asterroc: (doll)
Originally posted by [ profile] zandperl at Massachusetts Boarding?
Is anyone here familiar with either The Bird Guru or Featherbed Resort for Birds, both in Metrowest Massachusetts? Or does anyone have other recommendations for boarders in Eastetn MA? I've recently moved to the Boston area and I'm looking for a place to board Kappa when I travel. These both sound really similar: a bunch of cages near each other, time out of the cage for each bird, feed a veggie mix, full spectrum lighting, require a vet health certificate but not specific tests (e.g., no chlamydia test required), same price.

And below the cut, a few pictures of Kappa in the process of moving. :) Pictures herein )


Aug. 20th, 2015 11:47 am
Can anyone recommend a boarder for my bird (small parrot, dusky conure) in Eastern Massachusetts or thereabouts?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

Uric Acid

Jul. 24th, 2013 12:43 am
Originally posted by [ profile] zandperl at Uric Acid
Got some bloodwork done on Kappa last month. My vet isn't avian certified (the closest AAV certified avian vet to me is more than 2 hrs drive away), but I've had good luck with VCA Animal Hospitals in the past, my vet does do birds, and she's been consulting with other vets to make sure she learns more as needed. She told me after the bloodwork last month that she needed to consult with other vets on Kappa's uric acid test. We finally talked on the phone yesterday, and, well, let's start with this: partway through the conversation I felt the need to ask her right out "Should I be concerned or panicking?" and she replied "Concerned." I'm not convinced she's right.

Kappa's uric acid (which tests kidney function) is at 17 (I didn't catch the units, but for this test in humans the units are mg/dL). Normal healthy birds are supposed to be in the range of 2-10. Kidney disease is diagnosed if it's at a level of 20. The vet recommended two things: since Kappa's currently boarding with them for a week and a half anyway, they're going to give her sub-cutaneous fluids daily; and although I already give her Sunshine factor (palm fruit oil, for the Omega-3 fatty acids), she recommended I apply it to her veggie mix daily rather than when I make the mix. They're also going to take two more blood samples: a tiny one partway through her stay and do a test in-house on the hematocrit (I think it was), which tells about her red blood cell levels, which can tell if she's having problems rapidly; and another full blood panel at the end of her stay (which needs to be sent away) to see if the sub-cu fluids have made any significant change.

Basically, the vet was talking about extending Kappa's life, that in some cases something like this can be fatal quickly, or it could only shorten the bird's life by a year. I'm trying not to be devastated (my first cockatiel passed away from kidney failure). I'm definitely worried. Kappa's only 6 years old (if I'm counting right), and dusky conures have a normal life expectancy of 25-30 years. I got her after I lost two cockatiels in a relatively short time span, and I picked her species partly due to the longer life span than 'tiels.

*sigh* Anyone else have experience in this situation, where you have warning signs of a disease and have to manage it for the rest of the bird's life?


Sep. 5th, 2011 09:14 pm
In case anyone's reading on a Monday night and can get me their thoughts quickly...

I made the mistake of microwaving a wooden item and it heated enough to smoke significantly but not actually catch on fire. Currently all windows in the kitchen are open (as are many others in the house) and I have a fan drawing air out from the kitchen to the outside. The bird room is adjacent to the kitchen: I have the door closed, window open, and a fan pulling air from outside into the room. (The intent of the fans is to have a bit of positive pressure pulling air from the bird room to the kitchen.)

I expect that it will take overnight for the last of the smoke to air out of the kitchen. My question is: is it better to keep the bird room windows open and fan going overnight, or to shut the windows and run a HEPA filter in the room overnight, or even keep the windows open and run the HEPA filter?

Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to help me to not get another bird, one in particular named Doobie.

parrot rambling )


Dec. 11th, 2010 12:31 pm
I bought a couple cornish game hens to make a small chicken soup with. They're about the size of, oh, a nanday or mitred conure. Bigger than a cockatiel, smaller than a gray.

I wonder, when the Carolina parakeet was hunted to extinction, I wonder how they tasted? There was no reason at all for their hunters to not eat them.

How sad, Wikipedia says the Carolina parakeets tended to flock around their dead.

Also sad, the binomial name for Carolina parakeets is conuropsis carolinensis, and the genus conuropsis is today called aratinga Kappa is an aratinga weddellii (Dusky conure). Aratinga solstitialii (sun conures) were just proclaimed an endangered species within the last 2 years or so.

η: Link to some up-close photos of a Carolina parakeet and a passenger pigeon in the Duke University collection. Don't click that link if images of dead birds squick you out.
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ALL THE BIRD IN THE WORLD, every single one of them, every size and species imaginable.

Kappa would serve lots of pellets in simple foraging toys (everyone's favorite, right?), with a HUGE dessert of almonds.
I keep forgetting to change Kappa's papers as often as I should. I've also been trying to put her to sleep earlier b/c I suspect part of her behavior is hormonal. It was already past her bedtime last night when I decided to change papers before covering her. Then I found mouse poop in the papers and freaked out and washed the bottom of the cage for the next hour.

