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PostSubject: Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People   Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:35 am

I just learned about this on the weekend, when me and my farther were talking about getting a pet bird.

Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People

Psittacosis is a common and potentially serious disease occurring in both the birds that we keep and the humans that keep them, but there is still a lot that is misunderstood about the condition. I hope in this article to clarify some of those misconceptions, and to enable bird keepers to recognise and deal with the problem should it arise.

The causal organism is called Chlamydia psittaci has recently been renamed Chlamydophia psittaci and is found in a wide variety of birds and mammals, including man. This species is now sub-divided in to many sub-species, each affecting a different animal. For example, the type affecting cats produces mostly a conjunctivitis; that in sheep would cause an abortion; while in humans there ia a primarily a pneumonia. The organism producing a genital/venereal disease in humans has now been seperated into a seperate genus with the orginal of Chlamydia, and retains the original specific of Chlamydia trachomatis.

The blanket term for the disease produced by Chlamydophia psittaci affecting all species is CHLAMYDIOSIS; if it occurs in a bird it is properly known as ORNITHOSIS; and when found in specifically psittacine birds it is termed PSITTACOSIS. This latter is the name with which we are more familiar, and it has by popular usage been stretched to cover the disease occurring in animals, including humans.

The organism itself is unusual in that it has certain characteristics of bacteria - i.e. it is relatively large and is sensitive to antibiotics; but it also resembles viruses in that it can only grow and multiply within the cells of its host. The damage is then caused by the rupture of these cells and the release of toxins into the system. Chlamydia appear to infect and multiply in most types of cell, hence the widely variable disease pattern seen in different individuals or species.

The organism will survive outside the host for approximately one month if protected by cell debris and protein material (i.e. droppings, nasal discharges). An important aspect of control of the disease is therefore cleanliness and disinfection to remove such debris.

Efficient disinfectants are the quaternary ammonium compounds, benzalkonium chloride, and those that are formalin based. Thus the conventional fumigation of quarantine premises with formaldehyde gas (formalin and potassium permanganate) is very effective against this organism, provided surfaces have been adequately cleaned first .

If we may digress here to discuss the disease as it affects humans; we have already stated that Chlamydiosis affects most mammals and birds, and in species like parrots, cattle, sheep and goats, the organism is highly contagious from one individual to another. In dogs, horses and humans however, so far as I am aware these species are at the end of an infection chain. This means that although we can acquire infection from diseased birds, we cannot pass on that infection to either other birds or other people. (This is at least applicable to the organism Chlamydophia psittaci; there is another species Chlamydia trachomatis which is a specifically human pathogen that causes respiratory and genital disease).

Symptoms of 'psittacosis' in humans resemble those of severe 'flu' but particular signs are head and neck pain, fever, aching joints, chest tightness and pain, and a dry cough. Provided precise diagnosis is made quickly enough, treatment with Tetracycline or Erythromycin usually produces a rapid response. However, if the illness is confused with 'flu or pneumonia, and appropriate therapy is not instituted for a while, the disease can progress rapidly, and deaths have been recorded. The risk is greatest in the old, young or those with chronic breathing difficulties. Recovered individuals may have some permanent weakness in the lungs or heart.

Although antibodies to the organism can be detected in the blood of both birds and humans, these merely indicate exposure to infection, and apparently they have little protective effect. Thus there is no lasting immunity produced, and individuals (avian and human) can be re-infected almost as soon as they have recovered, if exposed to the organism again. For similar reasons, there is at present no way of vaccinating to prevent the disease, because of the lack of any ability to stimulate immunity.

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PostSubject: Hahn's macaw   Thu May 15, 2008 6:54 pm

Common Names: Hahn's Macaw
Latin Name: Ara nobilis
Adult Size: 13 Inches
Average Life Span: 25 Years
Talking Ability: Can be coaxed into saying a few words

Like most macaws, the hahns macaw is playful, talkative and a superb pet. Like most macaws, the hahns macaw can also be an excellently trained pet. Although its natural habitat includes rainforests and savannahs, the hahns macaw is equally comfortable in a loving and caring home. A hahns macaw is like a child that needs to be pampered with to give fantastic results.

