Selasa, 31 Juli 2012

Military Macaw Diet

A balanced diet is important for the health of all varieties of the macaw family of parrots, including the Military macaw. Military macaws can have a lifespan of 35 to 55 years, when provided with the proper diet and lots of loving care. A diet including premium commercial feed, and plenty of choices that come from nature can help to assure that your macaw will live a long and happy life.

Seed And Pellet Diets

    There are many premium seed-based mixes designed with large parrots like your Military macaw in mind. These mixes offer a variety of seeds and nuts, dried fruits, dried vegetables and often some pellets, or extruded food. This type of mix can give your macaw a suitable base for nutrition, which should be supplemented by offering various fresh foods on a daily basis. Look for popular parrot seed mixes like Kaytee, Hagen and Pretty Bird online, or at most bird specialty and pet stores. The Military macaw may eat 1/2 to 3/4 cup of parrot mix each day.

    Formulated pellet or extruded diets for large parrots provide an excellent nutritional base for your Military macaw, without the need for supplementation. Your parrot may have trouble adjusting to this type of diet, however, if it is new to it. Close monitoring may be necessary to determine if the bird is eating the pellets. Some popular brands like Harrison's and Pretty Bird may be found online, and at many bird specialty and pet stores. In order to keep it from becoming bored with the diet, fresh foods should be offered, as well.

Fresh Foods

    Fruits like apples (no seeds,) oranges, bananas and pitted cherries may be offered to your macaw. It may also enjoy mangos, papayas, peaches and pears. Pineapple, strawberries and blueberries are also macaw favorites.

    Vegetables of many kinds should be offered to your Military macaw. It may love broccoli, corn, peas and green beans. Peppers of all kinds may be enjoyed, along with various squash, sweet potatoes and greens. You may find the bird prefers carrots, cabbage or Brussels sprouts.

Other Favorite Foods

    Your Military macaw should be offered whole grain breads, whole grain cereals and plain cooked pasta. Cooked dried beans add protein to any parrot's diet. It may also enjoy brown or wild rice as a regular part of its repertoire. The Military macaw, like other macaws, requires a lot of fat and oil in its diet. Nuts are one of the best ways to fulfill these needs: Brazils, walnuts, pecans, almonds and macadamias are excellent choices. You can sometimes offer small amounts of cooked meat to your macaw; chicken is a common choice.

How to Care for a Pacific Parrotlet

Pacific parrotlets are one of the world's smallest parrots with an average size of only 5 to 6 inches. They are not known for being loud like conures or other parrots. Parrotlets actually have a finch-like chirp that is coupled with a sweet personality, making them a very popular pet. Read on to learn how to care for a Pacific parrotlet.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a bird cage that has at least 2 square feet of floor space with bars that are spaced half-inch apart. The cage should have a metal grate on the bottom that separates the bird from its droppings.

    2

    Fill the bottom tray with corn cob to act as an easily changed and inexpensive substrate.

    3

    Place the bird's cage in an area of your home that is away from drafts and direct sunlight. The cage should be somewhere where the bird can see you often.

    4

    Affix plenty of half-inch-diameter perches in the enclosure. Parrotlets enjoy hopping from perches and playing with toys so provide several of each.

    5

    Fill a water bowl with non-chlorinated water. Fill a food dish with fortified seed or commercial pellets, and another with treats like fresh fruits and vegetables.

    6

    Change the substrate, and clean the food and water dishes daily. Clean and disinfect the entire cage and its contents once a month with a diluted bleach concentrate.

    7

    Take your parrotlet out and interact with it as much as possible. Parrotlets crave attention and enjoy spending time with you daily.

How to Make Bluebird Food

Bird watching is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature. Having the birds come to perch, nest and live in your yard can be a fulfilling experience for nature lovers. Certain birds, such as the bluebird, can be lured to your yard with the creation of a natural environment and the addition of appropriate food.

Instructions

    1

    Set your lard out to begin to melt.

    2

    Place a cup of cornmeal into your food processor with some raisins and chopped nuts. Blend to a mush.

    3

    Place a cup of flour and a cup of cottonseed meal into a large bowl and stir well. Add a couple tablespoons of apple sauce and continue to mix.

    4

    Add your concoction of raisins, nuts and cornmeal to the large bowl and stir. Add in the melting lard. When the mixture becomes doughlike, it is ready to be formed into a ball.

    5

    Use the mixture by spreading small bits on the areas you want bluebirds to visit.

Common Breeds of Chicken With Light Yellow & Furry Legs

Common Breeds of Chicken With Light Yellow & Furry Legs

Chickens are primarily bred for either their meat or their egg-laying ability. Some are bred purely to be ornamental or as pets. With the current trend towards urban chicken farming, the various breeds are likely to become more widely recognized and valued for their individual characteristics.

Plymouth Rock

    Plymouth Rock chickens are friendly and lay large, brown eggs. They prefer to run around in a free-range fashion but can also be caged. This breed was developed in 19th century New England and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. In 1874, this breed met the American Poultry Association's standard. Plymouth Rocks have been one of the more popular breed of chicken, due to its hardiness in winter, docility, excellent egg production and high quality of meat.

Cornish

    Cornish chickens are bred primarily for meat, as they are heavy, muscular birds with yellow legs. With the females weighing approximately 8 pounds and the males 10 pounds, they are considered to be very heavy. These chickens are quite lean, so don't do well in colder weather. They do well in confinement, however, so heaters can keep them comfortable in winter. These chickens tend to be heavy eaters and are the cornerstone of the broiler market in the commercial poultry industry.

Brahma

    Brahmas are large, fluffy-legged Bantam chickens. Standard females are 9.5 pounds and the males weigh up to 12 pounds. This breed originated in India and has a friendly, docile manner. Though bred for their meat, they are also excellent layers and will lay eggs through the winter. Brahma also do quite well in confinement and don't make very much noise. These chickens come in a variety of color: black, buff, dark, light and white.

Cochin Bantam

    Cochins are an Asian breed of chicken which appear fluffy all over. They gained mass popularity when the Chinese gave some Cochin to England's Queen Victoria, who is reported to have adored them. They don't produce many eggs, but are loved for their personalities and their mothering abilities. Thus, Cochins are primarily bred for pets or ornamental purposes. Since they are extremely feathered, it is important to clip their feathers or else use artificial insemination for the purposes of breeding.

How to Raise Exotic Sultan Chickens

Sultan chickens are an exotic breed of chicken raised for exhibition and as pets rather than for their eggs or meat. Their temperament requires that they be sheltered and well taken care. They are naturally docile to the point of being tame, rather delicate (especially in wet weather and winter) and don't forage well for food.

Instructions

    1

    Start with healthy chicks. Purchase Sultan chickens from a reputable hatchery so you're confident that the chicks come from healthy parents.

    2

    Lay burlap down in the bottom of a cardboard box to give the new chicks a floor that is soft but provides good footing for their tender feet. Put chicken litter on top of the burlap and place the chicks inside the box. Change the burlap often to help keep the litter clean and fresh.

    3

    Arrange electric or battery operated heat lamps over the box so the temperature taken at one inch above the floor of the box is a consistent 95 degrees F. One or two 25 or 40-watt exposed light bulbs located at one end of the box also works. Cover the box to keep the heat inside and check the temperature often to keep it constant.

    4

    Pour feed and water into mason jar lids and place them in the bottom of the box. Chicks can live for about 72 hours on the egg yolk they consume prior to hatching, but they'll start eating right away if given the chance. After a few days to a week, the chicks are big enough that you can replace the lids with commercial feeders and waterers or with feeders and waterers made from plastic gallon milk jugs with a large hole cut in one side.

    5

    Feed the chicks a starter mash consisting of granules or crumbles with 18 to 20-percent protein and a cocoidiostat to develop the chick's immunity to cocoidiosis. Feed them nothing else to start but make sure they always have access to food.

    6

    Reduce the temperature in the box by 5 degrees after one week. Continue to reduce the temperature 5 degrees per week thereafter.

    7

    Remove the chicks from the box at 4 to 6 weeks of age and relocate them to an elevated enclosure to make cleaning easier.

    8

    Start adding chicken scratch to the starter mash once the chicks reach eight weeks of age. At 10 weeks, switch the starter mash to growing mash and gradually increase the chicken scratch so that the feed is half growing mash and half chicken scratch by the time they're 16 weeks old.

    9

    Provide housing that protects the chickens from the elements and predators. It also needs to be large enough to provide for exercise and nesting. The housing must allow for easy access to food and water and be easy for you to clean frequently.

    10

    Construct a Sultan chicken house with good ventilation, a thick layer of insulation around the outside along with a solid vapor barrier to keep the interior dry, and plenty of light. Sultans can actually be raised entirely inside but prefer some outside time for exercise and access to light.

    11

    Dust each bird with insecticide powder once a month to prevent parasites. Each bird also needs to be seen by a veterinarian for annual vaccinations.

    12

    Raise Sultan chickens together but isolated from other species, as these are docile birds who don't fight or defend themselves well against more aggressive types of chicken.

