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I haven't posted in a LONG time. My parrotlet Arabella is 9 old years and has been through hell, bird style.:mad:

She has always been a bit of a velcro bird, always wanting to sit on my shoulder. She has had her wings clipped when I first got her, but rapidly grew them back and I clipped them twice after that. When the clipping became a problem, because she ended up behind the furniture, I discontinued the practice.

There were no problems, because the only place she really wanted to be was on my shoulder. Then, trying to reach me in the kitchen one day, she ran into the fly paper I have over the garbage can. She lost some feathers when I unstuck her, and I had to use coconut oil to get the glue off her beak. At the time, I thought she was fine, other than no longer wanting to go into the kitchen, (a good thing!!!) Side note...I have a avian vet in the area, but I am on Social Security and living month to month, so there was no way a vet visit was possible.

Her beak started to disintegrate, dying off from the tip, cracking, and splitting. I thought she had been poisoned and that she would be dead soon. ...but she hung on! I trimmed the splitting overgrown areas with my jewelry wire cutters quite often, shaping her lower beak when it didn't match for her seed cracking needs. She was patient, and still wanted to get her skritches and to sit on my shoulder. I had handled her a lot when I first got her, so she was not upset to be upside down, or being restrained.

This happened back in February of 2020. Then she started laying eggs. I had a cockatiel die from being egg-bound when I was a teen, (LONG time ago), so I made sure to adjust the lighting, DARK, no nesting areas, only pets on the head. The problem was, I still had to hold her when I did the beak trimming. So she laid 3 more eggs.

Now, I had not done all the research on diet that i should have, and she had a cuttlebone in the cage that she ignored, a mineral block that she also ignored, and so her diet of ONLY seeds wasn't enough. She needed calcium! Being finally aware of this, I started research on diet. Amazing! Web sites, YouTube videos,(Bird Tricks is GREAT!), case studies... I read and watched them all.
So actually...I tried a piece of broccoli stuck in the cage bars. She DEVOURED it! Now...she has been egg-bound for 3 months, but the poops are huge, she is eating, flying, but a bit grumpy. I was sad, hopeful, frustrated, and sadder yet...BUT, after 4 days of the broccoli, she tried to pass the egg!

That was 48 hours of pure STRESS for both of us!!! I could see the pieces of shell, as evidently when she tried to pass it, it broke. So, every time she tried to pass it, I got out the Q-Tips, the coconut oil, and the tweezers. I flipped her over and removed, gently, the pieces of shell, then gently pushed her cloaca back in and used the oil generously. I did this 4 times!

I had originally placed her back in her cage, 3X3X5 foot, huge cage, but she didn't seem comfortable with the extra flying she had to do to get to her food and water. So, my next step was to get out the small, 6X5X10 INCH, cage, set it up with food, a perch, water dishes and put in a paper towel on the floor to cushion her feet and keep track of the poo. She wasn't interested in the seeds, but was chowing down on the broccoli. I upped the heat in my apartment, and covered her with a towel. Since I have to pee every hour and a half, I checked on her at the same time. When I saw the cloaca out, I knew to take her out and do an assist. Finally, it got to be a hard extrusion, so I oiled it up and "helped" her push. I got stuck partway out, but with the oil and the tweezers I finally got out an eraser-sized pellet of egg shell. After that last bit, her cloaca went back by itself, and I treated the area with oil and Argentyn23. (I researched it thoroughly!!!) She ate, rested, and drank a lot of water for the next 24 hours.

During this same few days, I had bought a LOT of veggies, chopped, diced, mixed...and froze them in 1/4 cup batches. (I also have an older cockatiel that is being transitioned to chop as well)

My chop is a mixture of: Carrots, Butternut squash, Bell Pepper, Lacinto Kale, Radish, Jalapenos, Parsley, Sweet Potatoes, Dandelion Greens, Broccoli, sprouts, and then I added the Steel Cut Oats, chia seed, flax seed, almonds, and a few sesame seeds.

The cockatiel was afraid of the veggies at first, but as of today is also chowing down! I do put a lot more of his regular seed mix into his chop.

