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There are alternatives to what the system offers

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Petra Under Her New Sunlight

I don't know what she was thinking when I first turned this light on. She moved to a part of the cage where the light wasn't as bright. She doesn't understand yet, that this light will be just like sunlight from the outside, and will help her body to form the vitamin D3 she needs to have in order to have strong bones.

I had to remove the top part of her cage, which was the playpen platform bottom situated at the top of her cage. She never liked playing on it anyway. 

Also got her a moon light. Not sure what it will do, but it is supposed to help keep a bird calm at night. I did not take a picture of it because when I turned out the lights, it was too dark to take a picture of it.

Here is a close up picture of Petra in her cage, under her sunlight. I have to make sure that the cord is out of her reach. It will be interesting to see if this light helps bring back the colors in her feathers. She is also started on Featherrific and another product from Avi Tech to help with feather plucking. I will keep everyone updated on this adventure. 

We spend a lot of time making sure our food and environment is safe for us. It would be wise to do the same thing with our pets. I don't understand the mentality where people think it is ok to give inferior food to animals. Animals can get sick just like humans, and when they do, it costs a lot of money to try to get them well. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Safe And Natural Care For Birds

My bird, Petra, is 28 years old. When we bought her, she was six weeks old and we were told that she would live to be about 25 years.

From the beginning of our lives with Petra, I have been seeking the best way to care for her. I got on an emailing list for conures (a type of parrot) and asked a lot of questions. I got a lot of help from the people on that list.

I put a couple of pictures of Petra on Facebook the other day. I got a lot of interesting results, which will end up helping me to care even better than before.

Petra, unfortunately, plucks the feathers off her chest. She didn't do this at the beginning of her life, but somewhere down the road, she picked up this terrible habit. Needless to say, my pictures of Petra resulted in a lot of people feeling sorry for her. What had I done wrong or left out that she would not look as pretty as all the other conures whose pictures were also posted into this Facebook forum?

Someone was impressed that Petra was 28 years old and asked me what it was that I did to end up with a bird that is that age, when she should have only lived to be 25. I came up with a list of things I did. Some were to protect her. Some had to do with how I fed her. There were other things I did as well. I thought I would write some of them here, and hope they will help other bird owners.

Now that people feel sorry for Petra, after seeing her with her bald chest, I went on the Internet and studied some more and also asked the other bird owners for wisdom. I will write those ideas on the bottom. I just ordered some products and hope they work to help Petra to stop pulling out her feathers!

Bird Health And Safety Tips:
1. Never cook with Teflon or other non-stick pans around the bird.
2. Never give the bird avocado, chocolate, alcohol, or mushrooms.
3. Use organic produce whenever possible (I have heard of birds dying by eating the toxins in the plant)
4. Do not smoke around the bird or use candles.
5. I open the curtain to let sunshine in during the day.
6. I feed half of a seed mixture and half pellets (approximately).
7. Keep cats away from birds.
8. Make sure bowls are clean. Give clean water a couple of times a week.
9. I put powdered calcium in the bird food (this helps with egg laying too).
10. I have a video player and a radio on in her room.
11. Never let a draft reach your bird. Keep the cold air from coming through windows and doors.
12. Give the bird time out of the cage. A playpen is a good idea. Probably about 4-6 hours is good.
13. I take out peanuts from the bag of bird seed. Peanuts can contain a mold that is harmful to birds.
14. Interact with your bird. Birds thrive on interaction.
15. If there is ever a threat of fumes or chemical toxins in the air, protect the bird by insulating the doors or windows to keep out the fumes. Birds lungs are very sensitive.
16. I have a bird heater attached to her cage and use it when it is cold out.

It is good to cover the bird's cage at night, but I am not sure how necessary it is.
Here are some new things I am going to try:

1. Bach's Rescue Remedy - was recommended to help calm a bird, and maybe help reduce feather plucking. (Already came in the mail. Using it on my cat as well).

Rescue Remedy can be used for an immediate calming effect in any stressful situation,or when your pet needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.Remedy can help your pet with-Visits to the vet, Fear of loud noises, Excessive barking or hissing, Shock, trauma or mistreatment,Loss of companion, Separation anxiety, Adapting to new surroundings.Rescue Remedy is suitable for use on pets of all shapes and sizes. 
( description)

 2. Featherbrite - Full Spectrum light bulb. Replaces real sunlight in room.

  • BIRD full spectrum bulb simulating sunlight is designed for the health of parrots
  • Can have a positive effect on a bird's physical and mental well-being
  • Simulates natural sunlight; enhances Vitamin D synthesis; use year round as window filtered sunlight is not beneficial to your bird
  • Compact spiral fluorescent bulb with a standard screw in base
  • 5500k, 91cri with UVA 5% and UVB .04%. 1450 lumens
( description)
3. Featherbrite - Moon light - looks like a night light but gives effect of genuine moonlight.

