Minggu, 30 September 2012

How to Pick a Quaker Parakeet

How to Pick a Quaker Parakeet

Quaker parrots are one of the most popular pet parrots in the United States due to their temperate, beauty and relative ease to care for. However, due to this huge demand for quaker parrots, 'mill' parrot breeding factories have developed -- giving pet owners a hard and difficult time to find a quality quaker parrot to keep. Luckily, with some hard work and effort, anyone can identify the essentials that make up a healthy quaker parrot and enjoy their beauty as a pet.

Instructions

How to Choose a Quaker Parakeet

    1

    Identify any local breeders that you wish to consider using to purchase your quaker parrot. To do this, simply visit websites such as birdbreeders.com and identify legitimate local breeders. Using word of mouth, such as speaking with parrot enthusiast groups (can be identified if you speak with your local town hall) is also a useful tool to identify potential breeders.

    2

    Research and understand your breeder's background. By simply looking online, you can find previous owners of quaker parrots purchased from the breeder and read their feedback. By doing some further sleuthing, you can also get in direct contact with them and ask specific questions about their impression on the quality of the quaker parrots.

    3

    Locate and visit the breeder if your online research has produced promising results. At the sight, ask to see the birds quarters and not just the 'show' quarters. Identify any hazards or irregularities that you see in the bird quarters and use your judgment to gauge the quality vs. quantity that the breeder is using.

    4

    Examine the birds by looking at their basic bodies and identifying any anomalies such as a limp or a runny eye. Particularly look at the quaker parrot's plumage and look for smooth feathers. Ruffled and missing feathers usually indicates overcrowding and unhygienic conditions. Look into their pupils and attempt to identify any dull stares or fluid running from the eyes. The quaker parrots should have bright and quick eyes that are responsive to your every move.

    5

    Extend the bird's wingspan and place your rule along it. The wing bone of the quaker parrot should be aligned with the ruler and no bends or odd angels should be present. The wingspan is one of the most critical aspects to inspect as it helps identify any long term problems that particular quaker parrot may have.

How to Scare Birds Away

Birds are valuable to the ecosystem, but can be a nuisance to the home or business owner. It can be trial and error when it comes to scaring birds away but there are good reasons to experiment. Birds pose health and safety issues to humans as well as destroy crops and gardens. These pests can cause many problems but there are solutions.

Instructions

    1

    Watch the birds to find out which type is causing the problems. Look around for droppings or nesting material to help you identify the bird easier.

    2

    Measure the area that you need to control or protect before purchasing a bird repellent to be sure that the product is sufficient. For example, measure how many square feet your vegetable garden is before you shop for netting.

    3

    Ask your friends and neighbors or local business owners for help. Many times someone has already found a good solution to scare birds away in your area.

    4

    Get control. Shop in hardware or department stores to find the right product or device for your needs. Some birds will require more than one method to scare them away.

    5

    Outsmart those pigeons with spikes on roof tops to keep them from landing and perching. Scare crows away with motion and sonic repellers. Crows have caught on to the traditional scarecrow tactics and are not afraid anymore.

    6

    Use nets to cover fruit trees. Bright reflective ribbons can be used in farming areas along with sound devices like coyote and fox calls. Whistlers and automatic noise guns might work too.

    7

    Hang a device called a "scary eye" balloon from a tree or wire. It will act as a predator and scare many birds away. The starlings, however, are less intimidated and need more than a pair of eyes staring at them, and robins are not afraid of these at all.

How to Keep Wild Ducks

How to Keep Wild Ducks

Most wild duck fanciers keep various species of dabbling ducks. These ducks have broad and short bills, which contain tiny rows of plates that allow them to filter edible food from the water. These species of ducks feed on vegetation, such as seeds, grass and aquatic plants, as well as insects. Dabbling ducks upend in the water while searching for food. Wild ducks require a pond or dam and will be most comfortable if offered shrubs in which to shelter. Wild ducks need to have their wings clipped or pinioned, unless they are housed in covered enclosures.

Instructions

    1

    Dig out a small pond in a suitable area. This pond should be at least 6 square feet for the smaller species, such as wood ducks, and larger for the bigger varieties. Evergreen trees near the pond will provide shade over part of the water, but trees that lose their leaves will make pond maintenance more difficult. Confirm with a horticulturist that the roots of the specific trees will not damage the sides or floor of the pond.

    2

    Erect a fence around the pond. Provide an area where the ducks can rest and roost on land, as they choose.

    3

    Plant a number of shrubs near the pond for the ducks to use as shelter.

    4

    Secure a number of wooden boxes or barrels between low-lying branches of trees near the pond. Many species of wild ducks prefer to nest off the ground. Nesting boxes should be at least 2 feet deep, and barrels or logs must have a diameter of 9 to12 inches.

    5

    Purchase a commercial pellet mash for domestic ducks. Supplement the commercial diet with vegetables and diced boiled eggs.

    6

    Offer meals in more than one location to prevent competition for the food. Place a percentage of the pellets into a plastic bowl and float this bowl on the pond. Secure the bowl to a peg or tree near the pond.

    7

    Take your young wild ducks to a veterinarian to have their wings clipped.

    8

    Prevent dogs or wild animals from gaining access to your duck enclosure.

Natural Diets for Military Macaws

Your military macaw's diet not only affects how energetic and friendly he is, but also his appearance. Macaws generally have a lifespan of about 35 to 55 years. Buying a macaw is therefore a very big commitment, and if raised properly they can become lifelong partners. Military macaws, like many other macaw species, have a wide variety of options for diet. A balanced diet with the proper nutrients is the easiest way to ensure your macaw stays in good health.

Pellets

    Nuts and seeds are an important part of a military macaw's diet, but should not be the primary source of food. Formulated pellets should comprise of about 60 to 70 percent of your macaw's diet. This is where the bird will be getting most of his nutrition from. If your macaw was raised on a diet consisting mostly of seeds, many avian veterinarians will steer you toward a pelleted diet that slowly replaces seeds.

Mix Nuts

    Whole nuts can make up a small portion of your military macaw's diet. Macaw's need fat and oil in their diet and nuts, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, and macadamias. You will want to limit the amount of nuts they get but in general they make excellent treats.

Fruits and Vegetables

    Another major part of your macaw's diet should be from fruits and vegetables. Military macaws, like any other macaw, can eat just about any fruit or vegetable you will give them. Apples, bananas, oranges, cherries, coconut, peaches, pears, raspberries and strawberries are all acceptable fruits for your bird. If you allow your macaw to eat apples or cherries, make sure you remove the seeds (or buy cherries without pits) since they can be harmful to the macaw's health. Suitable vegetables for any macaw includes peas, carrots, corn, tomato, potato, asparagus and broccoli. Remember to wash off any fruits or vegetables before giving them to your macaw.

Other Foods

    Another important part of your macaw's diet is protein and breads. You can allow your macaw to eat boneless chicken or other meats. Whole grain breads, pasta, or brown rice also make excellent additions to the diet.

Foods to Avoid

    Macaws will want to eat anything that you are eating. In most cases, anything you can eat, your macaw can eat, too. However, you should not allow your bird to consume fruit seeds, avocado, chocolate, alcohol or caffeine. These items can cause serious health issues for macaws.

How to Breed Turkish Tumblers

How to Breed Turkish Tumblers

The Turkish Tumbler is a fancy pigeon breed originally created in Turkey and related to the various other tumbler pigeons found throughout Europe and North America. The name refers to the bird's ability to spin or tumble while flying. They will often tumble every two to three feet in flight, making for a remarkable performance. Learn how to breed Turkish Tumblers to replenish your pigeon stock and increase your pet pigeon population.

Instructions

    1

    Obtain a breeding pair of Turkish Tumblers. The best breeding pairs can be purchased from a local master breeder. You may find referrals at your local feed store or in your local newspaper's classified ads. Additionally, check the breeding clubs listed with the National Pigeon Association (see Resources), as well as the classifieds in magazines such as Purebred Pigeon Magazine (see Resources). Consider purchasing a pair that has received tumbling certification from the American Parlor Roller Association (APRA), meaning the birds have met the association's minimum tumbling standards. The APRA can be reached at 2112 6th St., Bay City, Michigan 48708.

    2

    Release the breeding pair into your pigeon coop or house. Feed the Turkish Tumblers. A pigeon-specific feed formulation can be purchased from your local feed store. Such feeds are grain-based and feature carbohydrate-rich seeds like dried peas as well as fatty, oily grains like corn, which help bolster the birds' plumage.

    3

    Set up a separate feeding dish from their grain hopper and fill it with crushed oyster shells. Also add liquid calcium gluconate to their drinking water, according to the supplement's manufacturer's formula-specific instructions. Both oyster shells and calcium gluconate can be purchased from your local farm feed store. The two supplements help prepare the female pigeon for laying eggs.

