PET BIRD CARE

Complete Care System For Eclectus Parrots

 

By Dr Rob Marshall & Tailai O'Brien

 

This section has been compiled especially for our clients and looks at the daily life and behaviour of eclectus parrots in the wild. From this information you will gain a better understanding of the needs and true potential of your pet eclectus. A detailed account of our recommended daily and weekly routines for eclectus parrots is also included in a chart format that you can download for easy reference. These routines give your bird the best possible opportunity to remain happy, healthy and develop its true personality as a companion pet.

Before reading this section you may like to look at the following introductory articles attached to this web page:
Diet & Foraging Behaviour of Parrots in Nature and Daily Routine for Pet Birds - Introduction.

 

Introduction

 

An understanding of the behaviour and daily routines of wild Eclectus parrots described in this section will allow you to better understand their needs in captivity. Their high intellect and loving nature makes an Eclectus parrot an ideal family pet for those willing to commit the necessary time and attention to them.

 

 

  • Eclectus in Nature

 

  • Special Features of Wild Eclectus
     

  • Daily Routine of Wild Eclectus

 

  • Seasons & Foods of Wild Eclectus

 

  • Foods & Foraging for Pet Eclectus
     

  • Special Instructions for Pet Eclectus
     

  • Daily Routine for Pet Eclectus
     

  • Weekly Health & Nutritional Programme for Pet Eclectus
     

  • Annual Health Check-up

Eclectus in Nature

 

The Grand Eclectus and other sub-species of this endearing bird inhabit the coastal lowland rainforests of the islands of New Guinea and Indonesia, as well as Cape York Peninsula in Australia. The Australian Eclectus Parrot is restricted to a narrow stretch of densely vegetated tropical rainforest situated high on the eastern coast of Cape York Peninsular in Northern Queensland.

By comparison, the rainforests in the wet tropics of New Guinea have more continuous rainfall than those on the Cape York Peninsula where the Australian Eclectus parrot lives. More specifically, the Australian lowland rainforest of Iron Range National Park inhabited by Eclectus parrots receives less rain during the wet season and has a longer and less wet dry season than the dry season of New Guinea's wet tropics.

This means the Australian Eclectus lives in a far more restricted and harsher environment than that occupied by the other eight Eclectus subspecies. The extensive studies of the Australian Eclectus parrot undertaken by Dr Heinsohn have helped us understand the natural foraging and breeding behaviour of Eclectus parrots in general but may represent the extremes of normal behaviour for Eclectus parrots. His research looks at an exaggerated behavioural response of the females and males to a restricted range and a limited supply of nesting sites. He also believes that Eclectus parrots are exclusively fruit eaters and arboreal foragers.

There is a great diversity of trees in the rainforests inhabited by Eclectus parrots. It has been noted that in one acre of a north Queensland tropical rainforest there are more than 100 different tree species, whereas there is less than a handful of eucalypt species in one acre of a West Australian eucalypt forest. The pulp and seeds of rainforest fruits form the staple diet of Eclectus parrots.

Additional nutrients are required for successful breeding but it remains unclear where Eclectus parrots find the additional protein and minerals they need during the breeding season. Outside the rainforest there is a supply of fat and protein rich foods and Eclectus parrots have been seen to forage in these areas.

Forshaw has observed Australian Eclectus parrots leaving the rainforest to forage on the fruit and nuts of nearby Pandanus palms and the plum-like fruit of Parinari trees (Parinari nonda) trees. Nonda plums are available from September into October when food supply in the rainforest is at is lowest. Pandanus trees bear fruit from November into March. It appears Eclectus forage in this area only when rainforest fruits are scarce and he believes the beak of Eclectus parrots is strong enough to break open these large hard nuts that are a common food for Palm cockatoos. It must be that there are other protein sources in the rainforest such as black bean from Moreton Bay Chestnut (Catanospermum australe) trees that Eclectus rely upon when breeding.

 

Special Features of Wild Eclectus Parrots

 

The extreme colour difference between males and females indicates a specialized and convoluted evolutionary journey, which has established them somewhat precariously in a tropical rainforest environment.

