Monday, June 25, 2018

CHICKEN BANTAM - Smallest and Most Fun Chicken?

Silkie
Silkie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chickens come in a variety of sizes. The average sized chicken found in most breeds, the huge chicken that can probably feed a home for two days, and then there's the small chicken bantam.

Bantams are naturally small. You can compare them to other small chickens in size, but these guys are special because they don't come any bigger. Bantam chickens will only get as big as twenty-two ounces.

So what's the big thing about these bantam chickens? They don't make for very good meat providers, and even if they produce a lot of eggs, the eggs are probably puny - not even enough to satisfy one person. What good are they?

Chicken bantams make for decent pets

Here's the thing; Bantams are small. Their small size and elaborate plumage put them in pretty much the same level as other pets. They strut around and look good without really doing anything, and people love them because they're cute.

Bantams are also good-natured creatures, which makes them safe for the kids.

Let's talk a little more on the plumage. Bantams usually do have really elaborate plumage. Sometimes, the feathers are so exquisite that bantams have become champions in chicken breeding competitions time and again.

Take the bantam breed called the Sultan. This chicken doesn't look at all like a chicken, thanks to the poofy pompadour head of hair it has that hides its wattle and comb. This little guy is the Elvis Presley of chickens, bantam or not.

Another curious chicken bantam breed is the Silkie. This bird has the curious distinction of looking like a cloud of cotton, having five toes (as opposed to the standard four), and black flesh with blue skin. It is a very docile animal that despite the sparse amount of meat it offers, is considered a gourmet delicacy in mainland China.



Bottom line is that bantam chickens may be small creatures, but these little guys have some of the most interesting breeds in the chicken kingdom. People who aren't interested in keeping chickens as livestock might be wise to consider getting a bantam instead. Or if you're a beginner who's just after the experience, bantams are easy to take care of.

    By Chad B.
    Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was a little boy back in 1986.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Common Human Foods That Can Poison Your PET BIRD Or PARROT

English: Baby parrots in a pet shop. A Senegal...
Baby parrots in a pet shop.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pet birds and parrots are very social beings that need a lot of love and attention. They like to be included at mealtime, and we can have allotted of fun sharing food with our feathered friends. But we need to beware of some very poisonous foods and toxic fumes that can be deadly to our precious bird friends.

One fruit that you would not suspect of being harmful is the avocado. But it can be deadly to pet parrots and other birds. The skin and pit of the popular fruit is known to cause cardiac distress and heart failure in pet birds. There is some debate about the degree of toxicity of avocados, but it is much better to be safe than sorry. I would definitely keep avocados, guacamole and anything else made with this fruit away from my pet birds. I read about someone's pet cockatiel that died the next day after eating guacamole with their family.

The next poison food on the list is chocolate which is deadly. Chocolate poisoning affects your pet parrots digestive system causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the poison moves its way through the birds' system it attacks the central nervous system causing seizures and eventually death.

Apple seeds along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches apricots, and pears have trace amounts of cyanide (a deadly poison) within their seeds. The fruit of the apple is fine to share with your bird, but make sure to core and wash the apple skin thoroughly because it may contain toxic pesticides.

Onions is another poison food for our parrot friends. A limited amount of onions and garlic as flavorings are acceptable. But in large amounts onions cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Prolonged exposure to onions can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia which is followed by respiratory failure and eventually death.

Alcohol is a very bad poison and nothing to mess around with concerning your pet parrot. Most pet bird owners are responsible and would never offer their parrot any alcoholic drinks. But there have been some instances where wild birds have gotten into unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ system of birds and can be fatal. Make sure to secure your pet bird into his cage and preferably away from the party in another room to keep him safe from toxic brews.



Mushrooms are a type of fungus and have been known to cause digestive upset in our precious companion birds. Some varieties of mushroom caps and mushroom stems cause liver failure.

Tomato leaves are another poison food to keep away from our pet parrots. Tomatoes are of the nightshade family like potatoes. They have a tasty fruit which is fine for your bird, but the stems, vines, and leaves are highly toxic to your precious friends. Make sure that the tomato is cleaned properly, sliced with all of the green parts removed to keep your pet bird safe from any poison.

Salt is a health risk for pet parrots as it is for people. Even though a small amount of sodium is OK for all living creatures, too much salt for birds can cause excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be very careful not to give your pet parrot friend an excessive amount of foods containing salt. It is better to stay away from salt altogether.

