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.

How to Set Up a Budgie Cage

How to Set Up a Budgie Cage

Budgies are small, sociable birds that make excellent pets even for first-time bird keepers. To ensure that your budgie does well in its new home, set up its cage properly. Budgies, like any other bird, have certain needs for their environment, and meeting those needs ensures a healthier, more secure bird. Set up the cage before you buy the budgie, so you can introduce the bird to its new home immediately.

Instructions

    1

    Set up your budgie's cage. When housing one budgie, the cage should be at least 1 1/2-feet tall, 1 1/2-feet wide and 1 1/2-feet deep, although bigger is always better for a budgie. The bars should also be no more than 1/2-inch apart to prevent the bird's head from getting stuck.

    2

    Install a food container and water container. Most cages for birds come with containers for this purpose, but if yours lacks them, purchase containers that clip to the cage bars.

    3

    Install wooden perches. Perches give the budgies a place to sit and to fly from. Perches may be installed hanging from the top of the cage, seated on the bottom or hanging from the cage bars. Set up at least two or three perches and place them at different heights through the cage.

    4

    Line the bottom of the cage with newspaper. It's readily available and makes an excellent lining. Some cages have removable trays which allow you to clean the bottom of the cage without even opening it.

    5

    Strew toys in the cage for the budgie to play with. Some popular budgie toys include blocks and balls. You can make your own from objects you have lying around or you can purchase them from the pet store.

Kamis, 17 November 2011

How to Build Pheasants Pens

Raising pheasants from eggs or hatchlings requires care and attention to detail. Once the young birds are too big for a brooder, they need a lot of outdoor room to forage and fly in a place safe from predators. Build one or two well-designed pens and watch your flock of colorful game birds thrive through the seasons.

Instructions

    1

    Size the pheasant pen for chicks that are 4 to 5 weeks of age. They require 25 square feet of pen space per bird for proper flying. Building a bigger pheasant pen is better than building one too small.

    2

    Construct the pheasant pen to keep the pheasants inside and predators outside.

    3

    Keep building costs to a minimum by price shopping for new materials or reusing chicken wire, fencing and lumber.

    4

    Use pressure treated lumber or locust for the main posts. Choose materials that are resistant to bad weather and outdoor durable.

    5

    Locate the pheasant pen in an area with adequate shelter and shade access. The more natural cover available, the safer young pheasants will feel, which results in less cannibalism.

    6

    Design the pen with gates or doors of sufficient width and height to allow for easy feeding, watering and catching of young chicks.

    7

    Build the pheasant pen frame by placing 10 foot long treated posts 3 feet into the ground, about 12 feet apart. Place the posts equally distant from each other, making sure there are posts at all corners, both sides of the door frames and in the center of each side.

    8

    Dig a trench around the base of the pen between each of the set posts, about 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide.

    9

    Lay the first layer of galvanized wire into the trench, flaring out 2 or 3 inches at the bottom. Fill in the trench with dirt. This prevents predators from burrowing under the fence to get inside the pen.

    10

    Extend the galvanized fencing around the fence up to the top of the posts.

    11

    Around the perimeter of the top of the posts, lay 9 wire fencing over the tops like an edging. Lay several pieces across the pen width for top netting support.

    12

    Place one or two brace posts on the inside of the pen like tent poles. Use 10- to 12-foot lumber or shorter lengths in areas with lots of snow and ice load.

    13

    Lay game bird netting across the top of the pen to prevent birds from escaping. Connect the netting to the corner posts first for a snug fit and then lay the remainder. Attach the netting to the 9 wire on the inside with hog rings to prevent ripping in high winds.

About Turkey Pens

About Turkey Pens

The wild turkey is native to North America and it's meat is a traditional main course for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey pens are similar to chicken coops, because they provide protection and shelter for birds.

History

    European immigrants were the first to discover wild turkeys in America. During the colonization of North America, wild turkeys were displaced so the species' numbers dwindled. However, in the 1960s, projects were begun to restore the species' population. A trapping method used by the Native Americans was used to capture the birds and raise them in captivity. Because the birds developed diseases while being in captivity, it was more effective to increase their numbers by trapping them and transplanting them to a more natural habitat. By 1991, turkey hunting season was restored.

Function

    When a proper turkey pen is constructed, it provides the bird with food, water and shelter. Wire fencing as well as the pen can provide protection from predators and a clean, humane setting can also prevent them from become ill. Turkey pens also provide an environment where the bird can reproduce.

