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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - USA Pacific Northwestern Shrubs for cage decor?
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USA Pacific Northwestern Shrubs for cage decor?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: USA Pacific Northwestern Shrubs for cage decor?

Hi there... I'm in a position of having an ample amount of time to prepare for my new baby darling Kakariki bird who will be coming to me sometime before the end of the month.

I already have her cage set up and I'm working on decorating and reconfiguring the room she will be in to be more safe and pleasant for her.

Part of this decorating involves me wanting to add a variety of herbs, natural wood, plants, etc... while the info on general wood types and herbs that are safe for Kakarikis has been found in searches here... I haven't seen much to confirm or deny the safety of some of our more prolific growing plants in the Pacific Northwestern region of the US (Western Washington State).

I'm curious if there are any people here who keep Kakarikis in the US NW who can give me tips on which local shrubs are good/safe to use and why/why not?

For example, I wanted to use branches of the Red or Evergreen Huckleberry bushes that grow around here since they have such cute little leaves...
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_parvifolium and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccinium_ovatum
and while I know the berries are safe for humans I did a double take when I saw "Huckleberry" listed on a commonly reposted "Toxic Plant" list? Oh dear... sooo maybe I shouldn't use it to decorate her cage. Sad

I do think I came across Salal listed as a safe plant... although the leaves on that are much bigger and less cutely decorative. But I do know that local birds around here love the berries... and honestly so do I. :D

But yes... TL;DR version here: If Kakariki owners in the Pacific Northwest/Western Washington could give me pointers on which ones of our local shrubs are safe/not-safe to decorate with (and potentially have the birds nibbling on). I would be quite grateful.

Giddy n' soon-future bird mom... Mym <3
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject:

I think you can get many of our NZ native species/ hybrid in plant centers in the US.
Hebes, tea tee (manuka and kanuka) excellent for keeping mites etc under control... cabbage tree.
Herbs like mint sage, parsley thyme rosemary, dandelion, puha (milkweed)
Other plants like fusha also go well.

But keep in mind you need well established and large plants that can recoup faster than the birds strip rip them apart.
End of the day you may find it far more practical and tidy to simply supply in their veggies and or as sprigs in the flight.

My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject:

The only trouble is that I'm in the position of being a lower income person (very very low income) and while I can get food items and small potted windowsill herbs via the assistance I receive I don't have the money or means to shell out for lots of exotic (non-food/grocery) plants. I also live in a place that has no public or personal gardening plots outside.

The thing I DO have however is a large local forest surrounding me with ample opportunities for wild foraging. This is my main reason why I'm hoping someone can help me out on details of the safety of local plants.

Affording exotics from out of the country or out of a fancy garden center isn't in my means... but foraging things like huckleberry sprigs... salal... and other native plants to the NW region are endlessly do-able for me.

But yeah... some of the varieties of plants here aren't always readily listed on common safe lists. Like... I can see listings saying that wood of the Red Alder is toxic... while White Alder is okay.. but how about our local Sitka Alders (Alnus Viridis Sinuata) here? So many questions like that swirl in my mind while I try to find ways and means to provide safely chewable plant-foragings for my soon to arrive baby darling birb~! :O
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject:

I understand where you are coming from...
Maybe if you go to the local parrot society .. or their web sites.. chat to a few of the local members they could point you in the right direction.

If intend to put living/ planted plants in, as I said before, they will destroy the plants faster than they can grow.

Setting up a basic herb planter is well worth while doing so, espec wild mint which is very easy to grow and rather invasive as a plant ...and strongly recommend as used in pruning.
Also if you read the thread "what do you feed..." (quick Search block on the left ) so much of what the kakariki eat isa stuff like chopped potato peeling, pumpkin skin/ seeds , broccoli and cali stems, silver beet and beet root stems, left over steak, chicken meat bones chopped up...
All stuff most ppl throw away, yet in most cases contains the best quality food.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject:

Thank you for the responses... ooh.. and I didn't think of a local Parrot society... just looked up and it seems there are a couple in my region... certainly. :)

I'm not planning on growing anything around her "flight" since she will be kept as a house pet in my room (which I've been trying to prep to be as bird safe as possible with a large open-door cage and various perching points in and out of the cage).

I have read most of the stickied threads including the one about feeding (I read that one multiple times trying to take notes and memorize things). Already have a few little potted plants of Rosemary, Thyme, and Mint that I plan on re-potting into a larger planter soon and harvesting as needed (kept in a different room from my bird).

She'll certainly be getting a variety of healthy scraps and portions of food from me as well... since my diet is mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, and other yummy things that she can eat. The meat might be a problem since I'm a vegetarian and never purchase it... but I'm researching alternate protein-rich n' bird-safe options on that too.

...but yeah... it would be fun to have some "decorative" local plants/berries/branches in her cage that she can freely and safely nibble apart... got some local plant guides today... going to try to do more research.. and hopefully come to some well-tempered answers. :)
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