Hints and Tips!
Here are just a few tips and hints you might find useful! If you have any more please send them in to us and we'll get them on the website for you!
When you first get your new feathered friend there are so many things to think about don't forget your basic safety checks!
Position the cage out of drafts as your bird can easily catch a chill.
Do not use plastic or metal perches as these are unnatural and unsuitable for your birds feet.
Kitchens should be avoided as the temperature and humidity fluctuate wildly.
Also fumes from burning Teflon pans, many aerosols like pesticides, paints and thinners can kill your pet, if in doubt do not use or move your pet to an unaffected area.
Most parrots love to fly, however, before allowing your pet his freedom check the danger areas, open windows, fire grates and chimneys, birds can get tangled in net curtains and until they are use to their surroundings they can fly into a closed window and break their neck, so keep the curtains closed when they are out until they are sure of their new home.
Remember young birds and like puppies. If you leave then free when you go out don't be surprised to come home to chewed sofas and shredded curtains!
All parrots love to chew and will delight in removing the bark from natural branches, which can be used as perches. Be sure to scrub them well before putting them in the cage as they may have been sprayed with insecticide.
Never use Yew, Laburnum, Holly or Laurel as they are all poisonous to your pet.
Playing with your Parrot
It helps to remember that most parrots enjoy drama so it's helpful to save the dramatic mood for playtime rather than when your parrot does something unacceptable like biting. Getting excited when you play with your bird will encourage it to play, especially if you make a lot of different noises. A very simple way of playing with your bird is to put some music on and dance in front of it! This usually gets a good response and it's fun when a bird learns to copy the dancing in it's own way!
What's your favourite playtime with your bird?
Games to play with your Parrot
We have lot's of little games we play with our feathered friends, we'd like to share these with you and hope you share yours with us!
The Kitchen Draw Game - Keep some foot toys, teaspoons, anything your parrot can safely play with in a spare drawer and they will play for ages, picking things up, turning them over and dropping them. Kind of like a child playing kitchen!
The Gravity Game - drop the toy and get the human to pick it up. Most parrots adore this game and will play it for an almost indefinite length of time. If the game is going really well, it can get into throw the toy and get the human to retrieve it! Kind of like having a dog but backwards!
Inexpensive toys for your Parrot
Much like a child your birds will find hours of amusement in the most ordinary objects. We've compiled a list below of items we find parrots like playing with, let us know if you know of more!
Wooden spoons, large plastic lego pieces, roll of paper towel, bow ties, tiny boxes of raisins, brown paper bags, large stainless steel nuts and bolts, stainless steel quick links, untreated pieces of wood, straws, wooden clothes pegs (without the metal) any cardboard box with holes in it for hide and seek, cotton rope tied in several knots and hung up, paper cups and plates, plastic lids and clean hair brushes.
Sprouting Pulses and your Parrot
A large variety of seeds, pulses and grains can be sprouted giving them a much greater vitamin content. Remember to be careful what you use as some beans are toxic if they are not cooked.
We recommend wheat, oats, barley, sunflower, millet, safflower, maize, mung beans, chick peas, split peas and adzuki beans. Whatever you use make sure that they are human grade.
All the seed you feed them can be soaked overnight first. This makes them tastier and cleans and fattens the kernels, giving them a better vitamin content.
It is important that you do not feed seed alone. Fruit, vegetables should also be given.
Vitamins and your Parrot
If your parrot is receiving a good varied diet there is no need for extra vitamins.
A good source of vitamin A is corn-on-the-cob, fresh or frozen. Your parrots will love this! In fact frozen mixed vegetables are an ideal way to provide your pet with essential natural vitamins when it is difficult to find fresh vegetables.
Remember to thoroughly thawed out any frozen vegetables before giving them to you bird.
Certain parrots may require extra vitamins and minerals in their diet. Two examples of these are the African Grey and the Eclectus parrots. African Greys are known to suffer from a calcium and/or a vitamin A deficiency if they are fed incorrectly, so please be sure you feed your bird a balanced diet.
Human food and your Parrot
Human food is very good for your parrot and you may find meals interrupted by calls for food if you do not share some with your parrot! Cooked vegetables, potatoes (boiled, roasted or chipped), and toast will be readily accepted.
If your not sure check for suitability before you feed a new items to your bird. Avocado is unsuitable, too much salt is bad for your pet and chocolate is toxic!!
Protein and your Parrot
A chicken bone, chop bone or pieces of cooked meat and/or fish will provide your feathered friend with the animal protein they need.
Nuts are most needed by Macaws but all parrots will benefit from a few in their diet. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Pine nuts, Almonds and hazel are all suitable but they must be suitable for human consumption. Remember too much salt is bad for your bird so no salted nuts!