The Cons/ The Negatives / The ugly

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Just like having kids, you love them one minute and questioning why you had them the next haha, same goes for having parrots. There are pros and there are cons to owning parrots. Whether you have multiple or one, these negatives may still apply. Hopefully with the right type of training and time with your parrids (parrot kids), these negatives may be minimized.

Every parrot owner or wanna-be parrot owner should know that parrots are messy. You may have a parrot that throws its food out of the cage, meaning it could end up on your walls, your floor, your furniture etc… Parrots who aren’t potty train will poop anywhere and everywhere. Could be on you, on your furniture, your floor, your wall etc… My African Grey will poop out of his cage. Don’t forget the feathers / dander dust that parrots produce, that is also messy and makes you need an air filter. Some parrots make less dander than others so if you are worried about that, you got to do research. Let’s remember to think of the toys that they destroy because that’s what they do. They don’t “play” with their toys, they DESTROY them haha.

Parrots make noise. You can get a parrot that is known to be more on the quieter side of the noise scale but they will still make some type of noise. It could be them making normal bird noises or mimicking human speech or copying household noises or other pets etc… Noise will be there. Also there are some parrots that turn into screamers which makes it even worse for your ears.

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Parrots are “beakers”. Meaning they use their beaks for everything! To test things out, to eat, to BITE, to check the balance stability of perches. So biting may happen, it doesn’t have to but it can. Nipping will definitely be a stage they go through. As a parrot owner you have to understand the risk. You might even have a parrot who will literally charge and attack! Some bites can send you to the hospital depending on the bite force and the type of beak you are dealing with.

Parrots are time-consuming. They can not just be left in a cage or else they will become very lil’ destructive, unmanageable monsters. You got to give them some time, especially to train them and tame them. They need to shower and stretch. Like I always say, ” parrots are toddlers just in parrot form“. So all the work you would put into a toddler, you need to do the same for your parrot. Bathing them, cleaning up after them, making them meals, putting them to sleep, waking them up, taking them to the doctors, playing with them, teaching them, giving them outside time that I call “Park time”.

Parrots are expensive. The cost of the bird, the cage, the food, the treats, the training tools, the perches, the toys, the vet bills and these are all on going costs minus the bird and the cage. You will always be buying food, treats, toys. Perches will get worn out and eventually need to be replaced. Vet bills  – you are supposed to take your parrot to the vet every 6 months and they cost way more than taking a dog or cat. So you have to take all of the money you will be dishing out for the rest of your parrot’s life into consideration. Now there are ways to minimize these costs  but that means more work and time on your part.

Information on specific species is HARD to find sometimes. I recommend always doing research and reading on your specific species. As a matter of fact, one of the required items you should have in your household when owning a parrot is a book on that specific species. Here is a link to some of the books I have in my collection: http://astore.amazon.ca/parentingparrot-20 (check it out, you might find a good book for yourself that you can order).

And last but not least that I can think of is MOOD SWINGS! Parrots just like kids, grow and go through a hormonal stage. A lot of parrots get re-homed at this stage because owners don’t understand what is going on to their parrot and just gets rid of it. Parrots aren’t perfect and they can get mad, sad, upset, happy, frustrated… etc just like we can. They can throw temper tantrums just like toddlers. They will test your limits just like kids do.They are very intelligent and have emotions and feelings. Treat your parrot like a family member because that IS exactly what they are – one of your kids.

Below is my video on my 5 cons to owning a parrot.

Parenting Parrots!

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Halloween @ Parenting Parrots!

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Ringo on a pumpkin

It’s almost halloween and I wanted to do something special for you guys… So at Parenting Parrots we decided to really celebrate halloween this year and do something we have never done before…. (Drumroll please)

I GOT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS!! LOL I know it’s nothing big but to me, it’s HUGE!!! I’m so excited about celebrating halloween at Parenting Parrots I can’t contain my excitement!

I GOT PUMPKINS!!! So, I’m in my 30’s and in all my years, (whispering) I have never carved a pumpkin :(. LOL I hope I’m not alone in this but anyways Junior Jay and I will be carving pumpkins with our PARROTS!!!! You can watch our halloween video here:

We had so much fun decorating and carving pumpkins I think we will have to do a halloween special every year! I hope you guys had as much fun watching us, as we had making everything! It was a first for all the parrots (not sure about Nyx) and us so a big thing to be excited about!

