Early Parrot Education - Stage 2 - Pre-fledging

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  The Hagen Avicultural Research Institute (HARI) presents the Early Parrot Education (EPE) & Weaning Program… an educational process that coincides with the young parrot’s most opportunistic moment of physical and mental growth. The EPE & Weaning Program prepares the bird with lifelong lessons for his journey as a companion animal. Stage 2 - Pre-fledgling 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. To order HARI’s EPE Program: Canada (international orders) order: http://ca-en.hagen.com/Bird/Variety-of-Books/B3025 USA order: http://usa.hagen.com/Bird/Variety-of-Books/B3025
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  • 1. Stage 2: Pre-Fledgling Stage ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 2. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Educational Focus • Feeding strategies to encourage natural regression of the crop. Increased frequency of spoon feeding with thicker consistency and harder morsels of soaked weaning granules offered at slightly lower temperature. • Water consumption now encouraged, introduced in chick pen • Foraging through exploration continued (although chicks still have low mobility) • Discovery of motor skills ( grip of feet, wing flapping, beak strength) • Gradual elevation from dwelling in substrate • Perching is explored, although confidence must be gradually acquired . Cotton rope perches are introduced at low elevation .A soft yet non slippery material is best to grip and aid in building confidence • Balance is slowly being acquired but should not be encouraged at heights as the crop is still quite large • Wing flapping exercises contributes to the development of the pectoral muscle mass • Preening education continues, encouraged with small misting and basking sessions. Or warm wet towel on back desensitizing to future towel cradling • Socialization with clutch mates continues • Cognitive communication is encouraged while monitoring and nurturing. Modeling is now a valuable tool for educating the pre-fledgling • Further desensitization to awaken the chicks to other senses such as visual and auditory ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 3. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage TOOLS Nurturing Monitoring Socialization Desensitization Modeling ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 4. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Characteristics of this Stage •He now will explore his environment. Physically, the pre-fledgling is up on his hocks more regularly and he’s a little more vocal, especially when he sees his nursery caretaker. •Beak commissures are beginning to harden •Feathers have emerged on approx 75-90 % of the body. Head and body feathers as well as wing coverts have emerged for most species. Tail and flight feathers are continuing their growth •Chicks are now sleeping approximately 75% of the time; most of their time awake is spent in den, self preening and preening clutch mates •Curiosity & increasing mastery of gross motor coordination increases •This is a big step as the chick, now deemed a pre-fledgling is challenged with many new occupations- those that come naturally as well as those that require a continued guidance by the caretaker ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 5. • Plateau stage on weight chart now reached for the larger species as well. • Chicks can not yet perch with confidence and scale perch and so weight monitoring must still be done in bin. • Nails are very sharp but should not yet be groomed Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Characteristics of this Stage ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 6. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage He might begin to perch, nibble on a little extruded weaning granules, and seek companionship with his clutch mates all while he continues to further develop necessary motor skills and coordination. In this step, the lessons introduced in Stage One are still being reinforced by the avian caretaker. While the chick remains in the comforts of his chick pen, a few changes to his chick pen are implemented. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 7. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Housing Transitional Weaning Cage Although caretakers are tempted to house the pre-fledgling in a large enclosure, successful exploration of food and focus on the activity of eating , drinking and preening, will be more easily achieved if the environment is small, usually once the pre-fledgling starts climbing, it will need to be transferred from this chick bin to the transitional weaning cage The pre- fledgling should remain in a “nursery environment” during their “seista” (quiet, dim lights, stress free) although they can now be exposed to brighter lights during feeding sessions and primary lessons. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 8. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Housing These changes will prove useful for his upcoming advancement to his weaning cage-and no, these items are not toys! Larger species such as this macaws may need to be transferred to their future weaning cage earlier due to their larger size, long tails and space needed to exercise their wings, although this pre-fledgling transitional cage would nonetheless be set up with the chick pen at the bottom, low perches and feeding dishes easily accessible ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 9. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Housing Transitional weaning enclosures in the nursery can be moved around to allow chicks to become accustomed to seeing different nursery activity, as they will soon leave the confines of the nursery to a fledgling flock environment ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 10. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Housing Transitional Weaning Cage Additions to his chick pen will include a rope perch placed in the substrate. This little edge of height will help condition his feet for perching. The rope surface will be easy to grip and aid in building his confidence. A retreat, either cardboard box or small animal den, can be provided to allow the pre-fledgling, at his own discretion, to utilize for periods of rest or security. Towels as visual blinds can also serve this purpose provided they wrap around 3 sides of the enclosure ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 11. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Housing A cotton rope perch is introduced to the chick pen, initially with one side fixed at a low height and the other side lying on the substrate, until the chicks gradually gain confidence perching. Introduction of the Rope Perch Natural downsizing and firming of the crop occurs and is encouraged since the chick will gradually begin to perch and must not become injured with a large crop. Balance & agility will be more challenging for the chick if the crop is too large. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 12. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Since chicks are still in the process of acquiring their balance while perching, they should not be placed on the perch but be allowed to climb onto it on their own, The position of this perch (as well as any additional ones that may be added as the chicks progress through the stage) should reflect the different perching abilities of the chicks housed together Keep in mind increased motor skills paired with increased curiosity can present safety challenges Housing ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 13. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Feeding Strategy While it might be tempting to offer bits of other foods such as seed or fruit and vegetable mix, it is in our opinion fundamental to the success of the future dietary habits of this companion bird that the only food offered to the pre-fledglings be extruded weaning diet and possibly spray millet ( mainly to the small psittacines species) to encourage foraging. This measure ensures that the pre-fledgling learns that extruded food is what he should eat as a base diet. The introduction of other enrichment foods, such as fruits, vegetables and treats will come later in the education process. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 14. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Feeding Strategy Feeding strategies-the nursery manager continues with some syringe feeding at opportune times such as early in the morning and a good feeding at night. In between those times, soften formulated extruded diet in a shallow dish of extruded weaning granules are continuously available to the bird. The hand feeder should also offer the soaked, yet still shaped morsels of extruded diet by spoon. For many seasoned hand feeders, spoon feeding might sound time consuming and messy, but the value of this feeding strategy does more than encourage the bird to eat on his own. The textured morsels mixed with the hand feeding formula help maintain good gut motility as his crop will start to reduce in size. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 15. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Feeding Strategy Modeling: Caretaker Eating weaning diet for nutritional guidance Although eating the dry extrusion is a good way to encourage the chick’s consumption of this food, morsels should never be shared, pre-fledglings must be encouraged to eat their own , a rewarding foraging opportunity alongside the mentor ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 16. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Feeding Strategy • As chicks are beginning to consume more dry extrusion, water should now be offered in the cage in a shallow yet stable ceramic dish on the chick pen substrate • Chicks must be shown how to drink, usually by dripping warm water into their mouths. • As the chicks become comfortable perching, the water should be offered in a dish hung on the cage (always within easy access of the chicks). Primary Lessons introduced in the previous stage, such as warm moistened towel placement on back to desensitize to towel cradling and encourage preening , daily weight recording and general health inspection will continue. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 17. Feeding StrategyStage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Once desensitized to towels of various textures and colours, the pre- fledglings will gradually find comfort under the dry towel, encouraging attention and focus on nibbling on their extruded weaning morsels Primary Lessons ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 18. Primary LessonsStage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Preening is of great importance during this stage ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 19. Feeding Strategy Primary Lessons Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage This stage provides the caregiver with the perfect occasion to combine preening and weaning education by offering granules in the hand while preening the chicks ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 20. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Primary Lessons Care must be used when putting on the harness as the crop has not yet completely regressed. Pre-fledglings are also introduced to some items that will prove to be more useful in the future steps, such as flight harness and the sound of a low speed nail salon trimmer. While it’s not expected for the pre-fledgling to fly, or get his nails groomed, the desensitization process to these items at this stage will make future lessons a breeze. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 21. Desensitization to the Physical Exam: Oral Cavity/ Choanal Region Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Primary Lessons ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 22. Photo courtesy of Jean Pattison Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Primary Lessons Desensitization to the Physical Exam: Oral Cavity/ Choanal Region Choanal Papillae ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 23. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Desensitization to the Physical Exam: Inspection of the Eyes, Ears, Nares and Crop Primary Lessons ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 24. Stage Two of Early Parrot Education Pre-Fledgling Stage Desensitization to the Physical Exam: Inspection & Evaluation of Emerging Feathers Primary Lessons ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
  • 25. ©2005-2015 HARI, all rights reserved
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