Sabtu, 31 Desember 2011

How to Feed Day One Parrot Chicks

Although most aviculturists prefer to leave parrot chicks with the parent birds until they are 2 to 3 weeks old, it is sometimes necessary to raise the babies from the day they hatch. Baby parrots must be hand-reared from day one if the parent birds have a history of abandoning, injuring or killing their offspring, and of course if the eggs were artificially incubated. Hatchlings are more delicate than older chicks, and their tiny size makes them more difficult to feed. However, when properly cared for, the survival rate of baby parrots raised from day one is quite high.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the baby parrot's abdomen for the presence of a yolk sac. This appears as a yellow bubble under the skin surrounding the umbilicus. If there is a substantial yolk sac, you should wait until the chick stops defecating before feeding. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. Chicks that have little or no visible yolk sac may be fed immediately after hatching.

    2

    Make a diluted formula mixture by combining one part formula powder, one part water and two parts electrolyte solution. Heat the formula to 105 to 110 degrees F. Stir thoroughly, especially if you heated the formula in a microwave, and use an accurate, instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature.

    3

    Hold the baby bird's head upright with your left hand, using your thumb and forefinger. Avoid putting pressure on the eye area.

    4

    Fill the eyedropper or pipette with the diluted formula mixture. Use the tip to gently pry the chick's beak open and slowly drip the formula into the bird's left side of the mouth. If you are facing the bird, this is the side on your right. Allow time for the bird to swallow. Most day one chicks will consume 0.25 to 0.5 cc's of formula, but this varies considerably depending on the species.

    5

    Use a soft cloth to clean any excess formula from the baby parrot's beak and head. Formula dries very hard and can be nearly impossible to remove if not cleaned off while it is still wet. Return the chick to the brooder.

    6

    Continue to feed using the diluted mixture and eyedropper or pipette for the first 5 days. Feed the bird every two hours for 18 hours a day (e.g. 6:00 a.m. to midnight). On the sixth day, switch to your regular handfeeding formula and use a syringe or spoon as usual.

Jumat, 30 Desember 2011

What Do I Feed Zebra Finches During Breeding?

What Do I Feed Zebra Finches During Breeding?

Zebra finches are one of America's most popular pet birds because of their beauty and relative ease to keep. As a result, breeding finches is a high-demand trade that can often result in underfed and unsafe breeding conditions. To ensure the safety and success of breeding zebra finches, taking the extra time to prepare a special diet to meet the breeding cycle needs is essential.

High-Quality Bird Seed

    Feed your zebra finch one cup of high-quality birdseed every two days to ensure that all grains and necessary proteins are in a healthy supply in the birds system. These grains and proteins are necessary because the finch's body cannot function without them, and they must be consumed from external food supplies. Breeding requires a large buildup and storage of energy so the female can compensate for the production of an egg.

Assorted Fruits

    Feed your zebra finch a large selection of assorted fruits to ensure all amino acids are present in the bird's system. Beyond providing amino acids and vitamins for egg production, assorted fruit serves as an intellectual stimulant for your finch as it samples the various fruit flavors. This process can actually relive the huge psychological toll of breeding, which can be compared with the trials of human pregnancy.

Crushed Nuts

    Feeding your finch one tsp of assorted crushed nuts daily will give your finch intellectual stimulation and will help boost fiber, which is required to create the bird shell. By providing this extra fiber beyond the birdseed, the female finch's body will have a much less taxing eggshell formation on her body's fiber and nutrient levels.

Rice

    Feed your finch three tsp of cooked rice daily to supply the female with a high fat content for her breeding cycle. Giving your female finch an extra layer of fat is essential because the fat gives her extra energy that may be needed during the taxing breeding process. By having this extra fat layer, your female finch will be out of harm's way when it comes to ATP energy levels.

Recommended Bar Space for Cockatiel Bird Cages

Recommended Bar Space for Cockatiel Bird Cages

In providing your delightful pet cockatiel with a safe living environment that is conducive to his health and contentment for years to come, there are many considerations to keep in mind. Not only is cage size a vital concern, the spacing between the bars is also something to take seriously.

Bar Space Caution

    In purchasing a suitable cage for your cockatiel, envision your bird's general size and physique. The spacing of the bars is integral as it can mean the difference between your cockatiel getting his head caught between them -- and not. In these severe emergency situations, cockatiels can face asphyxiation, bodily wounds and sometimes even death -- all intensely frightening scenarios. Make sure that this cannot happen by remembering the importance of spacing.

Recommended Bar Space

    Cockatiels require distances of roughly a half-inch between bars, indicates bird expert Diane Grindol via BirdChannel.com. It's not uncommon for bigger cages to have much greater "in-between" space -- some cages have gaps that exceed an inch. If your cockatiel has that much space to work with, it may just be enough for him to move his head through -- not safe. Don't allow that dangerous situation to happen.

Cage Size

    Since spacious cages have a tendency to have larger spaces between bars, it's important to be extremely cautious in making your choice. Cockatiels are lively and energetic creatures, and because of that, it's vital for their cages to be at least 2 feet in height and width. It's crucial for these guys to have the space necessary to move about freely and comfortably within their everyday cage environments.

Toys and Other Considerations

    In picking out an effective cage for your cockatiel's needs, also remember that toys are a must-have for these birdies. If you can't picture a cage comfortably accommodating all of your cockatiel's needs, don't get it for him, regardless of its dimensions and bar spacing. These inquisitive pet birds require routine mental stimulation, and toys can help. The more your cockatiel uses his mind, the better he may behave. Room for perches, branches and food and water is also essential.

Selasa, 27 Desember 2011

How to Make a Bird Playstand

How to Make a Bird Playstand

Some birds are gentle and well mannered, but others, if they do not receive enough attention, can put up quite a racket. In order to keep your bird healthy and happy, you need to provide it with enough toys and activities to keep it busy. The perfect solution to this problem is to build your own playstand. You can construct your own bird playstand out of materials as simple as PVC and rope. The best part is you can customize your bird's playstand to incorporate its favorite toys, thus ensuring endless hours of amusement.

Instructions

    1

    Set a 1-inch 5-way PVC connector flat on the ground and insert an 18-inch length of 1-inch PVC into all but the top connection. The result will be an X-shape to serve as the base for your bird playstand. If you plan to make your playstand more than 5 feet tall, you may want to use 24-inch sections of PVC for increased stability.

    2

    Insert a 24-inch length of 1-inch PVC into the remaining vertical opening on the 5-way connector. Top the vertical piece of PVC with a PVC 3-way T-connector and insert a 12-inch length of 1-inch PVC into the horizontal connection.

    3

    Add 12-inch vertical sections of PVC connected to 3-way T-connectors until your playstand reaches the desired height.

    4

    Insert 12- and 18-inch pieces of PVC into each of the horizontal connections on each 3-way connector. Wrap all of the horizontal pieces of PVC in twine or rope to create a foothold for your bird and press a 1-inch PVC cap onto the open end of each pipe.

    5

    Drape loops of plastic chain on and under one of the horizontal pieces of PVC. Secure the plastic chain to the PVC using fine-gauge wire. Your bird will not only enjoy climbing on the chains but will also like to chew on and rattle them.

    6

    Hang a thick rope from the middle of another horizontal piece of PVC. The rope should be at least 1 inch thick so your bird can hang onto it with its claws and beak as it climbs and swings.

    7

    Hang a variety of bird toys from the rest of the horizontal PVC pipes. Attach bells, balls and edible treats with fine-gauge wire.

How to Make Your Own Toys for Lovebirds

Many bird owners are not aware that their flying house guest is actually quite intelligent and must be supplied with a constant source of entertainment to keep it from becoming bored, which can lead to potentially destructive behavior and excessive noise from the otherwise docile bird. Store-bought lovebird toys can be expensive, and there is no guarantee a fickle bird will give these playthings the time of day. Homemade lovebird toys can be constructed at a fraction of the price and will offer the same mental stimulation.

Instructions

Hanging Bead Toy

    1

    Cut 8 to 10 squares of cardboard, 1 inch by 1 inch, with a utility knife.

    2

    Punch holes into the center of each cardboard piece with hole punch.

    3

    Cut a piece of yarn into a 1-foot section.

    4

    Tie one end of the yarn into a knot. This will help prevent the cardboard and beads from slipping.

    5

    String a wooden bead through the knot-free end of the yarn. String a piece of cardboard through the yarn.

    6

    Continue to string the beads and cardboard alternately through the string.

    7

    Tie the end of the yarn to the bird's cage.

Plastic Bottle and Beads

    8

    Rinse out a 20-oz. plastic soda bottle.

    9

    Collect several twigs outside and break them up into several small pieces. These pieces should be small enough to fit into the top of the bottle.

    10

    Fill the plastic bottle three quarters full with brightly colored plastic beads and the twigs.

    11

    Place the bottle into the bird's cage and watch as the bird attempts to pull out the beads and twigs.

Minggu, 25 Desember 2011

DIY Parakeet Incubator

There are many ways to create an incubator for your parakeet. The most important factors aren't materials but the ability of your incubator box to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level, which will ensure that as many of your parakeets hatch as possible.

