Parrot Work

Image

I think the biggest mistake any parrot owner can make is thinking your parrot is a pretty ornament. Sometimes we don’t realize how much “work” owning a parrot is but “Work” is exactly what it is. I love my birdies just like my own children but one day my children will grow up and leave me. My feathered friends do not have that option unless it’s through death. It truly is a “Til death do we part” relationship or unless the parrot owner decides to give up on that relationship.

The work I put into my parrots is time-consuming, tiring, brain-stimulating but for me it’s rewarding. I stress “for me” because what I see as being worthy you may not. When I see a parrot change their hesitation towards me, it brings joy to my heart ex: a parrot who you can’t get to step up or do anything you ask it to suddenly decides to let you pet them all over or starts stepping up every time makes me happy. Makes me know all my time and effort wasn’t in vain, it is being received.

Parrot work isn’t instant. It’s trial and error and it requires a lot of patience. Patience is something I truly lack but having parrots is teaching me how to deal with it. I’m always looking to learn more, blog more and keep putting information out there as I come across it because I feel people really need to understand EXACTLY what is the commitment when owning a parrot. Unfortunately, it is not an easy task.

Curiosity, love and a cage with food and water are just not enough to keep a parrot happy. Trust me, I’m almost 10 years in and I’ve made LOTS  of mistakes along the way. I’ve also lost a few parrots who never even entered old age. A parrot dying young is hard for me because of the fact that I automatically blame myself and it takes me a while to get over that lost because they aren’t ornaments, they are my family. So a parent’s parrot work is NEVER done!!

Parenting Parrots

Advertisements

What to do with Those Paperbacks??

Image

You read a book and it’s not worthy of a second read, what do you do with it? Pretty simple, add it to your birdie’s cage and let them have a field day with it. It makes a great shredding toy and will keep them busy forever! This same idea goes for phone books. This is cheap, so it’s very affordable for any parrot parent.

Parenting Parrot

Switched on Me

Image

When researching about parrots, its always been said that when they mature, they may switch their favorite person. I have never experienced this until now. Rasta, our green-naped lorikeet has switched on me. He no longer cares for or desires my companionship. He has decided that my son is more his type of person. Which is great for my son, they run up and down together, laugh and play, whisper to one another. It’s a great relationship but what happened to our bond? Why can’t he like both of us? I don’t want to take away my son’s bond at all but I still want Rasta to interact with the whole family. I’m assuming I did something that he didn’t like and I’m being punished. It just sucks because I have no idea what I did wrong. Anyhow, I still try to interact with him although he will call my son’s name for most of the day, my son doesn’t get him until after 5pm and it would suck for him to have to wait until my son gets back in for him to come out and enjoy life. I love Rasta and will continue to attempt to work on his bond with the rest of the family when Junior Jay is not around because if he is around, Rasta only sees him.

15259650863742048024954
Parenting Parrots

The Flying Parrot

Image

I do not believe in clipping wings anymore. I used to do it more out of convenience for me than for any other concern so I haven’t clipped wings in a long time. I love seeing my birds open their wings and take off!

fly

internet pic

 

I truly am disappointed to live in Canada because I see those birds in Australia having such a delightful time and I wish my birds could do that. If I trained them to live outside especially during the winter than that dream could become a reality but facts are they would have to be born in those conditions and kept in those conditions in order to be able to handle it. I do not want to wake up one day to see that my parrot froze to death so that idea is a BIG No, no!

I see my birds fly indoors, within my little apartment and it keeps me in “awe” to watch the natural beauty of the flying parrot. Today the weather was beautiful and all I could think of is how would it be to be able to see my birdies fly outdoors. This brings me back to harness training. In order to get a bird on a harness, it has to trust you and love you and let you do things a regular bird that didn’t know you, wouldn’t let you do. If Nyx was here, she would be that bird for me. But she’s not and I have to accept that. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise because I always turned to her to do stuff like that instead of any of the other parrots so now I will work on getting them all more trusting of me and therefore building on our relationship more.

artic

From arcticwingsfreeflightclub.com

Having a free-flighted parrot would have been AMAZING! Although I would always be afraid of it flying off somewhere but the training guarantees that, that won’t happen if the bond is there. What I was saying before was if their body was conditioned to the cold then I could teach them free flight but since it’s not and I don’t plan on trying to get them used to the cold, the option is out for me. You may be asking why? Why not let them be free-flighted during the spring and summer and just have them indoors not flying during the colder months? Well, that was my thought exactly but I was made aware that once you start free flying them you have to keep it up or else you will cause a whole lot of issues such as plucking and screaming etc.

