Taming a Breeding Pair

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I decided I’m not breeding birds anymore because I just found it too hard to say bye to the baby. So I gave up all my breeding pairs except for the Indian Ringnecks as I never actually paired them and the blue parrotlets because I find them just too cute! Today as I sat here, I decided it’s time for me to start taming and training these little blue birdies because I want their time here to be enjoyable and not just stay in a cage watching the other birds get love and attention while they get nothing…

Will I breed them? I still haven’t decided if eventually I might have to because they already had a clutch. I will let them decide what they want to do. I’m extremely excited about this journey because a lot of people say birds that have matured and have never been handled and are paired will never be tamed and friendly. We’ll see. I welcome the challenge.

My goal is to have all the birds that live with me to live a fulfilling, successful, full potential life. I feel like I’m far from that goal at the moment

but after listening to the audiobook of Irene Pepperberg’s “Alex and Me”, it gave me anew hope. I hope you will follow our Journey on this. I will post here every Tuesday – “Training Tuesday with Parrotlets” and every Tuesday my weekly work with them will be posted on our Youtube Channel.

My first goal is to eliminate their scare. They are completely afraid of humans even being near their cage. I moved their cage to my bedroom. I find the intimacy of a bird being in my room seems to make birds feel more at home or comfortable I guess because your in a relaxing setting of your house which they can sense (not sure). But anytime I feel I need more time with a parrot, this is what I do and it seems to make us have a stronger connection. Next step will be clicker training, target training and having them eat from my hand and of course the final beginning stage will be having them step up to me. They are both fully flighted. I have named them Bonnie and Clyde (not that they know their names but hopefully they will soon learn them.) I will be moving them back and forth between their cage and the aluminum travel cage I have just to get them out of the habit of “this is our territory”.

I’m not a professional this is just me thinking out my ass and trying to figure things out as I go along but I’m so hopeful and the task gives me a real “purpose”. Sometimes I feel my life lacks purpose. Maybe this is why I have so many parrots because my interactions with them fill me up ( I don’t know) but I’m so excited. I can’t contain myself. Today I’m transferring them to the aluminum travel cage so I can clean their cage completely out. I was also thinking of keeping them side by side but separating them during the day and putting them back together during the night as it might make it easier to connect with each one but I won’t jump the gun I will try it with both of them first and make a decision from there. Anyhow please like, comment and join our family of followers! Also subscribe to our Youtube channel! Can’t promise I will make a difference in your life but you never know what you might learn or ideas you might get along the way.

  Parenting Parrots

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Top 10 Food to Avoid!!

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Dairy – Birds do not produce the lactase enzyme so this can not be broken down in their bodies


Chocolate – Is not healthy and serves no purpose. It can cause vomiting, seizures and death


Dried Fruit – Usually contains Sulfides or Sulphates so let’s stick with the all natural method of fruits.


Avocado – Some people claim to have fed the flesh with no problem but I like to stay on the “better safe than sorry” side. This has been known to cause heart failure in birds.


Garlic – Contains Allicin which can cause anemia in birds.


Onions – Can also cause hemolytic anemia which can lead to death


Raw Honey – Contains Botulism


Peanuts
– I know we all have fed peanuts at one time or another but honestly with the dangers it can cause, I would stay away. Plus there is no nutritional value to them so doesn’t make sense to risk your parrot being exposure to Aspergillus when it can be avoided.

Cherry Pits & Apple Seeds
– Contains Amygdalin which releases Cyanide.

Mushrooms – Are considered a fungus so it’s another “better to be safe than sorry” situation.

Parenting Parrots




Avian Tea

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I have yet to try this as I want to make sure I purchase the right type of tea and I usually don’t post things until I have actually dipped my hands in the pot but I believe in this so didn’t want to keep it to myself any longer.

As many of you know I have lorikeets, I started looking for ways that I can stop their bodies from in-taking any iron. I know your probably thinking just avoid giving them products with iron. Well, I don’t give them products with iron but I’m still learning so just in case they do come in contact with something, I wanted a counteractive solution and this is what started me on my tea journey as I read more and more about black and green teas. But avian teas are not just for lorikeets, they go across the board as a great product for all birds. So let’s dive into the wealth of knowledge I’ve learned on teas.

Loose leaf teas are the type you want to purchase if you’re thinking of incorporating teas into your bird’s diet.

