The pen is mightier than the sword. Words can paint pictures never intended to be seen. compiled lists are a fast way to consume information. Sometimes too fast and easy. A good friend dug up an old list of helpful thoughts to parrot care. I appreciated the quick dispersal of information, but wanted to rewrite the intentions. It read so very alarmingly. The title was "Parrots Die From..." And so, as with all lists I'd like to upgrade, I present to you:
Parrots Thrive From:
1) Healthy foods! Duly note, I'm not saying expensive, trendy organic, expensive foods. I'm saying plain old healthy choices. No need to break the bank or get on the train of complicated chops. Our foods around here are healthy, simple and boring compared to some of the conversations I read about chop, organic this and that, and quinoa stuffs. I'd rather invest that type of money into their yearly healthcare and grooming. And I'm not getting any complaints from the beaks stuffed in the bowls.
2) Communication! Companions are just that, they are our emotional friends. When we forget to communicate with our human friends there can be a break down of trust and understanding, that's assumed. Our parrots are no different. They may not know about birthdays, but they are fully aware of us walking RIGHT by their cage without saying hello, or taking a pause to give them some attention. Communication comes in all kinds of forms, and the more creative you are with communication the deeper your relationship can grow!
3) Sharing! Every thing. Oh yes, our companions assume everything we have is theirs and everything they have is theirs and everything not yet negotiated should be theirs. BUT, and I mean this sincerely, there is no thing more important than the thing you and your companion share together. Food, time, toy, play, couch, pillow, view, conversation, jokes, and games are all commodities to share. And every one is a brick in the wall of the relationship only companion parrots can create. It's very unique and special.
4) Choice! Choice is in a parrot's DNA. The more we can build choice into our parrot's world the happier and healthier our parrots are for it. Choices of location, materials, foods, company, views and us. And the most important choice of all; being able to say no. Allowing a parrot to turn you down is the absolute epoch of empathy and love.
5) Healthcare! Oh yes, yearly vet checkups are that one step that seals the deal and removes the guessing game of health questions. You can guess about problems by asking questions to groups of people in social media or you can know your parrot's baseline status and feel secure in knowledge backed by science. I know it's expensive, but so is chasing food changes, cleaning processes, throwing out items some person told you to get rid of because it 'worked for them'. Every single parrot is different, and every single parrot lifestyle is unique. You are literally joining a guessing game when throwing a question about your unique companion and life into the social media grist. We don't like strangers coming up to us in public places making remarkable suggestions about our parrots, dogs, children or our own moments, so why voluntarily open yourself and parrot up to costly frustrations and stress? Know yourself, because you have a partner in healthcare.
6) Routines! Not to worry, you may not think you have routines because your life is so busy, full of family, or full of demands; but you do. Anyone who can make it to appointments on time is in a routine. And parrots do best in routines. Met expectations tell them they are safe, they are in the right flock, and they do not need to worry. Flocks operate on a schedule for safety and successful flock living. Sometimes the only changes you need to make to help a "mean" or "scared" companion is setting up routines, so they can expect things on time. Routines are a foundation of communication.
7) Humor! RELAX! Parrots take nothing seriously, not like a human. Every thing is a game, an experiment and a selfish act. We are all lucky to have a parrot tongue stuck in our ear, because after all, how can you possibly not laugh at that? Parrots have a sense of humor and they do understand surprises, ironic moments and you laughing with them.
8) Sleep! And by sleep I mean darkness. A good night of 10-12 hours of dark year round delivers a very level companion. Parrots do not sleep the night through. I sleep with 4, I know. They wake up, poop, laugh, preen, mutter, chuckle, shift and turn around. It's the darkness they need. Let them suss out the sleep pattern.
9) YOU! Oh yes, do not forget the equation of you. YOU, your company, your voice, your energy, your attention and intention all create the companion relationship. It starts and ends with you.
10) You'll have to write this particular point out for you and your flock. Because in the end only YOU know your bird(s), your life, your finances, your tastes and your available times. You and your companion need to make up your own Thriving Rule #10. But I do suggest 1-9 to start.