Boss’ near Death Experience!

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Boss, our 1-year-old lovebird has truly been through a lot this past year and unfortunately she had to encounter another problem before this year was over. I have to say for a small parrot she has enormous strength and determination. Boss has really shown that she is a fighter against all odds.

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Love birds images

Boss has always been ms. Houdini but this time I think someone forgot to lock her cage properly because I just can’t see how she would have been able to escape. Anyhow she did and for some odd reason, she decided to go to our African Grey’s cage. I had just put him back in his cage and was cleaning his water bowl when I heard him banging something in his cage. He is a banger so this is normal. I walked back and he had something yellow… WAIT… Grayson’s only yellow toy I had just thrown out so what is he banging?? As I approached his cage to put back the water, he dropped his yellow package and the package ran out of the bottom of his cage. To my horror, it was Boss, our one year old peach-faced lovebird. I didn’t even know Boss could fit through the gaps of Grayson’s cage until I seen her run out. MY HEART DROPPED. I screamed at the top of my lungs as what just occurred slowly registered in my head. I wanted to cry! At that very moment, I was petrified.

I went to find Boss who was huddled in a corner. I picked her up and examined her. I was so afraid I was going to lose her. Boss has some blood coming out one of her ears and her beak was purple and blue.  I wrapped her in a rag and held her. I wanted to bring her to the vet but silly me just used their credit card to cover a purchase and had said I would put back the money off my next pay not realizing that something would come up and I would be needing it (talk about bad timing). So bringing her to the vet at this time, was out of the question. I tried to nurse her back to health but I was worried about her internal organs. I set up a “get well cage” which is really small but felt it would be perfect for her under the circumstances.

I gave her a bath everyday, kept her warm, served her warm baby food with her pellets mixed in it, fresh clean water and weighed her all the time. Birds like to hide their sickness so there is no way of knowing if they are ill until it is too late. Weighing Boss daily let me know that she wasn’t losing weight and was eating as she normally would so she probably wasn’t going to die.

It’s now been almost 2 weeks and her beak is back to a light peach bone like color with no purple or blue marks. She is vocalizing again (she had stopped for a while). She is moving all over her “get well cage” and she is back to training!

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

Til this day, I don’t know what exactly  happened on that day or how it happened but all I know is please double-check your locks when closing your pets’ cages especially if you have other pets around.

Parenting Parrots!

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Nyx – Black Capped Conure

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Nyx

Nyx was a rehome. Perfectly socialized and definitely a joy to have around. I am so happy we have her. She is very cuddly, loves to be pet and just wants to be where you are all the time.

Name: Nyx

Type of Parrot: Black Capped Conure

Sex: Female

Birth Date: 2013

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: sunflower seeds

Noise Level:  Quiet

Training progress: She is learning how to stay and how to fly to me

Tricks: She can step up, turn around, do the bat, play dead

Talking ability:  “grayson”,”whats up”

Favorite toys: This bell toy

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Nyx’s favorite toy

Fears:  She is afraid of other birds

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size: It’s an open top.

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Nyx’s house

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her potty trained

See Nyx in action…

Parenting Parrots

She Stole my Lemonade!!!

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083Okay so… I’m all about sharing… REALLY I am! Just not when it comes to my drinks or my food!

Once I went to a restaurant with an old high school friend and we both ordered our drinks with our meals. Yes, he was paying HOWEVER just because you’re paying doesn’t mean I HAVE to share my stuff, does it??! He asked for a sip of my drink and I straight up said NO. Nicely of course. However man still went and took my drink and drank it. I WAS SO PISSED!!! Well, I’m sure you all know – that was the LAST time dude and I went out anywhere. I’m not mad about it anymore and now it seems like it was pretty petty but I really don’t like sharing my drinks!

Now imagine me being in the comfortable of my own home, chilling and relaxing with a cup of lemonade. I was happy, on my little rainbow cloud, enjoying my drink when my little conure decided, “Oh hell no, this lady ain’t about to drink lemonade in front of me and not offer me any!” Can you believe little ms. Nyx jumped off my shoulder right on my cup and DIPPED her face in my lemonade?!?!~?! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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How could she do this to me!?!? I always make sure she has everything she wants or needs! I feel so betrayed! It was my lemonade… MINE!! She didn’t even ask!!

SHE STOLE MY LEMONADE!!! and it was so grimy because she did it right in front of my face!! She didn’t try to wait until I was done to get it or you know… slowly try to get closer without me realizing. NOPE! She just jumped right in and took over!

