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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if you can help me.

My nearly 14 yo son and I went to large pet store in Sydney (Australia) yesterday and put a deposit on a cinnamon lorikeet. I have been researching since then and I am feeling quite nervous about the poos! I had no idea what I was in for - and not sure whether we should go ahead. But having said that we are animal lovers and committed to care for the life time of any pet we take on. I have always had dogs and done foster care of rescue dogs by way of example.

However, the bird is to be my son's with me as back-up. He's a pretty good kid but busy as I am with school, work and sport etc. Not sure if we'll be able to clean the cage everyday. I am also anxious about where to house a large cage where poos won't projectile into places hard to clean etc. Ihad thought that we would be able to have bird inside (as well as outside at times) if we get a cage which is on a stand or otherwise portable.

I saw on YouTube where someone had wrapped glad wrap around the lower bottom of the cage to reduce the escape. Do you think this is viable and would it have any effect?

I also saw mention on other forums about lining some of the cage with perspex but not sure how this would work either.

I can't even picture how the whole poo thing works - we have loads of native wild lorikeets here in Westleigh (near Hornsby) and never seen them do it.

And very interested to find the right food. The bird has been hand-reared on high sugar feed which doesn't sound great to me. I would prefer to feed less refined sugars because of the effect high sugar diet can have on the bird's behaviour.

If you have time to chat I would REALLY appreciate it.

THANKS
 

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One of our staff members is in Australia and has experience with lorikeets as well as many other birds.
I've flagged your thread and asked that she respond to you when she is next on-line.

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Many people have issues with Lorikeet poo's but they are such great birds that we learn to cope with it. While the glad wrap sounds like a good idea it really isn't as the birds could chew it and that would be dangerous if they ingest it. The perspex is a much better idea as they can not chew that as easily. When we chat I can put you in touch with one of our Parrot Club members who owns a perspex factory in Sydney and can cut the perspex to size for your particular cage. I usually recommend going to Bunnings and getting painting drop sheets and put one up on the wall behind the cage and another on the floor under the cage. These can then be replaced or sponged down easily and they are cheap, especially if replacing regularly rather than cleaning.

Lorikeets are not seed eaters they are pollen and nectar feeders so their diet in the wild is high in natural sugars. Unfortunately to keep them in captivity we cannot get enough of their wild diet to give them so have to use an artificial pollen and nectar and this also needs to have some form of sweetener in it. In my mix I use Raw Sugar and Dextrose Monohydrate powder to supply the sweetness. The high sweetness in their wild diet is why Lorikeets are so hyper and this is one of the endearing characteristics about them that we love. In the Northern Territory they have a tree with the common name of Drunken Parrot Tree. This tree produces so much nectar that it actually drips from the flowers. When it is flowering the birds really pig out on it and because it has so much nectar it starts to ferment before they can eat it all. The lorikeets actually get drunk on it and the vet surgeries up there have drunk tanks where people bring any lorikeets they find who cannot fly and have difficulty walking and they are put in the tanks to sober up before being re-released.

There is so much more information that I can give but it is far too much to put here in a thread. Hope we can talk soon on the phone.
 

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Many people have issues with Lorikeet poo's but they are such great birds that we learn to cope with it. While the glad wrap sounds like a good idea it really isn't as the birds could chew it and that would be dangerous if they ingest it. The perspex is a much better idea as they can not chew that as easily. When we chat I can put you in touch with one of our Parrot Club members who owns a perspex factory in Sydney and can cut the perspex to size for your particular cage. I usually recommend going to Bunnings and getting painting drop sheets and put one up on the wall behind the cage and another on the floor under the cage. These can then be replaced or sponged down easily and they are cheap, especially if replacing regularly rather than cleaning.

Lorikeets are not seed eaters they are pollen and nectar feeders so their diet in the wild is high in natural sugars. Unfortunately to keep them in captivity we cannot get enough of their wild diet to give them so have to use an artificial pollen and nectar and this also needs to have some form of sweetener in it. In my mix I use Raw Sugar and Dextrose Monohydrate powder to supply the sweetness. The high sweetness in their wild diet is why Lorikeets are so hyper and this is one of the endearing characteristics about them that we love. In the Northern Territory they have a tree with the common name of Drunken Parrot Tree. This tree produces so much nectar that it actually drips from the flowers. When it is flowering the birds really pig out on it and because it has so much nectar it starts to ferment before they can eat it all. The lorikeets actually get drunk on it and the vet surgeries up there have drunk tanks where people bring any lorikeets they find who cannot fly and have difficulty walking and they are put in the tanks to sober up before being re-released.

