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#151245 - 01/19/08 03:57 AM Update on moluccan decision.  
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parrotntn Offline
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I thought I'd update some of ya'll on my moluccan decision. I am taking it very seriously as I don't want to bring something into my FAMILY'S life that would, IN THE LONG RUN, cause more trouble than it is benefit. Not just now, but looking down the road as we all age, the bird ages, we have kids/grandkids and the rukus that goes with all of that. It's important for me to consider if i want to bring this bird along, for the rest of our natural lives and be a part of my family rather than be overcome by it's beauty and charm.
I am looking at a very beautiful and well behaved 8 year old female moluccan from a nice local family who don't have the time to spend with her that they feel is necessary. They are busy with horses, dogs, grandparents and Gigi, although well adapted to it, sits in her cage upstairs most of the day. She does well though.
The bird goes to anyone, nonplucker, happy, in no apparant distress or disease state. Is not clingy, plays independently in her cage. Appears well developed and well nourished. Non biter even to my kids as we passed her around on the first visit. Gets out with the family usually, they say about an hour a day. At times, they say, she has been in her cage for 2 or 3 days without being out.
Pros:
-The most well behaved bird I have ever seen. Ive seen a few, but this one is exemplary.
-I like larger birds.
-BEAUTIFUL to the nth degree.
-playful charmer.//had me at hello.
-Goes to cage or anywhere easily.
-poop trained to go outside or on the cage.
-Historically this species should get along with my amazon.
-not a picky eater.
-Would be nice to have a bird to pet. We can’t pet Cleo too much as she is just moody. It would be nice to have a bird that WANTED the interaction. (direct con to that below).
-Does great with my kids. Appears to be a great pet-therapy bird. A bird behaviorist told me that she has a friend with one that does pet therapy and moluccans do very well.
-Same pet therapist said if the moluccan is healthy, doing well there, that there is no reason to believe that she shouldn’t do well at our home. If the bird were not healthy there, it would be different. She says that as a rule, healthy birds rehome very well. She cautioned against too much handling. Some petting is ok, indirect is good, but strongly discourage holding like a baby. The bird is not used to that, even though it's tactile nature wants. So, starting that now could be very detrimental.
-A BIG Pro here, in retrospect is the fact if we are THAT busy in our daily lives that we can’t sit down and
Spend time with something that beautiful that loves us, maybe WE are the ones with the problem and not the bird.
In other words, maybe the bird’s needs puts our lives in persepective. Once you sit down to pet, it’s nice.
It’s our taking the time out of the day to sit down and pet our bird. The world will keep turning. We are not that important.
Hmmmm, that’s all philosophical but true.

Cons:
-LOUD and SHRILL scream. All birds scream. She is not habitual. Morning, evening calls and in betwen if there are visitors or a party. When we were there, she screamed about, I dunno I didn't count, 5,6,7 times in the hour and a half we were there. Then she settled down nicely.
-Can't leave her alone. Not her fault. I can leave Cleo alone for hours with an empty Bic pen and she's content. Gigi will wander...and eat things in between...not because she's devious, but because they do.
-Dandur, lot of dandur. Might require daily baths to keep it in check. Do I want to have a bird I feel like I HAVE to bathe daily?? Cleo gets one on Saturday. She loves it. Of course, Gigi loves em and is easy to bathe the owner says.
-More upkeep to keeping toys. Cleo is content wtih a Dixie cup strung up and a peanut inside. This bird requires, REQUIRES..2x4's. or soemthing similar to be made or bought.
-She is big. Although I really like a bigger bird, she is large. Requires more room; cage room, carrier room, playstand room.
-Although she plays independently now, might be a problem if she gets accustomed to all the petting, then either when the kids move off, or we get busy or whatever might come along.
-Vet bills, to me, don't apply. You own something, you take care of it..regardless.

I'm really analyzing this. She is a doll. She is coming to our home for a visit with her family Saturday nite to see how that goes. The "plans" are for her to come to our home for two weeks in February, Valentines weekend, to see how it goes. That is the plan...you know how plans can go. haha. I am thinking I might ask for her about a month. 4 weeks, day in and day out, could give a better picture of the situation. She’s in no hurry and I’m in no hurry. She and I just want the best for the bird.
As moluccans go…Gigi is top notch! But still, she is a moluccan with their inherent character and beauty alongside their inherent challenges. Nobody’s perfect.

Sitting down, looking at this list makes me go hmmm, the pros outweigh the cons, numerically. I don’t want to take the bird and have to rehome it just in case it doesn’t work out. I'm taking it seriously. It's not a one night stand to me. also, I need to see Cleo's reaction. Although they won't get near each other for two weeks, they know the other is in the room/house. Cleo is not really bothered by Dood. But Dood is like a lil snack cracker compared to Cleo.


If you own ANY pet, it's work. Anything is work. It boils down to do the benefits outweigh the work. Because, it is true that a bird chooses it's owner. But with GIGI, she doesn't know a stranger. Hops on the first hand comes up. So, yea, she chose me, but she'd choose anybody. She has a big and trusting heart. She is more partial to men, they say.

They are bringing her for a visit with my family and best friends here at our home this Sunday. I'll be curious to see how she does if I walk into another room with her and her "family flock" is not around. They tell me they have let her spend the nite with people and she did fine. We'll see how it goes from there.
I did get permission from them to keep her for a month, 4 weeks in February. Two weeks in quarantine then if all is well, two weeks in a room with Cleo.
This is an unedited exerpt I got in an email from the owner:
She wakes up at daylight and goes to bed when it gets dark out or the lights go out. Remember, if she is ready for bed and the lights are on, she’ll scream until you turn them off.

At daylight, when she starts calling, someone usually goes into say “Good Morning” and to give her a fresh supply of water and food. There really is no playtime in the morning as everyone is busy getting ready for school, work, dogs and grandma. If the activity is directly around her she will scream, but it is not for very long. In the evening at her supper time which is anytime after 5:30 p.m., (she’ll start screaming) the kids hang out in the bonus room for approximately 1 - 3 hours. Meaning she may not be out of her cage that long but she has a part of her “flock” within her eyesight and she is content unless it is noisy. If it is noisy, she will scream and play along with them. The louder the kids get, the louder she will get!!!!


This family is going to rehome this bird. I am trying to find reasons to NOT take it here. So far, the list is stacked TO take her.
I don't want to make a bad decision, but I don't want to miss a bad opportunity for us OR the bird. I am doing everything I know to do to make sure that we get a good bird and the bird get's a good home. It is going somewhere.
Oh well, just letting ya’ll know that I have researched this situation…and still am researching. Also, it might help others considering a bird to use this list to help them see what I'm thinking sifting through.
Thank you!

#151250 - 01/19/08 04:34 AM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: parrotntn]  
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I'm glad you are doing the research first. The visits are a great idea! The "trial month" is even better. She will still live for a really long time, so you need to be sure you are up for it! We've only had Brewster for two years....he's six now. Plenty of interesting experiences.The biggest problem is my husband is allergic to him. We use filters & humidifiers to try to help. Irony is the bird LOVES him now (took almost a year for their friendship to develop). He's better with kids & other family members now & is a funny, delightful character! Tons of work , but tons of love!


Gail
#151263 - 01/19/08 06:35 AM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: Bird Mom]  
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Remember, during those couple weeks she's at your home, she'll be going through the honeyoon period, after that she may and probably will be a total different bird, she may be the same sweet bird, or become aggressive, but most of all, she'll be a lot more demanding and will be testing her limits and boundaries. She may become the loudest scariest thing ever.

With all that in mind and everything in your post... sounds like you have everything in mind and, hopefully, you'll do great!!!

Remember mytoos and the experts are here for you. No better place to talk Cockatoo the this site!

#151267 - 01/19/08 07:01 AM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: Bird Mom]  
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Its great you are researching and offering a 2nd chance to the too. However, I'm reading some danger signs here that tells me you have yet to fully understand what a Moluccan can do.

1) One should not bathe a moluccan every day. I know that some people says that they bathe their toos every day, but its not right. In the wild, they do not get rain every day. It can go days or weeks before there is rain.

Try thinking of in the wild how they behave, eat etc and make some adjustment to life in captivity where there's much lesser exercise etc to get a feel of what toos need.


2) I keep hearing the word petting. Petting basically should be restricted to head, neck and cheek. Rubbing belly, body, under the wings are stimulating hormonal behaviour and in the long run will make an aggressive and confused bird. Also, too much cuddling is generally not good for toos.

