Health Tips | Bird Keepers Association

Health Tips

Clean & Clear Check Mite

Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Health Tips | 0 comments

BKA are pleased to announce we have been appointed distributors of this product favourite with all bird keepers & breeders PLEASE ALSO VISIT THE BKA PRODUCTS FOR MEMBERS PAGE Clean & Clear Check Mite. Now the most concentrated product on the market. Fantastic cleaner, is food safe, poison free and bio degradable. Kills all mites by dehydration, moths, flies, spiders, cocci, viruses, bacteria, odours and keeps dust down. Safe to use daily as a mist spray. Give your establishment a new environment every day. Check-mite is a detergent with a very unique method of eradicating mites, their eggs, viruses, bacteria, moulds, spores and fungi etc. Check-mite can be used daily in a 5% solution (1:20) mist spray in the atmosphere to reduce dust levels and keep viruses, bacteria etc down to a low level in a confined environment. Check-mite will kill cocci cocoysis on the ground on contact (the biggest problem the bird and small animal fancy face today). Check-mite is a great odour neutraliser leaving the establishment with a fresh clean smell. It is also food safe, leaving you with no fear of harming birds or animals in the immediate area of spraying. The method of insect and microorganism eradication is a simple one and will not allow any of these agents to become immune to the effects. Check-mite is such a good grease remover it changes the dirt and grease particles from a positive sticking charge to a negative releasing charge allowing dirt and grease to be removed from surfaces without hard work. Check-mite’s molecules are so small that on contact with insects, mites and micro – organisms, it easily gets into and strips away the waxy greasy coating protecting the organisms, leaving them exposed, in effect drying them up. Using this method the life cycle of organisms such as mites are broken killing adults and eggs together. Anybody who has been in the bird fancy for any length of time knows of someone troubled with the dusty atmosphere created. This product used daily, will transform the environment for birds and fanciers alike. Liquid flows and reaches areas that powders cannot. Unaffected by temperature fluctuation and also has a long storage life. BKA Collection Price 1 litre £18.00 (p&p £3.78 UK mainland)  BKA Price for One, ready to use, full treatment spray bottle diluted 1:10 …………£8.00 BKA Price for One, ready to use, maintenance spray bottle diluted 1:20 ………… £6.00 Please ask for discount details for fully paid up members Dilution ratios. Mite eradication:  Initial 1 : 10.  Maintenance spraying monthly 1:20.  Cleaning cages, equipment 1:50. Mist spraying daily 1:100.      Please phone Len 01702 293053 or email or Peter Coleling 01245 690421 For further particulars please refer to Members Benefit...

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Daylight is so important for Foreign Finches by Peter Coleling

Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Blog, Health Tips | 2 comments

Daylight is so important for Foreign Finches As a beginner at keeping foreign finches I have been learning how best to keep them. I endeavour to talk to other breeders and the recent Essex Bird Keepers Association bird sale show last Sunday 27 Sept was a very fertile ground for such information! I keep and breed Zebras, Diamond Fire Tails and Bichenos’s or Owl Finches). One important tip I received recently was about the feeding of small finches and how necessary it is to ensure sufficient day light is available to maintain their small vulnerable bodies. Small finches need 15 hours of daylight to be in top health? Easy to understand because of the way they digest their food (seed) and the time it takes. It seems that every 4 to 6hrs they need to eat to maintain their strength and to grow, stay warm and maintain their health. Winter with its shortening of daylight hours is therefore a crucial period to ensure that these small finches can survive. With daylight hours down to under 10 hrs it is recommended to install a full spectrum light on a timer which will ensure all necessary nutrition is available to your birds.   Thanks for reading P Coleing – BKA...

