Tag Archives: Bird Tips

12 Things you Should Never Do With Your Parrots, Part II

12 Things you should not do with your ParrotContinuing our list of tips of what not to do with your parrot…

7.  Never place a large and small parrot in the same cage unless you are sure they get along. Some parrots can be extremely territorial and aggressive. If you have a parrot who is accustomed to being the only bird in his home (cage), and one day you place another bird in his cage besides him, he can become hostile to the new bird.

8.  Never feed your parrot chocolate. Some foods simply aren’t healthy for your birds. Others are downright dangerous. Even in small portions, chocolate can be deadly to parrots. As a result, whenever you are hosting a party at your house, make sure there is no chocolate within your birds reach. Of course, you will also want to inform your guests not to feed your bird anything without your permission.

9.  Never isolate your parrot from the family. Because parrots are flock animals and need the companionship of others, isolation can cause serious mental and physical issues. Birds that are kept in a cage and have little or no interaction with their owners become depressed and sullen. They may refuse to eat or play with their parrot toys.  Some birds may resort to feather plucking, screaming or aggression. In order to have an emotionally healthy bird, provide them with plenty of family time!  You can let you bird hang out with the family on their Parrot Playgym while everyone watches TV or plays games.

10. Never leave another pet alone around your parrot’s cage. Even if your Yellow Lab is the most docile dog in the world, do not leave him around your parrot’s cage unattended. Cats and other pets should also be kept away from your parrot’s cage. Remember both dogs and cats are hunters by nature and birds are animals of prey—seeing your parrot flutter around his cage may be too great of a temptation for your four-legged family member. Even if they only want to play, they could accidently harm your bird by pouncing on the cage.

11. Never feed a seed-only diet. Parrots love seeds. However, that is not the only thing you should serve them. Seeds are high in fat and in large quantities can cause your parrot to gain unnecessary weight. Even if your bird exercises vigorously playing with his bird toys, you should restrict the amount of nuts and seeds you provide.

12. Never adopt a parrot without knowing what you’re getting into. A parrot should never be an impulse purchase. These birds require extensive care, a stable home and an owner who will love them their entire life. You need to be ready to make this commitment before purchasing or adopting a parrot.

FunTime Birdy

12 Things you Should Never Do With Your Parrots, Part I

12 Things Not to do with your Parrot, Part 1Whether you’ve been a parrot owner for 20 years or just 20 days, here are a few helpful reminders that will assist you in preserving your feathered friends health and longevity:

1.  Never spray hairspray around your bird. Your parrot may be sitting next to you on his parrot playstand, watching you go about your daily routine, when you decide to fix your hair. At this point—STOP! You should never spray hairspray or perfume around your parrot. The fumes could cause respiratory distress or even death.

2.  Never light candles around your bird. Scented candles can make a home or bedroom smell fresh and beautiful—at least to us humans. However, when it comes to parrots, it’s a whole other story. The scent radiating from a burning candle can be toxic to your bird.

3.  Never leave your parrot in his cage 24-7. If you have a crazy, hectic schedule, there may be times when you are tempted to say “I simply don’t have any time to spend with my bird today.” Unfortunately this excuse can spiral out of control, causing some people to leave their parrots stuck in a cage for weeks on end. Even if your bird cage is loaded with bird toys, your parrot needs daily exercise and a change in pace. To make time for your bird, get up a half hour early or just let your bird follow you around the house as you go about your chores.

4.  Never yell at your parrot. This can teach your parrot that screaming is acceptable. If your parrot gets in the habit of screaming it will not only annoy you but it may also cause problems with the neighbors. Yelling can traumatize your birds causing them to become timid, aggressive or withdrawn.

5.  Never let your Parrot outside without being contained (he could fly away). Fresh air is healthy for parrots. However, don’t make the mistake of “letting your parrot explore” by himself. Parrots were made to fly and they will try to do exactly that. Clipping your parrot’s wings can be helpful in discouraging flight. A covered, outdoor aviary would be ideal for getting some fresh air.

6.  Never let your parrot ride lose in the car.  Whether you’re rushing off to the vet or simply taking a road trip, a parrot should never ride un-contained in a car. It is simply too dangerous. Always place your feathered friend in a bird carrier. To make your bird feel more comfortable, place some of his favorite parrot toys in the carrier with him.

7 Bird Care Tips

Bird Care Tips

Bird Care Tips

Here are a few tips for providing superior care to your feathered friends:

1.    Seeds and nuts should make up no more than 10% of your bird’s diet and can be used as treats. It is very important to start your bird on a Pelleted diet as soon as possible.  Fruits, veggies and leafy greens should be given twice a day.  Our gang receives fresh fruit in the morning and at night they receive fresh veggies.  We try and switch the order around so it never gets boring.  Some of our guys like the veggies…..some don’t but over time they dig their beaks into their bowl.

