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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Review of Sun Fun Chips Granola Bar

So a little while ago I bought a Sun Fun Chips Granola Bar from Pets at Home for £1.99 and although I did say I was going to break it up and give it to them in bite size pieces I decided that the best way to see how good it is would be to give it to them whole. This way I would be able to see if they were scared of it (because as we all know, most parrots are drama queens), if they could actually bite of pieces of it when it is whole and whether the treat stayed on the attachment and didn't just fall to the floor.

Drama Queen Test
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Japh went for it within minutes, I lead him to it twice only to have him fly back to play with me but on the third go he was nibbling away at it. Alex though was not interested for the first two days - but then again she's not really treat orientated - it was only when she saw Japh mauling it that she decided to join in.

Ouch Test
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This treat stick is really soft! Not a challenge at all. Although the outside is a little tough, the inside is so soft it's almost spongy ... and personally I like to give them something that they have to work at, something that will keep them busy when there is nobody there to play with them. A definite minus, for me at least, on the other hand ... this soft, easy treat bar could be a great way to introduce treat sticks to new birds who haven't had one before or for those with tiny, weak beaks like finches.

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Now my birds are anuses sometimes, I've bought them treat bells where they've only nibbled near the hook until it goes crashing to the ground into a bazillion tiny pieces and some treat bars are the same, you'll find large clumps of whole seed on the floor of your cage that you have to throw away or dump in their food bowl. This though stayed pretty solid - of course there was a pile of seeds on the floor but when I rifled through them I was happy to see no chunks - only single seeds for the most parts.

Some pictures for your amusement.

Not a whole lot left of it ... In my opinion it's those multiple prongs that are jutting out of it that is helping to keep such a soft seed stick from crumbling away and ending up on the floor of your cage.

This hole at the top is for those of you who can only or would prefer to tie  it to your cage/playgym 

This tiny little hook is for those lucky people with really thin cage bars - you can just hook it on, BUT if you have birds who play rough or like to climb on things then just tie it up because it's not very secure when it's hooked up using this method.
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Although the Sun Fun Chips Granola bar has a lot of pluses, mainly being that it stays whole, they weren't terrified of it and there is only a tiny little bit left of it - I don't think it's for me. It is way too easy and for the price I'm paying I'm really only getting the kind of seeds you would find included in a cheap canary feed and as for the "colored whole wheat cookie chips that entice the pickiest pets," I took all that off as I don't like to give my pets any artificially colored food of any kind.

Would I buy this again ... maybe, if it was on offer but this would be a treat only once a month or so.

Japh'n Away

Just a quick photo shoot I forced them through this morning - unfortunately Alex wasn't having any of it so there is none of her but my little diva was more then happy to ham it up for the camera.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pets At Home Haul and Reviews

Unfortunately I had to run down to Pets At Home in ghastly British weather because one of their water bottles broke - and since I lack discipline I ended up coming home with more then what I had set out for.

Nobbly Gnawer
This is the Pets At Home brand one, suitable for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, chinchillas and ferrets and made out of 100% natural wood and pet safe vegetable dye. Although it's not marketed for birds I don't see why it isn't suitable for them, and at 99p I just couldn't help myself. They come in two gorgeous colours, hot pink and a deep shiny blue.

I already have two but I wanted another two for their travel cage so I can recommend this, it's good value and my birds have found the grooves on it quite interesting. BUT it only comes in one size, so it wouldn't be suitable for anything bigger then a cockatiel and beware of voracious wood chewers - the wood is quite soft. Then again half the joy is seeing them destroy their toys.  

Christmas Willow decoration
 This too is a Pets At Home brand and retailed at £1 and this too was a small animal toy rather then a bird toy - these will be given to them at Christmas so I'll do a review of how it goes.

Sun Fun Chips Granola Bar
This is by Quiko and was £1.99. It's really quite BIG, 71g, which doesn't sound like a lot but it's several meals to a tiny tiel, so I will be busting it up and giving it to them. It does come with a fastener though, so those of you with loads of birds can just hang it up directly.

Will do a review post on this.

