Parrot Toy Angels: February 2014 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

A monthly journal for human angels who make a positive difference in companion birds' lives.


February 2014
Volume 9, Issue II

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In this month's issue:

    Angel Announcements
    Butternut Birdie Bread
    Calling All Writers
    Beak-A-Boo News
    Rikki Sez
    Nuts 2 U and Flaxseed 2
    The Importance of Parrot Toys
    Safety Today
    Easy Sprouting
    Angels Wanted
    Help Us

Angel Toys For Angels

February's Featured Toys



Hearts & Fleece
Hearts & Fleece
Small Birds


Ducky Footers
Ducky Footers
Small - Medium Birds


Here's My Hearts
Here's My Hearts
Small Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!




Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from Parrot Toy Angels



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ANGEL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Watch for upcoming events, news, website updates, etc. here


   

ON THE SITE:

♥ New Items ♥
♥ Happy Flappers ♥


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Spring Auction is coming!!  Donations now being accepted


Donations now being accepted for our Spring 2014 Auction. If you have something you'd like to donate, please contact us at:
donations@parrottoyangels.org


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Butternut Birdie Bread
By Toni Fortin


1/2 cup Harrison's pellets, ground
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Muesli
1-1/2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped collard greens
1 cup soaked, cooked garbanzo beads (chick peas) mashed
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
1 medium organic carrot shredded
1 beaten egg
1 TBSP. Chia seeds
1/2 cup hulled millet


Mix all together and bake in a glass 13" x 9" dish at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Let cool before cutting up.

My girls loved this. As always, they said "It's good and I like it, I like it!"


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Calling All Writers!!


Have you ever wanted to see your Bird's name in "lights"?...Do you have a story to tell about how you and your bird met?


Over the years you have read our stories, seen our photos, looked at our toys and how we make them, hopefully shared some of our recipes with your feathered children. You have gotten to know us, well; we'd like to get to know you too.


Do you have a story to share?? Do you have a super easy toy you'd like to share instructions for? A recycled toy idea? How about your birdie's favorite recipe? A cute story? A sad story? We'd love to run it in an upcoming edition of Angel Wings. Please submit it to: editor@parrottoyangels.org. (By submitting your article(s) you agree to allow the Angel Wings Committee to make any editorial changes deemed necessary.)


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Beak-A-Boo News - Volume 2


Hey, Boo here, once again, reporting in to all my birdie friends out there. Been a crazy month, Mom was gone for a really really long time, days and days! Not sure what it was about, but Dad said something about horse pillows? I think he must be crazy, cause I've seen horses, and they don't even use pillows! Sure wish these humans would make more sense sometimes!


When Mom finally came home, I made sure she knew just how much she was neglecting me by refusing to give her kisses, and staying with Gramma instead. Gramma is much more fun, she lets me do things Mom won't, like play on the counters when she's cooking! And she never gets tired of singing the chicken song with me! She BAWKS really good!


Gramma took me to see puppies. Puppies are like dogs, but smaller, and they make lots of noise and run around like crazy and fall down a lot. I had a lot of fun watching them, but stayed up high on Gramma's shoulder so they wouldn't fall down on me. I also got to see the new baby human, but I don't like it. It cried really loud when I tried to teach it to do the jungle yell Gramma put me in my cage. *Pppffftt* I'm trying to convince them that birds are much more fun than babies!


I sure hope it gets warmer soon, I want to go outside! But it's always raining or cold or both, and I hate rain! It's like taking a cold shower, and that's just yucky! I want sunshine, darn it! Anyone got some to share?


Anyway, not much else happening here, just working on teaching Mom some more tricks, and looking forward to next month, we're going to some place where a bunch of "veterans" live. Not sure what those are, but Mom says they will love me, so it's all cool.


Gonna sign out for now, but here's my Beak-A-Boo tip of the month: If you thought leaving sharp toys in the way makes your parronts dance good, you should really try hiding strawberries or bananas in their favorite chair. Anything really squishy or sticky will do. I made my Mom say some really funny words - and I'm saving those to repeat for company! - when I hid a squishy strawberry in her lap while we were watching TV.