2.    Avoid salty snacks. Crackers and other processed foods should never be given to your parrot. Too much sodium can be toxic to parrots. Even though it may be tempting to hand your bird a cracker as he/she is sitting on his bird stand……don’t give in. Offer him/her an apple slice or a grape instead.

3.    Provide your parrot with plenty of bird toys. Invest in shreddable bird toys, educational bird toys, foot toys and other type of play items you can think of for your feathered friend to enjoy.

4.    Never leave your parrot unattended on his parrot playgyms . Always keep a close eye on your feathered friend when he/she is outside of his cage. He/she could get into mischief.  Marshmellow our Umbrella Cockatoo always has a knack of finding the phone cord and chewing it to bits….thank god for cord less phones.  (LOL)

5.    Keep strong fumes away from your bird. Scented candles, hairspray, non-stick cookware and nail polish remover are very toxic to birds.  We have heard so many horror stories from bird owners not knowing this tip.

6.    Provide your bird with fresh water daily. Clean, fresh water that is free from food particles and droppings is essential for maintaining your parrot’s health.

7.     Invest in a large parrot cage. Your bird needs ample space to move around and play with his bird toys. So invest in the largest cage you can afford—remember this is an investment in your bird’s happiness.

FunTime Birdy

Grooming your Parrot

Parrot Grooming Tips

Parrot Grooming

Unlike certain dog breeds, parrots have few grooming needs.

Here are a parrot’s four basic grooming needs:

1.    Bathing. Parrots love to be clean. You can give your parrot a weekly bath in the sink or you can provide your feathered friend with a shallow water dish, allowing him to bath himself.  I usually give my feathered kids a bath a couple of times a week.  One day during the week is usually a large soaking for them so they can get nice and wet.  I use a spray bottle filled with luke warm water and mist them under their wings and and on their backs.

2.    Wing-clipping. If you want to prevent your bird from flying, you will need to trim his primary wing feathers. Keep in mind that if you trim your pet’s wings, he may have difficulty fluttering on and off his parrot playgyms or bird stand, depending on the height. Wing feathers can be trimmed using a pair of scissors.  If you are uncertain how to do this, I recommend taking your bird to your local bird store or local veterinarian.

3.    Nail Trimming. If your pet punctures your skin as he steps onto your hand, it’s probably time for a nail trim. You can do this yourself using special nail trimmers or in some cases with larger birds you can use a nail file.  Remember not to use to heavy of a nail file.  Again, if you are unaware of how to do this, take your feathered friend to the local bird store or local veterinarian.

4.    Beak Trimming. Unless you are an extremely experienced bird handler, you should leave this task up to your veterinarian. One way to keep your parrot’s beak in good condition is to provide him with plenty of bird toys to chew on. Wooden bird toys are especially beneficial as they will help keep your pet’s beak trim and shapely.

FunTime Birdy

Pet Bird Training Tips for Owners

Pet Bird Training Tips

Pet Bird Training Tips

When you first start to train your feathered friend remember to keep the training fun. This is a special time for your and your feathered guy so the more upbeat you are the more they respond.

I think that this special time is a great bonding experience for you and your feathered baby.  I have found that it is important to keep the training session short…..this way their attention span is focused on you and you only.

Here is a great article from Bird Channel on Training Tips for Bird Owners

Check out the full line of educational bird tricks at FunTime Birdy

FunTime Birdy

Training your Parrot at an Early Age

Training your Parrot at an Early Age

Marshmellow.....Our Umbrella Cockatoo

I remember when we bought our first parrot an Umbrella Cockatoo named “Marshmellow” 18 years ago.  She was only 3 months old when we first brought her home.  She was such a smush…..as most Umbrella Cockatoos are.

As I look back, we formed such a close bond which we still have today.  I am still able to file her nails with an emery board and trim her wings.

I also remember when we brought our baby Double Yellow Headed Amazon named “Kiwi” home for the first time.  I worked hard with him teaching him with the “Up” and “Down” commands and teaching him about the word  “No”.  Kiwi is now 11 years old and he to this day remembers these commands without question.  We have the most loving relationship and he is definitely a “momma’s boy” (LOL)

Here is an article from Bird Channel that elaborates more into teaching your bird when they are young:

Training Young Pet Birds by Elise Kaplan

How Many Bird Toys Should My Parrot Have in His Bird Cage?

