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Everything posted by neoow

  1. Welcome to the forums! Like Greytness said, if you have the space to have the two cages side by side, that might help. If you've figured out what Boomer's favourite treats are then you could possibly use that to reward her whenever she shows interest or climbs on the new cage so she associates it with a positive reward. If she's already curious and has played on the top of it then that's a really good start. If you're worried about her falling then I'd definitely start with some lower perches and maybe pad the bottom of the cage with some old towels so if she does happen to fall then it'll be a soft landing. In regards to the inflammation on her foot, I've heard of something called bumble foot, which can occur when a bird has inappropriate perches. Their feet can get sores and inflammation from it. Hopefully the fact she's now able to move around more freely and has different sized perches with different materials will help ease any inflammation. It sounds like she's already been working those legs and feet anyway! Sounds like she really hit the jackpot when she found you! 🙂
  2. Haha yes I'm familiar with that little grabby foot move. Alfie has managed to get himself in a few similar pickles over the years!
  3. She's made a rod for her own back- he would happily sit there forever I think! Whereas when I go to scritch his head he turns his head and looks at my hand like "what do you think you're doing?" 😂
  4. Welcome back! Really glad to see you here again.
  5. When I go and visit my parents I regularly take Alfie with me in his travel cage. My dad is largely indifferent about Alfie (he hasn't forgiven Alfie for biting him on the finger once when he was a baby bird). My mum has been trying really hard for months and months to get on Alfie's good side... and it's been working. Whenever she visits me Alfie gets all excited to see her and will whistle and make lots of noise until she comes over and says hello. When I visit them Alfie normally stays in his travel cage but my mum has been quite brave recently and has said he can come out. She sits on the other end of the sofa from me (and dad stays on the other sofa out of the way) and Alfie typically wanders around the sofa and goes to see her. Recently they have both been super brave and Alfie has allowed my mum to give him head scritches... and mum has been brave enough to do it. Alfie has been enjoying it so much that he makes a beeline straight for my mum and will sit there for the rest of the evening enjoying his head scritches. He even started closing his eyes last time! I'm super happy that they've managed to build on their relationship. Mum was always interested in Alfie and helped me wean him when I first got him. Unfortunately he did bite her a few times so she backed off a bit and got scared (fair enough) and then me and Alfie moved out. She's still wary of being bitten but Alfie has been really good. He will very gently grab her hand/fingers if she dares to stop scratching his head. 😂 I'm still not on this level of head scritches with Alfie. I can give a quick scritch but then he tends to wander off or move his head. He tolerates me, at best! Slight jealousy aside, I'm super happy that him and mum have gotten this far. 😄
  6. I've never seen a hummingbird except in videos etc because we don't have them over here- but they're usually zipping about so quickly you don't get a good look at them. They are beautiful birds!
  7. Ok thanks, I'll have a look. Haven't found much on the bird sites I usually use. I might have to see if I can get some shipped over the pond maybe. Thank you, he's doing just fine. His face is healing up nicely and doesn't seem to have bothered him. The two ladies who came out to do his beak last time have been in touch and are going to come back maybe this week to have another session. I think I'm going to put Alfie in his travel cage before they get there so I can bundle him up in a towel without him flying around the place and getting so worked up before hand this time. I have no doubt that he'll still wriggle and put up a fight but I think I'll hold him this time to try and make sure he can't move his head about quite as much. Hopefully he'll end up looking less battered and bruised this time round if I can help keep his head still. 😔
  8. Yes I think so- although he never seems to have a 'big' moult- it seems to just be a continuous process where he loses a feather here and there throughout the year. Either way- he's fine and I think I was just super stressed after the beak issues so worried over nothing. 😂
  9. I had Alfie's leg band removed some years back as it was starting to rub on his leg and make it sore and he kept playing with it (probably because it was irritating him). I had him microchipped at the same time.
  10. OK thanks- I'll have a look and see if I can find some. I had a quick search but it's coming up in tablet or liquid form. Do you use it? What form does it come in?
  11. He's got some new ones on the way! They're just a bit short at the moment! 😂 I was just surprised that he dropped so many in one day from his tail. I was fairly certain they had fallen out but then I doubted myself because it has been a stressful week for him with his beak saga. I was quite sad to see the one with the grey stripe had fallen out- I liked that one as he hasn't had one with that much grey on it before. I keep the larger feathers in a big far, so made sure to put that one front and centre. 😄
  12. Sounds like a neat setup for your Jardines. I'm not sure I'm handy enough to put something like that together. Alfie has the same thoughts about being wrapped up or manhandled. And he's devious too- knows exactly where to go so I can't reach him. He doesn't give up once he's wrapped up or being held either. I haven't asked the old vets specifically but that's a good idea, I'm sure they must have been asked several times by now! I have a list of avian vets or vets that mention 'exotics'/birds on their websites and I'm slowly working down the list. Some have out of date information and no longer have an avian vet there, others aren't taking on new animals at the moment (probably due to how many people got pets during lockdown). Some just don't respond or get back to me. I'm getting towards the vets which are further away so I'll have to start contacting them. I know 2 hours isn't a massive problem for a routine trip- it just worries me in case I have an emergency. The one I took him to came highly recommended by a few different sources. They said they were going to a health check for his first appointment and I assumed that it would include blood work as well, but I think they just weighed him, looked at him and listened to his heart and that was it.
