A Talking Parrot

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Everywhere I look, every book I read it says the same thing: Do NOT get a bird for it’s talking ability because that bird may never talk. Although this statement is correct doesn’t it also defeat the purpose of obtaining a PARROT?!?

At one point, my goal was to obtain the 10 top talking parrots in the world. I wanted a parrot because of their intelligence and their talking ability. If I wanted a bird that couldn’t/wouldn’t talk I would go for a regular bird like a canary. Now, of course, this is not my only reason for wanting to have parrots but HELL YEA it is one of the reasons! If you happen to have a parrot and it never says a word or it doesn’t even mimic a household sound, I would seriously question what/who is it bonded too? Now whether or not that bird talks will not make me want the bird any less but the “talking” is definitely icing on the cake.

I currently have 5 parrots with 3 out of the 5 are already talking and my other 2 which is Purrain and Kodak haven’t uttered a word and it doesn’t bother me as I’m in love with our bond more than anything else. Of course, I would love to hear them both talk but Kodak I received at the age of 2 and he wasn’t talking with the breeder so I’m not quite sure if he will or not. I thought I heard him muttering words but the true words never came out so I must have been mistaken. As for Purrain, she isn’t even a year old yet so she still has time.

I have this theory, that a parrot who talks the English language is saying, “I love you, I want to communicate with you”. I could be wrong but this is just my views. Think about it. If parrots truly have the same intellectual level as a toddler than shouldn’t they be able to learn as a toddler would? Toddlers can speak (unless a medical condition), learn to identify letters and numbers, colors etc. We need to hold our parrots to those same tasks.

If you have a parrot who isn’t talking, there are steps you can try to boost that parrot up and see if it helps to encourage them to start. These steps won’t be overnight steps but with time, energy and effort, you can stimulate your parrot to want to communicate with you. You can find these steps by buying/ reading Guide To Companion Parrot Behavior Review

Here’s to wishing you and your feathered fan great success in getting your parrots to talk!

Parenting Parrots

Parrot Sitting: Juju, a Quaker Parrot

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IMG_20180502_085654_292.jpgWe had our first opportunity to parrot sit for a cobalt blue Quaker parrot named Juju. She stayed with us for a month and was an absolute joy to have around. We followed her mommy’s schedule for her while incorporating some training time. She was basically always out of her cage except if we went out or it was bedtime. Juju’s real name is Juliet but we stuck with JuJu while she was here.

She is 6 years old and just an absolute sweetheart. She will be missed. I took some footage of her for our Youtube channel (subscribe) so you can see a few videos of her time with us there.

Juju is now currently as I speak getting ready to go back home to her mommy and I’m excited for her because although they got to video call, it’s not the same as seeing each other in person.

Bye Juju! We hope to continue to see pictures of your growth and visit you every now and then.

Parenting Parrots

Birthdays

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March 21st is my earth strong and March 22nd is my backbone’s earth strong. Together I felt we were a force to be reckoned with but apart… We were like any other human being out there. This is the reality of the situation. I’m permanently alone as you no longer live on this earth but in heaven is where you now call home (at least I hope so).

We make such a big thing about birthdays, for kids we have parties, celebrations, buy gifts and rejoice every year we make it to another year. As adults, we do the same thing even though it becomes less frequent. So, you can imagine I would do the same thing for the birdies. I usually bake Harrison’s bread, buy a gift and sing happy birthday. Last year, I didn’t celebrate anyone’s birthday: not mine, not my backbone’s, not the birdies and now I will never have another chance to say Happy birthday Brandon or Happy Birthday Piper. Sometimes we take time for granted.

I feel like I felt there will always be tomorrow until there wasn’t. Now I can do nothing but live with regrets and what ifs. Basically, if this past year’s events have taught me nothing but one thing: it’s to live each day as if it’s your last. Don’t forget to breathe and enjoy the little moments, celebrate each minute because it may be your last.

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Parenting Parrots

Warms My Heart

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It warms my heart when I’m watching a video or reading a book and one of my daughters comes out of nowhere and says, “Piper!” or “Grayson” or any of the birdies’ names. Basically what happens is if they don’t know the type of bird it is but we have one, they identify it by our pets’ names. So Piper goes for all Quakers. Ringo goes for all Indian ringnecks and so forth. They know that African greys are African Greys. I thought about teaching them their alphabets through parrot types for example:

A for apple would be A for African grey
B for Boy would be B for Budgie
C for Cat would be C for Caique
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However just because Parrots are MY thing doesn’t mean it has to be their thing and I accept that. That’s why if they express an interest in a different type of pet, I’m open to looking into it. My son has a bearded dragon for years now. When the rest of the kids get older they will have their option of either investing more time with one of the parrots we already have or choosing their own pet. I can’t lie though, to see them take an interest in my parrots does warm my heart and makes me a proud little mommy.

