Jumat, 28 Januari 2011

How to Buy Peacocks

As exotic animals become more common in the domestic US market, the peacock is also increasing in popularity. Peacocks can be a great choice for breeding as farm animals as well as domestic pets. While buying peacocks can in some ways be similar to buying other birds, there are some important differences.

Instructions

    1

    Decide on a breed. There are many different breeds and mutations of peacock. The most common is the India blue peacock, which is the cheapest and easiest to care for. Breeders generally recommend this breed for first time buyers and those with limited experience. Other breeds such as the green species are less common and therefore most expensive.

    2

    Choose the age. You can buy peacocks at various stages. Eggs prior to hatching, peachicks or mature peafowl. A male is fully mature at 3 years but can mate at 2 years. Peachicks can fly within a couple of weeks and are born with feathers. Eggs need special incubation units. Consider all these factors before buying and prepare accordingly.

    3

    Find the market place. Once you have decided on the age and breed of the peafowl, you need to choose a method of buying. Online auctions are one option and may be cheaper but you run the risk of problems in transport. Peacock breeders will have many different varieties and you can visit first hand if there is a farm or zoo in your area (see Resources below).

    4

    Transport the birds. If you are moving them overland yourself then ensure you have decent sized cages and secure fastenings. If you are shipping live birds then plan ahead. Tell your local post office you are expecting a delivery and have water and food prepared as these cannot be shipped inside the containers.

    5

    Be ready. Have covered pens or good sheltered areas already prepared. Make sure you have the correct type of bird feed or pellets and greens for your type of peacock.

Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

How to Sterilize Wooden Perches for Birds

How to Sterilize Wooden Perches for Birds

A wooden perch gives your bird a pleasant place to sit and also adds a natural element to your bird's cage. Wooden perches are not, however, as easy to disinfect and clean as plastic or metal perches are. If you have a wooden perch in your bird's cage, clean it on a regular basis to ensure that it does not spread diseases or become rotted over time.

Instructions

    1

    Mix a solution that is 1 part bleach and 10 parts water in a bucket and scrub the wooden perch using a nylon brush and the bleach solution.

    2

    Rinse the scrubbed wooden perch with the clean boiled water and allow it to dry completely.

    3

    Cover the surface of a cookie sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil.

    4

    Place the perch on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 1 hour. This kills off any bacteria in the perch.

Senin, 24 Januari 2011

How to Build a Shelter for Peafowl

How to Build a Shelter for Peafowl

Though peafowl thrive when allowed to roam free, some breeders understand that this plan is not suitable for their circumstances. Whether you live on a busy road or simply want to ensure that your birds do not get too rambunctious, building a shelter can be the right choice. Plan on building your pen large enough to give each bird 80 square feet. Though peahens do not take up as much rooms, those with peacocks will need to make the pen at least 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide to allow the males to fully spread their tails.

Instructions

    1

    Map out the dimensions for your peafowl shelter, allowing enough space for each bird. Locate the four corners of the planned aviary and dig a 24-inch hole at each corner, then at 6-foot intervals between each post.

    2

    Place the posts in their respective holes and fill the holes halfway with cement. Allow the cement to dry for 24 hours before filling the holes the rest of the way with dirt.

    3

    Surround the fence with chicken wire, ensuring that the wire extends at least 6 inches beneath the ground level to discourage predators, such as foxes and wolves. Wire the chicken wire tightly to the posts at 6-inch intervals.

    4

    Cut the plywood sheets to fit along one of the inside walls. Screw the plywood to the posts along that wall to keep the boards steady. When deciding on which wall to use, select the one that will be hit by the wind most, as this will create a windbreak for your birds.

    5

    Screw plywood sheets to the posts on either side of the first wall. These walls do not need to extend the whole length of the aviary; 6 to 8 feet should be sufficient. Create a fourth wall with another sheet of plywood, this one connected to the second or third wall you erected. This will create a natural door for the peafowl to enter and exit the shelter.

    6

    Hang a sheet of aviary mesh over the top of the run. Wire it down to the chicken wire every 4-6 inches. Because peafowl can fly, they may escape if the aviary is not completely enclosed.

