Senin, 30 April 2012

Congo African Grey Facts

Congo African Grey Facts

Congo African grey parrots, or African greys or grey parrots, make good pets because they are some of the best talkers in the parrot kingdom. With the right amount of attention, they can learn words and even identify shapes and they can learn to communicate with their owners, according to the website Avian Web. They are medium-size birds with an average length of about 14 inches; they can live up to 30 years.

The Facts

    The Congo African grey originated in the Congo region in central Africa, where they live in flocks of up to 200 birds. The only difference between the Congo grey and the timneh grey is their physical appearance; the timneh grey has darker plumage, and the timneh has a lighter beak than the Congo African grey, whose beak is very dark.

Behavior

    Congo African greys need stimulation and interaction in their lives. They learn quickly and are known as "Einsteins of the bird world" because they have speaking skills and are thought to recognize the meaning of words as well, according to the website Bird Channel. They love to chew things, and it is important to keep something they can chew available. Some like to bite but they can be trained, through positive reinforcement, not to bite their human family. They are loud at times, which is something to consider before buying.

Types

    Congo African greys come in different varieties. Some have red feathers scattered throughout their plumage, and they are commonly referred to as kings or king greys. Red African greys have red plumage, lutinos have yellow pigment, grizzles have pink feathers in their plumage, blues have white feathers in their tails, and albinos have no pigment and Incomplete African Greys are primarily white with a small amount of pigmentation.

Diet

    Pet African greys need a balanced, healthy diet. Buy a trusted name-brand seed for the staple of your bird's diet. Greys enjoy variety and will eat many of the same foods you do. They like fruits and vegetables, including seeds, nuts, greens, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and sprouted seeds. Avian Web says don't give your grey caffeine, avocado, chocolate or junk food.

Misconceptions

    Some people think African greys attach themselves to only one person. The truth is that they're flock animals and they thrive in environments where there is a group, such as a family. They are timid and it takes time for them to become accustomed to and eventually, trust you. The key to developing trust with a Grey is spending time with it. Greys can bond with any member and more than one member of the household in this manner, according to the website It's a Grey's World.

How to Tell the Sex of Pied Doves

How to Tell the Sex of Pied Doves

Because of their sweet sounds and amenable personalities, doves are popular as pets. Pied doves are popular for their color pattern--which is white splashed with color. Know what sex your pied dove is so that you can care for it properly and manage reproductive behavior. While sexing a dove is difficult do to with a quick glance, a short inspection or observation of its behavior can verify whether your pied dove is male or female.

Instructions

Inspection

    1

    Hold the bird upright.

    2

    Place your index finger between the dove's legs next to the vent.

    3

    Press the area gently against the bones. If they are stiff, pointed and close together, the dove is a male. If they are spongy, curved and rounded, and you can fit your finger in between them, the dove is female.

Observation

    4

    Watch to see if a dove "bow-coos" for another, or lowers the head while cooing rapidly at another bird. Males engage in this behavior when they are courting. Unless they are kept in isolation for very long periods of time, female doves do not bow and coo.

    5

    See if one bird "bills" another, which female doves engage in by begging for food from a male. The male responds by opening its beak and allowing the female to put her beak inside of his.

    6

    Observe the birds' sexual behavior. The female birds will squat down and tuck her head in. Males will mount females with their bodies facing in the same direction as hers.

How to Make Oriole & Hummingbird Food

Hummingbirds, the smallest birds in the world, typically feed on flower nectar and spiders. Orioles will munch on insects, nectar and fruit. Setting up a feeder in your own yard can attract these beautiful birds. There is no need to buy expensive bird nectar when you can make your own at home.

Instructions

How to Make Oriole & Hummingbird Food

    1

    Boil water and measure out four parts into bowl. Allow water to cool.

    2

    Add one part sugar to the four parts water, and stir until sugar dissolves.

    3

    Add sugar and water solution to the bird feeder.

    4

    Place or hang feeder outside.

Hypoallergenic Budgie Food

Hypoallergenic Budgie Food

Budgies make great pets or companions and can live between 15 to 20 years. They are a bird species from Australia and are sometimes referred to as parakeets in the U.S. Having a clean food and water source is the best way to keep your budgie healthy. Also, before buying a budgie, or any bird for that matter, you should wait to see if you have any allergies to the feathers or dust they give off.

Seeds

    Your budgie may be completely content only eating seeds. In the wild, this is what budgies mostly feed on. Grass seeds or budgie mix, which contains different seeds and pellets, should be the main diet of your budgie but you can slowly incorporate other foods such as fruits and vegetables. Throw away any old seeds your budgie has not eaten daily, making sure to never mix new and old food together to prevent bacterial growth. In addition, bird seed can sometimes contain peanuts, wheat or other allergens, so be aware of what is in it before buying it -- for both you and your budgie.

Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are an important part of your budgie's diet. A diet consisting only of seeds may lead to an iodine deficiency. Apples, grapes, pomegranate, watermelon, oranges, carrots and any green vegetables will add some variety and balance into your budgie's life. Your budgie may not seem interested in these foods at first, especially if it has been living solely on a seed based diet, so It may take a few months for it to warm up to the new additions. Make sure to thoroughly rinse any fresh produce before giving it to your bird. If fresh produce is not available, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are an excellent substitute. Be sure to only get naturally dried fruits, as those treated with preservatives can cause allergic reactions in your budgie and result in feather picking or shredding.

Treats

    Budgies also enjoy sweet treats such as honey bells or sticks. Since budgies can become overweight quite easily, these high-fat treats should not be given regularly. If your bird is very active and spends a lot of the day out of its cage, these treats can be given once a week. For less active or older budgies, give a treat once every two weeks. As with seed packs, bird treats can also contain nuts and wheat, so be aware of what is in them before buying.

Foods to Avoid

    Budgies remove the shells when they eat seeds; check even if you think the food bowl is full, as it may actually be full of the shells. Apples are a great snack for budgies but not apple seeds, or any other fruit seeds, which should be removed before giving them to your bird. Other things to avoid giving your budgie include chocolates, avocado, eggplant, raw peanuts or asparagus and cabbage.

Minggu, 29 April 2012

Easy Homemade Bird Suet Recipe

Making homemade bird suet is easy, and birds seem to be more attracted to it than suet products purchased in a store. The satisfaction you feel from watching your feathered visitors such as cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches, flickers, jays and bluebirds enjoying your efforts will make the time spent creating this treat well worth it.

Choosing Ingredients

    Homemade suet can be made with authentic suet (animal fat). However, it can be a real task to find this ingredient, and many bird lovers use lard or vegetable shortening with excellent results. Peanut butter is often mixed with the lard or shortening to make a binder for the other ingredients added.

    Most homemade suet recipes call for cornmeal. Adding cracked corn, shelled peanuts, oats, raisins and any seeds that wild birds enjoy will be the key to making your finished product a tantalizing treat.

The Basics

    Your ingredient amounts will vary, depending on how much suet you wish to make. One recipe calls for 8 oz. of lard, shortening or suet, melted over a low heat. Another 8 oz. of peanut butter is added and mixed until blended together. Add 1/2 cup corn meal, 1/2 cup shelled peanuts, 1/2 cup cracked corn and 1/2 cup raisins. Mix well. Pour the mixture into suet forms you have previously purchased or into a baking pan that is 8 inches by 8 inches, and let it cool. You can cut it to fit a form later. The suet that is not used immediately can be stored in your refrigerator.

Suet Feeder Types And Care

    There are several varieties of suet feeders that can be purchased. Some upside-down feeders are made for clinging birds, like the nuthatch. Some have tail supports, designed for woodpeckers.

    Or, you may want to make your own suet feeder form, or cage, to be able to put more suet out for the birds than a standard, purchased form holds. (See Resources.)

    If you would rather not use a holder, you may spread the suet on pine cones or tree branches, or stuff it into woodpecker holes in your trees.

    Suet is often used in the winter to help birds who may not be able to find enough food. It can become rancid if used in warm weather, so check it often. Suet bird feeders should be washed and disinfected with bleach in between uses.

Owning an Amazon Parrot as a Pet

Owning an Amazon Parrot as a Pet

Adopting a parrot is not like adopting any other kind of pet. If properly kept, Amazon parrots can live as long as 60 years -- and having a parrot around will always be like having a toddler in the house. For the right home, Amazons make fantastic companions, but it is not a partnership to be entered into lightly.

Discipline

    Amazon parrots are intelligent, curious and playful. While these qualities make them fun pets, they also make these birds challenging to train. Baby and young parrots tend to chew on everything they can and regard most small objects as toys. Many owners, unaware of how to best discipline their parrots, cannot control them. This can lead to continuing behavioral issues, such as screeching or nipping, and can even be dangerous.

Hormonal Aggression

    Amazons are sweet, loving pets only after they come through what is called their hormonal aggression phase. This is a period of a year or two that usually arises between ages 5 and 12. Amazons in this state, particularly males, can become highly aggressive and will often bite. Your loving pet may suddenly turn on you or take a shine to another family member during this phase. Once this phase passes, however, Amazons are typically calm unless it is breeding season, when aggressive behaviors may briefly return.

Adaptability

    More than many other birds, Amazon parrots are extremely adaptable to new and various environments. Amazons generally are outgoing and bold, which helps them survive in the wild. These same qualities allow Amazons to adapt to life with people more readily than many other pet birds do. Even if they've been rescued from poor conditions, Amazons tend to adapt quickly to their new surroundings and let go of past misfortunes.

