Tell us about your parrot classes
Bek’s Parrot School was panned as an effective and affordable way to help those who were ether wanting more in-depth information about their parrot. Or how to give them a more enriched life or for those who are facing behavioural problems with their parrot, the most common problems that people attending seeking help for, are aggression, excessive screaming and feather plucking.
The class focuses heavily on different aspects of parrot enrichment and behaviour. We look at flock structure and what that means for parrot/human relationships, surprisingly one of the segments of this section that gets a lot of “Oh!”, moments from people, is appropriate ways to touch handle your bird. So many people don’t realise they are sending very confusing signals to their bird, about their relationship, through the way they touch and interact with them.
We look at the benefits of helping your bird express natural behaviours through enrichment in many of its forms including sensory, feeding, manipulatory, environmental, social and training, and how these forms of enrichment can help prevent or lessen abnormal behaviours such as excessive screaming, aggression, feather destruction, self-mutilation and other repetitive behaviours.
During the behaviour and training section we talk about punishment and why it should not be used and how we can instead use training and forms of positive reinforcement to cohabitate and interact with our birds. Forest the little Corella and Nugget the chicken help us by demonstrating some fun and beneficial tricks which are incredibly useful while living with birds such as target training.
What inspired Pet City to begin these parrot classes?
The classes began in 2003 due to people having trouble understanding their birds behaviours, there were also a fair amount of people who just wanted to know more but it was hard to find in-depth and reliable information. Over time the class had changed and shifted to fit what people have wanted, and to help parrot owners answer questions that are relevant to them.
Do you recommend Vetafarm pellets to bird owners?
I definitely recommend Vetafarm pellets to bird owners, particularly for birds who have been on a seed based diet, as there is a huge variety of pellets to try! The complete naturals and nutriblend range in particular are my favourite; the colourful pellets can spark the interest of birds and the tasty fruit and nut chunks in the complete naturals often take on the flavour and smell of the pellets, which helps unwilling birds try new things.
Are there any other awesome animal initiatives that take place at Pet City?
At Pet City we’re always trying to get involved with the community, we annually donate and encourage customers to donate to Buy a Bale, we also hold fundraisers for local charities in particular Reptile Rehabilitation QLD Inc, German shepard dogs in need Australia, and have held adoption days, most recently for Kitten Kapers Rescue inc.
One of our more regular events that we hold is, bird food tasting day, which is often sponsored by Birdzone and more recently Vetafarm have been getting involved as well! During bird food tasting day we encourage bird owners to bring their feathered friends in to try a smorgus board of foods prepared by our staff. This includes a variety of different salads cooked meals and muffins. The main purpose of bird food tasting day is to challenge people’s notions about the diets we provide to the parrots we care for. Many people are still unaware that feeding your bird seed alone is very lacking nutritionally and that pellets, like those from vetafarm should make up a large portion of their daily diet. It’s often a great ice breaker for people to begin the conversation about nutrition, what their birds diet should look like and how you should serve it. We often bring out a variety of foraging toys during the day to demonstrate to people that food shouldn’t just be served in a bowl ether, food should be a fantastic enrichment opportunity.