes from nonstick pans which contain polytetrafluoroethylene, according to the ASPCA.

    2

    Cover the floor beneath the play area with a thick towel, blanket or washable rug for easy cleanup. To clean, simply remove the towels, blankets or rug, shake them out and machine wash. You may also use a sheet of plastic siding underneath the area which can be rinsed off every week or so to keep the area sanitary.

    3

    Set up the play area with a play gym or parrot stand purchased at a pet store. Make sure the materials are nontoxic and contain some natural branches for your bird to climb and chew on. Play gyms may be simple or elaborate, depending on the size of your bird and your budget. You can also construct a play gym out of natural, no-toxic branches and attach them with screws to a wooden base. Provide plenty of room to climb and exercise. The natural branches provide good exercise for the toe muscles of parrots and keep beaks trim as the birds chew on them, according to Animal-World.

    4

    Provide plenty of toys for your bird in the play area and hanging from the play gym. Purchase toys for parrots or use nontoxic baby toys. Toys hanging from ropes are fun for birds to climb and chew on. Swings hung from the play gym provide entertainment as do multiple ladders to climb. Toys made of nontoxic wood, leather, rawhide and acrylic make good chew toys for pet birds, according to Animal-World. Birds also enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors, so hang some mirrors on walls around the area. Add some bells to the branches of the play gym.

    5

    Place food and water dishes in the play area for your bird so it can spend plenty of time there without having to go back to its cage. To encourage foraging and keep your bird stimulated, try hiding special treats around the play area so your bird can hunt for them, according to Avian Web. Place treats like vegetables, nuts or fruits in paper cups, egg cartons, paper bags or pet treat balls available for dogs. Foraging satisfies your bird's natural curiosity and intelligence.

    6

    Provide a space in the play area where your bird can bathe. For large birds, use a free-standing bird bath, and change the water daily. For smaller birds, put a small container of water in the area for your bird to bathe in, separate from its water dish. Birds also enjoy a gentle misting from a spray bottle, as a bath, in their play area. Since bathing can be messy, the play area is a great place for a bird to bathe without getting its cage wet.

Minggu, 12 Desember 2010

How to Decorate Bird Cages

How to Decorate Bird Cages

Since birds are playful pets, they require toys to keep boredom and destructive behaviors at bay. Decorating a bird's cage with plenty of interactive toys will reduce anxiety-driven behaviors such as feather plucking and vocal outbursts for attention. Even everyday items such as perches, food bowls and water bowls can be decorative and fun for the pet bird.

Instructions

    1

    Choose perches made of natural branches. Sold in pet stores, these cleaned natural fruit tree branches give the bird cage an outdoor feel while providing essential posture for birds' feet. Varying thicknesses of branches help exercise the muscles and adds interest to the look of the bird cage.

    2

    Pick food and water bowls that double as play areas. Choose bowls attached to mirrors or plastic toys with beads. These add color to the cage and provide an activity for the pet bird. This decoration is good for a picky eater, since they may choose to stop at the bowl to play and inadvertently try the food, too.

    3

    Add ladder toys to the bird cage for mobility and activity. Birds will use ladders to get from one area of the cage to another. Athletic birds, such as cockatiels, will use the ladder decoration to hang upside-down and do tricks.

    4

    Hang edible toys from the roof of the cage. Offer the bird toys that can be chewed. These are often made from rawhide, unpainted wooden toys, recycled paper, dried fruits or whole nuts. Allow the bird to preen, chew and disassemble these decorations.

    5

    Add mirrors. Birds love to look at themselves. Single birds enjoy looking at a friend that seems to share the cage with them. Singing, nuzzling and hissing at the bird in the mirror are all common reactions to a mirror.

    6

    Use colorful bedding on the bottom of the birdcage. Hide unsightly poop and seed messes with colorful and absorbent recycled paper bedding. Decorating the base of the cage will give an impression of an overall clean bird cage.

    7

    Decorate the exterior of the bird cage. Drape a cage cover over the cage that accents the room where the bird is kept. Coordinate with curtains, the wall color or style of flooring. Use a towel, small blanket or bed sheet for larger bird cages.

Sabtu, 11 Desember 2010

Cage Requirements for Finches

Cage Requirements for Finches

Finches are popular pet birds that come in a variety of colors and types. They thrive in flocks in large aviaries but can also be kept as caged birds indoors. Caged finches are happiest when kept in same-sex pairs. They require a cage large enough for them to fly around and places to perch. The responsible finch keeper will clean his cages weekly to avoid disease.

Size

    Finches love to fly and prefer a cage that is long rather than tall. For two finches, the length of the cage should be at least 30 inches, but larger is always better. The bars of the cage should be no larger that a half-inch apart. Otherwise, the finch could escape. For more than two finches, consider a walk-in aviary. These birds establish a hierarchy and need plenty of space to avoid bullying.

