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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/23/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Hi everyone! Long time since we've been here. Life was busy and then I entered into the world of assisting with elder care for a dear 90 year old relative, who peacefully passed away late fall. Am just now starting to catch back up on my regular routine, but wanted to jump in today to give a quick update on HRH Inara and some important info. During the holiday season, I was away from home a lot helping my relative. At some point in the middle of the holidays, HRH started plucking for the first time in her 8 year old life. I kept my eye on things, chalked it up to the stressors of me coming and going -- especially since my Joe has always been the one to travel and I was always the one at home. Then she hit her usual mating/hormonal season and so I still was not super concerned but was concerned enough to give her (wonderful!) avian vet a call. Still not a huge concern because she was not doing super drastic type plucking -- just "snow flurries" in the bottom of her cage each morning and we thought that now that my routine was back to usual, that she would settle back down. However, something just kept nagging at me as things did not settle down, despite that nothing else was changing with her. Her appetite was fantastic, she was chatting up a storm all day as usual, her weight was holding perfectly steady, she showed no signs of weird poo, and no respiratory distress signs. In any event, since it was time to take her in to get her beak tidied and polished and her talons blunted, I took in her morning poo sample and jogged our Vet's memory about what had been going on. She asked me: With her new feathers that keep coming in, does the shaft casing look black or whitish pink. I said, hmmm.. now that you mention it, black. But since her feathers are grey, I just chalked that up to her coloring. Vet immediately said -- nope, that is an indicator that something is amiss. They should always be a whitish pink. So she was glad I had brought in the poo and when she was doing HRH's talons she did a shorter snip on one for a blood sample. Because she is an Avian vet and surgeon, she runs all of her own lab work herself right in the office so within minutes we knew what the deal was. Inara had a yeast infection and a bacterial infection. We could not pinpoint how she got the yeast infection because she does not get foods that are yeast based in her general diet. The bacterial infection, the Vet said was likely from her scratching herself open slightly with her beak while plucking a feather. Then, our visit became like an episode of House, DVM ! Our lovely Vet looked at me with an expression akin to a light bulb going off, and asked, "When you were traveling so much, did your guy order in a lot of pizza?" I said, "Yes!! How did you know?!" She asked further, "Did he share with Inara?" I said, "Yes, actually and was tickled because they really bonded over it." She said, "Well their pizza parties have to come to a halt (I am paraphrasing this conversation) because pizza dough is one of the worst offenders for yeast infections." The pizza crusts often don't get cooked thoroughly enough to kill off the yeast and her little bites of pizza crusts were the culprit. It was a food she had never had in her little life, and is one that is of course completely off of her menu now forever. My guy felt terrible -- I said, don't because who knew? And I felt terrible because I had fallen into the trap of "She's a Grey, Greys can be notorious for plucking when stressed." Then I conflated that with her hormonal bout and so the problem went on way longer than it should have especially because she was not plucking herself naked, just lots of "snow." And mostly some time during the night, which I now figure is because she was getting her usual shower every day, and is so busy during the days that even though she was probably itching to high heaven she was distracted all day. Then at night, when she was not distracted the itching would get to her and she was going to town on her feathers. So good news: The antibiotic in her water dish daily, and her drops of antifungal daily have cleared up the entire shebang and she is back (so far) to leaving her feathers alone except for her normal preening. She has always been a super rough preener, she actually pulls my hair out when she tries to preen me (EEK!!) unlike my Congo (R.I.P.) who was so gentle that he would preen my eyebrows and eyelashes (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!). I would never let HRH anywhere near my eyes, as she also is just a completely different personality. Very long story but the moral is: Even if you think that some plucking may be going on because of 1) Greyness, 2) Change in routine or stressful event, or 3) seasonal/mating changes, or 4) because you think it is just your bird's "habit" --- make an appointment with an Avian Vet, take in a poo sample and get a thorough once over. ASAP. Fortunately, I know that I am not a bad parront. Most of my friends say that if they come back in another life they want to come back as one of my birds. But I do feel bad that even with close to 30 years total of living with birds, that I missed what a *new* parront might have been on top of in a NY minute. I was concerned, but conflated several things, and since she did not have any bare to the skin patches, I was not alarmed. Sometimes we need to take off our "experienced," lenses and re-look as a hypervigilant new parront might see things. ------------------------------------ Usual update: OMG she gets funnier with each passing year, and is still learning more and more language and astounding our friends and family with her use of complete sentences. She now refers to herself as "Birdy" or "The Birdy." She will holler, "Hey Sweetie? Come get The Birdy out." or "Birdy wants to go out there to the tree, OK?" or "You go get The Birdy a carrot cookie, yeah!" And she argues now. If I tell her no, she will reply with, "Yeah -- or Yah!" And then she will keep asking for the same thing in several different ways, as if I am a dullard and just did not tell her No but instead did not grasp what it was that she really wants. She kills me! I have figured out how to upload to youtube, so will start posting some vids if I can get her where she does not clam up when she sees the phone/camera appear. Here is one of the two of us chatting from two different rooms (as we do) -- you may have to turn up your volume so that you can hear her. HRY Inara trying to convince me that "everybody is at the tree." We've missed you all, and have a lot of catching up to do! xoxo Jane and HRH Inara
  2. 2 points
    Thank you for the replies. Really appreciate all your efforts in helping this community. Yes he seems to be mad at me going away for a month and even before that i was unable to give him much time even though my family was always playing with him but he was attached to me the most that's why he is mad at me. I have made drastic changes to my schedule and now no matter what i will be giving time to Rockey like i used to, every day. I have started to interact with him by vocalizing but not trying to approach him as trying to bring my hand close to him immediately triggers him to snap at me. But i am now following positive reinforcements by giving him his favorite treat (almonds) if he lets me touch his beak and even let me pet him. If he tries to snap at me i say the word "no" and he doesn't get rewarded with a treat. I really hope he doesn't stay mad for long as i really miss our interactions and our close bond. He used to be a really cuddly bird around me.
