Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Best, Fittest Bird

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

One of the most integral components of breeding parrots, is understanding the importance of proper avian pediatric examinations. Whether you are a new parrot breeder, or a seasoned aviculturist, you should get into a daily habit of conducting thorough physical examinations for every baby bird that is in your nursery.

Don’t feel intimated by this, because doing physical exams is quite easy once you know what to do and it only takes a few short minutes. Doing baby bird exams daily will help you to keep accurate breeding and health records for each baby in your flock. By doing exams every day you will more easily recognize any kind of abnormality or illness and will then be able to take the baby bird to an Avian certified vet for proper treatment. It is especially important to know that the sooner an abnormality in a baby bird is discovered, the quicker it will be for the baby bird to recover.

Each morning, before receiving their feeding and on an empty crop, every baby bird should be weighed. The weight must be measured in grams and recorded. Remember to keep the baby parrot as warm as possible. Neonates that only have a few down feathers are not able to thermos-regulate themselves and they will catch a chill very quickly. Here’s a tip: keep the baby bird on a heating pad during your physical examination.

Take notes regarding the texture and color of the baby bird’s skin. Skin that is too pale could be a sign of anemia, polyoma virus or chilling. Study the musculoskeletal system and size of the bird’s beak and head in relations to its body. Check for straightness and symmetry and/or healed fractures. Depending on the age and species of the baby bird, its internal organs might be visible through its skin, such as the liver and lungs.

Next examine the baby bird’s eyes for any swelling or discharge. Depending on the species of parrot, the eyes will be fully open sometime 10 to 28 days after hatching. Don’t forget to examine the ears and nares as well. There should be no discharge at all. The baby’s crop should be checked for proper movement and existence of any foreign body. The consistency and volume of any contents within the crop should also be palpated.

Lastly, make sure that the baby parrot has a normal feeding response by carefully stroking its beak. If the baby bird is sick or just cold, it will either have a week feeding response or none at all.

The Best, Fittest Bird

Creating the best nutrition for your bird

Become An Expert On Parrot Care Health!

We all know the expression you are what you eat. Food is at the heart of nutrition and health for all of us. A bird who doesn’t have the proper diet can suffer from illnesses and even have an early death.

The reason most pet birds suffer poor nutrition is a diet based heavily in seeds. Seeds should really only represent a small portion of a bird’s diet, maybe about 10%. Half of his diet should consist of nutritionally complete bird pellets, and the remaining portion should be fresh items like fruits and vegetables.

Click here to learn more about feeding your pet bird

Stress plays a role in disease too

Stress plays a large role in making your bird susceptible to disease. Stress causes the body to release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, but persistent stress never allows the body to return to normal levels, instead always staying elevated. These hormones, in small doses, have a natural purpose in situations like avoiding a predator, but long-term elevated levels are not good for a bird.

Chronic stress can have a large impact on mental health and can lead to behavioral issues like depression, feather plucking, anxiety, etc. It can also greatly impact your bird’s health. Chronic stress is linked to a greater likelihood of disease as well as heart and digestive problems.

Click here to learn more about bird diseases

How to keep your bird healthy

Dr. Joel Murphy is an avian veterinarian with over 21 years of clinical veterinarian experience from The Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor. He’s seen many pet birds with health problems that could have been prevented or reversed with good nutrition and stress avoidance. Now he’s sharing this knowledge in his e-book How to Care for Your Pet Bird.

This book is perfect for the new bird owner or even the more experienced one. You’ll find 22 chapters full of information on just about every bird care subject that you could think of such as nutrition, illness, emergencies, general proper bird care, selecting a veterinarian, and more. No more worries about an unhealthy bird!

Click here to view to read about How to Care for Your Pet Bird

Regards, Nathalie Roberts

Secrets to Parrot Health

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

There are many different diseases and ailments that can afflict parrots. But one of the most important ones to know about is Psittacosis. This is because Psittacosis can be passed onto human beings. Otherwise known as Chlamydiosis or Chlamydia, Psittacosis is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Eye swelling
  • Eye discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fluffed out feathers

A parrot with Psittacosis can have one or more of these symptoms. Although these symptoms can suggest other diseases, a parrot with an eye discharge usually presents with Psittacosis and should be seen by a certified avian vet immediately for a pathology test.

Infection of this disease is typically through the droppings of another bird that is a carrier for the disease. A large amount of the Psittacosis organism can be present and it can remain contagious for quite a few months in dried bird droppings. Another way Psittacosis can be passed on is by way of feather dust and from a hen to her eggs.

The issue here is that in most situations, a parrot can be the carrier of this disease, but may never show any of above symptoms. This makes it quite hard to catch and control. Medical reports indicate that wild birds are one of the most common carriers and therefore, if you have your parrots in an outside aviary, they could be in danger of being infected.

Like most diseases, in humans and animals, an occurrence of Psittacosis is often brought about when the parrot is under stress; such as in situations of overcrowded cages and aviaries. When an infected parrot becomes stressed out, they will shed the Psittacosis organism in large amounts. This is another good reason to purchase your parrot from a reputable breeder and not a pet shop that has a large, filthy and overcrowded holding area for the parrots they sell cheaply. If your parrot receives routine health check-ups, and is fed a good diet and with a clean cage and fresh water, then you most likely won’t have any issues with the Psittacosis disease.