How to Buy a Pet Bird Online

Potential bird owners are often surprised to find out that they can buy their pets online. Birds, especially parrots, tend to be very expensive when purchased from pet stores, and specific species are often unavailable locally. Even if you are looking to buy a common species, such as a cockatiel, you may still prefer to buy online. Purchasing a bird via the Internet allows you to buy directly from an aviary of your choice, regardless of where it is located.

Instructions

    1

    Check for ratings and comments on the online aviaries you are considering. Some breeder directories include ratings, and you can usually find discussions of specific breeders on bird-related message boards (see Resources below).

    2

    Contact the breeder to find out whether the species you are looking for is in stock, or will be soon. Most breeders allow you to reserve a specific baby bird and will ship it once it has weaned.

    3

    Make payment arrangements. In most cases, you will need to pay the full cost of the bird, shipping ($100 to $200) and a carrier fee (usually $20 to $30) before you can receive the bird. If the aviary is within your state, you will have to pay sales tax as well. Some breeders also charge a mileage fee, especially if they are not located near an airport.

    4

    Discuss shipping arrangements with the breeder. In general, the bird will be shipped on a mutually agreed-upon date to the airport of your choice. You will need to pick the bird up at the cargo office, which may be located inside the airport or nearby. The breeder should provide you with an air-bill number, flight number for your bird, a phone number for your airport's cargo office and an estimated arrival time.

    5

    Call the cargo office to determine their exact location before you drive to the airport. You should also ask when live animal shipments arrive at the cargo office. This varies depending on the airport but is often 30 minutes to an hour after the flight's arrival.

    6

    Pick up your bird at the airport. Bring your driver's license or photo ID, a treat for your new bird and a towel to cover the carrier with, especially if it's chilly outside. The cargo office personnel will ask you to sign a document stating that you received the bird and that it was not injured during shipping.

Senin, 30 Juli 2012

How to Give Your Parakeet a Bath

How to Give Your Parakeet a Bath

If you have a pet parakeet, you need to give him a bath about three times a week, or two times a week minimum. This promotes hygiene and keeps your pet bird as healthy as possible. The best part of giving a parakeet a bath is that you only need to prepare it for him, and he will wash himself. You do not need any soap. Water is sufficient for this task.

Instructions

    1

    Place a flat dish in the bird's cage.

    2

    Pour lukewarm water into the dish.

    3

    Encourage the bird to step into the dish. He will after a while, if he does not step into it immediately. The parakeet uses his beak to place the water on his body.

How to Breed Coturnix Quail

Coturnix quail are a Japanese quail breed raised both as a human food source and as a high-protein feed source for hawkers to feed their hunting birds. Fine dining restaurants use both the eggs and the whole quail in delicacy dishes. Coturnix are fully grown and ready to be butchered at 6 weeks of age and sexually mature and ready to breed at 8 weeks of age. They are hardy breeders which will lay fertile eggs year-round if temperature conditions are correct and adequate feed and water are provided.

Instructions

    1

    Put male and female Coturnix quail together in a three to one ratio. One cock can service three females. Only breed the best of your quail. Do not breed birds with physical defects or diseases because this will weaken the offspring and lower your total live-hatch rate.

    2

    Provide a continuous supply of feed and water for the birds. As a general rule, you should provide1/2 inch of feeder length per bird.

    3

    Set a heat light in the enclosure and keep it running all the time. This will discourage predators from digging into your pen and eating your birds, and will encourage the females to continue laying year-round.

    4

    Watch for your males to ride your females, or for the females to show signs that they have been bred. Often, the females heads will look like they are balding from the males plucking their head and neck feathers while riding.

    5

    Gather the eggs twice a day and collect them in a quail egg carton. Keep them there until you are ready to begin incubating the eggs. Eggs more than 14 days old may be less viable than those set in the incubator sooner.

    6

    Set the eggs in a forced-air incubator. The incubator should be set at 60 percent humidity, and between 99 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the eggs twice daily for 15 days. The eggs should hatch on the 17th and 18th days.

    7

    Move baby quail out of the incubator an into the brooder as soon as they are dry. The brooder should be set at 100 degrees. Keep baby quail in a brooder until they are fully feathered. Lower the temperature inside the brooder 5 degrees a week, or 1 1/2 degrees every other day, until the temperature inside and outside the brooder are the same. Make sure that they are protected from drafts completely, and clean out the brooder daily to prevent disease.

Raising Mealy Worms

Raising Mealy Worms

Whether you're planning on using them for fish bait or to feed to the wild birds congregating in your back yard, mealy worms make a tasty treat for a variety of creatures. Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle and can grow up to about 1 inch in length, according to Lee Townsend, Extension Specialist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture. Although you can use a range of wood or plastic containers, plastic dishpans or shoeboxes are an affordable, easy-to-maintain housing option for most small mealy worm colonies. One of the keys to successfully raising mealy worms is making sure you maintain the correct moisture level in your containers.

Instructions

    1

    Acquire mealworm stock. You can purchase mealworms at a pet store or from online mealworm farms, typically in batches of 50 to 1000 worms. Townsend also suggests the less expensive but more time-consuming alternative of looking for darkling beetles or mealy worms in containers of animal feed or grain if you have access to a barn or feed room.

    2

    Set up your mealworm tray. Mix equal parts of old-fashioned oatmeal with raw bran in a measuring cup. Place several handfuls of shredded newspaper in the plastic dishpan or shoebox and sprinkle 2 to 3 inches of your bran mixture on top of the newspaper.

    3

    Slice a raw carrot into 1 to 2-inch cubes and place them in your mealworm tray to provide moisture. Put your mealworm stock in the dishpan. Avoid putting more than 100 mealworms in each plastic container to minimize crowding issues.

    4

    Lay cheesecloth across the top of your mealworm tray, securing it to prevent beetles from escaping by encircling the circumference of the dishpan with a large rubber band. Petra Burgmann, author of "Feeding Your Pet Birds," states that you should keep the tray in a dark, quiet location that is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    5

    Remove the old carrot pieces and replace them with new ones each week to maintain the moisture level in your trays. Leave the mealworms alone for three to four weeks so they can develop into beetles.

    6

    Sprinkle several handfuls of additional bran mixture into the containers once every two weeks after you begin to see beetles. According to Burgmann, approximately six to eight weeks should pass before you begin noticing young mealworms.

    7

    Set up new mealworm trays and put 10 to 20 beetles and 5 to 10 mealworms in each new tray to continue reproducing for you. Harvest the rest of the mealy worms when they've reached the desired feeding size. Save the container for another four weeks to ensure that all the eggs have hatched before you discard the contents and clean the bin with soap and hot water.

Natural Ways to Fatten Up a Chicken

Natural Ways to Fatten Up a Chicken

Fattening a chicken is sometimes necessary if you are raising chicken for market or if you have an egg-laying chicken that is underweight. Natural ways to fatten a chicken may take more time and money than chemical ways, but will guarantee a healthier chicken overall.

Store Bought Options

    Feed and grain stores sell an all-natural "meat builder," which is also called "finisher." This product is specially formulated to fatten a chicken in the weeks prior to it being slaughtered. It does not contain chemicals. It also gives the chicken extra nutrition, making for a better tasting chicken.

Normal Feed

    Chickens will eat feed as long as it is available. Giving your chicken more feed and more fresh water will keep it eating more frequently and in greater quantities. Give chickens normal feed in larger rations than normal when trying to fatten up the chicken.

Natural Food

    Chickens will not always fatten up on feed alone. You can supplement what you give the chicken to help it fatten up more. Cracked corn, whole wheat and soy can be fed to chickens throughout the day. These items help to pack on the weight.

What To Feed

    Chickens can be fed mash, pallets and crumbles. They should also have constant access to grits. If the weather is cool, corn or starch can help warm them up.

Do You Take the Male Cockatiel Out of the Cage When the Eggs Are Hatching?

Do You Take the Male Cockatiel Out of the Cage When the Eggs Are Hatching?

Like human lovers, newly paired cockatiels can take a while to get to know each other and settle into their parenting roles, and may squabble while they do, but they should not be separated unless there is danger of serious injury.

Male Aggression

    Male cockatiels are the primary defenders of nest and mate, and will boldly face down bigger birds and other predators. Occasionally an inexperienced cock will turn this aggression toward his lady, pecking her and even driving her away from food and water. If this happens, he should be removed, but kept in a nearby cage so he can still protect her but cannot hurt her.

Egg Breaking and Egg Eating

    Egg breaking and egg eating have been reported in cockatoos (of which cockatiels are a subfamily. If the male is doing this, he should be removed as soon as the first egg is laid.

Parenting

    The cock normally shares the incubation chores, sitting on the eggs to allow the hen to eat, drink, relieve themselves and get a little rest. He continues to participate after the chicks hatch and may become the more active parent in feeding them.

Safe Fruit Seeds for Parrots

Safe Fruit Seeds for Parrots

Although stores sell commercial parrot food mixes, some parrot owners choose to supplement the diets or make their own mixes. The bulk of the parrot's diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and cereal grains. To introduce a new food, parrot owners mix the new food with foods the parrot has proven to enjoy. Once the parrot has accepted the new food for a few days, owners can introduce another new food.