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What is Sprouted Seed

Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Health Tips | 0 comments

What Is Sprouted Seed? What we are attempting to achieve is to turn the normal basic dried seed into a fresh vegetable and by the process greatly increase its overall food value. The highest food value is obtained when the seed sprouts are around 5mm in length. Be careful not to allow the sprouts to become too long as they become bitter to the taste and their food value decreases. What Items Will We Require? First off, a container in which to soak the seed. The most common one in use is the old ice-cream container. Next one of your wife’s kitchen strainers. Size dependent on the amount of seed you intend sprouting. One capable of holding double the amount of dried seed you intend soaking, as the seed swells during the sprouting process. Also one with not too fine a gauze as the water does not pass freely through and the seed at the bottom continues to be soaked and you will end up with sour seed. Good quality seed. Most problems in not being able to produce sprouted seed are caused by 2 conditions: over-soaking and the purchase of poor quality seed. Try and obtain sowing seed for the best results. How Will I Go About It? Take your ice-cream container and place in it the required amount of seed, a half full 4 litre container will produce enough seed for around 50 pair dependent on whether the birds are accustomed to it and the amount of babies in the nest. It is really a matter of trial and error. Next cover the seed with water. (I suggest you use warm water as this softens the harder seeds quicker.) Allow to soak for a minimum of 4 – 5 hours and a maximum of 12 hours, no longer as this will lead you onto the first step in producing sour seed After soaking required time, tip seed into your strainer and rinse thoroughly with clean water until all signs of discoloured water are no longer visible. (Do not short cut this rinse.) Then place the strainer suspended across the ice-cream container which will allow the air to circulate through the seed. Continue to rinse the seed in the same manner every 12 hours until the desired length of sprout has been obtained. Under no circumstances rinse the seed just prior to feeding to birds. The seed should be allowed to stand unrinsed for at least 12 hours before feeding. If you have followed this procedure the seed should now have a nice nutty smell, and taste sweet. But My Seed Stinks! You have not followed the above procedure correctly “SO” start again. Soak seed for 12 hours – drain and wash Leave stand in kitchen strainer 12 hours – wash thoroughly Leave stand in kitchen strainer 12 hours – wash thoroughly Leave stand for minimum of 12 hours – feed to birds. Or, No Sprouts Have Occurred! The germ in your seed has died of old age so promptly return it to your seed merchant for a replacement. You should be receiving around 75% germination if the seed is of a good quality. Warning Under no circumstances feed any of this seed to your birds if you in any way think the seed has turned sour. Sour...

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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Health Tips | 0 comments

If your unfortunate enough to lose a bird and would like to find out why, I have found the following company is very helpful. Retford Poultry Partnership Ltd Telephone: 01777 703011 Email:      

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Holistic Feeding

Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Health Tips | 1 comment

Holistic Feeding Holistic meaning: Treatment involving the mind – body and social factors. Mint is a good appetiser and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in the mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Oregano is a rich natural source of vitamin K, an important vitamin that is often overlooked. It has antibacterial properties and is an antioxidant that is high in minerals. Red Clover the health benefits of red clover are numerous. First and foremost, red clover has good amounts of vitamins, proteins and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, silicon, as well as vitamins A, B-12, E and K. It is also a source of other nutrients, including niacin, thiamine and vitamin C. It contains the minerals needed by bodily glands, thus frequent use can assist in bringing about hormonal balance. Red clover also helps to sooth the nerves. In addition, red clover has been found to contain antioxidants, as well as a few substances with anti-tumour properties. Dandelion The health benefits of dandelion include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, jaundice, cancer and anaemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health. Thyme contains an essential oil that is rich in thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant. Nettle is rich in Vitamin C and the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E. It is also high in chlorophyll, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, and zinc. Garlic is used to prevent parasites, respiratory problems, poor digestion and boosts the immune system. Clay is an effective binding agent as its chemical structure allows other chemicals to bond with it and so lose their reactivity. Clay is an effective deactivator of toxins contained in ingested food or toxins produced by pathogenic bacteria inside the gut. Charcoal deactivates toxins contained in food or toxins produced by pathogenic bacteria inside the gut. I grind it up in a coffee mill and many birds love eating this. In an odd way, I found that when I supplied charcoal granules, the birds did not seem to touch it. In powdered form, they were very keen in sampling it. Immune boosting are mostly everyday vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and turnips. They also include herbs such as red clover, garlic, milk thistle, pine bark. Shred the raw fresh vegetables in a blender until they are thoroughly shredded. You can then mix them with stuff that you know your finches like e.g. mealworms,egg food or soaked seed. Elderberries also boost the immune system and are specially recommended I buy dried elderberries and grind them up in my coffee mill. Spirulina is an edible blue green alga and looks like a dry blue green powder. It deepens feather colour. Charlie Loukeris told me that since he has fed spirulina to his European Goldfinches, they have produced proper red masks where normally they would have an orange mask when kept indoors. Many scientific studies show that Spirulina seems to have immune enhancing and liver protecting properties. Hepatic herbs strengthen and tone the liver as well as stimulate the flow of bile. Many birds suffer from liver problems because their diet is often inadequate when compared to what they...

