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FOOD FOR YOUR PET BIRD (FROM A BIRD'S POINT OF VIEW) BY DR. LESLIE ROSS

Pedro here!

     Greetings my devoted fans! Recently I have been on vacation with my owners so I have not had the chance to touch bases with you for some time. Please accept my apologies!   My folks seem to love my companionship and can never seem to trust leaving me at home with even the best of caregivers to keep me company. I love my folks with all my heart so I can accept their separation anxiety issues, in keeping, I guess, with my unique personal attributes that they can’t bear to be without for long. But wait… how presumptuous of me to have veered off the flight plan of this discussion so early…now back to the task at hand!

     I have chosen as my subject  of focus for today basic feeding guidelines for cage birds,  But before I  plunge into this discussion it seems appropriate at this time for me to clarify my identity. I will in brief describe myself as a very fit, rather buff Amazon parrot in the prime of my life. I enjoy as a hobby informing my expanding alliance of friends and fans of important details associated with bird care and further, at relevant times, my philosophy about life and the human condition from my birds-eye view.

 

      But forgive me; I have digressed from my topic. In a nutshell, I would like to state that by providing a fresh, nutritionally complete and balanced diet to your pet bird you are implementing one of the best ways to protect and promote his or her good health and allow for an extended life. Fresh, nourishing food attractively served encourages birds to enjoy their meal and have strong and healthy bodies and further, vigorous immune systems to help them ward of disease.

     Now, it is of paramount importance for me to point out that there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for the optimum diet of different species of birds. The reason, of course, is that nutrition is a very complex subject, and a healthy diet for one bird species or individual may vary widely depending on the individual’s environment, general health, age and genetic makeup. Still, as a general guideline, ongoing research is indicating that the best kind of bird diet, is mostly composed of pellets (kibble-like formulated food), vegetables and for larger type birds, fruit in limited amounts.

For the daily menu of parrots, (a category of bird very close to my heart), the consensus of the experts is, as a rule of thumb, that it is best to offer a diet consisting of about 60-80% pellets and 20-40% vegetables with some, but limited,  access to fruit. Some well-meaning folks like to offer meat to their parrots; In general, meat is too high in fat and cholesterol to be of any real health benefit. Other folks like to feed Chinese herbs. Although it is fair to say that there is some promise in this field, not enough research is yet present to consider them safe and in fact in some cases they can actually be dangerous for your bird buddy.

Nuts in limited quantities are safe and well appreciated by most parrots. However, their fat content is again quite high so it is important not to over-feed these treats.

     Much of the same applies to smaller bird types such as budgies, canaries, finches and lovebirds. Optimally, these little guys do best on a pelleted diet formulated especially for their bird type, with very limited access to seeds. Fruit is generally unappreciated by these folks but veggies, especially slivered or grated, are often welcomed. Also, for many of these birds, on special occasions a mealworm or wax worm or a small insect is a delightful change from their routine daily menu. (As an aside, on the subject of pelleted formulations, if I had two thumbs, both would be up supporting companies such as Lafeber's Harrison's Roudybush Volkman, McBrides, Pretty Bird, Zupreem, and Topper Bird. Although the above list is not by any means meant to exclude other manufacturers that may produce excellent pelleted bird food, these named companies are well established and produce good quality, tasty products in my humble opinion).

     Very unfortunately, many birds of all types are not accustomed to eating pelleted bird food because they were not introduced to it at an early age. I might be able to help you change your bird over with a little trick! Try pressing a few pellets into a small piece of wheat bread then, as you change over; gradually take more and more of the bread away. I should caution you however that bread should not be a daily ration as it is not really nutritious for us birds. Now, if this bread trick doesn’t work, try soaking the pellets in a little fruit juice before hand feeding them to your bird. Persistence is the key but be sure that you don’t end up with your bird buddy going on a hunger strike. Before moving on with my discussion I should point out one more little detail about pelleted foods that is helpful to be aware of,  which is that some of these foods contain food coloring resulting in rather colorful, even fluorescent orange or red stools that are no cause for alarm!

     With regards to vegetables, ideally, the vegetables should be fresh and certified organic whenever available. It is best to offer dark leafy- green vegetables such as kale, collards and mustard quite frequently.  These veggies are high in calcium and good for your bird.  More occasionally spinach, bok choy and chard can be offered as well.  Even frozen mixed vegetables can be very good as an option, and often are more convenient at certain times of they year. Frozen peas, corn, carrots and beans; bell peppers, and sweet corn on the cob are all just fine.

