Read this! Tick tock Mr Laws.
God bless the whistle blowers! Wonder how much this goes on in NZ with those we trust with our dogs.
Appalling. Sick. Come on SPCAs, do your job and stop this cruelty or become history as we stop our donations and you starve.
This video is in memory or the parrots that died from the contaminated food they were fed.
Our hearts go out to the owners. It’s an awful tragedy!
Pet parrots are amazing to have as a pet/ member of your family. All we can do is learn from this tragedy!
Even though this happened in America doesn’t mean that here in NZ we are not affected.
The bird rescue (Birds & Beaks Rescue) are working with the vets and companies to try and get to the bottom of why this happens. We will keep you posted on the outcome.
I know the food is available on line and may be also sold here in some pet shops.
BIRD FOOD WARNING!!!
Please checkout this story...
Are you feeding any of the bird food brands in question!?...
This is a very sad situation! 😥
Newest update can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/birdsandbeaks/posts/1411214592320482
This will likely be the most heartbreaking post I ever write.
UPDA...TES ARE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST AND IN NEW POSTS ON THE RESCUE PAGE.
On the evening of January 1, 2018, we lost 11 birds. Most of the birds passed within about 30 minutes of each other, with the last one, a nanday conure not passing until around 4am.
We originally thought maybe carbon monoxide or something in the air, and began evacuation to the garage and called 911. The fire department tested both for carbon monoxide and noxious gases and our results were zero's across the board.
The next logical thought was food/water. We pulled all the food and water and put them on the counter.
The next morning, we took those birds to our veterinarian and had necropsies done for them. The initial things our doctor found were hearts were good, lungs were good, all seem to be in good health, except their stomachs were inflamed, there was a green sludge in their GI tracts and their livers were rock hard.
Gross necropsies were submitted by our vet for 2 birds to determine official cause of death with food toxicity being the suspicion.
There are another 3 birds that we are unsure if they will make it or not.
Today, January 3, 2018, I took the in-bowl samples of food to Michigan State University.
Before we go further, I want to make it clear I am not pointing fingers. There were 3 foods included in our mix, and thankfully we are fastidious - we have the packages that food came in so that batches can be pulled and we have contacted the companies. The foods are:
Zupreem Fruitblend, large size for macaws, cockatoos etc.
(added to the food container Friday.)
Higgins Vitaseed (Added to the food container Sunday)
Lefeber's Nutriberries(added to the food container Friday)
All of this was finally mixed very well Monday just before feed - as it's very heavy and I can't lift it and shake it like hubby can.
MSU is in receipt of 2lbs of the food that was in the bowls and we should have results back for WHAT the toxin is within 5-7 days.
We spoke with another Michigan Rescue to tell them what's going on, and they also experienced a die off in the last week of 3 birds. The foods they were feeding are Zupreem Fruit Flavored Blend and Higgins Vitaseed.
Our hearts are broken. In a million pieces. We are not ok. We will probably never be ok again.
I am happy to answer questions. What I don't want is mass hysteria. We are awaiting results back from the lab and necropsies - and all we can do is wait. What I'm concerned with is that birds are dying and unlike us - you guys usually have one or two birds. If something happens, you're thinking it's your fault. That you've done something wrong. You don't question the food because you trust it.
You need to have necropsies done. You need to save your food, your bags, and you need to get it tested.
We don't know which food it was at this point, and we're not pointing fingers. What I can tell you is that the companies are being very cooperative, helpful and working WITH us. (I have not spoken to Higgins in detail yet, but have spoken to both Zupreem and Lefeber's.)
My personal opinion is that for now, if you are feeding any of those brands, please stop and feed fresh/frozen foods only until we have the results back for why this happened.
Please keep us in your thoughts. Our hearts are broken. We lost 11 family members. Watching my children try to give CPR to the birds we all love and care for in vain may be the worst thing I have ever witnessed, only second to walking into my aviary and seeing all but 3 of my birds in there gone.
Charlie (Yes. My Charlie.) - Greenwing Macaw
Max - Blue and Gold Macaw
Guido - Catalina Macaw
Zook - Miligold Macaw
Oliver - Harlequin Macaw
Rosie - Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Eddie - White Eyed Conure
Cheech (M2, boarder) - Moluccan Cockatoo
Cheech (YN Amazon) - Yellow Naped Amazon
Chong - Yellow Naped Amazon
Pebbles - Nanday Conure
My loves. Rest in Heaven my angels.
