Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

Food For Quail

Food For Quail

Quail are small terrestrial birds with brown mottled plumage and short tails. They are bred for their meat and eggs, and for pleasure hunting. They are unlike chickens, which are separated by breed. The different types of quail are more distantly related to each other by genera. Feeding quail is straightforward, and with sound nutrition and some management techniques, you can expect a healthy covey for pleasure and profit.

Domesticated Quail

    Commercially-available game feed is available for purchase. It comes in a pellet or mash form. Quail are particular about the size of the feed and prefer bite-size pieces. Because of this preference, inconsistencies in the size of the food may result in an unbalanced diet, so it is best not to mix different forms of feed.

    The process of feeding birds kept for meat is different than the method used with birds for breeding or eggs. Meat-bred birds are fed finisher feed, with higher fiber. Breeding birds or those expected to produce eggs are fed what's called developer feed, with a high level of protein, and young birds up to 8 weeks old are fed starter feed, with the highest protein content. Egg-layers are fed layer-specific quail feed with higher calcium content needed for strong egg shells.

    Turkey or chicken feed can be used instead of quail-specific feed if availability or cost is a consideration.

Wild Quail

    To stabilize or increase a quail population in the wild, it is helpful to plant food plots for quail. This involves supplementing native food sources with plantings that can provide food in the form of seeds, and cover that will protect quail from predators, both by hiding and by reducing foraging time that exposes the birds to predators. Suggested plants include buckwheat, corn, soybeans and grains such as wheat, rye and oats. Millets such as panic and foxtail grasses or blueberry and blackberry bushes provide cover as well. Legumes such as partridge pea attract insects, which are also a food source.

    Food can be scattered directly instead of plantings for faster results .Grain sorghum is preferred over corn because it comes in smaller pieces that are easier to eat and not as likely to mold.

Enrichment

    It is tempting to supplement the diet of captive quail, but the mixed seed feed is balanced in nutrients and vitamins, and the enrichment you add to it may replace food the birds need for a complete diet. Enrichment can be helpful on a limited basis to prevent cannibalism, in which the birds pick on each other. Provide whole oats and barley, scratch feed or vegetables such as ripe tomatoes, cabbage, turnip greens or alfalfa hay in separate corners of the coop to separate and distract the birds.

Feeding in Different Seasons

    Quail require higher protein in their diet during the breeding season in spring and summer as well as during the winter in regions with severe weather.

    Feed should be used within three weeks of its manufacture, especially if the weather is hot or humid. If mold develops, it can produce a mycotoxin that, when ingested by the birds, can cause poor health and growth.

How to Hand Feed Baby Zebra Finches

How to Hand Feed Baby Zebra Finches

For the dedicated bird owner and aficionado, successfully hand-rearing a baby zebra finch is exceedingly rewarding. Baby zebra finches, with their striking black and white pattern, are appreciated for their beauty and soft, melodic song. These birds grow to be only 4 inches tall and begin life extremely small and fragile. Occasionally, when a baby bird has fallen from the nest or has been rejected by its mother, a baby zebra finch will need to be hand-fed to survive. While hand-feeding a baby finch is difficult, the bird owner can employ caution and perseverance to achieve the ultimate goal of a healthy, weaned zebra finch.

Instructions

    1

    Provide fresh water daily to ensure bird droppings do not soil the water bowl. If the water cannot be changed daily, FinchWorld.com recommends using a tube water dispenser.

    2

    Fill a -cc Tuberculin syringe with an electrolyte formula for the first feeding. Place the tip of the syringe at the bird's beak until the beak opens. Allow small amounts of the electrolyte formula to drop into the bird's mouth. Give the electrolyte formula every two hours for three feedings.

    3

    Mix hand-rearing baby-bird food with the electrolyte until the mixture achieves a very thin consistency.

    4

    Dip a toothpick into the mixture and then place at the finch's mouth, allowing the thinned food mixture to enter the bird's mouth.

    5

    Watch the formula mixture fill the bird's crop, the food storage sack on the side of its neck, until it is full. Kristine Spencer, writing at Birdsnways.com, advises baby zebra finch owners to repeat this process each time the crop is emptied, about every hours for the first three days.

    6

    Mix the baby bird food powder and the electrolyte formula into a thicker mixture starting on the fourth day. Using a pipette, continue to feed the mixture to the bird until its crop is filled. The finch will need to be fed approximately every 1 hours as its crop empties.

    7

    Blend the mixture to the consistency of pudding starting on the eighth day. Feed the bird every two to three hours.

    8

    Offer small amounts of adult pellet food that has been moistened with juice once the bird has started to grow feathers.

Types of Bird Seeds

Types of Bird Seeds

Many types of birdseed are available for your backyard feeders. Choose birdseed based on the type of bird you'd like to attract. Birdseed is available in bags with just one type of seed, or in mixes with a variety of seeds. Become familiar with the seeds to prevent discards that might attract unwanted animals.

Sunflower Seed

    There are different types of sunflower seeds, the most popular of which is the small black sunflower variety. This seed is high in fat and offers a shell that is thin and simple for birds to split. Many types of birds love the black sunflower seed, including cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, jays, house finches, grosbeaks, goldfinches and titmice. A larger type of seed comes from the striped sunflower plant. This variety has less fat than the black sunflower seed, and the shell is harder to crack. This seed attracts the same birds, but it's not as well liked. Hulled sunflower seed in the form of the complete seed or chips are also available. More birds are attracted to it because there's no hull to crack open. In addition to the birds previously mentioned, wrens, mockingbirds and woodpeckers flock to this form of seed.

Safflower Seed

    This seed has a white coating on the shell and is not as popular as the black sunflower seed. People use them to discourage visits from house sparrows, grackles and starlings. The same birds that eat black sunflower seeds eat safflower seeds but not as enthusiastically; however, the cardinal will readily consume safflower seeds.

Millet Seed

    This is a little round seed and comes in many varieties, the most popular of which is the light-colored proso millet. The golden and red varieties don't fare as well. Many mixes combine millet with more favorable seeds. Birds that like millet include quail, doves, cardinals, sparrows, bobwhites, buntings and juncos.

Thistle Seed

    A tiny black seed often called Nyjer seed, thistle is imported from India and Ethiopia. This seed is a favorite of goldfinches. Additionally, pine siskins, house finches, redpolls and purple finches enjoy thistle.

Cracked Corn

    Many seed mixes contain small pieces of dried corn kernelswhich is also available as a single ingredient in bags. Many ground feeders like cracked corn, including blackbirds, sparrows, grackles, pheasants, doves, quails and jays.

Nuts

    Whole peanuts or peanut hearts normally come in mixes. The birds that like hulled sunflower seeds also like nuts. This group of birds includes grosbeaks, cardinals, chickadees, jays, goldfinches, nuthatches, house finches and titmice.

Mixes

    Premium mixes and cheap mixes are available. Mixes attract several different types of birds. Premium mixes consist of striped sunflower, peanut, black sunflower, millet and other seeds. Cheap mixes consist of cracked corn, red and white milo, striped sunflower, wheat and other seeds. Many of the cheaper seeds attract unwanted birds and force the desirable birds away.

Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

How Does a Parrot Talk?

How Does a Parrot Talk?

How Does a Parrot Talk?


    Parrots are popular pets. Not only are they beautiful, but owners love how parrots talk. Some new owners are surprised, though, to find that parrots don't talk but instead just mimic what you say to them. They are copycats, not conversationalists. In fact, parrots are not really "talking" at all--they are whistling! Why then are we hearing words?

The Anatomy of a Parrot


    Parrots are often assumed to have vocal cords in the same way that humans do. They not only don't have vocal cords at all, the only parts of their throat used in making sounds are the trachea and syrinx. A trachea is the tube that moves air from the beginning of the throat to the lungs in air breathing species. In addition, the parrot, at the far end of their trachea, has the syrinx. A parrot will make whistles when air goes through these two parts of its anatomy. As the trachea and syrinx bend or move, it can change how that whistle sounds. If you watch closely, you may be able to see that when a parrot says a certain word, it may always move his neck a certain way when saying that word. This forms the correct combination of whistle sounds to mimic the word. Different kinds of parrots will have different-sized trachea, and this will give some a better ability to mimic different tones.
    Until recently it was thought that parrots only used these two throat parts in speech. It has been discovered now that in some species of parrots the tongue is also used to manipulate air and sound to mimic what they hear. This discovery disproves the theory that humans are the only species that use the tongue for actual speech as opposed to other sounds.

Copying or Conversing?


    Parrots can be intelligent, but they cannot actually hold a conversation--they repeat what is said to them. Often they will learn to associate some words with certain actions. For example, some may make the connection between an activity and a word, so one might say the word "yum" or "thank you" when offered food.
    The ability to link certain words with certain things can cause the most intelligent birds to do some amazing things. One parrot recently made news and was credited with saving a child's life.The little girl was choking; the child's care taker was in another room and heard the parrot screeching "Baby! Baby!" Going in to find out why the bird was screeching, she found the child turning blue and was able to save her life. So at some point the parrot was taught that "baby" related to the child. When it saw the child acting strangely, it was intelligent enough to mimic the learned word "baby."

