Easy Home Made Bird Food

So when was the last time you saw a pellet tree?

We all know that closer to natural, raw and unprocessed we can get with the food we feed our pets, the healthier and longer they will live without illness. This also rings true for our feathered friends. Since I owned my very first African Grey Parrot, I researched their natural diet and decided right from the start that I would feed my feathered friend as close her natural diet as possible. Seeds and nuts are indeed a natural food for most birds in their natural habitat so giving your birds seeds and a few nuts ( depending on the species ) should be still available in a smaller % of their daily intake.

As humans, we just find it more convenient and easier to give manufactured bird seed. If we can begin to incorporate just small amounts daily of fresh, organic raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes, we will be doing our birds a huge service helping them stay hardy, healthy and vibrant in color. The benefits are absolutely amazing for our feathered friends.

One of my favorite companies that helped me get started on healthy fresh foods and supplements for birds was a company called “China Prairie” located in the US. I am a long time customer!

If you have the ability to order your first kit from them you won’t regret it and later as you get the hang of sprouting and cooking for your birds you will discover how quick and easy it is to incorporate into your daily routine. Many recipes can put into containers and frozen and defrosted daily for your birds. Most birds take to the food right away and some birds take a few days through consistently offering some in a separate dish daily.


If ordering an initial kit from China Prairie is not practical for you, you do have an option by purchasing some of the ingredients yourself and learning how to sprout the legumes and seeds in mason jars at home ( just use a sharp object to create breathing holes on the top of the lid for draining and air flow ) I purchase my food products at BULK BARN and then mix all ingredients in a very large storage jar that I keep in the fridge. I mix well all the beans, legumes, seeds together and then scoop out to gently boil for 25 minutes, strain and cool then I sprinkle with either Avian Powder Vitamin mix from PetSmart – or I will use FRESH ADDITION supplement available at China Prairie.

Remember to take any uneaten food away after 4 hours and sooner in the warmer/summer months as it can spoil quickly.

Here is a list of ingrediants you can find at BULKBARN and please choose ORGANIC where ever possible.

Note, that most birds/parrots will enjoy this mix no matter their species or size. You can avoid certain food items that your bird doesn’t like, however, it is always recommended to continue to serve foods they may not like as many birds often “give in” after days or weeks of being consistent.


  • Hulled sunflower seed – organic, no shell, no salt, no roasting, raw only.
  • Whole Yellow Corn
  • Whole oat
  • Brown Rice
  • Wheat Berries
  • Whole Green Pea
  • Garbanzo
  • Mung Bean
  • Buckwheat
  • Pumkin seed
  • Sesame Seed
  • Red Clover seed
  • Mustard Seed
  • Radish Seed
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Flax Seed
  • Alfalfa Seed
  • Dill Seed

If your purchase a SCOOP of each of these items the cost will be about $30-$45 and will last many months KEPT IN FREEZER. I would suggest mixing all seeds and legumes together in one huge bowl then keep a week’s supply in the fridge for daily cooking/sprouting and the rest seal and put into the freezer pulling out as you require for a week at a time.

You can cook daily which birds LOVE. and/or you can sprout the mix.


You will require a few large mason jars which can be purchased at your local Canadian Tire or Walmart Store. Take the lids and carefully puncture many little holes through the top. I use a star screwdriver. You want the holes to be big enough that water can drain from the lid but without losing the contents and also for air to flow through. You may also be able to find special lids for the mason jars that are specifically made for sprouting. Put the jars and lids through the dishwasher to rinse can clean well or soak in hot soapy water and rinse well and let air dry.


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Bird Care – What Is Safe?

Bird Sitting Safely

Many people would guess that providing pet sitting services for birds is as simple as either going to the client’s home and providing the pet care service or bringing a bird to pet sitters home for care.  It’s very important to share with bird owners and non-bird owners that it is not that simple and if proper procedures are not taken into consideration, the wrong actions could be deadly to the bird/s involved due to possible exposure to known or unknown disease.

Lets first look birds in general and why they are so susceptible to disease and why proper consideration for care for birds is an etiquette that must be taken seriously for bird owners.

