The Real Reason I Lost Piper

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I explain Piper’s last days here but I never knew the real reason so here it is:

I will never wait out another sickness again and my post regarding wing clipping is no longer soft now I am TOTALLY against it!
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Parenting Parrots

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Lost Piper, our Quaker Parrot

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So I did the stupid month of no pellets and everything seemed fine however I forgot about Piper. His diet should have been monitored a little more closely because he is prone to the fatty liver disease. The last week of “no pellet month”, he started refusing to eat his food, he was still eating his treats when trained but otherwise the fruit, veggies, pasta, rice, bread etc was not being touched.

He somehow managed to maintain his weight of 99 kg so I wasn’t too worried and I knew it was just a matter of days before I would go to the store to buy pellets. I continued to monitor him. His poop was hard to monitor because of all the fruit and veggies being incorporated into their diet, so it was very watery. Anyhow he was still training and activity level remained the same, until that Thursday, he came out of the cage and started training but refused the treat at one point. Piper has NEVER refused a safflower seed EVERY! My red flags immediately went up! He flew away from everyone on to a stand that’s in a corner. If you know Piper, he is a social butterfly and never wants to be alone. The Wednesday he weighed 97kg but it was still close to 99 so I wasn’t concerned but that Thursday he weighed 91kg I immediately was scared. He flew away from me and wouldn’t fly back when called, I was scared.

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Friday came and he was at the bottom of his cage, not being able to lift his head up for long. He weighed 81kg. He mustered up all his energy to fly once or twice when out otherwise he would find a dark spot and hide. I was in trouble. My credit card for the birds were maxed and I was in negative in my bank account (being on maternity leave is not easy :(). I was devastated over the fact that Piper needed me and I couldn’t bring him to the vet because I was broke! I made sure to provide him water via my finger so he wouldn’t be dehydrated and put him in his cage with a cover so he could rest.

Saturday morning, I was scared to uncover him but I did and he was still alive. I sent for pellets, milk thistle and a syringe. I made the pellets into a mash with the milk thistle and fed him through the syringe 1ml every hour. He seemed to be doing better. In the night I tried to give him 4ml of the mash and when I went to weigh him he became unbalanced, fell to the floor, I believe hitting his kneel (I made have that spelt wrong) bone and died.

I feel like I failed Piper, Lola, Parenting Parrots, my kids and myself. I’m so sorry, I don’t know where I went wrong but I know just like with Lola I feel an empty space in my heart.

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Piper was amazing beyond words. Every morning I was greeted with “Good Morning, How are you?” and I would respond with “Good Morning Piper, I’m good how are you?” He would then say, “I’m good, how are you?” I believe he was waiting for me to teach him what to say next but I never did. Every evening we ended our night with a wonderful, “Good night”. Piper would sing Sugarland – Stuck like Glue. It was his favorite song, even when we would be singing a different song he would jump in with Sugarland lyrics. He knew all the kids’ names and would call each one. He especially loved to call Shennai because she would bring him a treat every time he called for her. He would be the starter of our “peek-a-boo” games. He would say it first and the other birds would follow. He just learned “Peek-a-Boo, I see you”. So if I said Peek a boo he would respond with I see you. He was just so talented. He loved interacting with people and other birds.

Piper would fly to the other parrots’ cage and let them out.  I was planning on having a video on YouTube called “Prison Break – Parrot edition” and it was going to show Piper letting out Rasta or Ringo or himself as those are the only 3 cages he could open. I would turn my back and all of a sudden I would have Piper and Rasta out doing nonsense hahaha. I miss those days now. The house doesn’t seem the same without him – he was the glue that truly kept the flock together.

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He would always engage with all our visitors. He is going to be missed so much! I loved watching his green and blue wings soaring through the house, I was so excited to get him harness trained so I could take him outside and now I will never have that chance. NEVER  in a million years did I think I would lose Piper so soon. I was always so careful with him and his diet. I don’t know what exactly went wrong but I take full responsibility. Life will never be the same without Piper here to stir things up but this has gotten me doing further research into the other parrots’ diet because it’s the only thing I could think of that went wrong.

I’m sorry for the long post but I’m still hurting. I sit and watch the videos of him every night, it feels unreal and I’m to blame because I didn’t have money saved for their emergencies like I recommend others to do. I feel like a hypocrite, I tell everyone to make sure they do it and here I am with their credit card maxed so I couldn’t do what needed to  be done. Maybe if I had the funds, I could have saved his life. I will still be blogging about things to do with Quakers because now more than ever do I feel the need to share how they should be taken care of and how precious they are. I feel like I took Piper for granted and I’m experiencing that feeling of: “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” I have a video of Piper, the Friday before he died but it’s sad.

