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#33237 - 01/05/07 03:15 AM 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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snapper Offline
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I am surprised that there is very little mention of eucalyptus trees or gumtrees or acacia's,
In the Australian bush as well as suburban areas there is an abundance of these type of plants/trees in Australia. Grass seeds are another favourite for Too's that graze in the wild.
I wonder if there is any effect, of feeding unnatural foods to Too's. (By unnatural I mean cooked treats and foods that wouldn't be found in Australia.) I can understand that in certain countries these are not available. (in my eyes it seems almost a crime not to allow these majestic birds to eat the foods they would instinctively eat in the wild.)

I know there are species of Australian trees that will grow in tropical, temperate and cold environments.
I also know that Snapper loves to chew on fresh tucker.
I just uploaded a short video of Snapper enjoying some Gum tree shoots that i picked for him. Watch the video "Snap's bushtucker" and listen to a flock of Rainbow Lorikeets flying past. It is a twice daily event here. There are hundreds of them.

http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p65/Pawls/

#33238 - 01/05/07 03:52 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Okay, now we're jealous! Hundreds of lories!

That's a nice setup Snapper has: big feed trough, and a mirror so he can make sure his beak is clean after eating <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />

I'm convinced. I don't have a cockatoo, but the tiel gets fresh whatever-I've-got from the garden in season, and the houseplants in winter. Any ideas where to get gum-tree seeds or seedlings here in the states?


Jody
#33239 - 01/05/07 11:56 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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hey jm47,
I was thrilled to read your approval of the setup I have. laugh (I change the perch branches and move things around from time to time)

I was also pleased to read that you answered my next question before it was asked, I was going to ask about mirrors.
(Snapper seems quite content when he is admiring himself in the mirror and regularly rests there by the mirror as well)
I wanted to know what other purpose it served.

But, On the subject of seedlings or seeds. I was wondering about the same thing (how can you guys in the U.S. get some confused )

I will be speaking to some Australian Customs Officers next week.
I will make some enquiries about export. At this point I'm not sure what the legal requirements are or if it is even possible to export these plants. As either seed or plant. Are permits required, or fumigation/quarantine etc? but I will look into it.

#33240 - 01/06/07 11:20 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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I suspect some stuff is available in the States, but I bet it isn't called the same thing here. (Sort of like "tucker" and "billy" and even the word "wild", which used to mean "very angry") Acacia is a familiar word, but I wonder whether the tree or shrub you have by that name is the same one the nurseries here sell as acacia.
Eucalyptus is available in several varieties, but again, I don't know if it's the same thing you call eucalyptus. I need to do some more research on this, but haven't had time just recently. To be honest, I've had an errrm, interesting day or two here: didn't get the door of the upright freezer properly closed the other night, and am having to do a bunch of very fast conversion of thawing vegies and fruits into cakes and pies, on short notice. The nice thing is, I may work myself into oblivion for a day or 3 or 4, but then it'll be a YEAR before I ever find myself rolling pastry late at night before a potluck laugh .

edit: Some birds enjoy mirrors and others get so excited or frightened or angry, the mirror has to be removed or covered. Snapper seems to have a good time posturing for the bird in the mirror, judging by the video. One of my guys (neither one is a cockatoo) just cuddles up to his mirror at every opportunity; the other sort of ignores it or acts like he's scared of it. Each bird is different, sort of like any other living creature able to move around and respond to visual stimuli. . .


Jody
#33241 - 01/07/07 12:04 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Wow, eucalyptus! I just tried to do a little research and got estimates of from 300-700 species, almost all of which are Australian. On top of that, many trees called "gum" down under are really species of eucalytus. I'm going to look into this further but it's playoffs today! <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />

#33242 - 01/07/07 01:45 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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My apologies for not being more specific but i was just making a general comment, I realise there are in fact hundreds of plants that fall into the description of "gumtree" or "eucalyptus"
The reason I mentioned it is that the idea of preparing treats (like chicken or cheese for example) troubles me.