Diet

    Amazons, like all birds, love nuts and seeds; and they ave delicate systems. Nuts and seeds should make up no more than 5 percent of an Amazon's diet, as too much fat can lead to liver and digestive problems. Most experts recommend organic pellets for the bulk of an Amazon's diet, with about 20 percent fresh fruits, vegetables and greens. Steer clear, however, of feeding Amazons sweets, chocolates, alcohol and avocados. All of these can be deadly to Amazons.

Other Considerations

    Amazon parrots are avid talkers and singers, so if you want a quiet pet, these birds are not it. Also, their impishness and intelligence compel them to "problem solve"; so lots of play, games and mental stimulation keeps Amazons from untying knots or playing with household objects they shouldn't play with. Also, recognize warning signs. Amazons often pluck their own feathers when stressed or sick, and they sometimes scream if they feel ignored.

How to Sanitize a Parrot Cage

How to Sanitize a Parrot Cage

Parrot cages need a thorough cleaning occasionally, to prevent infections and smells. Depending on the size of the bird and the size of its cage, this may be once a week, once a month or more. Daily cleaning involves changing the liners, and washing the food bowls, which only takes a few minutes. The full clean takes longer, so schedule one or two uninterrupted hours for the task.

Instructions

    1

    Place your parrot in a spare cage. Alternatively, release them into a room that they frequent. Whichever you decide, clean the cage in a different room, to prevent the parrots from inhaling fumes.

    2

    Put on the rubber gloves.

    3

    Remove toys, perches and any other accessories. Place them in a bucket, add hot water and a couple of squirts of dishwashing liquid and leave them to soak. Put food and water bowls or bottles into a dishpan with more hot water and dishwashing liquid.

    4

    Remove the old cage liner and sweep up any loose seeds or droppings. Place it in the trash bag.

    5

    Scrub the accessories with the cleaning brush, throw out the water and replace with more hot water and disinfectant. Leave to soak for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and leave to dry, preferably in the sun.

    6

    Scrub the food and water bowls, rinse and leave the bowls to dry with the accessories.

    7

    Fill one of the buckets with hot water and dishwashing liquid and scrub obvious messes from the cage with a cloth and cleaning brush.

    8

    Empty the bucket and fill it up with hot water and disinfectant and wipe the cage with another cleaning cloth. Leave it for about 10 minutes.

    9

    Rinse the cage. You can do this either by repeatedly wiping with a sponge soaked in fresh water -- or outside with a hose -- or in the tub with a shower attachment. Try to remove all traces of disinfectant.

    10

    Dry the cage with paper towels.

    11

    Replace the accessories and food bowls, once everything is completely dry. Add a new cage liner.

    12

    Move your parrots back into their cage.

What Fruits Can Canaries Eat?

Even though canaries primarily eat a seed-based diet, a pet canary should also get a little fruit. A generic bag of finch or canary seed alone will not give it enough nutrition. A limited diet that does not include fruits along with leafy greens will often lead to health problems.

Varieties

    Canaries can eat most any type of fruit including, but not limited to, apples, oranges, grapes, tomatoes, pears, pineapple, berries, plums, peaches, peppers, mango and papaya. However, fruit should make up less than 20 percent of the bird's total diet. According to the website canaryadvisor, apple seeds are an exception. Apple seeds are toxic to canaries.

Whole or Chopped Fruits

    Presentation of that fruit may make the difference in what the canary chooses to eat. Although many canaries may relish bite size pieces of fruit, chopping the fruit is not a necessity. It will eat apples cut into quarters, grapes cut in half, or whole tomatoes. The chopped fruits should be placed in a bowl or hanging basket. Whole or large pieces of fruit can be placed on the bottom of the cage, on a plate, or hung from a fruit skewer made for birds and bird cages.

Fruit Smoothies

    Canaries will often eat mashed fruit if they are reluctant to try pieces of fruit. Blend any mixture of fruits into a smoothie and put it in the food bowl. Baby food fruit mixes are best put into a bird food bowl or mixed with finch pellets.

Warnings

    Leftover fruit from a morning feeding should be removed by the evening. In addition, the bowls and any other feeding devices must be cleaned with dish soap and water daily. This will prevent bacteria and yeast growth that can harm the birds. Fruit will change the color of a bird's droppings temporarily. If the bird has bright red droppings, it may be due to its eating red fruits like strawberries.

How to Feed Sunflower Seeds to Chickens

How to Feed Sunflower Seeds to Chickens

What and how you feed your chickens is dependent upon their age, their purpose and your budgetary constraints. For example, young chickens should not receive excess oyster shell, while adult layers often produce more durable eggs when crushed shells are added to their normal rations. Feeding your chickens sunflower seeds is easy, but they are best considered a supplement to rather than a replacement for regular feed provisions. Although some farmers believe that sunflower seeds increase egg weight and feather sheen, a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science in 2003 showed no significant effect from the inclusion of sunflower seeds in the diets of hens.

Instructions

    1

    Sprinkle a handful of sunflower seeds in a grazing area as a treat.

    2

    Mix sunflower seeds with regular feed in the reservoir of an automatic feeder.

    3

    Fill a trough with feed as normal, then spread a layer of sunflower seeds on top. Replenish with seeds and feed throughout the day. Remove unconsumed food when it is wet, moldy or old.

What are the Benefits of Bird Feeders?

What are the Benefits of Bird Feeders?

Feeding birds is an enjoyable hobby throughout the world. Many benefits derive from feeding birds, including helping out Mother Nature and relieving stress in our own lives. Bird feeders can give birds the extra strength they need during cold winter months and during migration. Some people enjoy feeding birds year round while others feed only during the winter.

Migration

    Bird feeders provide food even in the worst conditions.
    Bird feeders provide food even in the worst conditions.

    Winters can be devastating to birds if the weather is extra cold or icy. Foraging for food in heavy snow and ice can be next to impossible. With the help of bird feeders, many birds survive when they otherwise would not. During fall migration, birds are often on extremely long flights. During these times, they need the extra strength to continue their journey. Bird feeders help to keep them fed as they go on their way. During the spring, they migrate back to set up nests, lay their eggs and hatch their young. Often times the weather does not cooperate with their migratory impulse, which can make it difficult for them to find the food they need to start their families. A wild bird feeder could be the extra help they need to overcome all the odds against them.

Observing Nature

    We live in a bustling society and it gets faster all the time. The stress of everyday life surrounds us. However, with the help of nature, we find solace and splendor in watching the beautiful birds feeding at the backyard feeder that we established for them. The benefit for us far surpasses the cost of bird food and the time it takes to keep the feeders clean.

Educational

    Taking care of the environment and teaching our children to do the same is one of the greatest benefits of feeding birds. What better way to teach our children the delicate balance of nature. Teaching them how to protect and care for wildlife around us instills preservation. Removing trees and other plants to build homes, towns and other development destroy the natural habitat and food sources for many birds. Children can learn conservation by helping to build or set up bird feeders. They will learn not only the joy of watching the different types of birds, but they will gain an appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds us. Learning the different species of birds, how to recognize their colors, markings and calls, increases children's knowledge along with the desire to learn more.

Photography

    Photographers can capture the beauty of a hummingbird.
    Photographers can capture the beauty of a hummingbird.

    An increasing number of people are stepping into the world of photography. With the technologies of the digital camera, many are finding a rebirth in taking pictures of all types of things including birds. Amateurs as well as professional photographers have the opportunity of capturing great shots when birds arrive at the feeders.

How to Get a Chicken Waterer to Flow Slowly

How to Get a Chicken Waterer to Flow Slowly

Chicken waterers, or poultry watering systems, come in several varieties, and the speed of water distribution depends on the type of waterer you own. If you use a pressure system, the water dish is connected to a hose and faucet, and the water flows at the rate of pressure your water source is set at. Fast-flowing water is caused by a high amount of pressure being forced through the hose. To get slower-flowing water, you can install a pressure regulator with pressure gauge. This attachment corrects high and low water pressure by equalizing water pressure lines.

Instructions

    1

    Find your water source. If your water is supplied by a city or other municipal source, your home most likely receives water at about 200 psi (pounds per square inch). This is too high to be useful, so houses are equipped with regulators that drop the pressure to around 50 to 70 psi. An additional regulator may be necessary for your chicken waterer.

    2

    Shut off the source of water, usually a faucet on the side of your house.

    3

    Attach the pressure regulator to your exterior faucet and chicken-waterer hose. This should easily fit onto the threads. If it does not, you might need a coupling. The regulator's product instructions also should specify whether you need a coupling.

    4
    Ppressure regulators should come with a pressure gauge.
    Ppressure regulators should come with a pressure gauge.

    Adjust the pressure. To get the water to flow slowly for a small chicken waterer, you should only need about 10 to 20 psi. The regulator's pressure gauge will have marks on it to indicate the pressure.

    5

    Test the water flow. If the water still flows too fast, the pressure is still too high. Shut off the water source and adjust the regulator until you reach the flow of water you need.

The Best Foods to Feed Chicks

The Best Foods to Feed Chicks

Raising a few chickens is a good way to get fresh eggs every morning, but owners should keep in mind that chickens require care just like any other animal. Baby chicks especially need their owner to nurture them, and this includes choosing the right kind of food to provide for feed.