Hollow-owning females sit out among the leafy branches of emergent rainforest trees and are viewed by competing females against a background of green leaves. This provides the highest possible contrast to her red and blue coloration and acts as a powerful visual signal that the hollow in that tree is occupied. Female Eclectus parrots fiercely defend their nests from other females as well as white cockatoos. In pet birds this instinctual behaviour explains the challenges experienced when keeping female Eclectus as pets. In Nature, females are the dominant sex and aggressively defend their nest sites. In pet birds this instinctual behaviour may appear as early as six months of age which is well before sexual maturity.

The males' plumage colours are an adaptation used as camouflage whilst foraging for protection from predators such as peregrine falcons and rufus owls. However, the green colour becomes very visible and is laced with UV coloration, making the male conspicuous against the wood of the tree trunks near the nest hollows where they compete with other males to attract the females' sexual attention. Their orange beak stands out against the green plumage and may be used in mate selection. It may also be a protective device as the beak colour blends with the orange fruits of the trees they inhabit and nest in.

There are also different structural features between the predominantly green feathers of the males and red and blue feathers of the females. The differences related to the unique feather pigment found in parrots called psittacofulvin. There are two types of psittacofulvin red and yellow. Red psittacofulvin present in the red feathers is structurally much stronger than the yellow psittacofulvin pigment found in green feathers.

Red feathers are therefore more durable than green feathers. This adaptation is helpful for females in preventing bacterial degradation of feathers in a humid environment. Females need stronger and more colourful feathers when guarding their nests and for successfully incubating a clutch of eggs and for waterproofing the plumage especially during the wet season.

These structural differences are evident in pet birds where black weathering of the ends of green feathers is a common finding in males but not in females. In females, changes in feather colouring are indicative of an underlying disease or nutritional deficiency.

Their unique breeding adaptations has had the effect of producing not only different plumage colours but also a different personality and behaviour between the sexes as the male and female play distinct roles in the breeding process.

The personality of male birds kept as pets reflects their nurturing disposition as wild birds. Male Eclectus parrots make ideal pets, as they possess a very caring nature. They are also highly intelligent and enjoy social interaction and encouragement when learning.

Their memory based intellect is based upon their foraging role in the wild. Here they provide food for the hens that spend most of their time protecting the nest hole. From an early age males must learn which part of the many different fruits available to them in the rainforest are safe and most nutritious. They then must remember through taste and texture which parts of these fruits are safe and most nutritious. They must also remember where these trees are located.

Males form strong social bonds with each other as they forage cooperatively to feed their hens. The same type of cooperative social behaviour is seen in households that keep male Eclectus parrots. Here they interact socially with all family members equally although there may exist a strong bond with one family member.

The ability of males to learn, remember and reason is a consequence of their natural foraging instincts. This means they learn tricks best when given encouragement rather than food rewards. Females have a different nature and intellect because in the wild they spend much of their time defending their nests.

Males make better pets because they are more caring and less aggressive than females whose protective personality stems from fierce competition between females to secure a limited supply of suitable nesting holes. The different colour of the sexes reflects their individual roles in the breeding process.

 

Daily Routine of the Wild Eclectus Parrot

 

Eclectus parrots are regarded primarily as tree foragers as they feed predominantly on fruit. They live and breed in the very tall trees of the top (or Emergent) layer that have broken through the rainforest canopy. Here they receive more sun and the air is less saturated than within or beneath the tree canopy. The undulating multi-layered canopy layer of the rainforest provides an enormous variety of seasonal fruits for Eclectus parrots most of which are only visible from above the tree canopy. Seeds are hidden deep inside the flesh of tropical soft fruits and Eclectus parrots find the pulp very tasty as it contain juices full of natural sugars and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Each morning Eclectus parrots leave their communal roosting sites in the spreading crowns of the giant emergent trees before the sun rises moving out as small groups to fly above the canopy in search of food. Feeding areas may be some distance away and here they may be seen climbing amongst the foliage of trees bearing flowers and fruit.

