The Cure for the Common Cold?

Written By: B.D. Butler - Aug• 28•11

Now we all get sick from time to time, even though we don’t like to admit it. I am doing the debate dance between, “allergies or cold?” So therefore I could not sleep due to my nose running like Flo Jo in the Olympic games, so I thought, “its quiet, and this would be a great time to do some research for Parrot Earth”.

I think about little bumps in the road, being what could be called the common cold. Being a parrot owner is HARD, and let me repeat that again! BEING A PARROT OWNER IS HARD. Even though there are books for miles out there on every topic you could think of, your actual bird does NOT come with an owners manual. You can go through weeks of peaceful daily interaction, and wham out of the blue, your arm has a boulder sized gouge, because you weren’t quick enough feeding Cooper.

Dexter, my small but mighty grey has definitely had his moments from time to time, and it’s usually about the smallest changes. He can be in the happiest mood, and if you make him feel cornered, he will turn on you like a piranha in the Amazon. If you own a parrot you know how taking care of these animals, day after day, and cleaning up after them, almost non stop, can be stressful. Also if you do all said chores, and they bite the hell out of you, for what seems to be no reason, it’s hard not to take it personally. Even thought parrots have been domesticated-ish for generations, they still have alot of their wild instincts left. You can take the parrot out of the jungle…

Cooper, is teaching me all about behavioral issues, and most importantly…patience. He is still showing constant signs of cage aggression, and well, be quick with the food dish. Cooper has been known to bite, for reasons, that well, to the naked eye seem like nothing. However if you take a culture of someones saliva, slap that under a microscope, and take a look, you would be surprised what you might see. Cooper’s aggression can mostly be attributed to not being allowed to participate. I will admit that I did the alpha, pack leader approach, and it doesn’t work. Cooper has never been allowed to make the decision to participate, therefore it causes him to have a fearful aggressive response. We have had the interaction, where I have literally bit my lip to not scream, because his bites can be so ferocious. I don’t necessarily think that Cooper means to bite so hard, but he is large for being a Congo, and he has quite a bit more power in that beak. I have left the room, and counted to ten, and thought about my actions in the reaction from him.

The most important thing I believe that I realized is “don’t humanize your parrot”. They are just reacting with instincts. Hey, who doesn’t? Take a time out, “don’t let em’ see ya sweat”, is what comes to mind. After Cooper launches into my skin, I have been known to leave the room and have a time out. I don’t want him to hear the four letter words that can fly out of my mouth, and after all who wants a parrot that curses like a sailor.

Cooper, day by day, is getting better, and learning, but most importantly I am too.

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