I wouldn't feed my Too many of the things that you (in the U.S.) seem to feed your birds. Having said that I am trying to broaden my Too's diet with limited success. I guess it is a case of doing what you can with what you have.

#33243 - 01/07/07 03:24 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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laugh I don't watch playoffs, but I did find that about 70% of Australia's native vegetation is eucalyptus of varoius kinds. Amazin'! Looks like somebody had a big plantation of eucalyptus trees, perhaps for the medical use, and weeded it really well! It is touted as a repellant for mosquitos, gnats, and all sorts of other annoying bloodsucking insects. If you can find a variety that will grow in your yard, you can provide not only bush tucker, but also an area less likely to attract carriers of Dread Diseases! Wonder why Wendy (our exchange student from Australia) didn't tell us all this forty-some years ago? laugh The info might have saved me at least (I tend to USE stuff like that) hours and hours of itching eek
Ah, well, that which doesn't kill us makes us tougher...scratching produces scar tissue :p .

Paul, like you, I tend to lean toward raw and natural. I do make versions of some of our breads and cookies for the birds, but I figure if God wanted birds to have already-ground-up grains and nuts, He would have made them without beaks for shell removal and chewing, or at least made the nuts and seed without hulls. My favorite food prep is done mostly with a knife.


Jody
#33244 - 01/08/07 08:03 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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The Cuctoms Officers I spoke to offered no information about the possible export of seeds/seedlings.
I have had a bit of a look into seed exports. It appears that there is some projects underway that are exporting Acacias, Casuarinas and Eucalypts in an effort to reforest various parts of the world.
Have a look at
http://www.fao.org/docrep/q1460e/q1460e06.htm
for some more details. It seems these plants are in high demand all over the world (indicating that there may already be stock in U.S. or somewhere closer to U.S. than Australia)

#33245 - 01/13/07 05:15 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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There is a company in Victoria which can ship eucalypt leaves and toys world wide- the cater mainly to budgie owners but I'm sure too's would love their stuff

My tiel Irwin loves his gum braches and leaves- not sure if his actually eats them but he loves to shed chew and destroy fresh leaves and twigs- sure keeps him quiet on a Sunday morning

Budgie world homepage (I hope it is okay to post this link- the sell only bird products and I didn't see any breeder links, please delete it if it's not appropriate)

#33246 - 02/05/07 01:47 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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smile Hi Snapper is lovely, Billy & I live in Aust to, down on the Mornington Peninsula in Vic, He loves hes bush tucker, Toos are a lot smarter than we give them credit for they know what not to eat so you can offer them just about anything that is naturally grown, if they refuse any of the offerings you know that it is bad for them, I have been told that too much bread is not good for Toos? Billy has bannana on toast every morning for breakfast followed by two apples and orange juice, i wonder if l am doing the wrong thing? Billy loves the mirror as well but l don't have one in hes cage, i was told it stops them talking, but l do show him the mirror after he has had hes weekly shower with me and he kisses it and says "HELLO THERE" "WHAT YOU DOIN" i wonder if he thinks its another too?? its nice to know of an Aussie on the same time zone. i've added you to my buddy list, hope you dont mind, we should have a chat in the chat room soon!! :p

#33247 - 02/06/07 11:07 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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I haven't posted in a while...
Update.... Snapper is refeathering on his chest after a recent plucking episode brought on by a bacterial infection. He now gets mist sprayed a couple of times a day (this is supposed to help with feather regrowth and reduce plucking as apparently a too won't pluck when it's wet) and it encourages him to preen as he dries.
Snapper is eating corn, beans, peas, carrots and his daily fresh tucker. his seed intake is greatly reduced from what it was. I have observed a noticable change is snapper's
behaviour which I associate with the diet change...
As for the chat... My Baby Billy The Kid. no problem.

#33248 - 02/06/07 11:40 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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One can get eucalyptus {California tucker :p ) at the following site:

EucProducts of California

For those interested in the American history of the Eucalypts, here is a fairly exhaustive piece:

Eucalyptus

#33249 - 02/07/07 12:31 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Wow, great idea! I never thought about feeding eucalyptus leaves to Toos, but it makes sense!

