By Stewart A. Metz, M.D.
1. GET TO KNOW ABOUT PARROTS BEFORE YOU BRING ME HOME - I am not a domesticated pet like a dog or cat. I still have the spirit of the jungle in me. I have special needs which you may find it hard to fill. Please don’t learn these too late for my well-being. And please don’t acquire one of my cousins wild from the jungle—it will jeopardize his survival and well-being, and that won’t be a party for you either!
2. GIVE ME THE LARGEST HOME POSSIBLE - I am used to flying through rainforests or savannas. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the very least, give me enough room to flap my wings and exercise. And, I need toys for my amusement and wood to chew. Otherwise, I might confuse your home with the forest and its trees.
3. GIVE ME A NUTRITIOUS DIET - I need a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods, even if they take time to prepare. I cannot survive on seeds alone and be healthy. Take time to learn what my needs and preferences are.
4. LET ME HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE - I am a gregarious flock animal, but I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to interact with you as well as my siblings. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every day—no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling creature. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you and count on your predictability in looking after me—every day.
5. LET ME BE CLEAN - I may like to drop food or even throw it, but I need meticulous cleanliness to be healthy. My skin itches without frequent showers, the barbs of my feathers won’t seal if they become oily and, worst of all, I may become ill if my food or water is not always sanitary.
6. I NEED MY OWN DOCTOR - You may not understand my physiology and therefore you may not recognize it early on when I get sick. And, it may be too late when you do, because I hide my illnesses. (Remember what I said about my being an animal of the jungle, where there are lots of predators.) And I need an avian vet—a specialist. (No HMOs for me please.) If you can’t afford one, perhaps you shouldn’t have taken me home.
7. PLEASE DON’T PUNISH ME - Just as I don’t always understand your peculiarities, you may not understand mine. I don’t TRY to get into trouble—remember, a house is not the jungle. If I do screw up, don’t yell at me and never hit me. I have sensitive ears and I may never trust you again if you strike me. Hands are sometimes scary things to us. (Why in the world would you not be zygodactylous like us?) Even more importantly, we don’t learn by punishment. We are gentle creatures who only strike back to protect ourselves; we learn through patience and love.
8. SPEAK MY “LANGUAGE” - I know you get upset with me when I knock over my water bowl, throw food, scream, or pluck my feathers. I don’t do these things to annoy you. I am probably trying to tell you something ( perhaps that I am hurting, lonely, or sad). Learn to speak MY (body) language. Remember that I, alone of all creatures on this planet, learn to speak yours!
9. SEE ME AS AN INDIVIDUAL - I am a unique and feeling being. No two of us are alike. Please don’t be disappointed in me if I don’t talk like you wanted or can’t do the tricks that your friend’s parrot can do. But if you pay close attention to me (and I always empathize with you, whether you know), I will show you a unique being who will give you so much more than talking and playing. Give me a chance to show you who I am; I think you’ll find the effort worth it. And remember, I am not an ornament. I do not enhance ANY living room decor. And I am not a status symbol—if you use me as such, I might nip at your up-turned nose!
10. SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME - Above all, please remember that you are my Special Person. I put all my trust and faith in you. We parrots are used to being monogamous. (No bar-hopping for us!) So please don’t go away for long periods or give me away—that would be a sadness from which I may never recover. If that seems to be asking a lot, remember, you could have learned about my needs before bringing me home. Even having a baby or taking a new job isn’t a fair reason—you made a commitment to me FIRST. And if you think that you must leave me because you might die, provide for me forever after you leave. I may live to a ripe old age, but I can’t provide for myself. Remember I’m in a small cage amongst people who are not of my blood.
11. YOUR RIGHTS - You have lots of rights, but I can only assure one. And that is, if you treat me the way I described above, I will reward you with unwavering love, humor, knowledge, beauty, dedication, and a sense of wonder and awe you haven’t felt since you were a child. When you took me home, you became my Flock Leader, indeed, my entire universe—for life. I would hang the moon and stars for you if I could. We are one in Heart and Soul.
This went out of print in the USA, I got it translated back to English and proofread it but there might be some shaky areas. Enjoy!
Is this BIRD is right for you?If Parrotlets you say, then read on .....Parrotlets are beyond sweet and yes, everything we do is cute .... but you must be prepared to put in a lot of time, money and attention to detail to ensure our welfare.
Imagine if you will, a relatively large cage (we are active, requires space, and need a lot of toys and things to do to keep us amused), a good, healthy diet rich in variety, a safe and clean environment to live in, (we are very small, easily hurt, and require constant supervision when out of the cage), and above all your attention. If the Parrotlet bonds with you, expect that they are going to expect regular time with you every day. Period.
Did I mention the thing? I have not? Okay ... here's the thing ....