The treatment is with an antibiotic called doxycycline. Treatment length varies and can last anywhere from 7 to 45 days, depending on how the medication is given. As long as the disease is caught early on, the parrot will likely make a full recovery.

Once this disease is passed on to humans, the symptoms to be aware of include fever, lethargy, chest pain, couching, nausea and headaches. When seeing a doctor about flu-like symptoms, make sure you state that you own a parrot and request a blood test for Psittacosis. If you have been infected, a course of antibiotics will be prescribed.

This disease is why new parrots into a home should be quarantined away from other parrots for a minimum of 30 days.

Secrets to Parrot Health

Do You Want Your Bird to Live Decades?

Click here to learn how to raise a healthy, happy and thriving parrot

Raising a parrot is not always an easy task, but it can be so enjoyable if you feel comfortable that you know how to keep your bird healthy. If you know what to feed your bird and how to keep him not only healthy but also happy you can have years of contentment with him.

Parrots, ideally, live for decades. Many often outlive their human companions! But his lifespan can be drastically shortened with a few easy and common mistakes that everyone does before they know better.

Click here to learn more about how long birds can live with good care

Let’s look at some of the more common mistakes

1. The cage is just not large enough for the bird: Your bird needs plenty of room to flap his wings, play with his toys, and move in levels so that he’s not just stuck in one spot.

2. The diet isn’t diverse enough: Parrots can’t exist on just seeds. Nutritionally complete pellets are an important addition, and the bird’s diet should include a lot of fresh items, even up to about 30% being fresh vegetables.

3. Not maintaining cleanliness: In order for a bird to stay healthy he needs to avoid disease. Cage liners should be changed daily, food and water holders should be cleaned weekly, and the overall cage should be cleaned monthly.

There are also other areas to look at as they relate to preventing boredom, providing enough toys, and preventing behavioral problems.

Click here to learn about common parrot keeping mistakes

Professional tips for a healthy bird

A professional birder has decided to share his parrot keeping system with the bird owning public. In his e-book Raising Polly: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Well Adjusted Bird, he details in non-technical language how to care for a parrot. Raising Polly gives you the tips to help prevent many of the diseases and issues that cause early parrot deaths.

If you’ve ever lost a parrot early, this book is for you. If you’ve never had a parrot before now, this book is for you. But if you’ve had parrots you can still make use of this book too!

In addition to the e-book Raising Polly, you’ll also receive a bonus ebook about training tricks and the audio mp3 files of Raising Polly. All of this plus a 60 day no haggling money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Click here to read more about Raising Polly: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Well Adjusted Bird

Regards, Nathalie Roberts

The Most Comprehensive Bird Information You Can Find

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

1. Diet

At the top of this list is diet. The food we feed our captive parrots can affect a parrot’s health in so many ways. A poor diet can obviously lead to poor health; and a great diet can lead to healthy parrot for many years to come. There are so many options out there for feeding your parrot that it can seem overwhelming. Try to avoid overfeeding your parrot sunflower seeds, cereal grains, or sugary foods like artificially colored seeds and pellets. Avoid prepared parrot diets that are low in fiber and high in fat and carbohydrates. Never give your parrot chocolate, caffeine, or avocados. Instead, feed your parrot a homemade diet of fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Purchase prepared
parrot diets from reputable companies and not from your local grocery store.

2. Inadequate Cages

Although some parrot cages can be quite athletically pleasing, most often than not, these types of cages are just not practical and cannot be relied up on to provide your parrot with a safe home. Always purchase the biggest cage you can afford. Remember, your parrot will be spending many hours each day in his cage and space is a premium. Avoid round cages as there is not ‘wall’ on these cages and do not provide your parrot with a feeling of safety. Also avoid parrot cages that contain sharp wire or bar spacing that is too small or too large for your parrot. Parrots can easily lose a toe in bar spacing that is too narrow.

3. Toxins

When you share your home with a parrot, you will need to remove toxins from your environment. These can be as big as re-painting your whole house to remove any lead-based paint, eliminating carbon monoxide leaks from furnaces and fireplaces, and quitting smoking so that your parrot isn’t affected by second-hand smoke. But removing toxins can also be as small as avoiding certain cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals, dyes, and perfumes such as chlorine bleach, that can irate your parrot’s lungs, avoid Teflon-coated pots and pans, removing fresh food before it becomes moldy, and eliminating house plants that are known to be poisonous to parrots when ingested. But also be aware of any potential toxins lurking inside your parrot’s cage. Avoid parrot toys and cages that have lead or zinc based metal alloys.

4. Veterinary Visits

Regardless of your parrot’s age or current health status, you should make an appointment for your parrot to see a certified Avian Veterinarian. This once-a-year vet visits are typically include a Well Bird Exam which is a health checkup that is unique to parrots and birds. Only a certified Avian Veterinarian can conduct such an exam. Parrots are able to mask illness very well and you may not know that your parrot is ill. A yearly Well Bird Exam can detect any health issue that you may have overlooked.

5. Lack of Stimulation

Due to their high-intelligence, parrots require constant mental and physical stimulation. When they become bored or lonely, some parrots will develop self-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking, screaming, and biting.

