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So my dad put on some old CDs he found, and they were Christmas music. Mostly instrumental, but otherwise fantastic choral music.
Gilly was drawn in immediately. He strained to sit on the player and then he sat down and settled in. It was adorable. On one song, he got up to search for the bells. <3
Christmas is 10 days away, and I need to buy him some gifts, considering it is his first Christmas (his first birthday is in appx 2 and a half months, eeee). Any suggestions for what presents a budgie will fall head over tail for?
The Dirty Little Secret of the Fast-Growing Bird Toy Industry Has Now Been Revealed...
Birds love toys, but some toys can be killing our birds slowly! It’s a terrifying thought that will effect the way I look at toys from now on.
Read this, and then be sure to check your birds’
I almost lost my Military Macaw, “Cash,” to metal
toxicity… He was just 24 hours away from certain
death according to my vet. I’d hate to see you face
a similar catastrophe.
Wishing your birds good health,
Parrot Behavior Specialist
An Urgent Letter From Chet Womach
Parrot Behavior Specialist and Concerned Bird Owner
Tuesday, 10:43 a.m.
Dear Parrot Lover,
I urge you to read the following page carefully…
… Because what I’m about to share with you could literally save your bird’s life.
Your bird’s toys — the very SAME toys you buy him as little gifts during your regular trips to the local pet store — may be slowly killing him… poisoning him to death… and you have absolutely NO IDEA!
You see, every year, the popularity of parrots increases in the U.S…
In fact, experts now believe that more than 15% of U.S. households keep pet birds.
And with this rise in demand for parrots, there has been an explosion of bird toy manufacturers who are eager to make a quick buck off loving pet owners, but who have ZERO practical knowledge of what it takes to keep your birds safe and healthy.
And do they care…? It’s hard to say…Greedy Bird Toy Manufacturers Don’t Care
Whether Your Bird Lives Or Dies.
In the last year alone, you’ve probably seen the news stories of tainted pet food imported out of China killing dogs and cats, because it used “melamine fillers” to fake higher levels of protein!
Or, how about the recalls of toys made in China because they used lead paint! Poisonous to children!
So it can’t surprise you all that much to hear that bird toys have now been affected by a lack of quality control and standards, too!
Just because you’re buying toys from a reputable local pet store does NOT mean they’re safe for your bird.
Reading the labels on each bird toy you purchase
simply isn’t good enough!
Because even if a toy label says it’s safe and approved by bird experts, it doesn’t mean it’s truly safe!
No manufacturer wants to get their butt sued for making untrue claims or promises.
So if their products contain dangerous chemicals or substances… Well, heck, they simply leave those important little details off their labels.
Poisons and toxins that have been commonly found in bird toys include…
Formaldehyde and Formalin… Most often found in leather made outside the USA, which can cause nasal tumors, rashes, inflammation and respiratory problems!
Zinc… Most commonly used to coat iron and steel used in bird toys to keep them from rusting!Common signs of zinc toxicity include feather plucking, excessive urine in droppings, weight loss, weakness, anemia, gastrointestinal problems, hyperglycemia, seizures and DEATH!
Lead… This is one of the most common poisoning in birds and it can cause nervous system disorders, usually seizures. Signs include lethargy, weight loss, regurgitation, loss of balance and staggering, head tilt, circling, blindness, head tremors, convulsions, and seizures.
Arsenic… Typically found in pressure treated woods used to make cheap bird toys — and no big surprise, arsenic is poisonous to birds!
Woods that have been stained or varnished to add color can be highly toxic. And so are toys made with woods like cedar, red cherry, plywood, and oak!
… And of course, this is just a short list.
Signs Your Bird Is ALREADY In Trouble:
Please, please, please rush your bird to the vet immediately if he starts exhibiting any of the following symptoms, which are all common signs of toxicity and poisoning:
* Loss Of Balance
* No Appetite
* Bloody Feces
* Bloody Urine
* Poor Breathing
* Respiratory Problems
* Drinking Way More Water
* Feather Plucking
* Green Diarrhea
* Head Tilt
* Upset Stomach
* Head Tremors
* Increased Urination
* Weight Loss
… And keep in mind, symptoms of toxicity can range from mild to severe!
So while a mild case of toxicity might depress your bird’s nervous system making him seem irritable and generally unhappy… more serious cases can cause degeneration of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and DEATH!
This is very, very serious!
And Don’t Think Your Bird Is Safe
Just Because He’s NOT Exhibiting
These Symptoms Today!
Just because your bird isn’t showing symptoms of toxicity and poisoning today, doesn’t mean your toys are “safe”…
In severe cases of toxicity (acute toxicity), where your bird ingests a large amount of the poison in one shot by swallowing flakes of paint or metallic objects, the symptoms may appear suddenly and severely…
… So you’ll notice a change in your bird’s health very quickly!
But in cases where your bird may be ingesting very small amounts of the toxins on a daily basis (chronic toxicity)… the symptoms may not be noticeable at all…
… Until it’s too late for you to do anything about it!
That’s why prevention is the very best way to deal with toxicity!
hat’s why, I’ve decided to tackle this problem myself, do the research FOR YOU, and help you find toys that are truly safe for your parrots…
… Toys that I’m personally THRILLED to let my birds play with because they’ve met my strict safety guidelines, including…
Made using vegetable tanned leather (NOT formaldehyde!)
Made with stainless steel or iron — with NO zinc coating!
Made ONLY with “approved” woods, dyed with vegetables that are 100% safe for your bird!
Use links and chains made of stainless steel to attach toys to the cage — not dangerous galvanized metals!
