TEACHING YOUR BIRD THE RETRIEVE

“Ball in the Basket”  “Ring on the Peg”  “Stacking Cups”
by Tani Robar
You have mastered the three basic beginning tricks: the “turnaround”, the “wave” and the “shake hands”. You have your bridge word (I use “good”), and you have selected your food reward, as described in the beginning tricks lesson. You are now ready to go to the next level. The “retrieve” is probably the most important single behavior you can teach. It is the basis for so many, perhaps 70% , of all future tricks you may want to teach. Think “ball in the basket”, “ring on the peg”, “coin in the bank”, shapes in the puzzle board”, “stacking cups”, pushing, or pulling an object, turning a crank, and much more. Since it is so important, take time and teach the concept of the retrieve thoroughly. Don’t try to rush ahead and teach each trick separately. It can be done of course, but teaching the concept of retrieving, of having the bird bring any object to you that you indicate, when done properly, can make all the future tricks go much quicker and easier.

Let’s start with the basic idea of the bird picking up a designated object and bringing it to you. I start off with a simple object like a plastic scoop, or plastic block. The object should be easy for the bird to pick up and appropriate to the size of the bird. Even though you know the bird should not be allowed to play with or chew on any of the props used in training, I still wouldn’t tempt the bird with wooden objects at this time. It is too easy for the bird to take a quick bite out of something wooden. Remember everything is “positive reinforcement” at this stage so you don’t want to have to take an object away from the bird or say “no”, or show distress if he chews on the prop. Use plastic objects to start with . For the same reason, do not use one of the bird’s toys as a retrieve object. This is serious training and you want the bird to take it seriously.

Place the chosen object on the training table. Place a seed, or whatever food reward you have decided upon, next to the object. Let the bird see you do it. The bird will usually go directly to get the seed. Praise him and repeat, this time placing the seed on a different side of the object so the bird will have to look for it. When the bird is comfortable getting the seed and is starting to expect it, hide the seed under the object. The bird will now have to move the object to find it. You will only need to do each step just a few times. The bird will catch on quickly. The verbal cue for this behavior is the long string of words, “bring it to me”. I like this long verbal command because it has a different sound and is probably not something you have said to your bird before. The bird will now associate these words with bringing you something and will forever after always look for something to bring you when he hears the command. The visual cue is the hand held flat on the table, palm up. This is one of the times you will be teaching a command and a signal together and most likely you will always use these together, whereas most of the time you will need to use only one or the other. Usually it is the visual cue that becomes the dominant one. Birds, as you know, are very visually oriented.

The next time you repeat this exercise, do not put the seed under the object. Instead, place your hand flat on the table and tell the bird to “bring it to me”. The bird will go the object as before and look for the seed. When he doesn’t find it he will probably try to move the object looking for it. Immediately praise the bird and give him a seed from the other hand. Do this again, waiting just a few seconds longer to reward the bird. Usually in frustration the bird will try to pick up the object. Immediately praise and reward. As soon as the bird picks up the object, try to slip your flat hand under the object so that it falls into your hand. This is the reason for this particular visual cue so that the bird will always associate your flat hand, palm up, with bringing you something. The bird will soon get the idea that somehow the reward is now linked to picking up the object, then letting it fall into your outstretched hand.
Now slowly start withdrawing your hand so that it isn’t directly under the object. The bird will find that it has to stretch its neck a bit to get the object into your hand. Remember to profusely praise the bird for each little improvement. Soon you will have your hand far enough away so that the bird will have to take a step, holding the object, to place it in your hand. Move your hand a little further away after each successful “retrieve”. Eventually the bird will have to walk to bring the object to you. Use lots of praise and rewards now when he does so.

Only use this first object long enough to see that the bird has the idea of bringing it to you, then change objects. Do not use a ball or anything that is round at this time. It is too easy for the ball to hit just part of your hand and be deflected so that you have to break your position and try to grab it. This spoils the point of the exercise. Save the balls for later when the bird is solid in the retrieve. Select another object. You will probably have to start from the beginning with this object too, but you will see the bird will catch on much faster and will soon be bringing that object to your hand. Then switch again. Keep the objects different and interesting. Soon the bird should bring without hesitation whatever object you have put on the table.