There is so much more information that I can give but it is far too much to put here in a thread. Hope we can talk soon on the phone.
Kate, you are so knowledgeable :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Thanks for these three replies. Kate I am looking forward to talking with you when convenient.

No, I do not have a budgie :(

I just googled bird forums and lorikeet and got a hit for the budgie forum.

So posted under "other birds". I guess I got lucky finding such helpful people.

Thanks again, I will read the general information on cages etc.

Kim
(Sydney Australia)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the question.

Lorikeets project their poo out of their cage up to 1 metre away in all directions. I appreciate that all bird species do poo and there is some mess associated with it BUT lorikeets are labelled as more messy than most. Even by those who are big fans.

I'm an animal lover but I'm a relative newbie at birds (history of dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles) as is my 14 yo son. We're not really keen to be wiping our internal house walls down all the time to be clear of poo. Ditto the floor. I'm not even sure where in my house I could accommodate a large bird cage where the liquid poo won't stain furnishings / floors etc. I've read that they poo about every 15 minutes in or out of cage and especially when out of the cage, I want to understand if the poo will stain furnishings, clothes, carpets etc.

I work part-time and my son is at school and we have other commitments re. other pets, sports etc. - we can commit to cleaning the water, food and paper sheet on the bottom tray each day but realisitically we won't be able to fully clean the cage everyday. I was envisioning doing this once a week.

We also take pet ownership as for life so we're asking all this now so we can make an informed decision.

I hope that explains where we're coming from.
 

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WOW that is definitely worth considering, thankyou for explaining it to me.
I know with my budgie cages using a steam cleaner is great as it is safe , no chemicals and easy to use. Also gets hardened poop of relatively easy. :budgie:
 

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Hi there and :welcome: to the forum section currently named "Talk Lorikeets" :giggle:

I'm also amazed at how much our members know and I'm glad Kate is able to offer you some assistance :)

Cathy, I admit when I heard this I Googled "Lorikeet poo" also and am rather amused to discover their interesting "talent" ;)

I hope all goes well and we look forward to seeing your lorrie around here, when he/she comes home :D

:wave:
 

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Yeah their poo can be really projectile, depending on the brand of food they are given. And it can be done in any direction including directly up. They also like bathing and will get absolutely drenched. And it doesn't matter what type of water container they have, I have seen them get drenched from a tube water container. Cold weather is also no dampener on their bathing, just the frequency. I have seen mine break ice on the top of the water bowl to jump in and have a bath.
 

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Hello, and welcome to the forum:)

On the topic of lorikeet poop and mess: unfortunately, in my opinion, there is not much you can do to minimise the mess. You can cover the walls near the cage, as well as the floor, but a mess is always a mess (and please don't forget that some of the poop will most likely get on the cage bars as well, so this, too, will need cleaning up), and I fear you will soon begin to hate it if you are not able to clean it up at least once a day. Birds poop a lot, that's just how it is. That is one of the traits of a flying creature. And, believe me, A LOT of poop will accumulate in a week's time. Also, when not cleaned up, that poop will develop bacteria - NOT good for your bird. Your bird needs to live in as clean an environment as possible. Birds poo in the wild as well, but are not surrounded by their faeces/bacteria as those get absorbed by their natural environment.

I clean my birds' cage every single day, sometimes twice a day if necessary. Besides poop, there are always some feathers (and MANY feathers when they are molting), there is food and remnants of food all over the place. It is not just poop that accumulates. I don't just clean the cage once/twice a day (it takes less than 4 minutes per cleaning - not that big a deal, really), I also wipe by hand a good area around the cage, because it gets dusty and there are bits and pieces that have flown from my birds outside the cage. Knowing how quickly a bird's cage gets dirty, it is unthinkable to me not to clean it every day. So your unability to commit to such regularity of cleaning has me worried.

