Hand of Clod
Bad bad things happened in the world. My earlier hopes that the World Cup cast a spell to stop that were just wishful thinking. My blinkers and rose tinted glasses stay good so far to prevent those miserable stuff from getting to my fingertips and keyboard. But you can read that for yourself and not in this particular blog.
Perhaps it was fitting the first gaol was a beautiful goal by South Africa who went on to draw that game. A new term also entered soccer vocabulary. ‘Hand of Clod’ got created to join the ‘Hand of God’ that put France into South Africa kicking out Ireland in the process. I fail to understand why the ‘Hand of Clod’ was blamed as if only the goalkeeper played. How about the rest of the English players? They on the field for decoration purpose only? No blame on the feet attached to the multimillion dollar English legs which could not even kick in more goals?
We all saw a band of spunky no-hopers USA tweaking that tail of the mighty highly paid English lion who turned out to be toothless pussycat that my cowardly DomDom might even be able to intimidate.
Long live the underdog and the minnows. May they take courage from that SA/Mex and USA/England games, that playing with courage and skill can bring down mythical giants and do some lion killing or taming themselves.
3 hour and day old Mash
I first like to show Riam parroty joke where she took almonds and brazil nuts from foraging jars to fly back to cage to add to her mash bowl.
The last three reports indicated very clearly Riam ate her mash. Her consumption was not consistent on daily basis. She ate more mash when I removed all other food.
But even with lots of sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nut , she still ate lots of mash.
When I did not replace the mash in the afternoon, she ate similar amount as when I replaced the mash during my lunch return.
My last report and note taking generated a fair bit of heat towards me in one particular forum. The conventional thinking was that mash would go bad and sour after 3 hours and must be removed to avoid possible poisoning of the birdie. That I am heretical and offended sensibility in suggesting otherwise.
I even believed in that thinking of 3 hours limit in the past before.
Not withstanding I have the luxury to drive back for lunch, and to change the mash, I wonder about the time when that might not be possible and the mash left there the whole day until I come back from work. And even so, with that 3 hours dateline that people declared will cause fungus and bacteria to multiply to poison your bird, I even had this nagging worry at 10 am if the mash I left at 7am was turning poisonous. And again at 330pm if the mash I left at 1230pm was turning poisonous before I got back at 5 pm
I reminded my wife in the past before to remove the mash after three hours but stopped doing that as she often forgot, and I often forgot to remind her. Myself forgetting that 3 hours when I was home myself did not help.
That being said, what about others who cannot get back for lunch and what about the mash then?
Even for those who can devote 24 hours of life to birdie and need not work or have other life do they go with a stop watch to change the mash? Can they do that on a consistent basis?
It was that trip to Dubai and the clear indication that Riam ate mash left over night that sparked my desire to test how long the mash can last.
I relied on that gourmet of Riamfada. You with greys know how discerning they can be on food. I had taken Riam out for lunch and dinner often enough. We would be given a plate of salad at the beginning. Riam would happily take the cucumber slices earlier on. Then she would refuse to eat the rest of cucumber 20 minutes later. I thought that was because she was full. But I had not reckoned with the waiters and cooks in the restaurants who adored Riamfada. They would go into the kitchen to cut cucumber slices afresh to take a plate to Riamfada. Who then continued to eat those fresh cucumber slices refusing to eat the 20 minutes old slices. Tinkerbell was also particular on her food. If the noodles were not from the best of the noodle shop, she would not eat. If I thawed salmon sashimi kept in freezer, she would that that piece, flew that to Halftail the cat and drop that in front of her. Nothing but the freshest salmon sashimi would do for her. Tests done in sushi shop by sushi chef fan showed she could pick every time the freshest sashimi from plate in front of her to delight of everyone including me.
I cannot imagine if the mash had turned bad that Riamfada would continue to eat the mash.
I extended that mash over into the next day for just 2 days. The way it was written in that forum, I was thought to be so cruel in poisoning Riamfada by forcing her to eat the mash left overnight.
Do not forget that Riam had plenty of sunflower seeds/almonds/brazil nuts and fruits in foraging jars all over in her room . So if Riam ate the mash, the mash had to be good enough.
Riam was not kept starved to force her to eat the mash.
