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About AlisonH

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    Smiths, Bermuda/Canterbury, UK

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  1. AlisonH

    4th Zazu (AlisonH)

    Thanks guys Zazu's having a fun hatchday playing with Chip and driving me crazy singing 'If you're happy and you know it'.
  2. AlisonH

    4th Zazu (AlisonH)

    Thank you for the hatchday wishes! Zazu didn't get much yesterday; just a few extra treats, but his gifts will be a bit belated because we have a great new aviary coming next week
  3. Put it in a bowl of rice - it will help absorb any water within the phone
  4. AlisonH

    Pandora the baby grey

    Yay! So glad to have met someone else with a sibling! Chip is also Bonnie & Clyde's. He's doing really well thanks. I have a few photos on my photobucket ( http://s770.photobucket.com/albums/xx348/alisonhollis/Chip/ ) but none that are really recent - I've been a bit lax on the photos lately. Best of luck with Pandora - sounds like you're doing well already!
  5. AlisonH

    Pandora the baby grey

    Pandora's a gorgeous baby! She isn't one of Lesley's is she? Couldn't help noticing the toes! If she is, I have an older brother of hers - Chip - who is 18 months.
  6. AlisonH

    Trinity Vets Maidstone

    Agreed - we go there too
  7. AlisonH

    Teaching Marley to fly

    Ruby - me too! I just patched up my doorframe for a landlord visit :oops:
  8. Thanks mcatee, those look amazing! I'm happy to try to make one (free) for whoever would like one. Rubytoo, I thought people used things like socks with holes cut in them for pluckers/PBFD birds. As those are also knitted, I don't see how these would be any more of a safety hazard? I guess the thing would be to supervise the birds or at least check the jumpers daily for any indication of chewing or wear.
  9. I can knit - would love to make some if someone can show a picture
  10. AlisonH

    Kobe's Hatchday

    Happy hatchday Kobe!!
  11. AlisonH

    Baby Food!...?

    I feed my two baby food - the thing is to make sure it's organic and has low zinc content (certainly none added!) Lesley (Chip's breeder) says it's a good idea to feed mash/baby food off a spoon once a week in case you ever need to medicate - it's a sure way of getting it in their systems!
  12. AlisonH

    26 Chip (AlisonH)

    Thanks for the hatchday wishes for Chip! He got a new travel cage that both he and Zazu can share, making it easier to take them to sit in the sun. Here are a few pics of them:
  13. AlisonH

    african grey biting

    Funny you should say that Beast - I had a similar issue with one of my CAGs when he was a baby. (This issue comes up from time to time, so I've copied & pasted the following from another one of my posts) : The key here is perseverance and consistency - it's tough, but soooo worth it in the end.
  14. AlisonH

    What is your birds favourite word ?