Meanwhile, Arabella is taking more interest in being outside her cage, even willing to stay on the "playground" with her chop. (before I couldn't even get her to perch there for even 10 seconds!!!) The playground is in the front window of the apartment as gets some weak late morning sun though the blinds. She is still in the "hospital cage" and doesn't even enter her big cage. Of course, she has flying rights whenever the cockatiel is in his cage. But even that is better, as she would just attack him before. Now she kinda ignores him unless there is food involved...then it is ALL HERS! (I have to carefully supervise when both are out as she is a bully!)

Her beak is re-growing, I just got some calcium supplement to mix with her food as well. (The cockatiel regularly decimates a cuttlebone a month LOL)

I feel hopeful and thankful and SOOOO blessed!
 

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Welcome back! Amazing what your birdies have been through. Your parrotlet must be one tough bird! It is also amazing what a p'lett will eat when they put their mind to it. Broccoli is a very good fresh veggie for a parrotlet. I put a fresh floret of broccoli in my p'letts cage every day of their life! It was always eaten up.




Keep us posted on your daily life with your birds. We love to hear from you!


David and Vicki;):rolleyes:
 

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How awesome your parrotlet is recovering! And the chop you offer is just amazing. I have other bird breeds too - and one is an elderly budgie who will really only eat broccoli and his seed - so I've started lightly misting a spoonful of pellets with water each day for him just to get more nutrients into him and he's really getting into them.

My parrotlet has found another "birdie crack" that works even better than almonds! It's dried chili flakes. He'll select them over anything every time!

I can't have my parrotlet out at the same time as my other birds either. He WILL attack them. :(
 

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It sounds like you are taking great care of Arabella. Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable to feed to our parrotlets. Please be aware that there is a lot of incorrect avian nutrition information on the internet.
 

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So actually...I tried a piece of broccoli stuck in the cage bars. She DEVOURED it! BUT, after 4 days of the broccoli, she tried to pass the egg
Broccoli is a great source of calcium, so if she was eating a lot of broccoli for four days that probably provided her body with enough calcium to try and pass that egg. Providing her with broccoli through the cage bars, like David recommends, very well could have saved Arabella’s life. So, well done. Arabella (By the way, I LOVE her name) really has been through a lot. She is one tough little girl. Hopefully, she never goes through that again. Just keep an eye on her and watch out for any hormonal behaviors. I agree with AnimalKarperz, that is an amazing chop you are giving her and from the picture she really looks like she loves it. She is a cutie. You are doing a great job looking after your little girl. Some of us may not have been able to do what you did. I am so glad this ended happily. :)
 

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How awesome your parrotlet is recovering! And the chop you offer is just amazing. I have other bird breeds too - and one is an elderly budgie who will really only eat broccoli and his seed - so I've started lightly misting a spoonful of pellets with water each day for him just to get more nutrients into him and he's really getting into them.

My parrotlet has found another "birdie crack" that works even better than almonds! It's dried chili flakes. He'll select them over anything every time!

I can't have my parrotlet out at the same time as my other birds either. He WILL attack them. :(
Something about hot seeds, Jules gets quite possessive of Cayenne peppers. I heard once that it had to do with the number of taste sensors in their mouth. Something like they had fewer so it took the heat before they found it flavorful
 

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Something about hot seeds, Jules gets quite possessive of Cayenne peppers. I heard once that it had to do with the number of taste sensors in their mouth. Something like they had fewer so it took the heat before they found it flavorful

Ohhhh YESS! Mine loves, Loves LOVES his fresh "Birds Eye Chili" too ,,,, not sure what they're called in the USA but they're just hot peppers, about 1 & 1/2 inches long and usually a fire engine red colour, but have seen them in green.

I don't even like cutting them up, so Cayenne and Jalapeno are NEVER gonna happen :D They REALLY hit me hard - it's so bad, if my son cooks with them, I go to the other end of the house to breathe normally! So the dried ones are a god send!

I know it's the way birds process the capsaicin in them that they don't react as we would - but it's still hard to comprehend! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Arabella the parrotlet

I am SOOO stoked about your responses!

I am trying a new schedule...I am up at all hours, no schedule...napping, reading, playing computer games, cooking, you know...survival time. I am trying to keep the birdies to a "normal" schedule in hopes that that will de-sex LOL Arabella. So between the hours of 10 PM and 10 AM They are covered, but with the sides toward the window uncovered. So when the sun starts coming in the front window-they get the benefits but I can sleep through it LOL.