    4

    Place a nesting bowl into the pigeon coop and scatter straw, hay and dried grass on the bottom of the coop. The Turkish Tumblers will begin using the nesting bowl to build a nest with the dried material.

    5

    Wait for the Turkish Tumblers to mate. This will typically occur after the pigeons have gotten used to their new home. Once the tumblers have mated, the female will lay two eggs in the nesting bowl within 10 days. Both the male and female Turkish Tumbler will then incubate the eggs for up to 20 days, taking turns sitting on the nest every day.

    6

    Observe the nesting pair. Keep the feed hopper full, as the breeding pair will eat the grain and regurgitate it as a liquid to the baby pigeons. The babies will be ready to live on their own after approximately one month. During this time, the Turkish Tumbler pair will likely begin mating and incubating another pair of eggs. Turkish Tumblers can mate and breed year-round, and breeders should separate the pair if they do not want anymore pigeons.

Adaptations of the Road Runner in the Desert

Adaptations of the Road Runner in the Desert

The roadrunner is a bird that is commonly found in the southwestern and western regions of the U.S. The scientific name of the roadrunner is Geococcyx californianus and has adapted its physical and mental attributes to survive successfully in the arid desert regions of the southwest.

Species

    The roadrunner is a member of the cuckoo species native to the U.S. The roadrunner has adapted to run at high speed through the desert to remain camouflaged and avoid recognition from predators and to hunt successfully. The bird is often found running on desert roads or through areas of desert vegetation at speeds of up to 16 miles per hour, according to Brookfield Zoo. The bird has developed a brown speckled and white feathered exterior that allows it to blend into the arid surroundings of the desert.

Size

    The roadrunner has adapted over its history to reach a large size, of around 2 feet high. The large size of the roadrunner has allowed the bird to prey on larger animals found in the desert, including gophers, mice, rats and snakes. It also feeds on small animals such as insects and lizards. In periods of food shortages the roadrunner has been known to eat its own young, Cornell University reports.

Water

    To adapt to its natural habitat of the desert the roadrunner does not require large amounts of water to survive. Along with the water the roadrunner finds in the bodies of its prey the bird also occasionally eats the fruits of the desert plants in its habitat. To conserve its energy the roadrunner has adapted its body to lower its temperature at night to combat the desert chill. In the morning it exposes a patch of dark skin on its back to be heated by solar radiation, raising its daytime body temperature.

Mating

    The roadrunner has adapted to be a monogamous bird, which mates with a single bird of the opposite sex for its lifetime. Pairs of roadrunners stay together to protect a territory used to incubate eggs and raise their young. Both roadrunners in a mating pair raise their young over a period of between 18 and 21 days until they are capable of feeding themselves. To protect eggs and young roadrunners from predators the bird builds a nest between 3 and 15 feet from the ground insulated with materials including snakeskins for warmth. When required the roadrunner is capable of using its short, round wings to achieve lift and fly over short distances.

How to Raise Wild Birds

How to Raise Wild Birds

Raising a wild bird can be a great way to give an otherwise helpless animal a second chance at life. Many baby birds die within the first few months of life. With proper care they may be more likely to survive than they would've without the help. Birds nursed to health by humans have a 50 percent survival rate upon release into the wild. By learning to care for wild birds properly, including giving appropriate housing and feeding, you can give baby birds a second chance to survive.

Instructions

Feeding Wild Birds

    1

    Soak puppy chow in water for one hour to soften it for feeding. The food should be very moist so it is easily swallowed and digested. Warm food to room temperature before feeding to birds.

    2

    Hold the bird gently with one hand, opening its mouth with the other and placing a piece of puppy food in its mouth using tweezers. Feed the bird one to three pieces of food at each feeding.

    3

    Feed baby birds every half hour from sunrise to sunset. Baby birds can starve to death in only a few hours.

    4

    Place food for adult birds directly in the cage to allow them to hunt. This food can include small pieces of fruit and mealworms.

Housing Wild Birds

    5

    Place straw in a small cardboard box for housing baby birds. As the birds grow, they will need a bigger home. Use a large cage when birds are jumping and able to get out of the small box.

    6

    Decorate the large bird cage with branches, leaves, grass and a sturdy water bowl when the birds are older. Baby birds should only have straw in the boxes.

    7

    Place the bird's housing in an area where it can see the outdoors. It's important that birds have a sense of nature.

    8

    Place bird housing in a warm spot with no drafts to avoid cold temperatures. Once birds have been self-feeding for at least two weeks, move their cage outside.

    9

    Clean bird cages on a regular basis to avoid messes and illness.

Releasing the Wild Bird

    10

    Teach birds to fly indoors to avoid injuries and keep them from escaping before they are ready.

    11

    Find an area with suitable bugs and food for the birds to live. There should be other birds of the same species close by.

    12

    Release the bird into an area with birds of the same type once it is capable of flying well and feeding itself.

How to Prevent Dogs From Killing Your Chickens

How to Prevent Dogs From Killing Your Chickens

Backyard chickens can be so wonderful. Not too long ago a much larger percentage of people had a continuous stream of fresh eggs and meat into their houses from these great animals. If you have never raised chickens before it is much easier than it seems, but there are certainly a few issues that tend to cause problems for most chicken owners, specifically dogs. Pets don't often understand that the chickens are not to be played with or killed for their own food, and this goes against their natural instincts. Below is a fairly effective way to twist their instincts.

Instructions

    1

    This is a reactive method to prevent future killings of chickens, so the first thing we need is the chicken which was just killed by the dog.

    2

    Get some string or rope and tie the string around the chicken's neck and then tie the other end around your dog's collar.

    3

    Wait a few days...

    4

    After a few days have passed and the chicken's carcass has begun to rot and smell, the dog should be become thoroughly frustrated with this chicken around its neck. A good percentage of the time this is enough for the dog to keep clear of chickens in the future. Not all dogs respond to this method, but hopefully yours does!

What Birds Can I Put in My Finch Aviary?

What Birds Can I Put in My Finch Aviary?

Creating and maintaining a finch aviary is a hobby that gives people enjoyable hours watching the colorful, sociable birds interact with one another. However, to make sure that the aviary is a peaceful kingdom, an owner must research the types of birds he plans to purchase as well as consider the purpose and size of his aviary.

Space

    Before a bird owner decides what types of birds to put in a finch aviary, the enclosure's size must be considered. An overcrowded aviary can cause stress, aggressive behavior and illness. The owner must also decide if he wants to have an aviary of pet birds or wants to actively breed finches. Finch species can vary in size, but it is usually recommended to have one pair of breeding birds per 3 square feet of space. Length of the aviary is more important than height, because finches fly more horizontally than vertically.

Compatibility

    Zebra finches and society finches are the best birds to start with in an aviary. These species are usually easy to care for and breed. They come in a variety of colors that can be an interesting introduction to breeding. Zebra and society finches are inexpensive and readily available at most pet stores. Birds suitable for aviaries that sing are strawberry finches, star finches, cordon bleus and melba finches. Other species like canaries, parakeets and doves can also be kept successfully in a finch aviary. Any time you introduce a new bird to the flock, be sure to quarantine it in a separate area for a month to prevent the possible transmission of disease.

Problems

    Sometimes when a new bird is introduced to a finch aviary there can be territorial conflict. One bird may chase one or more birds around the cage, never letting it rest. Give the birds time to adjust and figure out the pecking order. Observe the birds closely to ensure they're not being physically harmed. The addition of extra feeding stations and rearranging perches and other cage accessories may also help. If the fighting does not stop with time or it becomes rough, take the aggressive finch out of the aviary. Reintroduce the bird after a few days. If that does not resolve the problem the aggressive bird may need to be permanently kept in a separate cage or aviary.

Breeding

    If a bird owner wants to breed birds in a finch aviary, the first step is picking out "true pairs." This means making sure it's a male and female couple. This can be difficult if male and female finches species don't have different markings, like society finches. Two males or two females can sometimes behave like a breeding pair. A blood test can determine a bird's sex. The aviary must also be big enough to accommodate the breeding pair and nesting area. If the aviary owner does not want to breed his birds, two males or two females of most finch species will usually get along just fine. If pairs are breeding, removing nesting material or the eggs can prevent reproduction.

Sabtu, 29 September 2012

Should I Take the Other Parakeet Out When One Lays an Egg?

Should I Take the Other Parakeet Out When One Lays an Egg?

Breeding parakeets requires patience and a breeding box to offer privacy for the birds. Parakeets can lay eggs even if the female has not been fertilized. You do not have to remove the other bird when a parakeet lays an egg and usually should not unless a problem arises. Parakeets lay eggs in a "clutch" or grouping, not usually just one egg.