Tropical Fruit Seeds

    Because parrots naturally live in the tropics, they enjoy the seeds from tropical fruits. The minute seeds in bananas appear to be particular favorites amongst parrots. Papaya seeds provide some of the best nutritional value for their size, and most parrots take to them quickly. Pomegranates prove especially nutritious because the parrot eats the fruit as well as the seeds. Serving the parrot half a pomegranate allows it to practice its foraging skills as it extracts the seeds.

Temperate Fruit Seeds

    Cantaloupe seeds provide parrots with one of their favorite seeds. In fact, parrots enjoy eating all melon seeds, including honeydew and watermelon seeds. Some parrot owners serve the sections of the melon with the most seeds to try to get the parrot to eat more fruit. Parrots also eat citrus seeds, particularly orange and lime seeds, even though a lot of parrots will not eat the citrus pulp or rinds. Owners can also cut seeded grapes in half and have the parrot remove the seeds on their own.

Less Common Seeds

    Although they are not necessary for a captive parrot's diet, researchers have noted parrots eating fruits from trees that people do not eat, including some fruits that do not even bear names. The Spix's macaw eats seeds from the blackwood tree's fruit, and the Senegal parrot eats seeds from the African mahogany's fruit. In general, a lot of parrots also eat fig seeds. However, parrot owners should not feed their parrot's any fruit seed they may find, but instead, they should use more common seeds in their food mixes.

Unsafe Seeds

    Although parrots greatly enjoy apples and apple seeds, they must be feed in moderation. Apple seeds contain cyanide-like compounds that poison and kill parrots when they consume more than a couple every few weeks. The pits of fruits, such as cherries, peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines, also contain this toxic compound, so parrot owners must never give their pets a fruit pit. Avocados kill parrots, but no one knows which part of the fruit is toxic. Pear seeds also prove deadly.

Minggu, 29 Juli 2012

What Do I Feed Ducklings?

What Do I Feed Ducklings?

The nutritional needs of ducklings are similar to those of other poultry. In their earliest weeks, they need a protein-rich starter feed that will provide them with amino acids for healthy growth. As they grow older, they need a grower feed with less protein. In both stages, ducklings must have constant access to fresh food and clean water. Mixing a healthy, nutritionally balanced duck feed requires considerable time and knowledge. Therefore, you'll want to provide ducklings with a commercial duck feed from a farm supply store.

24 Hours to Two Weeks

    In the first 24 hours after hatching, ducklings rely on their eggs yolk sac for nutrition. After this time, ducklings should have access to a starter feed consisting of high-protein crumbles or mash fortified with vitamins and minerals. If duckling feed isnt available locally, a nonmedicated chick starter containing roughly 22 percent protein will provide adequate nutrition -- medicated chick starters can be toxic to ducklings. Place the crumbles in egg cartons or on a piece of rough paper, such as a flattened grocery bags, as ducklings may injure their legs if forced to eat from a slick surface. Water must be readily available near dry food to prevent choking and should be changed daily. Young ducklings can drown or succumb to hypothermia in small amounts of water, so you must prevent them from getting into the water dish.

Two Weeks and Older

    After two to three weeks of starter feed, you can mix some grower pellets with the ducklings crumbles. Again, this can be a specialized duck feed or a nonmedicated grower feed for chickens. Ducklings aged three to six weeks can also have green feed, such as chopped grass, dandelions or lettuce. By five weeks, the pellets should be supplemented with grains like cracked corn, oats and wheat, as well as an insoluble grit or sand. Older ducklings will forage for green feed if given the opportunity. They will also eat slugs, worms, aphids, beetles, snails and similar prey.

Food Quality

    Ducks are extremely sensitive to mold, so its essential to give them fresh, clean, high-quality food. To avoid contamination and spoilage, store duckling feed in a dry, safe place away from bugs, rats and other vermin. Feed should be used within three weeks of its date of manufacture; discard any feed that looks or smells moldy. Household scraps, wet mash and other moist foods should be given only in amounts that ducklings will eat in a single day.

Foods to Avoid

    Many people have fond childhood memories of feeding bread to ducks at a local pond. However, ducks of any age should not be given bread, crackers, popcorn or similar products. These foods fill their stomachs without nourishing them, which can lead to deformed wings and other growth defects. Apart from age-appropriate duck feed, a ducklings diet should be as close as possible to its natural diet. If you wish to give your ducklings a treat, live and dried mealworms are widely available at pet and poultry stores.

How to Build a Pigeon Pen

How to Build a Pigeon Pen

If you breed pigeons, keep them as pets or for hobby racing, you should provide them with comfortable housing. Customize a sturdy pigeon house that offers the pigeons a safe haven from predators, as well as protection from adverse climatic conditions. The size of the pigeon house or loft will depend upon the number of pigeons that you have and the amount of space at your disposal.

Instructions

    1

    Decide upon the best location to position the pigeon house. Pigeons fall ill in damp and draft-filled environments and need the warmth of the sun and proper ventilation to remain healthy. Position the pigeon house entrance to face the south, for maximum sunlight during winter and cool shade in the summer. You can also position the front of the pigeon house to face the east, to benefit from the warm morning sun in summer, and shade from the hot afternoon sun rays that fall on the back of the pigeon house.

    2

    Use cement or brick slabs to create a raised platform on which you will place the pigeon house. The platform should be nine inches higher than the ground level. Wrap the raised platform with wire mesh netting to prevent predators.

    3

    Prepare a sturdy floor for the pigeon house using a 2-by-4 inch wood board. Cut the wood floor into sections and use nuts and bolts to join the sections for ease of portability, if required in the future. Reinforce the flooring by connecting 2-by-6 inch joists with nuts and bolts at the center behind the wood board.

    4

    Build the two side walls, back wall and the roof with the half-inch thick plywood. Connect the sidewalls and the back wall to the floor with nuts and bolts. Fix the roof over the two sidewalls. Cover the roof with shingles to prevent water from entering the pigeon house when it rains.

    5

    Construct perches using 2-by-4 inch wood boards. Pigeons are territorial and should be provided with separate perches. For a 4-by-7 foot pigeon house, cut the boards in 10-by-12 inch compartments.

    6

    Prepare a sliding front door with Plexiglas. Use nuts and bolts to fix an aluminum frame on all four sides of the pigeon house, to enable the Plexiglas sheet to be moved vertically or horizontally whenever the door is opened. The Plexiglas sheet will allow sunlight inside the pigeon's house and also provide you with a view of the birds from the outside.

How to Raise Laying Marans Hens

How to Raise Laying Marans Hens

Maran hens lay glossy, dark, chocolate brown eggs. In some cases, the color appears speckled or with spots of deeper brown. Maintaining a stable laying environment will help alleviate the hen's stress so it produces nicely colored eggs. Genetics can also play a role in the hen's egg production. A gentle, hardy bird, the Maran hen enjoys human interaction.

Instructions

    1

    Provide a shelter for the Maran hens to retreat to during the night, in inclement weather and where it can safely lay eggs. The shelter can be a portable hen house, old shed, barn or nonportable henhouse. Chickens are not particular about housing.

    2

    Place nest boxes inside the henhouse structure. Nest boxes should measure 16 inches wide by 18 inches deep to offer the hen ample room. Suspend the first row of next boxes 18 inches off the floor and the second row of nest boxes 36 inches off the floor. Each hen requires its own individual nest box.

    3

    Line the nest boxes with sawdust or soft straw. Harsh or rough nesting material can cause discoloration to occur on the Maran's brown eggs.

    4

    Provide a feeder filled with high quality organic layers' pellets mixed with a basic chicken feed corn mix. Maintain clean drinking water daily for the hens. Provide oyster shells for the hens to peck at. Oyster shells help the shells of the eggs form by providing adequate calcium to the hen.

    5

    Turn the hens loose each morning to roam. Free-ranging Maran chickens during the day in areas where predators are not a threat will help the hens maintain their weight. Marans benefit from foraging for insects during the day, so they do not become overweight.

    6

    Gather the Maran hen's eggs daily in the morning. Carefully handle the eggs so the color is not smudged. When the hen first lays the egg a bit of the color often adheres to the egg in wet spots and can smear when handled.

List of Hen Breeds

List of Hen Breeds

The American Poultry Association lists more than 60 breeds of chicken worldwide. All of these breeds likely descended from one single wild species, the red jungle-fowl. Selective breeding from this initial species created the diversity of breeds. Today's chicken breeds are often prized for specific traits which can be commercially beneficial or more competitive in nature.

Top Egg Laying Breeds

    Some breeds of chicken are highly prized for producing large numbers of quality eggs. The Australian Australorp is a large breed that produces big quality eggs. The Ancona is also a prolific layer as are the Rhode Island and Star breeds. All three lay large eggs with the Rhode Island often producing extra large ones. Other breeds prized as egg-layers include the Cataluna, Delaware, Easter Egger, Hamburg and Plymouth Rock varieties. Some of these breeds are also dual purpose and are used for meat as well.

Meat Producing Breeds

    Chicken is a common poultry on dinner tables around the world and some breeds are bred specifically for eating. The Jersey Giant was bred as a large meat bird and grows to over 8 lbs. in weight. Because it is a slow growing species, however, it is not commercially farmed. The Cornish, Cubulaya and Malay breeds are all prized for their meat in their home ranges. Other species that are also used for meat and sometimes eggs include the Dominique, Longshun, Orpington and New Hampshire Red breeds.