Small groups start returning to the roosting tree towards dusk where they screech and squawk until after nightfall whenever other returning groups disturb them.

 

Seasons and Foods of Wild Eclectus Parrots

 

In the wild, the seeds of the highly nutritious rainforest fruits and the sweet flesh surrounding them are the principal food eaten by Eclectus parrots. The flesh around the fruit is energy and vitamin rich whereas the seeds themselves are thought to provide a source of protein and fat.

During good seasons the rainforest habitat provides Eclectus parrots with a large variety of foods at a time when breeding activity is most likely to occur. Some rainforest plants fruit more readily during dry periods, but most of the rainforest plants require a good wet season for fruiting to occur.

Associated with poor wet seasons, Eclectus may need to venture outside the rainforest to feed. In the grassy under-story of adjacent eucalypt woodland seed producing grasses and trees such as the Pandanus are available to the Australian Eclectus. It can be assumed that the fruits and seed of these plants may be eaten during dry times but not in preference to the seeds found in fruits, the fruit itself and nuts found in the rainforest. Dr. Legge notes in her research that the Australian Eclectus preferred the seeds of some plants, the entire fruits of others and the aril in others. The aril is a specialized part of the flesh around the seed of some rainforest plants eaten by Ecelctus parrots. The flesh beneath this gelatinous coating is usually sweet. The aril is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants but otherwise of low food value. Captive Eclectus parrots are slow eaters and hold the fleshy fruit in their lower beak for some time before eating it. This behaviour is instinctual and appears to relate to the high number of poisonous plants in rainforest.

 

Food & Foraging Opportunities for Pet Eclectus

 

Pet Eclectus parrots enjoy a wide variety of soft, fleshy fruit (e.g. passionfruit, kiwifruit, mango, rockmelon, water melon, papaya) and steamed vegetables (e.g. sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, capsicum, green beans, snow peas, carrot and silver beet). They enjoy the soft textures of mashed vegetables, stewed apples and rehydrated pulses.

It is best to select fresh fruit and vegetables that most resemble the natural diet of the Eclectus parrot. These should contain high levels of vitamin A and E. The daily choice is determined by what is fresh and in season with the best selection being available during spring and summer. Daily food preparation will vary throughout the year depending upon what is fresh and in season. Always ensure any fruit and vegetables you provide are fresh, clean and free of pesticides. Washing the fruit and vegetables in KD water prior to feeding also helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections associated with contaminated food.

Eclectus parrots also love to feed on native fruits and blossoms such as sandpaper figs, hawthorn, cotoneaster (pyracantha) berries and blossoms of the grevillea (bottlebrush) shrubs and these should be provided as foraging activities whenever they are available and are known to be free of contamination.

Eclectus are vulnerable to food deterioration and pesticides and herbicides. Organic foods are always best and it is recommended to peel most fruits (e.g. apples, kiwi fruit, pears). Grapes and berries are susceptible to mould infestation and must be washed thoroughly before being fed. Vegetables such as capsicum (bell peppers) green beans, snow peas, carrot, celery, silver beet storks (swiss chard) are all good choices. The fruits and vegetables should be diced into good sized pieces as Eclectus parrots are naturally slow eaters and enjoy taking pieces of fruit and vegetables back to their perch to devour. Green beans and snow peas are ideal for this and encourage their natural foraging behaviour and dexterity.

To the fruit and vegetable mix, a quantity of cooked maize (seed corn) or rehydrated soup mix may be added according to your bird's preference. The pulse mix can be prepared in advance and frozen in small portions. To prepare this mix soak a dry soup mix (pulses) in cold water overnight. The next morning, rinse the soaked pulses thoroughly and strain. Boil for 45 minutes or until soft then divide into small portions and freeze ready for use.

Passionfruit is an ideal fruit and favourite of Eclectus parrots and provides an ideal vessel into which you can incorporate nutritional supplements. Our recommended daily routine incorporates this practice into a morning feed although nutritional supplements may also be provided on the seed or as part of the evening meal according to what suits your daily routine best. Over time you will be able to identify your bird's favourite fruits and vegetables and develop a daily routine that utilises some of the options discussed here.

