Parrot Sitting: Juju, a Quaker Parrot

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IMG_20180502_085654_292.jpgWe had our first opportunity to parrot sit for a cobalt blue Quaker parrot named Juju. She stayed with us for a month and was an absolute joy to have around. We followed her mommy’s schedule for her while incorporating some training time. She was basically always out of her cage except if we went out or it was bedtime. Juju’s real name is Juliet but we stuck with JuJu while she was here.

She is 6 years old and just an absolute sweetheart. She will be missed. I took some footage of her for our Youtube channel (subscribe) so you can see a few videos of her time with us there.

Juju is now currently as I speak getting ready to go back home to her mommy and I’m excited for her because although they got to video call, it’s not the same as seeing each other in person.

Bye Juju! We hope to continue to see pictures of your growth and visit you every now and then.

Parenting Parrots

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the Quaker Parrot

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Piper!!

Quakers (Scientific name is Myiopsitta Monahus) are fun medium-sized parrots (11 – 13 inches) that come in the colors of green, blue, pallid blue and pallid yellow (amongst other colors). Their normal color is green. They are intelligent and a handful if you don’t know how to interact and manage them. I made this list up because anytime someone hears that I have a Quaker parrot their first comment is “OMG, now that’s a squawker! Don’t you find it to be loud?” I feel a lot of parrots get stereotyped wrong and Quakers are one of those that are misunderstood. So here is my list of the top 5 things you need to know about the Quaker parrot.

These are things that every Quaker parent needs to know:

1) Quakers are known to be vocal
– Yes, they are on the list as one of the top 10 talkers however talking is an ability that a bird will either care to do or not. It strictly depends on the individual parrot. Our Quaker, Piper talks a lot however we talk to him a lot so I’m sure that made a difference.
– When we first got Piper he would make noise at the top of his lungs. I thought OMG what did I get myself into? I was certain my neighbors would complain and I was ready to get rid of this noisy bird. So screeching is something this parrot will do – it all depends on if you have the time and patience to train it out of it’s noisy calls. I don’t have that issue with Piper anymore.

2) inquisitive
– They are very curious birds. If you want a bird that wants to know and see everything, you found it. Nothing will get passed a quaker. With that being said, I literally mean nothing, so if you are missing items or can’t find something shiny, don’t be surprised if you find it with your Quaker.
– This also means that they will want to be able to see and be involved in everything, so don’t leave them out.

3) Independent
– Quakers are known to be independent birds. Our Piper has no problem being around us but he isn’t demanding for attention (at least not physical attention). He will play nicely on his play perch and as long as he is near us, he is content. He doesn’t need to be physically on you.
– They have a bit of an attitude to them and they are not afraid to tell you their mind. They are very bold and can be aggressive when needing to make a point. I found when we clipped Piper’s wings is when he became bitey as that was his only defense mechanism. Once his wings grew back, the aggressiveness disappeared.

4) Time consuming
– This I believe goes across the board for all parrots – They need time! However I think a lot of people get so caught up with they need a certain amount of time that if they find they can’t give them that 3 hours a day, they put them up to be re-homed. Quakers would benefit from being out of their cage for minimum 2.5 hours a day however Quality over Quantity comes into play here. If you can only have your Quaker out for an hour one day, that is okay as long as you make that hour count. It’s better you have them actually out for a complete hour with you than have them out for 5 hours and they are just sitting on a perch, bored. When my parrots are out but feel I am not spending any time with them, they fly right back to their cages. A cage is their home, just like your home is your home. Do you go outside every day? As long as you are stimulated at home then you are okay. This is by no means saying it is okay to keep a parrot caged, all I’m saying is if one day a week you are too busy to give your parrot their usual time out of their cage – Don’t panic just make sure you do make the time that you do have together count regardless if it is 10 minutes or 10 hours. Make it count!

5) Training
If you’ve been following my blog (if you don’t follow me, then please do) then you know I’m a big advocate for training parrots. This doesn’t change when it comes to Piper. As a matter of fact, I think Quakers are so much fun to train as they have the drive to learn and can be very enthusiastic about it. There is this article that talks about how the author trained her Quaker parrot to go from being a biter to a painter, so you see training is a very important aspect to possibly all your problems.

 

All About Pets Show

I went to the “All About Pets Show” for the 2nd year in a row and I must say it’s a busy place however it’s a great place to educate your kids and yourself and see all the different animals in the world. This year I went with my partner, my son and my godson. Last year it was only my son and myself. Last year I was able to find everything I wanted and needed so easily however this year I felt overwhelmed and confused because I couldn’t find what I was looking for as easily. This year we interacted more with other people so I must say both years were well worth it and I would recommend it to others to attend. I will be going again next year.

So I bought the family pass which was 48.00 CDN. We got there by 1:30pm and left at 5pm so a good couple of hours spent. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted and given a bag and was on our merry way. Although this is a “PETS” show I feel the dogs dominate. We went straight for the cats since that’s not really of interest for us, I figured it was the fastest section to get through. The cats are mostly in carriers and are not out for touching by the public however the few that were out, were very nice.

