Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

Button Quail Diet

Button Quail Diet

Button quail are a popular game bird for hobbyists to breed. Many gardeners allow the tiny birds to run through their gardens and greenhouses to keep insect infestations under control naturally. Large avian breeders often allow button quail to run loose through their parrot cages to pick the seed spread by the larger birds. Butterfly breeders raise button quail to keep the spider population under control. Button quail are relatively easy to raise, but they do have a few dietary requirements.

Game Bird Crumble

    Feed button quail a high quality game bird crumble that provides at least 20 percent animal protein. Tiny button quail have high animal protein needs to maintain their active lifestyle, according to CyberQuail.com. Bird crumble can be purchased from any bird supply store. Allow the button quail free access to as much of the game bird crumble a day as they wish to consume.

Live Food

    Feed button quail live food a few times a week. BirdCare.com notes that mealworms are a welcome treat for the tiny button quail, but do not allow them to consume more then five or six per day because they contain a very high fat and protein content. Button quail also adore maggots. Crickets can be fed freely to button quail.

Other Food Treats

    Boil a chicken egg and crumble it up. The quail will consume the hard boiled egg and the shells with gusto. They also enjoy all types of cooked beans. Algae can be provided to add a bit of green to the quail's diet.

Grit

    Place grit in a shallow pan for the button quail to consume when needed. Grit is imperative for the button quail to be able to digest their food. The birds also enjoy bathing in the grit daily. They will hop into the grit bowl and roll around in joy.

Calcium

    Feed female button quail ample amounts of calcium. CyberQuail.com suggests that you provide crushed eggs shells or oyster shells in the grit supply for females, or hang a cuttlebone for the female to chew on when needed. Egg production can seriously deplete the females calcium supply so she should always have abundant calcium available.

Vitamins

    Sprinkle a powdered vitamin supplement on the button quail's food daily. The powdered supplements can be bought at any bird supply store. Choose one that is specific for button quail. There are also a wide variety of liquid vitamin supplements that can be mixed with water,but Avian Web says that most button quail do not like the taste of the liquid supplements and will not drink the water once the vitamins are mixed. They advice using only powdered supplements on food for button quail.

How to Care for and Feed Baby Chicks

How to Care for and Feed Baby Chicks

Like any young animal, baby chicks require a lot of special care and attention, especially in their first days. They must be provided with warmth, security, food and water, and they require a great deal of supervision. Feeding and caring for baby chicks can be time consuming but is also rewarding for those who make the effort.

Instructions

    1

    Select a box to house your baby chicks for the first few weeks. It should be roomy enough for the chicks to move around and should allow space as they continue to grow. The sides should prevent drafts. Put the box in predator-free area of your home, preferably the garage or utility room.

    2

    Spread about 1/2 inch of pine shavings or sand in the bottom of the box. This will serve as litter and will need to be changed daily.

    3

    Install a chick feeder in the box. If you don't have a feeder, you can use a small dish with low sides. Place the starter feed or, alternatively, instant oatmeal flakes, in the feeder or dish. It's fine to start with oatmeal, but you should buy real chick food as soon as possible. Allow the chicks unlimited access to food.

    4

    Install a chick waterer in the box. If you don't have a waterer, you can create one using a large, heavy saucer and inverted cup. Fill the saucer with water and invert the cup onto it. This will allow the chicks access to water along the edges without the risk of drowning. Water will need to be changed daily.

    5

    Place the 250-watt red heat lamp above the box and turn it on. The red light will provide heat while also allowing the chicks to sleep by preventing harsh glare.

    6

    Hang a small thermometer into the box. The small key chain thermometers work well. The temperature of the box should remain above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week and go down by 5 degrees each week after. So the first week will be 90 degrees, the second week 85, the third will be 80 and so on.

    7

    Place the chicks in the warming box and cover the box with the wire mesh or screen to prevent predators such as cats from reaching the chicks.

How to Build a Dove Box Feeder

How to Build a Dove Box Feeder

Dove box feeders can be suspended from sturdy tree limbs or from sturdy hooks. Box feeders need to be able to withstand the activity and weight of several doves. Ideally a dove box feeder is one square foot of space with a wire mesh bottom that allows good drainage while keeping seed from falling through. Well-placed feeders in open areas filled with seeds are inviting for doves and will quickly attract them.

Instructions

    1

    Lay the four pieces of 12-inch long, 2-inch thick boards on their sides, with the thinnest part of the board lying flush against the ground or workbench top, forming a square that is 2 inches deep.

    2

    Nail the four pieces together using two nails on each corner. This forms the frame that becomes the base of the bird feeder.

    3

    Lay the wire mesh over the bottom of the frame and staple it onto the bottom, placing staples one inch apart. This forms the bottom of the feeder that is 2 inches deep with a screen bottom stapled to the underside of the base.

    4

    Check to make sure you have a 2-inch-deep edge and the screen is securely stapled to the bottom of the frame.

    5

    Cut the rope in half. Staple the end of the first rope half to the inside corner of the feeder. Then staple the other end of the rope to the corner diagonal from it in the same fashion.

    6

    Staple the end of the second half of the rope to the inside of a free corner, then staple the other end of the rope to the corner diagonal from it in the same fashion.

    7

    Gather the ropes up in the center marionette-style and pull them where the feeder suspends balanced from the four ropes.

    8

    Gently set the feeder on the ground and tie the rope off, forming an end knot at the top of the four ropes.

    9

    Hang the feeder from a large branch and fill with seed.

How to Make a Canary Cage

How to Make a Canary Cage

Canaries have been kept as pets for hundreds of years, and today are available in a wide assortment of color varieties, including reds, oranges and browns as well as the classic bright yellow. Renowned for their musical song and cheery antics, canaries are fun and relatively easy to keep birds which will offer many years of enjoyment for their owners. While canary-sized cages are widely available on the pet trade, a homemade canary cage can offer your bird with much more room for the same costs and can be customized to fit the exact specifications you seek.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase plastic-coated wire mesh from a hardware store or feed supply store. The mesh is generally available in several colors and widths, and the plastic coating protects your birds from exposure to toxic zinc oxide, which is used to coat galvanized steel mesh.

    2

    Cut the front, top, and bottom panels for your canary cage based on the size you would like the finished cage. Fold over the protruding bits of wire where you cut between the wire squares. This will give the cage a smooth edge.

    3

    Cut the two side panels 5 inches taller than the desired height of the cage, and the back panel 3 inches taller than the desired height.

    4

    Fold the bottom two inches of each side panel over to a 90 degree angle.

    5

    Begin to assemble the cage by attaching the roof panel to the back panel of the cage using J-clips and J-clip pliers. Attach the side panels in the same manner, with the bent portions towards the bottom of the cage. The bottoms of the bent side panels should be flush with the bottom of the back panel.

    6

    Attach the bottom grate next. Do this by connecting the bottom cage panel to the back and sides, three inches from the bottom of the cage. This will create a false bottom which will allow a space to slide in a catch tray for loose seed and bird droppings.

    7

    Cut out a door opening into the front cage panel, and attach a piece of wire mesh that is slightly larger than the opening you cut to act as a door. Attach the door along one side with J-clips to create a hinge. You want a small amount of overlapping mesh to prevent escape, and can use twist ties or wire to hold the door shut.

    8

    Attach the front panel to the cage with J-clips once the door is complete.

    9

    Create the seed tray by cutting a piece of plywood to the dimensions of your cage bottom, minus 2 inches in depth and 2 inches in width (i.e., if the cage is 20 inches by 15 inches, you would need a 18 x 13 piece of wood).

    10

    Cut the 1 x 2 lumber strips to fit around the plywood. The cage will look nicer if the front and back boards nail into the side pieces, and not the other way around. This way the front board will run the full length of the cage.

    11

    Nail the 1 x 2 sides onto the plywood base.

    12

    Line the seed tray with newspaper, and slide into place.

How to Care for Cherry-Headed Conures

How to Care for Cherry-Headed Conures

Cherry-headed conures, also known as red-masked conures, are medium-size parrots native to specific areas of South and Central America. On average they reach 13 inches in length; their tails make up half of their body length. Their bodies are green and yellowish green; their heads are bright red save for the back portions on their cheeks. Many cherry-headed conures have small spots of red on their shoulders. Proper care involves ensuring they are happy and adjusted, with a lot of toys, interaction and love.

Instructions

    1

    Handle and socialize with your conure every single day. In general, conures need hours of specialized attention everyday if they don't have another conure to socialize with. In the wild, they generally roost in the company of 20 or more and rarely leave their groups.

    2

    Load the cage with lots of toys to play with and chew on. Cherry-headed conures are comical and extremely active birds. Without toys, the conure may develop behavioral issues.

    3

    Mist or shower your conure daily. Most conures thoroughly enjoy this, and it will help improve their emotional well-being and their feathers.

    4

    Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your conure's seed mix and pellets. Their captive diet should simulate their natural diet as much as possible. Cooked beans, sprouts, cucumber, kale, pomegranate, blueberries and others are all excellent choices.

