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Amazon parrot advice?

Discussion in 'Amazon Avenue' started by eraineu, 10/11/19 at 6:27 PM.

  1. eraineu

    eraineu Checking out the neighborhood

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    Hi everyone!
    In a few months, I will be getting a beautiful female blue-fronted amazon :D The breeder is currently hand-rearing the babies, and I'll get her at around 12 weeks of age. I've wanted an amazon for years now and I've been doing a lot of research to prepare. I wanted to get some advice from owners of amazons because I don't think any amount of websites or books can beat first-hand experience.

    I wanted to ask if your zons have their favourite toys, vegetables, fruits, treats, (colours even!), and other things like that so I can get those things ready beforehand (of course I wont buy the fruits two months in advance but you guys understand lol) I know that individual birds have their own preferences but I wanted to get an overall idea. I would be so thankful if you could give me any tips or bits of advice that might not be on online care guides or in books (maybe things that surprised you when you first got your amazon.)

    Thank you all
    (I'll be so happy if even one person replies haha)

    Elaine
     
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  2. JoJo&Loki

    JoJo&Loki Rollerblading along the road

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    Hi Elaine, welcome to the Avenue!! Congrats on your new baby, that’s so exciting! Good job doing lots of research first, there’s so much to learn about each species and it sounds like you’re prepared (as prepared as one can be I guess lol)

    I don’t have an Amazon, so I’m no help there but there’s plenty of folks on here with zons so I’m sure you’ll get some good advice. Have fun getting to know your new baby!
     
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  3. Yoshi&Raphi

    Yoshi&Raphi Rollerblading along the road

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  4. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Welcome.

    Mine are wild caught and came into my life at advanced ages.

    Each bird is unique.

    Check out the toys of our vendors. I would suggest some foot toys also.

    Look at cage set ups of the pictures of the amazons posted on the forum.

    Most of all, enjoy.
     
  5. Hawk12237

    Hawk12237 Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    Hi Elaine, welcome...
    I have a female Blue front Amazon. My personal favorite of parrots. Though I like them all.
    Blue fronts can be love bugs, they are quite inquisitive. Quite funny at times, love to laugh with you, love to sing, love to scream the minute you get on the phone lol.
    Mine is not a fussy eater, eats anything. Loves her veggies , a bit of pasta ( her favorite) and of course fresh fruit.
    Sweet potatoes, and carrots are another favorite as well as apples. Loves sprouts.
    Females can be aggressive when the hormones hit, and their bite is one that demands respect as they can bite hard.
    But it's rare. Their body language is pretty easy to read.
    She's free roaming, never locked in her cage, and sleeps on top of cage next to her stuffed bird.
    As for toys..lol....she has a billion toys, most she doesn't touch. She prefers wood to chew...or goes in computer room
    And into closet to tear up paper bags. She loves shreading paper or cardboard.
     
  6. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Hi Elaine!
    :congratualtions: on your soon to be fid!

    I have a Mexican Red Headed Amazon. I got him @ approx. 23-25 yrs old as an inheritance. I :heart:him so much! He makes me laugh, I suffered w/ pretty bad depression before he came, I can't say it's gone but it's much less because of his comedic antics.

    I think each bird is an individual. My suggestion is when you start feeding, start w/ veggies w/ high levels of Vitamin A. Orange, Red & Yellows w/ some broccoli mixed in for good measure. Most Amazon's can become deficient in Vitamin A, & if they don't get enough they can get very sick. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to fresh veggies & fruits, don't buy the same thing over & over. But w/ that being said, get all the veggies in first (Never Avacado)(take careful care w/ garlic & especially onion) & slowly add in the fruits in small amounts. All fids love most fruit, it's the veggies that they tend to try & avoid. My thought is if you start w/ the veggies early on, it may be something they :heart:before they get to bad things like sugar & salt. Be really careful about salt, our fids need it but @ incredibly low amounts.

