Written by local expert Brenda Bean Fancy Feathers/Parrot Productions

Written by local expert Brenda Bean Fancy Feathers/Parrot Productions
Adult birds are intelligent creatures. Be aware of the species’ mannerisms BEFORE you purchase. It is UNFAIR AND DETRIMENTAL for these creatures to be taken home only to be returned or sold again because you were uninformed.
Adult parrots require a longer period to settle into a new home. Change is ALWAYS difficult and sometimes frightening. Like any human child, you may foster or adopt, these adult parrots may come with baggage. Baby parrots have no baggage, but an older bird may have been abused or neglected or it may have never learned manners. All these issues can be resolved with knowledge, patience, and the correct reinforcement. Each bird is different. Call for help
It is ALWAYS a good idea to quarantine any new bird before introducing it to your existing flock. Parrots will not show signs of an illness until they are quite sick—well beyond the contagion phase. No one wants to introduce an illness to existing pets. Treat new birds as if they are contagious, using proper quarantine measures… hand washing before and after handling; housed in a separate area of the home; and, no sharing of toys and spaces.
When adopting an older bird, you need to give it a little time to observe how your household works. Coming out of the cage may be a challenge. If so, please be patient but FIRM. It is better to wait until the bird has observed your household before attempting to get the bird out of the cage. Spend this time sitting next to the cage and offering treats. If the bird shows aggression when you open the cage door, sit with the door open to acclimate the bird to no barrier.
Exiting the cage may be a problem. In a new environment, with everything different, a parrot may feel safer inside the cage. It is better to talk slowly and in a low voice before slowly offering your hand for the bird to step onto. Most older parrots know the “Step Up” command. Distractions by children and pets will increase the bird’s desire to stay safe inside a cage. Remember, birds step UP not down so the position of your hand is crucial. Place your hand at the top of the bird’s legs for a good step up. Even though the thought of getting a nip may make you leery and hesitant, it is important for you to display a confident alpha persona when offering your hand to step on. If you are afraid…. The bird will be afraid. Sometimes covering your hand with a towel will make you braver and the birdless likely to absorb your energy.
If the bird refuses to step onto your hand (covered or bare) and leave the cage, you must take a towel and physically remove the bird from the cage. Allowing the bird to remain in the cage is rewarding bad behavior. If allowed, the behavior will become a habit and become an issue over time. “Toweling” a bird is not cruel or excessive. It only shows the bird you are in charge. Many times, birds become accustomed to being toweled and stop fighting, submitting to grooming or scratches from their owners. Always keep a towel nearby in case of emergencies. An injured bird will bite hard. The towel will enable examination of any wound, etc.
TRUST is never given immediately. Be patient, move slowly, and give your new friend time to become acquainted with you, how you move, and your household. BAD MANNERS, however, must be dealt with immediately. Some older parrots will not want to go back inside the cage. They will fly down, crawl up your arm to your shoulder, and/or nip you to avoid going back inside the cage. Some older parrots will scream to get attention. There are many ways to deal with these mannerisms. Do not give up on a friend because there are times you don’t get along. Just call me.
NEVER give chocolate or avocado. Limit salt, sugar, and everything that you would not give a baby human. Birds do not dig in the ground to get to root vegetables in the wild –so they should be very limited in the offerings, i.e.: onions, potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, turnips. Otherwise, an omnivore can eat a little bit of everything you eat. Offer a bite of your hamburger, a spoon full of your oatmeal, a taste of your roast, chicken, or any other meat you are having for dinner. If you feed your bird when you sit down to eat, they will be entertained while you eat your dinner in peace.
There is much out there on the internet. Remember you can make a better choice if you have more information. Use your common sense and gather several sources of information before forming your own opinion.
Having a parrot means you must avoid non-stick pans (the fumes from these will kill your bird). And avoid chemicals: insecticides, paint fumes, cleaning chemicals, self-cleaning ovens must only be done when you have removed the bird from the home. If you can smell it: it is not good for your bird.
Fancy Feathers has MOVED!!! We are now located at 1895 Beaver Ridge Circle, Norcross, Georgia 30071.