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.
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.
Do you ever look at a toy somewhere and think, “Geez, I could make that for a lot cheaper?” I certainly do! Sometimes the sticker shock makes me think I might be overpaying for an item if I buy it from a vendor.
Recently I decided to take on the challenge of making a version of the I Got a Woody Bird Toys’ “Wacky Woody” , specifically the Barrel Bead version. The toys look awesome; they are full of the chippable barrel beads that my Hahn’s covets so much. I tend to be a cheapskate, and the $35 to $40 price tag made me a bit dizzy. I happened to have the materials on hand, and set out today to see what really goes into this toy.
When I brought my Quaker home over two years ago, I was annoyed that he was on an all seed diet, especially since the species is prone to fatty liver disease. While I didn’t want to completely exclude seeds from his diet, I wanted to be sure that the ones I did offer him were nutritious. It was a little shocking to me to see how little variety between commercial seed mixes were, and how sunflower and safflower laden they all were!
After comparing seed mixes, pellet mixes, and more, and using my local co-op and Nuts.com, I managed to create my own seed mix that I was quite pleased with. Now, I didn’t add a bunch of other things like flowers, herbs, dried fruit, etc, because I wanted this to be solely a seed mix that I could soak and sprout. However, back then I was unaware of the fact that flax and chia seeds are mucilaginous, meaning they gel up when they are wet. They require a different method for sprouting and will suffocate the other seeds if you attempt to do them together. My “sage advice” is that if you want to be able to sprout this mix, leave those seeds out.