Dear Lola,

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If words could express my disappointment in losing you, they would fill up the world. I never knew a person could feel such a deep lost for a companion animal until the night I laid with you in my arms, begging you to live but knowing you were taking your last breath. I still consider that day to be the worst day of my life because I failed you. Lola, I could never know what happened with that vet clipping your wings but you definitely set me on the path to realize how important wings are to a parrot especially if that parrot is already a timid parrot. Although that clip was against my will, I regret using that vet because another may have listened to my demands of no and you would still be here with me. I’m sorry and I hope you are happy wherever you may be and realize that I loved you as if I had given birth to you myself.

Lola, was my Galah Cockatoo. I consider her to truly be my first introduction to the parrot community and I bought her with no knowledge of what it meant to be a parrot owner. Just knew I liked how she looked and I wanted a bird. I don’t regret having Lola, I just wonder if she would have been better off with someone else. Would she have lived longer? Been happier? OR was she destined to be with me, who would fail her in the end? When I got Lola I drove 4 hours to pick her up and 4 hours to bring her back. When we met she stepped up to me with no problem and had no hesitation even the breeder said we were meant to be. Lola spent most of her days out of her cage and with me wherever I went. She was kept in a very tiny cage at the breeder so I suspect she didn’t truly get a chance to learn how to fledged as she never flew. I would see her open her wings and flap but she never took off. I started doing research on parrots and came across Birdtricks.com, they were my first introduction to parrot training and taming. I immediately bought their dvds and went to work. Before her first vet visit which would change her forever she had already learned how to step up perfectly, wave and turn around.

I didn’t want to bring her to a vet for fear she may catch something so I had the vet come to me. This vet ignored my wishes for a fully flighted parrot. Proceeded to tell me, it was better to clip her wings as she would be more manageable and it was a safer option but I wasn’t having any problems with training Lola so I still said no thank you. She asked me for a towel and I went and got it, by the time I got back, the damage was done. She had clipped one wing already so I had no choice but to continue with the procedure. Then she trimmed Lola’s nails so short, my poor Lola no longer was able to grip her perches. So with no nails and no wings to help her balance as soon as they put Lola back in the cage, she fell straight to the bottom. I was devastated. The vet told me to put pillows and towels at the bottom and that she would stop after a day or two. I did what I was told but I wasn’t happy. All of Lola’s bloodwork came back perfect. But Lola no longer wanted to come out of her cage, she didn’t want to train, she didn’t want to be interacted with and the worst part is she never let her wings grow back.

Lola was my first bird. A Galah Cockatoo. She was suppose to be so full of life and she was until she seen the vet. I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked. I finally brought her to another vet to see if they could help. Re-did bloodwork, looked her over and was told absolutely nothing was wrong with her. She wasn’t plucking but she would damage her wings as soon as they grow back in. I started treating her like a plucker and I would give her toys that were for pluckers, hoping she would ignore her wings, bathed her with water mixed with aloe vera to try and help if she was experiencing any itches from the wings growing in. I even bought her a mop head that I would put on top of her cage to help distract her. Nothing worked. The new vet advised me that it must be psychological but had no other suggestions for me. I was lost, hurt and confused. I considered re-homing her wondering if a new environment would help but could never go through with it as I was too attached. I contacted an animal psychic in hopes that she would be able to communicate with Lola and get to the bottom of the issue once and for all. That psychic either was fake or for some reason just couldn’t connect to my birds.

Lola would live for 3 years with us. It was me, my son, Lola and Grayson, our African Grey. She didn’t come out to play or interact with anyone. I left her cage door open 24/7 and she remained inside. The day that Lola passed, we had left the house and came home to find her on the floor of my living room, looking like she was having a seizure, bright green poop coming out of her. I fixed up the travel carrier with towels and stuff to make it warm and comfortable for her. I brought her in my room and monitored her activity. She was dying and I knew it. All vets were closed so I called on the same vet, I blamed for Lola’s behavior but even she was unavailable to help. I couldn’t go to the emergency vet as I had just had a baby girl, wasn’t fully healed and had no access to the car at that time. Lola would live to the wee hours of the morning and pass on the blanket.