Show Breeds

    Show competitions have led to some breeds being produced for attractive plumage. The Coachin, for example, is a breed with thick plumage that can be jet black, red or blue as well as many other colors. Breeds such as the Silky Bantam also have fluff ball-type plumage with large head plumes. Several breeds exist that are only used for ornamental or competitive purposes, including the Phoenix, Polish and Yokohama breeds. These ornamental breeds tend to produce small, poor quality eggs and are not prized for meat.

Rare Breeds

    With so many different breeds it is common for certain varieties to become less popular, and as a result be bred less, and become rare. Breeds such as the Andalusian, which is prized for eggs and ornamental purposes, are rare. This is because breeding birds that have the desired colors can be hard to breed, so few people try. Other breeds such as the Crevecoer were historically viable for meat and eggs but have been replaced by better breeds. Other rare breeds include the Java, Sumatra, Appenzeller and Redcap.

Can Diamond Doves & Full Size Doves Be Caged Together?

Can Diamond Doves & Full Size Doves Be Caged Together?

You can cage diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) with full-size or larger doves, but do so with caution. Doves range in size from the 6-inch pygmy ground dove (Columbia minutia) to the Victoria-crowned pigeons (Goura vistoria), which can grow to be more than 2 feet in length. No matter their size, doves need space for exercise and privacy.

Temperament

    The American Dove Association recommends caging doves together, making sure to observe them for any hostile behavior. Doves of any kind may become aggressive during mating season.

Cage Size

    Use an aviary with a minimum of 10 square feet per pair of small doves. For large species of doves, there should be at least 20 square feet per pair. The largest space you can find is best.

Bird Size

    Diamond doves are about 8-inches long. Other species of doves may be much larger. Since diamonds are small, defenseless creatures, Diamond Dove Information recommends against caging them with any other species unless they are in outdoor aviary with plenty of space and privacy.

Can You Put Finches & Budgies in the Same Cage?

Can You Put Finches & Budgies in the Same Cage?

Budgies, or common parakeets, are small, colorful members of the parrot family, and finches are a large family of small birds that include many different species. Common pet finches include the zebra finch, the American goldfinch, the canary and the Gouldian finch.

Safety

    When mixing birds, it is important to not mix two different bird species with differently-sized beaks. If one species has a larger beak and it attacks the other, the smaller-beaked bird could be injured or killed. Finches and budgies are similar in physical size and in beak size.

Wild Birds

    One of the most important things to consider when deciding to keep two different species of any animal in the same cage is whether they come from a similar habitat in the wild. For example, it would be difficult to keep a rainforest bird and a desert bird together, because they need different levels of humidity, food and temperatures. Budgies are native to the Australian savanna, and are naturally found in the wild along with zebra finches, so the two species can be kept together.

Cage

    Budgies and finches can be kept in the same cage as long as they have plenty of activities to keep themselves entertained and busy so they don't pick at each other with their beats. Both birds have the same housing requirements of at least an 18-by-18-inch cage with 1/2 inch spacing between the bars. With birds, no cage is too large, but ensure that the cage is at least big enough to house the budgies and finches comfortably.

Conclusion

    Budgies and finches can be kept in the same cage, as long a close eye is kept on them. If there are signs of fighting or territorial behavior, or if the birds become injured, they should be separated immediately. If the birds appear to be injured or missing feathers, then one bird may be bullying the other birds.

Scarlet Macaw Behavior

Scarlet Macaw Behavior

Scarlet macaws (Ara macao) are parrots with a long domestication history -- starting with the Pueblo peoples of at least a millennium ago. Scarlet macaws often live alongside people in homes, but many still inhabit their natural settings of South America, Central America and the southern part of Mexico.

Scarlet Macaw Background Information

    These sizable parrots usually weigh more than 42 ounces -- rather hefty for avian standards. They typically grow to lengths of just under 3 feet. Their intensely vivid and predominantly crimson plumage is one of the reasons they are adored as pets. They also have other conspicuous color elements throughout their bodies, including white, blue and yellow. Scarlet macaws are extremely gregarious and companionable birds; out in the wild they tend to congregate in massive and loud social units.

Basic Temperament

    As pets in captivity, scarlet macaws tend to possess spirited, pleasant, affectionate, clever and playful temperaments. They often connect deeply with their human caretakers and, because of that, usually need a lot of attention and tender loving care. If scarlet macaws haven't had lots of experience with people, they occasionally bite. If they were carefully reared closely alongside human beings, however, they generally do not partake in such undesirable behavior. Be extremely careful around scarlet macaws who bite, and never allow children or other pets near them.

Intuition

    Scarlet macaws are considered especially intuitive birdies. If there is any type of tension going on around them, they can often pick up on it quickly. Supportive, loving and friendly living spaces are optimal for these rather emotionally delicate creatures.

Noisy Behavior

    One behavioral trait scarlet macaws possess is sheer loudness. They are, by no stretch of the imagination, meek or quiet parrots. Not only are they talented speakers, they are vocal in general, with a wide array of sometimes grating and piercing shrieks, grumbles and screams.

Monogamy

    Many varieties of birds are monogamous in their reproductive habits, and scarlet macaws are among them. When these parrots pair up, they are serious about it, sticking together with a "till death do us part" arrangement. They are often quite apparent with their various tokens of affection, whether it comes to grooming or even licking the other.

Owning a Red Tail Hawk

Owning a Red Tail Hawk

Red Tailed Hawks are protected in the United States under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It's illegal to possess, sell, transport, import or export a Red Tailed Hawk without a valid permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. That prohibition extends to eggs, nests, feathers and other body parts. In addition to permitting requirements, specialized care and custom enclosures are necessary for Red Tailed Hawks in captivity.

Instructions

Owning a Red Tailed Hawk

    1

    Apply for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as any state or local permits required in your area. Visit the wildlife service's website for a list of regional bird permit offices. Permits are issued for falconry, scientific collection and special purposes such as rehabilitation or propagation, as well for control of other kinds of birds threatening crops. Permits for propagation were rewritten in 2011 to extend the permit period to five years from three.

    2

    Build an enclosure for your hawk that's at least eight square feet, giving the bird room to fully spread its wings. Regulations for Red Tailed Hawk enclosures vary by state and county, so be sure to check for any requirements in your area. Install a window in the enclosure for natural light, using bars or heavy wire on the glass to prevent the hawk from breaking the window or getting injured. The hawk also needs an outdoor area that provides shelter from the elements and protection from extremes in heat and cold. Use netting or wire over the outdoor enclosure to protect the hawk from wild birds and other predators.

    3

    Arrange for a consistent source of food for your hawk, such as rats, mice, gophers or small rabbits. Red Tailed Hawks prefer live food but can be trained in captivity to eat dead animals. An average size hawk typically eats three mice a day. At the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Centre in Minnesota, captive Red Tailed Hawks are fed gophers trapped on neighboring farms, where the gophers are considered pests and subject to a bounty. Until a hawk is used to eating dead prey, you may have to make a small cut on the body of a dead rodent to release the smell of blood for the hawk to hone in on.

    4

    Build or buy perches specifically intended for Red Tailed Hawks. Perches need to be sturdy enough to hold the hawk, which can weigh up to four pounds when fully grown. All perches should also have a rough surface to keep the hawk's feet free of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause infection.

PVC Broiler Feeder Instructions

PVC Broiler Feeder Instructions

Broiler chickens prevent more feeding challenges than pet or show chickens. Broiler chickens are valued based off their market weight, and a constant food source is necessary for adequate weight gain. Broilers are messy eaters and often waste food, so a feeder that minimizes waste is essential. Broiler feeders are available for purchase at your local feed store, but making your own feeder from PVC pipe allows you to customize the feeder to the needs of your broiler flock.

Instructions

    1

    Drill six evenly spaced holes through one end of the PVC pipe. Using a drill fitted with a 1-in. diameter drill bit, drill all the way through the PVC pipe. Place the holes approximately 1/2-in. from the bottom of the pipe to allow broiler chickens to reach the feeding holes.

    2

    Set the drilled end of the PVC pipe inside a plastic flower pot base. Secure the base to the PVC tube with 6-in. long screws. The flower pot base serves as a bowl for the feeder and has small holes in the bottom to allow rain water to drain through and prevent spoiled feed.

    3

    Rest the broiler feeder against a fence post and secure it with a zip tie at the top and middle of the pipe. The feeder will sit up fine when it's empty, but the weight of the chicken feed and the movement of hungry broilers may tip it over if not properly secured.

    4

    Fill the feeder with chicken feed and top with a PVC end cap. The cap keeps the feed dry in case of storms, and the feed will filter down as the broilers eat to provide the chickens with a steady supply of nutritious food.

How to Raise Button Quail

Button quail are a smaller, more exotic version of quail and as a result they need some special care that larger, and hardier versions don't require.

Instructions

How to Raise Button Quail

    1

    Take the time to build a large cage before you ever buy your button quail as they will require such lodgings. A simple wooden frame, about three feet tall and two feet square stretched over with small gauge chicken wire should do the trick. The cage needs to be tall because button quail tend to 'pop', or jump straight up in the air and a tall cage keeps them from head injury.