Now start to plan what you want the retrieve exercise to lead to. Do you want the bird to put a ball in a basket, maybe coins in a piggy bank, learn how to stack cups, or the shell game of finding a seed under a “cup”? How about teaching the bird a few basic colors while it is learning to put a ring on a peg? Think about it now and gather those objects for the bird to use while practicing the retrieve. Use different size and colored rings, various coins, “cups”, puzzle shapes, and if the bird has become a reliable retriever, you can add balls at this time. Play a game with him. Use many different types of objects and have the bird bring them to you. Remember to exclaim, and praise, and reward the bird over each successful retrieve. Don’t forget to introduce the small white plastic rings usually found in sewing or craft stores that can be attached to the ends of strings for pull toys, bells, signs, etc. They come in very handy for future tricks.

When the bird has become quite familiar with a variety of objects that you plan to use as props, you can start training the individual tricks. Let’s start with the ball in the basket, since that is a popular one. First have the bird bring you a ball and place it exactly in your hand. Move your hand to different parts of the table so the bird learns to bring the ball to wherever your hand is, not just to your body. Then substitute a small container, one appropriate for the size of the ball. Have the bird bring the ball to you, but this time have your hand over the container and tipped toward the container so the ball will fall into the container. After a few times just indicate by tapping the container where you want the bird to place the ball. Move the container to different places on the table and tap it so the bird learns
to place the ball where you indicate. If you have a basketball prop, use this next. Lower the basket to the table height and have the bird place the ball in the basket. Gradually raise the basket higher until the bird really has to reach to put the ball in the basket. I would use a close-ended basket so the bird can see that the ball is in the basket. If the basket is open-ended the ball will just fall out and it will take longer for the bird to get the connection to what he has achieved. To make the trick really cute, make sure the bird has to really reach high to put the ball in. A low basket makes it look like the bird is just dropping the ball in and not really doing anything special.

The basketball trick generally needs no visual or verbal cues once learned. Place the ball on the table near the basket and usually the bird will immediately pick up the ball and drop it in the basket Then place the ball further and further away until the bird will triumphantly carry it the length of the table to the basket to your delighted praise. Then someday, after the bird knows this and other retrieve tricks well, you might want to get fancy and add some variations. Use your imagination. Cassie, my black-headed caique, does her characteristic hops to the basket carrying the ball in her beak. Squawk, my blue-crowned conure, “dribbles” the ball down the court. Poopsie, the little green-cheeked conure, has to climb a ladder to reach the basket. Xena, my hawkhead, does 360’s (turnarounds, described in the previous lesson) on her way to the basket. Another bird flies to the top of the basket, carrying the ball, and then drops the ball in from above. So there are numerous ways to make this basic trick different and interesting. But these are all advanced ideas. Wait until your bird is really comfortable with performing before you start introducing them.

Next is the ring-on-the-peg, an easy and fun trick to learn. But think about it before you start. This is a good time to introduce color discrimination. The peg part of the prop is easy to make, just a square block, appropriate to the size of the bird, with a hold drilled in the center in which to fit a short dowel for the peg part. It’s the rings that are harder to find. Try to find different sizes in bright colors. I use the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow and sometimes green. But three colors are really plenty to begin with. Then I spray paint the bases and the pegs in the matching colors. The reason for all this is to make sure the bird only puts a red ring on a red peg, a blue ring on a blue peg, etc. If you insist on this from the beginning the bird will learn its colors right from the start with no extra effort.

To teach this, put i.e., the green ring on the table. Ask the bird to bring it to you just as it has done before. But this time have the green peg in your hand with your palm up as in the cue with the peg sticking up through your fingers. When the bird brings the ring, you can help him to put it on the peg by spearing the ring as necessary. As the bird gets the idea, remove your
hand so the bird sees the ring fall onto the peg base. This is always a fun trick to watch the bird learn. Sometime the bird will flip the ring over his head and be so surprised. Sometimes he will carry it low and even stumble over it. Then he will hold it out in front of himself and hope it will land on the peg. Finally he will learn to touch the end of the peg with his beak and deftly slide the ring onto the peg. Work with different size rings after the bird has the idea of how to do it. You will be surprised at how quickly the bird learns to handle all sizes of rings. Just remember to always insist the bird only put a yellow ring on a yellow peg, etc.