As a small and cute, as we are, Parrotlets are true parrots, and has all thecharacteristics of our larger cousins Amazon (if not an outright Napoleon Complex). We are ready to respond to what they perceive as a threat that surrounds us, and with good reason .... we are small, the world is big and there are a lot of things we can eat if they get half chance. Our survival instinct, it says. When you're little, you think fast or go home. We communicate very well with our body language ... and if you can not "read" the message we act stronger and brighter until you get.
This means that you need a lot of patience, a good sense of humor, and can not take things personally.
On the other hand, we can be very loving, fun, and develop a close relationship of trust with you.
You have to earn the trust at the beginning, and it may take some time (especially if we have had scary experiences in the past, has not been well socialized from the start, has been reinstated, or are simply shy type).
Having us as a partner can be one of the best things in life. It can also be tragic if you are not fully prepared before you bring home a Parrotlet. Ask questions. Read. Join a group or forum Parrotlet reputation before you buy or adopt. Learn as much as possible and be honest with yourself about how much time and effort you are really willing to put in .... to a larger number of years .... to have a Parrotlet in your life.
Great about ..... peep! - Make research, Dude!
Before the decision to buy more than a parrotlet simultaneously, or are considering hosting two Parrotlets in the same cage, you need to pay attention to some very important questions:
1) Siblings are dependent on each other, like little children ... for warmth, comfort and safety in numbers.But there comes a time when a bird hit maturity. Most of the birds are not wired to mate, and increase thefriction with their relatives. Being mature means getting out there and establishing their own territory and find a suitable mate. A brother is not a suitable mate.
This means that the two brothers brought home probably start fighting at a time and the risk of damage to the less dominant he is a real concern. A couple male female brother offers even more threatening, as advances to pair later should be fast and decisively rejected. Deaths of the one or theother of a pair of brother / woman stayed in the same cage is not uncommon and is a "surprise" tragic. Female siblings placed in the same cage represent a huge risk. Injury or death is very likely to occur at some point.
2) Parrotlets unrelated can have exactly the same problems. Two men can fight or hurt each other. Two women almost certain.
A man / woman couple in birds plays into one or two scenerios. The first is that the very strong pair bonds and you become the "third wheel". People are often puzzled when their pair parrotlet takes very littleto do with them, and thus, these birds often moved when they are no more pets interactive.
At one point, a pair of "connected" will want to open a shop and raise children. But most people do not have the time or expertise to handle thedifferent a breeding pair, their young, and all the responsibility that comes with farming practices that provide reliable health and well being parents, chicks, and the species as a whole.
And just because you put a male and female together, does not mean that they will get together and tolerate each other living in the same small space.
If you are thinking about adopting a few already "paired", who have established a link, and it was the house that must be shared. But again, be aware that it will not be the main focus in their life, and it is within therights of a few to see you as a threat rather than a partner.
So .... if you still want to have more of a parrotlet, be ready to welcome each bird in a separate cage.This means that two (or more) to clean cages, cover with all the necessary toys and perches, and every bird that needs your attention.
Outside of the cage, two Parrotlets come together or tolerate each other's presence ... or not. Interactions should be closely monitored in a neutral setting, away from both bird's cages until you have a good idea of the two characters. It is very unlikely that two adult females will tolerate each other in all circumstances.... so separate cage time or time with you might be needed for each bird.
The best situation is to start small. Get some experience of the individual animal. Form a bond with a bird before. If you find you have the time, energy and expense account to provide a home for a second, then go from there.
The Girl Next DoorMy home is my castle!We speak cages, toys and perches!Talk turkey here, the recommended minimum cage size for us Littles are 18 "wide x 18" deep x 24 "tall with a distance bar MAXIMUM 1/2" (we also do very well in 3/8 "spacing bars). but the reality is that it is too small for the needs of one Parrotlet. My rule of wing, is to buy the largest cage you can afford, and remember that me and my people sometimes have to spend hours a day in an enclosed space. There is just not enough space for our activity and the amount of toys is required in a cage of minimum.
That said, if you bring home a young Parrotlet, you may want to start with a cage this size in the first few weeks until you get used to the new environment ... too much space to begin can be overwhelming for some young people. And we tend to be a bit "awkward on the big feet of ours, so get a grip, and sometimes falls is the name of the game until you grow into those feet. You can" size up "to a larger cage slightly "later, and spend less cage for a travel cage or sleep. It is actually a useful thing to have.
Make sure the cage you buy is safe. Birds do not do well in round cages of any kind, as this can precipitate psychosis in birds (they need a corner to hide in and feel safe.) Cages that are too ornate, limit your ability to hang toys, swings, or attach perches. Old, old cages were often made of metals unsafe or paints that can lead to metal toxicity. It is best to avoid them.
