Monday, January 15, 2018

How to Tame a Lovebird

Lovebirds are beautiful creatures and amazing pets. They add beauty and charm to your home. Just the sight of these pretty birds is a refreshing experience. If you tame a Lovebird then the joy they bring into your life have a doubling effect. Lovebirds of any age can be tamed and trained. However, if you have hand reared baby Lovebirds then they are much more easier to tame than adults.

Decide how many Lovebirds you want to tame and start with a single bird at a time. Taming a Lovebird requires its undivided attention. A pair of Lovebirds will socialize with each other and the process becomes more difficult for you. A single bird will consider a human as his companion and will learn the process much quickly and easily and the training becomes a fun experience for your bird.

Taming a Lovebird requires a lot of patience, time and practice for your bird. A tamed Lovebird is well worth the time you spend on taming. The best time to start training is as early as possible. The training should be divided into three to five sessions of no more than ten to fifteen minutes each. The training sessions should be conducted almost daily.

Take your Lovebird into a separate room where there is minimum distractions from external sources. Close all open windows and doors so that your bird may not fly away. Now take the Lovebird out of its cage and talk to him in a low voice. Words like "Good parrot" etc., etc. have a soothing effect on your bird and help to calm him down and get him prepared for training. Do not yell or shout at him.

Establish a trustworthy relationship with your bird. Fearful birds are difficult to tame. Once your bird is comfortable in your presence, put your hand inside his cage with a food item in your hand. Do not make sudden movements that may scare your bird. Do this several times until your Lovebird becomes familiar with your hand and starts eating food from your hand.

The next step is to teach him to step up on your finger. For this, bring your finger near the Lovebird and gently touch him on his chest. The bird will go out of balance and in order to balance himself he will step up and sit on your finger. Now bring him out of its cage and speak a few encouraging words and offer him a treat for complying with the required behavior. Repeat the process several times.

When your Lovebird has learned to sit on your finger, take him into his cage and teach him to step down on its perch. With repetition your bird will easily step up and step down as many times you want. Patience is required to teach these steps. Some birds learn very quickly while others learn a little later depending on the age of your bird. Practice this again and again until it becomes its second nature.

Now teach him to fly to your hand from a distance. Take the food item in your hand and utter the familiar word or whistle. When your Lovebird flies to your hand give him the treat and speak the encouraging words. Practice this step as many times until your bird learns this step fully and flies to your hand instantly. With practice and patience you will finally have a precious hand tamed Lovebird.

Breeding Lovebirds in a Colony Setting

Breeding Lovebirds is a fun experience as well as a hobby for most bird keepers. If you are planning on breeding lovebirds then you have two choices, you can either breed them in small cages with individual pairs or you can put all your lovebirds in a single large cage or aviary and breed them collectively with several pairs and you can call this a colony setting for breeding lovebirds.

I have been keeping lovebirds since my childhood when I was a school going kid. I first time bought lovebirds when I was in eighth grade and that was a pair of Fischer's lovebirds. I have the experience of keeping lovebirds both as single pairs in individual cages as well as in small colonies of four pairs. By far I can say that breeding results I achieved in colonies were far better than individual cages.

Breeding results in individual cages as well as in aviaries mostly depends on the type of species you breed. The most common types of lovebirds such as the Fischer's lovebirds, Peach faced lovebirds and the Masked lovebirds breed better when they are kept and bred in colony settings. This refers back to their natural instinct of breeding in the wild and this behavior is replicated in captivity.

Other species of lovebirds such as the Madagascar lovebirds, which I don't have the experience of breeding anyway, is a better breeder when kept in single pairs. So you must be very sure which lovebird species you want to keep and select the type of cage accordingly. Also how many pairs you want to keep is also a determining factor in selecting the type of cage you should purchase or build yourself.

I have the experience of breeding lovebirds in different aviary sizes. The first colony I built for my Fischer's lovebirds was a 4 feet square colony and I kept four breeding pairs in that cage. The breeding results were excellent with four pairs and each pair was raising 4-5 chicks in each clutch. But that aviary size had its disadvantages because it was difficult for me to inspect my birds because cage height was too short.

Now I am using aviary sizes of 4'x6'x7' in height with ten or more pairs in a single large flight. Large cage sizes with more birds gives them the sense of security and a stress free environment and the better breeding results you get. What I realize now is that the depth and height of the aviary is more important than the front of the colony. The more deep the cage the more they get focused on breeding.

The environment and place of the colony is very important for their long term health and breeding. Make sure the aviary is situated in a well ventilated place where there is a lot of air passing in and out of the colony. Do not place your lovebirds colony in a place where there is excess heat and direct sunlight on the aviary especially in South Asian countries where the summer gets too hot.

The colony should be covered well with a roof so that the rain water do not enter their breeding boxes or pots because you may risk the chicks getting wet in the rain water. The roof should be in a slope so that the rain water may not accumulate on the top of the roof and consequently enters inside the cage. I have made water holes at the base of the colonies for water drainage in case if any rain water enters inside the breeding colonies from the sides.

