Hops

Name: Hops (eng.)/ Hopfen (de.)/ Hmelj (cro.)

Latin name: Strobuli Lupuli 

Yes, the same hop that is used in beer brewing and no, it will not turn your parrots into beer lovers! My grandmother used to say that when you have trouble sleeping you should put some hops buds under your pillow to help you sleep. Well, I’m not sure how putting flowers under your pillow will work, but a tea made from hop buds can help you relax.

Hops, as far as I know, originated from Great Britain, but it is vigorously grown throughout entire Germany. No wonder Germany is so famous for its beer. They also grow in forests, as weeds in gardens, bushes, etc all around Europe. Useful parts of these plants are female flowers, id. buds, that appear in late August, early September.

Hops have many benefits- from anti-inflammatory purposes, relaxing agent to antioxidant activity. Studies are still being made on this plant and it’s influence on our and our pets health.

I did use it with my own parrots to help soothe them. As with any calming herb, its all about amounts. I used hops as a part of a herbal, calming tea, along with chamomile, nettle, lavender, etc.

I used a *very* small amount of hop buds in my mix. No, more than 2-3 buds per 200 g of a dry mix, that I later steeped. I used a basic recipe I got from my veterinarian and added herbs I had available through my local health food stores. I’ll share the recipe in one of my next posts.  If you are not sure about the proper dosage of hops, I would advise contacting a herbalist.

I did see changes in their behavior. Lino has become a lot more calmer and he doesn’t attack me for no reason what so ever. It took a few weeks, but we’re getting there.

Advertisements

Lino chronicles

Lino’s puberty is starting to hit HARD.  His behavior is puzzling me, so I’ve decided to keep a journal of what’s going on, how he’s behaving and trying to draw parallels between his reaction and his surroundings.

There are days he’s this perfect bird, that steps up for everyone, is nice to everyone, plays, is curious and nothing like the biting monster some days or uncontrolled  flying projectile.

This morning I’ve let them out, as I do every morning, to clean their cages, refill water bowls, toys, etc. I opened Ringo’s cage and she nicely stepped up and went to their playground. Same routine we have EVERY morning. Than I opened Lino’s cage, he seemed unwilling to go out, so I let him be. I thought he would just find his way out on his own.

I started cleaning Ringo’s cage and after that was done, I went for pine nuts to try to bribe Lino to come out of his cage. The second he saw me with pine nuts, he run out of his cage, flew to me and bit the hell out my hand. I decided not to react and went forward with cage cleaning. Was that a mistake? Was I supposed to put him back to his cage immediately? It seemed counterproductive,  though.

After their cages were cleaned and time to o back to their cages was coming, I went to fill their foraging toys so I could put them back to their cages. The second I went to get his foraging tray, he landed on my head, very aggressively,  so I put him back to his cage.  I’m not really sure what triggered this. Yesterday he was fine. Perfect, actually.

I’ve read that senegal parrots have this flight or fight response while going through puberty. I’m afraid not to reinforce any of these behaviors.

 

Parrot apple logs

I’ve decided to make a special treat for my two parrots as I was super busy lately and thought they deserve a praise for how good they’ve been.

This is a super easy recipe that you can customize to your liking. Whole idea behind these cookies is to use what you have already at your home and to use in season fruits. It’s apple season here, so I used apples. The rest of the ingredients listed below I’ve had at home.

Lino anxiously waiting for the logs to be done already

What you’ll need is:

One apple pureed or a small jar of apple sauce

1 tbs of chia seeds, gelatinised. (you can use 1 egg instead of chia)

1 cup of flour (I used spelt and chickpea flour, but any will do)

1/4 cup of various dried fruits (I used apricots and raisins) and dried coconut.

1/2 cup of seeds and grains (I used quinoa, millet, sesame and flax seed)

I also put Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs mixes for extra nutrition and some of their apple powder, for extra apple-tines. You could use some cinnamon, too. It would go nicely with the apple.

For finishing you’ll need a bit of coconut oil and some seeds/grains to roll the logs into. I made half of a batch with sesame-millet-flax coating and the other half with millet flakes-old fashioned rolled oats-sesame coating.

Lino enjoying an apple log he stole from my backing sheet. I didn’t even make it to my oven, before he stole it.

Here’s what you do; in a blender make the apple puree if you don’t have apple sauce. After that’s done, add dried fruits and coconut and coarsely chop them. Put everything a bowl, add chia, than mix everything well together. After that add seeds/grains than flour and mix, mix, mix until everything is formed into a nice batter.

After that’s done grease your hands with coconut oil, take small pieces from your batter and form it into logs, by rolling it between your hands. I have smaller birds, so I made them palm sized and relatively narrow. Adjust the shape and size of your logs accordingly to the size of your parrots.  After you have logs, place them into a dry mix of seeds/grains. They will stick to your logs without a problem. Bake them in the lowest heat you can or use a dehydrator if you have one.

Logs waiting to be put into oven.

Roses

Name: Rose (eng.)/ Ruža (cro.)

Latin name: Rosa

Roses are one of the most favorite flowers of women around the world, because of its  beauty and delicateness. Roses are more than a token of love and appreciation, they have been used as a remedy for many years. Despite their tender look, these are very hardy plants, know to survive even in the most hostile environments. What they do need is water, plenty of it, without it they will not produce its beautiful flowers.

One of the most common usages of rose flowers, to be precise its petals, are in different rose oils and waters. Rose water and oil  are often used in high-end skin care products, because of its calming effect on skin and help with irritation. One of many reasons why rose oils are so expensive is that it takes a lot of petals to create a small amount of oil.

Wild roses produce rose hips, which are loaded with vitamins A, C and E. During the World War II, according to a few sources, English government ordered that all of  rose hips had to be harvested and a syrup to be made, as fruits were unavailable at that time. There is  research that states that rose hips have 60% more vitamin C than citrus fruit. Nowadays, dried rose hips are commonly available in most health food stores. You can use them as is in a dry mix for your parrots or as a immune busting tea. Roses have made more than a few steps into cooking- from vine to jellies and various sweets.

If you have roses in your garden, you can collect petals before they fall to the ground and use them later, either in teas or dry mixes. You can also buy teas made out of  rose buds. How they were made is simple- rose buds are collected while still young and fairly small, than they are dried and used for making teas.

Rose tea has many benefits, but should be used in moderation as it can cause diarrhea.  One of many plus sides to rose tea is that it acts as a natural relaxant. It soothes and helps calm the nervous system. I use rose petals, flowers and buds in a dry/ tea mix. It’s a mixture of herbs and flowers that help you, well in these case my parrots, to calm down a bit. It’s meant to be used either as a calming tea or sprinkled over their foods. I’ll show you the mixture in another post.