Nuts & Seeds

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Orleander, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. kmguru Staff Member

    I have some Cocoa Beans. But unfortunately I think they are roasted or something, because they did not germinate. When you bite in to it, they taste like chocolate but bitter. I can get them in bulk, if anyone wants to buy. I just got the sample from Cameroon.
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    "BUT BITTER"???? Chocolate IS bitter.

    Why do you think a Hershey bar is mainly sugar and milk powder, etc.?
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  5. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    you guys ever tried choclate coated coffee beans?

    (i wish i had a piture of homer drwling to post right here

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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yes, it says very clearly in Winnie the Pooh: "Piglets eat haycorns."

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    You're not gonna believe this, but the coconut is a DRUPE. I'll let you look that up! There are way too many different types of fruits! All the palm tree fruits like dates are drupes. So are olives, mangoes, coffee "beans," pistachios, and the entire Prunus genus, which covers peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, plums and almonds.
    I can't find them referred to as anything but just plain "fruits." When they refer to them as cocoa "beans," they always use the quote marks to indicate that it's a colloquial name rather than scientific.
    My wife is a chocolatiere. Chocolate is a treat that had to wait for the Industrial Revolution. Processing cocoa "beans" into chocolate liquor, which is the cocoa solids and cocoa butter from which what we call "chocolate" is made, is a heroic exercise in chemical engineering that could not have been performed before the late 19th century. It requires precision heating and stirring and cooling with very delicate control.

    The "chocolate" that we buy in 5-kg bricks from factories in France, Belgium, Ecuador, etc., to make truffles, nut bark, soft-center chocolates, etc. has already been mixed with sugar and the ratio of cocoa solids (which contain all the caffeine and theobroma, the two drugs in chocolate) to cocoa butter (which is caffeine-free, has good flavor and texture, and is used by itself to make white chocolate) is precisely controlled. You can buy a bar of this stuff in Trader Joe's or other gourmet stores, with the cocoa content percentage displayed on the wrapper. Anything over about 60% is "dark" chocolate, less than that is "milk" chocolate and may actually have milk and other odds and ends added.

    The chocolate drink or "cocoa" that people made 150 years ago before it was possible to make solid chocolate candy was a pale imitation of the chocolate flavor that now makes life worth living--those poor folks. The stuff that the Aztecs and Incas were mixing with water, using their pretty little chocolate beaters, should be called "cocoa bean soup" and it's amazing anybody recognized its potential and started exporting it to Europe.
  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    A drupe!? I'm never gonna remember that. lol
  9. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Small spread, but a small house too so there's room to plant.
    I've managed to squeeze in about 20 fruit trees and six eucalypts, some of my faves, I planted a Sydney bluegum ( shit name for a majestic tree), it grew at 3 metres a year through a wicked drought and I could climb it to a height of 4-5 metres after only a few years. I have a spotted gum which grew even faster and has finally got its spots after 5 years.

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    These are spotted gums from local forest, incidentally, the fernlike guys in the foreground are the cycads ( Macrozamia communis) which has the poisonous nuts.

    My Scribbly gum is yet to get its scribbles but my ironbark is irony ( no particular irony in this comment except that if there was any it would be lost on me anyway) and my peppermint gum is fully pepperminty and my West Australian flowering gum is a mass of deep crimson right on Christmas.
  10. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member


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    Here's the Glossy black FR, not as imposing as the Palm cocky,

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    Check out that beak, but A fun little dude none the less.
    They are rare but I see them in pairs occasionally. I haven't had them in on my Casuarinas yet and if they come it will be more for my benefit than theirs.

    I do get Sulphur crested Cockatoos feeding on my Acacia baileyana ( magnificent tree with silvery grey foliage and a mass of brilliant yellow bloom in the dead of Winter). Yes they are raucous but I love it.
    Fruit bats are more oppressive than flocks of Cockies and form massive colonies which can be quite smelly. They still make a great sight at dusk, wheeling around in their thousands.

