In the beginning of my Lory/Lorikeet Adventure

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Lories/lorikeets can be one of the most frustrating birds to own, hardest to train and quick to use their beak however they can also be the most entertaining, trusting and loveable bird you will ever meet.

When I got my first set of lorikeets I was overly excited. There isn’t a lot of data out there on them but there are a few books and some information on the internet that you can try. I thought I was ready but nothing prepared me for the struggles of the months ahead and I was almost ready to give up. I’m writing this post because I was inspired by an email question I received earlier this week asking for help with a female’s rainbow lorikeet.  I want to help other lorikeet owners out there that might be experiencing the same thing so I’m going to be doing a whole lorikeet set on them and this is the perfect time to do it as I have a brand new lory and a year old rainbow/green naped lorikeet. Both are in the process of training, obviously the green naped is a little more further in his training sessions but not too late to document. If you are a lorikeet owner that needs help please follow me here but also subscribe to our YouTube channel

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Rasta has become more friendly with other birds

So when I first got my lorikeets they were babies right from the breeder and it was a brother and a sister, Rasta and Marley. Rasta was calm, cool and collected but Marley was a “I’m not having it type of gal”. I went on bird forums, Facebook, everywhere I could think of for help because the breeder told me to keep them in the same cage but I was getting nipped left, right and center anytime I tried to interact with any of them. The bird forums told me to separate them so I did. It got a bit better but Marley seemed to control Rasta  meaning I would be dealing with Rasta and Marley would  be in her cage, telling him what to do. For an example: Rasta is training with no problem, all of a sudden we would hear Marley make a noise and the next interaction with Rasta, he would try to bite! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!? The only change was Marley had spoken hahahaha.

Marley was more manageable too but she was definitely more independent and wanted her own way. We were able to start training her but she wanted her brother at all times. So that’s when I made the hardest decision, to separate them permanently. I’m not saying you can’t have brothers and sisters together just that it is a harder challenge especially if they are bonded. So I ended up re-homing Marley. The change within Rasta was almost immediate but for the following weeks I missed Marley.

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Training Rasta

At this point though is when I got to truly know, understand and fall in love with the lorikeet species and I wouldn’t turn back. Look out for part 2 tomorrow on How I started training Rasta, with what training tools and to show you what worked and what didn’t. To stay up to date on this process, please click on that follow button so you too can have a fun, friendly rainbow/ green naped lorikeet like me!

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Rasta, Green naped Lorikeet

Parenting Parrots

 

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Birdtricks’ Steps

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I have to put all these training methods to the test before I can recommend them to my followers, so if you know of any other training methods out there please let me know… This one is www.birdtricks.com run by 2 brothers who have no formal training but claim to be able to change any behavioral issues your bird may have. As long as your parrot isn’t sick, they believe any problems can be fixed using their methods. Great!! So I have 7 parrots but I’m also trying out the Parrot Wizard’s methods so I have to be careful not to intertwine the two. The funny thing is I just found out the parrot wizard used to work for Birdtricks so I’m sure they are going to have some similarities.

If you look at my training for the Parrot Wizard I had 3 birds that I was trying the method on: Grayson, who is a 5 yr old African grey. Piper who is a 3 yr old Quaker parrot a.k.a monk parakeet and Marlee who was new to our flock at the time and was only a 4 and a half months old green-naped lorikeet. I didn’t stick to that training so I’ll be re-starting it over and some birds will have to be changed as Marlee was rehomed.

I will put Grayson and one of our new members who has yet to be introduced to you guys, a female baby violet Indian Ringneck on the Birdtricks program and the other new member which is a black lory along with Piper on the Parrot Wizard Program. I’m leaving out Rasta, Nyx and Ringo for now just in case I come across other bird training programs that I want to test out or that you guys find and want me to test out. Of course one for my own program which may have a combination of all the programs I test out or it may be something completely different, who knows but only time will tell.

So back to Birdtricks, right now I’m reading their pamphlet called New Parrot Care and I was told this is the first thing I should read and it is titled “How to get my parrot to love me“. Chapter one is setting up your parrot for success: Cage, diet, toys, perches, showers. Great! Grayson and the female Indian Ringneck (although she hasn’t gotten the bath thing down as yet but she’ll learn) is ready.