Green Tea: can contain caffeine so you need to make sure you buy the loose leaf and decaffeinate it using water.
– Regulate Cholesterol
– Helps with weight loss
– Reduces Blood Pressure
– Boosts the immune system (Rose and Hibiscus also does this)

Hibiscus also helps remove toxins from the body.

Black Tea: is perfect for my Lories/ Lorikeets as the tannins bind to dietary iron and prevent it from being stored in the liver. It can’t help the iron that is already there but it will prevent any more from going in so this tea is perfect for any birds that may suffer from iron storage disease.
– Maintain healthy blood vessels
– Promote a healthy blood flow
(Rose hips and hibiscus also helps to cleanse the blood, liver and kidneys). Dandelion is great for calcium (my African Grey would definitely benefit from this) and weight loss (great for birds with fatty liver issues ex. Galah Cockatoo and Quakers).

Different issues:
Respiratory – Rooibos tea, Red clover and lavender
Hormonal – Raspberry leaf and Red clover
Digestive – Peppermint, Chamomile and Rooibos tea

As you can see tea, flowers, herbs have a lot of advantages to helping our birds live longer and happier lives. I’m really excited to start using these items in these ways and see how my parrots react.

  Parenting Parrots

Feeding Parrots

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This will be a constant battle for me and other parrot owners because we want what’s best for our birds but there is no complete diet out there and truth be told there will never be. Provide your birds with foraging opportunities using their pellets. Make sure you are giving them whole raw foods, oils and cooked food. Fruits and veggies are a must. Explore your parrot’s palate, make eating a fun activity. I love making dishes that can be used for the humans and parrots (less cooking/preparing for me hahaha).

Nutrition is so important because it plays a HUGE role in your parrot’s development, health, bodily functions and in my personal opinion their overall demeanor. I found that when my parrots were eating better and getting more of a variety they seemed friendly, more willing to interact with others and calmer.

So let’s look at a few things briefly. The best way for a parrot to get their Omega-3’s is via nuts. I feed my parrots Pine nuts (yes a bit expensive), I use it as their training treat and that way I know for sure they are getting an intake of their Omega 3’s. Other seeds that offer Omega 3’s are walnuts, Brazil nuts and Pecans. Flax seeds I have recently started to use but only about once a week in its soaked form.

My go-to oil is coconut oil. Not only for the humans but also the parrots in our lives because it is a very versatile oil, It offers antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

I know a lot of owners who feed their parrots dairy but listen, parrots do not produce milk therefore they do not produce the enzyme required to breakdown dairy so I would refrain from giving birds’ milk. Now I have no problem with providing them with Almond milk or a milk that is made from a nut as they eat the nut anyways but actual milk like cow’s milk or goat milk would be a big no-no on my list.

I personally am incorporated more sprouting and soaking into my birds diets as it seems to be the best enzyme. Try to feed your parrots as much food in it’s raw form as possible as that’s really the only way to guarantee that they are getting the full nutrients that those foods have to offer.

Food is our medicine not just for humans but for parrots as well. Many sick people and birds have been diagnosed with illness that require medication. A lot of people have turned to food for their healing and it’s worked….

Food for thought!!

Parenting Parrots

Life with a Parrot (S)

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Life with a parrot is hard just like life raising a child is hard. The two go hand in hand. A lot of times I find myself pondering what can I do with my birds to make them come out to be the perfect birdy. Sometimes we watch a Youtube video and the bird seems so perfect and I’m sitting here wondering, where is the manual that can teach us, parrot owners the full 100% guaranteed way to get a perfect bird? Where is it? If you know please let me know because my life’s work has basically become focused on trying to teach my followers and subscribers the best way to get the most out of any parrot.

I’ve bought books, cds, dvds, online programs, took expensive classes but I feel I’m still left with a blank feeling. I’m still left with the question… Okay, where do I start, how do I do this? I’ve owned birds for almost a decade and I think my birds are great but I see so much more potential in them that I haven’t been able to get to. So for the month of  December 2018, I’ve decided to truly focus on what I know and try to implement what I think every parrot owner needs to do to unlock their parrot’s full potential. This month is going to be so interesting because my plan of making an income via just blogging and becoming a Youtuber so I can stay home with my birds didn’t pan out so now I’m going back to the workforce and I have to figure out a way to do this without my parrots’ feeling neglected. The good thing is I believe this lets me be able to relate to the average parrot owner.

