After writing my article on How to care for your Quaker parrot, I have received many inquiries about the behavior and health of parrots. This article is an attempt to answer some of them, including some common problems like feather plucking, biting, boredom, noise, identifying serious illnesses, and how to train your pet to develop a good relationship. These tips will help keep your parrot healthy and happy for years to come, and a happy and healthy parrot means a happy owner.
Help, my parrot bites
Parrot bites can be a serious problem: it is the most frequent reason why a person subjects their pet to a diet. Therefore, it is also a behavior that needs to be addressed immediately. There are a number of reasons why a bird may start to bite, so it is vital to identify why your bird has initiated this behavior. Four of the most common reasons are:
- Assault: This is where the bird expresses its dominance over you.
- Territorial: This is a natural occurrence in the Quaker bird. In nature, they are defenders of their homes. This Behavior tends to turn towards its cages, and will avidly defend its territory.
- Fear: This can happen with very fast movements of yours or something near you that scares the bird.
- Hormonal behavior: Yes, birds do exhibit hormones, and can even get cranky and bite during this time.
my parrot is noisy
Parrots use vocalization as a means of communication. In the flock of wild parrots, we become the flock of our home. Parrots will communicate with us just as they do with their flock in the wild. The problem is when our pet becomes excessively noisy or squeals.
Special Tips: Noise Reduction
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Are they not getting enough attention? When we carry out our daily activities, do we include our Parrot as part of the flock? Otherwise, a bird will try to locate its community by screaming, and when ignored, it will scream louder.
- Exercise is helpful in helping your pet expend some nervous energy. Have a separate area such as a play gym where your pet can play; we also have a portable perch to bring Levi into the room we’re in, so he feels like part of the herd.
- Get toys for your pet to interact and maintain a revitalizing environment to help with boredom.
- Train your parrot and give it attention: spending time will alleviate many behaviors.
- Evaluate the area in which you have the cage. Is it a very active area with the tv blaring or kids running around? You might consider moving the cage to a quieter area of your home.
- Use positive reinforcement. When your parrot is noisy, move away; when it’s quiet for 5-10 seconds, come back and say hello to your pet. He will soon see that the volume does not draw you to him.
- Never hit its cage, throw things at it, yell, or yell at your parrot. Be calm and gentle with your feathered friend.
A routine to calm your Quaker
You will probably find that talking is part of your routine, which should be allowed. At some point, birds tend to vocalize more. Our mascot Levi is very talkative in the morning and she will announce her desire to reveal herself by talking non-stop. When he’s tired, he sulks and yells loudly until we cover him up and say goodnight. His way of telling us it’s bedtime usually happens around 7:00 pm These are regular parts of Levi’s routine. Observing your Quakers will help you with natural routines that will help calm your pet.
toys to destroy
A Quaker parrot is expected to preen the feathers and pick out broken or damaged feathers; keeps your bird looking healthy. Pulling too much can be a sign of something much more serious. Excessive pulling is identified by bald spots on a bird, often in the chest area. However, it can be anywhere on the bird. Doing this repeatedly can even leave areas of bleeding or tissue injury.
Plucking can be very difficult to stop in a bird, but you can identify why your pet is doing it with careful observation and monitoring.
Why are the feathers plucked?
Analyzing your pet can help you figure out why your pet is plucking. The following list, although not inclusive, may help. If you can figure it out, you might be able to fix it.
- Boredom: lack of toys, insufficient food items, insufficient integration with family members.
- Fear: loud noises, something scary inside the room or outside a nearby window.
- Disease: Is there a change in the diet or a change in the general appearance of your parrot?
- Hormones: A pet will often become attached to its owner. Is there a new person in your life?
- Improper diet: Please see my other article for diet tips.
- Parasites: There are several types of mites, ticks and bird lice that can cause great discomfort to your pet.
- Sleep deprivation: Is your house or apartment active day and night?
- Is there another pet in the house that is threatening the bird?
- Loud noises in the room or on the other side of the wall.