Mashed/Crumbled Chick Feed

    Buy some powdery mash feed, which chicks can easily digest, or get some crumbles for chicks at your local feed store if you find the chicks are wasting the mash. Buy pellets, which are made of compressed mash, for older chicks. You won't need to buy grit for digestion if your birds are on this diet.

Grains with Grit

    Feed the chicks plenty of grains mixed with grit to help them digest their food. It's best to use whole, living grains rather than cracked. Try to give them a mixture of several varieties of grains rather than just a pure corn diet to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. Your local feed store can help you find the best grains for your chicks. Buy the chick-sized granite grit from your feed store and mix it in with the feed.

Medicated Feed

    To prevent the chicks from contracting the parasitic disease coccidiosis, which can kill chicks that don't yet have a resistance, choose feed that is medicated with Amprolium. Amprolium controls coccidiosis and helps the chicks develop a resistance to the disease. Don't bother spending money on feed with antibiotics in it, as this is unnecessary.

Foods Around the House

    You can use foods around the house for chick feed if need be. For example, while it may seem strange, you can serve the chicks mashed, hard-boiled eggs as a starter feed. Or, you can grind up some breakfast cereal and let them eat that. However, avoid sweetened cereals or those with chocolate; too much sugar can be fattening, and chocolate can be toxic.

Sabtu, 28 April 2012

Hummingbird Sugar Water Recipe

Hummingbirds are fun to watch in your garden. They eat nectar from flowers and are drawn to gardens with red and pink blooms. You can attract these delightful birds to your yard even if you don't have any flowers by setting out a hummingbird feeder that is filled with a nectar substitute made from sugar water.

Recipe

    The hummingbird sugar water recipe has only two ingredients, water and sugar. To make the nectar, add one cup of sugar to four cups of water. Boil this mixture for one minute and remove from heat.Overheating can cause the water to evaporate and change the sugar concentration of the mixture. When the sugar water has completely cooled, it is ready to pour into a clean hummingbird feeder.

Feeders

    Hummingbird feeders are usually designed to look like big red flowers in order to attract the attention of the birds. Because the feeder is red, it is not necessary to add red food coloring to the sugar water. Clean the feeder at least twice a week to prevent bacterial growth. Soak the feeder once a month to kill mold. Place your hummingbird feeder in the shade as this slows the rate at which the sugar water spoils and makes the feeder less appealing to insects.

When to Feed

    Hummingbirds migrate south for the winter. The best time to put out a feeder for hummingbirds if you live in the south is during the middle of March. If you live in the northern states, put up a hummingbird feeder around the first of April. You can take your hummingbird feeders down by the first of October. You can leave a feeder out during the winter months if freezing is not a problem.

Precautions

    Hummingbirds tend to fight over feeders, so Oregon State University recommends that you place feeders far apart. They also say to use only sugar in the hummingbird nectar recipe. Honey encourages the growth of fungus and other organisms that might harm the birds. Artificial sweeteners must also be avoided since these provide no calories for the birds and may cause them to starve.

Myna Bird Diet

Myna Bird Diet

Mynah birds can only thrive on a proper diet, one that is low in iron. Unlike most other birds kept as pets, they are not seed eaters. The bulk of a pet mynah's diet should come from manufactured pellets made specifically for mynahs and other soft-billed birds, with other elements added for variety.

Considerations

    Mynah birds often suffer from a blood disorder called hemochromatosis, which causes them to absorb and store too much iron in their bodies. This causes the bird to have an enlarged liver, and damages the liver's function as well. As the disorder progresses, the liver problems place a great strain on the bird's heart. Therefore, those who wish to keep mynahs successfully as pets must take care not to allow too much iron in their diets.

Mainstay

    Though mynah birds live on fruit and insects in their natural habitat, the easiest way to see that they get the proper nutrition is to provide them with commercially available pellets. The package should specify that the pellets are for mynahs (or other soft-billed species such as toucans), and it should state that the food is low in iron. In her article, "Feeding Your Pet Mynah," Kathy Butterfield recommends that it should have no more than 150 parts per milligram. Though mynah pellets can be hard to find in your local pet store, they can be ordered online from several sources.

Fruit

    Mynahs love fruit, and will be happier if you give it to them. Chopped pieces of apples and pears are safe for them to eat; bananas are very high in sugar content and should be used sparingly. The acid in citrus fruit makes it even easier for mynah birds to store excess iron in their bodies, so don't give your pet oranges or lemons. Any fruit you do give them should be ripe, and you should remove the seeds--some seeds can be poisonous to mynahs. Raisins have relatively high levels of iron, so mynahs shouldn't eat them.

Vegetables

    Though mynahs can eat some vegetables, you should always check the iron content of any vegetable you want to feed them. Broccoli is too high in iron, as are peas and sweet potatoes. Turnips and radishes are low in iron, but tend to be denser and harder in texture than what mynah birds usually eat. Don't be surprised if your pet rejects them in favor of fruit. If you feed your bird turnips, be sure to cut them into small pieces.

Insects

    Because mynahs eat insects in the wild, some pellet formulas include an insect-based component. Some mynah bird owners feed their pets mealworms. Butterfield asserts that this is not necessary for mynahs in captivity, and goes on to cite a risk for iron buildup. The "Pet Care Tips" website, however, notes that "Mynah pairs need mealworms during the breeding season and when they are feeding their babies." If you only have one mynah, or don't plan to breed them, you can skip the mealworms without guilt.

Safe Fruits & Vegetables for Finches

Safe Fruits & Vegetables for Finches

A finch can eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. However, fruit and vegetables should only make up about 25 percent of a finch's diet. A finch needs the nutrients found in nuts, seeds and birdseed. They also require supplements to live a long and healthy life. However, as long as the finch receives about 75 percent of its basic nutrition from seeds and nuts, it is fine to give the finch nearly any kind of fruit or vegetable. Remember to buy organic fruit and vegetables, when possible. The chemicals used to kill pests in non-organic food---while harmless to humans---can lead to health problems or death in a small bird. Also, be sure to choose brightly colored fruits or vegetables, when possible, to catch your finch's eye.

Leafy Greens

    Leafy greens are some of the best vegetables to feed to your finch. Always feed fresh vegetables rather than frozen. You also can give your finch leftover or slightly browned lettuce from the fridge, which is no longer suitable for human consumption. Romaine lettuce, spinach, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens, dandelions, collard greens and spring mix are all appropriate greens to feed a finch, on a somewhat regular basis.

Veggies

    Finches can eat almost any vegetable. For hard vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and squash, grate the vegetables---as you would grate cheese---for easier consumption. Finches can eat squash, zucchini, beets, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli and nearly any other fresh vegetable.

Fruit

    Finches can eat a wide variety of fruits, as well. The only type fruit you should stay away from is citrus, as citrus fruits may cause the bird to choke. Feed your finch apples, pears, pumpkins, mangoes, papaya, peaches, grapes, honeydew melons, and nectarines. Always cut the fruit into edible pieces and only feed the finch minute amounts at a time, to prevent overeating.

How to Build Your Own Macaw Cage

How to Build Your Own Macaw Cage

One of the most beautiful and intelligent birds in the world, the macaw, makes a wonderful pet. Because of its size, the macaw needs a fairly large cage. These cages can cost hundreds of dollars when purchased new, but there is a more economical way to make your own macaw cage.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase the largest dog cage you can find that has bars no greater than 1 inch apart. At minimum, the cage should allow your bird to extend both wings fully at the same time. The metal should be either stainless steal or galvanized to prevent rusting and flaking, which can be hazardous to a macaw if ingested. Also look for a cage that is welded rather than secured with nuts and bolts that pose a choking hazard.

    2

    Turn your dog kennel on its side so that it runs vertically if the width will allow. The width of the cage is more important than height for your bird, so only do this if the cage allows plenty of space for your macaw to spread its wings and move back and forth. The bars that run horizontally will provide climbing mobility and ease of gripping. Be sure the bars are stronger than your macaw.

    3

    Add several feeding stations to your cage. This will allow you to offer more than one kind of food at a time. Food dishes clip to the bars of the cage.

    4

    Attach plenty of durable, safe toys to your cage to keep your macaw from getting bored and chewing on things it shouldn't.

    5

    Add a perch that is easy to attach to the cage bars. If there is room, add more than one perch of different thicknesses to keep the macaw's feet in good health.

    6

    Add a floor and paper lining to the inside of your cage to collect waste and dropped food. A metal tray makes a good floor, and the lip on the sides prevent spilling when removing it to clean it.

    7

    Attach a locking mechanism that your bird will not be able to reach or figure out how to open in order to prevent accidental escape.

How to Hand Feed a Bird

Feeding by hand is necessary for newborn baby birds without biological parents. Whether the bird has been removed from its bird parents intentionally, or moved to a pet store before it was properly weaned, hand feeding is vital to the survival of the pet bird. Regressed pet birds, due to illness or emotional trauma, are also candidates for hand feeding. The slow tedious process ensures proper nutrition, quantity of food and a chance at raising a healthy bird.

Instructions

    1

    Ask how often the baby bird was being fed by the previous owner. Observe a hand feeding session before taking home the bird and doing it yourself. Duplicate the previous owner's feeding methods, keeping the bird interested and ready for mealtime. Feedings twice daily are common. Allow the bird to eat more frequently if he indicates hunger or begging by vocalizing or sitting with an open beak and bobbing his body.

