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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. April / 20 / 2021

Pet Talk: Will pets be OK when owners return to work? - Lowell Sun
Pet Talk: Will pets be OK when owners return to work?  Lowell Sun

Newly Named Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of Rescued Pets Movement - inForney.com
Newly Named Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of Rescued Pets Movement  inForney.com

Pet Pals: Two senior pets are looking for a new home - WWAY NewsChannel 3
Pet Pals: Two senior pets are looking for a new home  WWAY NewsChannel 3

How to ease your pet’s anxieties as you head back to work - fox2now.com
How to ease your pet’s anxieties as you head back to work  fox2now.com

Therapy pets returns to Moffitt Cancer Center - Bay News 9
Therapy pets returns to Moffitt Cancer Center  Bay News 9

Pets experience separation anxiety as owners return to work - WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro
Pets experience separation anxiety as owners return to work  WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

Peloton Tread Plus: CPSC warns it can kill kids, pets and says stop using it 'immediately' - CNET
Peloton Tread Plus: CPSC warns it can kill kids, pets and says stop using it 'immediately'  CNET

Pets of the day from FurKids - FOX 5 Atlanta
Pets of the day from FurKids  FOX 5 Atlanta

Pets being returned to local shelters after adoption boom - FOX 5 DC
Pets being returned to local shelters after adoption boom  FOX 5 DC

PACC offering $0 adoptions for adult pets this month - KOLD
PACC offering $0 adoptions for adult pets this month  KOLD

NJ pets in need: April 19, 2021 - nj.com
NJ pets in need: April 19, 2021  nj.com

Latest Pets Up For Adoption At New Port Richey Area Shelters - New Port Richey, FL Patch
Latest Pets Up For Adoption At New Port Richey Area Shelters  New Port Richey, FL Patch

Don’t Forget to Vaccinate your Pets - WFLA
Don’t Forget to Vaccinate your Pets  WFLA

Pet caretakers warn of marijuana dangers with pets - KTNV Las Vegas
Pet caretakers warn of marijuana dangers with pets  KTNV Las Vegas

Pets In Need in Southern Maryland "Dog of the Week" Ying-Yang - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
Pets In Need in Southern Maryland "Dog of the Week" Ying-Yang  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

Pets of the Week for April 20, 2021 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for April 20, 2021  WKRN News 2

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Coral - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Coral  KCBD

PHOTOS: Barrow County Animal Control Adoptable Pets of the Week — April 19 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Barrow County Animal Control Adoptable Pets of the Week — April 19  Gwinnettdailypost.com

Minot mobile home fire claims two pets - KFYR-TV
Minot mobile home fire claims two pets  KFYR-TV

London Zoo: Training animals to participate in their own health care - Arizona Daily Sun
London Zoo: Training animals to participate in their own health care  Arizona Daily Sun

Public Invited to Submit Art Highlighting the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild - livingsnoqualmie.com
Public Invited to Submit Art Highlighting the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild  livingsnoqualmie.com

VERIFY: Eating cicadas won't harm your pet - 13WMAZ.com
VERIFY: Eating cicadas won't harm your pet  13WMAZ.com

Lyme disease in pets being reported in high numbers - The Columbus Dispatch
Lyme disease in pets being reported in high numbers  The Columbus Dispatch

Pets of the Week: April 21, 2021 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Pets of the Week: April 21, 2021 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Berks community steps up to offer pet cages to shelter pets after a fire, chief says - Reading Eagle
Berks community steps up to offer pet cages to shelter pets after a fire, chief says  Reading Eagle

St. Anthony Hospital opens pet therapy room - Chicago Sun-Times
St. Anthony Hospital opens pet therapy room  Chicago Sun-Times

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com - Mooresville Tribune
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com  Mooresville Tribune

How to Help Pets Deal With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety, According to Veterinarians - New York Magazine
How to Help Pets Deal With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety, According to Veterinarians  New York Magazine

How to keep your pet safe this spring - KXLY Spokane
How to keep your pet safe this spring  KXLY Spokane

Lafayette shelter pets hitch a ride to freedom and life - KATC Lafayette News
Lafayette shelter pets hitch a ride to freedom and life  KATC Lafayette News

Madison basement fire displaces 4 people, 2 pets - WKOW
Madison basement fire displaces 4 people, 2 pets  WKOW