How to Feed a Baby Bluejay

How to Feed a Baby Bluejay

It is common during the spring months to find a baby blue jay away from the safety of its nest. Many baby birds are thought to be abandoned or out of the nest too soon, when they are actually fledglings who have recently grown their feathers and are on their first flight and do not need rescuing. Few baby birds fall from their nest, unless storms or other natural disasters occur. According to the Marathon Wild Bird Center, it's best not to take in and feed a baby bird unless absolutely necessary. Keeping wild birds in captivity is illegal. If necessary, feed and keep the bird safe until you make contact with your local wildlife rehabilitator.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the bird for injuries. If it is hurt, take it to an avian or wildlife veterinarian or call your local conservation department for the nearest wildlife rehabilitator.

    2

    Determine if the bird is a fledgling. The majority of baby birds found are fledglings learning to fly. Allow the bird to perch on your finger. If the bird grips your finger firmly, it is a fledgling. If not, it is a nestling and has been prematurely abandoned.

    3

    Locate the nest by searching trees and bushes that are close by and well hidden.

    4

    Hold the bird in your hands until it becomes warm and place it back in its nest. Returning a cold bird to its nest may cause the parent to push it out in response to keeping eggs or other babies warm.

    5

    Construct a substitute nest, using a margarine tub with holes punched in the bottom for draining and fill it with grass. Secure it in the area where you found the baby bird if you are unable to locate the nest or it is unreachable.

    6

    Watch discretely to see if a parent blue jay returns. Typically wild birds will not return to their nest if they see you. If you have cats, keep them inside. If you fear other predators, move the bird out of harm's way by placing it in dense shrubbery.

    7

    Place a call to your local wildlife rehabilitator if a parent does not return within six to eight hours, and begin to administer care and feeding for the baby bird.

    8

    Place the baby bird on a towel-covered heating pad set on the lowest temperature setting. Keep the bird in a safe, quiet area.

    9

    Provide the bird water using the baby medicine dropper. Slowly and carefully place small droplets of water into its mouth. If too much water enters the baby's lungs it can cause pulmonary aspiration and death.

    10

    Purchase a hand-feeding baby bird formula from a pet store. Soak the food in water at room temperature, using one part dry food to two parts water.

    11

    Feed the baby bird the food in pea-sized portions, using the blunt-tipped tweezers. Carefully place the food into the baby's mouth as it reaches for it. Do not poke the tweezers down its throat. The bird will stop eating when it's full.

    12

    Feed the bird every 30 minutes if it's a nestling and every hour if a fledgling.

Senin, 27 Februari 2012

How to Pick a Cat Friendly Bird

If you already live with a cat but want to add a bird to your household, you might be met with some skepticism. Birds and cats have always been notorious enemies, but it doesn't have to be that way because a number of birds can co-exist with cats. If you're certain that your cat is bird friendly, you have half the battle won.

Instructions

    1

    Adopt a caninde, or blue-throated, macaw or a greenwinged macaw. These birds are 24 inches long, so they probably won't look like prey to your cat. They're smart and social, and may even develop a friendship with your cat. If your cat is nervous, though, this isn't the bird for you. The loud call of a macaw can terrify a nervous cat.

    2

    Investigate the little known red-bellied macaw. This species is smaller and just as bright as the larger macaws. They love to imitate other animals and people. They can even call your cat, just to tease him, or meow right back at the cat.

    3

    Welcome a hyacinth macaw or red-fronted macaw into your home. These are both loving and social animals. As long as both the cat and the bird receive special attention, these animals cope easily with a cat.

    4

    Warm up to a parakeet, also known as a budgie. These birds like noise and activity and are extremely social. You need to work with them on trust issues, just like any bird. Make certain that you tap the beak as it is a method of saying hello. They'll stay close to you and away from the cat.

    5

    Stay away from most parrots. Parrots tend to be fearful animals and the presence of a cat is just another additional fear for them. If you insist on buying a parrot, make certain you find one that has been around cats and people since birth and is comfortable with them.

How to Breed Male and Female Budgie Parakeets

How to Breed Male and Female Budgie Parakeets

Budgerigars, also known as budgies or parakeets, are active and energetic little birds that have plumage in bright hues including blue, violet, yellow and green. Budgies often pair off and mate to produce more budgies. Once raised, the budgie chicks may be sold for profit or kept as pets. In order to encourage your budgies to breed, proper breeding conditions must be provided, including a suitable cage environment and adequate nutrition. If you are willing to invest the time and effort into your budgies' breeding efforts, the rewards are a clutch of healthy budgie chicks.

Instructions

    1

    Select your breeding budgies carefully. Ensure that you have a true pair of budgies, meaning that you have a proven male and a proven female bird. A bonded pair, a pair that has already mated for life and has possibly already reproduced together, offers the best chance of producing offspring. Caring for several pairs of budgies gives you a bigger chance of producing chicks and also helps encourage the birds to breed--just be certain you have an equal number of males and female budgies.

    2

    Provide a cage for each pair of budgies you intend to breed. Attach a nest box to the cage and provide nesting material such as unscented pine shavings. Place at least two differently sized perches in the cage. Place a food dish into each cage and provide either a water dish or water tube for the birds to drink from.

    3

    Set the room temperature between 65 F and 75 F and place a humidifier in the room to encourage breeding and help the eggs to hatch. Provide your budgies with natural light or light from a full-spectrum light bulb, but never direct sunlight. Ensure your budgies receive 12 hours of darkness for resting daily--cover the cages at sundown and uncover the cages at sunrise.

    4

    Place a mineral block and cuttlebone into each cage to provide your birds with a good source of calcium, which keeps them strong during breeding and produces strong eggshells. Feed the birds a high-quality parakeet seed mix and use the same mix throughout breeding season to prevent potential food-related breeding problems. Give your birds a high-quality vitamin supplement. Feed the birds fresh, organic greens each day. Change the food and provide fresh water daily.

    5

    Disturb the budgies as little as possible, giving them the peace and privacy they need to breed.

    6

    Watch your female budgie carefully for signs of illness or complications during pregnancy. If she fluffs her feathers, shakes, droops her tail or appears odd in any way, contact your veterinarian for advice on how to handle her particular problem.

How to Build Your Own Parakeet Playground

How to Build Your Own Parakeet Playground

Parakeets are entertaining and playful birds that many people enjoy keeping as pets. Parakeets, also known as budgerigars or budgies, are intelligent little birds that can learn tricks and may even be taught to speak. These birds get bored when left with nothing to do in their cage, so offering them a playground with stimulating toys and perches to climb is important to their overall health and happiness. Build your own parakeet playground and have fun watching your birds play!

Instructions

    1

    Start with a base for your playground. A good suggestion for this is a plastic storage crate that you can add and connect toys to. The parakeets can also climb the crate and use it as part of the playground. You can place the crate on its side, upside down, or however you would like.

    2

    Add perches to the playground. Parakeets love to spend time sitting on and climbing perches, so connect some perches to the playground using non-toxic glue, clips, or string.

    3

    Connect toys for your parakeet to play with. Some favorite toys include mirrors, swings, ladders, rings, and ropes. Hang these toys from the plastic storage crate using string or clips. You can come back later and easily rearrange the toys or exchange old toys for new ones after a while.

    4

    Place the playground on a safe surface for your parakeet. You can put the playground near the parakeets' cage to allow them easy access, or anywhere else that the birds won't get into trouble.

Minggu, 26 Februari 2012

How to Care for a Colorful Parrot

How to Care for a Colorful Parrot

Large, colorful parrots, the macaw, can be found in a variety of colors. Macaws can be light green with blue tail feathers, deep blue with yellow accents, or a rainbow of colors. Macaws are very social birds who love to talk and to be around the family. Not only can macaws talk, but they can typically correctly respond to questions asked of them. When it comes to caring for the colorful macaw, there are a few tips to ensure it is clean, healthy and cared for.

Instructions

    1

    Feed your parrot pelleted food, which can be purchased from any pet store. How much pellet food you feed your parrot should be determined by the size of the bird and the instructions on the bag of food. Pelleted parrot food offers your parrot a balanced and nutritious diet. For variety, you can add thawed frozen vegetables, berries, fruits and nuts to the food. You can feed your parrot some table scraps -- like cooked chicken and turkey -- but there are some foods you have to avoid (see Warnings).

    2

    Fill a water dish with fresh water everyday. Make sure your parrot always has water in the dish.

    3

    Bathe your parrot twice a week during the day. Fill up a plastic spray bottle with lukewarm water, and gently mist your parrot with the water. Do not soak the feathers with the water, and never use soaps or shampoos on your parrot, as this can agitate the feathers and skin.

    4

    Trim your parrot's nails and beak only if they become overgrown. Purchase a parrot perch, which will trim your parrot's nails when it is climbing on it -- similar to a cat perch. The best way to trim the beak is to take your parrot to a professional bird or pet groomer or to a veterinarian -- trimming the beak yourself can cause injury to your bird.

