From the Bird Club Library

Years ago, when I was deeply involved in my bird club, I wrote a bunch of articles every month for the newsletter. I included a book review from the club’s library, because few members were taking advantage of the great books there. Here’s one on a nice, general knowledge book.

Raising Healthy Birds by Kathleen Etchepare and the Editors of Bird Talk and Bird Breeders magazines.

Bowtie Press, 1995

I can think of several people who would read the foreword and put this book down in disgust. They would never pick it up again, and never find out if it holds important information that they could use. The reason is, this book is aimed at those who want to be “good parents” to their exotic birds. But for me, there is a phrase in the foreword that sums up what I enjoy and expect from fellow Aviculturists in the exchange of knowledge: “Educate yourself; devour all the information you can; and then use the information you believe best applies to your pet.”

Overall, this book provides lots of information to start with, but it’s very general because it speaks to as many bird species as possible. Once you gather the basics here, you want to move on and do deeper research on your bird. The central role of good nutrition in keeping healthy birds is the focus of the book. This is its most valuable contribution.

There are great photos inside, full color, and recipes that can be shared with bird and human. Gee, what a great idea! There is a clear list of what to bring with you to the veterinarian’s office, and a list of poisonous plants to avoid. And in case you have been told otherwise, like I was, this book assures us birds cannot catch colds from humans.

Actual avian vets wrote the later chapters about illness and preventative health care. Recognizing the signs of illness in a prey animal like parrots is stressed. Comparisons of seed diets vs. pelleted diets let one make up one’s own mind, and doesn’t pull any punches. Seeds do not have all the nutrition a bird needs, but pellets are made in various processes that include heating the food. Neither is perfect, but neither is ideal alone.

I wouldn’t mind having this book in my own library, there are great charts and photos and lots of helpful hints to make life with your parrot or flock much more enjoyable. I am glad to know this book will be available for me in the library. See for yourself!

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