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New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby BBT » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:47 pm

I have owned my Male Colorbred Canary for about a month.
I have owned my Female Canary for about 2 weeks.
I am a new owner (3rd day currently) of a 3 month old male Parrotlet.

I hope to be able to discuss Canary issues (unless that is off limits since not a parrot) and Parrotlet issues after searching the forums some.

The Parrotlet, I have no doubt others have had issues with getting a bird to start eating fruits and vegetables, and biting issues. I suppose since we are just completing day 3, that the little guy is still very scared of his new environment and what he went through being shipped. Right now, I think he just need peace and quiet with occasionally telling him how pretty he is and what a good bird he is in a soft voice, while keeping movements calm near him.

Image

My male canary seems very happy and almost tame as he stays calm when my hand is inside his cage.
His behavior is dramatically different if he sees either of my other birds. If he sees the hen, he starts to shred paper as if a female gathering nesting material and stops singing. It sounds like a whimpering sounding chirp. As soon as his line of sight is blocked such that he can only hear the female canary, then he sings long and hard and acts normal. He has a very good appetite.
Sorry if I should not have counted or mentioned the Canaries, but my parrotlet should qualify as applicable to forum's focus.
Anyway that is my flock intro.
regards BBT
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BBT
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Canary, Budgie, and Parrotlet
Flight: No

Re: New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby Pajarita » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:33 am

Hi, BBT, and welcome to the forum! No, the site might be called 'parrot' forum but we love ALL birds! And I adore canaries and actually have more experience on them than I do with parrots because I have had canaries for 50 years! There is also a huge amount of knowledge on canaries while, unfortunately, very little on parrots [the pet parrot fad is fairly new while canaries were bred as pets starting back in the 1400's!]. I currently have 3 adult males, 2 adult females, 3 juvenile females and 3 babies that have not been yet sexed [but I will be giving away a few of them as soon as they finish their molt]. They are all purebred Spanish Cantores.

Now, you don't say how old your birds are but I can tell you that, if you live in the Northern hemisphere, your male canary should not be showing breeding behaviors because they are all at the very end of molt right now and going fast into the resting season [you are keeping your birds at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk, right?]. So, ask away and I will try to answer every question you might have about their care and diet.

As to the plet, what a beautiful pied cobalt mutation! I have a male and female pair [both Pacific, her a phenotype and him a blue mutation] because I believe that their life is infinitely better when kept closer to what nature decreed their life should be [parrots being highly social animals are only truly happy when they have a mate/companion if not a flock]. You see, I am an animal lover and right activist so I don't keep pets, I keep companion animals and giving them the best quality of life possible in captivity is the driving force behind all my decisions.

Now, I would recommend you take it VERY slow with the plet and refrain from putting your hand in front of it or asking it for anything. Give it time to feel comfortable and safe in its new home - social animals that were meant to live in a large social group of their peers are terribly stressed out when alone because it means they are sitting ducks for predators [and they instinctively know this]. Put its cage high enough that his roosting perch is at your eye level when standing up [only predators loom over little prey animals] and make sure it's either against a wall or that you drape a material covering the back of the cage [it's a 'safe' wall because no predator can come from this side]. Avoid staring at it [predators stare at their prey with eyes in the front of their faces -like humans have] and observe it out of the corner of your eye until he learns to trust you. Spend as much time as you can in the same room where his cage is [it cannot be the kitchen or anywhere near it because cooking fumes are very bad for them], talk, sing, whistle to it and, every now and then offer it a treat.

Now, you seem to think that it's hard to get them to eat a good diet but this is not true. Plets are great eaters of fruits and greens and, if you give them the right kind of food [I feed mine gloop in the morning and budgie seed for dinner], they eat veggies with alacrity, too! My hen has only the bottom beak and even with only half of one, she manages to eat everything I put out for her [I am careful to mash or grate the 'hard' stuff and to offer very ripe soft fruits] and, even though she cannot eat seed, she eats birdy bread and regular [good multigrain] bread which I smear with a formula on top to ensure enough protein intake [not the baby bird handfeeding formula though, one I make myself with whole grain flours].
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13425
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 to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby BBT » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:20 pm

Pajarita wrote:Now, you don't say how old your birds are but I can tell you that, if you live in the Northern hemisphere, your male canary should not be showing breeding behaviors because they are all at the very end of molt right now and going fast into the resting season [you are keeping your birds at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk, right?].