How about teaching how to stack cups? This trick is one the birds seem to learn easily and enjoy. You can find the stacking cups in drugstores, and places like Kids-R-Us. I would use only every other cup in a set so the cups will nest easily inside each other and not be tight. Assuming you have been having the bird retrieve the cups during the learning phase so he is familiar with them, you can now arrange the cups in order according to size. Use only four cups to start with. Place the second largest cup in the center of the table and ask the bird to “bring it to me”. Have the largest cup in front of you so when the bird brings the second largest to you, you can indicate by tapping the largest one, where you want the bird to put it. This is easy if you did the basket ball trick first. If not, place your hand palm up over the cup, tipping your hand towards the cup so the second largest cup will slide into the larger one. After about the second time of doing this, you can switch to just indicating the larger cup and usually the bird will catch on quite quickly. Then place the third largest cup in the center of the table and have the bird bri
ng it to you. Just indicate where he is to place it. Repeat with the smallest one. When he is doing this readily, place the cups in a row, according to size. Have him pick up the second largest and place it into the largest, which will be right next to it. Then have him pick up the next cup in line and place it in the stack, and finally the smallest. The bird will catch on very quickly. Again, this trick, once learned, will require no command or signal. Just place the cups on the table and watch the bird perform. To make this into an advanced trick, mix the cups up so the bird has to learn to judge sizes to know which cup will go into which other one. But don’t try this yet, this is for very advanced birds!

Teaching the retrieve concept should take two, and perhaps three sessions. Each individual trick after that will probably require only one lesson per trick. Remember to keep each session fun. There is no hurry. If the bird seems not to understand something, go back to an earlier stage and try again. The great thing is knowing that once a lesson is learned the bird will not forget. Birds have phenomenal memories. When I was working with dogs I was always having to retrain and reinforce what the dog supposedly had learned. But it’s different with birds. I have had birds that I had trained years before and that had not been worked since, go through their tricks for me as though I had seen them just the day before. To me this is always amazing. And remember, you can’t be too heavy on the rewards and praise.

These are just three fairly easy tricks to teach once the bird has learned the retrieve. Hopefully they will give you ideas on how to continue with others. My videos will show you visually how to do what I have discussed above and also how to continue with more of the retrieve based tricks.

BASIC TRICK TRAINING

Turn Around”  “Wave”  “Shake Hands”
by Tani Robar
Teaching your parrot to do tricks is one of the best ways to really bond with your bird and keep it happy. Most parrots are very intelligent and have excellent memories. They seem to enjoy learning new things and working with you and receiving your full attention. Done with love and patience and kindness, most birds are eager for their training sessions and will respond readily to what you want them to do.

But first, before you begin trying to teach the bird tricks, make sure the bird is completely tame and well socialized. The bird must be willing to come to you, sit on your hand, and allow himself to be touched all over its body, its feet, and under its wings, It must also readily take food from your hand. In other words, there must already be a certain degree of trust between you and your bird before you ever start trick training. If you are afraid the bird will bite you, or if the bird is afraid you might strike it or hurt it in some way, no real learning is going to take place. Complete trust is the key.

Once your bird is tamed and well socialized, you can think about trick training. First, where is the training to take place? You need a quiet area free of distractions- no ringing telephones, noisy kids or barking dogs running through to compete with your “students” attention. Preferably this is an area away from other birds and the bird’s own cage.

I use a small table where I can sit comfortably while working with the bird and the bird can not get out of reach. It goes without saying that the wings should be trimmed. If you prefer to stand, by all means do so, but do not worry about the fallacy of having to have your head higher than the bird. This might be a factor if you were working with a bird with a behavior problem, but you shouldn’t be trying to teach such a bird tricks. Your tame bird already knows that you are in charge and head height will not enter into it. Just get comfortable and relaxed.

Another fallacy is that birds have a short attention span. I have no trouble keeping a bird’s attention. Keeping the lesson moving seems to be the key. As soon as the bird has mastered one behavior I move on to the next. No boring endless repetitions. I might quickly review previously mastered tricks at the start of a lesson, but then I move on to tricks in progress and finally, I introduce new ones. I see no need for several short sessions a day as I have heard some trainers prescribe. Most people don’t have that kind of time. Make it one good session, and as long as you keep it fun and interesting , you won’t have to worry about the length of the lesson.

