I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot
Author: EB Cravens — 2006
Provided by: Steven (SailBoat) with permission of the Author.


Re-fledging: The How’s and Why’s of Teaching Adult Parrots to Fly

For years in the World of Parrot keeping, there have been numerous unimaginative Parrot Breeders who insisted upon clipping the wings of their new Fledgling Parrots before the Parrots could develop true flight skills. Many of us own or have owned such Psittacines; and it is not difficult to observe the affects of such naïve treatment. Mentally and physically, these Parrots are forced to live under a handicap, some for the whole of their lives.

The re-fledging of adult Parrots is desirable in order that they may recoup at least a portion of the confidence, savvy, and athleticism denied them by a premature wing trim. Parrots that have satisfactory flying skill are safer, fitter, and happier than their untrained, grounded cohorts. Here then, is how we go about the challenging process of re-fledging…

An older Parrot that was never properly fledged will often be seen begging to be picked up by an Owner from a mere 12” (305 mm) away from the hand. He or she maybe terrified of taking flight because of a series of crash landing mishaps that caused bumps or bruises or other unnoticeable pains. It will most likely be overweight, under exercised, and weak of the strength in feet, legs, hips that is required to make abrupt, sure landings. In order to calm its fears, the Parrot must be taught the proper way to flap its wings and brake with all its bulk, throw-out its feet, look down to a precise spot, and touch down gently enough to avoid discomfort or hurt. Re-fledging Adult Parrots is all about Landing Training!

We begin by exercising the Parrot twice or thrice daily with a series of up and down motions while the Parrot is perched on the hand or a stick. Object here is to get the Psittacine to begin serious flapping with wings both to build-up chest muscles and to accustom it to feeling it’s own weight supported by wing flapping (uplift). Obviously a full set, or near full set of primary flight feathers is necessary for lengthy and powerful flight, but even when the Parrot is partially clipped (4 to 6 primary feathers on each wing) this flap training can begin. Make sure that the Parrot does not let go and take off in a flight that ends in a crash, as this will be a setback to confident progress.

Once a Parrot begins to recognize the moments when its wings start taking the weight of its bulk, we can move on to Landing Training. For this, we choose a very soft surface free from injury possibilities–the master bed is a good spot. The Psittacine is picked up gently and briskly from the surface of the bed with two hands on either side of its body, and dropped onto the bed from a height of about six to eight inches (150 - 205 mm). We shout ‘WHEEE’ to give the semblance of a fun game and to signal the Parrot when it is going to be released.

This procedure can be done from the finger or hand perch, but many Parrots tend to hold on tightly and will not attempt to fly the short inches (mm) to the bed. Larger Parrots or those reticent to throw-out their wings in proper landing technique will have to be Flap-Exercised on the finger even dropping the hand all the way to the bed surface to get them used to Wing Braking Form. Then pick them up and drop them from slightly higher, say 10 to 12 inches (255 — 305 mm) -- just enough to get them to throw out their wings, extend their feet and brake to a soft plop on the bed. Once they realize that there is no danger of bumps or bruises, it should become facile to get them to play the Landing Game. Proper form is the key here, not flying forward at all. Further practice leads to 24” (610 mm) drops, then three feet (1 meter), etc. When they get the hang of it, we are ready to move on to a more solid landing site.

At this point we do not try to fly to a perch or a hard object, as the Parrot is still clumsy and could miss and injure it self. A large soft blanket or towel on top of its cage, a soft couch back, or a large weighted basket with a handle, which can easily be grasped by toenails when landing are three possible choices. Baskets also have the advantage of being easily recognizable and can be placed around the room. (This is what we use with devil-may-care natural fledglings that have little fear of anything while learning to fly around!) Let the Parrot perch on them and explore them first. Then again cry ‘WHEEE’ and gently force the Parrot to fly to the new perch site.

After some weeks (or months with bulkier, out-of-shape Parrots) of experience, the Adult Psittacine should begin learning to make instantaneous airborne decisions about where it wishes to land, choosing the spot, braking and thrusting out its feet and coming to rest exactly where it wishes. Voila, we are on our way to changing the Parrot’s life forever. Full flying skill comes with the ability to change direction sharply, turn right and left, fly up from the floor, drop down from a high perch to the ground, come to the Owner’s hand on call, fly when bath wet or in the brisk wind of an outdoor aviary, and land amidst leafy branches and smaller bouncier twigs and ropes.

