I got Jak towards the end of November in 2010 and I believe Koi came home in March of 2011. My parents got their pair of green cheek conures around February 2011. I have never sent them basics that I use with my birds. I figured they are grown ups and people differ on their parenting styles and I just let it sit at that.
A few months ago my mom asked if her birds were socially retarded. She claims that they aren’t doing a lot of the same things that my girls do and that one is still very, very shy. She can’t tell them apart. One parrot removes the food dish that hangs on the side of the cage so she just left it on the cage floor and I know that there make mounts that screw with wing nuts to the side of this cage because I use them myself.
That was where the frustration started with my mom. It also turns out they haven’t had a hidey this entire time. It also comes out that I sent them DNA kits months ago to get them sexed and find out if they have any females out of the two that could bring concern to watch for Egg Binding as they grow up. They also did not use ultraviolet lighting for them in the house. This greatly improves their mood and vision. I asked her, “how much light do they get?”… “about the same as I do”.
Dad has since given them full spectrum lighting.
They live fairly far away from a vet and were letting the birds go nuts in the house while out of the cage because they didn’t know how to clip the wings. I started showing pictures of my birds wings out and encouraging them to do it themselves to bring some of these behavioral fits out of their birds and get the birds out of the damn eaves of the inside of their five-sided log house in the woods.
I love my parents. It’s great that they liked that I was getting birds and decided it would add to their life during retirement…
… but I’ve had it.
Mom said their birds hump all the time. Mine never do that. I have two girls. Does this mean it’s more likely that at least one of her birds is male? Maybe. Maybe not. I wouldn’t know because she’s never done the tests AND I know with the experience in rodents and even watching my own two female parrots that there is such a thing as dominance humping, where the other one attempts to establish herself. I like to think of it as the Prison Bitch rule… Who’s at the top of the totem pole and whole is the bitch? That’s right; You’re the bitch (aggressive sexual advances) *shudder*.
She has also told me that she’s felt bad for them to have nothing to sleep in so she gave them a nesting box.
Providing birds with nesting boxes will only encourage them that it’s ok to lay eggs and you have the proper setting for it. You can turn on their biological clock that the setting is all ok for it so *egg* it’s all good. There are several risks in breeding any animals. Again the example goes to egg binding. If you don’t have sufficient levels of calcium you can’t produce a shell that has enough integrity to make it’s way out of your body. If you do lay eggs you need to have your calcium supplemented.
Basically I’m butting in at this point.
I have sent her a Happy Hut for sleeping and snuggling. There have been reports of injuries with Happy Huts. You do need to inspect them monthly for loose strings that your birds can snag their nails in. My girls get their nails cut almost monthly and the Happy Hut gets washed bimonthly. I have had no issues in the last 10 months using one.
I sent her Nutriberries for BRIBERY!!! *squeal*
Take control of your birds and teach them to interact with you. If you can’t make something fun enough to keep their attention, food is an excellent motivator.
I also sent Harrison’s Bird Bread for the babies. You can mix fruits and veggies into bird bread mixes. Oats, Quinoa, Cayenne, Cinnamon, dried pepper, Herbs… it’s so versatile. Another bribery tool.
What would you do? I think that I’ve left several things alone over a period of time that I am ok to do this. Mom says my birds are great from how I describe situations like having Koi Fish Monkey on her back and om nomming her tummy and poking her gently in the chest saying POOOOOooooooke and that she just lets me be silly with her and how I tell her to Kiss Your Bird and she’ll give Jak a smooch behind her ear, among other scenarios, and I don’t think it’s out of reach for people to be able to get more out of their birds.
I’m also going through my parrots’ and dog’s spare belongings to send a different box out to them in another week or two. They have 2 birds and 2 dogs.