    Cockies, especially Sulphur crested can form big flocks and the noise can be deafening, but for me, it's the stuff that can actually get my patriotic juices flowing more than anything but a chorus of cicadas on a scorching summer evening. Fraggle I think you'll appreciate this, I have refined the art of conducting cicadas in the bush; they sing in rising and falling rythms and form great crescendoes followed by silence. They will start up again in waves from different areas, almost in quadrants and a little careful listening will tune you in to their rythm. I can hold a mob of kids spellbound, jaws agape as I conduct this wonderful choir.

    All the different Cockatoos have different calls ( screeches, raaarks, squeaks and chatter) I can do a reasonable impression of most except Galahs who are out of my vocal range but whenever a group of Yellow tailed blacks or Sulphur cresteds are flying over, I'll call out in Cockatoo and human ( Screech, creeaaak! "ow's it goin' brudder? creeaak!") I always get a reply or response.

    As for the selective targetting of feeders on a particular plant, the casuarina seed pod is very tough and only the Black cockies will go for it.
    I've planted Banksia integrifolia, coastal banksia for the Yellow tailed blacks and have had them come to visit.
    My butterfly attractors, Kunzea amigua are spectacularly successful and have the most amazing rich honey scent as well.

    As for chocolate 70-80% dark is my speed, quite bitter and very delicious.
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I am not a "birder" but I was given a Calopsita for last birthday. It looks vaguely like a less extreme version of bird with curved beak and head feather crown display in your second photo; However, it is yellow with grey wings and has the characteristic "dime-sized" orange spots on both sides of the head, just under the eyes. Perhaps someone will post a photo? - I can not up link any for unknown reasons.

    It is nearly a year old now and still can only fly when it has the "ground effect" working for it - I.e. it can lift up off the floor less than a foot. This makes it safe from self injury by "window collision." Calopsitas are not expensive and very human friendly birds - he likes to sit on my hand, climb up to my shoulder (then pull on my long hair etc) If I ignore him (or her?) she complains "verbally" asking for a ride etc. The front of the cage folds down to make a porch and it says open all night and most of the day (closed only when no one will be home for a few hours.) He is very discerning in his tastes - carefully eats one type of seed first out of the commercial mix. I give her a few water melon* seeds ocasionally that it likes a lot also.

    Calopsitas make very good pets. Mine likes to show appreciation for being allowed on my hand or arm for a ride around the house by, by head bobing, standing on one leg, flexing tail and wing, soft "talking" to me, etc -actions rarely done when alone in its open cage. I understand what several of its different "calls" mean. One is "I am bored - I want a ride." another is "I want new seeds - you don't expect me to eat those that remain, do you?" (I often refuse to comply, and let him get hungry enough to eat the less tasty ones as I am cheap and also think Trill's "calopsita mix" is better for him. When only the ones he really hates remain, I stir coat them with a few drops of honey and he will eat some more a little more willingly.)
    *Mix does not contain them and I know they are non-toxic at least for humans.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2008
  12. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Do birds naturally eat peanuts? Do they know to dig them up? Do they ever break into a squirrels stash of acorns?
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I wasn't referring to the noise although as a psittaculturist I know that even a small flock of parrots can create cacophony. We had feral conures in the Los Angeles area and when the fruit trees were in season many people considered them pests. In fact it's generally speculated that the reason so many cherry-headed conures "accidentally" fly away from home is that people "forget" to trim their flight feathers because they're so noisy to keep indoors.

    I've read articles about the mayhem cockatoos can wreak. One said that a flock would descend on a fiberglass-body car and chew it down to the chassis. Another said that in at least one city they had learned to unscrew valve caps and push the valve stems on tires, to blast themselves with air, and there had been an epidemic of cars with four flat tires.
    Be very careful. I can't tell you the number of birds that have been lost on their "first flight." People get used to playing with them out in the yard and suddenly one day they get enough lift to fly out into the woods and can't find their way back. Another common problem is not keeping their flight feathers clipped. Birds have a reflex center in their shoulders so if they're startled the wings start flapping before they can think about it. Next thing they know they're two blocks away with no idea of how to get home.

