Eclectus molting information

 Care for your Eclectus during their molt

Kirsten 068

After shivering through the cold winter months, Summer is finally here. It is a time for sunshine, weekend barbecues and relaxing by the pool. It is also the time when our Eckies begin to molt.

Parrot Haven is home to 25 Eckies and one precocious yet very special African Grey parrot and at the moment, all our feathered kids are molting. Our place is decorated with scatterings of feather casings, white fluffy down and the odd primary or two. The aviary is a variable smorgasbord of feathers, from tiny petite head feathers to beautiful tail plumage.

This happens twice year at Parrot Haven however the pre Christmas molt is always the heaviest. Molting can certainly take it’s toll on our parrots. I can only imagine how irritating it must be walking around like a pin cushion, as hundreds of new feathers erupt through the skin.

As parrot slaves, we must understand that molting affects our kids moods, dietary needs, appetite and even sleep patterns. It certainly takes a toll on our kids bodies and we must do all we can to ease our kids through this time.

What is molting?

Molting is a process where old feathers fall out and are replaced by new ones. Feathers are made from a protein called keratin, just like our hair and fingernails. Unlike skin, keratin is unable to repair itself. If a feather is damaged or frayed, it will remain that way until the parrot molts.

The importance of protein

When a parrot molts, protein is taken from the Eckie’s body. If a parrot is not provided with protein rich foods to supplement this output, their body will be depleted.

An Eckie suffering from protein deficiency will be tired, lethargic and irritable. It will prolong their molt and the newly molted feathers will look dull, lacking their trademark glossiness.

It is very important to feed your Eckie foods which are high in protein, such as:

  • Cooked meat and chicken
  • Boiled eggs (cooked right the way through)
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • Lentils and pulses
  • Chia
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet corn

Change in appetite

Molting affects our Eckies’ appetites. Some kids become ravenous eating machines, while others become very fussy eaters, craving certain foods and rejecting others. Monitor your Eckie’s appetite carefully when molting, and take note of specific foods they crave. Our feathered kids listen to their bodies, and will source foods that will help ease them through molting.

 Moodiness

Molting can make the demurest of Eckies cranky and short tempered. Their body is working in overdrive to produce hundreds of pin feathers and many become irritable. Please, do not take this personally as many people have experienced this with their feathered kids.

My hen, Red, is terribly short tempered while molting. I know there is very little room for error and if I mis-read her body language, I will receive a nasty bite. As much as this hurts, I don’t take this personally. I know that once she has finished molting, she will return to her sweet self.

Everyone copes with their Eckie’s moods differently. Some ignore cranky behavior, leaving their kid alone until they are in a better frame of mind. Others distract their Eckie by offering a new toy or food treats.

Some Eckies become little sooks. They seek the love and comfort of their owner and demand cuddles and affection. This too is normal. Some of our hens seek extra cuddles while molting. Once they have molted their neediness reduces and their moods return to normal.

Aloe spritzes

Aloe spritzes help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft and supple. This allows the developing pinfeathers to break through the skin more easily. It is simple and cheap to make.

We buy 100% pure aloe gel from our local health food store. We then put 1 tablespoon of aloe into a spray bottle and fill it with a cup of warm water. Our kids love being misted by the warm, moisturizing water, and the aloe gives their feathers a spectacular sheen.

Some people choose to use a pre-mixed aloe drink. Please ensure there are no additives before using this.

Sleepy time kids

Molting takes its toll on our kids’ small bodies. It takes a lot of energy to grow hundreds of feathers, and our Eckies become tired and lethargic. Your Eckie’s sleep routine may change around molting time.  Many will take long catnaps during the day. Others will want to go to bed earlier, or sleep in. They need this extra sleep; it helps the body recuperate, so when playtime rolls around, they are re-energized and ready for fun.

Lots of extra love

Molting is a stressful time for our feathered kids. They feel itchy and out of sorts. Some kids become despondent when they molt. They know they look scruffy and it really upsets them. They are such sensitive little souls.

