Bringing Baby Home
Bringing a new parrot baby home is exciting! But you need to remember that is also very scary for them. They are leaving the comfort of their home, siblings and people. A baby will bite when scared. This is a sign to stop what you are doing and give them more time and respect. Never force a baby in a new situation. Remember to move slowly and allow them to observe new surroundings. Let them settle in with some familiar food and allow them to adjust.
First impressions are important when it comes to baby parrots and trust. You are going to want to handle and snuggle your baby because, after all, you have been waiting so long for him/her to come home! This is overwhelming to your new baby and the first week is going to be hard for both of you, but if you show restraint, your baby will trust you and soon be asking for your attention. Stay the course- it is worth it!
Do's and Don'ts for that first week, until they settle in:
Do not force baby into situations they are scared of.
Do not grab baby to come out of cage.
Do not handle a lot (touching or petting, holding on hand is fine).
Do not punish for biting- it was your fault!
Do talk gently and sing.
Do move slowly.
Do let baby observe everyday household events.
Do offer food from hands.
Do offer for baby to come out of cage by stepping up on your hand.
Do handle in a quiet stress free environment.
When looking to add a new feathered baby to your family, socialization is vital. Say you shopped around for a "good deal" on a baby bird and bring it home to find that it is not used to noise, afraid of the shower, refuses fresh foods and pellets. If not socialized properly, some birds can be very aggressive, even as babies!
We work hard to expose our babies to a variety of situations. We have a check list that we go through. We try to think of everything that will help your baby be a well-adjusted member of your family. Once you bring a baby home, you should continue to practice these socialization techniques.
- Held and cuddled regularly from a young age.
- Hands (pet, play, feed) inside brooders/cages often, to combat potential cage aggression.
- Touch feet and beak, spread out wings, turn upside down in hand.
- Have people of all ages handle.
- Go on car rides.
- Visit public places.
- Use vacuum around.
- Have children and dogs running around.
- Use a shower perch.
- Introduce a flight harness.
- Give a variety of fresh foods to try.
- Introduce toys and balls.
- Used to outdoors (weather permitting).
- Eat food out of hands.
- Learn commands like "step up" and "step down".
Your baby is used to getting fresh food every morning, mainly sprouts. It is recommended to place 2-3 feeding stations in your baby's cage. Use a heavy bowl or crock on the cage bottom for one station, as they might still be reluctant to feed from upper dishes. If you are using a water bottle, place a water dish in the cage as well until you know for sure your baby is drinking from it. Remember to check your water bottle valve daily, as they can become stuck.
It is normal for your baby (especially female Eclectus) to vocalize when they hear food preparation going on. Unless it is a frantic, reoccurring scream, there is no problem. This tends to be a Pavlov's dog phenomenon that will fade. Before a baby goes home, we continue formula feeding until they refuse it for an extended period of time. A newly weaned baby will vocalize and then refuse formula when it is offered.
Allow your baby plenty of sleep. 12 hours is good. They get cranky, too!