Category Archives: Informative Post

Dairy Products: Yes or No?

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Just recently I’ve been reading up on if dairy products can be fed to your birds or not. Well according to this very informative website it shouldn’t be fed because the avian digestive tract can’t digest lactose. It states that it can cause severe allergic reactions, obstructive disease and even death.

Even though this is most likely true, I’ve read that it is common among budgie breeders in the UK  to feed their young birds bread & milk. I’d rather just not take the chance with feeding my budgies any dairy products because they can get all they need from other healthier foods. They may or may not be lactose intolerant, but I’m not going to be the one to try and find out.

My opinion is to avoid it if you have any doubts of its safety.

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Keeping a Journal?

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I read once somewhere that it’s a good idea to keep a daily journal about your birds. Why? Well by doing this, you can keep track of important things in your birds life like maybe behavior changes or you may notice a different interest your bird has in a new type of toy, or a new type of food that you might want to write about.

This can be especially helpful when you have a bird with health issues because that way; you can keep track of many other things like when it was last given its medication, what sort of progress it has made and its daily weight.

Keeping a Journal isn’t that hard, is it?

I personally never kept a journal on birds, but I’m interested in seeing how helpful it could be to have one. This blog is sort of like one, but I think that an actual journal where I kept some important info on my birds would be pretty interesting, so I may end up starting one.

I’d also like to encourage you to start one of your own, it may turn out to be pretty handy one day. A simple little notebook from the dollar store will do, as long as you are okay with writing in it.

Keeping one near where your bird hangs out would be a good idea. That way you can snatch it up and start jotting down whatever you have on your mind so that you won’t end up forgetting it by the time you find the journal. A pen or pencil attached to the journal would be a good idea too, and don’t forget to date each entry you make for future references.

You’re only limited by your imagination!

Water Dishes?

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Updated: September 19, 2011

I’ve found that there are many different opinions on whether one type of water dish is better than the other. My honest opinion is that the best water dish is the one that suits your likings the best. For example, my favorite type of water dish is the hamster water bottle type. Just because it’s easy to use, keeps the water completely clean, and can carry controlled amounts of water at a time. I also liked this one because it was fairly easy to clean. The smallest size I could get was the perfect size for the budgies, and I like these because they are easily replaced.

This is the type of water dish I use.

There is a gazillion other options out there, but some of the more popular ones I’ve seen include:

Stainless Steel Water Bowls

I use these now. My birds like to perch on the sides of these dishes, but their poop contaminates the water, which doesn’t smell to good when I go to clean it. They are pretty good for containing food though, so that is what I use them for too. When there is food in them however, it makes the birds just a bit more extra careful when they need to “go”.

Stainless Steel Bowls

Glass Water Spouts

The last time I used one of these was more than a year ago. That is because the one I had just busted right in my hand when I was trying to hang it on their cage. They hold a lot of contents, but they are too fragile for me. The adapter clip on the side is also a bit too flimsy for my liking.

Glass Water Spout

Feeding Tube/Fountain

These would be my second choice for water dishes because of how simple it is to assemble or take apart. Just two parts, and it is really easy to clean. The only reason why I don’t use these anymore is because all of the cage bars on my cage right now are horizontal, so that makes it pretty hard to use them, don’t you think? There is  a version for horizontal cage bars though, but the little clips that keep them on break easily, so my two were disposed of pretty quickly.

This is the horizontal version of Feeding Tube.
There are two types of these dishes, one for food and one for water.

For food dishes, I’d have to say that the Stainless Steel Bowls are the best. They are very durable, safe, and can be washed in the dishwasher along with your other dishes if you like. I prefer to hand-wash mine.

A Healthy Diet for My Birds

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For most of their lives, my birds have been fed an all-seed diet. With nothing else except water. This of course changed once I started to read up more on the proper diet for budgies and found out that this was a big no-no. An all-seed diet is bad for your bird’s health because it simply does not fulfill all their dietary needs. Their diets are said to need a balanced variety of vegetables/greens, fruits, safe wild foods (like chickweed, dandelion leaves, blossoms, etc.), nuts, and seeds.

You should also provide a source of calcium like cuttlebone or eggs, and mineral blocks help keep you bird’s beak in shape too. You may also decide to include pellets in their diet, but I usually don’t feed mine any unless they are of good quality. (Volkman’s, Totally Organic Pellets, Harrison’s, etc.) If your bird is not used to eating a variety of foods I’d start with offering only a small amount of new food each day for a while and replace more of their normal diet daily so that you can gradually transfer them to a new healthier diet.

I offer a side dish of whatever I have available at this point because my budgies can be a bit stubborn with what they like eating. (Can’t they all?) 🙂 Some of the things that I have offered to my budgies include…

  • Carrots
  • Carrot Tops
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • Brown Rice (Which was totally plain, and organic.)
  • Apples (Without the seeds of course!)
  • Wheat Germ
  • Baby Spinach

I may have offered other kinds, but I can’t recall any right now. I’d like to start making it more of a habit to feed the birds fresh foods because they deserve it after all those years of just seed. One thing I’d also like to try is the “Chop” concept that I will post below. This might get my three’s attention because of how finely chopped it has to be. Maybe I’ll get a food processor or something that will make it easier.

There are many sources of information out there that you can read through to get a better idea of what is safe, and what isn’t safe. I myself am still finding new information every day after months of reading, so you can never learn too much! 🙂

You can start by reading these links here, they have plenty of helpful information:

Vegetables and Fruits

Avian Nutrition and Dietary Requirements

I’d also recommend reading the posts on “Chop” found at the blog “Parrot Nation” which you can find under the “Blogs I Read” section to the right. This is a great way to feed your birds because it is easy and saves lots of time. You can find them here:  The “Chop” Recipe. The same goes for the blog “HungryBird“. This blog is all about feeding birds better food (as stated under the blog title) and you can get great ideas here too.

I wish you luck on your journey to feeding your birds a better diet!

Homemade Toys

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Toys are a great way to help stimulate your bird’s mind and to keep him/her busy.  Even though there is a wide variety of commercially available bird toys out there, many of them could be harmful to your bird. Some people have also learned that their birds dislike these toys and favor something as simple as a bottle cap. These are some of the reasons why I will be trying to make toys which I think are safe and suitable for the birds.

The past few days I have found many sources which have instructions on how to make various types of toys. These are very helpful and can even get me started on making my own. I’ve already made a mini version of a toy named “The Paper Puff” which was originally made by Michelle from The Beak Whisperer. Here is the post she made about it. My version was made with tiny whiffle balls and cut up cupcake papers. Then they were attached with some hemp twine. It was a big hit with the birds. Froot Loop was the first to nibble on one, then the other two started to nibble a bit too. Before I knew it, there were little cupcake paper scraps all over their cage floor, and two scraggly looking Paper Puffs left.

I’ve also made other toys with beads on them, but the birds don’t seem to like beads as much as shredding toys. There are many things out there that I can still experiment with though.

Here are a few things that seem to be popular with budgies:

  • Bells
  • Swings
  • Paper
  • Strings (That they can pull at and nibble on)
  • Beads
  • Other things that make noise

There are also many other materials you can find around your house that can be used to make great toys, such as bottle caps, toilet paper, and egg cartons. All you have to do is make sure they are safe, and be creative!