Those who known me from the early days of Tinkerbell would recall the tar and feathers given to me when I allowed her to be flighted. I had so many letters declaring that I would clip her wings if I truly love her with that innuendoes that I did not love Tinkerbell by allowing her to be flighted. Nowadays, it is acceptable and even encouraged in many forums to allow your bird to be flighted and the benefits to the bird of being flighted. Perhaps if me and others like me had not started the ball rolling and gained acceptance of keeping parrots flighted , many more parrots would have their wings clipped.
I am used to the bashing of me when I first proposed using harness and leash to take your bird out safely. Almost all of that by people who never used harness and leash but knew so much about harness and leash. I know now that many folks are using harness and leash to take their birdies out safely, and no more bashing of them either.
Let us consider what are the additives that allow traditional birdie food to stay ‘fresh’ in the box without refrigeration whereas the mash must stay frozen or refrigerated.
Here is the list of the common additives found in pellets.
Ethoxyquin: Is listed and identified as a harsh hazardous chemical by OSHA. It was originally used to preserve rubber. This is not allowed in human food and some feel it is not a chemical that they want in their bird food. The FDA has asked manufacturers for voluntary reduction in its use in pet foods and is in the process of deciding whether or not to ban the use of it altogether. Bird’s bodies can not get rid of it like a dog or cat and it then builds up and causes problems. Ethoxyquin promotes kidney carcinogenesis, significantly increases the incidence of stomach tumors, enhanced bladder carcinogenesis and urinary bladder carcinogenesis. Cancers of this type are the most lethal and fastest acting, the swiftest effects being seen among animals.
Artificial Colors: Most people are aware of toxic side effects of artificial colors and flavors from coal tar derivatives such as Red #40, a possible carcinogen, and Yellow #6, which causes sensitivity to fatal viruses in animals. Artificial colors DO cause yellow feather discoloration in Eclectus.
BHT/BHA: These petroleum products are used to stabilize fats in foods. In the process of metabolizing BHA and BHT, chemical changes occur in the body. These changes have caused reduced growth rates and they inhibit white blood cell stimulation. In pets, they can exhibit reactions such as skin blisters, hemorrhaging of the eye, weakness, discomfort in breathing, a reduction of the body's own antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase and may cause cancer. According to Dr. Wendell Belfield, DVM, a practicing vet for some 26 years, both BHA and BHT are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction and are banned in some European countries.
Propylene Glycol: Used as a de-icing fluid for airplanes, this chemical is added to food and skin products to maintain texture and moisture as well as inhibiting bacteria growth in products. It also inhibits the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive system by decreasing the amount of moisture in the intestinal tract leading to constipation and cancer. It can affect the liver and kidneys and causes the destruction of red blood cells.
Salt: Added as a preservative, salt can irritate the stomach lining, cause increased thirst and aggravate heart and kidney problems through fluid retention.
Sodium Nitrite: Used in the curing of meats, this substance participates in a chemical reaction in the body that becomes carcinogenic. It is used also in pet foods to add color.
Sugar and other Sweeteners: The most common sweeteners in pet/bird foods are beet sugar, corn sugar, molasses and sucrose. They are used as preservatives and have the side effect of creating sugar addicts in pets. They require almost no digestion and are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. These will provide sugar highs (just as humans experience) and subsequent lows (moodiness), inhibit the proper growth of friendly intestinal bacteria and they virtually shut down the digestive system while being processed. Sugar can also contribute to diabetes and hypoglycemia, cataract development, obesity and arthritis.
I almost begin to feel the declarations that mash have lifespan of 3 hours which can then become poisonous for the birdie were started by commercial bird food companies to frighten people into buying their boxes of birdie food with their additives.
Then other people, which include yours truly here, accepted whats being said because ‘ that was always said’ and went on in good faith repeating that to yet other people.
Ethoxyquin , originally used to preserve rubber , BHT/BHA , petroleum products , Propylene Glycol, de-icing fluid for airplanes, are better for the health of the birdie?
Then you should stick to commercial birdie pellets that need not be refridgerated and can be left in the bowls for days.
Or mash that you prepare yourself and left with birdie for the day?
Riamfada seemed to indicate she was happy with the mash the whole day. That should not surprise me.
When I was in Taiwan and with Tinkerbell, I had no time to get back for lunch and the mash was left in morning till I got back in the evening. But I had no weighing machine or inclination to get weighing machine then. And her room in Taiwan was not aircond which meant an ambient room temperature of 30++C in summer.
Yingshiong was fed on Yingshiong Mash, a subset based on Tinkerbell mash. That mash was left there from morning until evening.
