Kodak Goes to the Vet

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On April 27th, 2018 I brought Kodak to the vet to get his wellness check done and have a physical. He passed everything with flying colors and I was a happy mommy. Well if you read my sneezing post that was about him. I didn’t want to but I had to bring him to the vet because I didn’t want to risk losing him after the year that I had with losing birds. So to be on the safe side, I ran to the vet.

She looked him over, opened his wings, looked into his eyes, into his mouth, felt his vent basically did another physical and couldn’t find an issue with him at all. So she prescribed Rheumocam 1.5ml every 12 hours. Rheumocam is an anti-inflammatory drug which I believe is usually used for dogs but I guess can be used for any animal. The issue here is that she couldn’t find any evidence of an infection or issue but felt that just in case he came in contact with an irritant that he may be allergic to, we should use this Rheumocam. We could also be in the very early stages of an infection but she didn’t want to treat for an infection when he didn’t have one. So even though he wasn’t showing any proof of an inflamed throat or anything, she felt this may help open up any issues he may be having and stop the sneezing. I don’t like giving drugs period but I have seen a decrease in his sneezing already even though we haven’t made it to 48 hours since seeing the vet yet.

I think the issue is Grayson. My spray bottle broke and I haven’t gone to the dollar store to buy another one so Grayson is very dusty. The reason I say it’s Grayson because I moved Kodak but Rasta is now where Kodak was and I hear Rasta doing some sneezing (now he could just be mimicking Kodak). I’m going to put Grayson in the shower even though he hates that because my shower perch is missing a suction cup so he has to go in the actual tub which he is not a fan of. But I’m hoping Rasta stops and Kodak is good and this scare of SNEEZING will be a thing of the past.

Sorry, I never expected this post to be this long but the real reason I wanted to write it is because in April I spent 353 CAD dollars for Kodak, this most recent visit on July 10th, 2018 cost me $170 CAD and let’s not forget Kodak plus shipping was almost 1200 CAD dollars. In less than a year that’s $1,723 CAD and that’s not including his toys or food. I can’t stress enough how much birds can cost and how they are not cheap. I was always working before so I never watched my money as much as I am now and with currently 5 parrots, I’m now seeing the financial burden that parrots can put on your pocket but I love them so much, I’m willing to be broke for them (well I make my sacrifices for them). However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I hope I don’t have to go back to the vet until next year when Kodak needs his checkup. I seriously wished pet insurance included parrots I would DEFINITELY buy it.

Parenting Parrots

 

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Can’t We All Just Get Along

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I always wanted my parrots to all get along so I could take them out together and not have to worry, but I have yet to accomplish this and it definitely bothers me because if I have all the birds out I know there are certain birds that have to be in their cages. It really affects the out of the cage time.

I’m trying to go back to the books to see if there is still a way I could accomplish this but I haven’t found the answer yet. I know all about the “pecking order”, quarantine time, slowly introducing them and always doing stuff with the bird you had first before doing it with the newer bird, calling the bird the first bird’s bird. For example: “Grayson’s Ringo” and making sentences with both their names being included however I have still failed at having them all make friends. Grayson lets Rasta preen him when Rasta is out but Grayson needs to still be in his cage or else having them both out will end up in fights. Ringo and Rasta don’t really get along but they will tolerate one another for a bit until they chase after each other. Purrain doesn’t like any other bird, she will go out of her way to attack them even when they are minding their own business and Kodak is cool as long as they aren’t around his playing area or on me then he doesn’t care.

But I want them to make friends, to be a family, so what am I doing wrong? I’m still researching and I’ll keep trying but it’s just so frustrating as they could have so much more fun if they could just be out together. All in due time I hope I can stop saying, “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”

Parenting Parrots

Sneezing Parrot

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We are in July! It’s summertime! I want to take the parrots out and about! When it’s really hot, I have to use the air condition a lot as I live on the 15th floor which is the top floor in my building and of course heat rises! So, recently I started hearing my Kodak, my Black Lory sneezing quite a bit, like literally a few times every hour even when sleeping. I can’t recall hearing him do that before so I’m a little on edge, what could have changed in his environment to make him start sneezing? Is it lack of sleep as the kids are up longer? Is it because of the use of the air condition? My air filter needs to be changed, could it be too dusty for him? Does his cage need to be cleaned more? Does he need different bedding? Or has my baby become ill and is going through a cold?