    You may want to hop on over to the feathered food court. Maybe try your hand @ some chop recipes or even (my favorite) sprouting. Sprouting is the best way for your fids to get seeds. It turns them into powerhouses for your fids instead of fat machines in their raw state.

    Lotsa $ saved for the bi & tri monthly wood orders. Buddy chews almost 1/2 his waking hours & of course :heart:'s the most expensive wood, balsa... I guess not as much wood as a Macaw but Oh my goodness! Ann from California bird nerds toy parts is great to order from. Others here . Laurie @ spark parts & Avian Antics (I haven't personally ordered from them yet).

    Poppers (Hawk's fid) loves to shred, Buddy only shreds paper on his floor in 1 corner of his cage. Each fid is different... Where Buddy may hate sweet potato & :heart: corn, Poppers will dislike & :heart: a different veggie set.

    There just like us humans, but w/ spunk & a beak! :D

    I hope you find a home here like I have, this is the best place around for bird chat & care. I know because my vets keep telling me I'm on track & to keep doing what I'm doing. It's all because a zillion hours of reading & learning from all the great people here! :xflove:

    :grouphug: Rain
     
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  7. melissasparrots

    melissasparrots Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Good decision in getting a female. Amazons can be weird about bonding. Sometimes a more hands off approach is best. Some baby amazons are very snugly. Others, have a lot of stuff to do that doesn't include you right away(killing toys, trying to fly, imagining being queen of all the world etc.) so don't push yourself on the bird. This isn't a species that would benefit from having you take a few days off work right after you get it so you can spend a lot of time with it. The bird may well want to sit in or near its cage and observe for several days before it decides to like you. And even then, whenever possible, end the interaction on a good note. A lot of amazons prefer multiple short interactions to long periods of sitting with their person. Some amazons want to be surgically attached to their human, but most don't. And trying to get more interaction out of them than they want to give, just results in the bird learning to bite so you put it down sooner. Amazon personality can vary a lot between individuals.

    As far as favorites, I don't give much attention to favorite food over the long haul. Better would be to just plan a nutritious diet and try to include a favorite a few times a week. A nutritious diet is much better than one filled with favorites. That said, with amazons, always focus on the dark orange, yellow and dark green veggies. You may have to run the leafy greens through a food processor and mix with something they like more such as sweet potatoes to get them to eat less favored foods. I give cooked soft sweet potato at least a few times a week. In fact, for a fresh baby that is feeling a little insecure, sweet potato with a small amount of banana and cooked rice or other soft good grains and beans mixed in and mashed together is a good comfort food. Served warm but not hot. A new baby may wolf that down quickly assuming you have a breeder that feeds veggies to their babies rather than just weaning to seed and pellets alone.

    Make sure to pay attention to what the breeder feeds and get the identical food. Even if you decide you don't agree with what the breeder is feeding, feed it anyway for the first few months. Switching up a new baby's diet is often a disaster. Make sure that baby has easy and free access to whatever the breeder recommends(exact same brand and formula...exactly). You can offer other foods, but don't worry if it takes a few months for the baby to want other things. Weaning and moving are stressful for birds and they tend to loose weight. It is natural for them to zero in on the high calorie seed and pellets and ignore low calorie veggies during those times. After you've had the bird for a few months and its weight is stable, then you can experiment if the bird isn't eating what you think it should.

    Also, get a gram scale. There is no excuse for a bird owner not having one. They save lives. Weigh the baby every morning first thing when its crop is as empty as it is likely to be all day. Expect it to lose weight for the first few days. (before going to get your baby, try to get the breeder to weigh the chick in the morning so you know at what weight it started out). They can lose a scary amount of weight at first and then level off for a few weeks before starting to gain again. Even when the baby gets older, have a routine of weighing it a couple times a week so you know its healthy range through the seasons and at different times of day. If you ever find the weight low for no good reason, observe carefully and if its low again the next day or you see any overt symptoms, get the bird to the vet immediately. Continue weighing at least weekly for the bird's life and don't slack off when she's 15 just because she's never been sick.

