45 things you NEED to know BEFORE getting a parrot! Everything You Need to Know About the Parrot
Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE I Got a Parrot!
All what you need to know about parrots
African Grey parrot a smart bird
So there we are. This is the very first post from the Parrots Post and it is also, I believe, one of the most important.
Of course, I will tell you about the behaviors of Coco darling (a lot, passionately, madly ) in these pages, but first of all, it is important for me to make you think about this … you should always try to understand a behavior ( good or not so good ) of your parrot, of whatever 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 our 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 coexist well with a parrot, cuddle it, talk to it and love it madly, it’s good, but it’s 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 our bird’s behavior too often stems directly from these needs. By knowing the needs of our parrot, it is easier for us to put our finger on those ( many) who are not satisfied. These unfulfilled needs are also those which generate and maintain several disturbing behaviors of the bird.
Dodo, but why do? says himself a parrot master…
Several of you have described 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 it is not, he will resist with all his might, even going as far as the bite to avoid being taken back to his cage or his room for the night. Bedtime and the ritual surrounding 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 security need. It will therefore be a fairly long ticket because this need for security is essential to the development of the captive parrot and, as a result, cannot itself ensure its security. Unfortunately, most begin life very precariously. Indeed, the first insecurity from birth: the farming method ( EAM ) which will create a latent insecurity which will manifest itself differently depending on the species, temperament or resilience of the individual. Contemporary husbandry methods include hand-feeding of fledglings, which in practice means …
Here we go, we are climbing another level in Maslow’s pyramid of needs. We are now going to discuss this ( considerable ) need for belonging among our parrots, gregarious animal if need be! Parrots are social animals that cannot survive without the secure presence of others. Your parrot needs to be assured that it is an integral part of the social group that you form with your family. You will need to integrate it into as many spheres of activity as possible, since it is only under these conditions that it can fully develop within your family. You will have to find the middle ground, 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 wrong?
Say, you want or you don’t want … (known air). ♫♫♫ This is a long subject and you know what? I do not apologize because it is too important for our pet parrots. We often read that we should not respond to the sexual advances of our parrot, that we have to repel it when it is too enterprising and that it only “thinks about it”. If only it were so easy, if we only had to say “no” and Coco understood. I wrote this text hoping to put you a little in the place of your parrot, to lead you to see the thing from his point of view to HIM.
I do not know what is the need for esteem in the wild parrot, but in captivity, as you may have noticed ( I am sure ), the parrot constantly seeks the attention of its human and aspires to a some form of recognition from the latter. To do this, he must learn to behave socially to be accepted and appreciated by other members of the group, in this case your family.
Doesn’t living with a parrot sooner or later face 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 … Crac! like that, for nothing ( depending on your perception) Coco advises you of his dissatisfaction with one of these devil snatches; you know, those that hurt our hearts even more than our hands. However, I did nothing, you tell me, everything was going as usual! To which I answer you … “This as usual”, this way of doing, how long has it been going on? What is it that today Coco was fed up, that the vase overflowed for him? There is necessarily a reason … because it is like that with parrots, there is always a reason! Whatever you say, the parrot doesn’t just attack 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 interested party ever realizing that they have done wrong. It’s human that… To do everything to create your own monster, then to complain about him and blame him for his deplorable behavior. Indeed, Mr. Perroquet is convinced of his right when he attacks us. For him, he only communicates and what is more, he does it correctly, that is to say in the way that he was taught to make himself understood. Well, obviously we don’t really like that, a crunch for a yes and especially for a no; it starts to do well! So, we rewind everything and we start on a brand new canvas. Excellent program in perspective.
Warning: The following will serve you in several facets of your cohabitation with Coco, not only for the crunches of communication. I will give you some examples throughout the posts. It will be (I hope) your new art of living with Coco, which will always have to be win-win, for him as for you. How to reduce a behavior or a response ( that we don’t like too much )?
Well, parrots are a bit fed up with being brought back the “behavioral problem” for all and for nothing. When the bird acts without it being suitable for humans, we immediately point out the “behavior problem”. A little quick on the human trigger to accuse the bird wrongly and through. However, as we saw in the previous posts, there are behaviors which seem disturbing to us and which however are completely normal for them. The parrot is rather “psttadiary” in nature. How many times have I heard, “My parrot does this ; my parrot acted like this ; Is my bird normal or is it a behavioral problem? “” My conure cries all day; my African gray doesn’t speak … “
Well yes, the question arises: What is 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 it does not want to. Shouting is the ultimate mode of communication for conures; So, maybe she is a super communicator who has a long time telling you when you return from work? Perhaps it is her way of making you understand that she wants your company and that she does not count for plums? Perhaps it is simply, as conures do in nature, to communicate its location in the house or the direction it decides to take when it flies away? Who can say? Complain about his gray A five-year-old African who does not speak without asking the following questions: Perhaps he is not simply gifted? Perhaps he does not feel the need for it because he manages to make himself understood otherwise? Maybe he just doesn’t want it? Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language skills; all of them have the capacity to execute, that is part of their genetic background, but not all of them necessarily see the point in doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak human, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic background ( Does he not feel the need because he manages to make himself understood differently? Maybe he just doesn’t want it? Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language skills; all of them have the capacity to execute, that is part of their genetic background, but not all of them necessarily see the point in doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak human, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic background ( Does he not feel the need because he manages to make himself understood differently? Maybe he just doesn’t want it? Obviously, gray is recognized for its “human” language skills; all of them have the capacity to execute, that is part of their genetic background, but not all of them necessarily see the point in doing so. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak human, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic background ( it’s part of their genetic makeup, but not everyone sees the point in doing it. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak human, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic background ( it’s part of their genetic makeup, but not everyone sees the point in doing it. If your bird refuses or does not feel the need to speak human, can we then speak of an abnormal African gray? In my own human genetic background (and in yours ), it says that I can do a back somersault, keep my balance on a rope or even run the 100 meters in 17 seconds. Do I do so? Take my word if I say no. I never made the effort to develop these skills, I just didn’t want to, not at all interested in these activities. Am I a normal human doctor?
