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Your Parrot Questions Answered by Feathered Friends – Part 4

Yet again, we’ve received more brilliant questions from you, and Sheila from Feathered Friends has answered more of them.

This first question was left on the Lineolated Parakeet species guide blog by David Whittle:

Q1: Will Lineolated Parakeets mix with Mountain Parakeets?

A: Although there is no guarantee that individual birds will get along Linnies are generally well suited to a mix bird environment when housed with other similar gentle species such as Mountain Parakeets.

The key to this is to provide multiple food and water dishes and plenty of perches,  this helps keep squabbles to a minimum.

African Grey questions

These two questions were left as comments on our Facebook page by Chantella Venter and Charle Delmore respectively.

Q2:  I have a 3 year old male green Ringneck Parrot and for the past couple of months he has been feeding everything, both the inside and outside of his night and day cages, his fruit the table the counter the floor everything. The screeching has minimised in the last few weeks so what is going on and how long will it last. He is also scratching his beak on anything he can. Please help.

A: Hi. At three years old he is maturing. This behaviour is likely due to hormone changes. Regurgitating is usually something they do with something or someone they are bonded with. You can take some steps to reduce the behaviour. Make sure he has 10/12 hours undisturbed sleep of a night.

Remove any items he could perceive as a nest such as happy huts, boxes or any dark cozy place. Don’t feed excessive amounts of food. Occupy him with basic training sessions. If he seems fixated with a certain toy or object, remove it. Limit petting to head scratching only, don’t pet under his wings, his back or vent area. If he starts to regurgitate on you calmly put him down and let him settle.

Regarding the screaming, be extremely careful you aren’t reinforcing the behaviour by reacting in any way, don’t even look at him when he screams. When he’s quiet or making a sound you like reinforce it with a head scratch, a treat and praise.

Q3: On going problem…CAG. 6 years old. Saw Avian Vet in August. Blood work good. Underweight.

Has been offered pellets, natural and fruit flavoured, every fresh fruit and vegetable in season, quinoa, oatmeal, rice, pasta, cooked dried beans of several varieties, and greens of all varieties. Along with peppers of many varieties.

He eats, but mostly wastes, NutriBerries and unsalted crackers with almond butter, almonds, occasionally grapes, apple, black, blue and strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.

He is only confined to his cage at night and spends days with me. Since I am home all the time he has quit playing with any toys..I think I’m his toy. I am stressed knowing he isn’t eating properly and not being able to find a solution.

Any help would most appreciated.

A: Sometimes feeding too many new foods in a short period of time can be overwhelming. Pick a few and work on giving those on a daily basis alongside something you know will be eaten well. This should still include a variety, so something sweet like apple, different coloured vegetables so maybe bell pepper and the dark green vegetables are good too so kale?

Seeds are ok once in a while but shouldn’t really be a large part of the diet – especially sunflower seeds as they are high in cholesterol. Pellets are good for encompassing ‘everything’ that is needed into the diet. I’d recommend Harrison’s pellets. Try giving a few a day alongside the meal.

For weight gain I use nuts as they are high in protein, but avoid peanuts as they can carry bacteria. But walnuts for example are fine.

These two questions were tweeted to us.

Q4: What is the best way to limit egg production in a single 5yr female Senegal Parrot? I have tried most methods.

A: Excessive egg production is a very common problem Parrot owners face. To limit egg production I suggest the following, do not allow access to dark cozy areas your bird may perceive as a nest box, including boxes and sleep huts. Be aware of how you pet your bird, never touch the back, tail, under wings or vent area. Limit petting to head scratches.

Reduce the amount of daylight hours the bird is exposed too, 12 hrs straight sleep in a dark quiet room is recommended. Limit any soft warm food. In extreme cases a vet can prescribe hormone injections or implants, I would use these only as a very last resort in cases that are causing serious health problems such as egg binding and  calcium deficiency. Ensure any bird who is laying has plenty of calcium rich food.

Q5: Do Parrots live as long in the wild as they do in captivity?

Generally parrots in captivity live longer than Parrots in the wild. In the wild they face more dangers from predators, food shortage, possible water shortage, habitat diminishing  and obviously don’t receive veterinary care if ill or injured. Our companion Parrots have a far easier life although a very limited one

If you have questions you’d like Feathered Friends to answer, please post them below.

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