    2

    Prepare the bird formula. Purchase baby bird hand-feeding formula powder at a veterinarian's clinic or a large pet retail store. Choose the brand the bird had previously been fed. Measure the powder and water using a gram scale, following the recommendations of the breeder or the food package. Add room temperature or heated water to the formula to make a mush-style food, preparing it to a similar consistency and temperature as previous feedings. For first feedings, follow recommendations on the formula package.

    3

    Fill the syringe with formula. Slowly draw the food into the syringe by pulling up on the plunger. Feel the barrel of the syringe, making sure the formula isn't too cold or hot.

    4

    Prepare the baby bird. Place a bath towel on the table. Place the bird on the towel, holding him with one hand, and the feeding syringe in the other hand. Gently open the bird's beak if he hasn't already opened it, and aim the tip of the syringe to your left (the bird's right) inside his mouth. Press the plunger slowly, and little by little deposit the food near the bird's crop, inside the back of his mouth. Avoid overflowing the beak with food.

    5

    Weigh the bird each morning before it has been fed. Use a gram scale to log weight gain and loss. Losing weight is a sign of illness, according to the Tailfeathers Network. Consistent loss of weight should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Jumat, 27 April 2012

How to Raise Pekin Ducks From Ducklings

How to Raise Pekin Ducks From Ducklings

Pekin ducks are among the most popular pet ducks. These ducks have been completely domesticated and are friendly and highly intelligent. Though they are white with yellow bills as adults, ducklings are yellow and fluffy. They tend to grow more rapidly than other species of ducks, so owners of ducklings should be prepared to house and care for the adults when they are larger.

Instructions

    1

    Place the ducklings in an enclosure that is large enough for them to walk around and explore. Large boxes, toy chests and large plastic storage bins all work well. Aquariums and rodent enclosures are not appropriate for ducks.

    2

    Provide the ducks with a small, shallow bowl of water that is not deep enough in which to drown and not large enough in which to swim. Ducklings should not be provided with access to swimming water. Their feathers are not developed enough yet to swim and they may even drown.

    3

    Cover the bottom of the cage with an absorbent litter; 4 to 5 inches of non-toxic cat litter, shredded newspaper or absorbent rodent litter. Ducklings can't be potty trained so will quickly make a mess in a cage. Pekins dislike humidity and moisture, so it's important to provide adequate litter to keep the cage dry.

    4

    Use a small heat lamp to provide adequate heat. The temperature in the duck enclosure should be slightly higher than room temperature --- approximately 78-80 degrees. Avoid using heating pads because ducklings can burn themselves. If the ducks are too hot they will move away from the heat light and if they are too cold they will huddle together underneath it. Use your ducklings' behavior as your heating guide.

    5

    Feed the ducks a commercial feed made for ducklings. Avoid feeding them food meant for adult ducks. Duck food can be purchased at farm stores, some home and garden shops and some pet stores. If you can't find duck food, chick food is an acceptable substitute.

    6

    Socialize your ducks to human contact. To do this, hand-feed your ducks and play with them daily. Pekin ducks have sensitive feet, so avoid touching their feet and be careful not to pinch them when holding them.

    7

    Take your ducks out of their enclosure daily. Ducks need exercise and exposure to sunlight. Carefully supervise them when you are outside with them.

    8

    Build a duck enclosure for your ducklings to live in when they become adults that offers protection from the elements and predators. Suggestions for an adult duck enclosure are included in the Resource section.

DIY Bird Seed Hanger

When a seed feeder is left within reach of certain animals, such as cats or squirrels, the birds it was intended for may never get a chance to enjoy the food. Creating your own birdseed hanger makes it possible to feed the birds while keeping the seed out of reach of other animals. It is simple, straightforward, and allows for the customization of bird seed treats and other snacks.

Materials

    Gather the materials you need for this endeavor. This project requires containers in any different shapes and sizes you like, as well as tin foil, twine, suet or rendered fat, bird seed and other treats for wild birds. You will also need a tool to cut holes in the tin foil, and kitchen equipment for heating the suet or rendered fat.

Preparation

    Mold a piece of tin foil to fit in the bottom of your container, then poke a hole through the center. Tie a knot in a piece of twine and feed it through the hole from bottom to top. The knot should be resting on the bottom of the foil. Replace the foil in the container. This will protect your container from the bird seed treat and will make removal of the treat easier. Home expert Danny Lipford recommends replacing the tin foil with cupcake papers for smaller suet feeders.

Birdseed Treat

    Melt the fat gently in a saucepan on the stove using low heat, or melt it slowly in the microwave within 30-second increments. Once it has reached a completely liquid state, remove it from the heat and begin to stir in the seeds and other treats into the fat, until it is all mixed together well. Now the mixture is ready to be spooned into the containers. The twine should stick out of the top of each like a candle wick.

Finishing Up

    Refrigerate each treat for one hour or more until hardened. Lipman suggests freezing any extra treats, so they stay fresh and can be used at a later date. Remove the linings from the solid suet feeders, and then tie the twine up in cool and shady spots where squirrels or cats won't have a chance at stealing your wild bird's food.

How to Make Suet Plugs for Suet Feeders

How to Make Suet Plugs for Suet Feeders

Suet is made from fat and is an important source of calories for birds. Suet plugs are shaped to fit in predrilled holes in bird feeders. The advantage of a feeder that uses suet plugs is that you can use a variety of suet ingredients, including nuts and grains, and put a different combination in each hole. The different suets will attract a variety of birds to your feeder. Making your own suet plugs is easy and relatively inexpensive.

Instructions

    1

    Melt 1 cup of suet, shortening or lard in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat.

    2

    Add 1 cup of plain or chunky peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter is melted and has incorporated into the suet.

    3

    Measure 1 cup of plain flour and 3 cups of cornmeal into a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Stir into the mixture in the saucepan.

    4

    Choose which nuts, grains or fruit you will add. Stir about a cup of each into the mixture along with 1 cup of birdseed.

    5

    Spread the mixture into an 8x8 inch pan and let cool.

    6

    Cut the suet into pieces that will fit snugly into the holes in a suet feeder. Store the remaining plugs in the refrigerator or freezer.

Kamis, 26 April 2012

How to Raise Fancy Pigeons

How to Raise Fancy Pigeons

Fancy pigeons come in many different sizes, shapes, feather designs, and colors. They were domesticated from the Columbian Rock Pigeon. Fancy pigeons are raised as pets, hobbies, and for show.

Instructions

Raising Fancy Pigeons

    1

    You can house your pigeons in a rabbit hutch or chicken coop. Each pair should have its own hutch due to space needs. If you have several pairs of pigeons, consider building a loft. The loft will provide space for the pigeon to fly around. Lay some hay down in the hutch or cage. You should also supply a pot of sand to use as a nest. This is where they will lay their eggs.

    2

    Feed your pigeons twice a day. You can give them a variety of grains, nuts and seeds to ensure a balanced diet. Food choices include: wheat, barley, red rice, linseed, ground nut, American green peas and corn. Grind egg shell and put in the pigeon's food for vitamins and minerals. Include grit in the pigeon's diet to help digestion. Commercial pigeon food is available online.

    3

    Change you pigeon's water frequently. Change it each time you feed them and once in the middle of the day, if possible. You can supply water in a bowl or even a plastic-covered cat or dog dish to help keep debris out of the water.

    4

    Watch for signs of illness, such as changes in behavior, lethargy, and refusal to eat. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that is commonly and successfully used for illness in pigeons. It is important to treat an ill pigeon right away.

What Seeds Are Bad for Parrots?

Most people buy parrot food in ready-mixed packs that are available at local supermarkets and pet shops. The shops that do not seem to turn over their inventory quickly should be avoided as seed mixes have a short shelf life, and if not used fast enough, they become "webby" because of a small moth that completes its life cycle in the seeds. These moths are not harmful to the parrots but are an unnecessary nuisance. You can also buy seeds in bulk and mix them in the right proportion yourself, but you should be careful while selecting seeds as some seeds should be given in moderation and some seeds must be avoided at all costs.

Apple Seeds

    Raw apples are nutritious for your parrot, but while feeding an apple to your parrot, you must wash them to remove pesticides from the skin and remove the seeds as well. The seeds of apples, and all other fruits of rose family (Rosaceae) like pears, peaches and plum, contain a toxin named amygdalin which breaks down in the body to form the highly poisonous compound "hydrogen cyanide". Since the amount of toxin present in the seeds is very small, it doesn't cause harm to human being, but the parrots have a smaller body and can be affected adversely from this toxin. It can even cause death in some cases.

Sunflower Seeds

    Certain seeds like sunflower seeds and safflower seeds contain about 40 percent fats in them, while it is advised that a parrot's diet should contain 10 percent to 15 percent fats. If the fat content in a parrot's diet is too high, the fat gets accumulated in the bloodstream and is deposited throughout the body of the parrot, especially in the liver. If too much fat is deposited into the liver, the parrot is subjected to fatty liver disease. The symptoms of fatty liver disease include obesity, overgrown beak, enlarged fatty liver and black spots on the beak and toenails. If your parrot is showing any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult an avian veterinarian.