As I have often mentioned in my works, the parrot is an animal that has only a few decades of life in the company of humans. Unlike our dogs or cats who have evolved to live in the company of men for millennia, the parrot has no successive generations of adaptation to the so-called ‘domestic animal’ life. For this reason, its 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 that they have not undergone any genetic or behavioral modification. Even a parrot born in captivity, fed and raised by humans, will instinctively react to a stimulus. However, the response of the bird may be totally unsuitable for the situation since it will not be supported by a 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 much more time investment, in attention and observation as our dogs and our cats. When we acquire a parrot, we have a preconceived idea of the ideal companionship with this animal. We have expectations, hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely to happen the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the capacity 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 it happy; that what is good for us is also good for him. We are wrong! hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely to happen the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the capacity 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 it happy; that what is good for us is also good for him. We are wrong! hopes, aspirations, but it is unlikely to happen the way we have idealized this relationship. Because it has the capacity 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 it 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 begin a series of posts on communication … ours, that of the parrot and the interrelation between of them. As we have seen, Coco is a gregarious animal, a social animal, that is to say that it is programmed to live and interact with other individuals; and when one lives with others, ” one cannot not 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 and respond to our intentions and feelings. Because we and Coco have enough common sensory channels to achieve this and despite that it is not perfect ( and it cannot be because we are not a parrot and it is not a human ), you can still reach 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 transported for a very long time ( and still is in some circles ). Then came Lorenz ( Konrad ) and Tinbergen ( Nicolaas), the founders of objective ethology, who defined animal communication as follows: Emission of a signal which provokes a response from another animal, which prepares or organizes at a distance or nearby and which ensures or modifies the course of one or more functions in which at least two individuals participate. ‘ In the world of our parrots, there are …
- The individual issuing the signal
- The individual who receives it
- The group of which they are a part and which stems 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 of all, we must understand that communication requires learning on both sides. So, as with all learning, we will have to HIM and HIM to allow himself the time required for this learning.
We continue on the theme of communication and in this post, we talk about Coco’s natural communication. Not his language skills, we’ll see that later, but his way for HIM to communicate 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 shouts to give us information or to get it. Well yes, it’s normal, but how normal is it? To those who would venture to believe by reading these lines that they will have finally got their hands on a kind of philosopher’s stone which will transform their parrot pipelette into a quiet and soundproof bird, I immediately warn you 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 that you signed (without knowing) with your parrot at the time of adoption. I would not 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 that it is quoted in parallel with a deafening parrot because if there is one thing that you must absolutely understand here, it is that a parrot which produces no sound, it does not exist ! It is very early in the morning when I write this post, well installed in my office, with my cup of coffee and my scattered birds around me. I have to compose with the incessant jacqueries and onomatopoeias of the African grays, the “lalalala” of Chichou my daughter Cockatoo which revises its prize list, the “couack, couack, grogne, grogne” from Quita, ara ararauna of his state, who does not know how to grumble in silence, as well as the shouts of Bib, my adorable Timneh, who tears it up 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 until 11:00 am of this dissonant orchestra, since finally, it will be the hour of the siesta of the birds and I will be able at that moment to savor the soothing sound of silence. My parrots are not noisy and I do not consider them to be garish, at least, no more than others. They are simply alive, especially at certain times of the day! That’s what it means to live with parrots! I know it and I accept the contract. If you cannot bear this condition, choose a goldfish, a hamster or a tarantula as a pet. Parrots, know it, are animals that express themselves and often, they do it with force 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 her life as she goes by. Nothing is hidden with a parrot, no secret, it expresses to you what it feels throughout the day, hours, minutes, seconds. Look at it, right away, observe it, it expresses something, do you see it? Coco communicates its emotions or the intentions linked to it by 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 the 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 carefully.