Owners will normally see a dramatic increase in the agility, confidence, stance and build of their Adult Parrots after six months or so of Re-fledging Training. Serious feather pickers have been known to give up the habit and regain their ‘youthful fledgling’ trust and self-assurance in their captive environments.
This is excellent, giving practical advice! My rescue has never flown, is just getting started now I have new tips to try thank you!
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,884
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Thanks Wrench for recommending Sailboats thread! So I'm officially signing than fan book ! Thank you Sailboat for this wonderful thread !!!
 

Heli

New member
Feb 25, 2019
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Canada
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Orange-winged amazon
Indian Ringneck
Princess of Wales
correct food for an amazon
sailboat 2016

... Continuation


suggestions for a healthy amazon diet:


“up to 20% - quality proteins: Such as parrot pellet diet (no artificial colorings, low to no sugar or salt), tofu, low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, very hard boiled eggs, well-cooked chicken or turkey, a combination of various grains such as quinoa and corn, enriched pasta, cooked beans, nuts and small amounts of nut butters.

about 30 - 35% - vitamin a produce: Various greens such as collards, mustard, turnip, kale, chard, spinach, broccoli and commercial dandelion, peppers, carrots, dark orange yams and sweet potatoes, winter squash, peaches, apricots and papaya.

15 - 25% - other vegetables and fruits: Peas, bean sprouts, summer squash, asparagus, brussels sprouts, beets, tomato, potato, apples, grapes, banana, mango, pomegranate, oranges, figs, guava and berries of all kinds.

15 - 25% whole grains: Whole grain pasta, brown rice, low fat granola, amaranth, oats, commercial /home produced ‘quality cooking mixes’ for parrots (no sugar cereals).

no more than 5 - 15% fats: Efa’s such as flax seed oil added to food, nut, seeds, small amounts of low salt cheese, occasional commercially produced meal worms.

items not to be found in an amazon’s diet: Salt, sugar, animal fat, butter, bacon, chocolate, avocado, rhubarb, soft cooked eggs, rare meat of any kind, caffeine, dog food, cat food, monkey food (no foods formulated for other pets or wild animals). This is not a complete list!!!

note: there is no such thing as a diet that everyone in this wide and wonderful world of amazons will full agree too! That said; this diet provides a solid foundation that meets the general agreement of many experienced amazon owners with only minor changes in percentages and/or content. You will note that the low and high percentages will provide either less or more than 100%. This occurs to allow for natural variation /availability though out a year and the hardcore likes and dislikes of your specific amazon.

in addition, with the wide range of amazons in physical size, activity, metabolic rate and the quality of the food provided. There is no hard and fast amount (measurable in grams) of ‘food’ provided. The only type of food that would lend itself to a formatted diet is parrot pellets. Although, parrot pellets had been believed to be a ‘complete’ diet product. The pellet only approach is quickly being replaced by the abundant across-section diet that relies heavily on the greatest percentage being fresh healthy foods as found above.

so if this is true, why are so many avian vets recommending 100% parrot pellet diets! Simple! In general, they do not believe that their clients will follow their recommendations and their hope is that the client will provide at least some parrot pellets in addition to the ‘all seed.’ every time a diet as defined above is presented to an avian vet, they agree with and support such a diet!

the diet provided assume that the food sources are all ‘human grade’ and if processed, is only processed in a ‘human grade’ approved facility.


amazon’s have more fun!

sources: joanie doss - the amazing amazons, gary gallerstein d.v.m. - the complete pet bird owner’s handbook, and sally blanchard - nutritional guidelines.

fyi: most bird club libraries will have several excellent parrot health books that provide information on parrot nutrition. In addition, there are several knowledgeable club or forum members that have the same parrot species as you. I am certain they will be happy to provide solid advice on a healthy, nutritional diet for your amazon; it’s also a great way to meet other members.

can you please give me some examples of pallets names brands for amazons
 

wrench13

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Tops, Roudybush are some of the best brands, with Tops being maybe the best. Stay away from ones that have sugar added. Look at the ingredients when you buy any brand. But you should also consider adding a vegetable/grain/smal amount of fruit to his daily diet. Called 'chop' there are many recipes in our ntrition forum. My Amazon Salty LOVES his chop dinner, he dives right in to it.
 

