Parrot Toy Angels: October 2011 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

October 2011
Volume 6, Issue X

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In this month's issue:
    Birdie Stockings
    We're Baaaack
    Angel Announcements
    Recycling, Angel Style
    Featured Fid ~ Severe Macaws
    Pumpkin Bread
    Rikki Sez
    How Weather Change Affects Our Pet Birds
    Toy Safety: Choke Chains
    Do You Know The Pumpkin Facts?
    Help Us



Happy Halloween!!
Angel Toys For Angels

October's Featured Toys


Bat Footers
Bat Footers
Medium - Large Birds


Spiders & Skeletons
Spiders & Skeletons
Small - Medium Birds


Halloween Rattlers
Halloween Rattlers
Medium Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!


BIRDIE STOCKINGS


Stuffed Stockings Available NOW!


TIRED of sad little faces glancing at the mantle? Little eyes wondering "Where oh where will Santa Birdie leave my presents?" Light up those faces now with our
Birdie Stockings


"Stuffed" Stockings also available. Each stocking will have 20+ footers included. Ready to hang! Personalization is also available.


Please allow 2 weeks plus shipping time to custom make your stocking. Not only will your feathers love their own...but they make great gifts for any occasion.


Special Pre-Holiday Pricing ends 10/31/11!
Order Now


Personalized:
Reg Price: $24.00
Sale Price: $20.00


Non-Personalized:
Reg Price: $20.00
Sale Price: $16.00


Stuffed & Personalized:
Reg Price: $39.50
Sale Price: $35.50


You can find all our Birdie Stockings at:
Stockings
or, drop us a line if you don't see your birdie.



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WE'RE BAAAAAAAACK !!!


And we hope you will be by our side again.


The year has been difficult for many families, furry friends, and feathered friends...and for us Angels.


Parrot Toy Angels has stepped up again this year to help provide toys, food and other necessities to not just our "Angel Projects", but also for some heart-wrenching "emergency situations" that arose. Your generosity and support made it possible.


Our auctions are the only fund-raisers we hold. The generous donations and bids allow us to provide the endless necessities, buy supplies, make toys, and pay for shipping. The requests that come in for help are many, not being able to help them all and having to choose is pure agony.


Donations have been arriving and, again, this year's Fall Auction promises to have something special for everyone. We hope to have gift baskets, gift totes and buckets, bird toys and toy making supplies, jewelry, clothing, artwork and lots of unique surprises. Our goal is that you'll find gifts for yourself, your family, and of course, your feathered friends of all sizes.


If you have a business, a store, have a talent, do crafts...we will gratefully include your items in our auction. If not, please consider donating gift certificates and gift cards. These are items everyone likes. Some of the hits from previous auctions include any bird-related items, bird supplies & toy making supplies, gift baskets of all kinds, all animal-related items, retail gift certificates and gift cards, jewelry, art, household and holiday items.


It's through your support and that of our volunteers that we are able to do what we do for so many birds and make a difference in so many bird's lives. If you'd like to make a donation, please contact us at: donations@parrottoyangels.org.
All donations are tax deductible.


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



   

ON THE SITE:

♥   New Items  ♥

♥   Stocking Sale   ♥

♥   Updated Project Pictures   ♥


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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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Sequoia enjoying popcorn
Sequoia, 'Zon
who owns Angel Toni


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da King Arty
da King Arty Quaker
who owns Angel Lynn


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Kermit, Green Cheek Conure
Kermit, Green Cheek Conure
who owns Angel Nancy



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Recycling, Angel Style
Simple Preener
By Wyspur Kallis

Simple Preener
Shiloh LOVES her Simple Preener


Supplies you will need:
Plastic Chain (size appropriate)
Left over pieces of Fleece (make sure they've been washed)
Pear link or baby link for hanging
Scissors


Simple Preener


Attach the hanger to the plastic chain.


Simple Preener


Cut the pre-washed fleece into several pieces approximately 1" wide and 6" long.


Simple Preener


Tie the cut pieces of fleece securely onto the chain. Cut enough fleece pieces to cover each link of the plastic chain.


Simple Preener


When you have covered every link of the plastic chain, you're ready to introduce your Simple Preener to your feathered loved one.


Simple Preener



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Featured Fid ~ Severe Macaws
By Kim Perez



Severe Macaw


The Severe Macaw (Ara severus), also known as the Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, is one of the largest mini macaws. The Severe measures in at about 18" overall. The majority of the bird is green with patches of blue and red on the wings and the small chestnut brown colored patch of feathers above the beak. The beak is black and the facial skin is white with tiny black feathers. The Severe is the only mini macaw to have facial feathers like the larger macaws.


They are native to northern South America - Panama, Brazil and Bolivia. They are still found in large numbers in the wild, having not been threatened by exportation as much as they are by deforestation. In the wild, they nest in holes in trees, where they lay 2 - 3 eggs typically. Eggs hatch in about 28 days and the babies fledge between 70 - 90 days. Severe Macaws are reported to live around 30 years, with some sources reporting as long as 80 years possible.