Jumat, 30 Maret 2012

Growing Meal Worms

Mealworms are an excellent source of food for many birds, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and more, and having your own mealworm farm can give you the abundance you need to feed your pet and save you quite a bit of money. One of the most successful systems for mealworm farming was developed by longtime mealworm farmer Lisa Lambert and requires only a plastic tub, some bran and some beetles.

Setting up the Farm

    First you need to obtain some beetles. Beetles can be obtained from a fellow mealworm farmer, a pet store or by ordering online. The best option is to get them from a fellow farmer to ensure that they are healthy, productive and do not arrive in your mailbox dead.

    Once you have the beetles, fill your plastic bin with about six to eight inches of bran. For food, cut several potatoes in half and place the halves sliced-side-down around the bran. The beetles will gain hydration and nutrients from the potatoes, as well as lay their eggs in them. Once the container is set up, release the beetles into their new home.

Life on a Mealworm Farm

    The beetles will feed on the potatoes and soon lay their eggs and die. Remove the dead beetles from the farm, but do not remove the shriveled potato pieces---this is where the worms are incubating. After a week, turn over the oldest potato. You should see your first tiny worms.

    The worms now need to be "gut loaded" in order to increase their nutritional value. Do this by adding fruits and vegetables other than the potatoes to the container, such as apples and carrots. As the worms feed on the various food sources, they will take on a higher nutritional value.

    The larval stage of a mealworm lasts about 90 to 114 days, and during this time they will grow to a maximum length of about 1 1/4 inch. As the worm approaches the pupae stage, it begins to turn a darker shade and curls up. The worms can be harvested for food throughout the larval stage.

    If your goal is to produce mealworms for feeding a pet or attracting wild birds with a bird feeder, you may want to build several containers to house the worms throughout the different stages of their lives. This will allow you to have continuous production, and you will be surprised at how quickly you begin to produce a pile of worms beginning with just a few beetles.

How to Care for New Born Baby Parakeets

How to Care for New Born Baby Parakeets

How to Raise a Baby Bird for a Pet

How to Raise a Baby Bird for a Pet

Raising a wild baby bird is a difficult but rewarding task. Most baby birds you find in the wild, or in your yard, should be left where they are--their mothers will probably find them and raise them to a healthy adulthood as long as you leave them alone. If you take a young bird in, though, knowing the proper ways to care for it will increase its chances of survival.

Instructions

    1

    Check the age of the bird. If the bird is a baby with feathers, it probably ended up on the ground after its first attempt at flight. Leave it alone and allow the mother to help it. If it is a baby with no feathers, it likely fell out of a nearby nest. If you can find the nest, place the bird back in it. The mother will not reject it just because a human has touched it.

    2

    Examine the bird for injuries. If the bird was injured during its fall, consider taking it to a local veterinarian who has experience working with birds.
    .

    3

    Contact a local rehabilitation center. Because it is illegal to keep wild birds in captivity, it is important to contact a local shelter that can provide proper care and release it back into the wild.

    4

    Consider the investment. If there is not a facility that is willing to take the bird in, think about whether you will be able to provide the care it needs. While raising a baby bird can be a very rewarding experience, 90 to 95 percent of baby birds die even when their mother is caring for them. Do not attempt to care for the bird unless you are able to consistently commit to the time and attention a baby bird needs. Be aware that once you begin caring for the bird, it will imprint on you, which means that it will consider you its mother and will no longer be able to survive in the wild. Make sure you are interested in keeping the little guy for life.

    5

    Keep it warm. If you decide to keep the bird, its first need will be warmth. Before birds develop feathers, they are defenseless against temperatures that are too cold for them. Put a heating pad on its lowest setting and cover it with a towel to help buffer the heat. Baby birds prefer a temperature of 100 degrees F.

    6

    Place the heating pad and towel in the bottom of a box or bird cage. This will be the bird's home for the next several weeks.

    7

    Create a temporary nest to help the baby bird feel at home. One easy way to do this is to line an empty butter tub with a small, soft towel, hollowing out the center to resemble a nest.

    8

    Feed the bird. Most wild birds respond well to formula designed for domesticated birds. Mix the formula according to the directions indicated on the package and fill a dropper or syringe with the formula. Gently place your hand on its back and tap the top of its beak to signal it to open up. Drop the formula into the back of the bird's throat, being careful not to injure the skin with the tip of the syringe. Do not worry about feeding it too much.

    If you are unable to find a suitable formula, you can make it yourself using the following recipe:
    1/4 cup lean ground beef
    1 tsp. cottage cheese
    1/4 cup canned dog food
    1/4 of a hard-boiled egg yolk
    1 tsp. sand
    1 tsp. dried turtle food

    Combine these ingredients and serve at room temperature. Freeze or refrigerate the remainder. As the bird grows, add pieces of cut-up earthworms and other small insects to the mixture. This recipe may be fed using tweezers.

    9

    Develop a feeding schedule. Very young baby birds need to eat every 20 minutes for about 12 hours of the day. Once the bird develops partial feathers, you may reduce the frequency to once every 45 minutes. When the bird has all its feathers, feed it once every hour. If you see the bird holding its mouth wide open, you should feed it then as well. When it is around four weeks old, you should start placing adult food in its cage, while still continuing to feed it by hand. By around six to eight weeks, the bird should be able to eat on its own.

    10

    Care for it as a normal pet bird. Once your baby is weaned, you may care for it much the same as you would care for a normal domestic bird.

A Homemade Liter Bottle for a Hummingbird Feeder

A Homemade Liter Bottle for a Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds are among the smallest birds in the world. They can fly backwards, hover in mid-air and flap their wings up to 90 times per second. Hummingbirds, like bees, enjoy eating nectar. You may see them hovering around your flower garden in hopes of finding something to eat, preferably from a red flower. Help them with their hunt for food by creating a homemade hummingbird feeder to place in your garden.

Instructions

    1

    Mix cup sugar and 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Allow the mixture to heat to a boil. When it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat and set it aside. This is the hummingbird nectar and it will need to cool completely before you can dispense it.

    2

    Wash your plastic bottle thoroughly with soap and water. Remove any labels that are attached to the bottle so that it is completely clear. Allow the bottle to dry completely.

    3

    Use the scissors to make 3 holes that are 1 inch in diameter each. The holes should be cut 4 inches from the bottom of the bottle and be spaced evenly apart. This is what the hummingbirds will use to drink their nectar.

    4

    Separate the red silk flowers from their stems; these will be used to attract the hummingbirds to the bottle of nectar. Use the glue to apply the red flowers near the cut-out holes.

    5

    Determine how much twine you will need to hang your feeder. The best place to hang your feeder will be in an area surrounded by other flowers. You can hang your feeder from a shepherd's hook, tree branch, or another support of your choice.

    6

    Pour the cooled nectar into the bottle very carefully. Pour slowly and steadily to avoid splashing it out through the side holes. Only fill to the hole line to avoid a spill.

    7

    Place the cap back on the bottle and wrap the twine around the bottle and tie it. Hang the finished hummingbird feeder and get ready to enjoy watching your new outdoor pets.

What Do Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers Eat?

What Do Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers Eat?

Where there are trees, there are birds. Just about anybody can identify a woodpecker by its distinctive knocking or pecking noise. If you are lucky enough, you can follow the rhythmic chatter and locate the type of woodpecker. You are extremely fortunate if the bird you have spotted is an ivory-billed woodpecker -- as these birds are at a minimum extremely rare, and may in fact be extinct.

Habitat

    The ivory-billed woodpecker once ranged from the southeastern United States to Cuba. It prefers swampy bottom-land hardwood forests, rich with deep cover and old growth, a perfect location for the beetle larvae it prefers to eat. The ivory-billed woodpecker was last spotted in 2005 at "Big Woods", a 500,000-acre conservatory in Arkansas, where a team of scientists have been enthusiastically studying this majestic bird. However, some experts have questioned the proof of those sightings.

Feeding

    In order for the ivory-billed woodpecker to reach the beetle larvae, it must strip the tight bark from recently dead trees. It accomplishes this by maneuvering its enormous bill in a way that no other woodpecker can. It hammers away at the dead tree, peeling away the bark. Because of their specialized diet and desire for solitude, this bird requires a vast area of mature, undisturbed forests where there are many decaying trees.

Roosting

    Beetles provide the main food source for ivory-billed woodpeckers.
    Beetles provide the main food source for ivory-billed woodpeckers.

    Ivory-billed woodpeckers have a greater food demand and, consequently, larger home ranges than smaller birds. They are known to have flown distances of at least several miles a day between favored roost sites and feeding areas. The trees most often chosen to roost and feed from include bald cypress, Nuttall oak, sweet gum, green ash and swamp pine. The two types of beetle larvae that populate these trees are the cerambycid and engraver, both wood-boring beetles.

Fruits and Nuts

    The ivory-billed woodpecker has also been noted to eat fruits and nuts, primarily available in the warm and moist climates of southern Florida and Cuba. Researchers have inspected the stomachs of a number of ivory-billed woodpeckers and found not only a variety of beetle larvae, but the fruit of the southern magnolia, grapes, persimmons, hackberries and pecan nuts.