Box Construction

    The basic structure for your parakeet incubator should be some sort of box. Material isn't too important; it can be a Styrofoam cooler that will hold its temperature or a simple wooden box. If you're making a box out of wood, drill ventilation holes in two sides of the box, and attach the sides to one another with wood screws. To make a door so that you can access the eggs, cut out a square from the wood, and then use hinges to allow the door to open. Once the structure is finished, apply two coats of varnish to the outside and coat the inside with a plasticized sealer to allow the wood to better hold humidity.

Temperature

    Parakeet incubators must be able to maintain a constant temperature. Accuracy is extremely important when attempting to hatch parakeets, so you may want to use three thermometers to take the temperature in the incubator, then average the three. Parakeet eggs need to incubate at 99.5 degrees F. Use a heater to bring the box up to temperature, and allow the box to be at the proper temperature for a few hours before placing the parakeet eggs inside.

Humidity

    Measure the humidity inside your incubator with a wet-bulb thermometer. Wet-bulb thermometers read lower than standard thermometers because they are really measuring the evaporation of water, giving you a sense of humidity in the space. Proper humidity is just as important as proper temperature in a parakeet incubator, because birds that incubate in too-low humidity may stick to their shells, and humidity that is too high may cause the eggs to swell, damaging the bird.

    Parakeets need to incubate at about 86 to 88 degrees F reading on a wet-bulb thermometer for most of the time. As hatching approaches, the reading should increase to about 90 to 94 degrees F.

    To achieve humidity, place a sponge in an 8x8-inch pan filled with lukewarm water inside the incubator box. Use a fan in or near the incubator box to decrease the humidity inside.

Hatching

    For successful hatching, you'll need to rotate your parakeet eggs about three times per day. The rotations should be slow and smooth, and you should always wash your hands before and after rotating the eggs. Parakeet eggs hatch about 18 to 26 days after they are laid.

Sabtu, 24 Desember 2011

How to Build a PVC Parrot Stand

How to Build a PVC Parrot Stand

Parrots are considered to be the most intelligent bird in the world. With an intelligence level equivalent to that of most toddlers, parrots need a wide variety of items in their environment to help keep them stimulated and interested. A parrot stand is an easy-to-construct device that will give your bird a place to roost and the ability to more easily monitor the world around him.

Instructions

How to Build a PVC Parrot Stand

    1

    Apply a bit of glue to each end of your longest PVC section and press the elbows onto each end. Push the elbows on as far as they will go and set it aside for a minimum of 4 hours to dry.

    2

    Rim one end of a short PVC section with glue and press it into the open end of the PVC joint. Repeat this on the other side until you have a completed frame resembling an inverted U. Set in a cool, dry place to give your glue time to set and harden so that your parrot cannot pick your stand apart.

    3

    Trim your carpet remnant to that it is the same width as your center PVC section and apply a thin layer of glue to the pipe. Press your carpet around the PVC, trimming off any excess so that you can completely cover the exposed plastic.

    4

    Turn your frame upside down and drill one hole in each corner of your carpet, making sure to drill through the PVC. Place one screw in each of the holes, tightening firmly to prevent the carpet from coming loose. Let the glue dry completely before letting your bird on the stand.

    5

    Attach your newly constructed stand to your bird's cage with your clamps. Screw the clamps down tight to prevent the stand from shifting or to keep your bird from removing it from the cage.

    6

    Monitor your stand frequently for signs of wear and tear. Trim any carpet threads loose and re-glue any loose sections to keep your bird from destroying all your hard work.

How to Take your Bird Outside Safely

How to Take your Bird Outside Safely

There is nothing better for your bird then to get him outside every now and then. They get vitamins they need from the sunlight. Your bird will love you more for taking him outside during the warm months. He will be able to feel the sunlight on his shoulders and the airflow. What is the best way to take your bird out of the house though? There are many options when choosing how to take your bird outside. The most important thing to remember is your bird's safety.

Instructions

    1
    Backpack Bird Cage

    The picture shows a backpack birdcage. For a bird, it is just like being in their cage except they get to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Some backpack birdcages make great travel cages. It is a fantastic way to get your bird out of the house without having the fear of him flying away. There are many different styles and brands. The cost is anywhere from $30 to $150.00

    2
    Aviator Bird Harness

    If you prefer your bird to fly, then maybe a harness or leash is the way to go. You will need to train your bird to allow him to put this on. Not an easy task you will need a lot of time and patience. This particular harness has an elastic leash to make their flight more comfortable. They sell for anywhere between $10-$35.

    3

    The other option, which I Do Not Recommend is just getting the birds wings clipped, and taking him outside. Some believe that by doing this the bird cannot get away. I do not believe that. I have seen birds with their wings clipped move very fast. It would be heart breaking to loose your feathered friend. Be extremely careful when using this method.

    4

    Research the different brands and make sure that it is the right choice for you and your bird. Your bird will love you for it.

Jumat, 23 Desember 2011

How to Make a Parakeet Incubator

How to Make a Parakeet Incubator

An essential tool for any parakeet breeder is an incubator, which will provide the function of the hen by keeping unhatched eggs at the ideal temperature until they hatch. An incubator is necessary when the hen neglects the eggs. Often, breeders will remove eggs from the nest and place them in the incubator as a precaution, to ensure the safety of the eggs. You can make a parakeet incubator by using a few basic items that are readily available at any pet store.

Instructions

    1

    Cut the plastic to that it is 2 inches wider than the aquarium opening. Tape the plastic over the top of the aquarium, leaving two sides open, so you can access the inside of the aquarium.

    2

    Line the bottom of the aquarium with the towel. Fold the towel to fit.

    3

    Tape the thermometer and the humidity gauge against the inside of one of the aquarium walls. Position these so that you can read them from the outside, through the glass.

    4

    Place the lamp in the aquarium. This will provide heat. Wind the cord up and over the top of the aquarium, under one of the open sides of the plastic, so you can plug it into an outlet.

    5

    Place the bowl of water inside the aquarium on the side opposite from the lamp. This will provide humidity. Refill the bowl as the water evaporates.

    6

    Keep the temperature inside the incubator between 92 and 98 degrees. The humidity should be kept at around 50 percent.

Selasa, 20 Desember 2011

How to Build a Budgie Aviary

How to Build a Budgie Aviary

Budgies, or parakeets, enjoy having space to fly and play. Small cages don't afford much space, and some budgie enthusiasts prefer to keep their small friends in aviaries. Hobbyists with large flocks often need aviaries to keep their feathered charges happy and healthy. Building an aviary is a good project for do-it-yourselfers with some building and wood working skills. You also need to handle cement for easy maintenance floors in your aviary. Find aviary plans on the Internet or from books on the subject. Consider climate, space and resources when planning your aviary.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase building supplies according to the plan's materials list. Lay out a space for your aviary according to your building plan. Dig and prepare an area for the cement slab floor. Make cement forms from 2-by-4-inch boards to contain the cement. Mix and pour cement according to the bag instructions. Allow the slab to dry.

    2

    Remove the cement forms and begin framing the aviary. Place corner posts and use 2-by-4-inch boards to frame the structure and roof. Anchor the framing securely to the cement floor with hardware made for this purpose. Assemble the exterior walls from plywood sheets. Install windows and doors.

    3

    Frame the inside walls and aviary cage. Attach wire and doors to the cage area. Install a water and electrical supply. Add perches, nest boxes, food and water stations, and activity equipment such as ladders, swings and branches for the birds.

    4

    Attach the frame of the outdoor flight yard to the shelter structure. Cover the flight yard with wire mesh. Check that there are no openings around the edges of the structures. Install access doors. Install water and food sources, activity equipment and toys.

How to Make Parrot Toys

How to Make Parrot Toys

Parrots are very intelligent creatures that require constant stimulation. Providing them with toys is a great way to keep them stimulated. Many pet stores sell them, but they are often expensive, and could contain toxic ingredients. The best way to ensure your parrot is playing with something safe is to make the toy yourself. Homemade toys are relatively cheap to make, and can be fully customizable to fit your bird's personality.

Instructions

Preparation

    1

    Size up your bird. Think of how the toy is going to look from your parrot's perspective. If you have a conure, your bird's needs are different then if you have a macaw. Size matters. Too large of a toy may frighten the bird, yet too small of a toy could pose a choking hazard.

    2

    Take into account how much cage space there is for a hanging toy. While you might think a large, complicated toy would be fun for your parrot, if it cuts into his flying and living space, he may not even touch it. Every toy does not need to be a hanging toy; parrots love foot toys. Parrots have many needs that can be fulfilled by many different types of toys, so pick the design that you think best suits the needs of your bird.

    3

    Gather your materials. Parrots are naturally curious creatures. Bright colors and different shapes, sizes and textures will attract your bird's attention to the toy. The materials required are cheap and easy to find. Remember, parrots can be pretty destructive, so use strong materials.

Hanging Wiffle Ball

    4

    Thread the cotton rope through the Wiffle Ball. Tie a knot at the end of the rope to secure the ball.

    5
    Quick links are an quick, hassle-free way to add and remove toys from your parrot's cage.

    Adjust the length of the rope depending on its hanging length in your bird's cage, and attach a quick link to the top of the rope.

    6

    Thread the leather strips through the Wiffle Ball and tie knots at their ends. Be creative with your knots: Tie multiple knots on each strip, use different kinds of knots or braid the leather.