Laying Eggs

    Typically a female parakeet or "hen" lays an egg every other day. She continues to lay until the "clutch" is complete, typically four to six eggs. You do need to remove the male bird if the hen does not stop laying eggs. Occasionally a bird continues to lay eggs past the fertilized ones, and as creating eggs drains the body of important nutrients, it can actually endanger the bird. You can verify the eggs have been fertilized by shining a flashlight on the egg and looking at the inside through the shell. The light allows you to see the embryo inside the shell.

Grouping

    In order to encourage breeding, including two or three pairs of birds helps to stimulate the parakeets into breeding mode. By adding this level of competition, you tend to get multiple pairs breeding at the same time. Be sure to check the nesting box daily, typically when the mother is absent from the box. The birds are free to move in and out of the box at will, but it is less disruptive if you check it when the mom is in the main cage.

Taking Care of Eggs

    The hen begins to "brood" or warm the eggs once two or three eggs have been laid. The baby birds will hatch between 17 and 20 days after being laid. This means the birds should arrive every other day in the same order the eggs were laid. If for some reason the mother attacks the eggs or does not brood the eggs, remove the eggs from the cage and keep the eggs warm until the birds hatch.

After the Birth

    The male should be reintroduced if you removed him during the egg-laying process, as he aids in feeding the babies. The mother parakeet will stay with the young birds while the male feeds her and she in turn feeds the babies. This ensures the chicks' safety and keeps the birds warm and growing. The duo likes to continue to produce clutches after the first group hatches. You should separate the birds after the second clutch has been cared for in order to keep the parakeets in good health. Remove the mother from the other birds when the youngest chick is approximately 10 days old. The father cares for the babies, though it might take up to 48 hours for him to fill the role.

How to Keep Finches for Pets

Finches are charming small birds that are a constant source of amusement to their owners because of their high energy and playful behavior. Finches prefer company and will do best when kept in pairs or small groups. They are not easily tamed to human touch and generally prefer the company of other finches rather than humans. Because finches are quieter than most pet birds they are a favorite among bird enthusiasts. They are generally easy to keep as pets.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a cage for the bird that will provide ample room for flying as this is how finches get the necessary exercise. The length of the cage is more important than the height. Place perches at different levels of the cage, being sure to avoid blocking the path of a flying finch.

    2

    Cover the bottom of the cage with newspaper. The newspaper will need to be changed when it is soiled to avoid bacteria that will make the bird sick.

    3

    Place food and water dishes on opposite sides of the cage not only to provide exercise but also to prevent food being spilled into the water. Food and water will need to be changed daily.

    4

    Feed the finch with a quality seed mixture and finch pellets. Offer small amounts of boiled egg and finely chopped fruits and vegetables. Fresh foods need to be removed after four hours to prevent contamination.

    5

    Keep the finch in a warm location since they have little tolerance for cold. A finch enjoys sunlight, so expose him to at least a little each day. Avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time, although indirect light is fine all day.

How to Identify a Orange Winged Amazon Parrot

Orange winged Amazon parrots are a popular choice of pet. Their bright feathers, affectionate nature, and incredible skill at speaking, appeal to parrot lovers all over the world. In the wild the orange winged Amazon parrot, should only be scene in Southern America, but do to people who have been irresponsible with their pet birds several of the parrots can be found living in the swamps and forests of the United States. Orange winged Amazon parrots mate for life. If you decide that you would like to have a orange winged Amazon parrot as a pet you need to be aware that they are very social birds and will be happiest if you have one or two other birds living in your home. The Orange winged Amazon parrot should be fed a commercial parrot mix and some fresh fruit.

Instructions

How to Identify a Orange Winged Amazon Parrot

    1

    When it is perched, it is hard to see how the orange winged Amazon parrot got its name. The body, which including the tail is twelve inches long, is covered in brilliant green feathers. The parrots belly is a shade lighter then the back feathers.

    2

    The orange winged Amazon parrot has a beak that is a combination of grey and beige at the base and darkens to black at the tip.

    3

    The orange winged Amazon parrots face mask is bright yellow. The parrots eyes, which are a dark red brown color, are accented by a thin line of pale blue or lavender feathers that accentuate the eyes.

    4

    When the orange winged Amazon parrot is in flight, you can easily see how the parrot got its name. In addition to some orange and blue showing in the unfolded wings, you will also notice that there are also some brilliant orange feathers on the underside of the tail. Orange winged Amazon parrots will frequently display their wings when they are climbing, something they love to do.

    5

    Young orange winged Amazon parrots look a little different from their mature parents. The chicks have brown eyes that will lighten as they grow. They are mostly pale green with just a few pale orange and blue feathers.

How to Hand Rear Budgies

How to Hand Rear Budgies

Getting a tame budgie means acquiring a hand-reared budgie. Breeders can increase the value of their baby birds by hand rearing their budgies.

Hand rearing gets the budgie accustomed to humans from the day of hatching. After the father feeds the budgies for the first time -- an event that takes place soon after birth -- you can take over raising the budgies yourself. Be certain that you have the time and the resources to hand raise your budgie, but rest assured that your efforts will result in budgies that are in high demand.

Instructions

    1

    Locate a nearby avian veterinarian in case of emergency. Not all vets have experience with birds, so don't assume that any vet can take care of your budgie. Check with local bird groups for recommendations and interview a few avian vets before your budgies hatch in case one becomes ill during hand rearing.

    2

    Purchase the supplies that you will need. Hand rearing budgies is not cheap -- make certain you can afford it before starting. You will need to purchase an incubator or brooder and special food to feed the budgies. Price the equipment you need online and at your local pet stores and buy it before the budgie eggs hatch.

    3

    Set up all equipment in a quiet area of your house. Clean and assemble everything that you will be using to hand rear the budgies. Finish this before the budgie eggs start to hatch.

    4

    Arrange your schedule. Hand-reared budgies need to be feed five times a day for the first four weeks. Cut the feedings to twice a day (morning and evening) around the fourth or fifth week after hatching.

    5

    Remove budgies and put them in the incubator. Once you start hand rearing the budgies the parents may reject them and even harm them. The incubator will keep the budgies warm. Start with high temperatures of 93 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week. Go down to 86 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit for the second week and down to 82 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit for the third. For the fourth week, keep the temperature at 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce further the fifth week to 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Take it down to the range of 77 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the sixth week, then 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit until the budgie reaches eight weeks. The budgies can safely be removed from the incubator to a cage at eight weeks.

    6

    Feed the budgies. There are numerous commercial formulas of hand-rearing food available -- choose the one that meets your budget. Prepare the hand-rearing food according to the directions. Put the food into the syringe (about 2ml at a time) and place the tip of the syringe into the budgie's beak. Press down on the plunger slowly. Repeat until the budgie stops eating. Weigh the budgies often to make certain they are gaining weight.

    7

    Wean the budgies. At four or five weeks, offer the budgies a commercial seed mix. Also provide chopped up fresh fruits and vegetables -- do not use canned because of the high salt and sugar content. As the birds begin to eat the seed and fresh foods, reduce and finally eliminate the hand feedings. To keep the budgies tame, continue to handle them until they are ready to go to their new homes.

Brazilian Pygmy Owl's Diet

The Brazilian pygmy owl, known as the Least pygmy owl, is a resident of Brazil, but can be found in Argentina and parts of Paraguay. At a mere 5 to 6 inches tall, it is the smallest owl species. It lives in the evergreen rainforest and the forest edge where it hunts lizards, insects, and smaller birds.

Birds of Prey

    The rain forests of Brazil are home to millions of species of insects, vertebrates, and plants. The Least pygmy owl nests in the rain forest trees and maintains a hunting area away from its nest. Like all owls, the Least pygmy owl is a bird of prey, hunting live food and consuming it right away. Most owls will hunt whatever is easiest to find and adapt their hunting style to fit the prey.

Lizards

    The Least pygmy-owl hunts primarily from a perch in the forest. This may be a low branch or stump. The owl will wait on the perch for the lizard to appear. When it does, the owl will dive toward the prey with spread wings, talons stretched forward. In some cases, the Pygmy owl may simply drop on the target, opening their wings at the last moment. The Brazilian rain forest is populated with as many as 468 species of reptiles, including anoles and caiman lizards.

Insects and Small Birds

    When an insect or small bird is spotted, the Least pygmy owl will fly straight toward it, keeping its head focused on the prey until the last second. Then the owl will pulls its head back and push its feet toward the prey, spreading the talons. Brazil is home to about 1,622 species of birds such as lorikeets and macaws, and 70,000 species of insects, such as green and brown grasshoppers and stick insects. Most of these thousand of species inhabit the Amazon rainforests.

Different Kinds of Vultures

Different Kinds of Vultures

The image of a vulture can be unpleasant, as its presence signifies a dead or dying animal is near. While vultures will seek out carcasses, their ability to clean up the dead and destroy potentially diseased animals is of benefit to humans. They serve a great purpose in the food chain. There are several breeds of vultures. While you may not at first see their interesting characteristics, each is distinctive in their own way.

