Selasa, 31 Januari 2012

How to Feed and Water Budgerigar and Parakeet Hatchlings

How to Feed and Water Budgerigar and Parakeet Hatchlings

Budgerigars are small parrots, originally from Australia. The name budgerigar is of Aboriginal origin. In the wild, these birds can live in very hot or very cold climates and usually travel in flocks in search of food and water. In the United States, budgies are known as parakeets and are commonly kept as house pets.

Instructions

    1

    Equip your parakeet hatchlings cage with food and water bowls. It's important to replenish the water for your parakeet daily and keep their food and water containers clean. Depending on how many hatchlings you have, you might need to refill their water bowl several times a day.

    2

    Feed your parakeet hatchlings a mixture of hard boiled eggs, hulled oats and cooked and mashed veggies. Place the mixture in a small bowl on the cage floor for the hatchlings to eat at leisure. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also recommended. If eggs are not available, you can substitute dry dog food.

    3

    Avoid certain foods that are toxic and poisonous. Some common ones to avoid are chocolate, avocados, apple seeds, fruit pits, salt, onions, tomato leaves and rhubarb. As the hatchlings become full grown (6 to 8 weeks old), you may start feeding them parakeet seeds or pellets. Fruit and vegetables are always good options too.

How Can I Care for a Baby Blue Jay Bird?

How Can I Care for a Baby Blue Jay Bird?

A blue jay is a bright blue bird common in the central and eastern United States. Baby blue jays generally stay with their parents until they are at least two months old. Before you decide to commit to feeding a baby blue jay, determine if it's a nestling or a fledgling. A fledgling is simply a baby bird that is learning to leave the nest and will not need to be fed. However, a nestling likely fell out of his nest and will require additional help.

Instructions

    1

    Ask your local feed or pet store if they carry blue jay food. Soften the food with water and get it ready to feed to the baby. If you can't find commercial food, you can make up your own.

    2

    Blend raw, unsalted nuts, soft grains, fresh berries and a variety of produce for the baby blue jay. You can also add protein -- a little cooked ground meat or canned dog food -- to the mix. Blue jays are omnivorous birds, so this is a good blend.

    3

    Add a little water to the mixture to make it milkshake-like in consistency.

    4

    Use a pointed eye dropper or drinking straw to place the food into the back of baby bird's mouth. Baby birds naturally open their mouths when it is time to eat.

    5

    Allow the bird to swallow the food completely before offering it more.

    6

    Feed the baby bird frequently throughout the day. This could be as often as every hour or two.

    7

    Provide the baby blue jay with a warm place to live, like a shoebox with some fabric scraps in it.

    8

    Contact your local humane society, animal shelter or wildlife rehabilitation center if you are unable to feed the bird as frequently as it will require.

Parakeet Cage Care

Parakeet Cage Care

Parakeets are lovable, curious and active birds that enjoy spacious cages where they can play, exercise and stretch their wings. Wire cages with 3/4-inch spacing between the bars are the best, because they are easy to maintain and also prevent the bird from escaping or choking itself between the bars while trying to wiggle out.

Cage Materials

    Rectangular wire cages are the most spacious and the easiest to maintain. Disinfect them once a week with a damp cloth. Placing the cage close to a wall will make the bird feel safer. Avoid purchasing fancy cage shapes, such as houses, palaces, domes and round cages, as they do not provide enough space for the bird to fly around. Also, due to their odd shapes fancy cages have areas where the bird can fling its food outside the cage.

    Though wooden parakeet cages look beautiful, they are quite difficult to clean. Because wood absorbs moisture, it promotes bacteria growth, which can be harmful to your pet.

Cage Size

    A parakeet cage should provide at least 2 cubic feet of free space for each bird. This is exclusive of the space occupied by toys, food and water bowls, swings and perches.

Parakeet Cage Accessories

    Swings and perches are absolutely essential for parakeet cages. Place them at different heights, so your pet can move around freely. Place one of these accessories near the feeding dishes and secure the other to the top of the cage.

    Parakeets enjoy roosting by perching themselves in a convenient location where they can get a clear view of the outdoors. Hang a cuttlebone on the side of the cage so your parakeet can trim its beak.

    When using multiple perches in a large cage, space them far enough apart so the birds do not accidentally bump their heads on a perch or trip over their wings or tail. Add fresh tree branches that are free of synthetic chemical sprays or fertilizers.

Parakeet Cage Care

    Buy a parakeet cage with a pull-out tray. A pull-out tray makes it easier to dispose of the waste droppings, leaves and seeds that fall on the cage floor. Layer the tray with absorbent materials, such as paper sacks or newspaper.

    Clean the droppings from the cage twice a day and make sure the bird has fresh water and food. Wash the food and water bowls everyday with a mild dish soap. Let the feeding bowl dry completely before putting food into it. Wash the toys once a week with a bird-friendly cleaner. Move the toys around occasionally to keep your parakeet from getting bored.

    Once a month, wash the cage with a non-toxic, bird-friendly cleaner. Soak the cage first in a tub of water to loosen stuck bird droppings. Then use the cleaner to wash the cage. Do not use an abrasive sponge to clean the cage; it will mar the finish. Rinse the cage thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before putting your bird back into it.

    If you use wooden perches, check for rough edges that might hurt your bird. Sand them if necessary. Wooden perches facilitate molds and bacteria when wet. Place the perches in such a way that the droppings do not fall into the drinking water or food.

Senin, 30 Januari 2012

What to Feed Baby Canaries

What to Feed Baby Canaries

Canaries are very convenient pets for people with limited time and space. They are naturally solitary and do not require a mate or companion. There is not much upkeep and the costs of caring for one are low. They can also live for over ten years if kept healthy. Baby canaries do require special attention as any baby creature does. One of the biggest questions concerning the raising of a baby canary is what to feed it. There are several options.

Feeding Baby Canaries

    If you have a parent canary that will be taking care of the babies, you want to leave nestling food on the twelfth day of incubation before the babies are hatched. Nestling food is composed of soft seed that is either boiled, sprouted or soaked in water. The soft seed needs to be mixed with smashed hard-boiled eggs and greens because you want the nestling food to be rich in protein and nutrients. You can add items like grated carrot, cream of wheat and rolled oats if you like. The parent canary will eat some of this herself but will feed it to her offspring. As the babies start to mature, they will start eating it by themselves. Supply the nestling food twice a day; once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. Take out any uneaten portions when providing new servings. If you notice all the food is gone when you feed them again, leave a larger amount to make sure they are getting as much as they need, especially once the babies are born because they will be feeding constantly.

    If there is not a parent canary, you will need to use tweezers to feed them the nestling food or an eye dropper if you are using a liquid. Pet stores also offer specialized formulas for baby birds that provide another option. Baby canaries should not be offered hard seed until about six weeks of age because their beaks will not be hard enough to crack the seed.

How to Care for a Canary

Canaries are known for their beautiful song that males use to attract mates or establish territory. They require less handling than most other hook bills, but can be taught to perch on their owner's finger. They generally grow to 5 inches tall and live for up to 15 years. Read on to learn how to care for a canary.

Instructions

    1

    Use a bird cage that is at least 14 by 16 inches and 17 inches tall. The bars spacing should be a half-inch apart. Buying a bigger cage usually leads to a happier bird.

    2

    Cover the bottom tray of the cage with corn cob which is an easily cleaned substrate.

    3

    Locate the cage in an area of your home away from drafts and direct sunlight.

    4

    Place three dishes for food and water inside your canary's cage. The first dish is for commercial pellet or fortified canary seed. Fill the second with clean non-chlorinated water. The third dish holds fresh fruits and vegetables which are needed daily.

    5

    Affix several perches inside of the cage so that droppings do not fall into the food or water dishes.

    6

    Put several bird toys inside the cage of your canary to entertain your bird. Canaries are especially known for loving swings.

    7

    Provide a larger dish with lean lukewarm water for bathing. If your canary will not bathe in the dish, use a spray bottle to mist the feathers.

    8

    Take your canary to a veterinarian to have nails trimmed and for annual checkups.

Minggu, 29 Januari 2012

How to Introduce a Quaker Parrot to a Sleeping Hut

In the wild, the quaker parrot is the only parrot species that builds a nest. In captivity, we generally keep quaker parrots in a cage. They will sleep on a perch if no other option is available, but many enjoy the nest-like security of a sleeping hut if it's available. If your quaker parrot isn't used to sleeping in a hut, it will take a little patience but most quakers will eventually fall in love with their hut.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a sleep hut that is the right size for your quaker parrot. Most sleeping huts look like cloth tents that are hung from the top of the cage by two fasteners. They come in variable sizes. Choose a sleeping hut that your quaker parrot fits into comfortably when standing. The bird shouldn't have to squeeze in, but the hut should be small enough to provide a "snug" environment.

    2

    Hang the sleep hut outside of the cage for a few days. This will allow your quaker parrot to get used to it before you actually put the hut into its living space. The bird might be shy of the hut at first, so let it hang outside the cage until your quaker accepts it without a second glance.

    3

    Once your quaker parrot is used to seeing the sleeping hut, hang it inside the cage. Position it with a perch in front so your quaker can easily climb inside. You may want to line the floor of the hut with paper towels for easy cleaning.

    4

    Leave the sleeping hut in the cage, even if your bird ignores it or seems fearful of it. Quaker parrots can take a while to adapt to change. Some will ignore a sleeping hut for weeks, then suddenly fall in love with it and sleep in it every night.

