I recently trained my macaw to give me a high 5 with his wing, and I explained how I did it during one of my most recent Youtube vids! I also talked a bit about the training process called shaping. When you use shaping, you can take an already existing behavior and put it on cue or modify it and create a new behavior that you can then put on cue. This week I challenge those of you with birds (or other pets) to train a high five or use shaping to get your bird(s) or other pets to do something they are already doing, on command. Let us know what you can come up with, and have fun!!! I will leave you with the video showing off Curacao’s high 5!
This past week, we made a batch of birdie bread for the birds!!! I really had a blast shopping for ingredients (mostly the organic stuff that I don’t use for myself….but ya know, the birds deserve it) and baking the bread.
Here is what the final bread looked like, after it came out of the oven and had time to cool!
Before we got to this, of course we had to make the bread. The mix used was Harrison’s Bird Bread (original), and it worked really well! Here’s a link to it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CeOPAG .
Sydney, our cockatiel, admires the bag of Harrison’s Bird Bread
There are other varieties of this bread that you can try as well:
Hot Pepper: https://amzn.to/2PGPHRW
Millet & Flax: https://amzn.to/2PGPHRW
As you can see, Sydney was in the kitchen, “helping” along the way, as the bread came together. It really was simple to make and baked quickly. Here’s what we had to do:
The hardest thing, really, was finding organic vegetable oil to use. The brand below worked very well, and although it was a solid shortening, I was able to quickly melt it in the microwave so I could incorporate it into the recipe!
It’s so nice to have fun making new things for the birds to eat and feeling good about giving it to them (ingredients are certified organic)! Check out the video about making bird bread on our YouTube channel for a more detailed walkthrough of our fun time!
Last week we told you about the intro vlog featuring our new parrot, Ceylon. This week, I wanted to share a little more about this amazing new bird.
Ceylon (formerly Zazu) landed at our local animal control under the watchful eye of my friend Dianne, who knew I had several parrots and loved them dearly. She contacted me almost immediately after the bird was dropped off with its two budgie roommates. Sadly, all three birds were housed in budgie cages, even though the ringneck was clearly much larger than his friends.
Although Ceylon was in cramped conditions, he was still active and vocal, suprising the animal control staff with some of this loud calls! When I came to meet this bird, I was in love.
Since bringing Ceylon home, I have found out that he is pretty different from my other parrots. He vocalizes in a much higher pitch, he is actually a bit more reserved than most of my other birds, and he LOVES FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! He also is an active climber and prefers to be at the highest point of his cage (which has been upgraded). Finally, he loves to bathe and receive a spray down (as you can see in the last picture). This is pretty in line with what I have learned about Indian ringnecks as a group. Soon, I hope to train him and see what kind of tricks and behaviors he enjoys doing for rewards. I am hoping he will be the first bird in my flock that can be trained with fruits and veggies (how awesome would that be?)!
For now, I will continue to just bond with this sweet little bird and let him settle into his new routine. Make sure to keep an eye out for more videos and posts featuring this new superstar!
One of the things I really enjoy doing for my birds is preparing fresh food diets for them each morning. Especially right now, because cherries are in season…yum!!! I am lucky in that almost every parrot in my flock will eat at least one or two types of fresh food to supplement their diet components of seeds and pellets (not offered en masse). For this blog post, I thought I would share what fresh diets my birds got today. I am hoping this will give others an idea of what might be popular with their birds and how to offer items in a way that will make them enticing.
On the menu today, we had:
Yes! Corn is a nutritious food to feed to your parrots (oftentimes it is said to be a poor diet component, but it is a recommended vegetable for birds). As with everything, moderation and variety is key to making sure your bird gets all of the nutrition it needs from its daily diet.
The largest bowl is for my macaw, the medium sized bowl is for the conure, and the smaller bowls are for my budgies/cockatiel!
I will end by saying that variety and persistence are the key to getting a parrot to be enthusiastic about fruits and veggies. Sometimes it is great to chop items really small, at other times, large chunks are more interesting to hold and eat or nibble on by companion birds. Skewers are also a popular thing to use so that fresh food can be hung in the cage and enjoyed from a perch. The key is…don’t give up! Fruits and vegetables are an important component in parrot diets, and it is well worth it to find a way to make them exciting to your bird!