By Diane Burroughs
Peachy is an exceptional Moluccan Cockatoo partly due to premium bird food and fresh fruits and vegetables. You may have read Part 1 of this series and know that Peachy was adopted at age 3. He must have had a good home, if his personality, self-confidence and his socialization skills are a measure. But, re-homing is difficult for any parrot. As you know, birds bond for life. Being abandoned is painful and reattaching to a new home is scary for any parrot. But for me, parrot adoption was the way to go.
Peachy has lived up to the “normal Cockatoo reputation” in some ways. He goes through periods of screaming which I need to redirect, especially when he is hormonal. My neighbors sometimes comment on his loud voice. And, some of the woodwork in my house is customized with beak style carvings. (Its a cheap repair.) I’ve learned to anticipate and prepare for seasonal hormonal surges. And, if truth be told, the destructiveness and re-teaching expectations is not that different that what I do my son or even my dogs!
So, what do I think makes Peachy a fun to be around Moluccan Cockatoo? That’s what this series is about. After a lot of thought, I truly believe that the foundation of a happy parrot is feeling healthy. I help Peachy feel healthy by providing him with the best nutrition known to avian vets and nutritionists.
When I was new to parrots, I thought that skimping on pelleted bird food quality was okay. But after switching to Harrison’s Bird Food, I’ve noticed that Peachy is calmer. Peachy has been fed Harrison’s Bird Food for about the last 8 years. This superior, vet recommended bird food is devoid of preservatives that a parrots body just can’t deal with. Peachy gets fresh fruits and vegetables and Goldenfeast Bird Food, but his mainstay diet is Harrison’s Bird Food. His feathering attests to his health.
Feeling good is the foundation of Peachy’s good, pet parrot behavior. He does not suffer the ill effects of malnutrition so he can concentrate on behaving like a content parrot. There are several other things I do to accommodate life with a parrot, but I firmly believe that if Peachy were malnourished, he’d feel too crummy for any of my other accommodations to work. In addition to great nurishment, Peachy gets plenty of sleep, exercise and bird toys. He also has a lot of socialization and out of cage time on his bird stand.
I own BirdSupplies.com and of course, I want to make a living. But, I don’t want to make money at the expense of offering inferior bird supplies, especially bird food. I’ve met with several avian certified veterinarians who all suggest that Harrison’s Bird Foods are the best food to feed pet birds. It’s not the cheapest bird food, even at wholesale prices. But truth is, after switching to Harrison’s Bird Food, I noticed less anxiety and troublesome behavior in Peachy. Realistically, at the same time, I really got into reading parrot body language and utilizing positive behavior training techniques. Reading parrot body language allowed me to first, not get bit, but second, not provoke my parrot when he didn’t want my interactions. There is a lot more to it than that. And, Clicker Training provided Peachy with perimeters of behavioral expectations and more importantly, taught me how to reinforce behaviors that I desired vs. unexpected behaviors which would cause damage to our relationship.
I’ll continue to explore how I’ve cared for Peachy to insure that he is and feels as physically and emotionally healthy as possible.