Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CD of Parrotlet Sounds

Hello I was wanting to know if there is a difference in the sounds on the cd's the one for a cd player and the one for the computer? I can see that one is a hour long and the other is two hours. Do they have any sounds of babies on them I would like to use the sounds to try to help my single pair of parrotlets breed. Any suggestions would be helpful... Thank you for your time. Hillary :) Dear Hillary: Thank you for your email. I'm not really sure what you are asking so I will simply explain. I've bred parrotlets for more than 30 years and it has been my experience that they breed better when they can hear one another but not see each other. This is part of their instinctual nature in that they are part of a flock but because of their aggressive and territorial natures, which will result in attacking other parrotlets or even their partners, my CD's offer the best option for breeders of single pairs to promote this breeding instinct. Yes, one CD is an hour and the other is two but they are on continuous loops so they just play over and over. This is the only difference. After all, these are recorded sounds of over 100 pairs of parrotlets - various species, various ages, males, females, pairs and offspring. This is exactly what these birds would be hearing in the wild. As for suggestions on breeding parrotlets, I have written 3 books (the most recent is The Parrotlet Handbook by Barron's and is available on my website at Parrotlet Ranch, I also have a lot of information on my website. I also write a blog, have a FB page for Parrotlet Ranch, give speaking engagements all over the country as well as internationally and am a co-founder of the International Parrotlet Society and their journal editor which has the most up to date information on parrotlets that can be found anywhere particularly with regard to newsgroups and chat rooms. I hope this helps! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Tips on Converting a "Seed Junkie"

Hi Sandee, I would like to know if this issue with my parrotlet is something to be concerned about or not. I have read in your book and blogs about parrotlets that they require fresh vegetables and fruit everyday to maintain a healthy diet. I have tried offering almost every possible vegetable and fruit to him, both chopped up in tiny pieces and whole, and he doesn't want to have anything to do with them! I have tried mixing them with his favorite seed mix, but he just flicks the veggies and fruit out of his food bowl with his beak! I have noticed that he particularly likes sunflower seeds and millet, so I add vitamins to his water daily to compensate for the lack of nutrients. He obviously wasn't exposed to fresh food while he was being weaned; is it possible to get him to like them now? I have thought of removing the seed mix for one day, and just offering a bowl of mixed veggies, but I don't want him to starve to death if he refuses to eat it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. He seems to be a healthy boy, but I am wondering if he will have health issues later on from being on a strictly seed diet? Thanks Sandee! Sincerely, Monica Dear Monica: Thank you for your email. I have been writing on this subject for more than two decades – ever since we first imported wild-caught adult parrotlets that needed to be converted to food they had never seen before. While the first article I wrote was on identification of species, the second was diet and how to get them to eat healthier. I have included various tips in all three of my books, in my blog and on my website. Basically, it takes time, patience and a little ingenuity. First, parrotlets do learn to eat things by playing with foods before they consume them. They are Nature’s ‘reforesters” and have a symbiotic relationship to be wasteful with food. The grabbing, biting, chewing and flinging of food allows them to taste the various foods along with the textures and this is how they learn what to eat. Flinging it about helps redistribute seeds and plant material which is required in Nature to keep a health environment. As for getting your bird to eat a better diet, which is vital for a healthy, long life, let him eat and play with his food. Offer thawed frozen peas and carrots with a little millet or other seed sprinkled on top. When you see him starting to eat that, then you can add more healthy foods such as carrots and broccoli. Also, feeding foods with seeds in it such as kiwi, strawberries, melon, zucchini and peppers will also encourage him to eat the plant material as well as the seeds. Sometimes the form in which the food is presented such as shredding or mashing it can help. Stringing chunks of fruit and vegetables on things like Birdy Kabobs or baking it into bread can all be offered. Cooked fresh foods such as Beak Appetite also can be fed. So try various things. Eventually you will figure out what your bird likes. Best of luck and I hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do All Species of Parrotlets Breed All Year Round?

