New Bird – New Food

Image

When you get a new bird, you want to keep them on the diet they came to you on. After a few days = 2 or 3 days you can start doing 70% the food they came with and 30% the pellets you want them on and every day make the gap go smaller and smaller until you are only giving them the pellets you want them on.

This is only if you want to change their diet. Most of my parrots I do change their diet because I give Harrison pellets and a lot of breeders do not feed Harrison’s for many reasons. 1 – It’s all brown and organic so not intriguing to choose and 2 – it’s more on the expensive side of a pellet diet. If you do not want to change their diet then this process is not needed.

Now if you want to feed fresh foods, where should you start? Well, what do you have in your fridge? Let’s start with easy stuff like:

Carrots                     Apples – No seeds (it’s a complicated topic so better to just avoid seeds)
Snap Peas                Oranges
Broccoli                    Pomegranates (Very messy to clean up after)
Cauliflower             Bananas
Sweet Potato           Kiwis
Bell Peppers            Pears
cover_photo_1513597249006

When introducing new fresh foods, you need to approach it like you would for a new baby, one item at a time for a few days. Once you realize that there is no aversive reaction to it then you can introduce another new item. I would say one new item every 3 days.

As for table cooked food, I would wait to introduce that until you are comfortable with your fresh fruits and veggies selection but some cooked food you can eventually try is:

pasta
rice, (be careful when you serve these that it’s not breeding season)
eggs
shrimp
chicken
oatmeal
shredded wheat cereal with no milk
whole wheat bread with organic jam

If you have tried feeding the fruits and veggies or pellets and your new parrot isn’t taking them, there are a few steps you can take. Fruits and veggies can be chopped, sliced, diced or pureed. Made different ways can have different results. Even giving them the foods at different times during the day can have a different effect. If that doesn’t work you can always try some Red Palm Oil on top of the fruits and veggies or pellets. A little goes a long way. Some parrots love the Red Palm oil and some don’t so it’s a hit and miss but make sure it’s RED palm oil. Pretending to eat the food first and then giving it to your parrot will work if you find your parrid to be bonding with you.
DSC_0062

Also, just keep trying for at least a week before giving up on that particular food type and don’t get frustrated. It’s not the end of the world if your parrot doesn’t like apples. Just like humans have specific likes and dislikes so do birds so respect your bird’s wishes. Keep in mind that just because they may not like it now doesn’t mean that two years from now they will still not like it so you can still continue to try to give it periodically and see if “Today is the day”.

Parenting Parrots

Advertisements

Purrain – The Indian Ringneck Parakeet

Image

I purchased Purrain from a breeder in Ajax when she was 2 months old (Sept. 2017). I found this breeder on the Facebook Canadian breeder site. He posted a picture of her and I jumped up right away saying I want her. I didn’t have all the money so I had to do a payment plan and then I had a death in the family which pushed things even further back. I didn’t end up getting her until she was 14 weeks old (Oct. 2017)

had to

baby Purrain, 8 weeks

Name: Purrain

Type of Parrot: Single factor Violet Indian Ringneck

Sex: female

Birth Date: July 2017

Wings Status: Will be fully flighted, her wings were slightly clipped when we got her but they are growing in.

Favorite food: Pine Nuts

Noise Level: she can be loud when she wants attention. Otherwise I would say she is moderate when making sounds.

Training progress: She loves training sessions

Tricks: She is target trained. She can step up and turn around

Talking ability: Haven’t heard her talk yet

Favorite toys: She tackles every toy I put in her cage.

Fears: She is afraid of sudden movements

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies. She eats table food – Chicken, rice, pasta…

Treats: Safflower seeds, Pine nuts and sunflower seeds

Cage Size: Playtop. 22 x 24

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken her yet. i know 😦 bad mommy

Next Steps: Getting her to let me put her on her back and  harness training.

 

1512136602222

Purrain, about 5 months

 

Parenting Parrots!

 

Training a Lorikeet

Image

When I first got my lorikeets, it was hard to figure out how to train them because they are such high energy parrots but also because I was so used to training with seeds and knew that wasn’t an option for them. I took to YouTube for advice and found nothing so I wacked my brain a bit and decided if they only eat wet nectar in two feedings and it’s their favorite, why not use that for training and then do a smoothie/wet nectar mix for in  their cage time? I found the Facebook Lorikeet group but they don’t really talk about training so then I began to wonder… Do people train their lorikeets??