Seasonal treats include pomegranates, rockmelon, guavas, paw paw and mango. Eclectus enjoy feeding and chewing the mango seeds but they must be removed after an hour during hot weather. The skin of mangoes must be removed before providing the flesh cut into segments along with the seed. They also love to eat chillies but these should be fed in moderation. Avoid strawberries, pears and other soft fruits that are susceptible to mould and bacterial contamination.

As a tropical species, Eclectus parrots relish fruits hanging from stainless steel skewers. They often hang upside down to remove preferred fruits off the skewer first, irrespective of their position on the skewer. They can also be wasteful and fling uneaten fruits around the cage but do not generally go to the bottom of the cage to eat discarded food unless bored or when there is no other foraging matter higher in the cage.

A shared family meal is a most important time of the day for Eclectus parrots. No matter what you decide to feed your Eclectus each morning and evening, the meal should be provided in the cage or at a feed station for one hour and then removed. If left in the cage all day, food contamination and subsequent bacterial infections become likely. Throughout the day, provide your Eclectus with a bowl of small seeds into which you can incorporate nutritional supplements. Sunflower seed is not required in the seed mix as it is high in fat and has little nutritional value. If including supplements as part of the morning or evening fruit and vegetable meals, it is not necessary to add supplements to the seed.

 

Special Instructions for Pet Eclectus

 

  • Flight - strong flying ability with free flight required
     

  • Food & Nutrition
     

  • Slow & Messy Eaters - Eclectus parrots relish in the taste of soft, fleshy fruits
     

  • Fruit & Vegetable Diet - food supplements are needed
     

  • Ideal Fruit & Vegetables for Eclectus Parrots
     

  • Food Preparation & Foraging Opportunities
     

  • Social Behaviour
     

  • Shared Meal Time
     

  • Loving Pet Bird - female can dominate
     

  • Playful nature - needs social contact and human attention for encouragement
     

  • Bathing - benefits the health of your bird

 

Flight - Strong flying ability with free flight required

 

Strong flight is important for Eclectus parrots being kept as pets. As wild birds, Eclectus parrots must venture up to 7 km from their roosting site to forage for fruit. Many of the fleshy fruits available are rich in energy and certain vitamins but lacking in other nutrients. For this reason, Eclectus parrots spend a lot of their time flying to a great variety of trees in search of different fruit types. They then take their time to purposefully extricate the most nutritious part of their fruits in order to ensure their diet is balanced.

Similar to their wild counterparts, energetic flight outside the cage is essential for pet Eclectus parrots. This combination of physical speed, suppleness and skilful flying translates into mental alertness and an improved capacity to learn and remember.

Flight is the natural way for birds to exercise and remain robust. It is also essential for emotional health as it ensures pet birds are confident - that is, they have their wings to escape perceived hazards in a dynamic human household. As well, the agility and fitness gained from regular flight improves mental alertness (intelligence) and flying injuries are far less likely to occur.

Most importantly, flight provides an opportunity for owners to encourage pet birds to work for food morsels and relished treats. Strong flight is gained over a period of time by encouraging pet birds to fly and return for this treat.

Pet Eclectus parrots should be permitted to fly prior to the morning and evening mealtimes, as these are the times when wild Eclectus parrots fly to and from their feeding areas and when they are most energetic. This period of freedom outside the cage is a natural time for learning and discovery and an ideal time to encourage pet Eclectus parrots to play and learn tricks.

Pet birds should be called to their feed station or into their cage for their meal. Between mealtimes they should remain in their cage (or an inside or outside flight aviary) and not be permitted unsupervised free flight in order to avoid injury or contamination.

Eclectus parrots are naturally wary and when disturbed in the wild, will fly off or circle high overhead, screeching loudly. This is because of their inherent wild instinct to take flight in response to perceived threats. It is imperative that pet birds are caged when there is no human supervision available as a home setting is a danger zone for free ranging pet birds. The cage is the best place for your bird when it is not flying or interacting directly with you. It will remain safe and be happier inside a well-designed cage that provides foraging opportunities than outside it.