There are literally hundreds of diseases that can be harbored with or without symptoms in the pet bird that the bird owner may not be aware of.  In fact, this is the biggest danger – that bird owners may not be aware that their own bird may be ill ( when he/she is ).  Birds are experts at hiding their symptoms and can hide symptoms that may be obvious to the bird owner until the bird becomes critically ill. This is a natural instinct in the bird in order to survive in it’s wild habitat.   It is a well known fact that most often when a bird owner discovers that his or her bird is indeed ill, often the bird is close to death.  Imagine if your bird is ill, you don’t know he or she is ill and take your bird to pet sitter or any other service that cares for birds and your bird has now exposed all the other birds in the home to the same illness.  Or reverse the scenario – your bird is healthy and well meaning bird owner brings his bird to the care takers home and now your bird has been exposed.

Deadly Diseases

Unlike cats and dogs where we have many vaccinations in order to help reduce exposure to deadly diseases, birds are not so lucky.  Although we do have vaccinations for pet birds against some diseases, it’s important bird owners know that we do not have vaccinations for all diseases seen in pet birds.  Because birds can harbor disease for many days, months and even years it’s impossible to know even if a bird is a carrier of a disease.  This is why its a lot more complicated when it comes to keeping birds healthy and keeping them safe from exposure to disease because there are just too many diseases which are common amongst pet birds and we as responsible owners don’t even know they have them until it’s too late.

Boarding Birds – Not An Option In Bird Homes

You can well imagine that boarding birds in any home or any facility where other birds reside and/or come and go should NOT be an option for a bird owner.  What is very disturbing to me is to see a sudden increase in “bird-boarding” on the internet. People who offer this service cannot possibly know and understand birds and diseases of birds and if they do, they are not putting the health and safety of the birds first.  There is a quarantine procedure that every responsible bird owner MUST follow to ensure the safety and well being of birds they wish to care for and this is NOT possible in boarding situations where other birds already reside and come and go! Quarantine procedures must be done in a separate building ( no shared air space , even on different floors ) and should be a min of 90 days.  To board carelessly as described is a very very dangerous activity and I urge all bird owners to NEVER board your bird in a home where other birds live, and or come and go.  Doing so, severely increases disease exposure health risks to your bird.

Bird Care Options – What Is Safe?

The number one option to consider especially for Avian Care is a professional pet sitting service, but one that has a special understanding and knowledge in all aspects in Avian care. From how to handle birds of all sizes and species, to having full knowledge of Avian disease and husbandry for the healthy and well being of your bird/s.  Another very important thing to consider is a professional who has Avian Life Saving Knowledge.  This is CRITICAL to the life of your bird/s should they fall ill ( remember, they hide illness ) or obtain an injury. Avian Life Saving Knowledge provides life sustaining ability through the proper knowledge and set up of hospital cages, when to apply heat , how much heat to apply and even more critical is hand feeding capabilities. If a bird doesn’t eat or drink in 24 hours, the bird will die.  We have the ability to sustain life at Parrot ‘n’ Pet Sitting Services.

  • The bird care provider should NOT visit more than 1 bird home during the same time UNLESS he or she can go home to shower and change clothing and shoes before going into a new home. There should be absolutely no simultaneous visits from bird home to bird home.
  • The bird care provider must be able to provide you with proper husbandry care for your birds. Such as hand washing routine, food handling, bird cage and dish handling, and care before and after cleaning of bird droppings.

The above 2 points are extremely important for the bird owner to know and to consider when hiring a pet care provider for their birds.  Whether your bird is a finch, budgie or Hyacinth Macaw – all the same rules apply.


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Stopping a dog From Jumping

As dog owners we often promote the wrong habits in our dogs. Bad habits remain as bad habits if they are not corrected. A dog that is allowed to jump up on you because he is a puppy will not understand why he is not allowed to jump up on people when he is a larger adult dog. Establish rules and limits today designed for tomorrow.

A dog jumping up on someone can be a safety issue. A large dog jumping on an elderly person or young child is especially dangerous. It is not your dog’s intent to hurt anyone when jumping up. He simply sees it as a way to greet people because it was allowed when he was a puppy.