As devoted Eckie parents, we want to do everything we can to help our kids through this difficult time. So let’s give our molting kids an extra special treat to show them how much we care. It will make your Eckie feel very special.

For more information about the Eclectus Diet please visit our website

The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots contains 380+ pages of content dedicated to assisting owners care for their Eclectus.

It contains chapters on The Eclectus molt, diet, training, emergency care, bonding and much, much more

.Eclectus care

Download_on_the_iBookstore_Badge_US-UK_146x40_0824Web Eclectus book

Eclectus Care

The perfect Christmas gift for Eclectus lovers!

Eclectus careThe Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots is the first comprehensive iBook dedicated to assisting companion Eclectus owners care for their parrot. With over 380 pages of content, 245 full color photos, 14 videos and 40 illustrations; this book sets itself apart from any Eclectus book on the market.

Penned by an Eclectus specialist and self confessed parrot addict, the Author writes in a friendly, easy to read manner. She provides information and advice based on over a decade of experience keeping and breeding companion Eclectus parrots.

The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots content guide:

About Eclectus

  • Introduction
  • Eckies in the wild
  • The Miracle of life
  • Battle of the sexes

Choosing your Eclectus

  • Choosing the right breeder
  • The importance of follow up service
  • Vet checks
  • The dangers of buying an unweaned bird

Caring for your Eclectus

  • Cage size and setup
  • Bringing your new Eckie home
  • Bonding
  • The blinking game
  • Establishing a routine
  • Baby calls and noise factor

The Eclectus diet

  • Dietary needs
  • Sprouted seed
  • Egg and biscuit
  • Recipes

Eclectus health

  • The Eclectus molt
  • Born to fly
  • Poop’ology
  • Weight checks
  • The importance of worming
  • Nail trimming
  • Stress bars and feather barring
  • Mising toes
  • Eckie safe plants

Dangers

  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Household dangers
  • Abuse and neglect – there is no excuse

Emergency care

  • First aid kit
  • Emergency care
  • Crop impaction/stasis

Eclectus Behavior

  • Eckie body language
  • Eye pinning
  • Ghost chasing
  • Bad dreams
  • Freeze!
  • Eyes wide open
  • Zombie kids

Training

  • Showering with your parrot
  • Harness training
  • Recall training
  • Teaching your Eckie to talk

Eclectus Challenges

  • Hormonal Eckies
  • Introducing a second Eckie
  • What to do if your parrot escapes

Playtime

  • It’s time to play
  • DIY toys
  • Final word

Eclectus care

Download_on_the_iBookstore_Badge_US-UK_146x40_0824Web Eclectus book

Introducing a second Eclectus parrot

The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots

Introducing a second Eclectus parrot to the family

Eclectus are incredibly addictive. As a self-confessed Eckie-a-holic I know all too well the power these gorgeous birds can have over you. It’s almost impossible to stop at one Eckie. Take me for example. What started out as a pair of pet Eclectus parrots has now grown to 25 green and red-feathered kids, not to mention all the babies born here at Parrot Haven. Many of my clients can attest to this as they inevitably succumb to the Eckie addiction.

Will they still love me?

This is always the first question I’m asked when people consider adding a second Eckie to their family. It’s a valid concern as many other species of parrots pair bond strongly sometimes to the point of excluding their beloved owner. This certainly doesn’t apply to Eckies. The bond you share with your feathered friend is special and unique. This will continue to develop and flourish over the years even if you do add a second Eckie to your family. Like every good relationship you need to invest time and love into it. However the bond that you share doesn’t need to change, it will just evolve to incorporate two gorgeous kids.

Double the trouble and twice the fun

Many of our clients are proud parents of two Eckies and our Parrot Chatter forum is filled with stories about how owning a pair really is twice the fun. Naturally, it takes time for the two parrots to get to know each other. There is often a settling in process, but being flock birds, we’ve found Eckies will take the introduction of a new companion in their stride. Eckies love companionship and you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing they have a friend to keep them company when you aren’t home.
It’s in their genes
In the wild, Eclectus are social birds. They live in small flocks consisting of siblings and extended family. Eckies stay within the family group until he or she reaches sexual maturity, only leaving to find his or her mate. This natural flocking instinct helps owners in a captive setting for Eckies naturally desire companionship. Because of this, they will more readily adapt to a multi-parrot environment. However, before you rush out and buy your second Eckie, there are a great many things to take into consideration.

The bond you share with your first Eckie is vital

The last thing you want to do is bring home a second Eckie before you have properly bonded with your first. Even though Eclectus parrots adapt well to a companion, you are likely to run into difficulties from time-to-time. This will only be exacerbated if you haven’t formed a solid bond with your first parrot. Over the years, several of our clients were so besotted with their feathered friend that they wanted to buy a second kid almost immediately. This concerned me because their first Eckie had just settled in. They were still getting to know each other and bonding was in its early stages. Adding a second Eckie too early will only delay the bonding process. You shouldn’t rush into adding a second Eckie into your family until you have bonded with your first. We advise our clients to wait 6-8 months before they consider buying their second Eckie. This enables them to bond with their first Eckie and learn their personality. Understanding your first Eckie’s personality will assist you when it comes time to choose your second kid.

This is a small excerpt from our book: The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots. This chapter provides step by step instructions on how to introduce a second Eclectus. Our technique has been used by many Eclectus owners and it works!

Eclectus Parrot Book

Download on the iBookstore

Included in this chapter

* Will they still love me
* Twice the mess?
* Double trouble and twice the fun
* It’s in their genes
* The bond you share with your first Eckie is vital
* Finding the perfect match
* Buying an unrelated pair
* Pairing two Eckies from different breeders
* Younger Eclectus
* Mature Eclectus
* Taking on an Eckie with an abusive past
* Finding a companion for a disabled Eckie
* Choosing the gender
* Introducing a different species
* Size difference
* Vocalization
* Cage setup
* Perches, toys, food bowls
* Cage placement
* First introductions
* Preventing the green eyed monster
* Slow introductions
* Out of cage time for your new kid
* Out of cage time together
* For those in a multi parent home
* Single parents
* Misplaced aggression
* Toe biting and eye fascination
* Let your kids set the pace
* It will happen

 

Bringing your new Eckie home

Bringing your new Eckie home

The long awaited day is finally drawing near. Soon it will be time to bring your new Eckie home. Our clients tell us they feel both elated and nervous. Some have waited a very long time for their new addition and are almost bursting with excitement and anticipation. Whether you are purchasing a baby or adopting an older Eckie, you want to make a good first impression and ensure you start your relationship off on the right foot.

Saying goodbye to everything they know

The most important thing to remember when you bring your Eckie home is that they may be very scared. They have left the comfort of their home and many are meeting their new family for the very first time. Some Eckies are lucky enough to live close to their new human flock, while others must travel great distances. Either way, it’s new, it’s scary, their carer or old family is nowhere to be found, their siblings are gone and they are all alone.

They have no way to communicate effectively and no one understands what they are saying. Some Eckies come from breeders or owners who understand their body language and know exactly what they want. They can communicate easily and know their every need will be met. They lived an idyllic life filled with love, friendship and routine. Now it is gone and they don’t know how to cope. They are pining for their family, breeder and siblings and are don’t understand why life has changed. I liken this transition to a young child being left alone in a foreign country. They don’t know anyone, their parents are gone and they can’t speak the language. The child would be terrified and our feathered kids are no different.

First impressions count

This may sound clichéd, but it’s true. First impressions are lasting and you want your Eckie to know that you’re someone they can trust. This is why it is so important to follow a few simple rules to help pave the way for a fantastic relationship.

The first week is going to be the hardest for both owner and Eckie. The owner wants nothing more than to snuggle their new kid and shower them with love, toys and all the goodies they have bought. The Eckie is overwhelmed by the change—their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea what to do, where they are or who to trust.

It is up to us as loving parents to put our own desires aside and do all we can to show our kids that we can be trusted and their forever home is going to be filled with love and happiness. To assist with this, we can prepare our family and friends for the new arrival so everyone understands what they must do during the settling-in period.

This is a short excerpt from our book: The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots. This chapter explains how to settle your Eckie into their new home. This is a critical time for both Eckie and owner. Follow our technique and you will be setting yourself up for success.

Included in this chapter:

  • Keeping the children happy
  • Selecting a primary carer
  • Local pick-up
  • Travel cages
  • Preparing your Eckie’s travel cage
  • Eckie Eve
  • The big day
  • Airport pickup
  • Using your Eckies name
  • The drive home
  • Home at last
  • Why won’t they eat?
  • Feathered extroverts
  • Kick back and relax
  • This is what we advise our clients to do
  • Don’t create a rod for your back
  • The all important routine
  • Tough nuts to crack
  • Please show your Eckie the respect they deserve
  • Your hard work will be rewarded

Eclectus Parrot Book

View on the iBookstore

Why the relationship between breeder and “aviary bird” matters

One of the things that really impressed me about Kirsten before coming to Australia was how involved she was with her breeding birds. As an Eclectus owner myself, I was always curious about what the parents of my Eckie hen was like. What kind of personality did they have? Were they quiet, curious or playful?

Unfortunately in the avicultural industry, it is a common belief that a breeder must not interact very much with their breeding parrots. “Feed them and leave them” was the phrase that I heard a lot. For other parrot species that may indeed be the case, however for Eclectus parrots Kirsten has proved otherwise.

Being a parrot lover, taking such a hands-off stance was something that Kirst could not do. Having raised her very first Eclectus pair (Red and Sprout), she was heavily involved in their everyday lives. They grew up in her home and she included them in many of her daily activities like cooking, cleaning and taking care of her son. To this day, Red still loves to be included when Kirst is preparing a meal – helping chop up fresh vegetables (taking small ‘tasting bites’) and talking extensively while we both work in the kitchen.

As she grew her Eckie flock, the routine stayed the same. Once they all had a large outdoor aviary to share she would spend a lot of time with them watching their personalities grow and seeing friendships and couples form. This became invaluable as they started breeding.

Having such a strong bond with her breeding Eclectus enabled Kirsten to know what personality traits her babies would develop

This insight helped Kirst to pair a baby with a client in a way that few other breeders have. During her interview process, Kirsten would try and understand what a potential client was like and what kind of baby they needed. If the individual was approved for one of her babies, then she could pair them up. Sometimes this process required the client to wait as much as a year before they could have a baby, but the results were worth it.

Our testimonials page is full of clients who have been matched perfectly with a baby Eclectus – because of the time Kirsten spent with her breeding kids.

This interaction has not inhibited their breeding. Red – one of our best breeders – often hatched and raised 3 babies at a time. All of her babies and in fact all of our babies raised here at Parrot Haven have always been extremely healthy with very strong personalities.

Kirsten has always believed that if her parrots were happy, then they would breed happy babies–and that has proved true every time

We have recently taken some video footage of us in our communal aviary which shows the kind of relationship that we have with our kids. Not only do they enjoy our interaction with them but sometimes it is difficult for us to leave as they simply will cling onto us and not want us to leave the flight!

Aviary Time from Parrot Haven on Vimeo.

Having this kind of bond with our parrots is absolutely heartwarming and we wouldn’t trade that for anything. Now that our kids are retired we’re able to enjoy a perfectly healthy ‘pet’ relationship with them because they have always been treated as members of our flock. This has helped their transition from breeding to pet happen seamlessly.