Turkey Vulture

    Turkey vultures are large, dark birds with long, wide wingspans. Found in North, South and Central America, they prefer to glide along thermal air drafts, as they are not strong flyers. You will see them in groups wobbling through the air on drafts that allow them to smell the food they are looking for. Unlike the black vulture, they find food based on a highly developed sense of smell. You can identify them in flight because of their raised wings, which form a "V." These vultures appear black from a distance, but are actually brown, with a featherless red head and pale bill.

Black Vulture

    The black vulture occupies the same geographical areas as the turkey vulture. It is a larger vulture, twice as large in both size and wingspan. Black vultures are strong flyers that hunt by sight instead of smell. You will find them gathered around trash dumps and slaughterhouses looking for leftover food, but their flying skills and keen vision allow them to hunt and kill animals as well. A large white patch underneath their wings is visible as they are in flight, and serves as another way to visually distinguish them from turkey vultures.

King Vulture

    The King vulture is also known as the American king vulture. It has a colorful plumage that includes a yellow-crested bill and yellow and red bare skin on its head. This vulture is a tropical vulture that resides only in the warm forest areas of Central America, including Brazil. Its primary food is the dead carcasses of animals. It does not kill the food it eats. At best, it may attack a dying animal, but this is rare. In captivity these vultures feed only on dead animals.

Cape Griffon Vulture

    Cape Griffon vultures are seen as Old World or early species vultures. They are found mainly in Africa, specifically south and southwest Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the southeastern Republic of South Africa. They seek out their food by sight, and often, one vulture's prize will quickly be discovered by others who see him circling the prey. This leads to vicious fights over the carcass. Cape Griffon vultures are known for having powerful beaks capable of rapidly tearing and consuming up to three pounds of food in a few minutes. Because of this, fights over food will be intense, but end quickly.

Canaries & How They Get Along With Other Birds

Canaries & How They Get Along With Other Birds

Canaries are a familiar type of pet bird, known for their bright yellow feathers. These birds are actually members of the finch family and are native to the Canary Islands. Many bird owners wonder whether their canaries can be housed with other species of birds, or if they must be caged alone. Learning about canary interactions with other birds can help pet owners make the right decision for their birds' health and happiness.

Temperament

    Canaries are relatively small, docile birds. They show little aggression toward one another, or to other birds, though males may squabble during breeding season. These gentle, brightly colored birds are unlikely to bully others in a mixed aviary, but may be the target of aggression from larger or more active cage mates.

History

    Canaries have been kept for hundreds of years and have gradually developed into a form that resembles the wild bird very little. Wild canaries are greenish yellow with some yellow patches, while captive canaries come in a wide range of bright colors, including the familiar yellow, bright orange, scale patterns and many other interesting varieties. Modern canaries may also sing with their beaks closed (rollers) and mimic simple sets of notes.

Mixed Aviaries

    Canaries may be kept together with other types of birds, but some types are more appropriate than others. As canaries are a type of finch, they are most likely to do well when kept with other finches, such as zebra and society finches. Canaries do much less well when housed with parrots and other hookbill birds, due to their size and diet differences.

Warning

    Parrots and their relatives may bully canaries, biting off toes and even killing the smaller birds. Even parakeets can kill canaries, despite their relatively similar size. Canaries are physically inferior to hookbill birds and should never be housed in the same aviary with them. Some birds, such as zebra finches, may also toss canary eggs out of the nest during breeding season. Watch nests carefully if you choose a mixed aviary.

Considerations

    House canaries only with birds that share a similar diet. While canaries and finches are both finch-type birds, most finches require more calories and higher fat in their diet. Canaries housed with finches may soon become overly fat. Canaries housed with more energetic birds may also be agitated. Watch your bird's physical condition to make sure your mixed aviary is working out.

How to Raise Parrots for Profit

How to Raise Parrots for Profit

Raising and selling parrots can be fraught with difficulties, and if effective care is not taken, these beautiful birds can easily contract diseases that can quickly spread through an aviary. However, the task of raising and selling parrots can be rewarding, enjoyable and ultimately, profitable. The success of a sales operation will depend on the care a parrot receives while it is being nurtured. A bird that has been looked after meticulously during nurturing, will provide a new owner with years of enjoyment and encourage repeat business through positive recommendations.

Instructions

    1

    Treat the task of raising a parrot as seriously as you would treat the task of raising a small child. There will be times when a young parrot will make demands on you at the most inopportune time. Accept the responsibility of the task, completely before you begin. Buy as many manuals and books on the subject, so you can establish a sound basic knowledge of raising parrots.

    2

    Start out with just one young parrot, to get a feel for raising them, before moving on to larger numbers. Although the loss of a single parrot can be saddening, it will be much less traumatic for the birds, and yourself, if you do not suffer losses in larger quantities. Although breeding may be an option in the future, it is best to start with a young parrot that can be raised to a fully grown specimen, with a higher market value.

    3

    Build an aviary that gives adequate space for your parrots, while they are being raised. Fill the aviary with sufficient eating and drinking points, that actively encourage birds to work for their food. Keep a careful eye on dietary needs, and be prepared to make changes if droppings are inconsistent or excessively moist. Ensure toys and mirrors are available to provide stimulation, as this will help to keep your parrots happy and social. Maintain a temperature of approximately 68 degrees Fahrenheit, at all times, and ensure the aviary is kept clean.

    4

    Interact with parrots as they grow, but do not do so excessively. Like people, parrots have individual characteristics and not all of them will respond well to being handled constantly. However, your birds will be more marketable if they learn to be sociable with humans. Handle each at least once a day, and talk to the parrots every time aviary cleaning and feeding takes place. Social interaction with people and other parrots can help to provide a stimulated environment, making your birds friendlier and easier to sell.

    5

    Consider your selling options, carefully. Ensure that your aviary is easily accessible, so potential customers can view them without hindrance. Establish a sales campaign and note how often you will need to run it, based on the time it takes to rear each group of parrots. Advertisements in pet magazines and websites are often fruitful, but remember, advertising costs will have an impact on profits. Avoid mail order sales, because you will have no influence over the way your parrot is treated once the transit process begins.

    6

    Work your way up to owning a large number of birds. Once you know you can raise them safely, consider investing in an incubator, so that you can hatch and raise parrots yourself. This is a huge undertaking, and you will need to invest a lot of time and money into hatching and rearing baby birds, so consider this before any breeding program is established.

What Kind of Insects Do Woodpeckers Eat?

What Kind of Insects Do Woodpeckers Eat?

Woodpeckers are so named because they peck away at the trunks of many trees, creating a loud tapping noise that echoes through forests. The main reason they hammer away at tree trunks is to find insects and other food behind the bark. All 180 plus species of woodpeckers belong to the family Picidae and they can be found all over the world.

Primary Diet

    Insects make up the majority of a woodpecker's diet. Ants are particularly preferred by woodpeckers in general, but they also enjoy critters like caterpillars, wood-boring insects, grubs, spiders and beetles. The Pileated woodpecker especially favors carpenter ants, but will feed on different bugs when needed. Woodpeckers will find most of the insects that they need under the bark of the trees in their territory.

Secondary Foods

    Although insects are the primary food source of woodpeckers, they will also find sustenance in other ways. When their insect food supply is depleted, woodpeckers will attain their nutritional needs from things like the sap of a tree, nuts, seeds, berries and other fruit.

Eating Habits

    Woodpeckers tend to search for food and stick to same territory year after year. As the food supply changes throughout the different seasons, their diet will change slightly according to what food source is most plentiful at the time. Using their pecking skills and their strong beaks, they can tunnel deep into tree trunks in an attempt to acquire food. They have especially long tongues with a sticky substance to help them gather as many insects as possible. Unlike most birds, woodpeckers have zygodactal feet, meaning they have two forward facing toes and two backward facing toes. This is to assist them in clinging on to the sides of tree trunks while they excavate for insects or sap.

Stats

    The largest woodpeckers measure in at 21 inches long and weigh up to 1.25 lbs. The smallest woodpeckers are about 6 inches long. Their average lifespan is between four to 11 years. They usually have a clutch size of about four eggs that hatch after about a two week incubation period. They become independent approximately 25 to 30 days later.

Interesting Facts

    Woodpeckers are motivated to drum on tree trunks for reasons other than hunger. The noise also serves the purpose of marking the boundaries of their territory. They tap on trees to communicate with other woodpeckers as well. Additionally, the pecking sound is used in courtship to attract mates. There are special, stiff feathers over the nostrils of a woodpecker to stop them from inhaling bits of wood as they hammer away. Defenders of Wildlife states that woodpeckers drum on tree trunks approximately 8,000 to 12,000 times per day.

How to Tell if My Blue & White Parakeet Is a Male or a Female?

How to Tell if My Blue & White Parakeet Is a Male or a Female?

