A New Parrot

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So if you follow our YouTube or our Instagram, you already know we got a new Parrotlet. Very sweet boy. He was hatched on March 11, 2019 and is our very first store bought bird.

I got him from Ziggy’s Feathered Friends in Dorchester, Ontario. I’m so against getting birds from pet stores that I keep worrying something may be wrong with him (bad past experience). Ziggy’s is great so I’m sure nothing is wrong but my anxiety can’t help it. He is quarantined from the rest of the birds and I wash my hands after interacting with him. He is parent-raised so I’ve been slowly engaging with him. He is very energetic and has such a beautiful personality. I’m recording our interactions for our “Training and Taming Tuesdays” segments on our YouTube channel.

This first week with him, I’ve asked my YouTube and Instagram families for help naming him. The top 5 names have been: Ziggy (my name suggestion), Cloudie, Sky, Pisces and Azure. First name to get 10 votes will be his name. So please pick one. Once a name has been chosen this will be updated.

Parenting Parrots

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My African Grey is Selfish

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It breaks my heart to see Rasta, our Green-Naped Lorikeet trying to make friends with everyone and being turned away. He is such a nice, little guy I don’t understand why none of the birds play with him.

He has found a way to “bond” with Grayson or at least so he thinks. Rasta will fly to Grayson’s cage and preen Grayson through the cage bars but if I let Grayson out with Rasta, Grayson will attack.
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It’s like Grayson is only using Rasta for his own gain. Poor Rasta, really thinks he has made a friend.

Why is Grayson so selfish? He won’t return the favor so why keep getting the pleasure? When I first got Grayson, Lola was here but yet he still hasn’t learned about sharing. He was never an “only” parrot, so why?

Grayson

The Selfish Grey

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How can I teach a parrot about sharing? If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comments below.

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

Re-evaluating My Parenting

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Life in general is hard but when it is up to you to take care of others, it becomes extra hard. Have I grown my babies right? Can I change my parenting style now? Do my babies have so much more potential than what I’ve allowed them to express?

The scary thing about these questions is that they are real questions that I am considering. I want to change my parenting, I feel like I haven’t got my parrots to their complete potential. I’ve sheltered them and border-lined them. MEANING! I treated them like my babies but I also treated them like pets. It would switch between the two. Well, honestly Parenting Parrots is about “Parenting Parrots” so why do I push my human kids to their upmost potential but keep my bird kids to a lower standard? It’s time for a change!

I don’t even know where to start… I compare Parenting Parrots to parenting kids so I have to look at the life cycle of an infant to a toddler to a preschooler to a school ager to a preteen to a teenager to finally an adult…. It may be late but it’s not TOO LATE as long as my parrids (parrot kids) are still alive, I can still strive to make the change I need to make. So I have to make a whole list of steps that I want to take and take it one day at a time.

Some examples:
1) Grayson, my African Grey can only count to 4 however by now he should be able to count to 10 and identify numbers and I’ve kept him to the basics.
2) All my parrots should be able to be out of their cages with the others and not fight.
3) They should be able to hold basic conversations
4) They all should be harness trained
5) They all should be potty trained
6) They should be socialized better

So, the question I ask myself is, “Why aren’t they?” and the answer I get is because “I’ve slacked on them.”

So my first order of business is making my living room more stimulating. Instead of just having two bird stands for them to go to plus the potty perch maybe I can get an atom to hang from the ceiling with more toys or I can make my own bird stand or I can add a large seagrass mat on the wall for them to climb with stimulating foraging options surrounding it, I know the possibilities are endless but I needed this organized yesterday! I just really want to enrich my parrots’ lives and I will do so step by step, day by day.

Oh just to let you guys know I ordered a parrot cookbook so once I receive it, I’ll let you know. I already have Birdtricks.com’s cookbooks but I wanted something different to work with.

Anyways, if you aren’t following me please do so, so you don’t miss this process. I’m excited to see if there will be any change in my parrots by adjusting the little things I can.

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

Breeding pairs of Parrotlets

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My oldest daughter (2nd child) has decided she wants her own pet (she’s 4 yrs old) so automatically I told her NO! However, since April she has proven to be very mature for her age. She gets up and helps change the water and food bowls of all the parrots and of course, you guys know she helps to train them already.