    7
    These are cheap to buy and easy to find; perfect for the destructive parrot.

    Attach the spools or beads to yarn using knots. Thread the yarn through the Wiffle Ball and secure by tying knots in the end of the yarn.

Foot Wiffle Ball

    8
    The bright colors with pique your parrot's interest.

    Cut construction paper into strips, varying the thickness and length of each piece.

    9

    Tie three pieces of leather to the Wiffle Ball.

    10

    Stuff the Wiffle Ball with the strips of paper. Make sure there is enough room for your bird to pull the paper out through the holes of the ball.

    11
    Watch your parrot fulfill his foraging needs with this simple toy.

    Give the toy to your bird when he is outside of the cage and let him do the rest.

Senin, 19 Desember 2011

Plant Food for Waterfowl

Agricultural plots are sometimes created solely for the purposes of feeding wildlife. Ducks and geese are common waterfowl that benefit from these feeding plots. Knowing which plants that will benefit the wildlife is important, however, because ducks and geese will not eat just any plant.

Japanese Millet

    Japanese millet can produce grain within 45 days of planting. Ducks love millet, which makes it a great choice for waterfowl food plants.

Rice

    Rice is a delicious part of a waterfowl diet. Many hunters in Arkansas plant rice to attract ducks and geese to popular hunting spots.

Corn

    Corn kernels can also attract waterfowl to an eating spot. The hard kernels also take a while to decompose, so loose kernels can provide days of nourishment to waterfowl.

Wheat

    Wheat is also a primary grain in waterfowl diet, helping build fat tissue.

Milo

    Milo is a grain a lot like corn that also supplements waterfowl diet. The United States has devoted 15 million to 18 million acres to milo production for human and livestock consumption, so waterfowl have plenty of food on their southern migration.

How to Make a Birdhouse Out of Recycled Plastic

How to Make a Birdhouse Out of Recycled Plastic

Birds are always looking for places to nest, especially since human expansion has limited or destroyed many of their natural habitats. You can make your yard a bird-friendly sanctuary by recycling plastic soda bottles into birdhouses. The projects are easy to make and save bottles from landfills. They're a great project to do with children as part of a lesson on both nature and recycling.

Instructions

    1

    Draw an oval on a piece of paper and cut it out using the scissors. The oval should be about 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall. This will be the stencil you use to cut out your bird entryway.

    2

    Use the black marker to trace the oval onto the soda bottle. Use the solderer to start a hole in the pop bottle, then use the utility knife, starting in the hole, to cut out the oval.

    3

    Use the solderer to create a round hole about two inches below the bottom of the oval. Make another hole directly behind it on the back of the bottle. This is the place where you will insert the dowel rod. The dowel rod serves as a perch for your birds to use as they enter and exit your birdhouse.

    4

    Use the solderer to create two holes in the neck of the bottle. Thread the twine through these two holes and tie the ends in a knot. The twine will be used to hang your birdhouse from a tree branch or to secure it to bushes. It's an optional step, especially if you are going to mount your birdhouse another way, such as nailing it to a tree trunk.

    5

    Collect yard debris, like dead grass and twigs, to line the bottom of your bottle. This will encourage birds to nest inside. Hang your bird house from a tree branch or mount it in the place of your choosing.

Sabtu, 17 Desember 2011

How to Give Medicine to a Bird Using a Dropper

Methods of administration of medication, as well as capture and restraint techniques, vary greatly depending on the size and temperament of the bird and your experience as a bird handler.

Instructions

    1

    Consult with an avian veterinarian to determine which medication technique is best - oral, injection, a gavage tube (mixing medication and food) or by adding medication to food or water.

    2

    Ask for a "hands-on" demonstration if you are a beginner.

    3

    Fill the dropper with the prescribed dose of medication and place it within easy reach.

    4

    Capture the bird and hold it gently in your hand or wrapped in a towel, head exposed and tilted upward, allowing access to the mouth.

    5

    Restrain wings and legs in your grasp to prevent injury or escape.

    6

    Place dropper at corner of mouth and slowly dispense medication by squeezing the dropper bulb and allow the medication to trickle between the upper and lower beak into the back of the mouth.

Jumat, 16 Desember 2011

Bird Traps You Can Make at Home

Humane bird traps can be used to capture and relocate troublesome birds or for tracking purposes. There are a number of types of traps that can be created at home with basic tools and materials. They are reusable, and so putting effort into crafting a sturdy one is beneficial for future use.

Types of Traps

    Two primary types of humane traps that can be made from home are ground traps or nest box traps. Ground traps are baited and then placed down on the ground. Nest box and/or inbox traps are designed to catch the birds as they enter into nesting boxes. These are both live trap varieties, meaning that they are humane and are designed only to capture the bird rather than cause harm.

Nest Box Trap

    This is the ideal type of trap for a small number of birds, or only when a single bird needs to be trapped. Build a trap directly into a standard nest box and check nightly. Traps can be built to latch automatically when a single bird enters the box, or with a funnel system that allows multiple birds to enter without the ability to leave. They are often ideal as the entire trap is hidden within the nest box.

Ground Trap

    Ground traps are ideal for trapping larger bird populations. A popular style of repeating trap involves the use of a counter weight system, allowing a bird that enters into the trap to weigh down the mechanism that closes, moving the bird deeper into the trap. Once the bird is no longer in the entrance and weighing down the mechanism, it automatically resets based on a counterbalance lever.

Other Traps

    Different types of bird traps are meant to meet different needs depending upon the type of bird, size of the bird, when the trapping needs to be achieved and how many birds need to be caught. Other types of traps include mist net, tipping can and bottomless pit traps. Each trap has benefits and drawbacks depending upon the individual's trapping needs.

Selasa, 13 Desember 2011

How to Build Macaw Flight Cages

Macaws are large parrots that need a lot of room to stretch their wings, and adding a flight cage to your yard is the perfect solution. Building a flight cage may seem like a daunting task due to its sheer potential size, but rest assured it's a relatively easy and even fun, task. A wire mesh dog pen, for example, can be turned into an aviary perfect for your macaw.

Instructions

    1

    Assemble the dog kennel according to manufacturer instructions. Tighten all bolts and clamps used in assembly with your pliers.

    2

    Place assembled dog run on level ground.

    3

    Attach the kennel sun shade to the dog run using the plastic ties. Assemble according to manufacturer instructions. Ensure that all ties are tightly attached to cage. Double bind if necessary.

    4

    Wash down assembled dog run thoroughly using soap and water. Let air dry in the sun completely. Once the run is dry, place your bird's play gym, perches and toys in the newly constructed flight cage.

Senin, 12 Desember 2011

How to Make a Bird Cage Seed Catcher

If you have a pet bird, you are likely familiar with just how messy they can be. Even if you clean the bird's area daily, it will still almost immediately mess up the area again. You can buy bird seed catchers that fit on the bottom of your bird's cage, but they are generally not visually appealing and often the birds "squirt" the hulls far beyond the range of the catcher. Make your own bird cage seed catcher that will block the trajectory of the seeds and complement your decor.

Instructions

    1

    Take measurements for the bird seed catcher. You will need the perimeter of the cage. Once you have this, add 4 inches to get the length of cloth you will need for the catcher. The width will generally be 8 inches, but if you have a particularly large cage or messy bird, you might want to increase this measurement slightly.

    2

    Cut your fabric. Cut a piece of fabric matching the dimensions determined by your measurements. It will be a long rectangle.

    3

    Hem all sides of the fabric by 1 inch. Use a zigzag stitch to prevent raveling. When you are done hemming, you will have a rectangle that is 2 inches longer that the perimeter of the cage and 6 inches in width.

    4

    Apply the Velcro. Half the Velcro will be on the inside of one end of the rectangle; the other half will be on the outside of the other end so that the rectangle can be wrapped around the cage and secured where the ends overlap. Press down firmly on the Velcro so that the adhesive sticks.

    5

    Attach the seed catcher to the cage. It will fit snugly around the wires at the bottom of the cage. When your bird starts eating and the hulls start flying, they will bounce off the catcher and back into the cage for easy cleanup.

How to Buy a Baby Bird Brooder

A bird brooder is necessary for baby birds that don't have all their feathers yet. Featherless baby birds can't regulate their own body temperatures, so the bird brooder keeps them warm. There are many different styles of bird brooders to choose from, ranging from inexpensive homemade bird brooders to elaborate, expensive brooders.

Instructions

    1

    Use an aquarium with a heating lid as a bird brooder. This is the best choice if you don't have the money for an industrial brooder. You must take precautions when using an aquarium, however. Keep the heating sensor on the inside of the aquarium; if you keep it on the outside, you can cook your baby birds. It's also important to keep the aquarium out of direct sunlight.

    2

    Buy a bird brooder that's large enough for all your birds. It's good to keep slightly older birds with the newborn birds because the older birds help keep the babies warm without adding heat to the brooder. So buy a brooder that's big enough for the babies plus the older birds.

    3

    Opt for a professional-style baby bird brooder if you have the money and want a better quality brooder. Professional brooders regulate temperature and humidity, taking the guesswork out of raising your young birds.

    4

    Purchase a bird brooder that's easy to clean. Unnecessary bells and whistles can make the brooders harder to clean. Since you're probably filling the bottom with fluffy paper towels to help the birds' legs develop, you're going to have to change them often. A clunky brooder makes this task more difficult.