I do not mean to be the Debbie Downer here. I am just sharing my honest opinion, and I think it makes sense. You cannot imagine the amount of poop that is produced in a day, let alone 24 hours, let even more alone a week.

Also, giving fresh water once a day is not enough.

Birds need a lot of personal interaction (after you give them time to settle in, with patience and understanding). That goes beyond saying "hi" when you walk by the cage. If you cannot make the time (instead of "finding" the time) to clean the cage and the area around it, I wonder how you will have the time to spend quality time with your bird. That includes out-of-cage time as well - your bird will poop during that time as well, and since they go everywhere, you will have to clean up poop from other areas of the house as well.

Also, birds (especially hookbills) are noisy... They are also chewers and will chew, splinter, destroy whatever they get their beaks on during out-of-cage time...

Considering all of the above (and I have barely touched on parrot care - there is so much more to talk about) and the fact that you are only willing to clean your bird's cage (and that is, well, the most basic and necessary of care) once a week, I personally do not think that you are aware of what you would be getting into when acquiring a bird. I do not think you are ready for the commitment. Birds are way higher maintenance than cats and dogs. Most people do not realise that. You will need to consider the safety issue as well, as you would have predator/prey animals in the same house. Do not look at the meant-to-be-cute videos on You Tube of birds interacting with cats/dogs - they are a recipe for disaster. There is more to be said on this.

This post is long but it is by far not comprehensive, but I hope you get the idea. There is much more to learn about, such as companionship (they are flock animals, they NEED and will DEMAND your company - not from within the cage), enrichment, getting rid of household dangers, etc.

Before deciding to acquire a bird, any bird, I would strongly suggest that you spend at least several months, reading information available on the internet regarding parrots and their care. Lorikeets may have a special diet, but they are parrots, and most aspects of their care are the same as those that apply for other parrots, including budgies. Do not just satisfy yourself with reading some info on one site or two. Read as many sites as possible. You will see there is conflicting information. You will need to use your common sense to decide which approach is best for a bird (never use punishment, screaming, spraying with water against your bird - always use respect and positive reinforcement - you will need to learn about those as well, and the information cannot be put in a small paragraph).

Birds are a HUGE commitment: diet; mess; noise; biting; chewing and destroying; need for entertainment - they can't sit by themselves all day while you are away, with no things to do, with no foraging opportunities; vet care (expensive); out-of-cage time with all that this involves...

A child of 14 years of age will not be able to provide all of the above. You will have to do it. You will be the main caregiver. Do you really think you can do it if you do not have a few minutes to clean a cage once a day?

This is just an honest basic description of life with a parrot. Parrots are not pets, they are intelligent companion animals. They require a lifestyle change on your part. They are incomparable to cats/dogs/hamsters/fish in their needs.

Please take the time to read up on them (I have been doing it for the past year and a half, putting in at least 30 hours of reading per week, if not more) before you make up your mind. I have read websites, veterinary articles, parrot forums, parrot expert articles and the list goes on. I know what I am talking about.

Provided you can care for them properly, parrots (all parrots) are incredible companion birds. And that is an understatement:)

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your long and detailed post; really good to read.

Probably need to qualify a few things without dismissing any of your points.

When I say clean the cage once a week; I meant where you remove bird from cage and use high pressure hose and/or steam cleaner. If cleaning the cage means changing/cleaning/refilling water bowls morning, afternoon & evening as well as changing the paper in the catch tray then yes, that is do-able.

I completely agree that as a parent I will do whatever care that my child does not.

And I'm not so sure that dogs/cats/other mammals are not as demanding as a bird but I don't believe in getting animals and sticking them in their yard or area and letting them be - that's no life. When I am home the dog is always with me, and I take him when we go out as well as the daily walks and grooming and play. We are looking where to locate the bird so that he/she gets plenty of interaction. We also plan to have him/her out of the cage as much as possible.

Yes, I appreciate dog is potential predator. But he is a Beagle, 13 years old and very passive. I have fostered more than 20 other pets on a temporary basis in his 6 years with us and never had an issue with aggression on his part including with the wild Magpies, Lorikeets, Kookas, Butcher Birds, Cockatoos, King Parrots and Rosellas. But the bird and dog would not be unsupervised; and will be separated when I am not here.