What to observe:
- The look
- The dilation of the pupils
- The place where looks
- The shape of the eyes
- Wearing head
- The position of the head
- The posture of the bird
- Positioning of the body and legs
- Plumage movements
- Tail movements
- Bird’s head and body movements
- Alouette… ♫♫♫
Several factors induce our choice in the will to live with a parrot, but where this marvelous animal fascinates us the most, it is this faculty which it has to reproduce the human voice and to 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 execute happily. It’s a shame, it’s one of the main complaints that I receive by email or phone from humans who are disappointed with their parrot: “He doesn’t speak!” However, these birds have so much more to offer us than just entertaining us while chatting. I personally have never put emphasis on the language skills of my birds. No training session, no waiting or request. If some of my parrots have a broad 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 comes from their lexicon. My birds are good, free and, I believe, satisfied in their environment. This interaction makes them want to learn to communicate with me, my husband and sometimes with guests ( not always). Although their first choice is generally 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 are more likely to make themselves understood by the limited beings that we are… and they would be right!
Human as a second language. But yes, the parrot is somewhat bilingual; not perfectly bilingual, but bilingual insofar as he can come to understand human language and communicate in this language which is far from its natural communication. Thus, the parrot can manage to interact with a human by learning some basic rudiments of the language of this last and by using sounds ( words ) carrying meaning. The opposite is unlikely ( no human having learned the parrot language has been listed to date.). The attraction of communicating in the manner of the “dominant” human community is part of the instinct for integration which flows directly from the gregarious instinct. The parrot that shares our life as well as that of other parrots is really multilingual because it lives in a bicultural society where bilingualism ( human / parrot ) becomes essential ( if it has the capacity ) integration into the two groups. As human language is often considered the dominant dialect, parrots often call out to each other when using it. Often this kind of behavior is more like oratorical sparring. Parrots reciprocally send each other their human repertoire without worrying about the meaning of words and the communication of good information; the sounds don’t mean anything anymore and come out pell-mell. It is up to him who succeeds in having the last word… human!
Coco has just put his bad mood on our fingers, it hurts and we are naturally looking for the reason because again… “he bit us for nothing.” So, it has become the norm, we are turning to social networks, there is someone who will have a ready answer for me. We expose our problem and the answers, especially the solutions are not long in coming. They are very often summed up by this:
Answer: It is because it seeks to dominate you. It is known, parrots are so dominant.
Solution: Don’t be fooled, you must demonstrate to him that it is you who command, that you are the dominant of the group.
So, according to our social media experts, the right question to ask yourself when you live with a parrot would be “Who is the boss?” Who of you or him commands 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 scientific research? The answer is: none of these answers! No hierarchy of dominance in parrots has been observed or recorded to date in the groups of parrots in the wild and nothing in their ethogram suggests that these birds have tendencies to dominance.Can a lie repeated thousands of times become 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 the facts are no longer really important; in an era where collective unanimity becomes truth and circulates at great speed “V” on the Internet … We have entered the era of the 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 frantic; she thinks she must have done ‘something wrong’ because she no longer recognizes her little bird. ‘He has changed so much lately,’ she tells me on the phone, ‘He is more independent with me, it seems that he prefers my husband, even that he threatens me when I want to take him and that it is placed on him. He never did that! Before, he never stopped being 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 would seem that Coco has become what is called ‘the bird of one person’, but it did not happen like that overnight, we taught him to do so. Let me explain…
He was there, on the parquet floor in the center of the shop, in a very small cage on which a sign had been affixed ‘ Watch your fingers, I bite.’A band of children got excited around him, shouting and banging on the cage without the staff of the shop intervening, and he, he did not move, did not react, he just bowed his head and close eyes. A pitiful white cockatoo, plump and completely apathetic, which was however, when we first met, a magnificent bird of four months. I know because I had noticed it the previous year, in this same pet store. I remembered very well having asked to speak to the owner of the place and having mentioned to him that the cage of this bird was ridiculously too small for him, to which he had answered me ‘It is temporary my little lady, he just arrived,
I have always been wary of gentlemen who talk to 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 an excellent marker that 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 bad look of which I am capable ( which has never impressed anyone, I do not know how to compose myself a nasty face ), i paid for my purchases and I 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 perception to HIM of parrot of the situation or event. But the motor component, yes, it’s within our reach, we can observe it. These are behavioral reactions such as flight, agitation, prostration, aggression, etc. And there is also the physiological component such as the acceleration of the heart rate, cortisol secretion or any other modification of the functioning of the organism. But that either we do not see it too much, we can only imagine when Coco emits a behavior of fear or intense joy.
Thus, we do not have access to the feeling of our bird, it is not observed. We can only trust the observable aspect of 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 his ethogram as a base ( we always start there ) and the observation of the behavioral sequence, which is what led to …
Let’s see what our parrot has to say …
You who live with a parrot often tell me about his surprising intelligence, his incredible ability to solve problems, his ease of learning and how he knows how to act. For those who live with a parrot, there is no doubt that this animal is terribly intelligent. But how bad is it? What do we know today? How is it going in his head?
Several studies have come to show us that parrots are able to solve complex problems and often more confidently than a young child. Their ability to learn to imitate the human voice ( or that of another animal ) leaves us stunned, but the accuracy of their words overturns us more often than in our turn.