Knowing the gender of your blue and white parakeet is important for a few reasons. Of course, knowing if you have a male or female is often helpful in the naming process. In addition, if you want to mate your parakeets, knowing their sex is imperative. Fortunately, it is rather easy to tell if your blue and white parakeet is a male or female.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the fleshy area above the parakeet's beak. This is called the cere, which is the skin that surrounds the parakeet's nostrils.

    2

    Note the color of the cere. If the cere is white, tan or brown, your parakeet is female. A brown cere tends to be flaky and thick. If the cere is blue or purple in color, the parakeet is a male.

    3

    Watch the behavior of your blue and white parakeet. Males tend to sing a lot, bob their heads and be friendly and outgoing. Female parakeets are noisy, rather bossy and do not sing.

Jumat, 28 September 2012

What Do Wild Senegal Parrots Eat?

The Senegal parrot is a western African species that is common and widespread throughout its vast range. It has a varied diet in nature, but is considered a farm pest due to its love of feeding on some cultivated crops.

Habitat

    The Senegal parrot is generally found in open woodland, savanna and in some agricultural fields. The population is difficult to estimate due to its large range.

Senegal Diet In The Wild

    Senegal parrots in the wild feed on seeds, nuts, fruits and blossoms, and are notorious for enjoying African farmer's fields of millet and corn.

Breeding And Nesting Habits

    In nature, Senegal parrots breed from September to November, and bond by feeding one another. They nest high in the holes of trees; oils palms being one of their favorites.

The Senegal Parrot As A Pet

    A hand-raised Senegal can make an excellent pet. It needs to be socialized at an early age, and must have regular attention and gentle play in order to remain tame. It usually bonds with one person only.

Pet Senegal Diet

    A Senegal parrot can thrive on a diet of commercial hook-bill seed and pellets, along with a varied assortment of raw nuts, fruits and vegetables that are considered safe for parrots to eat.

How to Tell a Female Bald Eagle From a Male Bald Eagle

How to Tell a Female Bald Eagle From a Male Bald Eagle

The bald eagle is our national emblem. This proud bird reflects Americas strength, freedom and loyalty. The bird is not actually bald; it is called this because of its white feathers on its head. The bald eagle selects a mate and they are together for life. This great bird does not have many natural enemies; sometimes the horned owl or an occasional raccoon can threaten them, but humans are its worst enemies. Male and female bald eagles are almost identical in appearance, but there are a couple of ways to tell the difference.

Instructions

    1

    Weigh the bird. The female is usually slightly larger than the male of the species according to Baldeagle.org. The average weight of the female at adulthood is 11 pounds and the male is 9 pounds.

    2

    Measure the wingspan, typically the males wings when stretched to their full breadth are 6 feet and 8 inches and the female is 7 feet and 3 inches.

    3

    Measure the eagles bill. The female bald eagle has a slightly longer bill than the male.

    4

    Check the size of the rear claws; these are called the hallux talons. The females rear claws will be larger.

How to Raise Peafowl for Profit

How to Raise Peafowl for Profit

Peafowl are one of the simplest birds to raise and offer several profit opportunities. Feathers can be sold for $1 to $20 each, fertilized eggs can be sold for $3 to $5 each and hatched peachicks can be sold for around $50. Mature peafowl can be sold for anywhere from $75 to $300 each. The costs associated with the main initial investment of the chicken coop enclosure can vary depending on how elaborate and large the coop. Monthly feed and worming medication costs can start at around $15 a week and increase as the number of peafowl increases. Once the peafowl are ready to be sold, advertisements must be placed to attract buyers. The cost for local advertisments generally start at around $20.

Instructions

    1

    Prepare a caged enclosure before the new peafowl arrive. Peafowl need to be enclosed and require approximately 100 square feet for each adult bird. The cage must be at least 6 feet tall due to the height of a mature male peacocks feathers while in full plumage. Lightly cover the bottom of the cage with straw. Set the water and food containers on different sides of the cage to prevent these sloppy eaters from making a mess. Stock the feeding trays with gamebird food. Furnish the enclosure with some trees or posts to be used as perches. Peafowl do not sleep on the ground and need a place to perch.

    2

    Purchase young peafowl from a reputable breeder. Make sure to buy more females than males. Male peacocks can mate with multiple peahens depending on the size of their feathers. Longer feathers attract as many as five peahens for mating. It is not recommended for novice bird breeders to try and hatch fertilized eggs to start a flock.

    3

    Worm your birds once a month. A liquid dewormer is applied to the birds drinking water.

    4

    Look for signs of mating. Male peacocks dance around the peahen while in heat making loud noises and displaying their feathers. Receptive peahens gently cluck and lay on the ground. The male will mount the female for fertilization.

    5

    Gather any fallen feathers from the male after mating. This is the first opportunity to make some money. Many artists supply stores and decorators will buy peacock feathers.

    6

    Encourage nesting after mating is complete. Distribute more straw on the ground. Females will begin laying eggs each day beginning in the spring. Fertilized eggs that are destined for sale must be incubated immediately upon removal from the peahens' clutch and kept at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Peafowl eggs are usually sold from home. Local advertisements and word of mouth attract potential customers interested in purchasing fertilized peafowl eggs.

    7

    Keep newly hatched peachicks warm. Put them in a brooder at 95 degrees and lower the temperature five degrees each week for the first 6 to 8 weeks. These peachicks can be sold.

    8

    Place an advertisement in the local paper. Make sure to include species, price, age, and contact info. Approach flower and jewelry stores. They may be interested in purchasing feathers. Fertilized eggs and peachicks may be sold to others interested in raising peafowl for profit. Some additional potential customers may want to raise these beautiful birds as a pleasant aesthetic addition to their home. Others may even be interested in raising peafowl for the meat to be served at home or at a restaurant.

The Type of Water Rockhopper Penguins Drink

The Type of Water Rockhopper Penguins Drink

There are three types of Rockhopper penguins: The Eastern, the Southern and the Northern Rockhopper. Rockhopper penguins are generally smaller than other types of penguins. They are marked by distinct physical attributes like stripes above the eyes and a short bill that is usually a dark brown or reddish color. Most Rockhopper colonies tend to nest in rocky areas near freshwater springs and will bathe in and drink freshwater.

The Southern Rockhopper

    Southern Rockhopper penguins, especially in the Falkland Islands, exist on a diet of small fish and crustaceans.
    Southern Rockhopper penguins, especially in the Falkland Islands, exist on a diet of small fish and crustaceans.

    The Southern Rockhopper penguin is native to the Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina. Southern Rockhoopers are known to rear their chicks to fledgling state. Along with freshwater, the Southern Rockhopper, especially those in the Falkland Islands will feed on a diet of small fish and crustaceans.

The Northern Rockhopper

    Northern Rockhopper penguins can be found in the St. Paul and Amsterdam Islands.
    Northern Rockhopper penguins can be found in the St. Paul and Amsterdam Islands.

    Northern Rockhoppers are known to be found in areas such as Tristan de Cunha and the St Paul and Amsterdam Islands. As with other types of Rockhoppers, the Northern stay around areas containing freshwater and will feed on small crustaceans

The Eastern Rockhopper

    Easten Rockhoppers inhabit islands like Prince Edward and Crozet.
    Easten Rockhoppers inhabit islands like Prince Edward and Crozet.

    Eastern Rockhoppers are found in and around the islands of Prince Edward, Crozet and Marion. They, too, drink and bathe in freshwater. Eastern Rockhoppers are not known to rear their chicks.

Characteristics of the Rockhopper

    Rockhoppers were once considered a sub-species.
    Rockhoppers were once considered a sub-species.

    Rockhoppers are considered very aggressive in nature, especially when compared to other types of penguin. They are know as "Rockhoppers" for the way they travel; short-hopping over the rocky terrains where they live. For a long time Rockhoopers where considered a sub-species of penguin, but are now considered a full species.

How to Breed Baldhead Rollers

How to Breed Baldhead Rollers

Raising baldhead roller pigeons for competitive flying and exhibition are popular hobbies that provide competition and fellowship among fellow baldhead roller enthusiasts. Domestic pigeons lay two eggs per clutch. Eggs hatch in approximately 18 days. Both male and female pigeons incubate eggs and feed their young. Male pigeons incubate the eggs from late morning to late afternoon and the female takes her turn in the late afternoon to late morning. Both parent birds feed and protect their babies. The baldhead color pattern occurs in both flying and exhibition roller pigeons. Choosing superior breeding stock is the foundation of breeding baldhead rollers of either type. Researching champion bloodlines is a first step in breeding quality baldhead roller pigeons.

Instructions

    1
    Baldhead is a color pattern featuring a white head.
    Baldhead is a color pattern featuring a white head.

    Research the conformation standard for the type of baldhead rollers you're breeding. Flying rollers are trim and muscular, while exhibition baldhead rollers are more substantial and color correctness and overall appearance is emphasized over flying ability. Find conformation standards for baldhead rollers through roller pigeon clubs and breeder websites.

