Things to know before getting a parrot
Introduction to the Post’s texts
So there we are. This is the very first post from The Parrot Post and it is also, I believe, one of the most important.
Obviously, I will tell you about the behaviors of Coco darling (a lot, passionately, madly ) in these pages, but before anything else, it is important for me to make you think about this … you will always have to try to understand behavior ( good or less good ) of your parrot, of any species through the following filter: * your parrot is an animal impregnated with humans, and you will not have the choice to deal with this state, the imprint is irreversible.
In Coco’s parrot universe, there is often a world of difference between what we consider appropriate for him and his real needs. To manage to cohabit well with a parrot, to cuddle it, to speak to it, and to love it madly, it is good, but it is not enough. Indeed, the minimum of the minimum would be to know its needs, and this, even before trying to understand its behaviors, simply because the behaviors of our bird too often result directly from these needs. By knowing the needs of our parrots, it is easier for us to pinpoint those ( many) who are not satisfied. These unmet needs are also those which generate and maintain several disturbing behaviors of the bird.
Sleep, but what for? said to himself master parrot …
Several of you have described to me the ordeal of bringing the parrot into its cage for the night. It shouldn’t be like this. In fact, it should be a pleasant moment for the bird, which he should anticipate with pleasure. If not, he will resist with all his might, even going so far as to bite into it to avoid being escorted back to his cage or his own room for the night. Bedtime and the ritual that surrounds it requires a bit of investment on your part. This is what will make the difference between the dream and the nightmare. Here are my thoughts on the subject…
Today I’m talking to you about Coco’s precious need for security. So this will be quite a long post because this need for security is essential to the development of the parrot living in captivity and, therefore, not being able to ensure its security itself. Unfortunately, most of them start life on a very precarious basis. Indeed, the first insecurity from birth: the breeding method ( EAM ) which will create latent insecurity that will manifest itself differently depending on the species, temperament, or resilience capacity of the individual. Contemporary rearing methods include hand-feeding the chicks, which in practice means…
Here we are, we climb one more floor in Maslow’s pyramid of needs. We are now going to discuss this ( considerable ) need for belonging in our parrots, a gregarious animal if necessary! Parrots are social animals that cannot survive without the reassuring presence of others. Your parrot needs the reassurance that it is an integral part of the social group that you form with your family. You will have to integrate it into as many spheres of activity as possible, since only under these conditions will it be able to develop fully within your family. You will have to find the right balance, your parrot needs to be loved, but not to be suffocated by too much love (even if you have a lot to give ).
♫♫♫ Do you want or you don’t want… is it yes or is it not?
Say, do you want to or you don’t want… (familiar air). ♫♫♫ That’s a long topic and you know what? I make no apologies because it is too important in our pet parrots. We often read that we must not respond to the sexual advances of our parrot, that we must reject it when it is too enterprising and that it does nothing but “think about that”. If only it was that easy, if we just had to say “no” and Coco understood. I wrote this text hoping to put you in the place of your parrot, to get you to see the thing from HIM’s point of view.
I don’t know what is the need for esteem in the wild parrot, but in captivity, as you may have noticed ( I’m sure ), the parrot constantly seeks the attention of its human and yearns for some form of recognition on the part of the latter. To do this, he must learn to behave well socially in order to be accepted and appreciated by the other members of the group, in this case, your family.
Living with a parrot, isn’t it to be confronted one day or another with the inevitable bite? Yet you give it all to this little guy ( or girl ); you take care of it, you feed it, play with it, cuddle it, and then… Crack! like that, for nothing ( according to your perception) Coco advises you of her dissatisfaction with one of these devilish nibbles; you know, those that hurt more in our hearts than in our hands. However, I did nothing, you tell me, everything was going as usual! What I answer you … “This as usual”, this way of doing, how long has it been? What is it that today makes Coco fed up with it, that the vase overflowed for him? There has to be a reason… because it’s like that with parrots, there is always a reason! No matter what, the parrot doesn’t attack just like that, “for nothing”.
In the previous post, we saw how easy it is to shape a little feathered Dracula by our own actions and/or reactions, without the main person ever realizing that he has done something wrong. It is human that… To do everything to create his own monster, to then complain about him and reproach him for his deplorable behavior. Indeed, Mr. Perroquet is convinced of his rights when he attacks us. For him, he only communicates and what is more, he does it correctly, that is to say in the way he was taught to make himself understood. Well, obviously we don’t really like a bite for a yes and especially for a no; it starts to do well! So, we rewind it all and start again on a brand new canvas. Excellent program in perspective.
Disclaimer: The following will help you in many facets of your cohabitation with Coco, not just for the sketches of communication. I will give you a few examples throughout the posts. It will be (I hope) your new art of living with Coco, which must always be a win-win, for him and for you. How to reduce a behavior or a response ( that we do not like too much )?
Well, parrots are a little fed up with being brought back to them with the “behavior problem” for everything and for nothing. When the bird acts without it being to the convenience of the human being, we immediately point to the “behavior problem”. A little quick on the trigger the human accuse the bird indiscriminately. Yet, as we have seen in previous posts, there are some behaviors that we find disturbing and yet are quite normal for them. The parrot is rather “psttadiary” in nature. How many times have I heard, “My parrot did this; my parrot acted like this; is my bird normal or is it a behavior problem? “My conure screams all day; my African gray does not speak … “
Well yes, the question arises: What is it to be normal for a parrot? To say that a conure is noisy is almost a pleonasm! Of course, the conure knows how to contain itself, but maybe she doesn’t want to. Shouting is the mode of communication par excellence of conures; so, maybe she’s a great communicator who has a lot to tell you when you get home from work? Maybe this is her way of making you understand that she craves your company and doesn’t count for anything?
Maybe it’s just, as conures do in the wild, to let you know her whereabouts in the house or the direction she decides to take when she takes off? Who can say? Complain about his gray Five-year-old Africa who does not speak without asking the following questions: Perhaps he is not simply gifted? Maybe he doesn’t feel the need because he manages to make himself understood differently? Maybe he just doesn’t want to? Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language faculties; all have the ability to perform, it is part of their genetic makeup, but not all necessarily see the point of doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak humanly, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray?
In my own human genetic makeup ( Does he does not feel the need because he manages to make himself understood differently?
Maybe he just doesn’t want to?
Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language faculties; all have the ability to perform, it is part of their genetic makeup, but not all necessarily see the point of doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak humanly, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic makeup ( Does he does not feel the need because he manages to make himself understood differently?
Maybe he just doesn’t want to?
Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language faculties; all have the ability to perform, it is part of their genetic makeup, but not all necessarily see the point of doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak humanly, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray?
In my own human genetic makeup ( it’s part of their genetic makeup, but not everyone necessarily sees the point in doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak humanly, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray?
In my own human genetic makeup ( it’s part of their genetic makeup, but not everyone necessarily sees the point in doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak humanly, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray?
In my own human genetic makeup (and in yours ), it is written that I have the possibility of doing a back somersault, to keep my balance on a rope, or to run the 100 meters in 17 seconds. Do I do it so far?
Take my word if I tell you no. I never made the effort to develop these skills, I just didn’t feel like it, had no interest in these activities at all. Am I a normal human doctor?
As I have often mentioned in my books, the parrot is an animal that only has a few decades of life in the company of humans. Unlike our dogs or cats which have evolved to live in the company of humans for millennia, the parrot has no successive generations of adaptation to the life known as ‘domestic animal’. For this reason, it’s basic programming ( which took millions of years to build) remained intact.
The instincts of the beast are still untamed to this day, that is to say, they have not undergone any modification, neither genetic nor behavioral. Even the parrot born in captivity, fed and raised by humans, will respond instinctively to a stimulus. However, the bird’s response may be totally inappropriate to the situation since it will not be supported by solid socialization.