The Most Comprehensive Bird Information You Can Find

Common bird myths

Click here to read what you should be feeding
your bird for optimal health

When you were growing up as a child, did your parent yell for you to put on a hat or coat before you went outside or you’d catch a cold? It used to be a popular myth that colds were transmitted by cold weather and not being probably dressed made you most likely to get it. We know better than that now.

It’s the same for birds in many ways. Everyone knows the myth that a drafty location causes a bird to become sick or diseased. According to Dr. Joel Murphy, Board Certified Avian veterinarian, that’s just not the case. Your bird is far more likely to get sick from lack of good nutrition or unsanitary living conditions than anything.

Click here to read more about bird myths and the truth

The best way to feed your bird

Dr. Murphy says that the leading cause of death in pet birds is a diet based only in seeds. True! What should you be feeding your bird instead? He needs a well-balanced food source. He doesn’t know what is nutritious for him, so you want to give him a variety of options that are all high in nutrients. For example, iceberg lettuce or celery are high in fiber and water but low in nutrients. A better vegetable choice is carrots or peas.

Your bird’s food is best based in nutritionally complete pellets over seed. He should also have options for fresh vegetables and fruits. Always consult with your veterinarian for your bird’s diet, and Dr. Joel Murphy’s book How to Care for Your Pet Bird includes information on the best foods for your bird too.

Click here to read more about bird nutrition

How to Care for Your Pet Bird

Dr. Murphy has written the most comprehensive book on pet bird care which includes 22 chapters full of information. According to Dr. Branson Ritchie, University of Georgia Vet School, “Dr. Murphy has compiled and simplified into an easy to read format recent advances and standard practices in avian medicine that will improve every bird enthusiast’s understanding of bird care as well as disease prevention and management. Readers of this book will benefit from clearly defined insights into the interactions between birds, their care providers and veterinarian.” It’s a book you have to have on-hand!

Click here to read more about Dr. Joel Murphy and his book

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

A Veterinary Perspective on Bird Health

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Dear Parrot Lover,

Just as there are different types of parrots, so too are there just as many different types of parrot food on the market today. However, each species of parrot has its own unique nutritional needs and it is your responsibility to ensure that your parrot has a great diet. The following suggestions will help you create a very basic diet for your parrot – be sure to tweak these suggestions if your parrot has a very unique dietary need.

Pellets

Throughout the history of bird-keeping, seeds have always been a staple diet. However, research now indicates that birds may not be getting adequate nutrition from seed mixes alone. To compensate, it is recommended that you feed your parrot a pellet food that has been created with your particular parrot’s species in mind. You can purchase pellet-only food, or purchase a pellet and seed mix. Parrots should only be fed small amounts of seeds as treats, rather than as a major component to their diet.

Food Fusion

A good diet for parrots should consist of more than just seeds and pellets. It must also include fresh vegetables and fruits too. Be careful as there are some fruits and veggies that can be toxic to your parrot – so always seek veterinary advice first. Great options include carrots, broccoli, corn, apples, peaches, bananas, pears, and orange slices. You can even create a fruit or veggie kabob! Just skewer a few slices of a variety of fruits and vegetables onto a non-toxic stick, or purchase a stainless steel one made just for bird cages. Just remember to remove any uneaten fruits and veggies as soon as possible to avoid spoilage. Your parrot can become quite sick if he eats rotten food. Fruits and veggies can offer both fun and nutrition to your parrot. Give your bird corn on the cob so that he can eat the kernels right off the cob. Larger Macaws can be offered a whole peeled banana that they can hold onto while the eat it.

Protein Power

Some species of parrots thrive on certain types of protein, although every bird requires some form of protein in their diet on a daily basis. Offer different types of protein to your parrot at least twice a day. Preferable protein options are organic cooked or hard-boiled eggs, tofu, cooked sandwich meats, low fat cottage cheese, yoghurt, and firm cheeses. Yoghurt, in particular
contains a very healthy bacteria, acidophilus, which helps to balance out the good and bad bacteria in your parrot’s gut. Just make sure that you are only feeding low fat yoghurt that contains live cultures.

Great Grains

Just like with protein, grains such as cereals and breads, should also be fed at least twice per day. Here you can choose from unsweetened granola, pasta, whole grain breads, cereals, and even tortillas.

A Veterinary Perspective on Bird Health

Do You Know Who Your Veterinarian Is?

Become An Expert On Parrot Care Health!

If you have ever had a dog or cat, you know that it’s pretty easy to find a qualified veterinarian if your pet gets sick. You’ve got an absolute ton of choices at your discretion.

Now, if you have a pet bird, then you know that it’s just not that easy. First, there aren’t many avian veterinarians, and if you do find one, that may be your only choice. You don’t get to be nearly as picky. That’s why it’s so very, very important that you know a lot about bird care and health so that you can hopefully prevent most diseases from happening in the first place.

Click here to learn more about avian veterinarian care

A Must Have Reference Book for Bird Care

There are a lot of ways you can try to learn about the best way to care for your bird, but you’re always best to reach for an expert, if you can. In this case, the must have book comes right from a well-respected avian veterinarian, Dr. Joel Murphy who has 21 years of clinical veterinarian experience from The Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor.

