Did you know ?

Here are some helpful hints to enhance the comfort and health of your bird

• A varied diet is best. The bulk should consist of pellets with a little seed. Offer fruit and vegetables daily. Fresh is ideal but it can be canned or frozen, served at room temperature or warmer. Place in a separate dish and discard daily. What is healthy for you is generally okay for your bird. You can share your meals if you avoid salt, sugar and excess spices. No avocado, chocolate, alcohol or caffeine. Store pellets and seed in the freezer or refrigerator.

•Be careful with foods warmed in the microwave as heating is uneven and often leaves *hot spots* in the food that can cause burns in a bird’s oral cavity, esophagus and crop.

• Do Not use sandpaper perches. This can irritate the feet. Use perches of various sizes. The bird’s opposing toes should not touch when grasped on a perch. Put the most comfortable perch up high for the nighttime roost.

• Do Not use sawdust, sand or other medium on the cage floor where you can not see the droppings. Newspaper, paper towels, computer paper or such works well and should be changed daily. Newspaper ink is not toxic.

• Grit is not necessary for most parrots.

• Change water frequently, at least daily. Do not use liquid or powder vitamins in the water as little gets ingested and the water will become fouled easily. You can not control the dosage with this method at all.

• Birds preen constantly. This is normal behavior and does not indicate mites. Do not use a mite disk or insecticides near your bird.

• Your bird should be bathed once a week with plain water (no shampoo). It can take a shower with you, or can be misted with lukewarm water from a clean spray bottle, or it can splash around in a clean shallow bowl. The bird should be completely dry by nightfall.

• Keep both wings trimmed at all times for your bird’s safety. Before taking your bird outside, test it’s flight ability by letting it land on a bed to make sure it cannot gain any height.

• Spend quality time with your bird each day. Take it out of it’s cage and let it interact with you or play on a gym. Let it get some exercise.

• Provide numerous safe toys for variety. Always watch a bird with a new toy. Make sure there are no small pieces to ingest or parts to get entangled in.

• Birds need lots of sleep – 10 hours at least. Provide this quiet time each evening.

• Be careful what your bird chews on and make sure it is nontoxic.

• Never leave a bird unattended out of it’s cage, even for a minute.

• Do not use PTFE coated nonstick cookware (sold under such trade names as Teflon, Silverstone, etc), irons or ironing boards around birds. The fumes they emit when heated (which we can not detect) are toxic to birds.

• Do Not let your bird be near or “play” with cats, dogs, reptiles, larger aggressive birds, or children too young to understand how to handle them.

• Birds have very extensive respiratory systems. Avoid smoking or using aerosols such as hair spray, deodorant, perfume, cleaning products, etc. around your bird.  

Common Household Poisons

Air Freshener
Aerosol Disinfectant
Alcoholic Beverages
Ammonia
Ant Syrup and Paste
Arsenic
Asbestos
Auto Products
Bathroom Cleaners
Bleach
Boric Acid
Camphophenique
Carbon Monoxide
Carpet Cleaners and Deodorizers
Charcoal Fluid
Chlorine
Cigarette Smoke
Clinitest Tablets
Copper/Brass Polish
Corn/Wart Removers
Cleaners (ALL)
Deodorants
Diazinon
Disinfectant (Aerosols and Liquids)
Drain Cleaners
Epoxy
Glue
Felt Tip Markers
Flea Products
Floor Polish and Wax
Formaldehyde
Furniture Polish
Garden Sprays
Gasoline
Glade Plug-ins
Gun Cleaners
Hair Dye
Herbicides
Iodine
Kerosene
Lighter Fluid
Lye
Matches
Model Cement
Moth Balls
Muriatic Acid
Mushrooms
Nail Polish Remover
Oven Cleaners
Over Heated Non-Stick Cookware
Paint
Paint Thinners
Perfumes
Pesticides
Pine-Sol
Rx Drugs (Including over the counter)
Rubbing Alcohol
Scented Candles
Shellac
Shoe Polish
Silver Polish
Snail Bait
Spot Removers
Spray Starch
Strychnine
Sulfuric Acid
Super Glue
Suntan Lotion and Oils
Turpentine
Wax
Weed Killers
Window Cleaners
Wood Preservatives

The Avian Physical Exam

The Avian Physical Exam
A thorough physical exam is one of the most important parts of an avian health check-up. It starts with a hands-off visual evaluation of the bird and its environment. Then it moves on to getting the bird’s weight and a hands-on exam from the top of the head to the tip of the talons.