Any of the parrots, and basically any age parrot, can be trick trained, but the younger bird is probably easier to train because it has fewer pre-formed habits. The ideal situation is to work with a young bird that has been hand-raised by loving humans and given lots of attention. But whatever the age, just start. You’ll have fun.

Regardless of what kind of bird you are working with or what trick you are trying to teach, the method popularly called “positive reinforcement” is the method used by almost all professional trainers, whether they are teaching a bird, a seal, a dolphin or just about any wild animal. The type of positive reinforcement or “reward” that we use for teaching a desired behavior varies with the bird. Some owners report that their birds respond to a scratch on the head and petting as their sole reward, while other owners think that their praise is all the bird needs to perform. But most trainers feel birds work best and most reliably with a food reward. I use safflower seeds with the smaller birds, peanuts or larger nuts with the larger birds. Watch what your bird selects first from its seed dish, then remove that seed from the birds regular food and give the bird that seed as its reward when it has performed correctly.

Keep the reward to whatever the bird can consume quickly and easily. My birds are fed pellets only, plus the usual fruits, vegies and people food. Therefore, seeds are a big treat to them. I leave the pellets in self feeders in front of the birds at all times, but take away the fresh food a couple of hours before a training session or show. That way they are slightly hungry, are not sleepy and are more than willing to give me their full attention in return for their favorite seeds.

The “reward” is our main way of letting the bird know they have pleased us and done what we wished. If you always use a “bridge” word, like “good”, right after the correct behavior and before you give the food reward, the bird quickly learns to associate the verbal praise with the correct behavior and also that a food reward is coming. This is part of what you are teaching with your first few tricks above and beyond the trick itself. It makes all following trick training easier.

Take your prospective “student” to the proposed training area several times before you start the actual training. Play with it there, let it see the T-stand you will use and become comfortable sitting on it. Gently tip the bird onto its back while holding it in your arms or lap, scratch it on its head and belly, pick it up with your hands over its back, and feed it its special seeds. Let your bird see this is a fun place to be. Then and only then are you ready to start formal training.

First lesson: We are going to begin with the “turn around”, then go to the” wave”, and finally the “shake hands”, and yes, all can be taught in the first lesson!

With the bird sitting comfortably on the T-stand or similar perch in front of you, feed it a treat, (I’ll say seed since that is what I use), and talk to it quietly. Using the “come” command, have the bird step onto your hand, and then back to the perch with the “perch” command Even though these are behaviors the bird should already know, do them a few times, saying “good” each time he performs them correctly and offer a treat/seed as the reward.

Next, holding the seed in the right hand at about the bird’s eye level, let the bird see the seed. Tell it “turn around”. As the bird reaches for the seed, move your hand around the bird to the back so that the bird must first turn its head and next, hopefully, its whole body, to follow and reach for the seed. If the bird turns half way around to face the back, tell it “good” and reward it at once. Then coax it to turn the rest of the way around by following the seed in your right hand. Use the simple command “turn around” each time you ask it to turn. . Once the bird turns from front to back and then back to front readily, insist it turn all the way around before it gets its reward.

This is a simple first trick and it might not interest you as a future trick, but what you are teaching the bird here is more than just a trick. You are teaching it how to learn and what is expected of it, and how it will be rewarded. Remember, a bird will not repeat a behavior for which it is not compensated in some way.

In the next step, let the bird follow the seed around in your right hand, but hold another seed in your left hand. Once the bird has completed the turn, reward it with the seed from your left hand. Gradually raise your right hand a little higher each time the trick is successfully repeated. Next, have no seed in your right hand and just make the right hand move in a small circle above the bird’s head, being sure to immediately reward the correct behavior with a seed from the left hand. Eventually you will be able to just circle the right index finger above the bird, and drop the command altogether. A tip to remember, a bird responds much more readily to a visual cue than to a verbal one. But in the beginning teach both. The verbal command forces the bird to pay attention, and gives the trainer focus. For now be satisfied with the bird turning around on the T-stand, even if it does so a bit awkwardly or slowly. Think of what the bird has learned in just a few minutes. It has heard a command (turn around), it has seen and learned to respond to a visual cue (the right hand, index finger circling over his head), it learns that the word “good” means its owner is pleased, and finally, that a reward will be following. And all it had to do was turn itself around!

