Bird entrainment of a different kind:
Who says only kid needs toys? Even our feathered friends need toys to
entertain themselves. Here are some ideas on offer regarding that
Always inspect your bird's toys daily! Get in the habit of doing this
when you change food and water dishes. Birds can easily get tangled in
loose pieces of any toy (hand crafted or manufactured).
Supervision is suggested when introducing a new toy, especially for
highly destructive birds. If you find a toy is in need of repair daily,
move the toy out of the cage and onto a playground where you can
supervise your bird at play. Look for the following wear to ensure your
bird does not get his head, beak or toes stuck in worn out parts.
Leather strips, rope and raffia - items on these toys must be
inspected daily. Retie and tighten all loose knots. Snip any loose or
excessively frayed yarn and raffia with scissors.
Quick links - Be sure to tighten these with pliers. Some larger birds
can easily unscrew links and injure themselves. Some metal links can be
replaced with plastic shower curtain hooks for attaching toys.
Eye screws used to attach wood pieces - Do not leave toys in cages or
on playgrounds with eye screws exposed. When a block of wood is chewed
from the eye screw, remove the toy until you can attach another piece of
wood or detach the eye screw from the "s" hook altogether.
Coloured wood-Dyed with food safe colouring. Do not soak toys. The
colour may bleed or fade. To clean, remove from playground or cage. Use
a perch scraper to loosen droppings and gently clean with damp cloth
moisten with warm water only. Completely air dry all wood toys and
ladders before returning them to the cage or playground to avoid spread
Bells - Birds love them, but some have interest in removing the
clapper and swallowing it. You can remove the clapper with a pair of
pliers if your bird is intent on doing it himself.
Flowers of Sri Lanka:
Sexual propagation is growing plants using seeds obtained from
pollination. This is one of the main methods in populating plants. The
plants obtained from seeds may possess different qualities from the
For instance, in some cases the plants may bloom or bear fruits at
its early stage seeds are a result of the combination of the male and
female (male gametes and female gamete) parts of the two trees. If this
is done without intention between two high genes then a successful
seedling will be born. This is the method that scientists use in their
search for new hybrids.
Sexual propagation is mostly used for annuals like Zinnias and
Marigolds but it is also suitable for perennials like Orchids and
Anthurium. The main disadvantage of this method is the shortcomings of
Some plants take a long period to develop seeds while others may bear
only a small amount of seeds. A plant grower would have to wait to
obtain seeds from the harvest season.
This is the period in which plants bear fruits or bloom. Some crops
may contain seeds unsuitable to be planted. However some plants pass all
these obstacles and bear high and fruitful seeds. Such plants are best
recognised for sexual propagation. Therefore plant growers should be
skilled enough to recognise seeds of high quality to obtain successful
Zinnias, Marigolds, Asters and Petunias all fall into the group of
plants that are to be grown in flower beds. These plants produce a large
amount of seeds and are easy to grow using this method. Most of the
seeds are found a bit below the middle of the flower.
There are some verities that are very rare in this group.
Let the plants grow naturally if you hope to get seeds for your next
crop. There are many chemicals that force plants to bloom but these have
harmful effects on the mother plant as well as the seedlings that may be
born out of the seeds. Use natural fertilisers such as compost, cow dung
and leaf mould and water the plants when necessary to obtain a healthy
and fruitful crop.
(The writer is the Agriculture Instructor of Royal Botanical