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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone here ever co-parented with parrotlets?

I am in the process of training all of my birds - particularly my parrotlet breeders so that they will strive to constantly please me!

I have hand reared parrots for a few years now, and have decided it's just not fair to the parents. But I have chatted with a number of people that are co-parenting with lovebirds, macaws, African greys, so forth and having excellent results with the offspring.

SO that is my plan, to set them up for breeding again once we are all ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Co-parenting is where you allow the parents to fully raise their babies; but, you interact daily with the chicks and parents from day one. Early on you just handle chicks to do a daily exam and weigh them, talk to them, cuddle and pet, so forth. The parents can come out too if they like. Some people choose to feed the babies while they play with them, taking turns with mom and dad. But mom and dad raise them through fledging and weaning.

The offspring can learn behaviors that we as people are unable to teach them. Behaviorists I know that have worked with many parrots of all kinds (hand reared, parent raised, co-parented, wild caught) say that those that have biting problems or feather picking always are the hand reared ones!

Here is a link to a co-parenting article:
http://www.birdcompanions.com/_FCA Co-parenting with Companion Sun Conures 2005 2.pdf

Another very important consideration - these parent birds that constantly try to raise a family and always have it ripped away from them.
 

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Very interesting!

This may explain some of my birds' issues. My birds are not nippy but my boy plucks (only the green feathers) himself and occasionally his sister! Actually his sister helps him pluck occasionally as well. Initially my wife and I were upset by this, thinking we did something wrong. We have since come to realize the birds are happy and healthy, they just pluck.

Thanks Andrea,

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, not forever. In the wild I believe the offspring would eventually form their own little flock. I don't know, I don't have any studies on parrotlets in the wild. The idea is to allow the parents to raise the babes past weaning until they have taught them to eat and play lots!

So far as the picking goes, I have a great thread on my forum about feather picking. I find it sad that it is often perceived as normal, but it really isn't. Are you certain he is not just molting? The small bird molt pretty often and as they preen you will notice some feathers come loose.

Humidity is important - 60%-70% is ideal for their needs. Showering/misting three times a day is helpful to a feather picking bird.

I'll start a new topic with more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have not yet co-parented and don't have first hand experience. But those thta have done this say they are equally as sweet, silly tame and friendly as a hand reared parrot. Just a little more easy going, flock better around other birds and less prone to behavioral problems.

I see a lot of behavioral issues in my work and all of my clients have been hand reared :(

I am, however, working with two parent raised lovebirds right now. In two days time they already were learning to trust me. They are both flighted and I allowed them to be that way. I've been training and doing everything I can to maintain or develop trust - always avoiding any scenario that would make us go a step backwards. With these two, I have one hand reared lovebird. Rudy (hand reared) and the younger of the two p/r (parent raised) are just as sweet as the other. The eldest, Shiloh (maybe 7 1/2 weeks old) is very curious and will step up and fly to my hand. Starting to accept treats by hand.

In any event, the parents got to raise babies as they wanted, but were accustomed to their babies being pulled and plucked them some towards the end. :( But, the chicks learned things from their parents I could not have taught them and now they are learning what fun the human world is!
 

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Andrea,

As he's been a grey fuzzball for a few years, it's more than just a molt. He recently decided to pull his tail out :rolleyes: amazingly, he flies just fine! He's been to the avian vet a number of times over the years and he always gets a clean bill of health.

I'll let my wife know about your suggestions.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A client of mine has a plucking cockatoo. They took him to a vet that sees birds, she sent him home with steroids.

They took him to a board certified avian vet next, after deciding NOT to use the steroids. The avian vet found bacteria in an air sac...the exact location he was picking! He plucked around the area as well, but you could definitley see the central location.
 

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hi i have co-parented a kakariki a few times my pair the female rosie was hand reared and the male dobber sorry about the name :D his just daft they trust me near the nest box and are used to nest box inspections they are used to letting me handle the chicks they seem to turn out into very tame chicks its worth a go 9f you parrotlets trust you
 

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Wow - Andrea I just saw this thread - I've read were parent raised birds have far less issues than the hand raised and that a lot of breeders now are switching to co-parenting. It will be interesting to see how it works with Parrotlets.

Also give up some of the training tips you use with the Lovebirds :)

I have a 3-month-old female Parrotlet that was hand raised but not very tame. I've had her just over a month and would love some tips.

A little background:
I have a tame, under a year old male and I use him to get to her. She has bonded to him [although they live in separate cages] on their 'out together time' I interact with him to get close to her. She now is not fearful of me [with the exception of hands] She will climb all over me, actually preferring to sit on me than on the floor. She will eat as my fingers are pretending to eat the same food as her - will sit on my shoulder and arm and will step up as long as I have a towel wrapped around my hand. She will at times take food from my fingers but very wary of it and will come up to the bars of her cage when talked to and nipple on my fingers through the bars. All that being said, she still isn't sure about the hand.

I didn't want to do the typical training of taking her into an unfamiliar room - etc - I wanted to let her come around on her own by copying him - its working so far but thought if you have any extra tips you use with the lovebirds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My best tip - Ann Castro's book!! "The bird school. Clicker training for parrots and other birds. Also covering taming and flighted birds" is truly what has given me the best insight for effectively working with birds like this. In the past, before learning her methods, I had tamed other birds (even a few of my hand reared parrotlets did become "untame) but the other methods were very slow going and I became frustrated and impatient.

It sounds like you have made some excellent progress though! We had a recent thread about the clicker training, I'll link it if you have trouble locating it.
 

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Andrea - That is sad. I assumed that only some chicks would be pulled and the parents would raise the rest. Talk about stressing the parents out :(

After pulling the chicks it probably entices the parents to go to nest again and therefore increase the breeder’s profits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Most breeders pull all of the babies. I did this for a couple of years just thinking that is what I was supposed to do. I was told it was the only way the offspring would be nice. As time went on it became more and more difficult for me, to the point I stopped giving my parrotlets a box for breeding. We have not had any babies since last fall from them. That is when I started meeting people that co-parent, and it opened my eyes very wide!
 
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