  13. Yeah it's not been a fun time for either of us- although Alfie seems to be coping much better than I am! 😂 The two ladies that came out said they were happy to visit multiple times and take a bit of each time until it's straightened out - they said the same thing about taking some from the middle next time, instead of working it from the outside as has happened so far. They do seem very knowledgeable as I'm sure they would have seen this many a time with their rescue birds. And I'm very grateful that they were willing to step in and help out as I'm not confident I'd ever get anywhere with the vet at the rate they were going. However if Alfie ends up looking quite so sore next time then I may have to rethink that option too. I did query whether there were any potential issues causing it with the vet when I went the second time- it seemed to grow out SO quick within the two months between visits (although it might just be because they didn't take much off, thinking about it). I even asked about possible liver issues as I knew that could be a cause so they said they'd check him out- but when they brought him back it turns out all they'd done was listen to his heart and felt for any lumps and bumps- they didn't take any blood. So there could be an underlying issue that I'm not aware of. I'm still searching for alternate avian vets in the area as this new one really isn't filling me with confidence. I have no issues paying for vet fees but I really do feel like they are laughing all the way to the bank whilst not actually listening to me or doing a good enough job.
  14. Sorry in advance for the length of this post! So, Alfie's beak grows out wonky. The lower half always seems to grow out quicker than Alfie can maintain it, and it starts to curve out to one side when it gets too long. With covid and lockdowns it grew out quite long over the last year or so and whilst Alfie can still eat, drink, climb, chew, shred, bite etc etc it was getting out of hand and needed to be seen to. Unfortunately, his normal vet decided to retire in February this year- how dare he. This was unfortunately because he was a really great vet and I'd been taking Alfie to see him for years. He handled Alfie really well, didn't use gas on him and Alfie always seemed pretty calm once he was returned to me. A little pink in the face where he'd gotten angry, sure, but he was always fine afterwards and calmed down (and returned to his usual colour) quickly enough. And the vet always did a really good job on his beak too. Oh, and there was the added bonus that the price was always really reasonable (around £25). So, yeah... How dare he retire! I now had the fun job of finding a new vet. And there aren't many avian vets in my area. I asked for recommendations on an african grey facebook group and got pointed in the direction of an avian vet who was about an hour away. So I contacted them and got an appointment booked. It was £125 just for them to see him and file his beak back. I thought it was a bit steep but they said it was because they've never seen him before, they'd like to check him over etc etc... the next appointment would be cheaper. I understood that and figured I didn't have many other options as all other vets in the area either weren't taking on new animals or were a LOT further away. Plus this one had come recommended by a few people. The biggest problem I had though was the fact they insisted on using gas to file his beak. I know Alfie is super boisterous and is a handful when being towelled/handled. But they didn't know that. They just said straight out that he will be gassed to avoid any possible injuries (e.g if he sticks his tongue in the way). I wasn't happy with it but I didn't have a whole lot of options. So I booked an appointment, talked it through with the vet when I got there- & they still insisted on gas. He was ok when they brought him back to me... but they hadn't take much off his beak. So within two months it was back to where it was and I had to take him back again... to be gassed again just to have his beak filed. It was a different vet this time but she seemed to know her stuff. I again explained that I don't like having him gassed, she insisted it's for his safety and they use a different gas these days which is kinder to them etc etc. So off he went... and when he came back they hadn't taken much off at all again. And I was £111 lighter for it. Now- money isn't a major problem but I can't justify it if they don't do a good job and I have to keep taking him back there every couple of months because they're taking so little off that it keeps growing back quickly and it doesn't do anything to correct the problem. I know there's a risk of making him bleed if they go back too far but I know they can go further than what they did on both occasions. Whilst I was there second time though, there were two ladies from a parrot rescue organisation. They had rushed there with a VERY poorly african grey who had been surrendered to them that morning. Unfortunately the poor little guy didn't make it as he had been so severely neglected. They came over when they saw Alfie being brought back out to me and said hello. They were lovely and we had a long conversation about their work/organisation, the poor bird they had just lost and Alfie. Then they said that they have all the kit (dremmel with all the attachments) to manage beaks and claws and offered to help me out by visiting Alfie and filing it back some more. They said they'd happily do it in return for a small donation to their organisation. They