Free-flying parrots don’t have the issues, that parrots who are locked up in a cage, have. But unfortunately, not all of our lives allow for that option so we have to do the best we can. Harness train them so they get outside time free of a travel cage and they can stretch their wings and exercise. It’s not exactly the same but it is the closest option. However, getting a parrot to put on a harness willingly, isn’t such an easy task but it is doable so follow our Youtube channel to eventually see a video on how to properly harness train your parrot. I’m hoping to have it up by the end of June! I will still have my flying parrot outside just not freely.

The latest in Aviator Harness Fashion model by Zoey

Internet pic

Parenting Parrots

Tossing Thursday!!

Image

Today I decided to make a recipe out of the birdtricks cookbook. Yes, I have their cookbook. Actually, I think I have EVERYTHING they have ever made besides their newsletters. I know a lot of trainers look down on their methods and it is true their old methods are definitely not to be followed but they have been educated. I can say that because I recently purchased their “Family Friendly Parrot” online video – It’s SOOOO Misleading with that title but I’ll do a review on that tomorrow. Today let’s focus on the recipe.

I had Zucchini, Sweet Potato, turnip all cut into rounds and potato with carrots sliced to look like fries. Stick it in the oven and VIOLA! Complete! So it was quick (my favorite thing), most of the parrots ate it. Only Grayson and Purrain actually finished their servings but the kids and I enjoyed it also. Yes, we ate it too, after all, its regular veggies just baked. I was especially happy to see the kids eating it because I realized our diet SUCKS! So I’m really trying to get the kids to eat more healthy. Oh my gosh! I just realized I try to do too many things at once… I’m going to have to find a way to slow down.

Anyways, it wasn’t a favorite because not all the birds finished it but it is definitely doable. So I will say Yes to making baked chips and fries again.

Parenting Parrots

Uh Oh It Chews!!!!

Image

No animal, parrot, dog, cat etc will come to you knowing what is acceptable behavior in your home until you train it to know. Will a baby know not to hold on to that glass coffee table if you have never informed it not to? If you say yes, you must have miracle babies! Just like kids need to be taught right from wrong so do parrots. I can not stress enough how important training is.

An automatic thing for a parrot to do is use its beak and for those cavity-breeders chewing wood is a must. How will your parrot know to not chew the wood of an antique clock but yet you give it toys with the exact same material? Don’t you think that’s a bit of a mixed message? It’s hard because you definitely need to provide them with safe wood to  chew and maybe sometimes you would have an item in your household that is made with the same wood. Therefore your precious parrot is going to think that item is okay to chew too. So what can you do?

Scenario:
Sally walks into a clothing store just to waste time before her doctor’s appointment. “Hello?” She turns around in shock because she didn’t pass a sales person when she entered but the sound came from right beside her. No one is there. She turns back and continues to walk but then she hears it again, “hello?” She stops and is fuming because this isn’t funny. A salesperson comes from the back, “Oh, Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t hear anyone come in.” Sally says, “That’s okay but I keep hearing someone say hello, is there another person that works here?”

Balsa_toys_blog

Internet pic

The old lady pushes her glasses up off of the bridge of her nose and giggles. Sally is getting upset now as she isn’t finding this funny. The old lady walks pass Sally to the corner where there is a small bird cage but what Sally missed, is that inside that cage was a gorgeous little bird so tiny but such a beautiful gray and blue. The Lady says, “I’m sorry it looks like Lucky was just trying to get your attention.” Sally was in awe. Lucky was so pretty and Lucky could speak English! Sally inquired some more about Lucky and the Lady told her that Lucky was free to a good home that’s why she was at the front of the store. The Lady sold Sally on the bird telling her all the good stuff and a bit of lies such as she is low maintenance just needs food and water, change the bottom of her cage once a week and the extra bonus, she talks. Sally thought wow this is amazing! Such an easy pet for her little apartment. Poor Sally knew nothing about birds but the old lady basically told her everything, right? Sally agreed and took Lucky home.

The first week was great and then things started to change. Lucky wouldn’t stop screaming, Sally couldn’t get any sleep so she started covering Lucky’s cage and would keep it covered. Sally went back to the old lady to let her know what was happening.
“I’m sorry but the bird keeps screaming.”
The old lady said, “Oh dear child, the bird needs some attention, you have to take it out of the cage sometimes and just let her relax for a bit and then back into the cage,  she’ll be fine.”
Sally went home to do that. The first week was fine and then Lucky started chewing Sally’s things. Sally went back to the  store and said, “Oh NO, it Chews!”
The old lady told her buy some perches and you’ll be fine. Sally did just that. It worked for a week and then another issue would arise, this went on for about a month until Sally decided she can’t do this anymore and Lucky was brought back to the store to sit in her small cage and say “Hello” to the unsuspecting customers that came through the door.