Wing clipping may be necessary when there is a chance of escape because Eclectus parrots naturally roost in high trees and find it difficult to descend a tree. Eclectus parrots can be taught to free fly and have good homing instincts but must be tutored to do this from a young age.

 

Food & Nutrition, Slow & Messy Eaters - Eclectus Parrots relish in the taste of soft, fleshy fruits

 

Eclectus parrots are slow eaters and relish in the soft, fleshy pulp of many fruits. The intricate process of eating is an important and essential part of their happiness in captivity and a major reason why processed pelleted food is unsuitable. A daily routine must include a morning and evening fresh fruit and vegetable meal. In addition, sterile seed, seed sprays and branches are provided throughout the day for additional foraging and occupation.

Eclectus parrots in captivity are particularly prone to the harmful effects of decaying and contaminated foodstuffs, although in their natural hot humid natural rainforest the fruits they eat decay very rapidly and are often contaminated with mould and bacteria. It appears that wild Eclectus parrots selectively eat parts of the fruit to balance their nutrient needs but also to help protect them from the harmful effects of moulds and bacterial contamination. For example, the aril of fruits such as pomegranates is known to contain antioxidants that function as preservatives and may neutralize the harmful effects of mould. Parrots may have other as yet unknown means of protecting themselves from harmful moulds and their toxins as Sulfur crested cockatoos have been seen to eat rainforest nuts that are toxic to humans and other mammals e.g. Black beans from Moreton Bay Chestnut tree (Castanospermum australe). Pet birds with a history of food sensitivities or that live in a musty contaminated environment may also benefit from eating the aril portion of fruits such as pomegranate and foods high in vitamins A and E.

Organic foods are recommended for all Eclectus parrots kept as pets, because of their increased sensitivity to fungal toxins, herbicides and pesticides. All fruits and vegetables should be peeled in order to lessen the possibility of surface contamination from mould and pesticides. Certain fruits e.g. strawberries should be avoided, as they are susceptible to mould contamination. Other fruits and vegetables such as broccoli and broccolini that receive herbicidal or pesticide treatments for their cultivation should also be avoided. Eclectus parrots should not receive commercial nuts because they are unable to tolerate high levels of fat or toxins in their diet. Peanuts and Brazil nuts are especially hazardous to Eclectus and must be avoided as they are often contaminated with fungal toxins.

In order to prevent illness it is essential to follow strict hygienic procedures when feeding your pet Eclectus parrot as they are amongst the messiest eaters of all parrots. This apparent wasteful eating habit can be attributed to their wild behavior where Eclectus parrots prefer to eat certain parts of a particular fruit and discard other parts.

Eclectus parrots also enjoy dunking their food into the drinking water where it becomes a source of contamination. Fresh fruit and vegetables are prone to contamination when left in the cage for more than one hour and especially so when temperatures are above 25C. Therefore, we recommend that pet birds enjoy a morning and evening of fruit & vegetables alongside their human flock and that uneaten portions of these meals are removed within an hour. Sterile seed is then provided throughout the rest of the day when the owners are away to provide foraging occupation.

As pet bird owners, you may notice that food preferences of Eclectus parrots may change from time to time. Sometimes Eclectus parrots will seek acidic fruits (oranges, limes, tomatoes etc) when they have stomach disorders. When accompanied by other symptoms of illness this is a sign that your bird is unwell and needs veterinary attention.

Eclectus parrots kept as pets like to taste food items and will often train their owners to provide their favourite items - simply tossing out less liked foods.

As tree foragers Eclectus parrots will take favoured food items to a perching spot high in the cage where they can enjoy eating it.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Based Diet - Food supplements are needed

 

Fresh fruit and vegetables along with sterile seeds are essential to the diet of Eclectus parrots and must be provided for foraging activity, beak exercise and occupation. Pelleted food is not suitable as it lacks nutritional content, is often comprised by poor quality ingredients and does not fulfil the natural foraging and occupation needs of the Eclectus parrot.