Sabtu, 28 Januari 2012

How to Look After Baby Budgies

How to Look After Baby Budgies

Budgies (parakeets) are colorful and attractive birds and can make good pets as long as they receive proper care and attention. They live in flocks of up to 60 birds in the wild and are social by nature. They require a lot of social interaction and do not like to be left alone. Therefore, it may be better to get two baby budgies at the same time. In some ways, it is easier to care for two than one. It is relatively easy to look after baby budgies.

Instructions

    1

    Allow the parents to care for the chicks for the first four to six weeks, if possible. Hand-fed budgies are often the tamest birds. However, they miss out on the lessons they can only learn from their parents, such as feeding and flying. If you choose to hand-feed the baby budgies, it is best to separate them from the adults, as the hen will often reject them and may even kill them. To hand-feed chicks, purchase a commercial chick rearing mix and follow the instructions. Feed chicks with a syringe five times a day.

    Separate chicks from their parents when they are six weeks old. Keep them in a separate cage, give them away or sell them.

    2

    Begin finger-training the budgie as soon as it is separated from its parents. Finger training is getting the bird used to your finger so that it will step on your finger when you offer it. This allows the budgie to get used to interaction with humans.

    3

    Put budgie in a cage that is large enough for wooden perches, toys and room for it to roam. There should also be a place to add food and water bowls. Place the cage out of direct sunlight and in a draft-free area. Clean the cage daily, including the food and water bowls. Wash the perches, toys and floor weekly. Cover the cage at night.

    4

    Feed your budgie a ready-made staple seed mix containing oats, groats, niger seeds, linseed, canary grass and white, yellow and red millets. A higher-quality mix also contains thistle, anise, sesame and safflower seeds. In addition, feed the bird fresh fruits and vegetables. Before introducing new foods, check with a vet or do a search on the Internet. Foods that are bad for budgies include cabbage, raw potatoes, green beans, rhubarb, lemons, grapefruit, plums and avocado. In addition, place a mineral block in its cage. Change water at least once a day.

    5

    Train the budgie to talk and do tricks. Talk to him often, and repeat words or sayings you want it to say. They can also be trained other tricks such as running through obstacle courses and jumping through rings.

How to Choose a Parakeet

Natural acrobats and lively, little clowns, parakeets make a dynamic pet despite their small stature. Also called budgerigars (budgies for short), you can train them to sit on your finger, imitate sounds and even say a few words. Here's some tips in how to choose a parakeet that will make a great companion to you and your family.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a young parakeet. Older birds tend to be set in their ways, and therefore harder to train and bond with. A baby budgie's will have black stripes on their foreheads all the way down to their beak, while older birds will not. The eyes of young budgies will be entirely black, while older birds will have a white ring around their irises.

    2

    Understand that you might not be able to known the sex of a parakeet, as this can be very difficult when they are younger. Only when they get older do their ceres (the two "boobles" above their beak) change color. However, there can be a subtle difference: male baby budgies tend to have a bit of a pinkish translucent cere with a bluish or purplish tint. Female babies tend to have an opaque white covering most of the cere that has a light blue tint. Males also tend to be more vocal than females.

    3

    Ask if the parakeet has been hand-fed. This will mean that the little bird was raised with human contact and usually more easy to bond with. Find out how much time the breeder spend with the birds.

    4

    Know your two types of budgies: English budgies have fuller feathers, larger bodies and heads, and are popular at bird shows; while American budgies are smaller and tend to be the kind that are carried in pet stores. In terms of intelligence and personality, there is no difference.

    5

    Find your pet a cage with lots of space once you've chosen your budgie. You should also buy some toys to play with (a swing, bells and plastic rings are good choices). Clean the cage daily and you will have a happier bird. In addition to parakeet seed, supply them with millet, a cuttle bone (for calcium) and fresh water. You can feed them bits of produce like apple from time to time.

How to Boil Hummingbird Nectar

How to Boil Hummingbird Nectar

Hummingbird feeders are a way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. Hummingbirds' long bills help them extract nectar from flowers. Hummingbird feeders are an additional source of nectar for these birds. Homemade nectar consists of simply water and sugar, and it is very easy to prepare.

Instructions

    1

    Pour four cups of water into a small pot and place it on a stove top burner.

    2

    Bring water to a rolling boil.

    3

    Add one cup of white sugar to the boiling water.

    4

    Stir the boiling sugar water for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

    5

    Turn off the burner and remove the pot of sugar water from heat. Let it stand until cooled.

    6

    Fill your hummingbird feeder with homemade nectar and store any remaining nectar in your refrigerator.

How to Make a Bird Feeder With a Toilet Paper Roll

Birdfeeders help birds stay healthy when food is not readily available in the wild. In addition to benefiting the birds, you will be attracting birds to your yard for your enjoyment. You can use different types of birdseed that will attract the type of birds you would like to see in your yard.

Instructions

    1

    Remove any scraps of toilet paper from the toilet paper roll so that all you have is a cardboard roll.

    2

    Use a utility knife to make one hole on each side of the toilet paper roll about 1 inch from the end of the roll. The holes should line up on each side of the roll.

    3

    Place the end of a 2-foot-long piece of string through one hole. Place the other end through the hole on the other side of the roll. Bring both ends of the string up and out of the top of the roll. Tie the ends together three or four times to make a sturdy knot. Lower the knot back into the roll.

    4

    Lay the paper plate on the table in front of you. Pour 1 to 2 cups of bird seed on the plate. Spread out the birdseed so it is in a single layer. Set the plate off to the side. You can use wild birdseed or bird-specific birdseed to attract certain species of birds.

    5

    Use the butter knife to apply a coat of peanut butter to the entire toilet paper roll. The peanut butter needs to be thick so the seeds will stick.

    6

    Place the buttered toilet paper roll on the left side of the paper plate. Roll the toilet paper roll over the birdseed to the right side of the plate so that the seed is embedded in the peanut butter. Press down hard, but not hard enough to crush the roll.

    7

    Place the seeded roll between your hands and roll back and forth to ensure the seed is stuck to the peanut butter.

    8

    Hang the toilet paper birdfeeder outside from a tree branch or somewhere where squirrels and other wildlife cant reach it.

How to Travel With a Pet Bird by Air

Traveling with your pet bird can be a stressful experience if you do not take the proper measures. By planning, you will can travel by air and land with your feathered friend without any hassles. Here are some tips on traveling with your winged companion.

Instructions

    1

    Measure your bird and your cage. Make sure your bird fits in the regulation pet carrier, which must not measure more than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.

    2

    Determine your pet's comfort level in the cage. Is it calm? Squaking? Shacking? Be sure your bird is comfortable with handling. You may need to reach in the cage in case of emergency or delay. You will also be changing travel vehicles. The bird must be comfortable riding in a vehicle. You must be able to deal with situations that could come up.

    3

    Book your travel arrangements well in advance. Make sure your airline allows birds. Plan for the stops and connections well ahead of time.

    4

    Prepare your travel cage. This is different from the travel carrier in that it will be your bird's home away from home while on your trip. Use several layers of newspaper and bowls for food and water that won't tip over.

    5

    Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian. Most airlines will require this.

    6

    Introduce the travel cage and carrier to your bird about a month before your trip. Let it play in the cage and carrier for about an hour per day.

    7

    Prepare your bird's travel bag. A backpack works great for carrying treats, toys, a first aid kit, paper towels, meals, peanut butter and a blanket to cover the cage to keep the bird quiet on the plane.

Jumat, 27 Januari 2012

About Water-Sugar Solution for a Hummingbird Feeder

About Water-Sugar Solution for a Hummingbird Feeder

A sugar-water solution is one of the best ways to attract hummingbirds to your home. Hummingbirds derive 90 percent of their diet from nectars, including sugar water that we provide. The proper sugar-water concoction mimics the sucrose content in many of the flowers preferred by hummingbirds.

Recipe

    The basic recipe for sugar water is four parts water to one part white cane sugar. For instance, 1/2 cup of sugar mixed into 2 cups of water.

    Plain tap or well water is the best choice for your sugar nectar. Distilled and purified waters lack natural minerals that are beneficial to hummingbirds. However, if you have softened water, you should dilute it with distilled water before using in your sugar solution--the softened water often contains so many minerals and salts that it can be harmful to the hummingbirds.

Methods of Preparation

    Two methods are suggested for preparing the sugar solution:

    1. Warm Water Preparation: Using very warm water, stir the sugar in with a whisk until dissolved. You can also use a container with a tight fitting lid and simply shake the solution until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Let the solution cool completely before adding to your feeder.

    2. Boiling Water Preparation: Bring the measured amount of water to a boil and boil for one to two minutes. Stir in the sugar and let the solution cool completely.

    Some experts prefer the boiling method to kill mold spores and slow the growth of bacteria that cause fermentation.

Maintenance

    Your sugar solution can be made up to a week in advance, but must be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage. If the solution turns cloudy or moldy, discard immediately and start fresh.

    Hummingbirds will not drink from feeders with spoiled sugar water, so monitor it closely and discard if it becomes cloudy. In warm weather, you may need to change the solution twice a week or more. Hanging your feeder in a shady area can help prevent fermentation of the sugar water.

    You will also need to perform maintenance on your feeder to preserve the integrity of the nectar. Clean it on a regular basis, and always clean it as soon as you spot signs of mold.

Other Types of Hummingbird Food

    Hummingbirds don't exist on sugar water alone. They also drink nectar from a variety of flowers, consume pollen, and eat a variety of insects and spiders.

    To provide an extra source of protein, you can try setting out bits of banana peel and over-ripe fruit to attract flies and other insects that hummingbirds like to consume.

Dos and Don'ts

    Don't use honey in your feeder--not only does it spoil quickly, but it contains a bacteria that can cause a fatal tongue disease.