Jumat, 09 Desember 2011

How to Naturally Keep a Duck Pond Clean

How to Naturally Keep a Duck Pond Clean

Duck ponds are miniature ecosystems that contain bacteria, protists and decaying material, each of which can make water look dirty. An overabundance of any particular organic material can kill pond life, so it's important to keep ponds clean and ecologically balanced. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to ducks and other pond life. Instead, employ several natural ways to keep ponds clean and healthy.

Instructions

    1

    Build the biggest pond you can. Small, human-made pools of water are more likely to suffer from disease and decay. But large ponds develop a natural ecological balance and are more likely to filter out dangerous material. When ducks have lots of space, they are healthier, which means they will eat algae and other material that can cause murky water.

    2

    Put water lilies in the pond. Green algae is a common pond protist that, when overgrown, can disturb the pond's delicate ecological balance. This photosynthetic algae grows in wet areas with lots of access to sunlight. Water lilies prevent algae overgrowth by blocking excess sunlight. They also help to oxygenate the pond, which can prevent dangerous changes in the pond's pH levels.

    3

    Add barley straw to the pond. This can limit the growth of string weed, a common pond pest. When string weed takes hold in a pond, it can kill off plant life, limiting the access of fish and ducks to food. Place the barley straw in a net or onion bag at the bottom of the pond. You should use one bundle of straw per 1,000 gallons of water. Remove the straw when it begins to rot.

    4

    Install a water filter in your pond. This helps to supplement the natural water-cleansing provided by plants. It will also keep the pond from developing an overabundance of decaying material. Adding a waterfall will strengthen the effectiveness of the water filter by oxygenating the pond and keeping water moving.

    5

    Plant aquatic plants at the bottom of the pond. Choose plants that can be completely submerged in the water. These will remove excess minerals and decaying material from the pond. They can be purchased at pet stores and garden centers.

    6

    Remove fallen leaves from the pond. These decay quickly, which can lead to algae growth, excess nutrients and decaying biological waste.

    7

    Avoid overfeeding pond fish. Give fish only as much food as they can eat in 15 minutes. Excess food is a common cause of cloudy pond water.

Kamis, 08 Desember 2011

How to Build a Plexiglas Bird Cage

How to Build a Plexiglas Bird Cage

Plexiglas bird cages are an interesting concept for bird owners. Anyone who has a pet bird has probably been frustrated by how difficult it is to watch the antics of their pets through wire. Plexiglas solves that problem; however, it can create a different set of issues. Keep the bird's natural instincts and ease of care at the top of mind to ensure a successful project. Careful planning makes Plexiglas a nice option for owners, and gives birds a "room with a view".

Instructions

    1

    Use Plexiglas only on the front side of your bird cage. A tightly sealed Plexiglas container is inappropriate for live animals because it won't allow enough airflow and circulation. Many birds, like parrots, also need ample wire walls to climb on. Wire areas are also required to hang feed and water containers.

    2

    Purchase a sheet of Plexiglas that is the exact size of the front panel of your bird cage. Buy a set of thin hinges that will fit on the front of your existing cage support frame. They should be small enough for an unimpeded view. Buy a clasp that will allow you to lock the Plexiglas shut on the opposite side from the hinges. Because a Plexiglas front will not have a door opening, the entire piece becomes the door for your cage.

    3

    Remove the front panel of your existing bird cage. Place the hinges in the appropriate area along the left side of the support bar and mark the screw openings. Use a drill fitted with a metal drill bit to create screw holes for your hinges. Place the Plexiglas sheet on top of the cage and mark the screw hole points on its surface with a marker. Place the Plexiglas on a firm drilling surface. Place a piece of Scotch tape over the drilling area to keep the Plexiglas from shattering when drilled. Use a regular drill bit to create screw holes for your hinges.

    4

    Place the gate clasp on the cage on the right hand side and mark the areas for drilling. Use the metal drill bit to create screw holes for the clasp. Place your Plexiglas sheet on the cage opening once more and mark the screw points for the clasp. Cover the area to be drilled with tape and drill the holes.

    5

    Attach all hardware to the cage first. Place the Plexiglas on the opening and screw firmly to the hinges. Attach the clasp.

    6

    Prepare the cage so that all branches and perches are positioned side to side. Insert toys, feed cups and dishes, and place your bird inside its new home.

How to Build a Yellow Finch Birdhouse

How to Build a Yellow Finch Birdhouse

Yellow finches are a common back yard bird. They reproduce late in the summer as opposed to spring like most birds, giving bird watchers some late season chicks to look out for. According to the Audubon Society, yellow finches prefer to nest in shrubbery or small, shrub-like trees, approximately 8 to 10 feet off the ground. Their nests need to accommodate two adults, as the male finch will feed the yellow finch so she doesn't have to ever leave her nest. This birdhouse project mimics their natural-favored nesting conditions.

Instructions

    1

    Use a sharp craft or utility knife to cut a hole in a clean gallon milk jug, where the handle is. You want your hole to be large enough to remove the entire handle. Use scissors or your craft knife to smooth the edges to make sure they aren't sharp, as this could be harmful to the birds.

    2

    Use the dowel rods to make supports and perches. You can make them any size you like. Ten to 12 inches works well. Measure 2 to 3 inches from the bottom of your milk jug and create a hole just the right size for your dowel rod to fit through. On the back side of the jug, create another hole on the opposite side, so that when you insert the dowels, you create an "X" with them inside the jug.

    3

    Repeat Step 2 with a second dowel rod. This will serve two purposes. It will create four perches for the birds, as well as offer supports inside for the birds to begin nest building in. The extra perches in the back of the carton are optional. If you do not want to use them, simply adjust the length of your dowel rods.

    4

    Cut a small hole in the top of the lid, just large enough for two strands of twine to fit through. Feed two strands of twine through the hole and tie each end to opposite sides of the washer. Fill the inside of the lid with hot glue, then pull the twine from the top so the washer and bottom of the twine are pulled into the hot glue. This not only creates a right hold for the lid, but it helps keep water from coming in through the twine hole.

    5

    Run a thin bead of hot glue around the threads of the milk jug, and screw the top on. Gluing the top on makes sure it will not unscrew if blown around by the wind.

    6

    Take some yard debris, like dries grass, and place it in the bottom of the jug, under and on top of the "X" supports you created. This will encourage nesting. Place your bird house in some low, loose shrubbery, securing it with the twine, or hang it from a tree in the "V" where two limbs come together to avoid it being blown around by the wind.

Selasa, 06 Desember 2011

How to Choose a Cage for a Sun Conure

Sun conures are colorful mid-sized parrots that are frequently kept as pets in the United States. They are native to the northeastern coastal regions of South America, as well as parts of Central America. Appropriate cages for pet sun conures can be somewhat difficult to find, since they are only slightly larger than cockatiels but have much stronger beaks. As a result, cockatiel cages are generally not sturdy enough and parrot cages usually have bar spacing that is too wide.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a cage that is large enough to provide plenty of space for your sun conure to climb and play. The cage should be a minimum of 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep, although bigger is always better. Cage height is not as important, but the cage should be at least 24 inches high.

    2

    Measure the space between the bars on the cage. The ideal bar spacing for sun conures is 3/4 inch, but 1/2 inch or 1 inch is also acceptable. Spacing greater than 1 inch may lead to injury if your bird tries to put his head between the cage bars and becomes stuck.

    3

    Look for a cage with sturdy construction and relatively thick bars, as sun conures chew voraciously and will quickly demolish flimsy cages. If the wire gauge is listed on the cage's packaging, make sure that it is in the 12 to 14 range. Thinner wire, such as 16 gauge, is likely to bend or break when chewed.

    4

    Examine the cage for parts that could be difficult to clean. Sun conures eat large amounts of fruit and can be quite messy, so their cages must be easily cleaned. Stainless steel or powder-coated cages are by far easiest to clean. Avoid painted and brass-plated cages, as these can be chipped by the conure's powerful beak. If the cage has a bottom grate, make sure that it slides out easily for daily cleaning.

    5

    Choose a cage with a built-in or matching wheeled stand when possible. This will make it far easier to move the cage and to take it outside for cleaning. Your sun conure will also appreciate spending time outdoors (in the cage), and this is more practical if the cage has a stand with wheels.

    6

    Check the cage latches to make sure all cage doors (not just the main door) lock securely and cannot be opened from the inside. Sun conures often escape their cages and take unsupervised excursions in their owner's home. Any unsecured nest box or feeding doors should be latched using stainless steel quick-links that have been tightened with pliers.

How to Disinfect Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes are a necessary piece of equipment for any bird owner who plans on raising chicks. A nesting box is mounted in the bird's cage and offers the female a safe, secure place to lay her eggs and raise her clutch. Nesting boxes can be made out of wood, metal or plastic and should be disinfected between clutches to prevent any communicable diseases from being passed between birds.

Instructions

    1

    Wear protective clothing while cleaning your nest boxes. Long sleeves and pants will help keep any nesting materials from coming in contact with your skin, while rubber gloves will keep your hands clean. A face mask can be worn if you are concerned about breathing in any particles that might carry disease.

    2

    Clean any old nesting material from your boxes. If your boxes are removable, detach them and dump out any old nests. If the boxes are permanently attached, scoop as much of the bedding out as possible and use your hand broom to sweep out the rest.

