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#130287 - 01/06/06 01:02 AM Need your kind input...  
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Jerry Offline
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I received this message privately. This young person ask me not to post it to the messageboard, and normally I honor these types of requests. But I feel the need to share this important issue with others:

"message: hi i'm twelve years old ond bought a cockatoo in mid october.

I beleived what the pet store owner said about them being easy to take care of and will suite my life style. He said the only hard part would be feeding them formula until their old enough to stop. i didnt research before buying my sulpher crested and after i found your site i regret it. i didn't realise how much of a problem they are. my cocky is only 10 weeks old now and we dont know what gender it is my parents both go to work and i go to school so we dont have much time to play with it im regreting it fully. i don't want to send her away to a rescue centre but i know she might mutilate herself. what do i do
pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese help me.

I would like you to offer this person thoughtful insite and assistance. If you cant... simply dont post to this topic. I will be interested in your comments.

#130288 - 01/06/06 01:18 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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kylie Offline
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Well the first thing I thought, having a Lesser myself,was how can a 12 year old cope when I'm struggling and I'm 20 years older than them. The main person to blame here is the store owner, selling this unweened baby to someone for starters let alone a 12 year old, its terrible, could your parents not go back and ask for a refund, probably no, that would be the best though. Hopefully you could get you parents to come on the site and find out lots of information to help you and your family through what will hopefully be a good experience, having Mytoos this early in your Toos life might be a good thing, everyone is very helpful on here. I hope things are okay for you. smile

#130289 - 01/06/06 03:37 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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jm47 Offline
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Like flowerchild, I'm impressed with the kid's ability to ask for help. I have no idea where he or she lives, or who is nearby, but with some coaching and assistance (which is what the request was for) this person would make a wonderful too-keeper, and is in a position to speak to age-mates and schoolmates about the difficulty and problems involved with "owning" a cockatoo, or any bird.


Jody
#130290 - 01/06/06 06:55 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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hellobaby Offline
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My response to the kid...

Quote:
It's unfortunate that you didn't find Mytoos sooner, but it's fortunate that you have now, and realized early on what you and your family may have gotten yourselves into. You've learned first-hand that pet stores will tell you what you want to hear so they can make that money.

I hope you've taken your bird to an Avian Vet and gotten clear instruction on how to properly wean him/her. Since the pet store was misleading, I wouldn't count on them giving you accurate directions for something that - if done incorrectly - could kill your bird. Besides, your bird NEEDS its health checked.

Have your parents gone through the Mytoos site? If not, I think they need to. After going over all of the information, I think your family needs to sit down and take the time to discuss whether you all are up to making a lifelong committment to this bird. If not, being that it's such a young bird, I don't think it's too late to make other arrangements for him/her.

I'm not quite sure whether going back to the pet shop, (armed with some literature from Mytoos and anything you can find regarding whether it is legal or illegal in your area to sell unweaned birds) and demand a refund and return the bird. That sounds harsh, and puts that bird back in the position to be sold to the next person who comes along with money.

However, making a bold move like that MAY discourage that particular pet shop from misleading other potential buyers in the future. If your family really wanted to do something for the betterment of birds that are being sold, you could hire an attorney, forcing some sort of legality to it all - perhaps setting a precedent (sp?).

Aside from that, if your family decides the bird would be better off in another home, the option is to take the bird to a rescue/adoption place for birds if there is one in your area and give him/her to them. I'm sure your parents may not be happy about taking the financial loss associated with that, but that would most likely insure your bird would ultimately find a good home.

If you all do decide you will go ahead, just bear in mind that life with a Too will not always be easy. They do bite, make noise, make mess, destroy furniture, walls and lots of other things. It is not the TOO who needs to adapt its behavior to live in captivity. It is the HUMANS who need to adapt their lives to live with a Too. Your family has a major decision to make. Through the process of making that decision, please remember that the most important thing is to do what is best for that bird!
That's my input. Hope it helps.
Lynne


