Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Leia is Becoming an It! *

“Leia is going to become an ‘It’ today guys!”

That’s what my mother said after picking me and my sisters up from school today. We weren’t sure at first exactly what she meant by this, but when she continued to explain we were relieved to hear that it wasn’t anything as scary as it sounded. Apparently she booked an appointment with some local vets to get her fixed before she has the chance to get pregnant. We don’t want any extra kittens running around here!

Leia has been in heat for a few weeks now, so we haven’t been letting her outside much. There have been a couple of stray, male cats hanging around our house that we were worrying about. Leia was meowing like crazy for days now, so wanted her to be fixed and calmed down. Tonight we are going to have to take her in, and by the end of the day she will no longer be a female. She will be an ‘It’.

Tomorrow I’ll give an update of how things went. All I can tell you now is that she will be in surgery for under two hours and will be coming home as wobbly on her legs as a bowl of jello.

January 30, 2012

The Chop Concept *

If you’ve never heard of the Chop Concept, it is an idea that was created for bird owners who like giving their birds a healthy diet with variety by using an easy or convenient method. It’s a concept because the idea isn’t specific; the name applies to whatever you end up making. Making Chop is basically a 4 step process…

  1. Buy the food.
  2. Prepare your food in whatever way you like. (Chop, mash, soak, cook, sprout, etc.)
  3. Mix everything that you made together in a big container.
  4. Package up and store in freezer.

It’s pretty much that simple.

I originally read about it on Parrot Nation; the blog written by Patricia Sund. She posted about this concept, in hopes of sharing this great idea and letting it spread through the avian community. It did. Bird owners from all over the world are now making their very own versions of Chop, with so many variations in contents and amounts. She recently put together a video called “Chop from the Parrot Nation” and it is a good example of how many people have adopted the idea of Chop.

Personally, I haven’t tried the Chop Concept. It wasn’t ever something I got to do, but I still think it is a brilliant idea. It gives bird owners the opportunity to save time, and money! It may seem expensive at first when you add up your total on groceries bought and what-not, but in the long run it is cheaper, or equal to, the cost of a normal all-seed diet. If you haven’t tried this concept yet, you should definitely try it out sometime soon. It may end up making your life just a little less hectic and worry-free knowing that you’ve got meals already made for your birds to last another few months or so.

January 29, 2012

An Explanatory Post – My Quest for The Bird *

Having thought through this for quite a while, I’ve decided to make yet another separate page for Avian Ambition. It’s called My Quest for The Bird. It will have everything and anything on there that has to do with getting my future fid, and I will refer to it often. Here’s the official description on the page…

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This page and its separate categories will be all about my quest for The Bird. If you don’t know already, The Bird is actually the name I use for my future bird; a Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure to be more specific. There may be a few birds in my home along the way, but this is definitely the bird that I am aiming for. If you’d like to read more on my story of why I want to get The Bird, you can check this post out.

Since I’m expecting this quest to take several years to complete, I decided to start this page out by adding the information I learn about green cheeks in one category called “Research Ramblings”. I want to research all aspects about owning a green cheek conure, mainly by asking other people who own these kinds of birds. I will also read books, magazines and look through websites from time to time. My main goal is to know as much as I can about this kind of bird before actually trying to find one. I want to know general information about them, their average behavior, their favorite types of foods, and all sorts of things like this. I also want to learn the best way to bring a ‘baby’ or young bird into my home, and how to raise it the right way.

Despite the title of this category, I want to organize the information to make it easier to read and understand for future reference. That way, when a situation occurs like this; “Umm… What was that thing I read about how to discourage my bird from screaming again? *screaming bird in the background* God, why can’t I find it! Be quiet (insert bird’s name here)! Ugghhh!”, I can easily find the right information I need, when I need it. Of course, I won’t be quite that panicky or mad at my bird when it continues to scream uncontrollably… right? Not to say that my bird will end up being a screamer; I’ve heard that most green cheeks are quite quiet birds compared to other conures. Hopefully mine will be one of those.

Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is this: It will almost serve as sort of a ‘guide’ or ‘user’s manual’ for me when I start out with owning a bigger bird for the first time. Specifically The Bird. I want to be able to come back and read advice or tips on caring for my bird, that I have gathered, whenever I need it. I also want to have the information set up the way I find it best suitable for reading. It might not be perfect or the best reference that I can find at the beginning, but at the very least it will be my customized version of what I have learned so far.

Another category that I would like to add is “Wishlist of Wants”, where I will post some reviews, links and/or pictures of the many things that I’d like to buy for The Bird when I get it. This list will include toys, food products, perches, accessories, cleaning products, and anything else that is related to The Bird. When I start this category I would appreciate it if other bird owners, that already have some of these items, posted their own reviews or testaments to let me know the quality that I should expect.

The last category that I think I may add in the future is “Events of the Quest”. These events will be the steps I take towards finding The Bird. Things like finding a vet, buying a cage, visiting shelters or breeders, and buying stuff for The Bird will all be events. I’m thinking that these types of events are going to be near the end of my Quest for The Bird, so they won’t be added until then.

I’d like to say a special thanks to everyone for any support or help given in my Quest for The Bird!

January 28, 2012

Foods for Birds #3: Goji Berries *

I finished HungryHuman‘s request for the Goji Berry entry just in time for today. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to find information on these, but the only problem was that it wasn’t as reliable as most because of the lack of research done on them. Any moderations to this entry will be updated on the main page of Foods for Birds. The next food entry will be Beets as requested by Anita, and should be posted before February 4th.

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Goji (or Wolf) Berry – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Claimed to have health improving properties.

Goji Berries, also known as Wolf Berries, are produced by plants in the family Solanaceae. These include two closely related species; Lycium barbarum and L. chinense. These plants can be found and harvested in the Himalayans. Goji berries are reddish-orange berries that usually come dried for snacks, or pressed for their juice. They have been used as medicinal plants in East Asia for thousands of years because of their benefits in health, and only have been recognized in Western marketplaces in recent times. There have been many health claims for these berries, unfortunately with a lack of resources and scientific research to back them up. There have been however, results in labs that are encouraging for these claims.

Many advertisements say that these berries have the ability to improve a variety of health problems including vision and memory, kidney and liver function, promote weight loss, control blood sugar and pressure, increase immunity, help reduce PMS or morning sickness, and even minimize headaches or dizziness. Researchers have also questioned their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells or lower cholesterol. Some, though, have cautioned eating goji berries while on medication as they may interfere with some types of treatments.

Visit this website to read more about Goji Berries and their benefits: Medical Benefits of the Goji Berry

Properties:

Amino Acids: contains almost a full spectrum of amino acids including 19 different types. There have been claims that these berries contain all 8 essential amino acids: Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Methionine, Leucine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Lysine, and Valine.

Nutrients/Vitamins: contains many B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Also contain vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.

Minerals: these berries contain many minerals that include zinc, copper, calcium, selenium, phosphorus. They are said to have 22 different types of trace minerals. There have also been reports that they contain more iron than spinach or meat, and more beta-carotene than carrots.

Read more about the properties of Goji Berries here: Goji Berry Nutritional Facts

Preparation Methods and Ways to Serve:

Goji Berries usually come ready to serve, either in dried form or juiced. You can however offer them to your birds in most ways possible. They can be put in a trail mix; in a stew or soup or even given alone. Unless you are in China during harvesting season, it isn’t likely that you can find them fresh. Try to buy organic berries for your birds, and only from suppliers you trust. Another option would be to grow your own, and you can find out more about doing so here. Goji Berries can usually be found at a local health food store, but aren’t as easy to find as you would think.

Read more about how to eat Goji Berries here: How To Eat Goji Berries

January 27, 2012

Cuddle Time with Max *

Max and I have started to get closer to each other and he spends a lot of time in my room now. I love coming back from somewhere to see him waiting on my bed for me, then start purring when he notices that I’m back. Sometimes he’s just not in the mood to cuddle and get pet, but tonight he was and he even started kneading the blanket. When he started to relax, I got some really cute pictures of him napping on my legs. He was so sweet! ♥

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