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Thread: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Ok, I finally figured out how to search the posts, check out new and old "threads", and to change my profile pic. NEXT...

    I am a mom to two birds at this time and I have been being taught NEW things about diet, training, and treats for my babies. Over this recent isolation time, I had the chance to check out some of the YouTube videos by Bird Tricks and rapidly realized that my birds needed MORE!!

    I have been researching about bird chop and I am in the process of changing my bird's diet to a healthier one. Still not on the bandwagon for pelletized food, but I could go for doing a mix of it with the veggies and seeds.

    Oh...I have an older cockatiel, I think he is at least 10 years old, and a 6-year-old Pacific Parrotlet.

    I was given the cockatiel, Sassafras-Sassy, 5 years ago, along with his "wild" companion mate. The female died from unknown causes (probably calcium deficiency) about 6 months ago. Sassy was depressed a bit but seemed to be more amenable to being out of his cage when she was no longer around. He has become much more friendly to me and now allows skritches and wants to sit on my shoulder and chest. I have been trying to find a "favorite" food in order to train him. He has all his wing feathers, but his flight is still to the ground. The previous owner has suggested that her cat "might" have gotten hold of him. All I know is, after he flies, he holds his wing out to the side as if it hurts. I don't encourage him to fly. He tried to mate with the female...a LOT but kept falling off. (She laid 2 eggs, but they were soft and only partially formed)

    Arabella, my Pacific Parrotlet, is a sweetie. I have not been the best Mom, tho. She is a velcro bird and loves her skritches! I am sorry to say she flew into a paper fly trap a couple of years ago and it messed up her beak. (She lost a few feathers, as well>) So the chemicals from the trap ate away at her beak and it is just now growing back. I had to watch her to be sure she was able to eat and as each part died, I trimmed and filed it for maximum ability to handle her seed diet. Well, with all that light from me keeping an eye on her, she started laying eggs. (I have to keep her covered to reduce her hormone reaction) She laid 2 eggs and became egg-bound on the third. She is still egg-bound...but is pooping and eating well. And I am a bad Mom, cause I cannot get her to a vet. Sigh!!!

    She still flies, poops BIG poops, and wants to cuddle and skritches. She has been diving into the fresh veggies, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and steel-cut oatmeal. I just got some fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans that I am going to process today. I hope it will help her overall health. I have been researching removal of the egg, but... not ready yet. ...and even with all of that, she is still a loving velcro bird. Although lately she has been flying to the perch on the front of Sassy's cage and trying to attack him. I NEVER let them out at the same time!!!!

    Both of the birds are in their own 5 foot by 2.5 foot cages (a lot of space in my 1 bedroom apartment LOL)

  2. #2
    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Hi, Fran and welcome to you and your birds! I love their names!

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Thank you! I have been changing the cages around. The big cage is TOO big for the cockatiel now that he is alone and with his unwillingness to fly, not really necessary. I have moved him into a smaller cage-
    13 x 17 x 20. I am reusing his water and food dishes and after some adjustments, I have the perches where HE wants them. This smaller cage is closer to where I spend most of my time so we can interact even more than before. I am not happy about the door on this cage as it drops closed and he has been used to coming and going at will. I will have to clip it open and place his outside perch closer to the entrance to help him exit when he wants. He tried singing to the broccoli this afternoon, whereas Arabella devoured it until the clip fell onto the floor with only a small piece left LOL.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    I like to use cages for cockatiels that are about 18 x 18 by 22-24 inches. Being a bigger bird than a budgie, they do need some maneuverability room in the cage. My birds do not fly free out of cage due to my rental lease not allowing them to do so. Since your bird does come out of cage, the one you have chosen should work fine. Cockatiels do have a large wing spread. My current cage is black 18 x 18 x 24. I would like to get a 22 height, but have it the 18 x 18. They are difficult to find. I also prefer white cages. And they too are getting more difficult to find on line.. Cages are sure pricey these days!
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-03-2021 at 12:18 PM.