My text today praises the intelligence of our parrots. I am not very objective you say, and you will probably be right. Since the time that I speak about these birds, it is no longer a secret for anyone that I am a fan, very fan! So, my research tends to focus on what amazes me in these birds, rarely the opposite, and I do not apologize at all! I also know that you, the subscribers who read this text, are at least as grouped as me if not more so ( this is no secret either ).
Come on, let’s go have fun and let ourselves be surprised a little more, because you will see, from one concept to another, Coco will seriously put us on our knees!
Client: Hello, I have 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 will not give you ‘tips’, and even less to “tame” your parrot …
Client: Ha! I was told that you tame the parrots!
Me: We misinformed you madam, I don’t even know how to tame a flea …
Client: But, you tame parrots, right?
Me: No, madam. I don’t tame anyone; not even my hair this morning …
Client: Are you the parrot behaviorist?
Me: Yes madam, behaviorist as in behavior; not tamer like in taming…
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 am not a parrot corrector either and he is 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?
Me: But yes, we will start by modifying your behaviors, 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! It’s always him who starts, I do nothing. He’s the one screaming and biting me for nothing, it’s not me who’s starting!
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 do it soci… socia… social… as you just said there. I never did that to her! I raised him since he was a baby and now that he is a teenager, he has become dominant.
Me: ( my ancestors… very long sigh ) Do you have 10 minutes or two hours? Will I 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 at this time of the year, Murphy’s law always ends up inviting us into our festivities.
* Murphy’s Law: If there are at least two ways to do something and at least one of these ways can cause disaster, someone ( read: a parrot ) will be somewhere to borrow this way.
This small guide is not intended to replace the precious and essential veterinary care, but rather to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and especially rapid 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 make up for 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 help and advice for emergency care ( actions to be taken), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
During the holiday season, veterinarians are less available than during the regular period. So, my first piece of advice: find out about the holiday schedule for your favorite vet and if it is not available, ask him for a reference to a clinic or hospital that provides emergencies during the holiday period. This simple little preventive gesture can save your parrot’s life. So, at the end of reading this text, you take your phone and call your veterinarian right away. It will be a good thing and you will have more peace of mind in celebrating happily.
Q- Can you judge the well-being of your parrot by its appearance
As we have seen and reviewed… and reviewed again, parrots are gregarious animals and above all prey animals. The flock of birds takes precedence over the individual and 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 nothing more than an animal condemned to death!
The parrot will try by all tricks to hide its condition as long as possible from the members of its group, to hide all the signs of distress or illness that may be apparent! There is no reason why he should not act in the same way with you, since this behavior is instinctive and we know it … the innate never disappears!
First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Marie-Josée Hamel DMV for her collaboration. For those who do not know her, Marie-Josée Hamel is the best veterinarian I have known. His sense of diagnosis is a pure miracle; she already spotted a specific problem on one of my birds just watching him walk on the table. Today, unfortunately for me and my birds, she no longer practices, she teaches. The biggest Snif! of my life …
Today, we continue the tour of “domestic” emergencies concerning our parrot. An accident happened so quickly, we are told; an accident is by definition an unforeseeable event and our parrots are the kings of these “unpredictabilities”. During the holiday season, schedules are shaken, 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-disaster!
This small 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 especially rapid 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 for emergency care ( actions to be taken), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen? During the holiday season, veterinarians are less available than during the regular period. So, my first piece of advice: find out about the holiday schedule for your favorite vet and if it is not available, ask him for a reference to a clinic or hospital that provides emergencies during the holiday period. This simple little preventive gesture can save your parrot’s life.
When you have finished reading this text, I will already be on leave ( this is the last text of the Parrots Post of 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 actions to take while waiting to see Coco by a veterinarian.
Here is the first text of the Post of the parrots 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 arrived at number 25. Pfiouuu! !! We arrive at the third part of “domestic” emergencies concerning our parrot. I hope you had a great holiday season and that Coco did not show you all the colors. In the next two issues, we will see other emergencies, listed as the most common. I know, you will tell me that it is starting to do a lot, but let’s say that I prefer to rake 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 especially rapid 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 an aid and advice for emergency care ( actions to be taken ), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
So here we come to the latest text in the series of emergency home care for our parrots. We have already seen a lot of situations in which our rapid intervention can make the difference between the bird that recovers 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 dumplings, and as it can walk, climb and fly, everything can become potentially dangerous and turn into “state of emergency”, whether the parrot is small or a giant . Never go to believe that a caged parrot cannot do stupid things, far from it. S ‘6 hours or more a day ), if he is bored, he will display treasures of imagination to pass the time and break this boredom. What will he imagine good ( or bad ) to do?
This small guide is not intended to replace the precious veterinary care, but rather to stabilize and keep your bird alive until it is taken care of by a qualified practitioner. Because of their particular and especially rapid 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 for emergency care ( actions to be taken), but can in no way replace a visit to your avian veterinarian. Seen?