Here is a run down on many of the things that are evaluated:

Cage

  • Size appropriate for wing span and tail feathers
  • What material is it made of?
  • Are the toys appropriate?

Droppings

  • Feces: amount, color, consistency, Should be brown-green
  • Urates: white to light tan and chalky
  • Urine: liquid and clear
  • Blood is black

Attitude

  • BAR(bright, alert, responsive): vocal, interacting with owner
  • QAR(quiet, alert, responsive): not vocal, alert and standing around
  • Depressed: feathers ruffled, standing on bottom of cage, eyes 1/2 closed

Posture

  • Stance
  • Wing placement
  • Respiratory effort
  • Tail position or movement
  • Location of bird in the cage

Weigh bird

Have bird “Step up”

  • Evaluate perching ability, is each foot gripping with equal strength

Towel Bird

Eyes

  • Clear, symmetrical, centered in socket
  • Normal conjunctiva: pale pink and moist
  • Look for swelling or asymmetry between commissure of eye and beak

Nares and Cere

  • Change in color
  • Discharge
  • Symmetrical
  • Patent
  • Hyperplasia

Beak

  • Growth of upper beak and lower beak
  • Proper occlusion
  • Evidence of necrosis
  • Grooves
  • Prognathism

Mouth

  • Evaluate jaw tone
  • Look at tongue and mucous membranes searching for abrasions, moisture and color
  • Evaluate Choana and surrounding sharp papillae

Skin and Feathers on Head

  • Feathers should be smooth and symmetrical
  • Is the mate preening?
  • Are the feathers wet and sticky? Is there vomitus on the head?
  • Are there any missing, broken or misshapen feathers?
  • Evaluate skin for swellings, proliferations, abrasions

Ears

  • Presence of discharge or blood or erythema

Crop

  • Food should be present
  • May wet down feathers to look at vascularization or thickness
  • Feel for swellings or thickening or presence of foreign bodies

Feathers and skin of neck

  • Evaluate for thickening, lumps, ulcerations, scabs, ulcerations, discoloration, masses, emphysema
  • Over preening or plucking of feathers

Pectoral Musculature, Sternum

  • Sternum should be straight and slightly elevated in comparison with the pectoral muscles
  • Palpate for evaluation of weight, atrophy of musculature

Skin and feathers of ventral body

  • Note color and texture and feel for masses
  • Look for scabs, ulcerations, etc.
  • Normal feathers are smooth, symmetrical and clean
  • Evaluate for overpreening or plucking

Abdomen

  • Palpate: Normal is slightly concave
  • Evaluate color of skin and look for scabs or ulcerations
  • Evaluate Feathers
  • Palpate lateral flank areas as fat may be stored there

Cloaca and Vent

  • Mucosa of Cloaca should be moist and pink
  • No feces should be present on feathers around the vent
  • Evaluate for erosions, hypertrophy, erythema, feather picking, etc.

Wings

  • Evaluate symmetry, range of motion, bony abnormalities, joints
  • Look at skin (don’t forget to look for a tattoo)
  • Look at Feathers: color, shape uniformity, presence of parasites, stress bars, bleeding, broken or missing

Feet and Legs

  • Uniform color and texture of skin, scales present
  • Feathers should be smooth and uniform
  • Look for abrasions, calluses, erosions, ulcerations, proiiferative lesions, broken toe nails, missing toes, swollen joints, weak grip
  • If there is a leg band present on a pet bird, remove it if possible!!!! Necrosis, swelling and trauma may be a sequella… SAVE for owner

Back: Skin, Feathers and Vertebrae

  • Feathers and skin should be smooth and uniformly shaped and colored
  • Evaluate for overpreening, plucking, ulcerations, scabs, etc.
  • Trace backbone for scoliosis and concentrate on prominence as an evaluation of weight
  • If feathers are stuck together, this may be due to nasal discharge from sleeping position

Tail and Uropygial gland

  • Normal tail feathers are clean, unbroken, unfrayed, and free from stress lines
  • Evaluate uropygial gland for swelling, erythema, ulceration and rupture

Auscultation

  • Cranial thorax for cardiac and respiratory sounds
  • Caudal thorax and back for wheezes, crackles, pops, whistles, and gurgles

