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New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

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New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Connor » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:39 am

Hi everyone!

I'm new here, from eastern Australia and we have just adopted an eastern Rosella that was rescued when it flew into work one day, and came right up to people, so clearly tame. Also, we had to rescue it from a lizard when it got out one day.
We tried advertising on Facebook and gumtree but no one came.
A guy from work was looking after her and called her Mr Bojangles. We stuck with Bojangles or Jangles.
A few months later and we have now had her about a week. We didn't look after her at work though so she is new to us, for all intents and purposes.
We let her out every day to fly around, obviously making sure windows and doors are closed, curtains pulled so she can't fly into the windows and we keep an eye on her, interact and let her explore and do her own thing. She does eventually go back into her cage when she gets hungry.
She is quite well behaved and we have plenty of toys that we swap around every few days for her. We also give her veggies and fruit as well as her seeds, and she has a hanging seed and fruit treat in her cage too.
She seems happy, she will talk to us and chirps loudly when we leave the room. We can also feed her and she will sometimes come and climb onto my shoulder, but not my girlfriend. We do try and share looking after her so that she sees is both as her parents.
We think she is quite young too, but fully fledged so hard to tell. She doesn't talk or whistle anything apart from a couple of basic noises she must have picked up from somewhere.
What I can't figure out is how to make her step up onto my arm or finger. I try luring her on with sunflower seeds (which we only use for training) but she just flies off, often coming back to the same spot, so I don't think it's because she is scared. As I write this she is hopping between my shoulder and the back of my chair so she seems pretty happy around us.
I don't mind for fancy tricks etc but it would be nice if I could train her just a little in case we have to pop her back in her cage if we get called out or something.
Could this be because she isn't fully comfortable with us or does this normally take time? Any advice?

Thanks in advance, we want to give her a good life.

Connor

(I'd love to attach an image but it won't let me so I'll try on my computer later)
Connor
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Pajarita » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:59 am

Hi, Connor, Jangles and girlfriend, welcome to the forum!

Yes, we can help you with the stepping up BUT, my dear, a week is NOTHING to a parrot. You need to wait at least a couple of months for her to begin to feel comfortable in her new home. It's not her and it's not you or anything you might do or not do, it's the way parrots are. Everything takes a long time with them. She is now in what we call the honeymoon period where she is at her best behavior - they do this because they figure is best not to rock the boat and to take their own sweet time deciding what is what. They ALL do it. All of them without exception.

Now, during the first few weeks in a new home, the best thing is NOT to ask them for anything - no stepping up, no stepping down, no nothing. Think of it as you would a relationship with somebody you do not know, you first get to know the person before you decide if you want to become friends or not, right? Well, it's the same thing with them. And the same way that you would not take it kindly if a person you don't know from Adam asked you for a personal favor, she would not take it kindly if you start asking her to step up because the action of her going on your hand or arm means she trusts you - and she doesn't know enough about you to do this. Yet. So, what you need to do is establish and cement a good relationship with her because the treatment she gets during her honeymoon will be the foundation of your future relationship with her for years and years to come. Talk to her, sing, whistle, dance for her (they love it!) and every now and then offer a treat but do not use this treat as a reward but as a token of friendship - a way to show her that you want to be her friend.

Parrots always want to be on their humans. This is a universal rule. They love being on us and the closer they can get to our faces, the more they like it. And she is already showing you this when she goes to your shoulder or the top of the back of the chair where you are sitting. But you will need to wait a few weeks before you can handle her with confidence and without imposing on her good nature.

Also, she will never regard you and your girlfriend as her parents. Adult birds do not live with their parents, they do not obey them, they do not follow them, and they do not really have much more to do with them than they do with any other flock mate once they become sexually mature. And she will not love the two of you equally, either. Parrots are all one-person birds so she will only bond deeply to her chosen one (which doesn't necessarily means it will be you because the honeymoon behaviors are not 100% indicative of what it will be) and, if you both do everything right, she will be become friends with the other person.

Now, please reconsider her diet because, unless I misunderstood your posting, you seem to be free-feeding seeds and that is not good for them. Cockatoos are EXCELLENT eaters and they consume a large amount of raw produce so, please, make sure this is what she gets first thing in the morning (at dawn) when she is hungriest and save the high protein food for her dinner. And use nuts for training instead of sunflower seeds - find the one that she likes the best (this is called a high value item) and save it only for training BUT if you free-feed protein, you will not have a whole lot of luck with the training even if you reserve the high value item to be used just as a reward because parrots do not understand the concept of alpha roles, leaders, subservience or obedience so you need a powerful incentive for her to do what you ask her to do and that means high protein.