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Yeah, this might be just a temporary thing with the smaller cage. The inside dimensions are fine, but when it comes time for him to come out of the cage, the small door is a BIG problem. He gets spooked because there isn't room for my hand AND him. I usually have to have him step up and lure him out the door with a treat while holding my arm still. After his head is out, he is ok. He is sitting on my shoulder while I type, but when I lean back, he immediately scoots under my fingers to get his molting crest scritched. It is totally different from his actions while the female was around. He didn't want to be touched, he always wanted back in his cage, and he didn't "respond" to me...just her. (jealousy on my part, here).
    I still haven't been able to get him to eat the healthy stuff, but I am continuing to put it out for him. He has been seed fed for so long, it will probably take a while to get him to appreciate it. (Yeah, and I still don't like Brussel sprouts LOL)
    I have been trying to "touch" train him, but there isn't any treat he is willing to take from my hand...still experimenting! I have some sliced almonds coming...we'll see!
    He stretches one wing at a time at the most, doesn't flap his wings like she used to, and never flies up from the floor. I have an L shaped tool to get him up from the floor-my legs don't bend and my knees are messed up, so I had to find a way to get him up from the floor. I have a dowel with a 3x5 base that sits on the floor (used to be a marionette stand) I tap it on the floor, say "step up!" and he will walk over and climb onto the base so I can lift him up to his perch.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Have you tried millet? Get some millet sprigs at the petshop. Try those for treats! Most every parrot species likes millet. Yes, I can understand the frustration with the door of the cage being so small. You might try tying that door so it is open, and put some fresh veggies and a sprig of the millet on a small plate. Set the plate on the outside top of the cage. Then see if after you tied the door so it is open, he will come out of cage on his own. And go to top and eat. Use small pieces of string so he won't be hung up in the string. I once had a cockatiel who got hung up in some yarn I had used to tie a toy in the cage. She almost hung herself. I had the yarn looped! Ugh. Scared me completely. Thankfully, I took a scissors and cut the string and that released her.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-04-2021 at 04:42 PM.

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    He loves millet, but because I had been giving him daily pieces clipped to the outside of the cage, it is no longer a big deal. I ended up clipping it to his cage BECAUSE he wouldn't take it from my hand!!! I am with-holding millet from him right now but letting him see me hold it for the parrotlet. She also no longer gets it attached to her cage. If given the choice, he will stay in his cage, with the door open, for DAYS!!! I have to go D R A G him out. (not literally, but figuratively)! He just sits on his perch and makes himself pretty LOL!
    He is still being resistant to the veggies. I don't want him to NOT eat, but am at a loss as to how to handle it. He won't even get near them...even in his food dish with his regular seeds mixed in!!! AARGH!!
    Meanwhile, Arabella is eating EVERYTHING! (even with her beak messed up)

  8. #8
    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Go on line and search for...birdy bread and birdy chop. Both have chopped veggies in them. Also, take some raw veggies, chop them fine, mix all together, and then take an ice cube tray and put some chop in each cube. Freeze the tray. Then each day take out a cube in early am, let it thaw some and then place on a plate on top of outside if cage, and also on a plate on the cage bottom. Take a very small amount of unsweetened organic apple juice and sprinkle over the top. The apple juice gives the mix a sweet taste.

    I also suggest grapenuts dry cereal for treats, or cheerios, and rice krispies, and some people feed safflower seeds rather than the millets and the sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are quite fattening, which is not good for birds.

    Also, there are some cockatiels that are content to just stay inside the cage. That is OK. Some folks have to leave their birds inside of the cage all of the time due to rental lease rules. I am one of them. My budgie is ten. My cockatiel almost three. Both are healthy and do fine in their cages from day to day. Each bird has their very own personality from day of hatch. And also, there are dangers in our homes that birds flying free can get into, like hot dish water, or flying into fan blades on ceiling fans. They should always be turned off when birds are out of cage. Out of cage birds love to explore. As you do, I am sure, we always have to watch them carefully when they are out flying.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-06-2021 at 11:41 AM.

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    I got the mix lined up for the birdie chop. Just need to cut it up/chop it up and get it mixed and into the freezer. My fridge is FULL of fresh veggies...broccoli, cauliflower, kale, butternut squash, sprouts, carrots, bell pepper, peas, radishes, ginger root, dandelion greens, jalapenos, parsley...plus I have some quinoa and brown rice-to be cooked, sweet potatoes to be cooked to be added as well. Then there are the toppings...steel-cut oats, chia and flaxseed, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds. No fruits, tho. I am allergic to apples, so they won't get those either. I do have frozen strawberries and blueberries that I can chop up. ( I have been doing my research LOL)

    I am going to freeze them in 1/4 cup amounts, as that will last about three days in the fridge once they thaw.

    Both of them were out of their cages together today!!! I supervised them closely, but no problems.
    I appreciate you responding to my wanderings!!

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Wow! That chop sounds awesome! I would eat that myself. It may take your birds awhile to eat the chop so begin with about a teaspoon full. Then refrigerate the unfrozen that you have. Most birds find a favorite food out of the mix. This chop should not be left in their cages longer than about two hours. This chop can go rancid, and the birds could get sick. Try feeding it daily. They soon will look forward to it.

    Happy to hear both were out of date today. I will watch for updates!

  11. #11
    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Yeah, I figure I'll give each of them a teaspoon every morning, then I know that if they don't touch it, or it gets scattered, there will still be the new seed mix in the afternoon and evening. The biggest problem is that I am getting conflicting information on feeding "uncooked" dark greens. Some say it is the way to go, others say that there are compounds in the raw that disable vital vitamin and mineral absorption. Yeesh!!! I am going with the half and half idea LOL! Cook half and leave half raw.