Wire mesh with spacing no more than 1/2 inch is ideal for lovebirds. The wire should be strong enough so that lovebirds may not cut it out and fly away because they have very strong beaks and they can cut wires that are not strong enough. Wire mesh is preferred over bars because with it they can climb easily. Cages with darker colors gives the better view of the birds inside.

Make sure that you build an aviary that is easily cleanable. I have made double doors on all my colonies, the smaller one for placing food and water dishes and the bigger one is for cleaning the cage and inspection. The colonies with more birds in them need to be cleaned frequently at least once every week so that there may not develop any bacterial and viral infection in your birds.

I cover all my colonies with a green cloth so that any direct sunlight may not enter inside the colonies in the hot summer season. It also helps to lower down the temperature in the surrounding areas of the colonies and protect my birds from extra heat in the day time. It provides an increased sense of protection and security for my birds from predators such as eagles and cats. It also protects the colonies from winds and heavy rains.

The sticks you place inside the cages should be of varying sizes and shapes to keep their feet in good shape. Sticks should be considerably thick so that they can have a firm grip on them while sitting. If you can, place natural tree branches in the aviary because they are of varying diameters and are good for their feet. Also they provide a natural living environment for your lovebirds. Place the food and water dishes away from perches so that they may not get contaminated with droppings of birds.

The cage should be constructed from iron, steel or similar material and should not be constructed from soft wood. Lovebirds have very sharp beaks and they have a habit to gnaw anything and everything that is inside the cage. They can easily chew cages made from wood and similar material and you risk your birds chew the cage and fly away in a very short time.

I made all my colonies with angle iron and with separate frames for each side. I fixed them together with welding spots which provides them extra strength and they do not move. All my cages are three sides of wire mesh and one side is fixed with the wall. I can easily detach the frames and move the cages to some other location anytime I want. Also transporting the cage is easy because each frame is separate.

If you want to breed lovebirds in a colony setting first decide the number of birds and the species of lovebirds you want to keep. Then select the size of the cage according to your specific requirements. And finally decide on the location of the colony so that your lovebirds can live happily and breed to their maximum potential.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Exotic Pets Should Not Be Banned

We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion - like the nonexistent "Exotic Pet Crisis." If you listened to some animal rights groups, you'd think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.

Most deaths are caused by inhalation, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is also known as hydroxl acid, is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, contribut to land erosion, may cause electrical failures and reduced effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

This report was presented to 50 students, asking them what should be done about the chemical. 43 students favored baking it, 6 were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that 'dihydrogen monoxide' is actually H2O - plain old water. How gullible are you ?

Banning my cat makes about as much sense as banning yours - and the results are just as heartbreaking for pet and owner. Are you ready for the truth about the "Exotic Pet Crisis?"

  • Exotic pets are not dangerous! One study showed that the risk of injury to exotic cat owners was less than the risk of injury due to a domestic dog bite. And every person who drives a motor vehicle subjects them and their family to a risk three times greater then does someone who owns even a large exotic cat such as a tiger.
  • Most exotic pet owners are kind, intelligent people who adore their animals and take excellent care of them. We love our pets just as you love yours.
  • Exotic animal bans result in beloved pets being confiscated, impounded, and usually killed. A lucky few live out their lives in cages under the care of strangers in zoos and sanctuaries. This is the dirty secret animal rights groups do not want you to know. Banning does not help animals: it kills them!
  • Exotic cat ownership is already regulated by the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Interior, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, more city, county, and state regulations Than you can shake a stick at, as well as existing animal welfare and public safety laws that govern both exotic and domestic animals.
  • "You can buy a tiger on the Internet for $ 100.00," research-averse activists claim in horror. Just try to order up a tiger online, or even a serval. You will not succeed. This urban legend has great repeatability at cocktail parties and save-the-cute-animals-from-evil-humans fundraisers, but is strictly lacking in the reality department. Breeders do have web sites, but it takes much more than a click of the mouse to purchase an exotic cat.

Hamsters As Pets - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

If you are at that point in life where you are considering a pet, either for yourself or for your child, you may want to consider hamsters as pets.

The Good

The hamster is a very small animal that will not make a large change in your life. If you have little time, you will find this furry addition to the family is a nocturnal animal, thus will not experience separation anxiety when you are away all day.

If you hate the thought of leaving an animal alone for long periods of time, you may want to explore the dwarf hamsters as you can have more than one of them in a cage together. You will want to be careful about mixing males and females unless you wish to raise hamsters yourself.

Hamsters as pets are generally a quiet friend to have around. They do make noises however. They squeak when they are agitated or afraid, chew on their cage when they desire attention, and hiss when they are upset. However, the small amount of noise is not anything you will have neighbors complaining about.

These furry little guys also groom themselves. This is a big advantage if you simply don't have time for a lot of bathing and brushing. You can help them keep themselves if great condition by brushing them gently, but you will want to be sure you use a very soft brush so you don't irritate their skin.

The Bad

If you have an aversion to rodents, this may not be the pet for you. They do resemble a rat if you are seeing they run around in the dark. However, once you hold them and cuddle them, that perception will go away.