Parenting Parrots

Step Up Cooperation Exercise Practice

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There is so many things to teach our feathered kids, how does one make sure they know everything they are supposed to know? Well, I for one can say my parrots do not know everything they are suppose to know however I’m looking forward to the years to come, for them to continue learning well into their adulthood.

When I first got my parrots I was adamant that I wanted them to be the perfect pet and they would know everything and we would never have any issues. Well wishful thinking does get one far but it’s not realistic. Realistically, parrots will only dish out what you put into them so if I never teach them to say thank you, they never will. I can’t just expect them to!

Teaching your parrot to step up is very important and I will cover exactly how to do that in another post. This is about making sure you are conditioning them to step up onto a variety of different items.

First you would want to teach them how to step up regardless of if it’s on to your hand or a perch depends strictly on you and your comfort level with your bird. I usually start with my hand, if there is fear of hands then I will start with a perch. There are 7 things you want to cover when teaching your parrot to step up and you can only implement these other items once your parrot has learned to step up onto at least one.

You will teach your parrot to step up onto:

1) To and from your hand to a familiar perch
2) To and from your hand to an unfamiliar perch
3) To and from a handheld perch to a familiar perch
4) To and from a handheld perch to an unfamiliar perch
5) To and from both hands (left hand to right hand and vice versa)
6) To and from a handheld perch to a handheld perch
7) To and from a handheld perch to your hand

Once you have done this with your bird, you have successfully completed the “step up cooperation exercises.” Please see below for a video demonstrating this exercise.

Parenting Parrots

All Parrots are Different Species!

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All dogs are from the same species but different breeds.

All cats are from the same species but different breeds.

All birds are from different species.

See, I can read a book about dogs or cats and apply the information to any dog or cat I may own but I can’t do that for parrots. Every time I get a different parrot, I have to research all over again and buy books on that specific bird because I know each bird has different needs. This is why I love to have the variety of parrots that I do because each brings something different to the flock.

If you google the topic of parrot ownership it tells you to find the best bird for you and your lifestyle because each bird has different needs. For example an African Grey parrot needs to spend a lot of time out of its cage (some pamphlets say 4 hours a day) while a lovebird would be content with a little bit of time out (1 hour maybe less). So if you are barely home, you would automatically look towards getting a lovebird.  When I was looking to get an African grey everyone was advising me against it because I was working full-time and they said I would never be able to manage having a grey. Well not to brag but Grayson is now 5 years old and very active, not a screamer, talks a lot, does tricks and does not pluck! Gives me kisses and overall I can say a happy parrot. Stereotypes are put on birds just as they are put on humans. Take all the information in but truly decide for yourself and don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

I can take care of an African Grey parrot with no issues however because birds are different species, this does not mean I would be good at taking care of other type of birds. I suck at taking care of Linnies. I bought two linnies from a breeder who was downsizing his stock and they died after I took them to P.J pets for a wing and nails trim. I thought the guy gave me sick birds however I did a necropsy and it came back saying Stress. I thought what?!?! I’ve been around lots of birds and never had an issue… Well for me, small birds are not my thing. I’m managing to take care of the lovebird but Linnies, Parrotlets and budgies I stay away from. Even the lovebird, I’m hesitant on keeping because I lost her parents so obviously I wasn’t good at taking care of them either.

I think it is very important for people to realize that birds are DIFFERENT SPECIES NOT JUST DIFFERENT BREEDS. So do not pick a bird because oh it has pretty colors, really see if they match you and your lifestyle.

What type of bird matches you? There may be multiple… For me…

I’m an African Grey type of gal because he needs time out of the cage but doesn’t want to spend all that time cuddling. A hug and kiss here and there is cool. Doing training is cool. He likes to chill close to you but doesn’t have to be all over you, that is totally just like me.
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I’m also a black capped conure type of gal because she knows what she wants, how to warn you about what she doesn’t like. Very expressive like me hahaha. My issue with my black capped conure is she loves to be on you 24/7, for me that’s a con because I need to be able to move around as my household is very hectic. However her and I have come to an understanding so we are definitely getting better as she will just chill on my shoulder as long as she knows I will be moving around at the same time.
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I’m also a quaker type of gal because piper LOVES music and his own space just like me.