If you must cripple a creature
to keep it, perhaps you should
reconsider its suitability as a pet.
#130291 - 01/06/06 11:44 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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kylie Offline
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Quote:
It is not the TOO who needs to adapt its behavior to live in captivity. It is the HUMANS who need to adapt their lives to live with a Too.
This sentence sums up what keeping a Too is all about. Its not until you realise this that you can begin to think about life with a Too if you think its the other way around then your in serious trouble. With dogs and some other pets there is training which can make living with them alot easier, but I am yet to read a conversation on how their Too really does what it is told and not what it likes.
To the 12 year old, I think if your parents have the same thoughts on wanting to keep your new Too especially after reading this site and knowing what will come in the future you may cope, it really is shocking when you read but all very true, up until now Kylie is not plucking fingers crossed she won't but I now know from other members how to look after her the best way possible so she will have a much better chance.
I hope you and your family do consider keeping the Too because as we all have good times with our Toos, they aren't all bad, but usually the bads are really bad, if you go through the sites behaviour section you will read other peoples stories.

#130292 - 01/07/06 02:11 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Denise, Oliver, & Quincy Offline
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you are right, I have gotten more information from this website than any other. I recommend to all my birdy friends, not just too friends, because you get a good idea of any bird behavoir from this site. I've used all the recipes, some with great results, some with none. even after offering every couple of days, I keep trying on some foods, but like people, there is just some things they won't eat. And now that oliver is hormonal, i've learned more about mating and mating season, than i could find anywhere, I think it helps that there is so many good too humans here, that even after being owned by toos for over 20 yrs, i'm still learning. which of course is the best part of being a toos human, discovering new things... wink

#130293 - 01/07/06 06:00 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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mom2paulie Offline
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I think you are very wise and brave to recognize the difficulties that you may be facing and to ask for help. That shows that you are a concerned and thoughtful person. You probably would be much better off with a different kind of pet like a puppy or a kitten. If you end up keeping your too, your parents are going to need to help you quite a bit. You need to arm yourselves with as much information as you can, and for right now get that baby to a vet and make sure he is healthy and getting the proper nutrition. If you don't know what you're doing, you can hurt him badly or possibly kill him. Also please remember that when this chick matures he will begin to bite sometimes, and he could hurt you badly, so keep him away from your face and off your shoulder. Always remember that he is a wild creature and you can never predict his behavior. Please keep us posted, and don't hesitate to ask for help smile

#130294 - 01/07/06 01:51 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Jerry Offline
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What do you say to a 12 year old who's obviously concerned, but in reality cannot do much to help this bird? When I read stories like this (no matter what the age) my heart sinks and I have trouble trying to offer any advice or encouragment, because I know that for all the time I'll spend on the issue... it's probably just a waste of time. I've answered so many people (young and old) in this situation over many years that I simply cant bring myself to lay down the words again...especially to one so young.

I hate to say it's a lost cause, but I cant do it again, and this is why I pass the burden on to you people....hoping that someone who still has an ounce of hope can lay down the words to help in some way.

#130295 - 01/07/06 05:11 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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SophiasMommy Offline
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Jerry,
I am a fairly new TOO servant, but I feel for this young man. I know my Sophia is like any other TOO and demands her attention. We do have two dogs as well and have worked at safe interspecies play. Surprisingly they entertain each other well when I am out of the room (Sophia safe INSIDE her cage when I am out of the room), maybe this could help this family. Our Basset Hound and TOO love to sing together and tease each other with their toys.
Deb


