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Pet Information: White-crowned Pionus
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"I have a one year old White Crowned/Capped Parrot that was given to me by a friend in Honduras who farms and found the little guy after a dead tree had been cut down. Ricky (the parrot) lives with me at my retirement home in Siguatepeque Honduras and I successfully hand-raised him from what I figure was an age of 2 weeks. I fed him a mixture of water and corn flour, mixed to a thin paste and drawn up into a amall hypodermic (without needle of course). I would place the syringe totally inside the mouth and he would then take it garther in hinself and I would press the mix directly down the throat, he thrived and has always been very healthy. When grown these birds LOVE corn, fresh corn on the cob, just pull the shuck leaves back and use them to tie the piece to the cage (or perch). Fresh corn on the cob is considered to be essential at least once a week for an adult bird by the locals. This is a favorite parrot of local Hondurans and they have taught me a couple of things about them and their ability to speak, that I do not find elsewhere. They say to NEVER feed them anything with salt on it, OR the bird will never speak! Also at 8 months they begin to feed the bird a drop or two of liquor on a piece of tortilla daily, or provide a small cup of fruit wine twice a week. This bird in the wild starts consuming naturally fermented fruit at this age and does so periodically throughout its lifetime. Without this addition to their diet they will never speak well. My little guy is already doing various whistles, calling 3 people in the family by name and is becoming more talkative daily. He started talking one month after I started giving him fruit wine. The wine I am using is a pineapple and mango based wine, but I would think that nay tropical fruit based wine would do. I love my little friend and am glad to share this information on increasing their talkativeness. Remember that these people have been raising and loving these birds for hundreds of years and I trust what they know and have shared with me. They recommend to never cage this particular type parrot, or if necessary a large cage where they can have lots of activity."
"DD Manfredi"

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