How to Care for Your Pet Bird takes everything Dr. Murphy has learned in his decades of experience and puts it into an easily accessible e-book. In 22 chapters, you will learn more than you ever thought possible about important bird care subjects like:

Choosing the right bird

Pet bird nutrition

Pet bird misconceptions

Selecting a veterinarian

Bird care

Bird illness

Emergencies

Beak issues

Feather plucking

Infectious diseases, fungal problems, and viruses from minor to severe

Parasites

Baby birds

Aviary management

You won’t find a more comprehensive e-book!

Click here to view the whole Table of Contents and information about the book

Don’t Miss Out on This Book!

“How To Care for Your Pet Bird is the consultation you always wished you could have with an avian veterinarian. A “must have” reference for every birdkeeper!” Susan Chamberlain, Contributing Editor, Bird Talk

Click to read more testimonials for this book and Dr. Murphy

Regards, Nathalie Roberts

Keeping Your Pet Bird Healthy

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Dear Parrot Lover,

Just as with human beings, parrots rely on their livers to help detoxify their bodies by breaking down harmful fat. But when their livers become unhealthy, they develop a condition known as Hepatic Lipidosis – otherwise referred to as Fatty Liver Disease.

Fatty Liver Disease occurs when the normal cells of a parrot’s liver begin to fill up with fat. These healthy cells slowly start to be become abnormal and discontinue their ability to perform at their optimal level. Over time, these once healthy liver cells are destroyed. Once these liver cells die off, scar tissue will replace them.

There are quite a few causes of Fatty Liver Disease in Parrots. But the most common cause is obesity due to a diet that is mostly seed based. This is because seed-only diets have a rather high fat content, whilst simultaneously being low in important nutrients such as methionine, choline, and biotin. The more seeds a parrot eats, the less active he will become, and the higher his chances are of having a fatty liver. Eating too much can also wreak havoc on a parrot’s liver.

Other causes of Fatty Liver Disease include long-term exposure to certain types of toxins. These include mycotoxins that are found in some seeds, including peanuts in shells, plant toxins, aflatoxins, and chemical toxins such as those found in common household cleaners, deodorizers, pesticides, aerosols, and insecticides.

Diabetes Mellitus and Thyroid Dysfunction, as well as other types of metabolic disorders, can also lead to Fatty Liver Disease in parrots.

Obviously, one of the most common signs of Fatty Liver Disease in a parrot is obesity. Parrots that are truly overweight will actually have fatty or lumpy deposits that you can feel on their chest and abdomen.

Physical symptoms also include a beak that grows abnormally rapid; and black areas that are found on their toenails and beaks. These black areas are actually tiny hemorrhages, or bruises. Also, a parrot’s primary feathers may change to a different colored hue.

A physical examination by a board certified Avian Vet will also determine whether the bird has an enlarged fatty liver; although sometimes this can be visible seen as a distended abdomen, with the liver discernable right below the parrot’s keel.

The parrot may also have breathing difficulties as the liver begins to take up more room. Yellowish diarrhea is also a sign of Fatty Liver Disease.

The best prevention, and cure, is to change your parrot’s diet to one that is more organic, wholesome, and complete. A perfect parrot diet is one that is low in fat, rich in fiber, and that has reduced protein content. It is important to feed organic, as it is best not to overload the
liver with any pesticides used on food that is conventionally grown.

Finally, make sure that a parrot with Fatty Liver Disease gets plenty of quiet sleep as this will help restore their liver.

The staple diet should consist mainly of fruits and vegetables with a good quality dry food mix (that doesn’t contain any chemicals, artificial flavors or colors). Foods to focus on are those that will help the liver detoxify.

Foods and nutrients that aid in the detoxification process include: Magnesium, Vitamin C, foods rich in Vitamin B2, B5, B6, B12, walnuts, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, citrus peel, egg yolks, garlic, red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, animal protein, whole unprocessed grains, some legumes, and turmeric.

Fiber is important for cleansing the intestines of toxins. Encouraging the consumption of fresh fruits and unlimited amounts of fresh vegetables adds fiber and nutrients.

Sprouted seeds are an excellent option. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat stored in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds. Also, the texture is more vegetable-like, which may encourage a bird to begin eating veggies. Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by “seed addicts” than fresh fruits and vegetables.

Do not feed peanuts or food items that could contain mycotoxins, which could further damage the liver.

Keeping Your Pet Bird Healthy

Taking care of a bird can be tricky

Click here to read what you should be feeding
your bird for optimal health

Birds aren’t like cats and dogs. There isn’t a vet on every street corner, and the information written about them is more limited. It’s hard to know exactly how to care for a bird or how to keep him healthy.

Stress is one of the most important parts of the bird health equation, but it’s often easily overlooked. If a bird is under constant stress he will be more susceptible to disease, parasites, behavioral issues, and potentially a shortened lifespan.

Understanding what stress looks like in your bird can help you quickly change the situation to help your bird. Loss of appetite, changes in behavior including fear or aggression, as well as destructive behavior can all be symptoms of stress.

Click here to learn more stress in birds and how it affects their health

Understanding disease

Even trickier than understanding stress in birds is knowing some of the more common and potentially life-threatening health problems that occur in birds. For example, do you know what Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is? It’s a highly contagious virus that doesn’t have a current treatment or cure. Knowing the signs of the disease, and many others, is essential to preventing disease in your bird and others around it.

