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In issue 309 -
When an Older Parrot Has Never Learned Skilful Flight – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 309 -
Scarlet Macaws – were they really bred by indigenous people in the 12th century? Rosemary Low asks the question
In issue 309 -
Understanding the link between nutrition, hormonal behaviours and the avian endocrine system, Part 1 – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 309 -
The Yellow-eared Parrot – continues to expand its range in Colombia. By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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 The October 2023 edition of Parrots magazine (issue 309) will be available to download from 13th September via a link which will be emailed to subscribers. Single copies will be available from our online shop. You can save money by subscribing – find out more here.

Are Some Owners Over-Grooming Their Parrots?

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

A high percentage of pet parrot owners feel it is necessary to regularly have their birds groomed – nails, wings, beaks whatever. Some keepers are confident and experienced enough to do it themselves while others seek outside help. The real question is what constitutes ‘too much’ grooming.

Health questions abound about when, why and how to go about grooming a psittacine. Personally, I prefer to try and monitor mine carefully and perform only the absolutely necessary and less invasive grooming tasks possible for my psittacines. I counsel others to try and do the same for their birds. It seems to me much less complicated, and better for the parrots most often, to maintain them in as natural a manner as possible, then adjust our own philosophies and comfort levels accordingly.

I can still remember the day I took my 16-week Hawk-headed Parrots, Aki and Chen, into a new veterinarian for a checkup and possible grooming. I requested and was allowed access to the exam room while the doctor was working with them, as I knew these young birds were a bit shy with strangers. I explained that they would step up on a hand, and even volunteered to take them out of the carrier. But the vet said that was okay, he would do it. He reached into the cage, abruptly clamped Chen in a cranium zoo-lock grip, and removed him to examine. This young psittacine had never before in his life been treated this way. He struggled and tried to squawk, got a fearful look in his eye, but was nevertheless held immobile for the three or four minutes it took to check and groom him. Aki, his partner was then treated the same.

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