Hi, im a BIG parrotlet fan, and I was searching on the internet for info about them, and I ran up on you all.My name is Deronn. I was wondering do you all breed parrotlets year round? Dear Deronn: Thank you for your email. No, not all species of parrotlets breed all year round. Mexican parrotlets have a set breeding season, which is spring and summer. They also do not double-clutch. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Parrotlet Available in CO Springs

Dear Kris: Hi Sandee, I found your Blog, I'm looking for a good home for my Parrotlet. If you have any followers in the Colorado Springs Area. I got my Bird from a breeder at a bird show in Denver. Her Name was Sue Pollan I believe. I may have the last name a little wrong. I've had him for 7 years. I paid $300 for him he is a nice powder blue color, she said he is rare, but I can't remember his exact kind. I just got him cuz he was different from the rest. I'm only asking $125 for him, just to make sure he gets a good home. He is difficult to get out of the cage but once he is out, he steps up and gives kisses. Also mimics my sneeze and laugh. He likes a soft hut to tuck into at night. Might take a little time to warm up to a new person. He sings pretty and is content with little attention. However I have horses and just got horse property and have found that I no longer have any time to spend with my bird. I named him Valentino. I also have a custom made plexi glass cage I also bought for around $300 a few years ago. I would like to sell it for $150. OR sell both the bird and cage for $250 together. They can have the Zerk auto feeder, natural looking tree branches and all his toys for free with purchase of his cage. I can send a photos to anyone interested. I even have another cage if they rather have it. A typical wire cage they can have for free. Let me know if you think you can help me out. Thanks Kris Thank you for your email. The International Parrotlet Society does have a Parrotlet Placement Program for parrotlets. They will attempt to place a bird, once it has been put for adoption, with one of our members who has agreed to care for it. You can find more information at the International Parrotlet Society's website at IPS does not charge either for placement or adoption but we are not a shelter or rescue so there is no guarantee that the bird will be able to be placed but IPS will make every effort. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mold on Parrotlet's Feathers

We have a female parrotlet who has developed what looks like mold on her feathers on her upper chest. She seems to be active and very alert. We have cleaned her cage and changed out her food but it doesn’t seem to be going away. Is there something we else we need to do to help our little Kewwi? Thanks, John and Deborah Holland Camden, SC Dear Deborah: Thank you for your email. I’ve been breeding birds for almost 30 years and I have never heard of a live bird, of any species, developing ‘mold’ on its feathers. If you believe the bird has mold or, more likely some kind of parasite like mites, then you need to bring it to a veterinarian experienced in avian medicine. If it IS mold, mold and fungus are deadly to birds and if she ingests it, she could very well die. If the problem is mites, they must be treated with ivermectin or other pesticides prescribed by a vet. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Appropriate Temperatures for Parrotlets

What is the low and hi temp that is safe for my parrotlet. She loves my enclosed sunroom, where she climbs around the jungle gym I have created for her.....but need to know how warm or cool it can become before it is unsafe for her. Thanks, Dorothy Dear Dorothy: Thank you for your email. Generally, any temperature that you are comfortable in, your parrotlet will be comfortable in. Optimal temperatures are between 60-80 degrees, although they can withstand much lower temperatures if they are acclimated. Believe it or not, higher temperatures are much more of a threat - I would not subject them to temperatures higher than 85 degrees. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Parrotlet Adoption. Life Span

Hello! My name is Joanna. I am a student that very much misses having animals around. My roommate feels the same way and we are looking for an animal that we could have at this stage in our lives. Neither of us has ever had birds before, but we have been doing a lot of research and we are intrigued by parrotlets. We like everything we have read about them and are quite certain we could be good owners. Our only problem is that their lifespan is very long. We would like to be able to say that we will be able to adapt our lives to anything to keep the bird, but we are not sure if we can definitively make this statement. We are more interested in adopting an older bird then and are wondering if you might have any available for adoption. Or if you don't, we would be greatly appreciative if you could point us in the direction of someone that might. Thanks so much!! Joanna Dear Joanna: Thank you for your email. As someone who has bred parrotlets for 30 years, I can tell you they don’t live as long as they used too. The average lifespans of most parrotlets these days is less than 10 years. 15 is considered quite old these days. I can’t think of any other parrot that has a lifespan of that length – all other ‘parrots’ (not cockatiels or budgies or even lovebirds) live at least 20 years or more. As for me, I don’t adopt birds. I know people like to use that term but legally I am not a non-profit shelter that adopts, I am a proud breeder that raises high quality birds that have been conditioned and adapted to be excellent pets. Only non-profit organizations such as the International Parrotlet Society offer an adoption or placement program. With IPS, you must be a member in order to adopt and must agree, sign and adhere to the terms and conditions by which you adopt a bird. I always have a waiting list for birds so I never have older birds available for sale. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Loss of Baby Parrotlet

