Neglect

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This post is not only for my followers, viewers but also for my parrots. I had to take on two full-time jobs and because of that my family life, my pets, this blog and my YouTube channel was all neglected.

I thought 6 months isn’t long, no one would miss me. I also thought I would still be able to keep up with everything. False hope! Not being realistic with the fact that there is only 24 hours in a day and if I’m working 18 of those hours when would I have time to blog, videotape, edit and still spend quality time with everyone and let’s not forget to sleep? It’s just NOT possible.

One day something happened at one of my jobs that made me realize – This is not worth it! I started this website for a reason and my purpose was not being fulfilled. My kids were never seeing me, my parrots were changing for the worse and I was miserable even though the bills were being paid. So I said screw this – I love my kids, my pets and the people who take the time to read and comment and like my posts more than I love money. Yes, we all need money and hopefully one day my blogs/websites can be my full-time income however that will never happen if I’m not posting. If I’m not being a good example of parenting parrots. So I gave in my notice and as of July 7th I thought I would be back to having time for family, friends and you guys! The ones who keep me motivated to keep writing and posting. Then I ended up taking on another job which was only 4 days a week so I thought okay, better deal but still I was unrealistic. Finally I left both jobs, went on sick leave and thought okay NOW I’ll have time. That Friday my best friend died which I discuss in this post called The Passing of an Angel and I fell into a deep depression. Eventually I threw myself into my birds, taking on all these goals and tricks and things I wanted them to learn and instead of respecting them I was overwhelming them, jumping from one learning target to another and another basically trying to teach them like 20 new tricks at once – Not possible. My poor parrots. I was in a great depression and I neglected my whole family even my current pregnancy. This was neglect at its highest degree. I was posting but only as a means to take my mind off of the death I just experienced. I was hurting and hiding it which caused me to neglect the things I loved, my mind wasn’t right. We are now in 2018, I am taking my time with things. I stopped posting on Instagram for a minute and I’ve even taking a week break from interacting with the parrots and I’m slowly making a schedule for my kids. I’m not perfect but I took this week off to give everyone a break from me and for me to get my ish together for everyone.

With all that being said, I had to make some changes :(. They were for the best but definitely hurt me in the end. I will keep you posted in all that has occurred since my disappearance and I will let you know how I plan to rectify things. There are now some issues that have arisen with me and my parrots that I have never encountered before so I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading so we’ll see how it all goes but I’m hoping that this doesn’t discourage  any one from following me and I hope to get more followers as time goes by and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes if nothing else.

Sorry for the neglect!

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

How to Train Love birds

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Day one 

Our peach-faced lovebird was born in our house a year ago (May 2015). He was parent raised and was left in the cage that he was born in. We would come home to see him flying around the house. Somehow he was always able to escape no matter how much we tried to make sure the cage was locked. Eventually we came to realize that he would move the food bowl and come out of the hole that was made in the cage for the nest box. In doing so, he damaged his beak. It looks like the needle got stuck in the beak and he broke it. Lots of blood in his beak. He finally healed but I can still see where the beak had been damaged. Poor little guy :(. We brought him to the vet, there is nothing that they can do to fix his beak as there is a big blood vessel right there so all we can do is monitor the growth. If you look closely at the below picture, you can see the raised line down his beak.

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How to train a lovebird

I finally decided enough was enough and put him in our Quaker’s old cage and moved the Quaker to a new cage. Well he didn’t like that very much because that meant no escaping anymore but it was the safest thing for him as he was fully flighted.

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training a love bird

After a year of neglect ( I say this with lots of shame but I was pregnant, was tired all the time and just couldn’t find the energy for parrots or anything else for that matter), we finally named him…. He was “Boss“.

We named him Boss because he was definitely a boss in his own right. He was aggressive. You couldn’t put your hand near his cage without him trying to lunge at it from the inside. He didn’t even want us changing his water or giving him food. I was discouraged as I was not used to small birds. In his defense, even though he grew up with us, he was not used to hands.

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It took me losing my Galah Cockatoo, Lola (R.I.P) for me to smarten up and realize that all parrots whether big or small MATTER!! I was determined to make Boss feel as part of the flock and I was determined to show Lola, that mommy cares about all parrots. I started to grow our flock and videotape our progress with each bird. I decided to make a YouTube channel (please subscribe!).  There are a lot of training videos out there but if my flock can help another person, even just one person with their own flock then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Day Two

We would open the cage and Boss wouldn’t even come out. Every day we opened the cage for 1 hour and went about our business. After a week Boss would come out on his own however he didn’t want to be handled and he wouldn’t eat from my hands. I tried target training him and because he wouldn’t eat from my hands it was difficult however if he was sitting on the food bowl he would tap the stick and then I would put the treat (sunflower seed) in his food bowl. He seem to get the concept but he still wouldn’t follow the stick anywhere except for around the food bowl.

Checkmark for getting him out the cage and half a checkmark for target training.

Day Three (used loosely)

He would fly away anytime we got close and we would have to chase him around. So I clipped his wings. For him, I cut the first eight. Then we attempted stepping up. He would do it  but it seemed he was doing it by force and I didn’t like that.

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Day four

Same as day three, we worked on stepping up.

Day five

I searched YouTube for clues – for me, nothing helped. so I’m hoping my YouTube channel  (please subscribe) will help someone like me. I was still at stage one with no progress. I whacked my brain… How can I train a bird that wouldn’t accept treats from us? The first two days, my son would pet him and say “good bird Boss”, however I felt like that wasn’t a good method because he doesn’t like hands so he wouldn’t/couldn’t be enjoying that. Obviously this method wasn’t working.

Day six

Time for a change. I had Boss step up and then I held him to my chest and stroked him over and over and over and over and over again, for about 10 minutes while singing and talking softly. I then put him down and told him to “step up” and put my finger under his belly right by his legs. When he did I clicked on my clicker and put a spray millet piece in front of his face. He was not taking the millet and we both sat there and waited and waited and waited. He tasted it. Checkmark! He just ate a treat from my hand! I continued this for 10 minutes. Each time it was a long wait for him to take the treat. I put him back in his cage and called it a day. (sorry for the blur it was hard trying to capture the picture while training)

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Day seven

Same thing as day six but this time there was less resistance. He was accepting the millet after a short pause and after the 10 minutes of training, there was no pause. He would step up, take the millet and let me hold him to my chest and caress his whole body without squirming or trying to  bite or get away. This was only day two of this type of training and I would say mission accomplished. He would still sometimes hop off and wander off, but overall the aggression had decreased.

I’m happy, my little feisty Boss was now eating from my hand and allowing me to hold him, pet him and was stepping up!!

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P.S.

In two days I had decided to introduce him to another member of our flock named Nyx. She is a three-year old Black capped Conure (fully flighted). To introduce them I put them in the same room without their cages and just did regular things with them. My son would bring them near one another and say praises to each for not showing any aggression. Day two, I had them both on my shoulders one on each side. I trained Boss while Nyx was on my shoulder, making sure to only be focused on training Boss at that time. Once I was done training Boss I put him on my other shoulder and they came together on one shoulder by themselves ( I wouldn’t recommend having them on your shoulder though. Just have them in a mutual area away from each of their cages, an area that is fairly new to both of them. If they decide to fight, it would be harder to intervene with them on your shoulder). Anyhow,they kissed while on my shoulder so I knew they were good. I can now have them both out of their cages at the same time.

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Remember when doing this never leave them unsupervised.

I will continue to keep you updated on our training progress. Thanks for the support!!

Parenting Parrots!