How to Feed Chickens Table Scraps

How to Feed Chickens Table Scraps

Chickens will eat almost anything that's put in front of them. The owner of Backyardchickens.com actually had his birds eat part of a Styrofoam block, which shows how indiscriminate they can be. Still, chickens are great recyclers and will eat plenty of table scraps. The trick is understanding what is good for them and what isn't. Most chickens should not have scraps that will make their meat or eggs taste "off," nor should they be given scraps that are poisonous.

Instructions

    1

    Throw out anything moldy or spoiled that can cause your chickens to get sick.

    2

    Throw out mushrooms, potato peels, egg shells, cherry and peach pits, apple seeds, alcohol, chocolate or other sweets, dried beans, onions or raw eggs. Cooked eggs are fine if mashed up and the shells ground down.

    3

    Place appropriate leftovers in a plastic or washable bowl and put them down where the chickens can get at them to eat them.

How to Socialize a Cockatiel

Buying a new cockatiel is a huge undertaking. Cockatiels are sweet and pretty birds, but if you leave them cooped up in the cage and ignore them, they can develop behavior problems. You need to make sure your bird is properly socialized with you and any other birds you may already own.

Instructions

    1

    Let the bird adjust. The bird will need about a week to adjust to his or her new surroundings. Set the cockatiel up in his or her cage and in a high traffic area. If you already have birds, your new bird will need to be in quarantine for at least 30 days. If the cockatiel needs to be in quarantine, obviously it will not be in its permanent place, but put the bird somewhere where it will get a lot of interaction from you and the other humans in your house. Leave the bird in the cage, and only put your hands in the cage to change out the food and water and maybe to put in treats. Talk to the cockatiel in a soothing voice and do not run up to the cage or make any sudden movements.

    2

    Test the hand. After a week, the bird has seen the hand bring it food and water, and hopefully has started to realize it is not a threat. Now it is time to take it a step further. Try sticking your hand in the cage once every day. You may want to bribe the bird with millet or some other treat as well. Do this every day for five minutes at most until the bird is comfortable. Continue to interact with bird. Let him or her get used to you being around and to your voice.

    3

    Slowly move a perch towards the bird. He or she will probably try to get away initially. Just like the hand test, do this every day for five minutes (or less) until you can move the perch all the way to the bird without it flailing around the cage. Once you can do that, place the perch gently against their stomach and tell the cockatiel to step up. Repeat this command until the bird steps both feet up on the perch. Praise the cockatiel profusely when she does this. Continue this everyday until he or she learns step up means step on the perch.

    4

    Replace the perch with your finger. Once the cockatiel knows the step command, you can take away the perch and try to get the bird to step up on your finger. This may take a few tries. Again, only do this in five minute increments. In time the bird will step up on your hand just like he or she did with the perch.

    5

    Take the bird out of his cage. Put your hand in the cage and take the bird into a room where he or she cannot see his or her cage. You do not want to do this until you know the bird will step up when directed. The bird will cling to you because it knows you. This is where you start to bond with the bird. The first time, the cockatiel should be let out of his cage for 5 to 10 minutes. Increase the time by 5 minutes each time.

    6

    Introduce the cockatiel to the rest of the flock. If you have more than one bird, you have hopefully gotten the hand taming done before you take them out of quarantine. Once you have introduced the new bird to the rest of the flock, give him or her a few days to adjust to their surroundings. They can still interact with the other birds, and get to know them, but from the safety of their cage. After a week, you can let the new bird out to play with the rest of the flock. If you have not completed hand training before quarantine time is up, keep working on it until the bird is trained. Then, after a few sessions with you, he or she should be ready to be out and about with the flock.

When to Take Down Hummingbird Feeders

When to Take Down Hummingbird Feeders

Many people believe that they have to take down their hummingbird feeders when colder weather approaches to encourage the tiny birds to migrate south. That's not true. Hummingbirds instinctively know when to head for warmer climes, so you don't have to worry about delaying their travels by keeping your feeders up too long.

Hummingbird Instinct

    Hummingbirds do not linger in an area just because there is food available. They will move on when they sense that the days are getting shorter. The decrease in the number of daylight hours signals to them that colder weather is coming. Even if you leave your feeders filled to the brim with nectar well past the first frost, hummingbirds will begin their migration when instinct and Mother Nature tell them it's time.

Wait a While

    As the days get shorter, you will probably see fewer and fewer hummingbirds coming to your feeders. Don't take their food away just yet. In fact, leave your feeders out for a few weeks after you think you have seen your last hummingbird of the season. There is still a chance that a stray hummingbird or two will stop by. Females and newly hatched hummingbirds tend to migrate later than males. Other hummingbirds head out late because of illness or injury; they will be looking for some nourishment to help them on their way.

Geography Lesson

    Exactly when to take down your hummingbird feeder depends on where you live. In the northeastern United States, you might remove your feeders at the end of September. In the South, the date could be closer to Thanksgiving. In some areas, it's not necessary to remove your feeders. On the Pacific Coast, a species known as Anna's hummingbirds do not migrate, so you will want to provide nectar for them year-round. Other spots along the Mexican border also have non-migratory species that need nectar all winter.

Hints

    Keeping track of the dates when you see your first and last hummingbird can help you plan when to put your feeders out and when to take them down each year. If you are worried about cold nights causing the nectar to freeze, shine a light of at least 150 watts on the feeder.

Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

Instructions for Hand Feeding My New Umbrella Cockatoo

Instructions for Hand Feeding My New Umbrella Cockatoo

Rearing baby umbrella cockatoos is challenging, yet extremely rewarding. Umbrella cockatoos are one of the most playful parrots in the cockatoo family, they are extremely social and they adapt well if the home environment stays consistent. If you choose to rear a baby bird, there are some important things to consider. Hand feeding is time consuming, requiring multiple feedings throughout the day. You have to rearrange your schedule to meet your bird's needs. The cockatoo species is an especially difficult type of parrot for beginners. An experienced parrot owner is a must for rearing a baby cockatoo.

Instructions

Hand Feeding

    1

    Purchase a high-quality commercial formula that's specially formulated for baby cockatoos. If the chick was just born, feed it a diluted version for the first three days that consists of 35 cc of bottled water to 1 tbsp. of formula. If the chick is past three days old, use the formula directions for its age.

    2

    Put the diluted formula in a bowl, and fill a syringe (without a needle) with the formula. Use the syringe to hand feed the umbrella cockatoo. Set the baby bird on a stable comfortable place such as a table with a towel set under the bird for warmth.

    3

    Grasp the umbrella cockatoo gently by its sides to help keep the bird stable. As you insert the syringe into its mouth, gently push the formula out of the syringe a little at a time while allowing the baby to suck the formula from the syringe. According to Dr. April Romangnano, an expert on rearing birds, on day two the baby should also receive on the first feeding of 0.1 cc of bird Bene-Bac. This is a fortified vitamin, and is available over the counter. You can add the Bene-Bac to the formula, and feed it via syringe.

    4

    Feed the diluted baby formula to the umbrella cockatoo for the first three days of life. Start with every two hours for the first and second day. On the third day the feeding schedule is every three hours. Do not feed during the night. The crop should be empty, and be allowed to dry out. Dr. Romangnano states that the crop should be completely empty by morning. A good way to accomplish this is to feed sunrise to sunset.

    5

    Feed an undiluted formula mixture starting on day four. Follow the directions for your formula brand. Typically, an umbrella cockatoo (depending on its age) will require a starting schedule of three times a day, then two times a day, down to one time a day and eventually to weaning. Follow the syringe feeding directions in Step 3 for these feedings.

    6

    Wean the chick from the formula once it becomes of age. Typically this happens once the umbrella cockatoo is 105 days old. Generally, an avian-certified veterinarian should perform a routine checkup of the baby before you decide to wean it off of the formula. You perform the weaning by gradually cutting back on the amount of formula you give the umbrella cockatoo, and replacing the missing formula with hard food such as bird pellets.

Introducing Solid Foods

    7

    Introduce fresh bird food daily in addition to the formula. Unfortunately for us, all parrots require that you eat the bird food in front of them to make the transition easier. They generally won't take new food without first seeing their owner eat it. Faking will not work. Parrots, and especially umbrella cockatoos, are too intelligent for this. You must actually consume the new food in front of them, and swallow it. Parrot food is not harmful to humans, but it may taste unpleasant. You need to pretend to enjoy eating it.

    8

    Start your newly weaned bird on a pelleted diet that you add to the bird cage. All bird cages come with two feeding cups that attach to the cage bars. Fill one cup daily with fresh cold water, and the other with the pellet diet. You can also add seeds like almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower (sparingly), pumpkin and macadamia to the pellet diet. Leave seeds in their shell. Umbrella cockatoos like to open them themselves, and they serve as a natural beak file.

    9

    Introduce fresh organic pesticide-free greens such as spinach and other salad varieties daily. Chop up carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash or sweet peppers, and insert them onto a bird toy or offer them on a designated plate. Start by offering these items by hand, and then add them to the cage or put them on a designated bird plate on top of the cage.

