August 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
I finally tracked down a second bioSnacky glass sprouting jar! After endless searching for a U.S. vendor to no avail, I contacted several Canadian vendors. The lovely and very helpful people at Nature’s Fare were nice enough to special order it for me. The best part is, they had a shipping special and only charged me $5 for shipping from Canada! I am very pleased with my purchase. I thought I’d probably end up spending more on shipping than on the actual jar itself, but the total cost was quite reasonable. For any U.S. residents looking for one, I strongly recommended emailing them. They were very professional and also very quick!
I’ve been experimenting with a new sprouting mix lately as well. I am loving the “Amber Waves of Grain” mix from Sprout People. It’s a really clean and varied mix with super high sprout-ability for me, containing wheat, rye, barley, triticale, oats, spelt, kamut, quinoa, sesame, millet, and amaranth. I have to say; somehow their millet is really, really beautiful. It seems to be nicer and more plump than the millet I’ve seen in other mixes, at the health food store, etc. The budgies in particular are loving it! I’ve been mixing the “Amber Waves of Grain” mix with a little bit of the “Oats and Groats” mix, which has hulless oats and buckwheat groats, because all of mine love buckwheat so much. It’s a big hit! I am thinking of actually making this my base sprouting mix from now on.
For breakfast today, Lola had the mix, soaked (hadn’t quite gotten to the sprouting stage, although it’s still going), as part of a beautiful papaya and raspberry salad. I was too lazy to make a more varied mash this morning, so I went with something more simple instead. It’s a huge hit! She always loves her papaya. I like to give it to her in larger chunks because she loves to sink her beak into it and really chew it up. She is also enjoying the crunchy fresh kale and chard. She’ll never finish the whole bowl, but I was a little overzealous since the papaya looked so nice.
Unfortunately, my barley grass didn’t survive. I forgot to water it one day and the poor grass yellowed and even grew moldy. I suppose I will have to try again! Poor Charles misses his fresh grass right now. Maybe I’ll just stick to wheat grass until I perfect my technique.
I also wanted to give a huge thanks to everybody for your advice and support about Sabrina. The response was overwhelming and supportive via comments, messages, and emails, and I really appreciate it. From what I gather, it seems that her behavior is relatively typical of female budgies and Charles and I are just wusses. I am going to try offering some chamomile tea or chamomile flowers, though, to see if perhaps they might have a calming effect on her feisty personality. I have some of the new Pura Vida mix from Avian Organics on order, so perhaps she will enjoy that.
August 14, 2011 § 6 Comments
This is going to be a completely random post as I don’t have anything to elaborate on really but rather just several shorter tidbits to share.
First, my darling Lola. After her recent molt, she’s all pin feathers now, and is loving getting some scratches and some preening! I keep it at the head and neck for her, especially because she can take care of the rest of her body herself. I have read about and met many birds who are complete grumps when they are molting, but Lola just wants some love. She is too cute to be true.
Something random that I had forgotten to follow up on before: I actually tried out using a water bottle with her and I hated it. I used the Lixit Quick Fill bottle made of BPA-free plastic. I loved it, except for the spring attachment. Aside from the few traumatic stories I’ve read about birds that access it from outside of the cage and get their toe nails or beaks stuck, it’s also made of galvanized wire, a big no-no in my home. I tried a number of different remedies to attach it safely to the cage otherwise and nothing worked all that well. (I even tried using the galvanized spring attachment in an effort to see how I could best replicate it and I found that even that didn’t work very well.) Aside from that I found it hard to clean, and Lola played with it and tried to destroy the valve more than she drank from it. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I’ve decided to stick with frequently changed water bowls until I figure out something better.
In other news, my barley grass is growing quite well! It’s not coming in quite as thickly as my wheatgrass normally does, but that’s probably my fault. It is currently sitting by the window, where it is getting a very sad amount of sun because we’ve had some horrible storms and generally poor weather as of late. I was really looking forward to one last month of sun to get the birds outside, but I guess that might not be happening. Maybe we’ll have another mild fall, though, and I can take them for walks.
On the budgie cage front, I’ve decided to go with the 24″ width just to give them a bit more space. I realized that 24″ x 18″, though not ideal, isn’t really that bad. Charles’s current cage is 27″ x 18″ and it gives him plenty of space, so hopefully he won’t notice the 3″ loss too much. I’ve actually opted for an acrylic barrier between the two now, though, because of Sabrina’s increased aggression, sadly. I don’t trust her with only bars in between her and Charles rather than a full barrier.
August 12, 2011 § 8 Comments
I recently placed my first order with Sprout People, a really neat sprouting site with a HUGE selection of seeds, grasses, and sprouting accessories! I just loved their selection and read a few positive reviews from some friends, so I decided to give it a go. I like that they offer many different quantities of items as well as sampler packs. I really didn’t want pounds and pounds of sprouting seeds, but I did want a good variety, so the sampler packs allowed me to try a bunch of different things without taking over my cupboard space. I stuck mostly with things I know my guys like for now, but I also bought a few cool goodies that I am very excited to try.
I ordered two of the grain sprout samplers, which come with buckwheat and hulless oats, kamut, quinoa, wheat, and a mix called amber waves of grain, containing eleven different types of grains. I purchased one pound of almonds to sprout for Lola, which I am sure she will love and adore. I also ordered a “Lil’ Critter Grass Kit” which comes with everything I need to create three small trays of wheat grass, perfectly sized to fit inside the budgie cages! The growing medium is already cut to size, so it’s perfect for lazy ones like me who don’t want to deal with the mess of soil. I’ve never used a growing medium before, so I will admit that I’m a bit skeptical, but I’ll put it to the test. Finally, I also decided to try the grass sampler, which comes with wheat grass, barley grass, rye grass, oat grass, and Kat Grass, or a mixture containing wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flax. I’m so excited to try these different types of grasses! I already have my first little tray of barley grass going…
I’m really excited to see how the budgies like it. They are completely obsessed with wheat grass, so hopefully the barley will be a hit, although I’ve read that it’s not nearly as sweet or as palatable as wheat grass is to humans. They tend to devour anything that’s leafy and green, though, so I’m not too worried. I also love that it is so healthy for them, and that grasses are a huge part of their natural diet in the wild. I’m moving towards feeding more and more fresh food and sprouts especially with my flock with the more research I do. Eventually, I’d like to purchase a dehydrator so that even their dried foods will be processed as little as possible.
On a somewhat related note, both of the two Easy Sprouters that I have left both developed some nasty bacteria and discoloration this week and I had to toss them. I considered scrubbing and disinfecting them thoroughly but I know it’ll just be back at some length of time. I’m a little bit disappointed, and I only have my one glass bioSnacky left right now. I’m relentlessly hunting down another but they are tough to come by. I might just get a few regular glass jars in the mean time, if nothing comes up soon. I might purchase another Easy Sprouter or two, but I’m considering just sticking with glass from now on.