You will need to potty train your hamster. This is helpful in keeping the bedding clean and smelling good. You will simply need to pick a spot for him to use, and cover the potty with some urine and droppings which you will then cover with litter. Place your pet in this same spot when he wakes up and he will soon learn that is the place to go.

The Ugly

The hamster is a very short-lived animal. They will generally live two to three years, if really well cared for they can live four years. This is difficult if you do not deal well with the loss of your pets.

It can be good or bad if you have children. It is bad having to help your child adjust to the loss of their pet. However, it can be one way of helping your child understand that pets as well as people don't live forever. It is a hard lesson, but possibly better learned on a beloved pet than on a relative.

As you can see the advantages of hamsters as pets far outweighs the disadvantages. If you are considering a pet never neglect looking at the smaller varieties.

Foxes As Pets - 6 Ways They Differ From Dogs

A lot of people are enchanted by the idea of owning a pet fox. They're charming, intelligent animals, and there is a lot of appeal in having a "special" animal that not many people have. While foxes can make decent pets for someone with the time and resources to care for them, a lot of people make the mistake of buying a pet fox thinking it is going to be just like a dog.

1. Foxes Are Difficult to Train

Dogs are born with a very strong pack mentality. A dog sees you as its alpha, and is hard-wired to want to obey the leader. They live to please you. A fox, however, lives to please itself. While they are very intelligent, the core motivation of a fox is different than that of a dog. The dog wants to please you and make you happy, the fox wants the treat.

2. Foxes Stink

Foxes have a very strong odor. While a dog can take a few weeks without a bath to work up a powerful stink, foxes smell skunky 24/7. This strong, musky odor can be lessened somewhat by having the fox neutered, but it cannot be eliminated entirely.

3. Foxes Are Shy

Many people picture a fox as an awesome pet that they can show off to their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, the reality almost always falls far short of this. While foxes often become very attached and affectionate with their families, they remain impossibly shy around visitors and strangers.

4. Foxes Have Special Needs

Foxes have special dietary and exercise requirements outside that of a dog. They are extremely energetic, and require loads of exercise every day. A large, carefully-built outdoor enclosure is a must. Which brings me to my next point...

5. Foxes Are Escape Artists

Foxes are much more proficient at getting out of enclosures than even the most determined dog. They can leap six feet in the air, climb up fences, and even cling upside down to climb along a chain link ceiling for short distances. Any enclosure that is meant to keep foxes must not only be large, but impossible to dig out of and have a full roof.

6. Foxes Are Destructive

Many people buy a fox under the mistaken impression that it can be kept as an indoor pet, and left with free run of the house while they are away at work. Nothing could be farther from the truth, particularly with the larger species like red foxes. They will steal and hide anything small enough for them to carry, and shred just about everything they can get their teeth in to. It is nearly impossible to break even the best-trained fox of these behaviors. A dog can be taught not to chew things, a fox can only be taught not to chew things while you're watching. While a fox is loose in the house, it requires constant supervision.

In conclusion, foxes can make fascinating pets for people who are prepared to care for them. If you are interested in a pet fox, go into it with your eyes wide open, do your research, and understand that caring for a fox is not like caring for a dog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Are Ground Moles Dangerous to Pets?

The answers area yes and no! This is because moles are more dangerous to their habitat than they are directly to other animal and human beings. Moles are not known to known to be dangerous to pets or even human beings. Moles resemble rats and at some point will behave like they are rats that are found in the homes. However you can easily tell moles from rats by their bad smell and their slowness, moles do not walk as fast as rat do. They also have a unique velvety gray fur.

Moles can be naughty especially because they do their activities at night and will steal from human being. They will drag with them edibles from the house like cakes, soaps, toothpastes and scrubbers.

This five to nine inch rodent does not bite but when interfered with, it will fight to protect itself. And will bite. A mole bite can be fatal because moles could be infected with rabies. If a home pet is attacked by a mole, it may end up with a rabies virus which progressively leads to paralyzes and it will lead to the death of your pet. Moles also do bite human beings, so it is advisable to be careful when walking on lawn especially at night, as at this time the moles are out hunting for food and you could stumble on them, stepping on a mole could earn you a mole bite. Pets will want to play with a mole and it is advisable to keep the pets away from the moles to avoid mole bites. However moles fear some pets. A cat for example is not a friend of the mole; a mole will not stand the cat waste and will run away from a cat, indeed if the mole sees a cat frequently, it is likely to run away from the lawn.

The mole holes are more dangerous in the lawn because they cause the molehills and your pet may be tempted to dig the tunnels as it chases or tries to play with the mole. The further interference with the tunnels leads to more destruction of your lawn and will make it look ugly. Your pets will pick the bad behavior of digging out soils from the lawn and flower garden from the moles. It is advisable to train the pets that the mole activity on the lawn is not right so they do not go on doing it.

The burrowing of the moles will attract other burrowing animals like the mice: white and house mice and voles. These rodents will use the mole tunnels and this will lead to a lawn manifested by all sorts of rodents, the set in of one mole means the other rodents will come into the lawn and use the mole holes as a home and the new animals will keep searching for food on your lawn and garden.

We can therefore conclude by saying that moles pose little danger to pets directly; the other destructive activities are what are dangerous to human beings and to the environment.