Handicapped birds can live normal lives

October 21, 2009

Some birds and parrots are born with defects, others get hurt in the nest box as tiny babies and some have one or other accident which leaves them handicapped.

This however, does not mean that they can’t have a normal life. Parrots and birds are amazingly adaptable and quickly learn to cope with their handicaps in such a grand way, that it would be cruel to deny them that life.

My Indian ringneck pet parrot Pinki somehow got hurt in the nest box while a tiny baby, leaving him with a crippled leg. Although my veterinarian tried to fix the leg with elastoplast, Pinki kept biting off the bandage and so the leg and foot stayed shriveled up.

Realizing that Pinki would never be able to walk properly, I did not trim his wings, so he learned to fly soon. I never kept him in a cage. He thus had the whole house to explore and enjoy. Amazingly enough he also managed to land where ever he wanted with one leg.
His favorite place was on my shoulder though, and still is today.

When he was fully grown and starting to damage my indoor plants and stuff, I put him outside with my larger parrots during the day. There he learned to climb the wire enclosure and also how to land there after flying.
His night time resting place was a bird tent hanging in my bedroom, one without a perch, just a flat bottom.

My new home is not yet bird proofed, so Pinki had to move into the aviaries outside with all my other pet parrots.

He loves to be outside now and very seldom lets me take him inside. My shoulder still is his favorite place when I’m inside the aviaries, though. On there he can safely visit every aviary and pick his favorite snacks off every food plate.

Pinki does not think he is cripple and none of the other parrots think so either, even though he cannot walk properly nor take food in his paw to eat like the others.

Parrot Escaped – what to do

October 3, 2009

I don’t believe in clipping a pet parrots flight feathers because that makes him an invalid and very vulnerable to accidents.

Of course that can lead to the escape of one your pets, if you haven’t parrot-proofed your entire house.

Now our previous home was parrot-proofed as far as possible. Yet one day the unforeseen happened – my beloved green Indian ringneck parrot Pinkie escaped. It happened when my late husband was rolling out of the front parrot-proofed door in his wheelchair. He had to open both doors to get through with the wheelchair and Pinkie used that moment to fly right through out and was gone within five minutes.

I was lucky. Although Pinkie is cripple, having only one foot to use, I got him back after ten days.

What I did to find him:

  • 1. I had the local Radio station send out a missing parrot message for 3 days.
  • 2. put up a typed Missing Parrot notice on the notice boards of all veterinary clinics in town.
  • 3. put up more of those notices on the notice boards of local shops.
  • 4. Called all parrot breeders in town which I could find to in inform them.

The problem is that an escapee parrot like that is in such a shock, that it just flies and flies until it’s totally exhausted. Then it will try to find home, but is totally lost, maybe miles away from home. If it can hear some familiar sounds, like other pet birds calling in aviaries, then that’s where it will fly to.

That’s what Pinkie did. Ended up in front of the cage of another African Grey parrot miles away from home, after six days of being who knows where. The owners of the African Grey caught him there and informed one of the veterinary clinics, where I had put up my notice.

What saved his life? Being able to fly like a bird should be able to do. Since then Pinkie avoids all doors.

Stick Training a Pet Parrot

October 3, 2009

Stick training your pet parrot has definite advantages.

Parrots have a way to choose the highest places in a room to hide from you or to get into mischief somehow or other.

Now even if you own a ladder, most of the time it’s not where you need it when you need it. Climbing on a chair to reach the parrot does not always do the trick either. Your parrot, even if trained to step up to your finger, is not always prepared to listen to you, especially when he is up to mischief where you can’t reach him.

That’s when a stick comes in very handy. You just reach up with the stick and pretty boy or girl will step up on the stick to be taken back down.

Another instance when a stick is a handy tool is when a parrot somehow manages to escape out of the window or door into open space. Happened to me the other day with my ringneck parrot. There he sat, high up in a tree in my garden, scared to death to be in this strange place. Okay, I had my ladder handy then, yet it was not high enough to reach Cheeky’s perch in the tree.
So I grabbed the stick, got up to the third step on the ladder and held the stick in front of him, telling him in a soothing tone to step up. After a few seconds of thought, he readily stepped up on the stick and I could take him back into the house.

Was he glad to be home? I bet you he was overjoyed. He snuggled up under my chin, gave me kisses and did not even want to leave there for about thirty minutes. This just shows you that he really got the fright of his life in the open.

One thing to remember in a case like this: make every effort to stay calm. This is not so easy when you are shaking from fear that the parrot might take off before you get to him or her. Yet it is vital to stay calm and composed and act as if this is just another training session.

Which Pet Parrots Can Talk

October 3, 2009

Many people would like to own a talking parrot, thinking that a parrot will talk on command of it’s owner. This, however, is only possible with special training.

Here you can come to know which parrots have the ability to imitate human language. Armed with this knowledge, you can start looking for a talking pet parrot.

By and large the small versions of parrots do not really learn to talk. Their attraction is either their coloring or their clownish behavior or their cuddliness.

Cockatiels for instance, love a head scratch. They can also be trained to whistle a variety of tunes, which they will then show off easily. Love birds can be trick trained, being natural clowns.

Looking at the next size of pet hook bills we have Indian ringnecks, Ruppels parrots, conures and the likes. Amongst these, Indian ringnecks maybe are the best talkers, if trained correctly.

They mostly start talking in their second year, beginning with different sounds while resting, talking to themselves. After a while one can make out definite words amongst the babble. They can exactly imitate door bells, telephone ring tones, coughing and other repeated sounds. They also are able to say complete sentences and they speak clearly.

Concerning the larger parrots, I believe that all of them can be trained to talk, whether male or female. It just depends on how much love and training they get.

Fact is, however, when you give a talking female parrot a mate, she’ll probably stop talking. I have had this happen with African Grey parrots as well as with Eclectus.
Amazon parrot females may be an exception. Mine learned to talk from her conversant partner and keeps talking.

Training parrots to talk is not as difficult as some may think it to be. Once you have the parrots trust and communicate with it regularly, it will start talking after some time. The real secret is to keep on talking to your parrot as if to a child.