    5

    House your parrot in a large bird cage. The cage must be big enough for the bird to fly around and spread its wings without touching the sides of the cage. Since macaws are known for being social birds, keep the cage in a room that you and your family are frequently in.

    6

    Clean your parrot's food and water dishes daily. Clean any perches or bird toys once a week, and wash down the flooring of the cage every other week. These simple cleanings can be done with just mild soap and water.

    7

    Wash and disinfect the entire cage once or twice a year with a parrot cage cleaner and water. Parrot cage cleaner can be found at any pet store or exotic pet shop.

How to Attract Goldfinches to a Finch Sock Feeder

How to Attract Goldfinches to a Finch Sock Feeder

A finch sock feeder is irresistible to many different types of finches and is an asset if you want to attract goldfinches to your yard or garden. Fill these long mesh bags with the black oilseed, Guizotia abyssinica, and use the drawstring, that doubles as a loop, to hang the feeder and close off the top. Finches will flock to this feeder because they can perch on the soft sides of the bag, even in an upside-down position, while they feed. Sock feeder bags are a convenient and economical way to attract these attractive little songbirds to your garden. Commercially available bags normally hold about 10 ounces of this black oilseed, which is high in both calories and oil.

Instructions

    1

    Loosen the drawstring and fill the sock or bag with black oilseed. Depending on the brand of commercial bag that you are using, each bag holds about 10 ounces of seed.

    2

    Tighten the drawstring and use the loop to hang the bag from the branches of a tree that is close enough to your house that you can enjoy the sight of the finches as they feed. Select brands of finch sock feeders have a nylon rope attached. Use this rope to secure the bag, if present. The carefully designed mesh material allows for maximum airflow, which keeps the seed dry and fresh.

    3

    Hang the feeder under a sheltered area as an alternative to hanging it in a tree. The advantage of sourcing an area protected from bad weather is that the seed will stay dry, even during rainy periods.

    4

    Observe how quickly the finches eat their seed and refill the bag when empty. The mesh design allows finches to cling with ease to the soft sides but discourages other bird species from feeding from it. Black oilseeds are of less interest to squirrels and larger birds, so competition is reduced for the finches, which are the birds you want to attract to your garden.

    5

    Provide water for wild finches near your seed feeder to help attract these attractive little birds to your garden.

    6

    Chase away other birds from the bag; even though they may not feed, their presence may keep the finches from using the feeder.

What Do Blue & Gold Macaws Eat in the Wild?

The blue and gold, or blue and yellow, macaw is native to the rain forest and Neotropical areas and is primarily a herbivore. Seen less and less in the wild, the species is falling prey to trade. Those still existing in the wild feed off vegetation in their surroundings.

Fruits and Seeds

    Wild blue and gold macaws live off fruits of nearby plants and trees. These birds tend to eat palm fruit or the fruit from other trees in their surroundings. According to Animal Corner, macaws like to eat the seeds from the hura crepitans tree.

Nuts, Leaves and Clay Licks

    Nuts and leaves from surrounding rain forest trees are also a staple of the macaw diet. Macaws often eat things that are harsh on the digestive system; for this reason, they can often be found at clay licks to detoxify poisonous seeds they eat and also to gain minerals.

Considerations

    In the wild, the blue and gold macaw sustains itself with fruit, seeds and nuts, but it also may eat insects and leafy vegetables. When these wild birds are bought and trained as domestic pets they begin to live on a diet of seeds or pellet food only.

What Is the Best Out of Cage Time for a Parakeet?

What Is the Best Out of Cage Time for a Parakeet?

Parakeets are one of the most popular birds kept as pets. Many owners allow their birds time to be outside of their cages. Both owner and bird can benefit from this experience. Here are some guidelines for you to use when letting your birds out of their cage.

Why We Let Them Fly

    The main reason to let your parakeets out of the cage is that as birds it is their nature to fly. Young parakeets will often stand on a perch and rapidly flap their wings, exercising their wing muscles in preparation for a chance to use them in actual flight. Older birds will also flap when suffering from lack of exercise. Restricting your parakeets to a life lived totally in a cage is unnatural, and your birds will be much happier if given the chance to freely fly.

Consistency

    If you choose to let your parakeets fly outside the cage you should find a time that allows for consistency on a day-to-day basis. There is no set time that is better than others. Being skillful flyers, longer sessions of potential free flight are better for the birds. This allows them to become very familiar with their surroundings and more comfortable about coming out of the safety of the cage. Try to let them out for several hours at a time, ensuring that the room they are flying in has been "bird-proofed". The first few attempts may be met with skeptical birds that are somewhat cautious about coming outside. They will soon learn to love it and will come out more quickly over time.

Safety

    Making your parakeets' flight room "bird-proof" is essential to their safety. Escape and flying away is the major danger for pet parakeets. They are drawn to the open air but as pets do not possess the orientation or survival skills to return safely or survive in what is most likely a hostile environment. Other dangers are houseplants that can be poisonous or otherwise dangerous to parakeets. Open containers of water can pose danger as the bird may mistake the water's surface for a solid landing place and could potentially drown. Closets and drawers should always be closed as a parakeet can squeeze into an open crack and starve or suffocate. This is also the case with wastebaskets. A parakeet that has fallen into a wastebasket can suffocate or have a fright-induced heart attack. Fans should be turned off and sharp objects put away to avoid injury.

Playthings

    Parakeets love to play and are very inquisitive once they feel comfortable in their surroundings. A nice idea is to construct a bird tree out of found branches and nailing or tying smaller branches or twigs crosswise to create perches. Your birds will enjoy having places to land and explore when flying around the room. A cage topper bird gym or wire staircase is also a good choice and will become a favorite place for your birds to go when out of the cage.

Return to the Cage

    Your birds will eventually return to the cage to eat, and you should not chase them or try to capture them in attempts to get them back inside. If necessary, let them stay outside overnight. Consistently allowing the birds to fly in the evening and then lowering the lights after they have been out for a while can be a strategy to get them to go home. Hanging a millet spray in the cage will usually convince the birds to go in, and combined with lowering of the lights can be a good way to get your birds to realize it is time to retire for the evening.

Sabtu, 25 Februari 2012

How to Hand Raise Baby Budgies

How to Hand Raise Baby Budgies

Budgies (parakeets) are among one of the most widely kept parrot species in the world. They can learn to talk like their larger cousins and they can be taught to do tricks. They are ideal for anyone who doesn't have the required space for the larger species. Many enthusiasts discover that they want to try their hand at breeding these small companion birds. Getting budgies to breed is actually quite easy, but if something happens and the parents no longer can take care of the babies then it is up to the owner to take over the parental duties.

Instructions

    1

    Line a shoebox with a layer of rags. These rags can be washed every couple of days as needed. The cloth of the rags will absorb liquid from waste and food which will prevent the young babies from sitting in moisture and getting sick.

    2

    Place the shoebox in a draft free area and place the heating pad under it. Set the heating pad to a maximum temperature of 98 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the approximate temperature that they would be if they were being raised by their parents.

    3

    Using the baby bird formula and the syringe, feed the baby budgies once every two hours when they are one week old. Feed once every three hours when they are two weeks old, every four hours at three weeks old, and every four to five hours at four weeks old. At about six weeks of age they will start trying to wean themselves so some fresh fruit and vegetables should be supplied daily along with some standard budgie seed.

    4

    Remove any formula from each babies beak and feet after each feeding. This is important because the babies grow at an amazing rate and can become crippled if the formula hardens on the beak or feet during their growth spurts.

    5

    Place the babies in a normal cage once it becomes evident that they are eating food on their own. At this point they may still beg for formula on occasion so make sure to keep it handy for at least another month.

How to Feed Pigeons & Birds by Hand

How to Feed Pigeons & Birds by Hand

People have always been fascinated by birds. Watching them take to the air was what inspired us to learn to fly. Touching the lives of birds allows us, in part, to partake of the sky the way they do. What more intimate way to gain a rapport with a bird than to have it take food from your hand? From wild pigeons to baby birds you raise yourself, having a bird eat from your hand is an experience not quite like any other. The following instructions are for teaching adult, wild birds to eat from your hand, and for feeding baby birds you raise yourself.

Instructions

Feeding Wild Adult Birds by Hand

    1
    Fill the bird feeder at the same time early each morning.
    Fill the bird feeder at the same time early each morning.

    Install a bird feeder in a quiet place in your yard. Fill the feeder at the same time early each morning with a wild bird mixture, obtainable at any pet store. Birds wake up hungry, so the earlier you fill the feeder, the better. After a few days the local birds will come to expect this free meal and will show up at the right time. Include some chopped nuts or sunflower seeds, as these are coveted treats for birds.

    2

    Remain about 15 to 20 feet from the feeder while the birds eat. Stand quietly and be careful not to make any sudden moves. Speaking will not disturb the birds, and they will come to associate your voice with feeding time. Move about a foot closer every morning until you are able to stand beside the feeder without affecting the birds' willingness to eat.

    3
    With patience, wild birds can be taught to take food from your hand.
    With patience, wild birds can be taught to take food from your hand.

