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Everything posted by CTGull

  1. I apologize in advance for my lengthy post. I just like to write! :?) First, an explanation of my forum name – CTGull. I am from Connecticut. Simple so far. Gull – I do not have a Seagull, nor am I obsessed with them. I use this name in many guitar forums, in reference to Seagull acoustic guitars. So, yes, I am actually obsessed with seagulls, but the wooden variety with strings on them. And vintage Yamaha FG acoustic guitars, but that’s another story. We’ve had a few birds in the past 10+ years, including a crazy Amazon and a large Cockatoo. They were total opposites! We currently have a Love bird (it LOVES human flesh!!!), and Alexadrine and a mostly naked male Eclectus. The Alexandrine and Eclectus love to step up and come out. We’ve had a couple birds who did not, including the Amazon. I’ve always wanted a Grey. On 5/21/18 I saw an ad in the Free Stuff section of the local CraigsList for an African Grey parrot. I’ve seen ads for parrots before but they have been scams, stealing someone’s name and phone number. Why I have no idea. Both times I contacted the people and they didn’t have a parrot. So I figured this was the same, but I sent an email anyway. As usual, the ad was flagged and disappeared shortly after I saw it. Just before lunch the next day I got a reply to call him if I was interested in the bird. I replied I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the bird at work and I would call when I got out at 3:30pm. So I called and asked a few questions, with the main one being “Why do you want to get rid of the bird?”. His response was, “We just want it gone.” I attempted to process that for a few seconds before responding. And I arranged to meet at 5:30pm. It had been raining all afternoon and was expected to continue until about 7pm. After a 40 minute ride we found their condo, after driving past the street twice. They have a few animals. Who doesn’t?? The bird has chewed off its wing feathers and has down all over its body. What does the bird eat?? A seed/nut mixture!! They say she won’t eat anything else. The worst thing she said was their ferret runs around and sometimes goes on the cage. OMG?????!!!!!!! I didn’t want another basket case but it’s obvious she isn’t wanted there, so we had to take her. A couple of stubby chewed wing feathers were bleeding after a long struggle to get it out of its cage and into an open wire carrier. We load out in the rain and drive home in the rain. When we get home the rain has stopped, but there are a few droplets of blood on my wife’s clothes and her van’s dashboard and door panel. We bring the carrier in and find the blood stop powder. It’s a struggle to get the bird out and restrained enough to apply the powder. But there are at least 3 blood feathers bleeding, however infrequently. My wife is concerned and calls the local 24 hour vet, which also has an avian vet. We ask our 6’3” 18 year old son to bring in and set up the 30” x 30” x 60something” cage by himself. And we’re off. They take the bird as soon as we get there. And we wait 1.5 hours for them to bring her back. (We’re assuming her.) Then we have to wait for the vet to come out to talk to us. Another half hour. Then we BS with the nurse for another half hour. It’s now 10:30pm. They did the same thing we did, but a bit more thorough. They found 5 feathers bleeding. They gave us (I use that term loosely) some meds, including one for pain, that have to be given every 8 hours. They also suggest dropping her off in the morning and leaving her there for a full exam with the avian vet. So the next morning I get up at 4:50am (my usual time), take a shower, and get my wife up, 1.5 hours before she normally gets up. While we would rather have had the bird set up in our bedroom to isolate her, there just isn’t room at the moment so we have her in the Livingroom next to our Alexandrine. I attempted to take out the Alexandrine to show that I’m not a threat. He’s usually more than willing to step up, but it’s 5:20am and all he wants is head scratches. More scratches. And more scratches. I finally come up from behind and get him to step up and show the Grey. I kiss his nose and put him back. I opened the Greys cage and slowly advance my finger towards her. She growls, as usual. Then she drops her head!!!!!! SCRATCHES??? So I gave her scratches. And tried to get her to step up. Lunges, growls, and wants more scratches. Well, I