     For added variety, for all of us birds, non-toxic garden weeds such as dandelion and milk thistle can be added to our menus, but nix on the avocados, and onions, (which can be toxic to many bird species). Also, a small amount of healthy people- food in moderation and the occasional chili once in a while to spice up your bird’s life is fine. (With an emphasis on “in moderation “…never forget that we are not exactly heavy weights in the animal kingdom, so a little snack to a person can be a huge meal for us birds).

     Have you noticed yet??…no mention of seeds! Well, now is the time for me to fly down this alley of discussion. It is very important for you folks to know that studies have shown for years that seed junkies of all types of birds are very frequently Zn and calcium deficient, vitamin A and D deficient, and overweight. This is because an all seed diet is one that has an inappropriate amino acid balance, contains low quantities of fat-soluble vitamins, and contains many empty calories.

     Now, you might argue, quite correctly, that birds in the wild commonly consume a wide variety of seeds and fruits depending on the species so seeds and fruit in plentiful amounts should be o.k. Not so much! It needs to be pointed out that native birds in the wild experience a much different life-style then cage birds do. Take for example my wild relatives that feed on fruits, especially wild figs, seed, nuts, berries, buds and blossoms. These birds are very busy on a daily basis flying above forest canopies or in the crowns of tall trees foraging for fruits and seeds so it follows that their daily energy requirements are much higher. Further, their natural diet is much more varied due to seasonal changes and plant diversity in their wild environment. Also, very importantly, they are in the sun often and consequently are not prone to Vitamin D deficiency as are indoor seed-fed pet birds. In essence, fending for themselves on a daily basis actually makes them healthier as long as they don’t become a tasty meal for a hungry predator of course!

     But forgive me…I have veered off the flight plan. Let’s get back to the discussion of cage-bird diets.

     Sunflower seeds and millet sprays and fruit treats and nutriberries need to be de-emphasized big- time. Sunflower seeds are like fast food…fatty and not very nutritional leading often to fatty livers and hardened arteries. The other items mentioned above are basically terrific sources of calories and little else. Any fruit is OK - but as a treat only, not a dietary staple.

    On the subject of the value of adding bird vitamins to your bird’s, water bowl, all I have to say is the notion needs to be nixed that you are doing your bird any favor. In fact, water with added vitamins loses its nutrient value very quickly only to become a bacterial swimming pool within a few hours. Powdered vitamins dusted on a piece of favorite fruit or veggie is a much better alternative.

     For us parrot types, grit is totally unnecessary. For smaller birds like budgies, canaries and finches, especially those still persisting with an all seed diet, grit in small portions may be offered, but generally speaking is totally unnecessary. In fact, over-consumption of grit can lead to intestinal blockage problems, especially if a bird is a little “under the weather”. In fact, if you do choose to have a little grit available, and if your bird is not feeling well, it is always best to remove the grit from the cage and take him to your bird doctor as soon as possible.

     Of course, for all birds, as with humans, food presentation is very important so I am now going to step up to the plate regarding this topic. Let’s start with your purchase of bird food at your favorite pet or grocery store. It is best, as a general rule, to buy your seed in sealed bags since it is going to be much fresher and cleaner then if it is scooped from bulk bins. Bulk bin seed mixes in most cases are neither “shaken nor stirred!” for many days or even weeks and can become quite stale and dusty especially at the bottom of the bin.

     Now, on to the topic of food dishes that look full that are really just full of seed shells or nut hulls. Appearances can be deceiving! Also, disappearance of food from the food dish is not a reliable way of determining if your bird is eating properly since it may be tossing most seed out of the bowl in a dedicated search for its favorite kind. (Just like my owner’s new baby does with the food she dislikes which she tosses off her highchair down to the dog). Further on the subject of food presentation, we don’t enjoy having to perform flexibility maneuvers or assume yoga postures while we eat. What we want is a sense of body security. For example,  we prefer solidly secured perches that can provide us with enough headroom as we eat our dinner without our having to guard our heads from objects above us if we need to adjust our position or look up. We also want a reasonably quiet environment to dine, relatively undisturbed by noises and other distractions. If we are decrepit we need our food close and our perches low. Finally, and very importantly, we need clean, fresh water close by but above our tail level. As a personal note, it really ties my tail feathers in a knot to think about drinking or eating from soiled bowls, when simple measures can avoid the double- dip drop occurring. Please help us to avoid the inevitable when we turn around on our perches to settle down after a good meal by securing our perches ABOVE our tail feathers!

