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Gouldian Finches

July 5, 2014

Gouldian Finches, I think they’ll remain my favourite type of finch.
Though, however,  they’re quite the high maintenance bird to keep, for such a little creature.

Often I heard people say, ‘oh, they don’t require much more attention than a canary’, well, I find this very much untrue.
In my time I kept these finches there was constantly something going on with any Gould I had, sadly enough.
Be it from mites, to vitamine issues, to trimming of nails and the likes.

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Gouldians are birds native to Australia, they come with their 3 wild-colours of black, red and yellow-head.
My personal favourite is the red-head, I simply love them.
However, over the years a lot of mutations have been bred so now there are so many types and colours of the finches, I could hardly go in to detail about that.
I think I might get a bit confused myself after a while!

A long time Gouldian Finches were a serious ‘hype’ here amongst Belgian breeders. Wherever you went, you would see gouldian finches, hobby breeders, profit breeders, in all sorts of pet stores.
It seemed for a while that even the gouldian seemed a bit over-bred because the gouldians I gotten later on over the years, seemed more vunerable to diseases than my first gouldians I gotten.
The first ones to be honest, were just the wild-colours, then you’d mostly find those before all the mutations.
Do mind, some mutations also require more vitamins as they don’t produce them as well as the other, due to too much genetic changes.

But, gouldians are hard to breed, and quickly the hype subsided. The breeders needed mostly society finches to rely on as gouldians tend to be bad parents.
So society finches acted as the adoptive parents. Which happened with my only nest and baby too. The society finches (which I naturally had and not especially purchased for the gouldians), took over, bless.

Gouldian finches need a lot of vitamines, a good warmth in house and a good diet.

A diet of a bird should definitely include the vegetables and fruits, especially for these exotics it will be good.
Also add pellets in their seed diet. The diet of seeds should definitely be a good, not too fatty, exotic mixture. I’ve found that gouldians quickly can get liver issues.

Also make sure in the general gouldian care, to provide them with natural branches in their cages. This is important for their nails and beaks. It might be you’ll have to trim the nails occasionally as I’ve found them to be fast growing.
Also, I often had mite problems, on their beaks, or blood-mites, so, an occasional treatment won’t harm either and make sure to keep the cages nice and clean.

Good luck in keeping these gorgeous birds, but think twice if you want to go for these species!

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Tokkie at old age, sitting cosely and fluffed up at my keyboard.

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Impulsive parrot buying

April 27, 2014

Impulsive bird buying, especially when it comes to parrots, frustrates me so so much.

But, what can you do, if you come across cute little faces.

Ain't I cute?

Ain’t I cute?

I came round to a post on the internet, about someone who bought a macaw, about 2 years old, then to ask how you take care of such an animal.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Of all type of parrots, and apparently never having taken care of one, a macaw?
I’ve had parrots for about 10 years now, I don’t think I’d even start with such a large parrot, or especially not after I’ve had my course of parrot training and behaviour!

They require so much training, attention, special diet….and only people suggested was to clip the wings and go out for it on walks…Those are actually expert birds only in my opinion.

Problem is, that, when the majority of people impulse buy, they don’t train the parrots properly. They hit puberty (if you imagine, in a few years that macaw will hit its puberty and oh dear oh dear).
So the parrots, if not handled correctly in puberty, develop serious problems as plucking, screaming, biting…I bet 75% of those parrots bought on impulse, end up in shelters, abandoned or worse.

I bet half of them don’t even reach a good age due to a bad diet for example.

So please, do proper research before you purchase a parrot! Do you have the space, the proper cage, the time, do you know how to entertain it, do you know how to feed it? Do you know how to train it (it’s like having a dog or a child)…And, are you up to the life-time commitment?

It is best to do your research before you buy your parrot. A few blog posts back, you can read on what might be best for you, to purchase, of a little bird, to a big bird!

Have you bought a parrot, and don’t know what to do? Don’t hesitate to ask questions! Just make sure, that you can give that parrot, it’s full lifetime of joy!

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Foraging toys

February 27, 2014

Foraging toys are essential for parrots. As they spent a lot of their time in the wild hunting for food too.
Before I used to buy some toys to keep them occupied. But, mostly, those have a lot of downsides. For they are expensive, unhealthy (filled with fatty things!), and they break after a day or two!

Dreft was terribly bored lately I think and been munching under her wing too much, so I decided to make a toy myself! Piece of cake! Takes just a few minutes and fun they’ll have!

