New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Food Storage - Quick, Easy, Economical Ways to Get You Started - Part 2

Ways to collect and store a year’s supply of food

Begin with a 72 hour bag of food, water, clothing and essentials for your home, each vehicle and each person or pet in your family. These should be portable in case of “bug-out” or evacuation conditions. For children, get backpacks that have wheels and or handles, and store under their beds. Store yours, under your own bed. Store the pet bag in their travel crate.

Each vehicle kit should include: water, snack food or food bars, flashlight, poncho/umbrella, sweater or jacket or emergency blanket, first aid kit and other basic essentials you feel any family member may need if an auto emergency occurs.

* Water should always be rotated and used to keep it fresh, even if this is store bought pre- bottled or jug in your go-bags, vehicle and home.

Always include a first aid kit for home, auto and each 72 hour individual family member and pet go-bag. You can gear each small first aid kit to the items most likely needed for that individual and keep the larger, more extensive all purpose first aid kit for your home and or emergency shelter. Do a Google search on “emergency first aid kit” or “pet first aid kit” and you will get a boatload of checklists for your use. Or check out some of the checklists I have shared on Google. The link is in the Appendix.

Stock up on needed items when they are on sale. With some sale items you can “think big”. For instance a year of sugar for one adult is 100lbs and if stored properly lasts up to 30 years. So when sugar is on sale – get a lot. Always buy in bulk whenever you can.

I loved this idea: Make a list of the food items your family eats most often and think in terms of what most often goes with it. For instance, if they like tuna salad sandwiches, mayo should be included on the list. Or if oatmeal is the common breakfast, you may want brown sugar, raisins and powdered milk. This way when you start shopping for storage you can remember to purchase all the components of each meal that your family regularly eats. Then worry about the long term food items that sustain life but you do not regularly eat.

If one jar of peanut butter is on your shopping list, get two instead. Two cans of beans on your shopping list, get 4 instead. Take advantage of 2 for 1 and buy 1 get 1 free sales. Not everything needs to be purchased by the case or in bulk.

When doing your food storage shopping be sure to keep each list to at least ¾ nutritional foods and ¼ comfort foods or deserts, treats and snacks. In the beginning you may also need ¼ of the list for protein or power food type bars for the go-bags and keep 1/2 for the nutritional items. Move on to comfort foods after these initial items are complete.

Obtain at least a two week supply of water for each member of your family, including pets. Have water in all sorts of containers. An inexpensive idea is to put water in emptied, clear, cleaned, plastic 2 liter pop bottles. Think small water bottles and store bought only for “on the run” individual needs. Fifty gallon drums are good for drinking and storing water, but they are heavy and hard to stack and move. RV and camping stores are excellent places to find water storage containers in various sizes and most have a very handy 7-10 gallon size that has a gravity spigot that people can move with medium effort. For some reason these tend to be cheaper at RV stores, when you are purchasing singularly instead of in quantity, than food storage supply stores.

How to store all this food is a major concern if you want it to last and still be healthy and tasty to eat. The primary concern is keeping moisture, insects and rodents out of the food. It is always best to store food in a shaded, cool and dry place and routinely using the stored food at least 2-3 times a week.

Create a system to track and rotate your food items. I can’t tell you how many people I have spoken to that start long term food storage purchasing and then don’t use it or rotate it. Then they wonder why it “looks bad” or “tastes funny”.

I have a root cellar type pantry and an in-house pantry. My newest items are in the root cellar and the oldest are stored inside the house. Both are cool, relatively dry places. When I’m done my current seasons canning, I move the items from the root cellar pantry to the in-house pantry and then put the new canned items in the root cellar, behind any existing items of the same thing.

A neighbor of mine uses the awkward space in her garage for this. She has baker racks with a red ribbon on one and a green ribbon on the other. Items on the “green” racks are for use now (her oldest items), items on the “red” rack are for later use (her youngest items).

Another neighbor uses his old coolers that have lost their drainage plugs. He has an X on some and an O on the others. He stores his food items in these as they are huge like 72 to 84 quart sized. O’s are for current use (oldest items) and stored near the garage entrance to his house. X’s are the younger stored items. When an O cooler is empty, he moves the X coolers items to the O and then purchases replacements for the X cooler.

