A Rehome

Image

I’ve taken in a few re-homes since starting Parenting Parrots, a set of Quakers, a pair of cockatiels and a few single birds here and there. The last ones I took in, were two beautiful cockatiels. The owner wanted me to keep them so she could come by and visit every now and then, I had no problem with that as long as they were in my care. Well my sister’s friend wanted them and after a few months of them being with me, I thought they were such good birds that they would do well with her. If a bird is too timid, shy, aggressive, I would not re-home them because they would end up being neglected or passed around. However if I can train them and get them back to a beautiful, interactive bird than I can re-home them. The cockatiels really didn’t need any work from me because their owner took really good care of them. They ended up being a girl and a boy even though I was originally told two males. They had a baby earlier this year (2019) in their new home and they get lots of out of cage time. Unfortunately, I’ve never received any pictures and when the previous owner wanted to see them, they were unavailable so I feel bad about that but I know they are still alive and well as my sister gets to see them. I will have to contact her to find out what they did with the baby but I’m happy with the progress I hear about them so far.

I stopped taking birds in because there is just too many avian diseases going around and I don’t want to risk infecting my birds so when I was contacting about another bird, I automatically thought NOPE! But my heart is too soft at times so if you follow my instagram, then you already know I took in another rehome but this will for sure be my last rehome. This little birdie got here at about 8pm on Friday November 8th, 2019. I do have an experienced bird owner lined up and ready to take her if I feel it’s too muh for me as I just had my 5th baby two months ago but her owner was adamant that she wanted her to live with me so I am definitely going to try to make this be her forever home especially after how she reacted with just this change….

So stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I actually introduce you to this beauty and give you her background story.

Parenting Parrots

Parrot Cage Bedding/Lining

Image

One thing about having birds is cleaning up after them. How does one choose the best bedding for your parrots’ home? For me it’s all about the easiest to clean up and the cheapest for my pocket but yet the safest for my little friends. So there are quite a bit of options:

Corncob:
I personally have never used the stuff but it’s a bedding I’ve actually heard about quite often. Not because it’s any good but because it can kill your parrot. As a matter of fact, I believe it was this bedding that was put into the famous African Grey, Alex’s cage which got him sick and unfortunately ended his life. I could be wrong but it was a corn something that shouldn’t have been used. Corncob is deadly if ingested as it absorbs moisture. So please don’t use it.

Nothing:
Yes, this is an option if you know for a fact that you will be washing the tray down everyday.

Doggy Pee Pads:
I used to use these but then I heard there were chemicals in it that weren’t safe for the birds and since I couldn’t guarantee that my birds would never come in contact with it, I stopped using them.

Betta Chips:
Can be scooped like kitty litter and won’t fly around like shavings. I have never tried this but definitely something I will consider.

Paper:
I believe this is your best option, as it’s safe, cheap and it’s easy to clean. Plain newspaper, paper towels, moving paper (can be bought from a moving company like U-haul).

Cardboard:
This was just recently suggested to me off of my youtube video on this topic by a subscriber. This individual said they cut a cardboard the same size as the tray, cover it with plastic and tape it with packing tape. That way s/he picks up the cardboard, dusts it off and places it back into the cage tray. This has definitely got my attention, I do believe I will be trying this!

For more options, please watch the below video:

Parenting Parrots

Lorikeet Love

Image

33,32,350,359.526672

Out of all my birds, the Lories/lorikeets are by far my favorite. They are very energetic and keep me on my toes however they also make me worry a lot. I’m always wondering if they are healthy, if I left the nectar too long, if I’ve given them enough fruits, etc… The list of worry goes on and on. Through all those worried thoughts are smiles, laughters and sometimes tears.

Building a relationship with Kodak, our Black lory was by far the hardest thing I had to do. He would screech, lung to bite me and I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of his bite. All I remember thinking is maybe I met my match, he is the bird that’s going to show me I suck at bird ownership. He is going to be my “fearful” bird. Kodak is quite the opposite. I kept trying to teach him to step up, turn around, station and I thought this parrot is just not getting it and I was losing my patience until one day it just happened. He stepped up and our bond has just blossomed ever since.

