A bird called Kitty. Journal of my Caique Parrot - 2nd Parrot Arrives!

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by ItsDanK, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    Caiques.

    Before getting one, I didn't even know what one was. It all started when I decided I wanted a bird for a pet but I didn't really want a noisy, unintelligent, caged cute thing.

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    I wanted something with some shred of intelligence so when I started looking for "intelligent birds" the same parrots kept coming up. Besides your typically massive African Greys, Caiques seemed to be a viable alternative.

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    Kitty sleeping on her back, she does this, a lot.

    Billed as having the intelligence of a small child, these cute little fluff balls typically outlive most pets with an average captivity life cycle of around 50 plus years. If she does indeed stay healthy, this bird may outlive me!



    Kitty learns to "roll over".

    Easy to train, I quickly got over the cliche tricks like "rolling over" and taught her more useful things like "come here" and toilet training her. As mentioned, the bird is fairly intelligent and it took all of 2 to 3 months to train her.



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    It's been almost 2 years since we got her now and she's a staple in the house. Unlike most birds, she sleeps inside with us in her own little hammock and generally spends her time running around the house.

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    She is not a fussy eater and will eat most of the things we eat and the left over parts of fruit we won't. I'll use this journal to post photos of her progress as she gets older, smarter and infinitely cheekier :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  2. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    [​IMG]
    Kitty discovering what parrot paradise looks like.

    I've started to bulk buy seeds for her because you save more than 50%. Bought a cheap bin from the reject shop to put all of it in so now I just have to scoop it in.


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    Modded the cage to include a cafe tidy seed catcher, hanging seed feeder, toys, toys and more toys. Now to go for a walk to find the perfect branches!

    Those who have owned parrots know that the traditional feeder bowls are rubbish because it's just natural behaviour for the bird to flick old seeds out of the way in search of new ones. The cage tidy goes all the way under the cage and is a great way to reduce mess whilst the new feeder allows Kitty to search for her favourite seeds without producing mess. It also mounts outside the cage which is a space saver meaning she has more room to play.

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    The discarded seeds end up on the bottom whilst the new ones stay at the front. It's pretty awesome. Simple yet effective innovation.
     
  3. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    Took the bird out for a picnic :)

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  4. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Do you clip her wings?
     
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    I didn't use to and she would fly around the house quite a bit but it got to the point where it was far too difficult to find a balance between her being able to fly but generate no lift and not fly at all.

    At the end of the day I decided that the ability to take her outside and with us wherever we go was far more beneficial to her than simply having the freedom to fly and it just means we can take her everywhere with us without worrying about her flying onto the road.

    She's an expert climber so it hasn't taken too much away from her explorations around the house :)
     
  6. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

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    Interested to know where you got yours from?

    Does it attack any cables or furniture in general?
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Thanks. My adopted galah's wings are clipped, it's hard to know what to do when they grow back. I'd like her to be "normal", but I don't want her to fly away never to be seen again. I was wondering with Kitty sitting in the park whether she was capable of flying off if she was startled. I suppose there are other hazards from not being able to fly away from say, a dog or something.
     
  8. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    Oddly enough it's not so much other pets that worry Kitty, it's bigger birds. Because of this, her being able to fly outside is more of a hazard than anything else because basically, I won't be able to help defend her.

    I tried making my own bird harness but in the end I just clipped her wings and she just walks everywhere now :)
     
  9. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I have bought a harness, but I haven't got up to introducing her to it yet.
     
  10. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    I can pretty much guarantee that she won't like it and it doesn't do anything if you're not holding the harness all the time.

    If that's the case, clipping is better as she will be able to run around without the strings attached :)
     
  11. Ih8brokenipods

    Ih8brokenipods (Banned or Deleted)

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    Just an FYI, seed is bad for birds, has very little nutrients, you should seriously consider moving to a pellet diet such as nutrifarm, gives a better all round nutrient source, and eliminates the risk of low calcium intake (which is common on birds with seed only diets, which can cause all sorts of problems later on down the track) not to mention sunflower seeds are full of fatty oils.
     
  12. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    Whilst she does have her seed tray, I have a frozen batch diced carrots, corn and peas which I buy from the super market. A quick pour of boiling water on it in the morning and either an apple or some grapes makes up her standard meal. When we have dinner, she will generally eat whatever we do be it rice or the vege component of our meal.

    As weird as it sounds, I'm not a big fan of the pellets as I just don't know what's in there and how good it really is for the bird.
     
  13. Ih8brokenipods

    Ih8brokenipods (Banned or Deleted)

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    Its no different to seed, you only need to speak to a avarian vet to understand why.

    Besides the few pellet mixes you can get have an ingredient list and exactly whats in the pellet.

    This is what i used to feed to my Cockatiel

    http://vetafarm.com.au/product/maintenance-pellets/

    Gives you a breakdown on exactly whats in it etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  14. svendenhowser

    svendenhowser Member

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    The above posters are right... I am a vet and a vet who has a major interest in avian medicine/surgery. Seeds are majorly deficient in pretty much everything, they contain fats and carbohydrates and very little else.. Some seed manufacturers put in little pellets of "multivitamins" which the birds may play with, but don't eat. Birds also usually have a favourite, which they will pick out (selective eating, often millet or sunflower), further decreasing the nutritional spectrum of their diet.

    Pellets (at least the major brands - roudybush, vetafarm, dr macs, etc) have all the nutrients we know of at this stage that birds require in their diet. I do say "at this stage" because science and knowledge is ever evolving and what we think is best today, might not be whats best tomorrow, but we know for sure that a primarily pellet based diet is much more nutritionally adequate than a primarily seed based diet. There's also no chance of selective eating as they are an extruded pellet.

    Just a couple of major problems we see with seed diets - hypovitaminosis A (a MAJOR problem with birds), hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver syndrome), diabetes, lipomas, decreased immune function, I could go on.. These problems HALVE the lifespan of birds (not kidding at all here..)

    As for veges, carrot is ok (not the best..), but peas/corn are full of sugar.. Try things like broccoli, chillies (birds LOVE chillies!), capsicum, etc. Limit fruits too (again for the sugar content). I would do 60/40 split pellets/low sugar veges. Also look at foraging if you aren't already, as you know caiques are quite smart and require extensive mental stimulation.
     
  15. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    Food for thought, which pellets in particular would you recommend for a bird of her size and can I purchase a small amount whilst I try and ween her onto it?
     
  16. phrosty-boi

    phrosty-boi Member

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    svenden is dead right, we got the same information from our bird vet in melbourne (we have budgies and tiels)

    they suggested we try pretty bird pellets which are similar to the vetafarm ones (we tried vetafarm and they didnt like them)

    the ones we use are called daily select, problem is they are harder to find than vetafarm, we also have ours on passwell crumbles as well

    we also give seed and vegies, the vet recommended seed not be completely taken away but just in smaller quantities
     
  17. wordplay

    wordplay Member

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    could you tell me where you got the feeder tray please?
     
  18. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    This is the Feeder tray and this is the cage tidy thing.

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    Used some bird wash we got from a local pet store as normal soap is not recommended. Usually we just use water and take her into the shower with us but I fed her blackberries as a treat and she was almost a mild pink by the end of it.
     
  19. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    So, do all the seed husks just stay in the feeder and you have to empty the whole thing?
     
  20. OP
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    ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

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    If your bird is hungry, generally she will flick the seed husks to that lower part in search of new seed. If you don't overfill the tray you'll generally find that the majority of it is just seed husks or seeds that the bird doesn't favor.
     

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