My home may not represent the perfect prospect I agree. But this is a bird put up for sale in a pet shop - which shows little regard for its target home. I suspect it could do much worse than my home and if for some reason we can't meet his/her needs we will ensure he/she is re-homed into a better place - I suspect I would be far more discerning that the pet shop sales assistant.

I will continue to research as you suggest. If you have any links that you find really useful, please let me know them.

Thanks again for your honesty - all input is thought upon.

Kim
 

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Here are, in my opinion, the best parrot articles from people who really know what they are talking about:

Patty's and Mel's articles on Birdtricks.com (they are very knowledgeable ladies):

» Patty

» Mel

I am not promoting whatever birdtricks.com are selling. I just appreciate Mel's and Patty's articles.

I have read all of Patty's and Mel's articles. They are full of useful information. They are also often very entertaining to read. You can find all sorts of information in there - on diet, housing, hygiene, enrichment, toys, foraging, positive reinforcement etc. You can go to the older articles by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on "older entries".

Another good source of information is Sarah Stull's blog: https://studentswithbirds.wordpress.com/2012/08/

Also, Mel has an article or two focussed specifically on Loris, but you will need to go through the archives to find them. She has four loris (to my knowledge).

Particia Sund is also a good lady to go to for advice. Here is one of her many articles: http://birds.about.com/od/Feeding-Parrots/ss/The-Seven-Most-Outrageous-Myths-About-Birds.htm#step1

Patricia's blog: http://parrotnation.com/

The Bird Channel has good articles as well.

My personal points of reference are Patty's, Mel's and Sarah's articles. They are rock solid. I sometimes find a few things I disagree with on the Bird Channel, but that site contains a lot of good info as well. The more you learn, the better able you will be to discern what to "save for use" and what to ignore.

Flock Call (very good articles and an interesting and worth-reading perspective on many issues): http://flockcall.com/advocate-center/the-library/

Regards,
Svetla
 

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I have no doubt that you would be a great bird owner. I just wonder though, why a lorikeet? it sounds like they would be better suited to an aviary due to the mess they make. any other bird species you may be interested in?
 

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It's interesting your son and the lorikeet connected on such a deep level so quickly.

You are a great Mom to be willing to do all it takes to ensure you and your son have the necessary knowledge to ensure the best of care for this new family member! :hug:
I truly appreciate your view of adoption of a pet as a lifelong commitment and commend your determination to research the matter thoroughly prior to bringing the lorikeet into your hearts and home. :urock:

While you may not have budgies, you definitely have the deep Spirit and Devotion to animals that I wish was displayed by all members of this forum. :hug:

I'll be looking forward to reading more of your posts and learning about this fascinating species through what you and Kate are sharing.

Best Wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
New Lorikeet Parent Anxiety

Hi again everyone,

Thanks for the links Svetlak - I am reading those as soon as I can.

I met Kate IRL yesterday - thanks again Kate for your time and so far the food is going well.

Eduardo - appreciate your question - and I have to confess that it was love at first sight for my boy with the Lorikeet. We have lots of wild Lorikeets here and we have always liked their spunk and boldness. And then we met this Cinnamon one at the shop and he was such a nice bird that we were set on him. I have been through all the poo stuff with my son to test his commitment but he would not be persuaded to consider another bird.

Faerybee thanks for your warm encouragement.

We brought our bird home last night...and it seems to be going well but I must say that both my son and I are struck with anxiety about the bird's well being. I think it is because we don't know how to read our bird's body language yet and also, we're not confident of anything really.

I have a few questions. We set up the cage which is not huge but roomy with three perches (we thought we would assess the best place in the house for him and then determine the largest cage we could accommodate getting a larger cage later). And the new Lorikeet was climbing all over the place but has fallen down to bottom of cage a couple of times which terrifies us. He got right back up but I went to the bush adjacent to the house and fetched some native gum tree branches to give him some more things to climb around on. The pet shop guy said he wasn't used to climbing because they keep their birds in perspex units not cages or on display so he needs to learn how to climb. His wings are clipped but he's not that flash at flying either (12 weeks old approx.). BTW, we don't know the gender - I am using "he" for convenience.