Sweet Pea Seeds

    Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is considered nutritious if it is eaten in small amounts. However, their seeds and seeds of some other Lathyrus species (Lathyrus sativus, Lathyrus cicera and Lathyrus clymenum) contain beta-aminopropionitrile (a toxic amino acid) which causes odoratism or osteolathyrism if they are eaten in large amounts. The odoratism is a combination of neurolathyrism and angiolathyrism. Its symptoms include weak and fragile connective tissues associated with angiolathyrism and the paralysis of lower body associated with neurolathyrism, not just in parrots but in humans as well.

Yew Seeds

    The yew is group of the various coniferous trees and shrubs of the Taxus genus. The common types of yew are: American yew (Taxus canadensis), English yew (Taxus baccata), Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) and western yew (Taxus breviflora). Their seeds, wood, bark and leaves contain a toxic compound known as taxine, a poisonous alkaloid with bitter taste. Taxine is capable of causing muscle tremors, convulsions, difficulty in breathing and collapse. It is also known to cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure leading to death.

How to Care for Baby Ducks

How to Care for Baby Ducks

Ducklings are resistant to many of the diseases that affect poultry, according to the University of Missouri Extension. They also grow and develop feathers faster than baby chicks, making their brooding time shorter. In addition, they do not forage as geese do and as a result, don't require a large pasture. Ducks are happy with a few blades of grass and insects. To get them started on a healthy life, keep your ducklings warm, dry, hydrated and well fed.

Instructions

    1

    Find a structure with a wood, dirt or concrete floor to become your brooder house--the place your duckings will live until they can survive on their own. It should have 1 square feet of floor space per duckling. You also should be able to adjust the temperature in this space.

    2

    Cover the floor of the brooder house with non-toxic absorbent litter, such as sawdust, peat moss or peanut hulls. Change the litter often, as ducklings do poorly in damp conditions.

    3

    Set the temperature at 90 degrees Fahrenheit when the ducks are born. Keep the area at this temperature for the first week.

    4

    Put mother birds (broody birds) in the brooder house with the newborn ducklings. They don't have to be their biological mothers. In fact, chicken hens can brood baby ducks. If you use surrogate mothers, place the ducklings under them in the evenings.

    5

    Provide broody birds around-the-clock with grain and clean water. Use water containers that will not allow your ducklings to get in.

    6

    Begin to lower the temperature in the brooder house during the second week of the ducks' lives. Reduce it by 5 to 10 degrees at the start of every week until you reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

    7

    Feed your baby ducks crumbilized chick or poult starter from the time they're born until they turn 10 days old. Make the feed available at all times on a rough surface. If ducklings walk on a smooth surface, they might damage their legs, according to the University of Missouri Extension.

    8

    Feed ducklings older than 10 days a blend of pelleted grower ration and grain, such as oats, cracked corn or wheat.

    9

    Make water available all the time. Ducklings need a large quantity of clean water to support their growth rate. Use a water container that does not allow ducklings to climb into it.

    10

    Let ducklings leave the brooder house to peck outside when they're 4 weeks old. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, by that age your baby ducks will have enough feathers to insulate their bodies. But keep them indoors until they're grown if they were born in the winter.

How to Hand-Raise Lorikeets

How to Hand-Raise Lorikeets

Lorikeets have become more prominent in bird breeding circles in the last few decades. Previously, they were considered difficult to raise and properly feed, but with extensive research and product development, we can more readily meet their specialized nutritional requirements. Bold, curious and extremely outgoing, Lorikeets make gregarious and entertaining pets. With the proper diet and care, they live several decades as interactive companions. Breathtakingly gorgeous and virtually fearless, Lorikeets will keep you laughing for years.

Instructions

    1

    Find a breeder to teach you proper hand-feeding techniques. Make this your highest priority, as without the proper understanding, your chicks may choke, starve or develop potentially fatal infections.

    2

    Set up your brooder. Newly hatched chicks require a higher humidity and temperature setting than older chicks, around 97 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 to 70 percent humidity. Decrease the temperature and humidity slowly, no more than one or two degrees a week, as the chicks age.

    3

    Prepare fresh formula according to the age specifications of your chicks for each feeding. Newly hatched chicks (one to three days old) require extremely watered down formula. Increase the formula thickness as the chicks age. Warm all formula to between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit before feeding.

    4

    Feed your chicks according to their age range. Newly hatched chicks require feeding more often, usually every two hours with a six-hour break at night to allow the crop to empty completely. As they age, increase the time between feedings by approximately an hour every two weeks, as well as their overnight time

    5

    Cuddle and soothe your babies after each feeding. Talk to them softly, sing to them and rock them against your body while providing support for their feet. As they age, they become more aware of their surroundings and will begin interacting with you as their caregiver. Give them soft, washable toys to play with. Once they begin to explore, offer soft pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables while they play.

    6

    Move them to a larger cage once they are fully feathered. Place the perches and toys low in the cage so that they do not injure themselves should they fall. Always offer heavy, stable food and water dishes. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables several times a day as well as both wet and dry Lorikeet food. Continue hand feeding the babies, as it can take weeks to wean them. Do not rush them, offer them regular feedings but allow them to eat as much or as little as they would like.

    7

    Continue offering hand-feeding formula as they learn to fly. Baby birds begin flapping to strengthen their wings at a young age, before their feathers have finished coming in. Once they are fully feathered, they lose interest in food, and focus on flapping and attempts at flight. They lose weight at this time, but they soon begin eating again.

    8

    Wait until they learn to fly before clipping their wings. This also teaches them coordination, balance and confidence.

    9

    Wean the babies when they begin eating well on their own. Allow them to wean at their own pace, always providing them with an abundance and variety of food. Continue to offer an evening feeding for as long as they will take it. Offer them a feeding whenever they cry for one. Withholding feeding causes anxiety and phobias, and stunts the weaning process entirely.

How to Breed African Love Birds

How to Breed African Love Birds

African lovebirds are small parrots that can be friendly, personable pets. There are nine distinct species of African lovebirds, but they can all be bred using the same procedures. Learning how to breed African lovebirds is a simple process.

Instructions

    1

    Sex your birds. You need a male and a female, and being absolutely certain that you have a breeding pair will save you time and frustration. Females have broader heads and shoulders than the males, and they also have a wider pelvic span. When the bird is on its back, touch the area just above the tail. Two small points of bone very close together indicate a male, while points that are spaced more widely indicate a female.

    2

    Keep your birds communally. For the best chances of breeding African lovebirds, keep them in a group of four or five. This allows them to choose their own mates and will increase the chances of egg production.

    3

    Place a nesting box in the cage. Nesting boxes can be purchased from most pet stores. They are often made of straw or wicker and can be hung inside the cage. If you cannot find a nesting box specifically for lovebirds, choose one intended for a cockatiel as they tend to be the right size.

    4

    Place nesting material in the bottom of the cage. This encourages the lovebirds to line their nest. Some good choices for nesting materials include unscented, shredded paper towels, shredded newspaper, dried grasses, twigs and palm fronds.

    5

    Watch for eggs. A female African lovebird will lay between four and six eggs, which will then be incubated for between 21 and 24 days. After that point, the eggs will hatch, and you can begin hand-taming the chicks when they are about a week old.

How to Identify a Muscovy Duck

How to Identify a Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy is a large duck; it's native to Mexico, Central and South America, and Texas, although it can be found all over the world. It prefers to live in wetlands near forests. Unlike other birds, Muscovy ducks don't migrate unless there's a change in water conditions, so if they live near you, they're unlikely to leave. These ducks have certain easily recognizable characteristics.

Instructions

    1

    Examine color and appearance. Muscovy ducks are brownish or black, with green, purple and white wing patches. They also have grayish or black feet.

    2

    Pay attention to a Muscovy duck's feet. Because they can fly and often roost in trees, they have strong sharp claws for grasping on branches. This is different from other ducks, such as Mallards, who have webbed feet.

    3

    Look out for the Muscovy duck's bright red face. Both sexes have an all-red face, with pronounced carbuncles or warts at the base of the bill.

    4

    Look at the size of the duck. Muscovies are distinguishable from other ducks because of their large size. The drake is about 34 inches long and 10 to 15 pounds; an average male Mallard is 26 inches and 3 pounds. Although the Muscovy hen is a lot smaller than the male (approximately 25 inches in length and almost 4 pounds), its size is similar to a male Mallard's.

Rabu, 25 April 2012

How to Do Eye Signs With Homing Pigeons

Eye sign in pigeons refers to observable characteristics of a bird's eyes. Breeders use eye sign as an indication of quality in pigeons when selecting for breeding. However, eye sign is controversial. Some swear by it while others call it superstition. Regardless, it remains an important subject for pigeon fanciers to understand.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the bird's pupils. The pupil should be totally black, and either round or slightly oval. There should be no milkiness over the pupil.

    2

    Identify the ring just around the pupil, which is actually the muscle that contracts the pupil. It is called the Circle of Adaptation, and it can vary considerably in width from bird to bird. A wide Circle of Adaptation is desirable. The color of this region should be green or greenish-black.

    3

    Locate the next ring out, called the Circle of Correlation. It is made up of connective tissue that attaches the muscle around the pupil to the iris. This ring can appear in many colors, but the favorites for breeders are violet and white. These birds are thought to make the best breeding stock.

    4

    Look at the iris, which is the next ring out. The function of the iris is to protect the retina from over exposure to light, which it does by virtue of its dark pigment. Thus the iris should show a lot of depth and a richness of color.

