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Preparing

Elysian

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When I saw the Pionus I fell in love with, I wasn't ready. I've decided to go ahead and get ready so that doesn't happen again.
Even if I can't find another Pionus, I'm going to prepare with them in mind (my follow up choices would be very similar in size, etc).

I know most of this will depend on my eventual bird's specific preferences, but I have to have a starting place :)

So.. looking for suggestions.
Any specific cage recommendations?
The ones at my local store are really marked up, and not big enough either. Amazon has so many cruddy products it's hard to weed through them all for the gems.
I know I'm looking for at least 36" wide. On wheels would be great but not a deal breaker. A removable grate as well as tray underneath would be good too.
But what have you all personally used and liked?

What kinds of toys do your Pi's usually prefer? My budgies strip bark but otherwise don't destroy anything at all, so I know this will probably be different.
Do Pionus like foot toys alot?
And perches? Do yours like ladders and swings or mostly just branches and ropes?

And pellet food.. I'd like to switch my budgies off Zupreem to Harrisons. Is that brand considered pretty good for Pionus too? I see a lot of people here use Roudybush, but I haven't been able to get my budgies interested in that. I'd like to *try* to have them all on the same brand, even though I know that might not work out in the end.

My budgies get pellets, chop, and some seed/birdie bread. Are there any common chop ingredients that I might not have realized are not good for Pionus?
Budgies are at risk of gout like Pionus, so similar needs there.. but in case I overlooked it do Pionus have any tendencies for vitamin deficiency or overdose like Eclectus do?
 
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tka

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Cages - bigger is better. I have a 40x30" cage and Leia uses every bit of it. A bigger cage allows you to add more toys, perches and enrichment without cramping the bird.

Pionus tend to be quite soft beaked and tend to prefer softer toy materials. Thin pine slats cut across the grain, balsa, cardboard, birdie bagels, palm, cork and wicker are all popular here. They are bigger birds so can get through a chunk of balsa very quickly! It takes Leia mere minutes to shred a big chunk of balsa and she has a lot of fun doing so, but my poor budget can't take that! Realistically, you'll be buying toys that have a mixture of more shreddable and more durable parts. This was a favourite: Bamboozled ~ Seriously Nutz ~ Basswood Bird Toy With Foraging Parts. Medium & Large Parrot Toy

Get them foraging - Leia has one of these for her pellets: Foraging Parrot Party Bird Toy
She has a mixture of Roudybush and P15 Original pellets. I've tried offering her TOPS and Harrisons and she flatly refused.

Pionus can be prone to Vitamin A deficiency. Leia's favourite foods are blueberries, raspberries and cherries. I'm trying to get her more interested in green leafy veg but we have different opinions about whether or not these are edible. She likes sprouts, particularly sprouted mung.
 

Ali

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Elysian

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Get them foraging - Leia has one of these for her pellets: Foraging Parrot Party Bird Toy
She has a mixture of Roudybush and P15 Original pellets. I've tried offering her TOPS and Harrisons and she flatly refused.

Pionus can be prone to Vitamin A deficiency. Leia's favourite foods are blueberries, raspberries and cherries. I'm trying to get her more interested in green leafy veg but we have different opinions about whether or not these are edible. She likes sprouts, particularly sprouted mung.
I definitely see lots of posts in this Pionus specific area about Roudybush, so I will try to get my budgies more interested in their small bag of Roudybush before I buy any Harrisons then. Right now I just throw it in their birdy bread because all they did was shred the pellets :D

I've never heard of P15, going to look that up. Thank you.

Will definitely have to watch out for the vitamin A.. the budgies love their veggies but won't touch a fruit so I'l be aware I might to prep something extra.

I am SO EXCITED for foraging and puzzle toys!! This is the only thing I could claim to be slightly disappointed about with the budgies. Lack of puzzle fun.
I tried putting together something for them, but they are consistently terrified of cardboard and real lazy about their foraging lol.
 

tka

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Leia is a cardboard FIEND. She isn't allowed boxes in her cage because she gets far too hormonal and nesty, but we let her shred one during her out of cage time and she enjoyed herself enormously. She likes foot toys and I keep a stash on my desk for her for when she's out. I've just hung up a new toy made of brightly coloured of brightly coloured loofah from her window perch, thinking that I'd have to get her used to it gradually, and she immediately marched over and started chomping on it.

Bad things: Leia feather-barbers. Tested her for everything, offered more enrichment, tried a hormonal implant, got a bird lamp...nothing. It's frustrating and hard to watch.
 

Elysian

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Bad things: Leia feather-barbers. Tested her for everything, offered more enrichment, tried a hormonal implant, got a bird lamp...nothing. It's frustrating and hard to watch.
Ow wow.. I thought I'd done a ton of research but I actually had not heard this term as opposed to just plucking. OUCH.
 

tka

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Plucking is when the bird yanks out the whole feather. Feather barbering is when the bird snips off just part of the feather, biting through the feather shaft. It means that Leia looks very, very fluffy rather than bald.
 

Elysian

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BTW Leia is so pretty (if that is her in your picture).
In my area I've only seen the one BH, and there is a white cap baby over 3 hours away.. but I love the way the bronze wing's faces look like a night sky full of stars.

