On Pets – Meet Sufi and Tél

Meet Sufjan and Tél, my two parakeets. These guys are also known as budgerigars, or budgies for short. They are small parrots found in the wild in the Australian outback. Naturally green and yellow, breeding mutations have caused the dominant yellow gene to disappear, leaving blue, white, grey, and sometimes violet undertones in their feathers.

Budgies are found at almost any pet-store and are often considered a “cheap bird” for kids and beginning bird owners. Unfortunately, with that stigma, they are also seen as disposable compared to larger and more expensive parrots. There are many up for adoption because their previous owners did not want to commit to their needs. Please consider adoption if you are planning to accept a bird into your family. They are always joyful and energetic when treated right, and will surely brighten your day for a long time.

Budgies have very pleasant voices, and have the potential to mimic sounds. They do, like most parrots, squawk. They become background noise to those who find the songs and chirping appealing. Those who do not like a lot of noise should not get a bird. They respond to the energy in the room, making commotion when it gets loud, and napping when the room is quiet. If you are tense, they are tense. A happy bird is a talkative one.

Tél

Tél!

Sufi!

Little Sufi!

I will be making more posts about them in the future. Hopefully our adventures, notes, and guidelines may come in handy for someone!

Advertisements

Toxicology Results on Pigs Fed Genetically Modified Soy and Maize

A study testing pigs fed a diet of genetically engineered soy and corn over a 22.7 week period showed a significant increase in severe stomach inflammation compared to those fed non-GMO diets. Inflammation in GMO fed males compared to their non-GMO fed counterparts multiplied by a factor of 4, in females by a factor of 2.2. The GMO fed pigs also had a 25% heavier uteri than their non-GMO fed counterparts. The lead researcher, Dr. Judy Carman, is an epidemiologist, biochemist, and director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research in Kensington Park, Australia. The study can be seen in the most recent publishing of the Journal of Organic Systems.

The abstract states:

“A significant number of genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved to enter human food and animal feed since 1996, including crops containing several GM genes ‘stacked’ into the one plant. We randomized and fed isowean pigs (N=168) either a mixed GM soy and GM corn (maize) diet (N=84) or an equivalent non-GM diet (N=84) in a longterm toxicology study of 22.7 weeks (the normal lifespan of a commercial pig from weaning to slaughter). Equal numbers of male and female pigs were present in each group. The GM corn contained double and triple-stacked varieties. Feed intake, weight gain, mortality and blood biochemistry were measured. Organ weights and pathology were determined post-mortem. There were no differences between pigs fed the GM and non-GM diets for feed intake, weight gain, mortality, and routine blood biochemistry measurements. The GM diet was associated with gastric and uterine differences in pigs. GM-fed pigs had uteri that were 25% heavier than non-GM fed pigs (p=0.025). GM-fed pigs had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs compared to 12% of non-GM-fed pigs (p=0.004). The severe stomach inflammation was worse in GM-fed males compared to non-GM fed males by a factor of 4.0 (p=0.041), and GM-fed females compared to non-GM fed females by a factor of 2.2 (p=0.034).”

Researchers said more long-term feeding studies need to be done.

Image Source: A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet, Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards, Journal of Organic Systems, 2013;

Sources: Mike Adams, Natural Health News, June 12 2013; A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet, Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards, Journal of Organic Systems, 2013;