On December 26th, 2017 we welcomed another little bundle of joy into our flock except this time it was a baby human versus being a baby bird. This is where the challenge comes in, just like you have to be careful when introducing a new bird, you have to be careful when introducing a baby human.
I say this because my parrots need to know their limits when it comes to the babies of the house. Just like you have house rules, I expect you to have rules for your parrots too. Can you imagine a household with no rules? Can you say unruly children? So this is where the difficulty comes in, it’s not everyday a new baby is brought into the house and most times I forget about exercising the rules because I have the birds out when the kids’ aren’t home. Therefore the rules aren’t a constant reminder to them, so it can be easily forgotten. I can’t just expect them to remember and do what’s wanted/needed. At this point, I have no choice but to think about re-training.
The baby/babies will be here and if I still want to be able to train and interact with the parrots while the kids are home (as they will be all the time now), I have to make sure both parties (parrots and kids) know the rules of the household. To be honest I’m not too worried about re-training because most of the parrots are acceptable towards the kids, my worry comes from Grayson, who has never really tolerated the little ones (blame it on my training or lack thereof). Also Ringo, as he doesn’t even tolerate me haha but it will definitely give me something to record and document for you guys.
The first step to introducing the two is I keep the baby out of their sight for a few days. All the birds hear are the baby cries and coos but they don’t get to actually be introduced for a few days. I have been home for 4 days now and just yesterday I brought Nyx (black-capped conure) to look at the baby. She walked around the whole bassinett and looked down at our little bundle but she was calm, cool and collected which was great. The next step for Nyx will be to have her in the room while I’m changing his diaper, breastfeeding etc, the point is to get her comfortable or make sure she is comfortable with me doing the daily activities with the baby and kids out and about. For the older kids, I will do what I always do and continue to train Nyx while the kids provide her with the rewards. I’ll get my 3 yr old to help with water and food changing and I anticipate by the end of January Nyx will be able to be out and about all the time when the kids are out and I won’t have to worry.
This same procedure will take place for each of the parrots but one at a time. The goal is to have the kids be able to step the birds up correctly and know how to handle them (after they have all pass the age of 5 lol) and the parrots will know not to bite the kiddies but instead if something is done that they don’t like to just fly away. This is one of the reasons I advocate for fully flighted birds as they are better socialized (personal opinion) and will usually pick flight over fight.
So good luck to me, the kids, the new baby boy and the parrots living happily ever after!