Halloween @ Parenting Parrots!

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Ringo on a pumpkin

It’s almost halloween and I wanted to do something special for you guys… So at Parenting Parrots we decided to really celebrate halloween this year and do something we have never done before…. (Drumroll please)

I GOT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS!! LOL I know it’s nothing big but to me, it’s HUGE!!! I’m so excited about celebrating halloween at Parenting Parrots I can’t contain my excitement!

I GOT PUMPKINS!!! So, I’m in my 30’s and in all my years, (whispering) I have never carved a pumpkin :(. LOL I hope I’m not alone in this but anyways Junior Jay and I will be carving pumpkins with our PARROTS!!!! You can watch our halloween video here:

We had so much fun decorating and carving pumpkins I think we will have to do a halloween special every year! I hope you guys had as much fun watching us, as we had making everything! It was a first for all the parrots (not sure about Nyx) and us so a big thing to be excited about!

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Nyx on a pumpkin

Pumpkins are okay for parrots to have so we had nothing to worry about in getting their help with the decorating!

To everyone who is celebrating…

HAPPHALLOWEEN FROM

PARENTING PARROTS

TO YOU!!!!

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Our pumpkins!

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Rasta – Green Naped Lorikeet

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Rasta at exactly 16 weeks old

I purchased Rasta from the same breeder I purchased Marlee from. I found her on Kijiji, we spent months talking and she sent me weekly pictures of their progress. I ended up taking both birds from her… definitely a challenge. I swear I must be crazy. I think they seem louder than they are because there is two of them. They are like night and day though. 

Name: Rasta

Type of Parrot: Green naped Lorikeet

Sex: Male

Birth Date: June 30th, 2016

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Nectar

Noise Level:  medium

Training progress: Rasta is learning target training

Tricks: He knows how to step up

Talking ability:  Unknown

Favorite toys: Rasta loves this leather toy.

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Rasta’s favorite toy

Fears:  He doesn’t like my hand to go above his head

Diet: Quiko nectar, fruits and I’m trying to get him to accept veggies

Treats: Quiko nectar – thinking of trying maple syrup as a treat – still researching

cage Size: It’s a huge cage but I need to separate them

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Marlee and Rasta’s living quarters

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken him to the vet yet.

Next Steps: Getting him potty trained

Parenting Parrots!

Marlee – Green-naped Lorikeet

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I purchased Marlee from a breeder that I found on Kijiji. I only wanted one however the breeder had two and had no other buyers so I took them both for the challenge… definitely a challenge.

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Marlee at 16 weeks and 2 days old

Name: Marlee

Type of Parrot: Green naped Lorikeet

Sex: Female

Birth Date: June 28th, 2016

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Nectar

Noise Level:  medium

Training progress: She is still learning to step up

Tricks: No tricks as yet

Talking ability:  Unknown

Favorite toys: She loves her swing

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Marlee’s favorite swing

Fears:  She doesn’t like my hand to go above her head

Diet: Quiko nectar, fruits and I’m trying to get her to accept veggies

Treats: nectar – thinking of trying maple syrup as a treat – still researching

cage Size: It’s a huge cage but I need to separate them

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Marlee and Rasta’s living quarters

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken her to the vet yet.

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

Parenting Parrots!

Lets Scramble It up!

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“What’s for breakfast?” You asked.
“Well I’m thinking scrambled eggs” I replied.
“HAHAHA, for parrots?!” You exclaimed.
“Umm, yea they need to eat” I said.

I know parrots have pellets that are very well balanced and should be able to offer them all the nutritional values they need, however how would you like to eat the same food over and over again? I would HATE it, eventually you would get sick of it so why wouldn’t parrots? Sharing my table food is something I enjoy doing with my parrots (as long as it’s not my actual plate, hahaha). I stay away from the no-no’s like avocado, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. I feel the variety gives them a better palate and they always get pellets, so this is just to give them options.

I introduce my kids to different types of food because I want them to be open-minded and be able to try everything so I treat my parrots with the same mindset. Sharing your table food is actually common amongst parrot owners, I think the surprise comes more from people who do not have parrots than the actual owners themselves. So this morning, scrambled eggs were on the menu. I made the batch for the kids first and then I started on the parrots. Technically I could use the same batch for the kids, for the parrots as long as I minimize the salt and remove using egg shells and the crushed red peppers. But I chose to separate just to make sure the parrots get the shells for the calcium points.

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This may not be neccessary but sometimes being new to the parrot world, you might feel uncertain about making things for your parrot, so I thought I would post what I use to help anyone who may need it.

The ingredients I use:
Stainless steel frying pan
Spatula
Bowl and fork to mix with
2 eggs – use the shells too (I use 2 because I have 7 parrots however I don’t serve this to the lorikeets as I’m still learning about their diet so technically it’s only 5… I think going forward I will use one because 2 makes a lot for these guys)
1/4 tsp of milk (too much dairy isn’t good for parrots but a little is okay. If I was only using one egg I would do 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp of crushed red peppers
butter (Used for frying)

So I mixed the eggs, milk and crushed red peppers in the bowl with the fork while heating the butter in the pan.  All the white you see is the egg shells, you can barely see any milk.