visited on Saturday and got set up. They use thick welders gloves to hold the birds. Unfortunately Alfie wasn't willing to come out of his cage on his own whilst strangers were in the house so one of them reached in to pick him up. He managed to get past her and out of the cage and gave us the fly around for a bit until one of the ladies managed to scoop him up. He obviously wasn't happy about being scooped up by strangers in gloves so screamed a fair bit and did his best to gnaw their fingers off. The second lady held him (also with gloves on) but she commented that this was the first grey she had held- she was more used to macaws. The first lady who seemed more knowledgeable was the one using the dremmel. I think the second lady wasn't holding/supporting Alfie's head well enough as he was able to move/rotate a fair bit (and was out for blood by that point). So although they took a fair bit back on his beak, he now has some red marks left on his face and either side of his beak looks a bit worn/sore too. It was difficult to notice this straight away as his face was flushed pink with rage. I didn't quite pick up on the fact he was bruised/scraped until the next day. Part way through the first lady with the dremmel asked me to grab a glove and support his head a bit as he kept wriggling- so I can only assume he must have been rubbing his face against the gloves whilst wriggling around. Once I put the glove on and got my hand near him he just grabbed a finger and was mostly still because he couldn't see a way to get out of it at that point. I was watching the whole time and I didn't spot the dremmel slipping or getting anywhere near his face (other than his beak) - and I think if she had caught him on the skin with it then he would have bled anyway. I now feel like the worst bird owner ever. Alfie is fine- he's eating, drinking, climbing and making as much noise and mess as he usually makes. And he doesn't seem to be overly angry at me either- he's happy to step up and follow me around as usual. I can give him head scritches in the morning and at night as usual. Plus we've done some training over the last few days too and he hasn't once tried to bite or lash out at me. His face is healing ok- it still looks a bit sore but it is getting better. I just feel terrible because he obviously got quite stressed throughout the whole thing and has some sore looking marks on his face. The ladies said they were happy to come back again either later this week or next week as it still needs some more work to straighten it out. I know this will be good for him in the long run as hopefully once it's short enough and straightened out he will be able to manage it himself and it'll be a while before he has to have it filed back again. I'm trying to plan out the best way to minimise the stress for him and to try and avoid him flying around in a panic when they turn up. I'm thinking that I may pop him in his travel cage before they get there, as it will be easier to wrap him up in a towel if he's in a smaller space where he can't fly or run away. Also, if I get him in a towel then it's going to be softer than gloves so he's less likely to scrape himself on a towel. And I'm thinking that I should hold him next time - or at least support his head like I ended up having to do halfway through so he doesn't have the option of wriggling so much. I don't want to keep taking him back to the vet to be gassed. Although that obviously means he won't be trying to get away/wriggle- I'm scared of what the gas is going to do to him if he keeps having to have it done regularly. I'm still looking around for alternate vets but most aren't even responding to my queries at the moment. Or they are a lot further away- which is problematic if I need an emergency appointment for any reason. I'm waiting to hear back from the two ladies to see when they are next in the area- but I'm probably going to suggest that I let him heal up properly first before trying again. And like I said above, I'll try and put a plan in place to minimise the stress/wriggling as much as possible. It's fair to say that Alfie isn't a pushover- he'll go down fighting, for sure. So sorry for the essay and thank you for reading all this, if you managed to get through it all. I just needed to explain the situation to like minded people as I don't know anyone who has/understands parrots! Photos to show the issue: These first three are from June- before the first visit to the new vet. You can see it curves round and you can also see it poking up from the other side. This was after the two ladies visited on Saturday and filed his beak back- they are all from the day after- the first batch in the evening and the last two show how sore he looked the morning after. (although Alfie didn't seem that bothered by it). Like I say, the redness is easing up slowly, but I was really concerned by it.
  15. Alfie lost four tail feathers over the course of the day - he was in his secondary/working from home cage in the office with me all day and I found them at the bottom when I went to take him out. It's unusual for him to drop this many tail feathers in one day- though I have noticed he has a few new ones growing out. I've checked them over and they don't appear to be damaged- there's no blood- they look like they have just fallen out naturally. I'm undoubtedly just worrying over nothing- he has had a stressful week with his beak (will post about that separately as it's a long story) but is it fair to say these look like they have just moulted out instead of being yanked out?
