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New bird mom

487 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  picklepets
Hello everyone,

I’m so glad I found this place! I have never owned a bird before, but have wanted one for years. I am finally in a position to be a good bird mom, and after doing my research, decided that a parrotlet would be a good fit for me.

I don’t have my baby yet, he is 7 weeks old and will ship to me next week; he is being handled/hand-tamed daily, and taken on outings so that he will be less afraid of people or new situations.

I’d like to ask…for those who have acquired their p’lets as “tamed babies”….. what do you do as soon as you bring them home? My baby will arrive in a box, I have to pick him up at the post office, he will have been in the box nearly 2 days by then. He is accustomed to being constantly handled, and it hurts me to even think of him being alone in a box for almost 2 days.

What would you do? Let him out of the box ASAP? Let him settle in in his new room before opening the box or trying to handle him? Put him in his cage and let him settle in for a few hours (or days) before trying to handle him? Or follow my strong desire to get him out of that box and cuddle him as soon as we get home?

Also, I’ve been reading books, articles, and watching tons and tons of YouTube videos to learn everything that I can before I bring my baby home. You only get one chance to do it right.

A good portion of my reading/watching seems to try to dissuade anyone from owning a p’let. They talk about all the downsides—the biting, the mess, the amount of time they require, behavior problems if they don’t receive enough mental enrichment, their fragility, terrible accidents that can happen, they may never bond with you, etc etc etc

It has made me really scared to bring my baby home. I know I can provide a great home for him, but with all the “warnings” I’ve lost sight of why I wanted a bird in the first place. Can a few of you please share examples with me of why it’s all WORTH IT?
Thank you,
Diann in California
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When you spend a half hour or more preening your parrotlet and it bends its head for more scritches after a few buzz buzz sounds and a beak rub, you'll know it's been worth it.
Bird Parrot Sleeve Beak Cockatoo
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The physical and psychological trauma of being mailed is definitely something to contend with at the beginning of your relationship. As the post office specifies that they must be sent without food or water, it seems physically dangerous to the bird. 526 Mailable Live Animals | Postal Explorer (usps.com) A new-bird check is always advisable when you get a new bird, but after being mailed, I honestly would recommend that you take the bird directly to the avian vet to be checked before you do anything else. Then you can let him settle in and dictate the speed at which you get to know each other.
I would caution you two things. First, it appears that you have not been able to meet the bird or breeder in person. "Tamed" is a huge spectrum, and as the bird hasn't met YOU before, it is unlikely that they will trust you. Second, when shipping live birds most breeders use Delta airlines because it does not require the bird to be in transit for a dangerous amount of time none that they be without food and water. (Pets : Delta Cargo ) Parrotlets cannot meet the USPS requirements to be shipped, as they are nowhere near 6 ounces, so there is no way to mail them while abiding by the rules and regulations of the Post Office. The breeder is making a decision knowing this information.
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No ethical breeder will use USPS to ship pet birds. It is cruel and inhumane. Plus, it is illegal. If your breeder insists that it is okay, and tells you that your bird will be fine, then I suggest you find another breeder. Birds get injured, sick, and die from breeders transporting them through the Post Office. So you were unable to find a breeder in your local area? Even if you must drive a few hours to get one, that is better than subjecting a baby bird to up to 48 hours being jolted around in a box without food or water.

We love parrotlets on this forum and we care about what happens to them. I know you must be excited about having a baby parrotlet, but please, do not get one this way.
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Oh my gosh I didn’t realize my baby would be without food or water during transit! Yes, that sounds extremely dangerous for a small bird! Thank you so much for this information. I’d rather drive the 6 hours to go pick him up than put him through that. I’m really stunned at this information!

