Second rescue, concerned.

Posted By: Baelieghs_mom

Second rescue, concerned. - 03/03/16 01:41 AM

Hi guys, a little back story. I am a vet tech and work at an animal hospital that runs a bird rescue, I also am a licensed wild bird rehabber and own several other birds. 4 years ago a U2 came in that was near death. She was prolapsed, severely underweight, had sour crop and a bunch of other things. She was abused, and naked. She went through 2 intra-abdominal surgeries to fix the prolapse once she was strong enough, although the second time nearly killed her. I fell in love with her while she was in the hospital and adopted her. Her name was Baeleigh. I loved her so much. We had 4 years together before her prolapse returned and could not be fixed. I lost her right after thanksgiving 2015. She taught me a lot about "big birds", and toos. I had only fostered greys and amazons, never owned my own big bird (my flock of cockatiels and conures had kept me busy). Anyway, she was awesome with everyone. Only bit me 1 time and it was my fault. She tore up a wall. She would scream. Normal too stuff. I loved her anyway! <3

After she passed I didnt know if I would ever get a too again even though I love them. However around christmas a friend and client came to me with sad news. Her husband was dying, and due to her own health concerns she needed to rehome her 7 year old male U2 Coconut. After many tears and calls my husband and I decided to adopt him. He has been here just under a month now. I dont know what to expect really, but here are some concerns.

1. He was in a very restricted sheltered environment. Has never foraged. He now has foraging stuff and is learning, but seems very bored.

2. He hangs from his beak and flutters his wings a lot. I have heard that it is a stress thing, thoughts?

3. He wont eat fruit or veggies, any advice?

4. He wont step up reliably, and sometimes acts like he wants to bite in the process of stepping up. He has only stepped up on me 4 times and has not done so with my husband. Thoughts?

5. At 630 every night he starts shreiking. The only way he stops is if we cover him. Is this ok? we are worried its too early to go to bed.

6. I am trying to clicker train him a bit to build a relationship. He has learned touch. I dont know where to go from here though.

7. I dont feel like I am bonding with him, nor him with us. Is there a way that I can help him adjust and tell if we are bonding?
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/03/16 03:53 AM

All of these concerns will take time to see him adjusting, relax it's hasn't been a month. It very well may take 6 months or more for him to settle in.
Hanging from the beak has probably been his only exercise to date.
Keep on trying with the fruits and veggies. Have him eat with you so he can learn what is food and what's not. Parents teach the chicks what to eat, so he needs to be shown. Make lots of yummy sounds and with hold the food for a minute or two. He's going to get curious and want to see it, make him wait. You can also make toys from his food using skewers or tying it in the cage.
A lot of birds will use their beaks to steady themselves when stepping up. You should call the original owner and ask if this is the case with Coconut.
The bedtime is just that his bedtime. Toos scream twice per day to call to the flock. Once in the morning and then again at bed time.
What is it that you would like him to do or train him to do? When you start clicker training you should have a goal. Example you would like him to return to the cage. So you would need to look at where he is and the steps needed for him to return. One step would be target training and station training.
Again slow down, you are expecting him to move too quickly. Cockatoos move at too time which can take a long time. He needs to learn to trust you before he starts to bond with you. Give it time, I can't say it enough. Slow down and enjoy each days progress. Keep a chart on the changes you see.
Posted By: Baelieghs_mom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/03/16 05:25 AM

Thank you BE2Cassie. I just talked to Coco's former mom, apparently they would shove a piece of cardboard in his face when they asked him to step up so he would bite it and not them because they were afraid of him biting. So they encouraged him to bite when stepping up. I am going to work with him on that. My goal with clicker training right now is to teach him to work with me. Maybe do something fun. I am going to just capture things he does right and reward him. It also seems to be mentally stimulating him by working for a treat, you can almost see his brain working. I am putting foods on a skewer, pellets in a green pepper ect, no luck. I will try eating happily in front of him. He is curious, and loves pets and foot rubs, so I just need to relax I think. Its a big change for both of us.
Posted By: Specialist Elbru

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/03/16 08:51 PM

I am posting a short message to thank you for taking in a bird in need.

Posted By: Baelieghs_mom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/03/16 10:41 PM

Rescue is totally the way to go, thanks for the support!
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/04/16 03:07 AM

Eating with him will help to form a bond for you as well as introducing him to new foods. Share what you are eating. Have the foods that you want to introduce on a plate in front of you not in his plate. Cassie eats dinner with us every night. She is in a small cage that I can move around the house and bring her outside in. This prevents footsteps in the mashed potatoes! At this time I give Cassie her seeds and treats. It's the only time that she gets the seeds and only for a half hour. She also gets a bowl of whatever we are eating that ok for her. She has to have everything that she sees on my plate in her bowl. If I'm having a hotdog I break a piece of the bread off and put this in the bowl She will actually sit there and compare our plates before she begins to eat. Even foods she refuses to eat must be in her plate if I'm eating them. Of course these foods are quickly disposed of to the floor. I always keep hoping that she will eat that carrot or greenbean some day! By including her at dinner time with her flock we are able to introduce a variety of foods.
"so I just need to relax I think. Its a big change for both of us." So very, very true!
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/05/16 03:15 PM

Copy that....same here. Our RB2s get excited when they see me preparing dinner and putting something into their second food dishes. We wait till we sit down and then put their dishes in and all eat together as a really well.
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/19/16 05:15 AM

How is she doing? Any updates?
Posted By: Baelieghs_mom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/20/16 04:44 PM

He is doing well, he loves the beatles so daily dance parties are helping us bond. Still not into fruit. Less beak hanging too.
Posted By: Baelieghs_mom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/20/16 04:47 PM

Mod edit: Beautiful picture and glad all is going well! Our forum rules allow links to pictures, but not having the image in the post. Thanks!
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/21/16 10:56 AM

Beautiful guy. Fruit is not that important in their diet. It should only be about 10% of their diet. Cassie is not a big fruit eater. The only things she really likes are fresh cranberries and a little bit of melon now and then. Oh and she does enjoy Granny Smith Apples. Veggies and greens are the most important thing to add to the diet along with his pellets.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/22/16 01:43 PM

He is gorgeous!
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Second rescue, concerned. - 03/22/16 03:14 PM

Even though our RB2s are not into fruit they do prefer the fruit flavored Zupreem pellets to the veggie flavored.

Not sure it is just the flavoring and not the content of the pellet itself. I would have never tried the fruit flavor if I had not tried it by accident...getting the wrong kind.
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