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In issue 279 -
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Complete Psittacine, by EB Cravens

Parrots magazine 168

Those Special Needs of Older Parrots

A recent subscriber to my Bird-keeping Naturally series wrote in the ‘comments’ section, “I would like to hear more about the keeping of older parrots.” To be sure, this is a subject very dear to my heart, as I have many elderly psittacines, some adopted, some that I hand-fed and have had with me for 25 years or more.

In most cases, these birds are to me, my most cherished parrots. My feelings for them that developed over decades, coupled with the wonderful life experience and savvy they now show, are the main reasons for this judgment. Moreover, I worry about them more than I do my younger psittacines.

The elderly parrots in our aviaries tend to get special care. I observe them more keenly, over-feed them a little bit each day so they can pick and choose what their bodies need by way of nourishment. When a psittacine reaches thirty or forty years, I feel it is truly time to make their life easier in as many ways as possible. They get prime cage locations with high up perches and early morning sunlight, they are seldom allowed to undergo the stress of any nesting, and they are monitored carefully if weather turns blustery or inclement, especially during the winter or rainy months.

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