Breeder of Beautiful Eclectus Parrots
Marshall considers the Eclectus parrot to be the most intelligent of
parrot birds. Smarter even than the famous African Grey,
who has been
considered to be the best talker of all."
Parrots as Pets
"Eclectus parrots are
gentle, sweet-tempered, undemanding and quiet birds with an excellent
voice-tone quality similar
to that of an African Grey." Laurella Desborough
Eclectus parrots come from the Australia region.
There are eight subspecies from various surrounding islands. The
Solomon Island Eclectus come from the Solomon Islands.
a map of the area click here. The Solomon Island Eclectus is
one of the smallest of the subspecies and often considered one of the
most gentle. The Red Sided is similar in looks but larger.
The Vosmarie is larger than the Red Sided and the female looks quite
different with a purple chest and a bright yellow trim on her tail and
yellow "V" in her vent area. These are the three main
subspecies seen in Canada.
Our Solomon Island Eclectus
We work hard to raise a healthy, happy baby parrot.
When you purchase a parrot from us it is up to you to continue the work
and training to ensure a fun, loving and rewarding life together.
This page provides basic information to help you prepare for your new
Our Eclectus babies are handfed to help them become a
good companion bird. Eclectus parrots are highly social creatures
and are considered a flock bird. They like to eat when you eat and
do things together with you. The baby bird depends on you to
fulfill its need for social interaction. Your family is its new
flock. For a healthy, happy pet we recommend spending at least two
hours a day with your new baby Eclectus out of the cage and interacting
with you. This can be as simple as taking the baby bird with you
to do chores. Of course some one on one training time is required
to have a happy pet. The more time you can spend the better.
In order for your new Eclectus to accept all the
members of your family, each member needs to spend a significant amount
of time with the new bird. The Eclectus will need to develop a
relationship built on trust with each family member. It is
unrealistic to expect the Eclectus to accept someone who only spends a
few minutes a week with it. They need to build a bond of trust.
Eclectus are sweet birds that respond well to kisses
on the beak accompanied by soft, affectionate vocalizations. Talk
softly and give physical affection, but do not force it on the baby
bird. Your baby bird will probably like to be petted on its back,
but it is rare that a Eclectus likes its head scratched or even touched.
Training is a very important part of having a
happy pet. Eclectus are highly intelligent and need to learn
appropriate behaviour. We recommend reading Sally Blanchard's
book, 'The Companion Parrot Handbook'.
The Eclectus parrot explores and learns with their
beak, occasional nips are part of the parcel, these should be gently
discouraged. We say that Eclectus lead with their beak.
Before they step up onto your hand they will check with their beak if it
is a safe place to step onto. They are not reaching out to bite,
they are merely checking if it is secure enough to step on. Don't
be afraid. Let them check it out. Don't pull back.
Once they see it is safe they will step up.
Talk softly to your new bird and be gentle.
Remember you are earning its trust and teaching it to be gentle.
Never strike or scream at your bird even if you are hurt.
Repeating a firm 'no bite' message combined with moving the bird to
distract it should do the trick. Do not shake your bird to the
floor as this may result in injury and distrust. We teach our
babies the word 'gentle' while we softly rub their beak.
When you handle your baby bird with confidence it
helps the bird to feel safe and secure. Don't be afraid of your
new baby bird. Parrots are sensitive to the non-verbal messages we
give them. Once the Eclectus parrot is comfortable with you, don't
be surprised if it starts to preen your hair and clothes. The baby
bird is simply taking care of one of its flock.
Always supervise interaction between a parrot and
more information on Eclectus diet click here.
We wean our baby Eclectus on the following diet.
It is not critical that you follow it 100%, but try to keep the basic
Lentil/Wild Rice/Veggie/Cooked Grains Mix. We
use the recipe at the bottom of
Birdie Bread. For
Fresh Fruit & Vegetables. Make sure you
have a large variety every day. This can include: apples,
oranges, carrots, grapes, pomegranate, corn-on-the-cob, celery,
kale, jalapenos, greens, peas in edible pods, bananas, pears,
broccoli, cauliflower, mango, peach, kiwi, sweet potatoes, green
veggies, etc. Most green vegetables are a good source of
vitamin A and calcium. However spinach can bind calcium and
should be avoided in excess.
Sprouted mix that includes: mung beans, sunflower
seeds, safflower seeds, spicy lentil, and fenugreek. Do not
give sprouted alfalfa. For more information on sprouting and
mix combinations click
Roudybush Pellets, as a supplement. Do
not feed a diet of pellets & seed mixes.
Do not feed avocado as this is poisonous and can
Spray millet or almond as a treat.