We then found the reptilia truck, which we enjoy admiring every year. My son and godson got to hold a crested gecko. They also got to touch an alligator and see a snake wrapped around a woman’s body. The downfall with the reptiles this year is that I never seen any other reptile section :(. Last year we had reptilia but there was also other little reptile set ups around and my son truly enjoyed that. This year they fell short on that, I hope next year they bring them back.
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Next, was the bird section but again it seems they fell short in that area because I never seen as many vendors as I did last year. We seen the typical parrots like the conures, macaws, African greys, various cockatoos and so forth. Maybe I’m just being greedy but I wanted more. My son and godson got to hold ringneck doves but last year we got to help in bottle feeding babies and listen to parrots talk and watch them do tricks. I also went there in hopes to find unique toys for my African grey and galah cockatoo but I left empty handed. I wanted to grab some Harrison’s food and they weren’t available at any of the stops.

We went to the petting area and this section was more advanced which was great. They had all the horses in their stalls but at least we still got to peep at them through the stalls. If we stayed and watched a horse show then of course we would have seen more but no petting of horses this year. They had goat, sheep, llamas and of course just like last year baby chicks. My son and godson got to hold the baby chicks which I think is great for the kids to experience but their most enjoyable moment was feeding the Llamas. My son was calling the Llama “his buddy” as he feed him his food from the palm of his hands. You have to pay for the feeding but it wasn’t too bad as it was only 2 dollars for a small ice cream cone filled with pellets.

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There was a section for exotic pets (or something like that they were called) and their price I thought was ridiculous as it was 10 dollars for each person to enter the pen and play with the animals. The deal they had wasn’t too bad as it was 25 dollars for 4 but since I nor my partner wanted to go in, it didn’t seem worth it to pay 20 dollars for the two boys when I could have paid 25 for 4. They had a kangaroo, some muskrat looking thing… It’s like a monkey but looks like a stunk… You would have seen them in the movie the Madagascar and some other animals that I can’t remember their names.

We then were surrounded by dogs however although they did have a designated area for dogs they were all spread out all over the whole exhibition. Watching my son with the dogs made me wonder if a dog is the right pet for him…. I’m not sure. He was so patient and loving and even after petting and talking to everyone, he wanted to go back to see the little dogs and then the BIG leonbergers. I must admit I will be doing research on teacup Pomeranians and pomchi’s and Havanese dogs BUT I will not go back down that road unless I know it is the absolute best! Also I can’t have dogs in the apartment I live in so it will have to wait :(. I will be researching the best pet for a child who may have a mild case of adhd.

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I left feeling like my money was well spent and I had more knowledge than every! Especially when it came to a Havanese dog because it has real hair no fur, so hypo-allergic, small but not fragile and odorless of course…. Adult size is 12 lbs… I will definitely be looking into them….

I bought the kids food on our way there and right after we left we went straight to pizza pizza to buy a family meal. I refused to buy anything in there because for a bottle of pop it was $3.20 CDN 😦 but I expected that so that’s why I fed them on our way there!

It’s definitely a show I enjoy and I will be making it part of my yearly routine. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would suggest making it apart of your outings for next year.

Parenting Parrots!

My Faithful People

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Hi Guys,

I have been so busy with the two full time jobs that this blog, my kids, my own life and my parrids were all neglected! GREAT news though! I promise I’m back for good this time!

You can expect 3 posts a week from me and if you follow us on YouTube – parentingparrots, we post one video a week.

So I need a favor… On my site I don’t have an option to send out a mass email so I am asking all my subscribers/followers – my faithful people to please go to my contact us page and send me a quick message so I can get your email. No, I won’t be filling up your inbox with spam LOL! I actually just want to send out my gift to you which I promised that anyone who followed me would receive something from me and I have finally got it worked out. If I already have your email then you will receive an email from me. If I don’t then please do the above steps so I can get your thank you gift to you.

FYI – I’m starting to do Parrot training/consultations and Parrot sitting. I don’t have it all worked out as yet but if interested just send me a message and I’m sure we can make some arrangements for me to assist you while getting my footing settled!

Thank you guys so much for your patience with me this past year and I hope my knowledge, my parrids and my mistakes will help give you laughs and joys and of course education.

Parenting Parrots

How to Treat your Parrots to a Healthy Snack

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Good Morning!

Today I decided to have something quick for breakfast as I’m running out the door to do laundry. I live in an apartment where we are not allowed to have washers and dryers in our unit, so I have to take the elevator all the way down to the ground level to share a washer and dryer with the other tenants of this building. I HATE IT BECAUSE I CANT TAKE ANY PARROTS WITH ME!!! 😦 Well I guess I could but don’t want to risk people complaining and maybe the bird getting in their way. Anyhow back to the topic at hand….

BREAKFAST!!!

