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Parrotlets the Good the Bad and the Ugly

Discussion in 'Parrotlets Place' started by allison, 3/17/13.

  1. Tay05

    Tay05 Sprinting down the street

    Real Name:
    Not too sure. I've never heard of anyone keeping them this way. They do live in flocks in the wild but I think you'd have to have a few acres of aviary to compensate for their attitudes!
  2. allison

    allison Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    Real Name:
    Kathy, even out of the cage they are very aggressive with each other. I had to rehome one of my parrotlets because Kendalyn and Kin were extremely aggressive towards him. If I had separate out of cage times they would spend the entire time hanging on his cage and they would fight with each other through the bars and if I let them out together they would attack him and knock him off his cage (he was plucking at this point and fell like a rock). It's really not fair to any bird to keep more than a pair in a small area unless you can safely keep them apart during out of cage times.
  3. Maxsmom

    Maxsmom Biking along the boulevard Avenue Veteran

    Thanks to all for taking the time to share.
    1 person likes this.
  4. faeryphoebe1

    faeryphoebe1 Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

    San Antonio, Texas
    Real Name:
    After reading this thread, I'm beginning to wonder if Trixie is a parrotlet trapped in a GCC body. :shocked4:Especially, the part about the "beaking," lol.
    Familyof12 and allison like this.
  5. lindaV

    lindaV Moving in

    North Ga
    Real Name:
    linda valletti
    Ollie is a young very gentle parrotlet, going through his first molt. So far, he's been very sweet. He is very trusting and curious. Loves trying to get on my glasses and chewing the frame, which is a "no-no." Can't wear any jewelery, or beaded tops, he'd be all over it. Love his sweetness. :D
    allison likes this.
  6. k8mccart

    k8mccart Moving in

    Real Name:
    I just lost my parrotlet on Feb 9th, 2014 to AGY (avian gastric yeast or "megabacteria") after quite the fight. With that though, I thought I could add a few things. First of all, I'm not sure if I'll get another parrotlet or not. I absolutely adored, I mean truly loved my Grover. So, the thought of getting another is on one hand good because there's such an absence felt in my and my fiance's lives right now due to him not being here and it being "empty" even though we have 4 other birds. He had this personality that was SO huge, it's so obvious he's missing now, and heart breaking. But on the other, there is the bad and ugly, and the work that got him to where he was. So with that the good, bad and ugly:

    Ugly (you can't end on a bad note!): That period of adolescence we went through. The biting, oh.my.goodness. He fell in love, during those months, with me first, and when I showed him I was not interested, he then fell in love with my quaker. Can I just say how unrequited this love was...at the time of his death, he was missing two, not one, but two toes (well parts really, but it was enough). That was from his unrelenting attempts at feeding Sherlock, and Sherlock's unrelenting attempts at wanting to kick the living poop out of him for landing on his cage. I should add, Grover was especially tiny, and Sherlock is especially huge for a quaker. But during this time he HATED me. Why? Because Sherlock loved me! I had to have my fiance take him out of his sleeping cage in the AM during this time, because he flew at me like a bee attacking someone too close to a hive. He'd bite, fly off my hand, only to bite in THE SAME SPOT over and over again. I at least have a lasting memory of him, the scar he left behind forever (both on my hand and in my heart, but I digress).

    The other ugly, Avian Gastric Yeast. Apparently it's taking hold in the parrotlet world (and other species) and though some of the other species can survive with it, it appears that it's nearly impossible for a parrotlet. I'm definitely don't want to make it sound like it's not harmful to other birds, because it certainly is, but it's almost always fatal for parrotlets. They can only live with it for so long, I had Grover for 2 1/2 years. There's also not enough known about it, and it can be treated in some cases, but it's not always clear, vets don't always know what it is (I'm lucky to live near a great animal hospital), it's not always shed, and it's vicious. We believe he's been suffering since the 2nd day he came home with me in 2011, but was only diagnosed in October 2013. Truthfully though, sickness in general. So many times during his life I was told that with birds as small as a parrotlet, illness is often fatal. Just heed that if you are thinking about one of these little guys or gals.