One way to teach your dog not to jump up is to position your arms in front of your body. This will keep your dog from completing his jump. Follow this action with a stern vocal NO then immediately turn your back on your dog. Don’t allow your dog to make eye contact with you. When your dog has calmed down reengage him and enthusiastically praise him for being calm. Your dog is always seeking your attention and love. By rejecting your dog in this manner you are giving him the opposite reaction that he desires. Within a dog pack the alpha leader communicates his displeasure by correcting inappropriate behavior.

As you interact with your dog you must exhibit alpha leader qualities at all times. You dog needs limitations and controls. He wants to be a responsible member of your family and is happy when complying with the expectations of his alpha leader.

When you have been away from home for several hours your dog is excited to see you and will often jump up to greet you. To prevent this behavior don’t greet your dog immediately upon your arrival home. You should wait 10 to 15 minutes before greeting him. Until your dog is used to this procedure you may have to put him in another room for 10 minutes or more. It is important to greet your dog with enthusiasm after this calming down period.

You must be consistent in teaching your dog new behavior. Being consistent is a major part of dog training.

It is important to reward your dog’s positive actions while ignoring his negative actions. When you have to reprimand your dog for negative behavior make sure you take the opportunity to praise him for a positive action. Your final communication with your dog should be loving, enthusiastic praise.

Train a puppy is much easier than retraining a full grown dog. The training technique is the same but the physical effort to stop or control an adult dog is greater. Dog training will be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog, no matter the age of your dog, if you are consistent with your training. 

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Barking Mad!

WHY MUST DOGS BARK?!! And yes, I sure do understand that the sound of a barking dog is anything but pleasant!. However, there is something we need to keep in mind and that is…..Barking is our best friends way of communicating by alarming us, or his or her “pack” that something just isn’t right. Then there is of coarse behavior problems that incorporate excessive barking that is out of control.

Why does my dark need to bark every time he see’s another dog? Why does he bark when I let him outside in the backyard? Why does he bark when someone comes to do the door? My dog’s barking drives me nuts! How do I make him stop!. Every time I leave the house, my dog barks. My puppy won’t stop barking when I put him in his crate…and so on.

For Barking That Is Unrelated To Behavior Problems…

What we want to do first, is understand WHY your dog is barking in the first place. Instead of getting frustrated at the first sound of a bark, take a moment to analyze what just happened or what’s going on in his environment at that very moment to stimulate him to bark? Is this something you can change or alter ( whatever just happened to lessen the barking )? If it’s something you do not have control over to alter or change then you will need to come with a plan to deal with it , take control over it , lessen it and or if you’re lucky, stop it.

Some Of The Common Reasons Why Dogs Bark

Noise or someone at the door – This bark is an alarm bark. Your best friend is doing 2 things here, he’s letting you know someone is at the door and warning the intruder ( in his eyes ). You can’t change your dogs natural instinct to warn and protect, but you can train him to stop , calm or lessen his warning sounds by being consistent in giving a firm command verbally “STOP!” and using a hand signal that you’ve created that means “business” to the dog. ( we have a pointed figure that sternly points to the dog with “I mean business look” and it works!). Make him sit and then when he stops and sits, praise him for a job well done. Like anything else, it takes practice and time and most importantly, it takes consistency from all family members EVERY TIME someone is at the door.

Barking at night:
 Same as above, your pooch is being protective of his pack and his home.

Barking when your kids play: Fido is either expressing how excited he is and that he wants to be included, or he’s voicing his opinion that what ever is going on ( like kids rough housing ) must stop – he see’s at as pack fighting. Using your firm “STOP!” AND The Warning Finger with a Sit command to make him stop. Once he does, even for a second, you should reward the behavior for stopping ( as he stopped not when he starts barking again ). Be consistent during this training . Be on top of his barking with your training and rewarding.

