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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 Tue. November / 19 / 2019

Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners - USA TODAY
Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners  USA TODAY

Cat food sold nationwide recalled over potential risks to pets and humans - KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis
Cat food sold nationwide recalled over potential risks to pets and humans  KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis

Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health - WZTV
Studies say owning pet can have positive impact on owners' physical, mental health  WZTV

Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum - The State Journal-Register
Adoptable pets of the week: Lucky, Adams, Sara, Sugar Plum  The State Journal-Register

Senior pets getting some extra help at animal hospital in Scottsville - wnky.com
Senior pets getting some extra help at animal hospital in Scottsville  wnky.com

Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets - The Daily Journal
Thanking all those who help support shelter, give comfort to pets  The Daily Journal

A people party for pets - Chico Enterprise-Record
A people party for pets  Chico Enterprise-Record

Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people - dvm360
Pet owners don't ignore your recommendations because they are bad people  dvm360

NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - nj.com  NJ.com

Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science - New Jersey Herald
Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science  New Jersey Herald

Quest Cat Food Recalled, May Pose Danger To Pets, Humans - CBS Miami
Quest Cat Food Recalled, May Pose Danger To Pets, Humans  CBS Miami

Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving - WXIX
Companion Cuisine prepares to feed 500 people and pets on Thanksgiving  WXIX

Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday - KSAT San Antonio
Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday  KSAT San Antonio

Struggling pet parents can get the help they need - Marin Independent Journal
Struggling pet parents can get the help they need  Marin Independent Journal

Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say - MLive.com
Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say  MLive.com

Make your home more pet friendly | Animals - The Union Leader
Make your home more pet friendly | Animals  The Union Leader

City warns pet owners to be wary of weather - Monitor
City warns pet owners to be wary of weather  Monitor

Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18 - Mokena, IL Patch
Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18  Mokena, IL Patch

Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need - WKYC.com
Here's how you can buy a beer and raise money for pets in need  WKYC.com

Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever - Slate
Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever  Slate

Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week - Kansas City Star
Shepherd mix, sweet shorthair pets of the week  Kansas City Star

Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential - Refinery29
Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential  Refinery29

City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach - Long Beach Post
City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach  Long Beach Post

Beauty and the Beast, our Pets of the Week - WOAI
Beauty and the Beast, our Pets of the Week  WOAI

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA - Anne Arundel, MD Patch
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week From Anne Arundel SPCA  Anne Arundel, MD Patch

Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Nov. 19, 2019  WKRN News 2

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans - KOMO News
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans  KOMO News

Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays? - WNDU-TV
Is your pet feeling the stress of the holidays?  WNDU-TV

Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans - KFSM 5Newsonline
Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans  KFSM 5Newsonline

Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans - WTAE Pittsburgh
Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans  WTAE Pittsburgh

Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper - Natchez Democrat
Bob and Bumper are Pets of Week - Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper | Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper  Natchez Democrat

Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County - WRAL.com
Pets and people run to support SPCA of Wake County  WRAL.com

Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center  CBS Pittsburgh

'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather - USA TODAY
'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather  USA TODAY

Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park - WPLG Local 10
Puppies found in bad shape at pet shop in Pembroke Park  WPLG Local 10

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled because of risks to pets and humans - WAFB
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled because of risks to pets and humans  WAFB

Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans? - WTOP
Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans?  WTOP

South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners - CBS Miami
South Florida’s Pet Detective Jamie Katz Reunites Lost & Missing Pets With Owners  CBS Miami

Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online - CBS19 News
Alert for holiday pet scams when looking to buy a new pet online  CBS19 News

Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners - KCAU 9
Licenses, fees and penalties to increase for pet owners  KCAU 9

St. Mark's Episcopal Church to hold pet food pantry - TribDem.com
St. Mark's Episcopal Church to hold pet food pantry  TribDem.com

Central New York’s Only Pet Meal Delivery Program - WSYR
Central New York’s Only Pet Meal Delivery Program  WSYR

Scientists need 10,000 pets for largest-ever dog study - WSAZ-TV
Scientists need 10,000 pets for largest-ever dog study  WSAZ-TV

Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold - 13abc Action News
Toledo shelter fielding numerous calls about pets left in the cold  13abc Action News

Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too. - Vox.com
Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too.  Vox.com

Protecting your pets from the cold - WITN
Protecting your pets from the cold  WITN

'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season - News3LV
'It's a commitment': Avoiding unwanted pets this holiday season  News3LV

Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say - Boston.com
Fire destroys Lakeville home, leaves 3 pets dead, officials say  Boston.com

'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold - NewsChannel5.com
'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold  NewsChannel5.com

People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’ - Yahoo Food
People are freeze-drying their pets after they die: ‘They don’t want to let go’  Yahoo Food

Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog - Reader's Digest
Best Pet GPS Trackers for Your Cat or Dog  Reader's Digest

Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared - WTKR News 3
Hampton pet owner reunited with cat more than a year after it disappeared  WTKR News 3

Keeping your pets safe during the winter months - 10TV
Keeping your pets safe during the winter months  10TV

Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy - Forbes
Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy  Forbes

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019  OregonLive

Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet? - The Washington Post
Hints From Heloise: A teacher’s pet?  The Washington Post

Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths - CNN
Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths  CNN

California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets - Military.com
California Veterans Can Soon Get Free Pets  Military.com

4 foods your pet should avoid this holiday season - Southeast Missourian
4 foods your pet should avoid this holiday season  Southeast Missourian

Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets - KTVA
Fish and Game issues Wildlife Alert for wolverine attacking pets  KTVA

Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft - BBC News
Russia corruption: Putin's pet space project Vostochny tainted by massive theft  BBC News

The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners - The New Yorker
The Mysterious Relationship Between Pets and Their Owners  The New Yorker

These New Orleans furry friends declared sacred after 9th annual Blessing of the Pets - NOLA.com
These New Orleans furry friends declared sacred after 9th annual Blessing of the Pets  NOLA.com

Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele - WCVB Boston
Cute animals on demand: Business makes pet toy look-alikes, fetches celebrity clientele  WCVB Boston

A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt - The Cincinnati Enquirer
A guinea pig was thrown at a Kentucky pet store owner during a reported robbery attempt  The Cincinnati Enquirer

As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together - Los Angeleno
As Homelessness Surges, Volunteers Work to Keep Pets and Their Owners Together  Los Angeleno

Birmingham pet cat confirmed with rabies by Oakland County Health Division - Hometown Life
Birmingham pet cat confirmed with rabies by Oakland County Health Division  Hometown Life

You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17 - SILive.com
You can adopt 19 remarkable pets on Staten Island this weekend: Nov. 16-17  SILive.com

More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price - Minnesota Public Radio News
More Twin Cities apartments welcome pets — for a price  Minnesota Public Radio News

San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! waives adoption fees as it reaches maximum capacity  KSAT San Antonio

Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets - WHNT News 19
Beware the legal ramifications when re-homing lost pets  WHNT News 19

Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night - WTHR
Adopt pets for free at IACS Adopt-A-Thon Friday night  WTHR

Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers - Times Union
Albany DA: Justice reforms to burden animal shelters, pets could go back to abusers  Times Union

Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets - KFOR Oklahoma City
Norman Animal Welfare waiving adoption fees during event for all adoptable pets  KFOR Oklahoma City

Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House - Severna Park Voice
Eco Adventures Presents Responsible Pet-Keeping Open House  Severna Park Voice

Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays - WSAV-TV
Perfect Pet: Bring home a furry friend for the holidays  WSAV-TV

A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine - The Atlantic
A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine  The Atlantic

Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet! - Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
Meet Bishop, this week's adoptable pet!  Williamsburg Yorktown Daily

California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets - Mental Floss
California Wildfires Displace Shelter Pets  Mental Floss

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR. - The Digital Fix
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets review on PSVR.  The Digital Fix

Pets also need protection in cold weather - KSAT San Antonio
Pets also need protection in cold weather  KSAT San Antonio

Things get worse for Prince Andrew: Accused of using n-word, as pet project loses support - The Mercury News
Things get worse for Prince Andrew: Accused of using n-word, as pet project loses support  The Mercury News

Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’ - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Dallas Dog Owner Appealing Pet’s Double Designation As ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Aggressive’  CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire - The Denver Channel
Multiple pets, including dog, cats, lizard, bird, rescued from Denver house fire  The Denver Channel

Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead - WSAW
Nekoosa Police: Couple moved leaving animals behind, several pets dead  WSAW

Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people? - WTHR
Do alternative diets work for pets like they do for people?  WTHR

The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market - Block Club Chicago
The Hoxton Hotel Debuts Cozy, Pet-Friendly Coworking Space In Fulton Market  Block Club Chicago

Keeping your pets warm in chilly weather: It it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them - KAIT
Keeping your pets warm in chilly weather: It it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them  KAIT

Dogs are the stars of the show at the Novi Pet Expo - Detroit Free Press
Dogs are the stars of the show at the Novi Pet Expo  Detroit Free Press

NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 11, 2019  NJ.com

Nine pets killed in travel trailer fire - KEYE TV CBS Austin
Nine pets killed in travel trailer fire  KEYE TV CBS Austin

Pet owners protest Beaverton veterinarian accused of animal abuse - KGW.com
Pet owners protest Beaverton veterinarian accused of animal abuse  KGW.com

Cartwright woman loses home, pets to fire - KXII-TV
Cartwright woman loses home, pets to fire  KXII-TV

Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car - WFLA
Lakewood Ranch Publix employees adopt dog for loyal customer whose pet was hit by car  WFLA

Boca Raton pet store under investigation by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control - WPTV.com
Boca Raton pet store under investigation by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control  WPTV.com

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/13/19) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/13/19)  ABC15 Arizona

10 Best Pet Birds — Best Birds for Family Pets - WomansDay.com
10 Best Pet Birds — Best Birds for Family Pets  WomansDay.com

Edinburgh pet-owners warned as four cats vanish from same area of city - Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh pet-owners warned as four cats vanish from same area of city  Edinburgh Live

Pet Doc: Feline asthma - NTV
Pet Doc: Feline asthma  NTV

Protect pets and plants during cold weather with these tips - WAFB
Protect pets and plants during cold weather with these tips  WAFB

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