If you buy a used cage, do so in a way that you can control the cage for powder coating chipped, rust, plastic cracking and general security ... and do not forget to disinfect the cage completely before use, I recommend F10 veterinary grade disinfectant (and please do not include any of used toys or perches that can come with such a cage. Many of these items can not be disinfected, and should only be thrown out.)
There are a number of perches to choose from now, and the day to give your bird with all the perches connectors are long gone. Remember, we are 24/7 and the same diameter perch, or the same material perch is hard on the dogs! Good selection of perches for Parrotlets include:
Rope or perches "Booda" (watch for fraying)
Perches natural branch (manzanita/java wood)
I love toys, and lots of them! But remember that safety comes first. Budgie small plastic toys with small parts that could crush or break is usually not appropriate for a Parrotlet. Dangles toys Cotton should be cut to no more than 1/2 ", so we do not get caught little fingers (or worse!). Should toys with metal parts or link be made of stainless steel, and should be monitored closely for any holes, defects or bad welding or a building (you'd be surprised what some Parrotlets can get their beaks caught). Bells should have doors instead of "jingle" (those are real beak tip and collectors), and should be robust. always check the toys regularly to ensure that the wires are cut or loose toys replaced and the toy stops the bill.
Until we know well your playing habits Parrotlet close supervision of thenew elements is a must ... especially those that can be picked up or swallowed.
If you make your own toys, choose a supplier of parts of birds of security that is vegetable tanned, use non-toxic colors, and are made with thesafety of birds in mind. Parts of toys for a reliable supplier is generally more expensive than trying to combine large retail stores, and you'll find several different parts too!
Some of the best chew toys are FREE!They have a soft spot for fun.
Most Parrotlet enjoy chewing, but remember how small we are. We can not manipulate large wooden beads or blocks, so they really are not very funny. Beak approved choices are toys natural fibers (chew agave cactus, palm leaves, dried corn husk, sea grass, hemp rope), "Kill him!" toys (such as bells, toys, playing, rattle, crackle or clack)
We also enjoy toys to cuddle. Some of us like cabins, but girls can start to see a cabin as a closed cavity nest to maturity and this can cause spawning, so be careful here .... something a little "more open may be preferable.
In general, a Parrotlet requires a number of toys for chewing bashable for soothing. Parrotlets are active, and rambunctious and "play" toys provide places to hide behind, to sit at, and interesting things to look at. Toys should be changed regularly as well, but something I actively am playing with or chewing daily on might need to be replaced more quickly and can be moved around the cage more often.
I like when it is!
Other equipment to live well!
Parrotlet beak and approved! - Good stuff!I like things. I need a lot of things to play safe with me and keep amused.
Here are my picks for the best of the best my ...
good eats and Treats!I am very motivated by food! Most Parrotlets is. You see, we are small birds with active high metabolism, and are not prone to obesity, as some of our other, larger cousins Amazon. You will be surprised what we can eat in a day, given our size!
Because we are small (but very gritty ... remember ... it comes in handy later!), Should our diet be as varied as possible, so we get sufficient nutrients. Neither the whole seeds or whole pellet really suit us.We also need a large variety of fresh vegetables and fruits (with a small "warning for fruit ... we tend to like fruits with small seeds so you can select berries, kiwi, figs, dragon fruit etc. Instead usual apples to oranges in which those seeds are harmful) . Grain and cooked legumes is not a bad idea. and is generally accepted as one of our first "new" foods (sounds familiar, but are rich in nutrients).
Buying organic for small birds is not a bad idea. The amount of "safe" residues is always the data from humans humongous, and there is no research available on how these effects us let alone these tiny tikes.
As for the route, everything we love is a pleasure ... but make it healthy and nutritious ... we have very little room for excess empty calories or bad things. Personally, I like millet spray, hot dry chili seeds, dried figs, sulfide-free freeze-dried berries, and a smattering of pine nuts and almonds!
So my advice is to invest in a small mini-chopper for fresh vegetables (some of us like it is small, some of us as much ... you might have to experiment with each of us), and easy Sprouter for germination grains, seeds and legumes not cleaned, and a good sponge to clean your wallpaper with, (yes, we are launching: not all parrots?).
Parrotlets should NOT have:Caffeine
Avocado (this is toxic to birds).
added sugar food
Apple seeds or fruit stones
cooked family members alum (garlic, onions, shallots, etc.)
YES! cook for me!
Made with nourishing Quinoa, Red lentils, and mmm .... mmmm ... PUMPKIN! ... This high protein, cooked foods will have your little boy or girl singing and throwing each beak full.
This recipe makes a large batch, but the unused portion can be frozen in small containers or ice cube trays and then repackaged in a freezer bag for the "immediate" homemade dishes! Just thaw, heat and serve!