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Acclimating New Birds


Now that my services have expanded into the "matchmaking" business, it dawned on me that we need to talk about the transition of a bird moving to a new home, whether a hand fed baby just adopted to a new home or an older bird going to a second home. This is a stressful time for any bird, but you can help lessen the strife and make the move easier for both your new bird and the rest of the family.

Good planning ahead of time is essential. A pet parrot should NEVER be an impulse buy. Adopting a companion parrot is just that - ADOPTING a new family member - they're not used cars to be traded in when you get bored! They are living, feeling, sensitive beings who should always be considered PERMANENT additions to the family.

I'll never forget the first local bird expo I went to after moving to the Northwest. It was winter - cold and rainy, and I saw a person after person exiting the expo, each with a tiny baby African Grey tucked under their coats. There was a vendor inside with lots of cute baby Grays and a cheap price - apparently, many folks couldn't resist. Since no one seemed to have brought a carrier, it didn't seem to me that these were "planned" purchases, but rather spur of the moment purchases.

I wonder how many went home to a nice cage, all set up with new toys and the proper diet? Not many, I'll bet. It's a deadly combo - cute, cheap, and baby! I'll bet not too many folks had done their homework either, studying up on African Greys and bird care in general.

The other common scenario is the "petshop rescue" - the pitiful bird at some pet store that knows nothing about birds - there he is, in a tiny cage, eating sunflower seeds, no toys, tucked in between the hamsters and the snakes, while the resident shop cat climbs freely through the store. So, on a whim, you take him home.

So, whether it's the irresistible baby, the sad ill cared for rescue, or an actual well thought out carefully chosen new addition - there he is, coming in your front door, hoping to spend the rest of his life with you, his ever loving devoted family!! So how do we transition from scared outsider to contented feathered child?

First, be prepared. Have the cage, toys, and food all set up prior to his arrival so he can slide right in and not have to stand by while everyone scrambles around, frantically searching for bird stuff. Normally, we advise putting a bird's cage in the busiest part of the house, where he can be the center of attention.

But new birds need some space, quiet and privacy during the settling in process, so find him a comfortable safe corner where he can observe, but at a distance. Of course, he should have made a trip to the vet first thing and quarantining him for at least one month away from any other birds is always recommended. So this may not be his permanent location, but rather serve as a "pit-stop" in the beginning. You may want to partially cover his cage, draping a towel over the back and one side to help him feel safe. If possible, have some of his previous diet to mix in with the new (wonderful) cuisine you'll be serving.

Find out as much as possible about, not only his diet, but preference in toys, play time, bed time, and daily routine. Keeping some consistency helps for a smoother transitional time. Radical changes don't agree with many parrots, so go slow. Introduce him to every family member, but avoid anyone doing too much "hands on" stuff in the beginning. Rather, spend time just sitting by him, talking to him and offering some treats by hand. Don't force him or expect instant love. Work on building trust with "step-ups". Play "The Towel Game" to have interactive fun, as well as aiding future needs for handling by a vet or groomer.

Put your new guy on a regular schedule. Feed him lots of fresh veggies and nice warm cooked grains and legumes. Warm food is "comfort food" and helps strengthen the bond when fed by hand. Share some family dinner with him, preferably on a stand by the dining table.

Watch TV together and preen his head feathers for him while you hang out on the couch. Include him in lots of family activities to help him feel a part of the flock. If everyone is gone to work or school during the day, leave a radio or TV on and make sure he's got plenty of interesting toys that provide both chewing exercise and mental stimulation. Talk to him before leaving, tell him he's okay and reassure him that you'll be back. When you do return give him a warm hello and a big hug. If you do have other birds, try to maintain the flock order. It won't help him relax if the other birds are resentful of all the attention the new guy gets.

Always address your primary bird first - first one out, first one kissed, first one fed, etc. Don't allow the birds to get together until you're sure everyone gets along. First time together, it's helpful if it's on a neutral new stand that no one is territorial about. If you expect the two to ultimately share a cage, remember that will take time and patience - you don't want the new guy intimidated by an overbearing dominant "resident" who thinks he runs the place.

An important point to remember - don't make the mistake of totally doting on the bird at first, then ignoring him after the novelty wears off. He'll definitely need extra attention in the beginning, but try to maintain a balance from the start, to avoid rebound problems down the road. So be prepared, go slow, build trust, and have fun getting to know each other. This is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong friendship.

