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Living with a huge flock of companion parrots

Dave and Tammy Kramer, and their son DJ, live and breathe parrots - it is their passion, their life and now their livelihood. In this first of two parts, Dave tells their story and introduces us to some very special members of his flock, including a very lovable rescue macaw, their super-intelligent African Grey, their quirky green Quaker, and a blissfully contented and adorable Umbrella cockatoo:

Our venture into the world of birds started many years ago, when I bought Tammy a baby cockatiel for St. Valentine’s Day. Tammy had prepared for the event by buying a suitable cage, and doing lots of reading. But, when we eventually went to the small pet store to select a bird, instead of coming out with a young cockatiel as planned, we were talked into buying an unweaned chick, by the unscrupulous trader.

We were totally unprepared for this eventuality, but were given a quick 10 minute ‘how to’ by the pet shop owner, and off we went with the tiny chick, a supply of hand-feeding formula and a syringe. What we hadn’t been told was how to wean the chick, and six months later we were still hand-feeding our baby!

But, Petie survived in spite of us! We were actually very lucky, because at that time we had no knowledge, or back-up about what to do if anything went wrong. But, we learnt a lot from our first cockatiel, and she is still a loyal friend to this day.

Read more in the magazine…

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