Your parrot is an animal of wild instinct! Thus, the many physical and psychological needs of the parrot come up against our human way of life. It is a demanding animal, difficult to satisfy on several levels. From experience, I can tell you that the parrot requires a lot more investment in time, inattention, and observation than our dogs and cats. When we acquire a parrot, we have a preconceived idea of the ideal companionship with that animal.
We have expectations, hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely that it will turn out the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the ability to imitate our language, we tend to think that this animal will adapt to what satisfies us; that what makes us happy will also make us happy; that what is good for us is also good for him. We are wrong! hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely that it will turn out the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the ability to imitate our language, we tend to think that this animal will adapt to what satisfies us; that what makes us happy will also make us happy; that what is good for us is also good for him.
We are wrong! hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely that it will turn out the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the ability to imitate our language, we tend to think that this animal will adapt to what satisfies us; that what makes us happy will also make us happy; that what is good for us is also good for him. We are wrong!
Now that we have made a little inventory of the world of our parrot ( EAM or not ), today we are starting a series of posts on communication … ours, that of the parrot and the interrelation between them. As we have seen, Coco is a gregarious animal, a social animal, that is to say, he is programmed to live and interact with other individuals; and when we live with others, “ we cannot but communicate ” ( Gregory Bateson ).
Now, who says communication, says communication code, that is to say, message sent and message received. Communicating with a parrot is in my opinion the ultimate experience in animal communication,) can come to understand our intentions and feelings and respond appropriately. Because we and Coco have enough common sensory channels to achieve this and despite it not being perfect ( and it cannot be because we are not a parrot and he is not a human ), you can still achieve a level of communication that satisfies both parties.
For a long time, animal communication was not considered, we were content to say that animals had “moods”, which was conveyed for a very long time ( and still is in certain circles ).
Then came Lorenz ( Konrad ) and Tinbergen ( Nicolaas), the founders of objective etiology, who defined animal communication as follows: Emission of a signal that provokes a response from another animal, which prepares or organizes at a distance or near and which ensures or modifies the performance of one or more functions in which at least two individuals participate. ‘ In the world of our parrots, there are …
- The individual sending the signal
- The individual who receives it
- The group of which they are part and which arises from the interdependence between individuals. Communication is what ensures cohesion and collaboration between the members of a social group ( including that which the bird composes with our family ).
First and foremost, we must understand that communication requires learning, on both sides. So, as with all learning, we will have to allow HIM and HIM the time that this learning requires.
We continue on the theme of communication and in this post, we talk about Coco’s natural communication. Not of his language skills, we’ll see that later, but of his way of communicating with you and your family, with what he considers to be his social group. We will discover the importance of this communication in the parrot world of your bird. Coco cries out to give us information or to obtain one.
Well yes, this is normal, but how normal is it?
To those who would risk believing by reading these lines that they will have finally got their hands on a kind of philosopher’s stone which will transform their parrot pipette into a quiet and soundproofed bird, I tell you right away that you are running into disappointment. Because deciding to live with one or more parrots automatically includes accepting the level of cacophony that comes standard with these charming little birds. It is one of the indissoluble clauses of the contract you signed (without knowing) with your parrot at the time of adoption.
I don’t want to disillusion you, but when you risk talking about a calm or moderate parrot, you are not talking about a voiceless parrot at all. Let’s say instead that it is cited in parallel with a parrot with a deafening voice because if there is one thing that you absolutely must understand here, it is that a parrot which makes no sound, does not exist. ! It is very early in the morning as I write this post, sitting comfortably at my desk, with my cup of coffee and my birds scattered all around me. I have to deal with the incessant jacasseries and onomatopoeias of the African grays, the “lalalala” of Chi-chou my daughter Cacatoès who revises her record, the “couack, couack, grunts, grunts” de Quita, ara ararauna of his condition, who does not know how to grumble in silence, as well as the screams of Bib, my adorable Timneh, who rages on with his favorite toy.
Only the mutual and above all silent grooming of my two Amazons offers a little respite to my ears. It is 7:00 am and I know that I have it until 11:00 am of this dissonant orchestra since finally, it will be the hour of the bird’s nap and I will be able to savor the soothing sound of silence at that moment. My parrots aren’t loud, and I don’t consider them to be screaming, at least not more than others. They are simply alive, especially at certain times of the day! That’s what living with parrots is all about! I know it and I accept the contract. If you can’t stand this condition, go for a goldfish, hamster, or tarantula as your pet. Parrots, know it, are animals that express themselves and often they do so with strength and conviction!
Today I’m talking to you about your parrot’s body language, its emotional language. Coco communicates in this way anytime, anytime. He tells you about his life as it goes by. Nothing is hidden with a parrot, no secret, he tells you what he feels throughout the day, hours, minutes, seconds. Watch it right now, watch it, it’s expressing something, see it?
Coco communicates to us her emotions or the intentions linked to them through a sometimes subtle combination of signs called “expressive behaviors” which, all put together, constitute for another parrot or the wise human a readable and clear message. individual or group ). The term ‘expressive behaviors’ designates all behaviors that promote intra- and sometimes extra-specific understanding. To decode the language of your parrot, you will have no choice but to observe it closely.
What to watch out for:
- The look
- Pupil dilation
- The place where the gaze is
- The shape of the eyes
- Head carriage
- The position of the head
- The posture of the bird
- Positioning of the body and legs
- Plumage movements
- The movements of the tail
- The head and body movements of the bird
- Lark… ♫♫♫
Several factors induce our choice in the will to live with a parrot, but where this wonderful animal fascinates us the most, it is this faculty that has to reproduce the human voice and communicate with us in our own language. In reality, this is unfortunately a very bad reason. Despite the fact that almost all parrots can speak, only a small percentage of them will do so with good grace. It’s a shame, it’s one of the main complaints I receive by email or phone from humans who are disappointed with their parrot: “He doesn’t speak!” Yet these birds have so much more to offer us than just chattering about our entertainment. I personally never put any emphasis on the language skills of my birds.
No training sessions, no waiting, no requests. If some of my parrots have an extended vocabulary, it is quite simply that at home I speak constantly: I tell, I explain, wander, sing according to the situations and my fantasies and it is only from there that their lexicon comes from. My birds are fine, free and, I believe, content in their surroundings.
This interaction makes them want to learn to communicate with me, my husband, and sometimes guests ( not always). Although their first choice is usually to communicate in ‘parrot mode’, which is perfectly normal, they still agree to make the effort to address us in our own language. They may have come to the conclusion that they have a better chance of making themselves understood by the limited beings that we are… and they would be right!
The human, second language. But yes, the parrot is sort of bilingual; not perfectly bilingual, but bilingual insofar as he can understand human language and communicate in this language which is far from being his natural communication. Thus, the parrot can come to interact with a human by learning some basic rudiments of the language of the latter and by using sounds ( words ) carrying meaning.
The opposite is unlikely ( no human having learned the parrot language has been recorded to date.). The attraction of communicating in the manner of the “dominant” human community is part of the instinct for integration which derives directly from the herd instinct. The parrot that shares our life, as well as that of other parrots, is truly multilingual because it lives in a bicultural society where bilingualism (human/parrot) becomes essential ( if it has the capacity to do so). ) to its integration into the two groups.
As human language is often considered the dominant dialect, parrots often call each other out when using it. Often, this kind of behavior is more like oratorical jousting. Parrots send their entire human repertoire to each other without worrying about the meaning of words and the communication of the right information; the sounds do not mean anything anymore and come out pell-mell. It is up to the one who will succeed in having the last word… human!
Coco has just passed his bad mood on our fingers, it hurts and we are naturally looking for the reason because once again… “he bit us for nothing.” So, it has become the norm, we turn to social networks, there is someone who will have a ready-made answer for me. We expose our problem and the answers, especially the solutions are not long in coming. They are often summed up by this:
Answer: It is because he seeks to dominate you. It is known, parrots are so dominant.
Solution: Don’t let that happen, you have to show him that you are in charge, that you are dominant in the group.
So, according to our social media experts, the right question to ask yourself when living with a parrot would be “Who is the boss?” Who of you or him is in charge in this house … The dominance of parrots still seems to be a consensus in avian circles today. But where does this proposal come from? Ethologists?
Researchers in the field? Biologists? Any kind of scientific research?
The answer is none of the above! No hierarchy of dominance in parrots has been observed or recorded to date in groups of parrots in a natural environment and nothing in their ethogram would suggest that these birds have dominance tendencies.
Can a lie repeated thousands of times become the truth?
With the ubiquity of social media in the world of our parrots, this quote is becoming more and more topical. We have entered an era where facts are no longer really important; in an era where collective unanimity becomes truth and circulates at high speed on the Internet… We have entered the era of convenient “fake news” that we hold for truth simply because it suits us well.
We just celebrated Coco’s third birthday and Madame is completely distraught; she thinks she must have done ‘something wrong’ because she no longer recognizes her little bird. ‘He’s changed so much lately,’ she told me on the phone, ‘he’s more independent with me, he looks like he prefers my husband, even threatens me when I want to take him and it is posed on him. He never did that! Before, he only had to be with me or in my arms. Now I can only interact with him when my husband is not at home because when he is there it looks like my little Coco hates me. I must have done something wrong. ‘
It looks like Coco has become what we call ‘one person’s bird’, but it didn’t happen overnight, she was taught to act like that. Let me explain…
He was there, on the floor in the center of the store, in a very small cage with a sign ‘ Watch your fingers, I bite.’A bunch of kids were getting excited around him, screaming and banging on the cage without the shop staff intervening, and he, he didn’t move, didn’t react, he just bowed his head and close his eyes. A pitiful white cockatoo, plucked and completely apathetic, which was, however, when we first met, a magnificent bird of four months.
I know because I had noticed it the year before, in this same pet store. I vividly remembered asking to speak to the owner of the place and mentioning to him that this bird’s cage was ridiculously too small for him, to which he replied ‘This is temporary my little lady, he just arrived,
I have always been wary of gentlemen who approach me with a ‘my little lady ‘, I don’t have a lot of social benchmarks to know if I’m being lied to, but ‘ my little lady ‘ is a great marker who tells me that this man is absolutely unreliable and the rest of the story generally proves me right. That day, I was in a hurry, I just gave him the most skeptical and evil look I can possibly do ( which has never impressed anyone, I don’t know how to put together a mean face ), j paid for my purchases and left.
When our parrot emits a behavior, we see it and we can observe it. However, we cannot observe the subjective component of this behavior, that is to say, what the bird feels, HIS parrot perception of the situation or the event. But the motor component, that yes, it is within our reach, we can observe it.
These are the behavioral reactions such as flight, agitation, prostration, aggression, etc. And there is also the physiological component such as increased heart rate, secretion of cortisol, or any other change in the functioning of the body. But we don’t see that too much either, we can only imagine it when Coco behaves in a manner of intense fear or joy.
Thus, we do not have access to the feelings of our bird, it cannot be observed. We can only trust the observable aspect of the behavior, what it shows us, and what we know about its history, its route; we have to deal with this thin information.
Through his ‘observable’ behavior, Coco gives us part of his point of view on how he perceives an event, how he feels, and the emotions that go through it. It is up to us to be attentive to him and to try to explain his behavior to us by taking as a basis his ethogram ( we always start there ) and the observation of the behavioral sequence, that is to say, what led to …
Let’s go see what our parrot has to tell us…
You who live with a parrot, often tell me about his surprising intelligence, his incredible ability to solve problems, how easy he is to learn and how he knows how to act in due course. For those who live with a parrot, there is no doubt, this animal is terribly intelligent. But how bad is it? What do we know about it today? How is it going in his head?
Several studies have shown us that parrots are able to solve complex problems and often, in a more confident way than a young child. Their ability to learn to imitate the human voice ( or that of another animal ) leaves us speechless, but the accuracy of their words overwhelms us more often than our turn.
My text today praises the intelligence of our parrots. I am not very objective, you might say, and you will probably be right. Since the time I have been talking about these birds, it is no longer a secret that I am a fan, a very fan! So my research tends to focus on what amazes me about these birds, rarely the other way around, and I don’t apologize at all! I also know that you, the subscribers who read this text, are at least as groupies as me if not even more so ( that’s not a secret either ).
Come on, let’s have fun and let ourselves be surprised a little more, because you will see, from one concept to another, Coco will seriously know how to put us on our knees!
Client: Hello, I am having problems with my parrot. I would like to know if you have any tips to tame it?
Me: I can certainly help you, but I won’t give you any ‘tips’, let alone to “tame” your parrot…
Client: Ha! I was told you tame parrots!
Me: You’ve been misinformed madam, I don’t even know how to tame a flea …
Client: But, you tame parrots, don’t you?
Me: No, ma’am. I do not tame anyone, me; not even my hair this morning…
Client: Are you the parrot behaviorist?
Me: Yes ma’am, behaviorist as in behavior; not tamer as in tamer …
Client: My breeder told me that you could help me correct my parrot, he is six months old and he is dominant!
Me: ( Sigh! ) I’m not a parrot ‘corrector’ either and he’s not ‘dominant’; but if you wish, I can help your parrot to adapt its behaviors if you are ready to do the same with yours…
Client: My behaviors to me?
Me: Yes, we’ll start by modifying your behavior, and since your parrot is an intelligent animal, it will adapt to your new attitude.
Client: Are you telling me that I am less intelligent than my parrot?
Me: If you say so, Madame …
Client: But it’s not me who has to change, it’s him! He is dominant! He’s always the one who starts, I don’t do anything. He’s the one who screams and bites me for nothing, it’s not me who starts!
Me: He had to learn before he started as you say. He’s six months old, you socialized him, right?
Client: I didn’t do anything, I didn’t soci… socia… social… as you just said, there. I never did that to him! I’ve raised him since he was a baby and now that he’s caught his teenage years he’s become dominant.
Me: ( my ancestors… very long sigh ) Do you have 10 minutes or two hours? Am I going to explain things to you?
And off we go for a ride….
The holiday season is upon us and we all know, we who live with parrots, that this time of year Murphy’s * Law always ends up in our festivities.
* Murphy’s Law: If there are at least two ways to do something, and at least one of those ways can lead to disaster, there’s bound to be someone ( read: a parrot ) somewhere to borrow this way.
This short guide is not intended to replace valuable and essential veterinary care, but to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and above all fast metabolism, birds cannot wait long in an emergency before being taken care of. Your intervention can make the difference between the life and death of your sweetheart. For each situation, you will know what you can do to remedy the worst and you will also have a description of the veterinarian’s intervention … as well as the reason why it will be so important to consult him.
This guide should be used as assistance and advice for emergency care ( actions to take), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
During the holidays, veterinarians are less available than during the regular period. So, my first advice: find out about the holiday schedule of your favorite vet and if he is not available, ask him for a referral for a clinic or hospital that provides emergencies during the holiday break. This simple little preventive action can save your parrot’s life. So, at the end of reading this text, you pick up your phone and call your vet right away. It will be a good thing done and you will have more peace of mind to feast happily.
