Wondering if you can guide me on care of my umbrella cockatoo.

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Wondering if you can guide me with the care of my umbrella. Her vet is away on sick leave for a few months. I am her third owner.

I live in a two-room 35 ft camper trailer with six dogs and the bird. She likes to be around them – in her cage – and when they get treats she expects ( and gets) her own. They are her flock.

She has been a feather shredder since long before she came to me, about three years ago. She is also very indifferent to food. Her owner before me cared for her well and tried her hardest to get her to fresh fruit and veg. Her primary diet is Zupreem fruit blend, though specific preference is the pink. But she isn’t even very interested in eating.

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Your 2017 caged bird keepers to-do list

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My bird(s) will get proper lighting using a timer to provide an accurate light cycle

I will get my bird(s) DNA tested so the next time I ask mitchr a question he will know if the behavior may be sexually oriented

I will work with my flighted bird to make him or her a better flyer. If my bird is not flighted I will consider allowing the wings grow out for a more confident bird that screams less. Continue reading “Your 2017 caged bird keepers to-do list” »

Air purifiers for birds & parrots – what should I look for?

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Do you have any recommendations for air filters that are safe for my bird? Barry
 
Hi Barry
 
Just make sure that it is sized appropriately for the room, house or apartment so it actually does what it’s supposed to do – remove dust and allergen particulate from the air we breath at home.
 
We use multiple small units in multiple rooms to conserve floor space. Also a more effective strategy for a home where room doors are closed but a free standing “whole house” air cleaner is in use.

Clicker training videos for birds – from tricks to flight

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It is opaque to me as to why cage bird keepers refuse to embrace clicker training. We spend hundreds (thousands) of dollars on birds, equipment, toys, accessories and food (thank you very much) but we spend so little time actually “training” these incredibly smart animals.

Much like those taking their dogs for a “drag” in the morning on my way to work – I see no control exerted by the humans.

Isn’t having a pet that responds positively to your behavior requests infinity more enjoyable?

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Cook Comfort Foods for Your Birds

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The weather is cooling off and humans like to begin cooking comfort foods such as pots of chili, chicken and dumplings, bean soups and other hearty meals to warm the tummy and spirit. The same applies true to your parrots.

As the weather becomes colder, we slowly lower our indoor temperatures unless we don’t care how high our heating bills run. It is important to remember that if you are cold, your birds are chilly as well and need to have supplemental heat such as thermo perches or heated cage panels that allow them to position themselves at the temperature they prefer.

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Does the plethora of parrot perches produce puzzlement? Learn perches & placement now!

Read in 10 minutes
We get a lot of inquiries about perches. We also get phone calls on a fairly regular basis that go something like this:
 
“Hi I’d like to return the perch that I just got from you.”
 
“No problem why’s that, is it defective?”
 
“Yes it is, it’s too big and my bird keeps slipping off of it.”
 
“I’m sorry to hear that. We’ll gladly accept the return but I’m curious, when was the last time your bird had its toenails trimmed or it’s wings clipped?”
 
“Yesterday”

Continue reading “Does the plethora of parrot perches produce puzzlement? Learn perches & placement now!” »

Joyce about taking birds outdoors

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On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 12:54 PM UTC, Joyce wrote:

Hello,

We live in southern TX, and would like to take our Amazon outside since the weather is so nice this time of year. I will purchase a cage of course, but my concerns are what types of bugs and disease am I potentially going to expose her to? She will also be in a covered patio. How do I keep her safe?

Thank You,

Joyce

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how can i get my parakeets to eat something other than seed

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Dear Susan

Birds that have been only given one food for all their lives are harder to convert to a better diet but it can be done with time and patience.

A wide flat dish with chopped veggies, mashed carrots, squash, a big hunk of green romaine lettuce placed on the center of the bottom of their cage EVERYDAY for a month should get them rolling. Sprinkle the plate with some sed, and take out their main dish for a few hours after placing the fresh food dish in the cage.

Here is just one option using bird bread to get them to eat pellets.

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OH NO someone has stolen my parrots! SunDance, Pepper and 19 other parrots: missing!

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My first medium sized parrot was a loving sun conure who spent all the years of her life with me. She chose me one day when I was in a pet shop when she was just weaned, about 8 weeks old.

Today I know I got her for the wrong reasons. I was fast learning a lot about my budgie Sydney and twice-found cockatiel Cocoa. After two cold winters in Denver, my husband and I were at last returning to Cape Canaveral for his job on the Space Shuttle. Before leaving Denver I said I wanted a bike for riding the beach and a parrot to ride with me. When SunDance picked me, little did I know she would have an absolute horror of bicycles. No matter how I worked with her, she never overcame this fear.

Continue reading “OH NO someone has stolen my parrots! SunDance, Pepper and 19 other parrots: missing!” »

What humidifier is right for my bird?

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Hi Jo-Anne

 Keep in mind there is not a lot of Teflon in humidifiers most are more metal and plastic but if you’re not sure check with the manufacturer.  
While most studies indicate that PTFEs & PFOAs offgas at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, there is information that some formulations will offg as between 360 degrees and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t think Teflon is your problem with a humidifier.  Continue reading “What humidifier is right for my bird?” »

Budgies are NOT like cockatiels – perch placement in the cage is very different

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Most cage bird keepers assume a bird is a bird a perch is a perch a cage is a cage. The previous statement is highly inaccurate.