guess that’s progress. A little chasing around the cage ensues before I got her on my hand (with the other hand) and started to pull her out. She’s looking for anywhere to go. Her first choice is my chest. She latches on my shirt, fortunately only getting shirt. I pull her off and the struggle continues to gently restrain her for my wife to give her the meds. My wrist was very scratched up from her needle sharp nails, but no blood was shed. Progress. I put her in the carrier and load it into my wife’s van. She goes to the vet, I go to work. We picked her up that evening. They said she had a good day. She was tough getting out but was bopping around and making noises otherwise, and watching everything that was going on. She even ate a little of the colored ZuPreme pellets, which is what we use. Excellent!! I’ve noticed, and the nurse at the vet mentions, that the bird seems to like me, she watches me a lot and blushes. Hopefully I can use that to my advantage to get her to step up eventually. My wife pays (we must be $600 into this bird!!) and we go home. So far in the less than 24 hours we’ve had her, she’s spent more time at the vet than with us! It was a little struggle to get her out and into her cage. Since it was 6:00pm, we left to get some food. Later I attempted to take her out for her meds. Nope. Not happening. She put up quite a fight. And we had to give up after a few minutes. I AM NOT HAPPY …… I thought we had made some progress, but she was probably tired after a long day of excitement. This morning we prepared for battle. 5:20am again. Again I took out the Alexandrine (didn’t want scratches) and showed him to her. Again she fought to not come out. She ended up falling off the perch and I corralled her on the bottom. She’s not pinning like she wants to kill, she just doesn’t want anything with us taking her out. She got her meds and we went to work. We can’t continue like this. She’s going to get hurt. And never trust us. I had really hoped I’d be able to take her out to put her on a stand to get to know us better. But I can see it’s going to be a struggle. We want to reduce her stress so her feathers will grow back, but if we have to fight to get her out, I don’t see how we’re helping. Obviously, our biggest problem is not being able to handle, or even take out, a growling, feather destructing, and stressed bird. The change of homes can’t help. I don’t think they ever took the bird out. They just opened the cage and let her walk around, and she would go back in eventually. I’m not like that, I’m hands on with our pets. We also have reptiles (lizards & snakes), along with 2 cats and 2 dogs. I can’t see having a pet that can’t be taken out, even if it’s only for a few minutes here and there. Of course, for my enjoyment, not theirs. Obviously, this bird is not enjoying it!!
  2. OK. I'm done here. Please delete this topic and remove me from this forum.
  3. I'll try to find it tonight.
  4. The fireworks are tomorrow night. But there were some loud neighborhood ones on Wednesday and it didn't seem to bother the birds. The dogs hate it!!! We'll see what that in combination with flashing lights does. I'll make sure she's covered first, but that only blocks visibility, not light. She'll probably be fine. Haven't been able to get her to step up the last 2 mornings. A few steps back. Wait and see. I think my wife had gotten something from the vet to put in her water or food to calm her down for her destructive feather problem. I'll have to find it. Still no pulled feathers but she chews any wing feathers that come in.
  5. No real update. Nothing has changed. Everything outside her cage is going to kill her. The only time she will step up is at sunrise. Our town fireworks are this coming Saturday. It is about 1/4 mile from our house and very visible from the livingroom. AND VERY LOUD!!!! The other 2 birds have heard/seen it, they will be fine. Piper will probably spend the whole time on the bottom of the cage in convulsions!!! So I figured I'd lower a play stand, get her used to it, and bring her downstairs and put her on it before the fireworks start. Well, that's not going to happen. She's terrified of the thing!!!! A couple of mornings ago I took her out and she gripped my finger tight enough to stop the blood flow. Sh jumped off as I got closer to the stand. I picked her up and got her onto it. I took her off and put her on again. I put her back in her cage and she's refused to step up since. End of story.