    7

    Place sheets of fiberglass over the top of the shelter to act as a roof and screw the sheets to the posts. Spray insulation spray between the plywood walls and the fiberglass sheets to ensure that the peafowl do not get wet or cold while they are in the shelter.

    8

    Cut 55-gallon plastic drums in half and fill the halves with straw. Give each half to one peahen so that she can roost and sit on her eggs when she begins laying.

Minggu, 23 Januari 2011

The Best Nesting Boxes for Society Finches

The Best Nesting Boxes for Society Finches

Society finches, also known as Bengalese finches, are sociable and peaceful birds who love to nest together. They are a domesticated breed and can adapt to nearly any domestic setting. Nest boxes are required if you want to start breeding them. As well, these small birds have such strong parenting instincts, they are commonly used as foster parents for other breeds who are less inclined to feed and raise their young.

Best Nesting Box Size

    Society finches thrive even in small cages and are eager breeders who will nest almost anywhere - from a hat or a basket to a proper nesting box. For breeding, an ideal size is around 3 inches tall, 5 inches wide and five inches deep which allows for a good-sized clutch of 4-8 eggs without over-crowding when the chicks hatch. If you are not breeding and have several finches, get one big enough to accommodate all of them comfortably. They love to nest together at night and will all cram into one if possible.

Best Nesting Materials

    You can get coconut fiber for your nesting box.
    You can get coconut fiber for your nesting box.

    Finches are not picky about nesting materials. Shredded cotton balls to a few strings and feathers dropped into the nesting box are enough to satisfy most of them. They will build better nests with natural materials supplied. The best nesting materials include coconut fiber, dry grasses, or mosses. Many breeders prefer using jute which is commercially available as a nesting material called sisal. Providing a mix of suitable nesting materials will encourage nest exploration whether or not your finches turn out to be master nest-builders or not. You can also put in a nesting material dispenser to stimulate nest-building urges.

Best Nesting Box Model

    Finches are happy with any type of nest box but a standard finch nesting box with a half open front is better. If possible, get a nesting box you can hang on the outside of the cage for easier care and inspection -- especially if you are planning to breed. Some cage and box models will allow for this. Look for a box model that has a top that can be flipped open to look inside without having to remove or disturb the box itself. Both plywood and plastic boxes are fine.

Nesting Box Care & Hygeine

    You don't want mosquitoes carrying infections to your finches.
    You don't want mosquitoes carrying infections to your finches.

    A good idea is to toss a pinch of 5 percent Sevin dust in the bottom of each new nest, to prevent insects from also making their home in the nesting box. Each box should be cleaned after each clutch fledges. As well, cleaning during the breeding cycle is a good precaution against diesease if there are many young in the nest box and it appears overly soiled.

Other Considerations

    Nesting boxes means special nesting diets for your birds.
    Nesting boxes means special nesting diets for your birds.

    If you have a group of finches and want to breed, you may have to separate them into pairs or trios in different cages with a nesting box. Otherwise, their tendency to all squeeze together in a nesting box will hamper breeding efforts. You may also want to introduce nesting food and extra protein such as mealworms into their diets for mother and baby birds. Finches are such avid breeders they will continue to raise clutch after clutch once the babies fledge in 21-25 days. You will need to remove the nesting box when you have enough clutches raised.

Jumat, 21 Januari 2011

How to Buy a Bird Cage

Now that you've decided to give a home to a feathered friend, you must choose a bird cage. Take into consideration the safety, health and growth and development of your bird when checking out the available options. Choosing the right cage is not difficult when you follow these guidelines.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a relatively large cage for your bird. Make sure the bars of the cage are suitable for your type of bird. Smaller birds need bars spaced closer together to prevent their going AWOL.

    2

    Select a cage that is wide enough for your bird. Birds tend to fly around and not so much up and down. Taller birds need taller cages, but width should still be a factor in your selection.

    3

    Choose a cage made of stainless steel rather than plastic. Steel bird cages last longer and are more durable than plastic or cheap wire cages.