    2

    Build a wind screen for your buttons as they need some shelter from inclement weather. Even if your button quail are kept indoors all the time they will still require some protection from the cold. one simple method is to simply nail a thick plastic shield in place over the area most likely to be in a draft.

    3

    Feed your button quail cracked corn, a special favorite of theirs, and duck or chicken starter, which is finely chopped feed that is easy for little beaks to pick apart.

    4

    Pick grass and dandelion leaves as a special treat for your button quail. They will eat these items but they will also use the grass to form a small nest to lay their eggs in.

    5

    Feed your buttons finely chopped dry cat food as a protein snack or boil some eggs for them to eat. Protein is necessary to keep them from picking feathers from each other.

Sabtu, 28 Juli 2012

Mocking Bird Information

Mocking Bird Information

Although there are about 17 known species of mockingbirds in the world, the only one commonly found in northern America is the northern mockingbird. Mockingbirds are so called for their distinct ability to mimic and mock the songs of other birds. Male mockingbirds sing the loudest with unmated males often singing into the night. During his lifetime a male mockingbird can learn up to 200 songs. As well as songs, they have also been known to imitate sounds such as dogs barking, sirens and babies crying.

Description

    The northern mockingbird is gray from head to foot with white patches on its wings and tail. When in flight these white patches flash brightly and distinctly. Its belly is a lighter gray, and the tips of the wings and tail darken until they are almost black.

Diet

    During the winter and fall months, mockingbirds are known to eat fruits and berries and drink the sap from trees. During the remainder of the year, mockingbirds eat mainly insects and sometimes small lizards. Their insect diet includes bees and wasps, butterflies and moths, ants, caterpillars and earthworms. People that want to attract mocking birds to their garden can buy suet from a meat counter and place it in a feeder. Suet is made from beef kidney fat and is an excellent way to reproduce the mockingbird's natural dietary needs.

Habitat

    The northern mockingbird likes to live in urban and suburban areas, nesting high up in trees or in the middle of bushes. It is often seen in areas of open ground as well, where it likes to forage for insects. The mockingbird prefers grassy areas rather than unprotected bare land when it is on the ground and when it is not, it likes to perch on telegraph poles and sing.

Behavior

    The northern mockingbird can put on some unusual displays at times, which often leave bird enthusiasts perplexed as to their purpose. Mockingbirds have been seen on telegraph poles to be singing only to then fly up in the air in a circle and then land again without dropping a note. Mockingbirds are also fiercely territorial, attacking other mockingbirds, other bird species, cats, dogs and even humans when perceived as a threat to their territory.

Breeding

    When a pair of mockingbirds mate they tend to mate for life, returning to each other every mating season. During this time the male will spend most of his time building nests while the female watches out for predators. The nests can be built anywhere from three to 60 feet off of the ground, and most of the time multiple nests will be built so the female can have her choice. The eggs, once laid, are a blue-green color with speckled dots, and there are usually three to five eggs at any one time. The eggs will be incubated for about two weeks before they hatch, at which point both the male and female mockingbirds take turns feeding their young.

How to Feed an African Grey Parrot

How to Feed an African Grey Parrot

The African Grey parrot makes a wonderful companion pet for anyone willing to devote their time and effort. The average lifespan of this great creature is 60 years, so it is likely to outlive any owner. Usually partial to one person and an expert talker, the African Grey demands a lot of attention, with the potential of developing behavioral issues if not tended to properly. A large part of their day is centered around mealtime. Regularly scheduled feedings and a healthy diet will encourage good physical development and psychological well being, and also will keep their coloring brilliant.

Instructions

    1

    Keep food and water bowls continuously clean. Parrots will often dirty their bowls with all kinds of debris that can cause contamination. They will often dip their food into the water to soften it , any food left over and not eaten will turn the water rancid.

    2

    Place fresh water within their reach at all times. You can use a bottle or bowl, but stick to one type to avoid confusing your parrot.

    3

    Equip your cage with a minimum of two food bowls. One should be filled with the parrot's daily mix, and the other filled with a snack or special treat.

    4

    Fill the daily food bowl with a nutritional combination of pellets, seeds and a dried mix of fruits and vegetables. There are some bagged parrot foods that contain this complete combination.

    5

    Fill the snack bowl with fresh fruits, veggies, grains or protein. Special snacks, such as a muffin treat, can also be incorporated, on occasion.

    6

    Keep in mind that the African Grey is a very social creature. He likes to be a part of the family dinner. To make him feel welcome, you may want to invest in some type of stand where he can eat his meals in the same room as you. As long as your dinner is healthy, he would probably even like to eat the same thing.

    7

    African Greys tend to have calcium deficiency problems and need to be monitored yearly for the condition. An avian vet can perform this test for you. To help keep the calcium levels in check, it is advisable to supplement meals with dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or mustard greens.

What to Plant for Wild Ducks

If you are interested in having wild ducks spend more time around your home, there are certain types of plants that you can grow that will help encourage them to stay. By planting this type of greenery, you'll be able to get ducks that normally travel to start spending most of their time around your home.

Plant Types

    Many of the plants that ducks eat are plants that grow in a pond or lake. These include the duck potato or wapato (Sagittaria latifolia), the arrow arum (Peltandra virginica), wild celery (Vallisneria americana) and the Sago pondweed (Potomogeton pectinatus). All these plants grow either directly in the water or right along the shoreline of the water, and provide an ample food supply for wild ducks. In fact, the Sago pondweed can provide ducks with up to half their dietary needs, and is a great way to encourage them to stay nearby. If you have a river or creek near your pond or lake, you can also try planting wild rice (Zizania aquatica), which requires 6 to 12 inches of moving water in order to grow properly. If you don't have a deep water source, you can still grow plants for wild ducks, such as Japanese millet or smartweed, both of which will grow in mud flats.

Other Needs

    In addition to growing plants that are tasty for ducks to eat, you'll also need to ensure that they have an environment conducive to them staying around your home for long periods of time. Ducks prefer to be in water than on land because they feel safer there. So having a large pond or lake will not only make growing food for the ducks easier, but will encourage them to take up at least a semi-permanent residence in the water. If you intend to hunt the ducks, you may want to make sure that there are multiple bodies of water. That's because once the ducks become frightened from one body of water, they simply move to another nearby one. If you intend to just observe the ducks, then a smaller body of water (but one sufficiently large and deep enough to make the ducks feel safe) is all that would be required. The larger the body of water, though, the more plants you can grow to provide food for the ducks.

How to Care for a Rainbow Lorikeet

How to Care for a Rainbow Lorikeet

The rainbow lorikeet is a small parrot native to Australia with boldly colored green, yellow, blue and orange-red feathers. These birds grow up to 14 inches long and feed mostly on fruit juices, nectar and pollen in the wild. Rainbow lorikeets learn quickly and are full of energy. They are superb talkers and imitators, but can be a bit loud and boisterous at times. The birds mate for life and may live up to 30 years.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a cage that is a minimum of 48 inches long, 24 inches wide and 36 inches tall. Make sure there is no more than 3/8 inch of space between the cage bars.

    2

    Line the bottom of the cage with newspaper printed with black and white ink, as color ink could be harmful. Change the liner every day.

    3

    Place two or more perches at various heights in the cage. Select perches that are different sizes and textures and position them so that food bowls won't be contaminated by droppings.

    4

    Put two or three toys designed for pet birds inside the cage. Rainbow lorikeets are especially fond of swings and other toys that allow them to climb.

    5

    Position food and water cups in a location not easily contaminated by droppings. Provide bowls for water and pellets or nectar as well as one for fresh fruits or juice.

    6

    Place the cage in a busy area of the home that is protected from drafts. Situate the cage in a corner because rainbow lorikeets tend to get nervous if people or other animals can circle their cage.

    7

    Feed lorikeet pellets or nectar each day in the amount indicated on the package. Also offer vegetables and fruit every two or three days, such as sweet potatoes, corn, melon and grapes. Cut fresh foods into pieces small enough for the bird to easily consume. Provide natural fruit juice once every week or two. Always remove nectar, fruits, vegetables and juice within four hours to keep them from spoiling.

    8

    Provide fresh filtered water two times each day.

    9

    Offer a bird bath filled with warm water three or four times each week.

    10

    Allow the bird time to play outside the cage each day. Provide an environment safe from hazards such as open doors or windows, other pets and hot surfaces.

    11

    Cover the cage at night to protect the bird from cool drafts and allow it to rest undisturbed.

    12

    Wash food and water bowls daily with dish detergent and hot water. Rinse and dry them well before refilling.

    13

    Disinfect the cage and all accessories each week with a solution made of 1/2 cup household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water. Wait 10 minutes before rinsing the solution away to ensure that all germs are killed. Dry the cage and accessories well before placing the bird back inside.

How to Identify Wild Birds in North Texas

How to Identify Wild Birds in North Texas

A favorite pastime for centuries, birdwatching, sometimes known as "birding," is a hobby to enjoy for years to come. When you travel, learn to identify exciting new species. If you see an unfamiliar yet beautiful bird while hiking, add the species to your list of bird encounters. Set up a feeder by your favorite window to observe avian visitors throughout the changing seasons. Find an abundant variety of birds to enjoy in North Texas.

