We have received a lot of questions from our customers recently, and Sheila and Margaret from Feathered Friends have kindly taken the time to answer some of them for us.
Here are all the questions we’ve received so far.
This first question was from Keltaosa on Twitter.
Q1. How warm weather is warm enough for an Amazon Parrot to go out? (We live in Finland)
A: Birds will acclimatise to the weather around them. I personally don't take my birds out if the temperature is under 10c as my flock prefer it a little warmer. If you are taking your bird out in hot weather always make sure they have a shaded area and have plenty of fluids and fresh fruit to keep the hydrated.
It has been said a Parrot’s comfort temperature is between 65f - 80f but they can withstand temperatures between 40 - 90f. A chance to bath in water is welcomed in warm weather. A shallow bird bath in an aviary is a good addition.
In cold weather they need shelter from wind. Wind chill should be considered when deciding to take your bird outside. Birds are less able to cope with extreme sudden temperature changes
Our second and third questions were left as comments on our blog. Jill Sullivan asked:
Q2: My Sonny won't step up in the cage, he runs away as soon as my hand goes in. I’ve tried stick training and he still does everything to avoid contact.
He will step up if on the floor but then goes back into his cage on his own as soon as I stand up with him, I can't even get to do the ladder with him. I’ve only had him about 3 months and he came from a very busy noisy house with 3 big dogs who jumped at his cage and 2 cats.
I know he was terrified when I got him. I can now put my hand in the cage and he will take a treat from my hand and he also tries to feed my hand on occasion but I don't let him do that. Any advice on the next step to get him to step up in the cage? He's only 4 and I'm his 4th owner it's a shame for him.
A: Sonny has gone through a lot of changes and will need time and patience to adjust. It's important that he is allowed to come to your hand because he wants to and not because he has to. You have made progress by him taking treats from your hand through the cage bars.
The next step I would take is to get him taking them through the open cage door. Never follow him round the cage with your hand or stick If he moves away that means he is uncomfortable with the situation so you must withdraw to a distance he Is happy with , maybe going back to treats through the bars.
If you learn what is his most treasured treat you can keep it only for training sessions that should be kept short and at a time he is receptive , not when he's tired, preening, eating , playing with toys etc.
Once he's comfortable taking treats I would offer a treat with one hand while placing the other hand in front of it so he has to reach over your hand for the treat. Gradually I would increase the distance between hands do he must step on the hand to reach the treat.
You can replace your second hand without the treat with a stick if you wish. All this must be done at his pace with no force and positive reinforcement. I always allow my birds to come out of the cages themselves rather than asking to step up
Our final question was from Gerrard Leow.
Q3: Hi Barbara, recently I changed to a bigger cage for my Grey hoping to giving him a bigger space to play, but since the change, the Grey refuse to come out ...it starts to run around the cage when I approach it with my hand. Look forward to your kind advice.
A: Any change in your bird's environment can bring about change in behaviours. I would allow him to come out of his cage on his own, without asking to step up. Forcing the issue may lead to further problems. A cage should be viewed as his safe space. Simply open his door and go about watching tv, reading, etc.
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