If you aren’t quite organized yet or not sure how to track all this stored food, get a bunch of multi-colored sticky dots in two or three sizes. On a piece of paper place one dot for each color or size on it and then write a month to associate with that color and size dot. You can put the dots on your cases, cans, boxes, tubs, jugs and the like and only list the year purchased on the dot. Then in your “Emergency Binder”, add your dotted index sheet, as it will tell you what month of that year the item was purchased.

One of the hardest items to store is food that comes in paper packaging. You can “dry pack” these or have them dry packed at a cannery or you can put them in plastic containers that have air tight seals to keep bugs, air and moisture out. I tend to “double” pack these kinds of items, buy putting them in Ziploc bags and then in an air tight container.

For things like boxed cereal I remove it from the box, cut the top or side off the box that identifies the cereal, add my colored “month” dot with the year, place in a Ziploc bag and then place the newest item in the bottom of the metal or plastic container for that cereal.

Your food and other supplies may be stored anyplace where correct storage conditions exist. Look for cool, dry places with little to no direct light. Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

  • Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products more frequently to maintain quality.
  • Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
  • Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
  • Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.

** Routinely use the stored food at least 2-3 times a week. **

For storage locations outside of the kitchen pantry and root cellar try:

  • Attics: If well-insulated to maintain a temperature of 70 degrees or below.
  • Basements: If it is cool and dry.
  • Garages: If it is cool and dry.
  • Freezers: Do not overlook space in a freezer for immediate long term storage of items that go rancid at room temperatures. Like: brown rice, extra whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, wheat germ
  • Crawl space: If it is cool and dry, especially if you are going to store canned goods here. You may need a few sheets of plywood to keep items clean and dry.
  • Under beds: If the bed is too low, it may be raised on supports so containers can be slid underneath. Great place for 72-Go Packs.
  • Tables: Barrels and other containers may be stacked and covered with a floor-length tablecloth.
  • Chests, trunks, cabinets, closets, shelves and old coolers: All of these may be utilized. Check closets for empty spaces.
  • Walls: Extra wall space may be used and hidden with a curtain or large piece of art work hanging in front of it.
  • Under furniture with legs: The space underneath a crib or changing table is a good place to store boxes of #10 cans. Cover with fabric.

For people in apartments or other small living spaces you will need to be a little creative, but don’t lose hope, try one or more of the following instead. If you come up with something new – post it on or any other blog on food storage.

  • Use under bed storage containers for canned goods. These work especially well when the cans are stored on their sides rather than upright. When you think about it, just about anything can be stored under a bed.
  • Or if you have a closet shelf that is rather high, so you don’t really use it often – load a plastic box with your food storage items there.
  • Make a table out of cases of canned goods and cover with a table cloth. Then put your stereo, TV or arrange plants on it. Use it as an end table or night stand.
  • Make a spice rack out of Velcro to use on the back of cabinet and closet doors. This is great long term storage for spices and other lightweight condiments.
  • Ever see those contraptions that hang in a closet for shoes, handbags, bulky sweaters and wrapping paper? Make your own out of pillowcases, jeans and shirts or convert an existing one for use as food storage.
  • Use a ratty old sweatshirt and sew the bottom closed add a hanger and attach it securely, viola, you now have a hanging food storage bag. You can do the same with pillow cases, frayed towels, jeans and overalls.
  • If you have an awkward corner in a room or hall that is dead space – curtain it off and store you food behind the curtains. Or curtain off the wall behind your sofa or TV about 2 feet from the wall. Great place to hide food storage.
  • If you are getting ready to get new furniture, think multi-functional and storage space. Ottomans, coffee tables, side tables and benches often come with under seat or under the top storage.
  • Have any piece of furniture with dead space behind or under it? Utilize it for storage. You can always put a table cloth or other decorative covering over the “ugly” barrels, cans and boxes and no one need ever know what is there.

When reading the article “Everything Under The Sun” by Wendy DeWitt on site (this is a downloadable pdf if you want the whole article, see Appendix) she said that a one year’s supply of food can be stored under a twin sized bed and to remember that heat and moisture can destroy your food so be sure this is inside and not on top of a heater vent or next to any plumbing that may leak.