  3. 2 points
    Welcome back! We've missed your posts. I love her stand BTW.
  4. 2 points
    Glad to have you back, especially since you will now be posting videos! We have a talker too now but he doesn't talk like that. He's more of a one-word type of guy. I wish I had one to converse with like HRH Inara. Our Huey responds to my wife but I can't get my wife to hold conversations with him. I'd talk all day to him if he'd respond to me. Wish we had a vet in my area like the one you are seeing. What you describe is very rare, most vets are sort of useless e.g. our Huey being on an anti-psyhotic for 10 years - vet prescribed! GreycieMae plucks in a similar way. It was bad for a while and then she stopped the bulk of it but she loves to pull a down feather out right in front of me where I can hear it pop out and I get riled up about it. I think she enjoys getting me torqued. Next time you make a video, hide the camera in the HRS Inara's room, it'll be easier to make out what she's saying. What a stinker she is.
  5. 2 points
    Sounds like he's is mad at you. When I'm gone, even for a couple of days, Timber gives me the cold shoulder. He will literally turn his head like he won't look at me. They have very long memories, so you can be assured he hasn't forgotten you.
  6. 1 point
    There is the possibility that he bonded to someone else in your family over time as well. They can sometimes change who their 'favourite' person is. Alfie favours my housemate. He's fine with me but he will actively seek my housemate out when he's in the room, he will check on what my housemate is doing, he learns words and phrases really quickly from my housemate but ignores most of what I say etc. I think you're doing the right things - just by backing off and letting him come to you is probably the best bet right now. He will get over his grump and interact with you more as time goes on. they can be a little change adverse at times so it may be the changes in routine and the fact you were gone for a while has put him in a bad mood. But he will come round- just give him time and keep doing what you're doing. If he goes to bite (or does bite) just back off and leave him be. He will soon let you know when you are worthy of giving him scritches again! 😂
  7. 1 point
    Great to see you back! I love hearing about Inara's antics! It's amazing how much you continue to learn about birds, no matter how many years you have spent with them. Alfie continues to regularly surprise me and we've been living together for 16 years!
  8. 1 point
    Just take things very slowly and let him call the touching shots. I'm confident that he'll come around again.
  9. 1 point
    Good to see you back! What a talker Inara is. I enjoyed the video and hope you will post more.
  10. 1 point
    Things are going better. We are doing head scratches again, and she has set with me a couple times. She has picked up some new phrases as well, it's funny cause she will look at me and say Dixie be a good girl. I have her cage in the living room where I am spending my recovery time. I just leave her door open and let her come and go as she pleases. When she wants attention she climbs down the side of her cage and I have made so she can get to my chair. She has set me with three times today, and has made a movement acouple times as if to bite, and I just slowly back my hand away and just say Dixie be a good girl. I really glad to have this time off it will help in so many ways. You all are great people and I'm thankful for your help.
  11. 1 point
    Sometimes an unclosed band can mean that the bird was wild caught and then at one time confiscated when being smuggled into the US and then banded before being quarantined and then auctioned. Another reason may be someone else who originally had a domestically bred bird, cut their band off and then when the bird was rehomed the new person decided they wanted/needed a band for travel reasons, bill of health reasons for boarding, etc. Hard to tell since as far as I know there still is no universal banding standard coding in the US. So glad another Greybie has found you. I'm just south of you at the edge of Black Forest/Monument area, and HRH Inara originally came from a TX breeder, then to a Denver Bird store, from there to her original owners east of Denver, then to Craigslist where I found her at just about age 2. Her band does show TX for TX for Texas and then numbers that only the original breeder could decipher.
  12. 1 point
    He probably is a little upset with you as you were gone for a month, some greys react to absences like that, they are trying to let you know you did a bad thing in his eyes by leaving him but it won't last. It kind of sounds like you don't have much time to spend with him and that is not good for him, he needs to know you are there for him some every day. You may be expecting too much from him right now, I think you need to work on your relationship more to earn his trust. Greys are slow to trust and it takes plenty of time and lots of patience on your part as it won't happen overnight. Don't push him for more than he is willing to give, let him make the first more toward more personal interaction with you, talk to him a lot and offer him treats. Another thing to mention, have you changed anything about your appearance lately that may be making him seem as if he doesn't recognize you, with my grey if I put color on my fingernails she doesn't want anything to do with my hands, they notice subtle changes that you may not even be aware of.
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