Recapping: you need to switch her diet so she doesn't get high protein all day long. You need to find her high value item and start getting her used to getting it during the day from your fingers. You need to give her a few more weeks to realize this is her home, that she is sharing it with you - and to trust you 100%. There is no love bond without this trust so you need to wait for it to happen before you start training her. Once she trusts you and is beginning to love you, and once she is eager for special treat, it's easy to teach her the step up command because she will be more than willing to get on you.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Connor » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:24 pm

Hi Pajarita,

Thanks so much for your awesome response. It's super helpful.
I had some.wuestions about feeding though, from what you said.
So in the morning it's best for fruit and veggies and only Gover her seeds for dinner? And feed her at set times instead of always having food there? I never even considered this. We are trying not to feed her outside her cage too, this is so she will go back in when she is hungry.
Would you have a recommended feeding pattern/diet?

Thanks so much again, I didn't know a lot of this is so helpful for us!

Connor
Connor
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Pajarita » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:38 am

Oh, yes, the best thing for a parrot (or any animal, actually) is to have what you call a 'pattern' in daily activities. This pattern needs to conform as much as possible to the bird's circadian cycle (circa - as in near or about, and dian as in day). Let me explain. Birds are all photoperiodic - a long word that means their endocrine system -and the seasons it sets (like breeding, molting, migrating, etc)- are governed by light, specifically, the number of daylight hours there is at any given day. This number is 'registered' by the body with the dawn and dusk of each day because it is the different spectrum that only happens at twilight that turns on or off their internal clock. Think of it as a stop watch. When the photoreceptors in their brain (birds have cells that register light inside their heads as well as in their eyes -like mammals have- nature having given them cranial bones so thin that light actually goes through them -isn't that super cool?!) are exposed to the light of dawn, they register the beginning of the daylight hours, and, when they are exposed to the light of dusk, they register the end of the daylight hours. And their body registers this number carefully because it is the number of hours in the day that tells their body what season (or period) it is (photo from the word light in greek and period as in season). BUT there are also 'periods' within this daily cycle! Dawn wakes them up and makes them hungry, noon tells them it's time to rest and dusk makes them hungry again and, as night begins to fall, this special light activates the production of melatonin to make them drowsy so they set to roost for the night. Parrots are happier and healthier when they can follow the 'patterns', whether it's the circadian or the circannual, that they evolve to live under (don't forget that parrots are not domesticated and that the ones we keep as pets are genetically identical to the wild ones and have exactly the same needs).

So, we open the drapes, blinds or uncover their cage at dawn (so they can be exposed to this light for 1.5 to 2 hours and start their internal stop watch) and we feed them (once the sunrays are coming into the room, we can turn on the overhead lights). Then it's time for interacting, bathing, playing, whatever. At noon (more or less), they stop to rest, some nap and some just chill quietly (you will hardly hear a peep out of them at this time of the day), then it's time to maybe pick a little something to eat, interact, play, etc until it's dusk when they are to be fed again (overhead lights need to be turned off when the sun is halfway down to the horizon after which the parrot cannot be exposed to artificial light until the next morning). All birds eat only two main meals a day: breakfast and dinner. But this doesn't mean they should not have access to food in the middle of the day, they should. Now, the trick is to feed them the healthiest food when they are hungriest (breakfast) and to leave food for during the day that is also healthy for them, reserving the high protein food for the night for two reasons: 1) you don't want them to overeat high protein because it damages their liver and kidneys and makes them hormonal which means aggression, 2) the nights are long during the winter and protein makes them feel fuller for a longer period of time. See, the thing about protein is that herbivore birds crave it with a passion. Why? Because it's essential for reproduction (yolks are all protein), growth (muscles need protein) and life BUT there are no natural sources of abundant high protein food in nature so birds need to look and look to find enough protein and, when they find it, they are hardwired to eat and eat and eat until it's all gone. So, when you free-feed high protein food, the bird never eats enough produce which is terribly unhealthy for them.

Now, I feed my birds gloop with raw produce (one fruit, one veggie, one leafy green - I have found that giving them one of each and a different one every day works best for them because when you give them choices they always end up eating their favorite and nothing else) in the morning and for all day picking and a mix of nuts and seeds for dinner (my cockatoo gets mostly nuts which I vary from batch to batch so although he gets three different kinds, they can be walnuts, pecans, almonds, filberts, brazil nuts, cashews or pistachios - they only get human grade roasted peanuts in the shell as a special treat). I have been doing research for many years on their natural diets and experimenting different staples for them and use gloop because it's healthy, non-fattening, filling, easy to make (after you get the knack of it) and the birds love it.

