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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Hospitalization

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2018 isn’t turning out to be such a great year for my pets. First I lost Piper and now Nyx had to be hospitalized. GOSH, I hope everything starts turning around.
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So, Monday, April 9th, 2018 I took Nyx out of her cage as usual and I continued on my way doing what I usually do. She weighed 70grams which are her usual weight. However, I sent my 3 yr old daughter to give her an orange and Nyx flipped out and flew to me but on her way to me, she wasn’t flying properly. So automatically I was like “What’s wrong with Nyx?!”

Once she was on my finger she started regurgitating not the “I love you” kind but the vomiting kind. I thought OMG, earlier that day I made a Birdtricks meal and had seen her eating it and wondered if it affected her somehow. She vomited three times!!! Then she had diarrhea and she was missing 3 tail feathers which explained why she was flying weird. I immediately thought another bird had attacked her, I went looking in all their cages to find her 3 tail feathers. I found them in her cage, so now I was confused and I’m not sure what happened. I figured she was attacked by Grayson, flew back to her cage and then her feathers fell out (yes, I blamed poor Grayson. Unfortunately he is aggressive towards the other birds so I automatically blamed him. I’m sorry).

I called around to see if I could bring her to an emergency 24-hour vet hospital but the only one around is Guelph which is a good hour or something away. I gave her some water and pellets and she ate little and drank a little so I was hoping that maybe she was okay. I figured she was just traumatized but no real injury as I didn’t see any blood or bruising. I moved her cage into my room and off to bed we went after cuddling with her for an hour. She had no more vomit. Through the night, I heard her thrashing around in her cage. I was like what is going on?

In the morning, I weighed her and she was at 60 grams. That is way too much of a drop. I gave her some water and called the vet, called my sister to watch the kids. The vet didn’t have an opening until 3pm. I prayed over Nyx and waited. We left at 1:50pm to get to the vet. On the drive there she was perched on the perch but right before we reached our destination she fell off the perch, curled up on the floor and basically died. I begged her not to die. “Please don’t die, we are almost at the vet, please Nyx don’t leave me! I can’t handle losing you too.” It was a miracle! She jumped up out of nowhere after she was laying there basically dead and back on the perch.

I ran to the vet and apologized as it was 2:15pm. They hurried me into a room where Dr. Heather White came in to investigate. She advised me that she did not see any signs of physical trauma and was wondering if maybe Nyx had been sick for awhile and was just now showing signs. I honestly thought no way! I weigh my birds every day! They tell you that is the first signs of sickness so weigh them so you can be ahead of the game. Nyx’s weight and poop has NEVER fluctuated or changed. Dr. White advised me that she thinks Nyx had a crop infection which could be caused by pooping on food and eating it, pooping in their water, poop on a perch and cleaning their beak against it basically coming in contact with poop. She advised that she was going to do a crop wash, antibiotics and recommended hospitalization for 2 days. Then advised on antibiotics to bring home, doing a cultural swab, which they might have to send out for answers and xrays plus a blood check but the bloodwork would have to wait until Nyx was stronger. Estimate $1,600. Also, she advised that Nyx may still die but hopefully they have her in time and that won’t happen. I have never left Nyx, from the day I got her, she hasn’t even gone to a sitter. I have never had to hospitalize any of my parrots before. I couldn’t help but cry. Cry, because I didn’t want Nyx to die. Cry, because Nyx was actually sick and cry, because how was I going to pay this vet bill plus keep on top of my other bills. I don’t have $1,600 dollars but I signed those papers, paid the deposit of $600 dollars and left.

At 6:30pm Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 Dr. White called me to let me know Nyx had quite a lot of bacteria in her crop. She was first sitting in the corner of the incubator hunched over but they have given her injections and iv and now she was actually perched on their cement perch. Nyx wasn’t out of the woods but diagnostically she looked better. I was relieved. I was told to call on Wednesday at 9:30am to talk to the doctor that was on site as Dr. White wouldn’t be there to find out how Nyx was doing.

Keep you posted! Let’s pray for Nyx.

Parenting Parrots

Tossing Thursday!!