Perches and Accessories

    Avoid dowel perches and sandpaper-covered perches, which are bad for finch feet. Instead, opt for non-toxic hardwood branches of varying widths to provide exercise for the birds' feet. The perches will need to be replaced when they become covered in droppings. Put in at least two perches, on separate ends of the cage, to encourage flying. Finches also often like swings. Keep perches and swings out of flight paths and not over food and water dishes. Avoid wood chips for the floors, because they often cause respiratory issues. Instead, simply line the cage with newspaper. Sturdy stainless steel or non-toxic plastic food and water dishes are a must. Some finches like to spend the night in a nest, and small basket nests are sold at many pet stores. If you have both male and female finches, they will breed in the nest, so check frequently for eggs. Beads, mirrors and other shiny objects may attract finches, and some enjoy climbing ladders. They may enjoy a shallow water dish for bathing.

Lighting and Placement

    Place the finches' cage at eye level on a sturdy surface in a room that receives plenty of natural light but away from direct sunlight or drafts. If there is not much natural light in the room, meet the birds' light requirements with a full-spectrum light with a timer, recreating natural sunlight and darkness patterns.

Rabu, 08 Desember 2010

How to Set Up a Brower Top Hatch Incubator

The Bower top hatch incubator has been manufactured to hold eggs that range in size from quail to goose. The enclosed heating element cannot burn chicks that have hatched. The tray of the Bower top hatch incubator is removable and dishwasher safe, and an integrated fan ensures a constant heat throughout the unit. The water well of the Bower has been safely placed below the wire floor and therefore out of reach of the chicks. It is designed so that eggs can lie on their sides, as would be the case in nature. Setting up your own Bower top hatch incubator is easy to do.

Instructions

    1

    Carefully remove all the content from the packaging and place the various parts onto a clean and dust-free work surface.

    2

    Find the light bulb and place it into its holder. Ensure that the bulb is centered and does not lean against or make contact with the bulb tower.

    3

    Position the light bulb tower onto the incubator base.

    4

    Place the incubator tray onto the base. Ensure the tray fits into the base slot correctly.

    5

    Position the wire mesh floor onto the tray.

    6

    Attach the turn rack to the tower. Ensure the spokes make contact with the floor, unless you intend to hatch eggs from large bird species, such as geese.

    7

    Insert the thermostat into one of the spokes of the turning rack.

    8

    Place the cover onto the tray. Ensure the cover lines up correctly with the tray.

    9

    Plug the incubator into a wall power source.

    10

    Set the thermostat to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the knob clockwise to raise the temperature, and counterclockwise to lower the temperature. One complete turn of the knob will change the temperature by 1.5 degrees. Set the incubator up at least three days before placing eggs into it for the first time.

    11

    Add a cup of warm water to the water well, once the temperature is correct. This will typically be two to three days after the incubator has been set up and turned on.

    12

    Add eggs of your choice to the incubator. Fill one section with eggs before placing eggs into a second or third section.

Selasa, 07 Desember 2010

Homemade Brooder for Parrots

Homemade Brooder for Parrots

Baby parrots are delicate and require very specific temperatures and humidity levels when they are newly hatched. Baby parrots hatched and brooded under their mother are guaranteed perfect temperatures and humidity. However, some parrots are unable to be brooded beneath their mother, or perhaps you have chosen to hand-raise your parrot away from its mother. In this case, you can build a brooder to create the proper environment for a baby parrot.

Instructions

    1

    Fill one container halfway with water and freeze the container (this prevents the container from cracking when cut). Once frozen, use a jigsaw to cut a small hole (suitable for holding the aquarium heater) into one side of the container. Allow the ice to melt and the water to drain from the container.

    2

    Dry the container thoroughly. Stick the aquarium heater through the hole you made in the container so that the heater is inside the container and the cord is outside of the container. Use the suction cups on the heater to hold the heater in place at the bottom of the container, ensuring the heater is level and does not directly touch the bottom or sides of the container.

    3

    Seal the hole around the heater with aquarium sealant glue, making the hole watertight.

    4

    Pour water into the container until the water level rises 2 to 3 inches above the heater.

    5

    Place the other container (the one without the heater) into the container with the heater and water. Attach bungee cords from each corner of the top container to each corner of the bottom container, securing the two containers. The water in the bottom container will push up around the sides of the top container.

    6

    Pour a small amount of water into a small dish. Cover the dish with a layer of cheesecloth, securing the cheesecloth tightly with a rubber band (this ensures baby birds cannot fall into the dish later on). Place the covered dish into a corner of the top container to provide your baby parrots with humidity.