    The Bad: He was crazy dusty. I was shocked a bird that small could produce as much dust as he could (and I have a goffin, so I know dust). And talk about food and poop and everything flinging, yikes! He was also ALWAYS on the go, he never settled ever, which is awesome but super scary. I have a big open floor plan and no real bird room, so I was constantly afraid he would get hurt. I ended up keeping him flighted because clipping his wings did absolutely nothing because he was so small and light except make him have a bit less control on landing and turns (hello windows!)...so I felt it was safer where he could at least control himself. He also had no fear of anything ever, and being the weight of a US quarter, that's not always good. He also needed to be warm, a lot. Not sure if this was due to the AGY or what, but I live in a rather cold climate and anytime he got cold, he got sick, so I always had crazy things covering his cage, with crazy lights and heaters to keep him warm. Great look in the dining room, by the way. "Oh yeah, that little bird, yeah, yup, those 17 towels, 3, lamps and 2 heating devices are for him". "Why, well, if I explain it to you, you'll think I'm crazier than you already do so, I'm just going to say because I love him". "No, no he's not replaceable if he dies". "Yes, I know I don't have kids yet and when I do I won't want him anymore (according to you) but I don't right now so, please, have this dinner". "No, this contains no chicken, no, no actually I do not eat chicken, nope parrotlet neither (hahaha, no, no I really don't hahaha :banghead: ) - anymore questions bad person? :arghh: ". <--Also part of the bad or ugly, people who think you are nuts for loving a bird so much.

    The good and beautiful: He was so special. I don't know if he was unique or if it's a parrotlet thing, but I can tell you, he was super special. He was the cutest thing I've ever been lucky enough to be a "mom" to. His coloring was spectacular. I worked SO hard with him in the beginning because I wanted a parrotlet SO badly and there he was at my favorite bird place. Impulsively, he was mine the first day we met, but didn't come home for a few more days till' he was properly weaned. He absolutely hated me. True Hate, I mean, I thought what did I do to my life hate. Like his name was "Killer" for 2 weeks hate (ps his bites didn't break the skin till the hormonal stage). Eventually he loved me so much that he would do anything I asked (except for those 4-5 months of hormonal rage). He talked like the dickens. Everything and anything I said or did, he said or did (like "cough"). He mimicked the telephone. He actually knew it was going to ring before it did, and would "sing <-?" it first, then it would ring. Their voices are so squeaky and tiny, like melt your heart cute. He and my quaker spoke to each other all day long practicing their English (if only I was smart enough to practice parrotlet, or quaker). He named me, "Excuse Me" and called to me all the time. He would chant for my fiance's baseball team, he told us "what a beautiful day" it was, he sang the "shake your booty" song, thanks to Sherlock teaching him it. I don't actually know how big his vocabulary was, every time we chatted it was bigger, and surprising. He could "step up" like no ones business. Even if he really really really wanted to not step up, he couldn't deny you what you asked him to do. He was so silly, and when he wanted to check someone out who was new, and really wanted their attention, he'd hang upside down and just look at them. Or he'd do that to make me laugh, because all you could see was this little blue head peeking out at you, upside down. He would let anyone hold him (though he didn't like to be pet except near the end, and only on his head). He talked TO you and not just around you, where my quaker is more of a closet talker and will only say things near you that he's absolutely perfected. Grover would practice non stop with me. He ate just about anything I put in his cage without hesitation (they really aren't afraid of anything but fingers, and maybe the vacuum, though I never got the chance to deliberately test out the rustling bags). He was super smart and learned things so very quickly. He wanted to be with anyone at anytime. He loved heads, and hair, and would get caught in my hair all the time. He loved to fly from head to head to head when we had company over. He thought it was the best game. I think he ate up the laughter. He was always making everyone laugh, and I swear it was intentional, though maybe I'm "anthropomorphising" too much. Oh and can I mention his little parrotlet smell? He smelled like a tiny little skunk, but I liked it. His favorite place was in the crick of my neck so he could try to remove a freckle I have there, or just to cuddle. And if it wasn't my neck, it could have been anyone's. He willingly gave kisses on the cheek, like truly kissed cheeks, so lightly and made the kissing sound while doing it. Melt. my. heart. little guy. I have videos of this (thankfully). His light hit every corner of every room, and when people met him, they would just continue to reflect it throughout the day - because he had a way of making everyone happy.