Woke up this morning to a nightmare involving trying to escape the zombie apocalypse with Kappa, except she'd caught it, and Bowser was burning I-84 so we had to go the long way to the emergency vet.

While changing Kappa's food this morning I found mouse poop in it.

T$ showed me how to use the Havahart trap I ran out to buy at the hardware store. I spent all day cleaning her cage. My bum hip hurts from so much standing.

At something like 5pm T$'s friend B came over and parked me in and T$ and B went off to a frisbee tournament in Boston for the weekend.

Around 6pm the Havahart got a mouse. I took photos of him. I'm naming him Mouse 0 for reasons that will become clear in a moment. He was very cute and very tiny and very scared.

Since I was parked in, I loaded the trap onto my bicycle and rode over to the river so I could let it go on the other side so it'd be less likely to make it back. The mouse was no longer in the trap when I stopped to check it. I'm guessing that on a bump one of the doors flipped up enough for him to escape while the catcher-thingit was also jostled so it didn't jam the door shut.

Mice: 1. Humans: 0. That was Mouse 0 b/c it didn't count. That was a practice mouse.

On the way back I got two mosquito bites and a bug in my left eye. Thankfully it was a big enough one that it bounced off rather than getting stuck in it. Ow. Ick.

Back home now. Hip still hurts. Haven't had dinner yet. Mouse 1 is in the trap. Or possibly the same mouse. I can't walk the mile to the other side of the river right now b/c of the hip. I don't want to bounce another mouse out of the trap on the bike over. I'm still parked in. I hope the stupid mouse lives until morning when I might be able to get my car out or be able to walk. It won't die overnight will it? Gawd, I'm going to hear it rattling that trap all night long, aren't I?

Anyone got a cat I can borrow for a few days?
The House of Representatives is currently working on a bill that would outlaw all non-native species of animals in captivity - that is, anything other than cats and dogs - whether as pets, for research, or for education. I urge you to contact your Representatives about this bill because it would not only decimate zoos and scientific research, but it would also severely limit the rest of my life with my bird Kappa.

Write your Legislators:

More detail and links )

Edit: [ profile] amavia, guinea pigs are not among the exempt species (despite the fact that they are domesticated), so you might want to get your networks cracking on this.

Thanks for your time!
I do not use a grill in the bottom of Kappa's cage and above the tray for two reasons: (1) I like her to have the opportunity to forage among the things she drops (both food and foot toys), and (2) it encourages me to change her papers daily since I don't want her foraging in poop and day-old veggies. The problem is that Kappa has learned how to move around the papers on the bottom of her cage. Her favorite game is to slide them right off the edges of the tray and onto the floor outside, dumping half the refuse on the floor outside of her cage, and half onto the tray.

I tried putting the grill back in and she lost many of her favorite treats and foot toys out of reach beneath the grill, and I found myself slipping back to not changing the papers daily since I know that she can't get to the gunk since the grill's in the way - but of course some gunk accumulated atop the grill, so this wasn't healthy for me to do. Then I tried taking the grill back out and putting on a couple of binder clips (they're like metal clothes pins) on the edges of the newsprint, clipping it to the tray, and I swear she figured out not only how to rip the paper, but also how to fold it up into a tent she could burrow under. She's doing friggin' origami!

So now I'm stumped for ideas. How do I get Kappa to not move the papers around so much, without having to put the grill back in, or switch to something like corncob or cedar shavings? (Since both corncob and cedar bedding are neither good for birds [they grow mold easily and spores irritate birds' lungs more than mammals'] nor easy to clean [they'll get thrown even farther than the papers are being thrown now].)

Another snow forecasts from )

I think if campus isn't closed Friday I better bring a sleeping bag and change of clothes just in case.

I wonder what the boarder's emergency plan is if power goes out there. I'm going to ask them before I bring Kappa over.
I just caught Kappa bathing in her water dish. At first I thought the flapping might be her masturbating on the side of the cage, and then I realized she was thrusting her chest and head into the water and was probably flapping to try and throw the water around, although her wings weren't actually going into the water. I think she's a little insane b/c I'm cold enough I have a down throw wrapped around me. But I also think it's awesome to see her wanting to bathe finally. :) Of course, that now means I'm going to have to consider whether she's soiling her water too much - and it probably explains some of the gunk I've been finding in her water dish occasionally. The feathers right over her beak were so wet they looked black, and had parted to the side so it looked like she had a bad haircut, with her skin showing underneath! :-P
Here's some recent cute photos of Kappa!