Features

    Since turkeys can catch disease and illness from other birds, like chickens, it's best if turkeys are housed in a separate pen. Separation reduces the risk of becoming infected with a deadly virus. Woven wire fencing and a simple wooden construction similar to a chicken coop is commonly used to create a turkey pen. Six square feet per bird should be planned out into the creation of the pen. Since turkeys should be bred indoors, it's important to provide them with heat and a comfortable flooring, such as wood shavings.

Considerations

    Turkeys have the ability to fly, so it's essential to keep a roof on top of the pen if you don't want them to fly out. It takes time and money in order to properly care for these creatures, so you should research the costs of food, water, shelter and other accommodations such as heat before going into breeding. However, if you have a farm, they can make your job easier by eating nettles, chicory, dock and other pest weeds.

Warning

    Adult turkeys are aggressive, so it's best to keep baby turkeys (poults) away from the males until they are able to handle themselves. In general, their immune systems don't develop as fast as others, so it's crucial to provide them with a balanced diet of grass and other plants as well as separate them from other bird species.

Rabu, 16 November 2011

Tips on How to Make Bird Toys

Toys are important diversions for birds as birds are highly curious and playful creatures. Birds need to have a variety of different toys as they often grow bored with one toy and seek out new ones for stimulation. Store-bought bird toys can be expensive, but with a little time and ingenuity, it is easy to provide your bird with homemade toys. Below are some tips on making safe and enjoyable toys for your pet bird.

Construction

    String different objects--building blocks, large wooden beads--together and hang them from the bird's cage, either across it or hanging in a loop. You bird will like climbing or walking on it, as well as playing with the different objects.

Materials

    Birds love discovering and manipulating new materials. Challenge your bird by using a different materials for toys, such as leather, rope, metal, wood, cardboard and plastic in your bird toys. Use items of different textures--birds like things they can shred, puncture,and manipulate. Make sure all of the items are short enough so your bird won't get entangled.

Shiny Objects

    Shiny and metallic objects attract a bird's attention, so attach shiny baubles like bells and aluminum keys to your bird toys. You can even attach a mirror to your bird toy--birds like to see their reflections. Just be sure the metallic objects you use are durable and not coated with chemicals. Be especially careful about objects coated in metallic paint, because birds will often try to peel paint coatings off with their beaks. Even if a paint or other product is non-toxic to humans, it might still be dangerous to your bird.

Safety

    Safety comes first. Birds usually play with toys by holding them with one foot and manipulating them with their beaks, so do not use materials like small beads that can easily get lodged in your bird's throat. Avoid using hinges that can snap together and crush your bird's beak or feet.

    Think of your bird as a small child when it comes to safety. If you would not trust the item or material with a child, don't trust it with your bird. Also consider the size of your bird. The type of items you use to build a toy for a large macaw or cockatoo will be different than those for a parakeet or lovebird. In general, bigger birds should have toys containing bigger objects and smaller birds should have toys with smaller objects. This will minimize the risk of a big bird swallowing a small item or a small bird getting trapped in the parts of a big toy.

Selasa, 15 November 2011

Why Does a Canary Need a Cuttle Bone in Its Cage?

Why Does a Canary Need a Cuttle Bone in Its Cage?

Canaries have been kept as pets from as early as the 1500s when they were bred exclusively for the rich. Canaries have been bred specifically for their colorful plumage and beautiful songs. Male canaries are often kept singly as this encourages them to sing more. Over the years, pet canary diets have been improved by the introduction of cuttle bone.

Wild Canaries

    Wild canaries originate from the islands of Canary, the Azores and Mediera where they live in patches of scrubby land that has trees and grass. Wild canaries feed on a wide variety of foods including seeds and insects and they feed on grit from the ground. Consuming grit ensures the bird gets enough calcium, which is not present in sufficient quantity in seeds. Calcium is vital for healthy bones and feathers.

Pet Canaries

    Pet canaries need to be fed much the same diet as their wild cousins, but they are dependent upon their owners to make sure they have all the nutrients they need. Canary seed mix is the usual food to feed a canary as it contains many of the most valuable nutrients including fat, protein, starch and carbohydrates. However, canary seed does not contain enough calcium to ensure bones and feathers are well maintained and so a supplement is required. The easiest way to do this is with a cuttle bone.

Cuttle Bone

    Cuttle fish are squid like animals.
    Cuttle fish are squid like animals.