Well, there is something I want every parrot owner to realize, anytime you feel a strain on  your relationship with your feathered friend, I always believe in bringing it back to the basics and starting all over again. Regardless of your history, I believe even though things may not be forgotten, they can be forgiven and trust can be built but ONLY if you TRULY want it. Growing up they used to always say, “Don’t show fear the dog can sense it”. The same concept goes for Parrots. They can sense your emotions and if your not sincere the parrot won’t want anything to do with you either. So think about that for a sec.

Anyhow Like, comment and follow us and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel as we are getting ready for December and I think this will be very rewarding for many parrot owners that may be pondering on the same questions or at least feeling similar to how I’m feeling.

Parenting Parrots

My African Grey is Selfish

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It breaks my heart to see Rasta, our Green-Naped Lorikeet trying to make friends with everyone and being turned away. He is such a nice, little guy I don’t understand why none of the birds play with him.

He has found a way to “bond” with Grayson or at least so he thinks. Rasta will fly to Grayson’s cage and preen Grayson through the cage bars but if I let Grayson out with Rasta, Grayson will attack.
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It’s like Grayson is only using Rasta for his own gain. Poor Rasta, really thinks he has made a friend.

Why is Grayson so selfish? He won’t return the favor so why keep getting the pleasure? When I first got Grayson, Lola was here but yet he still hasn’t learned about sharing. He was never an “only” parrot, so why?

Grayson

The Selfish Grey

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How can I teach a parrot about sharing? If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comments below.

Parenting Parrots

Bird Butler

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I love this!! Let me first explain why I even thought of switching.

I gave all my parrots water bowls and just did the same thing for the last couple of years – change the water twice a day but even with me changing it twice a day, the water was still being contaminated and would stay that way until I got to it. Some days that would be 8-10 hours as I was gone to work. I didn’t like that. I also didn’t like the thought of birds drinking their bath water. HOW DISGUSTING IS THAT?? Imagine, if we had to drink our bath water… I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t be drinking water until I was dying for thirst. So I didn’t like those thoughts. Birds make their water into soup sometimes by putting their food into it. Can you picture the bacteria that might grow in a soupy water bowl in 10 hours? I can and I didn’t like the thought! So the first upgrade would be from a water bowl to a water bottle. (mind you I still have some birds who have water bowls but that’s slowly changing).
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So let’s talk about the average water bottle. Wonderful idea… That eliminates the birdy baths so CHECKMARK! However it still didn’t eliminate the bacteria growth from contaminated water problem…. You see it definitely DECREASED it but didn’t eliminate it. What happens, is that birds when they go to drink from the water bottle can put food right into the entry drink passage causing that water bottle to still get contaminated meaning the health issue is still there. Most of my birds have water bottles but just like the water bowl… That’s slowly changing…. So that brings us to the wonderful, amazing, expensive Birdie Butler.

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The Birdie Butler eliminates the bath water problem and it eliminates the contaminated water problem AND it stops me from having to change the water twice a day. I now only change it once a day. It has a metal tap so nothing from outside can get inside the bottle. And you can get different textures of the valve – stainless steel or heavy metal. For Grayson, my African Grey I got the heavy metal valve but when I get around to purchasing one for the rest of my flock it may be stainless steel as no one has as strong as a beak as Grayson. It is an expensive version of a water bottle but I like the whole concept of it. Prices range from $70CAD for a 16oz bottle to $50CAD for a 7oz bottle.

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My recommendation is GET IT!!!

Watch below for our Video on this topic…

Parenting Parrots

The Arrival of the Brown Headed Parrot

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I did not want a brown headed parrot. As a matter of fact, I was totally against bringing one home. I contacted the breeder for a blue headed Pionus and although she had a pair on eggs, she kept talking to me and sending me pictures of her brown heads. I first made contact with her in February when she told me, she doesn’t put the breeding boxes up at this time of year. I waited and messaged her again in June stating I found another breeder but I think they want too much for their blue heads and I really wanted one of her babies. We started speaking from there.