    5

    Find the next ring out from the iris, which is called the Circle of Health. This ring is believed to be important in the blood supply to the eye, and as such is an indicator of overall condition. It should show a dark, rich color.

Do Parrots Eat Mealworms?

Do Parrots Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms are 1-2-inch-long insects that have a hard yellow exoskeleton. Mealworms are commonly raised and fed to pets such as sugar gliders. However, some parrots enjoy the natural taste and flavor of live or dried mealworms, while other parrots refuse them. Parrots normally require extra protein at certain stages of life, but healthy maintenance levels of animal protein can be safely incorporated into a parrot's regular diet, as well.

Flower and Nectar Eaters

    Parrots that feed on flowers and flower nectar in the wild consume protein in the form of insects on occasion. Therefore, these species of parrots, when kept in captivity, do not require mealworms in their diet regularly. For instance, Eclectus parrots primarily feed on flowers in the wild, but will occasionally consume mealworms in captivity. Lories (Lorikeets) are birds that feed on nectar and insects, but may enjoy a mealworm as an occasional treat.

Insect and Grain Eaters

    Most other parrots feed on insects and grain in the wild and will most likely accept live mealworms. However, a pelleted diet supplemented with fresh veggies and fruits, along with some seed, make up a parrot's complete diet in captivity. Because pelleted diets are fortified, protein supplements such as mealworms are not necessary under normal maintenance conditions. However, they can be fed as a reward or as an alternative protein source during critical times of the year such as breeding and laying.

Safe Protein Amounts

    Although there are parrots that can and do consume protein in the form of insects, including mealworms, the kidneys of birds are not meant to process large amounts or concentrated amounts of protein. A seed-only diet does not provide enough essential protein, which results in protein deficiency. However, too much protein also creates health problems, such as over stressing the kidneys, that are responsible for flushing out unused portions of protein. A safe amount of animal protein for captive parrots is 1/4 of a teaspoon once a week, which can be broken down into several "treat-sized" portions throughout the week.

Considerations

    When deciding to feed mealworms to parrots, be careful of where the mealworms are purchased. Although mealworms can be purchased at fishing bait shops, there is no guarantee that they are free from chemicals that are toxic to parrots. Instead, purchase live or dried mealworms from a local or online pet food supply store that guarantees the mealworms are safe and non-toxic.

How to Make Your Own Bird Feeding Syringe

How to Make Your Own Bird Feeding Syringe

There are many reasons why a young bird or hatchling may be found on the ground rather than in the nest. It could have simply fallen out or have been abandoned, orphaned or evicted by more aggressive birds. Hand-rearing a chick is not a task that should be taken lightly; young birds require almost constant attention. A feeding syringe is one of the most important pieces of equipment required.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the syringe from its sterilized packaging and pull out the metal needle. You should be able to easily remove the needle by hand, but if it is tight, use pliers.

    2

    Secure the syringe needle opening in a vise. Do not over-tighten the vise and damage the plastic of the syringe.

    3

    Enlarge the hole in the syringe by drilling into the plastic tube where the needle was with an electric drill, using a 1/8 drill bit. This will not take much pressure, so be careful not to damage the inside of the syringe. This larger hole will allow liquids and some solids to be passed to the bird.

How to Feed Cheerios to Finches

How to Feed Cheerios to Finches

Finches require a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains. Commercial bird feed may only supply one or two types of these nutrients, leaving an imbalance. Whether they are wild birds -- or a pet in your home -- feeding finches a varied diet is essential to their overall health.



A recommended diet for finches, and other small birds, contains 50-percent grain and 45-percent fruits and vegetables. Dairy and calcium should also make up a small portion of the diet. Supplementing the finches' diet with Cheerios is an ideal way to add these nutrients.

Instructions

    1

    Make two holes in the top of the paper towel roll with a hole punch. Position the holes evenly to ensure the finch feeder hangs properly.

    2

    Pass the twine through the holes. Loop the twine back on itself and tie a series of knots. Twine resists weather rot, unlike yarn which may cause a malfunction in the feeder.

    3

    Spread peanut butter on the outside of the paper towel roll. Use a butter knife and spread the peanut butter 1/4-inch thick. Spreading a thick layer of peanut butter provides a mortar bed for the Cheerios.

    4

    Crush one cup of whole grain Cheerios. Spread the Cheerios on wax paper. Position the paper towel roll above the Cheerios and use a blotting motion to pick up the Cheerios crumbs. Add Finch pellets to the mixture for color and variety, if desired.

    5

    Hang the finch feeder in a tree, or place it in the bird cage.

Backyard Bird Suet Recipes

A bird feeder is a welcome addition to any backyard, especially for bird-watchers. Suet is a treat that many birds enjoy. It is best for use during the winter months because warm temperatures can cause it to go rancid. You can purchase cakes of suet at a variety of stores, but it's easy to make your own mix using berries, seeds, peanut butter and other nutritious ingredients that will give wild birds energy.

Peanut Butter Mix

    "Suet" itself is beef kidney fat. Ask for it at the meat counter of your local butcher or grocery store. It is inexpensive and the basis for most bird suet recipes. To make this peanut butter suet mix, you will need 2 lbs. freshly ground suet, 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, shelled sunflower seeds.

    Place the suet in a saucepan and melt it over low heat. Then add the peanut butter and stir the mixture until the peanut butter has melted and is well-combined with the suet. Mix in the sunflower seeds.

    To make the suet cakes, pour this mixture into a greased 13-by-9-inch cake pan. Allow the mixture to cool and then cut the hardened bird suet into cakes that will fit into your suet feeder. Extra cakes may be wrapped in plastic and stored in your freezer until you need them.

Cracked Corn and Sunflower Mix

    Not all recipes require the use of beef suet. Lard or shortening are acceptable substitutes because they also have a high fat content. This suet recipe uses shortening and does not require the use of a stove, so children can enjoy it, too. The variety of seeds contained in this mix will attract many different birds to your feeder.

    In a large bowl combine 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, 1 cup shortening, 1 cup flower, 3 cups cornmeal, 1 cup cracked corn, and up to 1 cup sunflower seeds. Stir the mixture well and then pack it into your suet feeder. You may also spread it on tree bark or pack it into pine cones and hang them from branches.

Cornmeal and Birdseed Mix

    If you don't own a suet feeder, a mesh onion bag works just as well. Simply toss a suet cake in the bag and hang it from a tree branch or other hanger in your yard. You also can make hanging suet cakes by incorporating a cord before the mixture has hardened. This recipe describes how to do it.

    First, melt 1/2 cup suet in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and stir well to combine. Then stir in 1 cup mixed birdseed and 2 1/2 cups cornmeal. Spoon the hot mixture into 10 greased or lined muffin tins.

    When the bird suet has partially hardened, use an ice pick or other sharp instrument to poke a hold in the middle of the cake. Don't wait until the suet has hardened completely, or this step will be difficult. Then thread 6-inch loops of cord through the hole and tie the ends together to create a hanger. When the cakes have hardened, remove them from the muffin tin and remove the cupcake liners if you used them. The suet cakes are ready to hang in your yard. Wrap any extras in plastic and store them in your freezer.

Selasa, 24 April 2012

How to Care for a Budgie

Budgerigars or "budgies" are small parakeet-like birds that make excellent pets. They are lively yet relatively easy to care for. While not all budgies talk, many do, and some have a vocabulary of over 100 words. A budgie requires some daily maintenance, but if you have a small apartment, it may be the perfect pet for you.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a cage large enough for the budgie. Make sure the wires on the cage are close enough that the bird can't get his head through them. Also make sure the cage is large enough for a budgie.

    2

    Buy wooden perches for the budgie cage. If you can, get different size perches so the budgie can get some varied leg exercises. Also buy a feeder, waterer, cuttle bone, mineral block and quality budgie food. Don't forget to get your budgie some toys too.

    3

    Pick out a budgie. Try to find a young one that is finger trained. If you can't find a finger-trained bird, you should at least try to find one that seems friendly.

    4

    Feed and water the budgie daily. The budgie is dependent on you for its care. Also, put a small chunk of fresh vegetable like a carrot in the budgies cage as an occasional treat.

    5

    Take time to play with your budgie and talk to it. The more attention you give to your budgie, the more he is likely to respond to you talking to him. You can also train the budgie to be quiet by placing a light sheet over his cage at night. Just remember to remove the sheet in the daytime.

    6

    Clean the bird's cage at least once a week. Line the cage with newspaper to make clean up easier. Don't forget to clean the waterer and the feeder.

    7

    Keep the budgie in a room that doesn't have any drafts. Also put the cage away from air conditioning and heat vents. Take care not to spray anything near the cage, and watch out for any kind of fumes that may be harmful to the bird's health.

How to Hand-Raise Parrots

How to Hand-Raise Parrots

Knowing how to hand raise parrots and other domesticated birds is essential if you are going to breed birds. In a natural environment, a mother bird's instinct, coupled with the natural environment, is adequate. When parrots are in captivity, however, parrot owners need to monitor essential needs such as housing, feeding and weaning. This will take specialized equipment, which you can find at most local stores. Mostly, though, it will require time and attention.

Instructions

Housing

    1

    Provide adequate housing for the baby parrot. This can be as simple as a cardboard box.

    2

    Maintain the proper temperature, ideally between 55 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    3

    Place a heating pad in the housing area to provide heat. Adding lights will help to provide heat.

    4

    Provide adequate humidity. Adding cotton balls in a dish of water will keep the housing area from becoming too dry.