    10

    Feed a daily breakfast before giving the bird its daily bird food. Leave the food in the cage for 30 minutes, take it out, then replace it with bird food. Breakfast foods can include scrambled eggs with the egg shell crumbled into it, whole wheat plain toast, a cubed piece of sharp cheddar cheese, whole wheat macaroni, fish or any bird-safe food.

How to Take Home a New Parakeet

How to Take Home a New Parakeet

Many people choose parakeets, known as budgies or budgerigars, as pets because these birds require relatively little care, come in many bright colors, can learn large vocabularies and make active pets. Proper preparation before, during and after purchase of a new bird ensures the best possible experience for human and parakeet.

Instructions

    1

    Acquire pet parakeet supplies one or two days before actually buying a bird. These include a cage at least 1-1/2-feet long by 1-1/2-feet wide for one bird. Bigger cages are best for allowing flying room, although parakeets need more horizontal space than vertical space. Place or hang the cage at eye level in an active room of the house, away from direct sunlight and drafts. By putting the cage in an active room, you are acclimating the parakeets to people and getting them comfortable with activity. Set up water and food dishes, perches, bird toys inside the cage and newspaper on the bottom. Also buy seeds for parakeet food, a cuttlebone and a mineral block for nutrients and a light blanket as a nighttime cage cover.

    2

    Schedule a check up with an avian veterinarian on the day you buy your bird. Also research and write down information and numbers for local avian veterinarians for the future.

    3

    Remove sources of noise or stress from the bird's new room, such as fans, other pets or children. Your parakeet will spend the first few days adjusting to the new environment in your home. When the bird appears to be calm, move it to a more active room with people where it gets exposed to normal daily activity. This gradual exposure will lessen future stress on the bird.

    4

    Find an appropriate place to purchase your bird, which should be clean, with a well-cared active flock with no ill birds. Sick birds are identifiable by roused feathers and vomiting. They usually have difficulty balancing, crusty eyes and beak, lethargy and discharge from vent feathers, which are the feathers near the anus.

    5

    Check your budgie for health, age, personality and color. The bird will live another 8 to 10 years with proper care, so take your time choosing. A good bird is alert, has good health, clear eyes, a healthy weight and interacts with the flock. A parakeet with a healthy weight has a breastbone that you can feel and good layers of muscle of both sides of its breast.

    6

    Bring your cage with you when you buy the bird, and place it in the cage after purchase.

    7

    Take your budgie to its vet check-up, and then promptly bring it home. Parakeets don't generally like being in the car.

How to Breed Alexandrine Parrots

How to Breed Alexandrine Parrots

The Alexandrine Parakeet is a green bird with red accents on the beak and wings. They are characterized by their color and their very loud noises. The terms Alexandrine Parrot and Alexandrine Parakeet are used interchangeably. Breeding these birds is relatively easy, as they do not mate for life. You can expect two to four baby parakeets to be born from one breeding cycle.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the sex of the parakeets. When they reach sexual maturity, male Alexandrine parakeets develop a dark black ring on their necks. Female parakeets sometimes have a gray ring, but only the male will have the deep black ring of feathers.

    2

    Adjust the temperature in the room to 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of the incubation.

    3

    Place the male and female parakeet into a large cage with two nesting boxes. The cage should be approximately 3 to 5 square feet, depending on the size of your parakeets. The birds need to have multiple nesting boxes to choose from. Line the cage with wood bedding.

    4

    Wait for the female to lay her eggs. Typically, the female will lay two to four eggs during one breeding cycle. Inside the nesting box, both the male and female bird will sit on the eggs until they hatch. The eggs will hatch after about 28 days. Near the end of this time, adjust the humidity in the room to 80 percent.

    5

    Leave both parakeets in the cage for at least six weeks, the full period of time for the baby birds to develop enough to leave the nest.

    6

    Socialize the baby parakeets if you want them to be tame. The parents will usually allow you to handle them.

Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

How to Build a Mealworm Bird Feeder

How to Build a Mealworm Bird Feeder

Mealworms provide necessary live protein for insect-eating songbirds such as swallows, bluebirds and robins. While some wild insects feed on animal droppings or decaying flesh, mealworms eat a 100 percent grain diet, making them a nutritious, disease-free choice for feeding insect eaters. You can purchase mealworms at pet supply stores, and buy bird feeder supplies at hardware or home supply stores.

Instructions

    1

    Saw an 8-inch-long section of PVC pipe using your handsaw.

    2

    Place end caps on both ends of the PVC pipe. Drill a few tiny holes in the bottom end cap to allow for drainage.

    3

    Drill two holes on opposite sides of the PVC pipe with a 1 -inch drill bit. The holes will allow birds to access the worms in the feeder.

    4

    Sand the rough edges of the holes with a file or sandpaper.

    5

    Paint a disc-shaped object white to reflect the sun to prevent the mealworms from overheating. Drill a hole through the center of the disc and the center of the top PVC end cap. Screw a hook screw through the top of the disc and secure it in place with a bolt.

    6

    Thread a cable tie through the hook screw. For added protection against squirrels, slide a cone-shaped squirrel baffle over the cable tie.

    7

    Hang the cable tie on a shepherd's crook or tree branch.

    8

    Add old-fashioned oats and a few carrot slices to the feeder to provide food and moisture for mealworms. Replace the oats and carrots regularly.

    9

    Fill the feeder with live mealworms.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Male Canary & a Hen

How to Tell the Difference Between a Male Canary & a Hen

Canaries are birds native to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. They are generally bright yellow in color but do come in other hues, including orange and white. Determining the sex of a canary can be difficult as there are very few physical differences between male and female canaries, though knowing the sex is essential to some breeders/owners as the male canaries are the songbirds of the two. Use proper handling methods to find out the sex of your canary.

Instructions

    1

    Observe the bird to see if it sings. Male canaries typically sing while females do not, though this is is not a guaranteed method of determining the sex. Females do occasionally sing, though it sounds more like tweets and trills rather than full-blown "songs." Males also sing less in the winter months when they are molting.

    2

    Pick up your canary to determine its sex by looking at the bird's vent. Use your palm to cover the canary's wings and back and place your middle and index fingers around the bird's neck. Use your remaining fingers to support the bird's feet and body. Do this as gently as possible to avoid startling or stressing the bird, as a canary that feels threatened may bite.

    3

    Blow gently on the canary's vent to move the feathers and subsequently inspect the sex organs. If the canary is male you will notice a small swelling next to the vent. This is the bird's penis. The vent itself is very narrow. A female canary's vent is round and flat. The skin surrounding the vent is either flat or slightly raised.

Directions on Building Bird Nests

Directions on Building Bird Nests

You can build a bird's nest using some of the same supplies birds find in nature. If you build a nest for bird use, be sure to nestle it securely in a tree, high enough where predators cannot easily reach it. For this, you may need to use a ladder.

Instructions

    1

    Form the base of the nest using mud and twigs. Use sticky mud to make a bowl shape with the mud. Thread the bowl with twigs, placed in all directions. Interlace the twigs so they support each other.

    2

    Use string, twine or yarn to reinforce the basic shape. Weave the twine through the twig and mud bowl. Tie off the twine to some of the twigs, weaving around the bowl shape. Add dried grass, pressing it into the mud. Keep adding twigs and grass until the nest is about 2 inches thick.

    3

    Line the inside of the nest with lint from the dryer. If you do not have lint, use a poly-fiber stuffing. The nest is ready to go outdoors, or you can keep it inside for decoration.

What to Feed a Baby Pigeon

What to Feed a Baby Pigeon

The common pigeon can be found all over the planet congregating in parks and on sidewalks or roosting on a building ledge. Some people even raise them in coops. Having a baby pigeon around without a mother can be heartbreaking. Knowing how to feed the baby pigeon will help ensure a healthy bird.

Food

    Pigeons eat a variety of seeds and berries and will eat beans and legumes on occasion. Baby pigeons, however, are fed by their parent's milk. This milk is not like human or regular dairy milk in nutrient quality, although it is white. There are several products on the market that replicate the nutritional value of pigeon milk including Kaytee Exact Baby Formula, Egg Food or a product called Chick Crumbs which must be soaked first in hot water for a half an hour then blended. After blending, any chunks will have to be removed with a sieve so that the consistency of milk is obtained. Pigeons do not open their mouths to feed, which can make giving them the milk difficult.

Young pigeon

    When a pigeon is very young, it will need to be fed using syringe or a tube so that the milk reaches its crop. It is very important to understand the birds anatomy when feeding with a syringe. A bird has an esophagus that leads to the crop and a trachea, in front of the esophagus, which is the wind pipe. To feed the pigeon, the syringe must go back behind the trachea and into the esophagus. Wet the tubing of the syringe to ease the movement of it along the esophagus. Open the baby pigeon's mouth and look inside. At the front will be the trachea. Push the syringe tube towards the back of the throat and push down. Be very careful not to put the tube in the trachea as this may damage the wind pipe, and, if fluid is released from the syringe, it may drown the pigeon.