Hello Sandee, I came across your blog tonight and really found your information very useful. A little bit about my story...we purchased our baby parrotlet on April 8th of this yr. He was just over 6 weeks old when we took him home. My 8 year old son purchased him with his own saved up money ($250). We had a beautiful cage set up for him with perches, a swing and lots of toys. We were feeding him a seed mix for "small parrots" and everything seemed great. He was becoming much more comfortable with all of us (my husband, myself and 3 kids). He loved being taken out and thoroughly enjoyed scratches on the head. This past Monday (may 7th) we took him to our local petstore to get his wings clipped because he would fly around too much in our house and I was scared he would fly into the window which he did once before. While we were there, the lady suggested we feed him this all fruit pellet food. She said they would normally be eating mainly fruit in the wild. We also purchased a little carrier for him so we could transport him with us if we needed to. After the pet store we took him with us to the park. I was careful to keep him out of any wind (it was a fairly mild day) and we were maybe gone for an hour and a half in total. The rest of the day he was fine. I spent almost an hour with him that night talking to him, petting him, scratching him etc... On Tuesday he was normal. The only thing was he was not used to not being able to fly around in his cage, so he had to crawl around the cage to get to a perch. He spent sometime at the bottom of the cage too. Tuesday night I went to bed at midnight and I saw him perched and fast asleep with his head tucked in his feathers. Wednesday morning he was lying dead on the bottom of the cage. I am so shocked??? We are all so devastated! My kids are crying and asking what happened to Billy bird. I don't know what to tell them...I cannot stop crying myself. He was so adorable and I feel such extreme guilt over this. What did I do wrong??? How could a seemingly healthy bird drop dead at 2 and a half months old? Was it the clipped wings, trip to the park 2 days prior, food change (seeds to fruit)? I also changed his water system a week prior. Maybe he wasn't used to it. Maybe he wasn't drinking enough? I have been wracking my brain for 2 days. I can't get his image of him lying at the bottom of the cage out of my mind. Any insight as to what u think might of happened would be greatly appreciated. We miss him horribly and need some closure to this. Many thanks, Clara Dear Clara: I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son's bird. I'm sure the whole family is heartbroken by this and I am so sorry. Unfortunately, there is no way to definitively determine what caused the death of this bird without a necropsy (animal autopsy) done by a vet within 24 hours of the bird's death. However, it has been my 30 year experience that the sudden change in the diet is what happened. My website has a page called "Bringing Baby Home" on it and it specifically states that it is never a good idea to switch a bird's diet when it comes home especially if it is a baby. I feel so strongly about this that I send all of my babies home with enough seed (at no extra charge) to last at least a week. However, my page and my books all state if you are going to convert a bird from a seed diet to a pelleted diet it be done over the course of weeks or months not hours. I am sure the bird had no idea that was food and starved. However, that wasn't your fault, it was the person who gave you that advice. Parrotlets are not big fruit eaters in the first place. They like vegetables better. Of the fruit they do eat, they usually contain a lot of seeds such as strawberries, kiwi, melon, etc. For someone to say that is what they eat in the wild is wrong a) because they don't eat a lot fruit b) in the wild, the fruit they have there is not the same as in the US and c) the United States hasn't allowed the importation of wild caught birds in 20 years. Also, pellets are NOT fruit. There are no pellet trees in the jungle. Even if parrotlets were big fruit eaters, they are still not going suddenly start eating pellets. Pellets are simply processed seeds with fruit flavorings and colors which are usually artificial. I always compare them to Ensure for humans. Ensure is nutritionally balanced but a can of it doesn't look like an apple or a carrot and that is how birds determine what is food, by what it looks like. I prefer that my birds diet is the same as mine. I don't eat processed foods and I don't feed them to my birds. My birds get a high quality seed mix but the bulk of their diet are fresh vegetables, greens, fruit, cooked legumes, grains, millet and sprouts. In fact, my books have entire chapters written on diet and what to feed. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your bird but this was not your fault. You received terrible advice and I am very sorry for that. You only wanted to do what was best for the little guy and for that I am very sorry for you and your family. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase