Building a playpen for our Parrotlets

Building a playpen for your bird can be fun! It’s a little something that E and I enjoy. Like eager parents we’ll await to see the bird’s first reaction when we unveil the grand plan. Today, we’re sharing a post on our recent playpen construction for the parrotlets. Just like humans, they get bored too. Hence once in a while, we’ll try to build a new playground for them to keep them entertained.

Due to their small physique, our birds can pretty much share the same accessories as hamsters. You can get hold of a small house like the one below for only $4. Comes with multiple entrances/exits which the bird can dive in and out of.

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Next, we got a pack of edible wood for hamsters from Living World along with a wooden stick from Daiso. A pack of 6 edible sticks costs only $3 and the Daiso wood costs $2. The reason why we got the edible sticks is because E has this paranoia that the parrotlets may chew on the perches and consume any artificial treating reagents used on processed wood. If you’re not too particular about this, pick any wood you like:)

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Grab a few nails and start hammering them into the Daiso wood which will form the core of your stand.

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Likewise, you should also drill a hole in your nibblers to allow insertion into the nail.

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You may then fit the nibblers into the nails. Fasten with glue if needed.

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We got a rabbit’s litter pen as the base, and E drilled a hole into the Daiso wood and fastened it to the grill with a few washers and a wood screw.

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Wala~ upright and fixed.

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Here’s how the rabbit litter pen looks with our self made perch assemble. Not too bad yea? You can always get a bigger box if you wish depending on the size you desire. They’re sold in any pet store and it costs only $10!

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Last but not least, remove the packaging and place the hamster house along with a metal food tray onto the setup. And there you have it! A self made parrotlet playpen for only $22!

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We’ll return with shots of the birdies in the playpen so stay tuned! 🙂

XB’s Road to Recovery!

Hello! We’re finally back from our holiday! Thanks for checking back on this space regularly while we were away! As a first post back from the long break, we’ve chosen to share the recovery journey of XB.

Most would know that we rescued XB from a local pet store. She was found in an abandoned corner amongst the stacks of cages along with the rest of the baby birds awaiting keen buyers.

Unfortunately for XB, she was sharing the corner with 2 other parrotlets (1 green 1 blue) who were fitter and much stronger than she was. Naturally, she was out competed for food and eventually fell terribly ill.

When E found her, she was barely responding and was hiding in a corner, resigned to her fate. Without hesitation, E bought her immediately (even though he knows it is not exactly the right thing to do, supporting not-so-conscientious pet shops) and took her over to a vet to get some immediate medical attention.

XB was found to be infested with mites on her feathers, discolored and sticky faeces that stuck to her feathers which suggested an infection. Given the terrible state she was in, the vet was certain that XB would likely be down with multiple types of infection, ranging from fungal to bacteria. He then recommended to put XB on all 3 types of antibiotics, instead of spending the extra dollars and precious time on the testing. The vet even showed a clipping of XB’s feathers under the microscope to E, where he saw tons of crawling mites. A quick check on XB’s chest also revealed that she was severely malnourished and underweight. Something even E noticed when handling XB.

Below is a snapshot of XB’s medication. They came in tiny droplet bottles for ease of feeding.

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The mites medication was issued in a syringe for application under her wings.

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The entire process was over a month long. Slowly but surely, we began seeing results as XB regained more strength, and she started to chirp like a happy bird would. Though still wary of humans, she became calmer and less defensive towards us over the course of the medication. We imagined it wouldn’t have been too pleasant for her to be stuffed with all these medicines twice a day. The medicine feeding times were also used to try and get her used to human interaction and gaining her trust. XB did spend 24/7 eating after she got her strength back, and learnt how to use the bottle in 5 minutes after E demonstrated its usage to her.

This was XB after 3 weeks of medication. We didn’t take a photo of her initial arrival as it was simply too unbearable. However, you can probably infer from the picture below on how ill she was when she first arrived. XB was barely even white (more like grey) LOL!

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She also had several bald patches all over from the malnutrition and mites (her right cheek). For the first 8 weeks, she feasts like a hungry ghost. Mainly due to the dark days of going hungry in the bird shop. Each time we top up her food bowl, she would spend hours and hours stuffing everything down in fear that there might be no next meal.

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After several months of tender loving care, we’re delighted at the results we’ve achieved. XB is now a balanced, cheerful and happy parrotlet!

Extremely cuddly and inquisitive. A huge contrast from her childhood days. We look forward to providing her a warm and loving home till her old age 🙂

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XB’s divine head scratch

Head scratching is something which birds really love! Of course you can’t just do it to any bird. The bird needs to first be comfortable with human touch as a head scratch is typically performed by a bird’s peer (e.g. sibling, spouse etc.) It’s a great event to incorporate in your bonding session with your feathery one, it sends them to sky heavens!

P.S. As you will notice, XB is currently going through a major molt. That explains the spiky appearance, and during this time, scratches and preening are more important than ever!

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More…

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 And she tilts back more and collapses into E’s thumb.

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Not forgetting a position change to ensure all angles are covered!

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Try it today! Your bird will absolutely love it! 🙂

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First date – XB and Grass

We brought the 2 birds out for a little date! Like humans, parrotlets need time to get acquainted and they need to grow to like each other. We would score it 3/10, mainly because XB was being overly aggressive towards Grass. It’s going to take some time but we’ll get there! 🙂

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It wasn’t easy getting a shot of both of them together, hopefully it gets better, so stay tuned! We’ll be back with new shots this week! 🙂

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Meanwhile, as XB was trying her best to get a bite of Grass, Grass couldn’t stop trying to run towards XB. A very bad combination. Our fingers ended up as chew toys many times, when we try to block a bite from XB meant for Grass. But like all good things, we shall be patient!