Once the bird has grasped this idea, move on to another trick. Don’t bore the bird with endless repetition. Keep this, and all future lessons, exciting. I am excited by each small increment of success the bird has achieved and I let the bird know it. When the bird has finally performed a desired behavior we have both worked hard on, I have been known to pick up the bird and rush into my husband’s office and have the bird do the trick for him. This might sound bizarre, but for some reason the bird seems to understand and after the initial shock, is happy to repeat the trick again while my husband and I both express our delight, give it treats, and tell it what a wonderful bird it is. Now this is not something I recommend as a training method, but it seems to work for me as it is a spontaneous act and also seems to be a good foundation for the bird learning the fun of performing in front of others.

Trick 2: “The Wave”. Have the bird “wave” with the left foot,” shake hands” with the right. Don’t let the bird do these behaviors with the same foot since it will only lead to confusion later. Most birds are left footed (oh yes, birds have definite foot preference) and will step onto a perch with the preferred foot first. To teach the “wave”, have the bird sit on the T-stand again, wiggle the fingers of your right hand as in a small wave, say “wave”, or whatever verbal cue you wish. It could be “good bye”, “salute,” etc., just remember it really makes no difference as you will be dropping the verbal cue soon and just going to the visual cue as you tell the bird that has mastered the trick to wave goodbye, say hello, or, as I use it in one of my tricks, to salute the flag after my bird has raised it, all with just a small wave of the fingers.

So, just wiggle your finger tips, then immediately proffer your hand /finger for the bird to step on. The bird willundoubtedly try to step forward onto your hand. Do not let it! The minute you see it start to lift its left foot, pull your hand away, tell it good, and give it the reward you are holding in your left hand.. It won’t take very many repetitions before it gets the idea that all it has to do to get the reward is to lift its left foot. You no longer need to offer it your hand to step on, just wiggle your fingers and the bird will begin tentatively raising its foot. When it does this readily, start withholding the seed just a few seconds longer. The usual reaction is to lift the foot a little higher. When the bird gets the foot as high as you think it is going to and then starts to drop it, reward it immediately, and you have the beginning of the wave. Do this only until the bird is lifting its foot readily and you can delightedly praise it. Then move on.

Teaching these two tricks should have taken about half an hour. If you are still having fun and the bird is still watching you fully, move on to trick three. This is not too much to teach in one session and you will see that the birds actually seem to enjoy it. Don’t worry about the bird doing it perfectly. All you want the bird to do now is to get the idea. Perfection can come later.

Trick three: ” Shake Hands”. Easy trick! With the bird on the T-stand as before, offer your right hand across its body to in front of its right foot. Remember, its wave with the left foot, shake hands with the right foot. The bird will undoubtedly try to step onto your hand with its left foot as this is what you wanted before. Don’t let it. Insist the bird raise its right foot and try to step onto your hand with that foot. Be persistent, it finally will. Then follow with lots of praise and the reward. Just let it touch your hand with the right foot, don’t let it transfer weight and try to step onto your hand.

It will amaze you how quickly your bird will get the idea after having gone through the other two tricks. It has learned that all it has to do is something simple like raise a foot and it gets fussed over and a treat. Birds are very smart and once you show them what you want them to do, they are usually more than happy to comply. Only after your bird has placed its foot on your proffered finger fairly readily, should you attempt to raise and lower your hand as in the traditional “shake” motion. Finally, lightly touch the top of his foot with your thumb. If you have done all the “taming” things mentioned earlier in preparation for tricks, touching the birds feet and moving your hands around will not alarm the bird.

At this point you might want to review the three behaviors you have just taught, but if either of you are tired, quit while you’re ahead. Have the bird finish with something it did well. Praise it, reward it and return it to its cage and leave it. Don’t follow with a play session. Let the training session become its special time with you and your bird will look forward to that.

Your first session should have taken 30 to 45 minutes. Longer if you were both having fun, shorter if either you or the bird got stressed. But if this has happened, you were doing something wrong. Help the bird to have as many “successes” as possible. Reward each little increment along the way. It’s much better to guide him to the right response than to have to correct the bird for a wrong one. If the bird does not do something right, try it again another way so that the bird can be rewarded for the correct moves. Trick training is valuable even if the bird never performs for anyone other than its owner. Training teaches a bird discipline, and as you spend more time observing your bird and its reactions, you will understand it better, and the bird will at the same time also learn better how to respond to you and what pleases you.