    Don't use artificial sweeteners in place of cane sugar.

    Don't use food coloring or dyes to turn the sugar water red--your feeder will have all the color necessary to attract the birds.

    Do put just enough solution to last two or three days in your feeder at one time. Overfilling the feeder with extra solution just leads to fermented sugar-water.

    Do store your sugar water in the refrigerator.

    Do flush the feeder with warm water prior to refilling.

    Do empty the feeder completely when it's time to change the solution, and only refill with fresh sugar water.

    Do properly maintain your feeder. Perform a thorough feeder cleaning once a week, using one part vinegar to four parts water.

How to Feed Chickens Organically

If you raise your own chickens for eggs and poultry meat and to get rid of bugs around crops, it is understandable if you prefer to feed them organically. This involves not giving them any sort of hormones, preservatives or antibiotics. Creating your own organic chicken feed is simple but may become expensive after awhile, depending on how many chickens you are raising.

Instructions

    1

    Mix equal parts ground corn and roasted soy in a large container (the amount depends on how much you wish to make for your chickens). Make sure that all the ingredients you are using are organic, whether you are growing them on your own or purchasing them.

    2

    Add 1 cup of ground wheat to every 4 cups of corn and soy.

    3

    Add 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seeds to every 5 cups of combined corn, soy and wheat.

    4

    Add 1/4 cup salt and 1/3 cup dried peas to every 5 cups of the mixture.

    5

    Mix the organic chicken feed together thoroughly.

    6

    Add just enough water to make it slightly mushy if desired. Some people choose to feed their chickens with wet food over dry food. If you prefer dry food, keep the organic feed how it is and feed the chickens accordingly.

Kamis, 26 Januari 2012

How to Raise a Parakeet

How to Raise a Parakeet

Parakeets deserve their ranking as the top selling pet bird -- they are beautiful, cheerful and great companions. Known for being easily tamed, this member of the parrot family is easy to raise. Some parakeets, usually males, even learn to talk. Parakeets come in a variety of colors. Prices for parakeets range from $20 up to $100. Try to get a hand-raised parakeet for easier training if possible, but raising any type of parakeet is rewarding.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase the equipment that you will need to raise your parakeet prior to bringing your bird home. You will need to wash everything you purchase with a mild soap and warm water. Assemble the cage. You can line the cage with newspaper or paper towels -- do not use magazines as the ink can poison the parakeet.

    2

    Give your parakeet time to get comfortable once you bring your bird home. Ease your parakeet's transition by placing the cage in a quiet spot in your home, but make sure the bird can see everything that goes on. Raising your parakeet means helping your bird adjust to your environment and schedule.

    3

    Feed your parakeet an appropriate diet. Feeding a healthy diet ensures that your parakeet will live a long life. Proper diet for a parakeet should include pellets, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Unseasoned meat can also be offered in small amounts.

    4

    Provide your parakeet with toys and other stimulation. Look for toys with knots -- parakeets love to work on them. Parakeets also enjoy swings. Give the bird lots of attention and stimulation, especially if you are raising only one parakeet. Talk to your bird often, especially if you would like it to learn to talk. Even if you are in another room, call out to the bird every so often so that it knows that you are around.

    5

    Exercise your parakeet daily. Your parakeet will need time out of its cage daily, even if you have its wings clipped. Provide a perch outside the cage as a "home base" for your parakeet when it is out of its cage. Try to have your parakeet spend at least two hours a day outside of the cage.

How to Build a Breeding Cage for Parakeets

How to Build a Breeding Cage for Parakeets

For more than 150 years, technique has been refined, notes and documentation have been made and scholars and novices alike have learned the best way to breed parakeets, also known as budgies. One of the most important parts of the breeding process is setting up the breeding cage. A good breeding cage will not only help the budgies to breed, but also in raising the chicks.

Instructions

    1

    Select a proper bird cage as a base. You should use one that is at least 24 inches high by 16 inches wide and deep. You should use one with a solid bottom, not a grate. If you have to use one with a grate, cover the grate in a few layers of black-and-white newspaper.

    2

    Choose a nesting box that will attach to the outside of the cage. The best ones open from the side rather than from the top, which makes cleaning much easier.

    3

    Lay pine shavings inside the nest box. Do not allow the chicks to lay directly on the bottom, as they will develop splayed feet.

    4

    Provide two water tubes for the pair as well as a large jar feeder for seed and other food. Both birds will take a lot of food and water during breeding and when caring for chicks.

    5

    Add ample amounts of mineral blocks and cuttlebones. It is absolutely essential that the hen has access to as much calcium as she needs. If she doesn't, her eggs could bind before being laid, which could be fatal.

    6

    Make sure all the perches in the cage (you should have at least two, made from natural wood) are very sturdy. Infertility in some birds has been traced to wobbly or rickety perches.

    7

    Give the birds access to full spectrum lights, which will keep them from developing vision problems. This is especially important to making to birds feel calm during breeding season.

    8

    Create a cage cover or use towels to cover the cage at night. During this time, it is very important to make sure that the birds get 12 hours of light and 12 of dark.

Bird Foods for Small Parrots

Feeding your parrot a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and vitamin-fortified bird pellets is vital to its health. Diet is not only a factor in a bird's well being, but also in their behavior. The nutritional deficiency believed to cause birds to pluck and mutilate their feathers is unknown; however, pet birds that are fed a diet low in fruits and vegetables are more likely to bite, scream, mutilate and pluck than birds fed appropriately. Feed your smaller parrot a diet that is a modified version of a larger parrot's diet, suggests Doctors Foster & Smith, a pet education website.

Formulated Pellet

    A formulated pellet is a combination of seeds, vegetables, fruits, vitamins and different proteins ground into a dough and baked. According to Doctors Foster & Smith, formulated pellet is better for birds than a seed mixture, because the pellet has all the essential nutrients. This diet also helps in behavior and plucking issues, because the food provides needed nutrients that the bird was lacking.

Fruits and Vegetables

    Parrots can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and with so many your vet can suggest a complete food list for your parrot. Typically, parrots enjoy radish, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant and corn. Fruits include watermelon, strawberry, apple without the seeds, pitted fruits without the pits, star fruit and kiwi. Parrots can also eat certain herbs such as cilantro, aloe vera, St. Johns Wort, cinnamon and chamomile, which are great for their health. Feed dry or fresh herbs with other fruits and vegetables. All fresh items should be organic and chemical free.

Grains, Nuts and Meats

    Feed your small parrot a variety of meats such as fish, scrambled egg, chicken, and grains such as bulgar wheat, brown rice and millet. You can feed them nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and filberts. Serve only cooked meat for your parrot, and purchase nuts that are already shelled. Small parrots have strong beaks, but their beaks are not strong enough to shell tough nuts like walnuts and almonds. Meat, grains and nuts can also be given mixed with cooked or raw vegetables.

Foods to Avoid

    Parrots can't tolerate salt or high-fat foods and small parrots are at greater disadvantage because their smaller bodies absorb these foods more rapidly. Never feed your small parrot junk food such as chips or fried foods. There are also fresh foods that are dangerous or even poisonous to your bird, such as avocado, fruit pits, onions and mushrooms. Additionally, never give your bird any food that contains caffeine or alcohol, because these items are deadly to parrots.

How to Feed Baby Birds Cat Food

How to Feed Baby Birds Cat Food

If you find a lost or abandoned baby bird, you may find yourself suddenly playing Mama Bird. After warming the little one in your hands, your most urgent duty is to feed the baby. Feeding a baby bird may feel overwhelming because you don't have a mother bird's ability to swoop through the air and locate high-protein food for her babies. Relax. A baby bird can thrive on the same thing you feed your feline friends---cat food.

Instructions

    1

    Determine if the bird is a nestling or a fledgling. A nestling has either fuzz, no feathers, or a few early feathers. It is mostly naked and not very mobile. Nestlings need more frequent feedings. A fledgling is feathered, mobile and possibly already trying to learn to fly. It will be able to self-feed shortly and may initially resist being fed by something other than its own parents. Whether the bird is a nestling or fledgling determines how long and how often to feed it cat food.

    2

    Analyze whether the baby bird gapes or not. Baby birds that gape, or open their mouths wide to be fed, have yellow or yellowish-white coloring on the sides of their beaks and have yellow inside their beaks, while those who suck regurgitated food from their parents' beaks do not have yellow marks on the side. How the bird responds determines the method you will use to feed cat food to the bird.

    3

    Soak a bit of cat kibble in hot water, preferably with a drop of corn syrup mixed in the first two days. After an hour the kibble is soft and cool enough for the baby bird to eat.

    4

    Hold a small amount of the soft moist cat food at the end of a pair of tweezers or on a stick and offer it to a gaping bird such as a swallow. If the baby bird does not open its mouth, tap very gently on the side of the beak until it opens its mouth. On rare occasion you will need to open the beak manually by prying the sides apart gently. Drop the cat food in the back of the baby bird's open mouth. Give the bird a few small pieces of moist cat food at each meal. Repeat this every 30 minutes during the day for nestlings, or every 15 minutes if the baby is very weak and in need of the protein cat food offers. As the baby grows into a fledgling it may indicate with begging and chirping that it is hungry.

    5

    Place a few pieces of the softened cat food inside a pen cap or a similar container to feed a non-gaping bird such as a dove. Gently grasp the beak and move your fingers up and down to encourage the bird to open its mouth. Place the container gently at the end of the baby bird's beak. Wiggle the cap a bit. The bird should reach in and suck the cat food. If it does not suck up the cat food mixture, simply place a bit inside the end of its beak. Repeat every 30 minutes during the day.