In this same article are some fantastic tips for using stored food and what can substitute for what! For instance you can keep baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cocoa in their original containers or place them in air tight buckets with lids. You can substitute eggs with unflavored gelatin in most recipes. 1tsp gelatin=1 egg, 1 oz gelatin=12 tsp of eggs and 1 pound of gelatin=192 eggs. To make a one egg equivalent: combine 1 tsp of gelatin with 3 Tb of cold water, stir until dissolved. Then add 2 Tb of hot water and stir.

Just How Much Food Does One Need?

Best all around food storage calculator that I have found is the FoodStorageCalculator.pdf on the web site (See Appendix). It’s simple and easy to use. To calculate what you need: you print out the PDF, multiply the number of adults by the standard needed per adult and the number of children by the standard per child, place the resulting amount in the total needed for adults or children column. This sheet also gives you a column for listing the price range per unit and what you actually spent.

Another great two page quick and easy check list for one adult for 1 year is the One_Year_Supply_Guide.pdf downloadable from the web site (See Appendix). It not only has the quantities you need of each food type per adult, it also lists the estimated shelf life and basic storage requirements for each item.

For infants on formula you will need to know how long you plan to keep bottle feeding before weaning to toddler food. Then keep a two week supply on hand. If you are breast feeding, be sure to have at least one multi-serving box or can of formula in case of an emergency. For toddlers either figure out how to make “toddler” and “baby” food yourself without electrical appliances or store enough for two weeks at any given time. When you start to wean the child off this type of food to adult food, just use your two week stored items until gone. Use the same method for Diapers.

What are the water needs for adults and children?

There are many factors that determine the water needs of adults, children and pets; such as age, weight, activity and health. For a detailed and rather technical read on this information see: HydrationsNeedsThroughoutLifespan.pdf from or FluidsAndHydration.pdf from the University of Minnesota (See Appendix). Below are some general guidelines from several sites.

  • Planning Storage: At least one gallon of water per person or pet per day
  • Body Needs: Minimum of 2 liters or 8 cups of water each day to maintain efficiency; In general one quart of water is needed daily for every 50 pounds of body weight; Children require about 4-6 cups of fluid per day on average.

Here is some additional information: which tests equipment in the field suggests: You need at least one gallon of water per person per day. That means my family needs at least 12 gallons. Since 5-gallon water cans are easily obtainable, I've opted for three (at least! - kids will drink a lot of water) of them to serve as our water supply. Through hard-bought experience, I'm learning what carriers do and do not stand up to hard use. I've decided on the smaller containers based on the fact that a 55-gallon drum of water can be ... difficult to move when full, and this kit is supposed to serve as an evacuation kit. I also include some means of water purification equipment. For me, this means "potable aqua"-type tablets or boiling on a fire. suggests the following: ... Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency. ... -- Avoid storing water in plastic containers for extended periods since they may leach toxins into the water. True, there are certain types of plastic that show no evidence of leaching, but I just avoid the whole controversy by sticking largely with non-reactive materials. FEMA says to avoid glass because of breakability and weight, but I prefer using recycled glass bottles for long-term storage rather than depending solely on suspect plastic. ... ... At least 1 gallon per person per day ... Household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper: 9 parts water to 1 part bleach can be used as a disinfectant. 16 drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water can be used to treat water in an emergency. (Do not use scented, color-safe or other augmented bleaches; they're toxic.) ... states ... In general, one quart of water is needed daily for every 50 pounds of body weight. The exact amount of water needed depends on: age; gender; weight; health; level of physical activity; foods eaten; any medications taken; and the weather. ... On an average day, a healthy adult needs 8 to12 cups of water to replace the amount lost through perspiration, breathing, urination, and bowel movements. These fluids must be replaced to avoid dehydration and to keep the body working normally. When eating a high fiber diet, extra water is needed to process the additional roughage. ... Fever, vomiting and diarrhea cause the body to lose extra fluids that must be replaced with water or other solutions such as Gatorade. ... Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional water. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink nearly 10 cups of fluids a day, and women who breast-feed should get about 13 cups of fluids daily. ... Drink the following amounts of fluids when exercising rigorously or in very hot weather:
—2 cups during the two hours before exercising;
—1 to 2 cups within 15 minutes of the activity;
—½ to 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. (One medium mouthful of fluid equals about 1 ounce, and 8 ounces equals 1 cup.)
—3 cups for each pound of body weight lost. ... ... Have your children help you figure how much water you each need to drink each day. Take a large pitcher or container, using your one-cup measuring cup, measure eight cups of water into the container. This is the amount of water each person in your family should drink every day. If you work or play out in the heat this summer, you should add two or three more cups of water to the container. ... ... Determining children's water needs ... As a general guideline, children require about 4-6 cups of fluid per day. (If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding your child less than a year old, you will not need to give supplemental water or other fluids.) ... The best way to determine if you or your child is staying hydrated is to check the color of urine. If your child’s urine is pale in color and plentiful, he is well-hydrated. If he is not urinating frequently throughout the day or his urine is dark yellow or tinted brown, he is not getting enough fluids. But to find out exactly how much fluid your child needs, you can follow this simple chart based on body weight. So if your child weighs…
* 15 lbs, give 3 cups per day of fluids
* 22 lbs, give 4 cups per day of fluids
* 33 lbs, give 5 cups per day of fluids
* 44 lbs, give 6 cups per day of fluids
* 55 lbs, give 6.5 cups per day of fluids
* 66 lbs, give 7 cups per day of fluids
* 77 lbs, give 7.5 cups per day of fluids