    4

    Select a bird cage that offers a pull-out tray for easy cleaning. Also make sure the door of the cage allows for easy removal of seed trays and water dishes.

    5

    Look for bird cages that have perches located near your bird's food and water. Make sure the perches are suitable for your type of bird. Small clawed birds require smaller-diameter perches.

    6

    Bring your new bird cage home and let your feathered friend stretch his wings in comfort.

How To Make a Cage Liner

Cage liners provide a simple, sanitary way to keep your bird's cage clean, but keeping a fresh supply on hand can get expensive. Homemade cage liners are an appealing alternative to the store-bought varieties, because you can make your own from common materials you already have around the house. You can custom-fit the liners to any size, which will accommodate even the most oddly shaped birdcage. With a little do-it-yourself initiative, you can keep your bird healthy without draining your bank account.

Instructions

    1

    Measure the bottom of your bird's cage to determine its size. Write the dimensions down.

    2

    Draw the dimensions of the bird cage on the newspaper. Cut through the newspaper to create a stack of custom-fit liners.

    3

    Place one of the cut newspaper sheets into the bottom of the cage. Change the liner every day to maintain a sanitary environment for your bird.

Selasa, 18 Januari 2011

Do it Yourself Outdoor Parakeet Cage

Do it Yourself Outdoor Parakeet Cage

Parakeets, otherwise known as budgies, are small birds related to parrots that are renowned for their singing and their tame and gentle nature. Caring for your parakeet can be a lot of fun and highly rewarding. It's important to decide what kind of outdoor cage is best. Though not happy outdoors overnight, your budgie may enjoy the outdoor cage you build. Sitting on the porch is a great way for you and your budgie to enjoy the outdoors.

Instructions

    1

    Cover two of the rings with stainless steel hardware cloth or wire mesh. Bend the mesh over the sides of the ring to secure it in place. Do not use a wire mesh that contains zinc, which is toxic to birds. The mesh should not be so thick that it defeats the purpose of being outside but not so coarse that the bird might escape. These two rings will serve as the top and bottom of a cylinder-shaped cage.

    2

    Create a cylinder by using the two wrapped sides as lids. Use the third ring as support in the middle. Wrap it in wire mesh. Close the wire mesh together by folding the end over itself or stapling the two sides together. Hold the middle ring in place with a few twisted pieces of wire. Alternatively, you can use evenly-spaced small metal bars. The cylinder should be about to to three feet high.

    3

    Attach a hook to the top part of the cage so that it can hang from a plant holder, if desired. Make sure to put the hook in the middle of the lid or your cage will hang lopsided. Using a hook with a smaller hook on the opposing side will let you slip the hook right through the bars on the mesh.

    4

    Cut an access hole in the side of the cylinder so you can put your bird in and take him out when you go inside. This is not a permanent cage, so he will need to go back to his big cage eventually. To make the door, take wire cutters and cut three sides of a square. Fold the metal back and forth to make it more pliable. If the wire mesh is sharp at the edges, you can fold small pieces of metal or attach some small pieces of wood to the edges to avoid cutting yourself or your budgie.

    5

    Make a simple latch for the door by feeding a piece of pliable wire through the door to the bottom of the cylinder and twisting closed when the bird is inside.

    6

    Place a perch diagonally across the cylinder for your bird to sit on. Use natural wood, as this will encourage the bird to trim her claws and use the musculature in her feet.

    7

    Hang some bird toys from the top of the cage to entertain your budgie while you two are outside.

Senin, 17 Januari 2011

How to Apply a Closed Band to a Baby Parrot

A closed band is a small, flat ring worn on the leg of a bird. Bands for parrots and parrot-like birds are almost always made of metal, usually aluminum. Birds with unusually strong beaks require stainless steel so that they do not pinch the band and injure their leg. Closed bands are usually imprinted with a series of codes, identifying the aviary the bird was bred at, the hatch year, the state, and the bird's personal identification number. The codes can be used in case of loss or theft. In addition, since closed bands can only be placed on very young baby birds, these bands demonstrate that the bird was domestically bred and not illegally imported.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure the baby parrot's crop is empty, since manipulating a baby bird with food in its crop could cause aspiration.