    But to get there, it really did take a lot of work. I read every blog/advice board/forum available and bought & read twice, the Sandee Molenda parrotlet book before I even knew I was getting a parrotlet. And for that reason, I don't know if I'll ever do it right enough again to have such an amazing awesome, little guy. Plus, as I stated earlier he was special.

    PS - Sherlock misses him dearly, the rest of us do too.
  7. deshud

    deshud Walking the driveway

    Edmonton, Alberta
    I agree, Rambo lives by himself in his cage in my birdroom , seperate then from my other birds. As long as he can see me, he's fine. I will let him out for a while at a time, but after an hour or two, he wants back in his cage. Now, he has 2 30x18x18 flight cages connected together, so he does have a huge cage with tonnes of toys, but he does amuse himself. He seems very content
  8. citronlover

    citronlover Sprinting down the street Avenue Veteran

    British Columbia, Canada
    I have to bring double attention to this for sure. My Gidget is plucked completely naked and we aren't sure what the initial cause was at all. He had a varied diet, etc... But I'm pretty sure that it got worse because I went away for school. Since I've taken him with me to live in my condo, I've changed some of his perches around, bought him a couple new toys, and taken him to the vet. He is on an antibiotic, and will soon be on haloparidol (sp?) for anxiety. I'm hoping that's temporary, and will help him to realize that he can spend his free time relaxing and chewing toys, rather than his own feathers.

    He does seem MUCH happier now, but still obsessively preens. My mom put him back on an all seed diet, because she didn't think the modified diet was helping... So now I have to wait until after he's done the antibiotics (and weighed) to modify his diet again.

    I'm hoping with all these interventions, he will one day preen only when necessary, and be able to fly once again. I think being flightless for so long has impacted his behaviour as well. Only time will tell.

    But, again, I will stress that you must be prepared for plucking with this species! It's a tough road. But I would do anything for my little fuzzy Gidget :heart:
  9. Despicio

    Despicio Walking the driveway

    Why do parrotlets all get lumped together as if they're one species?
    Even just withing the Forpus genus there's some variation, for example Green rumped parrotlets are quite social and can be kept in a colony (in a large enough aviary) whereas celestial parrotlets get very territorial and so can't really be kept in anything other than as pairs, spectacled parrotlets are supposed to be less fiesty than celestials, Yellow faced parrotlets are significantly larger the other forpus species and so are probably the loudest species (can't talk from experience as I don't have any yet.)

    I don't think that parrotlets should ever have their wings clipped since this seems to greatly increase their chances of feather plucking. They also probably do best if they're not the only small bird in a room because when kept in a pair they're normally right next to each other, sleep snuggled against each other and constantly preen each other.
    Familyof12 likes this.
  10. belmor

    belmor Moving in

    We got Kira as a rehome, her original owners loved her but had a baby and didn't feel they had time for her anymore. She was 1 when we got her and she is turning 5 this month.

    She is an absolute doll, LOVES my wife and I and loves to be out of her cage just hanging out. She is a very well behaved bird but definately bites when she doesn't get her way, I don't classify this as bad-it is just how she (and apparently alot of other P'lets) is. Never any cage aggression, no medical issues and I don't consider her to be terribly messy until she gets into stuff outside her cage.

    Kira overgrooms excessively, she doesn't outright pluck but her little beak has to be CONSTANTLY moving, either she is eating, grooming or giving free manicures to us-she isn't a fan of alot of toys so since she overgrooms she always looks scruffy, we are working on misting/more baths to combat this. Kira also greatly dislikes kids, we have 2 kids 2 and 8 and she will not let the kids handle her and bites them if they get close. She can also be very loud if she can't see you or wants something.