This is a situation that many have found themselves in. Educate yourself before getting any pet. If you purchased your bird from a pet store, think back were you told tehy may chew your furniture? I would bet NOT! Anyhow let’s fix your chewing problem. 3 ideas:

Scarlet_Macaw_(Ara_macao)_-chewing_wood

Internet pic

1) Do not provide the same type of wood you have in your household for your antiques as appropriate wood for your parrot to chew on as toys.

2) Train your parrot NOT to touch items that are special to you.

3) Remove all your precious items when the parrot is out so they don’t have access to it. (This is the BEST option)

It sucks when people are misled but this happens to people all the time and it’s the parrot that ends up suffering. Chewing/beaking is a part of a parrot’s behavior so don’t be misled, be prepared for it and set your parrot up for success before you set them up for failure. There are a lot of different type of wood perches/trees that your parrot can explore, giving a variety of textures will definitely help with keeping them busy and stimulated. You also want your wood to have some hardness to it so it presents a challenge. Woods that you should never give your parrots are boxwood, oak, yew, black walnut and wisteria. Also any wood that has been treated can not be used either.

chewing

Internet pic

I hope this post helps!

Parenting Parrots

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Image

I love the title of this post because it is so true! Think about it:

If I can eat an orange a day to avoid cancer even though I don’t like oranges (I actually do but for this example lets say I don’t) isn’t that better than going through chemotherapy? I say HELL YEA! See… Prevention is better than Cure!

So if I could have healthy parrots that will live for 50 years just by following a diet wouldn’t that be better than having to go to a vet, get medication and keep the cycle repeating over and over? I say HELL YEA! Not to mention it would also save my pockets a few hundreds of dollars in the long run I’m sure.

cookbook

Then I’m all for it! So, I have my wonderful pellet diet now I just need a meal plan. This is where my cookbook that I bought from www.birdtricks.com comes into play. They claim they have 73 recipes that is GREAT for your parrots plus a cookbook for food that you and your parrot can share. I purchased this from them back in 2012 but they have no real certifications however they claim they got two parrots a galah cockatoo and an african grey better by using these recipes so I’m a firm believer in nothing tried nothing gained. I will still be looking up these ingredients to have my own backup research applied before using any of the recipes but I do think it’s worth a try so for the first time since 2012 I’m actually reading through it.

Yes, I’ve purchased things and haven’t looked/read them :(, but I am now and I’m bringing all the information to you guys! So keep following me, we are about to embark on a journey!!!

Parenting Parrots

Back to the Basics

Image

I considered myself to be a bird expert! What could you ask that I didn’t have the answer to? Well after doing the one month of no pellets and losing a bird, I’m completely lost right now. Obviously I’m not as good as I thought so guess what? With 6 parrots relying on me, I’ve pulled all the parrot information I have ever received: Magazines, e-books, physical books, pamphlets – EVERYTHING and I am going to re-read every one of them and start a healthy diet regime all over – Failure is not an option here.

I love these parrots as much as I love my own kids so to think I’ve failed them in any way is a stab to my heart. They are back on Harrison pellets (truthfully the only pellets I trust to keep my parrots healthy) and of course fresh water. I still give them boiled egg but everything else has been put on pause until I figure out how to make sure they are all in good condition.

I want to do another vet visit after this month of no pellet trial but I can’t afford to right now. I’m absolutely kicking myself! How did I think I could do it? It now feels like the stupidest idea ever! This is what is wrong, you hear other people doing it and say hey let me try that, not realizing that umm hello!! Hell no! You have WAYYYY too many different type of parrots each with different needs to do something like this! I wish I could turn back the hands of time! In my family, I would be called “fallow Fashion or follow batty” meaning I’m copying others and not thinking for myself.

harrison

Never once did it occur to me that if things didn’t go right, I could lose a parrot… Now, I know it could be something else but because I didn’t find out, I don’t think it’s anything else except FAILURE on my part! Can you tell I’m still devastated? Losing a loved one is so hard but losing one and blaming yourself for it is even harder. I’m trying to move on but it’s truly killing me inside.

Anyhow back to the topic at hand, I started Parenting Parrots for people to learn from me.  That includes my success and my failures/mistakes so please take heed and truly learn from me. Reading, research and reuse are my 3 R’s – do it! I’ve always said this, “Get a book on your specific bird”. What if that information is wrong? Even vets give us wrong information at times. Everything you come across, take with a grain of salt and research on it before implementing it.