    Place some of the nuts and sunflower seeds on your hand after filling the feeder as usual and hold it out as you remain unmoving. Since the birds will already be used to you they will begin taking the food from your hand.

Feeding Baby Birds by Hand

    4
    Feeding syringes have a wide opening to allow formula to pass through.
    Feeding syringes have a wide opening to allow formula to pass through.

    Mix the baby bird hand-feeding formula with warm water until it is the consistency of pudding or gravy. It should be no more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill the feeding syringe with warm formula.

    5
    Feeding a baby bird can be a bonding experience.
    Feeding a baby bird can be a bonding experience.

    Hold the baby bird gently in one hand or have an assistant gently hold the bird still. Insert the tip of the syringe into the bird's mouth above the tongue toward the left side of its mouth (your right side) to avoid squeezing food into its windpipe. Squeeze the food SLOWLY into the bird's mouth, allowing it to gradually fill its crop. When it stops eating, do not attempt to feed any more formula. Take your time and watch the bird carefully. It needs to stop drinking in order to breathe and if you are still squeezing food into its mouth, it may inhale the food and suffocate.

    6
    Use an extra soft wash cloth like those made for human babies to clean baby birds.
    Use an extra soft wash cloth like those made for human babies to clean baby birds.

    Clean the baby bird's beak and feathers thoroughly with a soft wash cloth. Baby birds can eat very messily, and dried formula will stick to them and may damage feathers. Dry the bird gently if washing has made it wet. Very young babies do not have their feathers yet and may have difficulty maintaining body heat. Return the baby to its nesting place, ensuring it remains warm and comfortable. Thoroughly clean the feeding syringe to prevent bacterial buildup.

How to Hand-Feed Canary Chicks

How to Hand-Feed Canary Chicks

Canaries are small birds that many people choose to keep as pets. Breeders have bred them in captivity since the 1600s. Breeding in captivity results in easier-to-tame birds that make better pets than canaries captured in the wild. However, one of the best ways to ensure that a baby canary grows up into a bird that will interact with its owner in a desirable way is by hand feeding it when it is a baby.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a commercial hand-feeding baby bird formula. There are several brands on the market. You should be able to find one that works best for canaries by asking a specialist at a large pet or bird store,

    2

    Mix hand-feeding bird food with warm water, using a small bowl and spoon; follow instructions on the package. The formula should be a nice, thin consistency, so that it can easily be used in an eyedropper.

    3

    Use your small eyedropper to provide gently a small amount of formula to the baby canary. If the baby is very young, you may choose to use a toothpick to provide even smaller droplets.

    4

    Drop the food in small droplets on the baby's bill. The baby canary will open its mouth and ingest the food on its own. After it becomes accustomed to this process, the bird may start opening its mouth to allow easier feeding.

    5

    Use a soft cloth and warm water to clean up any spilled food, so that it does not harden on the baby and restrict blood flow.

Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

How to Build a Custom Bird Cage

How to Build a Custom Bird Cage

Bird cages are not difficult to build, and can be made with very basic building materials. Wire mesh is often used to enclose bird cages, and standard pine lumber is often used for the framing of custom bird cages. Building your own cage will allow you to understand the construction process of bird cages, as well as lead you to modify this design in the future for building other types of bird cages. Building your own cage will also help you save money, as buying a cage is much more expensive.

Instructions

    1

    Lay two 12-inch boards parallel and 10 inches apart. Lay two 10-inch boards perpendicularly between the 12-inch boards so they are 10 inches apart. Screw through the 12-inch boards and into the 10-inch boards. You should have a 12-by-12-inch frame. Repeat this process two more times so you have three frames with these dimensions.

    2

    Stand two of the frames on edge so they are 10 inches apart. Position a 10-inch board between the frames so it is flush with one of the corners of both frames. Screw through the frames and into the 10-inch board. Repeat this process at every corner so you have a 12-by-12-by-12-inch box.

    3

    Staple a sheet of wire mesh on five sides of the box. The edges of the mesh sheets must be flush with the outside edges of the box. Staple the last mesh sheet to the 12-by-12-inch frame that isn't attached to the box. The frame that isn't attach will be the door to your bird cage.

    4

    Position the frame over the uncovered side of the box so all of the edges are flush. Screw half of two small hinges to the frame, and the other half to the box so this frame can open freely. Use your string to tie the door shut.

How to Tell the Sex of a Quaker Parakeet

How to Tell the Sex of a Quaker Parakeet

Quaker parakeets, also known as Quaker parrots or monk parakeets, are social birds and are native to South America. These hardy birds are the only type of parrot known to build nests. You can find Quaker parakeets in areas of North American and Europe. They can make great pets. They are affectionate, smart and have a strong willingness to learn human speech. Owners must take their pet to a qualified avian veterinarian to determine gender, as all Quaker parakeets are visually identical.

Instructions

DNA Testing

    1

    Schedule an appointment to bring the Quaker parakeet to a qualified avian vet. Place the bird inside a pet carrier and put the carrier in a secure area in your vehicle for a safe trip to the veterinarian.

    2

    Ask the avian veterinarian to conduct DNA testing to determine gender. The veterinarian will then take a small blood sample from the Quaker parakeet's leg. The veterinarian will send the blood sample to a lab that will determine its sex. The veterinarian may also want to test the blood for certain diseases.

    3

    Decide if the alternative method of collecting DNA is best for your pet. The veterinarian will pluck several feathers from the Quaker parakeet. The feathers are then sent to the lab for gender testing. It's best to allow the veterinarian to pluck the feathers to prevent irritation or infection at the plucking sites.

    4

    Wait for the DNA results to be sent to your avian veterinarian's office. Ask your veterinarian for an approximate timeframe in which you'll receive the results. Once the veterinarian has received the results of the DNA test, the office will contact you via telephone or by mail with the results.

Surgical Procedure

    5

    Schedule an appointment with a qualified avian veterinarian. Communicate with your veterinarian to determine if surgical sexing is a better choice for your Quaker parakeet than traditional DNA sexing.

    6

    Place the Quaker parakeet in a pet carrier. Secure the pet carrier into your vehicle to ensure a safe trip the veterinarian.

    7

    Ask the veterinarian to conduct a surgical procedure to determine the gender of your bird. The veterinarian will then put the Quaker parakeet under general anesthesia. The bird's abdomen will then be shaved and a small incision will be made to insert an endoscope. This is used to look at the internal reproductive organs to determine if the bird is male or female.

    8

    Listen to the post-operative instructions on how to care for your Quaker parakeet, given by your veterinarian. The veterinarian may prescribe the bird with medication to manage pain. Clean the incision site several times a day to promote healing.

Homemade Pet Bird Biscuits

If you want to brighten your caged bird's day a bit, a pet bird biscuit just might do the trick. Not only can a homemade treat provide entertainment, but it can also give your pet bird added nutrition that they may not be getting from their normal diet. Whether you have a persnickety parrot or a cage full of fluttering finches, homemade bird biscuits are an inexpensive, tasty treat.

Basic Bird Biscuit Recipe

    To make a basic bird biscuit, you can use a prepackaged biscuit mix, such as Bisquick. Make the biscuit mix, according to package directions, then add the following: 2 tablespoons of wheat germ, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 jar of squash, carrot or sweet potato baby food. Stir these ingredients in until blended well, then roll dough onto a floured surface. Roughly roll out the dough to flatten, then shape into biscuits, by hand or with cookie cutters. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet, at 425 degrees, until golden brown. Allow the treats to cool then serve. You can freeze these treats in a freezer-safe container for 1-2 months.

Added Treats

    You can enhance the basic bird biscuit by adding a variety of items such as dried fruits, shredded carrots, shredded potatoes, premade bird treats such as Beak Appetit, and applesauce. Each bird is different, so experimentation is in order to learn what treats your bird will love most.

Some Foods are Not for the Birds

    There are a variety of foods that can be toxic to your pet birds. You must avoid feeding your beloved birds anything containing chocolate, caffeine, avocado and alcohol. These items are known to be deadly to birds. Other foods, such as onions, table salt, and fruit seeds and pits, may not be deadly, but have the potential to make your birds sick.

How to Care for a Yellow-Naped Amazon

How to Care for a Yellow-Naped Amazon

Yellow-naped Amazons are highly intelligent, lively birds. They are usually a light green in plumage, with a yellow nape that gives them their name. They may also have touches of red and blue, depending on their genetics. Amazon's make very rewarding pets, and are very playful. They require plenty of attention and care to remain in optimum health, and live for between 20 and 60 years, depending on their health.

Instructions

    1

    Set up a bird cage. Mature Amazons are large birds, measuring around 14 inches from head to toe, so a large cage is needed. The bird will also require ledges at varying levels, and regular time outside of the cage to fly and play. The cage should be placed in a moderately busy part of the house, as Amazons enjoy socialization.

    2

    Provide suitable food. This can be purchased from pet shops or good department stores. Amazons thrive on a diet of seeds, fruits, nuts and berries. They are also known to enjoy eating blossom and leaf buds, green vegetables and corn. While you should provide access to food at all times, monitor your birds eating. Amazons are prone to obesity, and therefore require a low fat diet to maintain a suitable weight.