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This is made by just kitchen-roll paper (best to take that, toilet rolls kind of hang close to lots of bacteria’s), some tape, and a wire (or you can take cotton shoe-laces), to hang it on the bars with.
I put some millet in it and some holes in the side to put a few sunflower seeds in it (not too much as it is quite unhealthy), so they learn they actually gotta destroy the carton to get to the food inside!

You can adjust it’s difficulty level with ease! ENJOY!

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Parrots, or little birds? What’s the right choice

January 29, 2014

Wanting a bird, is a great responsibility.
It’s not something you buy overnight (hopefully!).
It is best to do careful planning and thinking regarding what would be the best companion for you.
Shall it be small birds, like finches? Or more like parrots, but, what sort of parrot then? Big one, small one?

Let’s go through some facts and hopefully this will help you deciding on which bird might be for you.
If you have questions regarding which species to take, or other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Right, here we go!

Step 1: Space
How big is your house, what space do you got? Can you place a big cage inside, yes or no? Can you let parrots roam free, yes or no?
Parakeets and parrots often need bigger cages than just ordinary finches of course. So if you can’t hold big cages, then you already have less of a hard choice to make.

Step 2: Time
How much time do you have? Parakeets (which are often parrot species), and parrots, require quite some human time. Though some will be rather fine with a companion of their own sorts, like, Cockatiels,
Though still, in the end, if you are gone from morning to evening, you might want to consider just small birds, and have a little flock so they can be chipper.
There are lovely kinds like society finches, java finches, or the ordinary canary, that can make your home a lot more lively! Or maybe budgies? They can be also tamed!

If you have semi-time, I’d suggest for small to middle sized parrots that can be housed together.
Big parrots require a lot of training and a lot of time. As do all parrots to be honest. But more for those than for the others.

Step 3: Budget
Of course, budget is important. Small birds don’t cost a lot (unless you go for special rare species as the red-cheeked cordon-bleu, then it can quickly rise above 100 euro’s!).
Little parrots, as cockatiels, often range from 50 to a hundred of euro’s. Bigger parrots, like, Galah’s, often start from around 500 euro’s and above. Depending also on how they’ve been raised.

When you go to an African Grey for example, the budget will be a lot higher!
Not to mention prices of Macaws, so think carefully!

Step 4: Dedication
Are you dedicated to spend a lot of time and patience in your birdy companion? Also, year wise.
Parrots can easily outlive you, while finches and other small birds vary from 8 to 10 year (or a bit older with luck).
Mid-sized parrots can vary from 20 to 40-50 years. Galahs can become 80 years…Best to have a proper look in to their life-span!


Step 5: Be aware of diseases, treatment and find a proper vet
For smaller birds this is not so necesarry, but if you go for parrots, you might want to learn a bit about their diets, health, and make sure you know a good avian vet.
I’ve come to realise it is important to know how to maintain a proper healthy bird, but also to be able to reach someone good to cure your bird! Birds show an illness late, so often you can’t even be on time.
Also, it is good to know as well, that parrots can have a disease that a human can get as well, this being the parrot-disease (Psittacosis). Keep this in mind.

Step 6: Time to make the first desicion, small or big bird?
You should be able to decide now!
In the next steps, I’ll continue for the parrots. For little birds there are plenty of lovely choices to make, without too much concequences. Only suggestion I’ll do, try to stay away from exotic birds if you are a starter! With that I mean species like from Africa or Australia, to name one, the Gouldian Finch. They require extra care and special diet if you want them to live long and beautifully!

Step 7: Small or big parrot
Small parrots or big parrots, that is a hard one. Of course, smaller ones are a bit ‘easier’ to handle behaviour wise. You won’t feel it that bad if they hit puberty and when they might try to be the boss of you. Bigger parrots might leave a scar or two in worst case scenarios. They also require a bit more know-hows than the smaller parrots.
It also depends on the time you want to spend with your lovely companion. Rosella’s, Cockatiels, and the likes, can also easily be housed with two in case you have few time and thus prevents them from being alone.
Bigger parrots need a lot of attention or they go feather plucking, screaming, and the likes (can also happen with smaller ones, mind you!)

Step 8: Diet, housing
Are you prepared to put a lot of time in their diet, and playtime? Parrots need quite a variated diet, not just ‘seeds’. That’ll just kill them off quicker!
They need vegetables, fruits, nuts…You need to spent time on it!
Also housing is a big thing, they need a proper cage, proper toys, branches (no fakes! Try to get tree branches)…Plan plan plan!