    7

    Place an aquarium thermometer and humidity gauge (available in pet stores) near the area in the brooder where the tops of the baby parrots' heads will reach. This monitors your temperature and humidity levels at all times.

    8

    Turn on the aquarium heater to the temperature you wish your brooder to reach. Refer to the temperature chart in References 4 for a generalized guide to temperatures for your baby parrot.

    9

    Cover the brooder with a blanket or towel to insulate the brooder. Monitor temperatures in the brooder to determine the proper settings for your heater.

    10

    Allow the brooder to reach the appropriate temperature before adding baby parrots to the brooder.

Senin, 06 Desember 2010

How to Dye Wood

Small wooden blocks and shapes are often used to make toys for children and pets. Coloring can make these crafts more visually appealing and hide defects in the grain of the wood. You can achieve a non-toxic matte finish by dying the wood using powdered drink mix. This is far less expensive than paint, and the dyed wood is safe for pets to chew.

Instructions

    1

    Prepare a workspace by covering a table with old newspapers. Place the bowls you will be using in a row down the middle of the table. Put the unfinished wood on one side of the table and the cooling rack on the other.

    2

    Mix each packet of unsweetened drink mix with one cup of water, being sure to completely dissolve the powder. Be sure to use stainless steel or glass bowls for the mixture, since plastic and other materials may be permanently stained. Different flavors of drink mix will produce different colors. For example, cherry or fruit punch drink mix will make red dye.

    3

    Place the wooden parts in the mixture, a few at a time. Make sure the parts are completely submerged in the dye.

    4

    Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the wooden parts and place them on the cooling rack to dry. You can start the next batch while the first is drying.

    5

    Once the wooden parts have dried, check to see if the color is dark enough. Very hard woods may need to be soaked in the mixture for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

    6

    Allow the parts to air dry completely, preferably overnight, before using.

Minggu, 05 Desember 2010

How to Establish a Bird Sleeping Cage

Your parrot or cockatiel will be happiest living in the biggest cage you can afford. But it's wise to train your bird to sleep in a second, smaller cage. That way, you can easily cover him and move him to a quieter room if you're up late or have company. The smaller cage can double as a bird carrier for trips to the vet or emergency evacuations.

Instructions

How to Establish a Bird Sleeping Cage

    1

    Choose a sleeping cage that is small and sturdy, with handles and a bottom that does not detach, so it can be easily moved. An 18-inch cube will accommodate most medium-sized birds.

    2

    Place the sleeping cage near the big cage, so it becomes a familiar sight. When you take your bird out to play, let it stand on top of the sleeping cage with a toy or treat.

    3

    Furnish the sleeping cage with a perch the bird is accustomed to and some comfort objects, such as a favorite toy or swing.

    4

    Begin to transfer the bird to the sleeping cage at its usual bedtime; give it a small food treat just before you "tuck it in," and cover the cage with a dark cloth. A bird in a dark space will usually settle down quickly, especially if it recognizes the feel of a familiar perch underfoot.

    5

    Leave the sleeping cage close to the larger cage until your bird is very comfortable with its new sleeping arrangement. Then occasionally move the sleeping cage to a different part of the room, but follow the same bedtime rituals. You want to show the bird that the sleeping cage is its safe bed, no matter where it's located.

How to Make a Bird Perch With PVC Pipe

Birds are among the most popular pets in America and live in homes across the country. They make friendly additions to any household and can live long, healthy, happy lives if given the right care. One of the most important pieces no bird cage should be without is a perch, which you can make at home with just a few basic materials.

Instructions

Assembling the Perch

    1

    Take the PVC pipe and coat it in glue.

    2

    Wrap the sandpaper sheet around the PVC pipe, pressing hard to make sure it adheres.

    3

    Trim the excess with the scissors and let dry.

Attaching the Perch

    4

    Using the exacto knife, make two tiny holes on both sides of one end of the pipe. This can be accomplished by twisting the end of the knife into the plastic.

    5

    Run the wire through the holes.

    6

    Place the end of the PVC pipe with the holes flush with the bars at the desired level of height within the cage.

    7

    Tie the loose ends of the wire together outside the cage, pulling it tight to secure the perch against the walls of the cage.

Kamis, 02 Desember 2010

How to Build a Bird Crate for Shipping

Bird crates are designed to keep birds safe and comfortable during transport. Such crates can vary greatly in size and detail. Here's a way to build your own bird crate that is sturdy enough to hold your feathered friend for a trip.

Instructions

    1

    Cut six pieces of plywood with your skill saw. Make sure they are all the same height and width and at least double the height and breadth of your bird.

    2

    Cut 8 pieces of pine board. These will form the top and bottom framework for your crate. They should be as long as the plywood pieces are wide.