Companion parrots require daily interaction. Most
macaws are affectionate and thrive on their owners
constant love. Lack of this can lead to physical and
mental suffering. Destructive behaviors such as self-
mutilation may be a sign of abuse and neglect. Macaws
can be extremely loud, thus their owner must be aware of
this natural calling. The macaw should not be
reprimanded for this natural behavior.

Macaws need plenty of space to be housed in. The
height of the cage is important because of the lengthly
tail they have. We highly recommend purchasing an
acrylic cage for your parrot. We highly recommend
purchasing an acrylic cage or your bird to be housed in.

Macaws are not suitable as pets for children without
proper adult supervision. They have very powerful, large
beaks and are capable of causing great harm to both
children and adults. Macaws are recommended for the
experienced parrot handler who has time, energy,
finances, and education of these brilliant birds.

It should be an extensive thought out process when
deciding to purchase a macaw. Those that can offer and
commit to the responsibilities of a larger parrot will
experience great passion and fulfillment in a newly
changed way of life.


Diet:

A Macaw diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, dark
leafy greens, nuts, and a high quality mixture of large
hookbill seed and commercial pellets. Macaws require a
higher fat and oil content in their diet. Offering fresh nuts
in the shell such as almonds, walnuts, brazils, and
macadamia nuts will help to complete this dietary need.
Fresh water should be given twice daily, removing any
contaminated water bowls and replenishing with fresh.

Using enrichment techniques during feedings is highly
beneficial for the well being of parrots. There are many
products available that allow the caretaker to place food
inside thus making it a challenge for the parrot to
retrieve the treat. Certain fruits such as oranges, apples,
and bananas can have the peel left on (washed of
course). This will allow the bird to discover the yummy
parts and keep busy longer.

Discard any uneaten fresh foods daily. Always wash all
foods with a good fruit and vegetable cleanser, it really
will make a difference in the health of your parrot.

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PostSubject: African Grey Parrots   Thu May 15, 2008 6:57 pm

Housing Your African Grey Parrot

Cage size: the bigger the better. You'll need a large cage for these guys. I would recommend a minimum in the area of 3 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet tall, but bigger is definitely better when it comes to housing parrots.
The bar spacing should be 3/4 to 1 inch (best to get 3/4 inch spacing for a Timneh).
At least part of the cage should have horizontally oriented bars to allow the parrot to climb on the sides of the cage.
The cage should be placed in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people, but ideally not in the most hectic area of the home. Keep the cage away from windows where they would receive direct sunlight (may overheat), away from draughts, and not too close to heat vents or air conditioning ducts.
A selection of perches should be provided - varied in size and material (e.g. natural branches such as manzanita wood, which is often available at pet stores). Smooth, slippery perches should not be used, neither should sandpaper covered perches.
Provide a good selection of appropriate toys - the right size and checked for safety concerns (parts that could be swallowed, strangulation or entrapment hazards). Having a good selection of toys on hand and rotating them through the cage a few at a time can help to provide entertainment and stimulation.
Should also invest in a good play gym, and plan on having your African grey spend a significant amount of time outside of his or her cage daily.

Feeding African Greys

Variety is the key here. Pelletted diets should form the foundation of the diet, but should be supplemented with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as grains and proteins. A small amount of seed mix can be fed as well, keeping in mind that seeds have some nutritional value and place in the diet but are largely fattening and poorly balanced as a main part of the diet.

African greys are somewhat prone to calcium deficiency, so calcium levels should be monitored at a yearly vet check. Calcium supplements should not be used except under the advice of a veterinarian, but it can be beneficial to feed a variety of calcium rich foods such as leafy green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach). For more information on calcium levels in some foods.

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PostSubject: Lovebirds   Thu May 15, 2008 6:58 pm

Peachfaced Lovebirds are small parrots from west Africa. They are easy to keep as pets and are very easy to raise for breeding. Here is some information to help you care for your lovebird.

