Early Parrot Education Stage 6 – Feeding Enrichment
This is where new foods that we consider enrichment foods are introduced! This last educational weaning stage is often carried out after the fledgling has left the breeder unless the individual will be kept for future breeding. The Educational Focus is then carried out by the new caretaker. Instructions should be clear to the new caretaker that the fledgling maintain all that he has learned to help maintain his journey to companionship.
Chick`s Educational Focus
- As the fledgling leaves the breeder, it is being introduced to new caregivers and flock mates
- With new technologies available (such as Skype), we can explore how we can ease this traumatizing transition for the fledgling
- The fledgling has acquired weaning independence for several weeks solely on weaning granules and occasional millet
- Feeding Enrichment – fresh fruits and veggies, hulled seeds and nuts, as well as healthy table food can be gradually introduced in small quantities to allow the fledgling to discover and savour new textures. Care must be taken, however, to ensure balanced nutrition
- Introductory foods should be offered in the late afternoon or at supper time while enjoying flock foraging with the family caretakers or other birds
- The extruded diet, seeds and nuts can be used for positive reinforcement during training sessions or hidden for foraging. As with all other EPE stages and throughout the parrot’s life, food should never be withheld for training purposes
- Fledglings should be weighed as frequently as possible since regression is common at this stage
- Monitored time away from the flock or cage mates should be encouraged
- Nursery caretakers must be creative and intuitive by offering enriching environmental stimuli while at the same time providing gratifying and challenging occupational activity
- Toys can now be introduced into the day cage, after desensitization
- Caretaker should continue to be opportunistic with foraging opportunities
- Desensitization to other aspects of companion life such as the first veterinarian exam, visiting a park while on a harness and travelling to the cottage
- Nurturing, guidance and continued mentoring is crucial to reinforce the prior education introduced throughout the previous stages
- Awareness of Self – (fledgling introduced to mirror)
To learn more about Stage 6 of the Early Parrot Education program and the techniques to use, we encourage you to review the slide presentation below.
Early Parrot Education & Weaning Program
Comprehensive and easy to follow, HARI’s EPE Program is available on 10 DVDs and comes with supporting documents including forms and charts (all provided on a CD), as well as complimentary reading material. The cost is only $70.00 for the complete program and supporting materials.