If you are looking to buy an Eclectus parrot – please do as much research as you can about any potential breeders you wish to purchase from. Not all breeders are the same and in our experience, many breeders can be downright deceitful. It is important to ask any potential breeder the kind of questions that will help you ascertain whether or not they are worth their salt as an aviculturist. If you have any hesitation about a breeder, then move on until you find the right one. When you do find a reputable breeder then spread the word. Once enough people start demanding better standards in the industry then the industry can make a change for the better!

Eclectus Parrots – How Do You Source Reliable Information?

Over the years, we have helped hundreds of people with their questions on Eclectus Parrots. Everything ranging from Eclectus diets and behaviour to hormones and emergency care. Having bred Eclectus for over 11 years now, Kirsten has a unique perspective that  has proven invaluable to not only Parrot Haven clients, but for people  all over the world.

The internet is rife with “info” about Eclectus Parrots-and some of it is even true. Don’t always believe what you read. That is sound advice especially in the copy+paste internet age where bad advice can spread like a wildfire. Information repeated has the tendency to become fact when it shouldn’t. Accurate information is extremely important especially when the difference can mean life or death for your precious bird.

If you can’t get an impression of the person providing advice on their own website, chances are there is a reason for that. Be careful. People experienced in a breed of parrot are easily identifiable

Where to go for advice?
The responsibility for gleaning sound advice rests on your shoulders. Do your homework. Before taking anyone’s word for it-find out who they are. There are a lot of websites on Eclectus Parrots but sadly many of them plagiarise information in the attempt to sound like an authority when they are really nothing more than hobbyists who are ill-equipped to provide sound follow-up advice. There is nothing wrong with being a parrot lover and wanting to help, but often when people have to make someone else’s work look like their own, information becomes distorted. Suddenly advice on where to place your new Eckie’s cage goes from ‘a quiet area of the house’ (which is sound advice) to ‘a busy area of the house’ (which is not sound advice).

If you can’t get an impression of the person providing advice on their own website, chances are there is a reason for that. Be careful. People experienced in a breed of parrot are easily identifiable. Take a quick tour of any breeder’s website and get a feel for who they are. If you have trouble doing that then you should probably move on.

What makes good advice?
When Kirsten is approached by a parrot lover in need of help, she not only provides advice, but she explains the reasoning behind the advice. This is extremely beneficial for two reasons. First, it helps people understand the difference between the alternatives – why one method is better than the other. Secondly, it helps make advice memorable. People remember information that they understand.

When people have questions about why their Eclectus is behaving differently, Kirsten is able to explain the various phases of development that all Eclectus parrots have. She is able to do this because she has bred them for over 11 years and keeps companion Eclectus as well.

Help spread good information
For as efficient as the internet is for spreading misleading advice, it can be a wonderful tool for delivering good information too. Back when we setup our first website, our goal was just that – to help dispel so many of the myths about Eclectus parrots and educate people on the best ways to care for them. We have been elated to have helped several people reunite with their lost parrots through our blog. The Parrot Chatter forum that we setup two years ago has also been a fun way for us to keep in contact with our wonderful clients and other parrot lovers we’ve had the honour to meet.

We are working hard to help get the right information out there. The best way to help is to arm yourself with the right advice and repeat it. Information that is repeated has a habit of becoming fact and when it’s the right information then everyone wins – especially our Eckies!

My Parrot keeps BITING me! Please help!

We recently had a great discussion in the Parrot Chatter forum about the biting habits of Parrots. Feel free to click on the link below to view the forum thread and as always, if you’d like to join the discussion you can register here. Enjoy!

http://www.eclectusparrotbreeders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183

Adding Bee Pollen to your Eclectus’ diet

We recently had a great discussion in the Parrot Chatter forum about adding Bee Pollen to your Eclectus Parrot’s diet. Feel free to click on the link below to view the forum thread and as always, if you’d like to join the discussion you can register here. Enjoy!

http://www.eclectusparrotbreeders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=110