Diet

    5

    Provide nutrition to the baby parrot. Although there are no nutritional guideline requirements, follow the guidelines found in commercially prepared parrot food in your local store.

    6

    Make homemade parrot food comes from recipes found on aviary websites or books at your local library or pet store. This is ideal for owners who prefer to go the more natural route for feeding.

    7

    Consult with an experienced aviculturist. The aviculturist will provide advice and tips for the diet of your hand-raised parrot.

Feeding

    8

    Follow a feeding schedule for your baby parrot. This is especially important for the newborn birds.

    9

    Weigh your birds first thing every morning. Record the weights and monitor them daily to watch for excessive weight loss or gain.

    10

    Prepare food immediately before feeding. Discard any leftover food. Do not save the remaining food for future feedings.

    11

    Heat the parrot food to between 85 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid heating in microwave ovens, as this can cause hotspots.

Weaning

    12

    Watch for signs of your parrot to be ready for weaning. This will include nibbling of toes or other material.

    13

    Place foods in bowls inside the parrot's habitat. These foods can include soft table scraps such as bread, vegetables, corn on the cob, raisins and fruit.

    14

    Continue to monitor the weight of your parrot. It is common for the parrot to lose 15 percent of its weight during the weaning process.

    15

    Contact your veterinarian if the weight loss of your parrot during the weaning process is excessive.

How to Keep Peacocks

How to Keep Peacocks

Peacocks are the male variety of a type of large, colorful birds called peafowl. They can be found in a variety or deep blues and greens, and have long tail feathers that they display, making them a stunning addition to your yard. These birds look very exotic and impressive, but can be easily kept as a pet. By taking the proper steps to care for your peacock, your bird will remain happy and healthy.

Instructions

    1

    Provide a pen for your peacock to live in. Because peacocks can become so much larger than other birds, such as chickens, this pen should be about 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide and long. If your peacock will not be allowed to forage, this pen must be much larger, about 80 square feet. The pen should be made of small, strong wire mesh, so that the birds don't get out, and any predators cannot get in. Depending on your climate, enclose at least one side of the pen with wood, to create a windbreak. If you live in a colder climate, you may need to enclose the entire pen.

    2

    Provide shade for the bird, either by building the pen under large trees, or by roofing part of the pen.

    3

    Add a flat roosting area, such as a wide board, to the pen. The roosting area should be about 4 feet off the ground.

    4

    Place a 3-gallon bucket in the pen and fill with fresh water daily.

    5

    Feed the peacock a birdseed mix daily. You can also supplement this diet, mimicking a more natural diet, by giving treats of dry cat or dog food, which has a healthy protein level for the peacock, and fresh fruits and vegetables, which also supply necessary vitamins.

    6

    Allow the peacock to forage naturally. The peacock will need to roam in a large area, such as a field, paddock, or through a group of trees. As the peacock forages, it will eat any bugs, seeds and small rodents or reptiles. This will supplement its diet and keep it healthier than a birdseed-only diet would. If you let your bird forage, place a food the peacock particularly likes in his pen, so that it will return without roaming too far.

    7

    Add a bird vitamin supplement to your peacock's food or water. This will help fill in any vitamin deficiencies.

    8

    Give the peacock a bird wormer twice a year, in order to get rid of any parasites.

How to Get Birds to Use Bird Feeders

Hanging a bird feeder allows you the chance to enjoy the beauty of birds up close and personal while also providing them with a bit of food that might be hard to find, especially during the winter months. You won't be able to do any bird-watching, however, if the birds do not use your feeder. Take some steps to ensure that the birds will be attracted to and will use your bird feeder, and enjoy the display as the birds happily partake of your efforts.

Instructions

    1

    Use a bird feeder that is the right kind for the birds in your yard. Most birds need to perch on something as they feed, so if you are hanging a tube bird feeder, make sure it has plenty of perches. If you are hanging a bird feeder that is composed of a large tray, make sure it has enough support so that it won't tip to one side and spill all of the seeds if a bird perches on it.

    2

    Check the bird feeder to make sure it isn't clogged. Some bird feeders have only tiny holes as access for the seeds, which can become clogged, blocking the birds from getting any of the seeds. Also check to make sure ants or other bugs are not infesting it.

    3

    Hang your bird feeder in the right location. If you hang it too close to a window, the birds might be scared off by the motions of people inside the house. You should also not hang a bird feeder near any known squirrel homes, as squirrels will try to eat the seeds and scare off the birds. Hang a bird feeder from a tree where birds are known to congregate for best results.

    4

    Choose the correct food for the birds you are feeding. For example, sunflower seeds of different types attract many species of birds. Cracked corn is also popular, but does not do well in most bird feeders as it attracts ground-feeding birds such as doves and sparrows.

Senin, 23 April 2012

Negative Effects of Owning a Bird

Negative Effects of Owning a Bird

A beautiful new parrot or macaw may seem like a good idea, but these creatures are far from nice looking ornaments. Even a smaller bird like a budgie will require constant care, including daily cleaning, and you may find you spend as much time cleaning up its mess as you do watching it and talking to it. So before purchasing and becoming attached to your new friend be sure to consider the negative effects of owning a bird.

Cage cleaning

    Like all animals birds are susceptible to disease, but unlike other pets they will defecate where they live. Generally speaking, if housed in a cage, the bird doesn't have a choice. To avoid diseases, both in the bird and yourself, you need to clear the bottom of the cage daily. The easiest way to do this is to use cage liners that will catch any droppings. A more thorough clean involves removing the bird and everything else in the cage then scrubbing the cage thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Once a month should be fine for small birds but for larger creatures, like parrots, this should be done once a week. The most important thing to remember is that a bird is not an animal you can buy and then ignore.

Hygiene

    As well as cleaning the cage, the bird itself will require some occasional intervention while its food supply needs to be kept immaculate. Although they are largely clean animals that will groom themselves, long hours sat stationary on a perch will result in a dust build-up on the bird's feathers. Occasional baths are a good idea, but warm water should be all that is required. It's also important to clean the bird's feeder and water dispenser. For this, hot soapy water should be used.

Food

    Feeding your bird is rarely a simple case of hanging a bird feeder and leaving it to its own devices. It is time consuming and, depending on what you choose, quite expensive. Like people, birds require nutrients from the four main food groups: meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables. While bird seed can compose up to 20 percent of its diet, you should also supply it with fresh fruit and small pieces of meat. Be careful not to let anything rot though, as this can harm the bird. The other option is bird pellets, which are more expensive than seed but are composed of every essential nutrient your pet needs.

Allergies

    Most people won't know if they are allergic to birds until they own one. Day-to-day, most people will never be that close to a bird, so it is something to look out for. Allergies tend to be a reaction to bird dander, similar to dandruff in humans, and symptoms can include anything from a fever and coughing to breathing difficulties and weight loss. You can buy an air purifier to combat this, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that if you suffer an extreme reaction you may have to get rid of your new bird.

How Can I Incubate Cockatiel Eggs?

Native to Australia, the cockatiel is a sociable household parrot that usually features gray, yellow or white plumage. Cockatiels possess an average lifespan of about 15 years. Female cockatiels may lay four to seven eggs in a single clutch, laying each egg about two days apart. Ideally, the parents should incubate their own eggs. If parents resist incubation, you can incubate the eggs on their behalf.

Instructions

Encouraging Parents to Incubate Eggs

    1

    Provide a nest box for your cockatiel pair. Line the bottom of this wooden box with layers of soft paper. Avoid lining the nest box with wood shavings. Place millet seed near entrance of the nest box to encourage your cockatiel pair to enter.

    2

    Wash your hands to remove bacteria. Place eggs inside of the nest box. Cockatiels may not start incubation until there are two to three eggs in the clutch. Eggs can still be viable for up to a week after they are laid without incubation from a parent.

    3

    Create an alternative nesting site if cockatiels continue to reject the nest box. If your cockatiel continues to lay eggs at the bottom of the cage instead of using the nest box, place a small wooden or glass container at the bottom of the cage. Line the container with layers of soft cloth or paper. Place eggs on top of the lining.

Incubating Cockatiel Eggs

    4

    Place an incubator in a quiet, temperature and humidity controlled location that is not in direct sunlight. You should also have a second backup incubator in the event that the first incubator breaks down.

    5

    Set the temperature of your incubator to rest between 99.5 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit according to your incubator's directions. Temperatures more than a half degree away from this range increase the chances of eggs not hatching.

    6

    Set the humidity of the incubator between 86 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. On some incubators, you cannot set humidity automatically. Instead, you must add water to the incubator's water pan each day and moderate humidity manually.

    7

    Wash your hands and place the eggs inside of the incubator. Eggs should be turned over at least five times a day, although turning every hour is ideal. Repeat this action until day 16 of incubation. Do not turn eggs for the final three days of incubation.

Diet for Parrotlets

Parrotlets are also known as miniature parrots. They are playful, energetic little birds with enormous appetites. They are very social birds, preferring to live with other parrotlets as opposed to alone or just in one pair. A parrotlet can live up to 20 years, but they require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health.

