A Month with No Pellets Review

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Overall my month with no pellets was okay but it’s not for me. In order to properly provide for your parrots off of no pellets, you need to completely understand their nutritional needs. You need to cater to each one’s personal dietary requirements (I failed in this part, as I didn’t even think twice about each parrot as an individual with different requirements). You also need to be completely devoted to them with no other distractions around you.

January showed me how much pellets save me as it’s a quick measure it out and put it in their cages. Baking, steaming, dicing and chopping is great when I only have to do it occasionally but when it becomes a multiple times a day process – I am too consumed with other things to do that each day. Training took a back seat because instead I was making meals. I felt I was always in the kitchen, for myself, the kids and the parrots.

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I feel bad. More so guilty because I didn’t realize what I was missing (personal requirements) until it was too late to rectify. I must say, anyone who can do this, my hat goes off to you. We are back to incorporating pellets into their diet and my mind feels at ease.

I did see a change in behavior though.  The house seemed quieter and the  birds seemed more willing to train but that could just all be in my head. Until I record proper data, I can’t make a concrete verdict on that previous statement.

No pellets is definitely the way to go if you can manage it.

Parenting Parrots

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New Bird – New Food

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When you get a new bird, you want to keep them on the diet they came to you on. After a few days = 2 or 3 days you can start doing 70% the food they came with and 30% the pellets you want them on and every day make the gap go smaller and smaller until you are only giving them the pellets you want them on.

This is only if you want to change their diet. Most of my parrots I do change their diet because I give Harrison pellets and a lot of breeders do not feed Harrison’s for many reasons. 1 – It’s all brown and organic so not intriguing to choose and 2 – it’s more on the expensive side of a pellet diet. If you do not want to change their diet then this process is not needed.

Now if you want to feed fresh foods, where should you start? Well, what do you have in your fridge? Let’s start with easy stuff like:

Carrots                     Apples – No seeds (it’s a complicated topic so better to just avoid seeds)
Snap Peas                Oranges
Broccoli                    Pomegranates (Very messy to clean up after)
Cauliflower             Bananas
Sweet Potato           Kiwis
Bell Peppers            Pears
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When introducing new fresh foods, you need to approach it like you would for a new baby, one item at a time for a few days. Once you realize that there is no aversive reaction to it then you can introduce another new item. I would say one new item every 3 days.

As for table cooked food, I would wait to introduce that until you are comfortable with your fresh fruits and veggies selection but some cooked food you can eventually try is:

pasta
rice, (be careful when you serve these that it’s not breeding season)
eggs
shrimp
chicken
oatmeal
shredded wheat cereal with no milk
whole wheat bread with organic jam

If you have tried feeding the fruits and veggies or pellets and your new parrot isn’t taking them, there are a few steps you can take. Fruits and veggies can be chopped, sliced, diced or pureed. Made different ways can have different results. Even giving them the foods at different times during the day can have a different effect. If that doesn’t work you can always try some Red Palm Oil on top of the fruits and veggies or pellets. A little goes a long way. Some parrots love the Red Palm oil and some don’t so it’s a hit and miss but make sure it’s RED palm oil. Pretending to eat the food first and then giving it to your parrot will work if you find your parrid to be bonding with you.
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Also, just keep trying for at least a week before giving up on that particular food type and don’t get frustrated. It’s not the end of the world if your parrot doesn’t like apples. Just like humans have specific likes and dislikes so do birds so respect your bird’s wishes. Keep in mind that just because they may not like it now doesn’t mean that two years from now they will still not like it so you can still continue to try to give it periodically and see if “Today is the day”.

Parenting Parrots

DIY Foraging Toy

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I wish I could take all the credit here but I can’t. I stole this idea off of Facebook from Patricia Anderson who has a few Quakers and a Blue headed Pionus (They are perfectly trained and so gorgeous to look at). Anyhow I have always been one to believe in foraging as an important aspect for any parrot and recently I realized I spend a lot of money on toys – even more than I thought. Sometimes my toy bills (most of the time) are running me 2 to 300 dollars a shop. So I really wanted to find things I could make myself and wouldn’t break my pocket. So when Patricia posted the foraging cereal box I was all excited because being a family of 5 we go through cereal boxes as often as we change our underwear, hahaha daily.

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You see the red thing? It’s the Zip tie I used to attach this to the cage

I have a whole bunch of stuff I bought for foraging but if you are anything like me then you don’t have the creativity behind your belt to do it yourself so I have to steal ideas from others but that’s why they post them online right? To share? Once I get their basic ideas then sometimes ways to “fancy” it up comes to me… Only sometimes though.