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

Adoptable pets: Kiah and Karma - Tallahassee.com
Adoptable pets: Kiah and Karma  Tallahassee.com

Pet of the week: Goofball that loves water - wpde.com
Pet of the week: Goofball that loves water  wpde.com

[VIDEO] Coyote with mange spotted in Colorado park around pets and children - OutThere Colorado
[VIDEO] Coyote with mange spotted in Colorado park around pets and children  OutThere Colorado

Kirkendall: Grains are friends, not fillers for pets - telegraphherald.com
Kirkendall: Grains are friends, not fillers for pets  telegraphherald.com

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Pet adoptions surge to ‘highest’ levels in pandemic, but experts caution first-time owners - Boston Herald
Pet adoptions surge to ‘highest’ levels in pandemic, but experts caution first-time owners  Boston Herald

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 18, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 18, 2021  Summit Daily News

dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital® Partner to Host Second Virtual Recruitment Event - PRNewswire
dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital® Partner to Host Second Virtual Recruitment Event  PRNewswire

Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: George, Otis & Midnight - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: George, Otis & Midnight - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Smart Pet Feeder Is Well Engineered - Hackaday
Smart Pet Feeder Is Well Engineered  Hackaday

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Lucky - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Lucky  TAPinto.net

Midcoast Humane helps lost pets reunite with their owners through microchips - WGME
Midcoast Humane helps lost pets reunite with their owners through microchips  WGME

Video The Impact of Reopening on Our Pets - WebMD
Video The Impact of Reopening on Our Pets  WebMD

Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years - Corvallis Gazette Times
Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years  Corvallis Gazette Times

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

Dilworth City Council to discuss limiting pets, microchip licensing - INFORUM
Dilworth City Council to discuss limiting pets, microchip licensing  INFORUM

How Much Do These Unusual Pets Actually Cost? - GOBankingRates
How Much Do These Unusual Pets Actually Cost?  GOBankingRates

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

After lost dog found, KCK owner says local pet rescue not giving him back - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City
After lost dog found, KCK owner says local pet rescue not giving him back  WDAF FOX4 Kansas City

AVMA celebrating what pets have meant to people during pandemic - American Veterinary Medical Association
AVMA celebrating what pets have meant to people during pandemic  American Veterinary Medical Association

Pets Of The Week: Animal Lifeline Pittsburgh – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Pittsburgh - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Of The Week: Animal Lifeline Pittsburgh – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Pittsburgh  CBS Pittsburgh

Pender Co. officials urge owners to vaccinate pets after rabid bobcat killed - WECT
Pender Co. officials urge owners to vaccinate pets after rabid bobcat killed  WECT

EPA Investigating Pet Incidents Involving Seresto Collars - NBC10 Boston
EPA Investigating Pet Incidents Involving Seresto Collars  NBC10 Boston

Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents - PEOPLE
Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents  PEOPLE

Pets Help Children Reduce Their Stress and Stay Active During COVID-19 Pandemic, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Pets Help Children Reduce Their Stress and Stay Active During COVID-19 Pandemic, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Trisha Yearwood Worked with Her Rescue Dogs to Create Her New 'Practical and Pretty' Pet Line - PEOPLE
Trisha Yearwood Worked with Her Rescue Dogs to Create Her New 'Practical and Pretty' Pet Line  PEOPLE

Tampa Bay area pets looking for new families - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for new families  Tampa Bay Times

Universal's 'The Secret Life of Pets' is old school and devastatingly cute - Los Angeles Times
Universal's 'The Secret Life of Pets' is old school and devastatingly cute  Los Angeles Times

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 11, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 11, 2021  Summit Daily News

Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD - WebMD
Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD  WebMD

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Launches Spanish Pet Adoption Platform - ATP Tour
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Launches Spanish Pet Adoption Platform  ATP Tour

Pets Keep Us Paws-itive During the Pandemic - Duke Today
Pets Keep Us Paws-itive During the Pandemic  Duke Today

Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down - Crunchbase News
Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down  Crunchbase News

Pet adoption: Oswego County 'princess' dog looking for home after owner passes away - CNYcentral.com
Pet adoption: Oswego County 'princess' dog looking for home after owner passes away  CNYcentral.com