-----------------------------------------
Your Parrot Place
Marilu Anderson, Bird Nutrition and Behavior Consultant, (503) 771-BIRD. Marilu is a regular contributor to the Your Parrot Place Newsletter. YourParrotPlace.com - Only the Best for Your Parrot!

Free eBook!
140 pages! A compilation of parrot articles from 2000-2004.
http://www.yourparrotplace.com/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. July / 05 / 2020

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 5, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 5, 2020  Summit Daily News

Pet safety during 4th of July: How to keep your furry friends from running off at the sound of fireworks - 13newsnow.com WVEC
Pet safety during 4th of July: How to keep your furry friends from running off at the sound of fireworks  13newsnow.com WVEC

Veterinary project on a mission to help pets in need - Stockton Record
Veterinary project on a mission to help pets in need  Stockton Record

PET TALK: Having a safe, paw-triotic Fourth of July weekend - Paris News
PET TALK: Having a safe, paw-triotic Fourth of July weekend  Paris News

Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July fireworks - - CBS19 News
Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July fireworks -  CBS19 News

Keeping your pets safe on Fourth of July with help from Wag N Wash - FOX21News.com
Keeping your pets safe on Fourth of July with help from Wag N Wash  FOX21News.com

Pets of the week: A couple of quiet guys looking for a home - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: A couple of quiet guys looking for a home  Duluth News Tribune

Pet Pals TV: Heat strokes in pets - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: Heat strokes in pets  WISHTV.com

Toasty summer days and more pets - Wilmington News Journal, OH
Toasty summer days and more pets  Wilmington News Journal, OH

Aggieland Humane Society Pets of the Week: Bella and Midnight - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pets of the Week: Bella and Midnight  KBTX

Veterinarians offer advice to keep your pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks - KBJR 6
Veterinarians offer advice to keep your pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks  KBJR 6

Hot cars: What you need to know to keep children and pets safe this summer - KTIV
Hot cars: What you need to know to keep children and pets safe this summer  KTIV

Celebrate Independence Day With These Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island - Long Island Press
Celebrate Independence Day With These Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island  Long Island Press

Chicago text line can help reunite you with lost pet Fourth of July weekend - WGN TV Chicago
Chicago text line can help reunite you with lost pet Fourth of July weekend  WGN TV Chicago

Tips to Keep Pets Calm During July 4 Fireworks - NBC San Diego
Tips to Keep Pets Calm During July 4 Fireworks  NBC San Diego

Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue - WFMZ Allentown
Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue  WFMZ Allentown

Young-Williams Animal Center shares tips for keeping pets safe during Fourth of July - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center shares tips for keeping pets safe during Fourth of July  WATE 6 On Your Side

Boom in fireworks triggering veterans, terrorizing pets - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com
Boom in fireworks triggering veterans, terrorizing pets - News from southeastern Connecticut  theday.com

Roxbury Resident Pursues Pet Pink Parakeet - TAPinto.net
Roxbury Resident Pursues Pet Pink Parakeet  TAPinto.net

Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Fireworks this weekend could be very stressful for your pets - WOAI
Fireworks this weekend could be very stressful for your pets  WOAI

The sounds of fireworks can be scary for many pets - WIBW
The sounds of fireworks can be scary for many pets  WIBW

Tips to protect kids, pets from heat - nbc25news.com
Tips to protect kids, pets from heat  nbc25news.com

Featured pets — July 4 | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Featured pets — July 4 | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

TIPS: Keeping pets safe this Fourth of July - CBS19.tv KYTX
TIPS: Keeping pets safe this Fourth of July  CBS19.tv KYTX

Dangers of foxtail barley to pets - KFYR
Dangers of foxtail barley to pets  KFYR

Galveston County Animal Resource Center's pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center's pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Keeping pets calm during fireworks - fox2now.com
Keeping pets calm during fireworks  fox2now.com

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Summer sun poses threats to pets and humans - CIProud.com
Summer sun poses threats to pets and humans  CIProud.com

NJ 'Moose's Law' prohibits animal abusers from owning pets - MyCentralJersey.com
NJ 'Moose's Law' prohibits animal abusers from owning pets  MyCentralJersey.com

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

How to keep your pets calm this Fourth of July - KHQ Right Now
How to keep your pets calm this Fourth of July  KHQ Right Now

Dog bites are up; parents advised to supervise children, gives pets a little 'me time' - Omaha World-Herald
Dog bites are up; parents advised to supervise children, gives pets a little 'me time'  Omaha World-Herald

