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#63792 - 03/15/04 10:54 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Do like you did when you put him in the new cage. Open the carrier door and place it next to his cage door. Put a nice toy and yummy snack in the carrier. I also put a towel on the bottom for gripping if there's no perch. It might take some patience. Best of luck! Re: gas - yeah - the usual CA ripoff!

#63793 - 03/16/04 03:21 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  

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Oh my GAWD!! He's gorgeous! I'm looking forward to hearing more about him and how you all adjust together. When I took Ollie to his first vet appointment it took a while to get him into the carrier. I did what Ladyhawk suggested, put a few nuts and toys in there, and after about an hour he went into the carrier on his own. Just allow enough time. I would place the carrier next to the cage the day before so he gets used to the sight of it. It might even peak his curiosity. Good luck and keep us posted!!

Karen. smile

#63794 - 03/16/04 02:53 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hi Rhonda - I sent you a PM hoping that you get it before you take Billie to the vet, but what I suggested is that you get his Zinc levels checked as his cage appears to be what is called Galvanized wire. Cockatoos are very beaky birds, and if he has chewed the cage, he may well have elevated zinc levels, which can cause serious illness and even death. This can be corrected by giving him medication which draws the zinc out of the body. If he does, and you give him the meds, you will need to get repeat testing to check his levels. Do not get upset if the levels rise, because they do as the zinc is pulled out of bone and muscle.

Concerning the diet. I have switched birds from seed to pellets "cold turkey" several times, and have also had birds that I needed to switch slowly. You have to watch what the bird is eating to insure that he continues to receive enough food. Some birds will absolutely refuse to switch and it takes a long time to switch them over.

Also, I noticed you posted that you put "a large curly swing rope" in his cage. Please be very mindful of this. As I said before, Cockatoos are very beaky, and love to tear things apart including these cotton rope boings. The problem with that is if he injests the rope, it is made of cotton rope, and will not pass through his crop. This cotton rope can stay in his crop and cause problems. I personally know someone who had a bird die, and had a necropsy done, and cotton rope in the crop was determined to be the ultimate cause of death.

Hoping things work out well with you and Billie and your family

#63795 - 03/16/04 09:38 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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your giving nature really made my day knowing that your bird has a wonderful new home with people that really care for it. i ve got a gut feeling that the bird was somebody s pet years before that no good so and so found him. it ll probably be a wonderful pet for you and the family and he s downright gorgeous
harvey

#63796 - 03/16/04 09:45 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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The new news is that UCDavis called me and we had a great chat. The nice lady vet has 2 cockatoos and recommended a mobile vet that can come out to the house and has several clients that have wild breeders. So... the vet is coming here tomorrow at 10 am. laugh That relieves some of my anxiety... I'm not going to be the bad guy or stress him out by doing something I am unsure of. The vet and I talked last night and she is going to spend some time with me going over all aspects of cockatoo life. I'm definitely going to have his zinc levels checked and I'm keeping a close eye on the cotton rope. What kind of rope is used with the hanging blocks? It looks cotton too... oh boy... he's getting more vocal, not bad vocal just getting comfortable. He leans toward my son when he is in the room and coos/mutters at him. He seems to have a real fasination with him. More after tomorrow... Thanks so much about the zinc advice. ~ Rhonda

#63797 - 03/17/04 03:59 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Whenever I get toys that have cotton rope in them, I remove the cotton rope and replace it with Sisal which is a natural fiber, and the birds can chew it with no problem.

So glad you will get those zinc levels checked along with several other tests that need to be done.

Keep us posted!!

#63798 - 03/17/04 07:49 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hi Rhonda - sorry I had to bail out of chat so soon! I'm really happy for all of you - thank you for caring so much!! The rope in the toys could be cotton, sisal or hemp. Some toy sources that will send you toys (don't know about selection in your neck of the woods):

Jungletoys.net; stuffforbirds.com

#63799 - 03/17/04 07:04 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  

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What a wonderful thing you've done for this bird, and what a wonderful bird!

He is just gorgeous! Incredibly handsome, and its amazing that he looks so good after living like he did.