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I will not be obtaining another quaker parrot a.k.a monk parakeet unless I somehow inherit one. It hurts when you lose a member of your family.  We got Piper the same time my 1st daughter was born maybe that’s why they were so close. She keeps asking me for him, so far I told her he is at the doctors. I don’t know how to tell her he is gone. At first, I was wondering if I could get another quaker and re-teach it all the things Piper knew so she wouldn’t know the difference but financially it’s not an option so I’m hoping with time, she will slowly become unattached and I can then break the news.

Please don’t judge me, I just know Piper was her favorite and I don’t want to see her heartbroken. The below video was a brief video that isn’t complete, it was shot in the end of December 2017, I started it for our YouTube channel but changed my mind and used a different footage.

Parenting Parrots

To Clip or Not to Clip? That is the Question

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I will be completely honest, I blame clipping of my Galah Cockatoo’s wings to be the cause of her death(Will be a storytime on our Youtube channel). Overall, she felt incomplete as a bird and because she barely had learned how to fledge at that time, she never understood the importance of her wings hence her breaking them every time they grew in. A lot of people clip their birds’ wings and justify it for different reasons, I don’t argue with anyone. I listen and understand their point of view but you know what my thought on it comes down to?!? THEN DON’T GET A BIRD!!

A bird is meant to fly, are you still a bird if you can’t fly?? I think that makes them a chicken or a turkey or a rooster but definitely not a bird…. I will never tell someone they are wrong for clipping but is it not selfish to clip a bird because you can’t take the proper precautions to keep them safe? Wouldn’t it be better to leave them in the pet store or at the breeder’s house so someone who doesn’t have to risk their “winglyhood”, for safety can take them? I’ve heard about many accidents with parrots who have flown away or flew into a fan, etc :(. But couldn’t those have been prevented?  Such as making sure windows and doors aren’t opened when the bird is out or by turning off that fan? Maybe I just don’t understand as I’m not in those situations to have to make those type of decision but regardless let’s think about the bird.

To Clip

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Part of a bird’s anatomy is their wings just like humans, it’s their legs. Let’s say someone broke my legs and said no worries it will fix, it’s only temporary. In that time frame I’m paralyzed, I can’t move like I want to – I am at the beck and call of others. I have to rely on others as I can’t do for myself like I normally would, this is the same for clipped birds. Now some people may say nope! It’s not like that. Clipping wings is more like getting a haircut as it doesn’t hurt the bird and it will grow back. Yes that is all true however it is still temporarily paralyzing them from making the decision to flight or fight.

I have clipped birds but they are only clipped because they came to me that way so I patiently wait it out until their wings grow back in. I used to clip my parrots’ wings all by myself, I have also went to the vet to get it done. I never thought anything more about it until I started watching and observing my birds and realizing how BEAUTIFUL it was to see them spread their wings and fly. I love it! I haven’t clipped my African grey in 4 years and although he barely flies whenever he does, I feel like a proud mommy.

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A lot of behavioral issues can arise from having a clipped parrot because of the lack of exercise. Flying is so important to parrots, it’s how they release all that built up energy so if you add flying plus foraging plus training and the perfect diet – YOU CAN ACQUIRE THE PERFECT PET! But without the flying aspect, what exercise can you give a parrot that would release the same amount of exercise that flying for 30 mins a day would help them release? One thing I used to do when Grayson’s wings were clipped is have him come out of the cage, I would hold on to his feet and tell him to flap his wings. He was great at it but it definitely was not releasing the same amount of energy that flying would have.

Once, I clipped Piper’s wings because people said it would make him easier to train and manage. Well let me tell you – I received a MONSTER from that. He went from never biting to always biting. He was miserable being clipped and now that he isn’t clipped anymore, he is back to his normal self. Yes, he flies from me but I understand that is his way of communicating to me to let me know he either had enough or is bored with what I’m doing etc….

There will always be pros and cons to clipping and not clipping your bird’s wings. It truly comes down to a personal preference. Do what’s best for you and for your parrot so you can both enjoy all that life has to offer.

 

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5 yr old Grayson

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Parenting Parrots!

Dreams Can Come True

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This is BY FAR not what I imagined my life to be. Before I would complain to my “angel” about where I am in life and where I should be but today at 6 am I was lying in my bed (or what I’m using as a bed for now) and was thinking about my blessings.