Veterinarian: Remember to protect your pets during Fourth of July festivities - WNWO NBC 24
Veterinarian: Remember to protect your pets during Fourth of July festivities  WNWO NBC 24

Fourth of July Pet Safety - WCJB
Fourth of July Pet Safety  WCJB

Veterinarians Talk Pet Safety During 4th of July Weekend - FOX 21 Online
Veterinarians Talk Pet Safety During 4th of July Weekend  FOX 21 Online

Livingston Shares July 4th Safety Tips for Fireworks, Food, Health and Pets - TAPinto.net
Livingston Shares July 4th Safety Tips for Fireworks, Food, Health and Pets  TAPinto.net

Tips for keeping pets safe and calm during fireworks - WDAM
Tips for keeping pets safe and calm during fireworks  WDAM

Keeping Your Pets Safe At The Beach - NBC New York
Keeping Your Pets Safe At The Beach  NBC New York

Animal Shelter Society shares pet of the week - WHIZ
Animal Shelter Society shares pet of the week  WHIZ

Frightened pets, fires come with illegal fireworks use - News3LV
Frightened pets, fires come with illegal fireworks use  News3LV

Great Lakes Mall hosting Shop With Your Pet - News-Herald.com
Great Lakes Mall hosting Shop With Your Pet  News-Herald.com

Colonial Capital pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Colonial Capital pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

Veterinarians want you to pay close attention to your pets with "unpredictable" fireworks - 10TV
Veterinarians want you to pay close attention to your pets with "unpredictable" fireworks  10TV

Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Ursula - Patch.com
Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Ursula  Patch.com

34 Pet Products From Amazon That Must Have Been Designed By Geniuses - BuzzFeed
34 Pet Products From Amazon That Must Have Been Designed By Geniuses  BuzzFeed

Pets, vets, vaccines and the pandemic: Animal and human health entwined more than ever in COVID times - capitalcurrent.ca
Pets, vets, vaccines and the pandemic: Animal and human health entwined more than ever in COVID times  capitalcurrent.ca

Pets of the week: Clark and JoJo need new homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Clark and JoJo need new homes  MLive.com

What is the average cost of pet insurance? Depends on your pet - Business Insider - Business Insider
What is the average cost of pet insurance? Depends on your pet - Business Insider  Business Insider

Spaying and neutering your pet can lead to healthier happier lives - Victoria Advocate
Spaying and neutering your pet can lead to healthier happier lives  Victoria Advocate

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

A surge in animal adoptions, tips to help pets cope with separation, more. Read the full edition of Gambit here. - NOLA.com
A surge in animal adoptions, tips to help pets cope with separation, more. Read the full edition of Gambit here.  NOLA.com

Lightning strike sparks blaze that destroys N.J. home, leaves many pets dead - NJ.com
Lightning strike sparks blaze that destroys N.J. home, leaves many pets dead  NJ.com

Pets of the Week: Jasper and Herbert - Daily Bulldog
Pets of the Week: Jasper and Herbert  Daily Bulldog

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

Pets perish in Otisfield fire that destroys mobile home and camper - The Bethel Citizen
Pets perish in Otisfield fire that destroys mobile home and camper  The Bethel Citizen

FDA cautions pet owners about infecting their pets in new video - CNN
FDA cautions pet owners about infecting their pets in new video  CNN

Pets that need homes | Local | dothaneagle.com - Dothan Eagle
Pets that need homes | Local | dothaneagle.com  Dothan Eagle

Pet of the Week: Puppy, Puppy, Puppies! - KGET 17
Pet of the Week: Puppy, Puppy, Puppies!  KGET 17

Pet caregiver provides tips to keep your animals calm - KLKN
Pet caregiver provides tips to keep your animals calm  KLKN

How to keep your pets calm during fireworks - WTOL
How to keep your pets calm during fireworks  WTOL

Special Report: The pros and cons of purchasing pet insurance - WSBT-TV
Special Report: The pros and cons of purchasing pet insurance  WSBT-TV

Cherche and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Cherche and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Pets of the Week: 100 Litter - WITN
Pets of the Week: 100 Litter  WITN

Community Rallies For Kennel Owners Who Lost Jersey Shore Home, Pets To Lightning Strike Blaze - Hackensack Daily Voice
Community Rallies For Kennel Owners Who Lost Jersey Shore Home, Pets To Lightning Strike Blaze  Hackensack Daily Voice

Introducing This Year's Top 20 Cutest Pets in Dallas - D Magazine
Introducing This Year's Top 20 Cutest Pets in Dallas  D Magazine