Thanks Charlie for the links, i'm defenitly going to read/learn some more about eucalyptus as a food!

Ellen smile

#33250 - 02/07/07 01:21 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Eucalyptus leaves are great for Cockatoos but please NEVER give your birds Eucalyptus ie bottled for using as a liniment etc.
Aussie Jim.

#33251 - 02/07/07 03:51 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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I have always believed that most problems with captive birds, other exotics too, is they lack something from the natural diet.

In nature, I'm betting, they eat all kinds of thing daily. They probably eat what is ripe and ready to eat at the right time. One day may be new shoots, another day may be a swarm of insects, the next day may be very ripe fruits.

I wish there was some way I could mimic what they eat and when they eat it. Right now we can only try to give them the best.

#33252 - 02/07/07 05:09 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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I was tooling around on the web, hunting for a live seedling I could plant and have some hope of keeping it alive in this area, and found several sites that gave me pause. This is one:
www.prbo.org/OBSERVER/Observer108/focus108.2.html

Knowing that thousands of these trees have been planted in the past couple of centuries, and that firefighters call them "gasoline trees" and that they choke out native vegetation, has about got me convinced that if I do get a eucalypt, it is going to stay in a pot eek


Jody
#33253 - 02/07/07 11:42 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Maybe this will help ?

http://www.geocities.com/scribblyfaq/birdfeeding.html
(think the above website should be safe from breeding as its for people that enjoy observing nature)

And
Possible grass seeds :

MILLET SEED,ANISEED,BLACK RAPESEED,BLUE MAW,PAGIMA GREEN,BROWN PERILLA SEED, BUCKWHEAT,CHIORY SEED,CANARY SEED,
PLANTAIN SEED,RUBSEN PESEED,FONIOPADDY,SAFFLOWER SEED,
GOLD OF PLEASURE,GROATS,HEMPSEED,TEAZEL SEED,WHITE LETTUCE SEED, LINSEED,WHITE PERILLA SEED,MARRIAN THISTLE.

#33254 - 02/08/07 12:51 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Well I've notice several in my area. Time to ask for clippings.

#33255 - 02/08/07 02:01 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Hi Snapper,

I'm from Perth Western Australia. I have a wonderful little weero (teil) called Gero. On my daily morning walks, I notice flocks of Rainbow Lorries feeding on yellow flowering gum and short beaked corellas feeding on gum nuts from Jarrah (eucalptus) trees. Both pink and grey galahs and white correllas also feed on the ground and it appears that they indulge in some native grasses, similar to millet sprays. Do you get bottlebrush or what is known as grevillea in your neck of the woods, because my little weero just loves it, one of the main purposes for my daily morning constitutional. These grevilleas are shrub like bushes growing to an average two metres in height and have a flower which all the parrots tend to love. There are many varieties and I think I read somewhere they were preparing them for the export market. I believe Israel and a few other middle east countries have purchased numerous varieties of eucaluptus and grevilleas from Australia to reforrest their desert areas.

We have a few nurseries here in WA (Western Australia) which deal specifically in native, water wise plants. With climate change etc, many varieties are drought tolerant. Makes good sense.

Loved the pics of your mate.

Regards,

Linda

#33256 - 02/08/07 06:01 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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The link that won't work is about the fact that native American song birds are dying from attempting to eat insects from around eucalyptus trees. They have smaller beaks than the native Australian birds, and the gum sticks to their beaks and either sticks them shut, so the birds starve, or it actually gets in their nares and suffocates them.


Jody
#33257 - 02/08/07 08:37 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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jm47, The trees aren't just going to sit there and be eaten. They will fight back. It is natures way. And G'Day.

G'Day to Charlie, citrinocristata, Jim from Oz, Elliot, gn18, CABirdMom, Mrs Linda Lumbus.

I will take some detailed photos of what I am currently feeding Snapper, as I am unable to specifically name each particular plant.

I will add them to my photobucket album and repost the link when I have done so.

