Lorikeet Love

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Out of all my birds, the Lories/lorikeets are by far my favorite. They are very energetic and keep me on my toes however they also make me worry a lot. I’m always wondering if they are healthy, if I left the nectar too long, if I’ve given them enough fruits, etc… The list of worry goes on and on. Through all those worried thoughts are smiles, laughters and sometimes tears.

Building a relationship with Kodak, our Black lory was by far the hardest thing I had to do. He would screech, lung to bite me and I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of his bite. All I remember thinking is maybe I met my match, he is the bird that’s going to show me I suck at bird ownership. He is going to be my “fearful” bird. Kodak is quite the opposite. I kept trying to teach him to step up, turn around, station and I thought this parrot is just not getting it and I was losing my patience until one day it just happened. He stepped up and our bond has just blossomed ever since.

Rasta, Green-naped Lorikeet

Rasta went from being a bird that didn’t really care for us to being almost caught up to Grayson, our African Grey’s training level.  He has impressed me beyond words. His vocabulary is strong and clear. He is energetic and enthusiastic about training and interacting but yet he also wants to have things under his control. Rasta went from not interacting with my son to only wanting to interact with him. An absolute 360 degree turn around but one that I welcomed and encouraged. Rasta is the only bird in the house that prefers my son but I’m happy about it because my son now considers Rasta to be his. They do a lot together, play around in the bed, watch tv, play video games even when my son is doing homework Rasta is right by his side. My son can get Rasta to step up from anywhere. For me? Not so much.

I absolutely have nothing bad to say about Lories/Lorikeets. I haven’t met one that I didn’t adore. I would be happy with a houseful of Lories but I can imagine it would get quite noisy and I have enough noise to last me a lifetime hahaha. With all that being said though, they definitely aren’t for everybody especially the green-napes. I have heard so many complaints about them, it saddens my heart because it really comes down to patience and understandings. I’ve had people offer to surrender their green-napes to me and I’ve had to turn them down as I just don’t have the living space unfortunately. These guys can be very nippy and very demanding if you are a passive individual so you need to know the type of person you are before getting one.

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

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

All Parrots are Different Species!

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All dogs are from the same species but different breeds.

All cats are from the same species but different breeds.

All birds are from different species.

See, I can read a book about dogs or cats and apply the information to any dog or cat I may own but I can’t do that for parrots. Every time I get a different parrot, I have to research all over again and buy books on that specific bird because I know each bird has different needs. This is why I love to have the variety of parrots that I do because each brings something different to the flock.

If you google the topic of parrot ownership it tells you to find the best bird for you and your lifestyle because each bird has different needs. For example an African Grey parrot needs to spend a lot of time out of its cage (some pamphlets say 4 hours a day) while a lovebird would be content with a little bit of time out (1 hour maybe less). So if you are barely home, you would automatically look towards getting a lovebird.  When I was looking to get an African grey everyone was advising me against it because I was working full-time and they said I would never be able to manage having a grey. Well not to brag but Grayson is now 5 years old and very active, not a screamer, talks a lot, does tricks and does not pluck! Gives me kisses and overall I can say a happy parrot. Stereotypes are put on birds just as they are put on humans. Take all the information in but truly decide for yourself and don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

I can take care of an African Grey parrot with no issues however because birds are different species, this does not mean I would be good at taking care of other type of birds. I suck at taking care of Linnies. I bought two linnies from a breeder who was downsizing his stock and they died after I took them to P.J pets for a wing and nails trim. I thought the guy gave me sick birds however I did a necropsy and it came back saying Stress. I thought what?!?! I’ve been around lots of birds and never had an issue… Well for me, small birds are not my thing. I’m managing to take care of the lovebird but Linnies, Parrotlets and budgies I stay away from. Even the lovebird, I’m hesitant on keeping because I lost her parents so obviously I wasn’t good at taking care of them either.

I think it is very important for people to realize that birds are DIFFERENT SPECIES NOT JUST DIFFERENT BREEDS. So do not pick a bird because oh it has pretty colors, really see if they match you and your lifestyle.

What type of bird matches you? There may be multiple… For me…

I’m an African Grey type of gal because he needs time out of the cage but doesn’t want to spend all that time cuddling. A hug and kiss here and there is cool. Doing training is cool. He likes to chill close to you but doesn’t have to be all over you, that is totally just like me.
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I’m also a black capped conure type of gal because she knows what she wants, how to warn you about what she doesn’t like. Very expressive like me hahaha. My issue with my black capped conure is she loves to be on you 24/7, for me that’s a con because I need to be able to move around as my household is very hectic. However her and I have come to an understanding so we are definitely getting better as she will just chill on my shoulder as long as she knows I will be moving around at the same time.
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I’m also a quaker type of gal because piper LOVES music and his own space just like me.