    3

    Offer a variety of toys, such as branches and wooden toys. Due to their high intelligence, Amazons become easily bored, so having a range of toys is considered necessary. As well as toys to chew and climb on, Amazons tend to love toys which are brightly colored and contain bells and mirrors.

    4

    Mist the bird with room temperature clean water regularly. In warm rooms, the Amazon can be left to dry naturally, or you can use a hair dryer on a low setting. Amazon's are unlikely to bathe themselves successfully in a bird bath, although this can be a fun activity for the bird.

    5

    Socialize the bird as much as possible. This includes introducing the bird to different people, and making trips to the vets. Young Amazons are usually very friendly, and will befriend everyone. Mature Amazons tend to bond strongly with their primary carer, and can become very protective.

    6

    Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Amazons do not need a vitamin supplement added to their water, provided that they are following a good diet, and are offered fresh fruit as a treat. Change the water once a day if possible to ensure it remains clean and hygienic.

Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

How to Make Birdseed With Raisins & Sunflower Seeds

Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite of many birds. When combined with other ingredients including raisins they can make a feeder cake for the birds. You don't need additional bird feeders to make the seed available to the birds. Set the finished cakes on the ground for ground feeding birds or hang them from tree branches with string for all the birds. These sunflower and raisin birdseed cakes are less expensive than similar ones found at stores.

Instructions

    1

    Melt 1 pound of lard in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the stove top and add a 16 ounce jar of crunchy peanut butter in a medium saucepan, mixing it well to combine.

    2

    Add 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of sunflower seeds and stir into the lard mixture.

    3

    Add 6 cups of cornmeal---either white or yellow---and 5 cups of flour. Stir until it is thoroughly combined.

    4

    Scoop the mixture into greased muffin tins, pressing it into each tin until full with no air bubbles. Place in the freezer overnight.

    5

    Remove the raisin and sunflower cakes from the tins. Poke a hole in the center with a pencil and thread a piece of yard through. Tie the ends of the yarn together to make a loop. Place the loop over a branch or hook to hang.

Eastern Rosella Diet

Eastern Rosella Diet

The eastern rosella, or Platycercus eximius, is a small parrot found in Australia and Tasmania. Because of its small size, usually quiet nature, and bright coloring, it is commonly kept as a pet. It eats a variety of seeds, nuts, berries, and fruits. In captivity, it is often fed birdseed as well as fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Natural Plant Diet

    Eastern rosellas commonly feed on eucalyptus seeds.
    Eastern rosellas commonly feed on eucalyptus seeds.

    In their natural habitat, eastern rosellas eat a variety of seeds, buds, fruits, berries, blossoms, and nuts. They commonly eat eucalyptus and acacia seeds as well as grasses and shrubs native to Australia and Tasmania. Eastern rosellas are known to feed in trees and to scavenge for food on the ground as well.

Natural Insect Diet

    Eastern rosellas eat insects such as caterpillars and coccids.
    Eastern rosellas eat insects such as caterpillars and coccids.

    Eastern rosellas also eat some insects, including caterpillars, lerp, coccids, and galls. Many of these insects are eaten from the leaves of trees and shrubs.

Fruits

    In captivity, eastern rosellas enjoy a variety of fruits including oranges, apples, and mangos.
    In captivity, eastern rosellas enjoy a variety of fruits including oranges, apples, and mangos.

    When kept as a pet, the eastern rosella enjoys fruits such as mangos, apples, blackberries, and oranges.

Bird Seed

    When kept as a pet, the eastern rosella can be fed birdseed.
    When kept as a pet, the eastern rosella can be fed birdseed.

    In captivity, eastern rosellas are commonly fed a mixture of cockatiel and canary seed. Eastern rosellas also enjoy sunflower and safflower seeds.

Vegetables

    Eastern rosellas, when kept in captivity, enjoy vegetables such as cucumbers and sweet potatoes.
    Eastern rosellas, when kept in captivity, enjoy vegetables such as cucumbers and sweet potatoes.

    Eastern rosellas that are kept as pets will eat chopped vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.

Eastern Rosellas as Pests

    In parts of Australia and New Zealand, eastern rosellas commonly eat from planted fruit trees such as apple trees.
    In parts of Australia and New Zealand, eastern rosellas commonly eat from planted fruit trees such as apple trees.

    Eastern rosellas are often considered pests in parts of Australia and New Zealand as they commonly feed on planted fruits such as apples, grapes, plums, cherries, and pears. They also commonly feed on garden flowers such as sunflowers. Eastern rosellas leave behind distinctive triangular marks in fruits and nuts that they eat due to their beak shape.

How to Determine the Sex of a Finch

If you are looking to breed finches or choose one that sings well (usually only males do), it is important to be able to determine the sex of a bird. Please understand that this is not easy. Males and females look alike. However, there are a few methods to distinguish the different genders. For some species it is easy to visually determine the sex. For others you must wait and watch the actions of the birds or look for the appearances to become distinguishable during breeding season.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the markings and bird color to determine the sex of a Zebra finch. In addition to their red beak, male Zebra finches will have a black bar on their breasts, orange patches on the cheeks, red-brown flanks with white specks and a scaled pattern beneath the chin. Females have more orangey beaks and lack the colorful body markings.

    2

    Look for color differences to determine the gender of a Gouldian finch. In Purple-Breasted Gouldian Finches, the males will have a darker purple breast than the females. In White-Breasted Gouldian Finches, the breast colors are the same in both genders. The difference lies with the circle of blue feathers around the head. In Males, this blue circle is slightly bigger and brighter.

    3

    Examine the color of Green Singers to determine the genders. Males are brighter with more green on their breasts. Females are less green with a circle running around the throat.

    4

    Look at the face of a European Goldfinch to determine if the bird is a male or female. While both sexes may have the same bright red mask, the color will run all the way past the eye on the males and stop before or in the middle of the eye area on the females.

    5

    Examine the head on a Blue Cap Cordon Bleu. The males' heads are a vivid blue, while the females' heads are more brownish. This is only true in adult birds.

    6

    Determine the sex of a Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu by looking at the bird's cheeks. On a male, the cheek area is a vivid red. Males also tend to have a more intense blue body than females.

    7

    Look at the face of an Owl Finch to determine the bird's sex. The white area on the bird's face is brighter and larger on a male.

    8

    Determine the sex of an African Red Head by checking out the bird's head. A male will have a red head, while the female will not.

    9

    Find out the sex of a Java Rice Finch by at the crown of the head. Male Java Rice have a larger cap than the females do.

    10

    Use the changes caused by the breeding season to determine the sex of a Weaver. Males exhibit vivid colors like red, yellow or black. At other times, look to their actions to determine the sex of Weavers. Only the males weave the nests.

    11

    Look at a Wydah during breeding season to determine its gender. Males have brightly colored feathers with an extended tail as the time to breed approaches. This is the only time when distinguishing the sexes is possible.

    12

    Look at the actions of other types of finches to determine the sex. These species include Lavender Waxbills, Tri-Color Nuns, Society, Spice Finches and St. Helena Waxbills. While certain species may require further examination. Mostly, males are the only birds that sing. Females will be the ones laying eggs.

How to Wean a Macaw

How to Wean a Macaw

During the weaning process, the macaw chick will show a decreased interest in hand-feeding formula. It will often play with the formula instead of consuming it. An interest in solid foods usually starts when the bird reaches 8 weeks old. It will begin to play with small bits of food. It will pick up the morsels and mouth them. The young parrot may even swallow tiny bits of fruit or vegetables. True weaning commences when a macaw reaches 12 to 16 weeks of age. Allow each bird to wean at its own pace. Some birds catch on quickly, but others may take weeks before they begin to understand and accept the concept of eating.

Instructions

    1

    Weigh the chick daily when starting the weaning process. Record the chick's weight on a chart. The chick will loose approximately 10 percent to 25 percent of its body weight during weaning. This enables the chick to lose its chubbiness so it can fledge and learn flight.

    2

    Continue to hand-feed the macaw chick twice per day using hand-feeding formula. Do not force the chick to eat the formula but always offer it. Many chicks will play with the food and appear uninterested in eating. Never force the chick to eat against its will.

    3

    Provide a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables daily for the young macaw to sample and play with. Offer a piece of corn on the cob daily for the macaw to play with. At first it will view the corn on the cob as a toy but eventually it will begin to consume it. Fresh peas in a pod also make an ideal weaning food for the young macaw to enjoy playing with and eating.

    4

    Mash a cooked sweet potato and offer it to the young macaw. Consider mixing peanut butter and coconut milk into the substance to make it more palatable.

    5

    Provide the young macaw one hand-feeding per day when it appears to be eating an ample diet of foods. Watch the young bird closely to determine that it is eating well.

    6

    Eliminate the hand-feeding formula from the chick's diet when it ceases to beg for it. Once a young macaw ceases to beg for the formula it has successfully weaned.