Cockatoo Playing with Bird Toy

Cockatoo Playing with Bird Toy

There are many different opinions about this subject. A lot of bird owners will say “my bird doesn’t like to play” or “my bird destroys his/her bird toys right away so I don’t want to buy that many toys for him”.

The truth of the matter is that birds need at least 10 to 14 toys in their cage at one time. The reason for so many toys is simple. Imagine for a moment that you were trapped in your house with nothing but some food, water and only one book to read. How fast would you finish that book? How bored would you be after you finished reading that one book? What would you do next? The answer is simple, nothing. Now look at it from your bird’s perspective. They have one or two bird toys in the cage and some food and water. After they play with the one or two toys, what can they do next? The answer is the same as for you, nothing.

When I bought my first bird 20 years ago I did not know that she needed so many toys. I did the usual 3 to 5 toys at one time. What I noticed was that my Umbrella Cockatoo was bored. She would often scream for my attention. After researching about birds and bird toys, I realized I had not provided her with enough stimulation to make her a happy and healthy bird. I then started providing her with more and more toys and she became a more playful and happy bird.

Now I am sure after reading this you are asking yourself, where am I going to put all these toys and how will my bird be able to move around in their cage with so many toys? The answer is simple you can place several bird toys along the back wall of the cage. You can also place the toys on the left or right side of the cage as well as hanging a few from the top of the cage. Remember to provide a perch near the area where the toys are so your bird can easily reach the toys. Another interesting spot to put some toys is hanging from the outside of the cage. Your bird can grab the toy from inside and this will become a whole new way to play for him. My mom actually does this a lot with her Cockatiel and he just loves to tug at the toy outside the cage and try to pull it into the cage.

Remember that birds are a lot like kids. They get bored very easily and need a lot of stimulation. In the wild they would spend most of their days foraging and running from danger. In our homes they have nothing to do but sit in their cage. This is why it is essential to provide our beloved birds with as much stimulation in the form of bird toys as possible.

How to Get Your Bird to Eat Vegetables Part 1

Green Leafy Veggies

Green Leafy Veggies

It is so important for a parrot even a small parakeet to have a diverse diet.  No bird should ever just eat seeds alone.  The trick is how do I get my bird to start eating a well balanced diet filled with Pellets, fruits and green leafy veggies?  This can be easier said than done.  This is my first tip on how to get your bird eating greens.

My Cockatoo Marshmellow loves scrambled eggs.  Did you ever give your bird scrambled eggs?   If not then you should try scrambled eggs plain for 2 to 3 times and make sure your bird is really loving them before going to the next step.  Marshmellow already loves eggs so I was able to move right into putting some veggies in a blender.  I make sure the veggies are really ground up.  Then I mix in the eggs with the veggies and scramble them. Marshmellow always comes right over to eat her Veggie Egg combo.  It is great because I know she is eating her veggies while she is eating her egg.  Some weeks I try to really put a lot of veggies in but I do notice that when it is too green she seems to run away so I have to watch my mixture. (Please note this technique is meant to be used for a short time period……Just to help your bird get used to the taste of the vegetables.  As your bird becomes accustomed to the vegetables discontinue the use of egg in his or her diet.)

TIP: You can either use fresh veggies or plain frozen veggies which ever is easiest for you.  I have used both and never had a problem.

Once your bird is happily eating the veggie egg combo you can slowly substitute egg whites for the yokes and really make a healthy scrambled Veggie Egg.

I would love to discuss other recipes and ideas for getting our birds to eat healthy.  Please leave me a comment so we can share ideas.

How Much Sleep Does my Bird Need?

Amazon Parrot Sleeping

Amazon Parrot Sleeping

Through living with birds/parrots for over 25 years I have come to learn that birds need at least 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.  My Cockatoo Marshmellow is very cranky when she does not get enough sleep.  At certain times of the year Marshmellow needs as much as 14 hours of sleep.  Marshmellow sleeps with our other flock members in our second bedroom.  All the flock members that sleep in our second bedroom have a cage cover so that it is nice and dark for them.  I even went out and purchased a black out shade for those summer months when it is still light when I put them to bed.

However, my African Grey, Jerry seems to need less sleep.  Jerry is a special case after many years of trying to find out why he was plucking his feathers we realized that Jerry is afraid of the dark.  In order to solve Jerry’s problem he now sleeps in our den away from my other flock members and we leave the light on for him.  He has not plucked a single feather.

What I have learned about birds and sleep is that birds are like humans.  Some humans require more sleep than others and some birds require more sleep than other birds.  The guideline is to allow your bird to have at least 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep and then see how they behave.  You will then be able to adjust their sleep to either more or less depending on how they do.

I would love to hear your comments about your bird’s sleep patterns.  Please leave me a comment and I will respond back.