    3

    Wash your nest boxes with plenty of soap and water. Wet the boxes and apply a generous amount of soap, scrubbing the entire surface of the box with your brush. Rinse thoroughly, taking care to remove any trace of soap from your boxes.

    4

    Mix a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water in your spray bottle. Spray the inside and outside of your boxes with it. The vinegar kills off pests and bacteria without the harmful side effects of bleach. Allow the boxes to air dry and apply a second coating of vinegar for best results.

    5

    Refill your nest boxes with clean nesting material. Small species of birds, such as cockatiels and budgies, enjoy soft bedding such as shredded wood or corn cobs. Larger birds such as parrots do best when bedded on larger materials, such as straw or shredded newspaper.

Minggu, 04 Desember 2011

How to Make Foraging Toys for Parrots

How to Make Foraging Toys for Parrots

Wild parrots entertain themselves by foraging in their natural environment. A parrot that is caged for most of the day should have foraging toys available at all times to remain stimulated when it is not receiving direct attention. Foraging toys do not have to cost money; they can be made at home from many simple and easy-to-find household items. Creating a new toy for your pet parrot will only take a few minutes of your time, but will provide hours of enjoyment for the bird.

Instructions

How To Make A Booklet Forager

    1

    Find an old paperback book that is around 100 pages.

    2

    Cut a hole through the middle of the book and tie it to one end of the shoelace.

    3

    Place the book, spine side up, in the parrot's cage.

    4

    Pull the shoelace up through the top of the cage so the spine of the book is firmly secured, then tie a knot on the outside of the cage to secure it. Any excess shoelace can be cut off. Your parrot will enjoy chewing at the book.

How To Make A Wiffle Ball Forager

    5

    Push a few almonds and thinly sliced apples through the holes of a Wiffle ball.

    6

    Tie a shoelace through one of the holes on the ball so it can hang from the shoelace.

    7

    Place the ball inside the birdcage and tie the opposite end of the shoelace from the top of the cage. It should hang in an area where the parrot has easy access to forage in the ball. Any excess shoelace can be cut off.

How To Make A Vine Ball Forager

    8

    Purchase a medium-sized vine ball from a local craft store. They can typically be found with the vase decorations.

    9

    Push a few almonds between the vines so they are near the center of the ball. The almonds should be free to come out of the spaces again when the parrot plays with the ball.

    10

    Tie a shoelace through the vines on the ball. Place the ball within the birdcage and tie the opposite end of the shoelace to the top of the cage. It should hang in an area where the parrot has easy access to forage in the ball. Any excess shoelace can be cut off.

Sabtu, 03 Desember 2011

How to Carve Stone Bird Baths

How to Carve Stone Bird Baths

A hand-carved stone bird bath adds beauty and function to an outdoor space. Gardens, backyard paths and patios all are ideal places for a carved stone bird bath. Many real and artificial stone bird baths are available commercially; however they are expensive and lack the character of a hand-crafted stone bird bath. A stone bird bath can be carved with a few basic tools and an understanding of the techniques.

Instructions

    1

    Place the large stone on a work surface with the face that you want for the bowl of the bird bath facing upright.

    2

    Draw a circle with a compass on the top surface of the stone. This will define the edge of the bowl for the bird bath.

    3

    Use an angle grinder with a stone grinding attachment to grind a grid pattern inside the circle you have drawn. Space the lines in the grid approximately inch apart. Grind around the perimeter of the circle. The depth of the ground lines should be approximately inch.

    4

    Use a tooth chisel and a mallet to break out each of the squares in the grid. Repeat the grinding process and chiseling out process until you have reached a depth that you are satisfied with for the bird bath bowl.

    5

    Use a flat chisel and mallet to refine the curves of inside of the bowl. Create a smooth surface inside the bird bath. Smooth out the outside edge of the bird bath bowl with the flat chisel. Chip off small pieces at a time until the perimeter is completely smooth.

Kamis, 01 Desember 2011

How to House Baby Parrots

Baby parrots are atricial; when they hatch, they are featherless with closed eyes and completely helpless. In the wild, or if left in the nest box, the mother bird provides them with the necessary warmth and humidity to survive. Hand-reared baby parrots must be kept in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment until they are mostly feathered, at which time they are moved to a weaning cage. Good quality commercial brooders include accurate thermostats to regulate temperature within a few tenths of a degree.

Instructions

From Hatch to 1 Week Old

    1

    Place a few layers of crumpled, unscented facial tissues into plastic berry baskets or similar sized containers. You will need one container for each baby parrot. Whatever container you choose, make sure that it has a square shape rather than round. Brooding chicks in round containers has been linked to beak deformities.

    2

    Place the containers in the commercial brooder (one designed for parrots), and set the thermostat to 97.5 degrees. Put a laboratory grade thermometer and hygrometer inside the brooder, near the containers. Turn the brooder on, and wait until the temperature has stabilized--preferably for 24 to 48 hours--before placing the baby parrots inside.

    3

    Put the baby birds into the brooder, one per berry basket or other container. Change the bedding (facial tissues) after each feeding.

    4

    Monitor the humidity several times a day. The humidity should be maintained at 50 to 70 percent for best results. Increase the humidity by placing a damp washcloth inside an unsealed sandwich bag, then place the bag on the floor of the brooder. It is highly unlikely the humidity will become too high, unless you have taken steps to raise it. In this case, reduce the amount of humidity you are adding to the environment until it stabilizes at around 60 percent.

    5

    Watch the baby parrots for signs of chilling or overheating. Pale babies may be too cool; red babies are usually too warm. Adjust the thermostat slightly, if needed.

After the First Week

    6

    Move the baby parrots into community brooding containers and replace the tissues with fine, non-toxic wood shavings, such as those made from aspen. Each clutch should be in its own container. Larger plastic containers with squared sides work best for this.

    7

    Decrease the temperature of the brooder gradually. From 1 week until 10 to 12 days, keep the brooder at 95 degrees, then reduce it to 93 degrees. Continue reducing the temperature, 2 to 3 degrees at a time, until the chicks have feathers covering their breast and most of their body.

    8

    Move the chicks into a weaning cage once they are comfortable at room temperature. Mount perches low in the weaning cage to prevent injuries from falling, and provide toys to keep the baby parrot occupied.

Do You Have to Put a Cover Over the Cage of a New Parakeet Bird?

Do You Have to Put a Cover Over the Cage of a New Parakeet Bird?

Owning a parakeet -- or any other pet bird, for that matter -- is a big deal. From dietary arrangements to living environment, a lot goes into ensuring that your birdie stays healthy, active and happy. Covering a parakeet's cage overnight is a good way to encourage his restful sleep.

Noises

    A new parakeet has to adjust to all of the unfamiliar aspects of being in your residence, from the voices of your household members to televisions and incoming text messages. Because of all of the newness, it may be smart to give the birdie as much comfort as possible, especially at night when it's time to wind down and go to sleep. By covering your parakeet's cage at night, you can muffle out any sounds that may be troubling and disruptive to him, whether pouring rain or persistently honking vehicles. A quiet sleeping environment allows your pet to relax and get some much-needed shut-eye.

Warmth

    By covering up a new parakeet overnight, you also can help maintain a warm sleeping environment for him. If your parakeet feels cold, it may keep him awake -- and unhappy -- all night. Apart from using a cage cover, consult with your veterinarian on appropriate temperatures for parakeet living spaces. The majority of birds do well in temperatures that are in the ballpark of 65 to 80 degrees.

Darkness

    By employing a handy cage cover for your new parakeet, you can also block out undesirable light -- and keep your bird's sleeping setting dark and soothing. If you want to go the extra mile and make your parakeet's room as dark as possible at night, you can even combine a cage cover with heavy blinds on your windows.

Cover Options

    You can easily purchase a cage cover for your parakeet at a pet supplies store in your area, but you can also use a standard bed sheet, as well. Just make sure that whatever cover you use is free of any tears. The last thing you want is your poor bird's nails getting caught in the material of the cover -- a major hazard. Also opt for a muted and calming color such as blue or gray. Birds have a tendency to get hyper around "loud" colors -- think orange or red. You definitely don't want that when the whole point of covering is to give your parakeet some relaxation. Make sure the color of the cover isn't too light, either -- such as white or cream.

Nighttime Only

    Covering a parakeet's cage overnight is definitely a smart idea, whether your bird is a new addition to your home or has been living with you for years. Refrain from ever using a cover as a means of "penalizing" a bird for unwanted behavior such as screaming. Penalty covering only confuses birds, as they don't have the ability to understand the correlation between the cover and their "bad" behavior.

How to Build Your Own Parakeet Cage Kit

How to Build Your Own Parakeet Cage Kit

Are you ready for the arrival of your new bird? Once you've made the decision to acquire a parakeet, it's important to get all of the supplies you'll need. If possible, purchase everything prior to your bird's arrival -- this is going to be a stressful time for the bird, and having a comfortable home prepared in advance will make the adjustment easier on both of you. Putting together a starter kit is a great way to get everything that the bird needs.

Instructions

    1
    Use an old towel as a nighttime cage cover to make your bird feel safe and secure.
    Use an old towel as a nighttime cage cover to make your bird feel safe and secure.

    Place your parakeet cage in the room in which your bird will be living. Parakeets are curious and enjoy being around activity, so a living room or family area would be ideal. It's best not to house your parakeet in the kitchen, because they have very sensitive respiratory systems, and smoke or other fumes can be harmful if the bird inhales them.