She has been adamant that she wants a specific type of parrotlet. A blue male parrotlet because she loves this vibrant blue on the back and she promises that she will do everything for it and we won’t have to do anything (unrealistic) hahaha, I wish. Anyways, I said okay, I wouldn’t mind a small parrot. I couldn’t find anyone that had a well-tamed baby.
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So, I kept looking as we already had a cage and everything and I thought perfect birthday gift (never buy a bird as a gift! I was doing this, knowing I would end up being the caregiver). Anyhow, no one had one so I came across a breeding set and although I know nothing about breeding parrots I thought, Perfect, I could have the baby born here and raise it to be used to the kids! So I bought it But it wasn’t just one pair, it was a blue pair, a green pair and a green female that just lost her mate.
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Definitely adorable although their cage setup is less than stunning, I find these little birds to be entertaining. I now wish they were tamed so I can interact with them. I’m wondering if I would be able to tame them once I remove the nestbox. I bought a breeding book (will do a review) and a parrotlet book (will do a review) so I’m definitely learning a lot and I’m enjoying this journey but parrots regardless of size is a lot of work!!
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This lone female is 1.5 yrs old like the blue pair and is now single as she lost her mate. She is completely timid but I am going to try interacting with her since she is by herself in the stackable set. She will put all my strategies to the test. Follow our youtube channel to see how it goes.
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These lovelies are 11 months (female) and 6 months (male). They have been really busy but they come to the cage doors as I read to them every morning. They have a nest box up so I don’t interfere with them too much but reading by the cage I think is a great “get to know me” starter.

So please wish me luck in this journey and hopefully, my daughter will get a forever best friend out of it.

Parenting Parrots

The Mealworm Meal

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Reading these sites, trying to educate myself more, I’ve come across the introduction of live mealworms being offered to parrots. It may be to help their protein levels or you can use this especially for breeding pairs. So I thought why not try with my birds. They have only eaten pellets, seeds, sprouted seeds, cooked food, fruits and veggies since being with me. Plus we always have mealworms here for the bearded dragon.
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I figured all the other birds are already set in their ways so the only one who might eat these would be Purrain, my violet Indian Ringneck because she is still a baby. However, I just put it in her food bowl with nothing else in there and Purrain was not having it. She came over to look at them in her bowl, eyed them for a bit, even touched them and then she moved away. I guess she doesn’t need more protein in her diet, hahahaha.

I haven’t tried mealworms with the rest of my flock as yet but I definitely plan too. I  like the idea of them having a diverse palate and being able to have a variety of food. Just the thought of them eating worms is GROSS but to have something new to be able to offer them makes it all worth it. I’m especially excited about this because it is something that they would have been able to enjoy in their natural habitat. I’m still looking to see if I can obtain more branches with bark so this is just one step in the right direction.

If you’re bored or you think your feathered friend could use a change or needs more protein this is the perfect thing to try.

Parenting Parrots

Bird Carriers

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I was going through my bird things, you know “trying to be organized” and I realized I have a LOT of bird carriers. I do have a lot of birds but do I really need so many different types of carriers?

1) I have two of those cat/dog carriers – they are in different colors hahaha. I know one is from what Kodak, my black lory was shipped in but why do I have the other one??

2) I have my travel hotel and that is pretty much Grayson’s. It’s for when we go out overnight and he needs a place to stay in. I used it as a temporary cage for my black lory when we first got him because I wasn’t sure of his size. You can’t see the whole cage in the below pictures but it gives you an idea. The cage is collapsible so that’s why I didn’t just go take a picture of it for you.

3) Then I have the wingabago but I have it with the acrylic door. I really want the wire door so I’ll be able to take the birds who aren’t harnessed trained out in it and they can get the benefits of the sun. Oh and my bowls somehow got removed so I need to reconnect those.
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4) I have a pak-o-bird. It’s a nice backpack but I want the stroller part to place it in but of course, as usual, bird stuff are expensive so I’ll probably have to save for that. The bad thing about my bag is somehow it ended up on the balcony so it got sun-dyed in a sense, basically not making it that bright orange anymore. I’m a little bit disappointed about that HOWEVER, they are too expensive to throw away so as long as the inside is good… I’m good!
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So those are my many different carriers. Each has there different advantages like the pakobird looks like a backpack no one needs to know there is a bird in there if you have all the flaps down so good for hiding. The travel hotel is great for a “mini” cage situation when you need to sleep out but it is also great for them to go outside and be able to get the sunrays in. The Wingabago is just a typical carrier. I can’t say I love it but I think if I had the wired door, I would be more happy with it. But it does get the job done. The cat/dog carriers are just there, nothing special. The one Kodak came in has an inside perch so I like that and again it’s a “no one has to know” situation. So different carriers for different situations.