Deborah Kaye
#130296 - 01/07/06 07:17 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Alger Offline
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I am saddened that this child has assumed responsibility for a cockatoo at one of the most difficult times for the bird; that is during the stressful weaning process. If he/she can somehow get through this process with the help of a veterinarian, he/she may have a devoted, loving, and beautiful companion for possibly the rest of his/her life. I can say with honesty, I have seen for myself, and heard through others, the passing down of birds from grandparent, down to parent, and to the grandchild. It can happen. I've seen one case at the avian vet's. The advantage and disadvantage this child has is youth. I don't want this to sound like Walt Disney, but a negative can turn into a positive. Maybe this special child is the one who can make it happen. My three U2's I raised do scream and one will nip a bit, but overall, my experience is basically positive. I NEVER allow them on my shoulder...NEVER. No rough play with swinging them around, only "bouncing" up and down. I have seen rough "fun" play turn young cockatoos into too aggressive adults and have always been against this practice. What is fun at first can later turn on you. Mine don't chase or attack me. Always be gentle. Start off right. Cuddle them close to your chest as babies. They feel secure and this has calmed mine as young adults--when they have a yelling fit or become frightened of others. I honestly have never spent hours playing with my toos. They can adapt to not having a lot of playtime, and it will make it much easier for you. Mine are content in their cages and do not expect to be able to tear up the house. Never let them roam around...electrical cords do get bitten through, if you give them the chance. Young 'toos are attracted to cords..older as well. They like the TV or music to be left on when nobody is home. I have always done this. My toos like having smaller birds around, like cockatiels, to watch, never to "play" with. One last thought: for a few dollars a day, he/she may be able to find somebody who knows how to feed and wean cockatoos--and I think consulting with a veterinarian about this could led to a responsible person for this job. I suspect this child may be from Australia...and maybe they still spoonfeed a lot. It is not quite clear to me. Details like this make a difference..but we don't know.

#130297 - 01/07/06 07:56 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Garnet Offline
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Edmonton
All I have to say is shame on the pet store for selling a twelve year old this bird frown Maybe I'm being pessimistic (probably just realistic), but what's going to happen when this kid is in high school, and is busy with school, possibly a job, friends, clubs, and so on and the cockatoo ends up getting little or no attention? Without enough attention, the bird may just go nuts...screaming, plucking, etc. Also, most people, once they move out of home for the first time, end up living in an apartment, and many cockatoos are loud enough to get one kicked out of an apartment. This is particularly true if they bird does not get enough attention. If he goes to university/college, there's a good chance that he will have no time for a cockatoo. What if this boy, later on, has a girlfriend that the bird hates? I've heard of cockatoos (males, mainly) attacking people that they see as rivals for attention from their main person. I'm not saying all cockatoos do that, but many do. How will he and his parents react if someone is bitten hard by the bird? Are they willing to deal with the noise, mess, etc?

It's great that the kid has recognized that he made a mistake, but I think he and his parents need to decide what to do, while considering that these parrots live to be fifty and are very high-maintenence. I think his parrots need to have a look at mytoos.com as well.

Garnet

#130298 - 01/07/06 09:06 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Alger Offline
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The college issue is very real; I absolutley agree. I had to recently (business) consult with a man who heard my U2's yelling in the background over the telephone at dusk. He inquired about the noise, telling me he has a U2 as well. His daughter has just graduated from law school, and he said they "took over" her cockatoo when she entered college. I asked if they have any problems..and so far, he said all is good. With approximately 7 years of higher education behind his daughter, there was no way she could have kept a U2 in an apartment. I may have been lucky in that my companion U2's are 2 females, and the 3rd, a suspected female. Their mom, Coco, was an apartment bird and given to me in 1990, when she was a 4-year-old. My husband told me we were being given a cockatiel! confused What a shock to see a big docile cockatoo. I was still terrified of her for a long time. I actually did not know cockatoos screamed until I had had Coco for 4 years. I am certain she is in the small minority of cockatoos. Even now, her scream is tolerable, not nearly as loud as her kids. I guess she will be 20 this year. She is in an outdoor aviary and seems content--she was wild-caught. I cannot believe this, since her hand-fed kids will nip me a bit on occasion: Coco never once put her beak to my hand except to step up. I now think I have been one of the very lucky 'too owners. I don't think I'm the norm. Maybe I'm the Walt Disney version. Also, my neighbors don't object to the dusk screaming--more in the summer. Occasionally Karma (male) will scream in the middle of the night at the train that passes through below in town. No, as good as mine are, conditions are still critical for owning 'toos. Karma's scream could wake the dead.