The parrot, like any other animal, can be aggressive in various situations. Normally, aggression behavior follows a behavioral model: Warning, threat, intimidation. If the first threat phase does not work, he will take action by biting more or less strongly, depending on the degree of irritation or danger. After the aggression comes what is called a stopping or calming phase. This is called “reactive aggression”, that is to say that the bird reacts to a stimulus following a normal behavioral sequence.
However, in captivity in the dyssocialized parrot ( eam ), we too often observe a kind of aggressiveness that) and a predatory animal ( human ). I speak here of an 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 humans and imbued with it will warn you every time of its intention to do you violence. No! It is not that the bird is treacherous or hypocritical, it is only that the method of breeding by hand ( eam ), this primary dyssocialization often accompanied by an * isolation syndrome ( sensory deprivation ), has made the so-called ‘pet’ parrot terribly unpredictable.
At the instrumentalized stage, the parrot presents a secondary hyperaggressiveness with bite ( sometimes very violent ) without warnings or threats and in a very impulsive way.
* Primary Dyssocialization: “This is the most serious developmental disorder leading to aggression” – Isabelle Viera, behavioral veterinarian. It is the failure to acquire 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 absence of learning social rules and communication codes. 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, does not know how to resolve a conflict. This makes it unpredictable, even dangerous.
* Isolation syndrome or sensory deprivation: It is the inability of the bird to properly manage sensory information. This is the result of insufficient stimulation during the development of the baby which, unable to learn enough about its environment, becomes unable to adapt thereafter.
In the first place, because he does not fear humans. You should know that normally, aggressions, other than those related to predation, occur inside the species ( intraspecific ). So why, the parrot ( prey animal ) does not show any fear towards the human ( predatory animal ) and even worse, has no hesitation in attacking this one ( interspecific aggression )?
A: This is because the EAM parrot identifies with the human species.For the bird, aggression IS intraspecific … because the “eam” breeding method permeates young parrots in humans! Many other aberrant behaviors of the impregnated bird have been found to result directly from the “eam” breeding method, but aggression is certainly the most painful for us.
I know, I’m still talking about it… 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 against nature, except obviously if the prey defends itself against its predator, but otherwise, the kind of aggression by irritation, by frustration or because Coco has the short wick shouldn’t happen. Imagine a dog doing this: it looks like it 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, are part of the inevitability of living with these birds. These are bred in order not to fear humans and to do this, we * infuse them with humans ( some breeders even boast) and from this moment, quite rightly… parrots no longer fear humans, they identify with it! Here!
* Filial footprint: “Learning process by which young birds learn to recognize the characteristics of the mother or both parents, of which they have no innate knowledge.” – Bateston- Sluckin – Hess.
The sexual imprint: “Learning process by which a young animal acquires the knowledge of the characters which will enable him later to identify an adequate partner to which to mate. If a young of a sexually” impregnable “species is raised by adoptive parents belonging to another species, this results in outliers. ”
Why do I make lots of quotes? Just that when it comes from me, it looks like it’s less serious. So, I quote behavioral veterinarians, ethologists and biologists … so, if there are confrontations following one of my anti-eam 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 fits you, do not take it personal, I swear that I am not targeting you personally, but I nevertheless believe that this text could greatly help you and especially, help your parrot. Despite being 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 speak 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, horribly intolerant and all 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 the word “suddenly!” During a routine consultation for aggressive behavior, I waste an incredible amount of time asking questions to try to understand why the parrot uses aggression to make itself 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 myself unnecessarily lie on the phone by the human who is looking for a solution to this “sudden” aggressive behavior, I pose the direct question: did you hit him?
Just this week, three times the answer was “yes”. Winter is the ordeal of parrots who live in captivity and who have to undergo the camel mood of their human. In these moments, I sometimes fantasize in my head: more than a pre-adoption course on the behavior of parrots, in my ideal world, it would be the obligation of a compulsory yoga and meditation course to all parrot owners who have had 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 unhappy gesture: a slap, a sharp and brutal blow on the cage, a violent tremor to unbalance the bird until the movement carried away for send him waltzing in the background. A parrot is not a human and if you are not prepared for certain actions ( shouting or biting ) on its part, it is better to inform yourself before adopting one. Most of the problems with parrots, to put it mildly, ALL of the problems with parrots living in captivity come from a single source … human. Take humans out of the equation and there are no more attitude or behavior problems with our parrots.
Today I am speaking to you, yes you human, the machine to manufacture behavioral problems, which have so many expectations and which are always too eager to reach them. To you, humans who overreact for a yes or a no to a behavior of your bird, however natural at the base. To you, who subject the young parrot to an aberrant impregnation to humans, who interfere in its normal socialization process and who subsequently surprise you that it does not know how to behave well to the point of biting you because he did not learn to do otherwise; who really do everything and anything wrong with these birds. Are you that far … I’m not going to finish my sentence to be polite. You guessed it, this is a ticket mood. I’m damn 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 action or howled you in disarray? Are you so discerning when you hit a little beast that is only a fraction of your weight and height …? So, I’m going to tell you a secret … Parrots learn a thousand times more from what we do, from our actions than from what we try to instill in them. Coco turned into an attacker after you brutalized him? Whose fault is it? Who served as a model?
