Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How To Treat and Prevent Separation Anxiety In Parrots

Separation Anxiety is a Common Problem in Pet Parrots
Does your parrot yelp, scream or otherwise pitch a fit when you leave the room? If so, it could be suffering from a psychological condition known as separation anxiety. Parrots with separation anxiety tend to cry out in distress when their owner leaves their sight.

All parrot species -- big and small -- are susceptible to this condition. Parrots are instinctively social creatures that crave the attention and companionship of others, which is why they travel together in flocks in the wild. Parrots still possess this innate desire for companionship when they are brought into the home as pets, and leaving their side can trigger an emotional response of them trying to cal you back.

Don't Feed Into Your Parrot's Separation Anxiety

It's often heartbreaking to see a parrot yelping helplessly for its owner. Even if you know there's nothing physically wrong with the parrot, you may still feel obliged to return to their side in an attempt to calm them down. Unfortunately, going back to your parrot only feeds into their separation anxiety, making them believe their scheme of yelling makes you return.

It may be hard to handle at first, but you must learn to ignore your parrot's cries for attention. Going back to its cage to pet, talk or otherwise provide it with attention will increase its separation anxiety.

Socialization: The Secret To Treating and Preventing Separation Anxiety

Socialization is critical to the treatment and prevention of separation anxiety in pet parrots. Parrots that are left cooped up for days on end will do anything in their power to gain their owner's attention, including yelling and screaming. On the other hand, exposing your parrot to new sights, sounds and smells will satisfy their instinctual desire to explore; thus, helping to prevent separation anxiety.

Here are some easy ways to socialize a pet parrot:

  • Take your parrot out of its cage for a couple hours a day.

  • Purchase a bird harness so you can take your outside.

  • Introduce your parrot to new people.

  • Pull open the curtains so your parrot can look out the window while you're gone.

  • Take your parrot to the veterinarian for routine checkups and grooming.

  • Bring your parrot on car rides.

When you're forced to leave your parrot's side, try turning on the radio or television. It's certainly no substitute for your company, but it may help preoccupy their time with some mental stimulation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Tips To Protect Your Pet Parrot From Disease

Parrots are susceptible to a wide range of infectious diseases, including Psittacosis, Avian Polyomavirus, Salmonella, Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD), and Mycobacterium Avian Complex (MAC). Some of these diseases may cause nothing more than minor, temporary symptoms that go away without any special medical treatment or care; however, others are more severe and may result in life-threatening complications. This is why it's important for owners to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their parrots from infectious diseases such as this.

Keep Your Parrot's Cage Clean!

This is probably common sense to most people, but it's still worth noting that allowing your parrot to live in a dirty cage increases the likelihood of them catching an infectious disease. Try to get into the habit of cleaning your parrot's cage once a day, dumping the tray and scrubbing it down with a safe, all-natural cleaning solution.

Feed Your Parrot a Balanced Diet

Another important step to help protect your parrot from infectious disease is to feed them a well-balanced diet. It's a common assumption that seed mix offers all of the vitamins and nutrients parrots need, but this usually isn't the case. Seeds often lack vital nutrients that impact the immune system, so try to incorporate some pellets and fresh foods into your parrot's diet as well.

Veterinarian Checkups

Whether you're parrot has shown symptom of an infectious disease or not, it's always a good idea to have them checked by the veterinarian once in a while. A professional veterinarian will inspect your parrot for signs of illness, deficiency, and overall health. And catching any health-related problems early will drastically increase the chance of a positive outcome. Just remember to choose a veterinarian who's experienced in dealing with parrots and birds (not all vets have this experience).

Limit Exposure To Other Birds

Arguably, the single most important step in protecting a pet parrot from infectious diseases is to keep them away from other birds. More specifically, owners should never exposure their parrot to another bird that hasn't been tested for Psittacosis in the last 45 days. Pigeons and wild birds are the most common carriers of this disease, but pet parrots like African Grays and Parakeets have also been known to carry it.