    Interesting up-date-since Arabella has been going kamikaze on the raw broccoli, the abdominal swelling/egg-binding has been decreasing. I palpitated the area yesterday and there are no more solid masses. I can't tell whether she passed it or not.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    I have not read nor heard of not feeding raw. I know most owners and caregivers do feed raw. There is much more nutrition in raw veggies. And also, female birds should not eat soft or cooked foods or soft breads because they seem to increase egg laying and hormonal activity. Raw broccoli is great and so is kale. Both are rich in calcium and that is probably why Arabella's swelling has decreased due to the calcium she has aquired n her body!

    I think many folks are concerned about ecoli in raw veggies. Here is a suggestion. When you clean the veggies before chopping, first wash and rinse them well and then rinse again with a mix of apple cider vinegar and cold water. That will remove any ecoli or other terms from the raw veggies.

    Your setup for the raw to freeze is perfect. You will not waste any veggies that way.
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-09-2021 at 10:20 AM.

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    "female birds should not eat soft or cooked foods or soft breads because they seem to increase egg laying and hormonal activity. " I did not know that!!!! Thank you!!!

    Good news! My silly cockatiel got hungry enough to go after the seeds in the veggie mix. (I had sprinkled a teaspoon of his regular mix in and stirred it up so he could see the seeds but would have to "fight the evil veggies" to get any.) After several cautious bites, he thought for a minute or so and then dived in and chowed down. Not sure whether he was just going for the seeds or just didn't care. He has a tendency to be a bit of a pig, so I wasn't worried.

    I am wondering whether grating some cuttlebone into the parrotlets food dish might help with the calcium? I have an order of ZooMed calcium supplement in my Amazon cart but don't have it yet. The cockatiel chews on it, but she is afraid of it...and it has been in her cage for at least 3 years! (yes, I have renewed it LOL)

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    That is awesome the girl chowed the chop mix and ate seeds. Just keep giving that mix everyday and before long he will start eating some of those chow pieces.

    And yes, you can put those fine sized pieces in their seed mix. Also, you can take a cooked hen egg shell, chop it fine and put in the mix. A little of the boiled egg chopped fine could be put in the mix, but add it last and don't reuse any egg. Just a small amount is plenty.

    Your birds are doing great. And you are doing awesome with the veggies, seed mix, etc.

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    Brand New Egg fkirby46's Avatar
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    Re: New (confused) member and bad birdie mom...

    Wow!!! It has been an intense couple of days!!! The parrotlet, Arabella, who has been egg-bound for 4 months, finally decided to hatch the egg! Luckily I had watched a YouTube video about how to assist, and proceeded to get out the coconut oil, Q-tips, tweezers and after some quick searches, my supply of Argentyn 23 spray. Three harrowing tries, for me-she just tried to bite me twice...but is used to me holding her upside down to trim her nails. The first time I put gentle pressure on her abdomen to feel what was happening. The egg was in pieces and gradually started coming out, after a MAJOR poop. I removed all the pieces I could, and since there was no more to be seen, used an oiled Q-tip and finger to tap the cloaca back in. I put her back in her big cage...(I changed that when I realized she was too shaky to sit safely on her perch) I kept checking on her. Kept removing pieces of shell about every 2 hours. Meanwhile, she was in a "hospital" cage, 12x6x5 inches, with a water bowl, food bowl with seeds only, and a paper towel on the wire floor to be able to check the poo and to cradle her feed from the thin wire. Oh, and I covered her with a towel and brought up the ambient temperature of the room to about 73 degrees. (my apartment is usually from 68 to 70 this time of year.) The next time I checked on her, she was cuddled up in the warmest corner with the paper towel wrapped around her! She responded well, although remaining fluffed. Next time I checked, she was continuing to exude shell pieces which I removed and returned the cloaca to position. Finally, after being symptomless for 6 hours, she presented again. This time was different! I ended up, with oil, patience, and tweezers, removing a small compacted ball of shell fragments. It was about 6 mm and egg shaped. She was VERY unhappy to have me remove it, but settled down immediately after, and her cloaca returned to position BY ITSELF!! I have given her her broccoli treats in her seed dish, and of course used the Argentyn 23 EVERY time along with the coconut oil. (the Argentyn is a bit drying, so really needed the oil)
    I just took her out to check on her...she looks like she has formed another egg! I palpitated a bit, but everything stayed where it was supposed to LOL. I was holding her on my finger, skritching her head and she did a HUGE poo! Her energy seems to be a lot better, too, so I have hopeful thoughts. Gotta double up on the calcium, tho!!! (she is trying to get the oil out of her feathers and contorting into all kinds of positions to get to them...she can reach her tail by bring it forward, but the area of feathers above her vent is a difficult stretch. So cute!!!

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