My lack of parrot ownership and trust in a vet, took my Lola from me. Since then I have been adding to my flock in order to help more birds to try and make up for the guilt I felt losing Lola. I have since lost 2 more birds unfortunately and although I know they weren’t as bad as Lola, I can’t help but continue to strive for a better tomorrow for the companion birds that are still alive.

Each parrot I lose has taught me something new. Lola taught me that birds need to learn to fledged and are better off being fully flighted so now all my parrots are. Piper taught me that I need to remove fresh foods as soon as possible and keep the cages spic and span in order to avoid pesticides from infecting the parrots. Nyx taught me to demand bloodwork from vets be done because she was sick from before she was rehomed to me and we should have realized that by how quick her beak would grow but again a vet denied my request stating that conures just didn’t take good care of their beaks. I’m glad to have known each and every one of these birds and although I miss them dearly they have made me a better me, a better parrot owner, a better companion to my parrots.

Lola, you will forever be in my heart and I hope I can continue to make you proud.

Parenting Parrots

The Flying Parrot

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I do not believe in clipping wings anymore. I used to do it more out of convenience for me than for any other concern so I haven’t clipped wings in a long time. I love seeing my birds open their wings and take off!

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I truly am disappointed to live in Canada because I see those birds in Australia having such a delightful time and I wish my birds could do that. If I trained them to live outside especially during the winter than that dream could become a reality but facts are they would have to be born in those conditions and kept in those conditions in order to be able to handle it. I do not want to wake up one day to see that my parrot froze to death so that idea is a BIG No, no!

I see my birds fly indoors, within my little apartment and it keeps me in “awe” to watch the natural beauty of the flying parrot. Today the weather was beautiful and all I could think of is how would it be to be able to see my birdies fly outdoors. This brings me back to harness training. In order to get a bird on a harness, it has to trust you and love you and let you do things a regular bird that didn’t know you, wouldn’t let you do. If Nyx was here, she would be that bird for me. But she’s not and I have to accept that. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise because I always turned to her to do stuff like that instead of any of the other parrots so now I will work on getting them all more trusting of me and therefore building on our relationship more.

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From arcticwingsfreeflightclub.com

Having a free-flighted parrot would have been AMAZING! Although I would always be afraid of it flying off somewhere but the training guarantees that, that won’t happen if the bond is there. What I was saying before was if their body was conditioned to the cold then I could teach them free flight but since it’s not and I don’t plan on trying to get them used to the cold, the option is out for me. You may be asking why? Why not let them be free-flighted during the spring and summer and just have them indoors not flying during the colder months? Well, that was my thought exactly but I was made aware that once you start free flying them you have to keep it up or else you will cause a whole lot of issues such as plucking and screaming etc.

Free-flying parrots don’t have the issues, that parrots who are locked up in a cage, have. But unfortunately, not all of our lives allow for that option so we have to do the best we can. Harness train them so they get outside time free of a travel cage and they can stretch their wings and exercise. It’s not exactly the same but it is the closest option. However, getting a parrot to put on a harness willingly, isn’t such an easy task but it is doable so follow our Youtube channel to eventually see a video on how to properly harness train your parrot. I’m hoping to have it up by the end of June! I will still have my flying parrot outside just not freely.

The latest in Aviator Harness Fashion model by Zoey

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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!

New to the Lorikeet World

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I’m a new lorikeet owner and it has been the most challenging experience I could have ever imagined. I believe my experience would have been different if I only had one lorikeet vs. the two. They are very social birds and because I had the two of them together, they didn’t want to love me the way I wanted to be loved. The female, Marlee slowly accepted me and that wasn’t until I put her in a different cage than her brother, but regardless biting me was becoming a bad habit.

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Her brother, Rasta was very open to being my friend. He barely bit unless he was in the cage with his sister. When I got them I had them in the same cage but quickly joined an avian forum and asked for advice. They advised me to separate them which I did, things were working out great however they kept flying back and forth to each other every time I took one out of their cage, making training them difficult. So I attempted to put them back together and ended up separating them again because I wasn’t even able to get in the cage to clean it, give them food/water.

