Finding a Reputable Bird Breeder

October 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

You are looking to add a new baby bird to your family. You have chosen the best species for your family. You pick up the newspaper and find an ad for someone who breeds this species. But their advertisement seems a little suspicious. Still, you give them a call. But, once you talk to the breeder, you become even more concerned. They refuse to send photos, and they want you to send them a check before they give you the bird. This article will help you avoid this situation & help you find a reputable breeder you can trust.

First off- check this person’s website. Normally, but not always, a reputable breeder will have a website with contact information, prices, and photos of the babies and their parents. It’s also good if they give a little information about themselves and their birds. If a breeder is committed enough to put up an informative website with photos, they are likely experienced, well-informed breeders. If you find advertisements for breeders with only emails and no websites, it may mean that they are inexperienced or un-reputable breeders.

Try to find reviews for this breeder. Can you find any bird owners that have purchased birds from this breeder? Ask them some questions. Are their birds healthy, active, socialized, friendly birds? When they bought the bird, was it hand-tamed, or did they have to work with the bird for a while? Did the bird have any health problems when they purchased it? Does it have health problems now? Did they get to meet the parents of their bird? You may not always be able to find customers of the breeder, but if you do, be sure to get some information from them.

Ask your breeder what the name of their avian vet is. If they cannot seem to give you the name of the vet or the veterinary practice that they work at, this is a bad sign. Ask the breeder for the veterinary records of your potential new baby. If they are unable to provide them, you may want to consider getting a bird from another breeder. If they are able to give you the name of the veterinarian, ask the vet some questions. Make sure that your bird’s parents are healthy and in good condition.

Although this may not always be the case, if the breeder refuses to let you into their home or breeding facility, it is a reason to be suspicious. How do you know that the birds are kept in sanitary conditions? If the breeder wants you to meet him/her in a parking lot, at a store or gas station, or at any location other than where he keeps the bird, it is a little unusual, and you should be cautious. If the person has no website, doesn’t appear to have a vet, his/her reviews are negative, and asks you to meet them at an unusual location, you should probably go to another breeder. The person may have a ‘bird mill’ where his/her birds are kept in unsanitary conditions, are kept in tiny cages, and are not provided fresh food and clean water.

And remember- if you cannot find a reputable breeder in your area (which is highly unlikely), check out a shelter or parrot rescue. You may find that your best friend doesn’t have to come from a breeder after all.

Article submitted by: Eliza Kuklinski

Mynahs as Pet Birds

May 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Mynah’s make fascinating pets and are the best mimics in the world of birds. Categorized amongst the softbills, these playful birds require special care, especially when it comes to diet. It is also important to note that they are very active birds and require a lot of space. If you think a mynah is the bird for you, then read on.

It is important that you obtain your mynah bird from a reputable domestic mynah breeder, so as to avoid supporting wildlife smugglers, who are responsible for the deaths of vast numbers of birds captured in the wild. Because mynahs can, and should, only be obtained through domestic breeders, it may be a challenge to obtain one; however, there are a number of online resources that will assist you in locating a good breeder.

The most popular pet mynah species are the Greater Indian Hill mynah and the Java Hill mynah. Java Hill mynah’s are the larger of the two and are notable for having a clearer, more human-like voice. On the other-hand Greater Indian Hill mynahs are known to be easier to handle. Mynah’s do well on their own, but a pair is also acceptable. They tend to make more noise when there are two, and do better in an outdoor aviary.

It is advisable to house your mynah in a large cage with a few perches made of natural branches, as they do not climb but only fly and hop. A cage with a grated floor is best as it allows for easy cleaning of the newspaper lined catch tray. A shelf and a nest box will make your mynah feel right at home. The mynah’s cage should be put in a busy part of the home as they are gregarious and enjoy company. Avoid drafty spots and direct sunlight. Include a bathing dish in the cage, along with a water bottle or dish. Be sure to keep both sources of water clean. Supply your very active bird with toys such as mirrors, bells, swings, bottle caps, paper and so forth. Be careful of rope toys as these may catch the tongue of your mynah.

