Archive for August, 2010

Put parrot biting behind you

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Dear Parrot Lover,

Does your parrot often mistake your fingers for his chew toy? Have you often asked yourself ‘Why’?

Whenever a parrot owner has been bitten by his or her parrot, they immediately start to distrust their parrot and slowly start to reduce the amount of time that they spend with their parrot. The parrot, on the other hand, sees this distance as a reason to defend himself and will become quite territorial.

It is obviously best to not let things escalate to this point. Be being positive and having lots of patience it is quite easy to turn a biting parrot into a sweet and cuddly one.

The first thing you should do is to learn how to interpret your parrot’s body language as this will give you clues as to when, and why, your parrot will bite.

In most cases, parrot owners don’t give their parrots the freedom to choose and will actually, unknowingly, force their parrot to do something that they simply do not want to do. So, the parrot bites their owner as a way of telling them that.

This is often the case when a parrot owner wants their parrot to step off of their shoulder after they’ve been there quite a while, and their parrot doesn’t want to leave their nice high perch and so bites the fingers that are intruding on their ‘branch’.

Common reasons that Parrots bite are:

Fear

Frustration

Reaching Adolescence

Molting Feathers

Protecting their cage/toys/favorite person

Jealousy

It is best to learn how to read the subtle behavior signs that parrots exhibit as a way of forewarning you that he is preparing to bite you. Once you are able to easily recognize these signs, not only will you be able to better understand your parrot’s behavior, but you will also be able to identify the triggering factors that precede a painful bite. Of course knowing all this will also help you in preventing your parrot from actually biting you ever again.

Such warning signs include your parrot pinning his eyes or fluffing out his feathers. Never ignore these signs. If you do, your parrot will most undoubtedly bite you, and you will either flinch and/or scream in pain.

Because parrots love comedic antics, they will quickly learn that if they bite you, you will ‘reward’ them with a performance.

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.

How Can You Teach Your Parrot
If it Keeps Biting You?

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Most parrot owners know how ferocious parrots can become as they age. Great care and lots of love just aren’t enough because there are reasons parrots bite, and if you don’t know the reasons and the tricks necessary to change their behavior, you and your parrot are stuck.

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Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

Stop talking about teaching your parrot to talk

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Dear Parrot Lover,

Teaching your parrot to talk is much easier than you think! All parrots have talking ability - it just takes a lot of patience and knowledge on the part of their owners to help them realize their full talking potential.

Unlike cats and dogs, parrots are so intelligent that they can even understand and repeat certain words very quickly. In fact, most parrots even have the ability to use such words at appropriate times as well.

If your parrot has already picked up a few words that he has heard you speak around the house on his own, you may want to train him to respond verbally to questions that you ask him. This will steadily increase their vocabulary. However, first you should teach him to imitate the desired response or answer first. Engaging your parrot in a conversation is a great way to help keep his mind as stimulated as possible.

When trying to teach your parrot to talk, you should introduce a new word to your parrot by speaking it aloud and then by using it in various sentences and phrases, as this will help your parrot to hear the word being repeated in different contexts.

Whenever your parrot repeats the word back to you, immediately give him plenty of praise!

Having a conversation with your parrot can be lots of fun, but it is best to stick with chatting back and forth with him about things that are important to your parrot, such as food and his toys.

As soon as you feel that your parrot knows and understands the correct response, you can then start a conversation with your parrot by asking him the question that will ultimately lead to the word or phrase answer that he now knows. Be sure to reward your parrot whenever he says the correct answer.

Parrots will learn vocalizations over a period of time - to speed things up be sure to clearly pronounce your words so that your parrot can easily pick up on the sounds.

Remember to congratulate your parrot as often as possible and give him a nice treat whenever he attempts to say the correct response. Food can be used as a great reward! No parrot can refuse a tasty treat, just be sure not to withhold your parrots food altogether as that is considered animal abuse.

You can continue with this training until your parrot responds with the correct answer every time that he is asked the specific question. Teaching your parrot to talk this way can be challenging for both you and your parrot. Just don’t give up and keep practicing patiently.

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Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

Don’t waste your parrot’s time

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Dear Parrot Lover,

Who can resist owning a pretty, intelligent creature like a parrot or other little bird?

The numbers of households that have pet parrots are increasing every day. However, as popular a pet as parrots are becoming, owners still are not 100% sure how to properly care for their parrot.

A very common mistake that every new parrot owner makes, even before they have brought their new pet bird home, is to purchase the incorrect cage. An easy way around this is to simply remember to purchase the biggest cage that you can possibly afford for your new parrot. But, be careful - the cage you finally select will have to have bar spaces that are not too wide, as your parrot might be able to get their head or feet stuck between the bars.

The cage should also be wide and tall enough so that when your parrot turns around inside with his wings outstretched, none of his feathers touch any part of the cage walls.

Inside the cage should always be at least three perches - all with different diameters, as well as 5 distinctive types of toys to keep your parrot amused, as well as stimulated.

Parrots need to have access to clean, pure water and should have their water bowls changed whenever they become dirty - some parrots love to dunk their food into their water so be sure to throw it out as soon as you can to avoid harboring bacteria in their water dish.

During the hot summer months, it is important that your parrot be given the opportunity to bathe himself. You can do this by placing a small bird bath or bowl on the bottom of his cage for him to bath in. If this is not possible, or if you’d prefer to monitor your birds bathing, you can fill a spray bottle with water and use it to spray a gentle mist on your parrot - this is perfect if you have a larger parrot such as a Macaw or Cockatoo.

Another vital mistake that parrots owners make is in not learning about their parrot’s specific dietary needs. All pet birds require a special diet that is fortified with nuts, seeds, grains, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Be careful not to choose a commercially prepared bird seed/pellet mix that contains a lot of brightly colored pellets. This is because those multi-colored pellets actually contain sugared food coloring that is harmful to birds when eaten in large quantities.

Don’t forget to give your parrot plenty of exercise outside of their cage, preferably on a play stand, for at least 2 hours every day.


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Regards,
Nathalie Roberts