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A few beginner questions

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Old 06-16-2017, 02:12 PM   #1
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A few beginner questions

Hi all,

I was hoping to pick your brains please folks.

I bought my little sweetie home on Monday and so far Berry seems to be settling in well. We all seem to refer to Berry in the feminine but the book I've been using as a guide infers that the darker bits by the eyes indicate a male, is this correct?

When I purchased the cage and other items, the pet advisor in the store suggested that I purchase some bird grit - I assumed this person knew what they were talking about despite reading in the parrotlet book that grit wasn't necessary. I purchased some grit but haven't as yet popped any in the cage (it was only 1.50 so hardly broke the bank buying it 'just in case'). Do you use grit in your cages? If so, do you pop it in its own little bowl, or sprinkle it on the food?

Regarding fresh food, so far I have established that Berry loves Berries - heehee! Also, carrot, peas, banana, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. The mixed seed is also a big hit (with a particular love for sunflower seeds). I've read that sunflower seeds should be given in moderation, but elsewhere that they're an essential source of fat - any opinions on this?

Do parrotlets enjoy birdbaths? I have popped one in the bottom of the cage with an inch of water in but Berry seems to just enjoy dipping her tail feathers in it and having a shake- is this usual?

How much millet is too much? Berry will 'Step up' now and I reward with a few bites of a millet stick, and the same for letting us have bonding strokes. Is this too much?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!

Tracy & Berry


BlueBerry Heights

Last edited by BerryBonBon; 06-16-2017 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:15 PM   #2
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Blueberry Heights love it. Welcome to the forum. Your little Berry is just adorable! I'll let others with more experience address your other questions but as far as baths go- my little boy LOVES his bath and gets so excited when I put it in his cage. But he doesn't get wet. He prances about the edge and dips the tip of his wings and the tip of his tail in the water and flings it about but manages to get surroundings far more damp than himself. Now my little girl takes bathing far more seriously! She commits herself to a proper bath is is thoroughly soaked and very pleased with herself when finished!
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Ahhh it seems that is the way they bathe then! Awesome, thank you xx
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:33 AM   #4
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Parrotlets or any parrot for that matter should NEVER have grit. It can cause a multitude of health issues.
Here is a past thread on grit that might be useful.
http://talkparrotlets.com/showthread...highlight=grit

As for millet. For a young new bird under stress give Berry all the millet he/she wants. As long as she is eating other stuff all will be fine. If he fixates on millet to the exclusion of other foods then you may need to restrict it.

As for Berry's sex. We will need some better picture especially of the rump and a wing spread to be sure but the eye flairs do indicate a possible male.

Parrotlets tend to be difficult bathers. It seems each has its own preference to style. It took me months to figure my Jules out. She finally preferred the personal drip style you mentioned then fell in love with our table top fountain so that it has now became her personal spa.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:42 AM   #5
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Great picture of you and Berry----he looks so healthy. You give him good foods. Try some brown rice with the veggies---it's good for him.
No grit---not necessary. Millet is great.
Berry baths in a typical fashion like my male, Ollie. Very normal with water flying but he doesn't seem to get too wet.
The foods seem fine---but never gave sunflower seeds to Ollie. I understand it makes for a more aggressive bird. Don't know why exactly, but it is supposed to. Ollie can be aggressive enough. Recently he bit me and drew a little blood on my finger. That same day I took him to get his wings clipped (he was starting to fly off my shoulder) and came home with a much gentler attitude. My husband is bird phobic, so it's for peace of mind.
Berry's cage looks good----is there a window nearby? Ollie is in a corner, too. I keep him extra warm in the winter, although our windows have E-glass.
Best to you and your family.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:53 AM   #6
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Wow, Berry is really settling in well. You are going to have a snuggler I think.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:47 AM   #7
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Hi folks,

Thank you for your answers so far. I really appreciate it.

I'm so glad I didn't put any of the bird grit in the cage and trusted what I'd already read! So much for the 'bird specialist' at the pet store!

The cage is in the corner of my bedroom and there is a window about 3ft to the left of it. In he winter I may move the cage into the opposite corner closer to the radiator - we have double glazing but it's always a little chillier by the windows in winter regardless of the glazing.