I believe they are both around a year old. The female canary was a rescue from someone locally on CL that did not want her. She does still have a leg band on her, but I can not read it from afar and I do not wish to try to catch her as I dont want to stress her. I was told she has not layed eggs yet and was told the leg band says 2017. She tears paper towels from floor of cage. I do not have a nest in the cage. I keep the 2 canarys in separate large flight cages
• 32" x 21"x 63"
• Interior Height: 35"
• Bar Spacing: 0.5"
I try to follow dawn/ dusk and actually have been trying to keep the days for them about a 1/2 hour short. I don't want her to get hormonal and start laying eggs.


switching to the Plet, today he ate like a pig. He is in a Vision L01 right now (temp), but I have ordered another cage like above for him also. I should have him a bit higher, but I have been giving him his space, and when I do get near the cage, I try to be around his height. I understand what you said. The nippy behavior was not my asking something from him, but noticed when I was near changing water for example. I am building a 8 x 12 bird room as they actually are in a kitchen ATM, but no cooking is happening in that room. I would be concerned for the canaries and the Plet for the airborn hazards a kitchen could cause. Regarding "asking something of him" My thinking is that I want my Plet to want to be with me, not feel like he has to be "or else!" So I plan on taking it slowly. The plet is advertised as being hand raised but I don't know how much. I was also told he is 3 months old


thanks for your response, I am going to read it again and hope to talk with you some more.
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BBT
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Canary, Budgie, and Parrotlet
Flight: No

Re: New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby Pajarita » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:58 am

Well, if the plet is only three months, you need to offer weaning food still. We also call it 'soft food' and it's what the name implies: food that is soft but that it's also wet, easy to digest and nutrtious -things like gloop, Irish or Scottish oats, polenta, whole wheat pastina, whole wheat couscous [you know, small in size, basically]. The grain base is cooked and then you add fruit and/or veggie purees or finely chopped cooked ones [so they are soft, too] and mix it to the grains. Put it on a white paper plate at the bottom of the cage at dawn -but take the pellets or seeds out the night before so he is good and hungry and willing to try it. You might have to try different ways and different bases until you hit the one that he prefers but mine eat pretty much everything and Rajah, the male, is an ex-breeder so, most likely, he never ate anything but seeds until he came here at already 3 years of age - and he still learned to eat a healthy diet without a problem!

I would not allow the canaries to live cage-free in a room with a parrot. For one thing, you can't control breeding this way and, for another, canaries and parrots have completely different diets.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13425
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 to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby BBT » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:14 pm

OK I'm glad you told me that, I will go to Whole Foods and get several of those items. With a forums search on the word gloop, there are millions of references, so I must be the only one on Earth that has no idea what it is ATM. While I had not heard of some of those grains, I assume most if not all are common things to get, so I'll see what I can get ASAP. I hope I have not hurt him so far, as I was told he was weened onto Roudy Bush nibblets. I have a bowl of that, mixed with Harrisons, and I have another bowl of Tropical Carnival Gourmet food for Cockatiel. My thinking was that I hoped he gravitated to the pellet bowl, but he eats from the seed bowl. For the first few days, I just wanted to see him eat anything, and eat whatever he wanted to while destressing, but I will try to make some soft food like you say.


The point of the bird room was to have a 100% safe area without drafts and has access to window lighting facing east and south (in my case). I would only have one bird out at a time and actually don't feel like the canaries "need" to come out since they are in such large cages. If my plet will bond with me, I would want him to be able to be out of the cage as much as he wishes. Unfortunately, his wings are clipped, something I would not do going forward. I will search the forums for soft food and gloop and see if I can find some good posts on making it. I would never be called a chef, but willing to make whatever he needs. Again here at day 4, I hope I have not done something wrong to him and will get some of those grains tomorrow. He has been eating yesterday and today, so that has to be better news than not eating at all.


If OK, maybe I can backchannel you via PM so as to not morph the into thread into a long thread of misc topics. A PM on how to prep his soft food (explained as if you were talking to a 5 yo :lol: would be wonderfull! meanwhile, i will get some of those ingredents that I can find. thanks!
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BBT
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Canary, Budgie, and Parrotlet
Flight: No

Re: New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby Pajarita » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:12 am

No, you have not done any lasting harm so don't worry about it for one single second. The important thing is that he learns to eat a large variety of foods and he is still VERY young and, as plets -in my personal experience and opinion- are excellent eaters, you will have no problem.

Now, as to how to make gloop. Well, you can go very easy or you can go more complicated. I do the 'complicated' because, through trial and error, have learned what my birds like best and, in all honesty, preparing it is like anything else, once you've done it 100 times, it becomes second nature. I started making gloop back in 1994 when my first rescue was diagnosed with high uric acid and I started doing research about it, what it is, how it happens, etc. and discovered that it was the diet I was giving her. My recipe has changed a million times since then and will continue to evolve if and when I find something better but it has been the same for a number of years now and I will share with you what I do and what you can do to make it easier and you experiment with it until you find your and your bird's 'fit'.