  6. I just realized we rescued her 5 weeks ago yesterday.
  7. CTGull

    Introduce your pets

    I don't have time for details. (4) birds: a "love" bird (poorly chosen name), male Alexandrine (bought as a baby), naked male Eclectus (rescue), and our newly rescued female CAG. (2) dogs (rescues): 4 year old 85 lb male pit bull (dumb as a box of rocks!), and a 4 year old chihuahua/rat terrier mix (runs the house). (2) cats (rescues). The female is a demanding beotch, you can do anything to the male. Reptiles: (2) ball pythons, (4) boas, (1) hog nose snake, (1) sand boa. Most are lost cost paid rescues. (1) bearded dragon (that defies Father Time). (1) female cuban rock iguana. Very rare. Chillest iguana ever. Had (4) cubans at one time. (1) crested gecko, missing it's tail. It is what it is. Who knows what else... We've had many more snakes. Rescued 9 once. Had 4 or 5 tegus. And many other critters over the years. We've cut back as the kids got older.
  8. She does ring a bell on a toy once in a while. And grabs one toy to bang it against her water bowl. That's about it. I added squares of cardboard to one toy. She was initially afraid of it, now she ignores it. Everything I've given her was to chew on, instead of herself. She has popped a few main wing and tail feathers, which are chewed on the ends. I've never seen a feather (other than down) on the floor of the cage. That's a good thing. She's got a long way to go! I'm hoping the breeding behavior ends soon, and she still likes me afterward. If I had a voice activated recorder I could document her vocabulary, which seems to grow every day. Not just random words, whole sentences!
  9. I should mention the new toys that she was originally afraid of are in her cage and she's OK with them. She doesn't touch any of her toys though. :?( She continues to very randomly step up. 90% of the time she forcibly pushes my finger up to her head for scratches. Sometimes she lightly bites my fingers to redirect me. If she takes it too far I close the door and walk away. Mostly, she steps up to get closer to me for he mating dance. Mostly in the morning. Although she must have some interest in coming out of her cage. But she's usually very scared when I take her out, looking for things to eat her. I can see it in her eyes and feel it in her grip. I'll sometimes slowly walk her around the room. Hopefully she'll get it soon. I can't take her to the bird meeting in September if she's this scared of everything outside her cage. She must have never been taken out. I can tell by the things she's been saying lately that her former owners where not happy with her. She's been telling her story. I've been tempted to text the guy, but that would probably just piss him off. He "wanted it gone". If I could only get her to understand "good bird step up", which is what I say when I take one of the other birds out and show her that they like to step up. She obviously has her own priorities!!
  10. Wow, has she really opened up vocally!!! All kinds of stuff coming out of her mouth the last few days!! Including stuff she had to have picked up before we got her. "stop. Stop. STOP!!!" And, all of the sudden it's quite up there. Hmmm.... I better check.
  11. Well, unfortunately our 16 year old daughter has been in the hospital for the past 2 weeks. Severe depression. We brought her home today. Every day is go to work, go to the hospital, go to bed. With a little bird time between. Last weekend we were working on giving her room a makeover. Prime & paint have been done. I did the prime on Saturday, her friends did the painting on Sunday. And one of her friends has been working on a mural. This weekend will be a new vinyl plank floor. Since everything but the bed came out of the room, it meant much of it went into the living room, where the birds are. Things going by greatly scared the CAG. She fell off her perch at least 2 times. For the past 3 nites she's been freaked out by covering her cage. Tonight was the first time she had no problem with the cover, probably because I did it. Every morning when I take off the cover I give them food and water, and give the CAG scratches. The past 3 mornings she did step up willingly at least once. Yesterday she was climbing the edge of the doorway opening and I was amazed she stepped onto my finger! By mostly she wants scratches and wants to do her wing drooping, wimpering, attempting regurging. I don't giver her exclusive long time attention, I move from bird to bird so they don't get too jealous. These are 3 medium size birds that could do some serious damage to me if they wanted. Fortunately all 3 of them like me very much. Maybe pictures tomorrow, but no promise. Our 18 year old son graduates from High School on Friday. thursday after work I have to get him some fancy clothes to wear, a one time use. He lives in shorts and t-shirts. Busy, busy!!!!