    Nothing is ugly, Kira is our first bird and has taught us a lot, we love having her.
  11. quazy4quakers

    quazy4quakers Jogging around the block Shutterbugs' Best

    Real Name:
    I really like parrotlets and really want some in my birdie future!!! Thanks for the info, i read a post (or 2!) a day. Thanks again!! Good luck all you birdie pipsqueak owners!! :dancing: :dancing: :dance5: :laughing12: :dance4: :dance4: :laughing12: :hug8: :pletgm: :parrotletgreenhen: :awletf: :rbfigf: :rbfigm: :parrotletyellow: :pletyf: :rudolph: :santadance: :xmasunwrap2: :snowman4:
  12. BigMacWonder

    BigMacWonder Sprinting down the street

    Real Name:
    My Parrotlet dies to make friend with my budgie too but bailey wouldn't have any of it. :bag:
  13. LisaSmith3

    LisaSmith3 Meeting neighbors

    Real Name:
    Lisa smith
    Good: my parrotlet as aggressive as he is will come to me and sit on my lap, feet or head. He likes to talk and visit my other animals

    Bad: very territorial bites when touched he goes into sttack mode inside or outside cage attacks my rabbit

    There is no ugly he just prefers to be left alone or come to you on his terms

    Attached Files:

  14. Dragonseer

    Dragonseer Walking the driveway


    I read this thread a bit ago, then re-read a portion of it today. I think that your response--especially the final statement, which I've emphasized--is vital for would-be P'let owners to read. And I believe that you've steered me from the idea of P'let ownership.
  15. Jobot

    Jobot Walking the driveway

    Real Name:
    After having my bird Flynn 4 months, and owning him through his "birdy puberty" as it were, I feel like I can make a contribution to this article now. I got him at about 6mo, and he is 10 mo. now. He lived in a busy home with a lot of kids, other pets and he grew up with his brother. He was semi-tame when I got him, like he would step up. That was about it.:lol:

    The good: He is adorable, and super smart. His pattern recognition is really good, and he catches on to new concepts and tricks quickly. He loves scritches and will finally allow my husband to give him some. He adores scritches, especially when he calms down enough to enjoy them. I love how he bends his little head down for scritches, and how he just wants to hang out with me, even though he is kind of mischievous and tries to get into everything. He loves pressing his little beak to my face and just staring at me. He is curious about most things, and will at least try new things, especially if I'm doing it with him. He says all sorts of things in his scratchy little voice all day, and goes through periods where he is pretty quiet. He doesn't do a lot of singing for the sake of singing. He is pretty energetic and grows bored quickly, so toys and background noise are pretty crucial to his well-being.

    The bad: he throws hardcore tantrums over stuff. Objects he's not allowed to play with, places he's not allowed to go, cage time, sometimes if I'm ignoring him, etc... He'll march around all puffed up, grumble and chirp his crazy little head off. It is surprisingly loud. And by golly can he bite!:eek: He learned some really bad habits in his first home, and biting is one of them. He leaves bruises, makes fingers go numb, and draws blood. My fingers were all full of holes when I brought him home. It took a lot of work and trust, but he bites a LOT less now. He is also an incredibly territorial little booger. Will bite and growl to defend his cage. He used to guard my laptop and phone the same way he guards his cage, but has gotten a lot better about those. He still goes through hormonal stages where he will charge and bite the crap out of you if you dare to do anything to his cage. He has only recently allowed my husband to really interact with him, but still growls and grumbles at him when he's around. He has also decided that he really dislikes babies, and goes out of his way to try to bite them. I have no idea why he hates them so much.:wideyed: He dislikes strangers and will go out of his way to make sure that you know who's boss. (Hint::pletgm: He is.) For some reason, he really struggles with bathing. I have tried everything, but he still just prefers to dunk his face into his water dish and sneeze a lot. I dunno. We're working on it.

    The ugly: He began barbering his feathers heavily about two months after I got him. In a matter of a couple weeks, he had destroyed all the feathers on his little torso. After a course of antibiotics and an NSAID, he began getting the feathers back on his torso, and is most of the way back to being feathered. It took a lot of destructibles and foraging to get him back on track and keep him from focusing on preening. He has relapsed once, and after I made more environmental changes, he seemed to stop. He also had to learn how to entertain himself, so I had to institute a daily cage time. Adding one favorite toy and treat that he never gets otherwise really incentivized cage time. He is angry sometimes, and fearless. He is pretty sure he can take anyone.

