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Can I use branches from an orchard for my birds?

 
Expert Question

My Question: An apple orchard in our vicinity is being renewed and all the old trees have been cut down and I can get as many branches as I, and the parrots, could wish. But I know that the trees have been sprayed with pesticides and what all for as long as they have been there. Is there any way to make them usable for parrots, or is it better just to forget it? Thanks so much.
Gina




Expert Answer

Dear Gina, Sorry it has taken so long to get back. We have been away on and off for November. It is hard to say what effects the spraying would have on the tree system, but I could find no information on that. I would probably use the newer growth branches with my flock after hosing them off or washing in the shower in the house.

Good luck.
EB


EB Cravens
About EB Cravens

“If we TRULY believe our captive-raised hookbills are important to world parrot conservation, we must work ceaselessly to ensure that these same psittacines retain as much of their wild instinctual behavior as is possible,” affirms avicultural writer and hobby breeder EB Cravens, from his small organic farm on the slopes of the Big Island Hawaii.

“Our goal is to birth and raise only a few baby parrots who know that they are parrots, but choose to befriend humans, because humans are nice to them… feed them… and are fun to be with!”

EB has bred, trained, raised, kept and rehabilitated more than 75 species of psittacines during the past twenty plus years both at his home and while managing the notable exotic bird shoppe, Feathered Friends of Santa Fe, New Mexico. His emphasis on natural environments for birds, the urging of babies to fully fledge during the extended weaning process, and the leaving of chicks for many weeks inside the nest box with their parents in order that they may learn the many intangibles of their species, have succeeded in changing for the better the lives of so many captive parrots.

A science writer by training, he was for years a regular contributor for AFA’s Watchbird Magazine and the Companion Parrot Quarterly. EB currently writes a monthly column entitled “The Complete Psittacine” in PARROTS Magazine out of England; and another, “The Hookbill Hobbyist” down under in the well-regarded Australian Birdkeeper. His monthly series of articles “Birdkeeping Naturally,” is sent out to bird clubs and individuals around the U.S., and is now finishing up its tenth year of publication.

“As devastating pressures continue upon avian species in the wilds,” he says, “it is critical that those keeping birds in captivity do so with responsibility and foresight.”