Give your baby bird fresh food and water in clean
dishes daily. We recommend three dishes; one for water, one for
the bean/rice/veggie mash and one for fresh fruit & veggies and
sprouts. Eclectus love and need fresh fruits and veggies daily.
Make sure they receive fresh foods daily. The cooked food
should be removed within 4 hours; sooner on hot days as they spoil
quickly. The same is true for the frozen reheated fruits &
veggies. These spoil more quickly than do the fresh fruits &
veggies. If food spoils there is a danger of mold toxins and
aspergillosis for your bird.
If your bird is eating a well balanced diet, it
does not need supplemental vitamins or minerals.
Parrots do not need grit. Do not supply grit
regardless of what well intended friends may say. Grit can
impact the digestive track.
A seed mix can be offered sparingly as a treat.
Be careful about offering too much seed because your parrot may eat
the seeds at the exclusion of the other foods that provide better
nutrition. Birds that eat only seeds usually become fat
and sick. About 1 Tbsp each evening is ok.
Parrots enjoy human food. The are a flock
animal and want to eat what you are eating. You can feed them
what you are having, just watch the fat and salt content.
Also, Eclectus should not have artificial preservatives or chemicals
in the food they eat. They can also have problems with
artificial coloring and flavouring.
Parrots should not have any beverages that contain
caffeine or alcohol. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate such
as Baker's Chocolate, causes kidney damage and can be fatal.
Don't panic if your bird gets a hold of a Hershey's Kiss. Milk
chocolate, such as that found in most candies contains very little
Eclectus love to make soup of their water.
They dip their food into their water before eating it. Because
of this they need to have their water dish cleaned regularly.
Eclectus may have problems with or be allergic to
peanuts, corn, wheat, or soy. These ingredients are in many of
the pellets. Because of this and other reasons many people
feel eclectus do better on a NO pellet diet. If you wish to
have a diet for your bird that excludes pellets, please see the
link at the bottom of this page. Also for more detailed
information on their diet see the
link at the bottom of this page.
Get as large a cage as you can afford and have space
for within reason. We recommend:
Approximately 2 feed deep by 3 feed wide by 3 feel
tall or larger.
1-inch to 1 3/16 inch bar spacing.
At least three non-dumpable food dishes.
Preferably stainless steel.
Natural wood perches, such as manzanita or ribbon
Powder coating or stainless steel.
We encourage you to buy a high quality cage.
Cages vary significantly in construction quality, coating quality, and
We use newspaper for cage bottoms. Today's
newsprint is non-toxic. Do not use ground corn cob, ground walnut
shells, or other such substrates because your bird may ingest these,
which may result in an impacted digestive tract. Also, with a
little dropped water and food, such substrates make excellent growth
media for bacteria and fungi.
If you often have evening company that stays late,
consider a sleeping cage for your new bird. Ecelctus babies need
12 hours of sleep each night. The baby will complain if it is
trying to sleep and you are visiting. It is better to have another
cage in a private room where your baby ekkie can go to sleep.
Eclectus love their toys. They are not very
destructive and your toys should last a long time. It is important
to have enough toys so you can rotate them. Eclectus like to
examine every part of their toy. They love small easy to hold foot
toys. They like the small balls or bell tumblers that you buy with
a bell in the center or the whiffle balls. Eclectus also like
crunchy toys, just like they like the seeds in their fruit. Toys
like pinecones, leather, crispy grasses, palm, paper picks, pinatas,
wood shred balls, foot toys and many others. Foraging toys are
also important for Eclectus. They like to have something to
snuggle up to like a stuffed animal. The Eclectus have a play time
where they can become quite excited and attack their toys. This is
not a good time to pick up your bird. Let him release all his/her
energy before spending time with your Eclectus parrot.
Most of our Eclectus like swings, boings and bouncers.
We prefer the large round swings or orb swings. In addition, we
suggest a couple of hanging toys. Hang the swing and other toys
with the quick ("C") links that close rather than the
("S") key-chain rings because birds may get their nails and
beaks caught in the latter. If need be, get quick links from a
hardware store and replace the S-rings yourself. There has been
some implication of standard quick links and high zinc levels in pet
birds. Stainless steel quick links are available.
Avoid toys that have soft cotton rope. It is
easily unravelled, and your baby may get its feet caught, which can
result in serious injury. Don't worry about wooden chew toys being
quickly destroyed. Eclectus are not in the same league as
Cockatoos or Greys when it comes to chewing. Eclectus' toys last
Consider a T-stand or free standing play gym for your
baby ekkie. If the cage is not located in a central family area,
your Eclectus will enjoy being on a stand with the family when you are
5. Care and Safety
Before you bring your baby ekkie home, find an avian
vet who you can trust. Check references, because good dog and cat
vets often have very little experience with parrots.
