Parrot Work

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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

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Step Up Cooperation Exercise Practice

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There is so many things to teach our feathered kids, how does one make sure they know everything they are supposed to know? Well, I for one can say my parrots do not know everything they are suppose to know however I’m looking forward to the years to come, for them to continue learning well into their adulthood.

When I first got my parrots I was adamant that I wanted them to be the perfect pet and they would know everything and we would never have any issues. Well wishful thinking does get one far but it’s not realistic. Realistically, parrots will only dish out what you put into them so if I never teach them to say thank you, they never will. I can’t just expect them to!

Teaching your parrot to step up is very important and I will cover exactly how to do that in another post. This is about making sure you are conditioning them to step up onto a variety of different items.

First you would want to teach them how to step up regardless of if it’s on to your hand or a perch depends strictly on you and your comfort level with your bird. I usually start with my hand, if there is fear of hands then I will start with a perch. There are 7 things you want to cover when teaching your parrot to step up and you can only implement these other items once your parrot has learned to step up onto at least one.

You will teach your parrot to step up onto:

1) To and from your hand to a familiar perch
2) To and from your hand to an unfamiliar perch
3) To and from a handheld perch to a familiar perch
4) To and from a handheld perch to an unfamiliar perch
5) To and from both hands (left hand to right hand and vice versa)
6) To and from a handheld perch to a handheld perch
7) To and from a handheld perch to your hand

Once you have done this with your bird, you have successfully completed the “step up cooperation exercises.” Please see below for a video demonstrating this exercise.

Parenting Parrots

Prevention is Better Than Cure

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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.

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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

The Love Is Real

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The Love is Real” was a comment posted on this site when I first started blogging by my late uncle/twin. I laughed and was like yup but I never really thought twice about those 4 words until now.

Why today? I have no idea, maybe I’m just in a loveable mood but the statement couldn’t be more true. I never knew how much a pet could mean to a person. Growing up we weren’t allowed pets, well, we had some fish but I was never into them and wanted a rabbit or a parrot. I never wanted a dog because I don’t like the cold and there was no way I was going outside regardless of the weather to let a dog relieve itself. It’s weird because I never understood how people could talk so much about their pets, like do they lack an entertaining life? Or are they that lonely that they can only talk about their beloved pet? Pathetic!

Look at me now…. I blog about my parrots haha, you want to get me talking bring up parrots and I will never stop! I can completely understand those people who spoke such passionate words for their pets now. When someone’s pet would die in the office, I was the one standing there listening to them but rolling my eyes inside my head like, “seriously, it’s just an animal go buy a new one.” I’m now that person who will shed tears for my parrots. I guess you truly can never understand or relate to a person until you have experienced a similar situation. I sympathize with all those co-workers now.

My sister has a dog, a cat plus a bearded dragon, a catfish, a turtle and her 3 kids and she will passionately talk about her dog and cat (the others are really her husband’s and the kids). I can relate, so I listen and talk to her regarding training, vets and sicknesses. It’s funny because we talk more about the animals when they are ill than we do the kids haha. But it’s the passion that captures me.

Here, I share my love for parrots with cyber space and I’m glad I can. So to my uncle Brandon and all the other non-pet owners out there that can’t grasp why people devote so much time and energy to their pets, I have four words for you, “The Love is Real“.

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Parenting Parrots

Killing My Eardrums!!

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I love my flock, overall a quiet bunch even though they can be noisy at times, it’s not an everyday thing or an all the time thing… Then I added to my flock.

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I have never had to actually train any of my parrots to be quiet until now. It sucks because I can’t introduce her into the same room as the rest of the birds until she learns how to be a little less noisier.

She makes noise all day long until I turn her lights off. I know she’s lonely and wants to be included but I also have to be mindful of what her vocals may teach the others. So I said if  I can get her to realize that she will only get my attention when the noise levels diminishes then I can move her to be around the other parrots.