  16. I love the little tentative steps he takes whilst on the carpet. Happy enough to stomp around on the solid floor... but the carpet? That gets really slow and deliberate steps. 😂
  17. Does she have anywhere else to play, other than the top of her cage? Are you able to create her a separate play area away from her cage? You'll need to make it as fun as possible so she wants to be there instead of getting into trouble. I have two shelves above my sofa in my living room. They used to have my ornaments and bits and pieces on them. Alfie discovered them and kept flying over there and flinging everything off. So when I let him out I'd remove all my junk and put some of his toys up there. He loved it and it is his favourite place to play. So I decided that can be his area and removed all my junk. He permanently has toys and boxes to chew/throw- plus a rope boing and a foraging toy. He has stripped the shelves bare (they were some rubbish cheap ones that came with the house) so I'm now planning to change up the area for him to include some rope perches and new natural wood shelves. I didn't have enough space for a large parrot play stand or tree, so I've hung toys from the ceiling and walls and tried to create a few areas for Alfie to hang out. His favourite place is always his selves though- so that's where most of the fun stuff is. He can happily spend hours up there, throwing his foot toys around, shredding boxes, chilling out on his boing and raiding his foraging toy for treats.
  18. It doesn't play for me- just says it can't find the file. Not sure of the best way to upload videos to the forum. An alternate option is to upload to youtube (unlisted if you don't want it to appear in searches etc) and then post the link here.
  19. Welcome back! Glad to hear from you!
  20. I have never been so thankful that Alfie has never learned to swear until I started working from home regularly 😂 Although he does seem to save his best fart/burp noises for when I'm on a call... 😑 Not sure which is worse!!!
  21. Oh my goodness she is just so precious! I would lose a finger if I ever attempted anything like that with Alfie 😂 I can only ever touch his head/neck when he allows it! Alfie gets to join me upstairs whilst I work from home as I got a second cage for him. He seems to really enjoy it. I've noticed that he's getting more confident about vocalising and trying new words/sounds as well, which is great. He regularly joins in on my work calls 😂 On quieter days I let him out in the room so he can stretch his wings and get up to mischief. He has a java tree and a shelf to play on and he often perches on the back of my chair. He also has a play area on top of his cage but he's still a bit too scared to go up there at the moment! Currently I work from home 3 days a week and I'm really grateful for it because it allows us to spend so much more time together.
  22. I do love seeing the relationship you have with your birds, especially GreycieMae. I have a harness for Alfie and I am trying to get him used to it. I have tried getting him to put his head through a large loop to grab a treat but he's still fairly uneasy about it. So at the moment I just leave it near him so he can see it/poke it and inevitably pick it up and throw it on the floor. 😂
  23. I agree with the above two- I wouldn't risk it. I'm sure there are plenty of fruits and veggies that have vitamin A. A quick google gave me this: Food sources of vitamin A Fruits and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables, for example amaranth (red or green), spinach and chard. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Carrots. Squashes/pumpkins. Yellow maize. Mangoes. Papayas.
  24. Alfie always has at least one foraging toy and at least one toy that he can shred into teeny tiny pieces. Oh and one that he can beat the snot out of too. I rotate his toys regularly as he does have to spend time in a cage when I'm working. Outside of his cage I have a lot of climbing/swinging toys for him. He loves a rope boing.
  25. Alfie gets a small amount of seed mix with no sunflower seeds or peanuts. I offer him roudybush pellets as I have been through every single pellet that I can find and these are the only ones that he sometimes eats a small amount of- but if he gets a bowl with just pellets he immediately tips it out. He gets a small amount of dried fruit and I have a veggie soaking mix that I offer regularly (that he mostly ignores). I offer him fresh raw veggies whenever I'm preparing my dinner and he'll SOMETIMES take a little nibble. Managed to get him to eat a couple of bites of raw carrot yesterday- usually he would just fling it straight back at me. I offer him safe food options off my plate but he's never normally interested. He never steals from my plate either. I also have a soaking mix for pulses/beans but he detests that. I have tried sprouting too - no luck there either. He liked sweet potato mash for a while so I kept hiding finely chopped veggies in that. Now he won't touch sweet potato mash, even if it's plain. (But eats regular mashed potatoes when we visit my parents!) He gets pine nuts as training treats (as they are his absolute favourite) and he gets small pieces of walnuts and other pieces of mixed nuts occasionally- usually hidden away in foraging toys. I try and mix it up for him and try lots of different ways of offering healthier food options- I've hung fruit and veg off a skewer, I have created foraging trays with treats and veggies hidden in it, I have pretended that it's something really tasty that he can't have (he just walks off, uninterested). I've tried raw as well as cooked (in various ways). I call it a win when he actually tries something- as most of the time he'll just ignore it or fling it at me. 😄 He has quite a few foraging toys now so I use those and put a mix of all his dry foods plus a few treats in (nothing fresh or wet because they're a bugger to clean out). My hope is that he'll accidentally eat some of the foods he would normally ignore in his bowl (like the pellets) whilst trying to get to the good stuff.
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