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The ingredients in the bowl

Once all the ingredients are mixed and the pan is heated, you put your mixture in it and you keep scrambling it until it is well done. Fyi I used no oil.
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For the sake of the pictures, I made the eggs a bit more well done then usual however you have to make sure it is well done as you don’t want to risk giving your parrots anything that isn’t fully cooked. I put paper towel down to soak up the butter that was used to cook the eggs.

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It’s a quick breakfast and gives your parrots something different. The egg shells help to give a bit of calcium so still a healthy choice plus minimizing the use of oil definitely is a plus! I use the crushed red peppers to give it a little spice as parrots do like things a little hot.

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I gave piper a bit too much so he didn’t finish his food however everyone else ate it all up. Let the food cool and serve!! Don’t serve your parrots HOT food.

As always scrambled eggs were a success!!

Parenting Parrots

Nyx – Black Capped Conure

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Nyx

Nyx was a rehome. Perfectly socialized and definitely a joy to have around. I am so happy we have her. She is very cuddly, loves to be pet and just wants to be where you are all the time.

Name: Nyx

Type of Parrot: Black Capped Conure

Sex: Female

Birth Date: 2013

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: sunflower seeds

Noise Level:  Quiet

Training progress: She is learning how to stay and how to fly to me

Tricks: She can step up, turn around, do the bat, play dead

Talking ability:  “grayson”,”whats up”

Favorite toys: This bell toy

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Nyx’s favorite toy

Fears:  She is afraid of other birds

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size: It’s an open top.

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Nyx’s house

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

See Nyx in action…

Parenting Parrots

What time is it?? It’s Training Time!!!

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What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!

It’s Parenting Parrots’ Training Time!!

Hey everyone! I think it’s time we focus on getting your parrots trained or at least listen to me get my parrots trained hahahaha. So when I decide it’s training time which happens once or twice a day depending on my workload, there is a few things I have to make sure I have.

1) Quiet space

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Our training room

You need a quiet spot to start training as you want your parrot’s undivided attention. Now when I say quiet it may not be completely quiet but as long as it is quieter than the rest of the house with minimal distractions, it should work. I used to train in the living room with the television off and that worked perfectly.
2) Clicker

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My clicker – I’m missing the orange button in the middle but it still works

We clicker train however if you do not have or want to clicker train than you can always skip this step. I believe in clicker training as I learned about it from www.birdtricks.com. I have been very successful with using it and my birds look forward to a treat once they hear that clicker. I have this clicker currently however I have been through quite a few clickers over the years and as you can see in my personal picture, my clicker is missing the orange button. This clicker is cheaper so if I need to replace the one I currently have I would get this one, as this is what I used to have but lost it.
3) Treat

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Positive reinforcement is what we are focused on here. When you go to animal shows, you will see the animal do a trick and then receive a treat. Well if it is successful for professionals, why can’t it be for the average person? So we do the same thing. They do the trick, you click and give the reward. If your bird will not accept treats from your hands, you can put the treat in a food bowl or offer something else the bird would like. Read this post to understand what “reward” I did with Ringo to get him used to me being near him. I offered him more space when he would display calmness ( got that from birdtricks). I then removed my hand as a reward once he stepped on it (I think I made this one up hahaha). I find that a food treat works best because it’s easy to understand as it is something that they will not receive except for when training. To figure out what treat to give, do what I did in my above picture, get a variety of treats and see which one the bird picks first, second and third. This will give you an idea of what treats you can train with. In the above picture I have, (in clockwise) sunflower seed, pine nuts, peanuts (not a good option), spray millet, walnut and an almond.
4) A watch

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I train for 10 – 15 minutes. Since I don’t want to go over time, I always have a watch or my cell phone or something with the time on me, so I know when to stop. Even if the parrot looks like they would want to keep going I do not pass the 15 minute mark. 10 minutes is my time, however if I feel the parrot wants more I will do 15 but that’s it. You don’t want to “overstay your welcome”. It’s better to stop before the bird wants to stop, that way you are ending the training on a positive note instead of a restless, frustrated or getting fed up note.
5) A parrot that is ready to start eating

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Grayson eating a treat

What I do, is feed them their daily portion and if there is food still in there in the morning, I won’t train. I wait it out until all the food is gone out of their cage then I train when it is time for them to eat again. If the food is all gone in the morning, I will do a morning training session. If the bird is almost ready to eat again, food treats will be a perfect reward however if the bird is full, why would it want more food?? Even if it is their favorite food. Once your full, your full! If I’m not sure when they finished last, I do have a scale that I put them on to weigh them. I keep a chart of their normal weight and what is good training weight which is apparently 10% less than their normal weight. (If you do not have a scale – click on the link and buy one because it is SO worth it). I use a scale for monitoring their weight as it will tell me if they are sick and it comes in handy for training so a MUST BUY!!!

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My bird scale

Once you have all these things in place, you are ready to start training!!! And remember if you have any issues or questions, you can reach us by clicking on contact us. We respond within 24 h0urs!

