How to Treat your Parrots to a Healthy Snack

Image

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!!!

love-birds-food

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!

lorikeet-eating-a-breakfast-snack

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!

 

Advertisements

The Test -Chapter 4 – Week one and week two update

Video

Week one was pretty straight forward, I just made sure my “parrids” ( get it??! Parrot kids – PARR from parrots and IDS from kids lol… My new word – I’m going to have to start an index if I keep this up.) knew everything they needed to and were ready to start the The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

wizard

The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

Chapter 4 is called “Taming and Training”. He covers the different type of punishment and reinforcement terms he will be using. He has sections on Motivation, Food Management, Clicker Conditioning, Target Training, Step up,  Touch/Grab, Towelling and Turning on Back. I refused to look at Chapter 5 until I spent at least 2 weeks in Chapter four. I also want to say before doing all of this it is important to have done some trust building exercises because I feel that makes or breaks your relationship with your parrots.

Day one (Saturday November 5):
         Today, I weighed and monitored my parrids making sure I watched how much they ate in a serving, how much they didn’t eat etc. I implemented the first two sections: Motivation and food management. I did absolutely no training with them as I wanted to follow the book as close as possible and not fall back into my old habits of training. So a pretty boring day.

034

Ringo on our scale

Day Two (Sunday November 6):
          Today was clicker conditioning day, making sure all my parrids especially my focus subjects knew what a clicker was. I took them out in the morning, did 10 minutes of clicker training and then put them back in their cages for them to enjoy their breakfast. I did a second training session in the evening before bed. All the parrids already knew the clicker but some became stronger trainees after this. Maybe it is just my mind playing tricks on me but I think by spending the time to really make them understand what a clicker’s purpose is, did in fact help me with training Marlee. Everyone else I didn’t see a difference as they were properly introduced to the clicker. I think with Marlee, I must have missed a step because I believe she never truly understood the sound of the clicker. Also with Ringo, (Even though he isn’t part of the focus subjects) I was still using the clicker far away from him as he was afraid of the sound, I now can use the clicker right by him. So call me crazy but I think by really taking the time to introduce the clicker versus just starting to train with it, makes a difference. Check out the video below of how to properly clicker train your parrot which can technically work for any animal that can be trained.

Day Three and day four (Monday November 7 & Tuesday November  8):
   
     Today was target training day, my parrids also already know target training so it was another easy task for me to do.  I did two 10 minute sessions a day. Day three I focused on doing target training inside of the cage. Day four was target training outside the cage. All parrots were very successful as expected. For those who don’t know what target training is. It is a “Chopstick”, clicker and a treat. You put the stick some where, the parrot moves towards it and touches it, you click and give the treat. If your parrot doesn’t know target training, you put the stick right in front of them and wait until they touch it. Do that a few times and slowly move the stick further and further out of their reach until they have to actually move to touch it.


Day Five and day six (Wednesday November 9 and Thursday November 10):
       “Step up”, “Step up”, “Step up”. I tried to follow all his instructions but I have to admit for the parrots that already knew step up, I had to kind of just go over my previous step up sessions. What he says in the book makes sense though because there are times that I go to step up a parrot and it moves away from me. He recommends to teach your parrots to step up by targeting – I think that’s a great idea however I was having a difficult time with it. I did what worked for me and all my parrots were successful except… I found that Marlee is actually afraid of hands so I had to revert back to trust building exercises and target training her inside of her cage. Piper is afraid of perches, so I slowly been introducing him to different perches. I couldn’t do step up by targeting so I taught step up the only way I know how by simply asking the parrot to step up on different perches.

Day 7 (Friday November 11):
            I read over the sections of touch/grab, towelling and turning on back. I was already familiar with towelling as it is something I do every now and then with Grayson, my african grey. The touch/grab method is going to need more time for me to grasp the concept and the turning on back, some of my parrids already do however it wasn’t taught to them as he describes it so I will also have to work with them on this. Basically my training session on Friday was simply just going over target training and stepping up. This concluded my 1st week of trying to train my parrids off of The Parrot Wizard’s Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots

Conclusion: So far, so good. He covers the basics which is important to be successful in the training process and he is teaching things that will help with the basics that parrots are exposed to such as vet visits, grooming etc… If you teach your parrot towelling that eliminates the fear of when the vet wraps them in a towel. If you teach touch/grab that eliminates the fear of when they have to be grabbed out of their carrier and held for the vet. If you teach turning on back, that eliminates the stress of when the vet is checking them out and grooming them. Step up helps you be able to transport your parrot whenever you want. Target training is just a basic method needed to continue the training process in my eyes anyways. Clicker training is the perfect “bridge” to let a parrot know they did an excellent job and will be rewarded for it.    