HOUSING:
Lovebirds need a cage which has at least two places to perch, with room to fly from one to the other. A cage with a horizontal measurement of 24 inches to 30 inches is appropriate. Anything less than 18 inches would be too small and restrictive. Perches need to be a size which is comfortable for the birds feet, not too small or too large.

It is convenient to have two sets of food and water dishes so that they can be alternated and washed each day. Water must be changed and the dish washed every day. Food dishes can stay longer, with food added each day if preferred, but food dishes do need to be completely emptied, washed, and refilled at least once a week. Caution -- food dishes sometimes look full, but only have seed hulls and waste in them, with no good food for the bird!

Lovebirds need activity in the cage to stay healthy. Swings, ladders, and interlocked bamboo rings are favorites. The 6 inch cockatiel swings are the best size for lovebirds. Pet departments or stores have many choices in toys for pet birds. Avoid small toys designed for parakeets and budgies. Lovebirds have very strong beaks for chewing and can break these items. Toys designed for cockatiels and small parrots are the right size for lovebirds.

FOOD:
Lovebirds need the same size food as cockatiels and other small parrots. If you plan to feed your birds a seed mix, choose one which contains nutritional supplements to assure a "total diet" to keep birds healthy. Other less expensive seed mixes, or seeds sold for wild birds will not have all the nutrients your bird needs, although they can also be used if you provide lots of fresh foods. Note --pellet diets like Kaytee Exact or Pretty Bird are nutritionally complete and very good for birds, though some birds will be slow to accept them. Birds that are used to seeds will need to be given adequate time to adjust and learn to eat a pellet-only diet.

Try to give fresh foods at least 3 or 4 times a week. Our birds love apples, broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots, parsley, and spinach. You can try other vegetables and fruits, too. Lettuce is okay, but it doesnít have much nutritional value. In the summer we sometimes give dandelion and clover (flowers and greens) from the yard. Make sure to wash off any pesticides or chemicals which could hurt the bird. Our birds also like corn tortillas (not salted tortilla chips) and whole grain breads. Donít feed anything with high fat, salt, or sugar content, like donuts, cake, or cookies. Caution -- remember to remove any uneaten fresh food from the cage before it spoils.

Try to keep cuttlebone in the cage all the time to provide calcium for the bird. Millet sprays, sometimes called "seed trees" are a good treat.

OTHER NOTES:
Lovebirds are very hardy and do not need to be kept particularly warm all the time, but should not be exposed to freezing conditions.

Lovebirds like to bathe frequently. The will bathe in their water dishes if the dishes are large enough. If not you can sit a shallow dish of water in the cage occasionally for their use. They also like to be sprayed with water mist once in a while. This helps keep their feathers in good condition.

CAUTION! -- If your bird is to be kept in or near the kitchen be very careful not to over heat Teflon pans or appliances. When Teflon gets too hot it gives off fumes which are toxic to birds! The bird may die with respiratory distress. Teflon coated irons and other items can also be very dangerous.

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PostSubject: Scarlet Macaw   Thu May 15, 2008 7:09 pm



Macaws are highly intelligent birds, demanding lots of attention and stimulation. They are very vocal, quick learners and many can be taught to imitate speech. Provided with appropriate care, a macaw's expected lifespan is in the 50-80 year range. Scarlet Macaws need consistent, caring handling from an early age in order to be well adjusted adults. They tend to be the most aggressive of the Macaws and can be bad tempered and prone to bite or pinch if mistreated. They are best kept in a situation where they are the only pet and should be supervised around small children. If raised properly the Scarlet Macaw can make a devoted and loyal companion.

Macaws need ample time outside the cage for good physical and mental health. You can encourage healthy exercise by providing swings, ropes and structures for your macaw to climb on. Stimulating toys are important, macaws particularly enjoy the challenge of 'puzzle toys' which contain a treat as a reward. The best toys for chewing are untreated wood. Routine care involves clipping the flight feathers and nails.