To conclude, as I have stated previously, it would be presumptuous of me to imply that the ‘one size fits all’ concept applies to the subject of optimum diets for birds. As I also pointed out earlier in this article, nutrition is a very complex subject, and a healthy diet for one bird species or individual may vary widely depending on the individual’s environment, general health, age and genetic makeup. Still, I am sure that if you follow these basic guidelines you will have a head start on ensuring that your bird friend can experience a healthy, happy and long life.

 

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     As our Case Study for this month we are very pleased to share with our Facebook friends some information about Kayla, a very energetic, obedient and intelligent German Short Haired Pointer.

    The focus of this study is directed not on any of her specific health concerns but on her great overall health as she approaches her 15th year of life!  (Of note: the average life expectancy of this popular breed is  from 12 to 15 years of age). 

      Kayla is a hunting-type dog with the typical webbed feet and water resistant coat characteristic of her breed. 

     When I first met her at out clinic she was 7 years old.  She arrived without a leash, obediently and joyfully responding to the voice commands of her owner.  This method of communication between master and dog continues to this day.  Her owner’s voice is an invisible leash and is testimony to her loyalty to him and sheer joy of being in the company of her master.

    Kayla’s energy level has always seemed boundless to me, even to this day.  I can only imagine what she must have been like when she was a much younger dog.   Allow me to speculate that had I known her then my impression would have been that she moved like she had a jet pack strapped to her back and leaped at airplanes as an idle pastime! 

     Kayla has had to overcome numerous health issues throughout her life, some quite major, including, body injuries, a chronic heart condition, hypothyroidism, chronic liver disease, and two kinds of cancer.  Throughout the years numerous advanced diagnostic tests and surgeries have tested her stamina and overall resilience. She has endured all tests with flying colors!  A sturdy genetic make-up along with a very observant and caring owner aware of the importance of preventive health measures have no doubt been significantly contributory to her continued good health in her sunset years.   

  

        Presently, and for many years now, Kayla has been receiving a range of medications, prescription diets, and nutraceuticals addressing her changing health needs.       A little more recently she has been receiving monthly cold laser sessions to help relieve her joint discomfort associated with arthritic changes.  The reward of these measures is evident in what appears to be a plentiful supply of spring left in her steps as she bounds thru her autumn years!  

 

  

      As a family tradition, Kayla’s owner has taken her to either Long Beach Washington or Cannon Beach Oregon every birthday anniversary of her life since she was a young pup.  In all likelihood she will be at one of these beaches romping in the waters and on the sand in celebration of her 15 th birthday, on Sept 5.

     At out clinic we plan to raise our glasses to a toast that day to share our collective delight as she bounces into her future.

 

 

 

 

       It is with pleasure that we introduce to all readers Oreo, a beautiful spayed English Spot X bunny, as Our Case of the Month choice!   She was presented to us on January 25/ 2014 because her owners had noticed that for a few days she had been experiencing some discomfort in her right eye, even to the extent of  her preferring to keep it partially closed at times.

 

      To determine the status of her eye a common diagnostic procedure known as a fluorescein dye test was performed permitting a clear reason for her problem.  An expansive corneal ulcer was outlined by this fluorescent-green dye test. (The cornea is the shiny, colorful outermost layer of the eye).  This injury was for the most part hidden under her lower eyelid. It was likely caused by an abrasive rub of her eye by an object with a rough surface.

 

     An ophthalmic gel that contained an antibiotic combined with an eye lubricant was prescribed and a follow-up exam was scheduled for 10 days later.

 

     It was a pleasing finding on her follow-up appointment that the fluorescein dye test indicated essentially a healed cornea.

 

      The accompanying images show Oreo assuming her “Wanna come out and play with me” pose in one image and “Yum Yum Kale” pose as she is presented with one of her favorite leafy green treats.

 

     Her owners are very dedicated to attending to her nutritional needs. They even grow kale in their own garden for her (and for themselves) in the summer! They ensure that she always has access to a variety of good quality fresh hay and dried grasses as well as plenty fresh leafy greens.  Additionally, of course, lots of clean, fresh water is made conveniently available to her 24/7.    Her pellet rations are limited to no more than ¼ cup per day to ensure that her teeth are properly worn down and that her gastro-intestinal tract functions well. 

