We offer USDA certified organic bird food pellets from Harrison’s. It’s refuted the one of the best bird foods on the market. We also offer Totally Organics, another fine organic blend. The biggest misconception to organic is its purity.
The majority of people assume organic means fully natural and pesticide free but this is not close to the truth. If you visit this page on the US Goverment’s EPA site you’ll learn that pesticides are an accepted practice for any category of organic food is long as the “Pesticides (are) derived from natural sources (e.g., biological pesticides) may also be used in producing organically grown food.” The reality is that organic farmers for the most part use more pesticides than non-organic farmers. If an organic farm is anywhere near a large city, rainwater helping the plants grow is laced with all the pollutants in the air from the city. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions..
Myth: Never use sandpaper or grooming perches in your bird’s cage.
A recent article I read by a renowned avian veterinarian denounced “sandpaper covers” over perches and should never be used. Ask 9 out of 10 vets what they think of grooming perches and they will tell you to stay away from them because they can cause bumble foot or open foot sores. The article is about treating obesity in birds and relates the treatment of a blue fronted Amazon who was suffering from serious nutritional issues. The article can be read in its entirety here
Who’s going to argue with a vet?
With the smallest of birds like canaries, finches and even budgies, birds that you are not typically going to physically handle outside of the cage, the length of their nails isn’t much of an issue unless they grow so long they cannot hold onto perches nor get around comfortably. Some sort of nail trimming has to take place.
Canaries and finches are soft bills so beak trimming is not a problem but once we get into Cockatiels, Conures or psitticine in general that we expect to have interaction with outside the cage, nails and beaks need to be cared for. Extra sharp nails cling to clothing making the transfer of a bird from your clothing sleeve to your hand a bit tricky. Birds, especially Eclectus can have beak overgrowth issues with 100% seed diets. Out of control beak growth has to be dealt with. An overly long beak may also be a sign of liver problems so a visit to your avian vet would be in order.
Here’s the thing. As worrisome a thought of wrestling 1 pound (the average weight of an African Grey) of feathers and muscle for 2 minutes to trim eight nails some people prefer not to deal with it. So while the Vets tell us what not to do, they don’t tell us how to solve the problem.
We talk about making toys interesting so our birds will engage them. We spend countless hours wondering why the new perch or ladder seems to be scaring the dickens out of them. Heaven help us if we want to try a new bird food that might be a tad more nutritious. So we experiment through trial and error over days and sometimes weeks as we figure out how to overcome the hurdles involved in introducing something new to a customer’s feathered companions.
We humans have our schedules and with our busy schedules fun time is usually pretty limited so we want it now. Birds, on the other hand are creatures of habit. We urge you to change everything in your bird’s cage at the very least, once a month to keep things interestig. Socializing your bird with other people in and out of your household will help to make them less skittish. BUT birds have their limits and intimate changes like the introduction of a flight suit or harness or water bottle to replace the water dish may take some time – a few hours or days or even a week or two.
Take a flight harness for instance. You are somewhat curtailing the use of your birds wings, which is about the most counterintuitive thing you can do to a bird. So if you expect to open the flight harness package, fit your bird and expect to go outside right then, you’re setting yourself up, and your bird – for failure.
I use the term “intimate changes” intentionally because birds don’t like things that interfere with the complex feather systems. The same would hold true of introducing a Lixit water bottle. Although they’ve been proven to be effective for more than 20 years, just because you put in the cage, what if your bird doesn’t figure it out immediately while you’re away for the weekend.This can lead to dehydration without them having been acclimated to use it first.
As a third example, you may want to travel with your bird this summer and put some sort of travel carrier in the car. So there you are trying to get an early start on the open road and you find out there’s no way in hell your bird is going to get in that new carrier just because you want to take a trip this week. To overcome any of these changes it’s important to have a strategy and utilize patience.
Here’s some start up strategies for these three issues. Beginning with the harness or flight suit, the first thing you want to do when you get it out of the package is to simply put it in your birds field of vision. Your bird assumes objects out of the ordinary could be potential threats, so let it see it for day or two or three. The next step before trying to get them to wear something is to take the harness (or flight suit) and to lightly drag it across your birds body so they get a feel for what it is. make it friendly Do this for two or three days before you attempt to put it on. You’ll find you’ll have much less resistance by using this method when you finally decide to dress your bird.
During the Franco Prussian war, Parisians use hot air balloons to deploy flocks of homing pigeons out of their city to countryside and vice versa. With the advent of micro photography in the 19th century pigeons could carry as many as 30,000 messages by a single bird.