Chapter two covers things you can change without training such as the things I mentioned from chapter one. If you don’t have those already set for your parrot now is the time to fix it. I find that Birdtricks really focuses on the diet aspect of things and I do agree with them on that, a varied healthy diet with an organic based pellet is essential for optimal health for your parrot. They cover sleep, controlling your reaction, end all interactions on a positive note and learn to read body language. So Far I don’t disagree however they seem to stress on not letting the parrot be dominating, showing the parrot who is in charge and I’m sure they mean it in a nice way but that has rang a bell of warning for me. REMEMBER I BELIEVE IN EMPOWERING THE ANIMAL. So let’s see how this keeps going, I’m still keeping an open mind as they do talk about positive reinforcement being better than negative and I’m all for that!

Let’s move on as I know all these things about Grayson and the new IRN (Indian Ringneck) is pretty transparent as a baby right now. Chapter 3, they call it the most important step: Putting your bird on a training diet. They explain how to do it, why it works and to weigh your bird every day. I somewhat do this already although I don’t call it the training diet but I give them only enough food that they will eat in one sitting and I train before feeding them their main meal. You only need to do this if your reward for your parrot doing the right thing is a food reward, if not then implementing the training diet is not necessary. On my own note, if the rewards you are feeding is not in their regular diet then they should work for it whether or not they are on a training diet but I do understand you are NOT starving your parrot so what’s wrong with monitoring their intake? Also if you feed before their next meal you know they are almost getting to that hungry point where they start feeling peckish but their not fully hungry yet. It does help in the motivation process. You never want your parrot to be starving when training because let’s be real, I learn NOTHING when I’m hungry hahaha and I’m sure parrots are the same… Anyhow back to chapter 3. They end off chapter 3 with an introduction to my favorite bridge tool – The Clicker! They give you a clicker game to try on other humans to learn how to master using the clicker which I thought was a BRILLANT idea!! So yes Chapter 3 is on the same baseline as me, I am ready to move onto Chapter 4.

In Chapter 4, we actually learn more about using the clicker in your training. How to clicker train a bird that won’t take treats from your hand or one that is scared of your presence. As you know I’m a big advocate for the clicker, if you didn’t know please read my clicker training post ( which also has a YouTube video attached to it). It’s a very short chapter as it just focuses on getting your parrot to  know the clicker.

Chapter 5 is training the first behavior which is Target training, you have heard me talk about or seen me do YouTube videos showing this. So this is nothing new but I still did a 5 minute training with Grayson and the new IRN (Indian Ringneck) just to implement their first training session. Both of these birds are a pro at target training so this was easy and quick repetitions for them. You can read about my target training methods here.

They end off this book with a summary of things that you learned and why trick training is an important aspect to your bird’s life.

My Overall Thoughts: I would recommend getting this pamphlet for the first time bird owner or for a bird owner who is just starting to take an interest in training their parrots. I don’t know if it is available by itself as I got it in a package called “Basic Parrot Course: stop biting” which cost me $54.95USD. However if you know how to train your parrot and what’s needed in their development then this particular pamphlet may not be for you. I haven’t gotten through the rest of the course yet but will keep you posted.

I am just going through the package that they emailed me before anything else so the next one on the list I received is: How to Potty Train Your Parrot“. I truly don’t think it’s very important in the beginning of training your parrot however having a potty trained parrot saves you a lot of dirty clothes, dirty sheets, floor scrubbing etc. So look out for my review on that.

Please remember to click that follow button and join us on our journey via YouTube and Instagram. Thanks for your support!

 

Parenting Parrots!

Where to buy Parrots

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Before I write this, I want to say…. Please know what you are getting into before acquiring a parrot. I live in an apartment so technically I don’t think I should have as many parrots as I do, but I make it work because I keep their minds stimulated HOWEVER it’s not an easy task.

So options of where to buy parrots IF your heart is set on it…. (Not in any order)

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Not actual prices

1) Adoption – Rescues

2) Rehomes

3) Breeders

4) Pet Shops

1 – Adoption – Rescues 
You can research in your area for foster homes. These are homes where people keep the bird until they find a forever home. Now this option is a good option because it’s giving a home to a bird that unfortunately was dashed to the side for whatever reason. I personally have not went this route only because I’m impatient, so filling out all that paperwork turns me off. Also I prefer getting a baby over an adult but rehabilitating a bird is very rewarding from what I’ve heard. I imagine that to be true because when I get an untamed baby bird and turn them friendly, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. This is the best option for experienced bird owners. Most likely if you go this route, you have to be aware that you may get a bird with a history of abuse or neglect, etc. so be prepared to put in more work. For a first time bird owner, I say to look into this option but only take a young bird because if you don’t have the experience, it would be very hard for you to deal with an adult bird that has a load of issues. Now the chances of finding a baby via this method may also be slim but not impossible.