Housing

Choose as large a cage as possible, your bird should be able to spread it's wings and turn around freely. Features to look for are: a large door with a secure latch; sturdy construction, preferably with drilled rather than welded bars and no places where your bird could get it's head or feet trapped, such as scrollwork or widely spaced bars. Stainless steel or powder coated finishes are generally easiest to clean. Place the cage in a draft-free area of a room with plenty of indirect sunshine and plenty of human activity. The kitchen is not suitable, cooking fumes and smoke are harmful to a bird's respiratory system.

Diet

A well balanced diet is based on pellets specially formulated for macaws, which should make up 80% of their daily intake, with the addition of healthy human foods such as cooked pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, and some nuts and seeds. Some Macaws enjoy a cooked chicken thigh bone occasionally. Provide a Cuttlebone and a mineral block.

Cleaning

Droppings and uneaten food should be cleaned up daily. The cage bars and fittings can be easily wiped down with a mild disinfectant and then rinsed off. However, unless this is done every day it will become very difficult to clean off. Paper cage liners should also be changed daily and the entire cage should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every few months. Macaws can be messy birds and it may be a good idea to protect the floor and walls near the cage from stains.

Health

Signs of illness include: depression, loss of appetite, delayed crop emptying, regurgitation, changes in color, consistency or odor of droppings, weight loss, warty growths, nasal discharge, abnormal feathers or beak. Macaws can succumb to air borne viruses, of which many are fatal. Baby Blue and Gold Macaws between the ages of 4-8 weeks are particularly susceptible to gout. Be observant and take your bird to n experienced avian veterinarian at the first sign something is wrong.

Warnings Psitticosis is a disease that can be passed from infected birds to humans. To be safe, if your bird shows cold-like symptoms contact your vet and physician for advice. (Read article back on the forums article section called "Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People")

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PostSubject: Blue and Gold Macaw   Thu May 15, 2008 7:12 pm



Macaws are highly intelligent birds, demanding lots of attention. Providing they receive appropriate care, a macaw's expected lifespan is in the 50-80 year range. They are a considerable commitment but make loyal and affectionate lifelong companions. The Blue and Gold Macaw is the most commonly available variety. They are adaptable to change, with an inquisitive and friendly personality. Blue and Golds respond well to training, they seem to enjoy learning and performing tricks, as well as acquiring an extensive vocabulary.

Macaws need ample time outside the cage for good physical and mental health. You can encourage healthy exercise by providing swings, ropes and structures for your macaw to climb on. Stimulating toys are important, macaws particularly enjoy the challenge of 'puzzle toys' which contain a treat as a reward. The best toys for chewing are untreated wood. Routine care involves clipping the flight feathers and nails.

Housing

Choose as large a cage as possible, your bird should be able to spread it's wings and turn around freely. Features to look for are: a large door with a secure latch; sturdy construction, preferably with drilled rather than welded bars and no places where your bird could get it's head or feet trapped, such as scrollwork or widely spaced bars. Stainless-steel or powder-coated finishes are easiest to clean. Place the cage in a draft-free area of a room with plenty of indirect sunshine and human activity. The kitchen is not suitable; cooking fumes and smoke are harmful to a bird's respiratory system.

Diet

A well balanced diet is based on pellets specially formulated for macaws, which should make up 80% of their daily intake, with the addition of healthy human foods such as cooked pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, and some nuts and seeds. Some Macaws enjoy a cooked chicken thigh bone occasionally. Provide a Cuttlebone and a mineral block.

Cleaning

Droppings and uneaten food should be cleaned up daily. The cage bars and fittings can be easily wiped down with a mild disinfectant and then rinsed off. However, unless this is done every day it will become very difficult to clean off. Paper cage liners should also be changed daily and the entire cage should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every few months. Macaws can be messy birds and it may be a good idea to protect the floor and walls near the cage from stains.

Health

Signs of illness include: depression, loss of appetite, delayed crop emptying, regurgitation, changes in color, consistency or odor of droppings, weight loss, warty growths, nasal discharge, abnormal feathers or beak. Macaws can succumb to air borne viruses, of which many are fatal. Baby Blue and Gold Macaws between the ages of 4-8 weeks are particularly susceptible to gout. Be observant and take your bird to an experienced avian veterinarian at the first sign something is wrong.

