Monthly Archives: May 2012

Harness Training Your Parrot

Harness Training your Parrot

Harness Training your Parrot

When we brought our first large parrot into our lives 20 years ago, Marshmellow our Umbrella Cockatoo, we tried to harness train her but she never liked it……this does not mean that harnesses are not good.  They  are a great idea for those that want to take their bird outside without fear of losing them.

Harness training your parrot offers a host of benefits. It can open up new doors for you and your bird to share a variety of experiences outside the four walls of your home. Here are just a few of the benefits of harness training:

It enables your Feathered Friend to enjoy the fresh air. We all know that parrots frighten easily. A sudden movement or sound can cause them to flee. For this reason, many parrot owners don’t allow their bird outside.  A harness can keep your bird safe while they explore the great outdoors.

It allows you and your bird to enjoy a variety of activities together. Want to get your feathered friend out of the house? Thinking about joining your neighbor for a picnic? A harness will enable you to take your bird along. You can let your parrot enjoy a variety of summer social activities without the fear of him escaping.

Patience, Patience, Patience

Harness training your bird may not be as simple as you think. While teaching your bird to step on and off his bird stand, or how to pick up their bird toys can be relatively simple, harness training is another story. You will need to invest a tremendous amount of time and patience to help your bird master this technique. The most important thing is to go at your bird’s pace. If it takes 9 months for your bird to get comfortable with the harness, allow for that time.

Here are a few simple tips for getting started:

  • Allow your parrot to select his favorite color. Be sure to use a harness that your bird is comfortable with. Letting your parrot choose the color for his harness may be a fun way to start the training.
  • Help your parrot get use to the harness slowly. The first step is to help your bird get use to seeing the harness. As they are playing with their bird toys, lay the harness on the floor nearby and let him look at it.  Next, help your parrot get use to the sound of the harness. Bird harnesses have several buckles and straps.  Thirdly, help your parrot get use to the feel of the harness. As you are playing with your bird, let the harness brush up against him. Help him understand it is nothing to be afraid of. Finally, when it comes time to help your parrot wear the harness, move slowly. At first, your bird may only tolerate wearing it for 30 seconds. Always reward your parrot for his efforts using positive reinforcement.

Over time and with lots of patience, your parrot can be well-trained on how to wear a harness. This will enable you to take summer walks together and enjoy family picnics outside. Good luck!!!  Don’t give up hope.  I have recently started harness training with our birds again.  It has been a slow process thus far.

FunTime Birdy


BIG $avings Sale at FunTime Birdy

Big Savings SaleSave 15% to 40% on the best handmade bird toys and parrot playgyms for your feathered friend.

Sale ends June 14th.

Kacy the Black Capped Conure Enjoys her Wading Pool

Kacy the Black Capped just loves her bath…….Now that’s one clean bird!!!

FunTme Birdy

Our African Grey Jerry’s 16th Birdthday Party

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Jerry, our African Grey just celebrated his 16th birthday.  The party was attended by his entire flock of brothers and sisters…..Marshmellow (Umbrella Cockatoo), Buddy (Severe Macaw), Kiwi (DYH Amazon), and Snowy (Parakeet).  Jerry had a great time and is enjoying his new bird toy as you can see by the pics.

Happy Birthday Jerry!!!!!


Mom and Dad
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Puzzle Shapes Bird Toy Starring Kona the Macaw

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Check out Kona the Blue and Gold Macaw as he tries out his new Puzzle Shapes Bird Toy.  Looks like he already is getting the hang of it.  Go Kona!!!!

FunTime Birdy

Lifespan of Parrots

Umbrella Cockatoo named MarshmellowAs a devoted parrot owner, no doubt you want your bird around for many years to come. The truth is that a well-cared for parrot can outlive its owner. So purchasing a feathered friend may indeed be a lifelong commitment. However, keep in mind that a parrot’s lifespan is directly linked to the quality of care he/she receives. There are a number of factors that influence a parrot’s longevity. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your feathered friend leads a long, happy life:

  1. Provide your parrot with a nutrient-rich diet. A seed-only diet is never ideal for parrots. It does not contain all the nutrients your bird needs to thrive. Instead, make sure your parrot receives a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.  Also, it is important to have your feathered friend on a pelleted diet.
  1. Make Sure Your Bird Gets Plenty of Sleep. Parrots need an average of 8-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to thrive. An over-tired bird will develop a weakened immune system, making him much more susceptible to illness.  Make sure your bird has a quiet, dark spot to rest.
  1. Take Your Feathered Friend to the Veterinarian Regularly. Most parrots will hide any signs of illness until it is too late. As a result, it is critical to make sure your bird receives routine examines by an avian veterinarian. This will enable you to catch illnesses before they become fatal.

So How Long Do Parrots Actually Live?

Larger birds tend to live longer than their smaller counterparts. Macaws can live 60-70 years; African Greys average 50 years; Lovebirds, Conures and Budgies average 20 years; while Canaries and Finches tend to live 15 years. Genetics also play a factor in determining a parrot’s longevity. However, with proper care and nutrition, you and your bird can enjoy a long, happy life together. Treasure every moment!!

FunTime Birdy

Disco the Amazing Talking Parakeet

This little Parakeet named ‘Disco” is one amazing talking Parakeet.   He takes a while to get going but once he does…..he doesn’t stop.  His voice is so amazing…..I love his Flintstones theme song (LOL)

FunTime Birdy