So why do I find foraging to be important or why is it very high on my list? BECAUSE in the while food is not just handed to your parrot. They search for their food causing them to release energy and stimulate their brain cells. Now by no means does this mean starve them. I still use my food bowls but I do cover my food bowls with paper every now and then and have them rip through the paper to get to the food. I find the days I do that my house is quiet as a mouse because everyone is busy ripping through the paper for their pellets. Otherwise some mornings I’m crying about wanting more sleep. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! I/We can’t provide the wild environment for our parrots but we still need to find ways to keep them stimulated, motivated, entertained and I find that foraging toys do that….

It’s really simple, all I did (Now Patricia may have used different items inside of hers, I didn’t look into all of that) was take my cereal box put some timothy hay at the bottom, wrap up a few almonds into newspaper balls, put a few sheets of regular newspaper over, come nice crinkled purple (my favorite color) paper sticking out at the top and the inside was done. Then I pierced a few holes into a face and had treats sticking out. 2 Sunflower seeds for eyes, an almond for a nose and baby carrots going across to make a smile.

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I used a big cereal box but it was for my Indian Ringneck so I should have bought those cereals that are small that come in those packs of 10 and use that size. I think the big cereal boxes are too overwhelming for Ringo, that size is PERFECT for Grayson, my african grey.  So far Ringo hasn’t teared apart the box hence why I say the size is too big. But he has removed the carrots, almonds, sunflower seeds and some of the crinkled paper at the top…. Slowly but surely he is getting there.

Oh I attached it to the cage using a zip tie. My parrot shop sells them. I will be doing another one of these for Grayson and I think at the bottom of it I will make a small hole on each side and have a rope going from one end of the bottom to the next and tie a “Top toy” out of each side to make it more pretty with more accessories. I want to make lots of foraging toys and you can find GREAT ideas on Facebook DIY bird toy groups or by going on Pinterest or of course by following me! All you have to do is sign up where it says follow Parenting Parrots and you can go through this journey of toy making with me! I’ll post a YouTube video on making this toy next weekend and I’ll add it here but if you want to make sure you don’t miss that then go to my YouTube channel and Subscribe so you can see all the important videos we post there.

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Some people are visual learners vs. being a reader so that’s why I like to cover a video on what I write about here too.

Parenting Parrots!

All About Pets Show

I went to the “All About Pets Show” for the 2nd year in a row and I must say it’s a busy place however it’s a great place to educate your kids and yourself and see all the different animals in the world. This year I went with my partner, my son and my godson. Last year it was only my son and myself. Last year I was able to find everything I wanted and needed so easily however this year I felt overwhelmed and confused because I couldn’t find what I was looking for as easily. This year we interacted more with other people so I must say both years were well worth it and I would recommend it to others to attend. I will be going again next year.

So I bought the family pass which was 48.00 CDN. We got there by 1:30pm and left at 5pm so a good couple of hours spent. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted and given a bag and was on our merry way. Although this is a “PETS” show I feel the dogs dominate. We went straight for the cats since that’s not really of interest for us, I figured it was the fastest section to get through. The cats are mostly in carriers and are not out for touching by the public however the few that were out, were very nice.

We then found the reptilia truck, which we enjoy admiring every year. My son and godson got to hold a crested gecko. They also got to touch an alligator and see a snake wrapped around a woman’s body. The downfall with the reptiles this year is that I never seen any other reptile section :(. Last year we had reptilia but there was also other little reptile set ups around and my son truly enjoyed that. This year they fell short on that, I hope next year they bring them back.
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Next, was the bird section but again it seems they fell short in that area because I never seen as many vendors as I did last year. We seen the typical parrots like the conures, macaws, African greys, various cockatoos and so forth. Maybe I’m just being greedy but I wanted more. My son and godson got to hold ringneck doves but last year we got to help in bottle feeding babies and listen to parrots talk and watch them do tricks. I also went there in hopes to find unique toys for my African grey and galah cockatoo but I left empty handed. I wanted to grab some Harrison’s food and they weren’t available at any of the stops.

We went to the petting area and this section was more advanced which was great. They had all the horses in their stalls but at least we still got to peep at them through the stalls. If we stayed and watched a horse show then of course we would have seen more but no petting of horses this year. They had goat, sheep, llamas and of course just like last year baby chicks. My son and godson got to hold the baby chicks which I think is great for the kids to experience but their most enjoyable moment was feeding the Llamas. My son was calling the Llama “his buddy” as he feed him his food from the palm of his hands. You have to pay for the feeding but it wasn’t too bad as it was only 2 dollars for a small ice cream cone filled with pellets.