Q- Can you judge the well-being of your parrot by its appearance
As we have seen and seen again… and seen again, parrots are gregarious animals and especially prey animals. The flock of birds takes precedence over the individual and when faced with an injured or sick fellow, these instincts may take over. Consequently, the group will hunt the unfortunate bird to avoid attracting a potential predator. The bird thus banished, denied by its society is neither more nor less than an animal condemned to death!
The parrot will seek by all tricks to hide its condition as long as possible from the members of its group, to hide any signs of distress or illness that may be apparent! There is no reason that he should not act the same way with you, since this behavior is instinctive and we know it… the innate never disappears!
I would first like to thank Dr. Marie-Josée Hamel DMV for her collaboration. For those who do not know her, Marie-Josée Hamel is the best vet I have known. His sense of diagnosis is a pure miracle; she has already spotted a specific problem with one of my birds just by watching it walk on the table. Today, unfortunately for me and my birds, she no longer practices, she teaches. Biggest Sniff! of my life…
Today, we continue the tour of “domestic” emergencies concerning our parrot. An accident happens so quickly, we are told; an accident is by definition an unforeseeable event and our parrots are the kings of this “unpredictability”. During the holiday season, the schedules are rushed, there are people at home, we stay up late, we drink and eat too much, in short, all the ingredients are there for a psitta-catastrophe!
This short guide is not intended to replace veterinary care, but to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and above all fast metabolism, birds cannot wait long in an emergency before being taken care of. Your intervention can make the difference between the life and death of your sweetheart.
This guide should be used as assistance and advice for emergency care ( actions to take), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen? During the holidays, veterinarians are less available than during the regular period. So, my first advice: find out about the holiday schedule of your favorite vet and if he is not available, ask him for a referral for a clinic or hospital that provides emergencies during the holiday break. This simple little preventive action can save your parrot’s life.
When you finish reading this text, I will already be on leave ( this is the last text of the Parrots Post of the year 2018 ). I wish you a wonderful holiday season and an exceptional 2019 without incident with your parrots, but if it ever happens (which I do not wish you ), you will know certain things to do while waiting to have Coco seen by a veterinarian.
Here is the first text of the Parrots Post of the year 2019. As time flies, it seems to me that it was yesterday that I started to write this weekly on our birds and we have already reached number 25. Pfiouuu! !! We come to the third part of the “domestic” emergencies concerning our parrot. I hope you had a great holiday season and that Coco didn’t show you off. In the next two issues, we will see more emergencies, listed as being the most common. I know, you will tell me that it starts to make a lot, but let’s say that I prefer to cast wider than thin because you never know …
This short guide is not intended to replace valuable veterinary care, but to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and above all fast metabolism, birds cannot wait long in an emergency before being taken care of. Your intervention can make the difference between the life and death of your sweetheart. This guide should be used as help and advice in emergency care ( actions to take ), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
So here we are at the last text in the series of emergency home care for our parrots. We have already seen quite a few situations where our early intervention can make the difference between the bird recovering or not. If he enjoys a minimum of freedom to give free rein to his natural ( and healthy ) exploratory behavior, this freedom can also lead him to put himself in a predicament. Our parrot is an “ace” of the dumpling, and as he can walk, climb and fly, everything can become potentially dangerous and turn into a “state of emergency”, whether the parrot is small or a giant. . Never believe that a caged parrot can’t do anything stupid, far from it. S ‘6 hours or more a day ), if he is bored, he will deploy treasures of the imagination to pass the time and break this boredom. What will he think is good ( or bad ) to do?
This short guide is not intended to replace valuable veterinary care, but to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and above all fast metabolism, birds cannot wait long in an emergency before being taken care of. Your intervention can make the difference between the life and death of your sweetheart. This guide should be used as assistance and advice for emergency care ( actions to take), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
The parrot-like any other animal knows how to be aggressive in various situations. Normally, aggressive behavior follows a behavioral pattern: Warning, threat, intimidation. If the first threat phase does not work, it will kick into action, biting harder or less, depending on the degree of irritation or danger. After the aggression comes what is called a phase of arrest or appeasement. This is called “reactive aggression”, meaning that the bird responds to a stimulus following a normal behavioral sequence.
However, in captivity in the dyssocialized parrot * ( eam ), we too often observe a kind of aggression that) and a predatory animal ( human ). I am speaking here of aggression where the phases of threat and appeasement have completely disappeared, that is to say, that the bird goes directly to the aggression without any other form of warning. Never make the mistake of believing that a parrot born in captivity, dyssocialized, fed by, and imbued with human beings will tell you every time they intend to do violence to you. Nay! It is not that the bird is a traitor or hypocrite, it is only that the method of rearing by hand ( eam ), this primary dyssocialization often accompanied by * isolation syndrome ( sensory deprivation ), has made the so-called ‘companion’ parrot terribly unpredictable.
In the instrumentalized stage, the parrot presents a secondary hyper aggressiveness with bite ( sometimes very violent ) without warnings or threats and in a very impulsive manner.
* Primary socialization: “This is the most serious of the developmental disorders leading to aggression” – Isabelle Viera, veterinary behaviorist. It is the lack of acquisition of social behaviors specific to the species which normally develop at a very young age in the first weeks/months of life ( depending on the species) and which are essential for group life. It is the lack of learning of social rules and codes of communication. The parrot separated from its parents did not acquire, during its development, the primary mechanisms of social inhibition; he, therefore, does not know how to behave with his fellows, do not know how to resolve a conflict. Which makes it unpredictable, even dangerous.
* Isolation syndrome or sensory deprivation: It is the inability of the bird to correctly manage sensory information. This is the result of insufficient stimulation during the development of the chick which, not having been able to get to know its environment sufficiently, becomes unable to adapt thereafter.
In the first place, because he does not fear humans. It should be noted that normally, attacks, other than those linked to predation, occur within the species itself ( intraspecific ). So why, the parrot ( animal prey ) does not show any fear towards the human ( predatory animal ) and worse still, has no hesitation in attacking it ( interspecies aggression )?
A: This is because the EAM parrot identifies with the human species.For birds, aggression IS intraspecific… because the “eam” breeding method permeates young parrots to humans! Many other aberrant behaviors from imbued bird to human have been shown to follow directly from the “eam” breeding method, but aggression is certainly the most painful for us.
I know, I still talk about it … about “the am”, but if we want to understand the reason for the attacks so often encountered in a human-parrot cohabitation ( take a look on social networks, you will see), I can’t help but talk about it. The aggression of an animal prey towards a predatory animal is unnatural, except of course if the prey is defending itself against its predator, but otherwise, the kind of aggression out of irritation, frustration, or because Coco has a short fuse does not. shouldn’t happen. Imagine a dog acting like this: it looks like he has a serious behavior problem. Aggressive dogs are “mistakes” and unfortunately too often euthanized.
With parrots, we ended up imagining that attacks, even very violent ones, are part of the inevitability of living with these birds. These are bred with the aim of not being afraid of humans and to do this, they are * imbued with humans ( some breeders even brag about it.), and from that moment, quite rightly… parrots no longer fear humans, they identify with them! Here!
* Filial imprint: “The learning process by which young birds learn to recognize characteristics of the mother or of both parents, of which they have no innate knowledge.” – Bateston- Sluckin – Hess.
Sexual imprint: “The learning process by which a young animal acquires knowledge of traits that will later enable it to identify a suitable mate to mate with. If a young of a sexually ‘impregnable’ species is raised by adoptive parents belonging to another species, this results in aberrant fingerprints. ”
Why am I doing so many quotes? Simply that when it comes from me, it looks like it is less serious. So, I am quoting behavioral veterinarians, ethologists, and biologists… thus, if there are confrontations following one of my anti-team texts, I will not feel targeted… Na!