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Bird Cages Galore


Why buy a Bird Cage from Bird Cages Galore?? Because we do not "just sell" top quality cages at reasonable prices, provide free shipping and a free toy with each cage; we offer first rate customer service and will answer your questions about most bird-related matters. Visit us on the web, browse our selection, join our discussion forum and sign up for our free Newsletter,
The Caged Bird Courier.

We are here to help, because we care about your bird!!


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Rikki Sez


Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.



Rikki, Mom took me to this awesome house with other birds to play with. She said see you in two weeks and kissed me I was having lots of fun until I noticed my Mom was gone. Why did my Mom leave me here? I like it here, but miss my Mom already.
Signed, Feeling Abandoned

Dear Abandoned, Sounds like your mom planned a little vacation for you? Sometimes our parronts have some place to go that won't let us in. Rather than leave us at home all alone they take us to a special friends house, so we can spend time with other birds and be loved and not lonely. Two weeks is not a long long time, and before you know it, your mom will be scooping you back up and taking you home. You can bet she misses you as much as you miss her, and there will be lots of scritches and love when you get home!


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Rikki, My parronts make toys and sell them to stores. They saw some toys and told the store owner that they were not safe because they were made with split rings. What are split rings and why aren't they safe?
Signed, Luvs Toys

Dear Luvs, Split rings are the rings that humans often use to hold their keys. They are very strong springs. With your strong beak, you can open them apart. The problem is, if you get your toe in between the rings while you have it apart and then let it go with your beak, you can lose the toe. Not only that, they may be zinc plated and zinc is poisonous to us birds.
Another danger that is often used for our toys is the pear link. If they are the wrong size and you can get your head in it, it can strangle you. For extra safety, pear links should always be situated with the small end up. That way, if you get inside the link and fall, it won't tighten around your neck so you get stuck (or worse).


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Rikki, I just laid an egg. It was a bit of a surprise to my Mum, as she had been told I was a male. What should she do? Should she let me keep the egg until I get sick of sitting on it or is there something else she should do? I am getting some new toys and extra time in the aviary so I don't think she is too worried
Signed, Darkoodgee, the egg laying Red Tail Black Cockatoo in Australia

Dear Egg Laying Darkoodgee, While every bird is different, and what works for some will not work for others, for first time layers, I'd recommend doing as little as possible. Mom shouldn't make a fuss over it, or fix up a 'nest', just leave it and let you grow tired of it. If she takes it away, you may feel the need to replace it with another, and if she fusses over it or makes you a comfy nest to sit on it in, you may well lay more. It's starting to be that time of year for a lot of birds, and for some, it's a good idea to give them a little change of scenery, move their cage, rearrange their toys, change up their routine a bit to distract them from raging hormones. It's not that unusual for a single bird to just have to get it out of their system and lay that first eggie, but if it happens more than once or twice, and especially if it happens often, a trip to a good avian vet is in order.


Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at editor@parrottoyangels.org


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Nuts 2 U and Flaxseed 2
By Lori M. Nelsen


Nuts are a good source of essential oils, such as the polyunsaturated omega 3s and 6s. These essential fatty acids are important to maintain a healthy heart and benefit the cardiovascular system. Most nuts contain more omega 6 than omega 3 oils. However, walnuts are a good source of both. Nuts also provide vitamins, protein, fiber, and minerals.


While most nuts provide a similar amount of calories per ounce, the nutritional makeup varies widely. Some nuts, such as cashews, are high in minerals, while others, such as macadamia nuts, tend to be higher in vitamins. A 1 oz. serving of most nuts contains between 157 and 204 calories, less than 10 carbohydrate grams, contain between 6 and 7g of protein, and vary significantly in fat.


Depending on the demand of each species, a variation of several different types of EFAs (essential fatty acids), using both nuts and seeds, can be brought together each day to cover all the bases.