Do NOT use glues, adhesives, lacquers or paints!
Plus, you should also know, I’m insisting on recommending toys that:
Do NOT use flavoring… I know that flavored wood toys are becoming popular, but the problem is, the bird’s don’t just play with them… They actually EAT them, which is not safe!
Chunks of wood can block their digestive tract, or even cut their crop or intestines with sharp edges!
Are the correct size for YOUR breed of bird… Chain toys and rope toys that are the wrong size can trap your bird’s neck, legs, or feet and the bird panics!
They can literally become nooses for your bird, and a panicking bird will even chew off its own toes to free itself… imagine this happening while you’re away at work!
Do NOT use split rings or key rings… These can be VERY dangerous because birds get their beaks, toes, and tongues caught in them!
Do NOT include bells that can snag your bird’s beak.
… And that’s just the beginning.
I’m going to start doing product reviews!
thought it would be interesting to share what my budgies/cockatiel like and don’t like to help other people know what to buy!
Feel free to submit your own reviews of toys or perches that your birds love or hated! :P
I’m going to start with the brand “Insight”
Insight have a range of toys called: Activitoys
these are meant to be designed for smaller birds such as budgies and cockatiels!
This one was sent to me by my friend, and its been in the budgies cage for months now! they LOVE playing with it and throwing the little ball around!
I really like it because its easy to wash and so far it has not been broken with my females who can be quite destructive!
This one has been well played with too! But not as much a favourite as the basketball one
They sell a range of foot toys and I think I’ve bought them all!
They are great for out of cage time, the budgies will run around carrying these in their beaks and throwing them around!
My cockatiel also loves these as well!
these are the small size.. which is perfect for budgies and cockatiels.
I also have this in the medium size which bandit likes to play with but she can’t quite pick them up as well as the small ones
cost: 2.95 pack of 2
cost: 3.95 (this is medium size.)
Here you can see their sizes: the one charlie is playing with is medium size
and kirby is playing with the same thing in small size.
What Metals Are SAFE?
Some symptoms of heavy metal toxicity are:
- lethargy and depression
- decreased appetite and weight loss
- increased thirst
- abnormal droppings: greenish black in color, blood in droppings, diarrhea
- weakness/ ataxia: falling from perches, inability to fly or walk straight
A bird may simply show signs of general and non-specific illness. The good news is that there are medications to relieve the symptoms of metal poisoning in birds and chelation therapy to help remove metals that remain in the bird’s body. There are cases, however, where metals remain unpassed by the bird despite all efforts. Largely, though,metal toxicity is repairable as long as it is caught before too much damage has been done.What Metals Are SAFE?
We don’t always know the composition of the metals around us. Some are alloys, which are a combination of metal used together to increase the strength or the resistance to corrosion in the final product. The problem is in determining which metals are used in each alloy.
Chrome (aka chromium or chrome plated) is the perfect example – it is an alloy that is sometimes safe, but sometimes incorporates zinc and there is no way for us to know one way or the other. Because of the possibility of zinc, I will not use chrome with my birds – even though it probably is safe.
On the other hand, stainless steel, is an alloy that IS safe – even though stainless steel combines about 11% (ish) chromium with steel in the product. (I know what you are thinking… “she just told us chromium contains zinc!”) Since chromium might only contain a small percentage of zinc, and stainless steel contains only a percentage of chromium, levels are lowered and overall, it is safe. In fact, stainless steel is the preferred metal to use with parrots. It is a hard surface that can stand up to a large beak and is easily cleaned.
Metals that are nickel plated are also safe for use with parrots.
Steel and iron are safe metals, but they will rust when introduced to water. Because water is common in the parrot environment, if only for the purpose of cleaning, neither iron nor steel are good choices in the long run.
Aluminum is also a safe metal. It doesn’t rust like iron or steel, but instead corrodes into an aluminum oxide, a grayish white substance that is powdery in appearance. Unlike rust, aluminum oxide is non-toxic when ingested or handled.
It is important not to use any metal that is galvanized. Galvanizing is the process during which metals are plated with a thin coating of zinc to make them less corrosive. When intended for outdoor use, these metals are galvanized to make them weather resistant.
Toys available at http://www.birdtricks.com/parrot-toys/
Most of the metals parts that come with toys from reputable stores and manufacturers will be either stainless steel or nickel plated for the purpose of safety. When a part needs to be replaced and the hardware store is your only option, be sure to ask for the stainless steel version of what you are looking for. It will be more expensive, but well worth the cost.
Toxic metals show up in the most unexpected household items – from toothbrushes to drapery weights. Keep your bird away from any metals that you can’t identify as safe with certainty. Make a general rule that states no metals except stainless steel, nickel plated and aluminum should be used in your bird’s environment, and when in doubt, don’t.
(from bird tricks.com)
Budgie - Day 2
Gave the budgie a home-made toy today =) A simple cardboard tube with a hole at each end to thread some string through to tie it to the cage wall. Not (now that I think about it) that it needs such holes…. ah well, it makes it more stable =P
anyway, the budgie went up to it straight away and had lots of fun chewing it and sticking its head inside and so on. By late afternoon though it had figured out that it could crawl through =D So cute!! The budgie then spent the rest of the afternoon going through and through and through and through and it was highly entertaining =P and then it crawled through so that its head and tail were sticking out each end, and sat there falling asleep! Hee Hee Heeee!! It’s so CUTE!!
It’s also becoming tamer and more used to me =) today it was falling asleep (until my hand ached too much not to move it away) 1-2cm away from my hand. Quite relaxed =) I’m hoping that in the next few days it will feel comfortable sitting on my hand inside the cage =)