There are many other common health problems that every bird owner needs to be informed about, but how can you know it all?

Click here to read more about health problems in parrots

Professional know-how for your bird’s health

Dr. Joel Murphy is a bird professional and avian veterinarian with 21 years of clinical experience with The Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor. He knows how frustrating it can be for a parrot owner to have all the information one needs. His experience with birds and their owners has helped him to create a reference guide for good health care.

How to Care for Your Pet Bird has 22 chapters that share key information with more information than you can imagine! This is a book you’ll want to have on hand. Inside you’ll find information about:

Choosing the right bird

Pet bird nutrition

Pet bird misconceptions

Selecting a veterinarian

Bird care

Bird illness

Emergencies

Beak issues

Feather plucking

Infectious diseases, fungal problems, and viruses from minor to severe

Parasites

Baby birds

Aviary management

Click here to read more about How to Care for Your Pet Bird

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

A Healthy Bird for Years Ahead

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Dear Parrot Lover,

With the increase in popularity of pet parrots, deciding on the right parrot for your family can be difficult. Here are five things that you should consider when choosing a parrot for your family – along with suggestions on how to properly raise your new parrot.

1. Due diligence.

Owning a parrot is a very serious commitment. Unlike a cat or dog, parrots can live up to 75 years or longer. They will be in your family for many, many years. So be sure to do your due diligence beforehand. Begin your research by visiting a zoo or sanctuary in your local area that houses parrots. Next, go online and join any one of the numerous pet parrot forums. Here you can ask questions and obtain more information from actual parrot owners. Remember, not all parrots are alike. There are many different parrot species and it will take you some time to become acquainted with them all. Trying to find a parrot that is a perfect match for your family’s lifestyle will take some time and effort on your part. Consider the size and habitual needs of the parrot in relation to your lifestyle. Some parrots need constant interaction with their human family, while others prefer to be left alone most of the time. Other things to consider are noise level and health issues. There are parrots that have a beautiful song, while others only know how to screech.

2. Shop around.

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential pet parrots, it will be time to shop around. It is typically ill advised to purchase a parrot from a pet shop. This is because most pet shops do not take proper care of the parrots and cannot guarantee their health. The parrots may have been potentially exposed to airborne diseases; or quite possibly have been unintentionally abused by pet shop’s untrained staff. Again, this is the time to do more homework. Locate a few reputable parrot breeders and ask if you can visit their nursery. Be aware, however, that most breeders will say no, but they will allow you to visit their aviary where you can interact with their other parrots. This will allow you to see how clean the breeding facility is and how well the breeder takes care of their parrots. You may even be able to meet with the parents of the parrot baby you may be interested in.

3. Choose carefully.

After you have chosen the right species, it will be time to choose the right parrot. Choose a parrot that has bright shiny feathers and eyes. There should be no discharge from their eyes or nostrils. They should not have any signs of plucking either; nor signs of being malnourished.

4. Socialize your parrot.

One of the best ways to raise a healthy parrot is to provide adequate socialization from the minute you bring your new parrot home. Parrots are extremely sociable creatures and thrive on the company and interaction with their family. Provide plenty of playtime with your parrot outside of his cage. You could even purchase a flight suit for your parrot so that you could take him outside with your for walks.

5. Provide training.

Regardless of the age of your parrot, or its species, it will require training in order to be a well-adjusted and happy family member. The best commands to teach your parrot are the step-up’ and ‘step-down’ commands. You should set aside some time each day for mini training sessions with your parrot. Once your parrot is familiar with these commands you can then begin to train them to talk, by teaching them certain words and phrases.

A Healthy Bird for Years Ahead

Your bird is what he eats

Click here to learn how to raise a healthy, happy and thriving parrot

Just like the expression goes for people so it does for parrots. The better the foods are that he eats, the healthier he will be. Parrots are not made to eat just seed mixes available at the local pet store. A much wider variety provides the well-rounded nutrition and variety that he needs.

Birds love to eat alongside their human counterparts, but he shouldn’t be snacking alongside on your food. Instead, try to provide variety in his diet by giving fresh vegetables and fruits with high quality pellets and seed. Select the most nutritious fruits and vegetables. Ones like green beans and carrots are preferable to ones like corn or peas, which should be given less frequently. Be sure to also learn those foods that you should avoid for your bird when getting started.

click here to learn more about the best food for your bird

Maintaining his health

In addition to a high quality, varied diet, there are a few other things that need to be done to keep him healthy. Make sure to not just fill his water but to also thoroughly clean the bowl. Clean and disinfect his cage on a regular (at least weekly) basis, change his cage liners each day, and make sure perches, toys, and other items are removed and cleaned. A clean living space is essential to a healthy bird.

Raising Polly: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Well Adjusted Bird is an e-book that details all of what you need to know to maintain a healthy environment for your bird. Along with clean conditions and proper nutrition, Raising Polly says correct cage setup is the next part of keeping your bird healthy. It has everything in one book!

click here to learn more about Raising Polly

Raising Polly has it all

If you have a parrot or want a parrot, you will want to have a copy of Raising Polly: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Well Adjusted Bird. You’ll also get the bonus e-book, Training Your Parrot: 12 Simple Tricks Any Parrot Can Learn plus you’ll also get Raising Polly as a recorded MP3.

click here to see Raising Polly and all of the extras

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

Ouch…that Hurts! Does Your Parrot Bite?