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There was a section for exotic pets (or something like that they were called) and their price I thought was ridiculous as it was 10 dollars for each person to enter the pen and play with the animals. The deal they had wasn’t too bad as it was 25 dollars for 4 but since I nor my partner wanted to go in, it didn’t seem worth it to pay 20 dollars for the two boys when I could have paid 25 for 4. They had a kangaroo, some muskrat looking thing… It’s like a monkey but looks like a stunk… You would have seen them in the movie the Madagascar and some other animals that I can’t remember their names.

We then were surrounded by dogs however although they did have a designated area for dogs they were all spread out all over the whole exhibition. Watching my son with the dogs made me wonder if a dog is the right pet for him…. I’m not sure. He was so patient and loving and even after petting and talking to everyone, he wanted to go back to see the little dogs and then the BIG leonbergers. I must admit I will be doing research on teacup Pomeranians and pomchi’s and Havanese dogs BUT I will not go back down that road unless I know it is the absolute best! Also I can’t have dogs in the apartment I live in so it will have to wait :(. I will be researching the best pet for a child who may have a mild case of adhd.

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I left feeling like my money was well spent and I had more knowledge than every! Especially when it came to a Havanese dog because it has real hair no fur, so hypo-allergic, small but not fragile and odorless of course…. Adult size is 12 lbs… I will definitely be looking into them….

I bought the kids food on our way there and right after we left we went straight to pizza pizza to buy a family meal. I refused to buy anything in there because for a bottle of pop it was $3.20 CDN 😦 but I expected that so that’s why I fed them on our way there!

It’s definitely a show I enjoy and I will be making it part of my yearly routine. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would suggest making it apart of your outings for next year.

Parenting Parrots!

Re-Homing

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So, I’m finally able to start posting again and I don’t ever want to stop. I never realized it before but I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people. Now this is more of a sad post than anything else… I re-homed 2 of my parrids :(.

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(Internet pic)

Story:

I found myself in a financial bind and needed to find a way out so I started working 2 fulltime jobs :(. I did that for almost 6 months straight (hence why I couldn’t post). I only had time to sleep and shower whenever I was home. I still had 2 days off a week but those were my only 2 days to clean, spend time with the kids, catch up on sleep as I was only sleeping about 3 hours a day during the week and get errands done. So my parrids were being neglected. Literally they were in jail and only being fed pellets. Even the cleanliness of their cages were suffering. I felt guilty but what could I do? I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. My kids were suffering too: weren’t getting mommy’s home cooked meals anymore, couldn’t help my son with homework, so his grades dropped. There comes a time when a person has to choose family life over paying off bills…. I finally made that decision.

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Family First (internet pic)

6 months of being away was enough for me plus I was pregnant at the same time (this I didn’t find out until later) so you can imagine how drained I was. I finally left one job and stayed with my night job but then my night job became more stressful as the day person wasn’t doing their job and my pregnancy couldn’t handle the stress so the doctor put me on sick leave. I was sad because my financials would definitely take another hit but on a more positive note – My family could see me again.
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As I’m sure you know Lovebirds who are not interacted with daily can turn away from being hand tamed very quickly which is exactly what happened with our Peach-faced Lovebird, Boss. Now with that being said, Boss always had a bit of attitude in her anyways, hahaha. I could have definitely spent the time to re-train her but I knew what she wanted. She was really showing breeding tendencies and at this time she was sharing a cage with her best friend, Piper, our Quaker parrot but he couldn’t satisfy her needs, so I decided to rehome her into a breeding program. I always knew that I might have to do that with Boss as she was parent raised and I seen her wants long before it became completely obvious. I put an ad up on Kijiji for her and within a day found a man in Brampton who was trying to breed lovebirds. We spoke for a bit and I gave her to him. It warmed my heart to hear his feedback on her. He loved her, she was completely tame with him. He was so impressed with her that he wanted to know if I had more birds I could give him. Unfortunately not, but I was happy to know he was happy and that she would be happy. I do miss her from time to time but I know she is getting what she wanted so my heart is at ease.

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Boss doing “touch/grab” taming. I call it the hovering method.