Rasta, Green-naped Lorikeet

Rasta went from being a bird that didn’t really care for us to being almost caught up to Grayson, our African Grey’s training level.  He has impressed me beyond words. His vocabulary is strong and clear. He is energetic and enthusiastic about training and interacting but yet he also wants to have things under his control. Rasta went from not interacting with my son to only wanting to interact with him. An absolute 360 degree turn around but one that I welcomed and encouraged. Rasta is the only bird in the house that prefers my son but I’m happy about it because my son now considers Rasta to be his. They do a lot together, play around in the bed, watch tv, play video games even when my son is doing homework Rasta is right by his side. My son can get Rasta to step up from anywhere. For me? Not so much.

I absolutely have nothing bad to say about Lories/Lorikeets. I haven’t met one that I didn’t adore. I would be happy with a houseful of Lories but I can imagine it would get quite noisy and I have enough noise to last me a lifetime hahaha. With all that being said though, they definitely aren’t for everybody especially the green-napes. I have heard so many complaints about them, it saddens my heart because it really comes down to patience and understandings. I’ve had people offer to surrender their green-napes to me and I’ve had to turn them down as I just don’t have the living space unfortunately. These guys can be very nippy and very demanding if you are a passive individual so you need to know the type of person you are before getting one.

Parenting Parrots

1st Step to My Parrots’ Nutritional Change

Image

When I first started looking into the Avian Raw Whole Foods Nutrition, I was OVERWHELMED! I never knew where or how to start, what to do and what not to do, how to make sure all nutritional needs were being met. So, the first thing I did was take a step back and join Dr. Jason Crean’s facebook group called “Avian Raw Whole Food Nutrition” and read all the files in the file section. I took a deep breath and watched his Inflammation webinar that he did with Lara Joseph and commented on how excited I was by the information I just learned. Lou from ParrotsRUs responded and told me to go to their website for avian approved products.

I went to www.c4aw.org to see what it had to offer and there I found
https://www.greywoodmanor.com/ . This site is dedicated to Teas for animals. This was my very first step to transitioning my parrots from a pelleted based diet to a Raw Whole Food Nutritional way of eating. Why tea? Well I have been hearing about tea for birds for awhile. I was actually going to just try buying loose leaf decaffeinated Black tea for my Lories but I’m always hesitant to try anything with my parrots without being at least 90% sure that is it a good product for them. So I worried about what might be in the black tea and if it would truly be okay for me to serve to Lories. To get to the point, I didn’t just go out and buy the loose leaf tea. Which I am truly happy about now because I found Greywood Manor and they specialize in Avian Tea along with tea for other animals.

I feel confident in giving my parrots this tea because Dr. Jason Crean and other parrot owners provide it to their parrots and have not had any bad side effects. I also trust Greywood Manor Provisions Tea because they use all natural products that your parrots can get access to in the wild. Currently they carry 8 different options for Avian tea on their website.

  1. Pretty Plume = This is to make your parrot look their very best!
  2. Serene Tea = This is to help calm your little friend’s nerves.
  3. Hormone Havoc = This is perfect to help your parrots when hormone season comes around, to help manage those hormones.
  4. Cool and Soothe = This tea is to help heal bird inflammation
  5. Clean and Pure = This is to detoxify your parrot’s body.
  6. Empower House = This is to help balance their immune system.
  7. Iron Out = Is only for birds with iron sensitivities. It can not do anything about the iron that is already in the birds’ body but it is suppose to bind to any future iron that is digested and stop it from being absorbed.
  8. Nutri-Sob = This tea is suppose to help the bird’s body absorb the nutrients it needs and support a healthy weight.

There names pretty much speak for themselves. They come in 3 different sizes: 3oz, 6oz and 10oz. They are all hand blended and can be used in a variety of ways: Cool Brew, Hot brew so these ways are served as a tea, dry over your parrots chop of fruits and veggies or as a spray to be applied topically. My parrots don’t like to be misted but I have tried every way. So far, so good I must say. This will definitely become a regular in their diet especially because once made it can last up to 3 days in the Fridge so you don’t have to make it fresh everyday!

Variety is key to lots of things so switch up the teas every day. If you use Pretty Plume on Monday, do Clean and Pure on Tuesday etc. Remember no one likes the same thing day in and day out! Pretty Plume is the only one I put in the spray bottle, every other tea would be applied as a tea or dry over their chop. Well I hope this article helped, if you have any questions please put them in the comments below and check out the YouTube video at the end of this article to actually see how I make these teas.