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Ouch…that Hurts!

Dear Parrot Lover,

How often does your sweet parrot mistake your fingers for his or her own personal chew toy? How many times have you yelped in pain, shocked that your sweet baby could lash out like that?

The sad thing is that as soon as you have been once at least twice by your beloved bird, you slowly start to distrust them. This can eventually lead to socialization issues down the road as ‘gun-shy’ parrot owners tend to reduce the amount of time they spend interacting and playing with their parrot. The flip side to this is that the parrot will take this forced alone time very seriously, and will become increasingly territorial – lashing out and biting at anyone that comes to close to his cage.

Sadly still, is that for the most part, these bites can easily be prevented if a caring parrot owner just took a few minutes to observe the warning signs.

Obviously, things should never get to this point. With a little patience, a parrot that is biting the hand that feeds him can easily become a sweet parrot that yearns to be petted and held.

The easiest way to do this is by simply observing your parrot and taking serious note of their body language. Now, each parrot will have their own unique body language, but there are quite a few common ones that each parrot will display as a warning cue that they are getting ready to bite.

Such body language cues include your parrot pinning his eyes or fluffing out his beautiful feathers. Under no circumstances should you ever ignore these signs. As these are either indicators that your parrot is ill, or that it is uncomfortable and about to lash out at you and bite.

Firstly, never force your parrot to do something that he simply does not want to do. All parrots are strong willed and will view this is an encroachment on their personal freedom. Your parrot will let you know this by biting you.

For example, a parrot that has been inside his cage for days on end without being let out, will bite any hand that comes inside his cage.

The parrot has now become territorial of their cage and will defend it from intrusion.

However, the most common reasons your parrot may bite include:

  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Reaching Adolescence
  • Molting Feathers
  • Protecting their cage/toys/favorite person
  • Jealousy

If your parrot does bite you, try your best not to cry out, yell, or scold your parrot. These verbal actions will only be seen as comedic antics and you will then teach your parrot that he will be rewarded with a lively show if he bites you. Learning to understand your parrot’s behavior will help you to forge a better, loving and trusting relationship with your parrot that will last for many years to come.

Does your bird bite?

Click here to read more about parrot biting!

No need to beat around the bush on this one. If you’ve got a bird who has bitten you at least one time then I know you want to find a solution for that. Bird bites are painful! Not only is the bite painful, but it can actually be of great harm to you if your bird rips your skin, breaks a finger, etc.

Additionally, once a bird begins to bite, most owners become frightened of their own bird. This helps continue the biting cycle as the bird realizes that the idea of biting can control some of what you do. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Why does my bird bite?

You’re probably wondered why your bird is biting you. Every owner does, and you’re not alone. The simple fact is that there many reasons why a bird bites, and it is a normal behavior in parrots. Once you can strip away the details, you can figure out why he is doing it and then how to solve it.

A common reason that a bird may bite is out of fear. This can be directed at you or at other people. His body language and behavior will always give away that he is frightened or feeling threatened in a situation because he may attempt to move away, flap his wings to get away, scream, or make other vocalizations. Biting probably isn’t his first choice, but it may be used.

Other options for biting include feeling threatened and territorial, having a hormone surge, feeling frustrated, or he even may feel protective over someone he has chosen as “his” person!

Click here to read more about why parrots bite!

Undoing the biting

The Bird Tricks training system is one option to learn more about not just parrot biting but also how to solve it. Birding professionals have come up with a parrot biting cheat sheet that helps you identify what kind of biting your bird is actually doing. Then they help you figure out the best course of action to work with it. Additionally, you’ll have access to videos and other materials so that you can learn by watching and then doing.

Click here to to learn more about the bird training system

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

What’s the best way to get your bird talking?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Dear Parrot Lover,

One of the main reasons why prospective parrot owners initially wish to purchase a parrot is just because they eager to have a talking pet. While it is true that parrots can and do talk – not every species of parrot has this ability.

If you are wanting a parrot just so that you can train it to talk, select a larger parrot such as a Macaw, Amazon, Cockatoo, or African Grey. These are the top parrot species that have an innate talking ability.

However, choosing the right species of parrot does not guarantee that the parrot you choose will actually talk. Regardless of the species, you will still need to have plenty of patience and proper knowledge on how to effectively train your parrot in order for him to realize his full talking potential.

To help you with this process, here is some parrot talking advice:

1. Start by distinctly enunciating your words so that your parrot can better pick up on the unique sounds they make

2. When first teaching your parrot a word or phrase, start by first speaking it aloud – nice and clearly. Then continue teaching it by using that very same word or phrase in a complete sentence. This is done so that your parrot will become better accustomed to hearing the word or phrase being reiterated in a variety of contexts.

3. Whenever your smart parrot reiterates or repeats the word or phrase right back, immediately reward him with tons of praise and perhaps a treat of his favorite food! Do this even if he gets the word or phrase wrong – it is they trying that you are rewarding.