My request to you - ask your questions here. Don't flood my inbox. When I have answers, you shall have answers. I'm an open book. I'll answer anything here in this thread. We are a by-the-book rescue. We don't cut corners. So ask away. (We will do our best to answer. As of right now this post has been shared 2500 times and there's close to 1800 comments.)
If you're negative - I just don't have any energy for you. I really don't. Be supportive or be gone.
Information about the food batches:
Zupreem, Large for macaws/cockatoos etc:
10287 865309107 Use By: 3/31/19
Zupreem, Large for macaws/cockatoos etc:
09137 862908047 Use by: 2/28/19
Higgin's Vita Seed Parrot Use By: 4/5/19
Lefeber's Tropical Fruit Nutriberries: Use By Batch: 122218B
As digestion happens, about 4 hours in, the birds become wobbly, disoriented, weak, unable to stand up and still. Droopy wings. Vomiting a copper reddish substance, seizures begin and then death. The 3 remaining birds are still very wobbly and weak.
We have 17 birds still living, including the 3 that we could still lose. Of the 17, a few had last batch food, a few don't eat this food at all (lorikeet, hyacinth), and my picky eaters are still with us.
Edited to add:
Some people are pissed I'm sharing this without results being back yet. I can't live with myself if I don't post this for you all, and birds are dying and I could've maybe prevented it. So I'm not sorry. What we know are lungs were good (no toxins), GI and stomach are NOT good, and these are the foods they ate.
I'd rather we be scared than sorry.
We are not asking for donations. We are asking for your prayers. Your understanding and for you to pay attention to your birds.
1) No. You may not have their bodies. Seriously!?
2) Please don't start a gofundme for us. We are not looking to profit from this in any way, shape or form. We only want you guys to know what happened so that if we can prevent more deaths, we do. Seriously - that's all we want.
3) Thank you for suggesting we poisoned our own birds for some mythical payout from a company - you can go to hell. You know who you are.
I think I've had enough for tonight.
To all those who have been supportive, the thousands of you who have - THANK YOU.
Update 3:53PM ET 1/4/18 - I am happy to report that all three of the birds that just 24 hours ago were at a less than 40% chance of survival have been upgraded to a 75% chance of survival. All three are still wobbly and tired-ish, but are up, around, eating, drinking and getting back to their old feisty selves. ❤. Thank you for your amazing support of the decision to be open and transparent with all this. As soon as we learned of another mass die off at another MI rescue with the same foods, we knew this was much, much larger than us. We are a rescue. Our objective is to save lives. And that is our sole intent. I have responded in comments to the companies posts. I am asking that we don't trash these companies. They are trying their best to do what is right for us, the birds, and their company. I would however, use caution if you read that the foods are safe to eat without test results being back. They cannot know that definitively without those results. It could be at a distribution warehouse level even - and they can't test for that until we know what. So - just use caution.
1/4/18 10PM - Moving birds out of evacuation (which is our garage, which is carpeted, heated has a tv, a leather couch, a loveseat, table and chairs and is how one watches television when they have 30-40 birds at any given time in this particular abode), I have to say I have never been so delighted to hear a bunch of loud, obnoxious parrots singing the songs of their people. Nothing has given me this much of a happy feeling than hearing them in my house again. ❤
Another family experienced this today. Same symptoms. Same food. Different batch numbers, but also in MI on the other side of the state. 1 bird gone, another on their way out. If you have questions, contact Beth Moody. Heartbroken.
Our Nanday has been downgraded again to less than 50%. I think between the whatever this is lingering with damage, along with the loss of her mate, I think it's just going to be too much for her. It would help if we knew what it is.
I've been getting around to reading some of the things out there. For the most part 99.9% of people are thankful to have the information to make their own decisions for their birds. That's all we wanted with this post.
TV, Radio, Newspaper reporters have been trying to get ahold of us. I don't want to talk until I know what I'm talking about.
Have remained in close contact with Higgins, and they continue to be great. Haven't heard from Zupreem or LeFeber's in a few days - but like us I'm assuming they're waiting for results before we go further.
The other two birds are doing awesome. Practically back to their old selves. Their appetites today have been voracious.