So many questions but yet no answers. It is a HORRIBLE feeling. I want to run and bring him to the vet but I don’t want to bring him as the vet isn’t cheap and if it’s just an environmental change that needs to be done, I would have wasted my time. So I’m going to try and do a checklist of the above and see if the sneezing stops, I’m giving it 10 days from today and if it hasn’t stopped straight to the vet we go. Now, knowing how fast a bird can decline some of you may be wondering why I would risk waiting 10 days well let me tell you why.

I weigh my birds every morning, his weight hasn’t changed if it does before 10 days is up, I will go straight to the vet. Next, his activity levels, eating, and behavior has not changed however we know that parrots can mask their illnesses very well so that really is hard to base it on. The sneezing is not accompanied by any mucus at all, his nares have remained clear and dry if I do see any I will take him before the 10 days is up.

When he gets up tomorrow the plan is to clean his cage, remove everything out of it and just add back stuff one by one to see if any of the items could be triggering his sneezing. I doubt this is the issue as nothing in his cage is new but you never know. I will move his cage to another section of the house and also clean my air filter as maybe it’s full and not clearing the air as good as it should be. I will also dust and clean down the apartment to make sure there are no dusty particles lying around. I have recycled bedding here but I think that would be dustier but I will try it for a few days as it’s something new and keep changing his bedding to see if anything makes a difference. I just want his sneezing to stop or decrease. I have asked a lorikeet group about the sneezing and they seem to think it’s normal but no one has answered to say if their black lory does it at night time or not so I’m on edge. I have asked two other females who have black lories and I’m waiting to hear back from them but until then I guess I have a sneezing lory on my hands. Wish us luck!

Parenting Parrots

Breeding pairs of Parrotlets

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My oldest daughter (2nd child) has decided she wants her own pet (she’s 4 yrs old) so automatically I told her NO! However, since April she has proven to be very mature for her age. She gets up and helps change the water and food bowls of all the parrots and of course, you guys know she helps to train them already.

She has been adamant that she wants a specific type of parrotlet. A blue male parrotlet because she loves this vibrant blue on the back and she promises that she will do everything for it and we won’t have to do anything (unrealistic) hahaha, I wish. Anyways, I said okay, I wouldn’t mind a small parrot. I couldn’t find anyone that had a well-tamed baby.
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So, I kept looking as we already had a cage and everything and I thought perfect birthday gift (never buy a bird as a gift! I was doing this, knowing I would end up being the caregiver). Anyhow, no one had one so I came across a breeding set and although I know nothing about breeding parrots I thought, Perfect, I could have the baby born here and raise it to be used to the kids! So I bought it But it wasn’t just one pair, it was a blue pair, a green pair and a green female that just lost her mate.
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Definitely adorable although their cage setup is less than stunning, I find these little birds to be entertaining. I now wish they were tamed so I can interact with them. I’m wondering if I would be able to tame them once I remove the nestbox. I bought a breeding book (will do a review) and a parrotlet book (will do a review) so I’m definitely learning a lot and I’m enjoying this journey but parrots regardless of size is a lot of work!!
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This lone female is 1.5 yrs old like the blue pair and is now single as she lost her mate. She is completely timid but I am going to try interacting with her since she is by herself in the stackable set. She will put all my strategies to the test. Follow our youtube channel to see how it goes.
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These lovelies are 11 months (female) and 6 months (male). They have been really busy but they come to the cage doors as I read to them every morning. They have a nest box up so I don’t interfere with them too much but reading by the cage I think is a great “get to know me” starter.

