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#62271 - 04/23/02 06:44 PM need advice please  
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jenbet Offline
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Hi, I am so glad to have found this site!
Here's my story:
I have a soft spot for birds.I enjoy them so much!
I was in a pet store and they have a cockatoo that needs a good home. "Jonah" is 10 yrs old, and I am told that his owners had to give him up because they travel too much. The pet store said he does pluck his feathers, but besides that, is in good health.
Jonah talks a little and let's me touch him. I feel so bad for him. I am considering buying him and giving him the attention and love that he deserves. Before I committed to Jonah,though, I wanted to know everything that I could about cockatoos, that's how I found this site. Now I am a little nervous about it.
What do you think? Am I getting in over my head? Will his feathers grow back when he gets happier?
Is he too old to change?
Thanks,
Jeanette

#62272 - 04/23/02 09:15 PM Re: need advice please  
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Michael Offline
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Hello,

Good idea to learn all you can before jumping in with both feet. What type of Cockatoo is it? How badly has he plucked himself? Depending on how long he has been pulling his feathers they may not grow back. We have a rescued Umbrella Cockatoo (U2) that has a bare chest that will likely never regrow feathers.

Getting and caring for a Cockatoo is a very big commitment. Only you can say if youíre up to the job. Youíre off in the right direction finding all the facts to help make that determination. If you havenít yet you should look at the MyToos web site www.mytoos.com , specifically the check list about caring for a too. The type of environment you should have for the long term care of a Cockatoo. You should read every page on that site to make as informed a decision as you can.

I donít want to sound rude or give the wrong impression, but buying a bird from a pet shop is not an act of rescue (in my opinion). The pet shop may simply (and usually does) replace the bird. Rescuing a bird should not involve the transfer of money (other than a nominal application fee when dealing with an actual rescue organization).

#62273 - 04/23/02 09:42 PM Re: need advice please  

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Hi, and welcome. Is the pet store in question reputable? Meaning do you feel they actually care for the animals they sell, and have decent morals? Michael is right, IMO, when he states buying a pet from a store is not rescuing it. Could you wait to see if someone else will give this bird a home? If you are unsure about buying/adopting a pet, you are probably not ready. And if feathers are important to you, forget it. I for one think it is nice of you to visit Jonah in the store and give him attention. In my opinion, an older too is usually more reliable than one who has to go through birdie puberty, the mature behaviour is set. But I am not an expert. Do what's best for Jonah, but also remember that taking him home opens a spot for another to be brought in, which is why it is so important to ensure the store is reputable and follows good pet store ethics. Good luck!

#62274 - 04/23/02 10:12 PM Re: need advice please  
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Well buying from a store may not constitute rescue in the eyes of the owner of the store, but I "rescued" my female quaker from a store and I paid for this bird (at a reduced rate)..but this bird was the last of a clutch of quakers that wasnt bought..and the owners hate the sound of quakers, so they stuck this poor little girl in the back room all by her self, surrounded by reptiles and rats..no other birds. She was scared and miserable and I bought her to get her out of that store. Sure they may buy more quakers and replace her, but at least SHE wont be subjected to that horrible place anymore and I consider that a "rescue"..in her...and my eyes at least smile

#62275 - 04/23/02 10:18 PM Re: need advice please  
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jenbet Offline
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Thanks for all your input!
He is an umbrella cockatoo.
The pet store is ok. I know that they usually do not have birds there to sell. That's why I was surprised to see Jonah. From what I understand, the owner of the store is doing a favor by trying to find him a home.
the feather Plucking is not a real big deal to me with regards to "looks" as much as health wise. I didn't know if he did that to his feathers, would that lead him to bite his skin once the feathers were gone. Every animal that I have ever owned was either the runt or the ugly duckling that no one wanted.
Thanks again!
Jeanette
( I also live in Mass.)