Anyway, this morning at 10, when I got up for my bathroom break, I uncovered them and put in about a tablespoon of chop to each of their dishes and went back to bed. At three, two bathroom breaks later, I went out to check on them as they heard me in the bathroom and Sassy, the cockatiel, was doing his Flock Call. BOTH food dishes were completely empty!!! After some discussion about wheat good birdies they were, I put their regular seed in and went back to bed, very pleased.

Now it is 10PM and they are napping on their perches, so it is time for the heavy blanket cover again.

Yes, the jalapeno seems to be a favorite as well, but I like the idea of the cracked red pepper. I will try it, too.

I have found that the YouTube Channel Bird Tricks is excellent, both for training ideas and dietary needs. I did a LOT of research and site comparisons, plus Common Sense. Yeah, there are so many conflicting ideas about bird care...

I am still having conflicting ideas about adding eggs to the diet. I have ground up cleaned egg shell, but people talk about scrambled egg being good, but I cook in coconut oil and can't think that the oil would be a good thing. Arabella has eaten egg yolk out of my hand, but I am STILL trying to find a treat that Sassy finds alluring enough that he would take it from my hand. He just looks at things sideways and says, "NO" in body language. (banana chips-unsweetened, almonds, broccoli, carrot, walnut,...) I want to do training, but can't find a lure! (He is not particularly enthused about millet spray from my hand either, and takes about a minute to decide it is worth it).

Another topic...Frozen blueberries... The diet right now does NOT have any fruit except for the unsweetened banana chips. I understand that the amounts need to be small (1-2 blueberries?) but I am not sure on how to present them to the birds besides thawed I have frozen strawberries as well. I have a nightmare in my head about Arabella, the food thrower, and blueberry stains LOL!!!

Oh, yes...Arabella has nibbled experimentally on the cuttlebone, since it is no longer in the holder and just shoved through the bars of the cage!!!
 

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I offer all my birds (a parrotlet, 2 budgies and a Bourkes at present) some boiled egg, once a week - sometimes every 2 weeks. They all love it. After about 4 hours, whatever hasn't been eaten, I remove.

Once upon a time, I did used to go to the trouble of keeping the egg shells, rinsing it, drying in the oven and grinding it up for my birds because we also have chickens, which are fed organic grains and can also use the shell ground up like that and sprinkled on their grains too (we live in the bush). I got lazy with the inside birds, and just bought cuttle instead. :p

I can't see why a thawed blueberry would be a problem. It may make a mess and stain feathers though. Have you thought about offering a thawed strawberry? From the chop you mentioned, I can't see why it would be nutritionally valuable - perhaps as a treat? I give mine the occasional piece of apple. One likes batons, one likes it finely grated the other will eat it any way and one isn't a fan. SO ... they only get apple if I feel like having one and sharing a bit LOL

My advice would be to just research heaps and cherry pick what is good and works for YOU and your bird/s - and places like this forum are a great way to establish what is what. After all, we are here for the love of the breed - not to sell anything :)

At the end of the day, we're just offering up our experiences and what has worked for us. :)
 

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Eggs are now only recommended to be offered to pet birds once a week or less due to the potential to cause atherosclerosis. That does not include egg shells though, which can be a source of calcium.

If you want to offer berries, another option is fresh if they are available where you are. Berries are low in calories, as well as high in antioxidants and other vitamins. Frozen fruit is a good choice as well and convenient. Strawberries can stain just like blueberries. Some people feed their bird foods that can stain inside a bird bath similar to this one, to contain the mess. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000HHS8QE/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Arabella update...

Arabella was sitting on my shoulder a couple of days ago while I was eating my fried egg brunch and she came down onto my arm and looked interested. I took a piece of the cooked white and blotted it VERY thoroughly on a paper towel. She was hissing at the paper towel LOL.

So I went and got her food dish that still had some morning veggies in it and brought it over to my space and offered her a bite of the egg with my fingers. She nibbled and came closer. (The egg bite was about as big as my thumbnail) I dropped it into her food dish and set her on the table. She was VERY enthusiastic as she decimated the entire piece of egg. (...and was careful to shake off the occasional piece of veggie that got on her beak!!!)

So as of last night she has been moved from the small cage into her big one. She is still not sure about the flying but she was getting territorial about the small cage, biting at me when I went to change the food dish and water dishes out.

