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?

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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

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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

The Beginning – First Parrot

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We started our journey by seeing my niece’s cockatiel being so nice and tamed and thought aww, how sweet. The following week I was in the mall and this guy was set up outside of a store with two cages full of cockatiels. Even though, I always wanted a parrot growing up, my actual knowledge was null, to the point I didn’t even know a cockatiel was considered a parrot. As I was standing there deciding which of these birds we were going to bring home, I knew the set up was wrong. It was crowded with so many birds, I felt sorry for them but not knowing any better I purchased a cockatiel from him for 100 dollars. I got a good little cage with a stand, some food and off to home we went.

 

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The guy told me, the bird I chose was a female so we named her Sky but Sky wasn’t welcoming of us at all and as much as I tried, it just wasn’t working. I turned to my sister as they had Jake and he was nice. They came over and helped me clip her wings but Sky still was not having it. She would bite, scream, lunge after us  and just scared us. I regretted getting this bird. After about a month, I convinced my sister to take Sky so she could learn how to behave from Jake. Unfortunately, Sky taught Jake and not the other way around :(. My sister ended up giving Jake and Sky back to Jake’s breeder and within moments of him first meeting Sky she was putty in his hands. To the point he would just have her sitting on his chest and she would willingly stay.

Jake actually turned out to be a She and her name became Jacqueline and Sky went on to have many clutches. For me, I was adamant that a bird WAS NOT the pet for me!! And I continued on my pet journey as you can read about here.

Years later not realizing that Sky was a parrot and not just a bird. I ventured off to obtain my first (what I thought to be my first) parrot, a galah cockatoo that costed me 2,500 CAD and only ended up staying alive for 3 years. Click on that follow button so you don’t miss out on my next post ( My Galah Cockatoo – the parrot that started it all).

Parenting Parrots

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

 

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