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#64869 - 11/07/04 04:50 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
Joined: Mar 2004
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jules Offline
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the windy city
LCT,
I don't think I can look at your pictures...I
think I have a pretty good idea of what I'd see.

The U2 we took in lived two more years...
...a precious creature who never had a chance in
the hands of a heartless breeder...and I still
miss her so badly....

And I know you will do what you know is right,
because you already have - by taking X in to
begin with!

Jules

#64870 - 11/10/04 09:02 PM Re: Breeder Bird  
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crazy lady Offline
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Vancouver, Canada
I just finished reading all these posts and just wanted to say that i was very moved by your purchasing this bird to get him out of a horrible situation and giving him the vet care he needs. I wish you both luck and look forward to read about how things go.

#64871 - 11/18/04 12:41 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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Ringosmom Offline
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Regarding X, and allowing him to just be a bird, and not imposing "tameness" on him- I commend you for this. Thanks you. Neither of the cockatoos I'm taking care of are particularly tame, and I am ambivelant about trying to tame them. One thing that I must consider is the issue of fear. I know a bit first-hand what it's like to live in fear, and I don't want either of these birds to spent their entire lives trembling in fear whenever I enter the room. For this reason alone, I'm "working" with them (I know someone on this board criticised people "working" with birds....), and hope to get them comfortable around me. If this is tameness, then that's okay. What are your thoughts on this point?

#64872 - 11/18/04 01:37 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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Lrex Offline
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Lrex  Offline
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Ringosmom
I like the way you put that....

#64873 - 11/18/04 07:46 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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littlecharlietoo Offline
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Huntsville, Alabama
Ringo's Mom, I understand your question perfectly. Yes, I feel that we should minimize the stress that these birds feel and part of that is ensuring that we do not overstress them simply by doing day to day activities.
We are not directly "working with" Xylon. (his new name -greek for "man of the forest) We go in, feed him, change his water, occasionally check on him and clean his cage. When we do this we use quiet, happy voices and make sure to tell him what a lovely wonderful bird he is. We do not make direct eye contact and remain in a semi-crouch away from him. We move very slowly and if he begins to move away in fear WE freeze until he is in a comfortable location. In other words we do everything in our power to look smaller and more helpless than him and to avoid looking predatory. We have done this consistently since he came here and he no longer hisses when we give him food or change his water unless it takes too long. He will come to the front of the cage and sit when I enter with food and if he feels threatened he will slowly move to the back of his cage instead of flopping to the bottom and panicking. This is all I expect of him... tolerance. I don't consider this "taming" because I am not expecting him to relate to us in any way. I don't expect him to step up or cuddle or seek attention from humans - I simply want to show him that we are not a source of stress. So, I suppose you could say that it depends on what you consider "working with". If you mean actively handling or attempting to create a "pet" in the normal sense then I would disagree with that. If you mean changing YOUR actions to reduce stress for the birds then I would agree with that. That's my philosophy, anyway.

#64874 - 11/18/04 09:54 PM Re: Breeder Bird  

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Of all the posts I have read, your last post was so touching. I feel the emphathy you hold for that dear bird through your choice of words. I truly commend you for putting the money out to have this poor bird saved.
Your decisions and actions are done -not to obtain a reward -not to obtain fame- they are done from your heart- simple as that!
How wonderful that you came into Xylon's life. Yes, you may never get those "handfed all adoring baby eyes" and hugs- but what you will have given that bird is self dignity- and self worth.
Your eyes will see this bird blossom into a trusting bird instead of a betrayed shell of a bird you took home that day from the fair.
Please keep us posted as hearing about his progress is so uplifting.
Susan

#64875 - 11/18/04 11:29 PM Re: Breeder Bird  
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Ringosmom Offline
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LTC, what you are doing sounds perfect! And it sounds like Xylon's fear is decreasing already. How lucky he is to have you!! And thank you for saving him.

#64876 - 11/19/04 09:33 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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littlecharlietoo Offline
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Huntsville, Alabama
Mhhope4,
We actually have a rehomed, hand fed cockatoo. She's a phobic, psychotic mess that we've been working with for 2 years. So, we've adjusted to the idea of never getting "handfed all adoring baby eyes". How funny that our handfed too is more frightened by people than our new wild caught friend. Our handfed too actually becomes so terrified she goes into seizures while Xylon just opens his beak wide and gives a hearty hiss. Sometimes I wonder if it isn't her instinctive fear of predators (ie. humans) exercising itself and without proper guidance from other birds has become too extreme. Charlie also isn't "tame" though she's not aggressive in any way. We have tried working with her for 2 years because she needs physical interaction and we had no other cockatoos for her to even look at. It was an attempt to reduce her stress levels but we learned the hard way that some birds have different needs. It's a long story (just search "charlie" or "phobic" if you've got alot of spare time)but we've learned the hard way about everything a cockatoo CAN be that no one tells you about. We've also learned lessons about attempting to "tame" a bird that isn't suited to it. (I can summarize... DON'T.) Anyway, I am getting off track, thanks for the well wishes and I hope that we will soon be able to post pictures of Xylon out of quarantine. We've bought a new cage but we'll be giving him plenty of time for the transition. So far he continues to do well and is tossing his veggies with vigor. Perhaps one day he'll figure out they're supposed to go IN the bird, not ON the floor.
Oh, other news. Our vet estimates him to be in his mid twenties. (DNA'D male) He was definetly wild caught and they cut off his open band while he stayed at the vet's. He was imported through a private importation station and I'm currently trying to find out when he entered the US and whether he was registered as an adult or juvenile. I'll have to contact the USDA and see if they can help me. He has mild liver damage that may be reversible and maybe not.