Diagnostic
Diagnostic testing for your bird

Birds are generally very hardy. However, like all living creatures, they do occasionally get sick. The major difference with birds is that their natural instincts for survival often prevent them from showing any outward signs of disease until it becomes well -advanced. The cornerstones of your bird’s’ examination is a thorough history and physical exam. However, since birds will “hide ” or “mask” signs of disease, we must rely on diagnostic testing to uncover problems early before they become serious and to arrive at a correct diagnosis. This is the key to effective treatment and rapid recovery. Periodically performing some of these tests will lead to the better health and longevity of our feathered friends. There are numerous tests available. No one test will consistently give the answers. Often it becomes necessary to run different tests to correctly piece together the puzzle. Below is a brief explanation of some of the more commonly performed diagnostic tests we may be recommending for your bird.

• BLOOD TESTS: Since blood flows to every organ in the body, an infection or disease will frequently cause changes in the blood picture indicating a problem. A complete blood count or CBC will give information about the body’s immune response. Blood serum chemistries evaluate various organs and values in the body. These are valuable routine health screens for newly acquired birds and yearly check-ups. Blood is collected from a clipped toenail or directly from a vein. You will notice a much shorter toe nail after we take the blood sample. This will grow back normally.

• MICROBIOLOGICAL EXAMS: The following tests check for a variety of organisms NOT normally found in the body that may cause illness. Gram Stain screens for the presence and quantity of bacteria and yeast. Culture and Sensitivity grows and identifies any abnormal bacteria, yeast or fungi and determines the drugs most effective for treatment.

• DIRECT FECAL: This is a microscopic examination of the droppings to detect parasites, bacteria and yeast.

• PSITTACOSIS: (Chlamydiosis or “parrot fever”) This is a widespread and serious disease that can be transmitted to other birds and humans by infected birds even though no obvious signs may be apparent. Diagnosis is most often made from a swab or blood sample ….sometimes both. This test is ALWAYS recommended for newly acquired birds and may be recommend for a sick bird.

THE ABOVE TESTS ARE RECOMENDED FOR OUR GENERAL WELL BIRD CHECK-UP WHEN COMBINED WITH YOUR BIRD’S HISTORY AND PHYSICAL EXAM, THEY GIVE US A FULL PICTURE OF HIS/HER HEALTH. THESE ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSTICS PROVIDE US WITH MORE SPECIALIZED INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR BIRD’S HEALTH

• RADIOGRAPHS: (X-rays) The ability to “see” inside the body is invaluable for diagnosing a variety of problems and sometimes as part of a routine health screen. Changes in the shape and size of the organs, and visualization of foreign bodies and bone abnormalities are some of the information gained. We routinely use an ultra safe inhalant anesthetic to minimize stress and injury when we take radiographs.

•PSITTACINE BEAK AND FEATHER DISEASE (PBFD): A highly contagious disease causing feather and sometimes beak abnormalities. Blood testing is used to screen for this serious disease.

• POLYOMA VIRUS: A serious disease primarily affecting young birds. Adults can have latent (hidden) infections and spread the disease to susceptible birds. Symptoms are variable. Tests are run on blood and swabs to screen for this and a vaccine is now available to prevent infection.

• ASPERGILLOSIS: A blood test or culture can be used to detect this fungal disease. It effects the lower respiratory tract. Signs include: rapid breathing rate, voice changes and wheezing.

• ENDOSCOPY: Provides visualization of the body cavity and most internal organs. It is an excellent way to look for a variety of problems. Biopsies can also be collected during this procedure.

• BIOPSY: A piece of tissue is surgically removed and submitted to an avian pathologist who microscopically examines the sample for signs of disease. For example, a feather and skin biopsy is often recommended for birds with feather problems. These tests are also very useful for monitoring your bird’s progress while under treatment. Fees will always be discussed prior to any tests being performed.

Evaluating your bird's droppings
Most people regard what’s in the bottom of their bird’s cage as something they’d rather not look at, but much can be learned by taking a closer look.

IN GENERAL

• We recommend you use newspaper to cover your cage bottom. It’s non toxic, inexpensive and gives you a clear view of what the bird has dropped on it.

• This should be changed at least once a day and examined at that time as it can tell you many things. You can see what your bird has eaten or not eaten, how his fecal droppings have looked during the course of the day and even find the missing piece to that toy he disassembled.