Mynah’s require a specialized diet as hemochromatosis is common. This is a disease that causes too much iron to collect in the bird’s liver, resulting in the bird being poisoned. As such, the mynah must be fed a low iron diet, preferably softbill food that has been formulated to meet their needs. Avoid things such as parrot food, red meat, acidic fruits, seeds and live foods. Recommended fruits to accompany the pelleted diet include apple, banana, melon and grapes, with the seeds removed. Keep the food dishes clean and the cage free of uneaten food items that may spoil. You may wish to give your mynah distilled water if you are concerned about the iron content in your water.

While there are number of considerations to take into account before bringing a pet mynah into your home, if you do decide to do so you will find it a truly rewarding experience.

Pet Birds: Green-Rumped Parrotlets

April 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Green-rumped parrotlets are the second most popular species of parrotlets. Green-rumps (Forpus passerinus) are a bright, beautiful emerald green. They are shy birds, a contrast to the Pacific parrotlets. However, if they are cared for properly and have time spent with them daily, they will eventually come out of their shell. Green-rumps are not known for talking but may pick up a few words and are capable of learning tricks. Green-rumps are available in several color mutations, such as Green-Gray and Turquoise.

Green-rumped parrotlets are not known for being aggressive or biting, and very rarely bite or nip. Green-rumps need at least three toys in their cage and a playgym, as they are very active birds and love to climb. Green-rumps need at least thirty minutes a day with you, as they will become lonely and develop anxiety and possibly pluck their feathers without one-on-one playtime daily.

Green-rumps also need at least 3 veggies and two fruits daily to keep them in top condition. They also need about four teaspoons of a ¾ seeds, ¼ pellet mix. Feed color mutations this except the pellets. Don’t feed pellets to color mutations. Parrotlets should also have a cuttlebone, mineral block, or both in the cage at all times.

Green-rumps aren’t for everyone, but are lovely birds and are loving, sweet, and friendly. If you’’re interested in a Green-rump parrotlet, check out a local parrot rescue society or contact a breeder. Green-rumps are a serious commitment as they live for 20 years or more, so think things over before you get a new bird. Parrotlets can’t just be given up, as they bond with their owner very strongly, so think things through before making serious decisions.

Article contributed by: Eliza Kuklinski.

Monitoring Your Bird’s Body Condition

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

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 http://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

San Jose Bird Mart 2010

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

From 9 am to 3 pm, on 18 April 2010, the San Jose Bird Mart will be hosted in the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. It is an event for the entire family to enjoy, and is a wheelchair friendly event. This birding event will offer a host of products for visitors to purchase, such as cages, novelty gifts, nutrition and toys. There will of course also be a number of colorful exotic birds for visitors to marvel at, and is the ideal event to find a new member for the family. The San Jose Bird Mart is free to children under the age of five, with adult tickets being $8 and children between the ages of six to twelve paying $2.

To find out more about the show, or how to become a vendor at the event, visit the San Jose Bird Mart website at http://www.sanjosebirdmart.com/.

Date: 18 April 2010
Venue: Santa Clara Fairgrounds
City: San Jose
Country: United States of America

Exotic Bird Club of Florida Fair 2010

February 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

To discover the beauty of the exotic birds of Florida, the Exotic Bird Club of Florida Fair 2010 is the place to be. Hosted by the Exotic Bird Club of Florida on 14 March 2010, the fair will offer a magnificent variety of birds that will be on display and for sale. Various vendors will also be attending, selling products ranging from nutrition to bird cages and toys. Visitors to the fair can also look forward to raffle tables, snack bars and a grand prize draw.

For more information in regard to the Exotic Bird Club of Florida Fair, contact the club at info@exoticbirdclubofflorida.com.

Date: 14 March 2010
Venue: Greater Palm Bay Senior Centre
City: Palm Bay, Florida
Country: United States of America

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