    Zazu's favourite phrase is "Are you a good boy? Hmmm? Hmmm?" And keeps at it very insistently until I tell him he's a good boy. Blowing a raspberry then saying 'excuse me' is also becoming quite popular. :oops: I hasten to add though that my friend taught him that! Chip has been too busy eating to learn to talk much, but occasionally he will say 'Hello' and quack like a duck. The sound of something falling off a cliff is also quite popular with the pair of them - one will do the sound of the falling, then the other will follow with the crash at the end!
  15. Here's another set of opinions - I have 2 African Greys What is the best food? I’m reading lots of good things about pellets? I feed a good quality seed called Tidymix. The seed/pellets debate is never-ending, but almost everyone agrees that fruit/vegetables are more important – seed or pellets should supplement it. Is one food brand better than another? Yes – avoid seed brands that have peanuts in shell as these can contain mould which can be harmful and even kill your bird. As mentioned, Tidymix is very good with already-shelled peanuts. How much variety should they get? How much fruit and veg? The more variety the better. They won’t always eat everything you give them (most of it will end up on the floor and walls!) but it is important you offer it to them anyway. There are different vitamins and minerals in each fruit/vegetable, so the more you offer them, the more they get. Do they need to bite into tough/hard foods? Like nuts with hard shells etc? They don’t need to, but it is often fun for them to do so. Sometimes with the bigger nuts (particularly walnuts) they even need you to crack them open in order to eat them. I’m reading things about too much calcium being bad for the bird, how do you measure and regulate this? Too much calcium is bad for the bird, and not enough calcium is bad for the bird. Greys are particularly susceptible to having low calcium levels – both of my two have suffered from it, especially when they were young. My advice is to get the levels checked by an avian vet, and see what they recommend. You will probably find that you need to give them calcium supplements (good ones are calcivet or zocal-D). Avoidable foods or ingredients? Main ones are avocado, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol, but a more extensive list can be found in the info topics that Potty’s Mum gave you a link to. How often would you need to clean the cage? Every day, sometimes more. What do you put on the floor of the cage? Someone told me newspaper at the bottom and then woodbased cat litter on top? Just newspaper – no cat litter. Does bird poo smell? It does, but not in the sense that dog/cat poo smells. If you’re really curious, I have plenty to spare and can mail you some! How do you bath the bird? And how often? I try to do it every day, although Zazu & Chip both hate water, so it’s a bit of a chore! What about bird dander/dust? Will one African Grey produce a substantial amount? Yes – Greys are notorious for dust production! A good quality air purifier can help keep it out of the air, and regular bathing of the bird will help prevent it. Can we still use things in the home like scented candles or Incense sticks or air freshener? No – these are harmful to birds. What’s the best method of training the bird? Have people had much success with clickers? Or treats? Positive reinforcement works best. Never punish your bird if it doesn’t do what you want – you can easily harm him/her and/or lose their trust. What kind of treats are best? Zazu and Chip both love almonds. They also like Zupreem bird cookies. What are your thoughts on wing and nail clipping? Does this need to be done? What are the pros and cons? Nail clipping should be done if they’re sharp, although having a sandy perch in the cage really does help keep them down. I have a few sandy perches, and never have to trim nails. Wing clipping is, again, very controversial. I have never clipped my birds’ wings, as I believe it does them more harm than good (this is certainly the case with babies as it means they won’t develop their chest muscles fully). The majority of users of this forum will tell you not to clip wings. Any particular perches you would recommend? Are some more comfortable/beneficial than others? Sandy perches (as mentioned above) are good for keeping nails short. These are to be distinguished from concrete perches, which can hurt birds’ feet and cause sores. Other than that, natural wood perches are best as they usually have differing widths, which is good for birds’ feet. What are the best toys for an African Grey to play with? The more the better – just make sure they say they are suitable for an African Grey. If they are too small, pieces may break off and the birds can choke on these. I haven’t had any problems with toys that are too large (I usually buy toys suitable for macaws for my two as they’re very destructive!). There are certain toys that you should avoid putting in the cage, and reserve for out-of-cage time only. Off the top of my head, cotton rope is the main one I can think of, because birds can get their nails caught in it. This causes them to become stressed and, in some cases, die. All toys should be regularly checked for safety, and if you are unsure whether or not a toy remains safe, then throw it out! Also where is the best/most reputable place to get toys? I've heard they could be toxic with colourings etc. I won’t write these here due to forum regulations, but will send you a pm. If I was to take my bird outside, how do I know that it won’t just elope? I mean I want it to have a good fly in open air every now and then but obviously I don’t want to lose it either. The best way to do this is to harness-train your parrot. Take a look at the Aviator Harnesses – they’re very good. Alternatively, you can either get an outdoor flight built for your bird, or simply let it soak up some sun in a small cage that you can take outdoors and put in your yard. Do you cover the cage at night? Why? Is it psychological for the bird or just to keep it warm, or both? I don’t cover the cage (because it’s too big for me to reach around!) but there are several reasons to cover the birds: -Warmth -To keep out the light (birds wake up with the sun) -To keep out drafts. Teflon! I’ve heard loads about this, and from what I’m reading it’s all true! Problem is that we do have Teflon pans and a George Foreman grill etc. What would you say is a safe distance away from these nasty pans? I’m envisaging on putting the cage at least 20ft away from the kitchen with a closed door between too, is that enough or should it be avoided at all costs? I tend not to cook with Teflon – Greenpans (from amazon) are a good alternative to frying pans. I use stainless steel saucepans, and ceramic baking dishes. Do I need to insure my bird? Is that expensive? Yes, insure your bird. I use Golden Valley Parrot Insurance, and it costs about £100 per year per bird, but has saved me hundreds. Often bird veterinary care can add up very quickly, especially in emergencies, and you can get landed with a huge bill at the end of it. Does it need regular vet visits for injections/vaccinations etc? Any other regular medicines or vitamins? I take mine for regular visits to have their calcium levels checked as they have had deficiencies in the past. Any other medications or vitamins may be specific to your bird, although I do recommend that, shortly after getting your bird, take it to an avian vet to have a full blood panel done so there is a baseline for the vet to go on in case the bird ever gets sick. This will cost about £75-80, but is well worth it. Do avian vets want monthly/annual payments or are they pretty much pay as you use them? Usually, they require you to pay when treatment is finished, although you may be able to arrange a payment plan with them. Will allowing my bird to fly (short distances in the house) benefit him or is it not really that important? Will it be good exercise for him? Yes – you should aim to give your bird as much out-of-cage time as you can. Parrots are like small children (attention span of about a 5-year-old, and emotional maturity of about a 2-year-old) so mental stimulation and human interaction are key. Try to spend as much time with your parrot as you can. Can you toilet train a parrot? Is there such a thing!? To stop them pooing on the carpet, has anyone managed to get their bird to go back into the cage to poo and then come back out again? lol My greys have a parrot tower – they know that they get treats if they fly to the tower to poo. They haven’t gone on me or the carpet for a long time! Are there any books you would recommend? Or is everything I need to know all online? As Potty’s Mum said, check out the info topics on this site – they’re well worth reading!