Caffeine is a toxic brew for your little-feathered friend. These would include caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea. Allowing your bird to indulge in these types of beverages is asking for a very sick pet bird. Caffeine causes the cardiac malfunction in birds and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest... Share a drink of pure vegetable juice, fruit juice or filtered water (filtered with a simple water filter like Brita that can be bought in a store near you) with your bird. Keep caffeinated beverages away from your pet parrot.

Dried Beans which are uncooked contain a poison called hemaglutin that is very toxic to birds. If you are going to share beans with your pet parrot make sure to thoroughly cook them. Cooked beans are a favorite treat for many birds. My pet cockatiels love cooked soybeans.

Teflon is very deadly to your pet birds. Get rid of your Teflon and any plastic coated cookware that you have in your home. It's not worth the risk of losing your parrot friend. Overheated Teflon omits an odorless gas that you cannot see or smell. Your bird can die within minutes upon inhalation of the deadly fumes. Absolutely no Teflon should be in the home of a bird owner.

Be Safe. Use cast iron cookware and glass cookware.

There are many more things that can harm our pet birds who have very fragile and tiny lungs. Smoke and burnt food are other poisons to watch out for. Use common sense when thinking about what could be harmful to your precious parrot. Do some research on that questionable item. Call your avian veterinarian if you are not sure.

It's better to be safe than sorry concerning your precious feathered friend.



Friday, June 22, 2018

The Music of the Beaks: Understanding CANARIES

Japanese White-eye (メジロ)
Japanese White-eye - Photo   by      Dakiny  (cc)
Big time symphonists turn their attention to the sounds of thunder, but a lyrical composer listens to bird sounds like that of canaries. I have a flutist friend who keeps canaries in a spare room in his home.

His canaries are called border canaries, the singing kind, all yellow in color. It is only the males that sing with songs as memorable as stashed-away kisses. Not only that, my friend plays his music with his canaries, for they listen and imitate him and sometimes perch on his flute.

Canaries live about ten to fourteen years and can reproduce twice a year. My flutist friend's canaries, now about twenty in number, descended from two canaries, since just a few years back.

He says their daily upkeep doesn't cost much and they are clean birds. Still, the most important thing a bird lover can do is to keep his canary cages or the room used as aviary sparkling clean. Canaries, as all birds, are more susceptible to diseases in a dirty environment.

Direct exposure to sun, too much outside noise, polluted air, sudden temperature changes, bad diet, lack of exercise can make canaries seriously ill. The Canaries should never be exposed to damp and drafty conditions since they can develop asthma and rheumatism. Should a canary become ill, the best bet is to consult a veterinarian.

These birds are accident prone, also. Bookshelves, wastebaskets, couches and big upholstered armchairs can serve as death-traps. The Canaries are known to fly into mirrors and windows and sustain concussions and broken limbs, too. If a spare room is to be made into an aviary, the furniture should consist of simple tables without drawers and wooden chairs.

Canaries have a light skeleton as they can fly and dart across a room, and they need large cages and space to fly. As most birds, they have a very high rate of metabolism that burns up energy during flight.

What a canary eats is important for its health. The seeds have to be fresh and drinking water clean. Canaries drink the water they bathe in. So, the saucers they bathe in should contain the same quality of water in their water bottles. Non-carbonated mineral water is best. Tap water, if chlorinated, is not good for any bird.

A proper diet for a canary consist of birdseed mixture, organic fruits, and vegetable greens, spray millet, cuttlebone or mineral stone, and once in a while, sprouts, fresh twigs, and hard-boiled egg yolk with low-fat cottage cheese. Pesticide sprayed greens, fruit pits, and the skin of an avocado act like poisons for a canary.

The eyes of a canary work independently of each other, and through the use of its eyes, a canary orients itself to its environs. The vision of a canary draws almost a full circle of 320 degrees.

Canaries also possess an acute hearing. The structure of a canary's ear is akin to that of mammal, but without a flap. Otherwise, how else would the bird imitate a flute?

It is fun to watch canaries in their daily life. They preen themselves, and out of friendship, each other. In addition, the courting birds dance and feed each other. When the birds are relaxed and happy, they sit on one leg and may puff their plumage.



When a canary sleeps, it partially buries its head in its back and fluffs up its feathers. Canaries sleep through the night and are awake at daytime, but a relaxed and non-threatened bird may take short naps during the daytime.

