Diet – Offering Fresh Greens

In trying to offer fresh greens to birds, it is often a good idea to finely chop them and add them to foods they already enjoy. We take a bunch of freshly washed kale, roll it tightly like a cigar, and begin chopping in thin slices, starting at the stem end. When all leaves are sliced across, turn and slice the bundle crosswise, so the thin shreds are chopped. Mix them with the preferred foods and stir in well. Greens we use are all kale varieties, mizuna (Japanese Mustard), endive, curly endive, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, carrot greens and dandelion greens. Single leaves can also be offered whole for them to play with and eat.

There are VERY good reasons to include more leafy greens in your eclectus parrot’s diet. They are packed with vitamins, minerals like iron and calcium, antioxidants, fiber, phytonutrients and chlorophyll.  They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, have anti-inflammatory properties, and help the body detoxify.


Bird-Proofing your Home

Bird-Proofing your Home

In order to enjoy your bird when the bird is fully flighted, there are certain matters to which you must attend in order to protect certain items in the home and also to protect the bird as it enjoys flying.
It helps to have at least two landing sites for the bird. One can be the top of the bird’s cage. The second site can be a perch located at a distance from the cage. This perch can be placed on a high shelf, on a tall stand, or on a table. Locating the perch at a height is best in terms of encouraging the bird to use that location as parrots tend to want to stay as far up as possible based on their instinct to avoid the many predators that lurk below them.
If you have a lot of delicate collectibles or favorite items with special memories, it is a good idea to remove them from open shelves and to place them inside a cabinet to protect them from inquisitive beaks. Some items have parts that are extremely dangerous for birds, such as leaded glass. Lead is soft and highly toxic, causing death if consumed.
Counter tops are a location where a bird can get in trouble IF you leave soaps, detergents, cleaning agents and their equipment on counter tops near sinks. Anything sitting out is a challenge to a curious parrot. These birds are intelligent and curious.
Window blinds are a potential hazard if the blind is operated with draw cords. Birds can get entangled in those cords and have their toes or legs entangled and then try to chew them free, causing loss of blood and toes, or  become entangled and choke to death. Therefore it is best to have the kind of blind that does not have cords hanging.
Toilets are a problem unless one has a habit of always putting the lid down after use. This will avoid having a bird accidently fall into the toilet and drown. This has happened.
During meal preparation one might be using the stove to cook foods. When using the stove it is best to always put the parrot into his or her cage in order to prevent the many hazards that exist with hot stove tops, boiling pots, and hot foods.
Receiving packages from a delivery at the door. When deliveries are being made, it is advisable to place the bird into its cage. Open doors and strange humans and strange packages can cause a parrot to be fearful and take flight. Instinct tells the bird to fly to the OPEN AREA…which is the open door. Many parrots are lost during these activities.
Visitors with dogs are a serious threat to your parrot. Even the most friendly dog is a threat because dogs have an instinct to grab prey animals. That instinct can take over in a second. There have been many parrots grabbed by a visiting dog and killed instantly. In one case the dog even leaped onto a counter top and grabbed the bird killing it. Never ever trust that a visiting dog is going to be safe with your bird. Be sure a parrot is locked securely in its cage when dogs and cats are around. That is also the case with ferrets who prey on birds in the wild. Captive pet ferrets are a serious threat to parrots.
For owners with birds that have clipped wings. Please do not imagine that it is okay to take your bird outside on your arm or hand. If anything frightens the bird, it can take off and fly much better than in the house because outside there is generally a light wind and birds can take advantage of that. Unfortunately, the clipped wings do not allow the bird to have use of flying skills or gaining height so that your bird is at a great disadvantage when it comes to the neighbor’s dog or cat or a hawk in the area. It is advisable to take your bird with clipped wings outside the house ONLY when in a container or when wearing a harness.
©2017  Laurella Desborough