    Note: In our experience cockatiels are ready to fly at eight to twelve weeks and need their first flight-feather trim at that time. Like most small psittacines they reach adulthood in one year. If yours is a year old and still incapable of real flight you should have him examined. Or her, very few parrot species are dimorphic and you need a DNA test on a stool sample to find out what you've got.
    One of the reasons cockatiels are so popular is that they are naturally tolerant of human company and don't have to be hand-fed as babies in order to imprint on our species.
    I can't find any information on the question of digging up raw peanuts. Perhaps digging birds like crows might do it, but that's just conjecture. Peanuts are a staple of bird feeders, especially for birds with large or strong beaks. Grosbeaks especially would love them. However, there's a widespread fungus that infects much of the peanut crop, and it's fatal to birds. You're taking a chance if you give birds raw peanuts.
    The usual suspects will eat acorns: jays, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, all of the birds with powerful beaks. I can't find any information on stealing from squirrels. The logistics of that plot sound pretty daunting. Most birds are afraid to go into enclosed areas except for a nice cozy nest box. I can't imagine they'd dare to enter one that is obviously the territory of a large rodent.
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Thanks. I do not take it outside, but do take it close to the windows when on my hand to let it look outside. It often sees its reflection and exhibts some interest (It has a mirror in the cage, but no longer pays much attention to that "bird in the mirror.") It may seem cruel, but as I do fear it may suddenly learn how to fly (without ground efffect aid) I usually rapidly move it forward while it is looking out of the window to bang its beak into the glass. It seem be be learning what is going to happen, pulls it head back or steps back on my hand so as not to let me bang its nose into the glass.

    It seems to be a lot smarter than I thought a bird could be. Normally at night it climbs out side the cage and roosts on the top. It is waiting there for me when I get up. If I over sleep I begins to call for me to come and get it. Wife, I and bird have breakfast together in the kitchen - it sitting on rag covered chair, and eating "false seeds" which are made with egg and flour I think - It does not like their smell if straight form the sealed pack so I have some that have been "airing out" for few days that it finds "ok" but soon stops eating them and give me its "I want a ride call" but as I am not thru with my coffee I just offer my foot near its chair seat. It will fly/jump down to it if I do not bring it close enough for it to step onto my slipper. Then it walks up leg and tries to go up chest or arm, but I am busy turing news paper etc so seldom let it. - it then becomes angry with me -tries to bite etc.

    Do you know anything about its claws? Sometimes now, on our walks inside the house to look out the windows etc. it loses its balance. Once recently as it was falling off, the sharp claw tip scratched my arm skin enought to expose some blood spots in a 2 inch scratch line. The claws were not that sharp a few months ago. If I could think of how to do it, I would sand paper them to make them more blunt, but fear it would hurt him if I clipped even just the tips.

    Also I now need to do something for its own good as occasionally a claw gets stuck in my clothing and he is flapping wings and appears to be twisting his leg, but thus far, my quick assistance has prevented any injury.