    All in all, he is a really great bird that just needed work and love to come out of his shell. I love him how he is, and look forward to all we can learn about each other.:heart:
    Familyof12 likes this.
  16. AlisonAl

    AlisonAl Checking out the neighborhood

    Totally agree with so much on this thread! I have a blue male parrotlet called Jimmy and he is such a character. He too chews everything, has chewed wood off of our blinds, holes in my clothes, the couch and he especially loves anything rubber like the soft close bits on laptops. Always uses his beak to step on and climbs everywhere using it which can be uncomfortable. Although he will bite if he doesn't want you near he's only drawn blood once, when he doesn't want me near he'll let me know and is so temperamental with a LOT of attitude but it' something I love about him and his character.

    The good: Jimmy can be so clingy and loves a cuddle, he especially loves being rubbed on the neck with my nose and occasionally my finger if he'll let me. If i'm not paying attention when he wants he'll just get in my face or chew whatever I'm using to get my attention which whilst annoying is really funny and endearing. He can speak back to you, not any audible words but we'll make kissing noises and he'll tweet back in the same pitch, he'll also repeat clicking noises we make and has recently started imitating my laugh! It is so funny when i'm having a conversation, laugh and then hear him in the background mimicking me. He is also a fantastic flyer and climber. Overall he is just such a character with buckets of personality and is really well bonded with the household. Also we have two pet rats in a cage in the same room and thankfully he has never shown any interest in them whilst our old budgie was obsessed and would try to wind them up in their cage when she was out which always worried me, Jimmy doesn't seem to know they even exist and they couldn't care less about him so it's all good.

    The bad: He is loud. Sometimes you honestly wouldn't know he's there but some days he just has such an attitude and will screech all day for no reason whatsoever. His normal tweeting is especially in the morning when he can hear the sparrows outside or if we are making noise in another room, certain things on the tv seem to bother him but I can't put my finger on what it is yet. The scrunching noise thing is 100% his least favourite thing, he gets all fluffed up, wings going and makes as much noise as possible until it stops and he'll try to attack the source but when he gets the paper or whatever it is he couldn't care less. Jimmy is really messy with his food as well, throws it everywhere and is also really fussy, the breeder told us they love veg and different seed types but honestly he barely goes near anything other than his basic seed mix, obviously is obsessed with millet. He'll always pick at anything we give him but I've never seen him actually eat any of the veg. One thing I have noticed though is he seems to love sweet things, he managed to lick a sweetie in my hand once and wouldn't leave it alone so I should probably look into more fruit for him but i'm just scared of all the sugar!

    The ugly: Nothing, sometimes his tweeting drives me up the wall but then he does something cute and I don't care anymore.

    Jimmy is my second bird and my fiances third (second parrotlet), after having a rescued budgie that couldn't be handled last time owning Jimmy is such an amazing experience, I get so much love from him and couldn't wish for a better bird.
  17. Familyof12

    Familyof12 Rollerblading along the road

    Santa Clara, California
    Real Name:
    I have two parrotlets who don't respond to plastic bags. They just seem mildly interested and turned away. I tried it multiple times, unfortunately without thinking, I did it with the seed bag as it was almost empty. They figured the seeds were kept there and the next I walked in, they opened a new bag of seeds, the seeds were all over the floor and they were going to town, the budgies were appreciative too. So no more plastic bags in the birds' room. They've been trained to break through plastic to get their goodies. Bad parront.

    Mine are very sweet. They are hormonal and they are territorial but they don't bite at all. Carmen did in the beginning. Once I figured out her way of "communicating" we were besties. We introduced Diablo later. They instantly bonded. Diablo doesn't bite either. They are both sweethearts and are extremely hormonal. They will scream for each other and do the defensive mode but I can still pick them up even in that mode. They may not like what I'm doing but now they trust me. They will eat what I put in their faces, when I want them to eat something more than something else. They're good. Other than the mess they make, their room looks like a "CRIME SCENE" after raspberries or strawberries. I've even had to get on a latter to clean the dang ceiling. They are messy as heck.