THE NORMAL DROPPING

• Normal droppings in pet birds consist of three parts. The stool is coiled or partially coiled and varies in color from rich green to brown depending on the bird’s diet. It will be green with birds on a seed diet and for birds on formulated diets will reflect the color of the pellet. Certain fruits can also effect its color … for example, beets, blueberries and other fruits can give the stool their color.

• The urates are a by-product of the kidneys and are usually snow white when dry. They are chalky in texture and will vary in size from tiny ( as in the budgie) to large and spread out ( as in the macaw). It’s normal to have some transient color changes during the day and some colored formulated foods can tinge them a creamy color.

• The urine is the liquid portion and it is normally clear. The volume of urine will change according to what the bird is eating. You will see more after consumption of fruits and vegetables and less after pellets.

THE ABNORMAL DROPPING Once you’ve learned what your bird’s dropping normally looks like you can be on the lookout for signs of problems in his droppings.

• Watery droppings, or an increase in the amount of urine, are often confused with diarrhea. The fecal matter will look the same, but there will be notably more fluid around the feces. A change in the color of the urine is also a warning.

• Loose stool, or true diarrhea, can show up in one or two droppings due to stress, but if you’re seeing it constantly throughout the day it is cause for concern. The tubular formed feces will lose its shape and become mushy. Color change in the feces to bright green or black is an indicator of trouble.

• Yellow or green stained urates is also a warning of trouble. This part of the dropping should always be white when dry.

• Undigested seed or food in the droppings, pale or foamy droppings and a consistent change in the volume or number of droppings during the day are also of concern. What’s under your bird can tell an important story about his health…learn to read it!

Formulated Food
CONVERTING YOUR BIRD TO A PELLETED

DIET

Most birds don’t recognize pellets as food when first presented with a generous bowl full. If you’re lucky, yours will dive right in. But if not, read on to guide your bird onto the path to better health.

IN GENERAL

• Start with a healthy bird in good weight. If you’re unsure whether this describes your bird, see your Avian Veterinarian for a check-up.

• If you don’t already, start observing your bird’s droppings. Change to newspaper in the bottom of the cage so you can see them clearly. Learn what they normally look like during the course of the day.

• Choose an appropriate type and size pellet for your bird. You may want to try several different brands at first to see if one kind is more attractive to your bird. If one seems favored over another, use that kind for your new diet.

• Be patient, persistent and creative. All birds can learn to enjoy pellets, some take more time and effort than others to convert. THE PLAN

• Offer the pellets by mixing them with your bird’s accustomed seed in a 50/50 ratio. This way he will at least have to look and touch them to get to the seed. Give him a generous bowl full at normal feeding times and observe his behavior. Don’t be discouraged if he tosses them out of the bowl, at least he’s touching them and he may accidentally bite into one and discover it’s food!

• Depending on your bird’s response, offer this mixture for several weeks until you’re sure your bird is eating some pellets. Evidence of this will be a change in the color of the fecal part of the dropping from green to the color of the pellet, crumbled pellets in the bowl or bottom of the cage or actually seeing him eat one.

• Once you’re sure he’s trying them, gradually decrease the proportion of seed and increase the pellets. The next stage is to offer pellets only for 48 hours, carefully watching his droppings. If they begin to look sparse (smaller amount, decreased fecal matter) back up in the program to the pellet/seed mixture and go slower.

• There is no set timetable for this conversion. Your bird’s response to this new food will determine how slow or fast it goes. Observe carefully.

EXCEPTION

• Cocktiels, parakeets and parrotlets should get 50% seed, fruit and veggies with 50% pellets.

ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS

• Some birds enjoy pellets soaked in a favorite fruit juice or warm water. Remember, as with all soft foods, to remove the uneaten portion after several hours or it becomes a cozy place for bacteria to grow.

• Sprinkle pellets over favorite fruits, veggies or table foods. Eat some with your bird!

• Always provide plenty of fresh water in a clean bowl.

