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Parrots are expensive!

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steptoe91(tozie)
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« on: May 17, 2014, 08:51:25 am »

So what do YOU do to save money??

i make my own toys for the most part. i go thru the toy catalogs and find things i think my flock would like, then i go thru my parts and see what i have that'll work. sometimes i just create my own toys from my own imagination. often my toys are simple and functional. i cut my own wood, i have a miter saw and drill press. i rarely color the wood, natural is probably better anyway, huh? i also re-purpose things for toys. take a set of stainless steel measuring cups from Ross, $6. put 'em on a stainless steel chain, string some colored plastic beads on it too. and voila! noisy toy for Skittles. the same toy would go for a good $40 at Avian Stainless, i paid roughly $12 in parts... at the most. plastic soda bottles. i drill a hole in the lid, string some chain thru them. throw a few wooden beads in the bottle hang it up and voila! another noisy toy for mr. noisy macaw!
i also will find children's toys on clearance or on sale and grab 'em up for the fiddies! i got 3 musical toys for caleb for a low $6. he loves 'em! marley's favorite toy, KooKoo bird, is a child's toy!

lining cages can get expensive. so i know my local paper carrier well, its my son!  roll but he gives me his returns. so not only does it mean i pay not a cent for papers, but it means HE doesnt have to find a way to dispose of them! i'm so much more likely to toss out a paper that has a lil smear on it now, cause they are so plentiful! i dont bat an eye when caleb drags them under his cage for his nest, i just lay another!

the pool noodles discussed in the other thread? well even at a dollar a pop, that WILL add up in dollars! so i recycle the bits. i gather them up, toss 'em in a rubbermaid tub and wash 'em with Biokleen BacOut. then i stuff them into baskets, bowls, and anything that seems fun!

which reminds me, my cleaners. they arent available locally. so i order them on the web. i try to make an order with a total that'll get me free shipping. but sometimes i just dont HAVE the funds. so i order them thru walgreens and have 'em shipped to the store. voila free shipping! oh and it helps i get my employee discount! lol!!

sometimes i dont NEED $50 worth of food but ya need to order that much to get the free shipping. so i couple my order with a friend who also has birds. this way neither one of us has to pay shipping.

okay so its $5 here and $5 there that i'm saving... but lemme tell ya! $5 adds up to $50 pretty darn quick! 
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Beth, the crazy lady who lives on the corner

Skittles - scarlet macaw, Marley - black headed caique, Twiggy - quaker parrot, Ollie - yellow naped amazon, Caleb - Moluccan Cockatoo

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Debra
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 09:17:19 am »

All great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I will be getting some of those pool noodles soon I think to see what my guys thing of them. I don't drink sodas anymore (just quit three weeks ago) but I drink a TON of bottled water. I could use those bottles. Now I just have to find my stash of plastic beads I had gotten years ago.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 10:07:05 am »

Great ideas Toz! You always have lots of toy ideas and they are all super. thumb

I make my own toys when I find the time and with Roscoe he can go through everyone I give him in a day! I too have my own electrical tools such as a band saw, scroll saw, drill press and a few hand tools as well. I don't color my wood either mainly cause I'm too darn lazy to go find several tubs large enough to put 2X4 chunks of wood in them to color.  dmblaf

I go to the dollar store and find cheap kids toys that are safe like the white balls with holes all over them. Roscoe loves it when I poke wooden clothes pins in them that I buy from Walmart in the craft section. I string wooden & plastic beads I buy form Walmart in large packages and those are Angel's favorite toys. hugu

I do wait til I need a large enough shipment of foods to get free shipping too cause that shipping gets expensive!! Another reason i let my snakes go, I couldn't get free shipping on their rats and that can cost almost as much as the product with all the packaging to keep them frozen! oh

And the pool noodles are a big hit with Roscoe. Most times I poke one end in his enclosure blocks and he rips & chews at it til it falls out and I poke more in again close to one of his perches.  smile3
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Sondra
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 03:46:53 pm »

For childrens toys hit garage sales, use loofa sponges for foraging toys. My guys LOVE rope, cotton Rope, so I have to spend dollars on the thicker cotton rope. Kids hula hoops make great hanging rings, simply wrap with rope a couple of times (more for larger birds feet), then tie T-shirt (buy at garage sales) strips to the so that they look like a fringe, and hang, instant swing or hoop. Use furniture grade PVC to make playgyms, unless you have access to bird safe trees. To make a wood play-gym buy a large ceramic planter, a piece of 1/2 inch thick plywood, caster wheels, cement, and cut a small tree (at least 3 inches around). Put the wheels onto the plywood. Place the planter in the middle of the plywood, add cement mixture (already made with water), place the tree into the planter and let set. You now have a play-gym you can move around. If you don't want to use a planter and are ambitious you can use a lag bolt through the underside of the plywood into a predrilled hole in the bottom of the tree. You can also frame in your plywood to help hold in debris. If your tree doesn't have enough branches use wood dowels, use wood glue to hold the dowel in place after drilling the proper size hole. NEVER drill through the tree, it will weaken it to the point that it could be dangerous for your bird. Tree branches also make good toys, leave the leaves on & hang, the birds love them. Just make sure you are using bird safe trees & that they do not have pesticide on them.
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Debra
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2014, 04:09:57 pm »

Great ideas!!
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 04:20:40 pm »

I can't own up to making my own toys as I am pretty useless at it, but I do make all different batches of food for Codie from the veg we eat :)

You have a very large flock to cater for Beth, I would imagine it would cost you a fortune, if you did not make all your own toys!
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2014, 11:24:30 pm »

Beads? I got beads! Went to Mardi Gras this year, don't ask what I did for so many beads. I had to have the hotel ship them to me
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2014, 12:16:53 am »

My Goodness George! So many beads you had to have the Hotel ship them to you & you don't know what you did to get them?!! 2funny2 Too bad we have not seen video of this yet on youtube.  dmblaf

Great ideas Sondra, I like the hula hoop swing. I have a metal ring thingy I am wrapping with rope for Roscoe. He chewed up his wooden one I found & wrapped.  slaph

I am one who makes my own play perches mostly out of natural tree limbs from my Mulberry and Mesquite trees. To get the store bought ones large enough for my big kids I either have to drive 200 to 400 miles to pet stores that sell them or I have to order them with a 'too steep for me' shipping price attached to them. They are still quite pricey even if I drive to pick them up, so homemade is fine for my country kids.  smile3
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 05:59:05 am »

Great ideas everyone  smile3

George, it sounds like you have a mania for collecting beads?  laugh
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2014, 07:38:23 am »

laffhrd  george ya crack me up!!

yeah, caleb is a one bird wood chipper! he's a lumberjack wrapped in pink feathers. and a paper shredder with 'tude, to boot! then we have mr. lazy macaw who will not chip any wood thicker than 1/4 inch thick... spoiled??? nawwwww not MY flock!  roll  the best investment i've EVER made was my miter saw and drill press... then ya add my shop vac? and i can take on the world!!  nails 

i got to Lowes and pick up about $20 or $30 of untreated lumber and spend a couple hours  cutting and drilling and voila! wood for nearly a month of toys! easily save HUNDREDS of dollars. every 6 months to a year i invest in basic toy parts from various web vendors... come to think of it, its time to place another Balsa order.  :smile3
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Beth, the crazy lady who lives on the corner

Skittles - scarlet macaw, Marley - black headed caique, Twiggy - quaker parrot, Ollie - yellow naped amazon, Caleb - Moluccan Cockatoo
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