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Complete Psittacine by EB Cravens

Parrots magazine September 2011

Which are the messiest parrots?

April and I were currently coping with two fifteen-week-old Fuscicollis Cape Parrots fledging and weaning in our tiny three-room farm cottage. The ‘kids’, Princess and Peter are all over the place, from that bright branch-filled garden window in the kitchen to their sleeping baskets and hanging rope perches on the sun deck.

At this life stage they seem to alternate between eating, napping, flying around squealing crazily, and chewing anything organic in sight. Flowers, beet stems, lime boughs, wood sticks, radish seed pods, along with beans and sprouts, corn on the cob and slabs of fresh papaya, citrus or pomegranate are all part of their fare. It’s really gratifying to see them so curious, learning new things at a rapid pace.

The exasperating side of the situation is we keepers constantly have to be cleaning up after the little ruffians. I have old bed sheets spread out everywhere, newspaper and plastic trays beneath their baskets, paper towels where they sleep at night. I declare, some mornings I will shake and wipe everything down, rearrange it neatly, and in thirty minutes or less we have another pile of chewed greenery, spit out corn, wiped off apple mush, dropped playthings, and of course poop! The canister vacuum has become my new favorite friend.

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