A few tips for the new mums and dads!
v As the babies have been weaning in large suspended aviaries they are used to their bowls of seed/pellets and veggies being located on the base of the aviary/cage. Could you please do the same for the first few weeks until the babies get used to their new environment.
v Each baby is sold fully weaned onto a mix of small parrot seed mix (also called peach face mix), assorted frozen veggies (home brand is fine --- but do not give onion), apple, corn cobs, silverbeet and celery. Make sure that the sunflower is ‘greystripe’ and not ‘black’. Frozen veggies do not need to be defrosted (or ‘zapped’ in the microwave) but placed in a shallow dish and taken out a few hours later when they have eaten their fill. Do not leave veggie mix more 24 hours in the cage.
v Please do not feed avocado, lettuce (too high in water content and can cause diarrhea), onion or chocolate (this also includes chocolate flavourings ie. Coco pops, milo etc)
v Please keep an eye on the wing clip of your baby. I always mention to new parents that, as youngsters, they grow fast and their wing can too --- so place a reminder on the calendar every month to check the wing and make sure that it is kept trimmed so that the baby doesn’t fly out the door when it gets a fright.
v All babies will go through a period of “teething” or “terrible twos” stage. Of course parrots don’t have teeth, but his is a stage when their beak is hardening and they’re learning to use it, and they may use it on you! It seems everything goes in their mouth. This stage happens soon after fledging, usually within the first few months that you bring a baby bird home. Be prepared with acceptable items for your bird to bite into: and offer those instead when your sweet baby reaches for your finger. Acceptable items include: small foot toys, small pieces of washed branches, small piece of millet spray, clean bottle cap, a button or round of zucchini.
v Please stay away from rope toys as the parrots can be very destructive and strands of string can get entwined around feed and necks. With rope perches (which are very popular) keep the string short as possible when it starts to unwind.
v All parrots moult every year (sometimes twice), during this period they can lose their tail and they have what looks like ‘stalks’ coming out of their head. Because they cannot scratch their own head you will have to do it for them --- and this will stimulate the new feathers to grow.
v If a baby parrot become stressed (ie. Suffers from fright – ie. – being chased by the dog!) it is essential that they are placed in a warm dark spot so that they can ‘de stress’. Sometimes they can be put them in their enclosure and covered up.
v When a baby gets sick the same applies for stress --- put them in a dark spot and covered up --- sometimes a chill will be too much for them. Never leave a baby several days to see ‘if it gets better’ because it is an inbuilt ‘wild’ feature in a parrot in that if they look sick then a predator will most likely kill them --- so too with handraised baby parrots --- when they look really sick they are really sick. So get to know your baby ---- when it doesn’t look right, is all fluffed up, not eating & /or has runny diarrhea then it is time for the vet. Please make sure that you take them an avian vet if at all possible.
v With regards to cockatoos, corellas etc, if newspaper has been placed on the base of the cage/enclosure then the newspaper print ink can get on the baby --- they are not dirty --- it may just mean that you should use wood shavings (not the one from cabinet makers but the wood shavings for horses from produce stores)/cat litter instead if you would like your baby to stay white!
v If a baby becomes aggressive try to find out what caused this behavior --- were they held too tight, was the baby tired and didn’t want to play etc. Babies are to be treated like 2 year old children – ie. Placed in a quiet corner for naughty behavior (placed in their cage and told to chill out for a while) when you go to get them out and they misbehave again then replace them back into their cage and cover them up. They will soon learn that they have to be well behaved if they want attention.
v Please put your baby to bed at a decent time --- the same time that you would put a child to bed (6-7pm) and cover them up. They will go to sleep and awake refreshed in the morning. If they are kept awake all night by loud partying --- you will have a parrot with a very sore head and not in a pleasant mood in the morning!!!
v Beaks and toenails shouldn’t need to be trimmed if the timber perches in their enclosure is made of natural timber with plenty of knots and bark. Do not use dowel (broom handles). Some people prefer the nails to be trimmed so that young children and older people can hold a parrot without scratches etc. Please get an avian vet to perform a nail trim!
v All babies need ‘settling in’ time. All babies take a while to get used to their new environment and all of their new surroundings. Larger parrots can take some weeks to work out that ‘it is going to be alright here’ --- they are very much like little humans! When you take your baby home on the first day make sure that they get to explore their new cage first as it can take a while for them to work out where their seed bowls, fruit bowls and water bowls are located. Once they feel comfortable then open the door and let the baby explore the area outside their cage. Sometimes they will try to fly so make sure you don’t lose track of them! You can also just pick them up and cuddle them --- they like to feel secure but make sure that you don’t squash them or confine them whilst holding them. Then it is a matter of training --- bribery works wonders! An ideal time for training birds to stay still is to sit them on your lap/knee while you are relaxing (TV time!).
Any other hassles, please give me a call or email.