3) Toos generally do not do well with kids due to their quick movements or their sudden screams/shouts. (Also some people may be allergic to the dander and may only realise it after quite some time. Do you want to take this risk?)

And toos can react very very fast--be it to protect themselves or being angry. They can turn in a blink of an eye. They can lure you in with you thinking that they want you to scritch them only to bite you. And their beaks can do powerful damage. Their claws are also sharp.

Thus, your thoughts of letting Gigi be a therapy bird for disabled/special needs kids and elderly people is generally not a good idea. What will happen to Gigi if there happens to be an inccident where Gigi bites 1 of them (maybe she was spooked, maybe she got angry)--what will happen to her then? Will you then rehome her or just reduce the amount of interaction time she gets with people (as she will be retired from therapy work)? Will she then feel like plucking as she may not feel loved then?

Whatever interaction she's going to get, it has to be consistent and forever and not to be changed later if she is ultimately found to be too risky to be a therapy bird. These are questions that need to be considered seriously.

There's also the honeymoon period which can last from days to years (search for 'honeymoon period' here in mytoos)

And don't forget hormonal season. More biting, screaming etc then. Can last for months.

Bites that require stitches, bites to kids and adults, reaction of too to special needs kids etc have been discussed here before.

I know that you are researching and kudos for that, however I feel at this stage that you have yet to fully understand the care of a moluccan and that's why your post.

1 of the main things that you have to ask yourself is if Gigi turns out days, months or years later to be not what you thought, will you then give up on her? For example, if she bites your grandkid or 1 of your therapy patients and it requires stitches, what will happen then.

Or if later she starts to pluck (yes, there are many cases and you can search here, where the too just started plucking herself/himself although nothing has changed in the environment and its still the same owner), what will halppen then? Will she be retired from therapy? This will decrease her interaction time down significantly. How will she take it.

Sometimes the best person for Gigi may be someone else (not the present owner currently) and we need not lose sight of this.

I do not like the idea that you are getting the bird for therapy work as too many things can go wrong there (it only takes 1 inccident eg: biting that requires stitches, before this idea is thrown out, even if there have been many days, weeks, years of everything going smoothly). Cleo, your amazon is afforded this luxury as she's not a therapy bird, however I don't see this luxury offered to Gigi as 1 of your intention of getting Gigi is to be a therapy bird with disabled/special needs kids and elderly. And moluccan can do way more serious bites than an amazon can.

Good luck

Sorry for the repetition of therapy. Just don't have the time to edit it properly

Last edited by gn18; 01/19/08 07:26 AM.
#151272 - 01/19/08 09:23 AM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: gn18]  
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I would NEVER use a cockatoo (no matter which species) for therapy for the elderly or young.

I would get a dog, which have been or could be certified as a therapy dog.

I have a beautiful bird, who'll go to anyone, never bite, loves kids and all people, BUT I could never trust him 110%... This bird is a Sun Conure...

Here in Australia, animals need to have been 'certified' by experts before you can take it to places like nursing homes, kinder gardens etc.


Cheers
Lene
#151273 - 01/19/08 09:24 AM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: Lene]  
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... and if I wanted an animal who loves petting, I would get a cat!


Cheers
Lene
#151284 - 01/19/08 01:32 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: Lene]  
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On the subject of therapy bird I have a terrible story. One of the houses I used to work with decided to get a bird for therapy. One of the gentleman with developmental disablities that lived in the house became startled by the bird and reached out and grabbed it before the staff person could move the bird away. It was unexpected as the man hadn't paid any attention to the bird prior to this. The poor bird died of a crushed rib cage. The bird had been living in the house for over a year when this happened. The thing to keep in mind while birds are unpredictable so are people. After working for thirty years in special needs I learned that all people can be unpredictable. The quietest and calmess person can have a bad day and react to a situation. When the person doesn't understand the situation or know their own strength the outcome can be terrible. I've seen the nicest people turn and strike out through fear or anger and have some scars to show for it. Please reconsider using a cockatoo as a therapy bird for its sake and also the folks well being. Two unpredictable beings together will prove to be a disastrous outcome one day. Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#151286 - 01/19/08 01:46 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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I've taken Bill with me to some of the residences in the society I work for. I work with developmentally delayed adults. Now, Bill can't fly and isn't terribly mobile, so if he's on my arm, he's kinda stuck there.