Coffee Bird or Me?

Hello! We’re back with more cute pictures of our adorable American White Parrotlet – XB. This week, she was introduced to the Nescafe capsules! Doesn’t she look adorable sitting next to these bite size capsules?

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It’s a bird’s natural instinct to nibble at all things new. XB being an adolescent, has yet to realize the potential of her full strength. Don’t be deceived by a parrotlet’s petite physique, their bite is extremely strong (relative to their size) and they can definitely puncture the capsule. (Yes, a parrotlet’s bite draws blood)

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Ain’t she adorable?

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XB’s attempt at a self-head-rub.. using the capsule.

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The capsule makes a great toy because it’s colorful so it captivates the parrotlet. It’s rounded on its edge therefore it rolls. XB could go on for hours rolling and biting the capsules, what a great way to self entertain!

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We’ll be back with updates on the Green Parrotlet which has yet to be featured in any posts yet. So stay tune! 🙂

White and Blue

XB has been with the family for about 5 months now. We’ve always kept her in isolation from the rest of the Parrotlets as she needed additional care to nurse her back to health (we’ll elaborate more on this in a separate post on XB’s journey from near death till her recovery) Because of how she was mishandled previously, it also took additional efforts for us to rehabilitate her and get her accustomed to humans. Now that she is stable and happy, she’s been placed along side the rest of the Parrotlet families in the balcony. Over the holiday, we took both XB and Raffles out for the afternoon. DSC05613 Generally we do not recommend putting 2 parrotlets together because they’re quite territorial. Even introducing a male-female pairing takes a while to slowly bring them together. Hence we were extra cautious when XB and Raffles shared the playpen together that afternoon. DSC05612

As you can see, they were very wary of each other.

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Raffles being the senior was of course more composed. He also had an upper hand in the occasional “fights”.

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XB being the kid that she is, was absolutely fearless and couldn’t give a s*it. I’d say she was pretty darn fierce too hahaha 🙂

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Well, E did have to step in once in a while to reprimand the two. Another demonstration of how birds can be pretty nonsense, requiring discipline too! 🙂

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The Furry & Feathery Gang

Birds are fast learners. After hanging out a couple of times in the same setting, XB was getting too comfortable and she kept trying to sit on my shoulder (which is very annoying because she’ll keep flying back to your shoulder each time you put her back into the playpen.)

This is a sign that she is bored, thus I scouted for a new friend for her – Teddy.

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I’d like to say that they became close pals. XB took a fancy in Teddy’s fur and started preening him non-stop. First there was his knitted sweater..

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Then it was his beard.

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And his toes..

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It took her a while to settle back down and let me get a proper shot of them two. So adorable isn’t it?

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Ending the post with XB’s yawn which coincidentally looked like she is claiming her territory, declaring her dominance over Teddy. Ok, it’s really just a yawn 😛

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Heavy heart

We posted sometime ago that we were expecting our first batch of American White Parrotlet babies. Unfortunately, they were all infertile. We’ve since removed the nest to let the pair recuperate. It’s sad to see the eggs not work out, but we’ve been warned that American White is a relatively new color mutation of Parrotlets so they might be less prolific compared to the other Blue/Green mutations due to prior inbreeding.

I thought XB’s expression below was a perfect expression of a heavy heart with a sad news. So solemn.

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Well, there is always next time! Ending the post with a hopeful expression from XB as well. Amazing how they can pull off so many different emotions with those tiny eyes and small beak 😛

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 Till then! 🙂

XB Frolicking with a stretched paper clip

Every animal has their playful side. Parrotlet is no different!

In the last bonding time spent over the weekend, besides insisting to stand on my hand as I type on the keyboard, XB spent a great deal of time exploring objects on the tabletop.

Parrotlets can see a full spectrum of colors (unlike dogs who are colorblind) and they’re particularly attracted to bright, vibrant objects.

In between my follow up training (as instructed by E) to teach her “Pick Up”, I realize she has a strong affinity to chew on the paper clip that was meant to be the “teaching prop”.

I turned her on her belly and handed her the paper clip. She entertained herself for a good 5 mins, chewing away in the most UNGLAM poses.

It was till this moment, that I realize she really wasn’t as graceful as I had expected. You’ve been warned.

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It never fails to amaze me how once Parrotlet “stamps” their chop of affirmation on the object, you can do anything with it and they’re fine by that. So, I gave her a headscratch using the paper clip. She was more than delighted.

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There you have it, XB’s unglam moments. Till next time! 🙂

Home playtime for XB

Since E is away on holiday, I’ve been tasked with the posts for this week!

We make an effort to spend some time with XB on a daily basis. Today is our very first solo bonding session (typically we do it together or E does it alone).

I set up a playpen for her while I was surfing the net but her being the little sticky nonsense she is, she decided she had to sit on my hand while I type. It was such a precious moment I quickly took a few snapshots to capture it. Such a darling!

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As I was offloading the pictures from the camera into the PC, she continued to sit on my hand till she dosed off. Love it when she fluffs up into a furry ball as she sleeps. It takes a lot of trust for a bird to fall asleep next to you because they’ve to be perfectly sure the environment is safe to do so.

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I thought the backdrop with her picture on my monitor screen and her sitting on my hand was super candid! I had to balance the camera in one hand while pretending to leave the other on the keyboard. XB was surprisingly cooperative 🙂

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I’ve more adorable pictures of this cute baby from the playpen. Shall post it up next week after I’m done sorting. Till then! 🙂

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