Obviously yes … Coco is not a brick!
Can you regain the confidence of your bird?
I would say yes too. However, depending on the outrage, the parrot will remain wary, it will no longer be the blind confidence of the first moments. In our human jargon, it looks 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 surrendering. Innocence is broken. Let me explain…
So that’s it, your parrot has grown. He is now a teenager and it’s completely normal, you just have to accept it, we don’t have much choice… All we can do is support him in this transformation which fortunately doesn’t of the meal; it is only one phase of its maturation. Your role will be to help it get through and then find it on the other side, sexual maturity.
Arrived at the puberty stage, the young parrot tries to assert itself, this is also the reason why this period is called the assertion stage. 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: subjecting (qqn) to annoyance or annoyance continuously ) or to punish him ( which would be catastrophic at this stage of development). It is certain that he will no longer act like the nice baby you have always known. He is tall now and will have experiences, not always happy, at least, from your point of view. He will have an immense need for freedom to discover HIS world with his new teen eyes. Through its various misadventures, of course, it risks making you go crazy … you are only human! More than one of my clients has given up in the face of the invasive adolescent period of his parrot, but believe me, it should not be, it is only a passing, a period that will not last in time. If one is prepared for it, there is no reason for it to be the catastrophe announced.
There are two calm periods with parrots: the juvenile period and maturity. Between the two, there is the other, the period of puberty which is a must to return to a more serene period. Take this as a rite of passage before accessing the treasure, that is, perfect life in the company of a mature parrot.
In the wonderful world of parrots, you hear or read everything and its opposite. Generally, these are assertions that serve no other purpose than to justify our ignorance of these birds, whether it be their needs, their instincts or their ancestral way of life ( which, I remind you, has took millions of years to develop ); or even stuff our heads with nonsense to make us 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 small bundle of feathers under their arms without having the slightest idea of the content of said precious package. So they seek advice from acquaintances, friends, breeders, pet store clerks, parrot clubs ( real or virtual)), etc. Unfortunately, in too many cases, the brand new adoptive parent of a parrot, blinded by his enthusiasm, does not take the time to question or assess the relevance of the information he receives. In the scramble of information, we must not forget that popular myths have in common simplistic, accommodating beings transmitted by people who simply do not know enough to be able to discern the quality of information that they lavish. You have no choice but 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 an experience, a personality, an environment, socialization or even genetics that are very different from those of your parrot. The temperament of your seven-month African gray has nothing in common with that of your boyfriend’s five-year-old Amazon.
Take the time to verify that the person trying to instill THE way you act with your parrot can follow through on their thoughts. Can it clearly explain to you WHY you should do this or that? Will his advice help your parrot to adapt or is it just a quick trick to make the bird react ( quick fix )? And ask yourself the question … Does this answer seem complete, sensible, coherent, logical? If you doubt, if you answer no to only one of these statements, do not blindly follow the advice … there is one ‘ no’ too many!
Hell is paved with good intentions and this paving is thick ( I 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 perpetuate dangerous myths about parrots. However, the right information is readily available today, there are many very high level publications. There is no longer any excuse. The ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘ I was given bad information‘has no longer its reason for being in 2019. It is our judgment to accept or refuse to follow the prescriptions of a person who may jeopardize 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 that breeding by hand creates, we did a lot. We have been given lots of nonsense to the point where we have come to find normal this type of breeding against nature and to really believe that normal breeding, parental, is harmful for small parrots who have the misfortune to be born in captivity. Plot for sure!
The less we know about an animal, the easier it is to compose a dysfunctional universe to legitimize our own ignorance. Unfortunately, these untruths are repeated millions of times, until we come to believe it ourselves … If everyone says so, it must be true! Even the ‘ professionals ‘ in the avian world have come to reproduce them like automata, which, however, is nothing but fabulous. 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 parrots get out of control and at sexual maturity, all parrots lose the gains of the first period,’ unlearn ‘, become aggressive and lose their status as good companions. Conspiracy or ignorance?
These proposals are so widespread that they have become commonplace and it never even occurs to us to question them. These tricks create sometimes irreparable harm in our relationship with Coco. These are misconceptions that die hard, despite the media coverage and the widest dissemination of knowledge and discoveries made to date on our parrots. These misconceptions are numerous and above all, devilishly tenacious. The expectations of 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 balance of the parrot, both physically and psychologically. We are starting today to clear all that. 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 a topic for this week’s column. In short, a real real white 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 for me, the providential phone call rang…
Madam: ” 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 noticed that he had a very clear preference for men. The first few days, he wasn’t too bad with me, but turned on as soon as my partner came home. However, it was hardly if my husband noticed his presence. Then, he resumed this behavior when my brother came to visit us. When there is a man, he shows very attractive and any man can approach him. When I am alone with him, it gets 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 comes back from work, I no longer exist at all and Iam even entitled to expressions of intimidation.