Diet for Parrotlets

    Parrotlets require a variety of foods to give them the proper balance of the vitamins and minerals. They should not be fed parakeet seed, because it does not provide adequate nutrition. Cockatiel or small hookbill seed can be served, but it should contain sunflower seeds. Millet spray is a great favorite of parrotlets, but serve it only once a week because the birds may not eat anything else.
    Parrotlets love fruit and should be treated to a variety of it daily when possible. They prefer apples, bananas, grapes, peaches and berries. Parrotlets should never be fed avocado. Other fruits are perfectly safe, although citrus should be served only once or twice a week.
    Vegetables are another staple of the parrotlet diet. Among other things, they enjoy Brussels sprouts, corn, squash, radishes, potatoes and tomatoes. They also enjoy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, carrot tops, Chinese cabbage and dandelion greens. Lettuce is mainly composed of water and should be avoided. Protect your bird by either thoroughly washing all foods before serving them or buying only organic produce.
    Grains are also an important part of a parrotlet's diet. Your bird can be served things such as cooked oatmeal, steamed rice, cooked pasta, whole wheat bread and popcorn.
    Parrotlets should also eat foods rich in protein several times weekly. Nuts and seeds are a good choice, but shell them before serving because the birds cannot crack some shells. Beans such as garbanzo, pinto, and butter beans should be cooked before serving. You can also serve cooked eggs, beef or chicken in small amounts. Cooked fish and hard cheeses are also favorites. But don't leave cooked foods in the cage for long periods, as that allows bacteria to breed.

What to Avoid

    Along with the above-mentioned lettuce and avocados, parrotlets should not be fed chocolate, tobacco or alcohol. They should also not be fed grit. Many supplements are available for parrotlets but are not necessary if you feed your bird a balanced diet.

How to Syringe-Feed Parrots

How to Syringe-Feed Parrots

A well-fed baby bird should grow up healthy and strong. Hand-feeding your baby parrot will enhance the bond between you and your pet, while also giving you full control over the animal's nutrition. Using a syringe to feed a baby parrot provides great control to prevent spillage and overeating. Learn how to feed your baby parrot with a syringe to ensure your bird is well nourished.

Instructions

    1

    Heat the liquid formula to 102 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, then fill the syringe by pressing the plunger down, submerging the tip in the liquid, then pulling the plunger up. You will feed the bird until it is no longer hungry, so the level to which you fill the syringe isn't important.

    2

    Feel the bird's crop to check that it is empty. It is a bag of skin located above the breastbone on the front of the animal. Touch it with your fingers to see that it is flaccid and empty (like a deflated balloon). If the crop is taut or full, do not feed the bird until it is emptied. The crop is a food-storage mechanism, and should be considered when feeding your baby bird.

    3

    Hold the syringe from your right side, pointing the end of it to your left. Touch the tip of the syringe to the bird's beak, wedge it slightly between the upper and lower portion of the beak, then press down on the plunger to squeeze a small amount into its mouth.

    4

    Wait a moment while the bird swallows the food and breathes. A bird's windpipe is blocked while feeding, so give it time to breathe with every bit of food. Continue to feed the bird until it no longer takes any food. Check the crop with your fingers to see if it is tight and full. Feed the bird three times per day for two weeks.

    5

    Do not feed the bird again until the crop has emptied. Continue to feed the bird in the same manner until you begin to notice it is eating 1/2 to 2/3 less than before. This indicates that it is time to wean your baby parrot.

    6

    Start weaning the bird by feeding it only twice per day (morning and night), then reducing feeding to once each night. Check the crop at night, and don't feed the bird if it's at least half full.

    7

    Wait for four or five days, checking the crop intermittently. If the crop remains somewhat full, then your baby is successfully weaned and finished with hand-feeding.

Minggu, 22 April 2012

A Lower Protein Diet for Macaws

Macaws make great pets. These colorful, talented parrots can provide a household with hours of enjoyment and are relatively easy to manage. The maintenance of a good diet is probably the most time-consuming area of macaw management. These tropical birds need a variety of different foods to provide energy and nutrition. Protein is particularly important to the macaw diet as it aids in growth, but the amount of protein must be consistently maintained. There are tips you must know to provide your macaw with a lower-protein diet.

What Macaws Eat

    Understand that macaws are largely tropical birds and therefore are better suited to a varied diet. Different species have slightly different tastes, but, in general, the macaw diet is fairly simple to understand. Macaws are mainly herbivorous (plant-eating) animals and more specifically frugivorous and granivorous (fruit-eating and seed-eating, respectively).

    Macaws enjoy a variety of nuts and seeds, including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts. Dry corn, brown rice, wild rice and grains are also acceptable. For the fruit component of the diet, almost any fresh fruit is acceptable, including mango, cantaloupe, apples, bananas and any soft-fleshed fruit. Vegetables are also acceptable, especially kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and most green vegetables.

Why Certain Foods Are Good and Bad

    Understand why macaws need certain foods and should avoid others. Because macaws are such large birds, they require a rich, complex diet to give them the energy and nutrition they need. They need a diet higher in fat and protein than most pet birds would receive. The fats, proteins and amino acids absorbed from food allow the macaw to maintain strong bones and feathers, strengthen vision, regulate body systems and defend against disease.

    Certain foods should be avoided at all costs, however, including chocolate, avocado and caffeinated substances because chemicals in these foods can kill macaws. Certain other foods should be given sparingly, such as citrus, bread, iceberg lettuce and celery because they either contain too much Vitamin C (citrus) or too little nutrients (lettuce and celery). Table scraps should also be very limited because of their thin nutritional value.

A Lower Protein Diet for Macaws

    Feed your macaw a balanced, lower-protein diet. According to Dr. Susan P. Orosz in an article "Macaw Parrot Nutrition" on BirdChannel.com, some ornithologists believe that a high-protein diet can be harmful to macaws over time, causing liver and kidney damage. Ideally, a macaw's diet should contain between 10 and 30 percent of protein. To reduce the amount of protein in your macaws diet, simply feed the macaw foods that are low in protein. Do not feed your macaw eggs or meat, which are very high in proteins. Eliminate beans, peanuts and pasta. Include more fresh fruits and green vegetables. Coconuts and macadamia are also good for low-protein diets. Store-bought parrot foods are good for parrots, but should only be 30 to 50 percent of the diet. The other 50 to 70 percent should fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Jumat, 20 April 2012

Homemade Wild Bird Seed Cakes

Watching wild birds can be an enjoyable activity you can engage in from the comfort of your own home. Creating homemade bird seed cakes will welcome birds into your yard and encourage visits from many different species of wild birds. You can make simple bird treats by mixing rendered beef fat, known as suet, with bird seed, nuts, dried fruits or anything else that your local birds enjoy eating.

Rendered Suet

    Suet is beef fat that has been rendered to prevent the suet from rotting quickly when it is placed outdoors in warm weather. Many birds enjoy suet, and in cold winter months, this fat can provide nutrients that omnivorous birds would obtain from eating insects or worms during the summer. You can make your own suet by saving the fat when you cook beef and keeping it in the refrigerator to avoid spoiling. Once you have acquired about three cups of fat, melt it in a large saucepan until the fat turns to liquid. Strain the fat through a mesh wire strainer into a second saucepan. Allow the fat to cool and harden and then repeat the process to create rendered suet.

    Suet can sometimes be purchased from butcher shops. You may still need to render the suet to ensure that it becomes hard when you are forming your wild bird seed cakes, so be sure to ask if the suet has been rendered before you purchase it. Rendered suet is also sometimes called tallow and will not require any additional melting or cooling before use.

Bird Seed Cake Recipe

    Heat 3 cups of rendered suet in a large saucepan just until the suet has softened enough that you can stir it with a wooden spoon. The suet does not need to be completely liquefied. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, 1 1/2 cups corn meal and 3 cups wild bird seed. Mix everything together. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter. Spoon the bird seed batter into a 12-cup muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners. Press both ends of a 6-inch piece of nylon cord into the center of each bird seed cake to create a loop for hanging the cakes when they have finished setting. Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator until the cakes are hard. Now you can remove the cakes from the paper liners and hang them outside for the birds to enjoy.

How to Make Bells for Bird Food

Making birdseed bells is a fun and easy project for all ages. They're great for hanging in the trees during the winter when the birds have a difficult time finding food. If you are a bird watcher, they're great anytime to attract the birds to your yard. This simple recipe can be customized to the type of seed certain birds like to eat if you want to attract a certain type of bird. You can make these bells and have them ready to hang in the trees in about 2 hours.

Instructions

Make Bells for Bird Food

    1

    Place parchment paper inside a terra cotta flower pot. Fill with 1 measuring cup of birdseed, to see how many cups you will need for your particular pot. Then pour the birdseed into a bowl.

    2

    Whisk 2 egg whites for every cup of seed you needed to fill your pot. The egg whites should be a little fluffy. Mix into the birdseed well.

    3

    Place the birdseed mixture in the pot over the parchment paper. Push the mixture in well to make sure it fills the pot.

    4

    Cut a piece of craft wire 6 inches longer than the height of the pot. Wrap 1 end around a pencil and then pull the pencil out. Push the wire, pointed end first into the birdseed mixture until the pointed end comes out the hole in the bottom of the pot. Pull the wire through until the circled end goes into the birdseed.

    5

    Place the pot in your oven with the wire hanging through the rack. Bake the mixture at 100 to 120 degrees F for about 90 minutes. Take out and let cool.

    6

    Turn the pot over and the bell should come right out of the pot. Pull off the parchment paper if it stuck to the bell. The bell will be hard. Take the bell outside and hang on a tree.