Acclimating New Birds


Now that my services have expanded into the "matchmaking" business, it dawned on me that we need to talk about the transition of a bird moving to a new home, whether a hand fed baby just adopted to a new home or an older bird going to a second home. This is a stressful time for any bird, but you can help lessen the strife and make the move easier for both your new bird and the rest of the family.

Good planning ahead of time is essential. A pet parrot should NEVER be an impulse buy. Adopting a companion parrot is just that - ADOPTING a new family member - they're not used cars to be traded in when you get bored! They are living, feeling, sensitive beings who should always be considered PERMANENT additions to the family.

I'll never forget the first local bird expo I went to after moving to the Northwest. It was winter - cold and rainy, and I saw a person after person exiting the expo, each with a tiny baby African Grey tucked under their coats. There was a vendor inside with lots of cute baby Grays and a cheap price - apparently, many folks couldn't resist. Since no one seemed to have brought a carrier, it didn't seem to me that these were "planned" purchases, but rather spur of the moment purchases.

I wonder how many went home to a nice cage, all set up with new toys and the proper diet? Not many, I'll bet. It's a deadly combo - cute, cheap, and baby! I'll bet not too many folks had done their homework either, studying up on African Greys and bird care in general.

The other common scenario is the "petshop rescue" - the pitiful bird at some pet store that knows nothing about birds - there he is, in a tiny cage, eating sunflower seeds, no toys, tucked in between the hamsters and the snakes, while the resident shop cat climbs freely through the store. So, on a whim, you take him home.

So, whether it's the irresistible baby, the sad ill cared for rescue, or an actual well thought out carefully chosen new addition - there he is, coming in your front door, hoping to spend the rest of his life with you, his ever loving devoted family!! So how do we transition from scared outsider to contented feathered child?

First, be prepared. Have the cage, toys, and food all set up prior to his arrival so he can slide right in and not have to stand by while everyone scrambles around, frantically searching for bird stuff. Normally, we advise putting a bird's cage in the busiest part of the house, where he can be the center of attention.

But new birds need some space, quiet and privacy during the settling in process, so find him a comfortable safe corner where he can observe, but at a distance. Of course, he should have made a trip to the vet first thing and quarantining him for at least one month away from any other birds is always recommended. So this may not be his permanent location, but rather serve as a "pit-stop" in the beginning. You may want to partially cover his cage, draping a towel over the back and one side to help him feel safe. If possible, have some of his previous diet to mix in with the new (wonderful) cuisine you'll be serving.

Find out as much as possible about, not only his diet, but preference in toys, play time, bed time, and daily routine. Keeping some consistency helps for a smoother transitional time. Radical changes don't agree with many parrots, so go slow. Introduce him to every family member, but avoid anyone doing too much "hands on" stuff in the beginning. Rather, spend time just sitting by him, talking to him and offering some treats by hand. Don't force him or expect instant love. Work on building trust with "step-ups". Play "The Towel Game" to have interactive fun, as well as aiding future needs for handling by a vet or groomer.

Put your new guy on a regular schedule. Feed him lots of fresh veggies and nice warm cooked grains and legumes. Warm food is "comfort food" and helps strengthen the bond when fed by hand. Share some family dinner with him, preferably on a stand by the dining table.

Watch TV together and preen his head feathers for him while you hang out on the couch. Include him in lots of family activities to help him feel a part of the flock. If everyone is gone to work or school during the day, leave a radio or TV on and make sure he's got plenty of interesting toys that provide both chewing exercise and mental stimulation. Talk to him before leaving, tell him he's okay and reassure him that you'll be back. When you do return give him a warm hello and a big hug. If you do have other birds, try to maintain the flock order. It won't help him relax if the other birds are resentful of all the attention the new guy gets.

Always address your primary bird first - first one out, first one kissed, first one fed, etc. Don't allow the birds to get together until you're sure everyone gets along. First time together, it's helpful if it's on a neutral new stand that no one is territorial about. If you expect the two to ultimately share a cage, remember that will take time and patience - you don't want the new guy intimidated by an overbearing dominant "resident" who thinks he runs the place.

An important point to remember - don't make the mistake of totally doting on the bird at first, then ignoring him after the novelty wears off. He'll definitely need extra attention in the beginning, but try to maintain a balance from the start, to avoid rebound problems down the road. So be prepared, go slow, build trust, and have fun getting to know each other. This is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong friendship.

-----------------------------------------
Your Parrot Place
Marilu Anderson, Bird Nutrition and Behavior Consultant, (503) 771-BIRD. Marilu is a regular contributor to the Your Parrot Place Newsletter. YourParrotPlace.com - Only the Best for Your Parrot!

Free eBook!
140 pages! A compilation of parrot articles from 2000-2004.
http://www.yourparrotplace.com/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm

RELATED ARTICLES


Cockatiel Illnesses
Cockatiels are one of the most lovable pets in the world. They are a valuable treasure to the owner. Cockatiels, just like humans, need a lot of attention and care. Parrots as pets are delightful but they can become extremely moody and temperamental. This may also depend on its health and diet.
Defend Your Dog and Stop that Hurting Paw!
Of course, we humans use shoes to protect our feet. We insist on it! But dogs usually don't have that luxury, and routinely walk over ice, rock, grass, cement and soil on their bare paws. Their paws' thick pads give them protection we don't have, and that's why they're less susceptible to cuts and grazes. But this doesn't mean a dog's paws are indestructible. In fact, the areas between the pads are very sensitive and can suffer from cuts, burns, and other ailments.
How Are You Treating Your Pet?
Can you comprehend a time when dog food, cat food, or pet treats did not even exist?
Introduction To House Training
The information in this article is based on the successful crate training method. Crate training is not cruel. I repeat: Crate training is not cruel. If used correctly, it uses the dog's natural den instinct to your own advantage by encouraging the dog not to pee or poop where it sleeps. Dogs are naturally clean animals and will avoid going to the bathroom where they sleep. But you need to keep the following points in mind to be successful.
The Grave of Gelert
Just south of Snowdon, in the grey-stoned village of Beddgelert set among the wild mountains of Wales, is the Grave of Gelert. Here, in a beautiful meadow below Cerrig Llan, is a large stone slab lying on its side with two upright slabs which owes its fame to the legend of Prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth and his faithful hound.
Parachromis Managuense
Parachromis managuense has a bad reputation, just like many of the other large predatory cichlids. This reputation is largely undeserved, and besides, the positive sides of these fishes more than make up for any negative ones. Not to mention that an adult P. managuense is incredibly beautiful.
The Benefits of Large Birdcages
We've all heard the phrase, "Free as a bird." In the wild, birds are free, flying from tree to tree in effortless abandon. At home, we should recreate that environment to the greatest degree possible. In general, we should buy the largest cage that will safely accommodate our feathered friend.
Dogs Get More Human Every Day
First pet stores began selling clothes for pets. Then kennels upgraded from a wire cage to four-star hotels for man's best friend. Now you can even buy insurance for your four-legged friend. Everything from health insurance to third party insurance for the family pet is getting to be big business in the animal world.
How to Maintain Your Love Affair ... With Your Dog Part Two - Assemble a Great Team
In part one we talked about forming good behavior traits early. Part two focuses on the types of people you want on your dog's 'team.'
All Natural Dog Cookies ? Because Your Dog?s Health and Happiness is So Important
Traditionally, a doggie treat was just that, a treat that to be savored, which offered little or no health benefits. Chocolate is not a particularly healthy treat for dogs; in fact research has indicated that chocolate treats are even poisonous to dogs if fed in large quantities.Given this, it is little wonder that natural dog cookies have become all the rage! Natural Dog Cookie - The BasicsThe basics of natural canine cookies are that they use entirely natural ingredients. Ingredients are also balanced in such a way that treats can be used as part of a broader, balanced diet. Cookies are a popular choice when it comes to natural treats, but there are also several other options.Another popular choice is the natural range of dog foods. Instead of being treats, organic ranges are actually food that forms the main part of your dog's diet. By feeding organic and natural foods permanently, it is thought that your dog will have greater health and a longer life expectancy.All Natural Dog Cookie - The BenefitsBy using natural dog cookies as part of a diet, your dog can have regular treats that are actually good for him! Dog cookies can be used as part of a training regime as a reward for good behavior. With traditional treats, trainers were often reluctant to use them in abundance due to their potential health disadvantages. However, natural cookies do not have this downside and can be used much more liberally as part of any reward scheme.Bearing this in mind, natural cookies are not a treat; they are an essential as part of your dog's ongoing health care. Go on - treat man's best friend!
Online: The Fastest, Cheapest, Easiest Way to Buy and Sell a Horse
Selling a Horse
Helping Your Pets Cope With The Stress Caused By Loud Noise
Which is the noisiest species of all? Nope, not the lions, or the elephants, or the geese? it's us, humans. Our voices were not enough, we started making music and creating musical instruments to help us being louder.
Life Long Nutrition A Comparison of Dog Foods
This article discusses two foods in paticual. For the puppy stage, Eagle Pack Puppy food and for the adult stage, Royal CaninLabrador Retriever
How to Housebreak Your Dog or Puppy
Dogs are creatures of habit; and once they develop a habit, breaking it can be a long, frustrating process. Your dog needs guidance and encouragement from you to develop a toilet habit you can live with. Animal behaviorists have learned a lot about dogs over the last couple of decades, and there are many tips available that will make housebreaking your dog or puppy a less frustrating task.
How To Protect Your Pets From Fleas And Ticks
Fleas are wingless, blood-sucking insects that feed on dog, cats, humans and other species. There are many different types of flea each one specific to the animal that it lives on. The most frequent fleas found in the home are the cat flea and dog flea.
Fur Isnt Such a Good Sunscreen
You might think the most important bit of dog health advice would be to let your furry loved on spend all day enjoying the outdoors. But you'd only be half-right. You know we must protect our children and ourselves and from the sun. But do you know that leading canine health experts now say that the most important dog health advice they can give is to protect your dog from the sun, too?
How to Make Your Pets Healthier and Happier
Pets are family members and should be treated as such. The design of your home has a dramatic affect on their health and well-being. When your environment is in harmony with nature, it will have a positive influence. If not, behavior al and health problems will show up in your animals in subtle and not so subtle ways. By applying the environmental science of Vastu Shastra, you can create harmony and balance in your home that will support your pets. Vastu Shastra was written some 7,000-10,000 years ago in India by rishis, or men of great wisdom. Over a period of thousands of years, these wise scholars studied and chronicled the strong influence that the physical environment has on all living things. Through these observations, an exact science was formulated, which established the principles behind some of the world's most enduring structures.
Dog Potty Training: Can I Get My Dog to Stop Eating It?
Okay, so it's not the cleanest or most appealing of dog behaviors, but it is a serious problem with most dog owners ? how do I start dog potty training so that my dog stops eating poop?!
Holistic Pet Care?From a Distinctly Christian Perspective
As a business, I've not been in the holistic pet care industry long. As a pet owner and pet care worker, it has been a very long journey. I came to this industry as a result of not only being extremely frustrated in traditional care and methods but because I am attracted to doing things naturally, the way God intended and always have been. What I've found in this industry is almost an oxymoron though.
Crate Training Dogs: The Right Way and the Wrong Way - Part Two
Part2: Does your puppy want to be crate trained?