I'm working on getting the house back to normal. We're not putting any birds in the aviary for a while. I can't stand to walk in there. It guts me. Every time. I just can't even look at it.
It goes without saying adoptions are closed indefinitely and while we're not closing our doors, we need some time to come to terms with this all, right?
The below is from Tanya O'Connor, the other rescue I spoke of in my original post. There's been speculation that it's Hurlin's Rescue, that it's Baird's Nest. It was Tanya. I didn't want to name the other rescue so they wouldn't have to endure the shit storm I signed on for when I decided to go public with this. Be kind. That's all I'm asking here. We are a family, this bird family of MI. We are all heartbroken. So be kind.
I’m putting this out there..
I am the other Bird Home that Shannon Boehmer Kramer referred to.
We were having testing done on cuttlebone at the same lab as Shannon. I did not even think of the food as I have always used it.
We lost 2 painted Conures and one Rosie Front conure. The other rosie front is doing well now.
When Shannon called me I told her what happened to my birds - Vomiting and death..I was sure it was the cuttlebone that was taken in to be tested.
The common factor is we both were feeding the same food.
I had dumped mine in containers in the little bird area where just the 4 of them are.
I tossed the food seed pellets(Zupreen fruit)nutra berries,millet. They were the only ones to eat this food and I had just bought it -It was newly opened I’ve had my birds since they were just wee ones.
They were not sick they were FINE this happened in a matter of 5 hrs.
My objective the past 24-36 hours is is to basically sanitize every inch of the first floor of our home. The goal is to make sure that not even one little safflower seed is missed, not a single pellet stuck where it was flung. This has been challenging, but I have the help of hubby, and my boys. It’s stating to look like our home again, but is oddly, irrevocably and strangely different. We still have 17 birds. But it’s so quiet.
We’ve completed the kitchen/mud room, dining room, foyer, first floor bath and are finishing up the living room now, and then the dreaded room. The aviary. Right now we’re just steaming and cleaning and on a hunt for any errant food. I’m a stress cleaner, so I have confidence we won’t be able to find a speck of dust inside the next 5 or so days.
Husband is going to first shift for a month or two and that’s going to be a ginormous help to me as we’re working through the grief of all of this.
This will probably not be the last update for the night. I’m told there is something very special I will get to share with you all later. It’s not results, but...it’s something to remember what this is all about.
Update, Sunday 1/7/18 10:20PM
Our good friend, Dawn Graham from Birdie Box Toys has been a giant supporter of this rescue. Tonight, she made this for us. I am so very grateful. This. This is why this post was made. So you all never have to feel the anguish I feel in my soul. Remember them. They were loved. So very loved. And they shall forever be.
1/8/18 4:15PM Update
A few more frequently asked questions:
Q) Are the results back yet?
A) No. I've been stalking our vet as well as MSU. We're still waiting.
Q) Will you post the results as soon as you get them?
A) Yes. We'll first discuss with our vet, then we will provide them to Higgins, LeFeber's and Zupreem and discuss with them, and then we will publish them, in that order. Even if it comes back that this is something I have personally done that caused this - you will have the results. I promise.
Q) Was it the water?
A) We really don't think so. All the birds got the same water, including the Lori who's nectar is mixed with it. The birds who got the water but not the food are fine. The birds who didn't get the food, but got the water are fine. The ones who got the food - and ate it are not fine.
Q) Are you worried that the companies will sue you?
A) No. I'm really not. I've stated pretty clearly the facts of what's happened, I've tried pretty hard not to point fingers. Higgins has literally been amazing to work with through this whole thing. Even if it comes back that it was their food - because of how they've handled this, I will work through it with them work to repair any damage done to the brand. I can't say enough good things about Higgin's and how responsive, communicative and great they've been. They care. Not just like...money as the bottom line type care - like they ACTUALLY care about what's going on over here. Lefeber's has been awesome too. Zupreem's Gayle has called and emailed and been great as well. I stand by my request not to trash these companies. I really wish people would respect that. They don't want our birds harmed any more than we do, and if they can fix it, I have faith they will.
Q) How are the other 3 birds?
A) Cooper and Anna are basically back to normal. BamBam is still fighting but improving every day. He has been working on a toy I put in last night for him which is a huge change. My Monster Face Caique (new species. You're welcome.), Tripp, is right next to him cheering him on and keeping him company while he's in infirmary. He's doing a lot better and I'm getting more confident about his survival rate.
