Shopping lists all for the birds
When people enter the Cheep Shop they get a little lecture about what we are trying to do here. Some, of course, come in when we are having smoko or are talking to other customers, and they are spared. The others are told the reason we are here is Bird Rescue Whanganui Manawatu and that we work to support the people who rescue the actual birds. We may not be making mega-bucks, but it frees up time for the rescuers, time that would otherwise have to be spent raising funds.
Below is a weekly shopping list from a couple of years ago. It hasn’t changed much, only the price tags! It looks like the list for a school camp, and of course the birds have to have the same quality food as everyone else! Only chooks can live on scraps.
So, once a week the trolley gets loaded up with: 7kg of frozen mixed vegetables, 7kg of frozen peas, 7kg of frozen kernel corn, 4kg of brown rice, 8 x 410g cans of pears, 8 x 410g cans of peaches, 2 bananas, 2 apples, 3 2.5l bottles of Janola, 1 bottle of dishwashing liquid, 3 packs of paper towels, 20 rubbish bags, 1 loaf of brown bread (for growing meal worms), 1 bottle of hand sanitiser, 1 box of dishwasher tablets (22s).
Kereru get vegetables and rice, about half a kilo per bird per day! Tui and bellbird get canned pears and peaches. And insect-eaters get meal worms. Watching a squirming mass of maggots and the black beetles that are the parent generation is not for people of a delicate disposition.
And that’s only a part of it, kingfishers get ox heart, sea birds get fingerlings from a fish farm and birds of prey get the unwanted male chickens from the egg industry. At least the fish and the chickens are benefiting New Zealand’s native birds in this way!
In a good week the Cheep Shop pays for the groceries, but in a brilliant week we also contribute to the power bill, and the diesel, and the road user charges, and the phone. And you supply the brilliance!