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Nyx on a pumpkin

Pumpkins are okay for parrots to have so we had nothing to worry about in getting their help with the decorating!

To everyone who is celebrating…

HAPPHALLOWEEN FROM

PARENTING PARROTS

TO YOU!!!!

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Our pumpkins!

Rasta – Green Naped Lorikeet

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Rasta at exactly 16 weeks old

I purchased Rasta from the same breeder I purchased Marlee from. I found her on Kijiji, we spent months talking and she sent me weekly pictures of their progress. I ended up taking both birds from her… definitely a challenge. I swear I must be crazy. I think they seem louder than they are because there is two of them. They are like night and day though. 

Name: Rasta

Type of Parrot: Green naped Lorikeet

Sex: Male

Birth Date: June 30th, 2016

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Nectar

Noise Level:  medium

Training progress: Rasta is learning target training

Tricks: He knows how to step up

Talking ability:  Unknown

Favorite toys: Rasta loves this leather toy.

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Rasta’s favorite toy

Fears:  He doesn’t like my hand to go above his head

Diet: Quiko nectar, fruits and I’m trying to get him to accept veggies

Treats: Quiko nectar – thinking of trying maple syrup as a treat – still researching

cage Size: It’s a huge cage but I need to separate them

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Marlee and Rasta’s living quarters

Last Vet visit: I haven’t taken him to the vet yet.

Next Steps: Getting him potty trained

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!

 

He Came on it!!

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I read a lot. I watch a lot of Youtube videos. I surf the internet often. However sometimes when looking for solutions, it seems as if there are no answers.

This was me once I brought the Indian Ringneck home. Beautiful, is the only word I can use to describe his grey coloring but that’s where the pleasure ended. The thrashing around his cage every time we walked by or the struggle to try and remove him even though it’s been weeks was extremely discouraging. I googled every thing I could think of but nothing was hitting my problem on the nail so I sat down and talked to myself. Literally.

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I did what any new owner would do with a bird that was a scary cat. I made noise before I entered the room so he would know I was coming. I sat and read by his cage and would sing soft songs. Put treats in his bowl every time I passed his cage… I knew all those things would work to get him to stop running when I came around, so that wasn’t my issue. My issue was our wonderful, amazingly grey, beautiful Indian Ringneck was so afraid of hands! He would step up from the ground but would look around frantically for ways to escape the very “perch” that would transport him from one spot to another. So I had to fix that!

I brought him to the training perch and I stood a good amount of distance away and when he fluffed up and went back to normal, I would click and step back. ( This method can be done with him in the cage) ( You only want to go as close as you can without him freaking out – You do not want him to actually exhibit any fear once you see him about to start, you freeze and wait for him to calm down. This is very important because if you let him exhibit a fear response then you just ruined the whole process and will have to start over from even further back than before) Wait a few seconds and then approach him again, I would stand closer than I did last time and wait for the same reaction. Once he fluffed and went back down, I would click and move farther away. Wait a few seconds and then come closer than the last time. Stand and wait. I did this over and over again until I was able to stand right beside him and he would be comfortable. This took me a week to master with him, that goes to show you how scared he was. After I mastered that, I was on cloud nine that I could be beside him and him not panic. Imagine living somewhere and your afraid of the very people who you share a house with? It would be ABSOLUTE torture! I could never put anyone through that so I had to get this parrot to be comfortable. This was a big step for me. I’ll be honest, it has never taken this long to train any of my parrots so I was beginning to feel a bit hopeless as each day went on. Once I realized that the time it would take for him to be comfortable with each step closer was getting shorter, I knew we were getting somewhere.

So here I was with this parrot who would let me stand beside him however DO NOT MOVE MY HANDS OR TOUCH HIM or that comfort zone would be over… What do I do?? I had to figure something out so I decided to try the same method I did with my body with my hands. I had no idea if this would work!