Ingredients of Quiko's Granola Bar 

Seed and Water Feeder (for Vertical Bars)
This is by Happy Pet ... I bought one of these before, except in yellow and I would not have bought them again if they had had something else. These are awful, they leak everywhere, crack easily and run out of water so quickly that I have to put in a food bowl full of water to make sure the birds don't dehydrate while I'm out. And for £2.79 I could have found much better on the internet. Oh well, they just got to last me until I can go shopping online.

How they look

"When you were young." Part 2

Just a couple more pictures, this post is for all you people who think birds are boring - or wise.

Japh and Alex
Japh and the money shot

"When you were young." Part 1

Just a couple of snaps from about ... hmm ... one and a half years ago?

Alex attacking Lil Sis

Alex attacking the camera cord

I'm not actually the kind of person that keeps a parrot ...

I was -okay, still kind of am- the kind of person that crosses the road to avoid pigeons, the kind of person that trains friends and family members in the art of shooing pigeons away... So what am I doing with TWO cockatiels?

We've always wanted pets, especially that all elusive pet doggy, but unfortunately the matriarch of the household had declared a very decisive and resounding 'no' on that matter. Dogs were messy, too much work, blah blah, blah, blah, etc.In her opinion parrots would be perfect (lol), they weren't messy (lol), they weren't too much work (lol), they sat in their cages and sang sweetly and softly (major lol).

Fast forward a major meltdown from me at the very thought of living with a flying colourful pigeon in my own house and I had to say yes because it was either a parrot or nothing. And my little brother and sister were not going to settle for nothing.

I did a lot of research, I researched day and night, read up on almost EVERY parrot breed, read up on the noise levels, aggressiveness, talk-ability, cuddliness, longevity, haunted blogs and parrot forums, egg-binding, nearby vets, medical problems, pellets vs seeds... everything. Phew. And I finally settled on either a cockatiel or a Quaker, small cuddly parrots with small beaks - perfect, I hoped, for beginners.

Gumtree and Preloved got a lot of hits during those times and I finally got into contact with a lady who wanted to sell her 1 year old Quaker, but it was about a 3-4 hour journey and I was a bit worried about the fact that it wasn't a baby - could we handle a 'pre-teen'?

Sadly that fell through, and then I found a lady who wanted to sell her male cockatiel, a pretty little grey who could whistle and beatbox. She was ill, and getting sicker, and didn't feel like she could keep up any more, and it was about 10 minutes away from where I worked so we set up a time and decided to go visit. I then got an email saying that she had changed her mind, but when I emailed her back I found out that it had been her son who had sent me that and that she still wanted to sell him.

So off we go, we arrive at her house - we're early in fact, and we're sitting outside waiting. Another text. She's sold it just a couple of minutes ago to another viewer. Feeling gutted we sent her another email and decided we just can't keep up with this drama.

A couple of weeks pass and I've already bought them a cage, a couple of perches, food, accessories and some toys off Zooplus, even sterilized it, when my dad talks to a couple of his friends and finds out that an old couple are breeding cockatiels in Birmingham. Which is a good 3 hour trip for us, we go there anyway and arrive at 10 pm.

The house was small and clean (thank god) and they had a disabled male of their own who couldn't walk properly but would sing if you put a cone over his head. he looked well looked after, clean, healthy and immensely friendly and so did the babies - apart from the fact that four of them were kept in a cage I wouldn't even keep a single finch in, it was smaller then a computer screen, and they had no toys apart from curtain hooks.

But they were adorable and the one we had come for, a pretty little white one, climbed straight up my arm and perched on my shoulder with her sleepy little red eyes. I admit I shook quite a lot. 

My dad was so taken with them that he decided to buy two instead of just one - in fact he wanted all four but the other two weren't weaned yet - so we forked over £100 and came home with Alex and Japhrimel.


The process of getting used to them was hard for me, I was too scared to even go in their room if I was by myself and when one of them landed under the dining table once I had to wait until someone came home and then make them deal with it. It sounds stupid now but back then, in my eyes, they were as big as macaws.

But get used to them I did, and love them I do too. And this blog will be a written testament to that. 

A testament to how I became the kind of person that keeps a parrot.