Although human fruits and vegetables, plus agricultural grains satisfy the foraging requirements of Eclectus parrots, they do not provide a complete nutritional balance for pet birds. For this reason nutritional supplements are essential to the vitality and longevity of Eclectus parrots in captivity. To provide the correct nutrient balance these supplements are given as part of a Weekly Nutritional and Health Programme.

Eclectus that do not receive carotene rich vegetables or vitamin A supplements are susceptible to recurrent sinus infections and are less able to withstand the effects of stressful episodes (i.e. emotional upsets or sudden changes in environmental temperature or humidity). Eclectus parrots kept in captivity as pets or breeding pairs require nutritional supplements in addition to fruits, vegetables and seeds.

The following chart outlines the fruits and vegetables we recommend to form the basis of your bird's daily fresh food. These fruits and vegetables offer the best source of vitamin A, vitamin E, protein and antioxidants available from commercial produce and are important for your bird's foraging activity and immune stimulation. Importantly however, due to their seasonal variation it is not possible to provide a completely balanced diet for pet Eclectus parrots using these foods alone. An ongoing nutritional health programme that utilizes high quality supplements therefore remains critical to the diet of Eclectus parrots.

 

Ideal Fruits & Vegetables for Eclectus Parrots, Food Preparation & Foraging Opportunities

 

Fresh fruits and vegetable items can be prepared in different ways to encourage beak exercise and activity for the muscular tongue as well as foot and claw coordination. These items can be served on a stainless steel skewer, mashed, whole, chopped or diced to add variety. Food preparation and cage maintenance should take place whilst your bird is free flying as part of the morning and evening routine. This time is used to clean the cage, mix supplements into the fruit or vegetable mix and drinking water, refresh millet sprays and place seed and other foraging items in the cage. Your Eclectus parrot is naturally inquisitive and should be encouraged to join in the food preparations and play during this time.

Additionally, Eclectus parrots love to chew and strip bark from perches. Soft fresh branches from Acacia, tea tree or eucalyptus trees, especially those bearing fruit pods are ideal. Fresh branches should be provided together with millet sprays during the day for foraging activity and occupation.

 

Social Behaviour, Shared Meal Time

 

A shared evening meal is a most important time of day for Eclectus parrots. Sharing meal times with your pet bird initiates the same bond that wild birds have with their flock members and is used to strengthen the trust your pet bird has with you and your family. Following the evening meal all food should be removed from the cage to maintain good hygiene.

 

Loving Pet Bird - Female can dominate

 

Male Eclectus parrots are naturally very affectionate and inquisitive birds. They have a high need for affection and close physical contact and when provided with appropriate social stimulation, are capable of cognitive behaviour. They make excellent pets for those willing to spend time developing a close bond with their bird and maintaining this bond with continued social and learning opportunities.

It is important for pet birds to remain very social with lots of regular contact with new and interesting people. Even car rides such as trips to the drive through can add interest to the day of pet birds.

For Eclectus parrots the more exciting things to do the more intelligent and greater the ability to speak in context.

As a juvenile parrot it is important for pet Eclectus parrots to have a routine of 10 to 12 hours sleep at night. This is because the new bird is being exposed to a wide variety of stresses and is also learning to fly and wean at this early stage of life.

Once settled into the new home and after their first moult is completed this regimented sleep pattern is less necessary because the pet bird has been given enough time to adjust to the general family routine and understands when the owners will be away from home. This means that most pet Eclectus parrots will rest during the quiet periods of the day when the family is out.

Coming out after dark (sleeping time in nature) for play with the family is fine for 1-2 hours when their owner returns from work, school etc. Your bird's daily routine can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle but must always including two daily meal times which are incorporated with play, socialising and learning sessions.

You may have noticed that your Eclectus parrot will start to eat when you start your own meal, as this is an instinctual reaction associated with flock cohesion and security. Sharing mealtimes with your Eclectus parrot is important for its happiness and will improve its ability and desire to interact with you.