    Buy a plastic feeding syringe and fit it with a flexible tube. Using a flexible tube will keep you from damaging the inside of the pigeon. A baby pigeon less that a week old will need to be fed with 2cc at a time. Make the mixture watery as well. Feed the baby 2cc every couple of hours. A baby should be fed between 6 and 20cc. Older pigeons will need 20 to 30cc.

Older Pigeon

    Older pigeons will be able to swallow larger amounts of food but still will not open their mouths for feeding. At this point you can begin feeding the pigeon seeds that have been wet slightly. To feed the pigeon by hand, hold the pigeon and squeeze at the beak area gently. Do not squeeze at the throat as this will cut off their air supply. Gently press the food into the pigeon's mouth. Do small portions at a time to prevent choking.

How to Make Bird Seed Blocks

Birds are an added attraction to the yard throughout the year. The bright colors and funny antics are a wonderful sight. Birds are a creature of habit and will come to the yard where they know a free meal is waiting. Suet blocks or seed blocks are a great way to attract many different species of birds. The contents will determine which birds will come to feast at the suet block.

Instructions

    1

    Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan. This recipe makes several seed blocks that are cut into 4-inch squares to fit into the suet cages.

    2

    Melt the vegetable shortening or lard. It does not have to be hot. Just warm the fat until it is a liquid.

    3

    Stir in the peanut butter. Blend these two ingredients well. Add the dried fruit to the mixture. If the seed blocks are for smaller birds, cut the fruit into smaller pieces.

    4

    Add the bird seed. Sunflowers are great for larger birds. Bird seed blocks for the smaller birds can be made from wild bird seed or specialty seeds, like thistle.

    5

    Stir in the cornmeal. This should not be a cornmeal mix as birds can not digest milk products and most mixes contain some type of milk product.

    6

    Add enough flour to the bird seed block mixture to form a thick paste. The mass should be the consistency of cookie dough.

    7

    Spread into the baking pan. Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Let the seed blocks cool completely. Cut into 4-inch squares.

    8

    Store unused bird seed blocks in the freezer. Just put them into plastic storage bags and take out when needed. Save the bags for the next batch of seed blocks.

What Do Yellow Finches Eat?

What Do Yellow Finches Eat?

The yellow finch, or saffron finch, is a type of European goldfinch that is found throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as everywhere in the United States. Finches consume a seed-based diet that varies with the season and availability of food.

Favorite Foods

    Finches favor safflower and thistle seeds, but will eat whatever seeds are available. They will act carnivorous at times, eating small worms and larvae. Baby finches eat regurgitated seeds fed to them by both parents.

Meat Eaters, Too

    During the summer months, finches are more likely to eat meat; in the wintertime, seeds are the staple. Finches naturally increase consumption of live green food during mating season.

Considerations

    Yellow finches often are kept as pets, and in addition to foods previously mentioned, should be fed sprouted barley seeds, millet, broccoli tops, lettuce and spinach. Offer live food daily to determine how often your finch requires it.

Water

    Finches need to drink clean, fresh water daily. They should have a filled water dish at all times.

Fun Fact

    Wild finches may change color depending upon their diet. Diets high in beta-carotene produce yellow to orange coloring, while diets high in the pigment echinenone produce red plumage.

Selasa, 27 Maret 2012

How to Make the Love Birds Lay Eggs

Lovebirds are small, brightly colored parrots that are popular in the avian pet trade. There are many different species and mutations of lovebirds, making them a popular bird for beginner and intermediate breeders. Breeding lovebirds and encouraging them to lay eggs can be a challenge. Providing the birds with the right environment, including lighting, cage type, diet, perches and nest box, is key in the breeding process.

Instructions

How to Make Lovebirds Lay Eggs

    1

    Set up the breeding cage. Place wooden perches strategically around the cage to allow room for the lovebirds to play and fly.

    2

    Set-up and install full spectrum lighting. Position the lights no more then 1 foot above the breeding cage. Plug the timer into the light and set the timer to allow the lovebirds a minimum of ten hours of darkness each night. Regulating your birds' light schedule can increase breeding behaviors.

    3

    Install the nest box onto the cage. Place in an area that you can check the box periodically to monitor for any eggs that are laid. Place clean wood shavings into the nest box to create about 1 inch of lining. The love birds will kick some of these shavings out and arrange them to their liking when they are nesting.

    4

    Consider placing the pair of lovebirds you wish to breed into a room with other lovebird pairs. Lovebirds can be encouraged by the sound of other breeding lovebirds in the room.

    5

    Change the lovebirds' diet. Add a calcium supplement to your breeding birds' diet. Egg laying can drain your female of calcium, so you want to replace that calcium using an artificial or natural supplement. Additionally, serving warm and cooked foods can encourage nesting behaviors.

What Kind of Peanuts for Birds: Roasted or Raw?

What Kind of Peanuts for Birds: Roasted or Raw?

Peanuts are a tasty source of protein, vitamins A and E, zinc, iron, potassium and phosphorus, making them very nutritional for humans and birds. There are several factors and opinions involved in the choice of roasted or raw peanuts for both wild and pet bird food. Some birds are as picky as humans about what they will eat, but just like some humans, there are those birds that will eat just about anything.

Roasted

    The cooking process changes the physiology of the peanut, making it easily digestible for humans and animals. Bacteria and other contamination can be encountered during the shipment of raw peanuts and cooking generally kills anything picked up in transit. The FDA regulates all forms of marketed peanuts, including wild and pet bird food, and they are trying to stop the contamination during all phases of growth, sale and consumption.

Trypsin Inhibitor

    Trypsin is a very important protease enzyme that breaks down protein complexes in the digestive system of most animals, including humans and birds. Without this enzyme proteins are not digested properly resulting in malnutrition, kidney and pancreas damage with long-term ingestion. Raw peanuts and other legumes have a substance that hinders or prevents the pancreas from producing trypsin. But roasted peanuts give birds an energy boost in winter and they will eat as many as are available.

Aflatoxin

    Raw peanuts and other legumes are one of the primary sources of these toxins in animal and human food. Studies show birds to be more susceptible to aflatoxins than most other vertebrates, and pet birds especially will develop severe liver damage when given raw peanuts consistently over a long period of time. This group of toxins arises naturally in warm and humid growing conditions, is extremely potent and even tiny amounts can cause disease, including cancer, throughout the body.

Take Care

    Peanuts mold in hot, damp weather and they need checked often. Signs of black mold or darkening color indicate the peanuts are no longer edible. It is best to monitor the feeding habits and offer only as many peanuts as are eaten in a few days. Supplement peanuts with seeds that the local birds prefer to offer a well rounded diet. Remember to never feed salted nuts of any kind to pet or wild birds or other wild animals because long-term ingestion of salt will kill them.

Homemade Feeders and Water Holders for Chickens

Homemade Feeders and Water Holders for Chickens

Choosing the right type of homemade chicken feeder depends in part of the number of chickens and the amount they should be eating. Food and water shouldn't be allowed to sit in a feeder for too long. For a few backyard chickens, the self-filling feeders sold for cats and dogs may work. Otherwise there are a number of simple feeders that can be made from materials commonly available at hardware stores.

PVC Feeder

    A chicken feeder can be made using PVC pipe and a drainage base (such as one from a flower pot). It is important to ensure that the PVC pipe fits into the base with a few inches on any side of the drain base so that the chickens can get to the feed. The feeder must be stable and should not tip over easily. The pipe is attached to the base with long screws. A hole is drilled in the sidewall of the pipe to allow food to pour out, and the food is added at the top of the pipe. If a six-inch pipe is used, a coffee can lid can be used as a cover to keep rain and insects out.

Wood Feeder

    A wood feeder can be built by making a rectangular box with a few modifications. The box will need a hinged lid so that food can be added to it easily. A small slit cut into the base at the front of the box is what allows the feed to pour out. A small trough attached at the front of the box holds the food and serves as a bowl. Inside the box, at the bottom, a small piece of wood should be attached, at an angle to allow the food to slide out more easily. The primary advantage of a wooden feeder is that it can be easily attached to a wall or other structure to provide added stability.

Bucket Waterer

    The simplest design for watering involves using a bucket. The easiest of these involves a five-gallon bucket and a plant drain base or other shallow container. Holes are drilled into the base of the bucket to allow the water to pass out into the bowl. Another hole is drilled into the bucket lid to allow air to pass through. Because of the weight of the water, it is generally not necessary to physically attach the base to the bucket. The water bucket may blow over in high winds if it is empty or close to empty, however water spillage isn't as much of a concern as food spillage.

Nozzle Waterer

    A second type of bucket watering system can be made by drilling a single hole into the sidewall of a bucket. Attach a PVC elbow pipe to the bucket, and attach a faucet dog waterer. The dog waterer needs a threaded pipe to attach to, so you may also need an adapter. Washers may also be needed to insure that water does not leak or drip from the hole. When the chickens push the nozzle, water drips slowly down the side. A hole in the bucket lid is necessary to ensure that the water flow is maintained. This system is best when space is more limited, or a smaller flow of water is desired. The components of this system are inexpensive, and the dog waterer can be purchased online or in pet stores.

