Drug testing

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.co m/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm

In The News:

Two great white sharks were located off the coast of North Carolina this week after the massive predators traveled more than a thousand miles from Canada to reach the coastal waters.
They may sound cute, but they could cause a "giant-sized problem."
Archaeologists have uncovered cave drawings in eastern France that are more than 12,000 years old, but were hidden for hundreds of years under graffiti from the 16th to 19th centuries.
OAKFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty.
A massive mola mola sunfish was confused for shark during an open water race in North Carolina on Saturday.
An enormous crater, measuring 19 miles in diameter, has been officially found in Greenland, hidden under the ice. The find was likely caused by an asteroid that hit the Earth "less than 3 million years ago," and is said to have "rocked the Northern Hemisphere."
If you're experiencing a spell of bad luck, many people may ask you the same question: is Mercury in retrograde?
The mummified bodies of three climbers who went missing 59 years ago on Mexico’s highest volcano have been recovered by an army unit.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Autodesk, a software company, have engaged in a multiyear collaborative research project to investigate new approaches for building interplanetary landers .
A bone-crushingly cold Super-Earth has been discovered approximately 6 light-years away from our Sun, according to a new study.

Interior Decorating for Cat Owners - Protecting Your Pet

Part 2: Protecting your petIf you own a cat, then... Read More

West Highland White Terriers- Fascinating Facts

West Highland White Terriers began their history as the undesirable... Read More

Can Cats And Dogs Live Together As Friends?

Can cats and dogs live together without constantly being at... Read More

Top 5 Dog Health Problems

The most common dog problems:Dog Owner's commonly ask me the... Read More

7 Good Reasons to Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered

Every year, many cat owners decide to get their cat... Read More

Dog Breath-It Doesnt HAVE to Be SO Bad!

While your friends and family are amazed that you're raising... Read More

Finding A Reputable Dog Breeder

Anyone can put two dogs together and let them breed,... Read More

Providing The Best Care For Your Goldfish

Goldfish care is critical for the health of your goldfish.... Read More

Setting Up A New Aquarium

Location of your aquariumSo, you bought your very first fish... Read More

Dog Vomiting? Help Your Dog Now

In most cases you should not be too concerned about... Read More

10 Reasons Why Your Cat Loves You

There are plenty of reasons why your cat loves you.... Read More

Westie Pups - How to Prepare for Your Westie Puppy

Just like when you bring home a new baby, you... Read More

Why Exotic Pets Should Not Be Banned

We all know how special interest groups can blow things... Read More

The Joy Of Having Puppies!

One of the greatest thrills for a little boy or... Read More

Understanding Psychology Of Dog Training: Pack Behavior & Establishing Control

Dogs are descendent of wolves. To study the psychology of... Read More

My Needs are Simple and Few!

My dear owner,Thank you once again for giving me shelter.... Read More

Chihuahua Training is Easy!

Chihuahua Training is Easy! You may be wondering if Chihuahua... Read More

Tank Requirements For Discus Fish

For Discus fish, there are 2 consideration in tanks -... Read More

Pet Ear Infections

Is your dog or cat tormented by ear infections? Do... Read More

You Cant Fool A Horse

By Jeffrey Rolocopyright 2004 AlphaHorseIn the dating world many men... Read More

Holistic Pet Care?From a Distinctly Christian Perspective

As a business, I've not been in the holistic pet... Read More

4 Ways In Which You Can Show Your Dog How Much You Love Him

Do you have at least one framed photo of your... Read More

What You Need To Know To Keep Your Dog Safe In Your Car

Man's Best Friend is a great companion around the home,... Read More

The TOP 7 Mistakes Horse Owners Make

Mistake #7 ? Assuming You Can Get On Any Horse... Read More

A Guide to Antique Bird Cages

It has been said that everything old is new again.... Read More

white led lights led wholesalers Pete's produce ..