Important note: This text is intended for everyone, not a specific individual. If you recognize yourself, if the hat suits you, do not take it personally, I swear that I am not targeting you personally, but I nevertheless believe that this text could greatly help you and above all, come to the aid of your parrot. Although it is factual, this post was written with a view to prevention. The personal pronoun “YOU” is used in the sense of “The person to whom we are addressing and with whom we are respectful.”
Each winter brings its share of brutality towards parrots. Is it the lack of light that makes you so irritable? Winter drags on, you are much less patient, terribly intolerant, and too often, it is Coco who suffers the consequences. During the months of January, February and March, I am called upon because Coco suddenly changed his attitude, because he suddenly transformed into a T-Rex.
How I hate that word “suddenly!” During a routine consultation for aggressive behavior, I waste a lot of time asking questions to try to understand why the parrot uses aggression to be understood. Generally, it is a misunderstanding, a communication dysfunction and it is on this that we act. In winter, with my years of experience, I learned to keep it short and no longer waste my time making me lie unnecessarily on the phone by the human who seeks a solution to this “sudden” behavior of aggression, I ask the direct question: have you hit it?
Just this week, the answer three times was “yes”. Winter is the ordeal of parrots who live in captivity and who have to endure the camel mood of their human. In such moments, I happen to fantasize in my head: more than a pre-adoption class on parrot behavior, in my ideal world, it would be the obligation of a compulsory yoga and meditation class. to all parrot owners who have a harsh winter. A little zen in the relationship with Coco would be beneficial.
During my years of practice, I have seen more than one relationship destroyed by a simple unfortunate gesture: a slap, a sharp and brutal hit on the cage, a violent shaking to unbalance the bird until the movement carried away to send it to waltz into the background. A parrot is not a human and if you are not prepared for certain actions ( screaming or biting ) on its part, it is better to inform yourself before adopting one. Most problems with parrots, to put it mildly, ALL problems with parrots living in captivity come from one and only one source… humans. Take the human out of the equation and there is no longer an attitude or behavior problem with our parrots.
Today I am speaking to you, yes you the human, the machine for fabricating behavioral problems, who have so many expectations and who are always in too much of a hurry to achieve them. To you humans who overreact yes or no to your bird’s behavior, which is basically natural. To you, who subject the young parrot to an aberrant human impregnation, who interferes with his normal process of socialization and who subsequently surprises you that he does not know how to behave to the point of biting you because he has not learned to do otherwise; who are really doing anything and everything wrong with these birds. Are you at this point… I’m not going to finish my sentence to be polite. You guessed it, this is a post from the mood. I’m fucking angry!
My question… What makes you think that your actions will have no consequences?
That you have the right to do everything and its opposite in a single interaction with your parrot, to go from tenderness to black fury because Coco accidentally pinched you in the heat of the moment or screamed her dismay at you? Are you that discerning point when you hit a little beast that’s only a fraction of your weight and height…? So, I’m going to tell you a secret … Parrots learn a thousand times more by what we do, by our actions than by what we try to instill in them. Coco turned into an abuser after you brutalized him? Whose fault is it? Who served as a model?
Obviously yes… Coco is not a brick!
Can you regain the trust of your bird?
I would say yes too. However, depending on the outrage, the parrot will remain suspicious, it will no longer be the blind trust of the first moments. In our human jargon, it sounds like ‘he has forgiven, but he does not forget’. From now on he will scrutinize your interactions more carefully, he will be wary; let’s say he’ll think twice before giving up. Innocence is shattered. Let me explain…
So that’s it, your parrot has grown. He is now a teenager and it is quite normal, we just have to accept him, we don’t have much choice… All we can do is support him in this transformation which, fortunately, does not. of the meal; this is only one phase of its maturation. Your role will be to help him get through and then find him on the other side, namely sexual maturity.
Having reached the stage of puberty, the young parrot tries to assert itself, which is also the reason why this period is called the stage of affirmation. The young parrot becomes more independent, seeks its own landmarks, moves away from its ‘ parents ‘ to live its own experiences.
We must let him go without trying to bully him ( as in making (someone) suffer annoyances or annoyances continuously ) or punish him ( which would be catastrophic at this stage of development). He’s sure to no longer act like the sweet baby you’ve always known. He’s grown up now and he’ll have experienced, not always happy, at least from your point of view. He will have a great need for freedom to discover HIS world with his new teenage eyes. Through his various misadventures, of course, he risks driving you crazy… you are only human! More than one of my clients has given up in the face of his parrot’s invading teenage years, but trust me, it shouldn’t be, it’s just a passing fad, a period that won’t last. in time. If one is prepared for it, there is no reason for it to be the predicted disaster.
There are two calm periods with parrots: the juvenile period and the maturity. Between the two, there is the other, the period of puberty which is a necessary step to return to a more serene period. Take it as a rite of passage before accessing the treasure, the perfect life in the company of a mature parrot.
In the wonderful world of parrots, we hear or read everything and it’s the opposite. Generally, these are assertions that serve no other purpose than to justify our ignorance of these birds, whether it is their needs, their instincts, or their ancestral way of life ( which, I remind you, has taken millions of years to set up ); or even stuff our heads with nonsense to get us to accept the unacceptable.
Adopting a parrot is often a childhood dream for many people and the acquisition of such a bird is often done on the spur of the moment. Most of the time, given the impulsiveness of the gesture, people leave with their little bundle of feathers under their arms without having the slightest idea of the contents of that precious bundle. So, they seek advice from acquaintances, friends, breeders, pet shop clerks, parrot clubs ( real or virtual), etc. Unfortunately, in too many cases, the very new adoptive parrot parent, blinded by their enthusiasm, does not take the time to question or assess the relevance of the information they receive. In the melee of information, one must not forget that popular myths have in common that they are simplistic, accommodating and transmitted by people who simply do not know enough to be able to discern the quality of the information. that they lavish. You do not have the choice to be responsible for the information to which you agree to give credit. Most people who live with a parrot can only advise from their own experience. Their parrot certainly has a background, a personality, an environment, socialization or even genetics that are very different from your parrot. The temperament of your seven-month-old African Gray has nothing in common with that of your pal’s five-year-old Amazon.
Take the time to verify that the person who is trying to teach you THE way to act with your parrot can follow through on their thoughts. Can she clearly explain WHY you should act this way or that? Will his advice help your parrot adjust or is it just a quick trick to get the bird to react ( quick fix )? And ask yourself the question… Does this answer seem complete, sensible, coherent, logical to me? If you doubt, if you answer no to just one of these statements, don’t blindly follow the advice… there is one ‘ no’ too many!
Hell is paved with good intentions and this paving is thick ( I’ll leave it to you to give the word ‘thick’ the meaning you want )! There are still far too many of these popular myths, of these avian legends which are unfortunately in free circulation in so-called ‘ specialized ‘ circles. It is ignorance, intellectual laziness, and ease that keep dangerous myths about parrots alive. Yet good information is readily available today, there are a lot of very high-level publications. No more excuse holds. The ‘I didn’t know or ‘ I was given the wrong information no longer has its raison d’être in 2019. It is our judgment to accept or refuse to follow the prescriptions of a quidam that risk endangering the psychological or physiological balance of our parrot as well as our relationship with the latter.
To explain the attacks, we imagined for these birds a hierarchy of dominance that we humans know well, but which is however unknown to our parrots. Conspiracy or ignorance?
To justify the aberrant impregnation created by breeding by hand, we have done a lot. We have been hit with heaps of nonsense to the point where we have come to find this unnatural breeding method normal and to really believe that normal, parental breeding is harmful to the little parrots who have the misfortune of being born in captivity. Conspiracy for sure!
The less we know an animal, the easier it is to compose a dysfunctional universe for it to legitimize our own ignorance. Unfortunately, these untruths are repeated millions of times, until we ourselves come to believe them… If everyone is saying it, it must be true! Even the ‘ professionals ‘ in the avian world have come to reproduce like automatons, which is nothing but a fable. Conspiracy or ignorance?