Parenting Parrots!

Parrots Shower too, you know??

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Piper on the shower perch

People always seem amazed when they find out exactly how much work goes into taking care of a parrot, but yet these same people are not amazed at how much work goes into taking care of a dog. Why the different reactions?

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I think because dogs have been domesticated and is a “normal” pet to have, everyone has adjusted to the way of living with them. Parrots are becoming more and more popular as each year goes on however they are still far from being able to declare as domesticated and maybe because of that, misconceptions have followed them for years. “Birds are pets that stay in a cage all day long and all you have to do is give it some toys, a food bowl and a water bowl”. NOT!!! Sorry to disappoint anyone however everything you do for a dog, you have to do for a parrot. So one thing that I wanted to cover today was showering. Parrots shower too, you know? They have bath time!

Some will automatically use their water bowls as their bath water when they need a good washing. Others may decide when you are washing dishes is a good time to jump on in. You may have to force some to take a bath until they learn how to enjoy it however either way it has to happen, it has to happen just like having a dog.

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Grayson, african grey

How often you decide to bath your parrot is really a personal choice but because we are Parenting Parrots we treat our parrots as close as possible to how we treat our toddlers. So technically bathing everyday is what should be happening but of course it doesn’t, as I want to give them a chance to do it themselves. Which means… I bathe them as often as possible usually that’s once every other day. In the summertime, I try to stick to this and I like to do it in the morning around 11am after their morning training and breakfast. So then they have all day to preen and dry off, help keep themselves busy. In the winter time I only shower them twice a week. When I have to go to work obviously this is not an option and I work too early to even give them a quick bath so that sucks but if your parrots bathe themselves anyways then you really don’t have to worry about this.

I used to spray mist them in their cages but then other stuff would get wet and it just seemed like a disaster. So I’m trying this shower perch. Right now they’re all timid on it and act shy. The size I have is a small which seems to work okay for most of the parrots however Grayson, my african grey needs a bigger size (medium) as there’s not enough room for him to stretch out his wings and enjoy himself. Boss, the lovebird needs a smaller perch as she just falls right off and since Nyx always takes her showers when I’m washing the dishes she doesn’t use the perch.

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Boss and Nyx in the sink

Bathing your parrot helps to keep the dander down. Lovebirds and African Grey parrots can make a lot of dander (I think Indian Ringnecks do too). Dander is an informal term for a material shed from the body of various animals, including humans, which have fur, hair, or feathers. The term is similar to dandruff, when an excess of flakes becomes visible. Skin flakes that come off the main body of an animal are dander, while the flakes of skin called dandruff come from the scalp and is composed of epithelial skin cells. Quote from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dander.

The main thing to consider here is that dander can cause allergies if not controlled. I have an air filter for this but i still need to control it by making sure that the birds are constantly taking baths. IT HELPS OUT A LOT!!!

Every now and then I will see Grayson take a bath in his water bowl, which is too small for him to bath in but I love the fact that he is taking his hygiene into his own hands. I especially see this when I’ve been at work the whole week. Boss always uses her water bowl or she will go visit Piper and bath in his water hahaha. Nyx used to bath in her water bowl but now that I have her with me every time I wash dishes, I haven’t seen her use her water bowl in a long time. Piper and Ringo use their water bowl just not as frequently as I would like. Marlee and Rasta bath every day in their water bowl so sometimes I don’t bath them as I make sure I give them fresh water first thing in the morning and as soon as they bath I switch it out but I will be getting them another bowl of water just in case they bath one day and I’m not home to change it. Sometimes I turn on the vacuum to see if they will go bathe in their water on their own, I have yet to be successful with this. But rumor is, to encourage a parrot to bath, turn on the vacuum.

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Ringo in the shower

My biggest pet peeve about this shower perch is that I wish it had grooves. When the birds first go on it, they slip and slide before getting their balance. This seems like the typical shower perch as every one I look at lacks grooves or if it doesn’t lack grooves it costs almost 50 bucks. I will continue to use this perch as once they get a grip they don’t fall off. I keep it low now and very close to the tub so if they do fall it’s not a far drop. My favorite Parrot shop has shower perches that do have texture on the actual perch so if I get really annoyed I might try one and then I can do a comparison review.

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Sorry Rasta wouldn’t stay still so I could get a good picture

Otherwise I have no complaints as it beats having them in the actual tub. I would recommend every parrot owner to invest in a shower perch but of course some people prefer just having them in the sink or misting or letting them bathe themselves. Whatever your method is please just pay attention that your parrot is bathing or getting a shower at least once a week at the very minimal. I know people who take their parrots into the shower with them and have them sit on the railing to catch the mist from their actual shower. That’s cool, if you don’t mind being watched hahaha. I’m shy, so I like my own shower with no eyes but its a good way to bond with your parrot by bathing together…

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Marlee, green naped lorikeet

There is bath soap out there for parrots however I don’t use any because if they were in the wild, they wouldn’t be using it. So there you have it, parrots shower too!!

 

Parenting Parrots!