    2

    Place the food and water dishes in the cage. Many cages have them included. You can also purchase dishes with seed and water guards so that your bird doesn't make a mess outside of the cage.

    3
    Parakeets hull their seeds, which means they take them out of the shell.
    Parakeets hull their seeds, which means they take them out of the shell.

    Fill the food dish with parakeet seed. This will be your bird's staple diet, and it can be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables, such as apples, grapes, spinach and dandelions. It's important to change the seed daily, because hulled seeds can look like fresh ones. Fill the water dish with water, and replace it with fresh water whenever you noticed it's been soiled.

    4
    If you're using a spray bottle from around the house, ensure that it's only had water in it before.
    If you're using a spray bottle from around the house, ensure that it's only had water in it before.

    Fill the spray bottle, parakeet-sized dish or a parakeet bird bath with clean, room-temperature water. Some parakeets prefer to splash around and bathe on their own, and others enjoy the light mist of a spray bottle; you'll soon see what your own bird likes.

    5

    Attach the cuttlebone to the inside of the cage. Most cuttlebones come with a clip; otherwise, you can use a twist tie to attach it. Cuttlebone is the inner shell of a cuttlefish, and will provide your parakeet with the calcium and minerals that it requires. Cuttlebone will also help to keep your bird's beak trim. If your parakeet hasn't eaten it already, the cuttlebone should be removed from the cage and replaced monthly.

    6

    Put the cage liners in the bottom of the cage. Cage liners come in different sizes and can be cut to custom-fit your cage. Tray liners catch the bird's excrement and any food or treats that get flung to the bottom of the cage, making cleanup much easier.

    7
    Perches fill the place of tree branches on which parakeets would rest in the wild, so it's important to have a variety available.
    Perches fill the place of tree branches on which parakeets would rest in the wild, so it's important to have a variety available.

    Attach the perches to the inside of the cage. It's best to have a variety of them, including some with different textures that help to keep their nails trim. Arrange the perches at different heights in the cage.

    8
    A swing with a bell attached to it will provide hours of entertainment for your new parakeet friend.
    A swing with a bell attached to it will provide hours of entertainment for your new parakeet friend.

    Position the toys for your parakeet at different parts of the cage. A parakeet will enjoy anything with bells or mirrors as well as soft wood or paper that can be shredded.

Senin, 28 November 2011

How to Use a Bird Carrier

How to Use a Bird Carrier

A bird carrier is an important item for any bird owner. A carrier comes in handy when you wish to take the animal to the veterinarian, on vacation or outside its bird house to give it a break from its regular surroundings. The size of the cage depends on where you want to take your bird. If it's going for a brief trip in your car, a smaller carrier will suffice. For a longer trip, whether by car or plane, get a larger one.

Instructions

    1

    Select a perch with a firm footing for your bird. The Pet Care GT website suggests grapevine, cholla or rope.

    2

    Install the perch near the front of the cage to accommodate the tail. Drill a hole in each end of a dowel at about an inch or two from the bottom of the carrier. Install the dowel using two wooden screws. If the vehicle carrying the bird should stop suddenly, the impact will allow the bird to lean forward and grab the front of the carrier for support.

    3

    Provide a rug for the bird at the bottom of the cage. Choose a thick one so that the bird may comfortably maneuver across the rug and to relieve itself if it needs to do so.

    4

    Place toys, food and water into the carrier. Choose a soft, side-mount toy, so that it won't move as you are driving or traveling in the vehicle.

    5

    Put the bird carrier in the back seat of the car, where the bird is less vulnerable to death or injury should the car get into an accident and the airbag deploy. Buckle the carrier into the seat securely with the seat belt.

    6

    Try out the cage. Place the bird in it, and drive it on briefer trips so that the animal may adjust to the cage. If it proves a poor fit, buy another one.

Homemade Parrot Perch

Homemade Parrot Perch

In the wild parrots are agile climbers, their feet grasping everything from thick tree limbs to small vines, enabling them to move rapidly through trees. Providing your pet birds with a variety of perches helps to replicate this experience, exercising the muscles of the feet and keeping your bird healthy. Perches are easy to make at home. As they become soiled or worn you can replace them with new ones, which is much easier and more sanitary than cleaning them.

Design

    You should outfit your pet parrot's cage with several perches of different sizes and materials. The variety allows him to choose the perch that is most comfortable for him at the moment. Different perches can serve different functions. Parrots like to chew on natural wood perches and strip the bark from them. Uneven perches of varying diameters, such as pieces of tree branches, exercise your bird's feet.

    Perches can extend all the way across a cage or only partway. If you choose natural wood, look for gnarled and twisted branches to add interest and variety. Don't choose perches that are too narrow. Your parrot's feet should be able to comfortably grasp the perch, not wrapping all the way around, but reach halfway to three-quarters of the way around the perch. The perch shouldn't be too smooth. If you use a smooth object or material such as a dowel, sand the perch to roughen it up. You can even router grooves into the dowel to add texture.

Material

    Parrots like to chew, so any perch you make must be made out of nontoxic material. If you cut branches out of your yard, be sure to use a tree that hasn't been sprayed with any kind of chemical. Avoid peach, apricot or cherry wood, since the inner bark of these trees contains cyanide compounds that can be poisonous. Don't use painted or treated wood.

    Choose soft woods your bird can chew. Apple, pine, dogwood, and willow are among the types of wood that make good perches.

    Disinfect the wood before using it for a perch by soaking it in a solution of 2 tbsp. bleach to a quart of water for 10 minutes. Rinse well and allow to dry completely before you place the perches in the cage. You can also bake branches in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before placing them in the cage.

Hardware

    Attach perches firmly to the cage. For perches attached on one side only, drill a small hole in one end of the perch and insert a lag stud. Slip on a washer large enough to span two bars of the cage. Insert the end of the lag stud through the bars, add a second washer and secure everything with a wing nut. Use stainless steel hardware.

    If the perch extends all the way across the cage, cut a slot in each end of the perch and wedge the perch between the bars.

Minggu, 27 November 2011

Instructions for Hova-Egg Incubator

Instructions for Hova-Egg Incubator

Incubators are containers in which constant heat and humidity are maintained in order to hatch the eggs of birds or reptiles. The Hova-Bator incubator has been designed to offer a self-contained environment for both incubating and hatching eggs. This incubator can be used to hatch eggs that range in size from quail eggs to turkey and duck eggs. You turn the eggs by hand in the standard Hova-Bator incubator. The incubator is user friendly and will accept an optional automatic egg turner, if required.

Instructions

    1

    Use the four owl clips to attach the plastic liner to the wire floor. Slide each clip under the plastic liner and over the wire floor.

    2

    Position the wire floor and liner onto the bottom of the Hova-Bator. Align the cut-out section on the wire floor with the water trough, which is the depression in the middle of the incubator floor.

    3

    Pour warm water gently into the trough in the middle of the incubator floor. Do not let the water overflow, but do not be too concerned about the depth, as humidity within the incubator will be related to the surface area of the water and not the depth.

    4

    Thread the wing nut onto the adjustment screw. Place the screw carefully into the bracket slot and thread the screw down until a length, long enough to accept the wafer, appears on the other side of the bracket. Thread the wafer onto the end of the adjustment screw that appeared on the inside of the bracket.

    5

    Plug the incubator into a wall power source and turn it on.

    6

    Turn the adjustment screw carefully counterclockwise until the light is triggered. Give the screw an additional four turns after the light comes on. A temperature of 99 to 101 degrees F is ideal for hatching poultry eggs.

    7

    Remove the red vent plugs from the top or lid of the incubator if you are at an altitude above sea level of 6000 feet or higher.

    8

    Remove either one or both of the red plugs if water vapor is noticeable against the incubator's window. Water drops are an indication that the humidity is too high.

    9

    Open the top of the incubator for a brief period if removing both plugs does not reduce excessive humidity within the incubator. Optimal humidity should be 58 to 60 percent from day one to day eighteen, then 66 percent until hatching.

How to Build Your Own Acrylic Finch Cages

How to Build Your Own Acrylic Finch Cages

Finches are small birds that do not require a large cage for housing. A cage that is around 5 cubic feet will be enough to house several birds. You can build your own finch cage using acrylic -- a crystal-clear plastic that is stronger than glass and can be easily worked using common woodworking tools like carbide drill bits -- and acrylic glue. Carbide drill bits work for wood, metal and acrylic. Supplies and tools are available at most hardware stores or hobby shops, and the project can be completed in a small space, such as a home workshop.

Instructions

    1

    Draw a grid on each acrylic sheet using a dry-erase pen. First, draw a set of parallel lines spaced 1 inch apart on every acrylic sheet, starting a half-inch in from each edge. It does not matter which edge you start from. Then, draw another set of parallel lines that are at right angles to the first set of lines, spaced 1 inch apart. The intersecting lines will create a grid pattern.

    2

    Drill a 4-inch hole into one of the 29-inch sheets, using the 4-inch carbide drill bit. This will be your access to the inside of the cage. Use one of the intersections created by the lines for this hole's center. Drill a 3/8-inch hole where each of the lines intersect, and wipe away the remaining lines. Do not drill any 3/8-inch holes that will intersect the 4-inch hole. The 3/8-inch holes will function as air holes.