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So I came up with a game plan:
Goal -Quiet for an hour straight

First day: I waited and timed how long between screams was she quiet for? 11 seconds (That’s not very long).
Aim – If she can make it to 15 secs of silence I would click, enter the room, give her a treat and talk to her for a bit. Once she finishes the treat, I would leave the room and wait for 16 secs, 17 secs, 18 secs, 20 secs then 25 secs, 30, 35,40, 45, 50, 55 and then  1 minute.
It was a success!!

Second day: I waited for 15 secs again then 20, 25, 30 and 1 minute. Once we got to the 1 min mark, I started waiting for 1 min and 15 secs, 1 min and 30 secs, 1 min and 45 secs, 2 mins. Went to 2 mins and 30 secs, 3 mins then 4 mins and 5 mins. It was a successful day!!!

Third day: No quiet session training

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Fourth day: I waited for 5 mins – it didn’t come after a hour of waiting. Then I waited for 4 – nope then 3, nope and finally 2. Click, entered the room and gave a treat. However she didn’t stop making noise after that, I think she was panicking that I was going to leave her alone always… I’m not sure. So I went back to 30 seconds of silence hoping to progress fairly quickly back to 5 minutes at least. Even 30 seconds was a struggle so I reverted back to 15 seconds. I did 5 sets of 15 seconds then I did 5 sets of 30 seconds, at this point the other parrots were getting noisier in response to her so having her remain quiet was definitely becoming a harder task but I know you have to be persistant when it comes to these types of things.

I know where I went wrong in this and it was missing the 3rd day. But I’m not giving up and I won’t miss another day hahaha. It’s weird because she is so smart so I assumed after the first few repetitions she would remember and  we would pick up where we left off, I guess not. What I should have done was just start back at 5 seconds and jump every 5 instead of doing the 5 sets of the same time frame and jumping to 15 sec intervals… At this point we were a hour and a half into her 2 hour focus time and she only made it to 45 seconds of quiet once. Definitely unfortunate but it is, what it is…. Tonight before dinner time will be another attempt. I usually only do this once a day but to make up for yesterday I will attempt it again later tonight. She won’t get any personal one on one time in this session it looks like but hopefully later tonight will be a better session. With 15 minutes left of her 2 hour focus time she finally started progressing! I did the 5 sets of 45 seconds, 3 sets of 1 minute and then I was able to start jumping after 1 set on each timeframe. We went to 1 minute and 15 seconds then 2 minutes, 2 minutes and 30 seconds! I wanted to be at 10 minutes today but by the time we were moving on to the 3 minute mark we ran out of time in the session so the goal will be to get there tonight. If we only make it to 5 minutes, I will still be happy.

8 weeks old
After a week I’ve trying to teach her how to be quiet I was unsuccessful making it to a hour straight, so just like any other training method I  had to re-think my approach. I took a leap of faith and wondered if my current parrots could teach her how to be quiet. So, I took a chance and moved her close to the other parrots, she still goes on her rampage of noise BUT it’s only in the morning and afternoon now. Definitely decreased in frequency. She still is the only nosy one in my flock and no other parrot has copied her. My philosophy is: they see that her noise is not benefitting her (getting her any extra attention or reinforcement) so there is no point in copying her actions. Unfortunately none of them have chosen to tell me so I can only speculate at this point but it’s been months and I haven’t heard anyone mimic her.

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Parenting Parrots

New Baby Within Flock

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On December 26th, 2017 we welcomed another little bundle of joy into our flock except this time it was a baby human versus being a baby bird. This is where the challenge comes in, just like you have to be careful when introducing a new bird, you have to be careful when introducing a baby human.

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I say this because my parrots need to know their limits when it comes to the babies of the house. Just like you have house rules, I expect you to have rules for your parrots too. Can you imagine a household with no rules? Can you say unruly children? So this is where the difficulty comes in, it’s not everyday a new baby is brought into the house and most times I forget about exercising the rules because I have the birds out when the kids’ aren’t home. Therefore the rules aren’t a constant reminder to them, so it can be easily forgotten. I can’t just expect them to remember and do what’s wanted/needed. At this point, I have no choice but to think about re-training.