I cook kamut [but, for a plet, I would use millet instead because the grains are much smaller and they are also lower in protein], wheat [for a plet, I would use Soft White Spring wheat -lower in protein than the Hard Red Winter], oat groats [but for a plet, you can use steel cut oats -aka Irish Oatmeal], hulled barley [I don't get the pearled one any longer but you can, if you wish] and spelt together [I can get all the grains from my regular supermarket under the brand Bob's Red Mill except the oats which I have to get at Whole Foods] because they all take the same amount of time, more or less [but, if you use millet and steel cut oats, you will need to cook them separately because they will take less time]. I bring the water to a boil [you have to use a lot of water because the grain 'swells' with it] and allow it to boil [you can reduce the heat to the minimum that will keep it softly boiling] for about 30 to 40 minutes [this will make the grains cooked 'al dente' which is soft on the outside but still hard on the inside because the birds like them better than way]. In a separate pot and also with a lot of of water, I cook black lentils [but you can use the regular brown ones, too] and red and/or black rice [I no longer use brown rice because red and black are more nutritious and the regular brown is too high in arsenic for my taste BUT you can use brown basmati fron India or Thailand which are both OK] thoroughly [which also takes about 30-40 minutes of boiling]. Once they are ready, I mix them together, add a small amount of small white beans [from cans but I rinse them thoroughly under warm running water] and allow to cool completely [this is because I don't want the veggies that I add to thaw -I'll explain]. Once it's cool, I add frozen veggies [frozen is ALWAYS more nutritious than fresh because fresh is picked green while frozen is picked ripe] as follows: chopped broccoli [it's important that you get the chopped and not the one in pieces or the florettes which has too large pieces for a little beak], corn, peas and carrots and butternut squash [it comes already cubed] as well as sweet potatoes or yams [they need to be cooked so you can boil, bake or nuke them which is what I do -I use the Potato Express bag]. Once all these things are mixed, I add flax seed and, sometimes [right before they start their molt up until they are halfway done with it], sesame seeds. This becomes what I call the 'basic recipe' and I put daily portions in freezer baggies which go into the freezer, of course. But, because you have only one little bird, you can use ice cube trays and, every evening, take one cube out to thaw for the following morning. I add 'flavorings' to the basic recipe every morning and I alternate spicy and fruity so as to keep them interested in it but, in all honesty, they will eat it just like that, too. I do it also because the 'spices' have therapeutic and/or preventive properties, too [garlic and oregano being excellent antibacterials, for example, and they LOVE cinnamon or ginger or grated lemon rind and let's not even go into how much they adore chili powder!].

Now, a super easy gloop is to use Kashi's Seven Whole Grain Pilaf because it comes in little bags ready to be cooked and just adding the veggies. I don't use it because it has rye, which most of my birds don't like, and brown rice, which I no longer give to my birds but, if it works for you, it's an easy and fast solution.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13425
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 to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby BBT » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:16 pm

ok I fixed something before your last post. I went and found some organic couscous and cooked that as per the directions. (it did not taste too bad alone :D ). then I got a bag of organic kale that had carrots and radish mixed in it, and a nice apple (no core), and a 1/2 a banana, some strawberries, and a few blueberries, can put it in a food mixer. Chopped those items up rather fine and added the cooked couscous. Blended all those times to an oatmeal like consistency. And yay! he is eating it. So today I did get those items inside him!!!

Now I need to read the above post and learn what mistakes I made. But I tasted the end result and it really was not half bad. But at least he has some fruit and veggies inside him now!
Thanks again for your help. Oh, even my canaries liked it! I assume there was nothing wrong with letting them eat it also since the grain was cooked and fully expanded :danicing:
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BBT
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Canary, Budgie, and Parrotlet
Flight: No

Re: New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby liz » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:12 am

What does not taste good to you could be loved by your birds. Mine like oatmeal before butter and sugar. They also think we are eating the same food so they like it even more.
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Re: New to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby Pajarita » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:07 am

Regular oatmeal has too much of a bad herbicide so only organic, for now, Liz.

YAAAYYYY! See? I told you plets were good eaters. Now, a word of caution, kale has a lot of sorbitol, a natural sugar which is completely indigestible [I only give it to my birds every two weeks or so - I can't even eat it myself] and it needs to be organic [it's on the list of the 12 'dirtiest' produce -here is a link to it:https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/]. But you did ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!!! It's just a matter of fine-tuning a bit here and bit there in terms of what is more nutritious, what needs to be organic, etc. Don't worry about it for one second, we have been doing this for a looooong time and can help with any questions but, to start with, try to choose things that are very nutritious like blueberries [organic], blackberries [regular], pomegranate seeds [regular], cantaloupe [regular], carrots [organic], any squash [regular] - basically, anything blue or orange is better than any other color but they should get all colors so as to offer a more 'rounded' nutrition. What I do is give them one raw green, one fruit and one veggie - a different one each day of the week or even more seldom if it's something that is not that nutritious [like cucumbers and celery, for example, which birds like but are not really very good and need to be organic].

And, yes, canaries love gloop, especially if it's made out of little thingies [like couscous] but they love fresh greens and fruits more than anything so, please, make sure they get a different green and fruit every day [no spinach, no parsley, no collar greens and very little kale].
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 13425
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 to fourms and Parrot ownership

Postby BBT » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:49 pm

Thanks! Another trip to Whole Foods will be happening asap.
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BBT
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Canary, Budgie, and Parrotlet
Flight: No

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