Non-Toxic (Safe) plants for birds

FOLIAGE PLANTS
Acacia Aloe
African Violet
Baby’s Tear
Bamboo
Begonia
Bougainvillaea
Chickweed
Christmas Cactus Cissus (Kangaroo Vine)
Coffee
Coleus
Corn Plant
Crabapple
Dandelion
Donkey
Tail Fern (Asparagus, Bird’s Nest, Boston, Maidenhair)
Figs (Creeping, Rubber, Fiddle Leaf, Laurel Leaf, Weeping)
Gardenia
Grape Ivy
Hen and Chickens
Jade Plant
Kalanchoe
Magnolia
Marigolds
Money Plant
Mother-in-Law
Nasturtium
Natal Plum
Norkfolk Island Pine
Palms(Areca, Date, Fan, Lady, Parlous, Howeia, Kentia, Phoenix,Sago)
Peperomia
Petunia
Pittosporium
Prayer Plant
Purple Passion (Velvet Needle)
* Scheffers (Umbrella)
Sensitive Plant
Spider Plant
Swedish
Ivy
Thistle
Wandering Jew
White Clover
Zebra Plant* Can cause sinus and breathing problems
TREE BRANCHES
Almond
Any Citrus
Apple
Apricot
Ash
Dogwood
Elm
Guava
Magnolia
Nectarine
Nut (Except-Chestnut & Oak)
Papaya
Peach
Pear
Plum
Prune
Thurlow
Vine
Maple
WillowsThese branches need to be disinfected, rinsed very well and completely dry before being introd

Polyomavirus
For more than 25 years, avian polyomavirus has been associated with devastating disease outbreaks in companion birds worldwide. There is a vaccine to prevent this.

Anyone seeing the avian polyomavirus at work will not forget it. It is very contagious. Besides direct physical contact between birds, avian polyomavirus can be transmitted on clothing, hair, skin, toys, enclosures, contaminated feces, feather dust and secretions from the lungs or crop of infected birds. Fledging parrots are highly susceptible, but a significant number of deaths involving birds of all ages have been reported. Onset of the disease following infection is sudden. Typically, hand or parent raised babies in excellent condition and just beginning to wean become suddenly sick and are dead within 12-48 hours. The death rate varies between 25 – 100% of these young birds. Infected birds that recover are thought to become temporary virus carriers or may develop a persistent form of the disease.

WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

There are no effective drugs to treat avian polyomavirus. Therefore, it is best to control viral disease by preventing infections through the use of vaccines. There is a series of 2 injections. We recommend the first vaccination of baby parrots at 35 days of age, adult birds in their breeding season and new birds added to a collection while still in their quarantine period. The second injection should follow in two weeks but not later than three weeks. Booster vaccinations should be given annually for all high-risk birds. All others may be given booster vaccinations every two years. (Consult us to determine if your bird is considered high risk.)

Vaccinated birds will receive a certificate featuring a portrait of the three Blue and Gold Macaws who were the first birds vaccinated and protected when challenged by the virus. When you buy a bird ask if it’s been vaccinated and look for this certificate. All newly acquired hand-raised babies should be vaccinated. If you board your bird around other birds, visit pet stores that have birds or visit bird fairs or shows, your bird should be vaccinated. If people come to your house who have contact with other birds or if you just want to be as safe as possible, vaccinating your bird is a good idea. Join us in improving the health and future of the birds we love.

Proper Disinfection Technique

Proper Disinfection Technique

Disinfection essentially means germ free. Antibacterial soap may not have the power to rid a surface of all bacteria. To assure a germ free surface a disinfectant should be used. A common household disinfectant is bleach.

Disinfection does not take place through debris.

To thoroughly disinfect an item it must first be clean. Clean means free of matter and debris. This is accomplished by washing the item to remove debris. Disinfection may also be inhibited by the presence of soap. Therefore, the item should be rinsed. Once rinsed, saturate the item with disinfectant. Allow the proper time for the disinfectant to work. Rinse off disinfectant and dry. The item is now germ free and ready for use.

Recipe for Bleach Spray
Bleach does no have to be full strength to disinfect. 1 part bleach to 10 equal parts water is usually sufficient for disinfection. This may be mixed in a spray bottle. It should be changed weekly to insure adequate strength.

There are many different kinds of disinfectants available. Each will have its own mix ratios and activation times. Follow the instructions on the bottle. The mix ratios should not exceed the manufactures recommendations. Residues may be left behind, permanently damaging a surface. More disinfectant to less water does not mean less activation time.

It should also be mentioned that disinfected is not the same as sterile. Sterility can only be accomplished be a combination of heat and steam at a certain temperature as what happens in an autoclave. Since most of us do not have access to an autoclave we cannot call an object sterile unless it is packaged and labeled accordingly by a medical manufacturer.

