I have been hoarding bird toy parts for a long time now. Well, I was going through stuff and thinking I could downsize, which I have done before, but never with any real gusto. I then thought about how much I enjoy making toys. My Quaker boys – whom I affectionately call “my little monsters” – really are particular about their toys, so they are kind of boring to make toys for.
That’s when I decided to open up my own bird toy shop.
I know that Harrison’s will disagree on this with us, but Ellen made some modifications to the Harrison’s Bird Bread directions so that it comes out perfect. I love using Harrison’s bread because it’s mainly pellets and is quick and easy! All of our birds love it this way!
It’s frustrating and embarrassing to admit, but the reason I posted recently about the idea of rehoming is because that topic has been discussed at our home a lot in the past few months. However, I don’t give up easily and I knew we are not ready to seriously consider it. I know that the behavior issues we are dealing with, as bad and hopeless as they sound – incessant screaming, dive bombing, unpredictable biting, over preening, and anxiety – were not only correctable, but that there were several small changes I could make that were likely to at least help a little. Hopefully my experience can help you, too!
I’ve been a proud parrot slave for over 4 years now, and a mom to a human child for about a year and a half of that. I’ve always been that person that couldn’t understand how anyone could give up their pets shortly after becoming a parent. Afterall, the feathered and furred children came first, right? How are they so easily replaced? I have judged those people all my life until the past few months.
After the escape of our green cheeked conure, Koopa, in May of this year, our poor quaker, Jingo, has been so lonely. He was screeching, dive bombing, biting, stealing food from the baby…a host of problems. I am not one to recommend getting a bird hoping bad behaviors go away, but he was miserable. We debated for a long time on who we wanted our new addition to be, from the species to gender to age to tame, etc.
This is a very complex subject, and honestly one that I am not fully qualified to discuss. However, I will attempt to share with you what I have learned, from articles as well as from people in the online avian community.
Our birds need Vitamin D – specifically D3. It is a crucial component in the calcium-phosphorus-D triangle. A problem, whether too much or too little, of any of these, can cause issues with the other two. Not only does it help with calcium metabolism, it is also important to cellular function, bone mineralization, and helps regulate other body functions. Vitamin D3 is manufactured by the skin; thus it is not found in plant based sources (aside from lichen, I’ve recently learned). It can be found in egg yolks, beef liver, fish oil, and a few other sources. Because D3 is 30-40 times more potent than D2, it is considered insufficient in the diet, as a bird would need to eat more than they are physically able to in order to make up the deficit.
For those that don’t know, bird bread is something popular in the avian community. It is a way to get pellets, fresh foods, etc into our birds when they decline to eat it themselves. Some feed it as a treat, others as an integral part of their feathered companion(s) diet. Birds universally seem to love bird bread so it is an effective tool for this purpose.
Yesterday, I lost my Hahns Macaw, Gizmo, to an extremely unfortunate toy accident.
Gizmo chewed away the vine ball and wedged her head between the poly rope and bagel and couldn’t get out. I assumed her head was too big to fit. It wasn’t. If I had been there I could have cut the rope and got her out easily. But I wasn’t.