Flax seed: 55% of flax oil content is omega 3.
Flaxseed is better ground.
Suggested approximate amounts for ground seed or whole seed (if your bird will crack them):
1/8 teaspoon or a little more for birds 100g or under
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to 500g
1/2 teaspoon or more over 500g
Suggested approximate amounts for cold pressed human grade oil:
1 to 2 drops up to 100g
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon up to 500g
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon over 500g up to 1,500g


Chia seeds: contain over 60% omega 3.
Freshly ground seeds are preferred.
Suggested approximate amounts for ground Chia seed:
1/8 teaspoon for birds 100g or under
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to 500g
1/2 teaspoon or more over 500g
Suggested approximate amounts for Chia seed oil:
1 to 2 drops up to 100g
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon up to 500g
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon over 500g


Hemp seed oil contains a 1:3 ratio of omega 3 to 6.
Suggested approximate amounts for Hemp seed oil:
1 to 2 drops for birds up to 100g
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon up to 500g
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon over 500g


Whole hemp seeds
Suggested approximate amounts for whole hemp seeds:
1/4 teaspoon for smaller birds
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to 500g
2 teaspoon or more over 500g

Hemp oil contains both omega 3 and omega 6 and is said to be the perfect balance. Seeds and nuts also contain omega 6 so if the diet contains these foods you may want to take that into consideration and choose higher omega 3 oil such as flax or chia. If the diet is mostly pellets then hemp may be a good choice.


If you like, you can alternate with unrefined organic palm oil on other days but keep in mind giving red palm oil has not been studied and there are no truly known benefits of giving it to parrots at this time. It is high in saturated fat and contains no beneficial omega 3. Measurement would be a tiny bit (one or two drops) for smaller birds. Measurement would be approximately 1/8 teaspoon for birds 250 - 500 grams, and up to a teaspoon for birds up to 1,000 grams. Palm oil appears to provide some of the best antioxidant protection containing natural beta-carotene as well as alpha and gamma carotenes and lycopene.


For more information on feeding and nutrition, please check out the Feeding Feathers Group


Reprint from March, 2010 Angel Wings


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The Importance of Parrot Toys
By Leigh Anne Stewart


Just like people, parrots will get bored. Parrot toys are not just toys. They provide a time for your bird to forage, shred, and chew just as they would in the wild. Your parrot requires the mental stimulation that toys provide. Parrot toys also help keep your bird physically fit.


Parrots of all sizes should have at least 3 toys or more in their cage at all times. You should observe these toys each day to make sure they are safe. I usually change Casey and Rickyís toys once a month. This helps prevent boredom. If you have had your parrot for a long time, then you should know the types of toys he tends to like. Many birds like bright and colorful toys. Other birds prefer natural, non-colored toys. Some like lots of wood to chew while others tend to go for toys that enable them to shred.


If you have a parrot that does not like new toys, simply place that toy on the outside of his cage for a few days, or until he is used to it. Then try placing the toy inside the cage. Place new toys on the far side of the cage, away from food and water. If your bird still will not accept the new toy move it to the outside the cage and try again in a week or two.


There are thousands of parrot toys on the market today. Make sure the toys you choose are made of safe materials. Many people are now making their own toys for their birds. This is a great way to control the materials and the cost. The Parrot Toy Angels have a website - www.parrottoyangels.com - where handmade parrot toys made by the volunteer Angels are sold. Toy making supplies are also sold so you can make your own bird toys at very reasonable prices.


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Safety Today
By The Safety Angel


Unsafe Wiffle Ball


I'm sure you've seen the plastic whiffle balls. You know the ones with round holes in them. They come in white, pretty colors and different sizes. You may have even bought them to make bird toys. I just snitched mine out of my grandson's toy box. Hey, he wasn't playing with them and the birds love them.


Well, today I would like to talk about a different type of whiffle ball. There is a style that has tear drop shaped holes around the top of the ball and the bottom is solid. I've seen them in white and yellow. They look innocent enough and I have even contemplated buying some. (The boy didn't have any!)


It has come to my attention though, that there have been some problems with this type of ball when used in bird toys. It seems that because of the shape of the holes, there is a danger of a birdie foot going into the large end of the hole and slipping down to the narrow end trapping the foot. This was not an isolated incident and luckily the bird owners were able to help get the ball off, but it could have ended much worse.


This is one of those things that is a personal choice whether to use them or not because only you know how your bird plays, but I thought the danger was worth a warning.