Where did you get your cage for her? Do you happen to have a link if it was available online?
 

tka

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I got the cage custom made by this company - not helpful unless you're in the UK (or maybe parts of Europe; I don't know if they'll ship) Home

And yes, that's Leia in the photo :)
 

Elysian

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Oh one more question.. what kinds of carriers do all of you Pionus friends use?

I ultimately plan to upgrade my budgie cage and use their old prevue flight cage for the Pionus if/when a real travel cage is needed. But I do need to pick out something for quick vet trips, coming home for the first time, etc.. this was much easier with the budgies because I could just buy a normal cage that was small enough to carry in one hand. But I think of a Pionus crammed in a little cage style carrier and I feel like it would make the bird nervous?
 

jh81

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get the cage thats the biggest for your budget and space allows.

i have 2 Maxi’s, both like to strip branches, and ocasional taking a swing, but not much else. One was heavily abused in his former home, and one was used as a breeder, so i suppose they still need to “learn” to play.

they get pellets, and “chop” for which you can find recipes all over the place here :) but vegetables are a must! It will take some time for you to figure out what your bird likes and dislikes, so dont wory the first day :)

as for vet travels, i have one of those cat boxes. It has a perch in it, and it allows for “some freedom” since one is not tame.
 

jh81

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I got the cage custom made by this company - not helpful unless you're in the UK (or maybe parts of Europe; I don't know if they'll ship) Home

And yes, that's Leia in the photo :)
what photo? I looked in the gallery and the custom section, i cant find Leia?
 

Elysian

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get the cage thats the biggest for your budget and space allows.

i have 2 Maxi’s, both like to strip branches, and ocasional taking a swing, but not much else. One was heavily abused in his former home, and one was used as a breeder, so i suppose they still need to “learn” to play.

they get pellets, and “chop” for which you can find recipes all over the place here :) but vegetables are a must! It will take some time for you to figure out what your bird likes and dislikes, so dont wory the first day :)

as for vet travels, i have one of those cat boxes. It has a perch in it, and it allows for “some freedom” since one is not tame.

Thank you!
With cages I'm mostly just concerned about how to judge quality. My budgie cage (preview flight cage) is a bit flimsy, but they are budgies so it has been fine.. and also it was less than 100 dollars so I can replace it any time.

But spending maybe 600+ on a cage, I'd like to get one that can hold up quite awhile!
 

jh81

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I understand, and agree with you :)

any cage that is suitable for a parrot should be of good enough quality that your bird should not destroy it easily.
I have a cage that was described as “suitable for cockatiels and other small parrots” and the only downside is that i had to padlock the extra smaller doors. They quickly learn how to open those, and ruin your breakfast before you wake up in the morning hehehe.

something to look for especially is the coating of the cage! Not all coating is suitable :)
 

tka

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Tka, where did you find Leia? Are you in US?
Anyone know of any bronze wing breeders in the midwest? Just to cover my options! BH and white cap are all I find here.
I'm in the UK so can't help, sorry.
 

Elysian

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Well I'm officially on the waiting list for a BH baby now, and I'm really excited!
I was torn between the BH and a Timneh baby that came up, but even though I actually like the idea of a grey (even some of their challenges) so far they don't make my heart melt when I look at them. The BHs and Bronzewings definitely do.

So I'm waiting.. still watching the rescues though in case there is an older bird I can really help.
I have no idea how long it will be though.. he has two breeding pairs and says the list is not long so I should get one, but I know we are at the end of breeding season right now, and then I have to wait for weaning when one actually hatches.

At least I have plenty of time to pick out toys..

I'm *slightly* concerned about the aviary.. I can't visit it very easily because its 6 hours away, and the guy actually offered to give me an unweaned whitecap baby and show me how to hand feed. Red flag right?
But the babies come with health testing and they only ask for deposits once hatching occurs, so I can change my mind at any time until then.
Also his prices were lower than I expected.. $950 for the BH, less for a whitecap. The other BH I saw more locally was $2,000.
But then that shop could be massively overcharging. Seemed scummy all around.. it was kind of dirty and the guy has changed locations 3 times this year.

I guess I should ask if I can take a trip down to aviary pre-baby. That's not going to be a fun drive!
 
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Ali

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Sounds a bit fishy. Do you have a link to website?
Well I'm officially on the waiting list for a BH baby now, and I'm really excited!
I was torn between the BH and a Timneh baby that came up, but even though I actually like the idea of a grey (even some of their challenges) so far they don't make my heart melt when I look at them. The BHs and Bronzewings definitely do.

So I'm waiting.. still watching the rescues though in case there is an older bird I can really help.
I have no idea how long it will be though.. he has two breeding pairs and says the list is not long so I should get one, but I know we are at the end of breeding season right now, and then I have to wait for weaning when one actually hatches.

At least I have plenty of time to pick out toys..

I'm *slightly* concerned about the aviary.. I can't visit it very easily because its 6 hours away, and the guy actually offered to give me an unweaned whitecap baby and show me how to hand feed. Red flag right?
But the babies come with health testing and they only ask for deposits once hatching occurs, so I can change my mind at any time until then.
Also his prices were lower than I expected.. $950 for the BH, less for a whitecap. The other BH I saw more locally was $2,000.
But then that shop could be massively overcharging. Seemed scummy all around.. it was kind of dirty and the guy has changed locations 3 times this year.

I guess I should ask if I can take a trip down to aviary pre-baby. That's not going to be a fun drive!
 
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