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african grey parrots

10 Home Hazards For African Greys

June 11th, 2011

Home Hazards

1. Water

Water can be a big hazard also such as an open toilet, washing up bowl/sink, saucepan full of food/water, bath tubs, fish tanks…An African grey that is allowed to fly around the house could easily fall into any of these and can drown as they can not swim treat them as a toddler and keep all hazards out of the way so they don’t get hurt or die.

2. Household Plants

Household plants can also be very toxic to your African Grey that are found about the house these include Daffodil and Iris bulbs ,Poison ivy, Dieffenbachia, Tulip, Philodendron, Sanseveria (or Mother-in-law-tongue),Christmas cactus, Poinsettia, Oleander a couple to look out for around Christmas that you may bring into your home are Holly berries and Mistletoe. Safe plants that are very common in the house are Spider plants also most ferns are safe for parrots, best rule to follow is if your unsure do not let your parrot near the plant better to be safe than sorry! .This is just a very small list of toxic and safe plants and you will find many more on the lists.

3. Chemical Pesticides / Insecticides

Chemical pesticides / Insecticides such as Flea Bombs, Fertilizers, Fungicides. Cleaning solvents, Aerosol Sprays of any kind, Air Fresheners, Carpet Fresheners, Oven Cleaners, Furniture Polish, Tub & Tile Cleaners, Cleaning Supplies, Bleach and Ammonia fumes, Oil-based Paint and paint product fumes If you are re-painting a room make sure you take the parrot out of the room and don’t bring them back in until the room has been aired and the smell of the fumes has gone completely. The same applies to Spray-on Deodorants, Hair Spray, Perfumes/aftershaves, do not have your parrot in the bathroom if you are spraying any product and anything that gives off fumes can cause problems for your parrot and sometimes can even kill your parrot so keep everything away from your parrot and keep rooms well aired that you are using sprays or bleach in and your parrot as far away as possible.

4. Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe Smoke

Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe smoke, Marijuana smoke, Nicotine on hands and clothing, any smoke and fumes can be dangerous to parrots. If you have Nicotine on hands this can cause contact dermatitis, especially foot problems which would get the most contact with the nicotine on your clothes/hands also Ingesting tobacco products or Marijuana can make birds sick so if you have to smoke makes sure you do it outside or in a well ventilated room as far away from the parrot as possible.

5. Plug-in Air Fresheners

Plug-in Air Fresheners can be toxic to your parrot as they give off vapours from the oils which can be toxic to your parrot or even fatal Scented Candles, Incense, Potpourri also have the same effect and best avoided.

6. Burning rubber or Plastic

Burning rubber or plastic and non-stick cooking utensils are all dangerous to parrots as they give off deadly fumes.

7. Non Stick Pans

Non stick pans like Teflon T-fall and other non-stick coating used in Cookware, Bread Makers, Stove Drip Pans, Irons, Ironing Board Covers and other household appliances like hair dryers, irons/curlers all become deadly to parrots when the get over heated as they can give off fumes which are toxic and can be fatal to birds. You best to stick to the normal non stick cookware might mean a little more work cleaning them but much safer for your feathered friend.

8. Electrical Cords

Electrical cords need to be away from parrots as they love to chew everything in there reach and a cable is just as much fun as one of there toys in your parrots cage, they can kill your bird if it chews the cable so best kept away from them.

9. Other Pets In The House

Other pets in the house such as Cat?s and Dogs should be watched with your parrot and NOT left alone with your parrot at any time as they could cause your parrot serious injury or even death.

10. Windows / Patio Doors

Windows, patio doors are dangerous in two ways your parrot could fly into them and do themselves serious injury and it can even be fatal as they do not see them and think they can fly through them, also if they are left open your parrot can fly away and be at all sorts of danger from the big outside world, i lost my family pet grey Reggie this way but was very lucky to have him returned by a very honest lady who lived 25 miles away! Keep windows and doors closed or your parrot away when they are open.

Above are just some of the things i can think of that may help you, but that is no way a full complete list and should only be referred to as a small guide to dangerous items, you will find many more in books and on websites, you should always have to hand the number of a local Avian vet to you and directions on how to get there and a small towel, a pet carrier to take your parrot there in should you have to rush your bird to the vets, having these to hand means you can get there much quicker.


About the Author

Written by Paula Dansie of the African Grey Parrot Centre ™

This article may be duplicated in its full state but the above link must be retained, if this article is found duplicated anywhere on the web without the link preserved then legal action will be taken and your ISP will be contacted.