The baby/babies will be here and if I still want to be able to train and interact with the parrots while the kids are home (as they will be all the time now), I have to make sure both parties (parrots and kids) know the rules of the household. To be honest I’m not too worried about re-training because most of the parrots are acceptable towards the kids, my worry comes from Grayson, who has never really tolerated the little ones (blame it on my training or lack thereof). Also Ringo, as he doesn’t even tolerate me haha but it will definitely give me something to record and document for you guys.

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The first step to introducing the two is I keep the baby out of their sight for a few days. All the birds hear are the baby cries and coos but they don’t get to actually be introduced for a few days. I have been home for 4 days now and just yesterday I brought Nyx (black-capped conure) to look at the baby. She walked around the whole bassinett and looked down at our little bundle but she was calm, cool and collected which was great. The next step for Nyx will be to have her in the room while I’m changing his diaper, breastfeeding etc, the point is to get her comfortable or make sure she is comfortable with me doing the daily activities with the baby and kids out and about. For the older kids, I will do what I  always do and continue to train Nyx while the kids provide her with the rewards. I’ll get my 3 yr old to help with water and food changing and I anticipate by the end of January Nyx will be able to be out and about all the time when the kids are out and I won’t have to worry.

This  same procedure will take place for each of the parrots but one at a time. The goal is to have the kids be able to step the birds up correctly and know how to handle them (after they have all pass the age of 5 lol) and the parrots will know not to bite the kiddies but instead if something is done that they don’t like to just fly away. This is one of the reasons I advocate for fully flighted birds as they are better socialized (personal opinion) and will usually pick flight over fight.

So good luck to me, the kids, the new baby boy and the parrots living happily ever after!

Parenting Parrots

Can’t Have Just One!?!

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Why do you have so many birds? Why not sell them all and have just one?

Good questions and good points but why have more than one child? Why not tie your tubes after one? Is it fun being alone? Sometimes one is best and I wonder when I see people with one parrot how it would be if I had stopped at just Lola or just Grayson but then I feel the same way when I see people with one child. What if I never had any more children after my son? Why didn’t I just stop at one?

There are pros and cons to both sides. When you have one child/parrot you have more time to devote to that one child/parrot. You have more money to spend on that one child/parrot. Life is easier with one, it’s more manageable having that solo dependent but for me I yearned for more. I wondered about what would it be like if I had a girl or a different type of parrot… Did I have to have 6 more parrots on top of my one bringing my number to 7 – definitely not! But did I have to have 3 more kids on top of my one bringing my children to 4 – definitely not! I look at my parrots like my children, each one brings something different to the table. Yes, there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough and stop and I have finally gotten there. 7 is my lucky number, it’s God’s number.

Lorikeet and Monk Parakeet

Rasta and Piper

I have come into obstacles and had to make decisions to rehome parrots. Some parrots have come into my life and I realized this parrot isn’t for me but I do my best to find them a good home and 9 out of 10 times, I’m taking a pay lost to put them into a good family. I rather take a lost in price and feel secure about where I’m housing them then stick to my price and feel like I’m putting them in a bad situation.

Re-homing is never easy and I do talk about re-homing some birds in this article however I think the major problem is a lot of people don’t see their parrot as a part of their family. My parrots are a part of my family. Grayson is 5, Nyx is 4, Piper is 3, Ringo is 18 months, Rasta is 16 months and I added 2 more members to my flock who I haven’t told you about yet but if you are on my instagram then you would have already seen pictures of them.  I don’t have names yet hence why I haven’t posted information about them yet however one is 23 months old and the other is almost 16 weeks old this Sunday. This is my flock and I won’t be changing it unless I decide to get into breeding which is still up for debate.