Warnings

Psitticosis is a disease that can be passed from infected birds to humans. To be safe, if your bird shows cold-like symptoms contact your vet and physician for advice. (Read article back on the forums article section called "Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People")

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PostSubject: Red-Fronted Macaw   Thu May 15, 2008 7:14 pm



A playful, loving and very intelligent bird, the Red-Front makes a delightful family pet. They have good-to-exceptional talking ability. These adorable birds are not suitable as apartment pets, as they are sometimes noisy. Red Fronted Macaws are relatively uncommon pets. They have a pleasant disposition, generally sweet and friendly. The call of the Red Front is not as harsh and screech-like as some of the other Macaws. Being small and somewhat lightweight, they are agile both on the ground and in the air. Care should be taken to prevent escape.

Macaws need ample time outside the cage for good physical and mental health. You can encourage healthy exercise by providing swings, ropes and structures for your macaw to climb on. Stimulating toys are important, macaws particularly enjoy the challenge of 'puzzle toys' which contain a treat as a reward. The best toys for chewing are untreated wood. Routine care involves clipping the flight feathers and nails.

Housing

Choose as large a cage as possible. Your bird should be able to spread it's wings and turn around freely. Features to look for are: a large door with a secure latch; sturdy construction, preferably with drilled rather than welded bars and no places where your bird could get it's head or feet trapped, such as scrollwork or widely spaced bars. Stainless steel or powder coated finishes are generally easiest to clean. Place the cage in a draft-free area of a room with plenty of indirect sunshine and plenty of human activity. The kitchen is not suitable, cooking fumes and smoke are harmful to a bird?s respiratory system.

Diet

A well balanced diet is based on pellets specially formulated for macaws, which should make up 80% of their daily intake, with the addition of healthy human foods such as cooked pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, and some nuts and seeds. Some Macaws enjoy a cooked chicken thigh bone occasionally. Provide a Cuttlebone and a mineral block.

Cleaning

Droppings and uneaten food should be cleaned up daily. The cage bars and fittings can be easily wiped down with a mild disinfectant and then rinsed off. However, unless this is done every day it will become very difficult to clean off. Paper cage liners should also be changed daily and the entire cage should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every few months. Macaws can be messy birds and it may be a good idea to protect the floor and walls near the cage from stains.

Health

Signs of illness include: depression; loss of appetite; delayed crop emptying; regurgitation; changes in color, consistency or odor of droppings; weight loss; warty growths; nasal discharge; abnormal feathers or beak. Macaws can succumb to air borne viruses, many of which are fatal. Be observant and take your bird to an experienced avian veterinarian at the first sign something is wrong.

Warnings Psitticosis is a disease that can be passed from infected birds to humans. To be safe, if your bird shows cold-like symptoms contact your vet and physician for advice. (Read article back on the forums article section called "Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People")

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PostSubject: Hyacinth Macaw   Thu May 15, 2008 7:16 pm



Macaws are highly intelligent birds, demanding lots of attention. Providing they receive appropriate care, a macaw's expected lifespan is in the 50-80 year range. They are a considerable commitment but make loyal and affectionate lifelong companions. Hyacinth Macaws are the largest of all the Macaws. They are good natured, gentle and affectionate. They are expensive to purchase and need a large amount of space as their wingspan is nearly four feet. Hyacinth Macaws are slow to mature, it takes nearly four months to wean a baby and they are not considered mentally mature until 8-10 years.

Macaws need ample time outside the cage for good physical and mental health. You can encourage healthy exercise by providing swings, ropes and structures for your macaw to climb on. Stimulating toys are important, macaws particularly enjoy the challenge of 'puzzle toys' which contain a treat as a reward. The best toys for chewing are untreated wood. Routine care involves clipping the flight feathers and nails.

