Basic List of Do's and Don'ts
Do remember that your bird is a companion for life.
Do take the responsibility for your companion birds seriously.
Do feed your bird a wide variety of fresh, nutritious and clean foods daily.
Do give your bird fresh clean water daily in a well washed and dried bowl.
Do change the papers in your bird's cage bottom daily.
Do scrape off organic material in the cage daily and disinfect the cage weekly.
Do wash and dry all food dishes daily.
Do spritz your bird AT LEAST three times a week, and thoroughly saturate AT LEAST once a week.
Do read as much information about your bird as you possibly can.
Do have your bird checked by a reputable avian vet at least annually.
Do keep your bird's toenails and flight feathers trimmed for the safety of the bird.
Do take your bird outside with you when the weather permits.
Do supervise your bird with children or strangers.
Do supervise all animals when they are around your bird.
Do provide a cage amply large so that your bird has MORE than enough room to move and flap its wings.
Do provide different and stimulating toys for your bird to attack and chew.
Do teach your bird to quote Shakespeare and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Remember how intelligent these creatures are.
Do remember that birds are comfortable with people that are comfortable with birds.
Do not feed your bird avocado, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, heavily salted or greasy foods.
Do not assume that a bird is 100% healthy because it has never been "sick".
Do not bring a bird into contact with your bird that has not been tested first by an avian veterinarian.
Do not Allow a bird to fly freely in your home without understanding the potential dangers.
Do not allow your bird to drive your car ó and keep bird in a carrier at all times when traveling.
Do not cook with Teflon; when overheated it produces a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is fatal in seconds to your bird.
Do not use aerosols or sprays around your bird unless you are sure that the product is 100% safe.
Do not let your bird chew on surfaces or plants that can be fatal or toxic if ingested. Be aware of lead and zinc toxicity.
Do not leave the toilet lid up if your bird is flying free in your home. Birds cannot swim and will drown.
Do not use sandpaper perch covers, grit, gravel or gravel paper.
Do not use moth protectors, mite or lice spray anywhere that your bird can come in contact with them: they are TOXIC!
Do not smoke, or if you do, do not smoke around your bird. Nicotine is deadly to birds, not only in second hand smoke, but it also comes through the pores of the skin of the smoker's hands and can cause severe contact reaction.
Do not cook with a bird on your shoulder. Kitchens can be very dangerous.
Do not purchase toys for your bird that have dog leash type clips or jingle type bells. (Toes can be caught easily.)
Ten Commandments of Parrot Ownership
1. My life is likely to last 10 or more years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you take me home.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me ó itís crucial to my well being.
4. Donít be angry with me for long, and donít lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I have only you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I donít understand your words, I do understand your voice when itís speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, Iíll never forget it.
7. Remember before you hit me that I have a beak that could easily crush the bones of your hand, but that I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps Iím not getting the right food, or Iíve been in the cage too long.
9. Take care of me when I get old; you too will get old.
10. Go with me on the last journey. Never say "I canít bear to watch it," or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember that I love you.
Advice and Information from Sally Blanchard
While the advice to never pay attention to a screaming parrot is generally good, there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Sometimes a well-thought-out distraction works well to change negative behaviors.
Often negative patterns become so ingrained that both the parrot and the person act in the same manner each and every time. By changing his or her behavior, the person distracts the parrot from the patterned behavior. Once the parrot is distracted, the person has a chance to teach a positive behavior. The key for the parrot owner is to become the actor rather than the reactor. Rather than reacting to your parrot's misbehavior on an emotional level, instead plan a response that challenges the behavior. Responses can be presented to the parrot in an indirect manner that does not encourage the negative behavior with a drama reward. Distractions usually work better if you do not make direct eye contact with the parrot. Directing your response towards someone else in the room, or even into thin air, gets the point across without taking a chance of inadvertently rewarding the negative behavior.
The early care a parrot chick receives determines much of his pet potential. Those people involved in raising and handfeeding baby parrots need to provide the proper care and guidance needed for quality early socialization. Early caregivers need to encourage exploration and teach their babies to accept change and new adventures. Stay away from breeders who say, "I don't pay any attention to my babies when I feed them because I don't want them to bond to me and/or I don't want to spoil them." Babies need frequent handling, instructional interaction, and attention. This kind of nurturing does not spoil them. Breeders with this attitude are ignorant about socialization and a chick's psychological development. Parrots are capable of bonding on many levels to many different people throughout their lives. Even if a baby has bonded to the breeder/handfeeders, well-socialized bappies easily transfer that bond to any nurturing buyer who is comfortable handling them. I believe that all handfed baby parrots should be taught to step on a person's hand before they are sold as a human companion. The minimal time it takes to teach this basic skill is well worth the added pet potential
Parrots are more comfortable with people who are comfortable with them. This may be the only absolute behavioral observation with companion parrots. Although parrots probably can't read our minds, they certainly reflect our energy. A companion parrot quickly learns to sense or read the body language of the people around him. A parrot will be unlikely to relax with a person who is uncomfortable handling him. Parrots will also bond more readily with people who provide them with clear, consistent guidance. If you are afraid or apprehensive around your parrot, chances are he will not be comfortable with you. He will either be afraid of you or may react with aggression to get you to leave him alone. Focused attention, gentling exercises, and comfortable cuddle time help to keep a parrot tame throughout his life.
All interactions with parrots should be trust-building and not trust-destroying. Strong bonds between parrots and humans are based on mutual trust. In working with our companion parrots, the most important consideration is whether or not what we do will be trust-building or trust-destroying. The majority of punishment techniques used with parrots are trust-destroying. Quick-fix or aggressive discipline are generally ineffective anyway because parrots do not have the cause-and-effect logic to understand them.
It is not the amount of
attention that spoils a parrot, it is the kind of attention. Because
they are social animals, parrots (especially bappies) need a lot of
attention. But it shouldn't be just cuddle time. Instructional
interaction, essential for a parrot's emotional and physical well-being,
is nurturing time spent teaching the parrot skills, and guiding and
patterning behavior. Parrots thrive on a consistent amount of daily
attention and interaction from their human flocks.
The Dried Fruit
The 20 foot
The Butter or Sauce
The Water Bottle
Eating at the Dinner Table
Eat to Get a