    Female amazons are the best. They smell good too.
     
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  8. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Congrats on your baby!
    My breeder raised 2 Mealy babies, a boy and a girl. The boy is my bird, Solomon.
    The female was snuggly from the start, the boy not.
    Solomon is feisty, fiery, and sassy. He's funny, loves noise and drama.
    He likes a scritch now and then, but is not one for holding, he's way to dignified to ever suffer a hug! ;)
    He does love to be near me whatever I'm doing. He's happy just being involved.
    Most Amazons I've known love to eat. They not usually too picky, I know Solomon eats most anything I offer.
    They are prone to getting fat....poor Solomon is a perch potato and is overweight.
    It's a constant battle. Be careful to offer a good diet and not too many treats.
    Amazons also give off their own musky scent, especially when excited.
    Most owners will tell you they love to sniff their birds.
    Nothing is as entertaining as one of these spicy green birds.
    Use a harness if you want her to go out and about with you, start slowly so wearing it is a natural event.
    Solomon has gone many places with me while wearing one.
    You will fall in love! I've been honored to have 20 years of adventure with mine.
     
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  9. MommyBird

    MommyBird Biking along the boulevard Avenue Veteran

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    I just adore Amazons! Congratulations!
    You've gotten excellent advice already. I will duplicate some points in my list....

    have an avian vet and make a get-acquainted visit
    keep syringe feeding once a week because if she ever needs meds you'll be so happy it is easy
    get a gram scale and weigh weekly
    even if you clip flight feathers (please don't) use a harness to go outside, or a travel cage. King's aluminum are great.
    Get a great playstand
    train to stepup onto a stick in case of hormones later and so other people can move her if needed
    almonds for calcium, walnuts for good omega 3 fatty acids. NO peanuts
    vitamin A rich foods
    Both BFAs I've had really LOVE long red beet stems. only feed once a week due to oxalates
    for foot toy - whole mahogany pods
    sniff frequently!!!!!!!!!
     
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  10. Hawk12237

    Hawk12237 Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    Very well said. Gram scales are a must have. Abnormal Weight is first sign something is going on. They are a life saver.
    And yes the females give off a flowery scent that smells good! Lovely!!!
     
  11. MommyBird

    MommyBird Biking along the boulevard Avenue Veteran

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    More thoughts-
    Get an assortment of straight and curly skewers for fast toys and raw food kabobs.
    Good fruits you probably didn't think of: papaya with seeds, blueberries, pomegranate, cactus pears (poop will be red!)
    give whole sugar snap pea pods, whole mini peppers, put chopped food into a small cleaned half of pumpkin or squash
     
  12. MNR

    MNR Walking the driveway

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    My Panama Amazon loves toys! He thinks all toys are his and he gets so excited. He especially loves shiny metal toys that make a lot of noise. All of my birds like destructible toys (pine).

    Highly recommend stick training.

    Both of my Amazons love to be misted. You need to have an area where she can perch and spread her wings.

    I think many Amazons love to sing! Mine (Panama) loves "Old McDonald," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and "Hallelujah!"
     
  13. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

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    All good points about weight & weighing... I have a cheap kitchen scale that I placed paper tape on. Buddy steps onto it about 3 times a week & I right the weight down in ounces, then I use a converter to change it to grams. So if a gram scale is out of reach or you already have a kitchen scale, you're in business. Don't go on amazon & spend 60-100 dollars on a "perched" one, use those funds on something you need like a sprouter & beans or speciality seeds or toy making supplies.

    Cheap kitchen scales work well & recording the weight will help the vet if an issue arises.
     
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  14. eraineu

    eraineu Checking out the neighborhood

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    Woah so many replies... Thank you all so much! Thanks for taking the time to write this, the information is really useful and I'm sure that it'll help a lot of others as well!:loveshower::thanks:
     
  15. Wasabisaurus

    Wasabisaurus Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Everyone has given you such great information. I am no Amazon authority. I’ve had just one, but he’s like 100 birds in one. He’s that kind of Amazon many people are leery of - the temperamental Double Yellow male. Anyway, that’s not the case with your baby. I can’t speak to raising a baby, but you have received great information on that.