#64877 - 11/19/04 03:04 PM Re: Breeder Bird  

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Well, I take back the sentence "hand fed eyes." lol
Sounds like you are more than experienced with these types of birds- Praise still go to your undying efforts towards these birds.
As far as food slinging goes, my LSC who was on a stickly seed diet before I obtained her, would use her beak as a snowplough. She would look at the food and then with a half opened beak, she just pushed it off the counter -with great humor in her eyes. As if to say, "if you expect me to eat this stuff," "I am going to get great joy from seeing you clean it up off the floor."
In time, I won out -she is now eating the food.
Susan

#64878 - 11/25/04 08:03 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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littlecharlietoo Offline
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Huntsville, Alabama
Just wanted to give an update.

Xylon is now leaving his cage occasionally. When he comes out he refuses to return. (Who can blame him.) We can't leave him out while we are at work so we use a long cholla stick to transfer him back. He does very well with this and we all stay well out of bite range. He has bitten the stick a few times and I certainly have respect for his powerful beak. He has adapted to this rapidly and shows enromous intelligence. (Much more so than our other too Charlie but she's another story.)

He is hissing less often at us though he continues to hiss more often at Danny than me. He also prefers my mother over my father... of course that's not unusual. He is eating his veggies as well. He started with one pea and the next day chowed down. It didn't take him long to learn that it was food. The only seeds he gets are sprouted and he has begun crumbling pellets.

He tolerates daily cage cleaning very well with no sign of aggression yet. His droppings have normalized and are white and brown with clear urine instead of yellow and lime green with orangey/yellow urine which is a good sign that his liver function is becoming more normal.

He is still not really vocalizing much but I'm sure that will happen in time. We have ear plugs at the ready. He's unfamiliar with spray baths and looks around in obvious amazement when I make it "rain" inside his cage. After a careful survey of the ceiling and walls for the source he closes his eyes and drinks the spray.

He is quite an amusing character when he thinks no one is looking and undid his first quick link yesterday. He has learned to dump his food bowl when he is finished with it. I'm sure he'll begin dumping his water soon.

He has upon occasion shown us what a big boy he is. (opening wings, raising crest and jumping up and down on his rope perch) He is quite impressive with his flaming orange crest and flecks of gold on his chest feathers.

He is learning how to navigate on cage bars. I get the distinct impression that he has never been able to climb on his cage bars before (many breeders use galvanized mesh that is too small for climbing) he still moves slowly but is gaining confidence. His grip is also improving and he is using all of his varied perches.

That's the good news from our house. I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I know we have a lot to be thankful for in our house.

#64879 - 11/25/04 06:32 PM Re: Breeder Bird  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 373
db Offline
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Sarasota FL
That is good news. Sounds a lot like my experience with a mistreated sick silent bird (Eleanora SC2). I have no idea of his background as I got him in a Saudi bird souk but now he is beautiful and confident and playful. He never climbed for the longest time (one wing is broken and despite me getting it surgically repaired so it didnt hang down he cannot use it at all) which I thought was due to the broken wing or lack of confidence but may well be because whatever hellhole he came from he was kept somewhere that didnt allow for climbing. Anyway now he is a good climber and its great to see him on a swing. I just left him to recover and interacted with him just by speech unless he offered his head to be scratched - I let him come and go in and out of his cage as he wished and he slept on top...I taught him to step up and to step on a stick and now he is very loving and happy and will sit on my knee all night having head scratches and likes to do big hops on and off my knee. I give him a big cheer and clap my hands and he gets excited and displays and we both scream as loud as we can. This bird was half dead, mangled and suffering from malnutrition and didnt make a sound for several months. He loves toast with a bit of butter or a bit of grilled cheese on so you may want to try your X with that. db

#64880 - 11/26/04 02:17 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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happybirds Offline
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So pleased to hear that he is doing better. I am hopeful that time will heal him. I have always found the cockatoos are very forgiving creatures. They never forget and sometimes get skitterish, but, they are always game for trying a new relationship. I am so hopeful that you will be able to love him hands on in the future, but if not, I know you will love him from afar, and he will know he is loved.

#64881 - 11/27/04 05:05 AM Re: Breeder Bird  
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3toos Offline
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Vancouver Island
oh the poor thing! It makes me so sad to see the photos, but glad that you have him now. All the best to the both of you!


Some days it's chaos around here!
and I would not have it any other way.
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