If he's in MY work house, the residents aren't mobile at all and just look at him and he shows off for them. However, in the other houses, the staff members keep the clients away from me and Bill and Bill happily does his show off routine for them. However, the clients are at least 7' from me and him AND there is at least 2 staff per 4 clients. I don't allow clients to touch him.

He has fun doing it (heck, the car-ride itself makes it worth it), they have a lot of fun and talk about it for days. I think it can be beneficial.

But I would never suggest having the bird live at a therapeutic centre. I would never have a bird unsupervised at ANY time in a facility with clients. I would never have a bird accessible to clients and I wouldnt' have a group of clients looking at the bird without staff present and ready to run interference.

Heck the liability alone makes those decisions for me. The guilt should anything happen to one of the clients, the guilt should anything happen to a bird. To not be fully prepared, and even over-cautious is foolhardy.

When we go to the houses we're about 10 minutes in each place... usually no more than 3 places. Often just one or two.

Please do a search on 'petting'. There are many good reasons it's discouraged on this site.

Also, you don't have to bathe them daily. In fact, that may be hard on their skin, and I'd think it would make them cold too often.

As far as saying vet care isn't negotiable..if you take something in, you care for it.... Will you still feel that way after you've put out $3000? What if that $3000 came on the heels of your primary breadwinner being laid off? Or your car dying? Or a big medical expense? or all three?

Last edited by spinnyspoo; 01/19/08 01:51 PM.

Wanna Bill? Wanna Bill?
-No Bill, I'm busy-
Dontcha wanna Bill? Dontcha wanna good boy?
#151290 - 01/19/08 02:29 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: spinnyspoo]  
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Just a simple infection with Cassie has already cost me over $300. and we have to go back for another test to be sure the infection is gone. That's going to cost me another $200. and my truck just broke down this week to the tune of $450. I don't make alot of money so it does get scary with the vet cost. Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#151293 - 01/19/08 02:37 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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I just took a second job to pay for vet bills. Don't take anything for granted.


Wanna Bill? Wanna Bill?
-No Bill, I'm busy-
Dontcha wanna Bill? Dontcha wanna good boy?
#151298 - 01/19/08 03:52 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: spinnyspoo]  
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Thanks for all the replies:
-In regards to pet therapy, I said "Appears to be a great pet-therapy bird".
Appears is the key word here, I have no idea if she would pan out to be that or not. We'll have to see. If she doesn't, then she simply doesn't. Pet therapy is not a primary factor in this case, it's entirely secondary. It would be years and years before that would ever even be conisdered. You have to look at training and several aspects. And then, even if she were to be a good candidate, it would be a case by case, seasonal..so very many variables. She may not be a good pet therapy bird..then again she may. I know they are out there:

Click here for NY Times article. Note th...an too is used.

-"petting" is used in reference to head only and then with great discretion, were I to take her. I have read horror, I mean I just read ANOTHER new horror story (on another forum)of a poor Goffins too that was petted like a baby. The family had no babies, then adopted. Now, the bird doesn't understand and has become very aggressive. It's a real situation to avoid. We have other animals that need petting anyway. It's not about the petting and to honest, I will be maybe too much on the cautious side with the petting. I would get a better gauge on that during the trial month. So, oveall "petting" would definatly be limited to head/neck, and then in small doses.

