Monitoring Your Bird’s Body Condition

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Even though our pet birds are domesticated, there are still some natural characteristics that remain in them, such as the instinct to hide weight loss. In the wild birds are able to mask illness and weight loss as their lives depend on it. It is a survival feature that allows them not to look like the most vulnerable bird, thus protecting themselves from predators. Even in captivity birds can still do the same, and monitoring their weight will allow bird owners to establish if their bird is hiding illness or is in good body condition.

Body condition refers to the weight of your pet bird. If a bird is too thin, it could show signs of illness. If a bird is overweight, owners will be able to monitor their feeding habits to assist them in losing weight. It is vital for the bird owner to monitor the bird’s weight, as obesity can also lead to a number of health problems. The most effective and convenient way to monitor a bird’s weight is to buy a bird scale or any scale that is able to measure weight in grams. It is usually recommended that birds be weighed once a week when they are adults, and daily in younger birds, enabling owners to monitor their weight closely. When weighing a bird, owners should take into account whether the bird has been given a treat and depending if weighing times vary, the weight could vary too.

Another method of ensuring that a pet bird is in top body condition is to feel its keel bone. The keel bone is stands out from the chest bone and runs down the front of the bird, from the chest wall, at right angles. By gently moving one’s fingers across the keel bone, moving from top to bottom, the body condition can also be assessed. There are muscles attached to the keel bone, so in healthy birds, the edge of the keel bone should be able to be felt, while in obese birds, the keel bone will be harder to feel. In sickly birds, suffering from weight loss, the feel bone will be sharp and extremely prominent. Monitoring the body condition of a bird is vital to the overall health and welfare of domestic birds, and by assessing their weight and keeping notes on their weight variances, owners will be able to ensure that their birds are always healthy and happy.

2010 BOAF Bird Show

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

The annual BOAF Bird Show will be hosted for one day only, on 23 October 2010, at the All Dogs Gym in Manchester. Birds will still be on sale at the bird fair, with breeders at the vendors tables, as the Bird Sales Room will not be available at this year’s show. There will be an array of bird related products on sale at the fair, such as nutrition, toys, cages and bird accessories. The best in show judging competition will take place throughout the day, with winners being announced in the afternoon, at the awards ceremony.

Birding enthusiasts interested in attending the 2010 BOAF Bird Show, can visit the website at www.boaf.com/birdShow.htm for more information.

Date: 23 October 2010
Venue: All Dogs Gym
City: Manchester
Country: United States of America

British Bird Fair 2010

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

The British Bird Fair is one of the biggest birding and bird watching events on the British calendar, and offers visitors a host of activities and stores to enjoy. It is an event that focuses on birds and wildlife, and visitors can find everything from binoculars, sculptures and nutritional items to take home with them. Eco-holidays will also be available, and over and above lectures and workshops, there will be fun quiz shows, book launches, art work to enjoy and various other entertaining activities.

The British Bird Fair will be held from 20 – 22 August 2010, and those interested in attending, can visit the fair website at http://www.birdfair.org.uk/ for more information.

Date: 20 – 22 August 2010
Venue: Eagleton Nature Reserve
City: Rutland
Country: United Kingdom

Birds Say No Thank You to Organic Wheat

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Features

Organic farming has become vital to the conservation of the environment and has been shown to have more health benefits than conventional farming that makes use of fertilizers and other aids to improve their crops. Scientists, therefore, were not testing the health benefits of organic farming when they decided to test which type of grain birds would prefer. Previous testing was done over very short periods of time, but the latest studies have proven that, when given a choice, birds prefer conventionally grown seeds to organic foods.

Dr Ailsa McKenzie from the Newcastle University, together with Dr Mark Whittingham, decided to run a study of their own, in the lab and in the wild, to see how birds would react to the choices given to them. They decided to give the birds enough time to be able to differentiate between the two seeds. As expected, the birds ate from both bowls only for a short period of time. Once the birds began to notice the difference in the organic and conventionally grown seeds, they ate from the conventionally grown bowl of seeds more than sixty percent of the time. After running their studies in the laboratory, they moved their research to forty-seven gardens in the surrounding area. Bird feeders were placed in the gardens and the studies were conducted over two winter periods, for six weeks and then eight weeks. This experiment also proved to show that birds chose the conventionally farmed seeds over the organic feed.

Scientists do not believe that their choice has anything to do with the taste or health benefits, but rather the protein content of the seeds. Once back in the laboratory, seeds were again taken from over-fertilized crops and given to canaries, with a selection of low-protein organic seeds. Again, the birds showed more interest in the high-protein seeds. Inorganic nitrogen, which is used by farmers, eventually becomes protein, and it has been discovered that birds will rather eat protein rich feed than organic seeds. Dr McKenzie also stressed that these findings have no bearing on human diets, as seeds and wheat are not sources of protein for humans. The study has, however, shed light on the dietary habits and preferences of birds and their nutritional needs.

Exotic Bird Expo 2010

May 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

To view a wide range of exotic birds, or to purchase a few special items for your birds at home, get down to the Hickory Metro Convention Center on 10 July 2010, for the 2010 Exotic Bird Expo. The expo will feature a number of baby bird species and vendors that will offer everything related to caged birds, including bird nutrition, toys, bird cages and various other items. It is also an educational experience, and parents are encouraged to bring the entire family to share in the fun and excitement.

For more information, contact the Hickory Metro Convention Center of (828) 324 8600 or contact Paul Hamilton on 704 240 9182.

Date: 10 July 2010
Venue: Hickory Metro Convention Center
City: Hickory
Country: United States of America

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