Stop That Biting and Screaming!

STOP THAT BITING AND SCREAMING!

Companion parrots should not be excessive biters or screamers. Parrots are naturally gregarious and social, so some vocalization is to be expected. Parrots like to communicate with the flock (you) in the mornings and evenings, and when they greet you. In the wild, a parrot is constantly calling to the flock when it is not resting. It is natural for a parrot to be noisy, however it should not be screaming incessantly.

Tame parrots should not bite. Any parrot is capable of biting, especially if provoked or if it is afraid. Correcting a biting or screaming problem is a step by step approach. First, the owner needs to establish a position of flock leader. Establishing controls with our companion parrots is always a first step to resolving behavior problems. Owners must have sufficient “rank” in the parrots eye’s before the bird will respond to training. Teach step- ups to the point where the step-up command is automatic. The next approach is to collect information by keeping a journal recording the time of day the screaming is occurring, what is happening at the time, owners response, and so forth. If the owner tracks the behavior and progress, the owner should notice gradual improvement over time.

Some parrots experience an excitement overload phase, which is not the time to handle your bird. Frequently it will displace this excitement into a bite. Hormone surges can make a parrot aggressive, especially if it is mating season. Learn to read your parrot’s body language and recognize when your bird is not receptive to being handled. Pinning eyes, flared tail, posturing, tightening of the feathers, excited or dramatic vocalizations are all signs that your parrot should not be handled. Wait until signs subside before making any attempt to handle.

Parrots are prey animals, and safety is important. Most parrots bite out of fear. Excessive environmental stimuli can lead to nervousness and aggression. Make sure your parrot’s visual area is clear of “perceived” threats.

Parrots reflect our energy and moods. The best time to handle your parrot is when you can lower your energy and you feel calm. A parrot knows if you are afraid of it. Flock creatures behave in a manner similar to other members of the flock. The emotional tempo of human flock members will have a direct impact on avian behavior.

Some parrots will scream out of boredom. In the wild a parrot is very active; flying, foraging for food, interacting with the flock. What is the day in the life of your bird like? Is there plenty to do? Make sure your bird gets plenty of exercise. A large, horizontal built cage is best, but if your space is limited, provide ladders, swings, and toys to help your bird keep busy. Take your bird out every day and give it “flapping” exercises.

Diet has an affect on behavior. It has been published that birds on mostly seed diets are louder and more aggressive. Dietary change may not solve the problem, but it is part of the solution. Diet is what a parrot actually eats, not what it is fed.

Our companion parrots need at least ten hours of undisturbed sleep every night. This means no audio or visual stimulation. Parrots get cranky when they do not get enough sleep. This can be an underlying cause to biting or screaming. If the parrot is housed in the center of activity, try transferring the bird to a sleep cage at night. This is a smaller, spartanly-equipped cage set up in a room that is unoccupied at night.

A parrot does not understand punishment. Thumping the beak to make a parrot stop biting is a sign of aggression and will only make it worse. So will spraying a parrot with water or shouting at it to shut up when screaming. All you are doing with these “punishments” is reinforcing the bad behavior. Parrots love drama and attention. They usually scream to get attention. By giving them any attention, like spraying them or yelling back, you have actually given them a drama reward, what they wanted, and you have taught your parrot to scream even more. Once this bad habit is entrenched it is very hard to break.

When a parrot is screaming and you know nothing is wrong (it has food, water, not caught in a toy etc) it is best to just ignore the bird. Or you can try responding by using a soft contact whistle, and ignoring (thus replacing) the loud raucous calling. When praised for positive behaviors, the bird will learn to concentrate its attention on them, while rejecting undesirable activities that gain little or no response from their owners. Praise is one of the most important tools for altering behavior. Try praising your bird when it is sitting quietly.

Teach your bird that fingers are not toys. Do not play with your bird with your hands in that way, especially young parrots that are exploring and learning with their beaks. Present a toy or something to chew on instead of your finger.

Height is a position of dominance. A parrot that is allowed to hang out on top of a cage play-stand, or on your shoulder, is going to exhibit more aggressive behavior. You have no eye contact with a parrot when it is on your shoulder. The ideal level for a parrot is your chest level or lower. Too low (on the floor) and a parrot will feel vulnerable and insecure. A parrot that is allowed to come and go out of its cage, or fly or roam around the house, is not going to make good decisions for itself and be well behaved. Parrots defend the territory they occupy. Parrots need structure and parrots feel most comfortable with people that feel comfortable around them in a defined territory.