These are just the first three basic tricks. Each succeeding trick will come easier. Don’t get discouraged if everything doesn’t go perfectly. Be patient and don’t give up. Success will come, sooner than you think.

Tani Robar has been training and putting on stage shows with her birds for over 12 years. For those wishing to continue their training, Tani Robar now has a series of four videos that show each step of the training and how each trick is taught. Video I , Fantastic Performing Parrots, shows Robar’s birds performing the tricks she later teaches in the succeeding videos, plus many more. Video II, Teach Your Parrot Beginning Tricks, shows birds being trained for the first time and covers the praise/reward system, how to give the commands and signals, and the basic tricks, such as the turn around, shake hands, wave, give a kiss, the forward roll and dismount, and pulling up a basket. Video III, Intermediate Tricks, teaches the retrieve, along with related tricks, such as placing a ball in a basket, a coin in a piggy bank, a ring on a peg, and raising a flag. It also covers playing dead, juggling, the roll over and the somersault plus others. Video IV, Advanced Tricks, shows how to teach the bird to turn a crank, jump through a hoop, ride a scooter, stack containers, combine tricks for pleasing combinations, and more.

Training for Painters

So you are prepared to move on with your painting job and you have actually chosen to begin trying to find an expert home painter to do the work. The question is where to look and how to weed out the flakes from the specialists, the high bids from the low quotes, the genuine recommendations from the family recommendations and exactly what’s genuinely required for a quality task as opposed to fluff products that cost more cash but supplies no additional advantage to you.

Beginning the search

There are several ways to begin your search for a professional house painter.

The Internet has actually ended up being the most common way individuals look or look for product and services. The majority of people use online search engine such as Google or Yahoo to try to find a home painter, plumbing, electrician or handyman to supply a price quote. But these search engines do not inform the entire story and do not distinguish in between a reputable, trustworthy, expert company versus somebody who is just aiming to make a fast dollar and leave you with a job that is now going to cost you more to have fixed. Don’t give up hope there are other online resources that will assist narrow the field and weed out the shysters. A few of my favorites include Yelp, Google Places, Kudzu and Angie’s List. Remember that not all respectable house painters are listed on these sites just as not all dishonest home painters will not be mentioned, but these sites are a great barometer of how the ones that are listed will treat you and the sort of work you can expect if you employ them. A lot of trusted home painters will motivate their customers to post their experience on-line so other prospective clients will feel comfortable utilizing their services

Different ways to find painters

Word of mouth. Getting a referral from friends or neighbors is always among the trustworthy ways for choosing a home painter. It is likewise one of the most cost-efficient methods for a painter to generate new business so it is always in his/ her benefit to provide quality work at a sensible price with a determination to stand behind their work and a track record of doing so.

The Better Service Bureau is another important resource to determine if your painter is going to live up to your expectations. Home painters that are belong to the BBB should concur to deal with consumer grievances or problems, have all the proper insurance coverage requirements and conduct their organisation in an expert manner in accordance with the BBB guidelines. In addition to making this commitment to the BBB, each business is ranked with a letter grade based on problems, their time in service and the size of their business. An A+ ranking is a business with no unsolved problems or problems and has beened around for a minimum of 7 years. An A rating is a business with no unsolved complaints with less than 7 years. Remember that companies do get complaints and some are from clients that have impractical expectations or are continuously submitting complaints for the attention. As long as the business has actually dealt with the problem in the eyes of the BBB, you must have no concerns. In many cases a trustworthy company will have dealt with a consumer problem well prior to it reaches the BBB.

References: My mother say’s I’m a good painter is not truly an excellent recommendation unless you know the mama. Do your homework. After all, you do not actually expect a painter to offer you bad referrals do you? A great general rule is to ask for a complete list of clients going back as far as possible and to do your very own random calling or drive by. We constantly give our clients a total list of previous clients. Our rule is we have no idea who you are going to call or what or previous consumer is going to state, however if we have actually done our job right than we will earn your service and if we have not then we do not deserve it.