Instructions

    1

    Visit an area in North Texas where birds are commonly viewed, such as a game preserve, state park or simply a bird feeder in your own backyard.

    2

    Use your binoculars to get a close-up look at the birds congregating in the area. Choose a bird you are unfamiliar with. Snap a few pictures with your camera, if time permits. A camera with a zoom lens is particularly handy for confirming the visual details needed for an identification.

    3

    Jot down in your notebook the physical characteristics of the bird. First identify its size by comparing it to a bird you are familiar with; for example, you may write: "bigger than a sparrow, but smaller than a blue jay." Note details about its tail, body, neck, bill shape, wing, song, for example.

    4

    Observe the color of the bird. Does the bird have a pattern such as stripes or spots? Take notice of your surroundings. Is the bird in the forest, in an open field, or near water? Observe if the bird has any noteworthy behavioral traits such as dancing or displaying, and note all these details in your notebook. If you are artistically inclined, sketch the silhouette of the bird.

    5

    Develop the photos you took of the bird. Open your field guide to identify the bird and search first by size or habitat. Compare the notes you took regarding the details of the bird to those in the field guide. Locate the bird that most closely resembles the one you saw.

Macaw Life Cycle

Macaw Life Cycle

There are 17 different species of the Macaw, who are all part of the parrot family, according to National Geographic. These birds are very social, traveling in packs of up to 30 macaws. They have beautiful colored feathers that vary depending on the species. Macaws are very colorful birds that are often kept as pets. They make good pets because of their social nature.

Lifespan

    Many species of macaws are endangered due to the destruction of their natural habitat as well as the fact that they are being trapped to be sold as pets, according to National Geographic. These birds "have been said to live for up to 100 years," according to Avian Web, however the average lifespan is 50 years, with larger macaws living up to 65 years.

Adolescence

    Macaws that have reached adolescence begin to be more troublesome, according to Animal World. Those who own macaws as pets should not allow bad behavior to happen because it will continue on through their lifetime and it's often irreversible. Pets who develop bad behavior become untrustworthy and do not make good pets. They are then used for breeding purposes instead of as companions, according to Animal World.

Mating

    Macaws stay with the same mate throughout their lifetime. They choose their partners in the winter. Macaws groom each other and share food. They are ready to start participating in the breeding season when they are seven years old, according to Avian Web. If a macaw is kept in captivity as a pet and does not mate, they will bond primarily with their owner, according to Avian Web.

Nesting

    During breeding season the female will incubate the eggs while the male hunts for food to bring back to their nest, according to National Geographic. The female lays eggs in clutches of two or three eggs, according to Animal World. For pet owners creating a nesting site for their macaws, the nesting box should be three times the body length of the bird in height, and once in width and depth, according to Animal World.

Hatchlings

    It takes between 18 and 26 days for a Macaw's eggs to hatch, according to Animal World. Bigger Macaws lay an egg every other day, while smaller variations of the bird lay an egg every three days, according to Animal World. Once a macaw has been hatched it needs food such as fresh fruits.

How to Care for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are powerful calorie-burning machines. Their metabolism is significantly higher than humans, so they rely on highly concentrated sugar nectars to keep them buzzing. However, their real nutrients come from eating small spiders or insects found on plants. Providing and maintain proper feeders gives these small birds the energy they need to hunt for their real meals

Instructions

Maintaining and Placing Hummingbird Feeders

    1

    First, choose the best feeder for your patio or porch. It should be easy to disassemble and clean. If it is not easy to clean, you risk growing molds which can harm the hummingbirds. Choose feeders with bright red bases or solution holders because they are the best to attract hummingbirds.

    2

    Mix one part sugar to four parts tap water. Using commercial solutions is also an option, but not necessary. In hot weather, change the solution every three to four days. Most hummingbirds will not visit the feeder with spoiled solution. Mix extra solution to store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

    3

    Clean the feeder with bleach and water every four to five weeks. Dilute one-fourth cup bleach in a gallon of water. Use a brush to clean the feeder and soak it in the bleach solution for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse and refill with solution. After rinsing the bleach will not harm the birds.

    4

    Choose a place to put your feeder. Placing it near a window allows you to watch the birds activities without scaring them. Placing them in your garden near other brightly- colored plants gives them additional food sources.

    5

    Plant a hummingbird garden near the feeder to attract more hummingbirds. Or place brightly colored plants around your patio. Hummingbirds have a weak sense of smell, so they are attracted to bright colors, especially red. Trumpet creepers, butterfly bushes and the Firebird agastache flower are all known to attract hummingbirds.

    6

    In the United States, many people believe they must take in their hummingbirds feeders in September to keep the birds from delaying migration. This is not necessary. Leaving the feeders up through the winter may attract an occasional bird, but it is a different breed of hummingbird that does not migrate. The migratory hummingbirds will not fail to migrate just because the feeder is available.

How to Purchase Bobwhite Quail Birds

Considered by G. E. S. Robbins, author of "Quail: Their Breeding and Management," to be a hardy species for the beginner, the bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) is also readily found in captivity. Native to much of the eastern United States, bobwhite quail are well known for their call, which sounds like "bob-white." Males have a dark brown and white striped face, while females have a dark brown and light brown striped face. As natives to a variety of climates, they do well in an outdoor aviary.

Instructions

    1

    Find a local quail breeder by joining a local bird or poultry association. Although many respected breeders ship birds, inspecting the birds and the breeder's aviary yourself prior to purchase gives you the best chance of buying healthy birds.

    2

    Purchase males and females from separate aviaries to be sure they are not related. Do this unless you are purchasing from a highly recommended breeder who you know has reliable breeding and selling methods. When you purchase males and females from the same breeder, you may end up with siblings, which will lead to deformities if your birds breed.

    3

    Select birds that are at least 12 weeks old. By this time, their adult coloring starts to show. You can now determine the sex so that there are no surprises when your birds mature.

    4

    Inspect the birds for any signs of illness. Do not buy birds that have runny eyes or noses, are inactive, have feces covering their vent or show signs of feather picking or other abnormal feathering. Limping, scaly legs and labored breathing are other signs of illness or injury to look for.

How to Raise Pheasants for Stocking

How to Raise Pheasants for Stocking

The habitat of pheasants is decreasing fast due to human activities. The regulated hunting of these game birds therefore relies on stocking wild areas with captive, reared stock. Rearing pheasant chicks is not difficult, provided the chicks have enough warmth and good nutrition. Overcrowding tends to bring out the chick's natural tendencies to be cannibalistic and young pheasants must have enough personal space if the farmer is to be successful.

Instructions

    1

    Design and build a brooder house that is weatherproof and free from drafts. Ensure that brooder house is rodent-proof and large enough to afford -square foot floor space per pheasant chick. Attach a covered outdoor run, with 1-square-inch mesh, to the brooder house. Install a run large enough to offer older chicks up to 2 square feet floor space per bird.

    2

    Disinfect the brooder at least 14 days before receiving your first group of pheasant chicks. Place a layer of chopped straw over the floor. Avoid newspaper and wood shavings, as these chicks will readily consume wood shavings and die from an impacted gut as a result. Newspaper does not allow the chicks to gain a solid footing.

    3

    Suspend a 250 watt infra-red light bulb about 18 inches from the ceiling for each group of 100 pheasant chicks. When securing the lights to the ceiling, make sure the distance between the bottom of the lamp and the surface on which the chicks are standing, is the 18 inches. Red bulbs create a subdued atmosphere in the brooder room and typically prevent aggression and cannibalism. Keep the bulbs on until the chicks are one-month-old.

    4

    Place groups of chicks within a 14-inch to 18-inch high cardboard ring, in a vertical position on the floor, to confine each group under a heat lamp. These ring shields protect the developing chicks from drafts. Reserve a diameter of at least 4-feet for every 50 chicks.

    5

    Use a 1-foot long feeder per 50 chicks. Feed a medicated game bird pellet, which has at least 30 percent protein, until the chicks are six weeks of age. Choose a starter feed that contains amprolium. This is a preventative medication against coccidiosis, which is an intestinal disease.

    6

    Use a 1-gallon water container per 75 chicks. Place glass marbles into each water container, to prevent the chicks from drowning. Dip each chick's beak into the water when you place them into the brooder house for the first time. In this way, they become aware where to drink. Make sure there is enough water for the number of chicks in the brooder house.

    7

    Observe the chicks closely. Chicks that are too cold will huddle closer to the light, while those that are too hot will attempt to move as far away as possible. Raise or lower the lamps to correct these situations.

    8

    Open the brooder house door to allow chicks from two weeks of age to go outside during the day. Allow the chicks out on sunny days only and drive them back into the barn during the late afternoon.

    9

    Move the young birds to a larger pen once they reach four to five weeks of age. This pen must provide each bird with at least 25 square feet of ground space.

    10

    Change the diet to a 20 percent grower feed when the young birds move over to the large pen.

Jumat, 27 Juli 2012

Merganser Diet

Merganser Diet

Mergansers, also known as fish-ducks, are small ducks that normally feed on fish, along with other diet staples. The three species of mergansers are members of the Anatidae family.

