Here is a summary of the Thrifty Parrot meeting for those that couldn't make it, or need a refresher for all the information.
1. If you are needing a cage, www.craigslist.org is a terrific resource. People are selling cages all the time there and at very reasonable cost. The major thing you need to be careful of is if the cage is actually safe for your bird! So anytime you go cage shopping, be sure to take a magnet with you. If the magnet sticks to the cage, the cage is NOT safe for your parrot because it was made with toxic metals. The other thing to watch out for is repainted cages. More than likely, if the cage was repainted, it was painted with toxic paint and is more likely to chip off and possibly be injested by your parrot, so avoid those. You want to stick with stainless steel or powder coated cages where at all possible. Especially for the larger parrots, or parrots that may chew on the bars.
2. Rescues are another good resource. A lot of times, cages are donated to them and they are not needed. They will usually sell them to you cheap to get them out of their way.
3. If you have smaller birds, say <150 grams, you can also use a ferret cage which are very cost effective and can. be large enough
1. PVC make great perches. You can get them in various sizes, and they last a very long time. Just be sure you score them to give your parrot a better grip. You can also customize PVC with vet wrap. You can make them as colorful as you want, plus it provides cushion for those aching talons!
2. Pick up branches from an arborist. (Hiiiii Perry! lol Arborists are all over town trimming trees and branches. Be sure to ask if they have been treated with any chemicals. Then soak them overnight in ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) and dry them in the sun for a few days. This will kill any bacteria, fungus, bugs, etc.
3. You can also get branches from the farmers market when they prune their fruit trees.
4. Neighbors are a great resource as well.
5. You can also pick up wood cheap from hardware stores. Breed & Co. Hardware store is a good resource to check for scraps they may be throwing away, plus I heard they are nice enough to cut it for you if needed. Be sure its not treated wood. Most treated woods at the hardware store will have a greenish tint to it. I know Home Depot has a section in the back of their store that have mis-cuts. The last time I went, they had a huge selection and it was only 50 cents a piece. Size didn't matter. BUT, I ended up getting it all free because they forgot to put a UPC on it.
1. APS Toy Making Workshops! Free toys are always the best toys right?
2. Recycling household items and toy pieces. Household items like toilet paper and paper towel rolls, shipping boxes, food boxes like cereal, hamburger helper, jello, pudding, etc., organic egg cartons, drink carriers from restaurants, etc.
3. Toys swaps. Why throw away toys/parts you don't use when you can swap them with other bird owners?
4. (This part wasn't mentioned in the meeting, so I'll add it here) A couple Yahoo groups that I am a part of have great toys ideas and cheap ideas. This one is an active group:http://pets.groups.ya... These next groups aren't active so much anymore, but have great ideas still and pictures. http://groups.yahoo.c... http://pets.groups.ya...
I apologize, I don't remember alot of what we discussed on playgyms, but here is what I do remember:
1. Rescues - again, people donate gyms to them and they don't use them so will sell them cheap to get them out of their way.
2. Craigslist is another good resource. Don't just check the Austin area, check other areas around us as well. A little drive could possibly save you a lot of bucks!
3. Play gym swap
4. Make your own - there are several sites on the internet to give you ideas. Then get with an arborist and take that wood off their hands. PVC also make great play gyms.
1. First and foremost is preventative care. Feed your birds properly, bird protect your home, watch other pets and children, etc.
2. Train your parrots to accepts wing and nail trims and learn to do them yourself.
3. Be trained with first aid for your parrots (We will host another first aid workshop as well)
4. Train the "Drop It" cue with your parrots so if they do pick up something they shouldn't have, you can cue them to "drop it" and very likely avoid a trip to the vet.
5. Pet Insurance - may not be for everyone, but it can help. VPI Insurance
6. Care Credit may also help if you do find yourself with a high vet bill and cannot afford it at that time.
7. Some additional preventative measures were mentioned, and Emily or Jamie can go into more detail as I couldn't write that fast... lol George's Aloe for bath, Aloe Detox, GSE, ACV.
1. Food co-ops (we will discuss further in another meeting.)
2. Buy in bulk and freeze
3. Chop-n-freeze - you can buy in bulk, prepare in advance and freeze. See the thread on chop-n-freeze for more information
4. Purchase human grade foods (seed mixes) and in bulk, much cheaper than purchasing store bought seed mixes and they will be healthier as well.
Some other items that were discussed in the meeting was Full Spectrum lighting which Featherbrite was the recommended source. If you want/need an air purifier, make sure it has a HEPA filter and has a 5 energy star rating. (Austin Air was recommended, although high in price, another good resource is Craigslist. I have also heard many people speak highly of Rabbit Air which are again high cost, but could pay itself off by avoiding vet and medical visits.
Bamboo - Jamie brought bamboo to the meeting. Several members took some home. (I personally would love to hear feedback about how your birds did with it.) If you are interested in bamboo, contact Jamie and she will bring more to the next meeting.
Vitacost Jamie mentioned Vitacost for organic and herbs, etc. she also recommends Dr. Bronner's line of "soaps" as it is organic and detergant free, and can be used for just about anything. (Jamie can elaborate more if needed.)
I hope these tips help everyone, and if you have any ideas, suggestions, etc. please post it.
|A former member||
I was poking around today while working and found a great DIY idea site: birdsnways
Too funny - I was poking around last night looking for examples of PVC playgyms and stands and ran across the same site. A lot of great ideas!
Birdsnways is actually a pretty good resource for a lot of information. I have TONS of links with great information. I'm in the process of getting them sorted out so I can share them easily, plus I am still waiting for resources that our members use so we can share them with everyone. Although I am an internet junky when it comes to my birds, I know there are still tons of resources out there that I don't have yet. Plus I have Jamie and Emily as my human encyclopedias and I don't want to share them!!