I had two dreams:
I was going to be a single woman who ran a company. I was the CEO, lived in an upscale condo that was always very clean and I drove the latest Porsche. I had no kids, no pets basically no responsibilities outside of work. I would visit my sisters with their kids and bring gifts but I was to be so posh that they wouldn’t be allowed to touch my “Armani” skirt suits and of course I was the master of the heels game. I had long flowing hair, perfect body size and was wealthy. No issues. Well I can tell you  NONE of that came through….. At least not yet hahahaha.

Next dream:
I would get married to an Indian or white man and have some really pretty looking biracial babies(never had a number on how many kids). We would be well-off financially and live in a good size house with that white picket fence, maybe have a dog and still be very content. Well again that didn’t come through….

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Reality:
I’m a single mom of 3 kids with my last one (number 4) on the way. I live in a cramped 2 bedroom apartment that has a wish to keep being unorganized 80% of the time. We have a bearded dragon, 2 rabbits and 7 parrots included in our family. I drive a GMC Terrain and a very old Honda Civic. I have yet to find my career and right now I’m on E.I as I had to be put on sick leave. I started this blog hoping I could make it my career path but I don’t even make enough a month off of it to buy a loaf of bread. Worse of all, I lost my support system at the age of 32.

Dreams compared to Reality: Dream one!
I do run a company, I’m a CEO of a company – I’m the owner of “Parenting Parrots“. It may not have enough followers to generate an actual income yet but Rome wasn’t built-in a day.  I may not live in an actual condo that is very tidy but I have a roof over my head and I’m teaching these kids to make sure they clean up after themselves so the neatness will come back. I don’t drive a Porsche but my GMC has a rearview backup camera which is very “up to the times” hahaha. I’m not “posh”,  I don’t own Armani suits and I hate heels however I don’t think any of that was actually important. My hair is nice in its micro locks and my body size is perfect for me. Financially, I’m not as stable as I would like to be but one day at a time and things will get better.

Dream two Comparison!
I’m not married and I don’t see that in my future and none of my kids are biracial but they are some very beautiful kids (not to boost my own horn). They are intelligent and funny and keep me on my toes. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better. I will one day move into a house, I am determined to do that and I don’t need a white picket fence. Instead of a dog I have a house full of wonderful pets that love me and talk to me and push me to continue to do this blog.


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Dreams Can Come True!
When I was a little girl, I always wanted a parrot. I wanted my “Polly want a cracker?”  I never asked for one because I knew my parents couldn’t afford it and they were not pet people. They believe animals have no business in a house, they need to be kept free. The funny thing is when my dad would take me to his house in Jamaica, they had a BEAUTIFUL Beige colored Dog that stayed in the yard and my dad built his own outside aviary and had all types of birds in there. However they weren’t allowed in the house! HAHAHAHA. So all my life I secretly yearned for a parrot and I completely forgot about that when I got older. It wasn’t until my son started giving problems in school that I was told about getting a pet for him and that’s how Our Journey began. That journey, I spent SO MUCH money on pets, toys, cages etc… Brought me to where I am today, trying to educate others about the beauty, intelligence and joy that parrots can bring to an individual’s life.

This blog will one day gain the followers it needs to become profitable and it will be more than just a blog it will be a place of education, training and EVERYTHING PARROTS! I don’t know how but I took the “Living and Learning with Animals” Course and I GRADUATED!!!! I am so happy and I have now started training people who have issues with their parrots. It’s been a success so far and I’m making connections and I hope more and more people turn to me for advice and PARENTING PARROTS becomes a well-known and trusted name that people can believe in and only have great things to say about it!

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You see, if all my negatives didn’t happen or my dreams did come true – I may not be here today talking to you… I may not have come back to my true love and owned my very own parrot flock… I may not have realized that I have such a love for these animals it is completely amazing! And the best part is to see my son right alongside me learning and teaching about parrots when we go to train a family – it warms my heart. I know he will probably not follow in my path of being a parrot trainer but just to see his involvement right now is touching.

If you haven’t already found the button on this page either at the bottom or side that says follow parenting parrots yet then please do and join our growing family because without you “My dreams” can’t continue to come true. Also, sometimes in life, we focus too much on the negative and miss the “Blessings” and positives that are right before our eyes. Take a day out of every week to focus on the good and refresh your soul with your positives and move off of the negatives. Things like this are always easier said than done but trust me if I can do it then so can you! So, let’s do it together!

(All pictures in this post were from the internet)

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Parenting Parrots!