Parenting Parrots

Monthly Parrot Cleaning Schedule

Image

Do you have a cleaning schedule? I just felt like my life was spiraling out of control and everything was getting half done and half not done. So recently, I started a cleaning schedule, along with my family schedule and eating/sprouting schedule. So many schedules but with 4 kids another on the way, a job, blogging, YouTube, 8 parrots, 5 axolotls and a bearded dragon it just seemed necessary. So it’s only been 2 months in the making but these two months have been the most peaceful that my life has felt in the last 5 years, hahaha.

So I personally don’t like to read long blogs and I have a few of them up here hahaha (some topics just need more time unfortunately). I decided to break my cleaning schedule up for you guys and not have it all in one. I hope this helps some people with cleaning up after their parrots and if you have any suggestions for me please let me know.

So my monthly clean is done once a month on the first Saturday of the month. May 2019 will be my 3rd month trying this and so far I feel very content with how its all coming together and I have more time to spend with my beauties.

Kodak, Black lory and Rasta, Green Naped Lorikeet

My monthly routine I believe is pretty standard, I also have a daily routine and a weekly routine which I will share with you, so that really helps my monthly routine.

  • Wash your parrot’s entire cage thoroughly – This can be done via hand washing with a bucket of Dawn dish washing liquid and a cloth. You can also put it in your shower if it is small enough or bring it outside and power wash it. Whichever works best for you is the one you should implement once a month.
  • Vacuum your walls. You will be surprised at how much dust and dander resides there.
  • Laundry your curtains. This is only if your parrots go on your curtains otherwise you can just vacuum them because dust and dander will gather there too. My birds love sitting on the top of my curtains as it’s the highest perch in my apartment so washing my curtains is a must for me.
  • Vacuum your air filter. I assume all bird owners own one of these, without it I would be LOST! HAHAHA. Vacuuming your filter, I find helps it work more better and obviously clears it up to pick up more dander.

That is it for my monthly schedule. Look forward to my daily and weekly schedule to be posted shortly. Thank you so much for your time and please don’t forget to like and comment.

Parenting Parrots

Parrot Ownership is a Lifestyle Change

Image

It sucks that a lot of people end up getting a parrot just because they are cute and they are not aware of the fact that having a parrot is a lifestyle change. Store owners just want to sell the bird so they tell you they are easy, just give them pellets and water and change the paper at the bottom of the cage once a week. HAHAHA, if this was true, we wouldn’t have so many re-homes. I would have 20 instead of 8 birds and I would be rich because I wouldn’t be spending money on toys, perches, food, sprouts, feeding equipment, air filters, cages, vet bills, travel carriers, training tools, seeds and nuts for training, cleaning products, paper towels and I’m sure I’m missing a few other things.

I’ve had to adjust my life SO much to accommodate my parrots and I still am everyday. I went from working full 10 hour shifts to only 6 hours so I can have more time with the birds. I changed my non-stick cookware to stainless steel pots (very costly switch). I had to remove all air fresheners from my house and find homemade, safe options. All cleaning solutions have been removed so nothing remains except bleach, vinegar, dawn dishwashing liquid and good old water options and some bird cleaning products. I buy LOTS of paper towels and have to stop my “night owl” tendencies to make sure I’m being sensitive to their 10-12 hour night rest. I have to get up earlier in the morning to make sure I feed and change their water bowls/bottles before I go to work. So now that I have to be at work for 7am and I have to leave home by 6:30am to make it on time. I usually wake up at 5am so I can have an extra 30 minutes to accommodate them. I usually like to train before breakfast but unfortunately I just can’t find the extra time to do that in the mornings now except for on weekends. So I now train before lunch or before dinner depending on how much they ate from breakfast.

I have to consider how long I’m going to be out of the house if I’m leaving to go somewhere. I haven’t had a vacation since acquiring my birds because I haven’t lined up a sitter and I’m still concerned about leaving them with others to care for them (worried mommy). Your life will never be the same. Having parrots is a lifestyle change. I used to work from home answering the phones hahaha I can’t do that with parrots in the house, they are just too unpredictable regarding when they will decide to vocalize. I have to retreat from my living room at a certain time so they can get to bed on time. EVERYTHING and ANYTHING I do includes how it will affect my birds. They are just like having kids. I should know I have quite a bit of both hahaha.

This type of change is NOT for everyone, definitely think twice before deciding if you truly want a bird. No more using the oven self-cleaning option for an easy clean, no more sleeping in or being lazy, DEFINITELY more cleaning and then more education. My learning NEVER stops when it comes to having parrots and if you are seeking the best for your birds, yours won’t stop either. So just think about all these things BEFORE you add a bird to your life. Are you ready for a lifestyle change?

If so please comment below with what birds you have decided to make this change for example an African Grey parrot, Amazon, Macaw, Cockatoo? Which bird has captured your heart and what other type of lifestyle changes did you have to make that maybe I forgot to mention?

Thanks so much for reading please click on that follow button and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Parenting Parrots

Making Food Fun!

Image

Frozen Food

There is something about watching parrots work for things that personally warms my heart. So I’m always looking for ways to enrich their lives. Parenting Parrots has so many things going on, I can barely find the time to inform you guys of everything but I will try to be more consistent. If we think about the parrots in the wild, what do we know about them? We know that food isn’t just given to them freely, we know that they spend a great deal amount of time foraging for food while making and protecting babies. Now, as much as I would love to mimic the wild environment, I unfortunately can’t BUT what I can do is try to come as close as possible to making them be fully stimulated, enriched and engaged.

The above picture is something that I can give to all my parrots including the Lories. I took little containers, filled them up with fruit. You can use whatever type you like. For this mix I used raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes and some cashews and almonds (I eliminated the cashews and almonds for the lories). Once I finished putting the food in, I filled it up with coconut water and put them in the freezer. So the next morning, I took them out, removed them from their containers and gave one to each parrot. Since it was frozen the birds got to lick and suck on the cold coconut water and while it defrosted right there, they got access to the food bits. It wasn’t a lot of work but at the same time it made it interesting and engaging for the birds especially since they kept at it for a while before realizing it needed more time to defrost.

Frozen Cube

This was a tasty little treat and definitely a way to make food more fun and get your parrots that are picky to start trying. I can’t guarantee that they will still eat whatever they are refusing but always introducing items in different ways can get a bird interested in a food item that they previously neglected. Making this cube was quick and easy, less than 5 minutes to prepare and put together. I will offer more cubes like this, more often during the summer months.

Fruit Cube

You could also substitute the coconut water for whatever type of liquid you like, the options are endless. I hope you will try this and please leave me a comment down below and let me know how your birds liked it. Also if you are going to give this to your lories/lorikeets please remove the nuts. I will be making this again, if you would like a YouTube video on it, please let me know so I can do that for you.

If you aren’t already part of the family please click on the follow button, subscribe to our YouTube channel, our instagram page and click on the star to show you liked this post.

Thank you for everything! I hope together we can enrich out fids’ lives.

Parenting Parrots

Kodak Goes to the Vet

Image

On April 27th, 2018 I brought Kodak to the vet to get his wellness check done and have a physical. He passed everything with flying colors and I was a happy mommy. Well if you read my sneezing post that was about him. I didn’t want to but I had to bring him to the vet because I didn’t want to risk losing him after the year that I had with losing birds. So to be on the safe side, I ran to the vet.

She looked him over, opened his wings, looked into his eyes, into his mouth, felt his vent basically did another physical and couldn’t find an issue with him at all. So she prescribed Rheumocam 1.5ml every 12 hours. Rheumocam is an anti-inflammatory drug which I believe is usually used for dogs but I guess can be used for any animal. The issue here is that she couldn’t find any evidence of an infection or issue but felt that just in case he came in contact with an irritant that he may be allergic to, we should use this Rheumocam. We could also be in the very early stages of an infection but she didn’t want to treat for an infection when he didn’t have one. So even though he wasn’t showing any proof of an inflamed throat or anything, she felt this may help open up any issues he may be having and stop the sneezing. I don’t like giving drugs period but I have seen a decrease in his sneezing already even though we haven’t made it to 48 hours since seeing the vet yet.

I think the issue is Grayson. My spray bottle broke and I haven’t gone to the dollar store to buy another one so Grayson is very dusty. The reason I say it’s Grayson because I moved Kodak but Rasta is now where Kodak was and I hear Rasta doing some sneezing (now he could just be mimicking Kodak). I’m going to put Grayson in the shower even though he hates that because my shower perch is missing a suction cup so he has to go in the actual tub which he is not a fan of. But I’m hoping Rasta stops and Kodak is good and this scare of SNEEZING will be a thing of the past.