    6

    Deposit softened cat food in a shallow dish on the floor of the bird's container if the bird is a fledgling. To show the fledgling where the cat food is, feed it directly from the dish. It should begin to eat it on its own, although you will still need to hand feed it until it indicates its preference for self-feeding by eating from the dish while refusing your offers of food.

    7

    Prepare freshly soaked cat food each morning because the previous day's food will sour. If desired, use canned cat food in the same manner as the soaked kibble. Mixing other foods into the cat food will accustom the bird to different flavors. Baby food and apple sauce are the simplest options, although fresh vegetables and hard-boiled eggs are excellent choices as well.

My Canary Won't Sing After Molting

My Canary Won't Sing After Molting

Canaries, male birds especially, are renowned for their beautiful song. However, canaries change plumage, or molt, once a year and during this time neither male nor female birds sing.

Molting

    Molting in canaries usually takes place during the summer and lasts for between six and eight weeks. If molting lasts longer than eight weeks, it may be that your canary has some kind of feather or skin disorder and you should consult a veterinary surgeon.

Appetite

    During molting a canary may eat more or less than normal, depending on its comfort level. Molting can be stressful and uncomfortable for a bird, but, equally, the production of new feathers requires an increase in metabolism.

Diet

    Molting canaries benefit from a protein-rich and fat-rich diet, which can include well cooked beans, rice, eggs, meat and seafood. At the end of molting, birds can be given flax, hemp or niger seeds to encourage them to start singing again.

How to Make Fat Balls Bird Food

How to Make Fat Balls Bird Food

Fat balls are a simple way to feed birds in the yard or garden. They provide calorie-rich food for birds in cold weather, and can attract beautiful wild birds to your home. Making fat balls is a relatively straightforward process that almost anyone can accomplish. This craft project works well for people of all ages and skill levels. All that's required is the ability to mix and mold.

Instructions

    1

    Cut or break a craft stick to fit in the bottom of a yogurt cup.

    2

    Tie a length of string around the middle of the stick. Knot it firmly.

    3

    Place the stick in the bottom of the yogurt cup. Allow the string to hang outside the cup.

    4

    Place 4 to 6 ounces of room temperature animal fat into a mixing bowl. Stir in bird seed, dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and grain until the mixture develops the texture of stiff batter or soft dough.

    5

    Press the fat and seed mixture into the yogurt cup, making sure the string still hangs outside the cup. Place the cup in a cool place and allow the mixture to set up.

    6

    Remove the fat ball from the yogurt cup and hang it outside from a tree or post.

Rabu, 25 Januari 2012

How to Stop a Pet Bird From Laying Eggs

How to Stop a Pet Bird From Laying Eggs

When female birds reach sexual maturity, it's completely natural for them to begin exhibiting certain behaviors, such as laying eggs. While this is a natural process, a bird's breeding cycle can be triggered by other factors. These factors can include the length of her day, her mate's behavior, and even rainfall. Eggs don't have to be fertilized, and male birds don't even need to be present for a female bird to lay eggs. Occasional egg laying is normal, but repeated egg laying poses many health risks and should be discouraged.

Instructions

    1

    Change your bird's environment. Some birds' natural response to lay eggs is triggered by longer days. You can break this cycle by creating some artificial darkness with shades on windows or closed curtains. Try to limit exposure to light to less than 12 hours a day to break your bird's breeding cycle.

    2

    Rearrange the inside of the cage and remove any objects by which your bird lays eggs. Rearrange perches and toys, too. This might unsettle her cycle.

    3

    Remove any favorite objects or toys on which she regurgitates. She is using these objects as a "mate" and removing them might solve the problem.

    4

    Change any material in the cage you notice your bird shredding or using for nesting.

    5

    Move the bird's cage, or put the bird in another cage. Moving the cage might confuse the bird's cycle enough so she won't lay eggs, and changing cages might stop her breeding cycle.

    6

    Don't remove any eggs. Doing so encourages your bird to lay more eggs, which will eventually lead to a lack of calcium and protein. This can also cause eggs to have soft shells.

    To avoid the smell of rotting eggs, exchange the eggs with fake ones.

    7

    Don't feed your bird any soft, mushy foods; this can stimulate your bird to lay eggs.

Bird Food for African Ringneck Doves

Bird Food for African Ringneck Doves

One of the most commonly kept doves, the African ringneck, also known as the collared, Barbary, or domestic ringed dove, is easy to feed. The biggest challenge is making sure that his diet is balanced and that he doesn't overindulge on treats. Healthy food can be offered in unlimited amounts, but treats should be limited to no more than once a week.

Seed Mix

    The mainstay of a ringneck dove's diet is a mixture of seeds. If possible, offer your bird a commercial mix made specifically for doves. Otherwise, feed a mix made for wild birds or small parrots. Look for blends that contains canary grass, millet, wheat, milo, hemp, black sunflower and safflower seeds as well as cracked corn. Seeds should make up around 90 percent of your ringneck's diet.

Grit

    Unlike parakeets, cockatiels and other common pet birds, doves don't shell the seeds they eat, and simply consume them whole. Because of this, they need a little extra help in the form of grit to digest the seeds. The grit grinds the seeds inside the dove's body. In addition to an ample supply of seeds, give your ringneck dove free access to grit as part of his diet.

Calcium

    To ensure that your dove is receiving enough calcium, offer him a supplement as part of his regular diet. It can be given in the form of a mash with his seeds, mixed in with the grit, as a form of grit, or as a cuttlebone. If your dove ignores the cuttlebone, offer him a different form of supplement.

Extras

    Your dove will enjoy a few additions to his regular seed diet, although these should be considered supplements or extras, and not make up the bulk of the diet or take the place of seed. Tasty extras for your ringneck dove include cooked yellow squash, zucchini or sweet potato; chopped greens such as spinach, kale or lettuce; shredded carrots or cheese; and small pieces of whole grain bread. Limit these to no more than 10 to 15 percent of the total diet.

Treats

    Occasional treats can help keep your dove happy and add some variety to his diet without compromising his health. Tasty and healthy treats include cottage cheese, mashed boiled egg, bean sprouts, spray millet and cooked beans. Offer about a spoonful of any of these to your bird about once a week.

Care of Nightingales

The nightingale is known for its beautiful nighttime singing, although you can also hear them during the day. It is the male nightingale that does most of the singing. The purpose of the singing is to find a mate. Few other birds sing at night, which is what makes nightingales unique. Nightingales are mainly European birds, but they winter in the southern parts of Africa. Nightingales make their nests in dense bushes that are low to the ground.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase or build a spacious cage. The cage should be at least 12 feet high, 20 inches long and 9 feet wide. The cage has to be spacious to accommodate the nightingales strong urge for migration.

    2

    Line the top of the cage with a soft material. Also, wrap any perches that you add to the cage with a soft material. The cage should have at least three perches. The perches must be wrapped with something soft, as nightingales have very tender feet.

    3

    Place the cage out of direct sunlight. They will not sing in a bright environment.

    4

    Feed them mealworms every day. Nightingales can also have grated raw carrots, stale bread, lean beef, ripe elderberries, boiled vegetables, mutton and caterpillars.

Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

What Foods Are OK for Finches?

What Foods Are OK for Finches?

Just as people cannot thrive on a diet of bread and water, finches cannot thrive on a diet of seed and water. A diet of seed only will cause a finch to become more prone to disease and unable to breed. They will be much happier and healthier if fed a diet that combines a seed or pellet food mix with sources of calcium, protein, fruit and vegetables.

Bird Food Mix

    The base of a good diet is a high quality food mix. There are many different kinds of mix. These usually contain seeds and things such as dried fruits, dried vegetables, herbs and even natural additives such as bee pollen. These can be found at pet stores, online and in veterinary offices.

Calcium and Mineral Supplement

    Finches should have access to minerals. Calcium is especially important if you are breeding your finches. Most feed mixes have minerals, but you could give them extra calcium by placing a dish with crushed egg shells, or a mineral block, in their cage. Finches also need vitamin D in order to absorb the calcium. Placing the finch in sunlight, even indoors, will allow them to produce vitamin D in their skin, or they could be given a supplement.

Protein

    Protein is an important component of the birds' diet, especially when they are breeding or molting. Meal-worms, shelled hemp seeds, and sprouted or germinated oil seeds, like canola (rape) and niger, are all good sources of protein.

Fruit and Vegetables

    Finches should have fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Small amounts of dandelion, apples, spinach, carrots, corn on the cob, grapes, chickweed, lettuce, poppy or other fruits and leafy vegetables can be fed to finches every day. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be used instead and many birds will put the dried foods in their water dish to rehydrate. If you feed dried fruits and vegetables, only use ones that are free from artificial coloring and flavoring and from preservatives such as sulfur dioxide.

Grit and Egg

    Finches also need a source of grit, which aids the birds' digestion. This can be purchased in pet shops, or you could use crushed egg shell. If your finches have bred, you can feed an egg and biscuit mix, which the parents will feed to the chicks. Make this up by mashing a hard-boiled egg, along with its shell, with a slice of wholewheat bread soaked in water.

How to Build a Simple Bird Trap?

How to Build a Simple Bird Trap?

Sometimes pet birds get lost when you move them or change their cage, and oftentimes the breed of bird is not suitable to survive in the environment they are lost in. Luckily, there is a simple, easy way to get your bird back. Most importantly, you can make a simple bird trap quickly so you don't lose precious time retrieving your pet.

Instructions

    1

    Place your bird cage outside in an open area. Place it on its side so that the cage door lifts up to open and swings down to close.