  12. I think the fast lane days are over. She's settling into the Grey lane. Even though she's stepping up a bit better, she's still visibly afraid when I take her out of the cage. So I stay right next to it and let her look around.
  13. After a week of no/slow progress, she has been willingly stepping up more. 4 times this morning. Of course, she's doing it to get closer to me for her mating display. I've been doing less neck scratching and more talking to her. She doesn't get scratched at all if she's on my finger. I keep her near the cage and move very slowly. She transfers easily to the other finger, something our other birds won't do (left hand is evil!!). She's still afraid of the ceiling and most inanimate objects, but not afraid of the dogs & cats that could actually kill her. Now that she's getting easier to pick up, I need to make a setup to weigh her. I'd swear she feels heavier. She's small for her breed but a little overweight for her size, due to her previous diet of seed and nuts. No signs of plucking. Hopefully she'll continue to get easier to handle and more comfortable over the next few months. Maybe we'll be able to take her to the Parrot meeting in September, 3 months away.
  14. When does mating season end?? Or will this continue until the days get shorter? I put a sheet over her at sundown (about 9pm), and take it off when I'm about to leave for work (about 5:30am). I know that's not enough sleep time, but I make sure she gets clean food and water before I leave for work.
  15. I think just about everything she does is for "mating" with me. She'll dance around (lifting feet and wings) to get my attention, then she grabs my finger (and not let go!), and attempt to regurgitate for my hand. I usually pull away, but it isn't always easy. Shes got a good grip! Yesterday had positives and negatives. I was in and out all weekend. I'd give the birds a couple minutes attention here and there. I noticed she wasn't as vocal and didn't eat as much as she has been. I normally give her half a bowl in the morning and it's gone by late afternoon, and I'll give her a little bit more. Yesterday she ate a bit more than half. And I noticed a dozen down feathers of the bottom of the cage. And she's been a little more aggressive with her mating (nibbling on my finger). On the other hand, she stepped up 4 times, 2 willingly stepping off the front of the cage onto my finger. The first 2 times I kept her right in the front of the cage. She keeps looking up at the ceiling. I think she's afraid of the popcorn ceiling. The 3rd time I very slowly walked her to the front window. Later I very slowly took her to our bedroom. Each time she was only out for 2 or 3 minutes. I might as well add today to this. I got home to find all her food gone. That's a good thing. And she's being very animated and vocal. Raising feet and wings, showing off.
  16. Haven't thought about the hair lately. I'd kind of like to keep what I have left. She stepped up yesterday, probably by accident. Starting yesterday evening, possibly part of her mating dance, is to raise a foot at me. Either foot. She will actually grab my finger. But has no interest in stepping up. I tried pushing on her chest once and she held the bar very firmly. Typically if I put my finger near her feet (and a foot isn't extended to me) she will push my finger away very firmly with her head. No bite, not even an attempt. While she still lowers her head for scratches almost anytime I extend a finger toward her, when I scratch her head after a couple of seconds she turns her head a nibbles on my finger. I've been not scratching her as much, to not encourage her mating dance. I still show her the other birds stepping up. And talk to her. She's copied more than a few sounds around the house. This afternoon I heard her mimicking the smaller dogs bark. She's also howled with the other dog. We think she's said our middle son's name a few times. and other stuff. Very entertaining.
  17. CTGull

    Grey Cognition and language abilities

    How has this not been added to in over a year? We rescued our nearly 5 year old CAG 9 days ago. Every day she gets more chatty, with various noises and whistling. I wonder if the whistling is something she was taught or is she making it up as she goes? And like many Greys, she shuts up as soon as she sees someone coming into the room. Many different voices. Should be interesting.