We're having a heatwave just now in the UK so the room is warm, and I wait until Berry is covered for the night before I switch the fan in our room on (just a small oscillating fan with a guard that blows directly at our faces) as I've read that they're not great at regulating their temperatures. But I'm used to that as one of my dogs is part chihuahua and they can't regulate their own temperatures either.

I will remember about the brown rice, thank you.

I'm almost convinced she is in fact a he, but I'll pop some more photos up so you can give me your opinions haha!

Also, how many of you clip the wings of your birds? Berry 'explored' my bedroom today and is a pretty clumsy flyer, so I'm wondering if it is best to clip her flight feathers for now for her own safety.

Would any of you be able to tell what age Berry is? Are there any definitive ways of telling how old a parrotlet may be?

Thank you again for your advice.







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Old 06-17-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindav View Post
Great picture of you and Berry----he looks so healthy. You give him good foods. Try some brown rice with the veggies---it's good for him.
No grit---not necessary. Millet is great.
Berry baths in a typical fashion like my male, Ollie. Very normal with water flying but he doesn't seem to get too wet.
The foods seem fine---but never gave sunflower seeds to Ollie. I understand it makes for a more aggressive bird. Don't know why exactly, but it is supposed to. Ollie can be aggressive enough. Recently he bit me and drew a little blood on my finger. That same day I took him to get his wings clipped (he was starting to fly off my shoulder) and came home with a much gentler attitude. My husband is bird phobic, so it's for peace of mind.
Berry's cage looks good----is there a window nearby? Ollie is in a corner, too. I keep him extra warm in the winter, although our windows have E-glass.
Best to you and your family.
Sunflower seeds=aggressive bird, I've not heard this! I'm taking all sunflowers seeds out of Wingle's mix to see if this helps, as he is quite aggressive. I'll research this some as well. Thanks for the tip. Sounds like our "greenies" bathe the same way!
Best to you!
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:01 PM   #9
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Am I right in thinking that whatever Berry tolerates in terms of petting / stroking that she must enjoy on some level?

I'm assuming anything not enjoyed would result in her flying off or biting?

Is there anything specific in terms of subtle behaviour I should look out for to know when she doesn't like something?
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerryBonBon View Post
Hi all,

I was hoping to pick your brains please folks.

I bought my little sweetie home on Monday and so far Berry seems to be settling in well. We all seem to refer to Berry in the feminine but the book I've been using as a guide infers that the darker bits by the eyes indicate a male, is this correct?

When I purchased the cage and other items, the pet advisor in the store suggested that I purchase some bird grit - I assumed this person knew what they were talking about despite reading in the parrotlet book that grit wasn't necessary. I purchased some grit but haven't as yet popped any in the cage (it was only 1.50 so hardly broke the bank buying it 'just in case'). Do you use grit in your cages? If so, do you pop it in its own little bowl, or sprinkle it on the food?

Regarding fresh food, so far I have established that Berry loves Berries - heehee! Also, carrot, peas, banana, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. The mixed seed is also a big hit (with a particular love for sunflower seeds). I've read that sunflower seeds should be given in moderation, but elsewhere that they're an essential source of fat - any opinions on this?

Do parrotlets enjoy birdbaths? I have popped one in the bottom of the cage with an inch of water in but Berry seems to just enjoy dipping her tail feathers in it and having a shake- is this usual?

How much millet is too much? Berry will 'Step up' now and I reward with a few bites of a millet stick, and the same for letting us have bonding strokes. Is this too much?

Thanks in advance for all your advice!

Tracy & Berry


BlueBerry Heights
Grit is controversial, but most everyone will tell you the grit isn't needed for a parrotlet, as they hull their seeds before swallowing them; and can also cause health problems for birds.

I would also remove his fluffy tent if he isn't still a baby, as it can cause hormonal behavior among birds. The same would apply to any toys with mirrors in my opinion, but p'lets are less likely to be stimulated by mirrors, and don't really become obsessed, so some people here leave them in.

For sunflower seeds most foods will have them pre-eminent in, and that's all they will need. I took my girl's sunflower seeds out when I first got her, but after I used them as a training treat for a while she won't even tough them in her bowl funny enough.
She stopped accepting them as soon as she tried popcorn. That is probably her favourite treat and you should definitely try it.
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