    I am glad you are here, with experienced owners - especially those who have raised babies. Excellent decision. There is a LOT of misinformation online and a lot of outdated advice. People here are pretty nice. No question is dumb. I really wish I had this resource when we adopted Wasabi 13 long years ago. He’s that green demon in the avatar. I say that with affection, mostly.

    I don’t remember if anyone has cautioned you about hormones. A sweet baby can turn into a little imp when hormones come a callin’. I can’t tell you when she will get hormonal, but I have heard of birds getting very cranky and they might treat their humans with distain for a while, til the hormonal time ends. It might feel like she turns on you. Not all young birds are like that and someone can correct me, but I think female Amazons are generally less cranky when hormones hit. Cross that bridge when you come to it. Thankfully, there are experienced owners here you can turn to.
     
  16. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    HaHa...we were trying not to scare him! He does have one of the hot 3. ;)

    Let him fall in love first....then we'll spill the beans. :roflmao:
     
  17. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

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    :coffeescreen:

    I don't want to hijack the thread, but wanted to say WB, you've been missed! :bighug:
     
  18. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    That's awfully young to be supposedly "weaned". If the breeder says it is weaned then he force weaned it and you can expect a regression. The worst thing he can do is to clip this baby without letting it fully fledge. Much food for thought.

    Please read.



    Abundance Weaning and Fledging
    Wilhelm (Bill) Kiesselbach
    Permission granted March 31, 2009

    There is absolutely nothing more important for the healthy emotional and intellectual development of a young parrot than Abundance Weaning and Fledging. The term "Abundance Weaning" was created and trademarked by Phoebe Greene Linden of Santa Barbara Bird Farm. She has written extensively about it and subsequently, the term has been adopted by bird behaviorists as identifying the single most important contributing factor to the birds' emotional and physical health. As opposed to "forced" weaning where birds are on a specific schedule and, usually based on their age, the breeder decides when they ought to be weaned, "Abundance Weaning" leaves that decision to the bird.

    Supplied with a variety of foods ranging from fruit and vegetable tidbits to pellets that should be available all the time, the bird is continued to be hand fed. A properly weaned bird learns to trust humans through the actions of it's caregiver. It gains self-confidence, learns to accept different foods readily and is comfortable in a changing environment. While initially "Abundance Weaning" is exclusively needed for nutrition, eventually it turns into the need for emotional comfort. The word "weaning" in this context implies an awareness of the bird's needs. It goes beyond the mere satisfaction of nutritional requirements. "Weaning implies love, caring, emotional support and the application of simple, elementary rules. It implies knowledge of the early very distinctive stages in their maturation and the birds' individual changing and very specific behavioral patterns.

    The Poultrification of parrots is an expression coined by Sally Blanchard and refers to the indiscriminate breeding of parrots on a large scale expressly motivated by profit. While there are even breeders who incubate eggs on a large scale and then ravage feed the babies without individual attention, emotional support or even a modicum of "Abundance Weaning", the worst case of poultrification is the bird breeding program by Petsmart. They breed birds by the thousands and then distribute them into their sales outlets. Everything Petsmart and volume breeders do literally flies into the face of everything we know about the emotional and intellectual needs of a young parrot. Birds "produced" in this manner are very likely to develop very serious behavioral problems. In many cases, breeders and pet shops will even offer a discount to those who are willing to buy an unweaned bird, a clear indication of a breeder or pet shop who doesn't care beyond the "jingle" in the cash register.