I love my Indian Ringnecks’ independence but I miss their “need” for me so I’m not sure if I can call myself an Indian Ringneck type of gal as yet… Only more time will tell (but I have 2 of them now so I must be, right? lol)
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I DEFINITELY AM A LORY/LORIKEET TYPE OF GAL! I’m absolutely in love with their personalities, although opposite of me, they keep me on my toes and remind me of my son in a way.


Anyways, what I’m trying to say is PLEASE do your research before selecting your parrot. A lot of people don’t and this is how these beautiful animals ends up in shelters.

Parenting Parrots

Uh Oh It Chews!!!!

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No animal, parrot, dog, cat etc will come to you knowing what is acceptable behavior in your home until you train it to know. Will a baby know not to hold on to that glass coffee table if you have never informed it not to? If you say yes, you must have miracle babies! Just like kids need to be taught right from wrong so do parrots. I can not stress enough how important training is.

An automatic thing for a parrot to do is use its beak and for those cavity-breeders chewing wood is a must. How will your parrot know to not chew the wood of an antique clock but yet you give it toys with the exact same material? Don’t you think that’s a bit of a mixed message? It’s hard because you definitely need to provide them with safe wood to  chew and maybe sometimes you would have an item in your household that is made with the same wood. Therefore your precious parrot is going to think that item is okay to chew too. So what can you do?

Scenario:
Sally walks into a clothing store just to waste time before her doctor’s appointment. “Hello?” She turns around in shock because she didn’t pass a sales person when she entered but the sound came from right beside her. No one is there. She turns back and continues to walk but then she hears it again, “hello?” She stops and is fuming because this isn’t funny. A salesperson comes from the back, “Oh, Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t hear anyone come in.” Sally says, “That’s okay but I keep hearing someone say hello, is there another person that works here?”

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The old lady pushes her glasses up off of the bridge of her nose and giggles. Sally is getting upset now as she isn’t finding this funny. The old lady walks pass Sally to the corner where there is a small bird cage but what Sally missed, is that inside that cage was a gorgeous little bird so tiny but such a beautiful gray and blue. The Lady says, “I’m sorry it looks like Lucky was just trying to get your attention.” Sally was in awe. Lucky was so pretty and Lucky could speak English! Sally inquired some more about Lucky and the Lady told her that Lucky was free to a good home that’s why she was at the front of the store. The Lady sold Sally on the bird telling her all the good stuff and a bit of lies such as she is low maintenance just needs food and water, change the bottom of her cage once a week and the extra bonus, she talks. Sally thought wow this is amazing! Such an easy pet for her little apartment. Poor Sally knew nothing about birds but the old lady basically told her everything, right? Sally agreed and took Lucky home.

The first week was great and then things started to change. Lucky wouldn’t stop screaming, Sally couldn’t get any sleep so she started covering Lucky’s cage and would keep it covered. Sally went back to the old lady to let her know what was happening.
“I’m sorry but the bird keeps screaming.”
The old lady said, “Oh dear child, the bird needs some attention, you have to take it out of the cage sometimes and just let her relax for a bit and then back into the cage,  she’ll be fine.”
Sally went home to do that. The first week was fine and then Lucky started chewing Sally’s things. Sally went back to the  store and said, “Oh NO, it Chews!”
The old lady told her buy some perches and you’ll be fine. Sally did just that. It worked for a week and then another issue would arise, this went on for about a month until Sally decided she can’t do this anymore and Lucky was brought back to the store to sit in her small cage and say “Hello” to the unsuspecting customers that came through the door.

This is a situation that many have found themselves in. Educate yourself before getting any pet. If you purchased your bird from a pet store, think back were you told tehy may chew your furniture? I would bet NOT! Anyhow let’s fix your chewing problem. 3 ideas:

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1) Do not provide the same type of wood you have in your household for your antiques as appropriate wood for your parrot to chew on as toys.

2) Train your parrot NOT to touch items that are special to you.

3) Remove all your precious items when the parrot is out so they don’t have access to it. (This is the BEST option)

It sucks when people are misled but this happens to people all the time and it’s the parrot that ends up suffering. Chewing/beaking is a part of a parrot’s behavior so don’t be misled, be prepared for it and set your parrot up for success before you set them up for failure. There are a lot of different type of wood perches/trees that your parrot can explore, giving a variety of textures will definitely help with keeping them busy and stimulated. You also want your wood to have some hardness to it so it presents a challenge. Woods that you should never give your parrots are boxwood, oak, yew, black walnut and wisteria. Also any wood that has been treated can not be used either.