Double Baked Veggie Biscotti

February 20th, 2011

Ingredients

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup of corn flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of ground pellets
2 jars of orange veggies baby food (like carrot, butternut squash, sweet potatoe)
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking powder

Preparation

Combine all the flours and baking powder together.

Combine Baking Powder & Flours

You can use any other flours instead of those mentioned above, just avoid using white flour. Wholemeal flour, spelt flour, quinoa or rice flour would make good substitutes.

To make buckwheat flour just put the desired amount into a coffee grinder and ground it into a flour. This how it turns out after a good whizz

Buckwheat Flour

Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add two jars of the baby food and the egg. Mix well.

These are the jars of baby food I used

Baby Food

The dough should come off the sides of the bowl and you should be able to roll it out in a sausage. I sprinkled it with a few hemp seeds on top too

Hemp Seed Dough

Put “the sausage” in the oven and bake at 170C or gas mark 4 for about 25 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and cut it into thin slices.

Return the slices on to a baking tray and bake for further 30 minutes.

Once ready let them cool and freeze.

Second Baked Biscotti

Mine stayed slightly soft in the middle. If you want them dry all through then keep them in the oven for longer second time round but it is best to turn down the heat after 30 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.

To make them more appealing just add some chopped dry fruit and nuts to the dough.

Bon Appétit!

Digby Eating Twice Baked Biscotti

Courtesy of Irina from Parrot Comforts


So You Want A Grey – Are You Sure?

January 13th, 2011

Just wanted to put a few thoughts down for anybody that is looking around trying to decide whether to buy an African Grey or not.  If you can TRUTHFULLY answer yes to these questions then go ahead and look for the Grey of your dreams.  If there is one TRUTHFUL “No” amongst your answers then do a bit more research, ask a few more questions and then try again.

African Grey

1.  Are you prepared to have a permanent toddler in your home for the next 50+ years?  

2.  Parrots make a mess, an endless mess on walls, floors even ceilings!  Can you cope with mess?

3.  Noise.  Parrots make a noise, they scream, whistle, shout make the same noise over and over and over again until it could drive you insane.  Are you prepared for perpetual noise?

4.  Cost. Parrots cost a fortune, not just the initial outlay but ongoing, toys (parrots destroy toys, that’s on their job description) food, the best food is pellets which can be expensive, around £30 every six weeks for one parrot. Plus of course all the other things, veg, fruit, pulses, vet bills, insurance, carry cage.

5.  Space.  Do you really have the space for a parrot?  I mean….REALLY have the space, don’t just say “Yeah, it will fit in that corner over there!”  they should have a big cage, the bigger the better, then they like to fly around as well, out of cage time means they need space to play, space to have toys out and play, space to just be a parrot.

6.  Do you want a parrot that can talk?  If you answer yes to this one, what about if it doesn’t talk?  What if all it did in the way of noise was to imitate your microwave all day, shout and scream at it’s toys, didn’t want to talk to you at all…..would you still love it?

7.  Are you prepared for your parrot to not like you?  Greys are like people, they have their likes and dislikes, maybe you like the parrot, but what if it doesn’t like you?  What if it loves your partner?  Would you still want it?

8.  Holidays. Can you make arrangements for your parrot to be looked after properly when you have to go away?  

9.  Time.  Do you really have time to look after a parrot?  They need an awful lot of attention, just like a child, they like to play and interact with people.  They are not an ornament to be kept in a cage 24/7 with food and water added so that it eases your conscience.

10.  Other pets.  Do you have other pets, a cat or a dog?  Do you have the space to let the parrot out and shut away your cat or dog while the parrot plays for an hour or two?  Do you have the time to dedicate to each of your pets?

11.  If you have answered yes to all of the above questions, then ok, you might be ready to have a parrot, but if there is the slightest doubt in your mind, stop and think it over again.  Do you really want a parrot to love and care for, probably for the rest of your life, or do you just see other parrots sitting, talking, playing and you think you want one like that?

There are far too many parrots on the rehoming roundabout, people buy them with all the best intentions and then the novelty wears off, or they come up with an excuse to pass them on.  Sometimes of course it is inevitable that a parrot has to find a new home, but I firmly believe that most obstacles are surmountable and usually with a bit of compromise here and there, there is no need for rehoming. Would you get rid of your child because the novelty wears off, it makes a noise, it’s expensive, it makes a mess, you have to make arrangements for holidays?

Just think over and over again, do you really want this sort of committment.

Written by Pat (Plukie –  Moderator on the forum)


Parrot Pellet Comparison Made Easy!