Barking Related To Behavior Problems

Barking when the owners are out or away from the home. First, humans need to remember, we are the pack leader and we say who, we say what, and we say how. – if we are truly the pack leader we gently lead and set boundaries for our furry friend that will lessen behavior issues. So if your dog is barking when you are away from the home excessively ( doesn’t count for new puppies yet ), then you want to examine the amount of freedom of the home you give your dog. If he’s allowed to sleep on the furniture, counter surf, tear your favorite shoes, sleep on the kids furniture, pee in the house caused by improper house training or lack of house training, then chances are you may end up with stressed dog when you leave the pack. To try to fix this, you will not only need to set boundaries in the home for your furry friend, but you will need to work on creating security in your dog that you will come home.
To do this, you will need to set aside a good weekend to get the ball rolling and work in 10 min intervals by going through this training routine:

I firmly believe that when humans leave the home they should not touch, pet, talk, not even look at their dog during the EARLY training periods when you bring home your puppy and are area or crate training. Surely, a new dog or puppy will yelp and bark for your return. ( pulling at your heart strings and even bring tears to your eyes because all you want to do is turn around drown your puppy in reassurance ) STOP! Trust me when I say you’ll have a lifetime of hugs and reassurance to give, but right now, it’s important you set the stage for a happy, well adjusted, calm and secure friend. Reacting to his barking WILL only increase the barking and reward him for it. The puppy will soon learn that NOT reacting to the barking will NOT bring the owner back. Slowly over time, your puppy will be able to go into his area, or crate without a single YELP and simply lie down without a sound. You can give your puppy a pet on the head, a kiss, a cuddle and leave without the big scene. You return, he’s spread out as far as his crate will allow and you can open the door to the crate and he’ll even take his time coming out. Hugs, cuddles and praise. A GOOD well, adjusted happy dog!.

They say that a dogs bark is worse then it’s bite – That statement can be true especially for your neighbors with dogs that are not well socialized, properly trained or by uncaring owners. 

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Pet Facts

The Average Dog will live for 14 Years
The Average Cat will live for 18 Years
The Average Parrot will live for 60 Years

Pet Ownership is THRIVING in Canada with ….

6.435 Million Cats!
6;04 Million Dogs!
5 Million Birds, Fish, Rabbits and other small animals!
Over 100,000 Horses that are personally owned!

Information was provided by the Humane Society of Canada

WOW! That is a lot of pets! 

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Advantages Of A Pet Sitter

I am so pleasantly surprised each time we receive a phone call inquiring about pet sitting services and the frequent response of “I had no idea about this wonderful service”! or something to that affect. It gives me the opportunity to share the incredible benefits of using a reputable and professional pet sitting service! I’m excited for the client and I am super excited for the 2 or 4 legged client also because it means the following…

#1 ) No more Kennels ( and that is Kenneling when the dog and owners do not wish for this option ).
#2 ) Less stress on your pets. Pets are happier at home!!!. It’s their home – sweet – home too and given a choice that’s where they would want to be!
#3) Continuation of your pet/s diet , sleeping, eliminating and diet routines. Pets are healthiest when these things are not interrupted.
#4) No exposure to illness! A Biggy! You greatly reduce if not eliminate exposure to other sick animals.
#6 ) Get some freedom back . Once a client you’ll have more opportunity for daytime, weekend travel. Whether a day trip or working late at work, a Professional Pet Sitting Company who offers these services will have you covered. Go on! Enjoy your life guilt free!
#7) Crime deterrent. Having a Professional Pet Sitter stopping by your home can deter crime. Someone is coming and going.
#8) No Travel for you – you don’t have to lug all your pets belongings anywhere. Your pet stays at home with all his or her favorite toys, food and bed!.
#9) Special Services – Professional Pet Sitters often include or at least offer you home care services such as watering plants, picking up your mail, newspapers, altering blinds, lights, ensuring your water pipes haven’t frozen up in winter, watering the grass and gardens outside.
#10) Peace of Mind – If you have a Professional Pet Sitter, you instantly gain “Peach Of Mind”. With all the above benefits listed, wouldn’t you feel better leaving your 2 and 4 legged friend to enjoy a family vacation knowing he is professional hands, capable of dealing with emergencies, your home is being watched and cared for and on top of it all…just to add a little cherry on top – you’ll also get email updates and pictures of your furbaby enjoying his own mini vacation!

Now that’s what we call living! 

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