The situation got worse yesterday. When I wanted to change the bowls in the cage, he bit my hand. It was the first time. I removed my hand, but as I had to change this bowl, I went back and at that time, he attacked me directly on the face, then on the shoulder, my husband had to intervene otherwise he bit and remorse again.
I phoned my veterinarian 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 anymore.
My bird does not like me, but I do not want to believe that there is nothing to do to change this situation. I need help … ”
Today, I am continuing the momentum of the myths and plots surrounding our parrots.
Because humans tend to bring everything to themselves, they too often define parrots through their own eyes, give them intentions and feelings they know, 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 humanly, 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 punish; it grows, becomes pubescent and tries to assert itself, we still punish.
Sanction definition: Result of someone’s judgment on something. Penalty prescribed by law to punish an offense. Punishment given in an official setting.
Thus, we judge the actions of our parrots, we impose a penalty on them to the extent ( we believe ) of the offense and this punishment that we offer him soothes us. It feels good to punish your parrot after he has (…). Is not it? We do not have the imagination to put ourselves in the place of the bird, to try to understand a behavior according to his point of view to HIM, but we have a very fertile imagination when the time comes to react to this behavior …
What have we not invented to justify our actions or reactions to him? What have we not read or heard about the correct way to correct your parrot, about the art of the bird sanction? We are going to review all of this, there immediately, to put an end to these insane assertions.
As with the rest, we hear or read completely ridiculous assertions about the sexual maturity of our birds. The adulthood of parrots is frightening. 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 of having all the symptoms of this or that affection; it scratches, it is painful, but in the end, the reason ends up taking over and we say 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 deprived, we is sick of our parrot. Still, the transition to adulthood is not that bad, most of us have been there and we survived not that bad.
We are happy that finally our dog arrives there, ditto 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 stages, however normal, of the development of our parrots? Why do we almost automatically see one or more behavioral problems? As we know, Coco will not remain a baby all his life! When that happens, we are simply not prepared for it. The maturation of a parrot is long and some species do not reach adulthood after a few years of cohabitation with us. Coco is growing, he is changing his attitude and it is completely normal. He has no behavioral problems… he’s big now and that’s it!
Let’s take a closer look and together demystify Coco’s sexual maturity, let’s dust off the myths surrounding the parrot which finally arrives at its period of realization.
In a mini-survey on my Facebook page, I asked: ‘What subject would you like me to write about ?’ I was very surprised when mostly, I was asked to write a little something about the choice of the cage for his parrot, the location and maintenance of it.
I did not expect that. I didn’t think it was a real topic, there is so little discussion of the cage (s).
After thinking about it, it IS finally a subject. Neglected, I agree, but a real subject, because after choosing your dream bird, you have to house it and this accommodation is generally very expensive. So, as well choose judiciously the expensive home of your parrot.
I searched a little and found that there are such a variety of cages on the Internet that a young bird would not find its brood there. Since my own birds don’t live in cages, I never really bothered to research the object. It’s incredible, hundreds, as I say, 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, lots of Asian scrap and lots of things that are 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 his 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 in a cage. However, if you live in a rental or don’t have the space, the cage can become a necessary evil. We choose a cage for Coco, but we take it 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 affirm that behavioral pecking does not exist just not; we are told that it is only food or physiological ( diseases, parasites, etc. ). It is the return to Descartes, to the reasoning which suits us, which does our job 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, an allergy or other condition can be the basis of pecking behavior, but not only. The parrot is much more complex than that. It is an intelligent animal, perhaps too much to be considered a ‘pet’ . The parrot is a living being with needs and who feels as much intense joy 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. The activation of these structures would cause changes which would be perceived at the level of consciousness, thus producing the emotional sensation. Neurobiological studies reveal that different species including humans, monkeys, dogs, cats, birds and other animals have the same chemical structure and transport information in the same way. N / A!
If birds can sense emotions, then why deny that they can trigger anxiolytic activities when they become too powerful to be managed by the parrot?
Well no, precisely, we do not deny. We seek 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 circumscribe in an attempt to stop pecking.
Each bird is different, does not have the same temperament as your neighbor’s parrot and above all, does not have its 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 may cover several different elements, which makes the origin difficult to identify. Often, we only describe the trigger for the behavior: divorce, moving, new element 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 anyone noticing it) and it is much deeper.
Q. What does psychogenic mean?
A. A condition the cause of which is psychological.
We are talking about a form of pecking that does not come from an allergy, illness or physical discomfort, but rather from what is going on in the bird’s head.
Finding the cause of a psychogenic picage is like taking a big ride between the past and the present; it is dizzying because each ramification of the problem leads us to another which subdivides itself in a maze of possible suffering factors which all put together led the bird to attack his own body in an attempt to do stop 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 life’ , they have not evolved for this kind of sedentary life. They must all learn to manage their emotions and the stress that inevitably generates this way of life so different from that for which they have developed, by using their innate skills. It is when the bird reaches its stage of independence that aberrant behaviors such as pecking, rarely before, appear. The confusion caused by the need to manifest certain innate behaviors and the impossibility of carrying them out in our homes makes the parrot very fragile.at least apparently for us ), in the end had always been there.