#130299 - 01/07/06 10:40 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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2toos Offline
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I am impressed that this "kid"..still a person though, I would rather not call him just a "kid".
What a responsible young adult to come on this site and seek out information...although the parents in his home may not be as responsible. I am not going to make judgements. My daughter is 10- and although I think she is the best in the world, if I was irresponsible as a parent and she was left to care for an animal, don't think she'd be knowledgable enough to come to this website and ask for help...can't even see it when she would be 12, so I commend this little guy for researching on his own to help with his new "pet" in which he had no idea of what he was getting into. I want to help him - I think we should help him. If not, it could be bad for the bird and this child has gone above and beyond what I think most 12 yr old's would do...and I am impressed. I don't think its possible to get the parent's involved obviously...as they aren't. He is asking ?'s, lets help him. I am proud of him for coming here.
This is a different situation than usual I think- when an adult comes on here with stupid and ludicrous ?'s, thats one thing- but this child is trying...have to say again, impressed. My daughter wants animals, but when they are here, their my responsibility...period.
And for the life of me I don't think that a pet-store would sell a bird to a 12 yr old...nor would a 12 yr old have the cash to purchase one- so parents must have been there, but now the parent's are not after all is said and done.
I'd like to help. What can I do? Is he already posting on here...I think he is...would like to know.

#130300 - 01/07/06 11:50 PM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Garnet Offline
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Quote:
I am impressed that this "kid"..still a person though, I would rather not call him just a "kid".
Gee, really, I didn't know that. I was typing in a major rush, so maybe my language isn't the best. Plus, we don't know if the poster is male or female.

Anyway, why should we not at least encourge this child to get his/her parents to read mytoos.com and other informative websites? No matter what, the parents will have to live with the cockatoo and deal with the 'too at times. When this child moves out, there is a possibility that his/her may need to deal with this 'too. When this child becomes a teenager and goes to school in the day and possibly works or socializes in the evening, his/her parents will have to deal with the 'too sometimes. I don't think having the 'too in a cage all the time should be considered acceptable. I do think that he and his parents need to think about the future a bit and if they can really give the 'too what he needs. Maybe they can, maybe they can't. If the parents are bird-lovers (we don't know if they are or not) then I think things could be okay. Sadly, they were clearly given some awful information from the pet store frown

Maybe I did sound a bit cynical, but just yesterday I was talking to a few parrot owners who take in and rehome second hand parrots. One just got another male Moluccan, and was contacted by someone that wants to rehome their nippy bare-eyed cockatoo. Another one who boards birds had a male Moluccan left with him permanently after the bird's owners decided they couldn't stand the screaming. A couple of ladies I know who rescue exotics have a lesser sulphur too that started to self-destruct, and another greater sulphur, who, at age four, has had half a dozen homes already. I simply think that this child and his/her parents need to think about some of the issues I raised, and I am glad he (she?)is doing research on 'toos. But so many people (whether they write Emails to this site or not) do not have what it takes to own these intelligent, emotional birds. And, of course, the store owner is the idiot in this case, not the child.
The major problem I see is that the poster even admits s/he and his/her family do not have much time for the bird, and as s/he gets older, s/he will have MORE responsibilities and LESS time. I hope they can do what's best for the 'too.

Anyway, if the original poster is reading this: I recommend learning all you can about parrots if you make the decision to keep the 'too. The best books, IMO, are "Parrots for Dummies" by Nikki Moustaki (it even has a link to mytoos.com !) and "The Companion Parrot Handbook" by Sally Blanchard. This site is great, too. If there's a parrot club in your area, see if you can join. The one I'm in is good, and I've learned a lot from talking to other owners there. Make sure your parrot gets some time out of his cage each day, and teach him to "step-up" consistently using lots of treats and positive reinforcement. Here are also some cockatoo articles to read: http://www.parrothouse.com/sfbio.html

Garnet

(edited for a typo)

#130301 - 01/08/06 02:15 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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MypoorBaby Offline
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I think whoever sold this cockatoo to a 12 yr old should be put in prison. Does this young person want to keep this bird or rehome it?

If (S)he wants to rehome this bird, maybe mytoos members could help. If they want to keep it, then the parents should get involved. A cockatoo should be part of the family, not a pet.

I feel so sorry for this poor bird. It breaks my heart to find out about a cockatoo so young being in the care of such a young person.

I'm proud that this young person cared enough to seek help, they must care a great deal about their bird. My heart breaks for both of them.