Thankfully it was organic but that’s not the point! I DON’T WANT TO SHARE MY DRINKS!!!! This is a prime example of why I say a parrot is like a toddler. When my daughter sees me with a drink, she will want some too! So now what I’m learning is not only do I have to share with my kids (although I just buy them their own but GOD forbid they finish theirs before I finish mine or else I’m sharing :()  but I have to share with my parrots too!?!? For a person that doesn’t like to share their food or drinks this is a hard concept for me to swallow!!!!

Someone please remind me that sharing is caring…. 😦 Can I not have anything to myself anymore??? I guess not!!! Talk about living with parrots!! I’m going to nickname her lemonade thief lol

Parenting Parrots!

 

Boss – Peachfaced Lovebird

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Boss

Boss was born in our home, she was never handled, just locked in her cage unless she found a way to escape. Boss looks exactly like her dad and until recently we thought she was a he.

Name: Boss

Type of Parrot: Peach-faced Lovebird

Sex: Believed to be a female (Thought she was a “he” until recently)

Birth Date: May 2015

Wings Status: Lightly clipped – wings are growing back

Favorite food: Spray Millet

Noise Level:  LOUD

Training progress: She only knows step up

Tricks: She can step up

Talking ability:  “peek-a-boo”,”poo-poo”

Favorite toys: She loves this bag looking toy that has Popsicle sticks sticking out of it. (when I buy another I will post a pic)(If you look at the bottom of her cage you will see this green thing that was the toy lol)

Fears:  She is the boss! She will just lunge after anything that might scare her

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Sunflower seeds,   Spray Millet

cage Size:  This is the closest cage I could find to the one I have the lovebird in.

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Boss’ Cage

Last Vet visit: August 2016 – visual examinations – Everything looks good

Next Steps: Getting her to do the turn around 

Parenting Parrots!

Lovebird Facts…

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Fact: PEACH FACED LOVEBIRDS were found in 1818 in South Africa

FACT: Lovebirds are about 6 inches long. Definitely one of the “small parrots”.

When I think of small parrots, I think of: Budgies, parrotlets, lovebirds and lineolated parakeets. Small does not mean easier to manage or less noise. As a matter of fact, out of my flock of 7 I would have to say my lovebird is the LOUDEST!

The  number one myth about lovebirds is that they will die if housed alone. Well I’m living proof that a lovebird can be housed alone and not die. Boss has been alone in his cage for a year and is striving with no issues.

Now I am thinking of putting Boss with Piper, our Quaker parrot because they seem to have grown fond of each other but this is only a thought so far and not a reality.

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Boss and Piper

Fact: There are nine species of Lovebirds

Even though these birds are called “Lovebirds”, they can be far from loving sometimes. Lovebirds are known for their aggressiveness and being territorial. Boss is no exception to this. He is very protective of his cage. He isn’t aggressive when out and away from his cage but he is still very cautious.

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Picture off the internet

With that being said, Boss is also loving and content as long as I have him away from his cage. Boss was parent raised and I never started training him until he was a year old. I’m thinking Boss is actually a “she” so I will start calling Boss a girl. The vet says because of her small size, doing a dna test is too risky so I won’t be finding out. However she loves ripping up paper and stuffing her wings which is a female lovebird trait when hormonal.

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FACT: Peach faced lovebird is a great beginner’s pet!

Boss is TALKING! She isn’t as clear as my African Grey of course but we all hear her say “PEEK-A-BOO” and she now starting saying “Poo-Poo” hahaha. Everytime I have her out of her cage with me, I bring her to the toilet and say “Poo-poo”. She then releases her bowels so I don’t have to worry about Boss messing up my floor or clothes etc… I don’t call her potty trained because it’s not like she is holding it, waiting for me. I just call it “perfect timing”. I know she goes to the washroom every 20 mins so I make sure to pay attention to the time and bring her to the toilet each time.

Overall Peach faced lovebirds are great pets especially when handfed/hand-raised from a baby. Males are more docile than females. Once a female gets hormonal she becomes unfriendly and it’s a lot of work to get her back to her tamed self – TRUST ME I KNOW! I HAVE ANOTHER STORY ABOUT THAT COMING SOON!!

Parenting Parrots!

 

 

How to Train Love birds

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Day one 

Our peach-faced lovebird was born in our house a year ago (May 2015). He was parent raised and was left in the cage that he was born in. We would come home to see him flying around the house. Somehow he was always able to escape no matter how much we tried to make sure the cage was locked. Eventually we came to realize that he would move the food bowl and come out of the hole that was made in the cage for the nest box. In doing so, he damaged his beak. It looks like the needle got stuck in the beak and he broke it. Lots of blood in his beak. He finally healed but I can still see where the beak had been damaged. Poor little guy :(. We brought him to the vet, there is nothing that they can do to fix his beak as there is a big blood vessel right there so all we can do is monitor the growth. If you look closely at the below picture, you can see the raised line down his beak.