Well, it’s been a year since I’ve had Rasta, my green naped lorikeet and although I wish he was more cuddly, I see us getting there. He wrestles with my fingers while on his back, his vocabulary is amazingly strong and he steps up, turns around, gives kisses, lets me touch his beak, waves hi, gives high five and gives his feet when asked. He tries to avoid biting and only uses his beak when he has too. So how did I do it?
DSC_0041

I took lots of breaks hahaha especially when I felt myself getting frustrated. Clicker conditioning and target training was easy, the same with any parrot. It was the more hands on stuff that was difficult like stepping up, getting to touch his beak without being bit, wrestling with my fingers. I did what I usually do, had a clicker, his nectar for his reward and I let him dictate the situation. Meaning, I followed his lead. If I asked for him to step up but he refused, I left him alone, not providing him with  any nectar. I waited 10 seconds and would come back and cue something he did know like target training a few times and then re-ask for the step up  behavior and 9 out of 10 times I would get it. This is how most of our training sessions went.

Rasta is an explorer, he doesn’t like to be confided to one place so I also broke our training sessions up to give him a break and let him explore. I found that I got more results by doing a five-minute training session, then a 10 minute break then a next 5 minute session over an hour than I would get doing 20 minutes straight. Patience, is very important when dealing with these guys. I got quite a few nips until I learned to respect his option to say no. Now, it’s very rare. I wouldn’t change Rasta for the world and I’m so excited to see where and what we will be able to accomplish next year.DSC_0039

To see videos of Rasta, join our YouTube channel and I also post pictures of him on Instagram.

Click that follow button below so you don’t miss out on important information!

Parenting Parrots

A Lorikeet Dry Mix

Image

I found this recipe in the lorikeet group on Facebook and thought it would be great to share for those who want to try their hands at making their own lorikeet mix. My hands aren’t this talented unfortunately so I can’t tell you how your feathered friends would like it at the moment but hopefully one day I’ll be able to try (it does seem pretty simple enough):

lorikeet eating

Internet Picture

Lorikeet_Mix

Parenting Parrots

In the beginning of my Lory/Lorikeet Adventure

Image

Lories/lorikeets can be one of the most frustrating birds to own, hardest to train and quick to use their beak however they can also be the most entertaining, trusting and loveable bird you will ever meet.

When I got my first set of lorikeets I was overly excited. There isn’t a lot of data out there on them but there are a few books and some information on the internet that you can try. I thought I was ready but nothing prepared me for the struggles of the months ahead and I was almost ready to give up. I’m writing this post because I was inspired by an email question I received earlier this week asking for help with a female’s rainbow lorikeet.  I want to help other lorikeet owners out there that might be experiencing the same thing so I’m going to be doing a whole lorikeet set on them and this is the perfect time to do it as I have a brand new lory and a year old rainbow/green naped lorikeet. Both are in the process of training, obviously the green naped is a little more further in his training sessions but not too late to document. If you are a lorikeet owner that needs help please follow me here but also subscribe to our YouTube channel

IMG_20171006_143643_727

Rasta has become more friendly with other birds

So when I first got my lorikeets they were babies right from the breeder and it was a brother and a sister, Rasta and Marley. Rasta was calm, cool and collected but Marley was a “I’m not having it type of gal”. I went on bird forums, Facebook, everywhere I could think of for help because the breeder told me to keep them in the same cage but I was getting nipped left, right and center anytime I tried to interact with any of them. The bird forums told me to separate them so I did. It got a bit better but Marley seemed to control Rasta  meaning I would be dealing with Rasta and Marley would  be in her cage, telling him what to do. For an example: Rasta is training with no problem, all of a sudden we would hear Marley make a noise and the next interaction with Rasta, he would try to bite! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!? The only change was Marley had spoken hahahaha.

Marley was more manageable too but she was definitely more independent and wanted her own way. We were able to start training her but she wanted her brother at all times. So that’s when I made the hardest decision, to separate them permanently. I’m not saying you can’t have brothers and sisters together just that it is a harder challenge especially if they are bonded. So I ended up re-homing Marley. The change within Rasta was almost immediate but for the following weeks I missed Marley.

