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Oct. 14th, 2013



Space Heaters Info

Originally posted by zandperl at Space Heaters Info

It's that time of year again: time to remind (Northern hemisphere) people of how to heat your house safely with birds in it. Since I keep answering this question in different contexts, here's a page I wrote with lots of info on it, newly updated for Winter 2013-2014.

Winter is coming.

Mar. 11th, 2012

birds, peaceful


Prepping branches for birds?

Hi group, I brought home a cherry tree branch and an apple tree branch home from my parents' backyard. Are they safe for parrots? How can I prep them so Muffin can happily gnaw on them? My parents don't use pesticides and none of their neighbours do either. Thanks!

Dec. 20th, 2011

Gabriel - Nibbles


What to do when your bird bites

I just came across these great Dos and Don'ts for if your bird bites you. Thought I'd share. :)

Sep. 5th, 2011



In case anyone's reading on a Monday night and can get me their thoughts quickly...

I made the mistake of microwaving a wooden item and it heated enough to smoke significantly but not actually catch on fire. Currently all windows in the kitchen are open (as are many others in the house) and I have a fan drawing air out from the kitchen to the outside. The bird room is adjacent to the kitchen: I have the door closed, window open, and a fan pulling air from outside into the room. (The intent of the fans is to have a bit of positive pressure pulling air from the bird room to the kitchen.)

I expect that it will take overnight for the last of the smoke to air out of the kitchen. My question is: is it better to keep the bird room windows open and fan going overnight, or to shut the windows and run a HEPA filter in the room overnight, or even keep the windows open and run the HEPA filter?


Aug. 27th, 2011



Hurricane prep?

Anyone on the East Coast US making or made any pet-specific hurricane prep? I live 100 miles inland, so I let my boyfriend convince me not to worry on my own behalf, but I decided to continue worrying on Kappa's behalf - if things did get bad here, I could always stop in to shelters for supplies for myself, but I couldn't bring Kappa.

I have an emergency kit (which desperately needs updating) and a sturdy travel carrier, and I decided to fill a few bottles with tap water now just in case we lose later. When the storm gets closer I can take some non-perishable pellets out of the freezer in case we lose power and I can feed Kappa only pellets until the power comes back. I'll leave the perishable pellets (both TOP and Harrison's are organic) and veggie mix in the freezer.

Anything else I should do to prep for Kappa?

Aug. 20th, 2011

Bird - !!!!


Veggie Mix!

I was just asked about what I give Kappa for a veggie mix, so I thought I would update this old PL post of mine with what I'm now doing and repost it here.

First off the background. Kappa is a 4 year-old dusky conure. She was weaned onto pellets and veggies, and her diet right now is approximately half each (by volume). She is very open to new foods and enjoys variety. She gets a reasonable amount of exercise - she is fully flighted and when she is out of the cage she occasionally flies to different rooms when her people move rooms, or just when she gets bored where she was.

Kappa's pellet mix is many different brands, including Roudybush, Zupreem, Higgins, TOP, and Harrison's. She also gets a small amount of treats, which rotates between almonds in the shell, millet spray, Nutriberries, and dried fruit. I often put some or all of this dry mix into foraging toys, which she enjoys greatly.

I prepare Kappa's veggie mix ahead of time, sometimes as frequently as once a month, sometimes as far apart as every three months, depending on quantities that I buy and how much space I have in the freezer. It takes a whole afternoon to prepare, but I don't have to sit and watch it the entire time. I pack it in multiple plastic containers and defrost a few days worth at a time in the fridge. I serve it to Kappa cold each morning, and I give her a small enough quantity that she can usually eat it in one sitting so I can leave the dish in her cage when I go to work.

Below the cut is more details on the veggie mix, both recipe and photos. Quantities are not exact in my recipe, since I usually eyeball things anyway, and I vary it each time. Everything is organic. My current mix is the result of recommendations from Kappa's breeder/boarder/local parrot store, from her avian certified vet, and from a friend of mine who has worked with educational birds.

Part 1: Grains and BeansCollapse )

Part 2: The VeggiesCollapse )

Pellet MixCollapse )

Photo spam!Collapse )

I hope this helps!
Tags: ,

Aug. 19th, 2011



Canning veggie mix?

Currently for Kappa's veggie mix I chop all the ingredients, cook half of them, add supplements, freeze it all, and give her the appropriate amount daily. Feeding fresh veggies daily is not an option for me due to things such as my personal schedule and how long veggies can keep before it goes bad. I cook half and leave half uncooked (though all gets frozen) with the thought that cooking or not cooking will change the nutritional value, so I want variety.

I'm starting to think about canning instead of freezing, and I'm curious if anyone has experience with canning bird veggies (or canning in general) and what you think of it.

My understanding of canning is that you have to heat all the contents to a temperature high enough to kill all sorts of germs. For non-acidic foods, which includes most of what we feed birds, this has to be higher than water can boil, so you need to use a pressure cooker as part of the process. You then seal the containers with the special canning lids, let them cool to room temperature, and then since everything is sterilized it can keep for months or years.

My questions include...
  1. Can I use my mother's old pressure cooker?

  2. Is there any way to know if everything is successful other than seeing if anything grows in the canned jars or seeing if Kappa gets sick?

  3. If I cook everything, will this destroy the nutritional value of it? I may be able to supplement with fresh veggies for a few days once a month, but not more than that.

  4. Got any good resources on canning (preferably online) that you would like to share?

Thanks! :)
Tags: ,



Just out of curiosity how do you feel about corn being the first ingredient in all the major pellet brands?

Aug. 11th, 2011


Kappa update

I'm sad this community hasn't seen much action lately, so here's a post about Kappa!

Kappa (dusky conure) is now 4 years old, of which I've had her for 3 of them (I got her in April 2008, she was hatched in April 2007). Since I've gotten her she's been fully flighted for nearly all of that time - she's occasionally clipped when I board her for more than a week and she gets in trouble with the other birds at the boarder's, but at this point she flies so well even when clipped that it doesn't really stop her. I'm so proud! We (Kappa, my partner, and I) live in a large 2-BR apartment. When I'm home for the day Kappa freely flies between the second bedroom (which we use as a home office and bird room) and a playstand hanging between the dining room and living room. Sometimes she also flies to the bathroom.

This summer she's been getting a bit more bold about exploring, for example when I'm on the couch she sometimes starts walking along the back of the couch - and attempting to chew holes in the couch cover, of course!

And just so it's not all boring pictures, here's a shot of her exploring the bathroom. :)

The Original

May. 31st, 2011

me and icarus


Susan Friedman 1-day seminar in Western MA!

An awesome parrot store near me is bringing Dr. Susan G. Friedman, PhD, for a one-day seminar called Behavior Works: A Course in Applied Behavior Analysis for People and Parrots.

The seminar will teach attendees:
The fundamental science of learning and behavior.
To understand and predict parrot behavior.
Methods to prevent and change problem behaviors.
To begin behavior change plans in the most effective and positive way.

Date and Time: Saturday, June 11th, 2011, from 9:00am - 5:30pm
Location: Tucker's Restaurant Banquet Hall, 625 College Highway, Southwick, MA
Cost: $65.00 per person (includes breakfast and lunch)

The seminar is sponsored by The Parrot and Bird Emporium. Call 413-569-5555 to register.

Dr. Friedman's bio: Behind the cutCollapse )

(x-posted to parrot_lovers and parrots101)

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