    3

    Cut each piece of plywood in half. Cut an inch out of each board lengthwise straight down the middle.

    4

    Make the crate frames. Glue and screw the pine boards together to make two squares.

    5

    Add sides to your bird crate. You will use the plywood pieces to make the slats in the crate. Nail two pieces to each side of the squares. One pine square will be the top, and one the bottom. Use at least 4 nails for each plywood slat on each end. There will be small spaces in the middle of each side.

    6

    The the drill and jigsaw to carve out an opening for the bird. Drill a large hole where you want one corner of the opening to be. Use the jigsaw to finish cutting it out.

    7

    Provide a perch for the bird by inserting the dowel rod. The dowel needs to be slightly longer than the width of the cage. Drill one hole on each side of the cage directly across from one another so that you can slide the dowel all the way through and secure it with glue.

    8

    Staple the chicken wire over the door once your bird is inside. This will give the bird plenty of air, but will not allow it to escape.

Heat Lamp Safety

Heat Lamp Safety

Certain situations call for the use of a heat lamp as an accessory for a bird cage. The right heat lamp can provide a warm and comfortable environment for many species of birds, especially during cold evenings or the winter season. You must consider specific safety precautions when using a heat lamp on a bird cage, since heat lamps used improperly can cause damage to the cage and harm to the birds within.

Types

    The most common type of heat lamp for birds is an infrared heat lamp, because it provides warmth without putting out too much light in the process. Heat lamps come in many other shapes, sizes and forms, depending on your specific need. Other examples of heat lamp bulbs include incandescent bulbs, quartz halogen bulbs and full-spectrum neodymium bulbs.

    Most heat lamps are available through pet stores and online retailers as reptile heat lamps, but you can use them for birds and other species as long as you watch the temperature changes. Reptiles and amphibians like their surroundings warmer than a bird might, and so the same lamp cannot be used for both purposes without making modifications to the size of the bulb and placement of the lamp itself.

Thermometer Use

    You need to use a thermometer in the bird cage to keep a close eye on the temperature of the environment. This is especially necessary in the first weeks after a heat lamp is installed, to ensure that the temperature remains at the right level and that the bird is comfortable. The thermometer will help you decide whether you have the right type of lamp and bulb, and the proper placement. Place the thermometer close to where the bird spends most of its time. Take care to choose a thermometer that the bird cannot break or damage.

Lamp Placement

    Most heat lamps are adjustable in terms of placement, and you should use this to your advantage. Adjust the placement of the heat lamp until the temperature is comfortable for the bird. Monitor both the thermometer and the bird itself to make sure you have positioned the heat lamp properly. You also want to make sure that the heat lamp is located out of the bird's reach, as a curious bird may try to inspect it too closely. The heat lamp should always be placed on the outside of the cage, never inside where the bird can reach it.

Bulb Choice

    Infrared and other heat lamp bulbs are available from different manufacturers in a variety of sizes and styles. It may take some time to choose the right bulb based on your heating needs. Ask a veterinarian if you are unsure of the proper temperature for your bird. Choose a heat lamp that has a variable temperature control so that you can alter the amount of heat as needed. Overheating can be seriously harmful to a bird, so start with a smaller, lower-temperature bulb, and work your way up to larger bulbs if necessary.

Warning

    Not every bird requires heating assistance. Speak to a veterinarian about your bird's habitat before purchasing a heating lamp. Your veterinarian will be able to give you advice on the best course of action for adding heat, if the bird is not getting enough warmth from its environment.

Rabu, 01 Desember 2010

How to Crochet a Chicken Coat

How to Crochet a Chicken Coat

When winter weather rolls in, outdoor chickens need to stay cozy in their coops. To keep your chicken's torso warm in the winter, a chicken coat goes a long way.

Instructions

    1

    Chain 7 inches of yarn. For worsted weight yarn, this will be about 30 stitches. Chain one, turn around and single crochet (sc) all the way back.

    2

    Begin to decrease by two stitches every other row now. For row three, do not chain one, just turn and single crochet back to the end. For row four, chain one and single crochet back.

    3

    Continue this pattern until your chicken coat piece is down to 8 inches wide. This is one half of the chicken coat. Make an identical piece for the other half.

    4

    Join the two short ends of your chicken coat for the head hole. Slip stitch into the upper corner of one of the pieces. Chain three and slip stitch the matching corner of the other piece. Repeat for the other side. You can adjust this chain length to fit over the head of different chickens.

    5

    Add the Velcro tabs to the bottom corners of all four pieces. One piece will have the soft Velcro tabs, the other the rough. Use crafting glue and needle and thread to secure the Velcro tabs to the corners. These will be what secures your chicken coat onto your chicken at the bottom, keeping them warm across the chest and back.