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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diet and Nutrition


Diet and Nutrition Discuss issues related to diet and learn about encouraging your budgie to a variety of healthy foods
Thread Description:Looking for feedback on my school project

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2016, 05:09 PM
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Question Would you use an electronic seed dispenser?

Hello fellow budgie lovers

Would you mind answering a few questions to help me with my capstone project? I'm studying Computer and Electronics Engineering, and for my final project I have to make an electronic device. I have decided to make an Internet of Things bird feeder for budgies.

In addition to fresh produce, I feed Apollo a teaspoon (or more) of mixed seed in the morning in his cage, and another teaspoon-ish of mixed seed and spray millet outside his cage when I get home (around 5pm). I do this to make sure he eats regularly throughout the day, and the spray millet is used for training and bonding time.

The problem is that sometimes I get home late, which makes me feel bad because I know he's waiting for his dinner. So I would like to have the option of dispensing some more seed into his dish (from my smartphone) when I know I won't get home on time. Also, if I spend the night away from home, or my schedule gets irregular, I would like to have a way to maintain Apollo's feeding schedule so he doesn't get stressed out or hungry (so the feeder will have the option to dispense seed at preset times). The controls for this device will be through a secure webpage, so you can control it and program it from anywhere (but this means you need to have wifi in your house for it to work).

So my questions are:

1. Would you use something like this?
2. What features would you like it to have?
3. How much and how often do you feed your birds seed? (Pellets will probably work in this too.)
4. What major concerns would you have with this type of product?

I really appreciate any and all feedback you guys can give me. Part of the assignment is to show that the product solves a problem (preferably more than just my own personal problem ).

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Old 10-15-2016, 05:59 PM
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While I understand the appeal of such a product as the one you are thinking of developing, personally I wouldn't find a use for it.

I like the daily time spent with feeding my flock and I wouldn't trade this interaction and bonding with them for an automatic food dispenser.

When I am away for more than one day, I have a responsible and experienced family member who takes care of the flock and makes sure they are all well fed and taken care of.

When it comes to these things, I'm usually old school and more traditional.
I would also be afraid of a possible malfunction of the electronic device that makes the food available.
The safety of the food container is also very important, since I don't know how the food replenishing device works, I would be afraid of the budgie getting stuck or injured while the food is being replenished. Budgies (and other pet birds) are very curious by nature and by exploring the food container they could chew and make the device not work properly or potentially be injured in the process.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:45 PM
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I personally would not use an electronic feeding device.

My birds get two rations of seed daily. ~ 1 tsp of seed per budgie per ration.

I change the newspaper on top of the bottom grate of their cages morning and night and the seed is placed on the clean newspaper for them to "forage".

They have 2 -3 kinds of pellets in their cages 24/7 which means there is always a good food source available day and night.

None of my birds are overweight and they are all healthy.

I do hope your project turns out well for you.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:04 PM
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For the sake of your project, I'll go out on a limb and say yes, I would hypothetically, potentially use a device like this. But, only as a last resort, and not as the main way of feeding my birds.

If i need to be away for a day or two, and can not find a responsible birdy baby sitter, then this might come in handy.

1) Yes, i would use it, as a last resort.
2) I would like it to have a timer, so I can set it to specific feeding times.
I would also like it to have dispensing options for how much seed is delivered. Enough seed for one bird, up to 5 or 6 birds.
3) My birds are fed twice a day. Fresh sprouts, pellets, and seeds.
4) One major concern would be if the device could jam up, and not be able to deliver the seeds or pellets.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:07 PM
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Although it is a very cool idea, I agree that perhaps having a food dispenser isn't something that I would use, either.

Instead of having it dispense food, is there any other thing related to birds that may be more successful you can think of?
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:09 PM
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Maybe some type of treat dispenser would work better for your project?
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:38 AM
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I am of the same opinion regarding your electronic feeding device. I would be scared of a malfunction happening and the budgies not getting fed. Whilst in principal it sounds good perhaps another area of interest would appeal to members.
Perhaps a recorded message or a simple few words to help teach a budgie to talk?
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:06 AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback guys

My intention is definitely to make something that is more of a safety net rather than as something to be used all the time (I prefer to feed Apollo myself too, but for the 5-10% of the time that I can't be there for whatever reason I want a backup). That being said it could be implemented to help regulate an overweight or diabetic budgie's diet.

I wouldn't suggest using something like this as a 'babysitter' when going away for more than one day, but it will absolutely have the ability to dispense whatever quantity of seed you want at whatever time you want. It will hold about 16tsp of seeds, and will tell you how full it is (and whether it worked) through the web app.

I'm making it out of aluminum so it will be durable, non-toxic, and washable. (Perhaps I should look into powder coating it like the bars of a cage?) The mechanism is all inside, well out of reach of any budgie body parts (even if he sticks his foot up the spout as far as he can).

And I love the treat idea. I've been thinking about ways to make something like that down the road. Once I've got this version working I want make another with a button on it to dispense the seeds, to see if Apollo can figure it out (which I'm pretty confident he would).

Again, thanks for the replies, even knowing why you wouldn't use it is very useful. If anyone else wants to weigh in, your thoughts would be much appreciated.

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Old 10-16-2016, 03:45 AM
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Anything that has the potential to not work properly is terrifying when it comes to pets (maybe bc I've just come from the unsafe toy list...)

But I love the idea of trying to bring new technology in. Especially the idea that you could still interact with your pets in some small way through an app when you're not actually able to be there.

^_^
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdregard View Post
Anything that has the potential to not work properly is terrifying when it comes to pets (maybe bc I've just come from the unsafe toy list...)

But I love the idea of trying to bring new technology in. Especially the idea that you could still interact with your pets in some small way through an app when you're not actually able to be there.

^_^
Thanks! I'm actually surprised that there aren't many high-tech toys for budgies, considering how smart they are. And how much they like shiny noisy things

As to your first point, I completely agree. That's part of the reason I'm asking you guys about it, to see if there's any potential danger that I may not have addressed in my initial design. I want to make sure I've covered all my bases (safety-wise) before I let it near Apollo.
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In classical mythology Apollo is god of the sky, truth, music, and healing,
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