#33258 - 02/08/07 10:08 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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G'day snapper,

LOL. I can just imagine a cartoon version of the plants fighting.

Since some of you have other parrots and mention some flowers, I will post this link here.

http://www.landofvos.com/articles/kitchen8.html

#33259 - 02/08/07 07:32 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Snapper, we can buy eucalyptus(Spel) in Houston in March. Sometime I wonder if we haven't all been brainwashed into what we feed our birds. When I give my birds a little safflower seed they love it and there is not one seed left, just hulls. My wild birds will not touch anything that I put out there that is left over from my bird dishes. We waste so much food around here. I am just about ready to chuck the cooked food and give them raw foods with their pellets. I know you can buy all kinds of seeds at the health food store. To get a list that comes from their native land and give them some each day might be better than all of our cooked food. I am going back and look at the list and see what they have at the health food stores. My birds have gotten where they throw out what they don't like anyway and usually it is the cooked stuff I add. They will eat the raw vegetables and greens much better. I do have a bottle brush tree and they love to shred the leaves on it. It must be great to be able to see all of these birds in the wild.

#33260 - 02/08/07 07:43 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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I meant to ask, since you have taken Snapper off a lot of seed that you had noticed a change in him. Is it for the better or the worse?

#33261 - 02/09/07 12:22 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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The noticed change in Snapper's behaviour is for the better,
He is generally quieter during the day and he is more playful. He will still land on the seed container at times and scream for some seed but he seems quite satisfied with two meals of vegies a day and fresh treats of bottlebrush, eucalyptus, grass seeds, rolled oats etc and whatever else I can get him interested in eating that would be found in the wild.
I have seen him chew on a little green grasshopper that was bought in on a branch.
I am a firm believer that the best option for Snapper is to replicate the natural diet as much as is possible. It is a slow process though, he still wont really eat the pellets. I'll keep trying. Persistance is the key to success I believe.
Also, I have given Snapper some pine needles and he loves them.

#33262 - 02/09/07 04:06 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Snapper, the American wild birds who died from hanging around euc trees were mostly insectivores. They got the gum on their faces trying to eat insects from gum tree flowers. And they are dying by the hundreds, because not only do they get all gummed up, which doesn't happen, apparently to Aussie birds because of the longer and larger beaks (the ones who live on and around gum trees, that is) but they also are attracted to the trees as nesting sites, because of the height and apparent safety from predators probably, and nest there, and the babies don't survive, either.
American birds help distribute seeds of the trees and shrubs in which they feed and nest, just like wild birds everywhere. The gum tree needs no such help, evidently. It has this extremely flammable sap, and seed pods or cases which have to get hot to crack open. When a fire comes along, the gum trees' bark starts to burn, the flames "climb" the bark, and the treetop explodes, sending burning seedpods and twigs everyshere, even mises away (depending on the wind, partly). New fires are started. I know you have brush fires in Australia, too, and this is part of what makes them so severe. The gum trees survive, but not much else does. There are California associations dedicated to eradicating eucalyptus trees from the state, because of the fires, mudslides, the choking out of local native vegetation, and other things, but they were brought here intentionally by folks hoping to make lots of money growing the lumber.
What is it Jerry says about humans playing God?

I won't be planting any eucalyptus in any location where they might be visited by local birds, except for my little tiel, who may crave some leaves. And I plan on being very careful to destroy any seeds, unless the plant is an annual, and then I'll save a few seeds for next year.

I've often wondered if cockatoos have a "purpose in life", above and beyond having fun, and being beautiful. Maybe it's eucalyptus control? (Just kidding. . .sort of)


Jody
#33263 - 02/10/07 05:25 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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<img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> I wonderded about that as well, now we have the answer (just kidding)!