The next parrid I had to say bye too was one of my rainbow lorikeets. I still very much miss her but again the home where she was given too had nothing but positive feedback to say about her. Lorikeets are just like Lovebirds in a sense, where if you don’t interact with them daily they can revert back very quickly and that’s exactly what happened with Marlee. Rasta was more trusting of us so it wasn’t long ’til I was able to get him back around. With Marlee now, she didn’t want anything to do with me or the kids or anything. She was giving me a hard time to even clean her cage, change her food bowls or anything. Within a few days I had several inquiries for her but one inquiry stood out more than the rest. So I gave her to that household. Marlee kept flying back to me like she didn’t want me to leave her and that broke my heart but I spoke to the female and she said Marlee is doing WONDERFUL. She was nipping when I first dropped her off but soon stopped. The family loves her and she gets a lot of out of the cage time.

Rehoming parrots is not easy when you truly care about their well-being. Piper, our Quaker was down for a while when Boss first left but since then he has come around and is very happy. I can’t remove her favorite toy out of his cage or else he will get upset so I know he hasn’t forgotten her but he has moved on from the heartbreak. Rasta, our green-naped lorikeet kept calling for his sister for a few days after she was gone but he too has come around and doesn’t call for her anymore. Marlee has only been gone for 2 week from this post being posted.

Talk about hidden blessings though because when this was all happening a female contacted me asking if I could take her 2 cockatiels named Chiko and Maro. At first I was just going to give them to a friend of mine who wanted a cockatiel but they are new to the parrot world and I think two parrots would be a lot for a new owner, so we’ve added them to our flock. They came with their cage and a new bag of food. I bought them some new toys and they are very happy joining the flock. Still not sure if I will give them to my friend however I told them to do a bit more research before I would be willing to even consider it so we’ll see.

We lost 2 parrids but we gained two more. Rehoming love ones is never easy but if you must please try and find them the best loving home possible.

Parenting Parrots

Lets Scramble It up!

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“What’s for breakfast?” You asked.
“Well I’m thinking scrambled eggs” I replied.
“HAHAHA, for parrots?!” You exclaimed.
“Umm, yea they need to eat” I said.

I know parrots have pellets that are very well balanced and should be able to offer them all the nutritional values they need, however how would you like to eat the same food over and over again? I would HATE it, eventually you would get sick of it so why wouldn’t parrots? Sharing my table food is something I enjoy doing with my parrots (as long as it’s not my actual plate, hahaha). I stay away from the no-no’s like avocado, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate. I feel the variety gives them a better palate and they always get pellets, so this is just to give them options.

I introduce my kids to different types of food because I want them to be open-minded and be able to try everything so I treat my parrots with the same mindset. Sharing your table food is actually common amongst parrot owners, I think the surprise comes more from people who do not have parrots than the actual owners themselves. So this morning, scrambled eggs were on the menu. I made the batch for the kids first and then I started on the parrots. Technically I could use the same batch for the kids, for the parrots as long as I minimize the salt and remove using egg shells and the crushed red peppers. But I chose to separate just to make sure the parrots get the shells for the calcium points.

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This may not be neccessary but sometimes being new to the parrot world, you might feel uncertain about making things for your parrot, so I thought I would post what I use to help anyone who may need it.

The ingredients I use:
Stainless steel frying pan
Spatula
Bowl and fork to mix with
2 eggs – use the shells too (I use 2 because I have 7 parrots however I don’t serve this to the lorikeets as I’m still learning about their diet so technically it’s only 5… I think going forward I will use one because 2 makes a lot for these guys)
1/4 tsp of milk (too much dairy isn’t good for parrots but a little is okay. If I was only using one egg I would do 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp of crushed red peppers
butter (Used for frying)

So I mixed the eggs, milk and crushed red peppers in the bowl with the fork while heating the butter in the pan.  All the white you see is the egg shells, you can barely see any milk.

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The ingredients in the bowl

Once all the ingredients are mixed and the pan is heated, you put your mixture in it and you keep scrambling it until it is well done. Fyi I used no oil.
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For the sake of the pictures, I made the eggs a bit more well done then usual however you have to make sure it is well done as you don’t want to risk giving your parrots anything that isn’t fully cooked. I put paper towel down to soak up the butter that was used to cook the eggs.

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It’s a quick breakfast and gives your parrots something different. The egg shells help to give a bit of calcium so still a healthy choice plus minimizing the use of oil definitely is a plus! I use the crushed red peppers to give it a little spice as parrots do like things a little hot.

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I gave piper a bit too much so he didn’t finish his food however everyone else ate it all up. Let the food cool and serve!! Don’t serve your parrots HOT food.

As always scrambled eggs were a success!!

Parenting Parrots