  • Latest in technology
  • Bird night light providing parrots a soothing environment and helps reduce stress from fear of darkness relieving "nightfright"
  • Long life mini light
( description)

4. Avitech Avicalm - Helps birds to become calm.

Avitech AviCalm calming supplement works miracles on screamers, feather pickers, nervous nellies, pluckers, chewers and just plain aggressive birds. It is a safe, non-sedating calming supplement that uses a compound found in green tea, FDA registered L-Thea nine which promotes a feeling of well-being without drowsiness. It is non-toxic and cannot be overdosed. Avitech only uses the certified and tested human food additive form of L-Thea nine in its AviCalm formula and receives a certificate of analysis for every lot delivered to ensure purity, the absence of heavy metals and not evidence of coliform organisms. The L-Thea nine is combined with malt dextrin, a non-sugar food-grade carbohydrate to allow for great taste and easy dosing. Just sprinkle over food. Use AviCalm together with Featheriffic! for optimum results. Birds love the taste. You'll see the difference! Made in USA.
( description)

5. Featheriffic - Helps bird's feathers

  • A vitamin condition feather formula - special ingredients for pet birds
  • Featheriffic will help grow healthy beautiful feathers, a parrot nutritional food supplement
  • Formulation contains coarse ground corn that attracts birds and aids in acceptance
  • Sprinkle on top of your parrot's food
( description)

I hope this has been helpful for you and your bird. I have not tried the last 4 items listed, but will receive them next week. These items are Amazon Affiliate links, which simply means I will get credit with Amazon if you click on the link and order a product. Thank you for your support!

Monday, April 4, 2016

My New Really Tasty Safe Snack

          This is an improvised version of a peanut butter cup. I broke off 6 little rectangles of a Green & Black's Organic chocolate bar (85% cocoa) and topped it with a big dab of Smucker's Organic Peanut Butter.

       Yum. Especially after chewing two large magnesium tablets, that, in my opinion, cannot be swallowed! Unless, you are a horse, of course!

The finished product! Organic peanut butter on top of
organic chocolate (85% cocoa)

You should be able to get Smucker's Organic peanut butter at your grocery store. I'm sure any good brand of peanut butter that is organic will be fine. 

Here is a description of the chocolate bar from Amazon: Green & Black’s Dark 85% organic dark chocolate is perfect for the chocolate lover who wants to experience the full, intense flavor of organic cocoa combined with the best ingredients. We use 85% cocoa solids balanced with just enough sweetness to bring out a unique and memorable taste and finish it with a delightful touch of organic vanilla. A pack of 10 makes it easy to keep this special treat on hand.

The candy bars you get from the grocery stores has lots of sugar and other undesirable ingredients. You want to find the highest percentage of cocoa solids in the bar. 

Too much of anything will end up not being good, so choose your snack items carefully. A little bit of chocolate goes a long way. I'm sure that there are tons of recipes using both chocolate and peanut butter on the internet. This one recipe is just a simple version of something more elaborate. 

If interested in ordering Green & Black's Organic Chocolate, or learning more about this product, click on the picture below (an affiliate link).

Green & Black's Organic Chocolate Bar, Dark 85% Cacao, 3.5 Ounce (Pack of 10)

Here are a couple of articles on the benefits of cocoa:

"Over the past dozen of years or so, a steady stream of science has emerged, showing that cocoa and the confection made from it (chocolate) possess extraordinary life-imbuing and disease-fighting properties. Most notably, cocoa demonstrates significant benefits for the cardiovascular system, helping to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and even reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, cocoa consumption is associated with reduced cognitive decline in old age". - See more at:

"Many people crave chocolate and avoid it because they are under the impression that it is fattening and unhealthy. Although a lot of chocolate products are unhealthy and calories dense, it is due to the addition of substances such as sugar and not to the cocoa itself. In fact, cocoa powder, which comes from the cocoa bean, is highly nutritious, and it can provide numerous health benefits."

Update: I took the idea of this tasty snack and became more creative with it. I melted the chocolate over low, low heat and placed the melted chocolate into a silicone candy mold. Then I put a dollop of the peanut butter on top of the melted chocolate in each mold. Then it has to go in the fridge and harden. Really, really good though!

Melted Organic Chocolate Bar

Finished Product! Yum!