Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How To Encourage a Parrot To Drink Water

I know it sounds simple enough, but getting a parrot to drink isn't always an easy task -- especially for recently adopted parrots. When they are first brought into a new environment, parrots tend to be reclusive and isolated, which may prevent them from investigating nearby sources of water. Over time, this can lead to potentially life-threatening complications stemming from severe dehydration. So, how do you encourage your parrot to hydrate themselves with H2O?

Baby Parrots May Not Drink Water...

Baby parrots (chicks) that were originally fed formula by their previous owner may not drink regular water as of yet. If you recently adopted a baby parrot, check with the former owner to see what they feeding it. Typically, baby parrots are given a special formula that's mixed with water; thus, providing the chick with both food and water.

Unless otherwise specified by your avian veterinarian, continue this water-soaked formula diet with your chick until they are ready for solid foods, at which point you can introduce water into its cage.

Offer Two Sources of Water

There's no denying the fact that parrots are finicky creatures that prefer to do things "their own way." As a result, some parrots will only drink water from dishes, whereas others will only drink from a bottle. If your parrot is hesitant to drink water in cage, try adding both a dish and a bottle. Having two sources of water will increase the chance of them drinking.  While this doesn't always work, it's certainly not going to hurt either.

Introduce Your Parrot To Water

Is your parrot familiar with the source of water in its cage? If not, you should encourage them to explore it by tapping your fingers in it. Avoid splashing water on your parrot, as this may scare them away, but instead draw attention to the dish/bottle by playing with it. You can even place a treat inside the water. Hopefully, this will trigger your parrot's curiosity, causing them to check out the water.

If you've exhausted all of the options listed above and your parrot still isn't drinking water, call and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Most parrots will drink before going into severe dehydration, but certain diseases and underlying conditions may restrict their ability to drink. Only a professional avian veterinarian will be able to identify such conditions and offer guidance on how to treat your parrot.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Famous Parrot Flies The Coop. Have You Seen Truman?

Truman, the famous parrot, has gone missing in New York
Have you seen the colorful, small-to-mid-sized Cape parrot pictured to the right?

Named Truman, this beloved parrot isn't your typical fly-by-night bird who shouts out random words and phrases. No, Truman is a true star who's touched the lives of thousands, performing a wide range of tricks in front of large audiences.

Some of the places were Truman has performed include:
  • America's Got Talent

  • The David Letterman Show

  • Steve Harvey Show

  • The Parrot Club, Connecticut

  • Parrot Wizard Bird Show & Seminar, Phoenix AZ

  • BBC

  • Japanese TV

  • and many more...

Truman's owner, 27-year-old Michael Sazhin, says the famous parrot flew the coop last month when the two were out for a walk around 16th Avenue and 75 Street in Dyker Heights. This wasn't the first time the duo had gone for walks, but for some reason Truman took off towards 16th Avenue, flying into the unknown where he hasn't been seen since.

Sazhin, whom works as a professional bird trainer, has been walking the streets, asking random people if they've seen his beloved parrot. Unfortunately, there's been no reported sightings of Truman, leaving Sazhnin to question his next move.
"I’ve been walking two days straight now. I haven’t slept and I can’t really eat. I could use all the help I can get," said Sazhin of his search for Truman. "I’ve done everything I can, made up fliers, posted on Facebook and the whole parrot community has been very helpful," he added.

Truman isn't a large parrot like most famous birds you see on television shows and performances. At just 350 grams, he's actually quite small -- comparable to the weight and size of a typical pigeon. Truman is a colorful Cape parrot, featuring a bold combination of white, gray, green, orange, blue and charcoal. His most distinguishable feature is his grayish-white head that rests atop a colorful body.

Sazhnin says that if you see Truman flying or walking the streets of Brooklyn, New York, you should give him some water and bread to keep him idle until Sazhnin reaches the location (see below for contact information).

Anyone with information leading to the whereabouts of Truman are urged to contact its owner, Sazhin, at (917) 318-6394 or by email at michael@trainedparrot.com. And in case you were wondering, there's a $1,000 reward being offered to anyone who can help reunite Sazhnin with his lost parrot.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Help! My Parrot Won't Stop Scratching Itself

Seeing a parrot scratch themselves raw is frightening sight for any owner. You can only 'discourage' a parrot from scratching themselves for so long, at which point they will continue doing it when you leave the area. While some owners may brush this behavior off as normal, it may be the sign of a more serious underlying condition. So, how should you handle your parrot's excessive self-scratching?

Minor Scratching Is Perfectly Normal

All parrots -- big and small -- will scratch themselves in an effort to remove dust, dirt and debris from their feathers. Parrots are exceptionally clean creatures that enjoy grooming and preening themselves, which is where scratching comes into play: it's not uncommon for parrots to scratch their feathers and body to remove debris, so don't assume that all scratching is a bad.

Of course, there comes a point when scratching can lead to adverse health effects and complications. One of the most common complications associated with excessive scratching is the formation infection-prone open wounds. If a parrot scratches itself too much, it can break the skin and cause an open wound. Infections are nothing to play around with, especially in a small parrot. Otherwise minor infections that can be fought off by humans may prove fatal to a parrot.

Signs That Your Parrot Is Scratching Too Much:

  • Noticeable bald spots where feathers are missing.

  • Piles of plucked feathers at the bottom of their cage.

  • Parrot prefers to scratch itself rather than eat treats or play with toys.

  • Parrot's behavior/disposition has changed since it began scratching.

How To Make Your Parrot Stop Scratching

If your parrot is exhibiting one or more of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment with an avian veterinarian immediately. Allowing the problem to persist could result in serious, potentially even life-threatening health effects. Only a licensed avian veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose your parrot's condition and reveal exactly what's causing it to scratch so much.

With that said, excessive scratching is usually caused by some type of change in the parrot's diet and/or lifestyle. For instance, bringing a new pet into the home may trigger an allergic reaction in your parrot, causing it to scratch for no apparent reason. Other elements that may trigger scratching episodes include new diet, chemicals in water, air fresheners, candles and mites. Think about what changes were recently made to your parrot's surroundings and try to reverse them in possible. If the scratching stops, you know what to avoid.