Cash: Deposits are often asked for by painters to pay for materials. The guideline to follow here is never provide more than 10% of the contract – price quote and limit it to $1,000.00. Depending upon the size of the job progress payments or draws may be requested by the painter. These payments need to belong to any contract and should be based on work performed and checked. Never ever pay ahead of schedule or make a last payment up until the work is complete and you are totally satisfied. Aim to prevent paying cash if possible. Our policy is any work under $20,000.00 does not require a deposit and payment is due upon completion.

In conclusion

Every painter has a method to their madness and therefore every estimate should be different. Now you may be asking yourself how various? Well that all depends upon the number of quotes you are getting, the size of the company you calling, the kind of insurance coverage the company carries and the amount of overhead the painters has. If you are calling painters that are a one man program with low overhead and low insurance coverage cost your price quotes must correspond in prices. The trade-off to employing a painter that works alone is the time he will spend at your house disrupting your life. If you are getting price quotes from painters with teams that will put several men on the project then again your pricing need to correspond and within a few hundred dollars of one another. The compromise here is slightly greater rates due to overhead but with less time disrupting your schedule. If you blend these two types of organisations together for approximating purposes than anticipate irregular pricing. To see a great fort collins house painters see here.

Other quote considerations must include the scope of work. Each quote must include comparable language regarding what is included and what is omitted. Types of material need to also be discussed and included in any estimate. Again, compare your quotes to confirm that each painter is using similar items. Guarantee information, for how long does the painter intend on backing up their work? What does the service warranty consist of? Validate clients that have utilized the guarantee. Service warranties beyond 5 years should be thought about more marketing than truth. Lastly, the high, middle, low concern. Some bids may be high for a factor which may include the reality that the painter is hectic and doesn’t require the work however must you select him he will fit you in. Or he may be greater since the quality of work that is provided is worth the extra cost. This is where extra research on your part will be needed to identify what the actual case may be. The least expensive quote must be analyzed carefully, remember the golden guideline “You get what you pay for”.

Emergency parrot first-aid

After an emergency occurs, is not the time to try to put together your first-aid kit. Being prepared is key for any emergency and the first step is to put together a first-aid kit. You can purchase first-aid kits for birds or build your own which is usually much cheaper. The list below shows the items that should be included in your first-aid kit.

  • Antibiotic powder and germicidal ointment (used to fight infection)
  • Blood stopper
  • Contact info for your vet (days, nights, weekdays, and weekends)
  • Corn Starch. Styptic powder, or Styptic pencil (used to stop bleeding) See warning below.
  • Cotton balls, cotton swabs, and Gauze squares
  • Flashlight
  • Honey or Karo Syrup (used to provide carbohydrates and energy)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (used for cleaning wounds)
  • Infrared Lamp (250 watts – large birds) or Hospital Cage (small birds)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Needle-Nose pliers or sturdy tweezers
  • Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate (used for some cases of poisoning)
  • Pet carrier (used to transport your sick bird to the vet)
  • Plastic eyedropper (used for administering fluids and irrigating wounds with water)
  • Powdered Gatorade or Pedialyte (used to provide energy and electrolytes)
  • Roll of gauze for bandaging
  • Scissors
  • Surgical tape or Masking tape (used for taping bandages)
  • Towel for restraining your bird

The use for most of these items is obvious except for maybe the infrared lamp. Birds typically have a high metabolic rate. One of the first things that can happen with a sick bird is that it stops eating correctly. This can lead to a drop in body temperature and possibly hypothermia that can be deadly. The ideal temperature to nurse a sick bird is about (30C, 86F) which can be provided by the hospital cage or the infrared lamp. The infrared lamp should be a “dull-emitter” type that radiates heat and not light. Some people have also used heated blankets (with the cord carefully concealed) in the bottom of the cage or a heated blanket draped over part of the cage. It is important to drape it over only part of the cage. This will give the bird a place to get away from the heat if it wants to.

Before continuing, there are a few words of caution. The first word of caution is about styptic powder and styptic pencils. Some vet’s don’t recommend their use. Instead, they recommend a corn starch solution. Styptic pencils may cause feather, follicle, or eye damage. However, it may be acceptable to use the styptic pencil on a clipped nail. Secondly, masking tape is usually recommended because surgical tape tends to stick to feathers.