How to Keep an Eclectus Parrot

How to Keep an Eclectus Parrot

If you are looking for a parrot to keep in your house or apartment, a colorful Eclectus parrot may be a good candidate. Eclectus parrots are among the most brilliantly colored members of the parrot family. The males are brilliant green with yellow and orange beaks, while the females are bright red with a deep blue-purple color under their wings and on their abdomens. The Eclectus -- a midsize, generally easy-to-care-for parrot -- makes a good pet because it is intelligent, with good talking abilities, but is generally not a screamer.

Instructions

Housing the Eclectus

    1

    Get a cage that is as large as possible; stainless steel is the best material, but powder-coated aluminum is fine. An adult Eclectus will be 13 inches to 14 inches long, so the cage should be at least 3 feet by 4 feet by 5 feet. Make sure the bird can fully stretch out its wings in the cage. A cage that is too small will cause added stress and boredom on the Eclectus.

    2

    Set the cage up with several perches, as well as a variety of toys. Eclectus parrots are intelligent birds and may become bored if they have nothing to do. Boredom can lead to irritability and self-destructive behaviors, like feather picking. Make sure that the bird can move around the cage and is not so crowded that he cannot do a full wing stretch. Avoid sandpaper-coated perches and plain wood dowels, as these are bad for the Eclectus' feet. Since Eclectus parrots are treetop foragers in nature, be sure to place some toys, especially foraging toys, high up in the cage.

    3

    Line the cage with newspaper to catch droppings. Newspaper is the best material for a cage floor or under a grate; other linings, such as coconut husks or wood shavings, can become a medium for fungus growth.

    4

    Clean the cage regularly, preferably every day, using nontoxic cleaning agents. A 1:10 solution of vinegar and water works well. Scrub off food residue and fecal matter; make sure you clean off the toys and perches if they have anything on them that might serve as a medium for bacterial growth. Take the parrot out of the cage during cleaning time.

    5

    Make sure that the Eclectus has sufficient out-of-cage time. Parrots are social creatures and need to feel like they are part of a flock to avoid stress. They should have a minimum of an hour a day out of the cage, but preferably more. If your Eclectus seems stressed, it may be because it needs more out-of-cage time.

Feeding the Eclectus

    6

    Give your parrot food at regular times, and have some food, preferably dry pellets that can't spoil, available at all times. Avoid pellets that contain artificial coloring.

    7

    Provide fresh produce daily. This may be combined with frozen vegetables, which can be microwaved until unfrozen. Eclectus parrots may become mineral-deficient, so fresh fruits and vegetables are very important. Emphasize vegetables with beta carotine, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and peppers, as well as dark leafy greens, like swiss chard, dandelion greens and broccoli. Eclectus parrots are particularly known as fruit-eaters, so fruit should make up about 30 percent of their diet. Your parrot will have its own particular tastes and favorites, so experiment with different fruits and vegetables to find a healthy mix that your Eclectus enjoys.

    8

    Avoid giving your bird avocado, raw onion, chocolate or rhubarb. These can be toxic to parrots.

How to Determine Bearded and Non-Bearded Silkie Chicks

The silkie breed of chickens has a history that's at least a thousand years reports "The Complete Encyclopedia of Chickens." The silkie name comes from the feathers that lack the barbs and quills normally found in feathers, giving the feathers a silky fur appearance. This breed does come in bearded and non-bearded varieties. The bearded variety also always has a muff according to "Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds."

Instructions

    1

    Observe the chick from the side within a few days of hatching. This beard and muff feature can be seen in the youngest of chicks and you do not have to handle the chick to see this feature.

    2

    Look for feathers that appear to come out from under the beak. This is the beard of a chick in which the feathers grow close to the beak and fluff up towards the beak. If the chick does not have this feature, then it is probably a non-bearded chick.

    3

    Look for the muff on the chick. These are the feathers the look like a ball of whiskers growing out the side of the face. If you are unsure if your chick has a beard due to its young age and development, you can look for the muff. If there is a muff, then your chick will develop a beard.

Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

What Fruits & Vegetables Can Cockatiels Eat?

What Fruits & Vegetables Can Cockatiels Eat?

Pet cockatiels, like children, don't always know what's best for them. They can become "seedaholics" and refuse to eat anything else; but unless you are feeding a pelleted food that contains fruits and vegetables, they need fresh food daily to reproduce the naturally varied diet they would eat in the wild. Keep providing this every day -- it may take a year or more to convert your birds to a better diet.

Fruits

    Cockatiels enjoy all the staple year-round supermarket fruits such as bananas, apples and grapes. Seasonal fruits such as nectarines, peaches, apricots, pears and strawberries bring welcome variety. Tropicals such as papayas, mangos, guavas and kiwi fruit are a good choice. Melons such as cantaloupe and watermelon are well received. Cherries may turn their droppings dark red -- it looks like blood, but is harmless. Feed less fruit overall than vegetables, as it is mostly sugar and water, although citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit do provide vitamin C. Wash all fresh fruit, cut into small pieces, and remove all cores, stones, large seeds and pits. If you have no fresh fruit, try dried fruit such as prunes, cranberries and raisins, as long as they are unsulphured.

Vegetables

    Offer ample greens such as romaine, leaf lettuce, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, watercress and mustard greens. The darker the color, the more nutrition they contain -- iceberg lettuce is mostly water. Yellow and orange vegetables such as sweet potato and winter squash provide vitamin A, but your bird may prefer these cooked to raw. Carrots should be chopped or grated. Other vegetables such as string beans, peas, corn on the cob, zucchini, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts can provide variety. Broccoli, spinach and parsley are frowned on by some experts because they contain substances that interfere with calcium absorption, so limit these. Even hot chiles are fine because birds don't taste the heat, but you may if your birds kiss you. Wash all fresh vegetables thoroughly and cut into manageable bits. Thaw frozen vegetables completely. Cool cooked vegetables before serving them. Canned vegetables provide little or no nutritional value at all, other than calories.

Never, Ever

    Alcohol, avocado and chocolate can kill cockatiels. Other foods on the forbidden list are eggplant, cabbage, caffeine (tea and coffee), milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (all parts, including the leaves). Do not give any pet, or allow them access to, any part of a houseplant.

Unknown

    If you are not certain if a fruit or vegetable is good for cockatiels, check with a bird expert or a veterinarian experienced in bird care before you offer it. If you cannot verify that it is OK, don't include it.

How to Feed Red Food to a Canary

For some canary varieties, such as the lizard, Norwich and Yorkshire, color feeding can help enhance the red or orange coloring of the bird. These canaries are what's termed red factor canaries, which is a genetic trait that creates red, orange or bronze colored feathers. Since the color is in the feathers, color feeding to enhance the red will only be successful at certain times of the year. Once feathers have grown in, you cannot change their color.

Instructions

    1

    Choose which red intensifying food or foods you want to feed your canary. You can add chopped raw or cooked red pepper, carrots and other red and orange foods or products, such as canthaxanthin, to the canary's food. If you are using a color feeding product for canaries, follow the instructions found on the label for how much and how often to feed the product to your bird.

    2

    Mix the red enhancing food into your canary's regular soft food mix. Make the mixture about 10 percent red food and 90 percent your canary's normal diet. If you do not feed your canary a soft food mix, mix the red food with smashed boiled eggs, yogurt or baby food.

    3

    Feed juvenile birds the red food every day starting at eight weeks of age until they complete their first molt. When all of their adult feathers have come in and they have stopped losing feathers, your birds have completed a molt.

    4

    Feed adult canaries red foods every day during molting. Molting typically occurs annually for healthy canaries after the breeding season and can take six to eight weeks, according to Marie Miley-Russell in "The Practical Canary Handbook." You will know when your birds have started molting by the unusually high numbers of feathers found at the bottom of the cage.

How to Choose Perches for Quaker Parrots

How to Choose Perches for Quaker Parrots

Perches are a Quaker parrot's version of furniture. They provide a place to hang out and relax, access the food and water dishes and sometimes even sleep. They can also contribute to your bird's foot health because of the amount of time he will spend perching, according to Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Ezine. Because perches are such an important part of your Quaker parrot's life, you'll need to invest some effort into choosing the best ones.

Instructions

    1

    Choose perches of varying thickness and diameter, such as a branch-style perch with offshoots. This will prevent foot problems such as arthritis and atrophy by exercising your Quaker parrot's feet, building foot strength and increasing dexterity. According to the Doctors Foster & Smith Pet Education website, a good diameter range for Quaker parrots is 5/8-inch to 1 inches.

    2

    Opt for perches made from different materials. They are available in a variety of materials, including wood, granite, rope and acrylic. Like varying diameters, different perch materials will contribute to good foot health. For example, granite naturally trims the bird's nails, rope provides exercise and other materials offer comfort.

    3

    Pick a perch with a textured surface. These are easier for your Quaker parrot to grip when compared to smooth surfaces and are especially helpful for sleeping.

    4

    Choose perches that can be easily cleaned. Quaker parrots can be messy, so perches made from washable material will make your life much easier.

    5

    Select perches made from high-quality materials. You may need to pay more, but the perch will last a much longer time. The coating on cheap coated surfaces tends to come off quickly, and poor quality wood will not hold up to chewing and washing.