    2
    All domestic pigeons originated from the rock dove.
    All domestic pigeons originated from the rock dove.

    Select birds for your breeding program that most closely meet the color standard for baldhead rollers. Birds must have white heads, white under carriage -- lower portion of bird behind its legs -- and exactly 12 white tail feathers. Colored feathers in any of the dedicated white areas are a show fault. Baldhead rollers are permitted to have a "break" in flight feathers. A bird that has 4 white flights, two colored flights, and two white flights is considered to have 10 white flights. Eyes must be dark, also called "bull eyes." Any other eye color is a disqualification for showing baldhead rollers.

    3
    Keeping pigeons teaches children kindness and respect for animals.
    Keeping pigeons teaches children kindness and respect for animals.

    Identify the colors of baldhead rollers you want to breed and study the genetics for those colors. Buy pairs, or pair young birds according to desired colors and correctness of their baldhead pattern. Avoid breeding birds that have serious faults in their baldhead color pattern or structural conformation.

    4
    Exercising your baldhead rollers keeps them healthy.
    Exercising your baldhead rollers keeps them healthy.

    Set up your breeding pairs of baldhead rollers, either in individual cages for each pair or in a community loft. Provide two nest boxes and bowls for each pair. Provide nesting material such as clean straw or pine needles. Avoid placing nesting material below perching and roosting areas. Feed your birds a high quality pigeon food, but don't overfeed. Supply clean water and pigeon grit every day. Clean cages and lofts when necessary for preventing accumulations of waste.

    5
    Pigeons are prolific breeders.
    Pigeons are prolific breeders.

    Keep records of each pair of baldhead rollers and their young. Note when eggs are laid, when they hatch, and observe the colors of the young as their feathers come in. Banding baby pigeons is required for competing in flying or exhibiting your baldhead rollers. Buy bands from a roller club. Record each bird's band number and establish a separate record for each baldhead roller your raise.

How to Hand-Tame Wild Birds

How to Hand-Tame Wild Birds

Soaring above the clouds, birds embody wildness and freedom. Birds have been important symbols in many cultures throughout history, representing deities and concepts such as beauty and liberty. The thought of teaching a wild bird to eat out of your hand might seem like just a fantasy. However, it is possible to hand-tame even the most skittish bird species in approximately a month's time with patience and persistence.

Instructions

    1

    Erect a bird feeder near your home. Birds will frequent the feeder and learn to ignore your presence as you work around your property as they feed. Keep the feeder filled with bird seed at all times to encourage birds to visit your property consistently.

    2

    Add a few fresh chopped nuts somewhere on the feeder where the birds can reach it immediately. Placing nuts like this gives the birds a special treat because they don't have to pick through the seed to reach it. Most birds relish fresh nuts and will remember that your feeder offers this favorite food. Fill your feeder in the early morning, when birds are most likely to seek out a feeding station for the day.

    3

    Stand approximately 15 feet from the feeder and quietly observe the birds. You can talk softly to familiarize them with the sound of your voice, but avoid making any sudden movements. Repeat this step for three or four days, or until the birds disregard your presence at this distance.

    4

    When the birds are completely at ease with you at the 15-foot distance, move 1 foot closer to the feeder per day until you are standing directly in front of it. Consistency is important--the more often you visit the feeder, the faster the birds will learn to accept you. If the birds appear agitated or fly away at any time during this process, back up a foot and stand calmly until they return and once again accept your presence.

    5

    When you can stand at the feeder without disturbing the birds, slip on your gloves, remove some seed and nuts from the feeder, and place them in your gloved palm. Stand quietly as the birds move in to explore the food in your hand. The birds may cling onto the feeder at first as they pick food from your hand but eventually will move down onto your fingers as they feed. It may take two or three days or more until the birds explore the food in your hand, but if you remain quiet they will eventually nibble from your hand.

    6

    Repeat the feeding process daily, gradually moving away from the feeder two or three steps per day, then standing still and extending your hand with a nut. The birds will associate your open palm with a treat. Eventually, they will watch you and follow you around, landing in your open hand to enjoy treats you offer them.

How to Hatch Coturnix Quail Eggs

How to Hatch Coturnix Quail Eggs

Coturnix quail, also known as Japanese quail, are one of the most widely raised species of quail. Originally domesticated and bred in Japan as early as the 12th century, Coturnix quail are most often raised for meat. Coturnix quail are prolific egg layers, with each hen laying as many as 15 eggs per clutch. This abundance of eggs often makes it necessary to hatch Coturnix quail eggs in an incubator to produce the highest number of live chicks.

Instructions

    1

    Gather fertilized eggs from your existing Coturnix flock, or purchase them from a local breeder. Place the eggs in a shallow plastic storage tub. Store the eggs in a clean, cool room with a temperature of approximately 60 F. The eggs can be stored this way for up to seven days before being moved to your incubator.

    2

    Prepare your incubator. Use the incubator's thermometer and hygrometer to set the temperature to 99.5 F and approximately 60 percent humidity before placing the eggs in the trays. Turn your eggs twice a day to prevent the embryos from sticking to one side of the egg. Mark one side of each egg with a permanent marker so you know which ones you have already turned. Leave your eggs in the incubator for 17 days, observing them carefully during the last two or three days to catch any chicks that may hatch early.

    3

    Set up your brooder boxes 24 hours before your eggs are due to hatch. There should be enough space for your Coturnix chicks to move around without getting cold. Fill your dishes with clean water and quail starter. Place the dishes inside your brooders. Plug in your heat lamps and allow them to run and warm up the brooders prior to placing your chicks inside.

    4

    Move your newly hatched Coturnix quail chicks to the brooders once they are dry and completely free of their shell. Your chicks may hatch at different rates, so keep a close eye on all the eggs to make sure all the chicks get placed in the brooder as soon as possible. Quail chicks are smaller than other species of poultry and will huddle together for warmth, often crushing each other if the temperature is too low. Add another heat lamp to your brooder if you notice your chicks huddled together under the lamp and not eating or drinking.

Do I Have to Separate My Male & Female Canaries?

Do I Have to Separate My Male & Female Canaries?

It is not necessary to separate a male and female canary who occupy the same cage under normal circumstances. However, canaries are prolific breeders, which means that housing a male and female together during breeding season can result in unwanted chicks. Additionally, if the male and female do not get along socially, there may need to be a period of acclimation before they can be housed together. Knowing how to introduce a potential pair can prevent injury and unnecessary stress.

Introductions

    Immediately separate pairs that are showing signs of aggression.
    Immediately separate pairs that are showing signs of aggression.

    Males cannot be housed with other males; however, several hens can be housed in a single aviary with one cock. When making introductions, a second cage may be needed if either exhibit aggression behaviors such as pecking and chasing. Overstressed birds can become scared and risk breaking a wing trying to escape predators or overly dominant mates. If there are signs of acceptance such as snuggling and preening, then the pair should be safe to house together.

Aviary Space

    When keeping more than a single canary, space requirements must be met to maintain optimal environmental conditions within the aviary. Longer cages are preferred to taller cages to allow room for perches, which must be arranged to allow and encourage flight. Perches should be natural wood rather than sandpaper or plastic, and of various sizes. A hiding nest, food and water dishes and one or two natural textured toys will provide optimal cage conditions. A canary diet that includes pellets, seed, vegetables, fruits and grit daily will reduce illness and increase overall health.

Facts

    While males are more vocal, both males and females engage in "chitter" and social interacting. Canaries can live up to 15 years in optimal conditions. Canaries require a mineral block as well as oyster shell grit to help digest their food. Both the male and female engage in raising the chicks in their natural environment of the Canary Islands.

Warnings and Considerations

    Unlike some of the larger species of companion birds, canaries should be able to fly from one side of the cage to the other for optimal wing health. While cage covers are not necessary, they prevent drafts and allow canaries the 12 hours of rest they require. Canaries are not inexpensive and require check-ups and a clean, safe environment free from toxins and aerosols to thrive.

What Kinds of Harmful Chemicals Do They Feed Chickens?

What Kinds of Harmful Chemicals Do They Feed Chickens?

There are different kinds of chicken feed available for different breeds, ages and culinary uses of chickens, but not all feeds are created equal. Some contain ingredients that are dangerous, and can actually be harmful to both the livestock that consume it and the humans that consume the livestock.

Steroid Hormones

    Steroid hormones are added to some chicken feeds, specifically those fed to chickens that need to grow faster for more mature muscle content before butchering. This helps chicken farmers raise and sell chickens ready for slaughtering faster and with less cost to their operation due to a reduction in feed costs. However, these hormones are still present in chicken meat even after slaughtering and cooking, which means humans are getting this extra dose of steroid hormones too.

