If you’re not doing anything 1/27/13 afternoon…

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come meet with the "bird people" of the OAS.  We're having a dinner and a movie event at the Hardesty Library, 8316 East 93rd Street, where we'll share a meal and then watch "Life with Alex".  If you are the parent of an African grey parrot, or wanting to learn more about them, this will be of interest to you.

So plan to join us at 2:00.  Check the event board at the library lobby to see what room we're in.  Bring the family and plan to have a good time while learning more about what the Oklahoma Avicultural Society is all about.

Hope to see you there!

Published in Activities, Meetings

Working. Working. Meeting.

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Cockatoo w-pen

This is the first day of 2013.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is planning for a prosperous and fulfilling new year.

I have finally had a chance to update the website, and have made some changes that were needed.  Because this is an activity that I do on a volunteer basis, I haven't  had a chance to complete the membership functions.   If you are an OAS member and have had difficulty with this new site, please bear with me.  I'm still trying to learn how to use the software.

But, in the meantime, plan to come to the next General Meeting.  It's on Sunday, January 27 from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Hardesty Regional Library off Memorial and 93rd Street South.  We've got a new calendar of activities lined up, and you'll want to be a part of the fun.

And you may want to start gathering those things you'd like to donate to the raffle table at the March 2, 2013 Spring Fling Bird Fair.  I know the Board would also appreciate if you could look at your calendar and plan some time to help out at this very popular and busy day at the Green Country Event Center.

Published in Activities, Bird Fair

It’s Live!

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You may have noticed that the OAS website is a little different.  We've updated using a WordPress format, and I think it's pretty nifty.

You'll see some blog posts about caring for our birds.  These are articles which were buried on the old site, but have a lot of information.  If you have the time, you may want to read through them.  Some information may be dated, but it's generally a worthwhile read.

A further note-November 18 is the last meeting for 2012.  It's our Holiday meeting, where we enjoy good food, good fellowship, and play "dirty Santa".  All members are invited.

And if you have any ideas, please contact us through that link.  Your comments will be read and considered.

Published in Uncategorized

Protecting Cage (Exotic) and Aviary Birds Against Exotic Newcastle Disease

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F. Dustan Clark
Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
University of Arkansas
O205 POSC Fayetteville, AR 72701
479-575-4375 fdclark@uark.edu
On October 1, 2002 Exotic Newcastle disease (END) was confirmed in backyard poultry
and gamefowl in southern California. Since that time, numerous backyard premises have been
quarantined for END. The disease has also spread into flocks of commercial layer chickens in
the same area of California. The California Department of Agriculture and USDA/APHIS are
presently working to eradicate the disease. Several counties or portions thereof are under a state
and federal quarantine to restrict bird movement. The disease has also been confirmed in the Las
Vegas, Nevada area in backyard chickens. To date there has not been a problem diagnosed in
exotic cage and aviary birds in these areas. However, these types of birds are susceptible to the
disease and as such are at risk. An outbreak in exotic cage and aviary birds can be extremely
costly. An outbreak in 1980 in Florida cost USDA/APHIS over 1 million dollars to eradicate and
resulted in the death of approximately 8,000 birds and additional depopulation of over 30,000
birds in 23 states.
The causative agent of END is a virus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Infected birds
can shed the virus in the feces and other body secretions and some birds may not be showing
clinical signs. The virus can persist in feces and moist soil for long periods of time. Birds can
also contract the disease by direct contact with infected birds, feces or other body secretions,
exposure over short distances to aerosols from coughing and sneezing, or contaminated
equipment, clothing, etc. This virus has a variable incubation period (17 days or less)
depending on the specie of bird infected, strain of virus, other infections in the bird, various
management factors, stressors, etc. Some exotic cage birds are highly susceptible (Amazon and
Eclectus parrots, Cockatoos, Macaws) whereas others act as carriers and may not develop
clinical signs (finches, Lories, Mynah birds, Budgerigars). The clinical signs of the disease are
also variable and may resemble other diseases. Some birds contract the disease and die without
showing signs whereas others develop disease and recover. Nervous system signs such as
tremors, shaking of the head, twisting of the head, and paralysis may be present. Other signs that
can be observed are depression, lack of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, eye
and nasal discharges, coughing, etc. Birds may or may not develop lesions associated with the
disease. Lesions observed can be small hemorrhages on fatty tissues or in the digestive tract and
respiratory tract. The spleen and liver may also be enlarged in some birds. However, since the
symptoms and lesions are not exclusive for END the disease must be differentiated from similar
diseases. The disease can be diagnosed in live birds by virus isolations from fecal, choanal,
cloacal, and tracheal swabs. In birds that have died the virus can be isolated from various tissues
such as lung, brain, intestines, etc. Serological testing can also be used as a screening test. There
is no effective cure for the disease and the disease is eradicated by strict quarantine, surveillance,
and depopulation. The best way to reduce the risk of introducing the disease into your birds is by
following Biosecurity practices (Additional information on Biosecurity is available at http://www.uark.edu/depts/posc/avianindex.html) . Some examples of such practices are :
1. Do not purchase birds that appear sick or that may have been illegally brought into the
country.
2. Avoid sick birds if at all possible.
3. Practice good hygiene principles.
4. Clean and disinfect thoroughly.
5. Do not visit aviaries that have sick birds.
6. Prevent rodents and wild birds from entering the facilities where birds are kept.
7. If you visit a facility with birds that may be suspected of being infected it is important to
change clothes, shower, wash your hands and thoroughly disinfect all items taken on the premise
before contact with your birds.
8. Report signs of disease immediately and get a veterinary diagnosis immediately.
For additional information or to report disease contact any of the following:
County Agent, Local veterinarian
State Veterinarian State Veterinary Diagnostic laboratory
Extension Veterinarian

