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Enrichment ideas for helping an anxious or stressed parrot

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Last month in this column we detailed the numerous behaviours that an anxious or stressed parrot can display. We also reviewed the essential nutrients that are commonly missing from an unbalanced homemade diet. Two months ago, in the May issue 316, these commonly missing nutrients were discussed in detail. We shed light on how these nutrients can either support healthy behaviours, or sabotage behaviours because of nutritional deficiencies.

The nutritional imbalances caused by an excess of phosphorus in the diet was also explained. This month we forge ahead, as we bring enrichment practices into the discussion.
If you suspect that your bird is stressed, anxious or unhappy there are several ways you can begin addressing the situation. The first area that must be focused on is to work towards identifying the cause of the bird’s anxiety, stress or depression. One way to do this is to start by making a list. This article includes a list of areas for you to review. See the graphic, ‘Identifying the Cause of Stress and Anxiety or Depression in a Parrot’.

After identifying the cause or causes of the anxiety, stress or depression in your bird and you have a list, you can next begin developing an action plan. The purpose of this action plan is to make adjustments to the areas that you’ve identified as being potential stressors for your bird. These adjustments are done with sensitivity and calmness while respecting and observing your parrot’s reaction, or response, to these adjustments. In many situations these adjustment should be made slowly, at a snail’s pace. The intended outcome is to help your parrot begin to feel calmer, safer and happier.

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