So please wish me luck in this journey and hopefully, my daughter will get a forever best friend out of it.

Parenting Parrots

Sprouting Seeds

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Here I go embarking on another journey of trying to sprout seeds. I tried this already and FAILED miserably! I’m seriously hoping this does not bring about the same results. I have a specific sprouting container but after my first few failed attempts years ago, I threw away the instructions so this is what I’m going to do… WING IT!

The inner container has holes at the bottom so that’s why I call it the inner container. I’m going to put it inside the closed container, add water and put the closed lid on top and leave it like that for 8 hours. Every 8 hours I will rinse the seeds off and continue doing the same thing for 3 days or until the seeds look sprouted. I believe the “sprouted” look is when it creates a V so that’s what I’m looking for. If I’m incorrect about the sprouted look PLEASE someone tell me!

My first try I had just used a seed mix. This time I’m only using sunflower seeds. I figure it will be easier if I keep to one specific seed. Once I feel this is successful than I can try a seed mix again. WISH ME LUCK!

I’m really bad at gardening and keeping plants and stuff alive so sprouting actually scares me. But I like to offer my birds a variety of things so if sprouting is really great for them than this is what I need to master.

Parenting Parrots

A Talking Parrot

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Everywhere I look, every book I read it says the same thing: Do NOT get a bird for it’s talking ability because that bird may never talk. Although this statement is correct doesn’t it also defeat the purpose of obtaining a PARROT?!?

At one point, my goal was to obtain the 10 top talking parrots in the world. I wanted a parrot because of their intelligence and their talking ability. If I wanted a bird that couldn’t/wouldn’t talk I would go for a regular bird like a canary. Now, of course, this is not my only reason for wanting to have parrots but HELL YEA it is one of the reasons! If you happen to have a parrot and it never says a word or it doesn’t even mimic a household sound, I would seriously question what/who is it bonded too? Now whether or not that bird talks will not make me want the bird any less but the “talking” is definitely icing on the cake.

I currently have 5 parrots with 3 out of the 5 are already talking and my other 2 which is Purrain and Kodak haven’t uttered a word and it doesn’t bother me as I’m in love with our bond more than anything else. Of course, I would love to hear them both talk but Kodak I received at the age of 2 and he wasn’t talking with the breeder so I’m not quite sure if he will or not. I thought I heard him muttering words but the true words never came out so I must have been mistaken. As for Purrain, she isn’t even a year old yet so she still has time.

I have this theory, that a parrot who talks the English language is saying, “I love you, I want to communicate with you”. I could be wrong but this is just my views. Think about it. If parrots truly have the same intellectual level as a toddler than shouldn’t they be able to learn as a toddler would? Toddlers can speak (unless a medical condition), learn to identify letters and numbers, colors etc. We need to hold our parrots to those same tasks.

If you have a parrot who isn’t talking, there are steps you can try to boost that parrot up and see if it helps to encourage them to start. These steps won’t be overnight steps but with time, energy and effort, you can stimulate your parrot to want to communicate with you. You can find these steps by buying/ reading Guide To Companion Parrot Behavior Review

Here’s to wishing you and your feathered fan great success in getting your parrots to talk!

Parenting Parrots

The Mealworm Meal

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Reading these sites, trying to educate myself more, I’ve come across the introduction of live mealworms being offered to parrots. It may be to help their protein levels or you can use this especially for breeding pairs. So I thought why not try with my birds. They have only eaten pellets, seeds, sprouted seeds, cooked food, fruits and veggies since being with me. Plus we always have mealworms here for the bearded dragon.
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I figured all the other birds are already set in their ways so the only one who might eat these would be Purrain, my violet Indian Ringneck because she is still a baby. However, I just put it in her food bowl with nothing else in there and Purrain was not having it. She came over to look at them in her bowl, eyed them for a bit, even touched them and then she moved away. I guess she doesn’t need more protein in her diet, hahahaha.