Who has not heard from one of these ‘ experts ‘ that this or that species is necessarily aggressive, that a parrot perched on your shoulder or at eye level would automatically become’ dominant on you, that at puberty all the parrots get out of control and that at sexual maturity, all the parrots lose the achievements of the first period, ‘ become untamed ‘, become aggressive and lose their status as good companions? Conspiracy or ignorance?
These propositions are so widespread that they have become commonplace and it does not even occur to us to question them anymore. These hoaxes create sometimes irreparable damage in our relationship with Coco. These are preconceived ideas that die-hard, despite the media coverage and the greater dissemination of knowledge and discoveries made to date on our parrots. These misconceptions are numerous and above all, devilishly tenacious. The expectations for these birds are as unrealistic as they are far-fetched. If some of these avian legends make you smile, others are dramatic and can dangerously compromise the parrot’s balance, both from a physical and psychological point of view. Today we are starting to clear all of this. Received and preconceived ideas… get out of this text!
This week my brain had decided to go to the ‘off’ position in my imagination hemisphere. No way to find me a topic for this week’s column. In short, a real blank page syndrome… I hate that! Then, after having surveyed the house in all directions and made a few incantations to life, asking it to be good to me, the providential phone call rang out …
Madame: ” I adopted a four-year-old gray male two weeks ago. On the first day he was calm with me, but as the days went by I found that he had a very clear preference for males. . The first few days he was not too bad with me, but would light up as soon as my partner came in. Yet my husband hardly noticed his presence. Then he did this behavior again when my brother came to visit us. When there is a man, he is very seductive and any man can approach him. When I am alone with him, it is a little better; he does not make the pretty heart with me, but he seems to tolerate my presence. However, as soon as my partner returns from work, I no longer exist at all and I even have the right to intimidating expressions.
Yesterday the situation worsened. When I wanted to change the bowls in the cage, he bit me in the hand. It was the first time. I withdrew my hand, but since I had to change this bowl, I went back to it and at that moment, he attacked me directly in the face, then in the shoulder, my husband had to intervene otherwise he was biting and remorseful all the more.
I called my vet who told me that this is a common situation, that my bird does not like women ( in general ), and that in this condition it is normal for him to go to all men that he meets, but not women, and that I have to accept him if I don’t want to be assaulted again.
My bird doesn’t love me, but I don’t want to believe that there is nothing that can be done to change this situation. I need help… ”
Today, I continue my momentum of the myths and conspiracies surrounding our parrots.
Because humans tend to bring everything back to themselves, they too often define parrots through their own eyes, give them intentions and feelings that they know, that is their own, and impose various forms of ‘ sanctions ‘ all more ridiculous than the others by convincing themselves that the bird ‘should understand’.
Coco does not act like a human, we punish; he does not obey, we punish; he tries to communicate, he shouts, we punish; he reacts strongly with a pinch because we do not understand his refusal to comply, we sanction; he grows up, becomes pubescent and tries to assert himself, we still sanction.
Sanction definition: The result of someone’s judgment on something. The penalty provided by law to punish an offense. The punishment is given within an official framework.
Thus, we judge the actions of our parrots, we impose a penalty on them (it is believed ) to the extent of the offense, and this punishment that we offer him calms us. It feels good to punish your parrot after it has (…). Is not it? We don’t have the imagination to put ourselves in the bird’s shoes, to try to understand behavior from its point of view to HIM, but we have a very fertile imagination when it comes time to react to this behavior. …
What haven’t we invented to justify our actions or reactions to him? What haven’t you read or heard about the correct way to correct your parrot, on the art of avian sanction? We are going to review all that, right now to put an end to these insane assertions.
As with everything else, we hear or read completely ridiculous assertions about the sexual maturity of our birds. The adulthood of parrots is scary. Not as much as the fear of puberty, but enough to start reading and listening to anything and anyone.
Reading about the sexual maturity of our parrots is a bit like reading the medical dictionary of diseases. One becomes hypochondriac, one has the impression to have all the symptoms of such or such affection; it itches, it’s painful, but in the end, reason ends up taking over and we say to ourselves that it is not so terrible … in short, that we are not sick.
With the sexual maturity of our parrots, we recognize ourselves in what we read on social networks, the experience of one reflects our own experience, we recognize ‘symptoms’, behaviors and we feel helpless, we are sick of our parrot. Still, coming of age is not that bad, most of us have been through it and we have survived not so badly.
We are happy that our dog is finally getting there, the same with our cats, but with our parrots, it’s another story, we fear that… We are afraid of… But why? Why are we so afraid of the normal stages in the development of our parrots? Why do we almost automatically see one or more behavioral problems? As we know, Coco will not be a baby all her life! When that happens, we’re just not prepared for it. The maturation of a parrot is long and some species only reach adulthood after a few years of cohabitation with us. Coco is growing up, he changes his attitude and that’s completely normal. He doesn’t have a behavior problem… he’s grown up now and that’s it!
Let’s take a closer look and together demystify Coco’s sexual maturity, dust off the myths surrounding the parrot which is finally reaching its period of realization.
In a mini-poll on my Facebook page, I asked, ‘What topic would you like me to write about ?’ I was very surprised when, for the most part, I was asked to write a little something about the choice of the cage for your parrot, the location, and the maintenance of it.
I did not expect that. I didn’t think it was a real topic, there is so little discussion about the cage (s).
After giving it a lot of thought, finally, IT IS a topic. Neglected, I agree, but a real subject, because after choosing your dream bird, you have to house it well and this accommodation is generally very expensive. So, you might as well choose your parrot’s expensive home wisely.
I searched a bit and noticed that there is such a diversity of cages on the Internet that a bird wouldn’t find its brood. Since my own birds don’t live in cages, I never really bothered to research the object. It’s amazing, hundreds, what am I saying, thousands of models are offered on the market that we are assured ‘adapted to our pet bird’.
So there, I say stop! Lots of models yes, not always of good quality, a lot of Asian scrap metal, and lots of stuff not very safe for Coco. Suitable for our parrots? Not so sure …
In this text, I will not review the cage models, but I will talk about what Coco needs to find inside her little home. Obviously, the first question to ask is: does my parrot really need a cage? The question is a good one because no parrot dreams of living locked in a cage. However, if you live in a rental or don’t have space, the cage can become a necessary evil. We choose a cage for Coco, but we take him out as often as possible.
Pecking, subject to controversy if there is one … We have said everything and its opposite on the subject, and at the moment, what is ‘in’ is to assert that behavioral pecking does not exist at all simply not; we are told that it is the only food or physiological ( diseases, parasites, etc. ). It is a return to Descartes, to the reasoning which suits us, which suits our business well, to the animal-machine; you know, the one we like to explain to us without his brain, without his emotions. Isn’t that a bit short?
Obviously, a poor diet, allergy, or another ailment can be the basis of the pecking behavior, but not only that. The parrot is much more complex than that. He’s an intelligent animal, perhaps too much to be considered a ‘pet’. The parrot is a living being with needs and who feels intense joy as much as anger and frustration. Who can deny it?
Those who deny it are also those who accuse us of anthropomorphism as soon as we dare to invoke feelings and emotions in our animals. Yet today, research tends to show that emotions are directly linked to the nervous system and are generated at the level of limbic structures. Activation of these structures would cause changes that would be perceived at the level of consciousness, thus producing the emotional sensation. Neurobiological studies show that different species including humans, monkeys, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals have the same chemical structure and carry information in the same way. N / A!
If birds can sense emotions, then why deny that these can trigger anxiolytic activities when they become too powerful for the parrot to handle?