Another option would be to become a foster bird owner especially if you don’t know what parrot would be right for you. This would give you exposure to different parrots without the long-term commitment and it would be helping a bird in need. Food for thought!

2 – Re-homes

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This is the picture I seen on kijiji of Nyx, our black capped conure

My black capped conure was a re-home. Her previous owner was the only owner she had. He gave her up because he was working nights and was about to start going to school during the day. I’m very happy he gave Nyx up because she is a joy to have around!  I go on kijiji a lot to see what is going on with the bird community. I don’t necessarily go on there to find a bird, I just like to look at the different birds and look at reasons why people re-home. I wasn’t even into conures however something made me contact  Nyx’s owner and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

You have to be careful getting a re-home though because sometimes the story doesn’t end as well as mine. Our Indian Ringneck which is a baby was also a re-home. We are working to try to get him comfortable with us but he is still a good story. I have a friend who bought a blue and gold macaw off of kijiji and unfortunately it was sick. The bird died and my friend was completely depressed. This is a risk you take when getting a re-home because it is just owners’ selling their birds. You can’t get warranty so you can bring back the bird and get your money returned if you find out something is wrong with the parrot. This is a hit and miss situation, some are great to get like our black capped. She was already tamed, all the work was done for us. Some are not so great, like the story of the blue and gold macaw.

3-Breeders


This is the way I go, only because I like getting the parrot when they are a baby so I can train them with no previous training. By me doing this though, it is helping breeders to continue to sell parrots, which is what we want to stop right?  IF you decide to go this route please find a reputable breeder. Go to their house, look at how the birds interact with the breeder, how their living quarters are kept, etc.

The  breeder I got my African Grey from, didn’t have an organized place. However once I seen how the Greys just absolutely loved her, I couldn’t say no. I found out about her through a worker at my favorite parrot shop. The breeder I got my Quaker parrot from seemed to be amateurs. They had very untidy cages, I would have left the Quaker but my son really liked him. I found them on kijiji. The breeder I am getting the Green-Naped Lorikeets from lives about 40 minutes from me. I haven’t seen her place however she has been very informative and answers all my questions whenever I come to her with one. I also found her on Kijiji. The breeder I had gotten Lola, my Galah Cockatoo from, was very nice and her living quarters were clean. The cages could have been kept better but she had a very well socialized healthy Galah. Lola was a case of the parrot choosing me, she came right on me and wouldn’t leave. I found this breeder from a worker at P.J Pets.

When I’m looking for a breeder, I go to this website: http://www.parrotplace.ca/ontario.htm

Also when looking for a breeder, talking to people who have parrots in your area is another option and of course searching the internet is always full of resources.

4 – Pet Shops

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Image of a pet shop from the internet

When I was first looking into getting  a parrot, the first place I looked was pet shops. My experience with pet shops was horrible and if I can stop another person from almost meeting my faith, I’ll be happy. Stay away from this option as much as possible. I attempted to buy 3 birds from P.J. Pets and they were all unhealthy. I was able to purchase a  budgie for my niece however it died within 4 months. I don’t know if it was due to the care it was receiving or because it came from a pet shop but regardless all my experiences especially with P.J. Pets was negative.

Do not buy at a pet shop, if you can avoid it. The random people coming and touching the bird is great for socializing however the amount of people who mistreat that parrot in that brief interaction is also many. Pet shop workers are usually not well-informed about the birds and will do whatever is needed to make the sale. If you must purchase through a pet shop, I would recommend having some kind of agreement that if you get the bird checked out by a vet within 48 hours of purchase and something is wrong that you can get your money back. You would have lost the money spent on the vet visit however better safe than sorry in the long run. (I will post my video about shopping at a pet shop shortly.)

The lists above are just a few options to help you get started in your search of finding your perfect feather friend. IF you are indecisive than do not get a parrot as it is the same as having a toddler.

Parenting Parrots!