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How to train a lovebird

I finally decided enough was enough and put him in our Quaker’s old cage and moved the Quaker to a new cage. Well he didn’t like that very much because that meant no escaping anymore but it was the safest thing for him as he was fully flighted.

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training a love bird

After a year of neglect ( I say this with lots of shame but I was pregnant, was tired all the time and just couldn’t find the energy for parrots or anything else for that matter), we finally named him…. He was “Boss“.

We named him Boss because he was definitely a boss in his own right. He was aggressive. You couldn’t put your hand near his cage without him trying to lunge at it from the inside. He didn’t even want us changing his water or giving him food. I was discouraged as I was not used to small birds. In his defense, even though he grew up with us, he was not used to hands.

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It took me losing my Galah Cockatoo, Lola (R.I.P) for me to smarten up and realize that all parrots whether big or small MATTER!! I was determined to make Boss feel as part of the flock and I was determined to show Lola, that mommy cares about all parrots. I started to grow our flock and videotape our progress with each bird. I decided to make a YouTube channel (please subscribe!).  There are a lot of training videos out there but if my flock can help another person, even just one person with their own flock then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Day Two

We would open the cage and Boss wouldn’t even come out. Every day we opened the cage for 1 hour and went about our business. After a week Boss would come out on his own however he didn’t want to be handled and he wouldn’t eat from my hands. I tried target training him and because he wouldn’t eat from my hands it was difficult however if he was sitting on the food bowl he would tap the stick and then I would put the treat (sunflower seed) in his food bowl. He seem to get the concept but he still wouldn’t follow the stick anywhere except for around the food bowl.

Checkmark for getting him out the cage and half a checkmark for target training.

Day Three (used loosely)

He would fly away anytime we got close and we would have to chase him around. So I clipped his wings. For him, I cut the first eight. Then we attempted stepping up. He would do it  but it seemed he was doing it by force and I didn’t like that.

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Day four

Same as day three, we worked on stepping up.

Day five

I searched YouTube for clues – for me, nothing helped. so I’m hoping my YouTube channel  (please subscribe) will help someone like me. I was still at stage one with no progress. I whacked my brain… How can I train a bird that wouldn’t accept treats from us? The first two days, my son would pet him and say “good bird Boss”, however I felt like that wasn’t a good method because he doesn’t like hands so he wouldn’t/couldn’t be enjoying that. Obviously this method wasn’t working.

Day six

Time for a change. I had Boss step up and then I held him to my chest and stroked him over and over and over and over and over again, for about 10 minutes while singing and talking softly. I then put him down and told him to “step up” and put my finger under his belly right by his legs. When he did I clicked on my clicker and put a spray millet piece in front of his face. He was not taking the millet and we both sat there and waited and waited and waited. He tasted it. Checkmark! He just ate a treat from my hand! I continued this for 10 minutes. Each time it was a long wait for him to take the treat. I put him back in his cage and called it a day. (sorry for the blur it was hard trying to capture the picture while training)

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Day seven

Same thing as day six but this time there was less resistance. He was accepting the millet after a short pause and after the 10 minutes of training, there was no pause. He would step up, take the millet and let me hold him to my chest and caress his whole body without squirming or trying to  bite or get away. This was only day two of this type of training and I would say mission accomplished. He would still sometimes hop off and wander off, but overall the aggression had decreased.

I’m happy, my little feisty Boss was now eating from my hand and allowing me to hold him, pet him and was stepping up!!

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P.S.

In two days I had decided to introduce him to another member of our flock named Nyx. She is a three-year old Black capped Conure (fully flighted). To introduce them I put them in the same room without their cages and just did regular things with them. My son would bring them near one another and say praises to each for not showing any aggression. Day two, I had them both on my shoulders one on each side. I trained Boss while Nyx was on my shoulder, making sure to only be focused on training Boss at that time. Once I was done training Boss I put him on my other shoulder and they came together on one shoulder by themselves ( I wouldn’t recommend having them on your shoulder though. Just have them in a mutual area away from each of their cages, an area that is fairly new to both of them. If they decide to fight, it would be harder to intervene with them on your shoulder). Anyhow,they kissed while on my shoulder so I knew they were good. I can now have them both out of their cages at the same time.

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Remember when doing this never leave them unsupervised.

I will continue to keep you updated on our training progress. Thanks for the support!!

Parenting Parrots!