How to Make Cage Perches

How to Make Cage Perches

To keep your pet bird happy and healthy, you need to fill its cage with adequate recreational opportunities, including perches. Birds enjoy climbing, sitting and hanging from perches in their cages and, when your bird is able to entertain itself, it is less likely to squawk and make noise. To make your own cage perches, you need only a few simple materials and a basic idea of what you want the finished perch to look like.

Instructions

    1

    Build a hanging perch by drilling a 1/8-inch hole through both ends of a 1/2-inch dowel rod. Loop some fine-gauge wire through both holes and hang the dowel rod horizontally inside the bird cage to form a hanging perch.

    2

    Purchase a 1-inch wooden dowel or length of PVC and wrap it in twine to give your bird a foothold. Suspend the perch from the roof of the cage by wrapping a length of fine-gauge wire around each end, or simply insert it through the bars of the cage and wire it to the bars to keep it in place.

    3

    Cut several pieces of untreated scrap hardwood to varying lengths and thicknesses. Install the pieces of hardwood at different heights in the cage by drilling a hole through one end of each block and inserting a length of wire through it to wrap around the bars of the cage. Wrap each block in sturdy fabric or twine to give your bird a foothold.

    4

    Cut a piece of untreated plywood to 3 by 6 inches to create a platform perch. Use a nail gun or staple gun to affix the plywood to a 1/2-by-6 inch piece of hardwood, aligning the long edges. Drill three or four 1/8-inch holes through the 1/2-inch wood. Insert lengths of wire through the holes, then wrap them around the bars of the cage to secure the platform perch in place.

    5

    Gather several dry twigs about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter and cut them to just longer than the width of your bird cage. Insert the twigs through the bars of the cage and wire them in place. Your birds will enjoy sitting on these perches and will also like scraping at the bark with their beaks.

    6

    Create a flexible perch using thick rope. Look for a stiff rope about 1 inch thick or twist two pieces of thinner rope together. Drape the rope across the width of the cage and wire it in place at both ends.

What Kind of Snails Do Ducks Eat?

What Kind of Snails Do Ducks Eat?

Ducks don't just eat old bread. Both wild and domestic ducks will eat anything from grain to aquatic plants to insects. Among the foods they are known to enjoy are snails. While ducks' predilection for snails has been a boon for many gardeners and farmers, it has also put some ducks in danger.

Common Garden Snails

    Ducks are known to enjoy eating the common European brown garden snails found in many parts of North America. Gardening enthusiasts have exploited this craving and found that keeping a few ducks in the yard will keep plant-destroying snails safely in check. These snails are also edible for humans: they are the same species of snail (Helix aspersa) considered a delicacy in French cuisine. To be safe for either human or duck consumption the snails must be free of pesticide residue.

Golden Apple Snails

    Domestic ducks also help farmers in Southeast Asia control invasive golden apple snails, which can cause extensive damage to rice paddies. The snails, originally native to South America, were originally brought to Asia as a possible food source for humans and have since established themselves in the wild and become agricultural pests. Some rice farmers have found that keeping domestic ducks in their rice paddies has been an effective way to keep the snail population in check without pesticides. The ducks have the additional advantage of serving as an extra source of food and income for farmers and their families.

Mud Bithynia or Faucet Snails

    Ducks' fondness for eating snails has also put them in danger. In 2008 about 50,000 migrating lesser scaup, a species of duck, had died after feeding on invasive mud bithynia snails in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge, which straddles Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The snails, which are native to Europe but now colonize the Great Lakes, host a parasite that proved fatal to the ducks that ingested it.

Watercress Snails

    Other types of water snails are eaten by ducks as well. Among these are watercress or spring snails, native to the western U.S. These small snails grow to about 5 mm in length and are eaten by trout and leeches as well as ducks.

How to Get a Bird to Eat Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a pet bird's diet. Feeding vegetables gives your birds variety, increased fiber and vitamins that are hard to get elsewhere. Since vegetables are low in calories but bulky, they also help prevent obesity in birds that are prone to overeating. Most pet bird owners are aware that their bird should be offered vegetables, but getting the bird to actually consume them is another matter entirely.

Instructions

    1

    Research what kind of produce your bird's species tends to prefer, and try offering that first. For example, cockatiels will almost always eat leafy greens but show no interest in fruits. Broccoli is a favorite among budgies, and sun conures will love fruit of all kinds. If possible, find out what your bird eats in the wild and look for similar varieties of produce.

    2

    Change how you present the vegetables. Try offering larger chunks, whole vegetables, or making a kabob using a skewer designed for this purpose. Entire leaves of kale or turnip greens can be attached to the side of the cage with a cable tie.

    3

    Try offering fruit first. Unless your bird is a budgie or cockatiel, it will probably eat fruit more readily. Almost all pet birds enjoy grapes, apples, and berries. Once the bird has begun to eat fruit, it is easier to transition to a combination of fruit and vegetables.

    4

    Eat the same kinds of vegetables in front of your bird as you are serving him. Sometimes the most effective way to do this is to have a salad (without dressing) while your bird is out of the cage. Don't offer some to him; he's more likely to accept it if he "steals" some of your food.

    5

    Be persistent. It often takes weeks or months for a bird to accept a new food. If you continue to offer your bird a variety of vegetables, presented in interesting ways, he will eventually begin to eat and enjoy them.

Senin, 26 Maret 2012

The Proper Care for Red Golden Pheasant Chicks

The Proper Care for Red Golden Pheasant Chicks

Red golden pheasants, often known simply as golden pheasants, make undemanding pets. They rarely get ill; they breed readily; and, provided their basic needs are met, often thrive in aviaries. The chicks are little more difficult than the adults. Some bird owners actually employ golden pheasant chicks to teach the chicks of other species to use their feeders. Incubation of the eggs is straightforward; let the mother pheasant do it, transfer the eggs to the nest of a broody hen or use an incubator. Golden pheasant chick care is also simple.

Feeding

    Golden pheasant chicks do best on a diet slightly different to that of their parents. Appropriate diets include commercial pheasant starter feeds, perhaps supplemented with chopped hard-boiled egg for extra protein. Provide the food in a chick feeder or shallow, spill-proof bowl. Some breeders provide a multivitamin in the chicks' water for the first week. After about 6 weeks, start adding adult pheasant pellets to the food, increasing the proportion of adult food over a few weeks until the chicks are on an adult diet. Pheasants also need an unlimited supply of poultry grits.

Housing

    Appropriate housing that provides protection from the elements is necessary for all golden pheasant age groups, but especially the chicks. They are vulnerable to extreme conditions. Both adult golden pheasants and the chicks require a weather- and predator-proof house with a safe substrate or bedding, for example chopped straw. If you acquired chicks without their parents, they need a heated brooder for their first month.

Maintenance

    Neither golden pheasants nor their chicks require special general care. Aside from supplying food and fresh water, your main tasks are regularly cleaning their enclosure and observing the chicks' behavior and physical appearance to spot any problems. A thorough clean once a week should be frequent enough. Shovel up droppings and soiled substrate; clean the enclosure with hot water and a non-toxic cleaner, such as dishwashing liquid; and add fresh substrate.

Potential Problems

    In outdoor housing, be aware of the risk from predators. Animals too small to take a pheasant might see the chicks as delicious little snacks just waiting to be eaten. Potential predators of golden pheasant chicks include all those that might attack the adults, such as foxes, and a range of smaller carnivores, including cats, weasels and even rodents. Check the pheasant housing is secure and that no unwanted visitors can squeeze in. Bear in mind that animals as small as weasels and rats can get through very small gaps. A fine mesh is necessary. Register with a vet who has experience with poultry or game birds shortly after you acquire your pheasants. Local breeders should be able to recommend such a vet. In the event that your pheasants act strangely, refusing to eat or showing any physical signs of illness, make an appointment with the clinic as soon as possible.

How to Raise Organic Duck Eggs

How to Raise Organic Duck Eggs

As people learn more about the health benefits of eating organic foods, the demand for organic duck eggs is slowly increasing. Organic duck eggs are very nutritious, bigger, more creamy and richer in flavor than normal chicken eggs. Learning how to raise organic ducks could be an easy and cost-effective business opportunity.

Instructions

Getting the Farm Ready

    1
    Protect your ducks from predators.
    Protect your ducks from predators.

    Put up a fence to keep the ducks in and the predators out. As the most organic option will be free-range ducks, give them enough space to roam.

    2
    Build your organic ducks a shelter.
    Build your organic ducks a shelter.

    Put up a sturdy shelter within the fenced area for your ducks. It needs be enclosed for protection against animals that prey on defenseless ducklings. It should also be in a warm, dry place that is well-drained, draft-free and easily accessible to the ducks. Supply ample ventilation. If you wish to extend the ducks' laying period, you can add artificial lighting. Bed the shelter floor with shavings or straw.

    3

    Put up feeders and a watering device for your ducks. Provide enough space to avoid trampling, and keep the watering device away from the ducks' bedding. If you're leaving out water for ducklings, keep the water no higher than 1/4 inch to prevent the babies from drowning.