I love my Indian Ringnecks’ independence but I miss their “need” for me so I’m not sure if I can call myself an Indian Ringneck type of gal as yet… Only more time will tell (but I have 2 of them now so I must be, right? lol)
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I DEFINITELY AM A LORY/LORIKEET TYPE OF GAL! I’m absolutely in love with their personalities, although opposite of me, they keep me on my toes and remind me of my son in a way.


Anyways, what I’m trying to say is PLEASE do your research before selecting your parrot. A lot of people don’t and this is how these beautiful animals ends up in shelters.

Parenting Parrots

A Bite is YOUR Fault!

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I’m sorry, I hate to come across as the bad guy here and point fingers but I have to this time, after everything I learned. Biting is NOT an innate behavior, it is a taught behavior. So if your precious feathered friend has now starting biting on a regular. YOU REINFORCED IT! Don’t get me wrong, I have parrots who bite me too…. I’m currently working on actually analyzing the situations under which they bite and what antecedent/consequence can I use to curve that behavior to something else.

So I was taught (like I’m sure we all were) that biting was something to expect from our companion parrots, that it was a natural occurrence and we just have to accept it. I’m sure I have wrote this in many previous blogs. Well, now I am withdrawing any previous statements I made and declaring a new statement. BITING IS NOT NATURAL AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN WITH A COMPANION PARROT! Your probably sitting there saying what does this chick know? She has no real credentials. Well actually, I am currently training and getting the credentials I need to become a professional parrot behavior consultant. I’m being trained to use the science of ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis with animals. So I’m sharing with you what I know so you can take a different approach with your parrots and change what you may have labelled as an “aggressive, territorial, dominating, unfriendly” parrot. All those words are constructs and you know what they mean to me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! That doesn’t explain what the parrot is doing and that ‘s what you need to do – observe the parrot.

You may be shocked to learn this but parrots in the wild, do not bite each other (if they aren’t fighting that is). It is not a part of their habits to do so. Yes they may play and use their beaks but not to the point where they will draw blood. Your reaction to that first bite is what was an “Ah ha!” for your birdie and from there the cycle started and continued. So now that it has started, how do you make it stop? You have a few options….

1) You learn how to read your bird’s body language so you can prevent it from happening again.
2) You change your current approach to avoid putting the bird in a situation to make it happen again. There is a saying that goes: “Prevention is better than cure”. In this case that saying is very relevant!
3) You find a means of distraction. So when the parrot is going to bite, find a distraction tool that will work to take his/her attention away from biting you.
4) Find a behavior that you would prefer the parrot to do instead of biting.

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What I find amusing is that there are so many articles, videos on youtube and people stating “How to stop your parrot from biting“. How can they state that if they don’t know the reason your parrot is biting? Yes, of course they can give you suggestions but unless you’ve analyzed the situation and found the reason for the bite and the consequence it is presenting your current parrot, how can you stop it? If you are really lost as to why your parrot is biting then I would suggest maybe hiring a behavioral consultant or a trainer basically just getting professional help. If you can’t afford to get professional help although I think I’m pretty cheap hahaha, I would say just look at the setting, for example… Under what circumstances is the parrot biting and what is your reaction when it does bite? What is it getting by biting you? Once you answer those questions then maybe you can find alternatives to maneuver around it. Once a bad habit has been taught, it’s always harder to undo it but it is possible.

Things to consider why your parrot might be biting you or others is: Protecting something it considers to be valuable – It’s cage, it’s partner/owner, it’s toys etc. It could be out of fear – You’ve ignored all the signs it has tried to send your way so it feels forced to be more aggressive. Also like I have previously mentioned, out of habit. It has now become a taught behavior and the bird likes the response so it continues to do it.

Okay, now that I made you feel like the worse Parrot parent ever! (Don’t worry I felt the same way at first) How can you try fixing the situation? Well I did give suggestions above but one thing that needs work now, is your TRUST level with the parrot. You guys need to work on your bond. You need to learn to respect your parrot and not force him/her to do anything they don’t want to do. Basically you need to learn to listen and read your parrot’s body language. Also, positive reinforcement will really help in this situation.

I’m thinking of doing an e-course on trust building exercises, if that would be something you’re interested in please leave me a comment below this post or email me so I know it is something I should put together as there is a demand for it.

Green naped Lorikeet - Rasta

Parenting Parrots!