4. You and your parrot can participate together in a short and fun conversation. This teaching advice will help to not only improve your parrot’s talking ability, but it will also help to foster more trust, respect, and love between the two of you. Choose short conversations involving his everyday necessities such has his food, treats, or toys.

5. Soon you can turn such a conversation into a question and answer format where you are asking your parrot the question and he is supplying you with the answer using the words and phrases that have been taught to him by you.

6. Keep all talk training sessions under 30 minutes each day, and make sure that the two of you will be able to have each other’s undivided attention.

7. The most important piece of advice is to refrain from punishing or scolding your parrot in any way. Each parrot learns to talk at their own their own unique pace – do not force him or try to rush him as he will become disgruntled and your loving relationship can turn sour.

What’s the best way to get your bird talking?

Click here to learn more about bird communication

Whenever anyone thinks of a parrot, they think of a talking bird. It can be disappointing if your bird hasn’t yet gained the skill to talk with you. All members of the parrot family are naturally vocal birds who like to chatter which makes it easier to have a bird who talks. But, there are some birds who are more inclined to speak such as the African Grey and some that are less inclined such as budgies.

Ideally the best way to get a bird talking is two-fold. First, start with a very young bird. Young birds learn their vocal skills right out of the nest much like human babies start babbling very early. Second, if you want a vocal bird he needs to live in a vocal environment. That means spending time with you bird, taking with your bird, and having those sounds around him. It makes it that much easier for him to mimic.

Click here to learn more about bird communication

Learning by seeing

Maybe you’ve felt stumped about training your bird to talk, and you’ve been confronted with just articles or manuals. These can be very good resources, but they don’t always provide the whole picture. Clear and concise videos are often a better option when training any animal because it allows you to see the training in action.

The Elite Parrots Club offers just this opportunity through their bird expert known as the Bird Lady. The Bird Lady has many years of experience with birds, and she has created a wealth of videos to show you how to work with your bird both on training him to speak and also on problem solving other issues. There are also many accompanying articles to review after the videos.

Click here to learn more about the videos you’ll have access to Parrot Talk Training

What are others saying…

The Bird Lady and the Elite Parrots Club are already changing birds’ lives. Here is what some club members are saying:

“My Honduras Amazon, who is 9-years-old, has a vocabulary of at least 100 words. He has taken individual words and made his own sentences. Some of them are quite hilarious.”

“Even though my parrot talked some when we got him, he has achieved a much larger vocabulary and talks on command now.”

Click here to view to read about other member experiences of The Elite Parrots Club

Regards, Nathalie Roberts

Easy Bird Training

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Dear Parrot Lover,

When you were a child, you most likely visited the circus at least once and saw the amazing feats of well-trained parrots performing tricks such as playing miniature basketball and riding around on roller-skates.

Now that you are an adult, the idea of having such an amazing pet has led you to purchase or adopt a parrot of your very own. However, more than likely, you may have underestimated the whole ‘training a parrot is easy’ thing.

Indeed, training a parrot to do tricks is just as hard as it is to train a parrot to be well behaved. But you cannot have one without the other. Teaching your parrot proper social cues and behavior first will go a long way in training your parrot to do tricks.

Here is a short and simple list of four of the best parrot training tips:

1. First, the more relaxed and happy a parrot is, the easier it is to train him. So make sure that you leave all your anxiety and stress from work AT work and do not bring it home with you. Parrots are extremely perceptible to the energies of their owners and other people who are around them.

A happy and confident parrot will always remain well behaved and will remember his training cues. However, you will need to first be happy, calm, and confident yourself before you can expect your parrot to be as well. Since parrots easily notice our energies and emotions, make sure you check them at the door before interacting with your parrot on any level. Do be aware that if you are a naturally hyperactive person, you may have a slightly harder time training your parrot.

Do speak in a voice that is soothingly gentle, as this will aid greatly in helping your parrot stay just as calm and attentive to you. You should be just as calm whenever you feel the need to reprimand your parrot. Never raise your voice or yell at your parrot, as he will just believe that you are trying to engage him in an elaborate and exciting new game, and will play along with you by screaming as well.

2. The intelligence and emotions of the larger parrots are equivalent to those of a two to three year old child. Try to remember this whenever you are handling your parrot and never throw things at your parrot or his cage, do not withhold food or water as a form of punishment or training tactic, never smack him on the beak or head as these are considered animal abuse and can lead to serious physical and emotional damage in your parrot.

3. Try to take into account that all parrots are extremely fragile and dainty animals and can easily be harmed even when the intention is not actually there. Be sure to take all of the necessary precautions to make sure that your parrot is as a safe as possible in your home. Keep your parrot’s nails filed down so that they do not snag on items or scratch you when training the ‘Step Up’ command. Keep his wings clipped as well so that he cannot fly away when you are trying to train him.

4. The very first command you should attempt to teach your parrot is the ‘Step Up’ command. Start by pushing your finger gently against your parrot’s breast, while saying ‘step up’. This action will cause your parrot to lose balance slight and he will need to step up on to your finger in order to maintain his balance. Continue doing this all the while repeating the ‘step up’ command – effectively creating a ladder with your fingers for your parrot to climb.

This is a wonderful command to practice each day, even after your parrot has mastered this cue.