 

     We are grateful to Tanya Tomlinson and other family members for allowing us to arrange for a photo-shoot of Oreo.   She is a very photogenic bunny, with her butterfly facial markings, spots and herringbone back stripe!  These features are distinctive characteristics of the ancient English Spot breed, which makes up part of her heritage. 

 

 

     Photo                  Photo         Photo

    

    Bring Back Play!  

 

  “What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives."

Dr. Stuart Brown, a researcher of the National Institute of Play.

    Playtime goes beyond the intrinsic fun that can be had.  Play time with your pets can be mutually beneficial, simultaneously benefitting both parties as a source of relaxation and stimulation for the brain and body. 

 

     Bring Back Play!    Photo


                                                                               MOVE IT OR LOSE IT   (From a Bird’s Eye View)

                 

                                                                 SUB-TITLED:    (“PEOPLE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM PARROTS”)

 

         Dear readers, permit me to introduce myself.  My name is Pedro, and for those readers that haven’t heard of me yet, I am a youthful Amazon parrot in the prime of my life. For this same group of folks, I would like to add (with tacit modesty of course) that historically, we parrots as a species are gifted with an intelligence and beauty that has appealed universally to people throughout the ages.   Even further, we are considered to be one of the most adaptable and flexible species on the planet.  But forgive me… I digress…

 

       Personally, I feel very fortunate to be enjoying a fantastic life with a couple of humans that adore me and work hard to keep me healthy and happy. Of course, like all dependents they periodically need to be guided and rewarded for positive behaviors and when necessary have some privileges removed if they become misguided or misbehave. Now, having my humans care for me so very well as well as live a very healthy lifestyle themselves makes me proud of them having these priorities!  In sharp contrast to our family’s lifestyle, I find it quite distressing know that there is a large segment of the human population that chooses to complacently set themselves up to the health risks of a sedentary life rather than put out a little energy to keep themselves in better shape.  As a common example, I will refer to those folks that prefer a couch potato existence lounging in front of their noisy flickering machines and munching on crispy crackers after their working day.  In my opinion, they would be much better off health-wise with fewer crackers and way more brisk walks around the block, perhaps with a leashed parrot on their shoulder or a least some bird seed in their pockets to feed wild birds in the park.   But, dear readers, in all probability, I am most likely screeching to the converted so will drop this subject for now.

 

      Now, bear with me just a moment to allow me to make a personal confession before I veer back to my main topic for today.  I do have a certain pastime that I pursue with shameless passion.   My obsession is surfing the net.  I exercise this delightful hobby using my owner’s iPAD, which I am permitted to use when they are at work.   (They also have a smaller iPhone, which I have little interest in since I much prefer the larger tablet touch screen, which provides me with much more foot and beak room).  

 

      Now that you all know me a little better, I will plunge into the depths of this article without further delay. My focus today is based on a “MOVE IT OR LOSE IT” theme.  Or to be more explicit, we birds of ALL varieties and species need regular exercise, to stay healthy in body, spirit and mind.  Of course, a well balanced varied diet; fresh air, clean water, sunshine, adequate shelter and yearly check-ups by our doctors are also essential to help us maintain our optimum health but I am choosing to focus today on the significant benefits of exercise for birds.  Also, later in this article, I will offer some simple suggestions to guide any of you readers that are bird owners on how to provide exercise for your lovable feathered companions in ways that are fun and rewarding.

    