I then decided one had to go, so I re-homed Marlee especially since she didn’t do well with me being away for those few months. I’m still very new to the Lorikeet world but I think I’m getting better! I stopped feeding the Harrison’s to Rasta as they have iron storage issues and I didn’t/don’t want anything to happen to Rasta.

I’ve gotten the nips down to a bare minimum – rarely happens now. I found a new food provider who makes his food from scratch and he doesn’t use any preservatives. I’ve learned how to make a puree fruit/vegetable smoothie and I now know what exactly to use for training. I’ve only owned a lorikeet for 13 months however it has been the most mind-boggling experience ever! It really took me back to school and I’m still learning. Every day that goes by I get more and more knowledgeable, I have met so many people who breed lories/lorikeets or who just have different types as pets. People who have different training methods or recipes for their lory food – it’s absolutely a WHOLE NEW WORLD on its own. I can honestly say even though I have so many other parrots, I believe owning a lorikeet has REALLY put some icing on my cake! It has been a rewarding and challenging experience mixed up all in one  but I wouldn’t change it for the world!!!!

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Rasta Approved!!


Parenting Parrots

Halloween @ Parenting Parrots!

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Ringo on a pumpkin

It’s almost halloween and I wanted to do something special for you guys… So at Parenting Parrots we decided to really celebrate halloween this year and do something we have never done before…. (Drumroll please)

I GOT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS!! LOL I know it’s nothing big but to me, it’s HUGE!!! I’m so excited about celebrating halloween at Parenting Parrots I can’t contain my excitement!

I GOT PUMPKINS!!! So, I’m in my 30’s and in all my years, (whispering) I have never carved a pumpkin :(. LOL I hope I’m not alone in this but anyways Junior Jay and I will be carving pumpkins with our PARROTS!!!! You can watch our halloween video here:

We had so much fun decorating and carving pumpkins I think we will have to do a halloween special every year! I hope you guys had as much fun watching us, as we had making everything! It was a first for all the parrots (not sure about Nyx) and us so a big thing to be excited about!

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Nyx on a pumpkin

Pumpkins are okay for parrots to have so we had nothing to worry about in getting their help with the decorating!

To everyone who is celebrating…

HAPPHALLOWEEN FROM

PARENTING PARROTS

TO YOU!!!!

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Our pumpkins!

Rasta – Green Naped Lorikeet

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Rasta at exactly 16 weeks old

I purchased Rasta from the same breeder I purchased Marlee from. I found her on Kijiji, we spent months talking and she sent me weekly pictures of their progress. I ended up taking both birds from her… definitely a challenge. I swear I must be crazy. I think they seem louder than they are because there is two of them. They are like night and day though. 

Name: Rasta

Type of Parrot: Green naped Lorikeet

Sex: Male

Birth Date: June 30th, 2016

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Nectar

Noise Level:  medium

Training progress: Rasta is learning target training

Tricks: He knows how to step up

Talking ability:  Unknown

Favorite toys: Rasta loves this leather toy.

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Rasta’s favorite toy

Fears:  He doesn’t like my hand to go above his head

Diet: Quiko nectar, fruits and I’m trying to get him to accept veggies

Treats: Quiko nectar – thinking of trying maple syrup as a treat – still researching

cage Size: It’s a huge cage but I need to separate them

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Marlee and Rasta’s living quarters

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken him to the vet yet.

Next Steps: Getting him potty trained

Parenting Parrots!

Marlee – Green-naped Lorikeet

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I purchased Marlee from a breeder that I found on Kijiji. I only wanted one however the breeder had two and had no other buyers so I took them both for the challenge… definitely a challenge.

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Marlee at 16 weeks and 2 days old

Name: Marlee

Type of Parrot: Green naped Lorikeet

Sex: Female

Birth Date: June 28th, 2016

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Nectar

Noise Level:  medium

Training progress: She is still learning to step up

Tricks: No tricks as yet

Talking ability:  Unknown

Favorite toys: She loves her swing

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Marlee’s favorite swing

Fears:  She doesn’t like my hand to go above her head

Diet: Quiko nectar, fruits and I’m trying to get her to accept veggies

Treats: nectar – thinking of trying maple syrup as a treat – still researching

cage Size: It’s a huge cage but I need to separate them

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Marlee and Rasta’s living quarters

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken her to the vet yet.