As I said in my last report, I stopped that experiment and changed Riamfada’s mash when I got home for lunch.
I have no longer that twinge of guilt at 10 am or at 330pm where the mash left with Riamfada passed that 3 hour period.
I will not have that fear either should I have the leave the mash with Riamfada for the entire day. Or even into the next day.
I think I fear those multi syllabic additives used to preserve rubber, or petroleum by-products or de-icing fluid for airplanes found in commercial pellets even more than the hypothetical fungus and bacteria which are at least natural.
If you feel birds are delicate creatures and must be kept in isolation from all germs and bacteria, then do that by all means. How birds survived and thrived the way they did in the wild before man came along I really wonder.
I am not any expert, just a common layman. I am not the expert that other experts want to claim that they are.
But Tinkerbell, Yingshiong and Riamfada are still alive and not keeled over as yet.
You, the readers, should take my studies and records for what it is worth.
You, the readers, should decide on your own fears and your own paths.
Read and see how Tinkerbell mash is made
Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
Outdoor hide&seek recalls
More photos in flickr folder 'Outdoor hide&seek recall '
The magpies on roof top that I failed to see that buzzed Riam in last report. I did not have the courage to do that 2 corner hide and seek recall after that. All recalls seen here are just a one corner hide and seek recall.
In the earlier report, I wrote
'It was fascinating to see how Dommie prepared for that, He would crouch and dig very intently. Then he would swing his body 60 degrees to dig at same spot, and again repeat that swinging his body another 60 degrees. He would have dug a perfect round hole about 8 inches deep before he would make use of it. If it was poo, he would crouch over the hole, kind of tiptoeing on all fours with bum raised above the ground. If it was pee, he would do it very low down with bum almost touching the ground and not on tip toes. He then would cover the results, with 60 degree turn of body each time.'
My wife took a video of that, less the last business part. Readers with puerile curiosity on how Dom dug that hole can see for themselves how much space required in litter box. Note he was restricted by 2 walls, so that 60 degrees turn I saw in wide open sand did not really apply then.
In time my wife might take video of Dom doing that right in middle of empty garden in villa across the road.
In last couple of days, Riam did very nice touch downs on me. She flew to me, went on a bit beyond and turned 180 degrees in the air to land on my shoulder facing the direction she came from. That was so beautiful that we tried to shoot that.
Then with the camera in my wife's hand, she did the more normal landing on me.
So you know what those first two sets of sequential shots in folder below tried to show. Then in the walk today, when my wife was not holding her camera, Riamfada flew to me, turned 180 degree arc, and landed on my shoulder facing the direction she came from
More photos in flickr folder 'Outdoor hide&seek recall '
The neem tree is fruiting. I tasted the fruit to be sweet and sticky. Riam seemed to like the neem fruit even as I limit her to one fruit. I have been asking around if neem fruits are poisonous. I am very wary as neem leaves, and products seemed to be used for skin diseases and as a kind of insecticide. If you know, please tell me.
Riam having a fruit from the neem tree behind her.
In the compound of that villa, the sequential shots of a one corner hide & seek recall was done. I walked around one corner and when I was out of sight, initiate recall.
Riam flew to me and around the corner. At which my wife released her finger. But Riam flew to me, continued on to fly away in a big circle before she came back to me.
Sequence seen here
I first walk around a corner
then Riam was called
Then Riam turned that corner
We were more prepared today. My wife continued to hold that button down. Riam was called to me. She flew to me and then turned to do a big circle outside and turned to fly back to me. All that was captured on camera and be uploaded next report.
What you see at the end of
and the front bit of
is a voilational recall. Riam was left on that metal gate and I walked away.
I did not call Riam. It was up to Riam to decide on her own to fly to me. Which she did
I then did another hide & seek recall that can be seen in latter part of
I walked behind a corner and called. Riam came.
My wife followed and continued shooting into
The latter part showed yet another hide & seek recall.
Part of sequence shown here below
Important old letters on harness
Harness for flighted parrots – To Nick and folks
‘ cargo cult'
'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper '
Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
If you like the photos here, they are all taken by my wife and uploaded on my behalf by her.
She has her own sets of photos in her Flickr account here
FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust
I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice
For those that through no fault of their own, or otherwise, and had to part painfully and unwillingly from their beastie or birdies, whether in the past, or the present, or in the future, I dedicate the saga of Riamfada that I had wrote , and continue to write to that final handover , to you all.