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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.
                                  

Attention

Parrots are extremely intelligent and demand a lot of attention, so you need some toys and patience to attend all their needs.  

Toys - A great diversity of toys is essential to keep your parrot busy.
They must be strong and durable, otherwise they will be destroyed in a couple of minutes. The toys must not be treated with chemicals, be made of yellow plastic containing cadmium, or contain copper, zinc or lead parts.

The safest toys consist of parts that can not be gnawed at. It is wise to
offer toys, consisting of a long rope or chain, only when the bird is under supervision. This way you can prevent the bird from becoming tangled in it, in which case it could panic and thus injury or possibly strangle itself.
Toys should not have sharp edges or hooks. Parrots have a tendency to put their beaks in everything or take things in their beak. For this reason hooks used for hanging toys in the cage, are especially notorious for causing damage to beaks.


   


One must prevent toys or parts of toys from being swallowed. In general toys are indigestible. Swallowed parts can easily get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract and cause big problems. In this respect bells are especially notorious. If the clapper releases at the moment the bird is examining it with it's beak, the clapper could easily be swallowed, with possible terrible consequences. These problems can partly be prevented by not giving a bigger bird, toys that are meant for a smaller bird.

The safest toys consist of untreated wood or food. The wood may be worked, but fresh willow branches, preferably with the leaves still on, will be just as attractive to the parrot. They can be busy for hours examining and gnawing the wood, without running the chance of hurting themselves.

Many toys on the market are too expensive and do not last. Improvisations can be cheap and simple. Big dog chains hung in the cages are indestructible, just as wooden blocks and plastic pipes are as interesting and provide hours of safe fun and challenge. Make sure that parts hanging down can not be twisted around the parrots neck. Cheap, easy to replace toys, can consist of cardboard toilet rolls, grain boxes and wooden spools.

Make sure that all plastic is splinter free and do not overload the cage with toys. A regular supply of new and interesting toys will not only prevent the parrot from becoming bored, but will also reduce its tendency to destroy your personal things!

Attention and care

Many parrots screech and holler. This is not only a natural behaviour in the case of danger, but can certainly be worsened by captivity. DO NOT “shower” your bird with constant attention. By doing so you enforce a negative behaviour in which the bird will expect attention constantly.

If you give the parrot too little attention it will screech to get attention. Also, out of jealousy and boredom, the irritable noise will be uttered to get attention. Never give in when the parrot screeches, but always give plenty of attention at fixed times.
Not only because the parrot deserves this, but it will learn a routine and when it is his turn. The security of routine gives a parrot comfort and he knows what to expect and when.

Never Strike or Hit your parrot!! Punishment is of little or no use and can work contrarily. This subject is very controversial and there are many thoughts and different approaches in use. The most common and virtually harmless method utilized by long term parrot owners is covering the cage in a 'time out' for a few minutes. This deprives the parrot of the ability to see you and have what he demands...your attention.

The parrot likes to be the centre of attention. If it can not get attention, for instance because there are visitors, it may be helpful to place a cloth over the cage. The parrot may find this annoying at first, but will probably have learned his lesson. Never give a reward when he is finally quiet, the parrot will interpret this as an earned reward for screeching and will repeat this negative behaviour.

By providing a variety of toys or branches to entertain itself, many parrots will overcome this annoying response. Replacing, exchanging and moving the toys and perches frequently within the cage will provide a challenge and stimulate your parrot to entertain himself.

How to behave with a Parrot at home

Many parrots do not like to be handled. However this is necessary when the parrot is ill, injured, or for certain treatments like clipping the wings or nails. Parrots bred in captivity and used to being handled, will be relaxed in the company of humans and some of them will enjoy being handled, provided they are treated in a calm, friendly manner with care and patience.

However many parrots caught in the wild will never be tame. They remain nervous and suspicious and become very frightened when they need to be caught and handled. Being touched is experienced as stressful and they may become aggressive and difficult to handle. Whatever the nature of your parrot, the following tips can help making the handling of your parrot less stressful.

 


All parrots are calmer when light is dim Serious damage can be caused by beak and claws. By using a towel to catch and hold your parrot, feet and wings will be gently and safely restrained and the parrot can not bite you as easily. You can now bring it quickly into the dark and thus reduce tension. Hold the parrot by its head to prevent being bitten.

Remind yourself to remain calm and patient when catching your parrot. Chasing and grasping it will scare your parrot and it may injury itself trying to flee. Make sure you do not hold your parrot too tightly, or it will not be able to breath.

If the parrot refuses to return into its cage or you have trouble placing it in the bottom of the cage, you can remove the bottom of the cage and place the cage over your parrot. The parrot can then climb up without you having to handle it. You can also hold a perch in front of the parrot's claws and coax it to climb onto the perch. Once the parrot is securely on the perch, you can hold it near the door opening so the parrot can climb into the cage.

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