                    Now, as almost everyone knows, all living creatures can benefit from regular exercise routines and that small changes can achieve significant gains.  Regular exercise strengthens the heart, circulatory system, bones and muscles. It helps with weight management and strengthens the immune system. Additionally, exercise improves digestion, helps to restore natural body rhythms, and can prevent the development of many diseases and disorders such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. In contrast, lack of exercise in any living creature, be it a parrot, person, dog, cat lizard or fish, contributes overall to muscle loss, poor conditioning and deterioration of overall health.  Take for example any bird type. One should never forget that in the wild, we birds fly free and are very busy and active spending about fifty percent of our day finding food.   Those of us who are less fortunate nowadays ,who are spending most of our days existing in a form of solitary confinement in a cage are functioning at only a small fraction of our potential capacity.  So it is very easy to see why a sedentary life can so easily lead to degenerative conditions, including obesity, hardening of the arteries and heart disease in inactive birds as with inactive people. Now, you may be surprised to learn that well-researched studies indicate an alarming incidence of atherosclerosis, a serious disease of major blood vessels in companion birds, especially parrots.  Atherosclerosis is very similar to the human condition in which artery walls thicken as the result of a build-up of fatty materials within the artery walls.  Eventually, it can cause a total blockage of blood flow within the blood vessel.  There is a strong association of this disorder to high-fat seed diets and inactivity.  There is no question that captivity – and too much fatty food always available in a dish right under our beaks - leads many of us birds to an early demise from this disorder.

 

     By now, dear readers I am sure you are anxious to start learning about how to start  an exercise program for your beloved feathered friend.  However, before you start your bird circuit training or sign him up for any marathons (just kidding of course), you must first ensure that your bird is fit enough to get started on any kind of exercise program.  So, a visit to your bird’s veterinarian is necessary for a general health and fitness exam.  The doctor will be paying particular attention to your feathered friend’s heart and respiratory system, body weight and stress tolerance.  He or she may also wish to perform a few basic blood and fecal tests to assist in his assessment of your bird’s general health.   Also, your vet may trim your bird’s nails and feathers if needed. 

 

       Of course, as with any exercise program, it is best to start slow and build up from there.  Remember that even slow starts can reap significant health benefits to your bird. However, a trip on your shoulder from cage to kitchen and back to the cage does not qualify as significant exercise for either of you! 

    

 

    Within their cages these little guys need enough room that they aren’t bumping into their perches or toppling over their cage accessories as they spend their day. A cage size accommodating at least three times their wing spans in height as well as width, is a minimum guideline to give them enough flight room to be able to safely flap their wings, execute short flights and to flutter from perch to perch as finches and canaries are wont to do. Small amounts of food positioned at opposite ends of the cage can encourage more activity.  Also, consider placing the cage close to a window, (avoiding drafty windows of course and not in prolonged direct sunlight), because this encourages these small bird folks to engage vicariously in what is happening outdoors.

 

         Sturdy resting perches are as important to us birds as are park benches to fitness buffs that run on trails. Perches also provide us with an opportunity to exercise our feet and to keep our beaks trimmed and tidy.  Perches need to fit our feet, be supplied in varied diameters and textures, and be well secured.  There are no shortages of sources of perch materials that are safe but please avoid sandpaper perches for all of us birds large and small…these are hard on our soles and certainly are not effective as nail files, as some people are lead to believe. We don’t care much for metal perches either since they can be quite cold and slippery. Rope perches are okay but should be laundered regularly. Natural perches made from untreated wood like apple wood or aspen are also fine, since they not only provide exercise for our toe muscles; they also keep us gnawing on the bark and the wood. For some shy birds, greenery in front of the perch for them to hide behind can make perches more attractive to them so that they will use them more often.  Also, moving perches around now and then can be a beneficial method to keep our lives interesting and fun. 

  
      Many birds also enjoy swings, but they do need to be secured well.  Horizontal bars on the sides of birdcages are very important for birds that like to climb, such as parakeets, cockatiels and lots of playful parrots. However, be sure that the bar spacing is small enough that the climber can’t get its head jammed through them.   Of course any sharp wires, loose toy threads, jagged metal edges or exposed splintery wood edges, need to be eliminated to avoid us acquiring cuts, abrasions or tangled toes.

 

       It is easier to encourage small pet birds like budgies, canaries, cockatiels, and lovebirds to fly and exercise in a cage than it is to encourage a larger bird to do so. However, all kinds of birds can be allowed to experience the joy and benefits of exercise associated with flight time outside of their cages, but it should always be under an owner’s supervision. It is obviously safer for us to be kept in our cage or aviary when not being supervised since we can make ourselves very difficult to catch if we have the opportunity to find a secret hiding place. Also, it goes almost without saying that a bird in the cage is worth two hiding in the heat vent!