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Ringo not liking my hand

 

I would put my hand on the farthest part of the perch and wait for him to fluffed up and back down. I did this over and over again until I was able to place my hand right beside his foot and have him not panic. His fear worked in my favor to get him to at least step on my hand and that is how I got him to be comfortable with my hands (Seems contradicting right??… Hear me out). He would step on my hands to run to the other side of the perch and when he did I would click and remove my hand. I did this over and over until finally when I would put my hand on the perch, HE WOULD COME ON IT!! Just automatically come on it and STAY! WOW! GREAT! I was overly excited!

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He came on it!!!

I would slowly lift my hand off the perch and click and then put him back on the perch and give him some space. Again, I did this over and over until I was able to transport him anywhere in the house without him looking around frantically. This procedure took me 9 days, twice a day, 10-15 min. sessions.

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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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!

 

 

Piper – Quaker a.k.a Monk Parakeet

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Piper

So…. Do you think Piper is a girl or a boy?!? Post a comment and let me know…

We purchased Piper from a family that had an ad on kijiji.ca, they had quite a few birds. Piper was in a cage with pineapple sided conures and sun conures. I honestly was not going to take any birds from them as the cages were unkept. It was my son’s birthday and he wanted us to add another bird to the flock, I agreed and that’s how we ended up at this house. Junior Jay liked how Piper looked and got all excited. I tried to talk him down but he was eight at the time and was barely hearing my reasons. Anyhow I decided to go ahead and get Piper despite my better judgement. Piper was not tamed and to my poor ears VERY LOUD! I worked from home at the time so I had to get the noise level under control. Well it’s been two years and Piper is still here talking off our heads lol. Piper is still loud however definitely not as loud as when we first came home with our quaker.

Name: Piper

Type of Parrot: Quaker parrot a.k.a Monk Parakeet

Sex: Unknown…

Birth Date: 2014

Wings Status: Clipped – letting wings grow back

Favorite food: rice and spray millet

Noise Level: Loud

Training progress: Loves training sessions

Tricks: Can step up and currently doing the Turn around trick

Talking ability: “Piper”, “step up”, “peek-a-boo”,“hi Piper”, “hello”. Sings bits and pieces from the song, “stuck like glue” by Sugarland. Loves attention so will talk around people.

Favorite toys: Are toys that can be shredded ex. ball full of paper

Fears: Afraid of a lot… Handheld perches, unknown objects – cage territorial

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies. Eats table food – Chicken, rice, pasta…

Treats: Spray millet and sunflower seeds

Cage Size: Playtop cage. 24 x 22 height is 34.5″ not including the stand or the playtop. With the playtop it is 54″. With the stand it would be higher.

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Last Vet visit: August 12th, 2016– Wellness check – Dna test – avian bacterial and viral – fecal gram stain =  Everything clear! Healthy parrot! *Found out Piper’s gender but want to see what you think first… I will share piper’s gender on Oct. 1st, 2016*

Next Steps: getting used to the handheld perch and perfecting the turn around trick

Parenting Parrots!

Grayson – African Grey

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Grayson

I purchased Grayson from a reputable breeder in Oshawa when he was 4 months old (Oct. 2012). I would recommend her to anyone because Grayson is the perfect companion and I can only give her the thanks for that. If you want her information click here: Contact Us and send me a quick message and I’ll connect you to her. Her place isn’t the tidiest however her birds love her so she must be doing something right. Grayson choose me when I went to visit the first time. I sat with the breeder as all 3 greys moved around. Grayson was the one that showed me all the interest. I took note of his band number and told the  breeder he is who I wanted. Originally I had asked her for a female. Once she got the dna back and told me Grayson was a male, I told her I will pass on the female and still take him. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE! I read in this book (if you want an african grey or have one please buy this book, it is so great!) to never take an african grey that is cowering in the corner of the cage and growling, well let me tell you… That was Grayson when I went back to pick him up. I was nervous as hell after having that experience of him growling however Grayson is a beauty. I brought him to the vet when I first got him and he got a clear bill of health. The breeder already clipped his wings. I’ve been his only owner. He will go to other people but sometimes like with my partner, he will fake it and then bite, so we are working on that but for the most part if you are not nervous then he will step up to you no problem. For the past 4 years he wouldn’t go to anyone but me however this year (officially an adult – 2016) he will now go to people – a complete 360 but I’m loving it. I can talk on and on about him but I have nothing negative to say. I was working full time when I got Grayson and everyone told me NO, you can’t have an African Grey and work a full time job… Well guess what?!?! I did it and Grayson is not a plucker or afraid of everything bla bla bla. He doesn’t have all those behavioral problems you get warned about. I believe it is all about the love you show your parrot and in return they will love you back.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1FloeticJustice%2Fvideos%2F10153119770610375%2F&show_text=0&width=400>Video of Grayson’s first words