As a single pet bird, female Eclectus parrots are especially prone to hormone related breeding problems. This behaviour is lessened by avoiding circumstances that stimulate egg-laying such as nest building materials, long hours of daylight and fatty foods and needs to be managed carefully in order to avoid life threatening problems.

Male Eclectus parrots reach sexual maturity between 2-3 years of age. From this age seasonal feather picking is a common behavioural problem. As pets the emotional needs of the pet Eclectus parrot are often underestimated. They are a highly intelligent bird and will adapt to a routine from an early age. As in the wild however, once a good routine has been established a sudden change can be disruptive.

 

Playful Nature - Needs social contact and human attention for encouragement

 

In Nature, Eclectus parrots are a bird species that breed and forage co-operatively. Parents are helped by non-breeding male birds to rear their offspring. This type of behaviour requires strong social bonds and advanced communication skills and occurs in other Australian bird species such as the Apostle bird and chestnut-crowned babbler.

Eclectus parrots kept as pets are highly social and form strong bonds with their extended families. They are naturally playful and as juveniles this is a key learning time in nature. Play sessions may be initiated at any time but are best encouraged prior to feed times when pet birds are naturally most energetic.

They can be taught to and enjoy playing on swings, making noise with stainless steel or powder-coated bells and become very dexterous if provided with foot toys to manipulate between the hand and beak. Foot toys may be food items such as long carrot sticks, cubes of apple or pieces of eucalypt branch that can be held in the claw and destroyed.

Most pet birds will become startled if new toys and branches are moved directly into the cage. At first, new items (including large perches, foliage, toys, branches etc.) are introduced gradually and prior to moving them into the cage. This will re-assure your bird that they are safe and are not seen as dangerous by other flock members (i.e. you - the owner). New tree branch foliage or seed sprays can be placed on the outside of the cage for a few days before moving them into the cage. Once a daily routine a daily routine has been established, Eclectus parrots will look forward to a fresh daily setup in the cage to explore.

 

Bathing -  Benefits the Health of Your Pet Bird 

 

Eclectus parrots love bathing and will often attempt to bath in their drinking water bowls. This is a sign of happiness and health and should be encouraged on warm, sunny days. A special bath can be placed in the bottom of the cage for this purpose. Bathing should be avoided on cold days to prevent chilling. Misting your bird with warm water using a spray bottle or providing a shallow dish of water for bathing is enjoyed by and benefits Eclectus parrots.

 

Daily Routine for Pet Eclectus Parrots

 

Click here to view our daily routine for pet Eclectus parrots.

 

Weekly Health & Nutritional Programme for Pet Eclectus Parrots

 

Click here to view the complete weekly health programme for pet Eclectus parrots.

Click
here to order health products for your pet bird.

 

Pet Eclectus Parrot Annual Health Check-up

 

We believe an annual health check is an integral part of developing your bird's innate potential as a companion pet, because without good health your bird is unable to respond fully to your affection or concentrate during training sessions. Microscopic testing of droppings (and sometimes other tests) are required as part of this health examination since birds are masters of hiding their illness. As part of the examination, Dr Marshall and Talai will also assess your daily routines and the progress of your bird's intellect. This is a most important part of the annual health examination as it allows us to tailor a programme specific to your bird's individual needs.

During your bird's health check Dr Marshall will examine the progress of your bird's annual moult. This gives a good indication of your bird's overall health as the moult may be delayed or interrupted when an underlying health problem or nutritional deficiency is present. Adjustments to your bird's weekly health programme may be recommended based on your bird's individual needs.

December to January is the best time for an annual health check for Eclectus Parrots as the annual moult should be completed by this time. There is a greater likelihood of illness when a bird experiences stress and it is at these critical times that a health check is also valuable.

Dr Rob Marshall and bird trainer, Tailai O'Brien have developed a complete system of care that ensures health and happiness in your pet bird.

Going on holidays? At Carlingford Animal Hospital, we understand the needs of your much loved pet bird and will cater for these during its stay with us.

Dr Marshall and Tailai O'Brien have developed a culture tested bean mix for larger parrots, to provide them with variety and a low Glycaemic Index (GI) food.

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