    6

    Choose perches that can be placed at various levels in your Quaker parrot's cage. Some birds prefer being low, while others want to be as high as possible. Some like to be on a mid-level perch during the day and move to the top of the cage while sleeping. Get an easy-to-grip perch for the top of the cage, as many Quaker parrots prefer to sleep as high as possible. Granite perches work well near food and water dishes because the bird will use them several times a day and keep her toenails trimmed. Rope and wood perches near the middle are ideal for playing and resting.

How to Take Care of a Pet Parakeet

How to Take Care of a Pet Parakeet

Parakeets, also known as budgies, are entertaining pets, especially in groups of two or more. Pet parakeets are an active bunch, flitting around cages and chattering to one another. With proper care, the right environment and a bit of human interaction, parakeets will thrive in your home.

Instructions

    1

    Get the largest cage possible and carefully choose a location. Make sure the cage is well-constructed, with bars that are no more than .4 inches apart. Keep the cage away from drafts and out of direct sunlight. Do not locate the cage near the kitchen. Fumes from self-cleaning ovens and cookware made with Teflon can be fatal to birds.

    2

    Give your birds food that is specifically prepared for parakeets and water. Offer them fruits and leafy greens daily, and change their water often. Consult your veterinarian about additional nutritional needs.

    3

    Line the bottom of the cage with plain paper or newspaper that is printed with a non-toxic ink. Change the paper daily and clean the cage and its contents at least once a week. Once a month, remove all contents and disinfect the cage.

    4

    Provide toys and plenty of perches for exercise and stimulation. Chew toys, ladders and mirrored surfaces are suitable and safe. Make sure toys have no loose pieces that can become choking hazards.

How to Find Out if Birds Are Mating

How to Find Out if Birds Are Mating

You bought the birds hoping to find yourself in possession of a mated pair. But she seems unimpressed by his posing, and you can tell just by the way he's glaring out through the bars, all he can think is, "Wow, that is one uuuuugly cockatiel." You know what they say about the best laid plans... bear in mind, bonding between birds can take years and breeding only happens during certain times of year. What appears to be a fundamental personality clash can resolve itself over time. One day, you'll walk into the room and find them sharing the same perch, happily cooing at each other. And that's when you begin to wonder, are they or aren't they?

Instructions

    1

    Watch for drastic transformations in normal behavior. If your birds begin to exhibit aggression or distinct personality changes, treating you in a hostile manner, they may be trying to chase away perceived competition or protect their impending family.

    2

    Keep an eye on your male bird for signs of showing off, preening for the ladies, or otherwise strutting his stuff. In most breeds, it is the male who works to attract the female. He will "kiss" the female, passing food to her as a demonstration of being a good provider.

    3

    Check for nest construction. If your birds do not have a nesting box, you may want to provide one for them. If they are planning to raise a family, proper housing will be their primary goal in the beginning. Fill the bottom of the nesting box with pine shavings, and wait for the birds to start kicking the shavings out, while carrying other bits of material in to construct a nest that is to their liking.

    4

    Peek inside the nest or nest box at least once a day. Establish a routine and check at approximately the same time each day. Looking in immediately after filling the feeders can help the birds develop a positive association, connecting something good (receiving food) with something that makes them uncomfortable (you poking around in their private arena).

    5

    Check the droppings. Often, prior to laying a fertilized egg, the female's droppings will become thicker develop a noticeable, unpleasant aroma.

    6

    Observe the shape of the female. She should develop a noticeable swelling in her lower abdomen prior to dropping the egg. The female may lay her eggs over a period of several days, though clutch size will vary with breed.

Selasa, 21 Februari 2012

Can Ducklings Eat Cracked Corn?

Can Ducklings Eat Cracked Corn?

Ducks are common birds often raised for meat production. However, many pet enthusiasts enjoy raising ducks and ducklings as a hobby. Duckling owners must take many factors into consideration, from choosing a warm sleeping area to determining the correct food choices. A typical food choice for ducks is cracked corn, but duck owners should follow some guidelines before offering this food type to ducklings.

Cracked Corn Identification

    A food staple for many domesticated birds, including ducks, cracked corn essentially consists of broken kernels of corn small enough for bird beaks to maneuver and swallow. This food is relatively inexpensive, making it widespread throughout farm and ranch industries.

Ducklings Zero To Three Weeks Old

    Newborn ducklings up to the age of three weeks old should not eat cracked corn. Their diet should consist of chick starter mash and crumbles. Check to verify the starter mash is a nonmedicated type; medicated mash may be harmful to a domesticated duckling since it is designed for growing birds rapidly for meat production. Ducklings of this young age should consume about 20 to 22 percent of their diet in protein, adequately supplied by the mash and crumbles.

Ducklings Three To Six Weeks Old

    Ducklings between three and six weeks old can have cracked corn added to their diets. Cracked corn does not supply the high amount of protein needed for newborn ducklings, but older ducklings require only 16 percent protein within their diet. However, the cracked corn should still be accompanied by mash and crumbles for a well-rounded diet.

Considerations

    Take steps to prevent the duckling from consuming too much or too little protein. Excessive protein causes wing feathers to extend upward; add more cracked corn to the diet to relieve the excessive protein provided by the mash and crumbles. In contrast, too little protein contributes to nutritional deficiencies. Do not overfeed ducklings with cracked corn, since it does not provide enough protein for a healthy body.

How to Make a Bird Feeding Sanctuary

How to Make a Bird Feeding Sanctuary

Attract birds to your back yard by creating a bird feeding sanctuary. Plan the sanctuary out on paper before beginning the project. Native birds in your area will need food, water, shelter and protection from predators. Provide a fence around the sanctuary if your area has dogs or other animals you feel could cause harm to wild birds. Avoid disturbing the new sanctuary at first. Once its ready, let the birds settle in.

Instructions

    1
    Isolate bird baths to provide sanctuary from predators, including cats.
    Isolate bird baths to provide sanctuary from predators, including cats.

    Set a bird bath in a sunny area, making it the central or focal point of the bird sanctuary. Concrete or ceramic bird baths are sturdier than plastic and will last longer, however, plastic or fiberglass units work well in warm months. Place the bath in a flat area in your garden or yard and fill it with clean warm water each day. The bath will also provide drinking water for wild birds. In cold months, place a small waterproof heating element to keep the unit from freezing.

    2
    Clear bird feeders provide safe feeding for several birds at a time.
    Clear bird feeders provide safe feeding for several birds at a time.

    Hang a variety of bird feeders in the vicinity of the bird bath. Hang them on trees or poles to provide easy access for you and the birds. Fill bird feeders with wild birdseed appropriate for a variety of wild birds. Monitor the bird feeders and keep them full. Once birds begin feeding in your bird sanctuary, they rely on the food source you are providing.

    3
    Pyracantha branches attract and provide shelter for hummingbirds.
    Pyracantha branches attract and provide shelter for hummingbirds.

    Plant berries, such as blueberries and viburnums. Winter berries needing repeated frosts to become edible will help attract wild birds to your sanctuary. Berry bushes provide food and shelter for birds making their home in your sanctuary. Roses with good hips are recommended for garden bird sanctuaries, according to Woman's Day online.

    4
    Allow seedheads to form to provide wild birds with nesting material.
    Allow seedheads to form to provide wild birds with nesting material.

    Plant bushes with colorful blooms, native to your area. These items will attract insects which in turn, attract wild birds. Leaves that fall onto the ground provide the perfect scratching ground for birds as they search for insects.

    5
    Avoid disturbing nests by using binoculars or zoom camera lenses.
    Avoid disturbing nests by using binoculars or zoom camera lenses.

    Plant fast-growing tall trees around the bird sanctuary. Sentinel birds will watch for danger from tree tops while other wild birds are dining and bathing.

    6
    Nail bird houses to tree trunks.
    Nail bird houses to tree trunks.

    Hang or set up bird houses in trees or on poles within or around the bird sanctuary. Depending on your location, set up bird houses for birds native to your area. Avoid using bird houses created for craft shows, painted brightly. Many bird houses created for craft shows are meant for decorative uses only and do not have appropriate holes or nesting needs for wild birds.

How to Take Care of White Peacocks

How to Take Care of White Peacocks

The white peafowl (or white peacock) is a color variety of the Indian blue peafowl, also known as the Indian peafowl or common peafowl. A member of the pheasant family, it is native to India and Sri Lanka, and is kept domestically because of its beauty.



The white mutation occurs primarily in captivity. When a white hen breeds to a white cock it will always produce white offspring. If a white peafowl is bred to a colored peafowl, the offspring will be a striking mixture of both colors.

Instructions

    1

    Keep your white peacocks in a secure, outdoor aviary. The ground should be dry and well-drained, and there should be plenty of cover in the form of small shrubs. An aviary for white peacocks should be at least 400 square feet.

    Provide your white peacocks with sturdy wooden shelters for nesting and escaping the elements. Shelters should be at least five feet by three and a half feet.

    2

    Feed white peacocks the same diet that you would feed Indian blue peacocks. Pheasants are omnivorous birds, and enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and insects, such as grasshoppers, slugs, and snails. In captivity, they can be fed meal worms.