You should have a first-aid kit on hand that includes:
Kwik Stop, needle-nosed pliers, and vet wrap.
Use Kwik Stop to stop bleeding after a nail clipping or it your baby
should accidentally tear a toenail. Cornstarch will also work.
Pliers are used to pull a broken blood feather, if
it is bleeding profusely and you can't get your bird to the vet
DO NOT use Kwik Stop on a feather follicle after
pulling a blood feather because it may kill the follicle.
Instead, apply pressure with your fingers until the bleeding stops.
Vet Wrap is a self-adhering bandage that can be
used to bandage an injury until you get to your vet. Unlike
other bandages, birds cannot take off the vet wrap.
When you are treating a bird for a injury, you need
another person to hold the bird firmly in a towel. Hold the bird
by the head with three fingers - the thumb on one side of the head, one
finger (pointer finger) on top, and one finger on the other side of the
head. An alternative way to hold a bird is to make a circle out of
your thumb and forefinger just around its neck. You can hold the
bird tightly without worrying about choking it. Unlike humans, a
parrot's trachea is fully enclosed in cartilage. The other hand
should encircle the body below the breast. Do not hold the bird
too tightly around the breast. Parrots do not have diaphragms, and
holding the bird too tightly around the breast can stop their breathing.
Watch your bird and monitor its health. Parrots
will go to great lengths to conceal illness from flock members and
predators. A sick bird may not appear obviously sick until it is
too late. If the bird's feathers lose their lustre (unless ready
to moult), its poop doesn't look normal over and extended period of
time, it has a runny nose, or it sits with its feathers fluffed while
perching on two feet, take the bird to a vet. If a bird is really
sick, it will stop perching and eating and sit in the bottom of the
cage, typically with feathers fluffed. To see more information on
poop, etc. click
here or check our articles
Baths are an important part of parrot care. Some
birds like to take a bath in a large crock. Others like to take
showers with their owners, others like to be misted with a spray bottle.
Shower perches are available for birds. Don't be afraid to soak
your bird - it is good for the feathers and skin. They can dry
naturally, but some birds love a blow dry with the unit held a foot or
so away on a warm, slow setting. Not on a hot setting as many
blow dryers are Teflon coated.
Our birds are all fully flighted and your baby will
arrive fully flighted. Birds are able to get lift from a draft and
their tail feathers so even with a clip they are able to fly outside
where there are drafts. We believe that the ability to fly gives a
more confident pet that will bite less. Also, many injuries occur
when a bird walks along the floors, falls or is dropped. If a bird
is dropped or scared of being dropped it will not want to come to you.
It is up to you to do the research and decide for yourself whether or
not to clip. Click here for a good article on
If you choose to clip pay close attention as new
feathers grow in. No matter what you are told, don't clip just one
wing. This unbalances the bird, and the resulting uncontrolled
flight may result in injury. The goal is to have enough primary
flight feathers clipped so that the bird can flutter or glide to the
floor rather than hit with a thud and become injured, but cannot gain
altitude indoors. Most avian vets will groom birds for around
Ceiling fans, mirrors, open toilets, uncovered
windows, and uncovered pots and pans are major hazards to a unclipped or
insufficiently clipped parrot. Show your bird the windows and
mirrors and they can learn to avoid them. Also give your new bird
a tour of the house.
We know you love your bird, so hopefully it won't be
too traumatic to rid yourself of TeflonTM products.
When overheated, Teflon,
which really includes all non-stick surfaced products, gives off an
odourless toxic gas that will kill your bird. Besides cookware,
don't forget such items as irons and ironing board covers. Because it's
so difficult to find irons that don't have a non-stick surface, simply
change the location of its use to a totally separate area of the house
that is well-ventilated.
Your kitchen may contain other hazards. The
self-cleaning cycle on some ovens can be lethal. We know of one person
who lost two large Macaws and nearly lost two more to a self-cleaning
oven. If you must use the self-cleaning cycle on your oven, remove your
bird from your house first, and ensure that the house has been totally
ventilated before returning your bird. And, we have heard that some
cook-tops and ovens have a coating that burns off the first time the
stove is used and can cause respiratory arrest. We have heard of several
birds that have been killed by new stoves.
Other items reported as dangerous include plug-in and
spray aerosols. Parrots have incredibly efficient respiratory systems
and, are therefore, sensitive to concentrations of vapours that don't
bother other animals or people. As a general rule, if something emits
strong odours, it may be injurious to your bird. And, never spray an
aerosol around your bird. This includes scented candles.
While on the subject of poisonous items, you should
that know certain "organic" items are off-limits. Items that
can be dangerous include peach and apricot pits and some houseplants
including philodendron and dumb cane. You may hear that apples seeds are
toxic. Apple seeds do contain cyanide, but in such tiny amounts that you
don't need to worry about coring apples before feeding.
