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.