Q) How are you?
A) We're working through it. My friends are the greatest friends a girl could ask for. I have 8 flower arrangements in my dining room to make me smile right now. 8.
Fingers crossed for more information soon.
Monday 1/8/18 Live video explaining the story, a tour of my home, answering questions.
Tuesday 1/9/18 Update
Just restalked both our vet and MSU. Our vet is stalking the lab for the histo. It's not back yet but he reiterated the gravity of this whole situation and they're working on it. As for MSU one of the samples has been tested and is awaiting interpretation from the toxicologist, and the other 2 should be finished this week. We're working on it.
Our friend Shellie Hochstetler brought over a good 50lbs of in-shell nuts, and hand made feed to provide them, as well as got us a Foobot and more cameras because she knows I'm straight up spazzing, and knew these tools will help me relax a little bit.
Our Friends Dawn Graham, Rescued Feathered Angels, and my Ya-Ya Sisterhood sent me a bottle of wine and some yummy snacks today.
Seriously - I don't know what I've done to get such amazing people in my life, but I find in all this horror that I actually feel lucky. Loved. Fortunate. And I'm so very grateful.
Update Wednesday 1/10/18 11:57 AM
Dean from Higgins contacted me to say he'd be posting shortly - this is the post. (I'm happy they have done this.) Our results are not back yet - but I'm glad they're having these retested and not relying on first testing reports. That's important.
Higgins Premium Pet Foods
1 hr ·
Thank you all for your patience during this time. The health and safety of your pets has and will always be our top concern. We wanted to update everyone on the Birds and Beaks Rescue & Rehab situation. We are awaiting testing results both from the rescue's fed samples (submitted by them to MSU) and our own independent lab results for samples of the subject product batch and the current production. The rescue's results are expected sometime this week while ours are expected by Friday or Monday. We will update this page once we've reviewed each of the results and discussed the findings with Shannon of the rescue.
There has also been some confusion as to which of our products was mentioned as being of concern to the Birds and Beaks Rescue & Rehab. The Higgins product mentioned was Vita Seed Parrot with a best use date of 04/05/19. No other Higgins foods were fed by the rescue the evening of the event.
We have been working closely with Shannon since it was reported to us. So many times this situations breed adversarial relationships between those invloved. This has never been the case with us. Shannon has demonstrated nothing but her unselfish love and wellbeing for all birds, a common goal we both share. We look forward to continuing this relationship into the future, regardless of the results.
Update Wed 1/10/18:
Have had lots of questions about which species passed. In the list of their names within this original post, I updated species next to their names.
Update From Lefeber's:
1/8/18: We just received the second-round of test results from the independent lab for the Tropical Nutri-Berries (expiration date: best before 12/22/18B). They reported that the food is safe and matches our high-quality standards. Thank you for your patience and for contacting us. We are deeply touched and moved by the great concern that everyone in the bird community has shown for our beloved feathered family members.
UPDATE Monday January 15, 2018
Can be found in a new thread here:
FRIDAY 5 JANUARY 2018
BETWEEN 8pm & 8 am
ITS BEEN 1 WEEK NOW
WE JUST WANT OUR DOG BACK “ PLEASE “
HAD HIS COLLAR CUT
Two vehicles seen at address. Please be on the lookout and keep your babies safe.
We just want him home or at least know he is ok and safe.
A Vehicle came down around 930pm that Friday night did a U-turn and went back up my drive.
A Diesel truck was seen coming out of drive with no headlights on. Dark in colour.
Sitting at the top of the drive at same time a light or white coloured drift type car (maybe like a soarer type or something long).
With chrome rims ,With two white skinny males. They flashed a Orange light maybe hazards or an indicator light as truck came speeding out of driveway.
Pretty sure now both vehicles are connected. Car was then seen at end of Sunnyvale Road (gravel pit end) parked with one of the males walking around the car.
Male, Mastiff cross
Around 4 years old.
REWARD IF RETURNED!!
Please message me !
Um, so much for the claim that 1080 has no by-kill. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the deer aren't the only victims. Where are the SPCAs? This is a horribly cruel death and nothing changes. We still have TB, possums and a bunch of halfwits costing us millions on a hiding to nothing.
Fabulous effort for our poor battery hens. Please like and share!
Please Like and Share my page with all your chicken loving friends.