1506553249881

Training Rasta

At this point though is when I got to truly know, understand and fall in love with the lorikeet species and I wouldn’t turn back. Look out for part 2 tomorrow on How I started training Rasta, with what training tools and to show you what worked and what didn’t. To stay up to date on this process, please click on that follow button so you too can have a fun, friendly rainbow/ green naped lorikeet like me!

1506640923601

Rasta, Green naped Lorikeet

Parenting Parrots

 

Want a Parrot? Probably NOT!

Aside

Parrots are the perfect pet! NOT! For me, they are but I constantly have to remind myself that not everyone is like me…. So let’s discuss their cons:

challenging
misunderstood
messy
aggressive
biting can happen
noisy
Intelligent
time and patience is needed

African Grey

Messy Parrot

Let’s be real at least one item on this list does not match with your personality but yet you want one anyway… Why would we do this to ourselves?

Is it for the “WOW” factor – “OMG you have a parrot?!? That’s so cool!”
Is it for the fancy color patterns that are so often seen in the Macaws?
Is it for the challenge of proving to ourselves that we can do it?

Green Naped Lorikeet

Must Touch Everything

Why? Why take on more work? As if you don’t already have to deal with the horrible boss at your 9 – 5. Or the annoying, nosy neighbor that always wants to borrow sugar. Or the kids who don’t listen. Or what about your own cleaning? As if you don’t make enough mess in your own household that you are constantly cleaning that you want to add more work for yourself? Why?

To be honest, I don’t even know if I have the answer. Parrots are A LOT of work, some days I don’t want to deal/interact with them especially if I’m down but on other days I couldn’t imagine my life with just one. They fill a void in my life, I’m not quite sure what the void is but something about being around parrots makes me happy.  It’s like being around my kids, when they aren’t  driving me up the wall, they make me smile and so happy to have them around me but I still worry about them same as with my parrids.

Quaker Parrot

Hi

So if you are thinking of getting a parrot, great choice! Just make sure you are ready for that lifelong commitment. Understand that they go through stages just like humans. They are a very hands on pet, cage bound is NOT the way to go with them and they talk back and you don’t always like what you hear hahaha. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be without them – Peaceful, I would have more money, more me time, less cleaning, more travelling, less education hahaha. Oh man the list can go on and on but one thing stops me – I would miss my companions too much. I love when my house is clean, their cages are clean and I can spend some actual quality time with each and every one but still think twice about a parrot purchase because that quality time could have been “me” time or going out time etc…

So you think you want a parrot? hmm.. PROBABLY NOT! If you consider all the work you have to put into a parrot to keep them well-trained/well-tamed. However in that same breath, if all the above doesn’t scare you then maybe you are ready to move further along in your process of obtaining a feathered toddler.

Unpredictable

I think he wants to bite my tongue off lol

Parenting Parrots

Scaredy Cats

Image

I have to dedicate this post to my beloved older sister of 7 years and her wonderful 18-year-old daughter, who you can follow on YouTube @KiCassanova. They come here like once a month but when they do, they make me laugh so hard because they are absolutely terrified of the parrots. Why? I don’t know. I keep the parrots in their cages when they come over even though I feel so bad because the parrots love their time out of their “mini” homes. Anyhow these two freak out over anything!

For example today, I took Grayson, my 5 yr old African Grey out of his cage and he decided to flap his wings! Such a beautiful site to  see however apparently these  two didn’t think so. They covered their heads and screamed, so scared that he was going to  fly. It’s funny but the poor Grey bird doesn’t understand why these two humans are making such obnoxious noises. So what do you do when you have guests over who are scared of your birds?

DSC_0359

On one hand, I don’t want to terrify my visitors anymore than they already are by having the parrots out but I don’t want the parrots to feel like they have to be confided to their “homes” because of the strangers who are over.

On the other hand, I want my parrots to be socialized to people but how can I get in any proper interactions if the visitors are scaredy cats because that could be a foundation of danger and my birdies will become afraid of all strangers if anything goes wrong.

DSC_0344

3 yr old feeding treats to an Indian Ringneck

We always say “Prevention is better than Cure” so I rather prevent a negative experience from happening vs. having to try to fix the issue after the fact. I’m stuck, as I don’t know how to help people overcome their fear of birds so therefore I have no way of making a positive interaction occur. The only thing  I can think of is to lead by example but I’m sure their response will be, “Well they are like that with you because they are yours.” So I feel like I’m in a no win situation.