Step 9: Find a breeder
Please, oh please, buy your parrot at a good breeder! Shop birds often carry diseases and live in such bad circumstances!
Only if you feel the need to resque a poor bird, you can risk it. But chances of it becoming properly tame, or be calm, are less likely to happen.

Step 10: Decision time – What behaviour fits you
Parrots scream, oh yes they do, but some have it more ‘in them’, than others. Do research on behaviour aspects. A little note though, screaming is also natural, most screaming will be in the morning at wakey time, about 15minutes, as they have to call out to the flock.
The more quiet species, are parrots like Conures (though the Sun conure is known to be more of a screamer), Bourkes parakeets, Cockatiels (sometimes though), and so forth.

The more noisy ones are often the Macaws, Indian Ringnecks (quite piercing sound that), and Cockatoo’s, etc…

Do keep in mind though, that mostly the noise is what YOU make out of it. Parrots can be easily trained to keep the volume down!
I also name only a few species everytime as there are so many out there! So as said, do your research!

Others need a lot more of intelligence toys and things to destroy, than others. This is definitely the case for Cockatoo’s and Macaws.

Also, some are more human orientated, than other parrots. For example, Indian ring-necks have more of a tendency to bond to one person.
While a Rosella, or even a cockatiel, doesn’t mind scratches or attention from other people.
Bigger parrots, African Greys, and such, would have more of a tendency as well, as to bond to one human.

Step 11: Still not discouraged? Go for it
If after all these things, you’re still not discouraged, time to decide the species!
Might want to look a bit at what you like of looks, but remember, take what you can handle, have time for, and know you won’t get tired off! Better a happy bird than one you have to rehome!

Albino

Albino Society Finch

ENJOY!!!

—- What is my type of parrot?
Well, I always dreamt of having a Macaw, but I just know I don’t have the proper space for it to fly free time to time. Nor would I want it screaming badly that it would annoy my neighbours.
Also, I’m already 26, the parrot surely would outlive me (unlesss I adopt one).

So, in the end, I know my type of parrots are mainly, Cockatiels, I love them now already. But I someday, do want either an African Grey or a Galah!

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Happy (belated) Newyear

January 15, 2014

And on we are in to the new year!

I have to admit, I have been slacking the last months of the previous year on updating this blog! Shame on me! Shame on me!

Here’s my Christmas and Newyear card of this year!

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Tumnus was the star of my cards! And he was a lovely personal Christmas tree! He makes up for a nice one!

I hope for resolutions of this year, that I can get Tumnus in to becoming a therapy animal.
That I shall update this blog more!
And that I can keep active too with the FB page connected to this – Wingy’s Birdy World!
http://www.facebook.com/WingysBirdyWorld

HAPPY NEWYEAR!

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Flightsuit for birds

September 14, 2013

Often people who own parrots, have a harnass or flightsuit for their little ones.

I so far haven’t tried it yet, but now I did. For a certain reason though!

My cockatiels (or at least Tumnus) is allowed to fly free in the house, I don’t mind. He can go where he wants to when he’s out.
Dreft her flight-time or time to play outside is limited due to her asthma, often she’s worse after having been flying. Also, she’s not really in to it herself anyway when she’s out, I’m sure she feels it herself.

But, Tumnus, is in training.
I’m wanting that he becomes a therapy-animal. So I can visit places with him to learn people about the joy of cockatiels and parrots. Or just to make people happy that they can scratch and pet a cute animal like him.

At first I tried to potty-train Tumnus but that did not work out yet so far. Also, it’s still a bird, accidents happen and they do poo regurarely.
That is why I went looking around and found the flightsuit with diapers! Provided by the very funky avian-fashions  (do have a look on their site, they also have nice suits for feather pluckers!).

This suit is perfect for if you go places without making the area dirty, or without any accidents happening on people their clothing!
Otherwise I’m not so much in to these suits for at home really. I think a bird should be free at home. If you decide to own a bird, you need to carry the concequences of course!

The other nice thing is that you can attach a cord to it so your bird cannot fly away. Which is perfect for at strange places, in case someone accidentally has a window open or a door. I wouldn’t want my little one to fly off!

 

1233608_10151812080877480_1128246804_nNone the less, here is Tumnus in his cute little flight-suit for tiels under the age of 6 months.
I am quite pleased with it. Only…Tumnus has turned out to be a big boy and the suit is already becoming quite tight, and this picture was taken when he was about 4 months.

 

 

 

 

So at this moment my mother is trying to create one herself, otherwise I’ll of course purchase one in the proper sizing for him.

 

So yes, in my opinion, flight suits are nice.
But just for at other places!