    2

    Gently pick up the baby parrot and hold it in one hand, making sure the feet are accessible. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the bird's foot.

    3

    Hold the front two toes and longer back toe of one foot closely together and extended, using the same hand that is holding the parrot. Use your other hand to slip the band over the three toes you are holding in place.

    4

    Push the shorter back toe of the bird against its leg, then slide the band over the toe and onto the leg. Often the toenail of the short back toe will catch on the band. If this happens, you can gently work it free using a blunted toothpick.

    5

    Check to be sure the band is on the bird's leg and the toes are free and uninjured. It should appear that the bird is wearing an ankle bracelet.

How Can I Make DIY Toys for My Parakeet?

How Can I Make DIY Toys for My Parakeet?

Parakeets are inquisitive birds and make wonderful chatty pets. They love to play with new toys but quickly discard them after a few days because they get bored with them. You can make your own colorful and creative toys for your parakeet that will keep him entertained for days without breaking your budget. When your favorite bird gets tired of the toy, you can simply dissassemble it and recycle the parts to create a new toy for your pet to enjoy.

Instructions

Homemade Toy with Beads

    1

    Select natural wood beads with holes in them from your hobby and craft or discount store. Make sure that if the beads are painted, it is with non-toxic paint or shellac.

    2

    Thread the wooden beads onto a clean shoestring.

    3

    Place small squares of cardboard with a hole in the middle between each bead to give the toy variety and to create a pleasing shape for your pet parakeet, according to the Tail Feathers Network website.

    4

    Tie each end of the shoelace into a knot to keep the beads from falling off and be sure to leave a couple of inches at the top so that you can attach the toy to the parakeet's cage.

Edible Popcorn Toy

    5

    Pop some plain, unbuttered popcorn. (Parakeets don't digest artificial flavorings or additives well, and any other type of popcorn could make your bird ill.)

    6

    Thread a needle with some twine or heavy thread and place a wooden bead at one end of the thread by tying a knot around it. This will prevent the popcorn from sliding off the string.

    7

    Place the popcorn onto the needle and slide it down until it reaches the wooden bead. Continue placing popcorn on the string until you have about fifteen pieces on the string.

    8

    Tie the other end of the string to the cage and watch your parakeet enjoy his new edible toy.

Minggu, 09 Januari 2011

What Do Lovebirds Need to Make a Nest?

Some lovebirds will make their own nests, but other lovebird varieties prefer to steal nesting materials. Provide your lovebirds with the nesting materials they need so they can build nests for their clutches of eggs. The materials you use depend on where you live, but you should be able to buy the most appropriate nesting materials. Ask a pet store manager to special-order these materials for you.

Nesting Box versus Cage

    The nesting box is especially made to accommodate the eggs after the hen has laid them. The side with the entrance features a raised platform, allowing the cock to keep his mate company without crowding her as she sits on top of her eggs in the lower portion.

Natural, Non-Poisonous Materials

    Use natural materials that have not been treated with pesticides. Your lovebirds will tear them apart to create their nestsif they lick a palm frond treated with an insecticide or pesticide, they can ingest it and be poisoned.

    Slip moist palm fronds into the nesting box. The lovebirds, particularly the hen, will shred the palms and carry them in under their wings to start building the nest. The hen is much more adept at this than the cock.

Finding Nesting Materials

    Good choices for nesting material include palm fronds, plain white paper towels, long grass and eucalyptus. A layer of clean wood shavings on the bottom of the nesting box adds a layer of softness and warmth for the eggs. Youll need to provide fresh nesting material daily. Dont worry about removing the old nesting materialyour lovebirds will just add the new shredded stuff to the top.

Remember Moisture

    Even though you are adding new nesting material every day, it dries out. Once the eggs have been laid, they need constant moisture so they dont dry out. Wet the palm fronds before you lay them in the nesting box. The birds will take care of the rest of the nest maintenance.