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My little man is the smallest one that’s in the middle

She just kept sending me pictures of the growth of her brown heads and forgot to inform me of the Blue heads not hatching. Finally, I said that’s all great for your Poicephalus but what about the Pionus’. That’s when she informed they didn’t hatch. We continued to talk about the brown heads but I informed her I wasn’t interested so she found other homes for her babies. She added me to her Facebook group where I meant other poicephalus and pionus owners. I fell in love with the pictures and videos people would post of their Poicephalus. The weird thing is, I’m used to seeing all sorts of cuteness when it comes to parrots but brown heads was something special.

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This picture did me in! A female from facebook owns this little beauty

I contacted her personally and was like I changed my mind, I fell in love, can I have one, please tell me you still have one left. She kept asking me why, what changed your mind, etc, etc…. In my head I was saying IF she still had one it was a sign but if not I wouldn’t pursue getting one. Well, if you follow our YouTube Page, you would know that for the past month our house has been shared with a little baby poicephalus.

A Brown head is so different than my other parrots. I feel like I have so much to learn but our little Brown Head is here. He was hatched on June 3rd, 2018 and we named him Pookie. I will be updating our flock page and going into more details about him shortly.

Don’t forget to follow us on here to keep updated, I’m back to posting 5 days a week. Also our YouTube channel is updated 5 days a week so you should subscribe to us there and follow our instagram!!

Parenting Parrots

Re-evaluating My Parenting

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Life in general is hard but when it is up to you to take care of others, it becomes extra hard. Have I grown my babies right? Can I change my parenting style now? Do my babies have so much more potential than what I’ve allowed them to express?

The scary thing about these questions is that they are real questions that I am considering. I want to change my parenting, I feel like I haven’t got my parrots to their complete potential. I’ve sheltered them and border-lined them. MEANING! I treated them like my babies but I also treated them like pets. It would switch between the two. Well, honestly Parenting Parrots is about “Parenting Parrots” so why do I push my human kids to their upmost potential but keep my bird kids to a lower standard? It’s time for a change!

I don’t even know where to start… I compare Parenting Parrots to parenting kids so I have to look at the life cycle of an infant to a toddler to a preschooler to a school ager to a preteen to a teenager to finally an adult…. It may be late but it’s not TOO LATE as long as my parrids (parrot kids) are still alive, I can still strive to make the change I need to make. So I have to make a whole list of steps that I want to take and take it one day at a time.

Some examples:
1) Grayson, my African Grey can only count to 4 however by now he should be able to count to 10 and identify numbers and I’ve kept him to the basics.
2) All my parrots should be able to be out of their cages with the others and not fight.
3) They should be able to hold basic conversations
4) They all should be harness trained
5) They all should be potty trained
6) They should be socialized better

So, the question I ask myself is, “Why aren’t they?” and the answer I get is because “I’ve slacked on them.”

So my first order of business is making my living room more stimulating. Instead of just having two bird stands for them to go to plus the potty perch maybe I can get an atom to hang from the ceiling with more toys or I can make my own bird stand or I can add a large seagrass mat on the wall for them to climb with stimulating foraging options surrounding it, I know the possibilities are endless but I needed this organized yesterday! I just really want to enrich my parrots’ lives and I will do so step by step, day by day.

Oh just to let you guys know I ordered a parrot cookbook so once I receive it, I’ll let you know. I already have Birdtricks.com’s cookbooks but I wanted something different to work with.

Anyways, if you aren’t following me please do so, so you don’t miss this process. I’m excited to see if there will be any change in my parrots by adjusting the little things I can.

Parenting Parrots

Blessings of The Animals

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I just learned that October 4th is the Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. KDKH posted her post  about this, please go check it out. It’s a BEAUTIFUL prayer. I knew nothing about St. Francis until now but I was very happy to learn. Yes, it is a religious partake but beyond that fact, having a day to bless the animals that surrounds us, I think is beautiful.

I share all special days with my parrids (remember Kodak was my valentine this year, 2018) but to have a specific day for them is sweet. I will definitely be blessing the animals on this day going forward.

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On October 4th, people were having a feast and saying prayers for all the animals and although I missed out on the feast, I will be sure to say a prayer not only for my lovely parrots but for myself, my kids, my followers and subscribers because regardless of my or your religion, it can’t hurt to have some positive words covering us. Remember, humans are mammals therefore we, too, are animals.

Parenting Parrots

Two cute white lambs standing in green grass

© iStock.com/KarelGalla