    Cuttlefish is a squidlike animal that lives in both cold and warm seas around the world. There are many different species of cuttle fish and all have a singular hard platelike skeleton called the cuttle bone. When the cuttle fish dies, the skeleton is left behind and often washes up on beaches especially after a storm. The cuttle bone is comprised almost entirely of calcium carbonate and, therefore, perfect as a calcium supplement for caged birds like canaries.

Quantity

    All birds, no matter what their age or species, need calcium for growth and development, and cuttle bone should always be available to them. Calcium deficiency can result in feather pecking and bone deformity. The amount of calcium a canary needs varies during its life. As canaries are small birds, you need only supply them with a little cuttle bone, but one should always be available.

Alternatives

    Not all canaries are fond of cuttle bone and many will happily destroy it without actually seeing it as food. Other methods of getting enough calcium into your birds are available but may not be as cheap and easily available as cuttle bone. Liquid calcium supplements can be added to water drinkers and ground limestone is often found in bird grit. It is very much a case of using what your canary is comfortable with and what it will eat in order to get enough calcium.

Kamis, 10 November 2011

How to Make a Perch for a Parrot

How to Make a Perch for a Parrot

Parrots and other birds need perches for comfortable sitting, exercise and good health. According to Pet Parrots 101, natural wood perches are ideal for a parrot because it promotes good health and is not slippery like plastic materials. (See Reference 2) Making a perch not only ensures that the wood is natural but also makes a fun project and allows the owner to replace or obtain a perch at minimal cost.

Instructions

    1

    Select a wood stick. Stick sizes will vary depending on the size of the parrot and its feet. Pay attention to the size of the bird's foot and pick a wood stick that is about the size of the foot. For example, if the bird is too large to perch comfortably on a hand or finger, get a stick that is larger than the finger by the size of overlap. Pet Parrots 101 suggests varying perch sizes and shapes for optimal foot health, so slightly larger or smaller perches will not usually cause problems. (See Reference 2)

    2

    Select hanger bolts, washers and wing nuts. Measure the bird cage bars and pick washers that are at least as large as the bars. Hanger bolts should fit the wood stick with excess room around the middle, and the wing nuts should fit the hanger bolts.

    3

    Drill a hole in one side of the perch. Use an appropriate sized drill for the hanger bolt size and the wood stick size.

    4

    Put the hanger bolt into the hole. The side that looks like a screw goes into the wood, while the other side of the bolt, which is designed for tying thread to keep the perch in the cage, looks slightly different. Use a socket wrench to place the screw easily into the wood. Stop screwing in the hanger bolt when the screw side is no longer showing.

    5

    Slide the washer onto the hanger bolt. Only one is necessary, but M.D. Vaden suggests using one on the inside of the cage and one on the outside. If using only one, it should placed on the outside of the cage. Vaden states that only stainless steel washers should be used, to prevent problems with toxicity. (See Reference 1)

    6

    Put the wing nuts in place. Turn them to the right on the hanger bolt until it meets the washer. Tighten until it will not move. This will keep the washer in place and completes the parrot perch.

Kamis, 03 November 2011

Homemade Bird Toys

Homemade Bird Toys

Keep your pet bird entertained by making simple homemade bird toys. Remember that your bird will chew on any toy you make, so use only materials that are safe for your bird to ingest. Wood, for example should be free of chemical treatments. To add color to your homemade toys, use vegetable dyes or unsweetened drink mix because other dyes could be harmful to your bird if ingested. Replace your homemade toys as they show signs of wear.

Rope and Block

    A small block of untreated wood threaded through with a piece of cotton rope knotted at each end will make an easy and entertaining toy for your pet bird. Your bird will be entertained and challenged as he tries to remove the rope from the block of wood. He may walk from side to side around the block, trying to figure out how to remove the rope, or even carry the block around, providing him with additional physical activity. Instead of using a wooden block, you could also use large wooden beads. Just make sure any wood is untreated and safe for your bird.

Bottle Toy

    Birds are very intelligent and enjoy trying to solve puzzles. Give your pet bird a small, clear plastic bottle into which you have placed several brightly colored bird-safe objects. He will be intrigued by the objects that he can see but not reach, and will enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out a way to release the objects. Your bird will probably eventually bite his way into the bottle, so make sure the objects inside do not represent a choking hazard. A food treat inside the bottle will provide positive reinforcement for your bird's problem solving abilities once the bottle has been breached.

Cardboard Swing

    Suspend the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper in your bird's cage using a clean shoestring. This toy will challenge your bird physically and intellectually as she tries to balance on the swing and extricate the tube. For an additional challenge, thread some wooden beads on the shoestring as well.

