What do you need to know before buying a parrot? and Owning a parakeet? What is the best age to buy a parrot? Is owning a parrot hard? What to do when you first get a parrot?
Getting a parrot
1. The parrot who lives in his parrot world (in a human world)
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.
2. Your desires, their needs …
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, speak to it, and love it madly, 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.
3. Sleep? The ritual among pet parrots.
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…
4. Alert! Need for security
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…
5. The need to belong: To belong to whom?
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 be suffocated by too much love (even if you have a lot to give ).
6. Do parrots need sex?
♫♫♫ 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 for 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.
7. The need for esteem: Why not?
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.
8. Coco serial aggressor? You will tell me so much …
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 it, 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”.
9. Bite to communicate? What if there was another way …
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 a ‘domestic animal’. 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, 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!
12. Communicate with your parrot
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.
13. When Coco calls … You have to answer!
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 that 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 that 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!
14. Master Parrot has a lot to say … Look at him.
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… ♫♫♫
15. The language skills of the parrot
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!
16. My parrot speaks …
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!
17. Dominance among our parrots!
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 of? 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.
18. Ontogenesis of behaviors … or the maturation of Coco’s behaviors
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…
19. Learned helplessness
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 was 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.
20. Observation of behavior
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’s 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 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 birds, 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…
21. The parrot and all these things in his head
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!
22. In the shoes of a human parrot behaviorist
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….
23. Because sometimes there is an emergency
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…
24. Observation of behavior
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.
25. Because sometimes there is an emergency (3)
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?
26. Because sometimes there is an emergency (4)
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?
27. These parrots who “bite for nothing”
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!
28. The violence of the human, the wrath of the parrot
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…
29. The parrot’s puberty and its little miseries
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.
30. Myths and conspiracies about parrots
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 a