#62276 - 04/23/02 10:38 PM Re: need advice please  
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Michael Offline
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Mona,

As the saying goes opinions are like, well you know, we all have one. Iím sure you did rescue that Quaker. I probably shouldnít have made that statement so bluntly.

Jenbet,

Continued plucking can lead to self-mutilation. It takes a lot of care, time and patience to break a bird of self-mutilating. Iím still trying to stop chewing the inside of my mouth. A bird rescue here in MA has a Mollucan Cockatoo that wore a collar for a very long time and continues to pull feathers and mutilate himself to this day. They are working very hard to stop the cycle but it is not easy once it has been established.

If the pet storeowner is interested in finding a home for this bird see how low he will go on the price. If you live is Mass. you should check out Foster Parrots, Ltd (www.fosterparrots.com). They are located in Rockland MA, I would be happy to give you a tour of the facility. I must warn you however, it will be a real eye opener.

#62277 - 04/23/02 10:46 PM Re: need advice please  

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Of course if you take a bird out of miserable surroundings it is a rescue, no matter how much you pay:-) I just wanted to find out how the pet store treats the parrot- No store is a great home, but if you do buy a parrot, you should be improving it's quality of life(Michaels words) I agree with Michael, see if the pet store owner will compromise on price-many stores sell on consignment, and it is actually the person who owns the bird who decides price. Good luck!

#62278 - 04/24/02 04:00 AM Re: need advice please  
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Mona Offline
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Michael, I took no offense to your post :-)
I was just giving an example of when I think
the word rescue CAN apply to a pet store bird.
Technically I didnt "rescue" this Quaker, but
she and I both consider it that way I think.
Poor conditions, lonely bird, no interaction,
abuse, those type conditions in the store,
make me want to "rescue" all the parrots! LOL

And I agree that not all pet store birds NEED "rescuing", and that its just going
to leave a slot open for another bird to be sold.

#62279 - 04/24/02 01:55 PM Re: need advice please  
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Michael Offline
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Mona, I have no doubt that your female Quaker considers herself rescued, which is all that really matters. smile

#62280 - 04/24/02 02:09 PM Re: need advice please  
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Zoe LSC2 Offline
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No offense taken here either at your thoughts, and I agree with Mona.

Really the only reason I have Chi Chi (our cockatiel) is because the idiot store owner bought so many tiels so as to get a better price that they were litteraly stacked up in a glass cage together (an aquarium actually) and she was beaten up litteraly over night to the point she had no feathers on her entire head and neck down to one shoulder blade. It was a month of many vet visits (avain vet) before I would even name her or think of her as my own we were so afraid she just wouldn't make it.

She is a very happy and well adjusted bird now and she is a year old this month and spoiled more than any other tiels I know (with maybe the exception of Debi R's who are right up there with Chi Chi wink ).

In all honesty the owner just would have thrown her out back if I hadn't been in the store that morning. frown Instead I took matters into my own hands paying a reduced price for her and then getting all the things she needed -- cage, food, toys, etc. as we had not been bird owners prior but were always keeping an eye out for a M2 as I had fallen in love with one 15 yrs prior (but college kids can't have them in the dorms and I was a year and a half from going... but that is another story).

Rescues come in all shapes, sizes, and emotional tugs I guess you could say.

Sara and Zoe

#62281 - 08/16/02 12:00 AM Re: need advice please  
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traci Offline
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There is no doubt that supporting the breeding of parrots by purchasing them initially in a pet shop is a bad thing but, it sounds like this is a second hand bird and if it is ever going to get out of this situation a little money is going to have to exchange hands.The most important thing to remember is that this is a long lived animal and,thus,a long term commitment.It is also not an obligation that can be shuffled off onto someone else.That has already happened to this bird.I am having a very positive experience with a second hand bird but, it sounds like that is the exception rather than the rule,from what I have read.I think the same rule would apply as for children:Don't have them if you aren't at least thirty and well established in life.In fact, this is even more so for cockatoos because they are no where near as adaptable.


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