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Breeder's of Beautiful Eclectus Parrots

Learning More About.....

ECLECTUS PARROTS

You have seen an Eclectus parrot and have been enchanted by his/her beauty.  You would like to learn more about them before bringing one into your household - or perhaps you have already purchased one and would like to learn more!  The purpose of this handout is to briefly cover some basic information to start you on your way to learning more!

COLOR:  Eclectus are the most sexually dimorphic of all parrots – that means the males and females look very different.  Males are mostly green with red patches on their sides and under the wings.  Their upper beak is yellow with brown streaks when a youngster, and changes to candy corn shades of orange shading to yellow at the tip when they are about a year old.  Females are colored a rich red with blue or violet on the front.  Some have a ring of blue feathers around their eyes and some have a band of bright yellow on the end of the tail.  Their beaks are black with a little yellow when they are young, which turns a rich black by about a year of age.  There are four subspecies of Eclectus Parrot commonly available – Solomon Island , Grand, Red Side and Vosmaeri.  Of these, the Solomon Island is the smallest and the Vosmaeri is the largest.

DIET:  Eclectus need a diet that is mostly FRESH and cooked vegetables, greens, fruits, beans and grains.  Sprouts and sprouted seeds are also important along with dry seeds and nuts to round out the diet.  A chopped hard boiled or dry scrambled egg included once or twice a week is also good. DO NOT feed your Eclectus chocolate, rhubarb or avocado (toxic to parrots), alcohol or fatty/oily or salty foods (very detrimental to parrot health).

Most of the vegetables and fruits chosen should be high in beta carotene – these would be the red, orange, yellow and deep green/leafy vegetables and fruits.  Examples are hot and sweet peppers, yams, carrots, beets, kale, collards and papaya.

Quality pelleted foods (especially those without artificial colors or preservatives) can also be offered to Eclectus as a part of the overall diet (NOT the majority).

Vitamin/mineral supplements:  An Eclectus provided with a proper diet is not likely to need supplementation.  Also, over-supplementation is not good for Eclectus.  Do not give your Eclectus vitamins or other supplements unless directed to do so by an avian veterinarian.

CAGE:  Eclectus are active and intelligent parrots.  They enjoy climbing and playing with toys.  An Eclectus cage should be the largest you can fit into your budget, but no smaller than about 3’ wide by 2’ deep by 3’ high for a single bird.  Perches should be of a diameter appropriate to the parrot’s feet.  They should not be made out of dowels or other smooth, evenly round material.  Cage bars should be about ¾” apart for the smaller subspecies (such as Solomon Island ), and about 1” for larger subspecies (such as Vosmaeri and Red Side).  Neither the cage/ cage paint nor any parrot toys/accessories should contain lead or zinc.  These heavy metals are dangerous to parrot health.  Quality parrot cages do not contain these materials.  Please avoid “bargain” cages.

Like other parrots, Eclectus are social beings and enjoy spending time with their human family.  They do well with several hours of supervised out-of-cage time each day to play, socialize and receive one-on-one attention from “their humans”.  A guide would be at least 4 hours out-of-cage time with AT LEAST 30 minutes (more is preferred) of one-on-one attention from “their humans”.  A parrot playtree or playgym located in a room where the family spends time is a good idea.

SLEEP:  Like most parrots, Eclectus should have a minimum of 10 hours (12 for babies) of dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep each night.  If the cage is located in a room where noise from human activity would keep him/her awake at night, a small sleeping cage equipped with just the necessities of a perch and cups for water and dry food can be located in a guest room or other quiet room.

SHOWERS:  Eclectus enjoy gentle, lukewarm/cool showers with plain water (no soap, detergent or shampoo, etc) several times a week.  After the shower, allow your Eclectus to preen dry in a draft-free location at “room temperature”.

MESS MAKING / NOISE / BITING:  Parrots, Eclectus included, CAN do all of these!  Some food mess can be controlled with cage aprons (some cages come with these), or old towels, new plastic shower curtain, or even chair mats placed under or on the floor around the cage. Some noise is a normal part of parrot life.  Eclectus are relatively quiet in comparison to other parrots of similar or larger size, however.  Like most animals, parrots can bite.

THE VET CHECK:  Parrots, including Eclectus, should have a veterinarian with knowledge of their special health needs – an avian veterinarian.  If you are unable to find a certified avian vet, try to locate a vet who sees many clients with medium to large parrots.  Then be sure to take your Eclectus to the vet within a few days of purchase to ensure s/he is in good health.

Eclectus parrots can get upset about going to the vet and, because of that, can show a highly elevated white blood cell count (called stress-related leukocytosis), even if they are not sick.  Some vets unfamiliar with Eclectus may not know about this.  They may become concerned that illness may exist, and want to treat with antibiotics.  On your first visit to the vet, be sure your vet is aware of this “Eclectus quirk” so s/he can make the best decision about any need for antibiotics.

DO ECLECTUS MAKE GOOD PETS?  YES!  Eclectus parrots can make wonderful pets!  They show affection, are intelligent, sensitive, like to play and are good talkers.  They do like to study a new situation or person before “jumping in”.  They need quality time and attention from their human family, but they don’t need to be the center of attention all the time.  Like other parrots their size, properly cared for Eclectus can live 30 years or more, so Eclectus ownership should be a “lifetime commitment”.

SHOULD I BUY AN UNWEANED BABY AND FINISH HANDFEEDING AND WEANING IT MYSELF?  I HAVE HEARD IT BUILDS A STRONGER BOND.  Unless you have a lot of experience handfeeding and weaning Eclectus parrots specifically, PLEASE DO NOT take an unweaned baby home.  Finishing the hand feeding and weaning DOES NOT build a stronger bond between the human and the parrot, and too many mistakes can happen that are potentially fatal to the baby parrot.  Please let experienced people finish weaning your Eclectus.  Weaning takes place somewhere around 4 months of age or a bit more.  You can usually arrange to visit your baby during the hand-feeding and weaning process so you can get to know each other.  You can also take advantage of the extra time to select a proper cage, playgym and toys, and to learn all you can about the care and needs of your Eclectus.

This handout is intended to be provided free of charge to persons interested in learning more about Eclectus Parrots.

For more information on Eclectus click here.

 

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Last modified: November, 2007