Parenting Parrots

Broke but Birdies still needs Toys!

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After taking all the birds to the vet to do physical checkups plus bloodwork and fecal tests while being on maternity leave, you can imagine my pockets are quite deficient right now. What am I going to do? I also went to Bulk Barn and bought 15 dollars worth of training seeds, this was a combination of Pine nuts (the most expensive, spent $12.16CAD), sunflower seeds raw in-shell and out and walnut pieces. In March, I spent $327.00CAD at the bird store that covered nectar, Harrison’s Adult lifetime fine 5lb bag, Harrison High Potency 5lb bag and Harrison Pepper 1lb bag plus some toys and perches. Those toys are over a month old now so my birdies need more stimulation. So again, I asked what am I going to do? I definitely do believe in rotating toys but eventually, the toys just get mashed up and either become garbage or need some serious reconstruction.

I’m going to devote May to be my toy making month. Oh, I can call it “Toy Making May“, hahaha. Over the years I bought so much toy making stuff from the parrot shop but never used them so I definitely have items here that I can play around with. Also, I’m learning how to turn household items such as cereal boxes like I did in this post to make toys. I have cereal boxes, egg cartons, pop bottle caps, etc so I’m sure I have a lot of items to turn into toys that the parrids can love and enjoy.

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I definitely lack the creative gene so I have to research and research to find ideas, talk to other parrot owners etc. I found Kris Porter, who has now become a MAJOR influence in how I care for my birds. Simple ideas like getting a bin and putting plastic lids and containers in it and placing it on the counter or somewhere so the birds can throw the items on the floor were excellent for me. Not only was the idea cheap but it was with items I already had!!!  Parrots are just like kids I tell you! You know when the baby throws the toy on the floor and says “UH OH”, you pick it up and give it back to them and then they do it, again and again, making it into a game? Yup, this is the exact same concept. Kris also recommends making food items and leaving it out for them to find and enjoy, just like they would in the wild, I fell in love with that idea because it definitely stimulates foraging at it’s finest. I’m impressed!

Why didn’t I consider these options before? Who knows, but I am now so that’s all that matters.

Parenting Parrots

My Dream Bird

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If I had all the time in the world, I would probably have at least one of every parrot but the reality is I don’t, can’t, so won’t. But I do want my dream bird and since they could live until they are 50, I better get it now. Right now I have:

Grayson, the African Grey
Kodak, the Black Lory – specialized diet
Ringo, the grey Indian Ringneck
Rasta, the Green-Naped Lorikeet – specialized diet
Purrain, the violet Indian Ringneck

I re-homed:

Boss, the Peach-faced Lovebird
Marlee, the Green-naped Lorikeet

I just lost:

Piper, the Quaker Parrot
Nyx, the Black-Capped Conure

Also, let’s not forget:

Lola, the Galah Cockatoo

I’ve babysat/ been around other parrots such as:

Budgies
Cockatiels
Black Headed Caiques
Linnies

I feel I have some good/bad experiences there and they each taught me a lot…
Lola taught me Birds must be flighted, Piper taught me that death can happen very quickly and Nyx taught me that no matter how down or depressed I am, I can not neglect my birds as it can have fatal consequences.

Now I want to add (Drumroll Please) a HAWK HEAD PARROT to my flock!!! Am I crazy? Maybe just a little. This bird is making me have to save, as it’s not an easy purchase. It will cost me the same amount as Lola, my Galah Cockatoo did but I’m still willing to save and get the bird because it is my dream bird and I want to be able to actually enjoy it before I get too old. Since I started seeing grey hairs already, I will assume that this is the best time… Now or never!
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Research, research, research!!! I’ve contacted two breeders, I’m waiting to hear back if any of their eggs were fertile, I have my fingers crossed.

Wish me luck!!

Parenting Parrots