Week Two:

Day 8 ( Saturday November 12) – Day 14 (Friday November 18):
        This week I continued doing target training in and out of the cage. I continued teaching step up however not by the book standards but by my way of teaching it, getting them used to hands and different perches. I really focused on trying to teach touch/grab, towelling and turning on back however I only got to do touch/grab and even that I didn’t finish. Hovering your hand over a parrot’s head is something that we are taught from the very beginning not to do, as it is like a predator for them but this is exactly what touch/grab is telling you to do. I was able to touch some of the parrids but Piper and Marlee are not that strong in stepping up with different perches and especially Marlee who doesn’t like hands – I didn’t even bother to attempt this with them. So the only test subject that was exposed to this was Grayson and I’m now really close with my hand over him however I started off really far away but I’m still not touching him. I also did this with Nyx, my black-capped conure who I can touch on her head and back with my hand hovering over her. He does tell you in the book that these methods are taming methods and may take a while before you are able to reap the benefits so as of Saturday November 19, I will be reading chapter 5 and moving on while continuing to work on “taming” my parrids more.

Update (Thursday November 30th, 2017: This was started November of 2016 and then I  had stopped implementing it well I started this process all over and I can hover my hand over Piper and Purrain (irn) but did a good distance away. Towelling, I might try teaching it the way I taught it to Grayson as The Wizard’s way seems as though it would take longer. Turning on back – I am only able to do with Nyx (even though she is not one of the test subjects.)

Parenting Parrots!

Lets Scramble It up!

Aside

“What’s for breakfast?” You asked.
“Well I’m thinking scrambled eggs” I replied.
“HAHAHA, for parrots?!” You exclaimed.
“Umm, yea they need to eat” I said.

I know parrots have pellets that are very well balanced and should be able to offer them all the nutritional values they need, however how would you like to eat the same food over and over again? I would HATE it, eventually you would get sick of it so why wouldn’t parrots? Sharing my table food is something I enjoy doing with my parrots (as long as it’s not my actual plate, hahaha). I stay away from the no-no’s like avocado, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. I feel the variety gives them a better palate and they always get pellets, so this is just to give them options.

I introduce my kids to different types of food because I want them to be open-minded and be able to try everything so I treat my parrots with the same mindset. Sharing your table food is actually common amongst parrot owners, I think the surprise comes more from people who do not have parrots than the actual owners themselves. So this morning, scrambled eggs were on the menu. I made the batch for the kids first and then I started on the parrots. Technically I could use the same batch for the kids, for the parrots as long as I minimize the salt and remove using egg shells and the crushed red peppers. But I chose to separate just to make sure the parrots get the shells for the calcium points.

031

This may not be neccessary but sometimes being new to the parrot world, you might feel uncertain about making things for your parrot, so I thought I would post what I use to help anyone who may need it.

The ingredients I use:
Stainless steel frying pan
Spatula
Bowl and fork to mix with
2 eggs – use the shells too (I use 2 because I have 7 parrots however I don’t serve this to the lorikeets as I’m still learning about their diet so technically it’s only 5… I think going forward I will use one because 2 makes a lot for these guys)
1/4 tsp of milk (too much dairy isn’t good for parrots but a little is okay. If I was only using one egg I would do 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp of crushed red peppers
butter (Used for frying)

So I mixed the eggs, milk and crushed red peppers in the bowl with the fork while heating the butter in the pan.  All the white you see is the egg shells, you can barely see any milk.

002.jpg

The ingredients in the bowl

Once all the ingredients are mixed and the pan is heated, you put your mixture in it and you keep scrambling it until it is well done. Fyi I used no oil.
029

For the sake of the pictures, I made the eggs a bit more well done then usual however you have to make sure it is well done as you don’t want to risk giving your parrots anything that isn’t fully cooked. I put paper towel down to soak up the butter that was used to cook the eggs.

007

It’s a quick breakfast and gives your parrots something different. The egg shells help to give a bit of calcium so still a healthy choice plus minimizing the use of oil definitely is a plus! I use the crushed red peppers to give it a little spice as parrots do like things a little hot.

008

I gave piper a bit too much so he didn’t finish his food however everyone else ate it all up. Let the food cool and serve!! Don’t serve your parrots HOT food.

As always scrambled eggs were a success!!

Parenting Parrots