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Using Games to Socialise Young Parrots

Spreads for web 2

By Sally Blanchard

As intelligent animals, parrots are a complex mix of instinctive and learned behaviours.  Socialisation is the way that parrots learn their survival and social skills.  Without learning these skills from their parents and other flock members, young parrots in the wild will not survive.  In many ways, early socialisation is just as important to domestically-raised parrots since nothing instinctive prepares them for life in our living rooms.  We need to teach them their survival and social skills, and quality socialisation helps develop a healthy 'buddy bond' and encourages a parrot’s intelligence and curiosity.

The concept of socialisation goes way beyond the number of people a parrot youngster meets.  I knew a breeder years ago who made sure that every parrot that left her aviary had safely experienced many things that otherwise might have upset them in a new home.  This included boxes of many sizes being brought through the room, men wearing baseball hats, people wearing bright colours, several hand-feeders, other rooms in the aviary, interaction with other parrots and people in the aviary, well-behaved dogs and cats wandering around the room, lots of toys, many different nutritious foods, and a lot more.  Her birds weren’t afraid of anything when they went to a new home.

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