Male Cockatiel

Chiko – was with me for 2 months before being re-homed to a good home where I still go and see him and Maro (the female pied cockatiel) every now and then

I did try to downsize my flock to 5 but for some reason, somehow my number always comes back to 7 so I’m calling defeat and staying at 7.

Each of my parrids (parrot kids) offer something different to the table, no 2 are alike and I love that! Piper is very independent but wants to make friends within the flock, Rasta is very hyper and likes to play fight but doesn’t like to be touched around his head, Ringo is very aloof and doesn’t want to engage with anyone unless he is being trained. Then we have Nyx who wants to always be with me and Grayson the most jealous bird of them all and is open to anything! They all talk and say different things and I just love watching a child/parrot grow, I love seeing their growth.

So to the question of why can’t I just have one? Because one was just not meant for me! I need and want the different personalities and learning styles around me. It keeps me on my toes and helps keep my mind stimulated. I’m constantly thinking of their learning styles and how to teach each one, kind of like a mini classroom hahaha. This is my family!

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

I’m Sorry

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Some days are GREAT days! While others are…. NOT so great! How does one bounce back from a “NOT so great day” when it not only affects you but your little toddlers too?

Today was one of those days for me! So this is my rant! Everything was on schedule, I trained each bird, gave them breakfast, cleaned the house, spent time with each bird and then I don’t know what happened… While I was doing all of that, I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you guys today and what I was going to put up on our youtube channel tomorrow. However it is now 11:45pm and I’m just now sitting down to write to you. I’m sorry. I usually work really hard on my posts and try to make sure I do research and have pictures etc… Today is just NOT one of those days. So not only am I letting you down but I’m letting myself down and my birdies down because I did not do a 2nd training session as I usually do.

When I decided to blog and make videos, it never dawned on me that it would be time consuming. For those who don’t know… IT IS VERY MUCH TIME CONSUMING! If you don’t LOVE what you are writing about or making videos about – IT will be more of a chore then a hobby. For me, it is a split between a hobby and a job because I want to make sure I give you interesting, fun, educational information but at the same time I want it to be professional and consistent. IF this was just my hobby then I would only do it when I had time but for me, “THIS IS MY WHOLE LIFE” so I try to be as consistent as possible. I have a goal, I have a plan and I have a routine that I want to stick to, which makes this harder when I put deadlines on it. Well, I seem to work well under pressure so I guess this works for me.

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Today was one of those days that I think about why I write… Does anyone care what lil’ old me has to say?  Then I meet people that ask for my help and I smile and feel like “this is why I write“, so others know I’m here! I’m here and I’m not going any where! There are days that I look and my stats say I only had 2 visitors. ONLY 2 visitors!? In a whole 24 hours?? No comments, no likes, no emails, no followers added… Is it a sign that people don’t care about what I have to say? Or do I use it as a push? I use it as a push! Maybe my content isn’t as appealing as I think, maybe I’m missing something in my writing, maybe I need to add some sort of twist… What makes one website get followers added every day while others struggle just to get one or two??  How come some blogs get hundred and thousands of likes and comments while others get none? I, unfortunately do not have the answer to these questions but I will keep pressing on until I figure it out.

Okay, I’m going to go now as I think I’ve ranted enough hahaha plus it’s now after midnight and although the parrots are sleeping, I still have 3 beautiful children that have decided tonight is not the night to follow curfews hahaha. It’s okay, thank  God it’s Saturday and tomorrow is another weekend day where I plan to be VERY PRODUCTIVE! One unproductive day a month, I will allow myself so today was it for November… NEVER AGAIN until maybe DECEMBER hahaha.

Although this wasn’t on my original topic and NOTHING like any of my other posts, I hope you still enjoyed it nevertheless. Please feel free to check out my other posts while you are here and DEFINITELY click that add to followers button so you can get updates about my other fun and entertaining topics haha or just do it to make me feel better – that works also….

Bye for now!

 

 Parenting Parrots!