Housing

Choose as large a cage as possible, your bird should be able to spread it's wings and turn around freely. The beak of a Hyacinth Macaw is strong enough to break most cages with welded bars. A stainless steel cage with drilled construction is more suitable. Features to look for are: a large door with a secure latch and no places where your bird could get it?s head or feet trapped, such as scrollwork or widely spaced bars. Stainless steel or powder coated finishes are easiest to clean. Place the cage in a draft-free area of a room with plenty of indirect sunshine and plenty of human activity. The kitchen is not suitable, cooking fumes and smoke are harmful to a bird?s respiratory system.

Diet

Hyacinths need specialized diets. In the wild they eat the nuts of the Scheelea Palm and the Atalea. In captivity, they are fed macadamia, Brazil, filbert, walnut, almond, pecan, peanuts and coconuts, because they require more fat and carbohydrates and less protein than other parrots. The diet should be supplemented with fruits, vegetables and pellets.
Cleaning Droppings and uneaten food should be cleaned up daily. The cage bars and fittings can be easily wiped down with a mild disinfectant and then rinsed off. However, unless this is done every day it will become very difficult to clean off. Paper cage liners should also be changed daily and the entire cage should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every few months. Macaws can be messy birds and it may be a good idea to protect the floor and walls near the cage from stains.

Health

Signs of illness include: depression, loss of appetite, delayed crop emptying, regurgitation, changes in color, consistency or odor of droppings, weight loss, warty growths, nasal discharge, abnormal feathers or beak. Macaws can succumb to air borne viruses, of which many are fatal. Be observant and take your bird to n experienced avian veterinarian at the first sign something is wrong.

Warnings

Psitticosis is a disease that can be passed from infected birds to humans. To be safe, if your bird shows cold-like symptoms contact your vet and physician for advice. (Read article back on the forums article section called "Psittacosis in Pet Birds and People")

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PostSubject: Cockatiel   Thu May 15, 2008 7:22 pm



Hand-fed cockatiels are usually calm and easy to handle. Some can be trained to imitate whistles and short phrases. Cockatiels enjoy the company of another of their species or can live happily alone if given plenty of attention. They can live up 18 to 20 years.

Housing

Choose a cage with 5/8 - 3/4 inch bar spacing, any wider is a safety hazard. Horizontal bars are best, as they provide a climbing surface. Wider is better than tall, cockatiels spend a lot of time on the ground. Provide the largest cage you can afford, the absolute minimum is 16 X 16 X 16 in high. Fix at least two perches at different heights and of a variety of diameter and materials. Choose 3/4 inch dowel or a natural, unsprayed branch (most hardwoods and fruitwoods are safe, but not oak, cherry or pine as they are hazardous.) Your pet will need 4 feeding dishes for pellets, treats, soft food and water. Fasten a Cuttle bone and mineral block to the bars. You may provide a bath dish in the cageor bathe your pet outside the cage. A few safe wood or acrylic toys will keep your bird busy, rotate them to avoid boredom. Line the tray with black and white newspaper or paper towels. It is unsafe to use pine/cedar shavings, corn cob or walnut bedding.

Diet

Your bird's diet should be 50% pellets and the remainder a variety of foods such as bird bread, bean mix, vegetables and not more than 10% seeds. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Vitamin supplements are not needed with this diet.

Cleaning

Tray liners should be replaced every few days and the cage bottom, fittings and dishes regularly washed with hot water and soap. Once a month, disinfect the cage with diluted bleach and rinse thoroughly.
Fertility Sexing: Females have mainly gray faces with lighter cheekpatches, spots under the flight feathers and barring on the tail. Males have white or yellow faces and crests, but no spots or bars. Lutino-Whitefaces can?t be sexed visually. Onset of sexual maturity is 9 months.

Health

Pet cockatiels should have their wings clipped and nails trimmed. Do not use commercial mite protectors, they are not necessary and can be toxic to your bird. Be alert for signs of illness such as sneezing, plucking feathers or changes in droppings.

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PostSubject: Lorikeet   Thu May 15, 2008 7:24 pm



Lorikeets are extremely intelligent, social birds requiring much mental stimulation and interaction. The following information is appropriate for all members of the lorikeet family.