Training your bird is fun!

Click here to learn more about bird communication

Training birds can be a challenge, but it can also be fun. After all, parrots are exceptionally smart and curious which can be ideal traits for learning. When embarking on any training program with your bird you want to keep some key tips in mind.

First, learn to read your bird. He’s not always going to be in the mood for training, so if you can determine when he seems the brightest and most eager to learn, you’ll have more success. Additionally, learn to pick up on his cues of stress and base your training progress on him. Trying to push him too quickly may cause both frustration and stress and create a bird who doesn’t want to learn.

Click here to learn more about bird communication

Where to start with your bird

Your first training steps should be towards creating a bird that is comfortable with being handled and worked with. That means training on handling exercises and teaching him how to step up onto perches or onto your hand. Be careful about ever teaching him to step up onto your shoulder as later on you may risk injury. It’s often suggested you not allow a bird, especially a large one, to sit on your shoulder.

Handling exercises should also include getting him used to having a lightweight and light colored towel wrapped around him. You should ask your veterinarian to show you how at first to make sure it’s correct, but this is important in case you need to medicate your bird or inspect him due to injury.

Click here to learn more beginning bird training

Expert training knowledge for perfect training at home

In our internet connected world it’s possible to be connected to a bird training professional from the comforts of your home. The very same person that helped train world famous magician David Copperfield’s birds is the same person that can help you train your bird.

With expert easy-to-follow training videos, articles, and support you’ll feel like the professionals behind Bird Tricks are right there with you!

Click here to view to read about Bird Tricks and the training program

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

Does Your Bird Talk?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The Best Phrases to Teach Your Parrot

Parrots are extremely sociable creatures and actually constantly crave attention from their human flock members. It is no surprise then that some parrots will learn to talk faster than other parrots as a means of vocal communication with their owners. But what are best phrases to teach your parrot?

First you’ll have to learn how to properly train your parrot to talk:

The morning hours and early evening hours are when most parrots are naturally more vocal. This is because these are the times of day, when in the wild, parrots would go out in the morning to forage for food and then would return back to roost in the evening. Their calls back and forth to each other would help them find food and return home safely at the end of the day.

Therefore, it would be better for your parrot if you structured your training sessions around the morning hours or early evening hours, preferably at a time when the two of you can be left undisturbed. This means having no television or radio on, or having guests and family members come in and out of your training session. Such interruptions can be detrimental to your working arrangement with your parrot and could actually hamper your training efforts.

Obviously you will need to have a good rapport with your parrot before you can even begin to attempt a training session. If your parrot fears you or doesn’t trust you then they are not going to want to learn anything at all.  In fact, such a parrot will instead be quiet and will keep as far away from you as possible. Once they trust you your parrot will start to get your attention by using its own natural vocals.

Parrots are natural mimics and love to imitate and try out new sounds that they hear. So start slowly and choose just a few simply syllable words and phrases to speak slowly to your parrot.

Try these phrases:

“Good morning!”

“What’ya doing?”

“Who’s there?”

“Come here!”

Once your parrot has mastered these simple phrases you can then move on to more specific phrases, such as naming treats and activities:

“Wanna cracker?”

“Grape”

Parrots are so intelligent that they will eventually learn to associate certain phrases and words with an actual situation or need.

Whenever you give your parrot a treat or a toy, ask him if he wants it by carefully enunciating your words. You should try to use an item’s proper name so that your parrot can learn to associate the word with the object.

By following these simple techniques your parrot will be talking in no time!

What’s the best way to get your bird talking?

Whenever anyone thinks of a parrot, they think of a talking bird.  It can be disappointing if your bird hasn’t yet gained the skill to talk with you.  All members of the parrot family are naturally vocal birds who like to chatter which makes it easier to have a bird who talks.  But, there are some birds who are more inclined to speak such as the African Grey and some that are less inclined such as budgies.

Ideally the best way to get a bird talking is two-fold.  First, start with a very young bird.  Young birds learn their vocal skills right out of the nest much like human babies start babbling very early.  Second, if you want a vocal bird he needs to live in a vocal environment.  That means spending time with you bird, taking with your bird, and having those sounds around him.  It makes it that much easier for him to mimic.

Click here to learn more about bird communication

Learning by seeing

Maybe you’ve felt stumped about training your bird to talk, and you’ve been confronted with just articles or manuals.  These can be very good resources, but they don’t always provide the whole picture.  Clear and concise videos are often a better option when training any animal because it allows you to see the training in action.

The Elite Parrots Club offers just this opportunity through their bird expert known as the Bird Lady.  The Bird Lady has many years of experience with birds, and she has created a wealth of videos to show you how to work with your bird both on training him to speak and also on problem solving other issues.  There are also many accompanying articles to review after the videos.

Click here to learn more about the videos you’ll have access to

What are others saying…

The Bird Lady and the Elite Parrots Club are already changing birds’ lives.  Here is what some club members are saying:

“My Honduras Amazon, who is 9-years-old, has a vocabulary of at least 100 words. He has taken individual words and made his own sentences. Some of them are quite hilarious.”

“Even though my parrot talked some when we got him, he has achieved a much larger vocabulary and talks on command now.”

Click here to view to read about other member experiences of The Elite Parrots Club