About a decade ago I coined the term “cagescaping” (but no one remebers) Our specialties at Windy City Parrot   are avian nutrition and the implementation of proper caged bird and home habitats based on species.

Find Free & DIY Toys Here

This video is a perfect example of how you have to take into consideration the species of the bird when designing its forever environment.

button-parts 

Proper Bird and Parrot Cage Placement

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One of the first things I evaluate with a problem bird is their cage. Where it is located, size, shape, and how it is set up. Many behavior problems can be attributed to having your parrot in improper surroundings. Their cage should be a safe haven for them with plenty of things to keep them busy.

Types of Bird Cages

A good bird cage should be easy to keep clean, and it should not be round. The bar spacing should be appropriate for the type of bird or parrot that is housed in it. Whether or not you have a play top or a dome top is up to you. One of the best gifts you can give yourself and your parrot is a top of the line cage. When you skimp on a cage you just end up replacing it again and again. Do your research and get a cage that will last the lifetime of your parrot.

Bird Cage Placement

The cage should be placed in an area where you are sure your parrot will be able to view his surroundings safely without feeling threatened. You do not want to place a parrot directly in front of a window or in the center of a room. Our first response is to assume that they would enjoy the outside view or being right in the middle of a room so they can see everything. The truth is that this type of placement may be fine while your parrot is young. But once your parrot becomes sexually mature and aware that it is a prey animal, this type of placement will cause extreme stress upon him. Knowing this, a parrot should be placed against a solid wall, if this is not possible then the back half of the cage should be covered at all times. This will give him the sense of security that is needed.

Parrots do not live out in the open in the wild. They build nests inside of trees or in dense forest areas. So they may live and raise young safely. Therefore we should try to mock this type of environment by placing the cage in a more indiscreet area or our homes. One where they can take pleasure in their surroundings and not feel threatened. You will need also to consider your parrots sleep requirements. Does the placement of the cage allow for the proper amounts of undisturbed quite darkness? If not do you have a sleeping cage in another room? Sleep deprivation is a problem with many parrots I see. So if your parrot is not receiving at least ten to twelve hours of rest each night you will need to re evaluate his cage placement.

prevue 3161 dome top cage

Find this 20 x 20 inch Prevue dometop here

Do’s and dont’s for cage placement

  • Don’t place directly in front of a window
  • Don’t place in center of a room
  • Don’t place right on the edge of a doorway
  • Don’t place next to the TV that is watched late into the niter.
  • Don’t place in the kitchen because of toxic fumes
  • Don’t place in an unfinished basement
  • Don’t place in a utility room
  • Don’t place in the garage
  • Don’t place them in your bedroom
  • Do place them in a corner of the family room with a sleeping cage in another room
  • Do place them in a frequently used office or sitting room
  • Do have a bird room if you have multiple birds
  • Do place in an alcove or visible dining room
  • Do place them against a wall
  • Do place them so they have a view of the entire room without putting them as a focal point.
  • You want your parrot to be able to observe his environment so he learns to trust his surroundings.

Bird Cage Perches

There should be three different size perches in the cage. These perches should also different textures with at least one of the perches being a rope or Booda perch. The rope perch should be the one that is placed at the highest point for sleeping. Place this perch in a U shape in an upper back corner of the cage. This is especially important if you have a feather picker. It gives a sense of safety to the parrot, plus if they turn to pick, the rope is right there and they will opt to shred that.

all styles of bird cages found here

The other two perches should be wood or one wood one of a different texture of choice. I would also like to add that there does not have to be perches in front of every food dish. We tend to make life just a little too easy for these busy birds. Make them work a little.

Bird Cage Set up

Three different perches with the main wood one going horizontally across the middle. The rope perch should be in a U shape in an upper back corner. The third should be place just inside of the door so that when the door is opened the perch is brought out of the cage. By doing this you do not have to reach into the cage for step up commands that may be refused. When you want your parrot to come out you have him come down to this perch first, open the door once he is on it and request the step up. This is a must if your bird has aggression issues.

Bird Toys

Now it is time to add the toys. You should have at least three working toys in the cage at all times. Working toys are toys that make them work for their treats or favored foods. The other toys should be things that are easily shredded such as soft wood, paper, and leather, preferably all of the above. Good toys have many different shapes and textures for the bird to explore and destroy. Your parrot should have a minimum of ten toys in his cage at all time. You should not be able to see the parrot easily when he is in his cage. This is his home and he should feel camouflaged as he would if he was in the wild.

bacon the budgie in her cage

Place one of the working toys in front of the U shape perch, with the other working toy towards the front of the opposite corner. Place one of the other toys directly on the side of the U perch so that perch is surrounded by hanging toys. This allows your parrot a hiding place to feel secure. Now take paper towels, shredders, newspaper, leather, or brown paper bags and fold them up and weave into the cage bars making a little square section on the side and to the back of the U perch. Again this gives a sense of security to the parrot. Plus if you have a feather picker it gives them another option to chew instead of their feathers.

We have to remember that we took these birds from the wild and it is up to us to learn to understand their needs. Set their cage up in a way that is fun for them and keep it interesting. Busy beaks are happy beaks!

Thank You,

Michelle Karras
Published Birds USA
Lecturer
Slave to Twelve rescued Parrots

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