 

      Very important precautions that owners need to take prior to allowing for our indoors flight are to close all windows and doors that open to the outdoors since if the opportunity presents itself, most birds will fly away, answering to the call of the wild. (Present company excepted of course!).  Also, one should be sure to pull curtains across windows and cover up large mirrors since more than one bird has tried to fly through glass, with a broken neck being a most unfortunate result. Further precautions include: screening off of a fireplace, avoiding having any water-filled vessels lying around, or the toilet lid up, making sure the ceiling fan isn’t on that the stove isn’t hot and that hot beverages aren’t accessible to your bird friend. Another very important safety measure to take prior to allowing us our out-of –cage experiences is to keep any pets confined especially those sneaky, pesky cats that keep one eye closed and one eye open just waiting for the ideal opportunity to munch and lunch! 

 

     Oh, and another thing…we birds prefer that you keep our cage door open since we generally like to return to our sanctuaries after a while to rest on our perches and catch our second wind or just to regroup. I would suggest you sit still when you let any of us out of our cage, especially at the beginning until we can orient to the room; even more so for our first few times out.  Also, expect those of us that aren’t used to flying to get tired fairly soon and make more frequent landings. 

  

     It's more difficult to get larger species that have become sedentary to fly for exercise unless you have a large outdoor aviary, which few people do. For those owners that enjoy honing their carpentry skills, information can be readily acquired online regarding aviary construction. Your bird will love you for this but do be sure to allow for protective measures such as shady places of retreat from direct prolonged exposure to sunlight and also avoid any potential contact with wild birds that possibly could transfer parasites or disease to your birds.   Another rather fun way to encourage exercise in larger birds is to purchase a Harness and Leash (feather tether), which can be a great way for both you and your bird to enjoy the great outdoors!

 

 

       It is very important to know that all birds are SUPER-SENSITIVE to toxic chemicals so all cleaning chemicals, nail polish chemicals, and basically any chemical or product that can be carried in the air that has a strong, lingering odor can readily kill us. Therefore, keep us out of kitchens, bathrooms, and recently cleaned areas. It is also very important to not allow us to chew on curtain rods that contain lead or on your costume jewelry, which also can contain lead or other toxic metals.   

 

    Earlier in this article you will recall that I mentioned that your bird’s veterinarian might clip the wing feathers of your bird, especially if allowed to be outside of his or her cage at times.  Some owners do not clip their birds' wings so they can fly normally about. However, as described previously, flighted birds are subject to increased risks such as escape, flying into windows, landing on hot stoves flying into ceiling fans, or possibly, on occasion into your hot soup!  Therefore, for your bird’s safety and for your peace of mind it is usually best to have your bird’s wing feathers clipped.  Be sure to entrust your bird’s doctor or a trained bird professional to perform this task because they know best how to trim our wing feathers so that we can land nicely instead of falling with a thud on our keel bones.  Properly done, the procedure doesn’t hurt a bit other than ruffling of our contours and composure and the trade-off is that it may just save one or more of our lives.

 

      As most astute bird-owners know, we are in general an inquisitive, social, playful lot. We can quickly learn neat games of an interactive nature with our owners and also can enjoy new and challenging toys for our own self-amusement when left to our own devices.  Further, play, especially involving interactions with our owners can also help with riddance of many bad habits some of us may have such as feather plucking (similar to compulsive hair pulling in you humans), destructive behavior, and un-welcome screaming all of which are generally due to boredom or frustration.  

 

         Some examples of fun toys that can be made at home include:

      1) Smooth natural wood blocks equipped with wells to secure treats like nuts and fruit
      2) natural leather strips to chew on

      3) Treats tied to swings

      4) Paper towel rolls or twisted paper cups with treats hidden inside
   
          For more  creative owners, playpens can be set up as universal gyms.

 

     It is important to be always keep in mind that plastic toys and plastic bottles are only safe for small birds since us larger folk are more driven to search and destroy these toys and sometimes be injured by the chewed pieces.
                   

 

 

To conclude, in a nutshell, regular exercise allows us birds to live longer and have more powerful lungs so that we can entertain everyone with our songs and quaint dialogue over many of these healthier, happier years!

 

 Post script: It has been a toss up for me whether to set up a twitter or a Facebook page.   I kind of like the idea of exchanging “tweets”, however, for now Facebook is working for me. I will be sure to let you know of any changes.

   Just one more thing…I have been checking daily on eBay for a parrot-sized treadmill but no luck so far. If any readers have any leads I can be e-mailed privately at PEDRO @ Parrotsrule.com.  or at www.veddermountainvetclinic.com to the attention of Pedro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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