How to Determine Proper Bird Cage Size

A bird cage needs to be large enough to give the bird plenty of space and small enough to fit in the space you've dedicated to your pet. Determining the proper bird cage size is different from determining kennel size for a dog or a cat because those pets don't need as much room to run around in their kennels.

Instructions

    1

    Determine how much space your bird needs to stretch its wings and flap them without hitting the bars. The more space you give your bird, the better. Your bird will be living in its cage most of its life. It's not like a different kind of pet that you often let out of its kennel on a daily basis.

    2

    Base your proper bird cage size on the breed of your bird. While bird cage size should largely be based on how big your bird is, there are exceptions. Finches are rather small birds, but they need a large cage because they exercise often in their cages. Some smaller birds need a rather tall cage because they have large tails.

    3

    Get a bigger cage than you think you need, if you can swing it. Bigger is always better when it comes to getting the proper bird cage size for your bird. If you get a cage that is bigger than one you really needs, that allows your bird to have more room for exercise and to learn acrobatic tricks.

    4

    Look at how much room you have in your house. Wherever you're planning on putting your bird cage, measure how much space you have for your new addition. Many people dedicate large rooms of their homes to their bird cages.

Jumat, 07 Januari 2011

How to Make Natural Perches

Natural wood perches are a popular choice for pet birds. Their variable diameter lowers the risk of foot sores and arthritis, and the rough surface is easy for birds to grip. Most birds also enjoy chewing and stripping the bark from branches, which helps prevent an overgrown beak. Although natural wood perches are widely available at pet stores, the selection is usually limited and they can be quite expensive. If you want to save money or customize perches to fit your bird's cage, consider making your own.

Instructions

Prepare the Branches

    1

    Make sure that the tree you are cutting branches from is non-toxic. Most bird care books and several websites have lists of safe types of wood. You should also avoid using wood from trees that have been sprayed with pesticides.

    2

    Use the loppers to cut appropriate-sized branches from the tree. Try to get branches that are a little longer than you need, since you will probably need to trim them before you install the mounting hardware.

    3

    Using your bird's cage as a guide, determine how long you want the perch to be. Trim the branch to the correct size using the loppers.

    4

    Cut the large end of the branch as flat as possible. If your loppers are dull or the branch is quite large, you may need to flatten the cut surface using sandpaper.

    5

    While wearing gloves, mix a solution of bleach and water in the mop bucket. Use 1/2 cup bleach to each gallon of water. Submerge the branches in this mixture and allow them soak for ten minutes, to kill most pathogens.

    6

    Remove the branches from the bleach solution and allow to air dry, preferably in the sun.

    7

    Bake the branches at 250 degrees F, directly on the oven rack, for 30 minutes. This will kill insect larvae and help prevent mold.

Install the Mounting Hardware

    8

    Using a 3/16-inch diameter bit, drill about one inch into the cut surface on the larger end of the perch.

    9

    Thread two nuts onto the machine threaded end of the hanger bolt. Using the wrench, tighten the nuts against each other.

    10

    Insert the screw-threaded end of the hanger nut into the wood, and using the wrench, tighten it until the screw threads are completely within the wood. The two nuts on the machine-threaded end of the hanger bolt serve as a temporary "head" for the bolt. The entire machine-threaded portion of the hanger bolt should protrude from the branch.

    11

    Using the wrench, loosen and remove the two nuts from the hanger bolt. You should now have a branch with a machine-threaded bolt extending approximately 1 1/2 inches from the larger, cut end.

Mount the Perch to the Cage

    12

    Place one fender washer on the bolt, and put the branch inside your bird's cage. The cut end of the branch and the washer should be flush against the inside of the cage, and the bolt should extend out of the cage.

    13

    Place another washer onto the bolt, from the outside of the cage. The cage bars should now be between the two washers.

    14

    Put a wing nut onto the bolt and tighten against the outer washer to mount the perch to the cage.

Kamis, 06 Januari 2011

Instructions on How to Make a Hummingbird House

Instructions on How to Make a Hummingbird House

Hummingbirds are not attracted to conventional bird houses. Instead, they prefer an open home, which is why they build nests in the forks of tree branches. You can create a hummingbird house but the house should be designed specifically to suit hummingbirds if that is the species that you hope to attract.

