The joy our companion parrots bring to
our lives is priceless and everyone wants these wonderful creatures to
live a long, healthy and happy life. This month’s newsletter focuses on
the ways you can ensure that outcome.
Bird Paradise is proud of its many
exclusive food blends, from the Original Ultimate Blend to the newest
Unsulphured Build-a-Blend. These are a result of a secret recipe which
features non-colored pellets, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables. NOTE:
refrigerate bird food, as this will prevent the appearance of flour moths,
especially during the warmer weather. These moths are harmless but, are
attracted to grain based products (human, as well). If you do find these
pesky visitors in your house, use the Flour Moth Traps. They are very
effective. -- Do not store bird food in the freezer unless it is vacuum
sealed. Air in the bags will result in ice crystals. These in turn will
melt and cause mold.
In addition, we want all birds to have a
bountiful supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in beta
carotene such as butternut squash, carrots, and pumpkin should be cooked
in order for birds to properly absorb the Vitamin A. Lima beans MUST be
cooked because uncooked lima beans inhibit proper protein metabolization.
Otherwise, raw is best.---- When visiting the produce section of your
grocery store, buy organic whenever possible. This way you are avoiding
your bird being exposed to pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Did you
know that some of the top pesticide foods are apples, berries, grapes,
peaches/nectarines, pears, tomatoes, cherries, potatoes, kale, spinach,
bell peppers, and carrots? It is especially important NOT to buy
imported grapes, as they contain pesticides from the inside out. With
that exception, IF buying conventional produce, be sure to spray them with
the Citrus Magic Fruit and Vegetable Wash and then rinse well to remove
any chemicals. ------------
Of course, avocado, chocolate, alcohol,
caffeine, rhubarb, apple seeds and fruit pits are prohibited. Avoid
sugary, fatty, salty foods. What is junk for for you is junk food for
birds. Remember that birds are lactose intolerant; so, no sharing your
morning cereal or that dish of ice cream.
We know that kitchens are not good rooms
for bird cages or playstands but, even if your feathered companion is at
the opposite side of the house, burning any non-stick pan is deadly to
your bird. Cookware which is non-stick is coated with a chemical PTFE AND
PFOA. When overheated, toxic gases are emitted and the end result is the
demise of your parrot. By the year 2015, manufacturers will no longer be
allowed by law to use these chemicals in their cookware. That certainly
tells us that cooking with these materials is also unhealthy for humans.
---- The safest cookware is stainless. However, it can be challenging to
cook eggs and some other foods in an all stainless pan. There are now some
companies rising to the challenge to offer NON-PTFE and NON-PFOA pans.
Cuisinart has a line called Non-Stick Hard Anodized Green Gourmet and QVC
carries a line called Earth Pans. Both of these are safe to use and both
have non-stick properties without the danger toxic chemicals. The Earth
Pans are available in pans and skillets. I own a set and love them, in
addition to having peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my birds.
Summer is approaching and customers ask
if it is OK to take their birds outside. Yes, with a few stipulations.
First, NEVER take a bird outside without he or she being in a carrier or
without the bird having a properly fitting harness. Despite the fact that
your bird’s wings may be clipped, it is still possible for birds to have
flight, especially the ability to fly straight upwards into a tree. We
have sadly heard the stories of clipped birds being spooked by a sound
outdoors and owners calling to ask how to get their bird down from a tree.
The ending is usually not happy. Do not place a bird near decking or any
other structure made of pressure treated wood. Such wood is treated with
Be cautious of times when your township
may spray for mosquitoes.
If you have a cage outside, make sure
your parrot does not become overheated. Birds do not sweat as do people.
You may see them holding their wings out from their bodies. This is a
bird’s attempt to lower its body temperature. However, if exposed to
extreme sun without the ability to seek shade or cooler temperatures,
death can result.
As spring gradually turns into summer,
we find ourselves enjoying the opportunity to open some windows and
breathe in the fragrant air. Just be sure not to expose your bird to
drafts. --- If you suffer from outdoor and/or indoor allergies, consider
investing in a good quality air purifier. After years of research, I have
found the IQ Air (found on AllergyBuyersClub.com) to be the very best.
They are not inexpensive but well worth the investment. Do not purchase
those that give off ions or ozone. And, do not purchase those with metal
grids you wipe clean. These are not effective. The best, as with IQ Air,
are those with true HEPA filters that you
This time of year brings out the desire
to do some spring cleaning. Be sure to use bird safe products. Avoid using
bleaches, pine scented cleaners or any other cleaners with strong odors.
Many “green”, ecofriendly products are now easily available. Remember
also to clean your bird’s cage with bird-friendly products. Poop-Off is
great for ... well, poop of course! And Pet Focus is an effective
disinfectant, along with Avitech AviClean. NEVER line the cage bottom
with corn cob or walnut shell bedding. Both grow mold very quickly.
Instead, use paper based products like Care Fresh, Fibercore EcoBedding,
Back-2-Nature Bedding and Prevue Cage Liners.
The key to any bird living a long life
is: a healthy diet, clean environment, taking all the safety precautions
mentioned in this article and........ or course, LOTS of love!