Better yet, do you know how I could find a breeder closer to me (Central California)??? Is rather lose my deposit than put my baby in that situation!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this information!
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Perhaps someone on the forum knows of a breeder. If so, they will send you the information via a private message (called Conversation), as we don't openly name breeders on the forum. I don't live in California or have any connections to breeders in that region of the country.
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The drive is best. I drove baby Rio from his home at Atlanta GA to my home of Louisville KY about 8 hours total and he did fine. Actually loved his small carry cage. It is what I recommend and would be fearful other ways. If you have to fly Delta has the best method that will get a pet bird to you quickest. I have never used it but have heard good about it. USPS is not good for a pet bird. Last I heard it was not legal for pet birds but could be done for livestock like chicks. A smart bird such as a parrotlet / parrot most likely will be traumatized by such a situation and being so young will reduce the chance of a good start for you two.
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Oh my goodness!! I can't imagine someone thinking it was okay to ship a parrotlet USPS! What an irresponsible breeder! That would be such a traumatizing experience! 😭 I would definitely make the drive if I were you!! Please don't subject your baby to that!

As for when you bring him home -- I'm not as knowledgeable as many folks here, but I got my girls in September and November, respectively, so my experience is relatively fresh.

Pickle came home in a box (from about 30 minutes away) because the birdie backpack I bought online did not arrive on time, and boy was she MAD! She was hand-fed and "tame," but being put in a box and taken to a strange house with people she didn't know was a lot. Needless to say, she bit the crap out of me because I made the mistake of thinking I could just pick her up the way the breeder did, and she was having none of it. :LOL: After that, I put her in her new digs and didn't try to let her our for a week or so. I was really afraid of getting bitten again, but we bonded quickly and she even started letting me pet her inside her cage within a few days.

Penny is my second parrotlet. She came home in the biridie backpack, but she was still not very happy. You'll come to learn that change is very upsetting for them--I have to wear the same long sleeved green shirt every day when I have Pickle out for play time, or she won't come to me. :rolleyes: I had something I needed to do for work when we got home from the breeder, so I set her on a table in the office in the backpack for fifteen minutes or so, and this seemed to make her even more anxious. Penny adjusted really well to her large cage once I got her inside, but leaving her in the birdie backpack thinking she might need to get used to her surroundings didn't end up being such a good idea.

I wouldn't expect your baby to trust you right away. Bonding and being able to handle them without getting bit takes time. And heck, Pickle will still give me a nip to let me know if she doesn't like something, but it's nothing like that bite she gave me out of fear. Most of the time you can avoid being nipped by learning to assess their mood and reading their body language. I still haven't bonded that much with Penny because she bonded with Pickle through the cage bars--they are neighbors & best frenemies, but can't live together because Penny is too territorial--but I'm still working on earning her trust.

Developing a bond with a parrotlet is a very special thing. They have huge personalities for such tiny birds, and it has been my privilege to care for my girls. Are they messy? Sure. They're birds. But what outfit is complete without a little broccoli or chop on your shirt? Just a few days ago, my husband found the outer peel of a yellow squash four- or five feet form Pickles' cage. That's impressive! :ROFLMAO: When they trust you enough to let you groom their pinnies (pin feathers), to ask for pets, or to nap on your shoulder, it's just the best feeling. 🥰

I've found that as a new parrotlet mom, it's just all about getting to know your individual bird(s) and what's best for them. This forum is a great resource for questions that come up along the way.
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Oh my goodness!! I can't imagine someone thinking it was okay to ship a parrotlet USPS! What an irresponsible breeder! That would be such a traumatizing experience! 😭 I would definitely make the drive if I were you!! Please don't subject your baby to that!

As for when you bring him home -- I'm not as knowledgeable as many folks here, but I got my girls in September and November, respectively, so my experience is relatively fresh.

Pickle came home in a box (from about 30 minutes away) because the birdie backpack I bought online did not arrive on time, and boy was she MAD! She was hand-fed and "tame," but being put in a box and taken to a strange house with people she didn't know was a lot. Needless to say, she bit the crap out of me because I made the mistake of thinking I could just pick her up the way the breeder did, and she was having none of it. :LOL: After that, I put her in her new digs and didn't try to let her our for a week or so. I was really afraid of getting bitten again, but we bonded quickly and she even started letting me pet her inside her cage within a few days.