If someone told you parrot ownership was easy, they lied!! It’s stressful at times like these when I’m up worrying about my flock instead of peacefully sleeping. It’s heartbreaking when you lose a parrot. It’s exciting when they learned a new trick or how to master a new toy. It’s research when you need something more challenging to teach them. It’s expensive when you have to do vet visits, food, toys and housing appliances lol I mean accessories. I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world but I’m truly afraid of losing my flock because of my dietary change which was an epic fail. What if more than one was affected by my bad choice?

1512853331091

So this worry has brought me back to the basics! I’m currently only going to feed them pellets this week. No fruits or veggies just so I can make sure their poop is regulated. Once their poop is back to normal I will implement my 5 go to fruits (check our YouTube channel for more information on that) and then my 5 go to vegetables (will be on youtube soon).

Goal: To have healthy parrots that can outlive me and go on to be taken care of by my 4 kids

Parenting Parrots

Sleep-deprived Parrot Mom

Image

This week has not been a good week for this sleep-deprived parrot mom and the parrots are probably so mad at me! My newborn decided this week to sleep during the day instead of the night so it has thrown my whole schedule off. When the parrots are sleeping, I’m up and when I’m sleeping, the parrots are up….Do you see how this is NOT helping??

I get up, make them the easiest breakfast I can think of and back to my bed I go. I get back up around the evening time, do a 5 minute training inside of their cage, give them their dinner and that’s it for our interaction. HORRIBLE! I know but this is why it’s great to not have a strict schedule so when things have to be shifted or changed for a little while, your parrots can adjust with no issues. This was also the month of no pellets so my parrots have went through a lot of adjusting but as always they make their mommy proud.

aid431818-v4-728px-Recognize-Stress-in-Your-Pet-Parrot-Step-9

The reason I’m proud is because they show no signs of “damage” (for lack of a better word). They are still active, vocal, poop is the same, weight is the same. They are still my babies even though they haven’t had their usual interaction this week. I like the fact that  change is something they can accept, at least I did something right there. I feel bad though, it’s like they got grounded and they did nothing wrong. I’m hoping today will be different as I got some good quality sleep in.

Anyhow I’m still tired so I’m going to head back to bed for a few more hours and get up by 10/11am to give them their breakfast and then start our day. It’s later than usual but better late than never. The point of this post is to say: Keep changing your parrot’s enclosure at least once a week. This way change will be something they are used too and  not be afraid of. Less likely to cause a negative reaction if they can adjust to constantly changing environments.

Fyi when I’m changing their cages, I leave their favorite toy.

Parenting Parrots

Baked Harrison’s Birdie Bread

Image

I hope this wasn’t considered cheating on my “Month of No Pellets”. I have been through a week and all the birds are doing well, weighing them everyday and still training. One HUGE difference I’ve noticed and I’m not sure why but the noise level has diminished A LOT! I’m definitely not complaining, I still hear them talking English but any yaking or bird noises that make you want to plug your ears are very little. Maybe they have just decided to be quiet this week or maybe there is some kind of connection between the pellets and noise level or maybe the schedule I have them on without pellets makes a difference, who knows the possibilities are endless. What I do know is I had a very quiet week hahaha.

Because they have all been really good and didn’t pout or put up a resistance to not being given pellets I let my daughters help me bake some birdie bread for them today. I think I should have put some more Sunshine Factor in it as it came out a little dry looking but apparently that was only on top, the inside was moist and it was the first time I EVER baked Birdie Bread for my birdies. I used the Pepper mix and all the parrots ate it right up. NOW, that could be because it’s closer to getting pellets than anything else they have been getting or they might just really like it, we’ll see as I will make it again.

harrison

The only ingredients I had to add was 2 eggs and Sunshine Factor (Red Palm Oil) so definitely something easy to make. Now where I live one bag is 18.75 CAD but this will probably last me 3 or 4 days depending on the portion size I decide to give. I have 5 parrots eating this though most people would only have one or two so this would probably last you a while depending on your portion size and how often you feed it. I will definitely try the other flavors which are Original and Millet.

The funny thing is my parrots don’t like red palm oil usually (Not sure if this is true for the IRNs as I never tried them with it) so I was scared that they wouldn’t accept the bread but I guess with it cooked in the bread they didn’t mind or again it could be the lack of pellets that enticed them. Overall though I have heard very good reviews regarding the bread and my review would be the same. It was quick, easy to mix, easy to bake, easy to clean up after and the Parrots enjoyed it so I do/will recommend the Harrison’s Birdie Bread. I will do a video of me tasting it with the birds so look out for that and then you will see if I, myself like the taste even though my taste buds really don’t matter as it’s not for me to eat.

baked bread

Found this on the internet but my bread looked exactly like this

Parenting Parrots