He does look a tad thin in his pics, but a good diet will clear that right up. I wanted to mention that soaking the pellets in fruit juice (just enough to damp them) can help to motivate him to eat more of them, in case you need to get him eating more. Also, consider offering him a warm "mash" in the mornings, you can soak the Pellets, and add lots of fresh veggies, pasta, wild rice etc to help him get used to eating better. My cockato doesnt know what to do without her morning mash.

He's in the same cage my 'Too is, and its a great cage, but... my sweetie figured out the lock FAST and we have to chain the door shut now if we dont want her cruising the house. I mean, she is FAST, less than 10 seconds to open it without chains. You might want to look around and have some Stainless steel chain and a padlock handy just in case he figures his out. Mines working on figuring out the top door now, she's managed to turn the spinner thing but as she's hanging from the door it hasnt opened yet LOL. Yep, I have another chain set to go there too. The very top door is too heavy for her to push, so I hope she wont figure it out. I keep it tightly locked just in case, because of how smart she is.

He looks great, and you might want to see how he reacts to being misted (after the vet visit, wait a couple of days to reduce stress), all that time outside he could probably use a bath.

Also, consider that he could have been a companion parrot at some point, who escaped and was caught by that guy. Try to give him the benefit of the doubt, and dont assume he's going to be wild. I've met birds who havent been touched in far longer than 8 years who still stepped right up and wanted a scritch. Its possible, but dont get down if he doesnt, every bird is different.

Good luck! Thanks for sharing all this, its heartwarming in so many ways!

Athena

#63800 - 03/17/04 11:49 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Wow! Thanks, guys! It never occured to me that my advice about pellets might be taken wrong! Of course I did not mean the bird should be given pellets and nothing else until he eats them!! GAK!! I keep forgetting that new owners don't have that wealth of information we acquire over so many years! I just meant put pellets in his food bowl and see what happens. Sometimes the birdies just dive right in!

I have to agree that he looks thinnish. In fact, I would not even guessed that he is a "Greater" SC (C. galerita galerita, nominate race). To me, a true C. galerita galerita looks like it has a tiny little head on this huge, fluffy pillow of a body. I have only handled females, however and they tend to be bigger. Be sure the vet weighs the bird and you record that weight for future health-reference. The vet should be able to tell you if the bird is a "good weight." This means the right amount of weight that this particular bird should be carrying on it's frame. Hopefully the bird will have nice muscle tone.

FYI the weights I have in a book by Rosemary Low are as follows:

C.galerita galerita. Male 815-920g.; Female 845-975g

A very similar bird is the sub-species C. galerita fitzroyi:

Description: Slightly smaller than the nominate race, it has longer crest feathers. The periorbital skin is pale blue and the bill is broader than that of the Greater Sulfer-crest. Weight: M 610-720 g; F 600-780g. (From the same book).

This would be my guess. That is one LONG crest! Of course, from the picture I would say his periorbital skin (skin around the eyes) was PINK! I'm just curious, as always!! Keep us filled in on the developments, please! laugh

#63801 - 03/18/04 01:54 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda, what did the vet say?

#63802 - 03/18/04 04:39 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Well, this was quite a day. The vet showed up and we went over what little history I had of him. I showed her his previous cage and food... she was appalled. I showed her a video clip I took of him acting like he does around me. She tried to get him to get up on a stick, but he just pushed the stick away and bit at it, so she had to towel him. That was not fun for Billie. He screached, she finally caught him, took him from the cage and worked on getting the towel around him while he screamed and fought for his life. From there it was over to the board that he was sure was going to eat him... (whew) by now, he and the vet are hot and I'm frazzled. Time to begin. The vet took blood samples and swabs from everywhere (no modesty allowed). She said that he showed signs of malnutrition, which wasn't surprising to either of us or you all, considering where he came from. He weighs 800g, so he's a tad underweight too. He had his wings and toenails clipped, but not his beak, it looked fine. I hated to let her clip his wings, but she explained that with my high ceilings and large windows and him being so wild, that if he got loose he would certainly hurt himself... Perhaps someday after he is more tame we can let those beautiful feathers stay long. I'll get the results of all the blood and fecal tests as early as tomorrow. Some cultures will take longer. We also removed his Quarantine Band... the band he had around his leg was open and because it wouldn't help trace him to me and because it was so open it could get caught on something it seemed like a good idea. He keeps raising his foot and looking at the spot where it was... I imagine after a minimum of 12 years wearing that thing, it's got to feel weird to have it off. So, we found out that he came through a USDA Quarantine station in LA. Tomorrow I'll use the number I found in Cynthia's post about Mikey to the Import/Export department to get more information on him. I'm very happy that I didn't get Billie out of his cage by myself. I managed to have him checked out by the vet, cleaned up, etc without having to be the bad guy. Since then he's eaten a bit and danced for me a little, so he's not mad at me... thank goodness. More tomorrow.