For a listing of
dangers click here.
Birds need sunlight just like we do. It is best to
purchase a light that is for birds. For more information on
Perch. They sell lighting for birds here in Canada.
Finally, Eclectus are perhaps the worst parrots about
hiding dangerous obesity. They add fat in the body cavity. They do not
show us that they are obese by developing fat breasts. We recommend
weighing your Eclectus monthly to ensure that it is not becoming obese.
Obesity leads to fatty liver disease and other illnesses and will
shorten the life of your pet. This is also the best way to
find out if your bird is ill.
6. Pet Sitter Information:
7. Recommended Eclectus Group
Click to join EclectusPetOwnersGroup
(click on the picture below - Eclectus! - to order
any of the books in the box).
"Good Bird" by Barbara
"Parrot Problem Solver"
by Barbara Heidenreich
"Parrot Behavior &
Training" DVD by Barbara Heidenreich
"Eclectus Parrots" by
Handbook" by Sally Blachard
"The Beak Book" by Sally
Top of Page
Also check out the Life
After Weaning articles. These are very good and quite
helpful: (these articles take you out of our website - you may
want to bookmark this site first)
I - Life After Weaning -
Your Companion Bird & You
II - Life After Weaning -
Your Companion Bird & You
Good Article on Biting.
Ensure that you have a container large enough to
mix the mash in before you begin. The mash recipe makes
approximately 18 quarts of food for a whole recipe. If you are
making a half or quarter recipe the container can be
Begin by thoroughly rinsing
& then soaking the following ingredients for at least 8 hrs.
1/2 cup dry black-eyed peas
1/2 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 cup dry kidney beans
1/4 cup dry green split peas
1/4 cup dry yellow split peas
1/2 cup dry garbonzo beans (aka chick peas)
1/2 cup dry black beans
1/2 cup dry soy beans
1/2 cup dry wheat berry grain (aka pearled or hulled wheat)
1/2 cup dry pearled barley (aka hulled barley)
1 cup great northern beans
1 cup wild rice
After soaking these ingredients, add or remove water to just
cover the bean mixture. The trick is to not have a lot of water
left when you are done cooking the bean mixture. You do want a
small amount left, and you do not want to discard the water as
it will contain nutrients that are vital for the proper balance
of the mash. Bring the mixture to a boil on high
heat, for about ten minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Continue to simmer, uncovered, until there is only a little
water left. You will need to stir the mixture occasionally
throughout the entire cooking process. Place the
following frozen ingredients in your mixing container.
3 pounds frozen corn
3 pounds frozen peas
3 pounds frozen carrots
3 pounds frozen green beans
Mix the bean mixture into
the frozen products. Add the following ingredients.
1/4 cup alfalfa powder
1/4 cup kelp powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
Cut up and lightly steam 3
medium sweet potatoes and add to the mixture.
Cut up and lightly steam 4
medium white potatoes and add to the mixture.
Chop the following
ingredients into bite size pieces and add to the mixture.
3 medium zucchini
4 large tomatoes
6 large bananas
6 medium apples (remove the core and seeds)
4 oranges (peeled)
1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 mango (peeled and pitted)
2 papayas (peeled, leave the seeds in)
1 1/2 pounds green grapes Mince the following
and add to the mixture.
1/2 pound of fresh parsley
1/2 pound of fresh mustard greens
Mix the mash thoroughly and
then freeze it in portions.
For every 1 cup of left over
salad/grain mix (this can be a combination of the raw
chopped veggies, and any combination of cooked
grains/legumes mixed together): add......
(I have been using 1 cup of mixed raw chopped fruit &
veggies & 1 cup of the above recipe for cooked
bean/rice/veggie mix then add the below ingredients)
2 cups whole grain flour,
rice flour. (I have been using corn meal)
2 whole raw eggs (include
Assorted spices (cinnamon or
About 1/2 cup of seed or
raw/dry grain (or chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut,
slivered almonds, dried fruit, apple sauce, quinoa, oat
Enough sugar-free liquid to
make a nice thick pour-able batter. (about 1 1/4 cup).
Any juice as long as it does not contain sugar.
Bake in a 13" x 8" x 3" glass
pan for 45 - 50 minutes at 350°. You can 'grease' the
dish with coconut oil or olive oil on a paper towel.
This bread may be very useful to help a bird
to gain weight. It is also a source of protein (eggs).
It is extremely versatile and you can vary it from batch to
batch. (You could also put sprouts into the bread).
A cube of this birdie bread could be an excellent supper meal
when you are in a hurry. It could also be an excellent
replacement for pellets.
Pepper & Chili
Ramsey & Roxie
Dexter & Ginger
Picture to come