Severe Macaws are very comical in nature and require adequate socialization when they are young in order to transform into a well behaved adult who is not attached to just one person. They require training, when young ,in order to acquire acceptable behaviors, such as following simple commands (step up, step down) and to begin learning proper vocalization. Severe Macaws can become accomplished talkers when given appropriate input. They can become screamers when improperly socialized. They also love to play and a variety of toys is a must. They may be smaller than full size macaws, but they are as destructive and need toys that suit them.



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Pumpkin Bread
for the Birdies

By Verna Brisbon-Lucey


2 cups stone ground corn meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup currants or raisins
1 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
3-1/2 cups minus 1 tsp. cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 32oz. bottle pomegranate juice (no sugar added)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder


In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Pour in juice, then mashed pumpkin. When mixed well, fold in the almonds and sunflower seeds.


Grease 10-1/2" x 4-3/4" x 2-1/4" pan. Bake at 425 for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Cool and slice.
Freezes well.



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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon for 20% Off


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Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, It is almost time for those big orange balls that have the yummy seeds in them. Would you please tell my mom to buy lots and lots of them so I can have the yummy seeds for a long time? She makes good food with that mushy stuff from inside the balls too, like bread and cooked mushy stuff. I like it lots, too. Do you have a new recipe she can use for the mushy stuff? She likes to cook new stuff for me and my brothers and sisters.
Signed, Loving those big orange balls

Dear Loving those big orange balls, Those big orange balls are pumpkins and the seeds are pumpkin seeds. I am so glad you like them. Any way you have them - raw, cooked, or canned - they are packed full of nuritients. Mom can freeze the seeds and the pulp from the pumpkins so you can have them all year long. We have a yummy Pumpkin Bread recipe in this month's newsletter. Happy pumpkin eating!

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Rikki, All the human children here are excited about something they call Halo Wing. They are even dressing up in these scary clothes they call costombs and talking about getting lots of candy and goodies. It is so scary but I wants to get in on the candy and goodies. It sounds so good but mom says I have to stay in my cage and go to bed early. She also says candy is not good for me. Why? What is this Halo Wing all about? Humans don't have wings so why do they get to celebrate Halo Wing? Shouldn't we birds be celebrating our Halo Wings?
Signed, Non-Halo Wings

Dear Wings, The human children are excited and talking about Halloween. It is a time they get to dress up in scary or their favorite outfits and go to other homes to get candy and other goodies. Candy and chocolate have lots of sugar which is bad for you and can make you very sick. Ask mom to pop some popcorn and watch a movie with you. Then you can say you had yourself a Halo Wings celebration, too.

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



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How Weather Change Affects Our Pet Birds
By Angel Savannah


We are digging our fall and winter clothing out of storage and look at our birds and wonder what their needs might be in the colder months, different from what they have needed over the warm months of summer. At the bird fairs, people are rushing to buy bird tents and snugglies (the circles of fleece strips that birds can cuddle into on a cold night), thinking those things will keep their birds warm in the cold months. Are they right?


In theory, they are correct. In reality, these items really don't hold any heat in, but they do allow the birds to feel a sense of security. Our birds are quite capable of handling cooler temperatures and if your house is warm enough for you, it is warm enough for your bird.


When I was younger, we had our birds in an outdoor building and had the heat set at 40 degrees. We always had a lot of babies in the winter, and they were bigger and more robust than the summer babies. People baby their birds and think that by keeping their temperature constant year-round, that they are doing them a favor. This is not necessarily so. Birds have a need to feel seasons and even when kept indoors, it is possible to do. You can set timers on your lights so that daylight hours shorten in the winter months, as they do in nature. You can allow their rooms to be a little cooler in winter months. Research where your bird is native to and see what the temperature is there during extremes of the seasons. For example, in Australia, the temperature can range from 35 - 85 degrees during the year.


Of course, you don't take your bird from your 70 degree house outside to your porch in 30 degree weather and then back in. Those are radical temperature changes and not good for your bird. A gradual temperature change will be quite easily tolerated and even enjoyed by your birds. I am reminded of a friend who has her birds in a building with little door from each indoor flight to an outdoor flight. Her cockatoos love to sit in their tire swings outside and squawk at the snow falling in the winter!


Basically, your house temperature will be just fine for your birds. If you take your birds on excursions, place them in a carrier, such as the plastic Pet Taxis, with a towel to sit on and throw a towel or blanket over the top. This will keep in heat for them, and not allow frigid winds to hit them. Otherwise, all should be well.


Note from author: Keep in mind that baby birds who are raised in a brooder and kept warm will appreciate warmer temperatures (70 - 75) for their first few months after weaning. After that, any gradual temperature change to cooler weather will not be a problem for them.



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Toy Safety: Choke Chains
By Kim Perez


Choke Chain


You have seen the parrot toys with chunky blocks of wood strung onto chain and because of cost factors, have then thought about making them for your own birds. Chain can be costly, so people like to look for less expensive alternatives. I have had some people ask if it is safe to use the choke chain dog collars from their local dollar stores. Although this is a cheap alternative and the chain is very heavy, upon researching the origin of the chain, I have learned that the majority of them are coming out of China. In calling the companies who market these collars, there is little, if any, information on the actual material used.


