Go on a bike ride with your parrots and take long walks … what a beautiful dream! This is how the idea came to me and how I got there.
A little over a year ago, I received on my blog a message from a lady who said ” I myself have a 5 month old female Ara Ararauna called Kykoo. She is a love, she is very sweet and cuddly. I hope I can exchange advice with you. “So I contacted this lady by phone. Melnou has since become a great friend.
After exchanging lots of advice, she tells me to ride a bike and a scooter with her Lori des Moluccas.
” Wouaou ” I stayed baba and I said to him ” listen, if you can ride a bike with Marco (the Lori) you must be able to do it with Kykoo (his little female Ararauna .”
A few months later, she calls me and tells me that she had succeeded and that she had made superb walks by the sea with Kykoo all summer. Listening to it, I could already imagine myself riding a bicycle with my birds …
But now, Melnou’s parrots were desensitized when they were very young when wearing the harness and climbing on the bike, while my coconuts are 4 years old for Tom and 3 years old for Shaïna; so two pubescent thugs to whom I have to make hellish contortions to put on the harness.
The positive side is that they are well used to outside noises like cars, horns, as well as crowds.
And yes, they take a liking to it!
I had all winter to think about the best way to go about making this dream come true. I started by buying 3 faux bamboo perches. I installed one in Tom and Shaïna’s cage and the other two, I left them prominently in the room.
Then the bike. Here too, the choice had to be considered. I needed a good bike that wouldn’t break down in the middle of a wood, neutral in color ( Tom doesn’t really like bright colors, especially when it’s new ), high enough for the tail of the birds. does not touch the wheel and a nice basket.
Now was the time to bring this new predator ( the bike ) into the house and make the introductions. I then remembered some of Johanne’s sentences ” if in their eyes, it doesn’t seem to hurt you, then it won’t hurt them, especially if they see that it gives you pleasure. They will be curious rather than scared. “And” Visualize the finished thing, imagine yourself enjoying this game with your birds. “
To visualize, yes that, I visualized … I even dreamed of it!
So I installed my beautiful bike next to Tom and Shaïna ‘s cage, totally ignoring them and turning my back on them to be sure not to look at them. I had slipped a pot of shelled walnuts to the bottom of the basket and set about setting up the last two bamboo perches inside the basket. That’s when it got interesting and also really funny.
I started to stroke my bike, giving it kisses:
Me: Hello Mister Vélo, hoooo he is handsome Mister Vélo, he is nice
And patati et patata …
At this point, my 9 year old son Kevin entered the room laughing.
Kevin: But what are you doing? You are completely crazy! That’s it mom, you’re good for the asylum …
Me: But no go do like me.
Kevin: Hey, I don’t want to sound crazy!
Me: Please do like me and tell me what Tom and Shaïna are doing.
Kevin also began to stroke Monsieur Vélo and give him the best compliments… between bursts of laughter… ” Mom, they’re on the front of the cage and they zoom in. ” I quickly straddled the cage. bike and started to move forward and backward a small meter while turning the handlebars several times from left to right, accompanying my gesticulations with big ” ouiiiii c’est bien, Monsieur Vélo! ”
They still had to get used to the little bell. We then began a chorus of gling-glings and “ Bravo, Monsieur Vélo! ” Taking advantage of a lull between two laughs from my son, I put a walnut kernel in his mouth and we started laughing again.
We reproduced this scenario several times during the day, which became very frustrating for Tom and Shaïna. But who was this new predator that our Dream seemed to adore? He looks harmless, he has two perches that we already know and in addition, he gives rewards … There, that was too much!
The next morning Kévin and I resumed our little show and after the gling-gling of the doorbell, I gave back a reward to Kévin. At that moment, my two coconuts decided to get involved:
Shaïna: Pwêt pwêt .
Tom: Huuuuum, peanut to Tom.
Shaïna: Wouaouuuu, peanut.
I then turned to them and got them involved. Every time I moved or climbed on the bike, I threw high praise to him, that he was the most beautiful, the most fabulous of Monsieur Vélo, but there it was Tom and Shaïna who were rewarded.
They were all excited. Tom pulled his paws out of his cage begging me to take him. At that moment, I knew I had won! I took Tom and put him directly on the basket. He immediately went to the bamboo perch and ” Wouaou “, the peanut appeared. He didn’t move and remained calm.
I observed his reactions attentively and then, while reproducing my posturing, I rang the doorbell accompanied by rewards which were this time for Tom, delighted with the windfall. His eyes zoomed as far as he could inside the basket, having of course spotted the cache of treats … He showed no sign of fear or aggression. I said to myself that the big day had arrived!
I put the harness on Tom and immediately left the garage to join Monsieur Vélo who was waiting for us very quietly. I had nevertheless done a few short laps before, because getting back on a bike for the first time in 25 years … the balance is not lost, but the insurance yes!
After having installed Tom on his perch and having tied him short enough so that he did not fall in case of panic or fall, Mr. Bike, Tom and I took to the road … Of course, I had no stop congratulating Tom …
My dream was finally coming true …
Cars passed by us who were, of course, on a cycle path, and Tom remained unperturbed. He looked everywhere and I gave him little hugs every now and then. A little later in the day, I did the same with Shaïna who, like Tom, seemed just as delighted …
Then, the weather forced us to wait three weeks before we (Tom, Shaïna, the bike and I) could repeat this feat.
In addition, I had to remove Monsieur Vélo from the room … um … How happy I was to see the excitement of my birds when I saw Monsieur Vélo again.
Since then we have been going for really long walks together and they feel so comfortable that I sometimes catch them closing their eyes or preening their feathers while I pedal and sweat …
Needless to say how much we arouse people’s curiosity, which is very positive for the socialization of my coconuts who lend themselves naughty to the game.
Today, Monsieur Vélo is one of their best friends, they adopted him and they adore him.
Melnou and I don’t have any particular gift, but we have passion and love for our birds. We have learned to learn and respond to their needs, we have almost become “parrots”!