There’s a Huge Dog-Food Recall Due to Salmonella Risk to Pets and People - Self
There’s a Huge Dog-Food Recall Due to Salmonella Risk to Pets and People  Self

Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recall Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk - FDA.gov
Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recall Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk  FDA.gov

National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History - PRNewswire
National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History  PRNewswire

'My pet has helped me so much during the pandemic' - BBC News
'My pet has helped me so much during the pandemic'  BBC News

VIDEO: Closer Look at Refurbished Pet Cemetery at The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park - wdwnt.com
VIDEO: Closer Look at Refurbished Pet Cemetery at The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park  wdwnt.com

Unfortunately, we like pets that are likely to be invasive species - Ars Technica
Unfortunately, we like pets that are likely to be invasive species  Ars Technica

Some pet dogs need expensive therapy after lockdowns - Fox News
Some pet dogs need expensive therapy after lockdowns  Fox News

How the Furbo Dog Camera helped me leave my pet home alone - NBC News
How the Furbo Dog Camera helped me leave my pet home alone  NBC News

Pets & Animals - The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
Pets & Animals  The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

Pets with Potential: Meet Stallone - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Stallone  WCAX

Spring flowers are pretty, but may be harmful to your pet - WANE
Spring flowers are pretty, but may be harmful to your pet  WANE

Search ends for missing 50-pound pet raccoon - Norman Transcript
Search ends for missing 50-pound pet raccoon  Norman Transcript

Painfully honest pet adoption ad gains attention for 'demonic' chihuahua - KIRO Seattle
Painfully honest pet adoption ad gains attention for 'demonic' chihuahua  KIRO Seattle

Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds - BBC News
Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds  BBC News

After lost dog found, owner says Kansas pet rescue won’t give it back - KSN-TV
After lost dog found, owner says Kansas pet rescue won’t give it back  KSN-TV

Pet of the Week | Local News | gloucestertimes.com - Gloucester Daily Times
Pet of the Week | Local News | gloucestertimes.com  Gloucester Daily Times

America's Most Pet-Friendly National Parks - msnNOW
America's Most Pet-Friendly National Parks  msnNOW

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking into a Dollar General for a Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush and a New Start - PEOPLE
A Dog Who Kept Sneaking into a Dollar General for a Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush and a New Start  PEOPLE

Pet Adoptions Help Animals and Their New Owners During Pandemic - NBC Bay Area
Pet Adoptions Help Animals and Their New Owners During Pandemic  NBC Bay Area

Pets and Pet Spending During the Pandemic: A Money Report - Money
Pets and Pet Spending During the Pandemic: A Money Report  Money

Pet supply stores band together to help Oakland County deputy battling cancer - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Pet supply stores band together to help Oakland County deputy battling cancer  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

The Best Place to Adopt a Pet in Every State - Money
The Best Place to Adopt a Pet in Every State  Money

5 Best At-Home Allergy Tests of 2021: Pets, Seasonal, Mold - Healthline
5 Best At-Home Allergy Tests of 2021: Pets, Seasonal, Mold  Healthline

4 Millennial Pet Trends That Boomers Roll Their Eyes At - PureWow
4 Millennial Pet Trends That Boomers Roll Their Eyes At  PureWow

30 tons of pet food donations headed to 36 area animal rescues starting Monday - KXAN.com
30 tons of pet food donations headed to 36 area animal rescues starting Monday  KXAN.com

Pet of the Week: Axel - East Idaho News
Pet of the Week: Axel  East Idaho News

Pet Connection Prime Time - NEWS10 ABC
Pet Connection Prime Time  NEWS10 ABC

25 Affordable Pet Products On Amazon Reviewers Say Made A Huge Difference - BuzzFeed
25 Affordable Pet Products On Amazon Reviewers Say Made A Huge Difference  BuzzFeed

Pet of the Day from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia - FOX 5 Atlanta
Pet of the Day from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia  FOX 5 Atlanta

Pet of the Week: Jack - KGET 17
Pet of the Week: Jack  KGET 17

The Top 20 Destinations for Pet-Friendly Travel - TravelPulse
The Top 20 Destinations for Pet-Friendly Travel  TravelPulse

Animal Foundation running low on pet food, asking for donations - FOX5 Las Vegas
Animal Foundation running low on pet food, asking for donations  FOX5 Las Vegas

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