Male canaries may sing as they fly over what they consider to be their territory. They also sing while attracting the female. The female may sing too; although the female bird has the necessary organs for singing, its voice is so soft that it is not heard.

When two canaries threaten each other, they raise their beaks and flap their wings. In general, however, canaries in a colony live peacefully together.

All birds hate to be seized, especially because human fingers hurt their feathers. If a canary escapes from its cage, it is better to cajole it back rather than to try grasping it.

Keeping a single male canary alone in a cage is not fair to the bird, no matter how good a care its owner might give him. A pair of canaries and a very large cage is the least you can do if you want canaries in your life.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fact Sheet: SPOTTED TANAGER - Tangara punctata

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Spotted Tanager)

Spotted Tanager (Tangara punctata)
Photo by warriorwoman531
Bird Name:
Spotted Tanager

Latin Name:
Tangara punctata


Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tangara
Species: T. punctata


General Information:

The Spotted Tanager is endemic to South America. There are 5 subspecies of this tanager. They are seen singly, in pairs, or small family groups. They travel independently or with other canopy tanagers.

Physical Description:
This bird averages 11 to 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 13 to 17 g. It is mainly green in color with a creamy white belly. Almost its entire body is covered in black spots. The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly washed out with less conspicuous spots compared to the male. Juveniles resemble duller, slightly more brownish versions of the adults.

Diet:
It feeds on fruits, seeds, nectar, and insects, such as beetles. They forage in the crowns of trees, average 15 to 50 m above the ground, but will come down to obtain fruit from smaller trees and shrubs.



Habitat:
The bird thrives in forests, forest edges, and nearby second growths. It has also been found on shaded plantations and tree-studded clearings. Its range encompasses Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, the Guianas, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. This Tanager inhabits forest edge, second growth forest and forest, particularly the mossy forest of the Andes, the terra firma forest of eastern Amazonia and the Savanna Forest of Suriname. Typical elevation range for this species is sea level to 1700 m.

Reproduction:
The female usually lays two creamy white eggs speckled with brown per clutch. Incubation lasts approximately 14 days and leaving the nest occurs about 14 to 18 days later.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

PET BIRD Health

Pet bird Zip taking a bath
Pet bird Zip taking a bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you are considering buying a pet bird, there something that should be determined right from the start. This is pet bird health. You do not want to end up with a bird that is sick from the beginning. You should shop around for reputable breeders. This will reduce the chance of getting a pet that is already sick. Just to ease some tension, most birds purchased today are healthy. What can you do to reduce the risk and get a healthy pet?

As stated before, make sure to do your research and find a bird dealer that has a good track record. Your pet bird health should be guaranteed. You should make your best effort to get this guarantee of pet bird health in writing. If the store will allow it, get your bird's health checked out by an avian vet before buying it. If this can not be done, take it directly to the avian vet right after you buy it or at least by the next day.

When it is residing at its new residence, you the bird owner can look for certain things that indicate a pet bird health problem. What to look for to determine Breathing problems. Is the breathing noisy? Does it wheeze or pant? When breathing does it make clicking sounds?

Are the birds breathing heavy? Does it take short breaths? Does it breathe with its mouth open? Does its tail go up and down in a very pronounced manner?

Does your pet bird have some kind of discharge coming from its nasal area? Is the area around the eye or eyes swollen?

Has your bird lost its voice?
All of the above are signs of pet bird health going bad when it comes to breathing. Pet health problems can also be seen in the digestive system. vomiting or the bird regurgitating is one sign. Just like people diarrhea or a loose stool will signal a problem. Look to see if the bird's poop has undigested seeds in it, has blood present or has some kind of mucas in it.

Bone problems in a bird can be seen by looking for the following clues. Does the bird have a droopy wing? When you look at your bird, is it standing as it usually does or has its posture changed. These things could indicate a birds health problem in the musculoskeletal of the bird.



Pet birds can have skin problems too. Look for any bumps or lumps on them. Do the bird's skin flake more than normal or is its beak flaking? are its nails or beak growing too much? Learning your birds daily routine will help tremendously in determining if there is a pet bird health problem. By knowing what your healthy bird does, acts and looks like will help you see if he or she is sick.

When you have a pet, there is a need to store all of the pet stuff somewhere. A garage makes a great place. 


    By James Cropper - Article Source: EzineArticles