The cage is about 66cm wide and 95cm tall and depth is about 55cm - I now have four perches in there roughly even spaced and tried to off-set them. I find it hard to arrange them. One is a thick (commercially made to be bird friendly) "rope", the other is a wooden dowel, the third is only have way across the cage but thick and has a rough surface and the last is the gum tree branch. But we are struggling to secure the branch - it is thicker than the space between the bars and we have chiselled out the ends but it is still prone to slipping which could be dangerous - any tips?

I've noticed today too that the bird is pulling up one leg (mostly the left) and resting with weight on the other leg. Is this normal behaviour or does it mean one leg is sore? I worry he hurt it when he fell. When I had him out of the cage, he seemed to be using both legs well but he is definitely pulling one leg up from time to time. He also seems a bit hesistant to jump from perch to water bowl (at times but not always). He stretches his wings out quite alot too; sometimes standing on one leg when he does that.

I've heard of birds preening themselves - he does fluff himself up and seem to chew or nibble at himself. He's not pulling feathers out but he does it alot so again I am wondering if this is normal or a sign of something like mites? I believe he was getting mite prevention spray at the pet store and I can't see any evidence of them.

I contacted an Avian vet as the pet store said to take him to an avian vet within 72 hours of purchase for a check up. I made a tentative appointment on Monday (it is the weekend now and it is hard to get appointments at the best of times) but there aren't many Avian vets in Sydney so it will be about a 40 min drive each way and I am concerned about the stress of the trip after such a recent stress of coming home from shop in the car and then settling into a new cage and greater environment. What do you think?

He also doesn't seem that interested in his water bath - I thought lorikeets loved to bath so we got him a large dish to bath in but he hasn't shown any interest at all in hopping in. Is that weird or am I expecting too much too soon?

Likewise Kate - I gave him a toilet roll holder and bell but he wasn't that into them. He's quite verbal and is happy to come out of the cage and sit on our arms / hands / shirt and doesn't appear to be fearful of or upset by the dog (who has been very disinterested so far - just lies down near cage and rests but we are supervising them all the time).

I think I need a "chill pill" to relax into this! But my son is similar - just really concerned that the bird is okay. My experience with rescuing injured or sick wild birds (handing them to local vet or wildlife rescue person) has me worried about birds just dropping dead.

Thanks for hearing me! I appreciate any comments you have to help. I will try to post some pictures of the behaviours I am observing when I figure out how.

Kim
 

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Kim if he is not used to climbing and has his wings clipped he is probably going to have a few falls until he finds his balance. He may have bruised himself slightly but I don't think he has done any real damage, if he had hurt himself even half seriously he would not be putting any weight on the leg at all. Birds do sit with one leg up when they are relaxing and often when sleeping. When I wean my young birds they go into a standard wire cage so they learn to climb from a pretty young age.

He will also be a bit nervous of his new surroundings. He is now a lone bird and has left all his other bird friends behind. But he will settle down with time when he feels much more relaxed with you and the family.

Standing on one leg and stretching the wings out is quite normal behaviour. Mine do it all the time.

As for transporting to the vet, he should be fine. I find the radio going in the car helps to relax birds that are not used to traveling. I take many of my birds to shows and even first timers relax pretty quickly in the car. They are always climbing around the bars of the cage and I try to make sure I don't have to brake suddenly and take corners carefully. You could cover the cage and make it nice and dark for him but I like to leave mine uncovered as they can then see what is going on around them and there is less likelihood of them fall off perches. You could take the perches out of the cage for transport but then they will just climb the bars anyway and there is more chance of a fall.

It often takes young birds a bit of time before they will have a bath. It is something new to them, especially if they were not provided with a bath at the pet shop. My youngsters still haven't tried to have a bath yet and they are about the same age as yours. When he is ready he will test the waters and try it out. Also at the pet shop he wouldn't have had any toys to play with so they are also a new and frightening thing for him.

It is good that he is happy to come out of the cage to interact with you, shows he is pretty relaxed with you around.

