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Re: Mynahs, etc

Posted by Billy Cochran on 4/13/05
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    Chris and all,

    One of the best sites for info on Mynahs is mynahbird.com.
    There you can find info on starlings as well, as they too fall
    under the Sturnidae family.

    Mynahs, like some other softbills such as Toucans and Turacos
    and even some Psittacines like Lorikeets/Lories, need a diet
    that is low in iron. If they are fed a diet high in iron, then
    they will be more susceptible to a condition called
    Hemachromatosis sp? or commonly known as Iron Storage/Overload
    Disease. Its not a type of disease that is transmissible from
    one bird to the next, like PBFD. Some of the best low-iron
    diets out there come from Mazuri, www.mazuri.com I feed it to
    my mynahs and toucans, as do many zoo's including the one I
    work at, the Birmingham Zoo, www.birminghamzoo.com

    Sarah, if you are still looking for a mynah, particularly a
    Greater Indian Hill, try Martha and Jose' at BlueMynah@aol.com
    They're in Miami, FL, and my two pet GIH's (Jose' and Quervo)
    came from them. They most likely charge more now, but I paid
    close to the price you're now looking to pay.

    I currently have a pair of Java Hill Mynahs. These are quite a
    bit larger than GIH's. They're more rare here in the US as
    well, so their prices reflect that. One breeder told me that
    he doesn't sell any of his Javan's for less that $2000 (when he
    bred them), if I am lucky enough to get chicks from my pair I
    will not charge nearly as much...probably just the market price
    for GIH's.

    Mynahs are great fun. Every bird is going to be messy. Some
    of my time, working at the zoo, is spent inside the Lorikeet
    aviary. I used to breed lorikeets, so I know what type of mess
    they make. Many of the keepers would tell the public that
    Lorikeets make bad pets, when in fact, they make GREAT pets.
    They would say this because of the mess they make. While they
    DO make a mess, there are several ways to help contain the mess
    and make for an easier clean-up.

    Such as:

    1) Cage space---If given a large cage, one can maneuver around
    projectile starting points (ie. perches, food dishes, toys.
    etc). Place them so that when being sat upon, the birds won't
    be able to shoot outside the cage

    2) Perch placement--- read the above and additionally, if you
    can place the perches at a lower point, then their stool should
    more than likely end up inside the cage.

    3) Substrate--- I am not a big fan of shavings of any
    nature. While they make absorb moisture and some of the smell,
    the shavings in itself make more of a mess than not having
    them, in my opinion. I use Newspaper. (used it on the indoor
    lorikeets and on my pet mynahs and toucan). I place several
    layers on the tray. Say like 4 sheets per layer per day. In
    between the layered day sheets, I will place some wax paper.
    this will help prevent some of the moisture leaking through to
    the good paper. Throughout the day, just pull off one soiled
    sheet at a time.

    4) Cage placement--- With any softbill, it would be best to
    place their cage several feet away from the wall or any object
    like furniture. Tile or linoleum floors are much better than
    carpet. If the cage must be kept on carpet, run to Walmart,
    Lowe's, Home Depot, Office Depot, Target, etc...places like
    that which sell computers and/or office supplies and buy an
    inexpensive clear plastic mat, used to be placed under office
    chairs or easier mobility. I think Lowe's and Home Depot sell
    clear floor mats by the foot/yard. This type of mat is for
    high traffic areas like entryways and steps. Anyways, around
    there cage, you can also lay day some newspaper. Anything to
    cut down on the time it takes to wipe down or scrub the soiled
    areas.

    Its just inevitable that with ANY ANIMAL, you are going to have
    a mess, be it fur from a cat/dog, seed husks from a
    finch/canary/parrot or liquidy poo from softbills. I will say
    this though, I'd prefer to have a Lorikeet poop on my shirt
    than a Macaw. If you've had either, you'll know what I mean.

    Billy

    Alabama Aviaries