 

 

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Here are a few more pictures, this one was when Tumnus was way smaller and getting to know the flightsuit, by playing with it, and eating near it.

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Cuddle times are important as a reward!!!!

 

So what do you think of flightsuits and harnasses?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
If you want to keep up to date with my birdies, do visit my Facebook page, I’ll be giving there smaller updates. And here for the big writings! They’ll be tied together!
http://www.facebook.com/WingysBirdyWorld

Also follow my instagram, as Tumnus often gets updates there (together with my other pets!)
http://instagram.com/wingy_tunes/

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Professionals with or without degree?

July 22, 2013

Ah, I might be killed for this.
But, you know, do you need official teachings or degrees, to work with animals?

I’m a bit so so around this subject because, I think experience, teaches you the most. Having a degree to fling around and to show off, doensn’t mean a thing, in my opinion.

If you look at the most famous dog-trainers, like Victoria Stillwel, she didn’t have any degree in how to work with dogs. Yet she is a professional, and she works miracles with a dog.
Then you can have someone with a degree and know sod all about it and just works by the book.

Now, birds are even less ‘known’ by behaviour and the likes than dogs.
So it is hard to come by someone who actually knows what he/she is doing.

A while ago I met a lady who is a parrot behaviour trainer/therapist. I found it awesome and wanted to talk to her and learn more.
Until I saw that she fed her beautiful macaw coca-cola. Caffeine is TOXIC for your bird. If you don’t even know how to maintain the health, how can you handle the behaviour?
Let alone the sugar in it is very dangerous too, and can make their behaviour change as well. Like putting a kid on sugar.
Then she fed him crisps…that she was eating. Human saliva for a bird is a no no, let alone the crisps and all the junk comes in it which is harmful for your birds liver.

She let one of her cockatoo’s out and the bird could not even sit still, I couldn’t believe it…We talked though, exhanged some stories about parrots with Cushings. And she gave me her card.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever go there.

To be honest, I might not have a ‘degree’ or any official training. But I’ve got 14 years of experience in birds now, or at least, when I turn 26 in August.
I have come to know so much, especially also with health due to working so closely with the vet, that I just feel close to the animals.
I’ve learnt the hard way how to be careful with their behaviour. Like puberty, not taking care of it, and the concequences.

So in my opinion, I rather prefer a true bird-lover and carer, over a professional anyday.

So make sure the person you are going to if your parrot has problems, is someone who actually has proper end-results. And is not just known by face or degree.
I do wanna add this though, I’m not writing down on people with a degree, some do it to learn MORE, and not all are bad of course. It is just my personal experience.

Now I hope I shall not be slaughtered.

 

Keep your birds healthy and safe!

 

Tumnus12

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Bit of this and that

July 15, 2013

Hello everyone,

I haven’t really written anymore since Brightie’s passing.
I had a lot of things happening in my life which made write less and not getting to any proper updates of my Birdy Blog.
Not only Brightie has passed away, but sadly enough one of my hybrids as well a few weeks after. It was a Java Finch x Society Finch cross.

Then a few weeks ago, I had to let my dog go, as she was old, and had hind leg problems. It was the best thing to do.
None the less it threw me off my game completely. My Brightie, and my German Shepherd Kiara, were my world, my everything.

Last but not least, then last week, one of my cutthroat finches, and my Forbes Parrot Finch, had passed away as well, and that…side by side.
So it has been a really weird period of time.

Though I have been busy here and there.
And I started an alternative for quicker in between updates that is connected to this Birdy Blog.
Which is my Facebook paged called ‘Wingy’s Birdy World’. There you will see fast and cute updates in my current birdy business!
http://www.facebook.com/WingysBirdyWorld

It features also a lot of Tumnus his ongoings, how he grows and stuff, he’s a cheeky little bugger. I’m practically certain that it is a he as he’s very tweety and tries to sing and do special things with his peeps now and then. So cute.
TumnusEating

Due to so much happening as of late, I haven’t had any new drawings.
But I just want to let you all know I’m open still for commisions.
So do you want a drawing of your dearest birdy? Don’t hesitate to contact me!
Check out the requirements here – http://wingy-arts.com

There we go!

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R.I.P Brightie

June 10, 2013

Sadly enough, my dearest Brightie has passed away on the 14th of May.
The news was devastating, as they called the day before they didn’t have to do the surgery, but could start treatment.
My whole world just collapsed. Knowing my Brightie will never be around again.
He cheered me up a lot.

He was such a ‘bright’ fella. Hence his name.
I raised him when I was most ill with my Addisons disease. I spent most of my days in bed, together with Brightie.
I learned him how to eat and behave cockatiel like. I had to as he was abandoned from the nest.