~Hope~
#130302 - 01/09/06 12:25 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Really Offline
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was New Orleans
You know, the one thing we need to give this kid is a lot of credit for asking for help. My own almost 12 year old knows more about animal husbandry than most adults. In addition to working in our own animal rescue,she used to help out at the Aquarium and the zoo (unoffically because of her age)in New Orleans. Avian wise, she's worked with parrots, penguins,and even raptors. She's also worked with a variety of mammals and is considered an "expert" on tarantulas. My point is, while it will be very difficult for this child to take care of the bird, but if the child decides to do so, and has the parents support, it can be done. We recently attended an event where our child was inducted into the Kids Hall of Fame. There we met scores of unique and amazing kids who had done things few adults could do. Jeffrey, if you want to email me privately (reallysgm@yahoo.com), my own daughter will be happy to email back and forth with this other child to offer some advice and support from a same age peer.

This is obviously an unusual situation. The pet store is at fault, not the child. If the parents are willing to be a safely net, and if the child is as unusual and as responsible as my own this could actually work. But something needs to be done about the store. That no store should sell toos is a given, but no store should sell any animal to any child without the parent or guardian present.

Really

#130303 - 01/09/06 02:39 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Alger Offline
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Really--what a great daughter you have! This is inspiring. I hope your words encourage this other child. smile

#130304 - 01/10/06 02:07 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Garnet-
I hope you don't think I was being at all nasty to you...seriously, if I sounded it, I didn't mean it...but when I re-read it, I may have sounded like I was being nasty, so I apologize.
I agree with everything you said... I just feel bad because this child and (pre-teen none-the less!) seems to have gotten himself into a situation that hes not prepared for and I was so proud of him at this age for coming here.
I am curious as to if the pet-store owner sold this bird to him...a 12 yr. old- I feel like his parent's were involved in the purchase, but not gonna be involved in the after-math, and hope we can help.
Just wanted to make sure you knew I wasn't being nasty.

#130305 - 01/10/06 04:38 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Belongs2Sammy Offline
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By the sound of it, I believe this child has realized that he cannot realistically provide what the 'Too needs.

The child mentioned sending the 'Too to a rescue for fear it will self-mutilate. He obviously cares for the bird but does not realize that it's good to find a stable home for bird while young, as other posters have mentioned.

I suggest sending him several links to parrot rescue/adoption organizations in his area after he makes his parents sit down and scour the MyToos website.

Sammy, M2, came in to my life at 17, and even though I was 5 years older than this child is, I was still too young.

Undoubtedly, Sammy will always and forever be in my life, as long as God permits. But if I could turn back time, I would have waited about twenty more years to bring a 'Too into my life.

It is extremely difficult, (did I say extremely difficult?) to give a 'Too what it needs at such a young age and throughout the teenage years. It's UNFAIR to the bird. While I wish we lived in a perfect world and could say that maybe this child can make it work, I have to be practical and say I doubt it.

Sorry to sound so brash. I'm not personally attacking anyone's input but I have experience when it comes to children raising 'Toos, because I was one.

Sammy suffered at the whims of my teenage years. I do not want to see this child's bird go through the same thing.

#130306 - 01/12/06 04:13 AM Re: Need your kind input...  
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Really Offline
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Really  Offline
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was New Orleans
Belongs to Sammy,

I know you feel your too suffered during your teen years, but otoh, what might have happened to Sammy if you hadn't been so dedicated. My point is that if the parents are supportive enough to pick up the slack when and if the child wanes in interest, it is *possible*. Ultimately, it is up to the family to decide if they can handle the responsibility.

Even if it was the parents who decided to take the too into their home, my personal feeling is that it should be a family decision. Our own child has been a part of every decision we've made about animal rescue. Even if she weren't a major player, she would still have to be involved in the sense that any animal we bring in the house takes time, money, and dedication, which means other family sacrifices have to be made.

I realize my child is a bit unusual. How many preteens will spend a day scrubbing cages and preparing meals for parrots and iguanas, take full care of her own ferret and her aunt's cat, her tarantulas and then want to volunteer at the zoo or aquarium to do more of the same? But, I don't think she could do what she does without full parental support. If she needs to go away on a Girl Scout event, etc., her father and I take over all the responsibilites that she has claimed as her own.

But, it's kind of cool to watch her do an animal presentation in front of other kids and explain why they don't want a cockatoo or an iguana as a pet. Not many kids would choose her lifestyle. But, it's a family thing for us.

Really

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