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I hope this post helps!

Parenting Parrots

My ♥ Valentine!!

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Today is Valentine’s day and although I don’t usually celebrate. This year I want to say Happy Valentine’s day to my late uncle/twin as he never made it to 2018 to see today and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but I miss him so for me it makes me feel even more lonely.

I want to say Happy Valentine’s and Happy birthday to my sister who is older than me by 7 years. She was born on this precious day. So I’m wishing her all the best.

But the best part of this post is who I decided will be my 2018 Valentine!

I’ve struggled with this decision, it was definitely a hard one but I’ve decided to choose KODAK BLACK to be my valentine! For soooo many reasons:

1) He turned 2 in December so his age represents 2 like for twins (for me and my uncle/twin)
2) He is the newest member of the family
3) He is very loving – likes to give me his tongue when we kiss so I have to fold my lips as I’m not into tonguing a parrot lol but also because I don’t want him exposed to my saliva
4) He loves me, I can see it and feel it
5) He is so entertaining I think he makes a GREAT 2018 valentine!

So please join me by leaving a comment below saying HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY KB (kodak)!
Parenting Parrots

The Conure Escapes

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She is such a doll. I love her vibrant colors and the way she is so easily trained. I would definitely recommend a black-capped conure to anyone who was interested in a parrot that was trainable. She is definitely a smart cookie!

So I was home and she was in her cage, where she never wants to be! She always wants to be with me. I love it but sometimes I need her to be in her cage for safety purposes. I guess on this particular day she was like nope I had enough and she came flying out her cage right to my shoulder. I was shocked!

I had downsized her cage as it was rusting and she is currently in one of those small white cages that the doors slide up and down. I don’t know how she managed to keep a door open long enough for her to fly out but she did! I’m just grateful that it didn’t come slamming down on her head! She came out of her food bowl door and as soon as she did, the door shut! So I was happy everything worked out but this is why I don’t like these kind of cages because I’m afraid of this exact thing happening except more fatal.

This was also a wake up call to me though. This told me that she needed more of my attention and was feeling a bit neglected because she risked her life to come to me. I apologized to her and told her never to escape the depths of hell again hahaha, no, I’m joking but I did agree to make sure I gave her a bit more attention as Conures do need.

You will have some birds who like their independence. Doesn’t mean they don’t want to be out and about with you but they don’t require physical contact as much. Then you will have parrots who thrive on a personal level with you. For example my black-capped conure, african grey, black lory and female indian ringneck – they need my one on one attention basically anytime they are out and about with me. However my rainbow lorikeet, male indian ringneck and the quaker (r.i.p) likes my attention but can manage if I’m busy for a few, they definitely find ways to entertain themselves.

I’ve taught all the birds the importance of independent play but doesn’t mean they want to do it if they don’t have to. Anyhow, so back at the issue at hand my black-capped conure escaped her cage and flew to my shoulder, makes me feel special to know she personally seeks me out. I mean, she could have flown out of her cage to the potty perch, the java tree or the activity stand but instead she came to me. I think this deserves an AWWWW!

Parenting Parrots

Prevention is Better Than Cure

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I love the title of this post because it is so true! Think about it:

If I can eat an orange a day to avoid cancer even though I don’t like oranges (I actually do but for this example lets say I don’t) isn’t that better than going through chemotherapy? I say HELL YEA! See… Prevention is better than Cure!

So if I could have healthy parrots that will live for 50 years just by following a diet wouldn’t that be better than having to go to a vet, get medication and keep the cycle repeating over and over? I say HELL YEA! Not to mention it would also save my pockets a few hundreds of dollars in the long run I’m sure.

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Then I’m all for it! So, I have my wonderful pellet diet now I just need a meal plan. This is where my cookbook that I bought from www.birdtricks.com comes into play. They claim they have 73 recipes that is GREAT for your parrots plus a cookbook for food that you and your parrot can share. I purchased this from them back in 2012 but they have no real certifications however they claim they got two parrots a galah cockatoo and an african grey better by using these recipes so I’m a firm believer in nothing tried nothing gained. I will still be looking up these ingredients to have my own backup research applied before using any of the recipes but I do think it’s worth a try so for the first time since 2012 I’m actually reading through it.

Yes, I’ve purchased things and haven’t looked/read them :(, but I am now and I’m bringing all the information to you guys! So keep following me, we are about to embark on a journey!!!

Parenting Parrots