November 2011

Supplement Chicken Food with Oyster Shell for Stronger Eggs

The first year we raised chickens to have home grown eggs, our eggs were very soft.  They didn’t crack so much as just cave in with pressure.  We were feeding them a commercial laying feed, which should have contained as much calcium as they needed for strong eggs, but it did not seem to make a significant difference in the strength of their eggs.

Collecting Bald Eagle Feathers

Bald eagles are beautiful, majestic birds.  Their feathers have been used in Native American traditions such as healing, naming ceremonies and marriages for many years.  In addition to having a ritual purpose, bald eagle feathers are beautiful and rare.  Should you try to collect any for your own use, however, you may find yourself faced with staggering fines of up to $100,000 and even prison time. 

Protecting Your Bird at Home

"If you take extra care to make sure dangerous objects are away from your bird, you can ensure a safe household for all."

Last week I listed some of the dangers to birds during Thanksgiving. This week I will talk about dangers to birds in any household that can happen at any time.

While you need to be extra careful around the holidays, you should also bird-proof your house during the rest of the year. One big concern to your bird's safety may be other pets in the household. While your other animal may seem to get along with your bird, don't forget that the other animal can still view your bird as potential prey. If you aren't keeping an eye out, things can happen quickly. Your dog or cat may see your bird run or fly across the room and immediately jump for it. Sadly these types of situations happen all the time. Whenever your bird is out, learn to supervise with your other pets around. This can help prevent potentially dangerous situations for your bird.

Keeping Your Macaw Healthy and Happy

Macaws are beautiful, tropical birds, with graceful long tails that are usually as long or sometimes longer than their body. The largest of the 16 species of parrots , the macaw is known to be a very intelligent and social bird.  Each individual bird has its own personality. The macaws have grown in popularity over the years because of the their endearing personality.  If you have one of these beautiful birds as a pet, you will need to do everything possible to make it happy. Since they tend to be very vocal and loud, you will definitely know when something is wrong.  Macaws are loud shriekers, especially if that individual bird has an outgoing personality.

Best Breeds of Chickens

If you are considering adding a few chickens to your repertoire, you may be wondering where to start when it comes to choosing the best breeds.  Most prospective chicken owners are looking for egg production, but you can find excellent dual-purpose birds who lay eggs regularly and provide a good amount of meat for their size.  The following breeds are dual-purpose heritage breeds, meaning they are established breeds dating back to before industrial breeding introduced breeds designed for industrial production purposes.

Do Parakeets Make Good Pets?

If you are considering a bird for a pet, parakeets can make a lively, fun addition to your family.  Because they are relatively easy to care for and generally have no stringent diet requirements, parakeets make an excellent starter bird.  With their vibrant colors, cheerful sounds and ability to mimic some of their owner’s words, parakeets are a great way to venture into the world of pet birds.

Parakeet Care
Parakeets are among the easiest pet birds to care for.  They need a food formulated for budgies or parakeets, a cuttle bone to sharpen their beaks and provide calcium, and a selection of toys and perches to keep them occupied while they must be in the cage.  Other than these basics, parakeets thrive when given plenty of attention and some time to fly around.  You can accomplish the exercise part of their care by either allowing them to have supervised time out of the cage, or by building a flight cage large enough to allow them to fly freely.

Do Birds Have a Penis?

Actually, unlike mammals, birds do not have a penis. This is a fact that seems to both surprise and fascinate many people.

 

Birds have a single opening used for three purposes: mating, getting rid of urine, and getting rid of feces. This opening is called the "cloaca" and it is located on the posterior end of the bird beneath the tail. Sometimes the cloaca is also referred to as the "vent." During the mating season, the cloaca becomes engorged and you will notice around the same time birds start showing more lovey dovey behavior toward the opposite sex.

 

When birds mate, the perform what is called a "cloacal kiss." The female stands rather stiffly and the male stands on the back of the female. He first balances himself, which can be quite a feat in some bird species, and then moves his cloaca over the female's cloaca where he deposits his sperm. Some male birds are very vocal during this process that calls attention to the act. It is actually a fascinating thing to watch.

Pigeons Can be a Problem to Homeowners

"The droppings are also responsible for various types of diseases such as encephalitis, salmonella, and meningitis."

Pigeons, although adorable, can cause numerous problems for homeowners. The telltale signs of pigeons can be often seen around the home. Oftentimes, splatter of white and gray droppings can be seen on the roof or other areas surrounding the home, not to mention the awful smell. This has caused a sense of frustration for the affected homeowners. Pigeons are committed to their nesting or roosting site, depending on the comfort, especially during certain types of climate. They are known to cause extensive damage and heath risks where ever they nest or roost. If necessary steps are not taken to safely remove them from that spot, they can stay there for a very long time.