ANNIE THE GROOMER



In home Grooming

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ENVIRONMENT

Ribbon wood hanging, floor & tabletop play gyms


Environment


Cage should be about chest height – not too high (dominant position) or too low (causes insecurity).  Variety of perches, diameter, angles and materials, helps to exercise feet.  Non-toxic natural branches are great.  Introduce toys gradually to shy birds, placing in room, then closer to the cage until they become used to them.  Birds are especially sensitive to chemicals & cleaners with fumes.
WARNING:  fumes from non-stick pans can kill birds in minutes!


Grooming


Bathe at least once weekly or even daily, in shower, sink or with a plant mister.  Nails and wings should be trimmed every 2 - 4 months.  


diet


Minimize seed:  Hook-bill safflower based seed mix, no sunflower.  
Maximize vegetables:  broccoli, carrots, peppers, squash, sweet potato, kale.  Iceberg lettuce causes calcium deficiency.
Fruit: anything except avocado (which is toxic to birds!)  Avoid pits and apple seeds. 
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.  
Whole grain breads, corn bread, pasta dry or cooked.
Protein:  Cooked eggs and lean meat in small quantities, cooked beans & rice.  Do not allow food to spoil, especially eggs & chicken.
Pelleted diets:  ZuPreem & Kaytee Exact for example.  Free-feed.
Keep offering:  I’ve seen birds take up to a year to try new foods.

Supplements:  Powdered vitamins over the food are best (may not be needed if your bird’s primary diet consists of pellets). I recommend Avia Vitamins sprinkled lightly like salt over food, 3-7 days per week depending on quality of intake.  (If your bird only eats seed, use daily).  I do not recommend water vitamins as they may limit water intake, mess up feathers if bird bathes in water & nutrients are best absorbed with food.  African Greys, Blue Front Amazons & egg-laying females need calcium, phosphorus & vitamin D.  I recommend Superminee, or at least CaP powder and direct sunshine several times per week.


Behavior


Parrots will behave dominantly if allowed on or above shoulders.  Train to step up onto hands as well as a perch.  Misbehavior may be disciplined with a timeout in the bathtub.  Do not react to screaming as this will reinforce it.  Think carefully before training your bird to make sounds which may later be undesirable.  Birds are very intuitive, do not overreact emotionally (even in your mind) to unwanted behavior (ex. Feather picking).