Parrotlets are adorable! They are only about 30 grams and a couple inches tall. They are active, friendly and curious!
I do a little Parrotlet breeding – well with Annie’s parents, I didn’t know that the parents should have some seeds in their diet, but not when they are feeding babies. This is because they regurgitate the seeds to the babies and the seeds can get stuck in their crop (an upper part of their neck where they store food).
So, when Annie was just 5 grams and only a couple days old, I had to take her out of her nest box and try to get her crop working again, try to get the seeds to pass so that her digestive system could go back to working unimpared.
A Lot Of Handling
I generally let parents raise the babies until they are around 10 to 14 days. I take them out and hand-feed so that the parrots become used to people; I want the babies to be friendly and loving so that people have an easy time falling in love and connecting with them because this increases the chances of people taking the best care possible of them.
Annie (and her brother Bun, who became a pet) was handled quite a bit. I also kept her in the nursery for the next nest of babies. In this role, an older ‘sibling’ helps me take care of the babies, shows them how to start to eat on their own and also shows them that I’m trustworthy. And Annie did a great job!
Annie Needed A Friend
One thing I love about parrots is that they tend to be good, loving and caring toward their flock. Whether they have one other parrot or several, they form a bond. Some parrots have a call that is unique to their flock, similar to a ‘secret handshake.’ They preen each other, feed each other and play together, especially with their best-feathered-friend, which can be a mate.
Annie took to me and is more oriented towards me than the other Parrotlets. This means that no matter who we put her with, she didn’t seem to ‘click’ well or be too happy. I thought she’d been happy with Chickoraffe, who grew up around the same time as she did, but my daughter thought Annie had attacked this sweet boy’s toes!
This morning Xelha, my daughter, brought Annie to me and said that Annie seemed unhappy in the aviary. We agreed to just let her be loose in the house for a while. When she is, she flies to my shoulder, hangs out on a perch or goes an eats – she gets free-reign.
I had placed Chickoraffe in the nursery, because he also doesn’t seem to belong anywhere. So, I decided to let him out.
Sure enough, a little later I found that Annie and Chickoraffe were with each other on a light. An empty cage happened to be available and open. A little later where I walked into the bird room, Annie and Chickoraffe were in the cage, next to each other, happily preening as if to say, “Yes, thanks, we’ll take this!”
Parrots (that are not emotionally scarred) tend to be loving first. There is nothing to forgive in their world. They find their buddy or mate and then they wouldn’t dream of doing anything other than loving each other and taking care of one-another.
Have a questions about parrots?
As the author of “The Parrot Bliss Bond,” I love and welcome questions about having a parrot and creating one of the best experiences of your life!
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