T & T Aquariums – Don’t and Don’t Shop!

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T & T Aquariums is located maybe 10 minutes away from me so the other day I decided to stop in because I noticed on Kijiji they have a lot of ads but I remember that store being pretty small so where and how were they keeping all these parrots??

My heart broke! It was a Saturday afternoon when I decided to run to the store. I got there about an hour before closing and the first thing I saw was two Caiques sitting on a bird stand, an African grey on top of a white cage and a Sun Conure interacting through the bars with another Sun Conure (Yes, I’ve learned my birdies over the years). To the outside eye, this is great, they are getting out of cage time – perfect situation but my eyes are keener and I’m not afraid of interacting with stranger birds. The first thing I did was walk straight to the Caiques, slowly presented my hand and asked for a step up, they leaned away. Okay so they were taught how to step up but at least they didn’t fly from me, not that they could as their wings were clipped.

Next, I went to the baby African Grey, the cage was really small but seeing how he was out of it maybe it’s just a sleeping cage. The baby grey shivered away from me and I thought and someone is going to come in here and pay $1,800CAD for this baby and they will have a hard time because of upbringing. Behind him were two lutino Quakers in the same size cage as the african grey’s. I checked out their conures, parrotlets, linnies and finches but I wasn’t only taking in the fact that all birds were scared of the visitors, I took in their dirty water bowls, the pooped in food bowls that looked like it’s been there all day and some. All of them had seeds in their diet even the quakers (who can suffer from the fatty liver disease) and there were no toys in their cages to keep them occupied.

The biggest pain came when I turned the corner and was surprised with two greys in a small cage together, one was growling on the bottom of the cage and the other was a bit more interactive sitting on the perch. The problem was the cage was covered with flies and I had to keep fanning my hand, wondering where the flies were coming from but I didn’t have to search long. At the bottom of the cage was lots of poop and old fruits and veggies – YUCK! My stomach turned! This store hikes up their prices for their birds but yet their birds are kept in HORRIBLE quality. There is no love for the parrots there. As much as I want people to save the birdies, if you buy from this store you will have a lot of work on your hands regarding health, diet change, socializing and just interacting with your parrot.

One woman bought a pineapple conure from here being told it was super friendly and tamed when she got home she hasn’t been able to handle it… 😦 But yet, I offer my services and people don’t want to pay 30 bucks for an hour consultation because they feel they can do it which they can but do you have the eye for realizing the problem, the patience, and the knowledge? While I was there a family came in and was buying all these bird stuff when the salesperson went to get the bird and teach them I wanted to yell, “NO! Please don’t do that to your bird!!!” But I bit my tongue and just said a little prayer. The man that runs the store put on garden gloves, took the family to the conure cage, asked which one and proceeded to tell them to wear gloves on both of their hands and grab and remove the parrot from the cage. Then hold it firmly and force pet it’s head. 😦 Where is the EMPOWERMENT!?!? Where is the choice?! Where is the option!?! Not only that but he didn’t mention to not hold it around the chest area or make sure they are holding it lightly because of their diaphragm which you can kill them that way. This poor family is going to end up rehoming this bird…

T & T Aquariums is the only bird selling store I know in my area so I’m sure they are getting lots of business but I’m asking you guys please take in re-homes or even go to rescues but if you really want a baby than go to breeders but please, please avoid supporting these horrible stores – This store needs to stop selling parrots!!!

This is my review on Don’T and Don’T Aquariums.

Parenting Parrots

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To Clip or Not to Clip? That is the Question

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I will be completely honest, I blame clipping of my Galah Cockatoo’s wings to be the cause of her death(Will be a storytime on our Youtube channel). Overall, she felt incomplete as a bird and because she barely had learned how to fledge at that time, she never understood the importance of her wings hence her breaking them every time they grew in. A lot of people clip their birds’ wings and justify it for different reasons, I don’t argue with anyone. I listen and understand their point of view but you know what my thought on it comes down to?!? THEN DON’T GET A BIRD!!

A bird is meant to fly, are you still a bird if you can’t fly?? I think that makes them a chicken or a turkey or a rooster but definitely not a bird…. I will never tell someone they are wrong for clipping but is it not selfish to clip a bird because you can’t take the proper precautions to keep them safe? Wouldn’t it be better to leave them in the pet store or at the breeder’s house so someone who doesn’t have to risk their “winglyhood”, for safety can take them? I’ve heard about many accidents with parrots who have flown away or flew into a fan, etc :(. But couldn’t those have been prevented?  Such as making sure windows and doors aren’t opened when the bird is out or by turning off that fan? Maybe I just don’t understand as I’m not in those situations to have to make those type of decision but regardless let’s think about the bird.

To Clip

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Part of a bird’s anatomy is their wings just like humans, it’s their legs. Let’s say someone broke my legs and said no worries it will fix, it’s only temporary. In that time frame I’m paralyzed, I can’t move like I want to – I am at the beck and call of others. I have to rely on others as I can’t do for myself like I normally would, this is the same for clipped birds. Now some people may say nope! It’s not like that. Clipping wings is more like getting a haircut as it doesn’t hurt the bird and it will grow back. Yes that is all true however it is still temporarily paralyzing them from making the decision to flight or fight.

I have clipped birds but they are only clipped because they came to me that way so I patiently wait it out until their wings grow back in. I used to clip my parrots’ wings all by myself, I have also went to the vet to get it done. I never thought anything more about it until I started watching and observing my birds and realizing how BEAUTIFUL it was to see them spread their wings and fly. I love it! I haven’t clipped my African grey in 4 years and although he barely flies whenever he does, I feel like a proud mommy.

Wings

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A lot of behavioral issues can arise from having a clipped parrot because of the lack of exercise. Flying is so important to parrots, it’s how they release all that built up energy so if you add flying plus foraging plus training and the perfect diet – YOU CAN ACQUIRE THE PERFECT PET! But without the flying aspect, what exercise can you give a parrot that would release the same amount of exercise that flying for 30 mins a day would help them release? One thing I used to do when Grayson’s wings were clipped is have him come out of the cage, I would hold on to his feet and tell him to flap his wings. He was great at it but it definitely was not releasing the same amount of energy that flying would have.

Once, I clipped Piper’s wings because people said it would make him easier to train and manage. Well let me tell you – I received a MONSTER from that. He went from never biting to always biting. He was miserable being clipped and now that he isn’t clipped anymore, he is back to his normal self. Yes, he flies from me but I understand that is his way of communicating to me to let me know he either had enough or is bored with what I’m doing etc….

There will always be pros and cons to clipping and not clipping your bird’s wings. It truly comes down to a personal preference. Do what’s best for you and for your parrot so you can both enjoy all that life has to offer.

 

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5 yr old Grayson

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