    3

    Position the 14-by-29-inch acrylic sheets on edge, parallel and 24 1/2 inches apart. Set and glue the 25-by-29-inch sheet to the pair of 14-by-29-inch sheets so the corners are flush. Let the acrylic glue dry according to the instructions on the package, and repeat this step on the opposite side so you have a box with two open ends. This is your acrylic cage frame.

    4

    Glue the 14 1/2-by-25-inch sheets to the open ends of the frame so the corners are flush. Let the glue dry.

    5

    Drill a 3/8-inch-diameter hole that is 1/2 inch away from any 5-inch edge on the 5-inch acrylic so it is centered, 2 1/2 inches away from the pair of edges that are perpendicular to the edge from which you measured. Bolt this sheet over the 4-inch hole that you drilled, using the 3/8-inch hole that is directly above the larger hole. This is the door to the finch cage. It will pivot around the 3/8-inch bolt to allow you access to the inside of the cage, or to keep the cage closed.

How to Build a Nest Box for Macaws

How to Build a Nest Box for Macaws

When it comes to building a nest box for macaws, there are several ways you can go. If you were to ask professional breeders what type of nest box they prefer, each will have a different choice. Some breeders use oak barrels or plastic 55-gallon drums, while others use hollowed out, natural logs or large, thick pieces of PVC pipe. More commonly, breeders build their own wooden nest boxes for macaws.

Instructions

    1

    Gather all of the materials and supplies you will need to build a macaw nest box. This will include thick plywood, at least a 1/2 inch thick, a saw and 1-inch long screws. Many macaw breeders also choose to encase the nest box with a strong, welded, mesh wire to help protect the macaws, eggs or babies if the birds chew through the wood, which happens often.

    2

    Assemble the pieces of plywood you will need to build a macaw nest box. You will need one 24 x 36-inch piece for the bottom; two 23.5 x 23.5-inch pieces for the sides, two 24 x 36-inch pieces for the front and back; and one 24 x 36-inch piece for the top. It is a good idea to label your pieces as you cut them so that the macaw nest box will be easy to assemble.

    3

    Draw an 8-inch hole on the front piece of plywood, towards the top to make the entrance to the macaw nest box. Use a drill to get the hole started and then cut it out using a jigsaw. Hole saw bits can be purchased at building supply stores that can make this job much simpler.

    4
    Place sides to the inside of the front and back

    Screw the sides, front and back of the Macaw nest box together using 1-inch screws. Place one of the side pieces on the inside of the front piece and screw into place. Move to the other side and add the other side piece, making sure you place it in the same position as the first side piece. Now add the back piece of the nest box by placing it on the outside edges of the side pieces and screw into place. With all four sides assembled, add the bottom piece by placing it against the frame of the nest box and screw into place.

    5
    Attach top with a single screw to provide yourself access into the nest box

    Connect the top piece of the macaw nest box. Since it is necessary to be able to look inside the nest box and clean it, it is necessary to make it where it can be easily moved without the macaws being able to knock it off. This can be easily accomplished by screwing the top of the nest box on with one single screw. This allows the lid to slide to the side without being completely removed and can be easily removed when it is time to clean the nest box.

    6

    Paint the macaw nest box white if it is going to be exposed to the sun. White will reflect the heat, helping to keep the nest box cool.

How to Make an Arabian Halter

When you work around dairy cattle, it is advisable to have cattle halters accessible for keeping the cattle organized and under control. Cow halters can be created from allocated lengths of rope using basic knotting techniques. Common cattle halters can be created for any size of cow and are adjustable.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a three-strand rope to a length of 12 to 15 inches each.

    2

    Secure one end of each rope by dipping the end in the oil-based paint. This prevents the ropes from becoming too frayed. Let dry for 24 hours.

    3

    Measure 12 inches from one end of the longer rope once the ends have dried. Spin that portion of the rope to create an opening.

    4

    Thread the shorter rope through one of the strands to make a large loop. Open the strands of the shorter rope near the loop and pull the long end of the rope through the strands to secure the loop.

    5

    Hold the part of the rope with the covered end, spacing hands almost 3 inches apart. Twist the rope and push hands together to build a fray of 3 loops.

    6

    Push the long end of the rope through perfectly lined up loops, and run it through the eye loop to finish the formation of the halter.

Specifications for Chickadee Nest Boxes

Specifications for Chickadee Nest Boxes

The chickadee is a common backyard bird through much of North America. You will frequently see this little bird accepting food that was put into a garden feeder. Chickadees are widespread in both country and built-up areas, where scattered trees are still to be found. The chickadee prefers to nest in natural cavities, but can be encouraged to use a nest box, if a number of criteria are met. Prime among these, is having the correct tree type for the box.

Materials

    Chickadees are tiny birds that require a small nest, in which to feel secure. A length of 3-inch diameter, thinned walled PVC tubing is ideal for this purpose. Plastic caps placed on both ends, will seal the top and bottom of the tube. An entrance hole of 1.2-inch diameter, will allow the chickadees ample room in which to enter and exit the nest, but will discourage larger birds from showing interest in it. The outside of the PVC tube, particularly around the entrance hole, can be scuffed with course sandpaper, as can the inside area, below the entrance.

Best Sites

    Designing the ideal chickadee nest box is in itself not sufficient. These little birds are particular as to the species of tree they choose to nest in and may even prefer the nest box to be oriented in a specific way. According to Dan Mennill, associate professor in the University of Windsor's Department of Biological Sciences, chickadees in a study at Queen's University Biological Station preferred nest boxes that were mounted in birch trees, but accepted nest boxes in beech and hop hornbeam trees as well. Studies are being conducted to determine whether the chickadee chooses a nest box on the strength of wind direction or the position of the sun. Mennill recommends that nest boxes for chickadees, be positioned just high enough, so that a person of average height can just reach into the entrance hole. Wood shavings should be packed into the nest box to mimic birch snag. It is also important to mount the chickadee nest box as long as possible before the bird's breeding season, which begins from late April to early May. Nest box acceptance is probably enhanced if the chickadee has had a period of time in which to investigate the box.

Predator Guarding

    As chickadees do not readily accept nest boxes, it is important to ensure that all of their criteria are met. Keeping predators away from the nest box, will encourage the chickadee to investigate the box thoroughly enough to hopefully accept it. Attaching an inverted metal cone below the nest, will prevent snakes and small mammals, such as rodents from climbing up to the nest box.

Kamis, 24 November 2011

How to Build a Small Bird Cage

How to Build a Small Bird Cage

A bird cage is a must have for any owners looking to care for a small companion bird. As nearly all pet birds fly horizontally, not straight up, a cage which is wider than it is tall is ideal for housing a bird. A common misconception about bird cages is that they must be made entirely of open wire. However, a cage can be built entirely of plywood, except for one wire mesh face.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a piece of plywood 36-inches long and 15-inches tall, to be the back of the cage, and two pieces 12-inches long and 15-inches tall to serve as side pieces.

    2

    Drill pilot holes down the left edge of one side piece, and down the right edge of the other side piece. All holes should be 3/8 inches from the edge they are running down, with a hole in each corner, and three more holes spaced evenly between the corners on each piece.

    3

    Secure the back piece to the side pieces by aligning each set of pilot holes with one 15-inch tall side of the back piece and hammering nails into the back piece.

    4

    Place the three-walled structure atop the plywood, and trace a rectangle onto the wood going around the three outer walls, and connecting the two open corners. Cut two pieces of plywood in this shape to be the top and bottom of the cage.

    5

    Mark pilot holes around the three edges of both the top and bottom, which will align over the side and back pieces. When putting pilot holes to attach to the back piece, place the first holes in each corner farther in than the length of the nails, or else the nail driven through it will strike the nail used to secure the sides to the back.

    6

    Secure the top and bottom of the cage to the walls with nails.

    7

    Drill holes in both side pieces for the mesh front plate. The plate will feature collapsible pieces which can be pressed in, then allowed to spread out again through the holes to secure the front in place. The height of these holes will depend on the placement of the arms on the cage front of your choice.

    8

    Drill two 1/4-inch diameter holes into each side piece at a height just above where the bottom of the cage front will reach. Position one hole approximately two inches from the front of the box, and the other two inches from the back.

    9

    Insert a wood dowel into each hole so that one end is flush with the outside of the box, and the remainder of the dowel extends into the box.

    10

    Cut a piece of wire mesh 36 inches wide, and deep enough to just reach the inner edge of the cage front when the cage front is installed.

    11

    Spray the box with a light colored paint, and the wire mesh and cage front with a dark colored paint, then leave to dry.

    12

    Insert the wire mesh into the cage atop the dowels, to serve as the bottom of the cage, and place the cage front in position to complete the containment area. The area below the cage can hold a dropping tray when in use, that can be easily removed, as it does not require opening the cage to access it.

Selasa, 22 November 2011

Instructions for Setting a Sportsman Incubator

The Model 1402 Electric Sportsman Incubator is adjustable between 98.5 and 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature and humidity readings on this model can be gauged by checking the dial thermometer and hygrometer that are supplied with the incubator. The Sportsman Incubator's electronic thermostat ensures accurate temperature control, which guarantees superior hatch rates. This incubator has three automatically turned trays and an additional hatching tray that is positioned in the bottom of the incubator. The Model 1402 Electronic Sportsman Incubator uses an electronic thermostat which is preset at the factory for the best possible poultry and game bird hatching results.