And yes, always feed the staples (gloop and high protein) food in the cage but you can give her raw produce before she starts on the gloop in her cage. My birds are let out as soon as there is the merest light in the sky and often steal or are given some produce while I clean their cages and give them fresh water and food - after which they are put in the cage to eat breakfast for about 1/2 hour, then let out again until the early pm. I never have a single problem putting them in their cages and some of them even go into them by themselves (they know the command "Go Home!" and they also know that 'Que rica papa" -I was born and raised in a South American country so I speak both English and Spanish- means food) because they know food is in there and want to get to it - even in the afternoon when they go back in and do not come out until the next morning because I close the doors to the cages so they don't have access to the gloop when they are out and, after hours of being out flying and interacting, they are eager for a nice bite to eat.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Connor » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:50 am

Wow what an informed reply, I will be keeping this for future reference. Thankyou so much!

So what is gloop? Im guessing blended fruit or something?

The problem we have with letting her out all the time is that we need to come and go as we have other housemates too, who are caring toward her and understanding, however still 4 of us and we all come and go. She always tries to follow people when we leave the room.
I dont want her getting out. Am I being too overcaring? Or will she be happy to not go out? I'm not sure she would know to come back

Thanks again so much!
Connor
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Pajarita » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:28 am

Gloop is the name I gave to a dish I came up with when my first rescue parrot was diagnosed with high uric acid (which is the 'leftover' of protein and, when it is high, you know you are feeding too much of it) and it is, basically, a dish of cooked (to a hard 'al dente', never overcooked) whole grains, pulses (I only use lentils now), and veggies that are either of a small size or chopped into small pieces. My current (I say 'current' because the recipe is always evolving but it has been pretty steady lately, after 26 years of 'tweaking' it :D ) gloop is made of kamut, hulled barley, oat groats, spelt, black lentils (brown are fine, I use the round, black ones because my birds prefer them), red and black rice (sometimes I also add wild rice), chopped broccoli, carrots, peas, sweet corn, white hominy corn, diced butternut squash and chunks of cooked sweet potatoes. The veggies, except for the sweet potatoes and the hominy corn are all added while still frozen to cool mix of cooked grains and lentils because frozen produce is the most nutritious of all the options: fresh or canned. I make a big batch of grains and lentils, freeze half of it (for the next gloop batch) and mix the other half with the frozen veggies, then split it into daily portions so I can take out a day's worth at a time and allow it to thaw before serving (I take it out of the freezer the night before and bring it to room temperature in the microwave before I dish it out).

I am not sure if you are asking if she can come out of a room or if she can come out of the house... But, if it's the house, NO! Do not let her out without a harness (and you will have to get her used to it -Michael has very good videos teaching you to do this). If it is to go to another room, it's fine if she wants to explore (cockatoos are very curious and love to roam around and explore) BUT make sure she is always supervised or you will find holes in the walls and chewed up furniture, clothes, shoes, etc. all over the place. And get her lots and lots and LOTS of stuff for her to chew (they LOVE large thick cardboard boxes they can chew from the inside out).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Connor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:37 am

Awesome thanks I will give this a shot for her. Also saw something about veggy/fruit muffins for them too, is that worth trying?

No, i know she can't go out the house, she might try to make friends with another dragon... Again... I was more just wondering if she would come back but I don't know if she would. We let her explore the house all the time though.

We have a cardboard toy for her too, and she likes to chew the wooden window stops we have, which is fine by us.

Thanks again for all your help!
Connor
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Pajarita » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:41 am

I make birdy bread for mine, not muffins (the difference is not only size or shape but that muffins are made with baking powder -which can contain aluminum, bad for birds, but, even when it doesn't, it's not as nutritious as yeast). I use an old bread machine in the whole wheat setting and make it with different whole grains like whole wheat flour, coarse corn meal, oatmeal, sometimes rice or potato flour (but very little of these). I add the dry yeast and the moisture is given by pureed pumpkin, grated carrots and/or zucchini, a bit of extra virgin olive oil, maybe some fruit juice (I don't follow a recipe, I use whatever I have) and then I add stuff according to whether I am going to make a spicy (rarely) or a fruity (almost always because I eat it myself) with stuff like currants, raisins, chopped fruit, dry figs and dates, etc OR fresh corn, canned peas, beets, and chili powder for seasoning. It doesn't really matter how it comes out (too dry, too moist, too dense) because the birds like it anyway.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Connor » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:27 am

Awesome, thanks again for all your help it's super helpful. We are changing the diet and routine to better suit, so will let you know how it goes.

Cheers again :)

C
Connor
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Eastern Rosella
Flight: Yes

Re: New member, new bird. Looking for some advice.

Postby Pajarita » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:08 am

Yes, please do. We love to hear how the birds we get to know through the forum are doing.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16669
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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