Almonds in the shell are one of her favorite toy/treats.
Lookit how smooth the feathers on her belly look after her molt. I'm so proud! ^_^

more here )

X-posted to [ profile] parrots101

Loud Week

Aug. 31st, 2008 12:52 pm
The downside of having your bird wake up before you and decide to yell incessantly while you try to get some more winks is that you dream about owning dozens of birds, half of whom are dead. The upside (yes, there is one) is that every time you wake up you instantly realize that you have only the one bird, and she's not only alive but has very healthy lungs on her.

Have I mentioned it's Loud Week? That's when Loud Day lasts for more than a day.

And I now have an answer to [ profile] eterri's question the other week in [ profile] parrots101 about what's the strangest thing you've ever done with/for your bird. Kappa's been yelling LOTS for the last few days - I suspect it's b/c she's picking up on our tension and changing schedule with the start of the semester coming on Tuesday, rather than it being something to worry about health-wise, or something that we've accidentally reinforced. She particularly likes to yell the whole time I'm cooking dinner, two rooms away from her - she can hear me moving around so she knows I'm there, but I'm not paying attention to her. Of course this gets a bit irritating.

On the other hand, Kappa thinks the Andy Griffith theme song is a call-and-answer type song, where she has one particular note that she "answers" at the end of certain phrases in the song. If she does this while I'm watching, she's always standing really tall and skinny, and her eyes are pinning like mad. So if she's yelling continually, trying out every last different loud noise she's capable of making, all of them LOUD and most of them irritating, what's the best way to convince her to make softer noises less continually?

Whistle the Andy Griffith theme song at her. The entire time I'm cooking. For two nights straight.

x-posted to [ profile] parrots101


Aug. 27th, 2008 11:02 am
Kappa just made her first purposeful flight! I'd been sitting in the dining room w/in sight of her cage, and listening to the birds at the feeder on the window. She'd been putzing around atop the cage making a bit of irritated noises, when suddenly I heard wings from her cage and she flew out of the foyer, through the dining room, and landed on the window screen next to the feeder and near me. ^_^ It seems like she was a bit surprised by where she ended up, and not in good control, but she very clearly wasn't the slightest bit afraid. I put out my hand for her and she stepped right up onto me, her eyes pinning.

Hooray for Kappa!

*Makes mental note to be even more conscientious about closing her cage when appropriate.*

x-posted to [ profile] parrots101

More Kappa

Aug. 18th, 2008 03:50 pm
I realized today that Kappa's been learning to imitate the microwave's beep. Not well obviously, since I didn't realize it until today. But when the nuker beeped today she warbled back in the same pitch, just entirely different intonation. (Similar to how she's got the rhythm and pitch of "good girl" right but it's really mumbly/growly.) It's funny, b/c she also makes the same almost-microwave-beep noise when I whistle the Andy Griffith song at her, or "Yankee Doodle Dandy". She watches me really intently while I whistle it, eyes pinned in excitement, sometimes bobbing her head along with me and the tune, and then chimes in with me when I hit those notes only. :-P
Kappa's trying to learn to say "good girl!" She doesn't really have consonants or vowels yet, just a bit of a growl in the right rhythm, but it's definitely the right rhythm and she does it in unison with me whenever I tell her she's a good girl, like after giving me a kiss, or stepping up, or going home. It's just so mumbly still, I hope someday she starts adding consonants, but I guess those are hard ones for her to do.

This morning after giving her skritches I put her back on the cage ("go home") and I forgot to say "good girl" after, so she mumbled it for me. ^_^
I'm such a bleeding heart...

Today I made an appointment for Thursday to microchip Kappa, and now I'm second guessing myself - y'all aren't necessarily bird experts reading this journal, but most of you are rational enough to do a good cost-benefit analysis, and that's what I'm looking for here. When I look at something that's possibly risky, I look at the chance of something bad happening, the potential consequences if that bad thing does happen, and the (usually guaranteed) ongoing benefits of taking the action. Sometimes there's additional ongoing costs other than just one big bad thing happening. In this specific case, it's not quite so simple - it's more a matter of there being a chance of bad things happening w/o the chip, and with the chip there's a chance of additional bad things happening, but a chance of ameliorating the bad things that'd happen w/o the chip, and a bit of one-time guaranteed cost.

lots more detail )

So, what's your analysis? If you do happen to have experience with microchips and small pets, I'd be interested to hear that too.

And just so this post isn't all my freaking out, a few photos, a couple of which I've posted elsewhere as well. )

X-posted a couple places


May. 31st, 2008 10:24 pm
I swear just now, right after I sneezed Kappa made a couple noises with the exact same rhythm as "Bless you." Earlier this evening she was starting to pick up the Andy Griffith tune. And a little before this while I was doing the tambourine in part of Rock Band, she was making a clacking noise that was in time with the beat! This wonderful little bird is always surprising me. ^_^
Anyone know where I can download an mp3 of the Andy Griffith theme song? I can find lots of birds doing it on YouTube, but I want an mp3. I started whistling it at Kappa today and in some 10 minutes she was starting to pick up parts of it, but I get tired of whistling too soon. :-P

Found it!



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