Thanks to everyone who has submitted questions to Feathered Friends. Find out if your question has been answered below.
This first question was left by Janette Preston on our Facebook page:
Q1: We have a CAG that will be 1yr end of this month, my query is that she has never been able to fly properly. at first we thought it was her age as got her at 18 weeks. Her wings are not clipped and are all intact, she launches herself off her cage etc but only ever manages to land on the floor never fly to another perch, chair etc. Our last CAG we had for 26 yrs so are used to this breed of bird and neither of us can see any reason for the flying problem, should we be concerned?
A: A one year old fully flighted CAG should be energetic and flying well. First I recommend a vet check to rule out any physical issues.
Providing the vet finds your bird healthy it may be a matter of literally teaching her to fly. I’m wondering if as a chick she was not allowed to fledge properly and flight and chest muscles have not developed enough. If this is the case you will need to build up her muscles and cardio strength. One little game you can do to help this is the bed game.
Holding her over a bed (only just above it) very gently encourage her to fly down to the bed, you can increase the distance and height as she gains strength. Please only do this though if she is happy to do it and given a clean bill of health by a vet. You can then progress to another person at the other side of the bed with a treat and encourage her to fly to them. You should also encourage her to be as active as possible, playing with toys, climbing etc.
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Q2: Why does my Meyer’s, Abe, like to dunk his pellets into water before he eats them? Is it to make them soft?
A: This is normal behaviour in birds, to soften food – especially foods that are harder like pellets. Some birds are dunkers, and some aren’t. I have a Cockatoo who dunks everything. Check the bird’s beak and make sure it’s not too long or cracked though, as this could be a reason they dunk too. (My bird had a scissor beak for a while and I think that’s why he may have gotten into the habit.) If the beak is normal, then it’s just the bird’s preference, like people who dunk cookies in milk. Some do, and some don’t. It’s just a matter of taste.
Q3: What temperature is good for Parrots living in the home? Is it different for different species? I have Lovebirds.
A: Most pet birds’ comfort range is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can cope with a much broader range, however, of 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit depending on a number of factors, how acclimatised to the conditions which are wind chill factor, breeze, shade, shelter, availability of water, food and general health. What birds don’t tolerate as well is sudden changes in temperature and conditions.
A bird living indoors would not do well if put in an exposed aviary in winter for example. In a home situation the main temperature issued would be if a bird was in a south facing conservatory in hot sun or directly in front of a window. This could cause over heating rapidly. In winter in a house they would normally be fine with normal heating and not exposed to very bad draughty areas, again such as an unheated conservatory.
Q4: Do female CAGs lay eggs without a male. If so approximately when does this happen?
A: Yes, a female CAG or any female Parrot can lay eggs without a male being present. The eggs will obviously be infertile and never produce chicks. They most often lay in early spring although in captivity if the hen perceives conditions to be right they can lay anytime.
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