Hooded Merganser

    The hooded merganser's diet consists of fish, crayfish, clams, frogs, insect larvae and aquatic insects. This species' diet is more diverse than other types of mergansers. Hooded merganser ducklings eat mostly insects.

Common Merganser

    Common mergansers are the largest of the merganser species. Their diet varies based on their geographic location, but they subsist mostly on small fish, such as salmon, trout, suckers and stickleback. They also eat small mammals and birds.

Red-breasted Merganser

    Like other mergansers, the red-breasted merganser eats aquatic insects, frogs and small fish. They also eat crustaceans.

Midwest Bird Identification

Midwest Bird Identification

How to Raise Quails for Release

How to Raise Quails for Release

Quails are typically a wild bird, but in some cases they are available domestically for purchase. In these cases, you may wish to raise quails from hatching until they're old enough be released into the wild. This is helpful in areas that need to bolster the wild quail population.

Instructions

    1

    Contact your state's Department of Agriculture or local game warden to check with your state's and county's laws on raising game birds. Check about the laws on owning, raising and releasing game birds.

    2

    Research local breeders and retailers of breeding quail pairs or quail eggs. Buy birds and eggs only from high-quality breeders who do not sell diseased or sick birds. You can ask local Game Bird Associations for their recommendations.

    3

    Put together the housing for the birds. Housing can be found at pet shops. Keep in mind that each bird will need about 2 square feet of space. Use a mix of troughs, round feeders and water jars to keep your birds fed and hydrated. Add wood pieces and pecking toys for the birds to peck. If they don't have pecking toys, they may turn on each other and hurt themselves. Add oats, cabbage, hay, and corn stalks in the cage so they have more things to eat and peck.

    4

    Replace feed and water regularly, making sure there is fresh food and water at all times. If food or water sits too long, this will attract bugs that can spread sickness to your birds quickly.

    5

    Keep the cages clean and sanitary at all times. Keep flooring clean every day. Prevent the buildup of trash, spoiled food and fecal matter. This can develop parasites, disease and mold. If birds do become sick, you will need to obtain medications from a veterinarian.

How to Feed a Parakeet Pellets

How to Feed a Parakeet Pellets

High-quality commercial pellets form the basis of a parakeet's diet --- but only the basis. Parakeets need other foods, including fresh produce, seeds and some animal protein to provide variety and the necessary nutrients. They also require a source of calcium such as cuttlefish bone. Because parakeets are often selective feeders --- picking out the food items they like best and leaving the rest --- it is best to feed pellets and seeds on different days.

Instructions

    1

    Empty the feeder of any old pellets, seeds or seed husks.

    2

    Fill the feeder with the pellets. The parakeet should have an unlimited supply of pellets. Replenish the pellets as necessary.

    3

    Supply a daily variety of fruits, leafy vegetables and small amounts of lean meat such as tuna in water, cooked chicken and cooked red meats. Meaty foods should form about 5 percent of the bird's diet.

    4

    Alternate the pellets with the seed mix. For example, feed pellets for two days, then seeds for two. Gradually increase the number of days you feed pellets and reduce the days you feed seeds. Pellets are generally a better basic diet than seeds.

What Do You Do When a Cockatiel Ignores Her Eggs?

What Do You Do When a Cockatiel Ignores Her Eggs?

Female cockatiels have a tendency to lay eggs, regardless of whether or not they have a mate. A mother hen who abandons unfertilized eggs is nothing to worry about. If, however, your hen appears to be ignoring her fertile eggs, you should watch her closely to be certain. Some parental behaviors are normal and can appear as rejection at first glance. If your cockatiel has truly abandoned her eggs, you'll need to take action to prevent the embryos from dying.

Nest Box

    Breeding cockatiels should be provided with a nest box in which the hen can lay her eggs and tend to them. Without a nest box, your female cockatiel might lay her eggs on the floor of the cage, where it's easy for her to forget them. If this happens, introduce a nest box into the cage and gently move the eggs into it. If she won't accept it readily, hang a strip of millet seed inside the entrance to coax her into the nest.

Egg Turning

    It's normal for cockatiels to ignore the first of their eggs until they are finished laying a whole clutch, which usually consists of anywhere from two to eight eggs. This allows them to start warming all the eggs together so that they all hatch at around the same time. Fertilized eggs can stay viable for up to a week if they're turned regularly to help regulate temperature and prevent the embryo from attaching to one side of the shell. If the parents aren't turning the eggs, you'll need to do it for them by turning the eggs once every hour during the day.

Rejected Eggs

    If it's clear that the mother has abandoned her eggs, they'll need alternative incubation. If you have another cockatiel hen, you can attempt to get her to foster them; otherwise they'll need to be placed in an incubator. You can tell whether or not an egg has a viable embryo by candling them beginning five days after the start of nesting or incubation. Hold a bright light over the eggs and examine the shell and contents. A fertilized egg should have a red, spider-like appearance, with a dark spot in the center. You'll also be able to see veins developing.

Unfertilized Eggs

    If your cockatiel has laid unfertilized eggs, it's important that you don't remove them until the nesting period ends, or she has clearly abandoned them. Removing eggs from a nesting cockatiel, even if there's no chance that they'll hatch, will cause her to lay new eggs to replace the ones she lost, which can lead to chronic egg laying. Once your cockatiel stops showing interest in her unfertilized eggs, they can be safely removed and discarded.

Facts About Pink Flamingos

Facts About Pink Flamingos

Pink flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruper) are exotic waterbirds indigenous to tropical regions. Flamingos are social birds with an omnivorous diet. They are known for their vibrant colors and abnormal shape and stature. These famous birds have been used as trademarks for vacation or recreational companies all over the world.

Features

    Pink flamingos have a distinct stature. Along with long necks and downward bent bills, pink flamingos average about 4 feet tall and weigh up to 9 pounds. Pink flamingos have rounded wings that span up to 50 inches across. They have long legs and webbed feet. The flamingo's recognizable bright pink color is due to a diet full of crustaceans and algae. Flamingos also have accent colors, including red, orange, yellow, white and black.

Geography

    Flamingos are native to the southern United States, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. They live in warm climates around saltwater beaches. Their habitats may be located directly near large bodies of water, as well as inland connected to the sea. A flamingo's nest is usually located near tide or shallow waters, and the nest is only a small mud pile measuring about a foot high.

Breeding

    Flamingos generally breed in groups. Their nest is built by both the male and female above ground to protect the egg from water or intense ground heat. A flamingo will only lay one egg at a time, and both parents will take turns incubating it. After birth, baby flamingos will stay in the nest for up to 12 days and are fed a milky substance from the upper digestive system of both parents.

Mannerisms

    Flamingos live in groups referred to as colonies. Colonies range from only a few birds to thousands of pairs. While in groups, flamingos use body language to communicate with each other. Displays such as marching, twist-preening, wing saluting and head-flagging are used as warnings or to capture the attention of a mate. Flamingos often stand on one leg. This display is not a communication device, but it is simply the most comfortable position for the bird.

Other Types of Flamingos

    Other flamingos similar to pink flamingos exist, such as the Andean flamingo with yellow legs. The Andean, Puna and lesser flamingos have much bigger bills and stiffer lamellae or plate-like structures that serve as a filter for feeding. Caribbean and Chilean flamingos are much larger and have a slightly different diet than pink flamingos. Caribbean and Chilean flamingos generally eat mollusks, shrimp and brine flies by wading in the water or by burying their heads in the water.

Types of Bantam Chickens

Types of Bantam Chickens

Most breeds of normal chickens have a bantam counterpart. The bantam, or "banty," variety is a miniature version, usually about one-fourth the size of a normal chicken (See Reference 1). Bantam chickens behave similarly to normal chickens and produce small eggs. Their small body size makes bantam chickens an easy option for city-dwellers or those without much barnyard space. There are dozens of varieties of bantams, so only a few of the more common breeds are highlighted here.

Dutch Bantams

    Dutch bantams are among the smallest bantam chickens, weighing in at about 20 ounces. The birds have beautiful golden and black coloring. Dutch bantam hens are good layers, although they will only hatch 3 to 4 eggs at a time, unlike other chickens that will sit on a dozen or more.

Silkie Bantams

    Silkies are known for their large, puffy feathers that give them a fuzzy look and a soft feel. According to MyPetChicken.com, silkies are a gentle, mothering breed with a sweet temperament. They make excellent pets and are good brooders. Silkies come in black, white, partridge, buff, gray and blue varieties.

d'Uccle Bantams

    The d'Uccle bantam is named for the Belgian town from which the breed originated. These chickens are friendly and calm. Although d'Uccle bantams come in several color varieties, the Mille Fleurs is best known. The Mille Fleurs ("million flowers") bantam has speckled coloring of mahogany, white and black. The feathered feet of d'Uccle bantams make them a fun choice for a pet.

Japanese Bantams

    Japanese bantams are true bantams, meaning that they are not just miniatures of a larger breed but are a separate variety. They are known for their high tails and dramatic plumage. Japanese bantams come in several color varieties, including black-tailed white, black, mottled, black-tailed buff and gray. According to FeatherSite.com, they have short legs that make them suitable for delicate lawn areas and are most often purchased for use as pets or show birds.