Well no, precisely, we do not deny. We try to understand and we adjust to the needs of our feathered treasure …
In this text, we continue to talk about pecking, but seen from a different angle. When all the physical causes have been ruled out, only the psychological causes remain and these are much more difficult to identify in an attempt to stop the pecking.
Each bird is different, does not have the same temperament as your neighbor’s parrot and above all, does not have its own experience. The anxiety of one is not at all that of the other and each case of pecking is unique, taking its source through the different experiences or traumas that this bird will have experienced.
Finding THE cause of THIS bird’s pecking requires an investigation that can span several different elements, making the origin difficult to identify. Often, only the trigger for the behavior is described: divorce, moving, a new elements in the environment, disrupted schedule, etc. These various events are NOT the cause of the pecking, they were only the trigger; the evil had already been installed for a long time (without our noticing it) and it is much deeper.
Q. What does psychogenic mean?
A. A conditions the cause of which is psychological.
We are talking about a form of pecking that does not relate to allergy, disease, or physical discomfort, but what is happening in the head of the bird.
To find the cause of a psychogenic pecking is to take a grand tour of the merry-go-round between past and present; it is stunning because each ramification of the problem sends us back to another which subdivides itself into a maze of possible suffering factors which all put together have led the bird to attack its own body in an attempt to do cease this affliction.
This is what we will try to understand in the following lines …
Socialization is the process by which parrots learn their social skills and survival. No parrot is prepared for ‘living room’, they have not evolved for this kind of sedentary life. They must all learn to manage their emotions and the stress that inevitably engenders this way of life so different from the one for which they have developed, by making use of their innate skills. It is when the bird reaches its stage of independence that aberrant behaviors such as pecking appear, rarely before. The confusion created by the need to manifest certain innate behaviors and the impossibility of performing them in our homes makes the parrot very fragile.at least apparently for us ), in the end, had always been present.
The evil is already installed
Q Can something be done about it?
R . Perhaps.
A somewhat unpleasant subject today. Unpleasant because I don’t know anyone who has developed a passion for maintaining the claws of their parrot, me the first ( I hate that ), but it is necessary to work since our birds living in our houses cannot do it themselves- same. They need our help.
Of course, we can choose to take Coco to the vet for his claw size, but if we ask him for his opinion, he will tell you that he prefers by far that it happens with us, at home, in the comfort of his own home. The ride-in transporter and the stress of the veterinary clinic are not his cups of tea. So, we take care of the pedicure of our parrot ourselves for its safety and comfort. A nail size doesn’t have to be stressful.
So no choice, you have to get started to please Coco! But actually, how do you know when it’s time to stick to it? Why do we have to maintain Coco’s claws? And how should we go about it? Shall we cut or file?
So many questions for a subject which nevertheless seems very banal; but in the world of so-called companion parrots, it is not that trivial. Before starting our parrot’s pedicure, there are a number of things to know to make it go smoothly and smoothly. This is what I am proposing to you in this text.
Well yes, after all, the parrot is not dumber than a dog or a cat and also knows how to be conciliatory towards certain people and even to provide invaluable help within the framework of rehabilitation that this one is cognitive or manual.
However, not all parrot species will want to play the therapeutic aid, not all temperaments will lend themselves to it, and not at any age either. A parrot that is reaching puberty can be extremely annoying and reluctant to participate in any pet therapy activity. Then there’s that time of year when Coco doesn’t want to cooperate at all; his hormones are activated and at this moment, he no longer thinks of collaborating at all, he has only one fixation… parrots sex!
So, with this bird, it’s not just any old way, not anytime, not anywhere, and not with just anyone… let’s face it!
Otherwise, the parrot can be very useful in the context of therapy assisted by the animal as long as we know how to respect the nature of this unusual animal.
As we saw in the previous text dealing with zootherapy with a parrot, this animal presents a challenge of constraints that we do not meet with hair therapists such as dogs, cats, rabbits, or others. That does not mean that he cannot prove to be an excellent therapeutic aid, it simply means that with him, there are a few things to understand and above all, to respect.
Indeed, Coco can render great services in the context of therapy assisted by the animal, but he will only do so if his nature is respected… Let it be said!
We, therefore, continue today to dissect what this nature is and to understand to what extent it can be expressed in a zootherapy program.
Every time I post a photo of my food preparation for my parrots on social media, the same question comes up… “Can you give me the recipe?” To which I always answer that I don’t have a recipe, that my preparations are different each week and that I use what I have on hand at that time.
Obviously, following my answer appears a lot of disapproving or terribly disappointed comments. However, it is true that I do not have a precise recipe because I vary the diet of my birds every week and also every day.
How is it possible to vary the food of our birds every week at the same time as every day? This is what I will explain to you in these lines. It really isn’t rocket science and it’s also a lot of fun. All you need to do is show a little imagination and in my case surround myself with feathered cooks …
Those who live with a parrot know how much it likes (adores) being in our presence, participating in the various activities of the house, interfering in conversations, sharing our meals. He craves the company of others so much that some of my clients call their parrot a “stain” or “glue pot”. He’s a snooper, sticks his nose ( or beak ) everywhere, meddles with things that don’t concern him and on top of that, he seems to give his opinion on just about anything.
The parrot likes to be surrounded by its own and hates being put aside. If we ignore him, he reacts quickly to let us know his discontent; he just can’t stand being treated with indifference.
But why is he doing it? Is it organic? An instinct? A need? Or just to kill time?
Why not all of the above? In this text, I offer you several avenues to explore to understand why our parrot tries at all costs to attract our attention, and this, for the sole purpose of socializing with us.
In the first issue on the social life of parrots, we saw how rich social life is essential for both the good mental and physical health of the bird and how a poor social life can destroy a parrot. without realizing it too much. Until the day his distress becomes apparent.
What still amazes me after years of practice is the disconcerting ease with which we can make completely aberrant behaviors appear and maintain in our parrots, behaviors that go totally against adaptation and this, without even accounting.
In 2019, can we still plead ignorance in a world where information circulates at high speed? It shouldn’t, but unfortunately, there are still too many of these people who love badly while loving their birds too much.
In this text, we continue to explore the social life of our parrot and how we can meet this need so essential to its well-being.
In my post no.34, I told you about the cage, this evil that we think is necessary when we want to live with one or more parrots. You will remember that I said to myself then surprised that I was asked to write a text on the cage because cages have not been part of the life of my parrots for a long time and I did not think about it. particularly.
Do you know what surprises me the most? This is because, in 2020, we are still talking about ” cage birds”. What did a “cage bird” do? Are we talking about a caged lion, a caged panther, or even a cage wolf? Well no, the latter just like the parrots are wild animals that are especially not made to be caged. “Birds of the cage”, the term seems so legitimate that many titles their books or articles with this term, as if it went without saying that a parrot ( or any bird ) must necessarily come as standard with a cage, this mesh box in which it would be so good to live.
Put yourself in his place, would you agree to live in a chain-link prison when your nature demands such a great need for freedom? What did the bird do to you to deserve life in prison?
So, you don’t have to look from noon to 2 p.m. to understand why so many aberrant behaviors of our parrots are directly linked to confinement, to this damn cage …
Come on, let’s talk about it …
Is humor unique to humans? Are there other animal species with a sense of humor?
Although the parrot is probably the most studied animal at the moment, it seems that very few researchers dwell on this subject. So, this will be an absolutely unscientific text but simply based on my observations and the spasms of giggles that tickled my spine throughout the writing of this post.
I have asked several people who live with a parrot if they have an opinion on the subject. Once again, laughter while listening to them tell their anecdotes, absolutely not scientific, but so relevant yet.