    I have stopped, but until a few months ago, I gave it "flight lesson" by quickly lowering the arm he was sitting on. He kept control as he falls to the floor accelerating down at about G/2. He never made any "forward progress" just dropping nearly straight down with wings frantically flapping. His cage floor is about 20 inches above the room floor and the open porch is also. If I ignore his "I am bored - want attention" call for couple of hours, he gets his courage / anger up and flys down to floor and walks over to me at the computer to sit on my foot. I often then put him on my pants leg, near knee, where he becomes quite and works on his feathers. - Makes considerable fine white flakes on my blue jeans.
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    If the glass is not so clean that the bird can't tell it's there, he won't bang into it. Birds only do that on spotless glass, or coming in from outside when the glass is dark and just looks like empty space. I don't think you have to train him to not bump into glass.
    Psittacines (the parrot order) are the smartest of all birds. They can take things apart, figure out your schedule, just generally get the better of you. You generally have to keep them provided with toys. Cockatiels are extremely social birds and do not like being alone. You will have to be committed to spending a lot of time with this bird, like several hours a day. Just being his "tree" and letting him sit on your shoulder is good, but he also needs a lot of playtime. People who don't have enough time for a parrot should have two parrots, the same species or two that are roughly equal in size and won't hurt each other. We used to breed parrots and we were disappointed when we found out that most people really don't have enough time to spend with them.
    Be careful, parrots are very demanding when they get into a routine they expect. It's best to not let him get into a consistent schedule or he'll drive you nuts if you vary it. As they say, with a dog you absolutely have to get him into a routine, with a parrot you absolutely have to avoid it.

    BTW, you should lock him up securely overnight with a cover over his cage, and not let him have the run of the place. He'll get more adventurous and one morning you'll find him digging through the trash, unweaving the wires on the window screen so he can get outside, or chewing the door gasket off of your fridge or the legs off of your piano. Leaving an unsupervised parrot in your house is LITERALLY leaving a terrorist in your house. They can and do cause that much trouble!
    Don't let him boss you around or you're toast. If he gets bitchy lock him up in his cage for an hour in a room with no company. But it sounds like you're making some mistakes. You're letting him get used to a routine, and perhaps you don't have the several hours a day to devote to him. A cockatiel may be the wrong bird for you, they are just godawful demanding. It's like having a six-month-old baby who will never grow up and leave you alone, but just die in ten years.
    Our birds get to walk on concrete so it keeps their claws ground down. They make sandpaper sleeves you can put on their perches that do the same thing. But it sounds like you're too late for that. You're going to have to trim his nails. That is a very tricky business requiring the proper size and type of clipper for your species and you have to know what you're doing and approach it from the right angle. It's much harder than doing dog or cat nails. If you screw up and cut too far down they'll bleed and you need to have a container of styptic powder right there because they can bleed to death that way. You admit you're a beginner with birds so you'd better let your vet do it. Even a dog or cat vet probably has enough training to trim his nails even if he couldn't diagnose ornithosis. You cannot leave them that way, it makes it hard for him to walk and grasp and perch.
    Your bird is very weak. He should be able to get lift and fly perfectly for a short distance indoors, even if he has no endurance. I strongly recommend having an avian veterinarian examine him. There are lots of them in the U.S. these days so I assume it's the same over there. Birds are very popular pets.
    You're letting him become the boss and get his way. I promise you will be very very very sorry. But also this seems to be due to the fact that you just don't have enough time for him. Having a cockatiel is kind of like having a retarded child, you have to want him to be the center of your life. Except a cockatiel is as smart as a normal child and can get into a whole lot of trouble.
    Yeah, they have a lot of dander. Many people are allergic to it. All parrots preen themselves that way but the cockatoo family is especially famous for their cloud-soft feathers and their ability to produce giant clouds of dander.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  16. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Hey! Why is your cockatoo in my nuts?!

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    This is a nut/seed/drupe thread.

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  17. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    I thought you liked a cockatoo.