From the blog: Water – 1 Adult for 1 Day or 1-3 liters or 68 ounces (about a half gallon)
This could be more depending on the weather, your weight etc. Here’s a good calculator:
Food - If you’re doing nothing, as in laying in bed your body can consume about 1000-3000 calories a day depending on weight. So assuming you will be doing some activity you would need about 2000 up to 5000 (sometimes more) of healthy calories to maintain your weight. Basically:
130 lbs – 3000 calories
150 lbs – 3200 calories
180 lbs – 3500 calories
200 lbs – 3650 calories
220 lbs – 3800 calories

Here’s a calculator that will pick your daily caloric intake based on age, height, weight and exercise frequency.

Don’t Forget Water includes General Hygiene too

Water weighs a little over 8 pounds per gallon. An average healthy adult needs about 1 gallon per day. A gallon of water per person per day, for two weeks (14 days), equates to 14 gallons per person and weighs slightly more than 116 pounds for the recommended two-week period of water needs. Children need less, but it is easier to estimate 1 gallon for them, as well as dogs and cats. So add a gallon for each. Although not required to survive I add about 1/4 a gallon per person per day for hygiene, like brushing the teeth, washing under the armpits and hands and washing dishes. Remember that is an additional quarter gallon per person per day. You can get around the hand washing and arm pits if you stock up on the waterless anti-bacterial washing gels or wet wipes and you can “dip” into the gallon per day per person by saying only 1/3 to 1/2 of that same gallon is for hygiene. You can also reuse hygiene water to stretch it out and consume less per person on a daily basis. I add the extra because when camping, someone ALWAYS spilled a good portion of water. Besides the survival quantity of 1 gallon per person, is just that – the bare, very basic, best case MINIMUM!

But no matter how you look at it that is a lot of water, a lot of weight and a lot of storage space that is needed for just a two week supply for an individual, yet alone a family and pets. Plus water does not really store all that well for long periods and tends to absorb the taste of the container it is stored in.

* Yikes, now what can you do? * First think small refrigerator sized 1-2 gallon containers. Always have one in your frig and when it is empty, clean it, re-fill it and then put to the back of your water storage area and grab the oldest container. Or, if you mix and match the 1-2 gallon containers with the larger 7+ gallon containers; keep one of the larger ones handy and refill your smaller containers from the larger one. Rotate and refill both for use to keep the supply relatively fresh. A neighbor of mine fills his 1-2 gallon water containers ¾ full (to account for expansion) and then freezes them. If the power goes out, the ice melts into water. These he rotates less frequently than his normal water reserves.

What About Pets?

Pet food and water are essential if you plan to include your entire family in the preparedness and food storage plan.

When it comes to the food needs, you know your pet best. Determine how much it eats in a given day or week. Then multiply it out to get whatever length of time supply you will need. Most common dry dog and cat food will store just as long as any un-ground/whole grain (maybe even longer), if kept in an air tight, insect, rodent and water proof container. Generally consider the same type of storage containers as you would for grain. However, a good clean trash can (metal or plastic) with a secure top will work well, especially if you leave the dry food in its original bag too.