October 1st, 2010

Recommended Pellets

The ingredients:

Harrisons High Potency: Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Ground Hulless Barley, Ground Soybeans, Ground Shelled Peanuts, Ground Green Peas, Ground Lentils, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Rice, Ground Toasted Oat Groats, Psyllium, Sun Dried Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Spirulina, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Crude protein (min.) 18%, crude fat (min.) 15%, crude fiber (max.) 6.5%, moisture (max.) 10%

Harrisons Lifetime: Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Hulless Barley, Ground Soybeans, Ground Shelled Peanuts, Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Ground Lentils, Ground Green Peas, Ground Rice, Ground Toasted Oat Groats, Sun Dried Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Psyllium, Montmorillonite Clay, Spirulina, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt , Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Crude protein (min.) 15%, crude fat (min.) 5.5%, crude fiber (max.) 6.5%, moisture (max.) 10%

Zupreem Natural: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Ground wheat, Vegetable oil, Wheat germ meal, Sucrose, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Ground vegetables (carrots, celery, beets, watercress and spinach), Iodized salt, DL-Methionine, Choline chloride, L-Lysine, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Natural mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract, Citric acid, Canthaxanthin, Manganous oxide, Zinc oxide, Copper sulfate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin K supplement, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Thiamine,
Riboflavin, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement.

Protein – 14%
Fat – 4%
Fibre – 3.5%
Moisture – 10%

Zupreem FruitBlend: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Ground wheat, Vegetable oil, Wheat germ meal, Sucrose, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Ground fruit (bananas, oranges, apples and grapes), Iodized salt, DL-Methionine, Choline chloride, L-Lysine, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Natural mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract, Citric acid, Natural and artificial colors, Artificial flavors, Canthaxanthin, Manganous oxide, Zinc oxide, Copper sulfate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin K supplement, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement.
Protein – 14%
Fat – 4%
Fibre – 3.5%
Moisture – 10%

Hagen: Fruits – Orange oil, banana oil (for flavour) – Seeds – Corn, wheat, rice, sunflower kernal, flaxseed, oat groats – Vegetables – Tomato – Legumes – Soybean, peanut kernal – Others – Spirulina, rosemary extract, vitamins and minerals
Protein – 14.0% – Fat – 9.0% – Fibre – 4.0%

Totally Organics Pellets: Certified Organic Ingredients: Rice, hulled millet, barley, alfalfa leaf, sunflower seed hulled, sesame seeds unhulled, quinoa whole, buckwheat hulled, dandelion leaf powder, carrot powder, spinach leaf powder, purple dulse, kelp, rose hips powder, rose hips crushed, orange peel powder, lemon peel powder, rosemary whole leaf, cayenne ground, crushed red chili peppers, nettle leaf.

Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 15% Max., Fat 6% Min., Crude Fiber 6% Max.

Roudybush Maintenance Crumble:  Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Peanut Meal, Soy Oil, Soy Meal, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Yucca schidigen Extract, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Silicon Dioxide (carrier for liquid antioxidants), Sodium Selenite (on Calcium Carbonate), Niacin, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Zinc Oxide, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vit. A Acetate, Thiamine, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vit K), Cyanocobalamin (VitB12), Vit D3 Sup. Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Propionic Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Acetic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tartaric Acid, and natural apple flavoring.

Guaranteed Maintenance analysis: crude protein min. 11.0%; crude fiber max. 3.5%; crude fat min. 7.0%

Not Recommended

Kaytee Exact Rainbow: Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Ground Oat Groats, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Middlings, Ground Flax Seed, Soy Oil, Dried Whole Egg, Dried Beet Pulp, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Germ Meal, Corn Sugar, L-Lysine, Salt, Whole Cell Algae Meal (source of DHA), Fructooligosaccharide, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Choline Chloride, Dried Cane Molasses, Titanium Dioxide, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Yeast Extract, DL-Methionine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K activity), Niacin, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), Beta-Carotene, Canthaxanthin, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Artificial Colors, Natural Flavors.

Pretty Bird For African Greys: Ground Corn, Ground Oats, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Wheat, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Soya Oil, Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Corn Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Natural and Artificial Flavors DL Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferric Sulfate, D-Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Oxide, Niacinamide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, BHT (As a Preservative), Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Natural and Artificial Colors, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (Source of Vitamin K3), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate

Pretty Bird For Small Birds: Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Ground Oat Groats, Corn Gluten Meal, Potato Protein, Coconut Oil, Soya Oil, Safflower Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcuim Phosphate, L-Lysine, Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Natural and Artificial Flavors, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferric Sulfate, D-Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Oxide, Niacinamide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, BHT (as a preservative), Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Natural and Artificial Colours, Menadione Dimethylpyrimdinol Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K3), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate

Note the ingredient list is almost exactly the same on both Pretty Bird products, so the label on the packaging suggesting the species of the the parrots it is formulated for is just that, a label, and a meaningless one too.