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The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Health Tips | 1 comment

Real apple cider vinegar is a natural substance, but only if from a bio farm. It strengthens the immune system, as it is an excellent source of trace and micro elements. However, this is only true of vinegar derived from apples grown in a natural (e.g. grassy) environment free of fertilisers and insecticides. An apple that is artificially cultivated does not undergo real ripening, and so does not contain the biologically complete stock of micro elements of which it is genetically capable. Apple cider vinegar is an ideal source of organic acid. Organic acids help digestion and the breaking down of food intake, and thus prevent the development of illnesses caused by undigested food. It is widely known that acidity prevents the spread of coli bacteria and salmonellas. These pathogens like a gently alkaline environment in which they can really start to proliferate. Apple cider vinegar mixed in water prevents salmonella from spreading in the waterer. Its acidic effect continues to restrict pathogens, even in the canaries intestines. What is less well-known is that apple cider vinegar can be life-saving. Many have found that in hot weather a canaries rate of breathing can increase, dramatically if it is very hot, and canaries breathe rapidly with their beaks open. On such occasions the increased exchange of air causes more carbon dioxide to leave the blood than normal. This leads to acid deficiency, and so the blood becomes increasingly alkaline (breathing alkalosis). Initially this process generates bad disposition, dizziness, then nausea, and, if it becomes more extreme, death. In hot weather we pine for soft drinks with lemon and carbon dioxide in order to compensate for the acid deficiency. If at such times we give our canaries water with apple cider vinegar, we can save their lives. In prolonged heat we can achieve even more with a little apple cider vinegar than this. For in addition to the changing pH of the blood, potentially fatal processes are taking place in the digestive system. Heat is a powerful stressor, but is bad for digestion in and of itself, as the vessels in the skin, lungs, etc. expand, while the vessels supplying the digestive system contract. Thus in hot weather consumption of food declines, meaning that good intestinal bacteria do not have adequate nutrition, and so the acid they produce also decreases. Meanwhile, as we have seen, the alkalinity of the blood grows, which is life-threatening. Simply put, the body attempts to compensate for this by taking acid away from the digestive system, further increasing its alkalinity. As the heat stress has already reduced the resistance of the digestive system, all these factors mean that conditions are ideal for the fast proliferation of salmonellas lurking in the intestines. Thus in hot weather there is every chance that a paratyphoid epidemic will flare up. In most cases, all this can be prevented by a simple acidification of drinking water with apple cider vinegar. Like anything else, apple cider vinegar can be overdosed. In too great a quantity it can even damage good intestinal bacteria. The high quantity of acid absorbs calcium (lime) and removes it from the system, which results in motor and reproductive problems. So overdoses of apple vinegar should be avoided. The dose for 5% apple cider vinegar is 4-8ml per litre...

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