  • Remember if you feed your dog or cat only dry food, they will need MORE water than if being served wet food.

If you use canned, wet dog or cat food, this will store for years and years and your pet will need less water to boot. Just keep them in a cool, dry place to avoid rust and other issues and keep an eye out for bulging can bottoms and tops and toss those when you run across one.

Some types of pets may need fresh fruit, moist meat or live grasses and algae, as that is where they get their hydration from. You will need to consult with your veterinarian for specifics for emergency situations.

Pet water needs will vary with the type of pet and its age, health, weight or activity and special needs. Basically you will need to determine how much water your pet consumes in a given day or week and then multiply that out for the length of time you plan to sustain your pet. This water amount will need to be added to your overall water needs to ensure you have enough water for your entire family. When estimating, always estimate on the too much side.

Keep in mind some pets, like cats, hate standing water and prefer very fresh or running water. Other pets may need water to actually live in, like turtles, crabs, some reptiles and of course fish. If you have these kinds of pets to account for you will need to know how much water you use per week for their living habitat and add that to your total family water needs for the length of time you plan to “survive” on stored supplies.

It is a good idea to make a special 72 hour go-bag for each one of your pets, it may even need to include a smaller or larger cage or travel crate than you normally use. If your pet is the” tank” type, you will need to be inventive. I was unable to find any specific information on these types of pets beyond for the short trip to the vet. Your Vet would be a good choice for information of this type.