Penny is my second parrotlet. She came home in the biridie backpack, but she was still not very happy. You'll come to learn that change is very upsetting for them--I have to wear the same long sleeved green shirt every day when I have Pickle out for play time, or she won't come to me. :rolleyes: I had something I needed to do for work when we got home from the breeder, so I set her on a table in the office in the backpack for fifteen minutes or so, and this seemed to make her even more anxious. Penny adjusted really well to her large cage once I got her inside, but leaving her in the birdie backpack thinking she might need to get used to her surroundings didn't end up being such a good idea.

I wouldn't expect your baby to trust you right away. Bonding and being able to handle them without getting bit takes time. And heck, Pickle will still give me a nip to let me know if she doesn't like something, but it's nothing like that bite she gave me out of fear. Most of the time you can avoid being nipped by learning to assess their mood and reading their body language. I still haven't bonded that much with Penny because she bonded with Pickle through the cage bars--they are neighbors & best frenemies, but can't live together because Penny is too territorial--but I'm still working on earning her trust.

Developing a bond with a parrotlet is a very special thing. They have huge personalities for such tiny birds, and it has been my privilege to care for my girls. Are they messy? Sure. They're birds. But what outfit is complete without a little broccoli or chop on your shirt? Just a few days ago, my husband found the outer peel of a yellow squash four- or five feet form Pickles' cage. That's impressive! :ROFLMAO: When they trust you enough to let you groom their pinnies (pin feathers), to ask for pets, or to nap on your shoulder, it's just the best feeling. 🥰

I've found that as a new parrotlet mom, it's just all about getting to know your individual bird(s) and what's best for them. This forum is a great resource for questions that come up along the way.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

The lady that hand-tames these birds tells me she ships them all the time and has never had a problem, the birds are fine, etc and she almost had me convinced to let her ship my baby USPS despite my instincts telling me it was a bad idea.

Instead, despite her repeated assurances, I’ve insisted on driving down 5.5 hours each direction) to go get him on Saturday. I would do it for a dog, and dogs are much hardier creatures than birds.🤷‍♀️ my husband says he can’t believe I want to drive so far to pick him up, but I tell him there is no other choice. I can’t find a breeder who lives closer and I won’t traumatize my baby out of convenience for me. Screw that.

So I’ve got his cage and playpen all set up and ready for his arrival, travel cage aired out to allow smells to dissipate, vet appointment set; it’s all getting real and I can’t wait to meet my boy!

I’m glad your babies are best of friends. Do you mind if I ask why there was a gap between the adoption of these two? I appreciate hearing about your experience, and I’ll definitely be wary of “the bite”!😱
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Thank goodness you found this forum we’re willing to take advice! It hurt my heart thinking about a parrotlet being in a dark box for two days without food or water. If he had survived the journey you might have ended up with a totally different bird. So glad you’re going to pick him up instead! ♥

Yes, there was a gap. I got Pickle in September and Penny in November. Same breeder but different clutches. I wish I had just gotten two to begin with—Pickle had a beautiful yellow sister—then maybe they could have continued living together happily. But I love Penny and her quirky little personality. 😄

I hope you’ll check back in with us after your baby gets settled!
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I picked up my baby yesterday. It was a very long day (6 hours drive in each direction) but soooooo worth it! I was able to bond with my baby on the way home. He was very quiet in his cage at first, but I just started talking to him in a quiet voice, telling him about his new home and family and all his toys, etc.

After about 20 minutes he took over the conversation! He went on chirping for the next 40 minutes, telling me about all his adventures LOL. He spent the rest of the drive happily chirping, preening, and taking sunflower seeds from between my fingers. What a contrast to being put in a box and mailed!

Thank you to everyone here who cared enough about my baby to share their thoughts on shipping. I don’t he and I would have had a good start after such trauma. Today he is happy to “step up” and take treats or just hang out on his playpen/jungle gym or on my finger, shoulder, or chest. He’s eating and drinking well (went crazy when I sat in front of him with a bowl of grits, trying everything to get to me! Turns out he loves them!), preening, napping, and doing bird things. I think he’s adjusted well.

He did sleep in his cage last night, but since I took him out he has no interest in going back in his cage. I’ve taken him to it a few times and he just grabs my finger tighter.🤷‍♀️
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I picked up my baby yesterday. It was a very long day (6 hours drive in each direction) but soooooo worth it! I was able to bond with my baby on the way home. He was very quiet in his cage at first, but I just started talking to him in a quiet voice, telling him about his new home and family and all his toys, etc.

After about 20 minutes he took over the conversation! He went on chirping for the next 40 minutes, telling me about all his adventures LOL. He spent the rest of the drive happily chirping, preening, and taking sunflower seeds from between my fingers. What a contrast to being put in a box and mailed!

Thank you to everyone here who cared enough about my baby to share their thoughts on shipping. I don’t he and I would have had a good start after such trauma. Today he is happy to “step up” and take treats or just hang out on his playpen/jungle gym or on my finger, shoulder, or chest. He’s eating and drinking well (went crazy when I sat in front of him with a bowl of grits, trying everything to get to me! Turns out he loves them!), preening, napping, and doing bird things. I think he’s adjusted well.

He did sleep in his cage last night, but since I took him out he has no interest in going back in his cage. I’ve taken him to it a few times and he just grabs my finger tighter.🤷‍♀️
Amazing!! I’m so glad you decided to pick him up and are already bonding! Now you see why these babies are so special. Thank you so much for updating us!
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That is wonderful news! I'm so happy for you! It sounds like you have a little sweetie there! Baby parrotlets are so adorable. It is so much fun to watch them grow up. Have you picked a name out for him yet? We love baby pictures around here, so we hope you post some! And we're here if you have any questions - just feel free to ask! Nice having you both on the forum!!
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Congratulations on your new Parrotlet. He sounds like he has settled in with you so nicely already. 🤗
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Thank you everyone!

Yes I finally picked a name that I think suits him. His name is Frodo…….a little hobbit who is both tiny and brave!

I am head over heels in love with this little guy. He is just so precious! If I leave his cage door open for him and sit down in my chair, he will fly over to me to either chit-chat, play with my earrings, preen my hair, use me as a second jungle gym, or just cuddle 🥰

When I get home from work he’s a little upset with me over leaving him in his cage all day, but he quickly warms up and becomes eager to interact. I’ll throw on a sweatshirt, because he LOVES to burrow down in the folds of the hood by my neck and cuddle every evening😍 it’s my absolute favorite part of the day!

Took him to the vet today, he’s not sick, just wanted to make sure I have a healthy bird and establish care in case he ever got sick. He weighs 29 grams and is very healthy, the vet was impressed at how healthy he looks and wanted to know where I got him! Love my vet, he has conures himself and you can tell he really loves birds❤

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Hoodies are great bird shirts - Tumi LOVES to climb inside mine. It is one of the sweetest feelings for sure.
He is adorable!
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Thank you everyone!

Yes I finally picked a name that I think suits him. His name is Frodo…….a little hobbit who is both tiny and brave!

I am head over heels in love with this little guy. He is just so precious! If I leave his cage door open for him and sit down in my chair, he will fly over to me to either chit-chat, play with my earrings, preen my hair, use me as a second jungle gym, or just cuddle 🥰

When I get home from work he’s a little upset with me over leaving him in his cage all day, but he quickly warms up and becomes eager to interact. I’ll throw on a sweatshirt, because he LOVES to burrow down in the folds of the hood by my neck and cuddle every evening😍 it’s my absolute favorite part of the day!

Took him to the vet today, he’s not sick, just wanted to make sure I have a healthy bird and establish care in case he ever got sick. He weighs 29 grams and is very healthy, the vet was impressed at how healthy he looks and wanted to know where I got him! Love my vet, he has conures himself and you can tell he really loves birds❤

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How sweet! He's a cutie! I'm so glad to hear you've already bonded! Frodo is a lucky boy!
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