Evil is already installed
Q Can we do something about it?
R . Perhaps.
Somewhat unpleasant topic today. Unpleasant because I do not know anyone who has developed a passion to maintain the claws of his parrot, me first ( I hate that ), but it is a necessary job, since our birds living in our houses cannot do it themselves- same. They need our help.
Obviously, we can choose to take Coco to the veterinarian for his size of claw, but if we ask him his opinion to HIM, he will reply that he prefers by far that it happens with us, at home, in the comfort of his home. The ride in a transporter and the stress of the veterinary clinic is not too much for his cup of tea. So, we take care of the pedicure of our parrot ourselves for its safety and comfort. Nail size doesn’t have to be stressful.
So no choice, you have to get started to please Coco! But in fact, how do you know when it’s time to stick to it? Why should we maintain Coco’s claws? And how do we go about it? Do we cut or file?
So many questions for a subject that seems very banal; but in the world of so-called pet parrots, it is not that trivial. Before undertaking the pedicure of our parrot, there are a few things to know so that it goes smoothly, correctly. This is what I propose to you in this text.
Well yes, after all, the parrot is no more stupid than a dog or a cat and also knows how to be conciliatory towards certain people and even bring a precious help within the framework of a rehabilitation that this one is cognitive or manual.
However, not all species of parrots will want to play the therapeutic auxiliary, 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 unwilling to participate in pet therapy. Then there is this time of year when Coco has no desire to cooperate at all; his hormones are activated and at that moment, he no longer thinks of collaborating at all, he has only one fixation … sex!
So, with this bird it is not just how, not anytime, not anywhere and not with anyone … let it be said!
Otherwise, the parrot can be most useful in the context of animal-assisted therapy as long as we know how to respect the unusual nature of this animal.
As we saw in the previous text dealing with animal therapy with a parrot, this animal presents a challenge of constraints that we do not meet with fur therapists such as dogs, cats, rabbits or others. This does not mean that he cannot prove himself 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 be of great service in an animal assisted therapy context, but it will only do so if its nature is respected … Let it be said!
We therefore continue today to dissect what this nature is and understand to what extent it can be expressed in a pet therapy program.
Whenever 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 differ every week and that I use what I have on hand at that time.
Obviously, after my answer appears a bunch 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 is really not rocket science and it is also a lot of fun. It only takes a little imagination and in my case, surround myself with helpers of feathered cooks…
Those who live with a parrot know how much it likes (adores) to be in our presence, to participate in the various activities of the house, to interfere in conversations, to share our meals. He seeks out the company of others so much that some of my clients call their parrots “spots” or “jars of glue”. He is a browser, puts his nose ( or beak ) everywhere, mixes with what does not concern him and in addition, he seems to give his opinion on almost anything.
The parrot likes to be surrounded by its own and hates being put aside. If we ignore it, he reacts quickly to let us know his dissatisfaction; he simply cannot bear to be treated with indifference.
But why does he do it? Is it organic? An instinct? A need? Or just to kill time?
Why not all these answers? In this text, I suggest several avenues to explore to understand why our parrot is trying at all costs to attract our attention, and this, with the sole aim of socializing with us.
In the first issue on the social life of parrots, we saw how essential a rich social life is both to the 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 when her distress becomes apparent.
What still amazes me after years of practice is the disconcerting ease with which we can bring up and maintain completely aberrant behaviors in our parrots, behaviors that go completely against adaptation and what , without even being accountable.
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 manage to fill this need so essential to its well-being.
In my post no.34, I told you about the cage, this evil that we believe is necessary when you want to live with one or more parrots. You will remember that I was surprised when I was asked to write a text on the cage, because cages have not been part of my parrots’ life for a long time and I did not think about it particularly.
You know what surprises me the most? In 2020, we still talk about ” cage birds” . What did a “cage bird” do? Are we talking about cage lion, cage panther or even cage wolf? Well no, the latter just like parrots are wild animals which are especially not made to be caged. “Cage birds”, the term seems so legitimate that many people title their book or articles with this term, as if it went without saying that a parrot ( or any bird ) must necessarily come 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 screened prison when your nature commands such a great need for freedom? What did he do to you to deserve life imprisonment?
So, we don’t have to look for noon to two o’clock 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 man? 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 laughter that tickled my spine throughout the writing of this post.
I asked several people who live with a parrot if they had an opinion on the subject. Again, laughter while listening to them tell their anecdotes, absolutely not scientific, but so relevant nonetheless.
Those who live with a parrot are categorical: yes, their parrots know how to make fun of their mouths by their attitudes or by the use of words or sentences that they 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 that they will have an effect on us because it makes us laugh and that they love this 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 the parrots know how to handle this lack of concordance. We know, parrots are playful and like many animal species, they like to play “we pretend”, “we are going to say that”, but they do it in a more thorough, more sought after because in addition, they have the capacity to reproduce human language. This is their great asset.