  18. The objects that scared her were being carried by her by me. I don't walk slow. I do approach her into the cage slowly. My son said it look aggressive. It was my fault for suddenly poking the top of my head in while cleaning the bottom of the cage. A big round brown scary thing!! When she's at the edge of the door opening or out of the cage I will slowly lower my head and have my son observe what happens. We've had birds that liked to preen hair and others that would attack it.
  19. She seems to be afraid of anything she's never seen before. Not fearless after all. Will all the noises, voices and whistles she does, as soon as she sees someone she stops. She doesn't like hair!! I bent in the clean the cage and she tried to bite my head. Our son said he's noticed that too. Hair is bad!! She's still evolving. We're still learning.
  20. She's DNA tested confirmed female. No surprise there. This morning she came out of the water bowl door while I got her water. This time she was completely on the side of the cage and didn't volunteer to go back in. I tried to lead her back in but she wanted to hang out. I unfortunately had to force her to step up to get get her back in. Voicing her displeasure set off the Eclectus, not something I wanted to do at 5:30am.
  21. CTGull

    Can't save edited profile

    It's fixed, that's all that matters. I guess I'm the only new member to try to add to their profile since the last change. I run a forum and website for vintage Yamaha guitars (ProBoards & WordPress). I'm my own tech guy. If something breaks it's usually something I did by mistake and I have to figure out how to fix it. Fun stuff.
  22. I've been trying to add stuff to my profile but I cann't save it because of the Random Question thing at the end. It doesn't like my answer, or any other answer I've tried. HELP!!! Random Question – this is to verify that you are human and help keep spam off our forum.: REQUIRED What is the colour of the sun?" That value is not allowed.
  23. Thanks. Will do. I was at work all day, getting home at 5pm. I split an hour between all 3 birds. Again she came out onto the cage front when I left the door open. I gave her some scratches and went to the next bird. She went back in. She came out the water door this morning and went back in when I put the bowl back in. No mating behavior today. She continues to look calm and curious. I heard she had a whistling contest with our oldest son today. Not sure who won but I heard it was close!! She continues to get more vocal. Hmmm.... Maybe that's why they wanted her gone!! :?) She continues to add more whistles, noises and words that she must already know. I finally found something that scares her. An empty paper towel roll. BAD PAPER TOWEL ROLL!!!!
  24. I've done some research, and as I suspected, the whimpering, slightly drooping of the wings and regurgitation motion is a sign of affection towards me. Pretty amazing since we've only had her 6 days. But not surprising due to her behavior since we got her. Should this be encouraged or ignored? Or just let it slide? Nothing I've read so far has said to ignore it. She's been the best bird ever, so far. Other than wanting me for her own, she's eaten anything we've given her, out of our hands (blueberry, pepper, broccoli), even on day 2. Amazing! She's easily converted from the crap sean/nut mixture she's been eating her whole life, to colored ZuPreme pellets. And she's coming around on stepping up. She's certainly not the fussing, sometimes bitey Grey I've read about. I know that could change.
  25. I know, I'm going to fast. But when a walk by she moves towards me, and if I open the cage and don't put my hand in she will climb onto the top and walk to the front and stick her head out. If I put my hand near she nibbles on it. All friendly and curious behavior. Or sexual... I've never had a bird this "interested" in me. Well, my male Alexandrine has always been interested in me, but he's a guy. Of course, we're assuming she is a she. We should get the DNA results in a week or 2. She's small, she interested in me. She's gotta be a female. I'm amazed she isn't freaked out by our loud barking 85 lb pit bull. He's friendly and curious and wonders what this thing is. And he wants my attention. Barking is his way of saying lets play. If he comes over barking she doesn't move away. This has to be the most fearless bird I've ever seen! Or she will do anything to get my attention. It should be interesting when I'm gone for the whole day tomorrow back to work after 3 days home.