East London Trip
Parrot Paradise – Geoff
Six of us met up just after 06h00 in the drizzling rain and soon there after we left Port Elizabeth in two vehicles. Roads were wet and it rained quite hard at times, but we nevertheless made good time. Made a quick stop in Port Alfred where most of us had a bite to eat and a steaming hot cup of coffee. We were all eager to set off again and arrived in East London at about 09h30.
Parrot Paradise was our first stop where Geoff (and his friendly feline friends) welcomed us and we immediately started the tour of his aviaries.
Geoff had numerous cages and a variety of birds. The length of his flights impressed us all, as did the clean cages. As one member commented, this is “what clean cages should look like”. His aviaries were well thought out, even taking into consideration the ventilation over the breeding areas to combat summer heat, and the electric wires to keep out rodents. He patiently answered all our (numerous) questions, gave detailed explanations of how he started out, planned his aviaries (design, layout, building), how he prevents his birds from destroying their nest-boxes, etc. Every member enjoyed this visit and we all took some valuable info away with us.
It was awesome to see all the different birds, all in good heath.
What a collection!!
Lindale Farm – Graham, Terry & Robyn
Next stop was at Lindale Farm where Terry met us on the gravel road with his quad. What beautiful views greeted us as we got out the cars!! Graham, Terry, Robyn and their friends heartily welcomed us and the dancing flames of the fire were hinting invitingly of the lovely lunch that awaited us.
We started our tour at Terry and Robyn’s mini zoo – what an amazing job they do with the wild and the rescued animals. From dassies to porcupines, tortoises to mongoose, squirrels to pheasants, hedgehogs to chickens, chinchillas and horses – you name it and they ‘almost’ have it all.
Their aviaries were clean, neat and the birds well taken care of. We were impressed with the variety of aviaries, tiled areas, length of flights, as well as the DIY plans made to make life easier for both breeder, caretaker and bird. There is so much to mention, so we thought we’ll just make a list of what stood out the most for us:
- Hospital/Incubator/Breeding Room – very sterile environment and hygienic routines. We thank you Robyn for allowing some of us the opportunity to learn first hand how to feed babies; and for sharing your knowledge, experience and tips regarding medicinal products and disinfectants
- Food and food preparations – awesome setup once again. Hygienic, all containers clearly marked, white boards with clear instructions easily adaptable to circumstances, fresh and cooked foods (interesting variety and brilliant cooking method used)
- Bowls and feeders : excellent hygiene – bowls are not interchangeable from area to area; the extra separate feeders a very good idea
- Cage doors – Special cage door with spring loaded securing clips, so clever birds can’t work it loose and escape
- Utilization of areas under suspended cages so no food goes to waste
- Bird ID and info charts – absolutely great setup that works well for them
- Really liked the LED lights for night frights
A special thank you to Robyn (from us personally) for spending so much time with Jonathan and allowing him to experience the feeding, watering and touching of your precious babies. Jonathan wanted to go back the very next day!
Thank you to Gareth for organizing this trip for us. An amazing time we had in East London, absorbing as much we can and learning new ways to do things; and the ideas we took away back home to help us in the future with our own birds and aviaries. Last but not least, a big thank you to Collin and Gareth for your contributions to the report!
Doug & René