Next Meetup

Toy Recycling & Reality Check
As my Conure Cheeky would say....if he could talk better that is...."We're killing two dogs with one poop on this one"! It's a combo event: we'll all make new toys for our fids (feathered kids) and have some "sane" human social interaction as well:) I'll be adding the date, time and location in a couple of weeks. I wanted to get this up ahead of time so that you could start collecting toy pieces. We'll probably have this event in late August or early September. As you all know, parrots are...uh...finicky...to say the least. They like what they like and nothing else will do. parrots and toys are kind of like tornadoes; they will completely destroy everything in their path except one bauble on a mixed toy will remain untouched. I've been recycling good bits off old toys pretty much ever since my new baby parrot destroyed the darling and EXPENSIVE ones I purchased at FULL PRICE from a swanky pet store. Two years later he's getting hand me downs and up-cycled toys using dollar store items. He could care less...just keep them coming!!! So start salvaging anything that is not completely disintegrated. I'm sure you all have toys your birds didn't like, Collect those too. In addition to the salvaged toy parts, bring at least one unique "NON-PARROT TOY" item or material that you have used to make a toy with. If you can't think of anything, go to the dollar store...you'll find lots of inspiration! At the event we will place all the salvaged bits in a big pile and everyone can make new toys for their babies. Remember to bring the old wires, leather or hemp rope as well. Plus you'll want to bring scissors and maybe a pliers. I'll have those on hand but you'll have to share. I also suggest a large craft needle with an eye big enough to accommodate hemp string. This will be a "Humans Only" event ....cause we'll never get anything done with the birdies bugging us. Please bring a beverage or snack to share. I'll provide cups, napkins, plates and bottle opener. In addition to bits and widgets, if you have time.... make some dried fruits or veggies. My birds love dehydrated oranges and ornamental peppers. Following is how I make dried oranges and peppers. Feel free to adapt this method to other types of fruits and veggies your birds like. The dried items make great toy parts! I don't have a dehydrator; my oven works great for oranges. Just slice the oranges a minimum of 1/8 inch thick for small birds and up to 1/2 inch for large birds. Remove a metal rack from your oven (or if you have an extra metal rack...I have one in my microwave, you can use that). Lay the orange slices out flat on the rack, making sure the smaller ones won't fall through. Then carefully place the rack back in the oven. Turn your oven on to bake at it's lowest setting; usually about 170 to 200 degrees or if you have a "keep warm setting" that might work too. The ideal temp to dry them at is about 170 to 180. No worries if your oven starts at 200 or 220. Let it heat up to that temp and then turn it off (without opening the door) for about 25 to 30 min. Then turn on again and repeat the cycle. The extra couple of minutes at the higher temp won't hurt them. Check your slices about every 30 minutes. The drying time will depend on the temp and thickness of the slices. Once the pulp starts to feel more like soft plastic rather than squishy rubber, they are done. Let them cool off and then store in a ziploc. You can do this with apples too, just remember to core them to remove all the seeds first. Peppers are easier. Simply string them on hemp string using a craft needle then hang up to dry. You CAN do this with oranges, apples and other fruit but it takes FOREVER and with our humidity, they may mold rather than dry so use the oven for moist fruits.

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