Your Parrot Place Newsletter - August 2004
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In this issue:
Vet Check - Well Bird Check Up
Would you like to reprint an article from the YPP
I have had a couple of reprint requests lately. I just
wanted to let you know that you are welcome to print any
articles that I have written as long you include the
You don't have to ask
permission for each article - although I'd love to know if
you are using it! Thank you very much for your support!
Yahoo Group Topic
|Do you have
any stories about Pionus Parrots you would like to share?
Go to our Yahoo Group
Moving day is almost here! I
will be leaving my current place on August 25th and be business as
usual again the following Monday, August 29th. The last order that
gets shipped out of the old place will be the morning of the 25th.
Feel free to place your orders at
www.yourparrotplace.com as usual. I will only have my internet
access cut off for two days, but the website will be unaffected.
Our phone numbers will be
changing. I believe the toll-free number will be the same, but I
will post it on the website when I know for sure. Our fax number
1-877-430-2189 and my email address will stay the same for sure.
Any ideas out there? If you have any cute stories or advise to
share with other parrot owners, be sure to drop me a line. Don't
forget the pictures!
Vet Check - Well-Bird Check Up
by Taylor Knight
I know there are differing opinions on the subject of well-bird
check ups. Some people believe in having your apparently healthy
parrot checked out once a year by a qualified avian vet, while
others claim that taking a health bird into a vet office exposes
them to "germies" they might not otherwise be exposed to. I am not
going to lecture you on either. That is your choice. I am lucky
enough to have a mobile avian vet that visits my house and I do
have my parrots checked out once a year. But, you do what you
think is right.
If you do take your bird in for a well bird check-up, here are
some things that should be included:
Visual check: Looking at
the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. and making sure things appear
as they should.
The touchy feely test –
feeling the bird to see if there are any lumps or other
abnormalities the vet can feel.
Weight: Weight should be
taken, in grams, every time.
Grooming: Wing and Nail
trims, if needed.
Gram stain: The poop test –
to make sure there are no bad things in the poopie.
Blood Work: Maybe. Possibly
a chlamydia blood test and a complete blood panel. You don’t
have to have these done every time. Ask your vet their opinion.
Sometimes the vet may recommend more specific tests. And, just
for the record, the bird does not have to be given anesthesia or
“put under” to take a simple blood sample.
Ask Questions: Be sure to
discuss any changes in behavior, health or diet related issues.
If your bird is not acting right, is
tired a lot, lethargic, isn’t eating like normal, has a nasal or
eye discharge, or just sits there all “poofed” out, you need to
get to an avian vet as fast as you can. I mean today – not
tomorrow. Better to be safe than sorry. So, repeat after me, “If
my bird looks or acts sick, I will RUN not walk to my avian
veterinarian.” Birds generally do not look or act sick until they
are REALLY sick. They can take a turn for the worst very quickly.
Finding a vet
If you do not already have an avian vet, look in your local
phone directory. Give them a call and see how many birds they
treat. I know of several that advertise that they treat birds but
only see a few per year.
You can also use these site to find an avian vet in your area.
The Association of Avian
Veterinarians - Searchable
The Association of Avian Veterinarians – more complete listing
The directory at Birds n Ways
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Certified in Avian
by Taylor Knight
The photo is of Stinky Pi, a white capped Pionus.
Photos are courtesy of Margaret Madison
Click here to see more!
Species: Blue-headed (P. menstruus), Bronz-Winged
(Pionus chalcopterus), Dusky (P. fuscus), White-capped (P. senils),
Maximilian's (P. maxmiliani), Coral-billed (P. sordidus),
Plum-crowned (P. tumultuosus), White-headed (P. t. seniloides).
Species commonly kept as pets are the
blue-headed, Maximilian’s, white-capped and bronze-winged Pionus.
Coloring / Size: Pionus do not have any overtly bright
coloring like Macaws, but are beautiful. Each species has their
own "color scheme" and some of their feathers have an iridescent
quality. They are a medium size - between a Caique and an African
Grey. About 23–30 cm (9 - 12 inches)
Originating Country: Central and
Possible life span: 30 to 45 years
Overall Personality: A bit on the
quieter side (for a parrot), but produce both soft and loud
sounds. Can be a little cautious of new new environments and may
need time to adjust. Pionus can mimic sounds and learn to speak.
These little guys can also become intensely loyal. They are not
known to have extreme behavioral problems. Pionus can be affected,
briefly, by hormones - but it soon passes.
Pionus are generally not overly cuddly.
Meaning you can pet them and love them, but they have a more
"independent" nature and are content to be around the family
without having to be picked up and held all the time (unlike
cockatoos!). Pionus parrots love to climb, hang, and play.
I would seriously consider getting them a separate parrot
playstand to keep them busy outside their cage.
Pionus make an unusual wheezing sound when stressed or
occasionally when they feel good. They can also make a purring
sound when getting a head scratch. They give off a musky odor,
Cages: A 20”x20”x28” cage or larger with ¾-inch bar
Sexing: Both male and female look identical and need to
sexed by a professional.
Other issues: Pionus are
known for sometimes having a weight problem. Just make sure they
eat right, get enough exercise and regular vet checks and it won't
be an issue.
Bird Talk Magazine
have some beautiful Pionus parrot photos on my website. They are
photos taken by me of my two pet white capped Pionus – Stinky Pi
(male) on the left and Sweety Pi (female) on the right.
Click here to see more!
These two are the first to ask to be put to bed (of my 23
parrots) and the last ones to rise in the morning. They are the
snoozers of the bunch, that’s for sure. I put perches on their
cage doors and a hanging toy inside the door and they will pull
their doors shut behind them as they head to their sleep perches
These Pionus love to bathe and I’ve never seen them turn away a
shower. I try to give them showers several times a week. I use a
mister indoors and spray their large cages down letting them get a
free “bath” in the process. This is a preliminary to my cleaning
routine, wiping the cage bars, etc… I also bring them in the
shower to the perch in there. They love their baths.
These guys are also good eaters and their favorites (what I could
use for bribery, if I ever needed to) is Brownberry’s 12 Grain
bread (made with molasses, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, millet and
all sorts of wonderful grains, and they also love sugar snap peas.
They will peel open that pea pod and eat the peas and discard the
pod. LOL! The pods are delicious, don’t they know? Another bribery
food is dried papaya. They blow kisses every time I give them one
of these goodies.
They are very good about eating their pellets and make parrot soup
in their bowls all the time. I think I change their water cups at
least 3 times every day. I know that the water helps them eat
their food and digest it and I don’t mind changing it frequently.
They are not terribly demanding and are not very loud, although
they can get loud at times. Stinky Pi sounds like a donkey braying
when he gets going. He also loves to beat the mess out of his
toys. He can be very hormonal and exhibits all the hormonal
postures… slightly open beak with the fanned out tail and the head
and neck feathers sticking straight out. Yes, he definitely means
business in that posture and you’d better heed his warnings.
Making sure he gets 12 hours of sleep helps his mood, but hormones
Sweety Pi loves her human Daddy and will sometimes even fan her
tail at me while she makes a very sharp high-pitched piercing
whistle (I guess you’d call it). So even the females can be
hormonal at times. You just need to watch for the postures and get
to know your birds. The only way you can do that is by observing
them and spending time with them. Each one has their own
personalities. I love my Pionus.
NCS Online Editor –
From the Editor
- Any tips, recipes, burning
questions, cute stories, product ideas, or cool websites, etc.
- We would love to hear what you
think of this newsletter. And of course, if you have any
questions, comments, or suggestions that you'd like to share
with us, please
send those too!
Don't forget to visit our other
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