Glad the food is going ok. I have found that it is pretty easily acceptable by the birds even if they have never had mine before. When the local vet gave me birds that could not go back to the wild I found they ate my food very quickly, usually the first day, unlike other mixes before I was making my own. It was often 3 or 4 days before they would try those either wet or dry. I can only surmise that it is similar in flavour to their wild food, or they just like the taste of mine.

Don't worry Kim, you will soon learn to know his likes and dislikes and how to read his moods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again Kate for coming to my rescue. A few of my bird friends say that young birds do tend to injure themselves in new cages. It makes sense but I wasn't prepared for it. Nervous Mumma!

On another forum someone said to put a folded up towel on bottom of cage to cushion any falls. Sounds like a good idea to soften the landing and he's not dwelling on the bottom of the cage at all - prefers to be up high. But do you think that this is risk that he will chew the towel and swallow a fibre?

It's really hard to watch him struggle to climb around and he's lost a bit of confidence since his falls - not as plucky today. I want to rescue him when he gets stuck but thinking he needs to learn for himself?

In the photo you will see the foot pulled up while he is on the perch. Bit harder to see but when he was feeding from the bowl his right foot was gripping the bowl but his left foot was pulled up.

Anyway, appreciate you letting me know your thoughts.

With the feed - when I make it up as wet should I be mixing it to a thick paste or more runny? And when you suggested the Cottee's red cordial, you dilute the cordial as you would to drink and then add that to the food to make the paste. Does the food colour change the poo colour?

Thanks again! Kim & Ash
 

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With the towel on the bottom I would go more for a cloth tea towel and not a terry one as there are no little loops then for him to catch his nails on. He does look like he is favouring that left leg. He may just have pulled a muscle or just bruised it and is resting it. But he doesn't look unhappy, if he were badly injured you would notice he would not be looking very happy at all, sitting a bit fluffed up and just generally not quite right. He is very beautiful. When I move I may try to get a couple of Cinnamons, it is one of my favourite mutations with the Rainbows.

With the food and the cordial. I usually add a small amount of the concentrate and then add the water. I make it a rich pink colour. But don't worry as you cannot overdose him on it. He just may be a bit more hyper than normal that is all. I vary the thickness of the food depending on the bird, some like it more runny and others like it a bit thicker. Generally though is is like runny yoghurt or melted ice cream. I forgot to tell you yesterday that the colour of his poo would change. It may have something to do with the fact that I put Brewers Yeast into the food. I know of only one other mix that has Brewers Yeast in it and it is not that readily available so not in common use. But his poo will be more brownish in colour were on other mixes it is more clear. Brewers yeast contains the whole Vitamin B group. When I was researching things for my mix I found that flower pollen and nectar were very high with yeast and Brewers Yeast is the closest I could get to it. The Vitamin B group control the Central Nervous System, the Reproductive System and the Immune System. So they are an extremely important group of Vitamins.

When you get a chance look up on the internet about the antibacterial properties of Raspberry Cordial, there are lots of things about it out there. One is this article from the ABC that I have attached the link to. I heard about it years ago when I first joined the budgie society. You used to be able to get a powdered raspberry concentrate from Western Australia but it became unavailable. Then in 2000 Dr Heather Cavanagh was on the Today Show and was talking about how she heard about Raspberry Cordial. She had just arrived in Australia from Scotland and was working at Monash University in Victoria. She was in the cafeteria one day and some of the men from the Agricultural section were talking about the cordial. She thought they were pulling her leg but decided to investigate anyway. She did many tests with various bacteria in petrie dishes and made some startling discoveries. I know that it has been used with children in third world countries with non life threatening diahrroea and the children on the cordial got better 50% quicker than the children on normal medications. When you read the article read all the comments as well. Believe me I did lots of research into it before I started using it with my birds. I have been using it when I make up hand raising mix for any bird since 2000 and have never had a case of sour crop in all that time. Before that you would always get the odd bird get sour crop. I have also cured birds that have been brought to me with sour crop. I have spoken to an Avian Vet friend and he believes it works.

I know you believe me Kim or you would not have bought the cordial, but the information may be useful to other members. The brand in Australia that we know to work is Cottee's and I know it can be obtained overseas as I have searched for it on the internet.

Can raspberry cordial kill stomach bugs in contaminated water? - Health & Wellbeing
 
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