In red I highlighted the ingredients which are best avoided.

Salt. In minute quantities it is probably harmless, up the amount a bit and it can cause serious toxicity and even death (amount added to pellets is strictly regulated of course)

Sugar (Sucrose). Promotes yeast and bacteria growth in the gut. Excessive amount can lead to diabetes.

Corn Gluten Meal – is a byproduct of corn (maize) processing that has historically been used as an animal feed. It can also be used as an organic herbicide. CGM is used as an inexpensive protein source for pet foods. However, many dogs and cats develop an allergy to corn after eating CGM for an extended amount of time. (from Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_gluten_meal )

Menadione – Large doses of menadione have been reported to cause adverse outcomes including hemolytic anemia due to G6PD deficiency, neonatal brain or liver damage, or neonatal death in some rare cases. Moreover, menadione supplements have been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of their potential toxicity… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menadione)

BHT – “BHT could produce hyperactivity in some children. In addition, some controversy surrounds the link of BHT to cancer risk, some studies showing the potential to increase and some showing a decrease in risk. Some food industries have voluntarily eliminated this additive from their products, and since the 1970s it has been steadily replaced with the less studied BHA. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butylated_hydroxytoluene)

Natural Flavours. Even though they are called natural, they are not in fact that natural. Many foods and drinks are flavoured by ‘natural flavours’ or ‘natural flavourings’. These are obtained from plants, meat, fish, fungi and even wood. But they’re a very concentrated chemical extract from natural sources – not the real thing.
Natural flavourings don’t have to come from the plant or animal you might expect. For example, strawberry flavour products can contain natural flavourings that have never been close to a real, natural strawberry.
They have been made in a laboratory and are so chemically similar to real strawberry extract that they are allowed to be called natural. They are sometimes described as ‘nature identical’.
There’s an easy way to tell if a food or drink contains real ingredients. Take a look at the ingredients list. If it shows a lot of colourings and flavourings, there’s a good chance that the manufacturer cut back on real ingredients. (Source: http://www.chewonthis.org.uk/factory_food/additives_home.htm#natural-flavours )

In green I highlighted the ingredients which I am happy to see on the label (they are less conventional ingredient and added to go along with regular seeds/grains/legumes standard for this type of feed)

So in theory, the more red ingredients there are the worse the pellet.

Written By Irina of  http://parrotcomforts.co.uk


All The Facts About The African Grey Parrot

July 31st, 2010

The African grey parrot is one of the most popular pet parrots available. Many people get the name of the parrot wrong and in fact spell African grey parrot as ‘African gray parrot’. This is indeed wrong but if you made a mistake then don’t worry about it! This article will endeavor to explain everything there is to know about the African grey parrot or the African gray parrot!

All The Facts About The African Grey Parrot: What Do They Look Like?

As you would have probably guessed already, the African grey parrot is mostly grey all over with a shade of grey around the facial region. Their beaks are generally black and they have a tinge of red underlying beneath their tails that help them to stand out from many other grey parrots. They come from the Congo region in Africa and are constantly hunters by traffickers due to the fact that they can sell for quite a lot of money in Western parts of the world.

Efforts are being made to stop this from occurring and in recent history there seems to be a reduction in the number of birds being trafficked overseas. This has also sparked a revival in their overall numbers in the wild which means things are starting to look up for the African grey.

All The Facts About The African Grey Parrot: What Are They Like To Train?

African grey parrots are one of the most brilliant breeds on Earth and are said to be one of the best speakers out of all the parrots. They have the ability to put together whole phrases and can actually learn quite fast. This is one of the major reasons why so many parrot owners choose to own African grays.

All The Facts About The African Grey Parrot: Is There Anything I Should Know Before I decide To Buy An African Grey Parrot?

Yes actually there is a lot you need to learn before you going out and buy your own. First of all you have to make sure you know where you are getting your parrot from as many of them are trafficked into the country as was discussed previously in the article. Secondly if you have no experience whatsoever in parrot handling, I would recommend starting off with a bird that is much easier to handle such as a budgie for example.

Lastly African grey parrots are animals that thrive on enthusiasm and attention. If you know you aren’t going to be able to spend enough time looking after and training your parrot then do the right thing and let someone who does have a go. There are too many people out there abusing the privilege of owning such magnificent creatures just so they can tell their friends that they own a parrot. I’m not trying to put you off buying one, all I’m saying is that you need to sum up your life and make sure there is room for an African grey parrot in it and if there is, I hope you enjoy many years of great success and happiness with your parrot!



About the Author

By: Dane Stanton of www.parrottrainingreview.com


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