    * spud ducks for cover*
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    From what fraggle is telling me, I think Billy T is a large nut.
    One finally note on the bird. I gave it a loop of broken, dirty old shoe string, as I noted how much it likes strings it finds on the floor. It only takes him about an hour, when he is working on it to untie the square knot in the middle and less than that the knots at the top ends of the loop attaching it to the cage. Fortunately, he has grown tired of that game and has not untied it for about 10 days now. I just discovered that portugese Calopsita = English "Cockatiel" as type (from ingrediants translation on seed package) Aslo think the seed he likes best comes from millet if that is a small round, light tan ball.
  19. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Let's get real. If it's sweet and everyone likes to eat it, it's a fruit. If it's nasty and your mom has to force you to eat it, it's a vegetable.
  20. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    LOL, true

    Isn't an artichoke a flower?
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    So are broccoli and cauliflower (which are two varieties of the same species of plant).
  22. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    brussel sprouts??
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    From Wiki's Millet:

    "... The protein content in millet is very close to that of wheat; both provide about 11% protein by weight. Millets are rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Millets contain no gluten, so they cannot rise for bread. When combined with wheat or xanthan gum (for those who have coeliac disease), though, they can be used for raised bread. Alone, they are suited for flatbread.
    Preparation {for humans - my bird likes it raw -Millet is the food of its choice.}
    The basic preparation consists in washing the millet and toasting it while moving until one notes a characteristic scent. {I will use my big wok.} Then five measures of boiling water for each two measures of millet are added with some sugar* or salt. The mixture is cooked covered using low flame for 30-35 minutes. ..."
    Last week, on BBC, there was a program about the danger mankind is producing by growing only a few cerial crops in large volume. (Especially dangerous now that global stocks / per person have never been as low as they are today.) For example, some wheat "rust" or rice fungus than became uncontrolled globally would kill more than two dozen nuclear bombs could.

    Millet was once more inportant than at least wheat (comparable to rice) but is labor intensive to harvest. Some foresighted people working in the Indian agriculture area are trying, with modest success, to get millet returned to the commercial market - mainly via "health food stores," where the higher price will be accepted as millet is more vitamine and mineral rich than wheat. - All in all, millet is a superior cerial food, except for the slightly higher production cost.

    Next to the Wiki text, quoted above, are several photos. One shows the small round light-tan balls (seeds) I speculated were millet in prior "bird post." Now I am sure that millet is the best tasting of about 15 different seeds, if you are a Cockatiel. I will try to get some for testing how they taste to me.

    My breakfast every day is already strange (by most people's POV) It is a banana, microwaved one minute, with about 1/3 the banana's volume of fine- chopped, raw whole oats sprinkled over the smashed banana. Then about two talble spoons of canola oil is mixed in to make a nice, very tasty and healthy, paste. Every month or so, I process at least a killo of the whole oats, (bought from store selling horse food in bushel basket, or more volume, once or twice a year) in my blender into a fine powder, I store in glass jars.
    When I find where I can buy chemical free millet, half of what goes into that blender will be toasted** millet. My first wife was Norwegian and I learned to like flat bread, which they make mainly from rye. I plan also to make some millet flat bread. I can and do sometimes buy the Norwegian "Rye Crisp" packets here in Brazil, but they are expensive and although there is now no need for my frugality (my kids say "cheapness") it is too deeply ingrained (See Orleander, all my posts here are "on thread."

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    Some seed or nut mentioned in each) in me from my "staving student days" to change and I see no valid reason to try. (I get irrational pleasure when I buy something I need at bargain prices, but spend freely if I want something. Fortunately my material wants are very few.)
    *Skip the sugar. I consider sugar, even brown sugar, a mild posion. Mankind did not have any 450 years ago, or earlier when he evolved his insulin production / regulation system to cope with blood sugar levels that were produced from slow break down of complex foods, or the small quanties of sugar in fruit he occasionally found. Eating much larger volumes (typical American eats nearly a pound /day.) of sugar is like playing your finely tuned "insulin system piano" with a hammer. - No wonder type 2 diabetes is only found in richer countries where sugar is eaten in volumes that mankind's system can not properly handle.
    **I will experiment with eating it raw, and if good, not bother with the toasting. Obviously nothing very toxic in it for the heat to destroy as my bird loves it raw. (Not 100% proof of safety as bird's system might be different so I will "go easy" on the % raw initially.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008

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