Roxarsone

    Roxarsone is an arsenic-based chemical added to some chicken feeds, designed to fight parasites, increase growth rates and improve the pigmentation in the meat. Roxarsone is harmless on its own, but when it is ingested by a chicken and then ingested by humans, it turns into a malignant form of arsenic. The American Chemical Society reported at the time of publication that an estimated 9 billion broiler chickens a year are fed feed containing roxarsone. Its effects on humans are still unknown.

Melamine

    Melamine, a chemical used to manufacture plastics, is sometimes added to chicken feed unknowingly by way of contaminated wheat products. Any feed that is found to contain melamine is recalled and the poultry that consumed it is not sold for human consumption.

Pesticides

    Pesticides are chemicals that help to control insect infestations on agricultural products, such as the grains and seeds that are ingredients of chicken feed. According to SustainableTable.org, at the time of publication approximately 66 percent of America's grain production is used in livestock feed. Pesticide contamination can come in the form of residues on grains in feed or in genetically modified grains that are grown with pesticides as part of their genetic makeups.

Penguins & Their Environment

Penguins & Their Environment

Penguins are a species of flightless bird common to the southern hemisphere. They are aquatic creatures that spend approximately half of their lives on land and half in the ocean. Many penguins live in Antarctica, a continent home to one of the harshest environments on Earth. They have adapted to life amid glaciers and freezing cold temperatures. Penguins have also proven capable of flourishing in other environments, with some species living as far north as the equator.

Penguin Origins

    First evidence of penguins in the fossil record turns up shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. These ancestors to modern penguins, called Waimanu, lived in New Zealand approximately 62 million years ago early in the Paleocene epoch. Waimanu possessed many similarities with their modern penguin counterparts. They resembled loons in their appearance, with short wings and an elongated body. Waimanu had already become flightless by this period and used their wings to dive into deep water for food. Some species of giant penguins appeared a few million years later. These ranged from Antarctica to as far north as Peru. Some varieties grew to six feet tall and weighed more than 80 kilograms. Most giant penguins became extinct around 25 million years ago.

Modern Penguins

    Penguin species today are distinguished by their black-and-white plumage and flippers in place of wings. A typical penguin is carnivorous. Its diet consists of krill, fish, squid,and other ocean-dwelling animals. Penguins catch their prey by diving underwater and swimming around using their feet and flippers. They are efficient swimmers and can travel at average speeds of 15 miles per hour in the water. Penguins cannot breathe under water, so the only time these birds are airborne is when they leap out of the water to breathe in some oxygen before submerging again or to propel themselves from the ocean onto nearby land. Most penguins live in colonies ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Cold Climates

    When people think of penguins, they naturally picture them living amid endless ice and snow. Penguins native to Antarctica have evolved over millions of years to thrive in the harsh living conditions presented by the southernmost continent. These penguins have a layer of blubber beneath their skin, much like whales, to help keep their bodies warm in extreme cold temperatures. They also have a double layer of plumage, an inner layer of fluffy down like feathers, and stiffer outer feathers. Oil covers the outer feathers to make them waterproof and windproof to aid in keeping a penguin warm. Penguins will also huddle together in large groups to maintain body heat. These groups can consist of hundreds of birds at any given time.

Warm Climates

    Contrary to popular belief, only a few species of penguins make their home in Antarctica. While it is true that all of these birds originate from the southern hemisphere, many penguins live farther north. Penguin species also appear in Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa. Currents that transfer cold waters to northern latitudes from the Antarctic Ocean allow penguins to thrive as far north as the Galpagos Islands. Penguins in warm weather climates have to find ways to beat the heat. One method they use to keep cool is to spread out their wings and fluff out their feathers. This allows them to release heat from their bodies more quickly.

Natural Pigeon Control

Natural Pigeon Control

Unlike deer and other pests, there are no plants or other completely natural remedies that will deter a pigeon from being a nuisance. There are however many ways to control pigeons without the use of chemicals or poisons, and these may be considered natural pigeon control. Every pest situation is different and patience will need to be exercised when trying to find the right remedy to get rid of a pigeon population.

Function

    Natural pigeon control helps keep messy pigeons from defecating on property. Pigeon droppings can actually stain some surfaces, so keeping them at bay is important for aesthetic purposes. Pigeon droppings can also carry bacteria and lead to illness, therefore controlling or preventing droppings from accumulating is also a health issue.

Types

    Pigeon Nest

    Natural pigeon control takes many forms. Some popular pigeon control techniques are as follows: removal of the nest, which will likely prompt the pigeons to leave and find a new nesting area; eliminating standing water, or cutting off access to water sources; eliminating waste, such as old food or garden clippings that pigeons enjoy eating; putting all pet food in containers and using a feeding system that is out of reach or difficult for the pigeons to get near.

Considerations

    Natural pigeon control can take effort and often creativity. To get rid of pigeons without harming them, a person needs to realize what it is that attracts the pigeons in the first place. If need be, other pigeon control methods are available, but require the purchase of equipment and often the removal of birds, which can be time consuming. Therefore, it is best to make your property non-pigeon friendly and scare them away instead of trapping or harming them.

Geography

    Pigeons tend to nest and congregate in out of reach spots, such as window ledges and balconies. Should pigeon control be needed in a generally out of reach area, or in a spot that will need constant monitoring, a simple remedy of using fishing line can work wonders. Simply string clear fishing line back and forth in the area that pigeons tend to land. The string should be at least 1 inch off of the surface on which they land. Nails, tape or pins can be used to secure the fishing line and keep it pulled tightly. This solution should make the area uncomfortable for pigeon landing and perching.

Warning

    Although many people consider pigeons to be a pest, it would be wise to refrain from harming them. State laws vary and might actually protect pigeons. Harming or killing a pigeon can lead to fines or worse, depending on the state or city in which a person resides. Some cities have banned the poisoning of pigeons, and there is evidence that shows that the killing of pigeons will result in an increase of their population at a later time. Natural pigeon control is the safest and most effective method of controlling pigeons.

Kamis, 27 September 2012

How to Hatch Quail Eggs in the Classroom

How to Hatch Quail Eggs in the Classroom

Hatching eggs in a classroom is a popular way of teaching children about the growth of life. Quail eggs are a good choice for this, since they are easy to hatch and unusual without being too difficult to find. Many children, especially in city classrooms, will have never seen a quail before; they may not have seen any baby birds in real life. Hatching eggs can be an exciting and educational experience for kids.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure that you have a home for your quail when you no longer intend to keep them in the classroom. Call local farmers to ask if they'd like the birds. Do not plan on simply taking the birds to an animal shelter, as these are often already overcrowded and strained for resources.

    2

    Purchase an incubator. This is vital to the quail's growth inside the egg. Incubators come in different price ranges, and have varying levels of success hatching eggs. If funds are a problem, try finding one used online, or call other schools nearby that might have already done a lesson on hatching eggs.

    3

    Purchase fertilized quail eggs. Again, this can often be done by calling local farmers, or perhaps visiting a farm supply store. Many people may be willing to donate the eggs since they are being used for educational purposes.

    4

    Place the eggs inside the incubator, according to your incubator's instructions.

    5

    If necessary, turn your eggs. Some of the more expensive incubators will do this automatically, but otherwise they will have to be rotated by hand twice daily. This includes weekends and school holidays, so ensure that you or someone else can be there during these times.

    6

    Your quail eggs will hatch in about 17 days, so make sure this is going to be a school day. It's best to have a cushion of a day or two for variables, so try to have the hatching day fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

    7

    When the quails hatch, give them fresh water (shallow, so they can't drown) and food. Ask your local farm supply store what food is appropriate for quail chicks. If unsure, you can always go with food for turkey chicks. Do not attempt to give them seed intended for pet birds.

The Difference Between a Male Penguin & a Female Penguin

The Difference Between a Male Penguin & a Female Penguin

Penguins are birds that travel best by swimming, as neither male nor female penguins are able to fly. There are 17 species of penguins, according to eoearth.org. They vary in size, depending on species, the emperor penguin being the largest. Most of the physical characteristics of penguins vary based on species as opposed to gender.

Appearance

    Male and female penguins do not differ much when it comes to appearance. It may not be possible to tell the two apart without any indications from their behavior. A penguin's appearance acts as camouflage. Their coloring and feathers make them harder to see by both predators and prey when they are swimming.

Courting

    The way penguins court can vary among species, but there are similarities despite the difference in breeding seasons and habitats of the various species. Male penguins are typically the ones that establish the nest. They do this before they search for a mate. It is the female, not the male, that chooses who they mate with each season.

Mating

    Penguins breed in large colonies. Most penguins are monogamous. Female penguins that are not monogamous can have up to three partners, while males may have up to two.