Keep Your Parrot Happy

You might be surprised to learn that a parrot's emotional health is directly linked to their physical health. Neglecting the emotional needs of your parrot may increase their risk of catching an infectious disease, so make it a point to show them love and attention on a daily basis.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Cleaning Solutions For a Parrot Cage

One of the responsibilities that comes with owning a pet parrot is cleaning out their cage on a regular basis. Parrots love to make a mess inside their cage, knocking off their loose feathers, tossing their food around, and tearing up any newspaper or wood shavings. It's the owner's responsibility to keep their parrot's cage clean by removing all of this debris as well as sanitizing it with a proper cleaning product.

But you must use extra caution when choosing a cleaning product to use in your parrot's cage. Traditional kitchen and bathroom spray cleaners are typically produced with bleach and other harsh ingredients that could prove toxic to a small parrot. It's best to avoid these products and stick with something more gentle and safer for your feathered friend.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

Mixing lemon juice, baking soda and water together creates a highly effective, all-natural cleaning solution that's perfect for parrot cages. Don't worry too much about the exact ratio of the ingredients, but instead make water the base of your cleaning solution while adding in a small amount of real lemon juice and baking soda. Mix the ingredients up thoroughly and pour the solution inside an empty spray bottle.

The lemon juice and baking soda concoction will sanitize your parrot's cage without leaving behind traces of harmful chemicals. Using to much lemon juice may cause some irritation if your parrot happens to get it in their eyes or on their skin, but it's a safe, non-toxic ingredient nonetheless.

Diluted White Vinegar

Another DIY homemade cleaning solution for your parrot's cage is diluted white vinegar. You can purchase a bottle of filtered white vinegar from most grocery stores for about $2-$3 bucks, making this a cheap and easy cleaning product. Simply dilute it with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts warm water into a spray bottle and generously spray it inside your parrot's cage.

Vinegar is a safe disinfectant that's perfect to use inside a parrot's cage. It instantly kills germs upon contact while leaving your parrot's cage smelling nice and fresh (the vinegar odor dissipates after a while).

These are just two quick and easy homemade cleaning solutions for parrot cages. Regardless of which product you choose, make sure it contains safe, all-natural ingredients that are gentle enough for use around parrots. Parrots, or all birds for that matter, are sensitive to fumes and harsh chemicals, and cleaning their cage with certain products could lead to illness.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Critically Endangered Kakapo Parrot Egg Survives Damage

Kakapo Parrot
An egg of the critically endangered kakapo parrot survived extensive damage thanks to the efforts of New Zealand conservation officials.

About The Kakapo Egg Discovery

Department of Conservation (DOC) officials discovered the crushed kakapo egg on Whenua Hou/ Codfish Island, near the southern tip of the country. Unfortunately, the egg was partially crushed, which was likely the result of it falling. Being that the kakapo is critically endangered, however, DOC officials attempted to repair the egg using glue and tape.

It should go without saying that this was their first attempt to repair a crushed egg using tape and glue. DOC officials believed there was a slim-to-none chance of the egg surviving, but against all odds, it survived and hatched to reveal a healthy kakapo chick.
"We only have five viable eggs on Whenua Hou and this one was the first laid. It was touch and go for a few days, but with the special care and expertise of our team, the dedication has paid off," said Deidre Vercoe Scott, manager for the DOC kakapo recovery program.

DOC officials named the new kakapo chick "Lisa One" and immediately placed it inside an incubator upon hatching. Lisa One is now receiving around-the-clock care, including regular feedings, weighings and physical examinations. Although Lisa One suggests the newly born chick is female, officials stated that they won't know the gender for at least another 2-3 weeks.

The kakapo is currently placed on the critically endangered list. As of March 2014, there are only 130 known to exist, making it one of the rarest parrots in the world. New Zealand DOC officials have an additional four kakapo eggs under their care, all of which are currently in incubators. The four kakapo eggs are expected to hatch in the upcoming weeks.

Kakapo Facts

You might be surprised to learn that kakapo is the only flightless parrot species in the world. Rather than flying, they hop to move around. Unfortunately, their lack of flight makes them vulnerable to predators like cats and stoats. Without the ability to fly, kakapos are unable to escape the grasps of New Zealand's predators.

The kakapo is also the only parrot species with a lek breeding system. Lek breeding systems are characterized by males gathering to engage in a competitive display in hopes of winning courting rights of nearby females.

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