Here is some general information and links to sites with more information: and Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, a dog needs at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is not drinking an adequate amount of water, seek veterinary advice. Monitoring water intake is especially important if he’s recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses. ... What Causes Dehydration in Dogs? Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop to less than normal. This is due to either reduced water intake or increased fluid loss. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, especially in puppies.
What Are the General Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs?
* Sunken eyes
* Lethargy
* Loss of appetite
* Dry mouth
* Depression Why is water it important? In pets, as in people, water makes up the majority of the body about 80 percent. By allowing substances to dissolve and be carried through the body, it provides a basis for nearly all of the processes and chemical reactions that keep the body running, including digestion and circulation. It helps the body to filter out waste, and it regulates body temperature through evaporation. Dehydration, a lack of water in the body can cause serious problems, including kidney and heart damage. … What should I do? As vital as water is, it's relatively easy to provide. Just make sure your pet has a clean bowl (or bottle, in the case of some smaller animals) of fresh water at all times. A general rule of thumb is that most animals should have about 28 milliliters (or one fortieth of a liter) of water per pound of body weight per day. A forty-pound dog needs about a liter of water every day; a ten-pound cat needs about a quarter of a liter. You don't really need to spend time crunching the numbers, though most healthy animals that have access to clean water will drink enough to keep them hydrated. ...
# Some exotic animals, particularly amphibians like frogs and salamanders, can't or won't drink water from a bowl. These guys need a drip watering system, which drips or sprays temperature-controlled moisture into a cage for a few hours at a time. To select the right watering system for your exotic pet, consult your veterinarian.
# Reptiles often need a long, shallow dish of water in their cages. They use this water both to drink and to soak in, so it needs to be checked several times a day for dirt or fecal matter.
# Just like you, pets need more water when they're exercising. If you take your dog out for a long walk or run, bring along some water for him. Most pet stores sell light, collapsible travel water bowls that are easy to carry. Question: How much water does an adult cat need to drink? How much water does a large cat need to drink? I know they do need water, but haven't been able to learn exactly how much. Water Needs Depends on Diet - Cats' body tissues consist of about 67% water. Coincidentally, that is approximately the percentage of water in the prey they catch and eat in the wild. In contrast, dry cat food contains around 10% water, and canned cat food around 78%. Therefore, a cat on an all-dry food diet would obviously require more supplemental drinking water than a cat on an exclusive raw or canned food diet. Likewise, a cat on a combination of dry and canned cat food also needs more drinking water. ...
# Keep fresh, clear water available at all times for all cats, regardless of diet - preferably with an automatic water dispenser.
# Watch for signs of dehydration. A good test is to pull up the loose skin at the nape of the neck. If it springs right back, the cat is sufficiently hydrated. If it is slow to recede, suspect dehydration. As dogs age, their metabolism changes and their need for calories decreases. The same is NOT true for cats.The protein needs of cats are higher than the protein needs of many other animals. Inadequate amounts of protein in the diet can impair immune function. ... Water - Older cats may not drink sufficient amounts of water, which can exacerbate constipation problems and contribute to dehydration in cats with kidney disease. Getting a cat to drink more water may not be easy. Offering more sources of water and adding flavoring or ice cube to the water may entice some cats to drink more. ... As animals go, cats require less water than many others, and we often have a difficult time getting cats to drink as much as we would like. Place a number of water dishes for your cat around the house. You can even place the water bowls in some unusual places. Cats seem to pay more attention to things that are different. Vary the types of bowls – low ones, high ones, a drinking glass, a big dog bowl. Again, if it is unusual, cats may try it. Try running water ... Add water to the food ... Fresh water is usually the key.
To understand your cat's water needs, let's review some basic biology. Your cat's distant ancestors were desert dwellers. They got most of their water from their prey—birds and small mammals—which were also composed of two-thirds water. There was little or no need to drink water on the side. … Fast-forward to today's housecat eating commercial cat food. Canned or "wet" food contains a high percentage of water, similar to a cat's ancestral diet. If the mainstay of a cat's diet is wet food, the cat will naturally drink less water, perhaps only 1-2 ounces daily. In fact you may rarely see her drink at all. Dry food, on the other hand, contains only about ten percent water. If a cat eats all or mostly dry food, he or she must drink more—several ounces of water a day—to meet the dietary requirement. ... Feeding your cat an all-dry diet, in effect, places a burden on your cat to drink much more than normal each day. ... Ceramic, glass, or stainless steel bowls are preferred. Learn How to Prevent Dehydration in Feathered Pets From finches to parrots, exotic pet birds need fresh clean water at all times. Here's what to do when traveling or illness makes taking adequate fluids a problem. ... Wholesalers who ship pet store birds from aviaries do not provide fresh water in transit. Instead, they leave bits of lettuce, apples, carrots, and grapes in cages to provide moisture. Fresh seeding grasses are also full of moisture, though they may be messy. Matthew Vriend's Guide to Pet Birds warns against feeding avocado to bird pets, as the fruit contains poisonous substances near the peeling. Small pet birds become dehydrated quicker than a pet bird parrot. When traveling inside a car, (house pet birds should never be placed in an open truck bed), a pet bird cage should be seat belted in case of sudden stops. A shower of fresh water with a spray bottle will help birds stay hydrated; they will preen and swallow some of the water on their feathers. Take care to protect birds from chill or drafts. ... Pet bird supplies need to be appropriate for each species. Budgies (parakeets) will not eat or drink if dishes are partially covered, as instincts prevent putting their heads under anything. Most birds will not know how to drink out of the kind of water bottle commonly used for rodents. If pet owners wish to use these bottles, another water dish should be in the cage until the bird has been observed drinking from the bottle. Most birds appreciate having a shallow bathing dish as well as a drinking cup. ... The Eyes Show Signs of Dehydration - According to Stroud's Digest on the Diseases of Birds, a bird will show signs and symptoms of dehydration in the skin around their eyes. It will be crinkly, and skin on their legs may not snap back when pinched. The bird will have low energy and may be sitting on the floor of its cage looking fluffed up to conserve warmth. Accidental causes of dehydration may be extended traveling without water or a pet owner's forgetfulness. Illness may also cause dehydration. A veterinary consult should be a priority, but some first aid measures are also appropriate. ... Treating Dehydration at Home - Replace water with pediatric electrolyte solution, if possible. Keep the bird warm with an overhead low-wattage colored electric light bulb or covered heating pad under the cage, or at least by covering the cage with a towel or blanket. If the bird drinks voluntarily, dehydration signs will probably resolve quickly.

For some extremely basic facts on exotic pets:
Their energy needs stay basically the same throughout adulthood. Obesity is one of the main health problems of middle age (6-8 years of age) cats; it occurs less often by the age of ten, and greatly decreases after that. ...

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