Also, look at different times of the day to give you clues as to what might be causing your bird to pluck.
Is your bird bored?
Quakers are curious birds and need a variety of toys to keep them occupied. Sitting in an empty cage or in a cage where your pet is no longer interested in toys can cause it to pluck its feathers, just out of boredom.
With my pet Levi, we have several toys that we rotate in and out of his cage. Toys keep him happy and busy. Some of the toys are there to destroy as Quakers seem to like to do this, like wooden toys or puzzles. Others make him think by making him work to get something out of the toy. Some of her favorites are a toy that can hold paper or treats – she’ll spend hours emptying it – and another toy has parts that can be moved, twisted or shaken. It is very important to have a stimulating environment for your Quaker.
One of Levi’s favorite toys
fatty liver disease
The diet of our birds is of paramount importance and due to their fast metabolic rate, birds quickly develop malnutrition. The results are often devastating; that is why a parrot needs a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, supplemental pellets and seeds.
Birds can quickly become “seed addicts” and choose only one seed that they like to eat. For a Quaker, it’s often the high-fat sunflower seed.
When a bird’s diet is too high in fat, the fat will travel through the bloodstream, resulting in fat deposits that make the bird appear obese. Over time, the fat will be deposited in the liver and inhibit liver function, or fatty liver disease. It is often difficult to get a bird to change its diet voluntarily, and this alone will require consultation with someone skilled in parrot care.
Signs of fatty liver disease
- Obesity: An overweight bird will often have fat deposited in the chest and abdominal area.
- Too big beef: A bird’s beak can be trimmed, but when it appears to be growing abnormally or unevenly, it can often be a sign of a poor diet.
- Black spots on bill and toenails: Often these are late signs, but blackheads are areas of bleeding. These begin to occur when the liver is failing and the clotting factor in the bird is compromised.
- Enlarged fatty liver: This can only be diagnosed by a vet and is often diagnosed with a fecal sample.
The first command to teach your Quaker
Train your Quaker to “step up”
Just as teaching a puppy to sit is the first command, teaching a bird to stand is one of the first commands you should teach your parrot. This command will help you quickly get your pet out of its cage or out of a dangerous area. The training is completed with the hand to get on or with a stick that is specifically for the parrot to get on and take it out of its cage or other area.
We start out using our hands and can eventually add a stick if we wish. This can be an easy task, but if you find your pet is ignoring you or biting your hand, start by teaching him not to fear your hand by offering him treats and rewarding him when he approaches your hand. Once the Quaker is no longer afraid of your hand, training can begin.
As with training any pet, sessions should be short, usually no more than 15 minutes. Patience is the key to training, so make sure you spend that time with your pet without getting irritated. Have fun with your pet, and you will both be rewarded.
- First, have your bird take treats from your hand.
- Next, bring your hand on the step closer to the bird, holding it in front of the quaker a little higher, so that it has to climb on it. Offer him a treat for allowing this action.
- Once you get used to the step-up hand, gently push it towards your chest, while using the command of your choice. “Step Up” or “Up” either command is fine; just use it consistently.
- When your Quaker approaches, offer him a treat. You can give him a treat for putting one foot up. Do this consistently for the escalating behavior.
- After your Quaker consistently climbs on command, you can begin to teach your bird to climb by going up and placing another item for it to climb as if it were climbing a ladder.
Some owners will use an object to get the Quaker out of its cage. It can be a perch or training stick, as Quakers can be territorial in their cage. Levi, my parrot, sometimes it’s hard to get out of his cage. A hanger has helped him. We use this to get him to step up and out of his cage; It’s a charmer once out of its territory.
By teaching your parrot this basic command, you will find that it will help you establish a great relationship between you and your pet.
Our Blue Quaker Levi continues to be an essential part of our family. With care and work, you will be able to enjoy your Parrot for many years. Pay attention to signs of illness and include your parrot as part of your family, and you too can enjoy the Quaker parrot antics. If you have any further questions feel free to ask me and we can see if we can help you and your pet live happily together.