Making Food Fun!

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Frozen Food

There is something about watching parrots work for things that personally warms my heart. So I’m always looking for ways to enrich their lives. Parenting Parrots has so many things going on, I can barely find the time to inform you guys of everything but I will try to be more consistent. If we think about the parrots in the wild, what do we know about them? We know that food isn’t just given to them freely, we know that they spend a great deal amount of time foraging for food while making and protecting babies. Now, as much as I would love to mimic the wild environment, I unfortunately can’t BUT what I can do is try to come as close as possible to making them be fully stimulated, enriched and engaged.

The above picture is something that I can give to all my parrots including the Lories. I took little containers, filled them up with fruit. You can use whatever type you like. For this mix I used raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes and some cashews and almonds (I eliminated the cashews and almonds for the lories). Once I finished putting the food in, I filled it up with coconut water and put them in the freezer. So the next morning, I took them out, removed them from their containers and gave one to each parrot. Since it was frozen the birds got to lick and suck on the cold coconut water and while it defrosted right there, they got access to the food bits. It wasn’t a lot of work but at the same time it made it interesting and engaging for the birds especially since they kept at it for a while before realizing it needed more time to defrost.

Frozen Cube

This was a tasty little treat and definitely a way to make food more fun and get your parrots that are picky to start trying. I can’t guarantee that they will still eat whatever they are refusing but always introducing items in different ways can get a bird interested in a food item that they previously neglected. Making this cube was quick and easy, less than 5 minutes to prepare and put together. I will offer more cubes like this, more often during the summer months.

Fruit Cube

You could also substitute the coconut water for whatever type of liquid you like, the options are endless. I hope you will try this and please leave me a comment down below and let me know how your birds liked it. Also if you are going to give this to your lories/lorikeets please remove the nuts. I will be making this again, if you would like a YouTube video on it, please let me know so I can do that for you.

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Thank you for everything! I hope together we can enrich out fids’ lives.

Parenting Parrots

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Dear Lola,

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If words could express my disappointment in losing you, they would fill up the world. I never knew a person could feel such a deep lost for a companion animal until the night I laid with you in my arms, begging you to live but knowing you were taking your last breath. I still consider that day to be the worst day of my life because I failed you. Lola, I could never know what happened with that vet clipping your wings but you definitely set me on the path to realize how important wings are to a parrot especially if that parrot is already a timid parrot. Although that clip was against my will, I regret using that vet because another may have listened to my demands of no and you would still be here with me. I’m sorry and I hope you are happy wherever you may be and realize that I loved you as if I had given birth to you myself.

Lola, was my Galah Cockatoo. I consider her to truly be my first introduction to the parrot community and I bought her with no knowledge of what it meant to be a parrot owner. Just knew I liked how she looked and I wanted a bird. I don’t regret having Lola, I just wonder if she would have been better off with someone else. Would she have lived longer? Been happier? OR was she destined to be with me, who would fail her in the end? When I got Lola I drove 4 hours to pick her up and 4 hours to bring her back. When we met she stepped up to me with no problem and had no hesitation even the breeder said we were meant to be. Lola spent most of her days out of her cage and with me wherever I went. She was kept in a very tiny cage at the breeder so I suspect she didn’t truly get a chance to learn how to fledged as she never flew. I would see her open her wings and flap but she never took off. I started doing research on parrots and came across Birdtricks.com, they were my first introduction to parrot training and taming. I immediately bought their dvds and went to work. Before her first vet visit which would change her forever she had already learned how to step up perfectly, wave and turn around.

I didn’t want to bring her to a vet for fear she may catch something so I had the vet come to me. This vet ignored my wishes for a fully flighted parrot. Proceeded to tell me, it was better to clip her wings as she would be more manageable and it was a safer option but I wasn’t having any problems with training Lola so I still said no thank you. She asked me for a towel and I went and got it, by the time I got back, the damage was done. She had clipped one wing already so I had no choice but to continue with the procedure. Then she trimmed Lola’s nails so short, my poor Lola no longer was able to grip her perches. So with no nails and no wings to help her balance as soon as they put Lola back in the cage, she fell straight to the bottom. I was devastated. The vet told me to put pillows and towels at the bottom and that she would stop after a day or two. I did what I was told but I wasn’t happy. All of Lola’s bloodwork came back perfect. But Lola no longer wanted to come out of her cage, she didn’t want to train, she didn’t want to be interacted with and the worst part is she never let her wings grow back.

Lola was my first bird. A Galah Cockatoo. She was suppose to be so full of life and she was until she seen the vet. I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked. I finally brought her to another vet to see if they could help. Re-did bloodwork, looked her over and was told absolutely nothing was wrong with her. She wasn’t plucking but she would damage her wings as soon as they grow back in. I started treating her like a plucker and I would give her toys that were for pluckers, hoping she would ignore her wings, bathed her with water mixed with aloe vera to try and help if she was experiencing any itches from the wings growing in. I even bought her a mop head that I would put on top of her cage to help distract her. Nothing worked. The new vet advised me that it must be psychological but had no other suggestions for me. I was lost, hurt and confused. I considered re-homing her wondering if a new environment would help but could never go through with it as I was too attached. I contacted an animal psychic in hopes that she would be able to communicate with Lola and get to the bottom of the issue once and for all. That psychic either was fake or for some reason just couldn’t connect to my birds.

Lola would live for 3 years with us. It was me, my son, Lola and Grayson, our African Grey. She didn’t come out to play or interact with anyone. I left her cage door open 24/7 and she remained inside. The day that Lola passed, we had left the house and came home to find her on the floor of my living room, looking like she was having a seizure, bright green poop coming out of her. I fixed up the travel carrier with towels and stuff to make it warm and comfortable for her. I brought her in my room and monitored her activity. She was dying and I knew it. All vets were closed so I called on the same vet, I blamed for Lola’s behavior but even she was unavailable to help. I couldn’t go to the emergency vet as I had just had a baby girl, wasn’t fully healed and had no access to the car at that time. Lola would live to the wee hours of the morning and pass on the blanket.

My lack of parrot ownership and trust in a vet, took my Lola from me. Since then I have been adding to my flock in order to help more birds to try and make up for the guilt I felt losing Lola. I have since lost 2 more birds unfortunately and although I know they weren’t as bad as Lola, I can’t help but continue to strive for a better tomorrow for the companion birds that are still alive.

Each parrot I lose has taught me something new. Lola taught me that birds need to learn to fledged and are better off being fully flighted so now all my parrots are. Piper taught me that I need to remove fresh foods as soon as possible and keep the cages spic and span in order to avoid pesticides from infecting the parrots. Nyx taught me to demand bloodwork from vets be done because she was sick from before she was rehomed to me and we should have realized that by how quick her beak would grow but again a vet denied my request stating that conures just didn’t take good care of their beaks. I’m glad to have known each and every one of these birds and although I miss them dearly they have made me a better me, a better parrot owner, a better companion to my parrots.

Lola, you will forever be in my heart and I hope I can continue to make you proud.

Parenting Parrots