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Adopted a 2.5 year old Parrotlet. Advice needed.

finchly

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Hi, since parrotlets are very territorial of their cage, what I do with my crew is put a perch on the outside of the cage and then open the door. Then I sit close by. Often holding millet ;)

Eventually they fly to you, or to another perch or table so they can get to the millet.

Skittles can say his name and “1,2,3, peekaboo.” Except he cheats and goes 3, peekaboo. He says kiss with the kissing noise. And does a long one for big kiss. And laughs and coughs like me. Sunshine says her old name, and I was told she says a bunch other words but ... no.
The others aren’t talkers.

I saw something about pellets being hard on them. If you’re feeding plenty of fresh food , a variety of grains, sprouts- you can feed a small amount of pellets and be okay.
 

Hermesbird

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I saw something about pellets being hard on them. If you’re feeding plenty of fresh food , a variety of grains, sprouts- you
That’s interesting because it’s not the first time I’ve heard this. Do you know why?
 

fashionfobie

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Hermesbird

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finchly

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@fashionfobie that article is great.

@Hermesbird there was a study. I can’t hunt it up right now. It was fairly small as sample sizes go but apparently was correct.
 

Hermesbird

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@fashionfobie that article is great.

@Hermesbird there was a study. I can’t hunt it up right now. It was fairly small as sample sizes go but apparently was correct.
I find it interesting how there so much information on what to feed the bird as being majority correct, but when speaking to other actual knowledgeable bird owners how much of that information is inaccurate
 

finchly

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I find it interesting how there so much information on what to feed the bird as being majority correct, but when speaking to other actual knowledgeable bird owners how much of that information is inaccurate
The manufacturers push pellets. And they sponsor the veterinarians ... who in turn push pellets.
 

Sodapop&Co.

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The manufacturers push pellets. And they sponsor the veterinarians ... who in turn push pellets.
Exactly. Sadly it's still always about the money, with so many bird products. Lookin at the box of bird gravel on my desk beside me, that I've had for years and stopped using once I found out how useless it is! Yet the very nice product description on the back makes it "obvious" that it's an absolutely necessary supplement for all "Parakeets, Cockatiels, Lovebirds and Parrots" (that's my favourite part, and I see this so often; listing a bunch of parrot species + "Parrots". :D Not only the one time though; on the front is says "Parakeets, Cockatiels & Parrots").
 

Gigibirds

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Wow, that was a very interesting article! But the articles main point is that in a pellet diet, the birds can't store as much water in their bodies, so that causes problems with their kidneys, right? So that should mean that if your bird did drink a lot of water, they should be fine! Pistache is a blue Pacific Parrotlet, so she should be in the highest risk zone. But I recently brought a dish of water out to my desk (because Pistache hangs out there with me for most of the day) and I was surprised to find that roughly every 45 minutes she would hop over to the water dish, gulp down mouthfuls of water, and then carry on with her day! She actually drinks a TON of water! She doesn't eat enough veggies to be able to switch to a good diet of mainly greens + seeds, but since she drinks so much water, shouldn't she be fine? Of course I just want to keep my girl happy and healthy though, so I'm always willing to make changes that can help her :) But thank you so much @fashionfobie for posting that article!!
 

finchly

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but since she drinks so much water, shouldn't she be fine?
A ton compared to what?

Does she drink as much or more than another parrotlet of the same weight? And does that parrotlet drink "enough?".... you see where I'm going with this.

Since we don't have the scientific study in hand, one thing you could do is always moisten the pellets. I don't know how much it helps - another member here suggested it.
 

fashionfobie

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A ton compared to what?

Does she drink as much or more than another parrotlet of the same weight? And does that parrotlet drink "enough?".... you see where I'm going with this.

Since we don't have the scientific study in hand, one thing you could do is always moisten the pellets. I don't know how much it helps - another member here suggested it.
Just piggy backing off you


If using the moisting pellet option make sure you change the food often. Wet pellets can grow dangerous bacteria quickly.

Pellets can work for birds, though parrotlets are very tiny and very fragile.. not one shoe fits all species. I use whole foods with my birds, and yes this has its own risks. I am very careful about my daily offerings and keep a journal of their weight and have take my birds in for their annual exam.

Vitamin D is what I worry about most, but getting some sun provided this to our birds. Luckily I live in an area that can get a lot of sun.

Remember that as forum members we live all around the world. Not everyone has access to the same be it daylight hours, pellet options or something else. If you must provide some pellets because your bird can't get everything they need from their diet. I don't see a problem using a few to fill in the wholes... However pellets, especially for parrotlets, shouldn't be their only food or too large of a part of their diet. Liquid vitamins may be more effective for parrotlets when needed, but like everything be cautious and stay informed. New information does come out now and again. Parrotlets hadn't been studied to the same degree as others in terms of diet. Though it was reported by the curator of Loro Parque that they are seen eating a lot of roughage in the wild. They have been documented eating lichens and barks. Parrotlets also eats cactus fruits.
 

Gigibirds

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Compared to other parrotlets that I have known. She's just fascinated by water, and she appears to drink more than other parrotlets of the same weight.


* @fashionfobie she has dry pellets but she tends to dip them in water before she eats them. And she does love to chew the bark off her perches! (bird-safe perches, of course) But pellets are a very large part of her diet, as I was specifically told by her breeder to not let her have a seed diet. Her breeder makes their own special blend of pellets, and that's still what Pistache eats. But what would you suggest for her/a parrotlet's diet?
 
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fashionfobie

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@Gigibirds * @fashionfobie she has dry pellets but she tends to dip them in water before she eats them. And she does love to chew the bark off her perches! (bird-safe perches, of course) But pellets are a very large part of her diet, as I was specifically told by her breeder to not let her have a seed diet. Her breeder makes their own special blend of pellets, and that's still what Pistache eats.