He was surely special to me and I don’t think I’ll ever have a cockatiel like him. Our bond was one of a kind.

Brightie posing for our Chrismtas cards!

Brightie posing for our Chrismtas cards!

Brightie has fought a long and hard battle against whatever disease was making him sick.
I had given him up for an autopsy, and a bit over a week ago, we found out, what exactly was going on in the poor bird.

In the end, it seemed he did not have diabetes at all. But a more unknown disease in animals, which was Cushings.
Cushings is the opposite of my Addisons disease, so it was yet another weird thing to have happening.
Though Cushings shows differently in birds than humans. It is rarely seen and not really documented yet apparently.
Also Brightie his value’s weren’t all so typical so it was hard to put the pieces together.
None the less, since this is so rare and not really treatable, we know, Brightie had no chance. And in the end, he survived longer than imagined.

I just hope that the researches now will help the future birds that will carry this disease.
They already were able to learn some from all the testings.

Do hope little Brightie is happy up there.
Will miss him forever and ever.

Drawing I made of Brightie - http://wingy-arts.com

Drawing I made of Brightie – http://wingy-arts.com

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Handfeeding birds – yes or no?

May 25, 2013

Being active on a few bird groups on Facebook, I read a lot about hand-raising birds (parrots).

Tumnus1 I had to handfeed a few myself back in the days as 3 cockatiels were abandoned from the nest.

I’ve also raised a baby pidgeon which was abandoned from the nest and was hurt.

Now I’m hand-feeding this fella as I quickly had to get a new tiel after my Brightie’s passing (RIP Brightie), as Dreft stopped eating due to that.
It is a pleasant experience of course, and I’ve done it before. It surely is a special process…

But, none the less, I have mixed feelings about to this. And I’m mostly against to be honest.
So in this blog I’ll express my personal opinions on why a bird should NOT be hand-fed.

 

First of all, hand-feeding does not mean they’ll be hand-tame. You can perfectly get a bird tame without taking them from their nests and feed them yourself.

In my opinion, a bird should stay with their parents until they are confident enough to leave the nest themselves.
At that point you can pick them up time to time, cuddle them, so they can get used to you. Put the cage somewhere near you so they also often get in contact with humans.
They need to grow up with examples, they need to learn from their parents too. How to eat, fly, climb, socialize with their own kind.

By the time they are weaned, you can start to give them little treats, like millet. That is the perfect way to get them tame, at a still young age.

A bird gets all the needed nutritions from the parents birds, and in my opinion, it is the best for their immune system.
Often I read such ‘pre-cautions’ for hand-feeding it makes me think, ‘what the hell?’.
Being overly clean, and disinfecting stuff, only makes the birds more fragile.

It is like, when I clean my cages, I rarely do it with disinfecting products or other things. And to be honest, my birds always have been very strong.

So think twice about wether you take your bird from the parents, now you’ve read the above.

Besides those points, think about the dangers of raising a chick yourself.
Here’s a list to check through to know if you can handle it.

– Do you have enough time to feed a chick? Every 2 hours at 1 week, and every 3 hours at 2 weeks, from 3 weeks on it’s every 4 hours, and so forth. Can you manage?

– Do you know what a birds crop is like? That it is full or not? Over-feeding your chick might result in the formula going in to their lungs.

– Do you know the proper heat of the formula? Too hot will cause the crop to burn. It can mean a lifetime of pain for the bird.

– Do you know hand-raising it, and doing it wrong, can result in things as sour crop, and so forth?…

– Do you know you can cause a misformed beak? Which can happen if you feed them young and wrongly, and their beaks still need to be shaped

– Do you have the general knowledge of young birds and birds in general? When they get sick, or refuse to eat, and so forth.

– Can you give them the same love, care, warmth, and such, as the parents?

Take a moment and think about these consequences, still worth raising a chick yourself?

Of course, having a baby to raise is cute and all.
I like it too, but still, if I had to pick, I’d rather have them when they are old enough to be without their parents.

You can get them tame, at any age, if you just put the time in it.
Hand-raising a chick does not mean it’s a better tamed bird. Or means the bond is better. A connection with your pet, can be formed at any time, any age.
Because, remember, parrots hit a puberty phase, and there is where you have to put all your energy in to. Because a perfectly tame bird, can become a monster (believe me, I witnessed that with Kohana).

Thus, in my opinion, let them grow up as normal parrots. And just cuddle them up once they are old enough to go and explore the world!

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