Published in Bird Care, Bird Dangers

AVIAN NUTRITION 101

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Bird ownership is both a joy and a responsibility. Learning about the feathered friends we share our lives with is an ongoing process. For those of you who are considering buying your first bird or for those of us who have kept various types of birds for years, there is always something new to learn! The more homework you do, the better prepared you will be to take care of these magnificent creatures. The happier the parrot; the happier the owner. The happier the owner; the happier the parrot.

Nutrition is extremely important to a bird’s physical and psychological well-being. David J. Henzier’s book, Healthy Diet, Healthy Bird: A Complete Guide to Avian Nutrition, contains a wealth of valuable information. Generally, birds need a ratio of 8% fat to 12-14% protein with the remainder being carbohydrates. This ratio will vary in certain species and a breeder bird’s diet will require more protein than a regular maintenance diet.

Vitamin A is extremely important to the health of bird’s skin, respiratory, other epithelial tissues and feather condition. Insufficient vitamin A is the most common vitamin deficiency seen in pet birds. However, too much vitamin A can be just as harmful, so don’t overdo the supplements. Good vitamin A food sources are yellow and orange-colored & dark-green leafy vegetables. Squash, sweet potatoes and yams, carrots, egg yokes, alfalfa sprouts and kale are just a few good choices.

Never feed your birds chocolate, alcohol, avocado, rhubarb or products containing caffeine. The seeds or pits of apricot, peach, cherry, plum, nectarines and apples contain sugars which convert and release cyanide when ingested. Seeds from melons are OK. Foods high in fat, salt and sugar are no-no’s.

Sunflower seeds are not nutritious, are vitamin-deficient and high in fat. Dried fruits are O.K. as long as they are not “crystallized.” Breakfast cereals such as Shredded Wheat and Cheerios are good for birds. These can be served dry or soaked in natural fruit juice and even topped with grated almonds - a good calcium source. Parrots should never be given milk because it contains lactose, a sugar which parrots cannot digest. Cereals with extra vitamins and iron can be harmful since iron is stored and can reach dangerous levels in birds. Check the labels.

Though milk is not recommended, yogurt is an excellent additive especially if it contains natural, live cultures. The acidophilus bacteria is beneficial and helps fight off invasion by harmful bacteria in the digestive system. Hard cheese, such as cheddar, can be a treat rich in calcium and protein. However, because it is high in fat, it should not be offered as a daily food. When considering whether to give your birds table foods or snacks, ask yourself, “Is this food healthy and nutritious for me?”

For more information about nutrition and other aspects of bird care, read "The Orginal Flying Machine", "The Companion Parrot Quarterly" and Bird Talk magazine.