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to what they were years ago without all these potions. They have all this modern technology


and know how and still there is not cure for French Moult (FM) and the virus known as Parrot Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) or for that matter the common cold.


In the past we would have to resort to Epsom salts, Syrup of Hypo-phosphites, Glaubers salts and the Syrup of Buckthorn. Other remedies were whisky and gin. I was however and still am a great believer in cold tea and still use it on my birds today. In 1925 I moved into my current house with my parents. It was the last house in Luton and we could look across to Warden Hills. There were fields everywhere and the only landmarks we could see were the Biscot Mill Farm and Windmill. As youngsters, we used to roam in safety all over the area, collecting chickweed, groundsel and the various grasses in season, they were free from any form of pesticide and we were free from the threat of child molesters and paedophiles. Apart from walking the bus and the bicycle were the main forms of transport locally. Nowadays we have so many different pelleted and other forms of controlled diets made especially for Parrots, including dried fruit and nut mixes, and a large number of treat foods. There are tapes to keep them company and aid


36 BIRD SCENE


speech, harnesses to take them for walkies and I am now told there are Parrot councillors for behavioural problems. Whatever our views may be of the pros


and cons on these modern methods of feeding, the hand rearing complete foods we have available today were a major breakthrough compared to our own made up mixes. These were concocted from all manner of items found in the food cupboard and were never the same balanced ratio of ingredients at each feed. I wonder now how we ever managed to hand rear chicks, be we did. A major advance in the breeding of


parrots came with surgical sexing; it was evolved by a South African vet who did well in the UK at the start with the new procedure. A friend of mine had what he thought were seven pairs of parrots that were mostly Amazons. He had all 14 of them sexed, and discovered that he had 13 cocks and 1 hen. The single pair he had never did go to nest. DNA feather sexing has now followed this, it is just as reliable but without the risks from anaesthesia and infection. In the old days many people believed in the needle and cotton method of sexing and even today some folk have this ability and feel it is a practical way of sex determination. In the two previous issues of the club’s history, I have mentioned fanciers past and present who have played their part in the club management.


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