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I don’t know how many of you have been keeping up with my personal posts about adopting Kiwi, the male parrotlet, but I need some advice. If anyone has experience working with troubled birds (I guess you could call them “troubled”) I could really use some answers. This little guy needs some tender loving care, and I really want to help him, but I need to know where and how to start.
Here is a copied post of mine from the TalkParrotlets forum, where I described basically everything:
“I just adopted a seven-year-old male parrotlet from the parrot rescue that I volunteer at. I’ve always wanted a parrotlet, and he seemed like such a sweetie. I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew, however, because he did come with some baggage, I guess you could say. He came from a home where he was given no attention, and he is extremely cautious. He spends all of his time on one perch at the top of his cage, mostly in the top corner. That’s his safe spot, since he’ll run up there when you so much as walk anywhere near the cage. He’ll come down to eat, but the owner of the rescue said that his previous owner only fed him Nutri-berries. His chest feathers are all scruffy, since he had a history of plucking. I can’t tell if he is still plucking, but so far I don’t see any feathers on the cage floor or anything. It’s hard to tell if he’s trying to pluck or if he’s just preening. If you open the cage door, he’ll run up to his corner, and if your hand goes in, he’ll hide in his fuzzy cuddle tent, poking his head out of either side until you’re done.
So, I need a bit of advice. I don’t even know where to begin, but I really want to help this guy out. I feel terrible when I see him hiding out, especially when my budgie in another cage is all over the place playing with her toys and everything. She seems 10x more active compared to this little parrotlet. He chirps, but he doesn’t do much exploring, even with all of the toys he has. (and these aren’t new toys, they’re the same toys he had at the rescue)
- How can I encourage him to stay out of his corner? without rearranging his cage. unless that would help? it seems to me like that may be a little cruel, taking away his safe place. I just want to encourage him to come out.
- If he IS still plucking, how can I help him overcome that? Also, how can I tell if he is plucking, or just preening?
- How should I try to take him out of the cage? Or should I even bring him out at all? He’s been outside when he was at the rescue, but he’s really nervous. It doesn’t seem fair for me to hold him, when he’s so terrified if I even walk by the cage.
- How can I try to introduce him to a better diet? I don’t think he’s even eating the seed mix in his dish, just the Nutri-berries.
I’m sorry I have so many questions, but like I said, I don’t even know where to start helping this little guy.”
If you have any answers, suggestions, or experience to share with me, you can drop me an ask.