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I recently became the owner of a 3 year old parrotlet, He doesn't like millet, fruits, veggies or any treats except a honey stick seed-type thing that was leftover from his (previous) cage and his seed mix. I am very concerned that he is poorly nourished. He was previously owned by my mom who is in hospice. I do believe he was a very poorly taken care of and that he was put to the side after she got sick and was not taken care of for at least the last year and a half or more.
He is terrified and doesn't like me or trust me at all. I would like any advice if you have had a rescue or an extremely picky eater. I am open to any suggestions or advice.
 

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Hello again! I didn’t realize you had another post - I replied to your introduction so some of my questions are answered here.

How long have you had him? Parrotlets do tend to bond to their human so if he was neglected while he was still in your Mom’s care during her illness, he will need lots of time to adjust to this new environment. Patience will be the key but I can tell how committed you are to him already.

i was surprised to hear he wouldn’t even try millet. It is indicative of the level of stress he is currently feeling. I think you should be very slow changing his diet - go at his pace. Right now, you will want to just let him adapt to his new surroundings and your physical presence.

One of the very first things you should do is make sure he’s getting adequate sleep. Do you know what his routine was before? Was he covered? Parrotlets typically need a good 10-12 hours of sleep and preferable in a dark, quiet room or covered. If he is freaking out when you’re around, consider covering his cage partially for a few hours from time to time to calm him. It will be like he is hidden in the canopy of the trees for him. As long as he’s eating for the moment (and drinking), that’s good. If you can get him to eat a good quality seed, that would be preferable.

What is his cage like? Parrotlets like to be at the highest point in their cages so a soft perch near the top will give him some confidence too. Just not too high that he’s crouching.

Kraken is in excellent hands now but you will need to be very patient. Let him observe you from a bit of a distance so he can start to learn your presence isn’t a threat. Avoid the desire to be too close too much for a little bit. Does he have any alone time or are you there full-time? Are there any other people in the house? If you’re there full-time, consider giving him little breaks from household activities at first, particularly if other people are around. Depending on how long he has been there already, all of this will be very Overwhelming. You want to keep the stimulation low for the first little bit and gradually build up to normal levels.

You may also want to consider taking him to an avian vet for a checkup. It will give you a baseline should you have any concerns in the future and your vet will have good advice for you on diet and nutrition. I know that it is a stressful thing to put him through, but it will give you important information about his current condition.

I said it in the previous post but I will say it again - what a lucky little bird to have landed with you. He will figure that out. Just give him time.

Looking forward to hearing more from you and Kraken!

Edit: I should also mention to keep an eye on his droppings. They should be firm with a greenish part surrounding a white part. Watery poops or discoloured poops can be indicative of illness. As these guys are excellent at hiding illness until they are very sick (an instinct from their wild heritage to protect them), keeping an eye on their droppings gives you a good window into their health. Kraken’s may be a little off if he is very scared, but it is another thing your vet will check.
 
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Seems that bad diet is a normal thing with rescues / hard luck birds. People lose interest then start feeding them the cheapest thing possible. Sadly some of the junk seed has a lot of stuff they should not have.
What brand seed is he on now? Ideally you want something with pellets as part of his feed. I have had a lot of luck with nutriberries as a transition or even a good nutrition food from just poor seed mix.
The terrified thing should resolve in time. Just make sure he can see you a bunch and be around you. Be kind and gentle and low voiced when talking to him and do not force yourself on him much. In time he will figure out you are not a parrotlet eating monster.
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. The best way to win these little guys over is with lots of love and patience. It is not that Kraken doesn’t like you - he just does not know you yet, and because he has been alone so much and had such little interaction with people, he has become wild and distrustful of people. That is normal behavior for prey animals like parrotlets. Because of their small size, their natural instinct is to flee anything they are not sure of. You are dealing with a very frightened bird who has lived in solitude and is now being thrown into an entirely new environment and new circumstances. The most important thing is to give Kraken time to get used to his new home and you. You need to take baby steps with him. I am sorry to hear about your mother. Being ill would make it very difficult to look after a bird. Kraken is very lucky he has you now.

As mentioned before, because you are dealing with a frightened bird, whenever you approach the cage, do it slowly, and if you see them backing away, do not go any closer (unless you are changing their food and water bowls, or cleaning the cage, of course.) When you are spending time with him, find a spot to sit that he is comfortable with, and from there, all your interactions should be gentle and nonthreatening. Talk to them in a soft voice and make no fast movements. It is important that you remain calm no matter how he is acting. Birds are highly sensitive and can pick up on our emotions. If you act nervous or upset, they will sense something is wrong, and that will make them nervous and upset. Only interact when you are feeling good. So read to them and sing to them. I would suggest you try to get into a regular routine every day – as much as possible, (birds like to know what to expect). Over time, he will start to look forward to your affection and company. These beautiful little creatures are social animals, they want and need companionship to live happy and healthy lives. You need to convince Kraken that you love him and will never hurt him. Trust needs to be earned with these birds and trust takes time. So, never rush anything - It often backfires. Birds do not like to be dominated. One of the biggest mistakes that new owners make is to try to force their birds to do something they are not ready for - they do not give their bird the option to say no, I do not want to do that right now. When you see Kraken backing away, respect him and stop what you are doing. This will help to build trust. They like to have a choice!

Regarding Kraken’s diet, honey sticks are not the best choice for birds. Try giving him Lafaber’s Nutriberries instead, like Ozzie mentioned. Put one in his seed bowl every day. If he does not touch it, you can try breaking them up. Nutriberries are much healthier, and most birds like them. Even though he is not touching the millet, keep some in his cage. It is true that some birds don't like it, but most do - sometimes too much! lol One thing I learned from owning a parrotlet is that just because they don't like something today, doesn't mean they won't like it tomorrow. Stick a few sunflower seeds in the millet. That may peak his interest.

Try offering fresh veggies first thing in the morning when he is hungry and more willing to try new things. Make sure to keep offering him veggies every day, no matter what. You need to be more stubborn than they are about it. Try offering them diced, chopped, grated, etc. until you figure out what he likes. Try sprinkling some seeds over the vegetables. They will mostly pick at the seeds, but it helps get them used to the taste of veggies. It took me months for me to figure out that my bird only liked vegetables lightly steamed and nothing wet. I would have to dry off bell peppers with a paper towel before she would touch them.. It is kind of hit and miss for a while until you figure what they like and how they like it.

We are always here for you at any time. Any concerns you may have, we understand – we have all been through it in one form or another. These little guys can be tough little hombres! (Tough and feisty). We understand that. Just work on getting him to bond with you and everything else will come later. And never compare your bird to another bird. Each one is unique in their own way. What works for one bird, may not work for another so read as much as you can. There is a lot of good information on this forum to help you. You and Kraken are going to be okay!
 
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