January 19, 2012 § 7 Comments
Lola took a highly coveted human shower today. She absolutely loves getting in the shower (rather than taking baths in her bowls, which she also enjoys). She sits underneath the shower head, soaking it up, closing her eyes, shaking it out, etc. It is too cute. She gets completely and utterly soaked! I wish I could get a video without destroying my camera, but alas, that won’t happen. Afterwards, she likes to dry off by flying around like crazy and refusing to let me take any clear photos of her.
In other news, today, for the first time, I made a big batch of fruit salad and actually froze it. I feed my guys a lot of veggies and fruits daily, but usually I chop up only what I can serve that day (or what will stay good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days) because I’d never been very successful with freezing then defrosting– everything always turns into a disgusting mush. I went a little fruit-happy, however, at the supermarket recently, and there was no way I was going to finish all of my fruit before it went bad, so I decided to try my hand at a frozen fruit salad. Here it is!
It contains fresh, organic papaya, two types of mango, pear, apple, pineapple, and kiwi. I also threw in a bunch of mixed berries afterwards: blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries. There are also lemon slices in there, which I added (along with freshly squeezed lemon juice) to keep the apples and pears from browning. There are three or four additional containers, all of which went into the freezer. Who knows? Maybe I’ll defrost one and open it up and it’ll be a disgusting pile of mush, and a big waste. That would be a little depressing, but you live and learn. Maybe if that happens, I can mash it all up and put it into a batch of bird bread, or something. Hmm…
November 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
Oh, these two… they’re enough to drive me batty! I’ll start with Sabrina. Last week, I received a wonderful order from Kathie at My Safe Bird Store with some staples, some great toy parts for foraging (on sale!), and some little pedicure perches for Sabrina. Sabrina’s nails are getting long and sharp, and because she’s so tiny, it’s more of a safety hazard for her than for a larger bird because her nails can so easily get stuck in cotton rope or even stainless steel chain. But, she doesn’t trust me enough to let me cut her nails. I could grab her and just do it as quickly as possible, as I have in the past, but she’s actually beginning to trust me right now and I don’t want to ruin the little I have going for us. (Charles is a good, sweet boy and lets me do it myself.) So, I purchased a safety pumice perch for her because they’re effective and in my opinion, the safest type of grooming perch. (For those of you who have agreed with me in the past that the larger ones look… well, questionable, you’ll be happy to know that the little ones don’t at all. They’re so tiny and thin that they’re almost cute!)
I put the little purple perch in her cage last week on Tuesday or Wednesday, and of course, she was completely terrified of it. Absolutely wouldn’t go near it– wouldn’t even go near that part of the cage. It was right next to one of her food bowls and she stalked and pounced on the food bowl from the opposite side and kept an eye on that evil perch all the while. I thought she’d give it up after a day or two, but by Saturday, she still wasn’t going near it.
Finally, I decided I’d hang her veggies above the perch, so that she had to step on it if she wanted her coveted leafy greens (they’re about the highest value treat you can give her or Charles, funnily enough!). I took a nice, thick bundle of organic pea shoots and tied them to the cage bars right above the perch. She was hilarious. For half an hour, she sat across from the perch, staring at those greens and thinking of how she could possibly get to them. Finally, she decided climbing up to the ceiling and then backing downward and eating the greens upside down was the best course of action, all to avoid this perch.
Eventually, I am happy to say, she did finally step on it, and– it didn’t kill her! She still isn’t crazy about it, but at least now she knows that it’s not some sort of evil contraption bent on destruction. Plus, she got to enjoy her delicious, fresh, healthy greens in a more comfortable position.
Some of you might notice the chubby fellow in the background. Why yes, that is Charles, who doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a divider in between him and the coveted pea shoots. Of course, he had his own very large bushel of them in his side of the cage as well, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. You always want what you can’t have, it seems!
