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

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A Month with No Pellets Review

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Overall my month with no pellets was okay but it’s not for me. In order to properly provide for your parrots off of no pellets, you need to completely understand their nutritional needs. You need to cater to each one’s personal dietary requirements (I failed in this part, as I didn’t even think twice about each parrot as an individual with different requirements). You also need to be completely devoted to them with no other distractions around you.

January showed me how much pellets save me as it’s a quick measure it out and put it in their cages. Baking, steaming, dicing and chopping is great when I only have to do it occasionally but when it becomes a multiple times a day process – I am too consumed with other things to do that each day. Training took a back seat because instead I was making meals. I felt I was always in the kitchen, for myself, the kids and the parrots.

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I feel bad. More so guilty because I didn’t realize what I was missing (personal requirements) until it was too late to rectify. I must say, anyone who can do this, my hat goes off to you. We are back to incorporating pellets into their diet and my mind feels at ease.

I did see a change in behavior though.  The house seemed quieter and the  birds seemed more willing to train but that could just all be in my head. Until I record proper data, I can’t make a concrete verdict on that previous statement.

No pellets is definitely the way to go if you can manage it.

Parenting Parrots

A Month with No Pellets

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Am I going crazy? Maybe. But I decided to give it a try anyways. So Welcome to 2018! Today is January 2nd, 2018 and I have a very low bag of pellets so I decided why not try a month without pellets. Obviously this doesn’t apply to my Lorikeets as they will always get their nectar and since I don’t give them any sort of pellets, this will be nothing new. I will be trying to introduce more human food into the lorikeets’ diet but it doesn’t matter if they eat it or not as they will still get their regular meals.

They started their day with their “Shreddies” cereal, then they had a fruit mix and now for dinner hard boiled eggs with lightly boiled carrots.
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I have also decided that for the month of January, I want to focus on improving their beaks, feathers and bones. I’ll be attempting this by making sure everyday their diet will include something that will improve those parts. So Today it was eggs and carrots. These two items are said to improve their bones, beaks, feathers and vision. Very excited to see if I will be able to see a difference in their beaks and feathers by the end of this month.

Tomorrow for their fruit mix I will do apples, blackberries and blueberries as they all help with the 3 areas I’m interested in improving. Will my attempt work? I have no idea but nothing tried, nothing gained. This means more work in the kitchen for me, I think I’m up for the challenge. Wish me luck!
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Parenting Parrots

Lets Scramble It up!

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“What’s for breakfast?” You asked.
“Well I’m thinking scrambled eggs” I replied.
“HAHAHA, for parrots?!” You exclaimed.
“Umm, yea they need to eat” I said.

I know parrots have pellets that are very well balanced and should be able to offer them all the nutritional values they need, however how would you like to eat the same food over and over again? I would HATE it, eventually you would get sick of it so why wouldn’t parrots? Sharing my table food is something I enjoy doing with my parrots (as long as it’s not my actual plate, hahaha). I stay away from the no-no’s like avocado, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. I feel the variety gives them a better palate and they always get pellets, so this is just to give them options.

I introduce my kids to different types of food because I want them to be open-minded and be able to try everything so I treat my parrots with the same mindset. Sharing your table food is actually common amongst parrot owners, I think the surprise comes more from people who do not have parrots than the actual owners themselves. So this morning, scrambled eggs were on the menu. I made the batch for the kids first and then I started on the parrots. Technically I could use the same batch for the kids, for the parrots as long as I minimize the salt and remove using egg shells and the crushed red peppers. But I chose to separate just to make sure the parrots get the shells for the calcium points.

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This may not be neccessary but sometimes being new to the parrot world, you might feel uncertain about making things for your parrot, so I thought I would post what I use to help anyone who may need it.

The ingredients I use:
Stainless steel frying pan
Spatula
Bowl and fork to mix with
2 eggs – use the shells too (I use 2 because I have 7 parrots however I don’t serve this to the lorikeets as I’m still learning about their diet so technically it’s only 5… I think going forward I will use one because 2 makes a lot for these guys)
1/4 tsp of milk (too much dairy isn’t good for parrots but a little is okay. If I was only using one egg I would do 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp of crushed red peppers
butter (Used for frying)

So I mixed the eggs, milk and crushed red peppers in the bowl with the fork while heating the butter in the pan.  All the white you see is the egg shells, you can barely see any milk.