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Today I decided to make a recipe out of the birdtricks cookbook. Yes, I have their cookbook. Actually, I think I have EVERYTHING they have ever made besides their newsletters. I know a lot of trainers look down on their methods and it is true their old methods are definitely not to be followed but they have been educated. I can say that because I recently purchased their “Family Friendly Parrot” online video – It’s SOOOO Misleading with that title but I’ll do a review on that tomorrow. Today let’s focus on the recipe.

I had Zucchini, Sweet Potato, turnip all cut into rounds and potato with carrots sliced to look like fries. Stick it in the oven and VIOLA! Complete! So it was quick (my favorite thing), most of the parrots ate it. Only Grayson and Purrain actually finished their servings but the kids and I enjoyed it also. Yes, we ate it too, after all, its regular veggies just baked. I was especially happy to see the kids eating it because I realized our diet SUCKS! So I’m really trying to get the kids to eat more healthy. Oh my gosh! I just realized I try to do too many things at once… I’m going to have to find a way to slow down.

Anyways, it wasn’t a favorite because not all the birds finished it but it is definitely doable. So I will say Yes to making baked chips and fries again.

Parenting Parrots

Birthdays

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March 21st is my earth strong and March 22nd is my backbone’s earth strong. Together I felt we were a force to be reckoned with but apart… We were like any other human being out there. This is the reality of the situation. I’m permanently alone as you no longer live on this earth but in heaven is where you now call home (at least I hope so).

We make such a big thing about birthdays, for kids we have parties, celebrations, buy gifts and rejoice every year we make it to another year. As adults, we do the same thing even though it becomes less frequent. So, you can imagine I would do the same thing for the birdies. I usually bake Harrison’s bread, buy a gift and sing happy birthday. Last year, I didn’t celebrate anyone’s birthday: not mine, not my backbone’s, not the birdies and now I will never have another chance to say Happy birthday Brandon or Happy Birthday Piper. Sometimes we take time for granted.

I feel like I felt there will always be tomorrow until there wasn’t. Now I can do nothing but live with regrets and what ifs. Basically, if this past year’s events have taught me nothing but one thing: it’s to live each day as if it’s your last. Don’t forget to breathe and enjoy the little moments, celebrate each minute because it may be your last.

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Parenting Parrots

Toxic Items

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When I first got parrots, I knew nothing about parrot proofing my home or removing toxic items from my home. However, as time went on I kept researching and learning. There are quite a few things that are considered toxic to parrots:

Toxic Food: 

Onions and Garlic I still use but a very little amount.

Toxic Plants:
There are so many toxic plants that I couldn’t possibly list them all but if you click on this link you will be redirected to a site that has a very intensive list. Just remember to click the follow button before leaving so you can stay up to date with us.

Toxic Household items:
Aerosols
Teflon fumes
Cleaning items
Paint fumes
Smoke
Scented stuff like candles, air fresheners and incense

It’s hard to keep your place completely safe if you keep unsafe items in the home so the best way to remain safe is to not allow these things in your home at all once you’ve acquired your parrot.

I hope you found this helpful, please click on that follow button so you can stay informed as we continue to learn about parrot ownership.

Parenting Parrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warms My Heart

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It warms my heart when I’m watching a video or reading a book and one of my daughters comes out of nowhere and says, “Piper!” or “Grayson” or any of the birdies’ names. Basically what happens is if they don’t know the type of bird it is but we have one, they identify it by our pets’ names. So Piper goes for all Quakers. Ringo goes for all Indian ringnecks and so forth. They know that African greys are African Greys. I thought about teaching them their alphabets through parrot types for example:

A for apple would be A for African grey
B for Boy would be B for Budgie
C for Cat would be C for Caique
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However just because Parrots are MY thing doesn’t mean it has to be their thing and I accept that. That’s why if they express an interest in a different type of pet, I’m open to looking into it. My son has a bearded dragon for years now. When the rest of the kids get older they will have their option of either investing more time with one of the parrots we already have or choosing their own pet. I can’t lie though, to see them take an interest in my parrots does warm my heart and makes me a proud little mommy.

Parenting Parrots

The Real Reason I Lost Piper

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I explain Piper’s last days here but I never knew the real reason so here it is:

I will never wait out another sickness again and my post regarding wing clipping is no longer soft now I am TOTALLY against it!
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Let us know your enjoying our truth by following us!

Thank you!

Parenting Parrots

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

All Parrots are Different Species!

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All dogs are from the same species but different breeds.