How to Breed Cockatiel Birds

How to Breed Cockatiel Birds

Cockatiels are attractive and outgoing birds that make a pleasant addition to the family. Many owners are curious about how difficult it is to breed the birds, either to raise as pets or to sell. Cockatiel birds are not extremely challenging to breed, but the process does require some knowledge, preparation and investment of time. The two most important factors are, of course, that you are certain you have two birds of the opposite sex and that both birds are in optimal physical condition.

Instructions

    1

    Provide a cage that is at least 30 inches long, 18 inches wide and 36 inches tall.

    2

    Place a nesting box inside the cage that is 12 inches tall and 12 inches deep with a 3-inch hole in the front. Add a 3-inch layer of shredded newspaper or clean straw to the inside of the box.

    3

    Place several perches throughout the cage. Provide two to three toys to prevent boredom, which could result in a refusal to mate. Offer a variety of foods including cockatiel seed mixture, vegetables, fruit and sprouted seeds. Provide fresh water at all times.

    4

    Add a container of water large enough for the birds to bathe in to the bottom of the cage, in an area where droppings are least likely to fall.

    5

    Provide between 10 and 12 hours of bright light, natural or artificial, each day. This step is crucial to the success of cockatiel breeding.

    6

    Offer more soft food, such as soft fruit or cooked vegetables, after eggs begin to appear. This will allow the birds to become accustomed to the change in diet before they start to feed the chicks.

    7

    Examine any eggs that haven't hatched within three weeks by holding a small flashlight to the large end of the egg. This should be done in a very dark room. If you see any blood vessels in the egg, place it back and wait 28 days before disposing of it.

    8

    Move the chicks into their own cage or to a new home when they are weaned. This usually occurs when they are 8 to 10 weeks old.

Bobwhite Quail Habitats

The habitat of the bobwhite quail is very specialized, optimally including a mixture of several different features. Not only do bobwhites need food suitable for themselves and a safe area in which to nest, but they also require cover to hide them from their enemies. Whether you are trying to find bobwhites in the wild or raise them on your farmland, it is important to know the habitat in which they live, eat and raise their young.

General Habitat

    Bobwhite quail thrive in what is called "early successional growth": a habitat that has been disturbed recently by farming or other human activity, and is just beginning to grow wild once more. A habitat with a mix of vegetation is required, including weeds, grain crops, grasses, shrubby cover and some trees. Specific types of plant life are needed for different aspects of bobwhites' lives.

Nesting Cover

    For nesting, bobwhite quails require an open, grassy area. Bobwhites prefer to make their nests in long clumps of dead grass, left from the previous year's growth. If the vegetation is too dense, the newly hatched chicks will not have room to properly forage for food. The best grasses for nesting cover include bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass and any other grass that reaches over a foot in length at maturity.

Brood-Rearing Cover

    A specialized habitat for young and growing bobwhites is also needed. An area with sparse legume and weed growth is ideal, providing the cover the chicks need to protect them from predators, while giving them room to run about and hunt insects. Fields tilled in previous years, but currently left fallow, are the most likely to provide this sort of environment.

Covey Headquarters

    This is an area of dense brush and bushes, providing a protective area for escape from foxes, hawks, housecats, and other enemies. "Covey headquarters" are so named because coveys of bobwhite quail will often spend large portions of the day in them, to safely relax when not hunting and feeding. Tall trees are acceptable in a protective habitat, but trees with lower boughs are less than ideal, since they impede the flightpath of bobwhites flying up from inside the bushes below.

Food Needs

    Young bobwhites primarily eat insects, but adults supplement their diet with seeds and fruit from legumes, weeds and crops. A good habitat for bobwhite quail must be able to provide them with all these dietary needs: a covey of quail can eat over 100 pounds of food over the course of a winter.

How to Raise Wild Caught Pigeons

How to Raise Wild Caught Pigeons

Pigeons are easy to raise and breed. Wild pigeons, if captured as adults, may be ornery, but if you acquire a young bird, it should be easy to tame as a pet. These birds are very social, quiet, unobtrusive, require little maintenance and are fairly inexpensive to care for. The biggest expense in pigeon care is investment in setting up a pigeon loft.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase or build a pigeon loft. Pigeons can handle cold weather, but need to be kept dry. The loft should be draft free with good ventilation. The loft doesn't have to be large or elaborate. For a few birds, a loft the size of a rabbit hutch is adequate. Lofts are available commercially or, if you are handy, plans are available to build your own. Large, walk-in lofts are best for pet birds because they allow you to interact and bond with the birds.

    2

    Provide a fly pen. Commercially built lofts come equipped with a fly pen. Pigeons need access to an outside area where they can get fresh air and exercise. If you are building your own, choose wire that is a small enough gauge to keep wild birds out and strong enough to keep predators from getting in.

    3

    Equip the pigeon loft with a galvanized feeder and waterer.

    4

    Place perch boxes in the loft. Perch boxes may come with pre-built lofts, but if you build your own loft, you will need to purchase or build your own perch boxes.

    5

    Feed your birds pigeon mix feed. Pigeon food in pellet form is also available. Provide fresh feed once or twice daily and dispose of any leftover food to avoid contamination.

    6

    Give the birds constant access to fresh, clean water. Fill and clean the bird waterer regularly. Keep the water clean; many avian diseases are spread by dirty waterers.

    7

    Keep grit available at all times. Birds need grit to digest food properly. Serve grit in a crock bowl, as the minerals in grit will cause galvanized feeders to rust.

    8

    Scrape and clean the pigeon loft regularly; weekly cleaning is best. Wear a filter mask to keep from inhaling pigeon dust, as dust can cause allergic reactions in some people. Wash feed trays, waterers and grit crocks with bleach. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely.

    9

    Place a shallow pan of water in the fly pen. Pigeons enjoy an occasional bath, especially in warm weather. Remove the pan after an hour to prevent birds from drinking the dirty bath water.

What Does a Male Magpie Duck Look Like?

What Does a Male Magpie Duck Look Like?

Magpie ducks are hardy foragers who can bring variety to your barnyard or backyard pond with their distinct black-and-white plumage. Known for gourmet meat, prolific egg production and general hardiness, magpie ducks provide a wide range of benefits for the backyard breeder.

  1. Physique

    • Male magpies are relatively lightweight domesticated ducks, usually achieving weights of six pounds or less. Magpie ducks from American bloodlines tend to be a pound or two lighter, with males averaging four to five pounds. Although light, they are incapable of sustained flight, but can flap and leap several feet in the air. The ducks' long necks help them reach deep into vegetation to forage for bugs. Males can stand nearly erect, similar to Indian runner ducks..

    Adult Coloration

    • Named after the common black and white bird, magpie ducks' bold black and white coloration vaguely resembles the black hood and saddle of the bird species. Magpie drakes have white bodies with black on the wings and sides of the body back to the tail, as well as black "caps" on top of their heads. Black speckles sometimes extend onto their feet and beaks, which can be orange or yellow and turn bluish-green with age.

    Male Ducklings

    • Magpie ducklings show no discernible difference between the sexes until they mature. The ducklings are yellow, with black downy "caps," and dark coloration along their wings and sides of the body. The patches of black down will be replaced by black feathers, so if you are planning to show your duckling, you can easily discern a suitable pattern for the show ring as soon as ducks hatch. Ducklings will have orange or yellow beaks and feet.

    Telling Males From Females

    • At first glance, males and females of the species look very similar. Males have a telltale curled feather just in front of the tail, and feathers on the neck, chest and wings are more iridescent in full sunlight. Males have a high libido, so it is ideal to keep 3 to 5 females for each male magpie in your flock. Females will lay up to nearly 300 eggs per year, and will brood and rear the next generation.

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References

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Physique

    Male magpies are relatively lightweight domesticated ducks, usually achieving weights of six pounds or less. Magpie ducks from American bloodlines tend to be a pound or two lighter, with males averaging four to five pounds. Although light, they are incapable of sustained flight, but can flap and leap several feet in the air. The ducks' long necks help them reach deep into vegetation to forage for bugs. Males can stand nearly erect, similar to Indian runner ducks..

Adult Coloration

    Named after the common black and white bird, magpie ducks' bold black and white coloration vaguely resembles the black hood and saddle of the bird species. Magpie drakes have white bodies with black on the wings and sides of the body back to the tail, as well as black "caps" on top of their heads. Black speckles sometimes extend onto their feet and beaks, which can be orange or yellow and turn bluish-green with age.

Male Ducklings

    Magpie ducklings show no discernible difference between the sexes until they mature. The ducklings are yellow, with black downy "caps," and dark coloration along their wings and sides of the body. The patches of black down will be replaced by black feathers, so if you are planning to show your duckling, you can easily discern a suitable pattern for the show ring as soon as ducks hatch. Ducklings will have orange or yellow beaks and feet.

Telling Males From Females

    At first glance, males and females of the species look very similar. Males have a telltale curled feather just in front of the tail, and feathers on the neck, chest and wings are more iridescent in full sunlight. Males have a high libido, so it is ideal to keep 3 to 5 females for each male magpie in your flock. Females will lay up to nearly 300 eggs per year, and will brood and rear the next generation.