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The ingredients in the bowl

Once all the ingredients are mixed and the pan is heated, you put your mixture in it and you keep scrambling it until it is well done. Fyi I used no oil.
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For the sake of the pictures, I made the eggs a bit more well done then usual however you have to make sure it is well done as you don’t want to risk giving your parrots anything that isn’t fully cooked. I put paper towel down to soak up the butter that was used to cook the eggs.

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It’s a quick breakfast and gives your parrots something different. The egg shells help to give a bit of calcium so still a healthy choice plus minimizing the use of oil definitely is a plus! I use the crushed red peppers to give it a little spice as parrots do like things a little hot.

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I gave piper a bit too much so he didn’t finish his food however everyone else ate it all up. Let the food cool and serve!! Don’t serve your parrots HOT food.

As always scrambled eggs were a success!!

Parenting Parrots

What time is it?? It’s Training Time!!!

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What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!
What time is it? It’s training time!

It’s Parenting Parrots’ Training Time!!

Hey everyone! I think it’s time we focus on getting your parrots trained or at least listen to me get my parrots trained hahahaha. So when I decide it’s training time which happens once or twice a day depending on my workload, there is a few things I have to make sure I have.

1) Quiet space

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Our training room

You need a quiet spot to start training as you want your parrot’s undivided attention. Now when I say quiet it may not be completely quiet but as long as it is quieter than the rest of the house with minimal distractions, it should work. I used to train in the living room with the television off and that worked perfectly.
2) Clicker

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My clicker – I’m missing the orange button in the middle but it still works

We clicker train however if you do not have or want to clicker train than you can always skip this step. I believe in clicker training as I learned about it from www.birdtricks.com. I have been very successful with using it and my birds look forward to a treat once they hear that clicker. I have this clicker currently however I have been through quite a few clickers over the years and as you can see in my personal picture, my clicker is missing the orange button. This clicker is cheaper so if I need to replace the one I currently have I would get this one, as this is what I used to have but lost it.
3) Treat

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Positive reinforcement is what we are focused on here. When you go to animal shows, you will see the animal do a trick and then receive a treat. Well if it is successful for professionals, why can’t it be for the average person? So we do the same thing. They do the trick, you click and give the reward. If your bird will not accept treats from your hands, you can put the treat in a food bowl or offer something else the bird would like. Read this post to understand what “reward” I did with Ringo to get him used to me being near him. I offered him more space when he would display calmness ( got that from birdtricks). I then removed my hand as a reward once he stepped on it (I think I made this one up hahaha). I find that a food treat works best because it’s easy to understand as it is something that they will not receive except for when training. To figure out what treat to give, do what I did in my above picture, get a variety of treats and see which one the bird picks first, second and third. This will give you an idea of what treats you can train with. In the above picture I have, (in clockwise) sunflower seed, pine nuts, peanuts (not a good option), spray millet, walnut and an almond.
4) A watch

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I train for 10 – 15 minutes. Since I don’t want to go over time, I always have a watch or my cell phone or something with the time on me, so I know when to stop. Even if the parrot looks like they would want to keep going I do not pass the 15 minute mark. 10 minutes is my time, however if I feel the parrot wants more I will do 15 but that’s it. You don’t want to “overstay your welcome”. It’s better to stop before the bird wants to stop, that way you are ending the training on a positive note instead of a restless, frustrated or getting fed up note.
5) A parrot that is ready to start eating

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Grayson eating a treat

What I do, is feed them their daily portion and if there is food still in there in the morning, I won’t train. I wait it out until all the food is gone out of their cage then I train when it is time for them to eat again. If the food is all gone in the morning, I will do a morning training session. If the bird is almost ready to eat again, food treats will be a perfect reward however if the bird is full, why would it want more food?? Even if it is their favorite food. Once your full, your full! If I’m not sure when they finished last, I do have a scale that I put them on to weigh them. I keep a chart of their normal weight and what is good training weight which is apparently 10% less than their normal weight. (If you do not have a scale – click on the link and buy one because it is SO worth it). I use a scale for monitoring their weight as it will tell me if they are sick and it comes in handy for training so a MUST BUY!!!

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My bird scale

Once you have all these things in place, you are ready to start training!!! And remember if you have any issues or questions, you can reach us by clicking on contact us. We respond within 24 h0urs!

Parenting Parrots!