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Being on maternity leave has really left my fridge empty. HAHAHA after 10 months with living off of 55% of my income, I am ready to get back to filling my fridge again but I will miss my kiddies and parrids (parrot kids) so much. This is a bitter sweet moment!! Today we are having a whole wheat slice of bread with jam! THAT’s it!

Something so simple and I can share it with my parrids.

A slice of lightly toasted whole wheat bread with jam spread on top, cut into four sections. I give one section to each bird. I do two slices because I have 7 birds. All the birds can eat this, even my lorikeets!

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Rasta enjoying his jam

So I’m not quite sure how the calories in a slice of toasted whole wheat bread may affect a parrot’s health however it has 75 calories but if you’re only giving a parrot a quarter section, I don’t think you should have to worry at all (for those that may be concerned).

(Please follow. We are trying to get 50 followers before the end of 2016. Thank you in advance.)

 

Parenting Parrots!

 

Nyx – Black Capped Conure

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Nyx

Nyx was a rehome. Perfectly socialized and definitely a joy to have around. I am so happy we have her. She is very cuddly, loves to be pet and just wants to be where you are all the time.

Name: Nyx

Type of Parrot: Black Capped Conure

Sex: Female

Birth Date: 2013

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: sunflower seeds

Noise Level:  Quiet

Training progress: She is learning how to stay and how to fly to me

Tricks: She can step up, turn around, do the bat, play dead

Talking ability:  “grayson”,”whats up”

Favorite toys: This bell toy

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Nyx’s favorite toy

Fears:  She is afraid of other birds

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size: It’s an open top.

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Nyx’s house

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

See Nyx in action…

Parenting Parrots

What time is it?? It’s Training Time!!!

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What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!

It’s Parenting Parrots’ Training Time!!

Hey everyone! I think it’s time we focus on getting your parrots trained or at least listen to me get my parrots trained hahahaha. So when I decide it’s training time which happens once or twice a day depending on my workload, there is a few things I have to make sure I have.

1) Quiet space

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Our training room

You need a quiet spot to start training as you want your parrot’s undivided attention. Now when I say quiet it may not be completely quiet but as long as it is quieter than the rest of the house with minimal distractions, it should work. I used to train in the living room with the television off and that worked perfectly.
2) Clicker

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My clicker – I’m missing the orange button in the middle but it still works

We clicker train however if you do not have or want to clicker train than you can always skip this step. I believe in clicker training as I learned about it from www.birdtricks.com. I have been very successful with using it and my birds look forward to a treat once they hear that clicker. I have this clicker currently however I have been through quite a few clickers over the years and as you can see in my personal picture, my clicker is missing the orange button. This clicker is cheaper so if I need to replace the one I currently have I would get this one, as this is what I used to have but lost it.
3) Treat

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Positive reinforcement is what we are focused on here. When you go to animal shows, you will see the animal do a trick and then receive a treat. Well if it is successful for professionals, why can’t it be for the average person? So we do the same thing. They do the trick, you click and give the reward. If your bird will not accept treats from your hands, you can put the treat in a food bowl or offer something else the bird would like. Read this post to understand what “reward” I did with Ringo to get him used to me being near him. I offered him more space when he would display calmness ( got that from birdtricks). I then removed my hand as a reward once he stepped on it (I think I made this one up hahaha). I find that a food treat works best because it’s easy to understand as it is something that they will not receive except for when training. To figure out what treat to give, do what I did in my above picture, get a variety of treats and see which one the bird picks first, second and third. This will give you an idea of what treats you can train with. In the above picture I have, (in clockwise) sunflower seed, pine nuts, peanuts (not a good option), spray millet, walnut and an almond.
4) A watch

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I train for 10 – 15 minutes. Since I don’t want to go over time, I always have a watch or my cell phone or something with the time on me, so I know when to stop. Even if the parrot looks like they would want to keep going I do not pass the 15 minute mark. 10 minutes is my time, however if I feel the parrot wants more I will do 15 but that’s it. You don’t want to “overstay your welcome”. It’s better to stop before the bird wants to stop, that way you are ending the training on a positive note instead of a restless, frustrated or getting fed up note.
5) A parrot that is ready to start eating

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Grayson eating a treat

What I do, is feed them their daily portion and if there is food still in there in the morning, I won’t train. I wait it out until all the food is gone out of their cage then I train when it is time for them to eat again. If the food is all gone in the morning, I will do a morning training session. If the bird is almost ready to eat again, food treats will be a perfect reward however if the bird is full, why would it want more food?? Even if it is their favorite food. Once your full, your full! If I’m not sure when they finished last, I do have a scale that I put them on to weigh them. I keep a chart of their normal weight and what is good training weight which is apparently 10% less than their normal weight. (If you do not have a scale – click on the link and buy one because it is SO worth it). I use a scale for monitoring their weight as it will tell me if they are sick and it comes in handy for training so a MUST BUY!!!

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My bird scale

Once you have all these things in place, you are ready to start training!!! And remember if you have any issues or questions, you can reach us by clicking on contact us. We respond within 24 h0urs!

Parenting Parrots!