    4
    Your organic ducks will need a properly balanced diet.
    Your organic ducks will need a properly balanced diet.

    Stock up on duck pellets. There are several brands of organic layers pellets on the market. Ducks also like fruits, vegetables, worms and small insects. Fruits should be finely chopped. The ducks, especially the babies, can choke on big pieces, as they have no teeth.

Raising Your Ducks

    5
    Buy organic hens to raise organic duck eggs.
    Buy organic hens to raise organic duck eggs.

    Buy your ducks or ducklings. If you only want eggs, get yourself a couple of hens. You don't have to buy drakes unless you want to raise ducklings. The best egg-laying breeds are the commercial hybrids, the Indian runners and the khaki Campbells.

    6
    Hay or straw makes the best duck bedding.
    Hay or straw makes the best duck bedding.

    Keep the ducks' shelter clean. Add fresh bedding to the shelter on a daily basis, and clean out the litter about once a week.

    7
    Ducklings and egg layers need more protein.
    Ducklings and egg layers need more protein.

    Keep your ducks on the correct diet. According to the Duck Rescue Network, ducklings need a diet that is 18 to 20 percent protein during their first three weeks of life. From then up until the 13th week, ducklings need a diet containing 14 percent protein. After that females can be put on a diet of layer pellet or crumble. Drakes and ducks that are not laying should maintain a 14 percent protein diet. Layer or breeder diets are best for ducks that are laying. They need a diet that is about 16 to 17 percent in protein and higher in calcium.

    8
    If your ducks have access to dirt, they won't need grit.
    If your ducks have access to dirt, they won't need grit.

    Sprinkle a bit of grit on the duck food about once a week. If your ducks live in an area that has dirt, they will pick up the tiny stones from the ground, and feeding grit isn't necessary.

    9
    Healthy ducks means more organic duck eggs.
    Healthy ducks means more organic duck eggs.

    Keep a close eye on your ducks' health. The Duck Rescue Network says ducks hide illness very well. You won't be raising any organic duck eggs, if your ducks are sick. Don't overcrowd them, and don't feed them bread or crackers. According to the Duck Rescue Network, these human foods will cause their organs to become "engorged and fatty," which causes health problems. If you keep your ducks well-fed and healthy, they should be laying eggs in no time.

    10
    You must be certified organic to sell your ducks and eggs as
    You must be certified organic to sell your ducks and eggs as "organic."

    Get your farm inspected and certified if you want to sell organic eggs commercially. In order to be certified organic, your farming system must rely on ecologically correct practices like biological and cultural pest management. You must not use any synthetic chemicals. No antibiotics or hormones are allowed in certified organic livestock production.

How to Hand Feed an African Grey

How to Hand Feed an African Grey

The African Grey parrot is a popular pet because of its intelligence and uncanny ability to communicate with its owner and retain large vocabularies. The birds are grey in color, with accents of red, white and maroon depending on the species. They grow to about 10 to 14 inches in height and have a life span of around 60 years, so this type of pet is a long-term commitment. These parrots should be hand-fed when they are young and weaned on the advice of a bird specialist or veterinarian.

Instructions

    1

    Decide on the type of utensil you will use to feed your bird. Spoon feeding is recommended by the Parrotlet Ranch website, since it is the closest to a natural way that birds eat.

    2

    Prepare the area by placing a paper towel on top of a clean towel.

    3

    Place the baby chick in a clean, baby container that has been lined with shavings.

    4

    Heat water on the stove top to a high simmer, almost to a boil.

    5

    Mix the formula until it is the right consistency, following the package directions.

    6

    Test the temperature of the prepared formula on your wrist, or make sure it is around 102 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

    7

    Add the warmed formula to the spoon, syringe or gavage tube.

    8

    Touch the feeding utensil to the left side of the chick's mouth; he will automatically open it. If you are using the syringe or gavage, depress it slowly and allow the chick to feed at his own pace. The chick will feed out of the spoon willingly once he gets a taste of the warmed formula.

How to Tell Sexes of African Grey Parrots

How to Tell Sexes of African Grey Parrots

African Grey parrots are intelligent birds that are native to the rain forests of central and western Africa. These social birds are able to mimic human speech, and they may talk to their owners when they want to play or socialize. If you are considering breeding African Grey parrots, you must first know the gender of the birds. Although both sexes appear similar, there are a few ways to tell if your bird is a male or a female.

Instructions

    1

    Examine your parrot's size. A male African Grey parrot is usually larger than the female, measuring between 12 and 14 inches long. If you place a male and female parrot next to one another, the size difference may be apparent.

    2

    Look at the bird's eye patch. On males, this patch has a pointed end. On female parrots, the patch's end is rounded.

    3

    Examine the parrot's head and neck area. Females typically have a smaller, more narrow head, as well as a thinner neck. This difference is easier to see if a female is examined next to a male.

    4

    Look at the tail feathers and wings of your bird. The underside of the male's tail feathers are completely red, whereas the female parrot has two thin silver-tipped tail feathers. The underside of a male parrot's wings is also usually dark gray, while the female has lighter wings.

How to Breed Jenday Conures

The bright orange, yellow, blue and green colors of the Jenday conure automatically catch the eye. The bird's warm and playful nature has captured the hearts of many bird lovers. The Jenday possesses exceptional intelligence, and some birds can learn words or phrases. It excels at learning tricks. The bird lives up to 30 years and bonds closely with a mate. A pair of Jendays make loving parents and will breed throughout the year. When purchasing Jenday conures for breeding, ensure that the couple has undergone DNA testing to determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are male and female.

Instructions

    1

    Provide the Jenday conure pair with a cage that measures 4 feet in length by 2 feet in height by 2 feet in depth. Place at least two perches inside the cage. Provide parrot toys for the Jenday pair to help ensure their happiness. Jenday conures enjoy playing and benefit from the addition of toys to their cage.

    2

    Suspend a nest box within the cage that measures 24-by-10-by-10 inches. The birds require a 3-inch round or square opening to squeeze into the nest box. The nest box should have a removable lid to facilitate easy cleaning.

    3

    Place 2 inches of straw, shredded newspaper or nontoxic sawdust into the base of the nest box. Avoid using pine, cedar or redwood sawdust or chips because the birds can have an allergic reaction to the wood.

    4

    Maintain fresh, clean water daily for the birds. Provide a high quality commercial parrot pellet food mix. The birds will benefit from a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, sprouts and nuts each day. Corn on the cob is a nutritious treat and a fun toy for the Jenday conure. They also enjoy broiled chicken. Remove the shell of an egg, and chop up the hard-boiled egg for a special treat.

Is It Dangerous to Let a Parakeet Out of the Cage?

Is It Dangerous to Let a Parakeet Out of the Cage?

Parakeets, also known as budgies, are active birds that need to leave their cages to spread their wings. Leaving a parakeet inside of a cage can make the bird unhappy. But your home can be a dangerous place for parakeets because common household items can harm them. Protect your parakeet by removing as many dangers as possible beforehand.

Windows, Doors and Drawers

    Leaving windows and doors open in the home can invite the parakeet to escape, and the bird may also fly into the glass. The birds may not return once they fly outdoors. Since parakeets are trained to live in a cage, they may not know how to survive in the wild. Inside, the house, stuck parakeets can suffocate if they find their way inside closets or drawers that were open just a crack. Before you let the parakeet out of its cage, close all the windows, doors and drawers. Avoid leaving anything cracked open because the birds can squeeze into small locations. Place shades or blinds over windows to prevent your parakeet from flying into the glass. Curtains and drapes are dangerous because their toenails may become stuck.

Pets

    Other pets in your home can harm the parakeets. If the animals in your home are not used to the parakeets, they may attack the birds. It may not appear that your cat will harm the bird when you introduce them, but the cat may defend itself and hurt the bird. When you have other pets in the home, monitor them closely. If you are worried about your pets hurting the bird, let the parakeet out of its cage in a closed room away from other animals.

Fumes

    Many household fumes are dangerous for parakeets. Scented air fresheners, perfumes and candles are toxic to the birds. Teflon pans can release dangerous fumes that kill parakeets. The coated pans release these fumes when you place them over high temperatures. Smoke from cigars, cigarettes and marijuana are also dangerous to the birds. If you have a cat litter box, keep it away from parakeets because the dust can harm their respiratory systems.

Household Dangers

    There are many other household dangers that can harm a parakeet. Open containers of water, fans and poisonous plants can hurt the birds. Sharp objects, light fixtures, laundry and electronics are also dangerous. Always turn fans off before you let a parakeet out of its cage. Cover fish aquariums and store water dishes away from the birds because even a small amount of water can cause them to drown. Always hide electric cords from parakeets because they will chew on them. Keep piles of laundry away from birds because they often hide under them. For best results, select a room in your home for the parakeet and bird-proof it.

Minggu, 25 Maret 2012

How to Care For Orphaned Birds

How to Care For Orphaned Birds

I won't lie. It is challenging to care for orphaned birds, especially when they are youngest. Some baby birds like ducks, geese, quail and chickens are naturals at scavenging for food, but others aren't so lucky. They have to be fed for a time before they even grow their down. They are born naked. These are the orphans that this article considers. I will tell you exactly what you need to do to raise these baby orphans.

