Parrot Scents

Everyone who is tired of hearing about Maynard, my double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, please skip this post. It’s not ALL about Maynard, but mostly. I’ll be sure to tell you the parts not about him in case you want to just skim.

I have an on-going argument with my husband. He says that Maynard smells like cheese rind that is much too old. I don’t get that, he smells herbal to me, a little musky but nice. Recently I realized that Maynard is aggressive to Mike, and happy and affectionate to me. Does he somehow use scents to indicate these differences on another level?

*It’s pretty well known that you have to be very careful if you use candles, air fresheners, and so on, around birds. Non-stick cookware is off limits, not only for the harm the released toxins can do to our feathered family, but the as yet undetermined harm to people. In these cases, because birds have air sacs which retain what they breath in for a long time, the other gases reduce the amount of oxygen the bird has, and leads to death.

*Back to the subject, this great blog post confirms that Amazons have a musky smell. And there should be no bad odor coming from any bird. Powdery birds like cockatoos, cockatiels, and African grays will smell different from conures and Amazons who don’t have a natural powder. I will never forget a nice young lady who worked a bird club outreach with us at a local fair. She brought her adorable cockatiel for people to handle. She named him Chicken. He still loved her. She would hold him up to her nose and sniff him regularly. She loved the smell of her bird.

*Parrot poop, on the other hand, needs to be cleaned up regularly or you will discover some incredible smells. Our toeless African Gray, Bo Dangles, does have a special situation in that we use towels on her metal shelf so that she is more comfortable and warm in the winter. But a day of such use is about the limit. I hope to get her a better cage soon, and will switch to something like rabbit pellets that can be cleaned up easily. And let me tell you, those towels need be changed out completely. I tried at first to just flip it over. Parrots poop both solids and urine at the same time. Poopology is important, so that you can find a clue to your bird’s illnesses long before he or she shows signs. In the wild, the bird will hide the signs as long as possible. I love the Bird Tricks group, they share lots of knowledge with everyone, and if you buy their stuff, great, and if you don’t, no problem. This is a really good reference on poop.

Back to Bo, I put her on a special diet at the same time I tried Io and Maynard on the same food. She ate it, but wow! She had the stinkiest poops ever. She’s back on the mix I used before. Io, on the other hand, loves the food and doesn’t stink any more than before. Maynard didn’t stink because he just wouldn’t eat it. Perhaps if I put pasta and cheese on it?

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

*These parts are not about Maynard.


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