I haven’t tried mealworms with the rest of my flock as yet but I definitely plan too. I  like the idea of them having a diverse palate and being able to have a variety of food. Just the thought of them eating worms is GROSS but to have something new to be able to offer them makes it all worth it. I’m especially excited about this because it is something that they would have been able to enjoy in their natural habitat. I’m still looking to see if I can obtain more branches with bark so this is just one step in the right direction.

If you’re bored or you think your feathered friend could use a change or needs more protein this is the perfect thing to try.

Parenting Parrots

Multi-use Stand

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I made connections with a carpenter that makes bird homes and stuff. I was really eager for different things for my parrots as I’m  bored with the regular stuff I have and I want to sell them and get new things, after all, everything I have is almost 10 years old now and while Grayson is used to them, the other parrots have only had a year or 2 the most with them but still I think they need to go. So she sent me this multi-use bird stand and I thought okay cool, yea I can use that BUT then she said $200!!!

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Audrey-Aviary Homes

I get it. It’s handmade, laminate finish, use for indoor and out and it can be used for different things like training or as a car seat plus it has wheels to wheel around… I would get it but for $100, not $200. Unfortunately, the saying does say you get what you pay for and I love the finish but when I can get a whole standing bird stand that comes with wheels and a removable tray for 150, I can’t justify this being 200 so, unfortunately, I won’t be adding this new perch set to my accessories. But I do have to say it is ABSOLUTELY a beautiful make and if one day I have extra cash that I can do without I may look into acquiring one… Maybe one day.

What do you think? Would you add it? Is it worth it? Am I wrong?

Parenting Parrots

Facts about My Parrots

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Lories/Lorikeets:


They can become bossy if allowed and they are quick to use their beaks.

African Greys:

Definitely, like a child. Observes and mimics EVERYTHING!

Indian Ringnecks:

Very Consistent in their personalities traits. What you see is definitely what you get

Conures:

Breeding pair sold on kijiji – great deal.. I couldn’t resist

Fast Learners

Quakers:

Juju, the Quaker parrot we parrot sat

Very vocal

Galah Cockatoos:

Can be shy and reserved or very affectionate

Lovebirds & parrotlet

I believe lovebirds are feisty little birds that have no fear and the same concept goes for parrotlets but my experience has been that Lovebirds can deliver a nasty bite but if tended to with lots of attention they can be very loving. With parrotlets I have only come in contact with breeding pairs so I’m not sure of their personalities but I do know that they have never went to bite me yet so I will say they are slow to use their beak.

Parenting Parrots

Do You Know What Your Parrot Likes?

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I go to the pet store and I’m just picking up things I like or that I think looks like fun etc but since starting to make my parrids’ toys I actually want to get things that they actually like. For example does your birds like bells?

I was told this toy was great for conures and maybe it is but I’ve given it to 3 black capped conures and NONE of them were interested in it. So maybe this is more for a sun conure or a Jenday Conure possibly a Blue Crowned Conure but I wouldn’t recommend it for Black Caps. Every parrot is an individual so you might find a black-cap that loves it but after trying it with 3, I’ll stay away. Technically I just bought a toy that does not serve it’s purpose… I will now have to try it with my Indian Ringnecks and hope it has more success.

I’m tired of spending money on toys that my birds aren’t into so I’ve learned to put my observational skills into play here and actually find out what each of my birds like. Now I’ll be able to make toys that they will actually have interest in. I’m sure I have so much more to learn but so far I think I’m on the right path.

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Grayson, my African grey likes to swing on things. As long as he can swing on it, it doesn’t matter what it is: rope, chain, wood etc you name it and he’ll use it. With that being said he also likes wood. The thick wood that I would be giving an amazon parrot but not quite as big as for a macaw but close enough. Purrain, my Indian Ringneck prefers foam material. Ringo, my male Indian Ringneck loves balsa wood. Those are just a few examples, so what about you? What kind of parrot/s do you have and what type of toys do they gravitate to?

Parenting Parrots