LOL, we already have way too many American oaks here in the Netherlands so i guess i'll plant my eucalyptus in a pot as well wink

Ellen

#33264 - 02/11/07 03:56 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Can't help with the oak overpopulation, Ellen. Sorry. The thing that destroys them around here is mostly the chainsaw. :rolleyes: Everything else the oak feeds, winds up planting the acorns. Walnuts are even more so: their leaves tend to discourage other things growing, even native weeds. Wish we could find something native that would slow the mulberry down; it is trying to take over the world, and although the berries are delicious, each one seems to have about 4000 seeds which are ALL viable. eek


Jody
#33265 - 04/07/07 09:06 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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About Snapper's diet and eucalyptus trees which was
posted in Feb.

The seeds you can purchase in CA are OK. My friend
in Louisiana got some for her Tiels and 'too. Went
down a treat. The tree takes an age to grow big but
there are branches along the way to be eaten
<img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />

#33266 - 04/07/07 03:48 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Fresh Eucalptus is usually available at the florist. It also dries easily. I would wash it before using. I doubt they bother spraying it with anything because the stuff keeps forever. I would be more concerned about bacteria on stems from being kept in water. Clip that part off. Eucalptus, and acacia can be grown in planting zones 8 thru 10. There may be some species of acacia that would survive in colder climes. I have grown Eucalptus from seed. The seed is often available thru Thomson & Morgan seed catalog. Catalog is free. One needs to be careful about exporting seed and plants. Exotic species issues. I have seen Eucalyptus growing in yards in Florida. I know it's used as a landscape tree in California. Eucalyptus and Acacia probably prefer a drier type of climate.

The problem here is the U2's and Mollucan's don't hail from Austrailia. They come from the rain forests of Eastern Indonesia. There diet may consist of entirely different things. With the predisposition I observe concerning the U2's cravings for fats and starches, I am sure we are missing something naturally available to them in the wild. What is the sunflower seed a substitute for exhibited by their craving's. How much dry dander does a wild cockatoo in it's natural enviornment have. I think we are missing something that links many factors together concerning behavior and diet. What is the role of the cockatoo in the structure of biodeversity. Are they seed spreaders? Are they God's way of pruning tree's? They don't seem to be insect predators like the woodpecker or purple martin's. Are they pollinator's like the hummingbird? Too many questions. Gotta get baking goodies for Easter dinner.

#33267 - 04/11/07 09:57 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Janie, Unfortunately i can't answer those questions off the top of my head.
I have wondered about the link between diet and behaviour. But having only one bird and not much previous experience, I have little to compare Snapper's behaviour with... other than his previous behaviour...
In the last few days Snapper has been quite loud and seems to be paying more attention to the local cockatoo's flyover noises (screeches and screams). I imagine this to be the starts of some hormonal behaviour, and hope it passes rather than becomes the new normal.
The local council gardeners would probably say that they play a certain role in tree pruning, as the semi eaten folage left below certain trees at certain times is obvious.
Every action has a reaction.
I know nothing about mollucan's or U2's specifically as most of my research has been focused on Snapper. (Eastern long-billed Corella)
or Cacatua tenuirostris.

#33268 - 04/11/07 11:58 AM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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Canadians and Americans can get bottlebrush at www.bottlebrushstuff.com

#33269 - 04/11/07 02:08 PM Re: 'down under' food....we call it tucker.  
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central Iowa
I think you're on the right track, about the pruning and seed-spreading functions. I tend to think of parrots in general as gardeners; they prune, grind mulch, and scatter everything. Some even seem to enjoy digging and scratching in the dirt. <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> Or maybe they have watched for generations as humans do those things, and want to "fit in" with their present flock? But I remember reading that wild cockatoos "remodel" the trees they occupy, even for only a few minutes, and do it quite intustriously.

There is a thing sold occasionally as "craft material", called a "palm nut". It's apparently the fruit or seed pod of a tropical palm, and is often carved into buttons, beads, cameos, or other small artsy things. (There's one item on the market that's a pendant with a carved and painted parrot on it) It's also referred to as "vegetable ivory", and there are warnings to keep it dry to prevent sprouting! I wonder if one of those would sprout and grow into a tree, in some sort of container, and allow some of the bigger, non-Australian toos, as well as Amazons and maybe even macaws, to have a plant to nibble?


Jody
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