If you keep the wings on your bird trimmed, it will be a more manageable pet. Not only is it safer for your bird, but the bird is not making decisions for its life. A free flighted bird tends to be more independent and have more behavior problems in our homes.

In conclusion, our feathered companions are fully armed with all the same instincts that their wild counterparts possess. They are in unnatural environments, which encourage unnatural behaviors. Behavior changes take time, especially if the behavior has been habituated over a long time. All members of the household need to participate in a behavioral modification program. If the owners can not define clear and appropriate boundaries for the parrot, how can the bird be expected to know what is acceptable?

Usually a behavioral problem does not lie with the bird, but with the owner. The best way to change our bird’s behavior is to change our behavior and expectations of the bird, the “wild” creature we share our lives with.

Toxic Plants
PLANTS TOXIC FOR BIRDS This is not a complete listing of all toxic plants. If you are unsure about a plant that is not on this list, please contact a veterinarian for information, or do not use the plant at all.

Acorn
Amanita
Andromeda
Arium
Autumn Crocus or Meadow Saffron
Australian Flametree
Avocado
Azalea

Baneberry Beans(Castor, Horse, Fava, Broad,Glory, Scarlet, Runner, Pregatory,Navy)
Birds of Paradise
Bishop’s Weed
Black Laurel
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart or Dutchman’s Breetches
Bloodroot
BlueBonnet
Blue Green Algae
Boxwood
Bracken Fern
Buckthorn
Bulb Flowers (Amaryllis, Iris, Daffodil, Narcissus, Hyacinth)
Burdock
Buttercup

Cascao
Camel Bush
Caladium
Cana Lily
Cardinal Flower
Chalice (Trumpet Vine)
Cherry Tree
China Berry Tree
Christmas Candle
Clematis (Virginia Bower)
Cocklebur
Coffee (Senna)
Coffee Bean (Rattle Bush, Rattle Box,Coffee weed)
Coral Plant
Coriander
Corncockle
Coyotillo
Cowslip
Cutleaf Philodendron

Daphne
Death Camus
Delphinium
Devil Ivy
Dieffenbachia

Elderberry
Elephant Ear (Taro)
Ergot
Eucalyptus (Dried, Dyed, or treated in floral arrangements)
Euonymus (spindlestree)

False Hellebore
Felt Plant (Maternity, Air, Panda)
Fire Thorn
Four 0′ Clock
Foxglove

Glottidium
Golden Chain Grass (Johnson, Sorghum, Sudan, Broom Corn)
Ground Cherry

Heaths (Kalma, Leucotho, Peries,Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel)
Heliotrope
Hemlock (Poison, Water)
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horse Chestnut
HorseTail
Hydrangea

Ivy (English & Other)

Jack in the Pulpit
Jasmine
Jimson weed

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Lady Slipper
Lantana
Larkspur
Lily of the Valley
Locoweed (Milk Vetch)
Locusts ( Black & Honey)
Lords & Ladies
Lupine

Malaga
Marijuana
Mayalppe
Mexican Poppy
Milk Bush
Milk Weed (Cotton Bush)
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood
Morning Glory
Mushrooms

Naked Lady
Narcissus
Nettles
Nightshade (Deadly, Black, Garden, Woody, Bittersweet, Eggplant, Jerusalem, Cherry)
Nutmeg

Oak
Oleander

Parsley
Peony
Periwinkle
Peyote
Philodendrons (Split Leaf, Swiss Cheese)
Pigweed
Poinciana
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak (Western& Eastern)
Poke Weed
Poppy
Potato Shoots (Tubers & Berries)
Privet
Pyacantha

Rain Tree
Ranculus (Buttercup)
Rape
Rattlebox
Red Maple

Sand Box Tree
Skunk Cabbage
Sorrel (Dock)
Snow Drop
Spurge (Pencil Tree, Candelabra, Snow On Mountain, Crown of Thorn)
Sweet Pea

Tansy Root
Tobacco

Vetch (Hairy Common)
Virginia Creeper

Wattle
White Cedar
Wisteria

Yew
Yellow Jasmine

Vitamin A Foods

VITAMIN A CONTENT OF SELECTED FOODS

The following table lists the vitamin a content of one cup portion of selected foods