Popsicle Stick Ladder

    Birds enjoy climbing and chewing. You can combine these favorite activities in a single toy: a Popsicle stick ladder. Thread together several Popsicle sticks using cotton string and wooden beads as spacers. You can use one thread through the middle of a group of Popsicle sticks, or thread at either end to create a more traditional looking ladder. Either way, your bird will enjoy climbing and chewing his way to the top. Attach a bird-safe bell to the ladder to provide auditory stimulation.

Rabu, 02 November 2011

Assembly Instructions for an Exel Bird Cage

Assembly Instructions for an Exel Bird Cage

Exelpet Pet Supplies make a double wrought iron bird cage to comfortably house your feathered friends. Although they do come with directions, the single sheet of basic instructions may be a little too basic for the novice bird cage engineer. The cages can be constructed in just a few minutes with the correct directions. Lay out the pieces before you expedite the process.

Instructions

    1

    Lay out the components of the bird cage on an open, flat working space. Take one side piece of the stand and attach a side brace to the top. The brace connects with two screws on the top outside of the side piece. Connect the other side piece to the brace in the same way.

    2

    Attach the grill to the bottom of the stand using the screws included with the kit. Do not screw in any of the screws all the way. This gives the frame some flexibility until the assembly is complete.

    3

    Attach the other brace to the front of the stand with two screws. Turn the stand over and press the wheels into each hollow leg. Tighten all screws and set the stand aside.

    4

    Lay out the parts for the two cages. Construct the bottom cage first. Screw the back and the two sides together using the screwdriver and included screws. Do not to tighten the screws.

    5

    Place the top grill on and screw in place. If you are not sure which grill to use, stand the two grills up together. The grill for the bottom cage is slightly bigger. Tighten all screws.

    6

    Place the bottom cage on the stand. The stand has small tabs to hold the bottom in place. These tabs must be inside the bottom cage frame.

    7

    Repeat the assembly steps of the bottom cage to assemble the top cage. Tighten the screws on the top cage and set it on top of the bottom cage.

    8

    Bolt the top cage to the bottom cage by screwing the bottom rail of the top cage to the top rail on the bottom cage.

    9

    Slide the grill and tray into the the bottom of the bottom cage. Your cage is ready for its new residents.

Selasa, 01 November 2011

How to Build a Finch Bird House for Free

How to Build a Finch Bird House for Free

Finches are partial to nesting in smaller shrubs or trees. However, they will use man-made birdhouses from time to time. The best way to encourage finches to use the birdhouses in your yard is to recreate the birds' natural nesting habitat. You could purchase a store-bought finch house, but if you want to make your own, you can do so using items found around the house, such as an empty plastic milk jug, some twine and a dowel rod.

Instructions

    1

    Cut a large circle around the handle of a clean, empty milk jug. Remove the handle and discard it. Use a utility knife or pair of scissors to cut the hole. If the edges of the cut jug are rough, use sandpaper to smooth them down.

    2

    Drill four 1/8-inch holes, evenly spaced, into the bottom of the milk jug. These are drainage holes.

    3

    Cut a 1/4-inch "X" on the side of the milk jug, using a utility knife, 3 inches from the bottom of the jug. Turn the jug 90 degrees and cut a second X, 3 1/2 inches from the bottom of the jug. Turn the jug another 90 degrees and cut a third X, 3 inches from the bottom of the jug. Turn the jug 90 degrees once more, and cut a final X, 3 1/2 inches from the bottom of the jug. All of the Xs should be centered on their respective sides.

    4

    Insert a dowel rod into one of the Xs and out through the X opposite it. Place a second dowel rod into one of the open Xs and out through the X opposite it. When completed, the dowel rods should cross in the middle, making an X. Part of the dowels will stick out from the sides of the milk jug.

    5

    Attach the lid to the jug permanently, using hot glue. This will keep the lid from falling off and exposing the inside of the birdhouse.

    6

    Tie a piece of 2-foot long twine around the neck of the milk jug. Tie the other end of the twine to a branch or tree limb to secure the birdhouse in place. Tie the milk jug tight to the branch so that there is little slack. Cut away and discard any excess twine. If you are concerned about the jug moving in the wind, hammer three or four nails through the bottom of the jug into a tree branch to secure it. Space the nails evenly along the bottom of the jug where it meets the tree branch.

    7

    Fill the inside of the milk jug with dried grass and leaves. This will make the house more inviting to the birds.