Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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Magpies and jackdaws.
310              What Shall We Do Now?
frightened they will peck anything near them. It is important to have a thick baize cover for your parrot's cage, and to put this over it directly the lamps are lit.
These birds, which may be called the English parrots, are very amusing pets. Both have odd characters and a good deal of brain, and both are mischievous thieves. Anything that glitters they particularly like, and if you find their hiding-place you are certain to find things in it that have been missed. They should not be kept in cages, except at night, but be allowed to wander about, with a clipped wing to prevent flight. The objection to them is that they are rather dirty; but they talk so comically, and alto­gether grow to be so companionable and interesting that this must be put up with. For food they like bread and milk, insects, caterpillars, snails, worms, and meat.
Smaller Birds
Before coming to the different kinds of birds which you can keep, a few general words about their care ought to be said. Remember that with them, as with all pets, the most important of all rules is perfect cleanliness. The best cages are wooden ones with unpainted wires, and the perches should be of different thicknesses, as, if they are all one size, the bird is likely to get cramp in his feet. Once a week at least the perches and tray should be scrubbed with very hot water with soda in it, but they must be dried thoroughly before they are put back into the cage ; therefore if possible it is best to have two sets of perches and to use them alternately. A thick layer of red sand or shell gravel should be sprinkled on the tray, and occasionally a pinch of maw­seed thrown on it.
All birds should have a bath given them. They like best a shallow glass dish, which should be put in the cage when the tray is out. It is a good plan to put a biscuit-tin lid on the floor of the cage to prevent the bird from making the woodwork wet.
Smaller cage birds.
Cages. Baths.
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