Scaredy Cats can be very entertaining but what damage could they be causing to your little feathered friends by their reaction? Will my parrots ever trust these noisy creatures or has permanent damage been done by the multiple times they have seen these humans act a fool over nothing?  Certain times we are oblivious to the fact that these little encounters may have an everlasting affect on your parrids. Moral of my story is the next time you have a “scaredy cat” over be more in tune to your parrots’ body language so you can see exactly how the interaction is affecting them.

DSC_0294

Parenting Parrots

 

Grayson’s first word

Image

The first time a parrot ever spoke to me was Grayson, the grey! We had had him since he was 4 months old and I thought that I may have lucked out and gotten a grey that wouldn’t speak because at 12 months I still didn’t hear him utter a word. Then one day, I was walking past his huge white cage and all I seen is him standing very tall and straight by the front of his cage and he whispered, “Grayson”. I stopped and starting jumping for joy, so excited for the revelation that my Grey did in fact have a voice and his first words were his name, “Grayson”. It sounded like a little baby whispering.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1FloeticJustice%2Fvideos%2F10153119770610375%2F&show_text=0&width=267

I would say “What’s your name?” and he would respond with his name.
Absolutely amazing!! This was our start to a wonderful vocabulary. He is 5 now and very shy to talk in front of strangers and although I think his vocab should be further along, I’m still in awe when I hear him respond correctly to a question, or singing a tune that we’ve played or calling out another parrot’s names and telling them to step up.

1509136987083
Grayson saying his first word gave me the same feeling as hearing a baby talk for the first time. Joy, excitement and nervousness because  you now realize your little baby has hit another milestone and is growing up. I’ll never forget Grayson’s first words, not just because I have it on video but because he was the 1st parrot to talk to me and there was an innocence about him that unfortunately he no longer has hahaha.

DSC_0294

Grayson eating an orange

 

 

Parenting Parrots

What is Positive Reinforcement?

Image

It dawned on me the other day as I was thinking of how I can implement this successfully with my kids that we all use positive reinforcement and probably didn’t realize it.

I used positive reinforcement for training my kids to use the potty. When they would use the potty, I would do a big song and dance number and follow-up with a candy, making the chances for the behavior to be repeated more likely. How I didn’t realize this before, is crazy to me but it is definitely positive reinforcement. I gradually decreased the song and dance and candy-giving once the behavior became habitual and the kids continue to use the potty because the reward of not messing up themselves was just as great/rewarding as receiving a candy was because now they can be considered, “a big kid.”

DSC_0298

When you and your grey have a bond…

Meanings of Positive Reinforcement:
From http://www.study.comPositive reinforcement is the addition of a reward following a desired behavior.

http://www.dictionary.comthe offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future

http://www.businessdictionary.comCondition where the introduction of a stimulus (challenge, penalty, reward, etc.) increases or maintains the likelihood of the recurrence of the same response (behavior or output).

https://www.alleydog.comA stimulus which increases the frequency of a particular behavior using pleasant rewards.

As you can see 4 different sites, written in their own words regarding their views on positive reinforcement however it all comes down to the same thing. The subject does something you like (desired behavior), you give them something they like/love (reward/the reinforcement) and that increases the likelihood (future behavior) of it happening again in the future. Pretty easy right?

So why is it so hard for people to comprehend that positive reinforcement is better than positive/negative punishment? Regardless of  how many times, I try to tell people we need to “EMPOWER” the animal, child, subject (whether husband/wife or co-worker) people revert back to negative behavior needs to be punished. Think about this, if you get a raise at the end of the year for good behavior what are the chances you will perform bad behavior knowing that you will lose that raise if you do? We go to work and do the work that is required (desired behavior), we get a pay cheque (reward/consequence), which increases the likelihood that we will continue to show up for work until we find something better where the reinforcement is either the job is more to our liking or better pay. This is the exact same concept!!!!!!

Positive reinforcement EMPOWERS while Negative punishment FORCES. Just ask yourself which would YOU prefer?

If you know of a way that you use Positive Reinforcement in your life already please leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to fill out the follow our blog info at the bottom of this page and our YouTube channel is up and running so please remember to subscribe!

DSC_0344

My 3 yr old feeding our violet female Indian Ringneck

Parenting Parrots