I need to set up a ladder, as she is more into climbing around the cage rather than her usual flying. She is sleeping on her food dish this morning instead of her favorite perch. Maybe because I took the blanket off the top of the cage and it isn't "nesting" space any more. I am still trying to figure this egg/breeding/light thing out!!! LOL Gotta change ONE variable at a time, and right now it is the cover/don't cover that I am working on.

I live in a one bedroom apartment. I cannot put the cage in the bedroom-ALWAYS dark, always have the fan on.
The living room has an air conditioner that has a "draft corridor" that the cages can't be in, especially since I live in Florida and it is on continually. On top of that, I do not live with a schedule. If I have a jewelry piece I am working on, I will stay up for 18 hours, take 4 hours naps whenever, up at night, sleep at odd hours...not conducive to a 12 hour cover on the birds.

I tried setting a schedule for them to be covered for 12 hours...They didn't get their veggies, only the seeds in their cups, AND no interactions with me at all!!! NOT acceptable!!!

The apartment is quiet, the only sound is me occasionally typing and getting up to pee every 2 hours. LOL (that can be noisy with me groaning and muttering). Anyway...still working on this as you can tell...

Oh, yes...tried a blueberry, frozen and thawed. The cockatiel didn't touch it, Arabella ate around it-and I even had squished it! I will have to try a strawberry next.
 

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Maybe because I took the blanket off the top of the cage and it isn't "nesting" space any more. I am still trying to figure this egg/breeding/light thing out!!! LOL Gotta change ONE variable at a time, and right now it is the cover/don't cover that I am working on.
I tried setting a schedule for them to be covered for 12 hours...They didn't get their veggies, only the seeds in their cups, AND no interactions with me at all!!! NOT acceptable!!!
Is Arabella displaying any hormonal signs? If she is, then you do need to cover her up longer. You must decrease the amount of light she normally has to curb her hormone levels. I know that is hard because you will see less of her but remember this is just temporary. You do not want Arabella going through another life-threatening egg laying experience again, especially since you cannot get her to an avian vet. Please take the important steps to curb the hormonal behavior if that is what she is experiencing. When she is NOT having hormonal behavior, rearrange her cage regularly to discourage nesting behavior. No tent, happy huts or anything else cuddly. No over doing it on snuggling or scritches.

This is the two links to the How-to Discouraging Egg Laying by Minimizing Hormonal Behavior stickys. There is a list of what female hormonal behavior looks like. You only take these steps when Arabella is exhibiting any of them.

https://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=87547

https://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=87549
 

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Discussion Starter #14
According to past experiences with Arabella, she would have to be covered 24/7!!! But in looking over the sticky, "put your bird in a sleep cage and move it to an inner room of your home, such as a walk-in closet." I am going to try this!!! Just have to remember to bring her out... Hmmm...gonna set the alarm for 12 hours to start and try that!

None of the other list of things have to do with her. I have only skritched her head because I knew of the results before, but she does like to cuddle under my chin when we spend time together. The mating behaviors like regurgitating food, vent rubbing or tail lifting haven't been seen in her since the first time she tried the vent rubbing...I just put her back in her cage and ignored her for a week. Food and water, "pretty bird", and walk away. (and I felt so MEAN!!! but she hasn't done it since and that was 5 years and three eggs ago.) She is only grumpy if she has been out of her cage too long and is hungry/thirsty, but has never bitten me. Told me "NO" about coming out a few times, tho. But that is just refusing to step up when asked if she wants to come out.

The eggs she has laid have been on her perches and they just rolled off. She has only laid one egg at a time then another one about 4 months later. A couple of the perches in the big cage are 1 inch square pieces of hard wood. The other perches are wrapped ropes. I discovered after the last egg laying time that she had made a "nest" out of the end of one of those wrapped perches, shredding the covering and cuddling up next to the cage. She is so small it evidently didn't take much. Most of her time is spent on a shaped smaller perch that keeps her nails trimmed. (with a smooth top and rough sides) I need to get one for the cockatiel...his nails puncture my skin when he sits on my hand or shoulder!

She actually looks like she is preparing to lay another egg after she passed that last one. I have increased her calcium intake with a supplement in her greens and she has started nibbling on the cuttlebone. Also have to work on the full spectrum lighting...

Maybe she just like how the male cockatiel sings to her LOLOLOLOL!!! Their cages are right next to each other and he does get lyrical.
 
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