Name: Grayson

Type of Parrot: Congo African Grey

Sex: Male

Birth Date: June 2012

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Pine Nuts

Noise Level: He can be loud when he mimics the other birds. Otherwise I would say he is moderate when he is talking and making sounds. He is overall quiet when he is just relaxing.

Training progress: He loves training sessions

Tricks: He can step up, Turn around, do pet, stick up his wings, wave hi, say doggy go wolf, wolf

Talking ability: Everything! He says his name – “Grayson”,  “Lola “- our late galah cockatoo, “Piper” – our Quaker’s name, each member of the family’s name, “step up”, “stick them up”, “peek-a-boo”,”doggy go wolf, wolf”, “hi”, “hello”, “what the”, “whats up grayson”, he laughs, does the clicker sound, telephone sound, microwave sound, whistles and my least favorite the squawking of other birds… I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. He is shy to make noise around people but after about 30 minutes of him observing you, he then starts to make noise.

Favorite toys: He is a banger – best toys for him have been his hanging toys that he can swing on and make noise with. He also likes his foraging toys (be prepared to lose a lot of pellets as he removes them though – HELPFUL HINT I put it over his food bowl so if it falls, it falls in his bowl)

Fears: Can’t think of anything he is really afraid of right now besides my partner – they don’t get along.

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies. He eats table food – Chicken, rice, pasta…

Treats: Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Walnuts and Brazil nuts

Cage Size: Dome cage. 36.5 x 28 height is 57″ not including the stand. With the stand it would be higher. I was thinking of switching him into a cage with less length and more width as he doesn’t use the bottom of the cage, haven’t found one I like though.

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Grayson’s cage

Last Vet visit: December 2012– Wellness check – Everything clear! Healthy baby! Is in need of a vet visit… Hopefully I’ll take him in September 2016

Next Steps: Getting him to do the bat – hang upside down, getting him use to the harness and shower perch

Parenting Parrots!

Ringo – Indian Ringneck

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Ringo was formerly named Pepper. We got Ringo a.k.a Pepper when he was 3 months old (we were told) from his 1st owner. Before us, he was with the breeder and then to his 1st family and now us, so we are his 2nd official owner. He is banded but it’s just a random number and its an open band, so not sure what it stands for but definitely not his year of birth as we can tell he is truly just a baby. We were told he is a male but still waiting for the paperwork to prove it.

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Ringo

Name: Ringo a.k.a Pepper

Type of Parrot: Indian Ringneck

Sex: Male

Birth Date: April 2016 (we were told)

Wings Status: Currently clipped by previous owner – will let it grow back

Favorite food: Still trying to figure that out

Noise level: Fairly quiet except for his once a day outbursts (however he is still a baby so could change)

Training progress: He can step up

Tricks: None as yet

Talking ability: No words as yet

Favorite toys: He is a chewer who likes to challenge his beak – best toys for him have been his wood toys

Fears: He still runs away from us so right now… Humans

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies

Treats: Spray Millet, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Walnuts and Brazil nuts

Cage Size:Dome cage (The link is a smaller cage but I think the space is still good for an Indian Ringneck) His cage is 32 x 23 height is 46″ not including the stand. With the stand it would be higher. However I recommend a playtop over a dome, only because when I want my parrots to have out of cage time by themselves without me entertaining them, the playtop gives them a safe place to play.

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Ringo’s cage (Lola, our galah cockatoo’s old cage)

Last Vet visit: August 12th, 2016 – Beak and nails trim – Wellness check – fecal gram stain = Everything clear! Healthy baby!

Next Steps: Getting him to not be afraid of humans and to step up calmly from inside his cage (updated monthly)

Parenting Parrots!