I purchased one to play with to see what I could learn from it. I found that if I was a little rough with it, the plating easily flaked off. The metal underneath was dark and dingy looking. Standard nickel plating would not flake off so easily and the metal under that plating should not be dark, but rather a steel base. From my observation and the lack of information from the sales company as to the exact composition of the metal, my advice is to not use these for your birds. A large bird could easily remove the plating from this chain and whatever it is made of and whatever the metal below is, is not worth taking a chance on.


When you are searching for a reputable bird toy parts supplier for your chain, you could buy either stainless steel or nickel plated hardware. Stainless steel is going to be the more expensive choice, but there is no plating to worry about. Nickel plated chain is very safe and not as expensive. With either, you should make sure that if you wash your toys at all, that you dry them thoroughly. I have seen discoloration which resembles rust on both stainless steel and nickel plated chains. Typically this is only after getting wet and not being dried.


For those who do not care to use chain for hanging toys, there are a lot of non-metal alternatives. In fact, there is plastic chain. It is not nearly as strong as metal, but it is a nice, light weight alternative. Strong ropes (sisal, Paulie) and leather are other alternatives.



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Do You Know The Pumpkin Facts?
By Lori M. Nelsen


This article originally ran in the October 2009 Angel Wings.
We thought the information was valuable enough to rerun the article.


Gonzo and friend admiring their pumpkin
Gonzo and friend admiring their pumpkin


Pumpkins offer far more than a door-stop or stoop sitter at Halloween. Make them do double duty. Instead of carving a face in your Halloween pumpkin, use nontoxic food marker pens to create a unique face. After Halloween has passed, the pumpkin flesh inside can be preserved by cooking or freezing. Pumpkin seeds can also be dried and roasted.


First Jack O'Lantern: The Irish carved turnips, potatoes, or rutabagas and put coals or small candles inside. They were placed outside their homes on All Hallow's Eve to ward off evil spirits. When Irish Immigrants came to America, they quickly discovered that Jack O'Lanterns were much easier to carve out and began using them for decorations.


Choosing the perfect pumpkin: Choose a pumpkin that is ripe and completely orange. There are several varieties with different shades of orange. Pumpkins will not ripen further after they are picked. A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily. To find the best pumpkin, choose one that is free from soft spots, cracks, splits, or insects. Small pumpkins are best for cooking and the large one best for carving.


Health benefits of pumpkin: Pumpkins by themselves are very low in fat and calories, and high in potassium. They also possess a fair amount of Vitamin C and other nutrients, such as Niacin, Vitamin E, Calcium and Iron. They are also 90% water. The main healthful benefits of pumpkin nutrition are the large amounts of antioxidants and beta-carotene present within the pumpkin. Antioxidants help strengthen the immune system. Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A and helps reduce the risk of cancer and other dangerous diseases.


One cup of pumpkin puree contains:
♥  Calories: 80
♥  Carbohydrates: 19 grams
♥  Cholesterol: 0
♥  Fat: less than 1 gram
♥  Potassium: 588 milligrams
♥  Protein: 2.4 grams
♥  Vitamin A: 310% of RDA
♥  Vitamin C: 20% of RDA


Preparing pumpkin for your parrot:
To Steam: Halve the pumpkin; remove seeds, pulp, and stringy portion. Cut into small pieces and peel. Place in a steamer or metal colander which will fit in a covered pot. Put over boiling water, cover, and steam for about 50 minutes, or until tender. Mash, purée in a blender or food processor, or put through a food mill.
To Boil: Halve the pumpkin; remove seeds, pulp, and stringy portion. Cut into small pieces and peel. Cover with water; boil for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Mash, purée in a blender or food processor, or put through a food mill. A 5-pound pumpkin will yield about 4 1/2 cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin.


Freezing pumpkins: Freezing is the easiest way to preserve pumpkin, and it yields the best quality product. Prepare the pumpkin puree as listed above. When the pumpkin is cool, pack into rigid containers leaving a bit of space and then freeze.


Save those pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seed nutrition is high in essential amino acids and zinc. Pumpkin seeds contain a large variety of minerals and other vital nutrients, such as iron, protein and fiber. Although the roasted pumpkin seeds tend to be better-tasting, a higher nutritional value is provided by the raw seeds.


Pumpkin seeds have long been a favorite of parrots. It is easy to prepare them:
Remove seeds from pumpkin.
Wash and remove pulp and strings.
Pat dry and place on an aluminum cookie sheet (It is highly recommended that you use cookie sheets that do not have nonstick surfaces or that you remove your birds from any room near the kitchen). Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, turning every 5 to 10 minutes.
Let cool and serve these delicious tidbits to your feathered friends!


Please remember do not salt these seeds unless they are for human consumption. Birds cannot excrete salt the way humans can and it is not good for them.


Happy Hunting for the Perfect Pumpkin!




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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.

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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©  2008-2011 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced by any means, print, electronic or any other,
without prior written permission of the Editor or author.
For permission to reprint, please contact us at Editor
www.parrottoyangels.com