Breeding

    The breeding season for penguins depends on the species, as does the number of eggs the female lays. The breeding season for a king penguin can last 16 months. Females lay two eggs, although this can vary depending on species. Once the female lays her eggs, both the male and female penguins take turns incubating it, the male going first. The second egg usually gets preferential treatment and is often the only one that hatches.

New Breeding Seasons

    Sixty-two percent of the time female penguins choose to return to the mate they paired up with during the previous breeding season, according to seaworld.org. If a female chooses a different partner, it is often because her previous mate did not return for the mating season. It may also be because the male did not return to the breeding site at the same time, or he found a new mate.

How to Tell the Gender of a Jenday Conure

The Jenday conure makes a devoted pet. The bird craves attention and interaction with its owner. It breeds readily in captivity. Breeding can occur throughout the year. They make loving parents who dote on their young. Both male and female Jenday conures look almost identical in physical appearance. Surgical or DNA sexing will establish beyond a shadow of a doubt the bird's sex, but an owner can make physical observations of the bird to identify the male and female.

Instructions

    1

    Look closely at the Jenday conures eyes. The female has a light brown eye color. The featherless eye ring appears a grayish white. The male Jenday conure has a dark iris and his eye ring appears pure white in color.

    2

    Cup the conure in your hands, and gently feel the bird's pelvic bones. A male's pelvic bones will feel closer together than a female's.

    3

    Observe and weigh the two birds. Males weigh slightly less than females. The male conure weighs 4.4 oz., and the female usually weight 5.0 oz.

Why Do Roosters Crow?

Why Do Roosters Crow?

You know you're in the country when you hear a rooster crow at the crack of dawn (or at three in the morning). However, what actually makes a rooster crow? Is he warding off possible intruders or what he perceives as intruders?

Size

    Black Jersey Giant

    Roosters come in a multitude of breeds including the Golden Laced Wyandotte which is the rooster pictured on a certain breakfast cereal box. Growing up to 8 1/2 pounds the rooster is one of the most handsome of all breeds. The Black Jersey Giant is a prized show-bird weighing in at 11 pounds; standing out from the crowd, his black feathers have a green sheen and he has greenish-blue legs. Both these large breeds have good lungs for crowing at length and are extremely protective of their harem of hens. Acting as "look-outs" you will find these breeds frequently up trees scanning the horizon for danger.

Theories/Speculation

    Theories as to why roosters crow vary from disturbances in the coop at night, to neighborhood sounds that may seem to the rooster to be a sign of impending attack on his flock. A car starting will set the rooster crowing and perhaps this may be a territorial crowing similar to the barking of a dog protecting his territory. Switching on a light in the middle of the night will start a crowing fest; this may be because roosters believe the sun is rising.

Features

    A capon is a rooster that has been castrated. The rooster's reproductive organs are mainly internal although a short organ is produced from his body for mating purposes only. Once these organs are removed through surgical procedure, the capon will develop a buff, meatier appearance; the meat will not be stringy and tough like a regular slender rooster, but melt-in-the-mouth tender dark and white meat. The capon loses his aggressions and territorial instincts that he once possessed and acts more like a hen; he also loses his need to crow. The capon's dark and white meat is considered a delicacy to connoisseurs of fine meats.

Warning

    Rooster's crow to ward off what they see as a threat or trespassers to their coop. Roosters that are roaming "free range" with their hens will use their "spurs" located behind their claws to defend their territory. Never turn your back on a rooster because if he thinks his hens are in danger, he will attack by puffing out his feathers and flying at your back; spurs first. Hens will lay eggs without the help of a rooster; however, roosters fertilize the hen's eggs for the production of chicks.

Types

    Bantam roosters as well as standard roosters crow as loud as the other despite their small size. Rooster's start crowing at around five months of age and crow regularly until they die of natural causes or get put in the crock pot, which is the only way to cook them tender enough to eat.

How to Candle Turkey Eggs

How to Candle Turkey Eggs

Determining if your turkeys eggs are fertile can be a fun project for both kids and adults. Knowing if the eggs are indeed growing chicks can allow you to leave the fertile eggs to the parents and collect the non-fertile eggs for eating. You dont need fancy equipment, just a dark room and a bright flashlight. Candle turkey eggs quickly so the eggs can be returned to the parents or incubator quickly.

Instructions

    1

    Take the turkey egg and a flashlight into a dark room. The room should have as little light as possible coming into it.

    2

    Hold the egg in one hand. Shine the flashlight up from the bottom of the egg while holding the light close to (almost touching) the egg. This will produce a shadow of what is inside the egg.

    3

    Rotate the egg as needed to get a better view. But do not hold the egg up to the hot light for more than a minute or two; you dont want to cook the egg.

    4

    Take a close look at the shadow. Viable eggs will reveal a shadowy outline of the developing chick. At first it will look like a dark spot with veins radiating out. If it has been a week or two since the hen laid the egg, you may see the chick move.

What Is a Suet Cake?

What Is a Suet Cake?

A suet cake is a fat-based treat for birds that provides much-needed calories and fat year-round. Adding a suet cake to an outdoor garden will provide wild birds with the energy to breed, migrate, nest, molt, and feed their young. Bird watchers will also enjoy the wide variety of birds that will flock to feed on the suet cake.

What a Suet Cake Is Made Of

    Suet is typically beef fat, although fat from other animals is sometimes used. Combining the animal fat with seeds, nuts, berries, or other ingredients makes a suet cake. Suet cakes can be homemade by purchasing suet from a butcher and rendering the fat. They can also be purchased at a store. Store versions are typically highly processed, so they are convenient, less messy, and able to withstand higher temperatures without melting.

When to Feed Suet Cake

    Birds enjoy suet cakes all year long. However, winter is the ideal time for wild birds to feed on suet. The extra energy that the suet cake provides is especially helpful in the cold months, and there is no need to worry about melting suet. To feed a suet cake to birds, simply insert the cake into a wire-caged feeder (available at superstores, pet stores and wild bird specialty stores) and hang the feeder from a branch. Another alternative is a mesh bag, also hung from a branch.

Birds That Are Attracted To Suet Cake

    Cardinals, woodpeckers, robins, bluebirds, chickadees, starlings, creepers, warblers, jays, mockingbirds and wrens are among the wild birds that are attracted to suet cakes.

Make Your Own Suet Cakes

    Suet cakes can be very easy to make, and they require minimal ingredients. For a quick and nutritious suet cake without having to render the fat, combine one cup peanut butter, four cups cornmeal, one cup shortening (Crisco), and one cup white flour. Knead all ingredients and form into balls. Insert suet cakes into mesh bags and hang them from a tree.

Possible Suet Cake Problems

    Although suet cakes can be an easy and fun way to feed wild birds, they can be extremely messy and greasy to handle. Homemade varieties are especially greasy, so if the mess becomes bothersome, stick to store-bought suet cakes. Squirrels are also known to be attracted to suet. If squirrels seem to be dominating the suet, switch to a feeder with a squirrel baffle.

Love Birds Vs. Cockatiels

Love Birds Vs. Cockatiels

Lovebirds and cockatiels are both wonderful birds that make great pets. With your love and care, your lovebird or cockatiel will be a loyal friend and companion as long as it lives.

Behavior

    Both cockatiels and lovebirds are very affectionate, sweet birds. Lovebirds are more playful and acrobatic, and cockatiels tend to prefer more steady, stable environments.

Noise

    Lovebirds and cockatiels are usually fairly quiet birds. Lovebirds tend to chatter more like finches, whereas cockatiels tend to like to whistle. Both birds can become screamers if they're neglected.

Time

    Both birds need your time and attention daily. However, lovebirds form especially strong bonds and require steady companionship to be healthy and happy.

Health

    Cockatiels and lovebirds have the same type of pellet or seed diet, and both need fresh fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. When properly cared for, you can expect your cockatiel or lovebird to live for 15 to 20 years.

Price

    You can buy a common peach-faced lovebird for about the same price as a common gray or pied cockatiel.

Considerations

    Different birds will have different personalities, so it's a good idea to get to know the bird before you take it home. You can often adopt from local sanctuaries or find reputable breeders as alternatives to buying from a pet store.

How to Keep Birds Out of Front Door Wreaths

During the holidays, people like to decorate their homes, and the outside is just as fun to decorate as the inside. Wreaths can be made to celebrate many different holidays, but once you hang a wreath on your front door, it becomes an enticing place for birds to build a nest. You may think this is cute at first, however, you may change your mind when the birds start leaving their droppings on your front door.

Instructions

    1

    Find any aluminum products that you may have in your house and hang them up near your wreath. Birds do not like shiny objects, and this will deter them from coming anywhere near your wreath.

    2

    Fill a bowl with warm water. Crush up some chili peppers, and add them to the bowl. Set the bowl out in the sun for two days.

    3

    Pour the contents of the bowl in an empty spray bottle. Spray this mixture on your wreath. It will not hurt the wreath, but it will repel the birds if they get past the aluminum.