Please play it safe and check the holes in your birdsí whiffle balls and watch them closely if using the ball with tear drop shaped holes.


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Easy Sprouting:
Part Two of Three

By Regina Jankowski


So you've ordered your EasySprout from Parrot Toy Angels and are eagerly awaiting its delivery. (If you haven't, click here to order now). Great! Before your EasySprout arrives, there is more learning to do. (yeah, I hate that part too so let's keep the groans to a minimum.) If you read January's Angel Wings Newsletter, you already know why you need to sprout. If by chance you missed it, you can access it on our website.


Now comes the hardest part of this entire ordeal, deciding what to sprout. The most important thing to remember is to use organic seeds. You do not want to sprout seeds that were soaked in harmful chemicals and feed them to your birds. The good news is organic seeds are easier to find than organic fruits or vegetables and safe to ship to your home.


Being the short-cut lover that I am, I cheated on this part. I took the easy road and you can too, if you choose. There are many seed mixes already made for you to sprout. I went to a local avian store and purchased an "All in One" organic seed mix. These seeds are a "Soak or Dry Seed Mix". This mix contains: Barley, Rye Berries, Spelt, Kamut, Buckwheat, Millet, Sunflower Seeds, Rice, and Pumpkin Seeds. I have seen a variety of mixes online and found this to be a simple way to start off. If you do not have this option available at your local avian store, try surfing that world-wide-web! Two websites I found helpful were Totally Organics and SproutPeople. The site ?Land of Vos does not sell seeds to sprout, but they do have many helpful articles.


There are many different kinds of sprouts. This can get confusing and is the main reason I chose a ready-made mix. Since this article is for beginners, like myself, I will keep it simple. Here is a basic run-down of the different types of sprouts:
♥ Leafy Sprouts (Alfalfa and Clover)
♥ Bean Sprouts (Mung, Lentils, Peas, etc.)
♥ Brassica Sprouts (Broccoli, Cabbage, Radish, etc.)
♥ Grains (Wheat, Barley, Rye, etc.)
♥ Nuts/Seeds (Almond, Peanut, Pumpkin, Sunflower, etc.)
♥ Alliums (Garlic and Onion)


Now you are all set and ready to sprout! Next month I will detail sprouting directions along with opinions from my flock. Since the seeds do most of the work and the learning is behind us until we chose to be a novice, I'm expecting this to be relatively easy.


EDITORS NOTE: Regina's journey into the world of sprouts will be continued in the March issue of Angel Wings. Stay tuned!!


This 3 part series originally ran in the March, 2008 issue of Angel Wings.


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Angels Wanted!!


Have these stories got your toymaking talons twitching? Do you want to help make a difference in somebirdie's life? Come join our ranks! We have Angels from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and there's always room for another generous heart.


Click here for: Angel Application


Click to join Parrot Toy Angels Yahoo! Group: Click to join ParrotToyAngels


Not a toy maker? Come join our Facebook Group:

Help Us Help the Birds...



Our Angels generously donate their time making toys for our needy feathered friends. Quality toy-making supplies are expensive and shipping charges are outrageous. That's why we need your support to help keep us going. Every dollar amount, large or small, is gratefully accepted. Donations are tax deductible.

We also welcome donations of toymaking parts and supplies. A receipt will be issued for every donation. Contact us at Parrot Toy Info for further information on donating.

All donations tax deductible.

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This is the official newsletter of the Parrot Toy Angels. Members and subscribers are encouraged to submit articles/photographs for publication. PTA reserves the right to reject, edit, or use only portions of items submitted. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the PTA Editor, Directors, Officers, or the general membership.

While PTA at all times tries to ensure any information provided in this newsletter is accurate, all articles are submitted by volunteers, and we are not avian professionals and make no claim as to the suitability of featured products, food, or toys for your particular bird. PTA strongly recommends that you ensure that all toys are safe, that you make sure your bird is fed a well balanced diet, and that you always provide continuing medical care through your avian vet.

Do you have a question or comment? Perhaps you have an idea for our newsletter, or simply want to share a story on how an Angel has touched your life. Drop us a line at: editor@parrottoyangels.org

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©  2008-2014 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
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