I have many ex caged hens. These poor hens have had a dismal existence and deserve a second... chance to have a normal life.
More people that see the transformation with ex caged chickens will help bring awareness and that's what these chooks need 😀🐔🐔🐔
This is appalling. As usual.
People like this lady are who dogs should have in their lives:
Working dogs are amazing!
Sadly Police dog Hades has passed away. Our condolences go out to Hades partner/handler Senior Constable Sue Burridge.
R.I.P Hades 💙💙💙
Urge KFC to stop housing their chickens like this....Sign and Share this petition please...
This is horrible! Please sign this petition 😫
RIP JEWELS AND TUI....
Look carefully at our post icon picture and you'll see the two lovely mares that were the reason NZHWC was created. This was back in September 2016.
These hors...es suffered terrible neglect and abuse. They were uplifted by us after the SPCA failed spectacularly to protect them. Despite the many calls from the public the SPCA received they never turned up! We couldn't stand by and watch these poor horses die where they lay. We intervened because we had to.
One of these mares (Jewel), was so unwell she couldn't stand. She lay in her manure filled wet paddock unrugged and was unable to get up. She had an open lesion on her nose - her owner told us he cut a 'lump' off her face with a stanley knife. She had an old wire wound on her hind leg that was very swollen with proud infected tissue exposed. Her skin was rotting away underneath her where she lay in her own urine. Her friend of 10 years, Tui (the mare seen in the rear of the same photo) never left her side. Tui herself was lame with diffuse swelling to her mid canon bone and over the fetlock of her right hind limb and very very sore. We knew we needed to take both these horses. Without Tui we knew Jewel would not survive.
After long negotiations with the owner we were finally able to uplift them. (The SPCA are the only welfare organisation with the power to uplift without the owner's consent). We took them to safety where we provided warmth, shelter, feed and medical vet care. We nursed them (in the early stages on a 2 hrly rota) until they were well enough to stand in the float for the hour long trip to Massey University for thorough diagnostic testing. As much as we wanted to save these beautiful girls we knew some conditions would prevent this. It was nearly two weeks before we could eventually make the trip to Massey.
Our worst fears for these mares was realised when we sat down with the head of the equine department at Massey to review the films. (We will upload the clinical reports shortly for those wanting to read them.) I was there when Jewel was euthanised. I didn't want her to be on her own. It was important she knew there were people who cared for her despite all her suffering. Jewel had laminitis with sinking and rotation of the coffin bone in her hindlegs. It was appalling to us that the owner had been riding this horse right up until the time she had collapsed. How could people do this we asked ourselves and why didn't the only organisation entrusted with the powers to intervene even turn up?
We were allowed to take Tui (estimated to be in her thirties) home that day. She needed pain relief for the laminitis she too was suffering (although no coffin bone deformity was noticed on the one hoof that was x-rayed.) We were determined to nurse Tui back to health despite a guarded prognosis. She deserved the chance.
Unfortunately we never got that chance. The next morning after returning home Tui collapsed and never got up. She too was euthanised while her head was cradled and she was calmed. There is no doubt in our minds that this very special horse who had stood vigil over her friend had finally lost her will to go on.
It is difficult to put into words the depth of the despair you feel in a situation like this. We felt hollowed out. Empty. Appalled. It was difficult to understand how this situation went unaddressed for so very long.
NZHWC was born out of need - the horses need. We needed answers to the many questions that plagued us and we wanted to do something that wouldn't just save one horse . . we wanted to save 1000 horses! The founding member of this coalition has had over a decade of experience in horse rescue and welfare issues. We know that cases like Jewel and Tui's happen all over New Zealand on a regular basis.
We wanted a place (our Facebook page) where people can share their experiences and bring their energy together for the good of the horses in need. Since our instigation we have been writing to many organisations gathering information. Moving forward we need to understand the processes and issues facing the various organisations currently responsible for horse welfare and protection in NZ. We need to strategically plan together. We need to address the problems that have resulted in the current 'broken' model of horse welfare.
We will shortly copy and paste the correspondence we have had to date (unfortunately Facebook does not allow us to upload the PDF's) and will continue to post the correspondence as we progress. We believe we all deserve to be privy to what these organisations have said. We will let you read and determine your own thoughts. Please share with us on the page your views and share with others you know will be interested.
The attached photos are of Jewel (after she was lifted and rugged).