All cats are from the same species but different breeds.

All birds are from different species.

See, I can read a book about dogs or cats and apply the information to any dog or cat I may own but I can’t do that for parrots. Every time I get a different parrot, I have to research all over again and buy books on that specific bird because I know each bird has different needs. This is why I love to have the variety of parrots that I do because each brings something different to the flock.

If you google the topic of parrot ownership it tells you to find the best bird for you and your lifestyle because each bird has different needs. For example an African Grey parrot needs to spend a lot of time out of its cage (some pamphlets say 4 hours a day) while a lovebird would be content with a little bit of time out (1 hour maybe less). So if you are barely home, you would automatically look towards getting a lovebird.  When I was looking to get an African grey everyone was advising me against it because I was working full-time and they said I would never be able to manage having a grey. Well not to brag but Grayson is now 5 years old and very active, not a screamer, talks a lot, does tricks and does not pluck! Gives me kisses and overall I can say a happy parrot. Stereotypes are put on birds just as they are put on humans. Take all the information in but truly decide for yourself and don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

I can take care of an African Grey parrot with no issues however because birds are different species, this does not mean I would be good at taking care of other type of birds. I suck at taking care of Linnies. I bought two linnies from a breeder who was downsizing his stock and they died after I took them to P.J pets for a wing and nails trim. I thought the guy gave me sick birds however I did a necropsy and it came back saying Stress. I thought what?!?! I’ve been around lots of birds and never had an issue… Well for me, small birds are not my thing. I’m managing to take care of the lovebird but Linnies, Parrotlets and budgies I stay away from. Even the lovebird, I’m hesitant on keeping because I lost her parents so obviously I wasn’t good at taking care of them either.

I think it is very important for people to realize that birds are DIFFERENT SPECIES NOT JUST DIFFERENT BREEDS. So do not pick a bird because oh it has pretty colors, really see if they match you and your lifestyle.

What type of bird matches you? There may be multiple… For me…

I’m an African Grey type of gal because he needs time out of the cage but doesn’t want to spend all that time cuddling. A hug and kiss here and there is cool. Doing training is cool. He likes to chill close to you but doesn’t have to be all over you, that is totally just like me.
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I’m also a black capped conure type of gal because she knows what she wants, how to warn you about what she doesn’t like. Very expressive like me hahaha. My issue with my black capped conure is she loves to be on you 24/7, for me that’s a con because I need to be able to move around as my household is very hectic. However her and I have come to an understanding so we are definitely getting better as she will just chill on my shoulder as long as she knows I will be moving around at the same time.
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I’m also a quaker type of gal because piper LOVES music and his own space just like me.

I love my Indian Ringnecks’ independence but I miss their “need” for me so I’m not sure if I can call myself an Indian Ringneck type of gal as yet… Only more time will tell (but I have 2 of them now so I must be, right? lol)
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I DEFINITELY AM A LORY/LORIKEET TYPE OF GAL! I’m absolutely in love with their personalities, although opposite of me, they keep me on my toes and remind me of my son in a way.


Anyways, what I’m trying to say is PLEASE do your research before selecting your parrot. A lot of people don’t and this is how these beautiful animals ends up in shelters.

Parenting Parrots

100 Likes!!

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Wow what a day!!! I just reached 100 likes! OMG so I just reached 100 posts and now 100 likes, wow!!  I’m on a roll!!! What’s next?!? Do I already have 100 followers? I will have to check. I need 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel so that’s definitely next… We have over 100 on our Instagram account so that’s great! I can’t tell you how happy I was to wake up to the notification of 100 likes!

I know I’m secretly a nerd but it really is encouraging these little milestones we reach. This proves the saying is true, “you reap what you sow” or “you get out of it, what you put into it”. Again I want to jump up and down, if you read my 100 posts you will know why I say “again”. But I already did my red carpet speech so what can I do now….
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This time, all I will do which I think is very fitting to the equation is say THANK YOU x100!!! There are times a person feels invisible or that they are talking literally just to space and no one is listening so 100 likes means the world to me! Thank you everyone for the encouragement!

I want my followers to realize this is not just me reaching 100 likes! This is US reaching 100 likes! You guys are my family!! My encouragement! My push, my drive!! We did it! The first 100 is always the hardest!

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Thank you so much!!

Parenting Parrots