    Commercial feed is available. Ensure that the commercial feed you use is high in protein, and supplement the feed with fruits, vegetables, and other sources of protein.

    3

    Supply your white peacocks with a constant supply of clean water. Pheasants favor fresh, flowing water.

How to Incubate Eggs at Home

How to Incubate Eggs at Home

Schools and agricultural clubs across the country often teach students about animal life cycles by incubating chicken or duck eggs. Eggs can also be successfully hatched at home with the proper care and equipment. Even with a quality incubator, hatching eggs is not always successful. Professional hatcheries often only have a success rate of 80 percent, according to the University of Minnesota.

Instructions

    1

    Store fertilized eggs in an area with a constant temperature between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit before incubating. Turn eggs daily during storage to prevent the yolks from sticking to the shells.

    2

    Place the incubator in an area where the temperature does not fluctuate throughout the day. Place a pan underneath the incubator for models that do not come equipped with a humidity pan. Fill the humidity pan with warm water and set the incubators temperature to 100 degrees F. Monitor the temperature for 24 hours to ensure it stays stable between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should remain between 50 to 55 percent.

    3

    Place eggs into the incubator and monitor temperature and humidity throughout the incubation period. Keep in mind the temperature may drop slightly when eggs are initially introduced. This is a normal process and the temperature should return to normal within 24 hours. Add more water to the humidity pan, as necessary.

    4

    Turn eggs three times daily, marking the eggs with an X to remember which side faced up originally. This will help embryos develop properly. For the last three days of incubation, do not turn the eggs.

    5

    Place cheesecloth in the incubator for the last three days of incubation. This step will make it easier to clean out the shells and remains once the chicks hatch. All eggs should hatch within 24 hours of one another. Lower the temperature to 95 degrees F once eggs are hatched.

    6

    Transfer hatched chicks to a large cardboard box after one to two days in the incubator. Place 1 to 2 inches of torn-up paper in the bottom of the box to give chicks footing. Place a small dish of water in the box. Place marbles in the dish to discourage chicks from climbing inside. Place a small dish of chick food in the box as well. Contact a local bird-supply store to determine the best feed for the type of birds you are hatching.

Senin, 20 Februari 2012

How to Keep a Rooster in the City

How to Keep a Rooster in the City

Raising roosters and hens for food means you know where your food is coming from -- your backyard. Living in a city shouldn't keep you from raising chickens, as long as your city allows it. All you need is a small amount of outdoor space and some time to spend with your chickens.

Instructions

    1

    Keep roosters in a chicken tractor, an enclosure that doesn't have a floor, to keep them contained.

    2

    Only keep one rooster at a time because multiple roosters can be aggressive and fight with each other. From the time they are chicks, break up any fight you witness immediately.

    3

    Assert your dominance over your rooster. If you see your rooster doing something you don't like, scare him or swat at him. This will get him to accept you as the alpha and will keep him from acting aggressively toward the other chickens.

    4

    Handle your rooster. Pick him up, clean him and treat him as a pet.

    5

    Spend time with your chickens. This will afford you the opportunity to be vigilant about keeping your rooster in line and will remind him who the boss is. A rooster who knows he is not in charge will be a better behaved bird and a more successful city chicken.

    6

    Keep the roosters indoors in a metal cage placed in a larger plastic dog crate covered with a blanket at night to keep their noise to a minimum. Keeping your roosters from bothering your neighbors in integral to successfully keeping your roosters in the city.

    7

    Clean up after your roosters frequently to control the smell of their manure.

    8

    Keep chicken feed outdoors in a metal garbage can with a lid to keep from attracting rats and raccoons.

    9

    Add lights to the enclosure in the winter to keep your roosters warm and keep them from getting frostbite.

How to Care for a Mynah Bird

Famous for its ability to imitate many sounds, myna birds are wondrous, lively creatures. Much like other birds, they preen, scratch and take naps during the day even after a night's sleep. However, they require different care than your average parrot or parakeet.. For instance, mynas need a larger cage than most parrots their size, because of their wild flight patterns, and if you're keeping more than one, an aviary is ideal. Caring for you myna properly will lead to a healthy, happy bird and a great bond with its owner. Here are some suggestions how to keep a myna bird.

Instructions

    1

    Feed your bird myna pellets. Avoid giving the bird synthetic vitamins designed for parrots, as the pellets have been formulated for all its nutritional Give him small pieces of ripe fruit, peeled apples or pears for a one-a -week treat. Avoid fruits like grapes, blueberries, strawberries and (pitted) cherries, since mynas have a hard time digesting them. Orange and other citrus as well as pineapple have too high an acidic content, and should also be avoided.

    2

    Provide a large water dish for drinking and bathing. Change it at least twice a day. Letting the bird splash around will him or her happy and encourage preening and upkeep of his plumage.

    3

    Use several layers of newspaper to line the bottom of the cage. Due to their diet, they droppings tend to be wetter. You need to change the newspaper at least twice a day. A good rule of thumb is to do it when you first wake up and then around dinnertime.

    4

    Try a few toys in the cage like a ladder, bell or movable beads, but don't be surprised if most myna birds ignore them. In this way they differ from keeping parrots and parakeets, who mostly love toys. Mynas prefer to be outside the cage and amuse themselves that way.

    5

    Do not attempt to trim its toenails. Instead, try using natural (nonpoisonous) branches instead of regular circular perches. It would be also helpful to place a rock at the bottom of the cage and another in the play area to give the bird a variety of surfaces to perch on. If you do decided to use regular perches, you can buy sand perch covers that are disposable and act like natural nail files to keep their toenails trimmed.

    6

    Know that myna birds do not interact so well with other birds, especially those who are smaller, such as parakeets. An attack or fight might occur, so it's best to decide if you want to keep a myna or a few species of birds.

    7

    Tame your myna early if possible when it is still a fledgling. Mynas are not known as cuddly birds, but do like to sit on arms and shoulders if tame. Repeat phrases continuously and often if you want your bird to learn how to speak.

How to Tame a Dove

How to Tame a Dove

Doves are medium-sized birds that come in a wide variety of different feather patterns. They are commonly kept as pets, and ideally, the dove that you own is one that was hand-raised from birth, allowing it to be very comfortable with people. If you have a dove that is frightened, skittish, or aggressive, however, place a high priority on taming it. An untamed dove may attack you or bash itself against its cage bars in a panic.

Instructions

    1

    Isolate the dove from other birds by placing it in its own cage in a room removed from other birds. A dove kept isolated becomes dependent on you for company and for nurturing.

    2

    Set up a schedule and stick with it. Clean the cage and feed the bird at the same time every day. This helps the bird become more comfortable with you. It knows when to expect you and what you are going to do.

    3

    Close all the windows in your bathroom and bring the dove into it, closing the door behind you. Release the bird, allowing it to flutter around the room, and when it lands, place your finger to its chest, offering it a perch. The bird will fly away, but if you continue, it will eventually perch on your hand. This accustoms the bird to landing on you. Do this once daily.

    4

    Coo at the bird when you are near its cage. It recognizes cooing as a friendly, comforting sound.

How to Feed Chickens Oats

How to Feed Chickens Oats

Corn is the standard feed ingredient for chicken diets. All other cereal grains are compared to corn when formulating chicken rations. Corn contains 90 percent TDN compared to 73 percent TDN for oats. TDN is a measure of the amount of energy in the feed, and corn is a higher-energy feed than oats. However, oats contain more crude protein than corn. The protein content of oats is 13.6 percent, while the corn content is about 9.8 percent.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the type of chickens to feed. Newly hatched and young chickens receive a starter ration. Meat-type chickens eat broiler rations while laying hens consume layer feed.

    2

    Estimate the chickens' protein requirements. Broiler chicks receive a diet with 22 percent or more protein while standard breed chicks require about 20 percent protein. Laying hens consume a diet with at least 15 percent protein. A diet consisting solely of oats is deficient in protein for all classes of chickens.

    3

    Find the type of available oats. Usually, oats contain about 20 percent hulls. This results in a high-fiber and low-energy grain. However, hulless or naked varieties of oats are available in some areas. Naked oats have an energy level similar to corn but a higher protein content. The protein content ranges from 16 to 19 percent.

    4

    Feed oats as a scratch feed. Scratch feeds such as wheat, barley and oats are fed in addition to a complete poultry ration. Because of the lower energy level and palatability, do not feed more than 50 percent oats in a scratch mixture.

    5

    Consider feeding a higher level of oats during the summer and a lower level in the winter. Chickens require a higher level of energy during the cold winter weather, and higher-energy feed grains are preferred. Feed more oats during warm summers.

    6

    Use naked oats in up to 40 percent of a broiler diet. Above that level, the meat produced by the chickens may be less tender and juicy.

    7

    Formulate a laying hen diet with up to 66 percent naked oats. At this level, egg production is similar to hens receiving a corn-based diet. Because of the lower-energy level of oats, starter rations usually do not contain oats.

    8

    Avoid feeding large amounts of oat grain to chickens. Oats contain beta-glucans that can cause digestive problems in chickens.