Instructions

    1
    Find The Nest!

    The first thing you should try to do is put the baby back in its nest. My brother's kids once found a baby crow and they couldn't find it's nest so they decided to try to raise it. When I was younger we raised a baby raven and a baby magpie and it was a romantic thought in the beginning, but it didn't take us long to gain an appreciation for how hard those bird parents actually work to keep their young fed. So if at all possible please take a minute and find the nest. Put it back in and keep an eye out for mom and dad.

    2
    Keep Them Warm!

    If there is no nest to be found then it's time to pull out the home box collection. If you have a heat lamp or light you will need one to help keep the orphan warm until its feathers grow in. In the wild these little babies get worms and all sorts of bugs to eat. Try to get them as much of this sort of food as possible. If the baby you found is a predatory bird then you will need to catch and chop up mice to feed it. Eventually you will notice that it is challenging to maintain a steady supply of protein rich food for these growing babies so there is another option.

    3
    Protein Rich Foods!

    Keep feeding them what you can naturally find in your back yard, but what worked best for us, was canned dog and cat food. The baby birds get the water they need out of the food you bring them, but when they get bigger they will need a good supply of drinking water. Eventually our Raven and Magpie just ate out of the dog bowl, but eventually your little orphan may return to the wild and start selecting it's diet off of Mother Nature's menu. Do the best you can to provide for your orphans, but don't be to upset if they die on you. They are very delicate when young and need lots of attention. Some never return to the wild, because they have identified with humans and so they will always see you as their parent(s).

    4
    Be Responsible!

    My father raised a Great Horned Owl, a Barn Owl, and a Red Tailed Hawk when he was younger and it was a family affair to keep these great predatory bird's stomachs full of fresh mice and gophers. If you can't keep them in the nest then let their parents raise them, but if you do have to care for orphaned birds then please do your best, or call your local wildlife agency and seek their counsel or assistance. Some birds are illegal to keep so keep that in mind as well. Read up all you can on the internet for bird rescue tips. Good Luck!

How to Feed an Orphaned Baby Bird

When you find an orphaned baby bird, make sure it really is abandoned. Look in nearby trees and bushes for a nest. Sometimes they fall out and just need a little help getting back in. Or, if you know that the mother bird is dead, you can take on the task of trying to feed it.

Instructions

    1

    Set up a day's worth of food. Orphaned baby birds that are weak need to be fed every 15 minutes or so. As they get stronger you can slowly increase the time to around every half an hour to an hour. Since you'll be feeding it so often, it would be much easier to have the day set up beforehand.

    2

    Prepare the food. Canned dog food works well for protein. You need to cut the pieces small enough for the baby bird to handle. You can also soak dog or cat food in hot water. You should use sugar water for the first few days. Mix this with a hard-boiled egg yolk and baby cereal if you have any available. Other meats you can use are raw kidney or liver. Keep the food that you're going to use soon at room temperature.

    3

    Let the orphaned bird know that it's time for feeding by putting a hand gently over its back and wings and holding its neck up. You can also gently tap the base of the beak. If this doesn't work, open its mouth yourself to try to coax it to feed.

    4

    Feed it by hand or with tweezers. Drop a small amount of food into its mouth. Aim for its throat. Continue to feed until the orphaned baby bird stops opening its mouth for more.

Climates for Parakeets

Climates for Parakeets

The type of bird Americans think of as a pet parakeet is an Australian variety of small parrot called a budgerigar, or budgie for short. They have a slender profile and a long tail. Wild budgies are bright green and yellow with black markings, while pet budgies are available with other color variations.

Geography & Climate

    Budgies are native to Australia and occupy the Outback, a vast, hot and dry region spanning most of the continent's interior. Budgies live in grasslands where they can find food. The region's droughts can be very hard on the birds, and although they don't need a lot of water, they will eventually succumb to a drought if they cannot eventually find a water source. During rainy times, the grass seeds they feed on are plentiful.

Diet

    Wild budgies have adapted to their natural habitat's hot, dry habitat. They can go for long periods without drinking water if they have to and survive on moisture from food, such as grass seeds. Budgies gather in flocks and roam from place to place looking for food. Once they have picked over an area, they move on. When food and water is scarce, flocks of thousands of birds may travel hundreds of miles.

Nesting

    When conditions are ideal after lots of rain, budgies nest to take advantage of food availability. Pairs nest in hollow trees or logs, and the female lays four to six eggs. While she sits on the eggs for three weeks, the male brings food back to the nest. The babies are ready to leave the nest a few weeks after hatching. The budgie pair may start another nest right away if there is still an abundance of food.

Pets

    If you have pet parakeets, they do well in normal household temperatures from about 65 to 80 degrees F. Keep your bird cage out of direct sunlight so they don't get too hot, and don't leave the cage hanging outside in cold weather. Make sure they always have food and water, and clean the bottom of the cage daily.

What Fresh Foods Can Parakeets Eat?

What Fresh Foods Can Parakeets Eat?

New parakeet owners should ensure that their birds eat healthy foods and stay away from harmful substances. Some foods that are normal for humans are toxic to parakeets. Avoid feeding your parakeet lettuce, avocado, chocolate, cabbage, guacamole or anything with caffeine or alcohol. Don't allow your parakeet to roam free because it may eat poisonous houseplants, lead-based items, carpet and other hazardous fabrics. Ensure the health of your parakeet by feeding it fresh foods.

Seed Mixtures and Pellets

    Pet stores sell prepackaged food for parakeets that consist of seeds, pellets or a combination of the two. The best seed mixtures contain a variety of seeds. You can occasionally create a tasty seed snack by combining seeds with honey to form a seed stick. However, give these treats to your parakeet only once or twice a week to prevent excessive weight gain.

Vitamins and Minerals

    Purchase vitamins for your parakeet at a pet store and add them to its water two or three times a week. Some parakeets wont drink water with vitamins added, so monitor your bird to make sure it will drink the water. Vitamins can be introduced through food or by a vet if the parakeet refuses to drink the vitamin water after a few days. Parakeets can obtain minerals through a mineral block or cuttlebone, which are good for their beaks. Other items that contain minerals include oyster shells, bird gravel and bird sand.

Fruits and Vegetables

    While some parakeets only want to eat seeds, they need fruits and vegetables to supplement their diet. Feed your parakeet vegetables such as carrots, peas, peppers, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, corn and sweet potatoes. Parakeets can also eat fruits such as mangoes, apples, peaches, grapes, berries, bananas, melons, oranges and pears. Clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and remove them from the parakeets cage before they get old and moldy.

Other Foods

    To complete the parakeets diet and add more variety, give your bird calcium and proteins from legumes, meat and dairy products. The diet can include boiled eggs, cheese and peanuts. Other foods the parakeet might enjoy include plain cooked spaghetti, crackers or bread.

Sabtu, 24 Maret 2012

What Kinds of Music Soothe Birds?

What Kinds of Music Soothe Birds?

Although pet birds do not have office politics or overly hectic schedules to deal with, they are definitely not exempt from stress and frustration. If your sweet birdie needs to wind down and clear his head, playing a little bit of soothing music may do the trick.

Types of Music

    Some types of music can lead to relaxation in birds, says Karen O'Brien of the Oklahoma Avicultural Society. Some examples of music that appears to sooth birds include classical music, New Age music and jazz. Apart from just traditional music, birds also frequently enjoy listening to recordings of nature sounds, whether those of waterfalls, crashing ocean waves or lightly falling rain. Go for music that is quiet and serene rather than noisy or overly energetic. Avoid wailing guitar solos and pounding drum beats, for example. All those things can accomplish is getting your pet even more wound up.

Loudness

    Music can help to relax pet birds in a variety of different situations. If your bird is acting anxiously due to excessive noise coming from outside your home, whether thunder or construction, you can minimize her discomfort by playing music over it. If you turn a little Frederic Chopin on, for example, it can distract your bird just enough so that he stops fixating on the disruptive sounds that are scaring him.

Isolation

    Music can help to keep lonely birds company when they're alone in the home. Consider keeping music playing softly in the background when you plan on being away for the entire day. If you don't own any music that is soothing enough, certain channels on the television can work, advises Nikki Moustaki of BirdChannel.com.

Breeding

    Pet birds often get amped up and overexcited during breeding season -- the desire to seek out a partner and mate is strong in them. When birds are overwhelmed with the intense urge to reproduce during the spring months, they often make sure that the rest of the world is aware of it by being extremely vocal. By putting a little bit of soothing music on, you can take your bird's focus off mating, at least temporarily, BirdChannel.com's Dorine McKinnon writes.

Birds Like Music

    Birds don't just find certain styles of music comforting, they adore it in general. The University of Lincoln's Franck Peron notes that birds have a penchant for a wide variety of music, from folk to pop and rock. The study's birds expressed their liking of some music through body language hints -- think relaxed, contented grooming behaviors and even dancing. When provided with the opportunity, they even used a touch screen to make their own playlists.