MykaMom

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Aug 24, 2019
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Illinois
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Yellow Nape Amazon
Chickens
Have I killed my parrot??

Like a moron, I gave my 10 yr old yna a small elderberry branch(6-7", no leaves) without checking if it was toxic: my chickens use it all the time, eating berries, leaves and pecking the branches. I've fed the berries to the girls for years, they adore them. As soon as I realized my mistake, I grabbed the branch, he had about 3" left unchewed.

I can't find ANYTHING on the toxicity, symptoms or treatments of this exposure. He could have easily absorbed a toxin through his mucus membranes.

Berries cause diarrhea but there's no info on the bark.

Our emergency vet does NOT have avian care services. My vet won't be available until Monday.

It's been 2 hours, he seems fine, but I'm terrified I'll wake up and he'll be dead.

What have I done?

And yes, I read through the sticky completely.
 

Ellie777Australia

Supporting Member
Apr 12, 2019
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Queensland, Australia
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SI Eclectus Female, Ellie; RS/SI Eclectus Male, Bertie (both adopted as rescue/re-home)
Have I killed my parrot??

Like a moron, I gave my 10 yr old yna a small elderberry branch(6-7", no leaves) without checking if it was toxic: my chickens use it all the time, eating berries, leaves and pecking the branches. I've fed the berries to the girls for years, they adore them. As soon as I realized my mistake, I grabbed the branch, he had about 3" left unchewed.

I can't find ANYTHING on the toxicity, symptoms or treatments of this exposure. He could have easily absorbed a toxin through his mucus membranes.

Berries cause diarrhea but there's no info on the bark.

Our emergency vet does NOT have avian care services. My vet won't be available until Monday.

It's been 2 hours, he seems fine, but I'm terrified I'll wake up and he'll be dead.

What have I done?

And yes, I read through the sticky completely.


Please check your original post for emergency phone number
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

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The likelihood of this single exposure killing your parrot is small as the volume exposed too was likely far too little. At most there is the possibility of diarrhea.
Keep water available and if all goes well, you move on with a life lesson in hand.
With most tonic killers, it is the build-up by volume or over time that results in an illness that results in death.
 
Last edited:

MykaMom

New member
Aug 24, 2019
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23
Illinois
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Yellow Nape Amazon
Chickens
I'm very happy to report Myka suffered no ill effects whatsoever from his exposure to the elderberry branch.

I've gotten complacent over the years by thinking if it's fine for my chickens, it's fine for Myka.

The inverse is true: but a hook bill will never be a chicken with their ability to eat almost anything.

Myka's health and wellbeing comes before anything else. This has been a very humbling experience in addition to scaring 10 years off my life.

Thank you, Parrot Forum, for your suggestions and encouragement!: :green2:
 

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AmyMyBlueFront

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Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
I'm very happy to report Myka suffered no ill effects whatsoever from his exposure to the elderberry branch.

I've gotten complacent over the years by thinking if it's fine for my chickens, it's fine for Myka.

The inverse is true: but a hook bill will never be a chicken with their ability to eat almost anything.

Myka's health and wellbeing comes before anything else. This has been a very humbling experience in addition to scaring 10 years off my life.

Thank you, Parrot Forum, for your suggestions and encouragement!: :green2:


Awwww...What a wonderful photo of Myka! The tilted head..and look on his face..like he is shyly saying "Hi there!" So so happy to read that he suffered no ill effects from munchin' on the branches...now you can take a deep breath and breathe again! :eek:;):)


Jim
 

sherylb

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Jul 21, 2018
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Jack the IRN
Finley the BF Amazon
How much should they weigh? Is that different for each one?
 
OP
SailBoat

SailBoat

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Each species of Amazon have their own weight range and within a specific species that range can vary as to whether one's Parrot is a nominate (standard), hybrid or 'sadly' one that suffered from over breeding.

In addition, the activity level of your Amazon will play into it's specific weight range as muscle is heavier than fat.
 

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