How to Solve your Parrot’s Behavior Problem!

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Good Bird, a guide to solving behavioral problems in companion parrots by Barbara Heidenreich is a wonderful book to have in your collection. Whether or not you have a parrot with behavioral problems doesn’t matter because this book gives you the knowledge to understand why the behavior may happen and solutions to solve it. By reading this book, you can start to know the signs and see if a problem may be arising before it actually arrives.

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Barbara Heidenreich has actually been in our shoes, she is a parrot owner. Who else to learn from if not one of our very own. She has also been a parrot trainer and have helped many families with behavioral issues in parrots.

So how do you solve your Parrot’s behavior issues? Simple! POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! Barbara tells us this in the very 1st chapter, the introduction. If you have no idea what I am talking about, I explain all about training in my post called “What time is it??“.

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But before you start implementing positive reinforcement, there are a few things you must first learn about: Body language! The first communication you will always have with a companion parrot is body language. Learn how to read it and what certain signs mean and you will be able to connect with your parrot better. In this book, Barbara explains their body language and gives you some insight in how to read them and what it means. What I love in this section is that she does her best to include pictures of birds that are displaying the body language she is describing.

She dedicates a chapter to each behavior issue you may come encounter with so you can either read the whole book (which I recommend) or you can just jump to the chapter that you may need help with. Her chapters go like this: Introduction – Chapter 1: Preparing the Companion Parrot Owner – Chapter 2: Screaming – Chapter 3: Biting – Chapter 4: Bonding to one person – Chapter 5: Cage Bound Bird – Chapter 6: Feather Picking and her closing chapter her Final Thoughts. Each chapter is filled with possible scenarios, why it may be happening, what you can do and a detailed explanation. I read this book about once every two years just to refresh my mind.

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I can confidently say that I do not have to worry about any screaming issues. For her biting chapter, now that I have Marlee, the lorikeet and she tends to nip, I will be practicing this chapter and hopefully by the new year, I will be completely bite-free! Next is the bonding to one person – This refers to my African Grey, he is completely bonded to me however when I am not around he will go to others – Barbara’s methods do work! I haven’t been able to test her cage bound theory or her feather picking theory as none of my parrots have  any of these issues  but I’m sure it works also.

You can follow her blog and check out her stuff at http://www.goodbirdinc.com/. She offers e-books, dvds, books, blog posts and seminars. I haven’t had a chance to check out her stuff as yet but I do give this book a 5 star rating as it’s an easy read with pictures and very straight to the point. From front to back it is a total of 81 pages. Really can’t go wrong.

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Parenting Parrots!

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How to Treat your Parrots to a Healthy Snack

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Good Morning!

Today I decided to have something quick for breakfast as I’m running out the door to do laundry. I live in an apartment where we are not allowed to have washers and dryers in our unit, so I have to take the elevator all the way down to the ground level to share a washer and dryer with the other tenants of this building. I HATE IT BECAUSE I CANT TAKE ANY PARROTS WITH ME!!! 😦 Well I guess I could but don’t want to risk people complaining and maybe the bird getting in their way. Anyhow back to the topic at hand….

BREAKFAST!!!

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Being on maternity leave has really left my fridge empty. HAHAHA after 10 months with living off of 55% of my income, I am ready to get back to filling my fridge again but I will miss my kiddies and parrids (parrot kids) so much. This is a bitter sweet moment!! Today we are having a whole wheat slice of bread with jam! THAT’s it!

Something so simple and I can share it with my parrids.

A slice of lightly toasted whole wheat bread with jam spread on top, cut into four sections. I give one section to each bird. I do two slices because I have 7 birds. All the birds can eat this, even my lorikeets!

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Rasta enjoying his jam

So I’m not quite sure how the calories in a slice of toasted whole wheat bread may affect a parrot’s health however it has 75 calories but if you’re only giving a parrot a quarter section, I don’t think you should have to worry at all (for those that may be concerned).

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Parenting Parrots!

 

I don’t deserve to be in JAIL!!

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So imagine this…

You are born, taking care of, SOLD and moved to a new home. You will probably be experiencing some anxiety, nervousness, excitement all while being scared. You get to your new location and BAM they put you in a four wall room with bars, never to release you again…. What will happen to you?

Let’s break this down for a second, first you are born. Whether it is in a hospital, in your home or wherever, point being a birth has  to happen. This is the same for parrots and humans.

 

Next, you are taking care of by a parent who feeds you. Maybe this is by breast milk, formula or some sort of supplement, but you need to receive nourishment to survive. This is the same for parrots and humans.


Now the part you are probably wondering about is being “sold”. For some of us this never happens, we get to grow up with our parents and move out when we mature and can handle our own. So we will never know the feeling of our “parents” giving us away however some people do experience this via adoption or abandonment. I know when I was growing up, finding babies in dumpsters or staircases was a topic on the news. Parrot mothers may give up on their offspring also for whatever reason, they will stop feeding them, caring for them or just kill them. Now unfortunately within the human species, we also have mothers and fathers who kill their children. All in all, I rather be sold, if I can’t be loved. But the type of “selling” that I know of is either trafficking or when colored people were being sold as slaves. Again, if parrots are born in captivity then they will also be sold to a new owner.

 

After being sold comes the transition process of moving to a new home. Whether it is a voluntary move or an involuntary move, the fact is, there is a move. So kids who have been adopted, baby parrots that are sold and people who kill are moved to their new homes. Now for a child who has been adopted, we pray that they are going to a place that is comfortable, welcoming and wonderful overall. For a baby parrot we pray for the same. For the people who have forgotten their purpose to provide and protect their children, we pray that they get the help they need and live out the rest of their lives behind bars. The issue I present here, is a parrot being moved to a new home to live out its life behind bars. It did not commit murder, it did not lie, steal or do anything that should cause it to be incarcerated, so why should it have to deal with this punishment? Those parrots are screaming “I don’t deserve to be in Jail!”

My understanding of the reasons of incarceration is to rehabilitate the prisoner to eventually be able to transition back into society as a new model citizen. Why would an innocent baby parrot have to be exposed to the same faith?

 

Maybe its lack of knowledge on the owner’s part but ignorance is not acceptable. Maybe the parrot is displaying behavioral issues, does that mean if you have a child who has a disorder, would it be safe to say they would be exposed to the same type of confinement? NO, it is not okay!!

If humans can go “crazy” by being stuck in a 4 wall room day in and day out. Why wouldn’t a parrot who has the intellectual level of a toddler suffer the same faith?? I know sometimes we don’t think of these things, we just think “hey, they would be cute to have”. Not thinking about the work, effort, time or the parrot’s value of life.

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A parrot’s cage is their home just like your house is your home. You clean it, cook, eat, sleep and play in your house, well a parrot does the same thing in its house. Do you need to leave your house to visit friends, buy groceries or just need time out of the house?? Well, your parrot needs the same thing. Do you re-arrange your house from time to time? Well, your parrot needs the same thing.

If you neglect the parrot’s home, it can get sick just like you can get sick from an untidy place. If you never leave the confinements of your house, chances are you will suffer from a mental breakdown. Your parrot can go through the same issues. Feather plucking and screaming are  just a few ways that an isolated parrot may release its frustrations.

So many comparisons between human and parrots. We all have similarities, so humans don’t want to grow up in jail….Therefore your parrot does not deserve to be in jail!

 

 

 

Do unto others as you would like them to do onto you.

Please do not neglect and leave your parrots in cages all day. Their intellectual level may surprise you. That is why here at Parenting Parrots, we urge you to think of your parrot as your toddler because you and your parrot will have a better relationship and life together just by thinking of this simple thing: “I’m a parent to a toddler just in parrot form”.

 (None of the pictures in this post belonged to me)

Parenting Parrots!

 

 

Nyx and Boss go to the Vet

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I decided with Lola passing and the new parrots we got recently, that it would be a good idea to have everyone checked out. So on Monday August 8th, 2016 (my son’s 10th birthday) I called my original vet but they had no openings until that Friday, so I turned to the internet. Since I don’t have average birds, I can’t just bring them to any type of veterinarian. When looking for a vet you have to find an exotic birds/Avian vet. I live in Toronto, Ontario so the only vet for parrots I knew about was The Links’ Road animal Clinic and The Hospital of High Park. From researching, I have found many more. This just goes to prove how far along parrot ownership has come over the years. Anyhow I found one in Mississauga called Britannia Animal Hospital;.’

. They were able to see Nyx and Boss that afternoon. So I packed up my three kids and off we went!

We arrived approximately 15 minutes late for our appointment. It’s a nice spacious building located right on the main street, it would be hard to miss especially if you’re looking for it. The staff was friendly and we didn’t have to wait long for service, I would say about five minutes after I completed the paperwork.

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This is the reception area. Not my picture, it is off their website.

We were shown to the avian exam room. Nyx was removed from her carrier with a towel. They weighed her, listened to her heartbeat and looked her over. I didn’t want her wings trimmed so they only did her beak and nails. (I had just done the nails so there wasn’t much needed there but it was included in the charge.)  Advised me of dangerous foods, for example told me to barely ever give grapes and if I do only in small quantities. I never knew grapes was an issue so this was a surprise to me. Nyx appeared great.

Next the doctor did the same thing for Boss. The side of his beak could not be done because there is a big blood vessel there. Boss also appeared to be in great health.

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Their avian exam room off their website but this was the room we were in.

No blood work was done as they both weighed under 100 grams and because of their small size, it’s a risk factor. I was advised to do a fecal exam but passed as it was 70 bucks (almost the price of the examination itself). For the visit I was charged 210 for everything. The vet recommends you bring your parrots to them every six months for a checkup however I’ll be honest, I only bring mine once a year, if I feel like its needed… Now don’t condemn me, I know people who never bring their parrots to the vet so I think I’m doing pretty good. Let me explain this for a second….

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If my parrots’ diet hasn’t changed, nor has my routine then I don’t feel the need to check in with the doctor. I clip their wings if needed, like when they’re getting hormonal otherwise they stay flighted. I trim their nails every six weeks and I check their poop every day. So unless I see a need for the vet like a change in their appetite or energy level or poop, I don’t see why I should bring them. The same goes for me and the kids, we go to the doctor when something is wrong.

Plus taking all my parrots to the vet for their annual checkup runs me about 1500 CAD each time. Yes, if I can’t afford it then maybe I shouldn’t have parrots and that is why unfortunately my flock is not open to any more.

God forbid one of my parrots actually get sick then the cost would be even more but I have a credit card devoted only for my parrots (just in case :)).  Parrots are fun but the visits to the vet ARE NOT! Definitely can put a dent in your pocket. I’m hoping one day they will come out with Parrot insurance but for now only dogs and cats get that option in Canada.

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Parenting Parrots!