    I respect them. I speak to them explaining what I'm doing in a calm voice always. They are very mellow, and act like big birds and are not nervous or fluttery birds. They are calm, mellow, curious, active, and smart. I adore mine and would never ever give them up for any reason.
    Last edited: 10/21/17
  18. Megumi

    Megumi Moving in

    Real Name:
    m. Pinero
    This thread has been very informative. I like parrotlets for many reason. They're space efficient for small homes/apartments, they come in all sorts of colors, even when they're chirping up a fit at the top of their tiny lungs I just find it all so cute, they're good at learning, they are entertained for hours with shredder toys, and they're cuddly. However I do not like that their attitude is way bigger than they are as I'd like to leave myself open for the possibility of taking in someone's unwanted parrot, and @allison made it very clear that parrotlets, despite all her attempts with different birds at that too, just aren't very accepting of flock mates. I also don't like their over protective nature. Cage aggression to me is typical of any bird and doesn't bother me as there's ways around it but the flying across the room attacking my husband, kids, my keys, the milk carton, or what else it randomly decides it doesn't like is a trait that really bothers me. I know all birds can develop this but my understanding it's typically only towards a handful of things, so you can just adjust to your bird, where as I get the impression that parrotlets hate anything they can hate on day to day. I'm up for a challenge but think this species may just have too much spark for a first time owner at least.
  19. Known Space

    Known Space Meeting neighbors

    I've had a female blue parrotlet for almost a year now. She's my first bird and I love her! Her name is Mantis, after the Guardians of the Galaxy character. This thread helped me a lot in terms of preparing myself to get her. So here's my experience. Keep in mind, she is my first and only bird. So I have little to compare it to:

    The good: Super. Cuddly. She's so social and so affectionate. It melts my heart. Her favorite thing in the world are the day I decide to "sleep in" in the morning, and I open the cage. She will fly on me, curl up against my chin and just sit there beak-grinding. Have I mentioned how smart she is? She can learn any trick I'm not too lazy to teach, haha. And she's an incredibly acrobatic flyer. Flight training is probably her favorite enrichment and it shows. She's calm -- lots of training will do that -- and easy going. And she loves meeting new people: will immediately jump on their shoulder to say hi. She also isn't cage aggressive or a lot of the usual negative aggressive tendencies people associate with them because I've basically tamed her inside her cage. She knows that my hand belongs there.

    The bad: Gets bored of toys easily, and her favorite enrichment is clicker training. I love doing it, that's not the issue. But it does put a lot of extra stress on my training. And though I wouldn't classify her as aggressive, I trained all aggression out of her, she just stands her ground when I DO mess up. And rightfully so. But she still has a temper: She hates random objects. And when she sees something that annoys her, she acts it out on the first thing near here, usually me haha. It's not really painful, but one behavior I wish she would get over. She's quite the attention screamer when I'm home. But when I'm gone, she's quiet as a mouse.

    The ugly: none. In hindsight I may not recommend a parrotlet to most first-time bird owners because most people getting interested in birds may not be patient or interested enough into training them. But if you are, you get such an amazing and lovely and especially LOVING friend in return.
  20. Linearis

    Linearis Strolling the yard

    The good: so smart and willing to learn, really food motivated so easy to train. Very playful and has a lot of energy. Asks to be let out of cage a lot because she loves just sitting on your arm, leg, etc but also loves going back to her cage to play with her toys. She doesn't seem to hate the sound of bags, actually she seems to love it and starts falling over herself to rush to your side (she thinks all plastic bags contain millet). Can be cuddly, but on her terms and she'll growl if you don't give her scritches exactly how she wants them (you have to be a mind reader). She can't fly very well right now but she knows that when she flaps her wings I offer her my finger and take her wherever she wants to go (within reason lol...). She can fly short distances but usually she'll be lazy and make me do it...

    Bad: does use her beak a lot but so far she's pretty gentle. Actually as I keep working with her she's getting more and more gentle and has never broken the skin. She mostly growls when she doesn't like something and lightly nibbles your finger. She is also very picky and messy with food. She's usually pretty quiet but sometimes she sounds like an alarm bell.

    The ugly: the vet told me it's likely her diet wasn't amazing before I got her so her feathers are a little fragile and her tail now has dark marks. I don't actually know if she over preens since I don't have much to compare it too but she does preen a lot... I want her wings to hurry up and grow back in because I'm afraid lack of flight will make her eventually pluck. She does seem to be molting though and she lost one clipped flight feather the other day which made me happy. She does pull more at her clipped feathers lately overall though... I can't wait till they fall out.

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