Beet Greens
Dandelion Greens
Kale
Broccoli Leaves
Chard
Sweet Potato,IU
Mustard Greens
Spinach
Turnip Greens
Parsley
Endive
Collard Greens
Carrot
Apricot
Broccoli Florets
Pumpkin
Cabbage (inner and outer leaves)
Squash (Hubbard)
Sweet Potato
Peas (fresh)
Leaf Lettuce – Dark Green
Squash (Summer)
Broccoli Stem
Water Cress
Tomatoes
Peaches
44,000
40,000
40,000
30,000
30,000
26,081
22,000
22,000
22,000
16,000
15,000
12,600
9,000
7,500
6,500
5,000
5,000
4,000
3,600
3,000
2,000
2,000
1,720
1,562
1,500
1,000

Vitamin C Foods

VITAMIN C CONTENT OF SELECTED FOODS

The following table lists the vitamin c content of a 3.5 oz. portion of selected foods

Cherries-Acerola
Red Pepper/Bell/Sweet
Guava
Yellow Pepper/Bell
Parsley
Kale
Kiwi
Broccoli (all parts)
Green Pepper/Bell/Sweet
Brussel Sprouts
Mustard Greens
Garden Cress
Persimmon
Kohlrabi
Papaya
Turnip Greens
Cabbage Red
Strawberries
Orange
Cabbage Green
Cauliflower
Chinese Celery
Watercress
Cantaloupe
Green Peas
Kumquat
Grapefruit
Dandelion Greens
Tangerine
Beet Greens
Swiss Chard
Mango
Cherries-Pitanga
Raspberries
Sweet Potato
1677 mg
190 mg
183.5 mg
183
133
120 mg
98 mg
93 mg
89 mg
85 mg
70 mg
69 mg
66 mg
62 mg
61.8 mg
60 mg
57 mg
56.7 mg
53 mg
51 mg
46 mg
45 mg
43 mg
42 mg
40 mg
37 mg
37 mg
35 mg
30.8 mg
30 mg
30 mg
27.7 mg
26 mg
25 mg
22.7 mg

Calcium Foods

CALCIUM CONTENT OF SELECTED FOODS

The following table lists the calcium content of a 3.5 oz. portion of that food raw.

Almonds
Hazelnuts
Parsley
Turnip Greens
Dandelion Greens
Brazil Nuts
Arugula Lettuce
Basil
Garbanzo Beans
Kale
Black Beans
Pistachio Nuts (unsalted)
Pinto Beans
Watercress
Beat Greens
Collard Greens
Chinese Cabbage
Mustard Greens
Chicory Greens
Walnuts
Okra
Garden Cress
Cabbage Red
Swiss Chard
Cabbage Green
Kumquat
Brussel Sprouts
Orange
233 mg
209 mg
203 mg
190 mg
187 mg
186.mg
160 mg
154 mg
150 mg
135 mg
135 mg
135 mg
135 mg
120 mg
119 mg
117 mg
105 mg
105 mg
103 mg
99 mg
82 mg
81 mg
51 mg
51 mg
47 mg
44 mg
42 mg
40 mg

Common Sources of Lead

COMMON SOURCES OF LEAD

Today the most common sources of lead exposure for birds are:

WEIGHTS —Curtains, Fishing Lures, Auto Wheel Balance Weights

TOYS—Free Standing Plastic Items with Internal Weights, Bells with Lead Clappers

PAINTS—Both Lead Based (Including Varnishes and Lacquers) and Lead Free Bases with Lead Drying Agents

STAINED GLASS-Seams and Frames

CERAMICS—Lead Based Type Glasses, Seen Especially from Third World Country Origins (e.g. Food Crocks)

SOLDER

BATTERIES

BULLETS-Air Rifles and Shotgun Shells, Bullets

HARDWARE CLOTH (Dip Coating has Zinc and Lead in Varying Concentrations)

CHAMPAGNE AND WINE BOTTLE FOIL (Some Types)

LIGHT BULB BASES

LINOLEUM

LEADED GASOLINE FUMES

COSTUME JEWELRY

PLASTER

CONTAMINATED BONE MEAL OR DOLOMITE PRODUCTS

SEEDS FOR PLANTING (Coated with Lead Arsenate)

SOME LUBRICANTS (Lead Napthalate)

MIRROR BACKINGS

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