You are lucky your bird dips them, that is not a common for parrotlets.

Since I am not familiar with the makeup or texture of what you are using, I would personally be a little cautious of a homemade pellet. Not only a worry from what is in them, I would be worried about preserving pellets. Any missed moisture and you could get a dangerous mix of bacteria and fungus. For all I know your breeder has a 100% perfect system, but my first impulse is to be cautious. There have been homemade parrot meals/products that passed by this forum, that turned out to be horrible things, mostly sugar, and birds got seriously ill. If it were me, I might take a sample of the food in for analysis, just to cross my t's and dot my i's.


* @fashionfobie But what would you suggest for her/a parrotlet's diet?



I feed a combination of sprouted grains, fresh veggies, and a budgie seed mix (that doesn't have any sunflower at all!). I feed at least 7 veg/fruit options daily usually a few more. I feed mostly veggies with tiny bits of fruit. They exact menu changes based on what is in season or what we have but there are always at least 7 choices. Veggies are the main focus: carrot, snow beans, silverbeet, zucchini, pumpkin, broccoli, bok choy, chilies the list continue. Dark leafy greens like silverbeets are very healthy for birds. For fruits, I cut a tiny fleck off of what I give to my other birds.. so A tiny sliver of pear, grape, a few seeds of passion fruit a small bit of mango.. They only get one fruit option a day. They rarely eat the fruit, with exception to passion fruit and dragon fruit. They love dragon fruit and it is a fruit they would eat until they pop.. but I always give a small slice. Parrotlet small is tiny, like a slice/fleck the size of a pea at most. They can get sick if they have too much sugar. Some berries are also fine for parrotlets, with strawberry being the only one they seem to get excited about.. and they only eat the seeds off the outside, because they are who they are ;)

I serve the sprouts along with their fresh veggies and they can look through it and sort what they want that day. I serve the seed separately so it doesn't get wet, fresh dish daily of course. One some days I sprinkle bonus nom noms on their meals, like chia seeds, quinoa or sesame seeds. These are not offered every week even, probably every fortnight.

As I said, you should work with your vet, with your area and with what you have access to. My system works for my birds, but I can't tell you what to do. You are the only one who has the power to provide for your bird. I wake up every morning 365 days a year and chop fresh meals for my birds. This is an exciting and fun part of my day, but it is a lot of work. When/if you move to a fresh diet it will be work. You also need to always ask yourself when out, oh did I need to pick up more xyz or did I give them too much fruit today, did I feed too little carrot, etc.. It is a daily commitment. Some people prep larger batches of fresh food and than offer it in portions, but personally I don't do this, but it may give you something to think on. If you want to implement? If it works for you?

anyway I will stop mumbling, this post is getting long :)

There are lists of safe/dangerous foods here:
 
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Gigibirds

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Oh wow, that was so helpful! Thank you so much! :) The breeder's is actually quite a nice place, and I trust them. :) I even realized that I had a bag of pellets that was at least a couple of years old, and there was not a speck of mold on it! I was very impressed!

You are lucky your bird dips them, that is not a common for parrotlets.
Yes, I am! She acts like a miniature big-parrot. She holds stuff under her feet, she is not very flighty, she dips her pellets in water, etc. I'm so thankful that I have such a sweetipie!
 

Hermesbird

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Nope not as chance but she was clever enough to find some in Fred's cage though :banghead:
Funny little bugger. Be careful with her on Fred cage. Sooner or later someone will get mad about unwelcome visitors. And she may want to claim that corner lol

just some advice. I’ve only have a parrotlet solo, so i have no experience introducing them.
 

fashionfobie

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Funny little bugger. Be careful with her on Fred cage. Sooner or later someone will get mad about unwelcome visitors. And she may want to claim that corner lol

just some advice. I’ve only have a parrotlet solo, so i have no experience introducing them.
I agree use some caution. Bird are especially vulnerable to toe injuries through a cage. Before you know it you are rushing a bird to the vet because their toe has been amputated. I know it sounds dramatic, but it does happen.


That said, I think it is pretty darn cute that Eve wants to be friends with Fred. Birds thrive when they have birdie friends.
 

triciakoontz

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Cutie!! So kind for you to take on a project bird. Lots of free videos on YouTube at the Bird Tricks channel for target training and taming - lots of examples how they work with project birds. Target training is the kindest and fastest way to train step up.

Hope you put some small size + easily destroyed toys in the cage for entertainment. Those rock hard wood indestructible-for-small-beaks toys are really completely unattractive to the tiny birds. You can also clip foraging food stuff in the cage for destruction fun + learning to eat healthy foods: broccoli or celery stalks, lettuce or Swiss chard or spinach leaves, snow peas or green beans.

Need some more photos of your new friend!!
 

CarlyB

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Thanks guys. I don't let her stay on his cage for too long as Fred is quite territorial over his home and I don't let Fred sit on Eves when he's out either. But that being said he did just sit back and let her eat his millet but I think he was just in awe of her audacity if I'm honest :rofl: .

They are curious if each other and will go to the sides of the cage to look at each other etc. And Fred has started spreading out his wings and wolf whistling at her in the mornings lol so I think they want to be friends but from a distance.

Just trying to get her to trust me us a slow and steady race. She even moves away if I go to the cage and talk to her :sad5:
 

Hermesbird

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Just trying to get her to trust me us a slow and steady race. She even moves away if I go to the cage and talk to her :sad5:
Maybe hold a treat she can come and get through the bars? She will become curious of what you do after a while and want to be involved.
 
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