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

Parenting Parrots!

Nyx – Black Capped Conure

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Nyx

Nyx was a rehome. Perfectly socialized and definitely a joy to have around. I am so happy we have her. She is very cuddly, loves to be pet and just wants to be where you are all the time.

Name: Nyx

Type of Parrot: Black Capped Conure

Sex: Female

Birth Date: 2013

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: sunflower seeds

Noise Level:  Quiet

Training progress: She is learning how to stay and how to fly to me

Tricks: She can step up, turn around, do the bat, play dead

Talking ability:  “grayson”,”whats up”

Favorite toys: This bell toy

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Nyx’s favorite toy

Fears:  She is afraid of other birds

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size: It’s an open top.

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Nyx’s house

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

See Nyx in action…

Parenting Parrots

She Stole my Lemonade!!!

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083Okay so… I’m all about sharing… REALLY I am! Just not when it comes to my drinks or my food!

Once I went to a restaurant with an old high school friend and we both ordered our drinks with our meals. Yes, he was paying HOWEVER just because you’re paying doesn’t mean I HAVE to share my stuff, does it??! He asked for a sip of my drink and I straight up said NO. Nicely of course. However man still went and took my drink and drank it. I WAS SO PISSED!!! Well, I’m sure you all know – that was the LAST time dude and I went out anywhere. I’m not mad about it anymore and now it seems like it was pretty petty but I really don’t like sharing my drinks!

Now imagine me being in the comfortable of my own home, chilling and relaxing with a cup of lemonade. I was happy, on my little rainbow cloud, enjoying my drink when my little conure decided, “Oh hell no, this lady ain’t about to drink lemonade in front of me and not offer me any!” Can you believe little ms. Nyx jumped off my shoulder right on my cup and DIPPED her face in my lemonade?!?!~?! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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How could she do this to me!?!? I always make sure she has everything she wants or needs! I feel so betrayed! It was my lemonade… MINE!! She didn’t even ask!!

SHE STOLE MY LEMONADE!!! and it was so grimy because she did it right in front of my face!! She didn’t try to wait until I was done to get it or you know… slowly try to get closer without me realizing. NOPE! She just jumped right in and took over!

Thankfully it was organic but that’s not the point! I DON’T WANT TO SHARE MY DRINKS!!!! This is a prime example of why I say a parrot is like a toddler. When my daughter sees me with a drink, she will want some too! So now what I’m learning is not only do I have to share with my kids (although I just buy them their own but GOD forbid they finish theirs before I finish mine or else I’m sharing :()  but I have to share with my parrots too!?!? For a person that doesn’t like to share their food or drinks this is a hard concept for me to swallow!!!!

Someone please remind me that sharing is caring…. 😦 Can I not have anything to myself anymore??? I guess not!!! Talk about living with parrots!! I’m going to nickname her lemonade thief lol

Parenting Parrots!

 

Boss – Peachfaced Lovebird

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Boss

Boss was born in our home, she was never handled, just locked in her cage unless she found a way to escape. Boss looks exactly like her dad and until recently we thought she was a he.

Name: Boss

Type of Parrot: Peach-faced Lovebird

Sex: Believed to be a female (Thought she was a “he” until recently)

Birth Date: May 2015

Wings Status: Lightly clipped – wings are growing back

Favorite food: Spray Millet

Noise Level:  LOUD

Training progress: She only knows step up

Tricks: She can step up

Talking ability:  “peek-a-boo”,”poo-poo”

Favorite toys: She loves this bag looking toy that has Popsicle sticks sticking out of it. (when I buy another I will post a pic)(If you look at the bottom of her cage you will see this green thing that was the toy lol)

Fears:  She is the boss! She will just lunge after anything that might scare her

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size:  This is the closest cage I could find to the one I have the lovebird in.

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Boss’ Cage

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her to do the turn around 

Parenting Parrots!