Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:16 pm Post subject: Follow up to Bored/Boring Bird
In November 2008, about 6 weeks after we got our little guy, Boo, my husband posted a thread on here about Boo being bored and inactive. Here we are a year and a half later and we have the same kind of thing.
Boo is a great little guy. He's a different bird from the one we brought home from the pet store. He was not hand tamed, and frankly pretty terrified of us. He gradually became more active, and while we had a couple of scares after the first time he got sick a month after we got him, he's been healthy and happy, it seems, since last summer.
He's a single bird; we've never thought to bring another bird home as we're not sure how he would react, plus he is VERY poopy, so to bring another one in here would really overwhelm. He has free range of the apartment, lots of room to fly around, and we leave him out during the day. He has a bath every second day like clockwork, and flaps like crazy until he's soaked. We've put together an hour long video of kakariki videos off you tube, and he loves that. He flies around yelling and flapping, and is generally crazy when the videos are playing. He's very approachable and doesn't bite, he's very gentle. He's really gotten used to us and is more active when we're home.
The problem is, of late, that I've noticed when I come home at lunchtime, he's often in our bathroom off the bedroom, which is dark, and hanging out in there napping. If one of us is home, he's usually fairly active, but he seems really bored. We've tried all sorts of toys, but nothing really engages him. He's got a little playground with a ladder that we've put in front of a mirror, which he really likes. We have goop on a lot of our mirrors because he tries to feed the bird in the mirror. Even when he is active, he seems to settle down around 3pm and then just quietly hangs out until we put him to bed around 8pm. He seems to perk up when there's lots of noise and activity.
He's well fed, and in great shape, and he just grew in a bunch of feathers last month, and some more are coming in all on his head and around his eyes and cheeks. In addition to the pellets that are in his cage all the time, we feed him 3 dishes of 1) cooked red river cereal (grains) with raspberries mixed in, 2) raw fresh veggies consisting of bok choy (loves it), kale, broccoli, snap peas and carrots, and 3) fruit, consisting of gooseberries, apples or pears, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates when they're in season (just ended, which is too bad because they're his favourite). By his bath (pie plate), we have a little dish of juice. We will put a little spray of millet in a clip in his cage periodically, and his treats are sunflower seeds, which he will do pretty much anything for.
We're at a loss. He seems to perk up when there are people here, but obviously that can't be all the time. He likes to chew on paper, but only when it's sticking out of our files or in our binders on the top shelf of our office. I think we just can't find that magic thing that will keep him engaged and not bored. We live in a Northern area in Canada, and we're just going into our season where we have 24 hour sun, so the days are much longer. Right now it's bright until about 7:30 and the sun comes up at about 6:30. So I would think he would be more active.
I looked through the forums and there are some posts about lethargic birds which I don't think he is at all. And a year and a half after Keith's post about him being bored; I think we've come full circle.
I know...we've talked about this in circles. I think the decision has been taken out of our hands at this point, though. There is one pet store in our city, and they've stopped carrying birds, which is something I may have had something to do with. When Boo was sick last summer and we couldn't pinpoint it, we took him to the vet here, who is not an avian vet. He primarily treats horses and dogs, and knows nothing about birds, so we're lucky that he got better. After that, I went to the owner and asked her not to bring birds in anymore because there are no health supports for them up here. Our little guy was pretty much a rescue - imagine being able to buy a kakariki in Yellowknife, NWT.
I think we decided that when we move back down south, we would bring in a little buddy for him. In the meantime, however...I think we need to stimulate our little guy somehow.
where I live I didn't find a reliable vet so far, that I would trust my birds to, so basically I'm on my own if a bird gets sick.
Specialist bird-vets are few and far in between, especially honest ones.
With this I mean... don't be dependant on having a bird just on the vet-care available.
Kikes are more social than I thought, I have a flock together in the holding flight and they interact a lot.
Cheers / Pablo _________________ AD ASTRA PER ASPERA
Thanks for replying Pablo - I think he is very social, because whenever we have people over he shows off. When we had a couple of friends stay with us over Christmas, he was EVERYWHERE!! And very funny. I think he just gets bored - he's not much for toys. His most fun is perching on our files when the drawer is open and eating the tops of all the papers sticking out of the files. He seems to know, however, that when we put a paper in there that we want him to eat, he just ignores it! He's a funny bird.
I've started reading to him, and he's very engaged. He'll sit close to me and cock his head and cluck, which is very cute. And he's getting braver all the time.
As for other birds, I mentioned in an earlier post that the woman in the one pet store stopped carrying birds, so even if we wanted to at this point, no one carries them in the city (we live in Yellowknife in Northern Canada). We'd have to make a trip down to Calgary or Edmonton, which is a possibility in the future, but doesn't help our immediate issue of him needing some kind of stimulation when we're not around.
I've seen pictures of Steptoe in his aviary and the kaks are everywhere on him - it's hilarious.
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