Sorry, I never expected this post to be this long but the real reason I wanted to write it is because in April I spent 353 CAD dollars for Kodak, this most recent visit on July 10th, 2018 cost me $170 CAD and let’s not forget Kodak plus shipping was almost 1200 CAD dollars. In less than a year that’s $1,723 CAD and that’s not including his toys or food. I can’t stress enough how much birds can cost and how they are not cheap. I was always working before so I never watched my money as much as I am now and with currently 5 parrots, I’m now seeing the financial burden that parrots can put on your pocket but I love them so much, I’m willing to be broke for them (well I make my sacrifices for them). However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I hope I don’t have to go back to the vet until next year when Kodak needs his checkup. I seriously wished pet insurance included parrots I would DEFINITELY buy it.

Parenting Parrots

 

The Workout!

Image

The baby is down for a nap, 2 kids are sick sleeping and only the toddler remains active. If I give her the laptop or phone with Moana on, she’ll sit still for the hour and some and I can take a nap. WAIT!! The birds need some attention… OH NO!! But I just want to take a nap but by the time I get back up, they will all be in sleep mode because it’ll be close to their bedtime. Does this mean I can’t take a nap???

O.M.G this is NOT fair! I just want a nap like everyone else!!! Now I see the workout. Instead of napping I better use this time to interact with each parrot because it may only last for an hour if I’m lucky. Who thought I would ever have to make a choice between interacting or napping, I, for sure didn’t.

The birds take turns being out of their cages when the kids are out and about however its my individual time spent with each one that I’m referring too. Some days I feel like I’m running a marathon between breastfeeding the infant, tending to the toddler, teaching the preschooler, lecturing the middle schooler, cleaning, cooking and interacting while training each parrot. Life is hectic without even going outside but I don’t see myself changing it at all except to give the day more hours lol.

I don’t mind missing out on naps but I’m having a hard time falling asleep at night when everyone is down so when my body wants to sleep everyone is up… Horrible combination!!

The only way to make this work without me getting burnt out is to find a way to make myself sleep at night and incorporate the parrots while working with the kids and not keeping them separate. That way if I get a rest from the kids it should be nothing for me to get a rest from the parrots also!!

I’m down!

Parenting parrots

In the beginning of my Lory/Lorikeet Adventure

Image

Lories/lorikeets can be one of the most frustrating birds to own, hardest to train and quick to use their beak however they can also be the most entertaining, trusting and loveable bird you will ever meet.

When I got my first set of lorikeets I was overly excited. There isn’t a lot of data out there on them but there are a few books and some information on the internet that you can try. I thought I was ready but nothing prepared me for the struggles of the months ahead and I was almost ready to give up. I’m writing this post because I was inspired by an email question I received earlier this week asking for help with a female’s rainbow lorikeet.  I want to help other lorikeet owners out there that might be experiencing the same thing so I’m going to be doing a whole lorikeet set on them and this is the perfect time to do it as I have a brand new lory and a year old rainbow/green naped lorikeet. Both are in the process of training, obviously the green naped is a little more further in his training sessions but not too late to document. If you are a lorikeet owner that needs help please follow me here but also subscribe to our YouTube channel

IMG_20171006_143643_727

Rasta has become more friendly with other birds

So when I first got my lorikeets they were babies right from the breeder and it was a brother and a sister, Rasta and Marley. Rasta was calm, cool and collected but Marley was a “I’m not having it type of gal”. I went on bird forums, Facebook, everywhere I could think of for help because the breeder told me to keep them in the same cage but I was getting nipped left, right and center anytime I tried to interact with any of them. The bird forums told me to separate them so I did. It got a bit better but Marley seemed to control Rasta  meaning I would be dealing with Rasta and Marley would  be in her cage, telling him what to do. For an example: Rasta is training with no problem, all of a sudden we would hear Marley make a noise and the next interaction with Rasta, he would try to bite! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!? The only change was Marley had spoken hahahaha.

Marley was more manageable too but she was definitely more independent and wanted her own way. We were able to start training her but she wanted her brother at all times. So that’s when I made the hardest decision, to separate them permanently. I’m not saying you can’t have brothers and sisters together just that it is a harder challenge especially if they are bonded. So I ended up re-homing Marley. The change within Rasta was almost immediate but for the following weeks I missed Marley.

1506553249881

Training Rasta

At this point though is when I got to truly know, understand and fall in love with the lorikeet species and I wouldn’t turn back. Look out for part 2 tomorrow on How I started training Rasta, with what training tools and to show you what worked and what didn’t. To stay up to date on this process, please click on that follow button so you too can have a fun, friendly rainbow/ green naped lorikeet like me!

1506640923601

Rasta, Green naped Lorikeet

Parenting Parrots