-And in regards to all the possible whatifs in the future? Who knows? There are not guarantees in life. 25 years ago, had I not gambled and married my sweet wife, we would not be waking up together now and have the two wonderful children we have. My brother gambled and after 17 years of marriage, his wife...REHOMED... shocked
But a bigger "whatif" is:
Whatif I miss a chance at having the rest of my natural life to spend with a wonderful companion parrot?
I have no idea if this will work out. I will say that I feel very fortunate to have the opporunity to see how this goes for a month. That, in itself is a gift not usually afforded to a persepctive bird owner.
It may not work and after 1 day I have to return her for some unsuspected reason. Then again, she maybe with us until death do us part and enjoy us as we enjoy her. Life, at least to me, is half full. Not half empty.
I see what I CAN do, not what I can't.
And it helps that I've become very researched in avian behavior and I enjoy it. I've taken an abused, poked with a stick, dropped on the floor, blue front Amazon who was petrified of human interaction and in 6 months have her stepping up (most of the time) on command and even stepping up to a buddy of mine she never met. I have her clicker trained to do parlor tricks.
There are no such things as "bad" birds. There are training opportunites. You just have to have reasonable expectations from the bird, as you would if it were your best friend.
One must, MUST educate ourself on the culture and needs of that species of birds. It's imperative, not an option. You must arm yourself with your best defense should a hormonal surge occur or how to react were there to be an unsuspected bite. You must know how to safely enjoy a bird's presence.
So, the fact is that GIGI is alive, is well and we have a wonderful opportunity to see if her life blends with our lives. Life is very short. Life is about learning and sharing what we learn to make all of our lives, including the bird's lives, better.

Thanks and have a great day!

#151300 - 01/19/08 04:08 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: spinnyspoo]  
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Sounds like you have your mind made up.

A number of people here have shared their experiences with their Too's. I believe I responded to a post by you a short time back relating our good and BAD experience with our M2. Ours was also the sweetest thing when we got her and fortunately she has only blossomed more so but not without a HUGE learning curve for myself. I probably trust her more than I should but maybe thats because I have spent sooo much time interacting and watching her. But, I will never trust her 100%

Your solution for a potentially bad decision seems to raise a red flag.

Quote:
I don’t want to take the bird and have to rehome it just in case it doesn’t work out.


I think your are either 100% into this or leave the Too for someone else that is.


Mark and Chucki (FMM2)
#151304 - 01/19/08 05:02 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: Chucki's Dad]  
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Mark, I 'know' you from several places. Thus, those remarks I made is not just based on what you've written here. Its great that you are researching and I also knew that you had pretty much made up your mind before your post here.

However, I need to caution you on something. You mentioned about taking a gamble with your wife etc. 1 thing that many people don't realise is that when you take a gamble with people (eg: marriage, children etc), there is less risk on the party that may suffer eg; children. Less risk as the state/country has welfare in place for them, laws to protect them and fine/jail the human abuser (and this serves as a protection to the children/spouse and a strong deterrent to the person who is thinking of abusing/mistreating/neglecting the children/spouse). Also, the other party can work to earn a living and thus live his/her own life from around the age of 20 years old. If the average person's lifespan is 80 years, that means 3/4 of a person's life is decided by that person himself. These protection are not afforded to captive birds. Furthermore, the whole of the bird's life 80+ years is subjected to the whims and fancies of its human caretaker.

Also, there is the potential case of lawsuit. If the too were to bite somebody seriously, will the too be laid down/killed etc by the government? This is something that needs to be thought of too. This will never happen with children as you can't put a child down for biting/behaving aggressively.

Thus, when one sees a glass as half full or half empty, these factors have to be seriously considered too. Same goes when offering views to others.

With that I wish you the best of luck.



Last edited by gn18; 01/19/08 05:15 PM.
#151313 - 01/19/08 08:31 PM Re: Update on moluccan decision. [Re: parrotntn]  
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Originally Posted By: parrotntn
They tell me they have let her spend the nite with people and she did fine. We'll see how it goes from there.

Does this mean others have thought of taking her in & returned her? Did Gigi miss her family?

Knowing your mind is made up, there is really no reason to convince us it's the right decision.
My .02 will be to remember that typically someone surrendering to another home won't give you all the "dirt" on the birds bad habits, they just won't. Talk with any number of folks that foster birds, you'll get another perspective totally. I wish that you would visit a rescue, I wish you would adopt from a rescue. I also wish people re homing would look into fosters/rescues for the best possible screening & assessing for the birds sakes. Even with careful screening these large cockatoos get returned to the rescues from time to time.

You say Gigi is happy in her current situation, with her current family, she sounds to be independent & satisfied. Something a lot of cockatoo owners strive to reach with their birds. Maybe Gigi's family needs to come to this site & read a bit, they may have more time to enrich her life than they think, sometimes situations are temporary which a family feels they have little time for their pet. Gigi sounds as if she can wait them out, lord knows she'll live long enough. They got her for a reason, help them to remember the reason.
The biggest goal of this site is for the birds..........do what is right for Gigi, no one else, please


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