OMG I'm fostering a parrot

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by chickiebaby, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    My friend's twin died unexpectedly and I am fostering an orphaned parrot. He spent a few days alone with his deceased owner - no joke - and seems to have parrot PTSD pretty much but I am really surprised by how much we all like him.

    He says some pretty salty things, I'm told, but so far has said only "Shut Up," "Stupid" and "Shut up, stupid." Shrieked a lot at first, but already quieter. He just needs some gentle companionship.

    He is a bit of a trans-parrot, gender uncertain, tho named Jake. I have been reading parrot stuff all day, as I took off work to attend the funeral. I believe he is properly a Sun Conure.

    I've read tons of basics today. He is much happier, for instance, without too much direct eye contact. Anyway: anybody want to lay interesting facts upon me?

  2. skirbo

    skirbo Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    Walton County, NW FL
    Post a pic and somebody here should be able to identify him for you. Biggest thing with parrots is to begin as you mean to continue. If you can't spend an hour a day with him for the rest of his life, don't start spending an hour a day with him now, if you know what I mean. Direct eye contact is a very dominant thing with a parrot; none of them like it.

    Um, if it's good for you, it's probably good for the parrot to eat. NO AVOCADOS though as they are toxic. Chocolate and caffeine aren't good for you. :-> Probably want to avoid onions and mushrooms in significant quantities but if your family is eating it for dinner, the parrot can share.

    And yeah, that's a pretty stressful and traumatic situation for a parrot. They get pretty attached. I'm sorry for your friend's loss.

    I have several parrots, if you have any specific questions feel free to pm.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  3. kusine

    kusine Hatching

    Sep 9, 2008
    Central Ohio
    That poor thing!

    Remember that parrots live in flocks and will need to know its place in the pecking order, just like a chicken. Keep the parrot below shoulder-level if you want to be on the top of that pecking order. [​IMG]

    A variety of foods, fresh water, and a place where he can be in the thick of family activity, and you'll have a happy parrot. Try singing to him (even if you don't have a great voice!) - every parrot I've ever known has loved that. Watch for dilating pupils and a wiggly neck - you've made a BFF. [​IMG]

    The best advice I can give is to be absolutely sure you don't inadvertently reinforce bad behavior. My mother used to talk and sing to our parrot whenever he screamed at her to get her attention, and now she doesn't understand why he always screams at her ... [​IMG]

    Good luck! Remember that they're very smart and very social and you should be fine.
  4. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets 9 Years

    Aug 17, 2008
  5. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Thank you, guys. Parrot slept very well, and BOY is her now up. Trying not to respond right when he is shrieking, which is an awful lot of the time. He does absolutely love singing. And loves it when we do neck movements like his.

    Is it really fair for him to live his whole life alone, tho, without a flock?

    Still open to beaucoup de advice. More?
  6. skirbo

    skirbo Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    Walton County, NW FL
    If you treat him like a member of the family, if he watches tv with you and eats dinner with you (eating together is actually HUGELY important) and that kind of thing, then you *are* his flock and he's fine.

    If you get a friend, you'll have two birds that want time spent with them and with each other. If you don't really want him and want to commit to him it's best to find him someone that does sooner rather than later (not being insulting) before he gets attached again.

    Strongly recommend looking at if it's still there.

  7. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    You are a better person than I!! I love birds, have raised cockatiels and parrots, but I now just stick with my tough outdoor chickens! and a conure no less, the second loudest bird on the planet! HONEST! one good shriek in your ear, and you will have a ruptured ear drum, so heads up! keep em off your shoulder!

    True, true, my opinion of conures is tainted, I admit it. The one long term exposure I have had was with a bird we lured down out of the trees when the weather started to turn cold, and his flock of Blue Jays booted him out. (he was probably too loud for even them![​IMG]) That bird could really scream.

    I am a strong advocate for same species companionship, however, are you fostering, or adopting? if you are just fostering, dont try and build a bond that you must inevitably break! Talk about PTSD! be honest with your self about where this is going, and do right by the birds needs, let him save his trust and forever love for his true home, whether with you, or the next tolerant people.

    Our birds were always flighted, and given perches in each room, so they could move about with us. High up perches with paper lined shelves under them controlled any mess, and we found that adheisive shelves worked great, and when painted, or above curtains, where pretty inconspicous. No perches near doors that might be left open. and good solid screens. Also a daily routine of a favorite treat, (we chose mornings) in the same place made the birds easy to catch even if they got outside! They were our companions, not our prisoners, and we never lost a bird for long. (lucky I know)

    Well, I wish you luck, however long you keep your new friend, you are a wonderful person for opening your home! World needs more of you! Good Luck!!
  8. texasreb

    texasreb Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Diet and mental stimulation are the two most important things you can do for your parrot.

    I strongly reccommend an organic, pelleted diet supplemented with plenty of fruits and vegetables and also some heatlhy whole grain breads and pastas. Limit fats, salts, spices and sugars.

    Here is a food that I highly recommend:

    It's cheaper to order it from the company, but many veterianary offices also carry it.

    Stimulation can come in the form of companionship and toys. Buy him a variety of toys and perches. He needs foot toys; comfort toys; shredding toys; foraging toys and puzzle toys. Make sure that toys are listed on the label as safe and appropriate for a medium sized parrot. A toy that is too small or fragile for a conure might be dangerous if he gets his tongue or toes caught in it or ingests pieces of it. Toys that are too big and rugged for him will frustrate and/or bore him.

    Another thing is to take the bird in for an exam. You'll want a fecal swab, blood test and x-rays done. The vet will also examine his feathers, eyes, mouth, nares, and ears for signs of ill health and poor diet. The feathers especially are very telling. The vet should also weigh him and physically manipulate his wings and feet to look for signs of arthritis (usually caused by inadequate variation in perch size and structure) and other diesase. Metabolic problems run rampant in companion birds mostly due to inadequate diet and housing. WARNING: This can be very expensive. My parrot's base-line exams ran about $700.00. The annual exams after that are much less expensive. Make sure you find a vet that is certified in Avian care.

    You can also tone down his use of salty language by not reacting to it at all. No laughing, or making any comments or gestures when he uses language you do not want him to. When he says or does something you want...lavish the praise on him. Be ridiculously over the top with your comments and praise. He will eat it up and try to recreate that response from you again.

    You can also use this approach when training him to eat new foods. Use your poorest table manners ever while actually eating the offered food (or at least pretending to). Chew with your mouth open, smack your lips, and say MMMMMM with total enthusiam. Offer the bird whay you're obviously getting so much pleasure from and he'll eventually try it. This works for new toys too. Sit by him and play with the toy. Act like it is the funnest thing in the world.

    As you can imagine, parrots thrive on drama. It's the key to getting them to do anything really...

    Good luck. Parrots are delightful creatures.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  9. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Knew I'd get good advice here. I mean, yeah, we're a chicken board, but where else can you learn this much about bad music, country cookin, family dispute arbitration, politics, homeschoolin, hogs, sewing, childrearing, crop raisin - oh, yeah, and parrots.

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