Instructions

    1

    Read the Model 1402 Electric Sportsman Incubator manual. All relevant information regarding the correct operating of the incubator is contained in this document. By following the straight forward instructions, you will be guaranteed of superior hatches for each batch of eggs.

    2

    Check if the thermostat on the Sportsman Incubator Model 1402 Electric Sportsman Incubator has been factory preset to 100 degrees Fahrenheit as per the instruction manual.

    3

    Determine if you will operate the incubator at the preset factory temperature, or if you will change the setting.

    4

    Locate the thermostat if you decide to change the operating temperature of the Sportsman incubator.

    5

    Use the dial thermometer to the new temperature at which the incubator will run.

    6

    Locate the hygrometer if you decide to change the operating temperature of the Sportsman incubator.

    7

    Use the dial hygrometer to the new temperature at which the incubator will run.

    8

    Check the analog dial display to ensure that both the new temperature and new humidity reading are correct, according to the adjustments that you made.

    9

    Replace the water in the water pan, every second or third day. The more water there is, the higher the humidity will be able to go. Replace water at longer intervals if the humidity is higher than the maximum that you set for the specific egg type that you want to hatch.

    10

    Decide if you want to keep the settings for the eggs tray rotations, as per the manufacturer's preset schedule.

    11

    Adjust the eggs tray rotation setting, as per your requirements.

How to Clean Bird Toys

How to Clean Bird Toys

Cleaning bird toys and perches is just as important as cleaning the cage, but it is sometimes overlooked. With a few easy steps and tips, cleaning your birds toys will be quick and simple.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the toys and perches from the bird cage. It may be necessary to remove the bird from the cage to get the toys, if the bird is possessive.

    2

    Using a paper towel or dry scrub brush, brush or wipe off any solid, hard, encrusted droppings or shell casings that might be sticking to the toys and perches.

    3

    Fill a cleaning bowl with hot water and a drop of dish soap. Or, fill the bowl with a bird toy cleaning and disinfecting solution.

    4

    Place toys and perches in bowl of hot water and dish soap. Let them soak for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how long they have been soiled.

    5

    Using another paper towel, scrub brush or a sponge scrub the toys and perches completely clean.

    6

    Rinse the toys and perches thoroughly with very hot water. Make sure to rinse all soap or cleaner residue off the toys and perches to prevent the bird from getting a case of diarrhea.

    7

    Set toys and perches on a clean paper towel or clean towel to dry. They could also be set in a dish drying rack. The toys and perches need to be completely dry before putting them back in the cage with the bird.

Sabtu, 19 November 2011

How to Make Budgie Nests

How to Make Budgie Nests

Also referred to as parakeets and budgerigars, budgies are small birds with long tails that bear a resemblance to parrots. They are between 7 and 10 inches in height and come in several color varieties, including violet, yellow and blue. Budgies can be taught to speak if hand-raised from infancy but are generally quiet birds. Create a budgie nest by reusing materials such as wicker baskets and wood shavings.

Instructions

    1

    Using a wicker basket that is about 5 inches in diameter and 4 or 5 inches tall. Use a knife to hack away at the sides if they are too high. The basket must have a concave, or rounded interior, to prevent budgie eggs from rolling around. In the wild, budgies hollow out small areas, such as a hole in a tree, to make their nests, rather than gathering material to build nests. As such, they lay their eggs on hard surfaces, which is why the rounded basket or other rounded container is required.

    2

    Fill 2 or 3 inches of the basket with wood shavings and chips.

    3

    Set the basket in the budgie cage, either on the bottom of the cage or on a perch. Thread sturdy string through the holes in the basket if you want to attach it to a perch. If you have more than one pair of budgies, try placing multiple baskets in view of one another as budgies are colony breeders.

    4

    Replace the wood shavings and chips often to avoid soiled eggs and other budgie health problems. Throw out the entire basket and make a new one as often as needed.

Jumat, 18 November 2011

Homemade Indoor Bird Cages

Homemade Indoor Bird Cages

Birds are considered one of the most popular choices in pets due to their minimal grooming requirements and cost-effectiveness. However, it is a daunting task for bird owners to invest in a cage that fits the specific requirements of their pet bird so that its comfort and safety can be ensured. Although a more complex cage may be required for a large bird, homemade bird cages are perfect and easy to build for small birds such as budgies and sparrows.

Instructions

    1

    Decide the dimensions of your cage according to the size of your bird, and cut your PVC pipes accordingly. A typical cage size for a small bird is 4 feet wide by 3 feet deep and 5 feet high, with a door gap that is 2 feet high and wide. The front of the cage will have to be secured by a horizontal stabilizing bar. For these specific dimensions, you will require four pieces of PVC that are 4 feet long and eight pieces of PVC that are 3 feet long. You will also need four 29.5-inch lengths of PVC for the main body of the cage and horizontal support bars for the door opening.

    2

    Connect the 4-foot pipes and the 3-foot pipes using a three-way PVC joint to make an L shape for the base. Connect the other 4-foot and 3-foot pipes to make a rectangular frame. Repeat the process to make two rectangles.

    3

    Connect the PVC pipes perpendicularly to the back of one of the rectangles. Attach two 29.5-inch pipes perpendicularly to the front of the same rectangle. Cap these together. Repeat the same process with the other rectangle frame and place over the top of the first one to complete the main frame of your cage.

    4

    Create the door opening by attaching the 90-degree joints and the T-style joints. The T-style joints on the opening must point outward so that the PVC pipes can be connected to these. Connect this frame to the front of the cage.

    5

    Cut the steel mesh according to your specific dimensions, using with the wire cutters, for the cage sides and front. Attach this mesh to the cage frame with wire or zip ties. Secure the mesh by using clips or wire so that the cage door can be easily closed and locked.

    6

    For perches, you can collect twigs and strong branches from outside; peel off the bark so they have a cleaner look. Place these in the cage in a fashion that facilitates easier flying of the bird inside. It is better to place natural perches, as their uneven nature allows the bird to exercise its feet.

How to Build a Poultry Pen for Chickens

How to Build a Poultry Pen for Chickens

Chickens are versatile animals that can live and thrive in small spaces if properly cared for. If you can't let your chickens to roam freely, a pen and hen house can keep them confined and secure. Easy-to-follow plans and affordable pre-fabricated components can be found online. You can also find materials at your local hardware store.

Instructions

    1

    Place a hen house or rabbit hutch in an area that will be the corner of your coop. If you are a decent carpenter, you can build your own small house. Just make sure it can contain all your birds comfortably and that they can get in and out easily. Rabbit hutches are ideal because they typically have a screened bottom and are elevated so the excrement doesn't pile up inside the enclosure and make for unhealthy sleeping quarters for your chickens. The house should also be weatherproof to protect your animals from whatever weather conditions may threaten.

    2

    Lay out a square floor pattern around the hen house with four even lengths of thick-gauge PVC piping. If you want more of a rectangular shape, use two long pieces for the sides and two short pieces for the ends. Cover the circumference of each end of the first two pipes with epoxy. Coat the inside of the two connection points on the bottom of the first three-prong corner piece as well before inserting the two pipe ends. Use the rubber mallet to tap the corner piece into place while holding each pipe with your other hand to obtain a secure fit. Repeat this three more times to complete the base.

    3

    Make an exact replica of the floor frame to construct the roof of your coop. Follow the same process with the thick-gauge pipe lengths, epoxy and the corner pieces. The height of the coop should be around 4 to 6-fee high so the birds have room to spread their wings and flutter short distances. A taller pen will allow for easier cleaning, feeding, and egg gathering. A shorter pen will be more portable and lighter weight. Decide how tall you want your pen to be before framing.

    4

    Connect each corner wall frame pipe to the floor frame corner joint first, again using epoxy to coat the pipe end and the connector piece. Tap the top end of the pipe with the mallet to create a tight seal. Once you have all four wall frame pieces connected to the floor frame corner joints, coat the circumference around the tops of these four wall lengths and all four roof joint connectors with epoxy. Quickly attach the roof joints and tap them in place with the mallet. Try to accomplish this fast enough so that the epoxy doesn't have time to dry before all four corner points are attached.

    5

    Connect your fencing or chicken wire to the frame using bailing wire. Start with the roof and work down to the floor, overlapping sections of caging that connect to the frame area for a stronger structure. Rather than weaving long single strands of wire along each length of pipe, use uniform shorter lengths and tightly twist the ends closed around the pipe so that the twists are on the outside where the chickens cannot peck at them. Once your cage is fully enclosed, use wire cutters to make a door opening. Cut another piece of fencing for the door section that is slightly larger than the opening. Place it directly over the opening and weave a hinge along one edge with the bailing wire. Cut the hook off an end of each mini bungee cord. Tie these ends one-by-one around the unhinged edges of the door. Pull the hooked end of each of these cords tight. Latch the hook onto the fencing to keep the door securely closed. Unhook these cords to gain entry for cleaning, feeding, and egg collection. Use thinner-gauge PVC pipe to set up perches halfway between the ground and the roof in the outer corners. To keep these perches in place, pass the bailing wire all the way through each perch pipe so there is enough length at each end to firmly wrap the excess wire around the links of the fencing.