Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Parrotlet Not Eating

Hi Sandee,

Things going well over here, but we cannot manage to make him eat anything other than millet and thawed peas+corn since he got here.
Does not even touch the seeds. Should we try a bird bread to get him to eat seeds and pellets?


Dear Trinidad:

Sorry for the delay in responding - I just got back from a speaking engagement in PA.

I'm very surprised to hear he isn't 'touching' his seeds. If he isn't, its probably because of environmental conditions. One of the mistakes many new owners make is to constantly watch their birds, almost never taking their eyes off of them. This is not good for birds - especially new birds that are adjusting. People forget these birds are wild animals and that humans are predators and birds are prey. Watching them constantly, never allowing them privacy makes birds nervous and keeps them from engaging in natural behaviors including eating. I would suggest you feed him in the AM and then leave him alone and that means not making eye contact for several hours. He needs his privacy and to find his comfort level. As time goes on, he will adjust more and more until this is no longer an issue. You are welcome to feed "bird bread' as it can be healthy and nutritious no matter whether he is eating a complete diet yet or not. I can tell you, unlike seed which is what he was weaned too and certainly knows is food, he has never been fed bird bread in my house and may not accept it at first.

He hasn't been there really been with you for very long - not even a month so I'm sure he's still adjusting and learning. Millet, a complex carbohydrate that also contains significant amount of protein and the corn/peas will keep him alive and while he can't live on it forever, he won't. It’s a matter of time, patience and allowing him to do what he does naturally - be comfortable and self-sufficient in his cage.

Be sure and keep me posted!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.

Dogs & Parrotlets

Dear SAndee.. Petey sees molly chewing on it possible he thinks she could chew him??????he still is active and eats well.but hard to get out of cage to love and preen him...I dont even try unless she is ourside. I am finally moving into rental house,and have lots of space.. will give new address after I am settled.still get mail here.the managers at the park will help me with main question could Petey think this???love Ollie need answer

Dear Ollie:

Good to hear from you! Glad to hear you are settling in to your new place. Please send me your address. I’m behind on the journals again but will be caught up soon.

Dogs are predators and birds are prey. No matter what, they will always be natural enemies and one should never allow them to have physical contact. So long as Molly does not have physical access to Petey, you should have no problems. However, I’m sure Petey keeps a very close eye on Molly – it is the way Nature designed them and chewing or other behaviors really as nothing to do with it. It is simply a matter of who eats whom.

Hope this helps! Keep in touch and its always good to hear from you!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.