On another note, I think the acrylic divider is actually working out quite well. They seem to like being able to see each other and also seem to like each other more while the divider is there. I very frequently come home to really adorable little scenes like this:
It breaks my heart to see them yearning to get to each other!! Of course, the other day when I actually tried removing the divider to see how they would act towards each other, they were good for all of 10 minutes. Then they started clobbering each other once more. I am hopeful, however, that the divider is helping them to learn to coexist and to learn how to have their own spaces. I’m hoping that in time, I can begin removing the divider maybe for half an hour everyday… and building up from there. I am constantly catching them trying to “communicate” through the divider in non-aggressive ways, so perhaps this is the beginning of something. Let’s hope!
May 5, 2011 § 7 Comments
I absolutely love ordering from Kathie at My Safe Bird Store. I usually place a small “nuts and bolts” (staples, like food and supplies) order with her every so often, and I am always so pleased with the amazing packaging, care, and lightning fast shipping! On top of that, she has unbeatable, low prices and a great variety of items, and is even willing to special order anything you don’t see on her site (more on that below).
Here is what my order looked like out of the box. Kathie carefully wraps every single item: the smaller ones in tissue paper and then a plastic bag, tied with a bow at the top, and larger boxed or already wrapped items with just the plastic. Then she tops it all off with some lovely, bright, and often seasonal tissue paper. I love the care that she puts into this because it ensures that none of my items will be cross-contaminated with anything else that might be mingling among the other boxes during shipping, especially other boxes with items that could leak. I love getting packages as is, but opening up Kathie’s packages is like opening up a beautifully wrapped gift! She also always includes a special something, and this time it was an adorable crafted sign for the home (in the little yellow gift bag).
This “nuts and bolts” order consisted of some of my flock’s staple items and some new items as well. Wrapped in green on the right are three packages of Totally Organics All-in-One Seed Mix, my super high quality sprouting mix of choice. I also ordered a second Easy Sprout because I love my first sprouter so much that I decided to try a second so that I can have two batches going at once! I did at one point have a second but it must have gotten lost in transit when I moved this summer. Next to the Easy Sprout are two bottles of Mango Poop Swoop Wipes, which make cleaning such a breeze. I get so many questions about how I keep my carpets and especially my natural white cotton atoms and crawlers so clean, and my secret is this stuff! They’re super convenient wipes with bird-safe cleaners that just melt droppings away. It’s very similar to Poop Off, but in my opinion smells far better.
This time, I was also looking for some cool bamboo pedicure perches in particular that HungryBird posted about, and Kathie was nice enough to special order them for me! I have a really hard time finding pedicure perches, especially because of my stainless steel hardware-only rule. So far, I haven’t found a single company that makes pedicure perches with stainless steel hardware. I also strongly prefer pedicure perches that are smooth on the top, and only rough or sandy on the sides, so that they do not irritate the feet. The only one that met my requirements that I could find was the Safety Pumice Perch by Sweet Feet and Beak, because it used plastic cage attachments rather than metal hardware, and had the sandy parts only on the sides. I’ve been using those with Lola and they do work very well, but I have to be honest– they stick out like a sore thumb in her cage because they only come in bright sea green, bright strawberry pink, purple or blue, and … well, let’s just say they look like a type of toy, but not a bird toy, if you know what I mean. (If you saw a picture of one, you’d get it.)
This is why I was so pleased to see HungryBird’s photos of these bamboo ones (by the same company actually)– they have smooth tops with sand on the sides only for comfort, and they also use plastic cage attachments! (I should mention though that inside the plastic attachment there are two non-stainless screws that are completely inaccessible unless, of course, your bird chews through the perch. I would replace them if you have a big chewer.) But best of all, they look far more natural as they are actually made of bamboo rather than brightly colored plastic. I emailed Kathie about special ordering them and as she always does, she got them in promptly and sent them straight to me. She also told me, unfortunately, that the company is discontinuing them, so I suppose that I’ll have to make these two last.
I am really pleased with these perches. Strangely, Lola was terrified of them at first. She has never, ever been afraid of a perch, except for the pumice / pedicure ones I’ve purchased. It’s very unusual. Many, many treats later, I got her to perch on them for the above photos, and with lots of praise and walnut pieces, she is now totally comfortable on them. Thanks so much Kathie! We love My Safe Bird Store!