    While the consequences for this lack of care won't be apparent when the birds are still babies, it will be very evident when they mature. They are prime candidates for seriously dysfunctional behavior. This, of course, is not to say that an Abundance Weaned bird is guaranteed to become a wonderful companion. A lot of knowledge, work, understanding, respect and love are still necessary. Abundance Weaning merely represents the vital foundation on which to build. Cage bound birds which are suspicious of changes in their lives, who reject their caregiver, who become phobic or even feather pluckers most likely have not been properly Abundance Weaned.

    It is a fact that in the wild, African Greys as well as Cockatoos for instance, are "Abundance Weaned" long after they have fledged. 2 year old Cockatoos have been observed being fed by their parents and other relatives. Greys are being weaned and taught the "ways of life" for a number of years to prepare them not only to survive in a hostile environment, but also for the rules of behavior within their very own flock. Bobbi Brinker the noted breeder has instituted a system of "Nanny Birds" which helps her raise her babies. She has the reputation of producing healthy and well-adjusted parrots. (The title of her latest book: "For the Love of Greys*)

    At this point, it may be interesting to recount the stunning behavioral difference between wild caught African Greys and captivity raised birds. While African Greys have the reputation of being feather pluckers, there has been almost no incidence of feather plucking observed in wild caught birds. While being trapped, caged and transported must represent a level of trauma to an intelligent and sensitive creature that is hard to imagine, these birds clearly came emotionally equipped to deal with that. On the other hand the birds bred in captivity, cared for, fed and never subjected to the tremendous stress of their wild caught cousins are historically more prone to becoming phobic. The answer seems to be that they are ill prepared to deal with the uncertain, ever changing circumstances of a life with a bunch of mammals who don't even begin to understand them. Something was missing in their upbringing — in all likelihood they have not been properly weaned is a major part.

    There is another component in successfully growing up: Learning to fly. Birds must learn to fly. Their sense of self-confidence and emotional well being depends on it. They must be able to maneuver and land safely. While the pure act of flying is a vital part of their development, it has been suggested that letting them learn to fly may even impact their eating habits. When a bird gets ready to fledge, it will instinctively reduce its food intake. That is to loose some of the accumulated baby fat and make it lighter. Many times loving caregivers become extremely concerned about lack of eating and weight loss. It has been suggested that our birds must fly to lose their focus on losing weight and regain their "normal appetite". Even though we may later clip their wings in order to protect them from injuries or escaping, they must fly first. Once we decide to clip them, we have to make sure to do that correctly. There are very clear guidelines on proper wing clipping which are based on bodyweight, size and general agility and are different for every species. Properly clipping is important and won't harm the bird's self esteem; doing so improperly can be devastating, physically dangerous and cruel.

    Finally, "Abundance Weaning" is entirely the breeder's responsibility. There is no question that the bird's future behavior patterns, his/her ability to relate, the levels of socialization and emotional health are very largely dependent upon the care it receives early in its life.

    The battle cry among all those dedicated to the well being of our companions parrots is: "Don't buy an unweaned bird" —and for a reason: Doing so clearly supports those who are in this business without regard to for the well-being of the creatures. We all should know the difference between a good breeder who cares for the birds and a bad, unscrupulous breeder. The entire future relationship between the buyer and the bird may very well depend on the breeder. A good breeder will never sell an unweaned bird and the bad breeder should be put out of business.
     
  19. Wasabisaurus

    Wasabisaurus Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    TY, Rain Bow. (If you meant me. )

    Sorry - I don’t want to terrify Elaine. :blink:
    Luckily Elaine has found the best online source of Amazon people and experienced bird owners too. Invaluable.

    As far as I know, the BF females are not so full of themselves as the males. Elaine has a wonderful resource in all of your advice and guidance. Half the battle is finding a source of solid information.

    I can’t wait for photos of the baby. :)



    LOL, good point. :laugh-bounce:
     
    Last edited: 10/15/19 at 7:52 AM
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  20. Gen120

    Gen120 Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    First of all, congrats on your amazon! I have one but she is older and wild caught most likely. You've gotten some great advice so far! I didn't read all the replies from this thread but it's possible she might regress when she comes home.
     

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