Those who live with a parrot are categorical: yes, their parrots know how to give a fuck by their attitudes or by the use of words or phrases that they have learned in contact with humans. All told me that their parrots had such a sense of timeliness that at this point, we no longer speak of chance but of intention. They know how to combine words heard here and there in certain situations and they know they will have an effect on us because it makes us laugh and they love that kind of attention.
So, do parrots have a sense of humor? You be the judge…
The sense of humor supposes a shift with reality and parrots know how to handle this lack of correspondence. We know, parrots are playful and like many animal species, they like to play “we pretend”, “we will say that”, but they do it in a more thorough way, more sought after because, in addition, they have the capacity to reproduce human language. This is their great asset.
In my own lifestyle, I very rarely buy processed foods for myself and my family. These processed foods are handy, I agree, but generally, they have way too many carbohydrates, salt, fat, and ingredients that I don’t know about and have trouble pronouncing. Do I trust the food industry to feed my tribe? My answer is no!
When I cook for my family, I buy organic food because I don’t trust our governments to properly manage the issue of insecticides and pesticides, sweeteners, and other stuff that may end up on or in my food. Do I trust our governments to feed my family? My answer is no!
You see me coming, don’t you? Under these conditions, do you think for one moment that I trust the pet industry to feed my feathered family? My answer is obviously no! We are already being deceived about food for humans, just imagine what is happening with food for our animals!
Am I wrong to think so? I don’t know, but the little research I have done, both on our own diet and that of my animals, leads me to think that I may have good reason to be so wary. What I discovered did not please me at all.
So, in this text, I explain to you why, I do not offer processed foods to my birds, which immediately includes the (extruded) feed prepared for our parrots (you do well what you want). Anyway, my birds don’t like it. Chichou ate a little, but when she discovered the sprouts, she did not touch them anymore. Few parrots are inclined to prefer feed over other foods. The only ones who do have practically never known anything else since their weaning (like Chichou), but as soon as they are presented with a little variety, if given the choice, the feeds do not pass the ramp, they will choose everything except these pellets. Why you will ask me?
Simply because they don’t take pleasure in it. They don’t like the taste or the texture; nothing to dissect, it is bland and it is monotonous. In short, my birds refuse them and I understand them (have you ever tasted them?).
A long time ago, I wrote a text called “Luxury Parrot Cockatoo” and in fact, this text reflects exactly what is happening with this family of parrots when born and raised in captivity. It is true that the cockatoo has become hyper-dependent, garish, possessive, sexual, terrifying, often aggressive with strong tendencies to mutilate its feathers, sometimes even its own body. So it’s no surprise that he is referred to on the Internet as some kind of feathered psychopath. But you know what? This is wrong!
In this text, I bring us to reflect on “why the cockatoo living in captivity is like that”. Is this a natural behavior? Does he do this in kind? Obviously not, you will tell me, and you will be absolutely right.
We have seen in previous issues that for a behavior to be qualified as natural, innate, it must meet these three criteria:
- It must prevail in the species to the point of being characterized.
- It must manifest itself globally and without learning.
- Its shape should be relatively constant and should always manifest in the same way.
I know a lot of cockatoos that don’t fit the psychopathic description that is too often given of them. Even if certain representatives of the species demonstrated their characteristics when they were brought to me at the refuge that I operated, I almost always managed to “cure” them of this disease acquired through contact with humans … emotional hyper dependence.
These birds so badly started at the beginning became again what they should be, that is to say, parrots well in their skin, curious, playful, but all the same affectionate (but, are not all parrots?).
We must understand that these birds do not hatch unbalanced, it is not a birth defect. Cockatoos are born cockatoos with all of the normal genetic makeup of a cockatoo. It is in contact with humans that it spoils …
There is not a single day that I do not see on my newsfeed a person in great distress at having lost their pet, and as far as we are concerned here their parrot.
How many times have I had to say goodbye to a parrot? After 40 years, I don’t really know. Between the birds of the refuge that I operated at one time and my own parrots, I can only tell you that the pain is still so intense, that I do not get used to the loss of a winged companion and that every time the mower passes, it takes months to get over it.
What about the difficult decision to make when his bird is sick and seems to us to be in too much pain and we are suggested to be euthanized. Am I making the right choice? Are there other avenues that I haven’t looked at? The guilt that comes with this terrible dilemma is added to the idea of losing such an important companion and is often unbearable. I lived it and believe me, it is unbearable.
And this parrot who lived with a winged companion for so long, does he understand the finality of death? How will he react to the loss of his companion? Faced with his distress, how can I help him? Is it possible to alleviate his suffering? Should I get him another friend or do I have to wait? How do I make the right choices, be sure not to make a mistake?
There are different forms of mourning. It is not only the death of the bird, there is also the bird that escaped through a window and which despite having asked for all possible help remains absolutely untraceable. In other cases, we must separate from the beloved bird for health reasons, ours or that of our children; a move to another country, a new spouse, a career change that doesn’t give us enough time to take care of Coco properly.
So many circumstances force us to mourn a feathered friend who over time has taken up a lot of space in our hearts. I think it’s worse when you know in advance the date of the separation (euthanasia or adoption). We start to suffer long before the fateful day and that, Coco feels it. It is an atrocious state, unbearable as much for him as for us …
Am I getting too attached? Do I like them too much? Probably the answer is “yes”. And I know I’m not the only one here. Several subscribers must have gone through this painful ordeal one day and like me, they cried all the tears of their bodies.
* In this document, the feminine gender is used as a generic for the sole purpose of not overburdening the text.
Last week, while writing my post on the death or separation from his parrot, I quickly passed on the reason for a separation because of “new spouse”. I didn’t elaborate on the subject because I thought this theme was well worth a full post. Indeed it was one of the major reasons for abandoning the refuge that I operated.
The arrival of an unknown person within the family never leaves Coco indifferent. Either he takes the new spouse as being a great addition in his social group, or, too often, as a very unwelcome interference that disrupts the quiet harmony that had settled over time between him and her.
Okay. Coco doesn’t like Madame’s new partner, but …
- Is it permanent? Not necessarily.
- Is it irreversible? NO!
- Does the bird have the right to change its mind about this new spouse? YES, absolutely (there are only mad people who do not change their minds).
- Can Coco come to like the new partner? Certainly!
But, because there is always a but, the new spouse, if he is not accepted straight away, will probably have to play seduction with Coco who does not look favorably on this coming third wheel. to add to his coach.
Should Madame give in to the new spouse’s request to get rid of Coco because there are no hooks between the two at first sight? NOT AT ALL!
In the reasons for abandoning his parrot at my shelter, I saw many people (especially women) who under the influence of a (abject) person saw themselves in the obligation to relocate their feathered companion. You know, those guys who say they love you, but who put you in front of this terrible ultimatum “it’s your parrot or me, the choice is yours!” Well, as far as I’m concerned, the choice would not be difficult at all … Bye-bye sir! Unfortunately, this is not the case for all women or men who think they have (finally) found the love of their life. For me, if that’s love, I’d rather skip my turn!
Unfortunately, it was one of the main causes of abandonment while I was operating my refuge and I know it still is today. Coco does not like the new spouse, we do not take any action to change the situation, we instead demand the departure of the bird and we do not care about breaking the heart of the person we say we love and we still careless of what will happen to Coco.
This … this is cat pee! There are two mournings here: the person who must part with his bird and Coco who will have to endure the loss of his human darling while he is relocated to another family. This parrot will have a hard time getting over it, believe me. All this misfortune caused by a loathsome egotist.
Is this spouse really worth it?
If he demands such a sacrifice from you now, what do you think he will demand of you next?
So there you have it, in this post, I want to speak from an open heart with you, madam, sir, who are grappling with an egocentric who sees no further than the tip of the nose of his little person. Coco or him (her). What if we sliced?
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