hey, thank you.
i really appreciate you taking the time to respond. i'd
considered the ZooMed brand of light, but when i read customer
reviews, they didn't seem great. i'll try one of the other
about how long each day should i leave it on? how far from
the cage should the light be?
i just emailed my girlfriend the info you sent on how to 'may
be' be able to tell if it's a boy or girl. she's going to
check. that's a neat little thing :)
i'm going to check out the link you sent about teaching him to
step up. i contacted his former person (who i keep updated
with pictures and progress) and he said he was using the
command 'com on, lets go', so i'll see if that works. i'm
just not sure if i have my hand positioned right, etc.
thank you again for your response. i appreciate it.
have you ever used a thermo-perch or any kind of heated perch?
On 11/19/09, GreyLady wrote:
> Wow, sounds like the previous owner did a great job in
> raising a happy, well adjusted bird. How great for both of
> them that they found you for his next home. All parrots
> should be so lucky. I'll try to help as much as I can.
> First off, about the gender. Of course there are only two
> ways to ever be positive; the laying of an egg or a DNA
> test. But the Red Tails have at least one visual clue that
> have found to be pretty reliable. Look at the underside of
> the red feathers. If you can see any very subtle silver
> edging on any of them, that is almost always female. No
> silver edges, almost always male. The behavior you describe
> is partly bonding, partly hormonal. Even though sexual
> maturity is around 6 years of age, they can display some
> mating/bonding behavior at any age. You will want to be
> cognizant of exactly where on his body you are petting him.
> Good rule of thumb is not to pet, tickle or stroke him
> anywhere behind his shoulders. Not on his back, not under
> his wings and of course, no where near the vent area. That
> can lead to confusion on his part as to whether you are
> his "mate" or not. The older and more sexually mature the
> bird gets, the more confusion and frustration that can cause
> and in some cases, can lead to behavior problems. I'm
> putting a link that should be helpful in teaching the step
> up. I hope it works. Just in case, here it is again.
> Having him learn it will be very helpful. However, working
> with him with the towel is not a bad thing either. In fact,
> you can search "playing the towel game with your parrot" and
> get more information. When they have a vet visit, the vets
> almost always "towel" them for safe restraint. Having a
> who does not freak out at the sight of a towel is great for
> both the parrot and the owner. So, even after he learns the
> step up, keep him familiar and at ease with the towel. As
> for the lighting, it is very important for him so I'm glad
> you asked. I use an Ott system for my flock but I'm sure
> there is more than one name brand that is good. The
> important thing is to make sure it is the proper spectrum
> birds and not reptiles. Many pet store employees don't know
> the difference and even if they do, they will often try to
> sell you the wrong one. Some will tell you they are the
> same. Not true. It's just that most stores don't stock the
> one for parrots and they want to make a sale. Here is a
> that I hope will help with that.
> The little bites and the holding with the foot are normal
> behavior. My Grey will sometimes hold one of my fingers so
> tight he almost pokes holes with his talon. The softer
> are not a problem of course as it's natural behavior. Later
> on, if he starts to add more pressure than is comfortable,
> you must nip that in the bud right away. He is not
> necessarily trying to hurt you but just won't realize the
> strength of his beak. If he adds pressure, just give him a
> firm but soft "no" or "no bite" or whatever command you
> choose. Just be consistent. Remove his beak from your
> finger and go on as if nothing happened. The most important
> thing to remember is to never reward bad behavior with any
> kind of reaction other than to ignore it. They are all
> queens and the bigger and louder the reaction, the better
> they like it. Learning to read all his body language is the
> best thing you can do for yourself and for him. Watch for
> pinning of the eyes, to what degree he raises his feathers
> and whether he is making eye contact with you. As you learn
> what all those things mean, you will be better able to
> anticipate what is likely to follow. I hope this helps you
> out a bit. Good luck and let me know if I might be able to
> help further.