    2

    Find a large, thick and study stick that is at least 1 inch in diameter and tie a 20-foot piece of thick string to the end of it.

    3

    Use the stick to prop the door of the cage wide open.

    4

    Cover the dinner plate entirely in the bird's favorite seed to entice it into the cage.

    5

    Set the dinner plate 1 or 2 feet in front of the entrance of the cage. Wait for the bird to notice the food. If the bird is still in the general vicinity, it will eventually search for food and notice its favorite seed lying out.

    6

    Move the plate of seed to the mouth of the cage after the bird has noticed the food, eaten from it and left. Make sure the plate is still full of the seed. Wait again for the bird to return to the food. This time, the bird will hardly notice the cage.

    7

    Move the plate of food to the inside of the bird cage once the bird has left it for a second time. Wait got the bird to visit the plate a third time. Be vigilant about checking the seed often from a safe distance to see if your bird is visiting it.

    8

    Pull the thread quickly to release the stick and drop the cage door once your bird is inside of the cage. Your bird will probably be frightened, so throw a blanket over the cage to calm it down while you transport it.

How to Make a Play Gym for a Parrot

How to Make a Play Gym for a Parrot

Parrots are highly active and intelligent birds that should be kept engaged and stimulated to ensure their overall health and well-being. Pet parrots are easily bored by routine activities, and can as a result indulge in destructive behavior. These birds should be able to exercise their physical and mental capabilities in play gyms that serve as an extension of their living environment. Though ready-made play gyms are available, you can customize a simple or elaborate play gym to keep your parrot occupied with fun activities.

Instructions

    1

    Select an area in the house that is the hub of family activity as the location for the play gym. This will ensure that your parrot uses the gym under supervision. Place the gym at a height, in a stable and secure area. Parrots prefer heights because it gives them a sense of stability. Make sure that the play gym is out of reach of electric wires and cables.

    2

    Use a flat untreated wood panel as the base of your play gym. The size of the wood panel will depend on the space that you have available. Create ledges and ladders over the wood panel with natural branches such as milled pine, maple or manzanita. Attach the natural branches to the wood panel with nontoxic glue. Do not stop your parrot from chewing on the wood, as the chewing action will trim its beak naturally.

    3

    Place detachable toys such as swings and climbing ropes in the play gym. Swap the toys and add new toys occasionally to add a sense of novelty. Create perches in varying sizes to improve your parrot's range of motion and keep its feet healthy.

    4

    Hone your bird's foraging instincts by hiding healthy treats in foraging cups. Use fruit and nuts such as grapes, berries and almonds. Hide the treats in a plastic cup, cover the top with a sheet of blank paper and secure with a rubber band.

    5

    Place food and water dishes in the play gym, so that your parrot can enjoy itself without needing to go back to its cage if it feels hungry. Let your parrot have an enjoyable bath. Fill a large bowl with water for your parrot to have fun splashing in and bathing.

How to Feed Mealworms to Birds

When you feed mealworms to birds, you are giving them a food that they consider a wonderful treat. Many birders know that mealworms help in times of stress for birds, such as when weather conditions stop them from getting food for their young, or there is a sudden cold snap once the weather has turned warm. Almost all birds love mealworms and they will pay you back with beautiful songs.

Instructions

    1

    Decide on the type of feeder to use for the mealworms. Plastic bowls, tuna fish or cat food cans and margarine tubs make excellent feeders. You can make your own wooden mealworm feeder with easy plans from The Bluebird Box. (See Resources for link.)

    2

    Grow your own mealworms if you want to have a continuous, free source of Smealworms for your birds.

    3

    Order your mealworms from a reputable online supplier such as Big Apple Pet Supply or Buy Super Mealworms. (See Resources for links.) They cost less than buying them from a pet store and they are generally in a much healthier condition.

    4

    Tack your mealworm feeder directly onto the top of a wooden post, deck rail or nest box.

    5

    Place the mealworms into the feeder of your choice.

    6

    Feed the mealworms to your wild birds as long as the temperature remains above 32 degrees F. Some birds, such as chickadees, will eat freshly frozen mealworms.

How to Feed Acorns to Chickens

How to Feed Acorns to Chickens

Some chicken farmers have bountiful access to acorns because they live in regions with an abundance of oak trees. The acorns that oak trees produce make cheap chicken feed that stays good during the winter months. With some careful collecting and preparation practices, making your own acorn chicken feed is quite simple.

Instructions

    1

    Search for acorns around your yard or in the nearby woods that have very few blemishes. For example, you don't want acorns previous nibbled by squirrels. Rodents carry diseases you don't want around your chickens. Also, acorns with cracked shells will go rancid quickly, so don't choose them either if you plan on storing them over the winter.

    2

    Place a large, flat rock on the ground. Fill a burlap sack with a couple of handfuls of acorns and place on the rock. Use a 5 lb. sledge hammer to crush the acorns inside the sack. Make sure the rock and the sack sit on the ground. Placing them on cement runs the risk of cracking the concrete with the hammer.

    3

    Spread the crushed acorns on the ground along with crushed egg shells and other kitchen scraps. The acorns supplement their winter diets and provide chickens with the necessary calories and nutrients they need to thrive and produce eggs.

Senin, 23 Januari 2012

How to Get Goldfinches to Eat From Your Hand

Goldfinches are one of the latest birds to nest. American Goldfinches do not nest until sometime in June or July. If you want to get American Goldfinches to eat from your hand, a good time to work on it would be in August or later. By then they are settled in their homes and have been around long enough to start getting used to you and their environment.

Instructions

    1

    Hang a thistle bird feeder out. Thistle is their favorite seed, so a feeder offering fresh thistle encourages them to choose your yard for nesting. Place the feeder close to the house where the goldfinches see you often and get used to your presence and movement.

    2

    Place a chair under the thistle feeder and start sitting out in the chair after several goldfinches have found the feeder and are visiting it frequently. Continue sitting under the feeder until the goldfinch are no longer scared by your presence and comfortably eat from the feeder while you sit below it.

    3

    Put a small handful of thistle seed near your foot when you sit down under the thistle feeder. A good time to move to this next step is when the thistle feeder is getting close to empty, but isn't empty yet. Repeat this process each day until the birds get comfortable eating the seed near your foot.

    4

    Sit in your chair and put the thistle seed in the palm of your outstretched hand. Cup your hand slightly, raise your fingers just a little bit to serve as a landing post and create a slight ramp for the goldfinch to walk down to reach the thistle.

    5

    Remain very still and wait. It may take several days of sitting outside before the goldfinch finally land on your hand to eat.

Milk Thistle for Birds

Milk Thistle for Birds

Milk thistle is a thistle of the family Silybum Adans.; it is native to regions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It is used as an herbal remedy, particularly for liver problems, and may be effective in treating captive birds.

Liver Disease in Captive Birds

    Captive parrots (psittacines) commonly develop liver disease, particularly hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). Obesity in a bird increases its chances of developing this disease.

Milk Thistle Benefits

    There are many anecdotal accounts from bird owners who notice that their birds health has improved dramatically with the introduction of milk thistle into their diets. Milk thistle is also used to help prevent recurrence of liver disease.

Uses & Dosages of Milk Thistle

    The seeds, the root and the rest of the milk thistle plant can all be used in the treatment of liver disease, but the seeds are especially helpful for birds as they will readily eat them. Treating fatty liver disease also involves diet alteration and reduction in weight in the affected bird. Suggested doses for silymarin range from 50 to 250 mg/day (100 to 150 mg/kg every 8 to 12 hours in birds) depending on the purity and potency of the milk thistle product. Other sources suggest 10 seeds per 100 g body weight.

How It Works

    The active component of milk thistle is thought to be silymarin, a flavonoid found in the seeds. Silymarin stabilizes the outer liver cell membranes by altering their structure, thereby preventing the penetration of liver toxins into the interior of the cell.

Combine with Traditional Care

    While studies show that silymarin has some therapeutic effects, clinical practitioners conclude that this remedy is best used in addition to traditional supportive care in the treatments of liver and gall bladder disease in humans and in pet animals.

Parrot Food & Toys

Parrot Food & Toys

Parrots are one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and as such require a good deal more stimulation and entertainment than the average pet. In the wild, most species of parrot are highly sociable and travel over wide ranges to forage, play and nest. In captivity, pet parrot owners must be careful to provide adequate nutrition and activity to help avoid health and behavioral problems down the road.

Staple Diet

    A parrots diet should consist primarily of a good quality seed mix or commercial pelleted formula. Pellet-based diets generally provide much more balanced nutrition, as seeds tend to be higher in fat and lacking the same vitamin and mineral constitution. In addition to this base diet, parrots should be offered a wide variety of vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, peppers, carrots and squashes. Darker vegetables are considered healthier than items such as lettuce or celery.

Fun Food

    Treats and other fun foods also form a vital part of a parrots diet, and should be fed sparingly a few times per week. Hand-held items are particularly fun for parrots, such as cereals, pasta, nuts and bird treats. These items not only taste good, but provide your parrot with entertainment while he eats.

Destructibles

    Parrots are naturally somewhat destructive, and chew to help keep their powerful beaks honed and sharp. Because of this, it is very important to provide your parrot with items she is allowed to chew and destroyotherwise, she will undoubtedly find less suitable items around the house to demolish. Chewable items include treats and snacks as well as toys. Toilet paper tubes, unused popsicle sticks and untreated twine or leather are all excellent at keeping beaks busy.