Instructions

Nest Base

    1

    Inflate a water balloon with air and tie it securely.

    2

    Tear newspaper into 1-inch strips.

    3

    Dip newspaper strips into papier-mache paste and apply them to nearly all of the balloon, leaving a small space for the birds to enter into the house.

    4

    Continue to apply newspaper strips to the balloon until you have a sturdy form. Allow to dry completely.

    5

    Pop the balloon with a pin and allow it to deflate completely. Peel the balloon away from the papier-mache nest form.

Birdhouse

    6

    Punch four holes in the bottom portion of the nest and feed dowels through the holes to create a sturdy bottom frame.

    7

    Glue nesting material, silk leaves and other accents to the nest's base to create a more natural-looking nest for the hummingbirds.

    8

    Add some nesting material to the interior of the hummingbird house. You do not have to overdo the nesting material, as the hummingbirds will add their own.

    9

    Fit the birdhouse into the forks between the branches of a tree. Make sure that it is properly secured in the tree and will not fall out.

Minggu, 02 Januari 2011

How to Make PVC Bird Toys

How to Make PVC Bird Toys

Parrots are highly intelligent creatures who require toys in their cages to help keep them stimulated. Much like children, they require toys that have different shapes, colors, and textures for them to explore and play with. Oftentimes bird owners find that it is less expensive to make bird toys themselves, rather then purchasing manufactured toys. Making toys yourself also allows you to cater to your bird's preferences. Making toys out of PVC will give you toys that can withstand chewing and rough play. Foraging toys are easily created out of PVC pipe.

Instructions

How to Make a PVC Bird Toy

    1

    Cut a small length of PVC pipe using the PVC pipe cutters. For medium birds, a 3-inch length is ideal. For larger parrots, 5 inches is ideal.

    2

    Create several holes on all sides of the pipe using your electric drill. Drill the hole sizes according to your bird and his beak size -- for large birds, a 1/2-inch drill bit is ideal, while medium parrots require 1/4-inch holes. Drill several holes to create a "swiss cheese" effect with the pipe.

    3

    Place an end cap on one end of the drilled pipe and make sure the end cap is secure.

    4

    Fill the pipe with your bird's favorite seed/nut mix, and then secure the remaining end cap onto the pipe.

    5

    Place the toy in your bird's cage. The bird will work hard to remove the seed from the pipe. The bird may roll the toy around in the cage, or use its foot to hold the toy while playing with it. When the seed has been emptied from the toy, fill again.

Sabtu, 01 Januari 2011

How to Fix a Box for Chickens to Lay Eggs In

How to Fix a Box for Chickens to Lay Eggs In

When you raise chickens for eggs, you must provide a safe and quiet spot for the chickens to lay eggs. Called a nesting box, this is the cozy spot chickens use for egg-laying. Fix a box for chickens to lay eggs in; use a basic design that will suit the chickens' needs and enable you to monitor the chickens egg output.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the spot you wish to install the nesting box -- about 2 feet to 4 feet off the floor is ideal. Hold one of the U-hooks in place on the wall so the hooks protrude out and position the milk crate over the hook against the wall so the bottom of the milk crate sits flush against the wall at the height you desire. The U-hook should extend through the holes of the milk crate. Make a mark with the pencil for the placement of the U-hooks. Repeat the same process with the second U-hook, spacing it about 8 inches away from the first U-hook.

    2

    Install the U-hooks at the marks you made by screwing the screws into the wall of the chicken coop or shelter.

    3

    Hang the milk crate onto the U-hooks on the wall.

    4

    Cut a piece of cardboard that will fit into the floor of the nesting box. This cardboard will provide a secure surface for the chickens. Fit the cardboard into the milk crate.

    5

    Cover the cardboard with about 2 inches to 3 inches of pine shavings or hay to provide a comfortable bedding surface for the chickens.

    6

    Change the pine shavings or hay whenever it becomes soiled and wet.