Without proper care and attention, lorikeets can develop bad habits such as screaming, biting and destructive chewing of furnishings. For safety, their wings should be kept properly clipped; have your AVIAN vet show you the correct method.

Housing

Your lorikeet needs the largest cage you can afford, preferably powder-coated for easy cleaning. Cage width and depth are more important than height. Make sure the cage is zinc-safe and lead-free, with appropriate bar size and spacing. Your lorikeet should not be able to fit its head between the bars, or to damage the bars with its beak. Natural hardwood branches make the best perches; never use sandpaper perches. Choose a variety of non-toxic wood or acrylic chew toys to occupy your bird, and rotate them to avoid boredom.

Diet

Lorikeets do best on a diet of liquids and fruits which are low in iron. High iron content foods should be avoided. Several manufacturers make lorikeet mixes, so all you have to add is water. The liquid doesn't stay fresh long, however, and needs to be changed several times a day. Due to their liquid diet, lorikeets are very messy eaters and their droppings require frequent cleaning.

Cleaning

Tray liners should be replaced every day and the cage bottom, fittings and dishes regularly washed with hot water and soap. Disinfect the cage monthly with diluted bleach and rinse thoroughly. Line the tray with black and white newspaper or paper towels. Pine/cedar shavings, corn cob or walnut beddings are unsafe.
Fertility Excessive egg-laying is a potential health risk and a qualified AVIAN vet should examine every egg-laying bird.

Health

Every bird should be examined by a qualified AVIAN vet at least once a year or ASAP if any bleeding, injuries, or other signs are noticed. It can be hard to tell when a bird is ill, and by the time you notice a problem, the sickness is usually well-advanced. Delaying a visit with an AVIAN vet or using over-the-counter or human medicines, which mask signs of illness, is likely to cost your bird's life.

Warnings

Lorikeets have very sensitive respiratory systems and should not be exposed to cigarette smoke, aerosols, harsh cleaning products, or other toxic fumes.

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PostSubject: Finch or Canary   Thu May 15, 2008 7:26 pm



Finches and canaries are attractive birds that make fascinating and rewarding pets. They can be be kept singly or in groups. The following information is appropriate for all members of the finch and canary family.

Although most pet owners are content to observe their birds, with patience and perseverance it is possible to finger tame them. Finches and canaries can be messy eaters and it is wise to place their cage in an area that can be easily cleaned up.

Housing

Finches or canaries need the largest cage you can afford; since they are not usually finger-tamed and spend most of their time in their cage, they need plenty of room. Cage width and depth are more important than height. Make sure the cage is zinc-safe and lead-free, with appropriate bar size and spacing. Natural hardwood branches make the best perches; sandpaper perches should never be used. Choose a variety of non-toxic wood or acrylic toys to keep your bird busy, and rotate them to avoid boredom.

Diet

These birds should be fed a variety of foods, including vitamin-fortified seed mix, dark green, leafy vegetables, yams, carrots, hard boiled eggs, and some fruit. Grit, gravel, and oyster shells should never be given. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Vitamin supplements are not needed with this diet.

Cleaning

Tray liners should be replaced every day and the cage bottom, fittings and dishes regularly washed with hot water and soap. Once a month, disinfect the cage with diluted bleach; be sure to rinse thoroughly. Line the tray with black and white newspaper or paper towels. It is unsafe to use pine/cedar shavings, corn cob or walnut bedding.
Fertility Egg-laying is very common in finches and canaries and can start any time after five months of age. Excessive egg-laying is a potential health risk, consult a qualified AVIAN vet.

Health

Finches and canaries should have a complete exam by a qualified AVIAN vet at least once a year or ASAP if any bleeding, injuries, or other signs are noted. It can be hard to tell when a bird is ill, and by the time you notice a problem, the sickness is usually well-advanced. Delaying a visit with an AVIAN vet or using over-the-counter or human medicines, which mask the signs of illness, is likely to cost your bird's life.

Warnings

Finches and canaries have very sensitive respiratory systems and should not be exposed to cigarette smoke, aerosols, harsh cleaning products, or other toxic fumes.

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