Paw Prints: Keep pet safe this Fourth of July - Pauls Valley Daily Democrat
Paw Prints: Keep pet safe this Fourth of July  Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Business Intel: Pet grooming business opens in Roanoke - Roanoke Times
Business Intel: Pet grooming business opens in Roanoke  Roanoke Times

Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear - CNN
Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear  CNN

Iowa Supreme Court sides with pet allergies over support animal in tenant dispute - KCRG
Iowa Supreme Court sides with pet allergies over support animal in tenant dispute  KCRG

Pet Of The Week: Zuzu - Pleasantville, NY Patch
Pet Of The Week: Zuzu  Pleasantville, NY Patch

Class pets become long-term pandemic houseguests while St. Louis schools are out - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Class pets become long-term pandemic houseguests while St. Louis schools are out  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pet owners put furry friends on diets after they gained weight in lockdown - Fox News
Pet owners put furry friends on diets after they gained weight in lockdown  Fox News

2 pets killed in Fort Wayne house fire - WANE
2 pets killed in Fort Wayne house fire  WANE

Dog lovers show off their pets' skills in dog agility competition - Fox11online.com
Dog lovers show off their pets' skills in dog agility competition  Fox11online.com

2 puppies stolen from pet store; theft caught on camera - KMBC Kansas City
2 puppies stolen from pet store; theft caught on camera  KMBC Kansas City

How to keep your pet calm when fireworks go off - WSYR
How to keep your pet calm when fireworks go off  WSYR

Get a sketch of your pet, help Blue Ridge Humane Society - WLOS
Get a sketch of your pet, help Blue Ridge Humane Society  WLOS

Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store - AL.com
Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store  AL.com

Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Ways to keep your pet safe this 4th of July - KKCO-TV
Ways to keep your pet safe this 4th of July  KKCO-TV

Determine if a sidewalk or street is too hot for your pet in 7 seconds - wpde.com
Determine if a sidewalk or street is too hot for your pet in 7 seconds  wpde.com

Fireworks noise could be deadly for some pets, vets warn - New York Post
Fireworks noise could be deadly for some pets, vets warn  New York Post

Pet of the Week | Cluck Noris doesn’t need a home, a home needs Cluck Noris - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Pet of the Week | Cluck Noris doesn’t need a home, a home needs Cluck Noris  Santa Cruz Sentinel

Eight tips to reduce fireworks anxiety in pets - VeterinaryPracticeNews.com
Eight tips to reduce fireworks anxiety in pets  VeterinaryPracticeNews.com

4 Reasons the Pandemic Is a Boon for the Pet Industry - Entrepreneur
4 Reasons the Pandemic Is a Boon for the Pet Industry  Entrepreneur

Pet store worker threatened by customer over face covering - Albuquerque Journal
Pet store worker threatened by customer over face covering  Albuquerque Journal

Pet of the Week: Taffy - County 17
Pet of the Week: Taffy  County 17

Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold - Forbes
Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold  Forbes

Pets and Fireworks - Fox Baltimore
Pets and Fireworks  Fox Baltimore

New York State Thruway Authority: Grand opening held for expanded pet comfort area at WNY Welcome Center - Niagara Frontier Publications
New York State Thruway Authority: Grand opening held for expanded pet comfort area at WNY Welcome Center  Niagara Frontier Publications

Working from home has improved employees' connections to their pets - Employee Benefit News
Working from home has improved employees' connections to their pets  Employee Benefit News

Why Has the “Pet Effect” Meme Spread So Rapidly? - Psychology Today
Why Has the “Pet Effect” Meme Spread So Rapidly?  Psychology Today

Adopt a Pet: Theia - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Theia  Ellwood City Ledger

These tips will help ease your pets as you return to work - WBAL TV Baltimore
These tips will help ease your pets as you return to work  WBAL TV Baltimore

Is Raw or Homemade Food Good for Your Pet? - WebMD
Is Raw or Homemade Food Good for Your Pet?  WebMD

Pets left behind by COVID-19 part of pandemic’s toll - Akron Beacon Journal
Pets left behind by COVID-19 part of pandemic’s toll  Akron Beacon Journal

Some families lose priceless mementos, family pets in River Fire - KSBY San Luis Obispo News
Some families lose priceless mementos, family pets in River Fire  KSBY San Luis Obispo News

Pet of The Weekend: Portobello - FOX 7 Austin
Pet of The Weekend: Portobello  FOX 7 Austin

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