Post by myfirstquaker on Jun 26, 2019 19:29:14 GMT -5
Hello, I'm new here. I've had my very first Quaker named Rico for a little over two weeks now. He's 4 months old and doing quite well in the handling and social dept. I've been researching everything I can regarding foods and feeding, but I'm still very new to being a bird mom. He came to us eating a seed mix and seems to only want seeds. I have been successful in getting Rico to try new fruits/veggies and the only way he will eat or taste them is if I pretend I'm sharing. I've tried making them cooked, puréed, chopped and he won't touch them. I've gotten creative by hanging them near toys, placing a small dish with an assortment and even put him on my shoulder to hand feed. He does love grapes. He seems to eat those really quickly. I have an organic pellet brand that I've tried to get him to eat but he won't touch it. Maybe he's had a couple but only looks for seeds. On another topic, I've noticed him chewing on parts of his metal cage. I have tried covering those spots with fleece and other toys for now until I can save up for the stainless steel king sized cage I hope to get him. I am afraid he may get sick from this. Any suggestions from anyone would really help.
You're on the right track by eating (or pretending to eat) the foods you want Rico to eat. Show him that it's the most delicious food you ever tasted, and he'll be more likely to try some. Be persistent too-- it can take a long time for a parrot to decide to try new foods, and even longer sometimes to decide that he likes them. I often mention that it took me eight months to get Ralph to try broccoli, but now he eats it any time I offer it. It isn't unusual for a parrot to chew on cage bars and unless it becomes an obsession, it's usually not a big problem. It would depend on the material and condition of the cage. Both my parrots have powder-coated metal cages in good condition, and they'll both chew on the bars once in a while. If Rico has a bare metal cage other than stainless steel, or a painted cage where the paint isn't in top condition, then the chewing needs to be discouraged.
Post by myfirstquaker on Jun 27, 2019 16:10:53 GMT -5
Thank you, I appreciate all the feeback. The cage is fairly new and also powder coated metal. I just seem to notice him constantly chewing on the Circular metal holders around his water bowl or food bowl and when he's on the top of the cage in the play area he chews the ladder or bars. This behavior is constant and I don't know how to get him to stop. I've read that even a little bit of metal or rust can be lethal or extremely harmful. I wonder if it will change once I am able to get him a stainless steel cage .
Rico may want to chew on his new cage as much as the old one, but with the stainless steel cage, it's even less of a problem. I neglected to mention rust in my earlier post and if there's any sign of it in Rico's cage, it would be a good idea to block that area. Have you offered Rico other things he can chew on? My QP Ralph likes to chew up wooden popsicle sticks, but there are lots of other things you could try with Rico. My CAG Scooter likes to chew bird-safe vegetable tanned leather strips and pure cotton clothesline rope (as well as her fabric and rope perches ) and isn't interested in chewing wood. No doubt you've made an effort to distract Rico when he's chewing on his cage; the best way to do that is to give him something else to do. If he has toys that he ignores, try showing him how to play with them so he'll know how much fun they are. That could help lure him away from cage-chewing.
Post by myfirstquaker on Jun 27, 2019 23:31:38 GMT -5
Thank you so much for the advice and suggestions. I've noticed he doesn't play with a few of his toys. I never thought about showing him how much fun they can be. This is why I joined this forum. I'm clueless as a first time bird mom and I look forward to hearing from people who have experience and who can offer much needed advice. I will try to play with Rico and offer him some new things to play with. Hopefully it will make him less interested in chewing his cage! 😊
Sorry, I'm a bit late to this thread, but I just want to say welcome! If you have the time, definitely try to play with Rico. The more time you put into your bird's education the more your bird will be able to self-entertain when you're out.
Post by myfirstquaker on Jul 11, 2019 20:42:47 GMT -5
I wanted to do a quick update: Rico is eating and eating everything! I am so happy! I have noticed that the only way he will try anything is if I go near him while eating and showing him how yummy it is. I say Mmmmm, delicious! And he moves in for a taste. Now, all I have to do is go near him eating the food and he reaches out for some. I haven't been able to get him to eat the organic pellets, but he does eat lots of different fruits, veggies, and other nutritious foods. I gave him plain scrambled eggs with spinach and he LOVED it. He loves boiled sweet and regular potatoes. He also loves cherries and grapes. One other way he eats his food is I hang them in different areas inside and on top of the cage. He seems to like to go around nibbling and tasting everything. I have gotten creative and even made him a treat toy when I know he's eaten really good. I put a ball covered in his favorite seed and hang it inside his cage to play with and enjoy a little treat.
I never realized how much time and energy it takes being a bird momma! But, I love every minute of it!
Glad that Rico is trying new foods. The approach you used often works well, since parrots usually want to share foods their human companions are enjoying. Have you tried softening a few pellets in unsweetened fruit juice or water? That often helps introduce pellets to parrots who aren't used to eating them. Just add enough liquid to moisten some pellets, let them sit for a few minutes until they soften, and offer them to Rico. If you have a small spoon you can put the pellets on that to offer them. My two parrots eat their dry pellets, but they still enjoy getting some that I've softened.