Challenges and Puzzles

    Because parrots are so intelligent, toys can be a way to challenge their minds and keep them occupied. Puzzle toys are widely available on the pet market, and generally offer the bird with some sort of treat-based reward for turning a lever, flipping a switch or spinning a wheel. Other challenge toys may perform some action, such as making a sound or spinning a top when the proper action is performed, and the most expensive of these are very simple miniature computers that reward the bird with a video or for pushing buttons or pulling levers.

Comfort Items

    Comfort toys are also very important to parrots, especially more socially dependent birds such as cockatoos. These might include small tents and hammocks, or snuggly pieces of fabric that your parrot can snuggle into when he feels lonely. Certain parrots can become very possessive of their comfort items, and signs of aggression should be watched for.

Minggu, 22 Januari 2012

How to Handfeed a Baby Cockatiel

Handfeeding a baby cockatiel gets it used to having contact with humans and helps the bird learn to trust them. It's a rewarding task, although it requires commitment, time and a willing disposition. Keep these guidelines in mind when deciding to handfeed a baby cockatiel.

Instructions

    1

    Select a feeding formula, like Pretty Bird or Kaytee Handfeeding Formula.

    2

    Select a feeding utensil. Some breeders like to use a bent spoon. Others prefer to use a syringe or a pipette.

    3

    Prepare the formula according to directions on the container. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. The temperature should be between 104 and 106 degrees F. A temperature higher than 106 degrees F will burn the bird's crop and could even cause death.

    4

    Place the baby cockatiel on a flat surface on a clean paper towel. Hold the feeding utensil with your right hand. Cup your left hand and gently support your baby cockatiel while you feed him.

    5

    Feed the baby bird from the left side of his mouth. When he's facing you, his left is your right. Place the dropper on the left side of his mouth pointed towards the right side and apply slow even pressure on the syringe plunger. The bird's windpipe is on the right side; if food goes down the windpipe, the baby bird could choke to death.

    6

    Discontinue feeding the cockatiel when the crop is full and plump but not over extended. The baby will want food even after the crop fills up. If you continue feeding, the crop can stretch.

    7

    Clean any food on the baby bird as soon as you finish feeding it. A baby bird's skin is delicate and dry food can be hard to clean afterwards. Wash the feeding utensils in a disinfectant solution, like Nolvasan, Wavicide or Clorox bleach and soapy water, before the next feeding session. Rinse off the disinfectant thoroughly.

Information on a Canary Seed

Information on a Canary Seed

Also known as annual canary grass, canary seed is similar to flaxseed in appearance and texture. Canary seed is used exclusively in feed blends for wild and domesticated birds.

History

    Native to ancient Europe and the Middle East, canary seed production began in the United States and Canada following World War II.

Growth

    Canary seed can reach 40 inches in height and is ready for harvest within 110 days of planting. The plant thrives in Canada, Minnesota and North Dakota.

Planting

    For successful crops, canary seed should be planted in heavy and moist soils during May. Ideally, seeds should be placed into soil approximately two inches deep.

Storage

    With proper conditions, canary seed can be stored for extended time periods. Storage areas should be dry, air tight and free of rodents, such as mice.

Pests

    The only pests known to affect canary seed crops are aphids. Proper pesticides should be used in order to prevent significant crop loss.

Information on Raising Baby Chickens

Information on Raising Baby Chickens

Baby chickens, or chicks, have a few basic needs that must be met in order to ensure their survival into adulthood. Raising them can be a fun experience, particularly if the chicks bond or imprint with you, and it can be profitable.

Shelter

    At first, baby chicks will need to live in a warm brooder, an enclosed box or cage, fitted with a heat lamp. Once their feathers come in, which occurs between 5 and 8 weeks after hatching, you can move them to a wire enclosure or coop, but they should still remain indoors and away from predators and temperature extremes.

Food And Water

    For the first few months of life, baby chickens should eat commercially prepared food specially designed for chicks. Breeders can choose between the medicated food, which helps guard baby chicks against infection, and nonmedicated varieties. After a few months, you can slowly introduce chicken feed. Always provide plenty of water. You can find special waterers at farm supply stores and some pet shops. You may need to teach day-old chicks to find the water by gently placing their beaks into the water.

Safety

    Chicks move quickly, can squeeze into small hiding spaces, and are very vulnerable to predators. Never let them wander around the house or yard unsupervised.

How to Breed Macaws

How to Breed Macaws

The macaw is a smart, inquisitive and an impressive-looking bird native to South America. These birds have exotic and vibrant colored feathers, a large head, strong beak and a long tail. The macaw, the largest birds in the parrot family, loves to socialize and can be an excellent choice as a companion bird. Until the early 20th century not many were bred successfully in captivity, possibly because it was difficult to determine their sex and also since most of them were imported and reared individually as pets, states the Animal-World website. Additionally, macaws are sexually monomorphic; their sex cannot be effectively determined by physical characteristics. However, the increasing demand for macaws, as well as a greater understanding of their breeding requirements has encouraged successful captive breeding of these birds.

Instructions

Pairing Suitable Mates

    1

    Confirm the sex of your macaws prior to breeding. Consult a veterinarian to test the macaw's sex through either an endoscopy, a DNA testing or a chromosomal analysis.

    2

    Carefully observe your macaw pair for indications of harmonious behavior, since compatibility is important to successful mating. Macaws that trust and care for each other will generally perch side by side while resting and amiably share food from the same bowl.

    3

    Purchase or construct a wooden nest box for the female macaw to lay eggs.

Construct a Nest Box

    4

    The nest box should be around three times the size of the macaw's body length in height and equal to its body length in width and depth.

    5

    Create an entrance hole or opening for the nest box which is large enough for the macaw to enter. Place a few blocks inside the box for the bird to climb on. Spread approximately four to eight inches of pine wood shavings at the base of the nest box to serve as bedding for the bird.

    6

    Position the nest box high up in a corner facing outward and in an area that provides seclusion and safety.

Diet and Breeding

    7

    Feed your macaw a well-balanced diet prior to breeding in order to maximize its chances of fertility. Foods high in fat like nuts walnuts, pecans and macadamia are especially beneficial. Calcium is an important mineral in a breeding macaw's diet, and it can be found in almonds.

    8

    Macaws breed quite readily and will lay eggs in clutches of two to three during the spring and summer months. The incubation period for the egg ranges from 26 to 28 days.

    9

    You have the option to hand-feed macaw chicks or allow the parent to rear them.

    10

    As soon as the hatchlings arrive, macaws will need to be fed a steady supply of food like fresh fruits, corn, milk-soaked bread and cuttlebones.

Sabtu, 21 Januari 2012

What Do Electus Parrots Eat?

Unlike the African grey parrot, the macaw and the cockatoo, eclectus parrots are not seed eaters and therefore require a different diet. In the wild, these parrots are arboreal, meaning they live high up in the trees, and forage for food in the canopies of the rainforest. While seed-eating parrots search for food on the forest floor, eclectus parrots rarely venture down to the ground.

Fruits and Vegetables

    Eclectus parrots consume a wide variety of fruits including apples, pears, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, grapes, guavas, passion fruit, melon, paw-paw and mango. They might also enjoy eating the mango seed. Their diet should also include vegetables, such as bell peppers, green beans, snow peas, carrots, celery, silver beet storks and sprouts from mung beans and gray sunflowers. Eclectus also enjoy eating chiles in moderation. Fresh weeds, such as dandelion flowers and roots, are beneficial during their breeding season and when they are raising young.

Preparation

    Owners need to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly in clean water. It is better to purchase organic foods that are free from pesticides. Whenever possible, owners should seek out foods native to the parrots' natural habitat, such as sandpaper figs, hawthorn, cotoneaster berries and grevillea blossoms. Eclectus parrots like to carry their food onto their perch to eat, so cut pieces of fruits and vegetables shouldn't be too small. Food can stay in the parrot's bowl for up to 24 hours, after which the owner should remove anything uneaten and wash the bowl.

Corn and Seed

    Owners can add cooked, drained and rinsed corn to the parrots' fruit and vegetables. The daily feed for each bird should be about one cup of fruit mixed with a handful of corn, as well as a separate bowl containing 1/3 of a cup (in winter) or 1/4 of a cup (in summer) of a seed mix made for this bird species and 1 tbsp. of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds contains a high amount of fat, so moderation is necessary to avoid weight issues.

Danger Foods

    Some breeders recommend against feeding pellets to a eclectus parrot because of the manmade vitamins they contain that can damage the bird's liver. A good diet of fruit and vegetables provides the parrot with all the vitamins it needs. Owners should avoid feeding commercial foods that contain preservatives, additives or artificial coloring, and ensure they always read the labels on products carefully. Processed foods are not treats for the birds. They contain high levels of fat and provide little nutritional value.

How to Get Your Quaker to Come Out of the Cage

How to Get Your Quaker to Come Out of the Cage

Native to South America, Quaker parrots in the wild live in large colonies, sharing nests, chattering, and engaging in other social activities with their fellow parrots. As pets, Quaker parrots are known for their playful, outgoing nature and their superb talking abilities, delighting owners with their antics. Quakers also have a reputation for bonding fiercely with their owners, and enjoying time out of their cage. If your precious parrot is a new addition to your household, it might have some qualms about coming out of its cage. Some behavioral techniques can coax your Quaker into your hand.

Instructions

    1

    Slowly approach your Quaker's cage. Quakers are extremely territorial, and they may view others as threats. If you approach the cage too quickly and try to force a reluctant parrot out of its cage, it may bite or show signs of distress, such as lunging or running around.

    2

    Stop in your tracks when your parrot shows signs of distress; wait until the parrot calms down, and slowly retreat from the room. This demonstrates to your parrot that, once it calms down, the threat -- you -- will leave.

    3

    Repeat the first two steps several times a day for a few days, each time trying to get closer and closer to the parrot's cage before it becomes upset, until the parrot allows you to open the cage door. This is called systemic desensitization, according to Avian Web, which means that the feared object or person is presented in small amounts, or comes nearer and nearer, until the bird no longer fears the object.

    4

    Open the cage door and gently insert the chopstick in the direction of the parrot. If the parrot touches the chopstick, provide positive reinforcement by giving it a favorite treat. If the parrot moves away from the chopstick, close the door and move away.

    5

    Repeat the previous step until the parrot touches the chopstick and moves toward it as you move it toward the cage door.

    6

    Keep moving the chopstick until the parrot follows it out the door. Offer your finger for the parrot to perch on. Provide positive reinforcement in the form of a favorite food.

Jumat, 20 Januari 2012

How Can I Tell a Finch's Gender?

How Can I Tell a Finch's Gender?

Birds do not have sex organs like mammals. You will not discover the gender of a finch by looking under its tail. Instead, finches, like most birds, display their gender for all to see in their color and markings.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the beak. The beaks on male and female finches are often the easiest way to determine sex. Look for differences in color and vibrancy. A more vibrant beak can often indicate a male bird. A male zebra finch will always have a red beak. Female zebra finch beaks are a lighter orange color. The beaks of male java finches are swollen at the base and appear wider than the beak on a female.

    2

    Look at the markings. Male birds are often more colorful than females, displaying vibrant colors and patterns on their feathers. Female finches usually have plainer coloring with more subtle markings. It can be difficult to tell the difference in some finch species. The chest color on a male Gouldian finch is purple, whereas the female chest is a softer mauve color. American goldfinches make it more obvious, with the males turning a vibrant yellow during breeding season while the females remain a dull yellow brown color.

    3

    Compare the finch with others. Visit a pet store and look at several similar finches. Seeing both genders will make it easier to distinguish the differences in markings and beak color.

    4

    Listen for a song. For most finch species, only the males sing. According to Avian Web, hearing a song is the most accurate way to identify a male Java finch. To encourage the finch to sing, isolate it from other birds. An isolated male is likely to start singing after a week.

How to Care for a 6- to 8-Week-Old Cockatiel

How to Care for a 6- to 8-Week-Old Cockatiel

A breeding pair of cockatiels will produce eggs that will hatch in 18 to 21 days. Both the male and the female will incubate the eggs. After chicks are born, you should leave them with their parents until they are 3 weeks of age, according to writer Robyn Ashton on the Australian National Cockatiel Society website. After the babies are 3 weeks old, hand-raising them requires frequent feedings until they reach weaning age, which is 6 to 8 weeks old.

Instructions

    1

    Pick up the baby in your clean hands, holding it gently. You may wish to use a cloth on your hand to create a better grip. Work over a table to prevent an accident in case you lose your grip on the bird.

    2

    Gently place the tip of the feeder in the birds mouth. Administer the food into the birds mouth with an eye dropper or hypodermic-type feeding cartridge. Baby cockatiels generally will open their mouths readily and are eager to eat. Use a food suitable for hand-feeding parrots, available at pet stores that carry supplies for birds. Moisten and warm the food slightly to make it easy for the baby to eat.

    3

    Squeeze a tiny amount of the food into the birds mouth. Allow the bird to swallow it down its crop, a pouch further down in the esophagus. Start with four feedings each day. Feed just enough so that the engorged crop becomes empty completely in four hours. At four to five weeks, limit the feedings to three times each day and introduce suitable seed to the cage to begin to wean the babies.

    4

    Reduce the number of feedings to twice each day, with seed available to allow the babies to feed as needed, when the babies reach the age of 6 weeks old. Some birds may need continued care slightly longer than others. Observe the condition of the baby to determine if additional feedings are needed.

    5

    Begin to wean the cockatiel babies off hand-feeding when they reach the age of 8 weeks. Ensure that the babies have appropriate seed available, and allow them to feed at will with only an occasional hand-feeding to ensure that they are getting sufficient nutrition for healthy growth.

What Is a Bird Doing When It Kisses Another Bird?

What Is a Bird Doing When It Kisses Another Bird?

If you ever catch a pair of birds in an act that seems all too similar to kissing, you could be onto something. Although birds definitely don't "kiss" in the way that human beings do, they sometimes place their beaks together. This, too, is often a sign of love and admiration.

Positive Rapport

    If you observe a duo of birds and notice that their heads are extremely close to one another and that their bills seem to be intersecting, they could just be engaging in something known as "beaking" or "billing." From a distance, beaking indeed looks a lot like kissing. This behavior is indicative of an amiable interaction between two birds, although not necessarily a traditional kiss.

Fellow Birds and Humans

    Birds do not limit their beaking activities to their avian mates. If a bird has a strong emotional connection with his human caretaker, he might attempt to massage his beak over said beloved individual too.

Out in Nature

    Birdie "kissing" using the beak is not only seen in relationships between those kept as household pets. Birds that live out in nature also tighten their bonds with their mates by beaking together.

Enthusiasm

    Beaking between two birds can often lead to the widening and narrowing of their pupils. This is often an indication of immense enthusiasm. If you pick up on this eye pinning as your bird beaks his mate, then there's a strong chance that you are in the company of a pretty happy bird. Occasionally, eye widening and narrowing can also signify fierceness, rather than positive feelings.

Another Bird "Kiss"

    Beaking isn't the sole avian activity that is comparable in some ways to a human kiss. Allopreening, or mutual grooming, is another one. When a bird twosome possesses a tightly-knit relationship, they often display their positive feelings by grooming the other's plumage. They intricately and exhaustively go through the other party's individual feathers, helping to get rid of pesky remnants of detritus, parasites, dander and dirt. It usually is pretty obvious when birds are reveling in allopreening, too -- they tend to shut their eyes, adopt loose body postures and luxuriate in the whole process.

How to Give Pomegranates to Parrots

With an unusual texture and a sweetly tart taste, pomegranates are a special treat for pet parrots. The succulent juicy seeds are like candy and they are full of nutrition, especially antioxidants that support a parrot's immune system. Digging the seeds either out of a fresh pomegranate rind or from a homemade food blend you create yourself makes the pomegranate a food and a toy--two treats in one. Because fresh pomegranates have a short life, you can freeze the seeds to treat your parrot all year long to its favorite fruit.

Instructions

    1

    Prepare a baking sheet with a wax paper lining and set it on the counter next to your work area.

    2

    Set the pomegranate on your cutting board and hold it tightly with one hand. Place the sharp edge of your knife at the crown of the fruit, and make a cut halfway to two-thirds through the pomegranate. Cut it deep enough to pry your fingers into the cut, but not so much that you cut the fruit completely in half.

    3

    Use your fingers to pry the pomegranate into two pieces. The reason you want to pry it apart instead of completely cutting it in half is because by tearing it apart, it is easier to get at the seeds. Take each half and cut again, beginning at the crown and going only deep enough to insert your fingers into the cut. Again, pry apart the two pieces.

    4

    Dig into each pomegranate section and pry the seeds away from the peel and rind. Place the seeds on the baking sheet lined with wax paper. Separate the seeds from one another and spread them out on the baking sheet so you don't have clumps of seeds. Set the empty rinds aside.

    5

    Place the baking sheet into the freezer for at least two hours. When the seeds are completely frozen, put them into a freeze-lock bag or storage container and store in the freezer for up to six months.

    6

    Take out a spoonful of seeds when you are ready to feed them to you parrot and mix them in with other foods or treats. Parrots love to search for the seeds, so it is always a fun game to hide them in other food or under toys.

Cockatiel Food Diet

The Cockatiel is one of the most popular small birds people keep as a pet. The birds are generally grey in color with orange or yellow cheeks. They are very social birds and are generally eager to be handled. With perseverance they can be taught to speak some words. Given proper care a cockatiel has a life span of 15 to 20 years, so knowing the proper diet is important.

General Diet

    A well-balanced diet is the most essential tool in keeping the cockatiel healthy. By feeding the bird food that will give it all the vitamins its body requires, you will not only help it to live a long life but will also save yourself the cost of multiple vet visits.
    The best time to feed a cockatiel is in the morning when it is normally the most hungry. Start with a base diet of high quality cockatiel seed or pellets. An equal mixture of both can also be fed. This will make up 50 percent of the birds daily diet. Look for a brand of seed that has a high vitamin content but a low fat content. Seed mixes that contain sunflower seed are generally high in fat and should be fed sparingly. Feed the bird only the amount that it will eat at one time.
    Green leafy vegetables such as kale, cilantro, romaine lettuce and turnip greens are a good source of calcium. Feed them to the bird raw and cut into small pieces. Yogurt can also be served for calcium in small amounts but other dairy products should be avoided as cockatiels cannot digest lactose.
    Protein is necessary for cockatiels, mainly during molting although it can be served at other times. Serve small amounts of poultry, fish or eggs that have been freshly cooked. Do not leave the food in the cage for longer than 30 minutes, as bacteria can develop after that time.
    Cooked sweet potatoes, asparagus and carrots provide many vitamins that cockatiels require. Serve fresh fruits such as apples or grapes if the bird enjoys it. Most cockatiels prefer vegetables over fruits. Vegetables that should be avoided are spinach and parsley as they contain oxalic acid, which prevents calcium absorption and can cause kidney damage.
    Carbohydrates can be obtained from rice, pasta and whole wheat toast. Whole grain cereals should be served in small amounts.

Treats

    A cuttle bone or mineral block should be available at all times not only for calcium but also for beak exercise. Millet spray is used for recreation and should only be fed weekly as the bird will eat it before eating healthier foods.

How to Feed Baby Birds Chicken Food

How to Feed Baby Birds Chicken Food

Baby birds are fed by mother birds who consume grains, seeds, or other sources of food and then regurgitate the food into the baby's mouth. Different birds have different diets, and feeding a baby the wrong kinds of foods can be harmful for the bird. Most birds can consume chicken feed and its components. Chicken feed is made from a host of grains and greens processed into pellets. Most chicken feed also contains soy protein, calcium and salt. You must soak the food to soften its texture prior to feeding the baby birds.

Instructions

    1

    Mix one part chicken pellets with two parts water in a bowl.

    2

    Let the mixture sit at room temperature for an hour while the pellets absorb the water. The pellets will swell as they soak up the water.

    3

    Stir the mixture thoroughly. The food should have a grainy consistency. Lift up a spoonful and check the food's consistency to make sure it is neither too wet nor dripping.

    4

    Pull the food into the syringe. If the food isn't moist enough, you will not be able to suck the mixture into the syringe. Add water gradually until the consistency is such that the mixture can easily be pulled into the syringe.

    5

    Place the syringe near the baby bird's beak. If the bird is hungry, it may already be opening its mouth for feeding. Gently insert the syringe tip into the front part of the beak and slowly press the syringe plunger. The baby bird's head will extend and retract as it gobbles the food.

How to Use a Goose for Home Security

How to Use a Goose for Home Security

Geese can make excellent watchdogs or guards. In fact, geese are used to guard businesses such as whiskey warehouses in Scotland and military facilities in Europe. Geese are loud and quick to respond when they hear the slightest questionable noise. Geese naturally understand, without any training, that any people and animals living on the property are part of their flock. They tend to have no fear of challenging a human or animal that intrudes on their property or that threatens their people and animals. A flock of geese may be an unusual method of home security, but they can be effective without any special training.

Instructions

    1

    Get the right breed of goose to protect your home. Chinese geese have the temperament of loyal watchdogs. African geese can also make good guard geese. Both are confident, large and imposing to strangers. You can get geese as gooslings or adults; however, don't expect them to offer much protection until they are full-grown.

    2

    Get at least two or more geese. To protect a property, the more geese there are making noise and running at an intruder, the more effective they will be.

    3

    Introduce friends and family that visit regularly to your geese so that they will be accepted and not targeted by your flock. You can do this by having people hand-feed your geese and spending time with them.

    4

    Provide the best of care for your geese. This includes healthy food and lots of outdoor space to roam. A healthy goose is more likely to be confident and protective. They can eat grasses and weeds found in the yard as well as a formulated waterfowl pelleted food.

    5

    Use caution, and fences if needed, to protect people from your geese. Geese tend to be indiscriminate in their aggression toward strangers or unapproved guests. They can and will bite, causing serious bruising.

Foods to Feed Ducks That Need to Put on Weight

Foods to Feed Ducks That Need to Put on Weight

Adult female ducks weigh between 5 to 10 pounds. Adult males, called drakes, weigh between 7 to 15 pounds. Ducks usually self-regulate their food intake. If you have a duck that seems underweight, an underlying reason probably exists. The duck should be checked by a veterinarian to determine if a disease or other health problem is causing the weight loss. An underweight duck is likely to be sick. Finding the underlying cause of its weight loss may save its life.

Diet

    A duck's diet mainly consists of whole grains, snails, insects, leaf material, crabs and frogs. Ducks can be given supplemental feed when food supply in the field is inadequate. During green pasture seasons, ducks will forage and eat large amounts of plant-based food. Greens will supply 25 percent of their nutritional needs. Ducks do not like alfalfa or other tough grasses; they prefer clover and other succulent grasses. Never use fertilizers where you plan to pasture your ducks.

Supplemental Feed

    Supplemental feed consists of one-third cracked corn, one-third oats and one-third wheat. An important source of calcium can be found in whole black oil sunflower seeds. Add the seeds to the duck's regular feed mix. If you purchase premixed feed, buy nonmedicated versions. Many common drugs found in feed can be fatal to waterfowl.

Worms

    Intestinal worms can be a cause for weight loss. This weight loss generally will be accompanied by a drastic increase in food consumption. According to the Farm Animal Shelters, worms are not usually a problem with small flocks. However, ducks should be checked for worms every three to four months and a wormer should be given twice a year as a preventative measure. Wormers can be added to the flock's water. Ensure the water is their only supply during the administration of the wormer. When purchasing wormer medication, choose a product that is made for waterfowl. Many drugs are life-threatening to waterfowl.

Respiratory Infections

    Symptoms for respiratory infection in waterfowl include gurgled breathing, nasal discharge, lethargy and loss of appetite. Contact a veterinarian if any of these signs are visible. Most antibiotics and sulfa drugs are lethal to waterfowl.

Kamis, 19 Januari 2012

How to Make Soda Bottle Hummingbird Feeders

How to Make Soda Bottle Hummingbird Feeders

Attracting hummingbirds to your home landscape requires the use of hummingbird feeders. Making a hummingbird feeder at home allows you to make use of otherwise discarded items. A 2-liter soda bottle serves as a useful item to hold the sweetened, colored water that attracts hummingbirds. Making a hummingbird feeder with a bottle proves to be an eco-friendly way to recycle your items and attract beautiful birds to your property.

Instructions

    1

    Fill the soda bottle about halfway with clean water.

    2

    Add about an ounce of red food dye. This will turn the water deep crimson red.

    3

    Add approximately 1/2 pound of sugar to the water.

    4

    Cap the bottle and shake the solution thoroughly to disperse the sugar throughout the dyed water.

    5

    Remove the cap from the 2-liter bottle. Secure the pet water base on the upright bottle. Twist it clockwise so it is on tightly.

    6

    Turn the bottle upside down, allowing it to rest flat within the watering base. The stopper in the base will not allow the sugar water to flood out. Instead, small amounts will slowly fill the reservoir.

    7

    Snip about 10 inches of nylon rope from the roll. Attach one end of the cord to one side of the bottle's upright bottom with duct tape. Repeat this step with the other end of the nylon cord. Wrap about a foot of duct tape around the circumference of the upright bottom of the bottle. This tightly secures the cord, making it possible to hang the feeder.

Rabu, 18 Januari 2012

How to Feed Mealworms to Baby Birds

How to Feed Mealworms to Baby Birds

Mealworms are an important part of a bird's diet. Mealworms give a bird nutritional value of more than 50 percent protein. Adult birds have no problem eating mealworms, but baby birds will need it fed to them until they learn to eat on their own. Nestling birds are 10 to 14 days old and fledgling birds are two to five weeks old. To gage the age of a baby bird can be difficult, but look at the size of its bill. Baby birds have large bills that seem too big for the head of the bird. Nestlings have little hair, but fledglings will have most of their feathers with the tail and wing feathers noticeably shorter than the rest. Feeding a baby bird mealworms requires time and patience since they eat several times an hour.

Instructions

    1

    Crush the mealworms. A nestling bird can be fed crushed mealworms through an eye dropper. To make it easier to feed the nestling bird, purchase mini mealworms, which are smaller than the average sized mealworm by one-third. Crush the mini mealworm and mix with some water to make it easier for the nestling bird to swallow.

    2

    Feed the fledgling bird. Chop the mealworms or give a whole mini mealworm. Feed the baby bird with plastic tweezers or place the insect on the tip of a straw or stick. Put the food toward the back of the mouth for the bird to start eating.

    3

    Make sure that you feed the baby bird every 15 to 30 minutes. Try to feed at the same time each day. For example, if you feed every 15 minutes one day, do not change to every 30 minutes the next day; otherwise the baby bird may refuse to eat.

Fruits to Feed an African Ringneck Parrot

Fruits to Feed an African Ringneck Parrot

African ringneck parrots, also called Indian ringneck parrots, consume a varied diet in the wild. As a result, it is important to provide them a wide variety of seeds, vegetables, and fruits to ensure they are adequately nourished. African ringneck parrots fed a varied diet can stay healthy and live out their average life expectancy of 25 to 50 years. Always provide fresh fruit; fruit that is over-ripe is not a healthy choice for these birds. Make sure that you offer fresh fruit at least four times a week; daily if you can remove uneaten portions from the cage before they spoil. Since African ringnecks like to dunk their food in water, change the water often to avoid bacteria growth.

Apples

    Apples are always a good selection for African ringneck parrots. Slices are easy for the bird to grasp in its claws, and they seems to be one of the birds' favorite fruits. They like to drink the juice and readily chew the pulp. Leave the skin on the apple since many of the beneficial nutrients in the apple are found in the skin.

Oranges

    Oranges are another good choice. Offer it in small quantities, though. Since oranges have such a high moisture content, if the African ringneck eats too much in a short period of time it can develop loose stools.

Grapes

    Grapes are another excellent choice. Their skin makes them another fruit that is easy for the African ringneck to grasp, and they enjoy the juice. Choose grapes that are firm with fresh-looking stems. You do not need to cut grapes before serving them to the bird.

Melons

    Melons are a good choice because of their firm texture and high juice content. Stick to cantaloupe and honeydew; watermelon may get too soft too quickly for the African ringneck parrot to hold in its claws.

Strawberries

    Make sure that the strawberries you give to your African ringneck parrot are firm and have no obvious blemishes. Watch strawberries carefully as they can quickly turn and start to spoil. When selecting berries, try to find ones that are just ripening since they will be firmer and last longer in the cage that berries that are starting to soften.