#63803 - 03/18/04 04:46 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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What an adventure you are having!! And that is so cool that you might be able to find out more about him. Does that band mean he was wild caught? I sure hope all his tests are ok. I can't wait to hear more.

#63804 - 03/18/04 05:42 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hi Rhonda,
I am just a beginner with toos. I have recently (within the past year) adopted a pair of Lesser Sulfur Crested toos. Their situation was a lot different and more complicated due to their being a pair. But... they had not been let out of the cage in 2+ years. The female was wild caught, estimated to be about 18 years old now, and the male, domestically bred, is estimated to be about 10. The vet determined this from their leg bands.

Please let us know how your vet visit went. I am glad you have rescued this guy. All I can think of is Einstein (the male) when we first brought him home and he hadn't been out of the cage in God knew how long. He looked beautiful too and it seemed like a miracle.

Where your bird is a single bird, and you probably want to be able to handle him, the advice given to you will be different that that which I received in trying to care for a pair. I do remember for the first week or so, Einstein just quietly watched things. He was also very territorial and I couldn't move anything in his cage without him attacking me. He flew after me a few times, and I was bitten a lot during the learning process, but it was all fear based because he hadn't been approached in years. I found that he had a great sense of humor and mischief.. appealing to that works best in trying to get him to do anything.

They were only eating seeds when I brought them home. I found that they immediately took to Zupreem fruitblend when I switched them to it. Even though the coloring wasn't the best thing for them, I figured it had to be better than seed. Once they were on that for a while I switched them to Zupreem natural which has no coloring. They are now eating veggies all the time but I found that one of the easiest ones to get them to eat was sweet potato. I mixed it with pasta at first, because they loved the pasta. Whenever I introduced a new food they would throw it for a while before they decided to eat it. Eventually they stopped throwing the food and tried it. It just took at lot of patience and wasted food ( it would have been nice to have a bunny to eat the extra veggies! ).

I have found the female to be a much better eater and much more open to new foods than the male. They are both recovering from Vitamin A deficiency, but the female's case has been worse. She's doing better but it's a long term committment to her diet.

It sounds like your guy has a wonderful caring new home.

April

#63805 - 03/18/04 05:58 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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HYA RHONDA,
SOUNDS LIKE U R DOING AN AWESOME JOB, I AM OWNED BY A GREATER SULPHUR ALSO AND KNOW THE CHALLENGES WITH THEM, I AM AUSTRALIAN AND GREW UP WITH ALL THESE BIRDS FOR 33YRS BEFORE MOVING HERE. I FOUND A BOOK CALLED "PARROT BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION" THAT IS AMAZING..COVERS DIET/HOUSING/TOYS/BEHAVIOR ETC. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!! NOTHING BETTER HAS EVER BEEN WRITTEN,I WORK WITH THE LARGER BIRDS AND HAVE DONE SO IN AUSTRALIA FOR OVER 17YRS AND THIS BOOK IS A MUST, IF U CAN'T FIND IT CONTACT ME AND I'LL GIVE U THE DETAILS(I SAVED THEM)

#63806 - 03/18/04 05:49 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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GUYS!!!! YEAHHH!!! GOOD NEWS!!!!

He's eating the Harrison's I bought for him!!! I am shocked! It doesn't LOOK tasty, but he's eating it. I am so happy.

The band means that he was brought here and put into quarantine. My thoughts are that he was wild at one time, captured and shipped here. I'll find out more if I can through his band number.

I haven't heard from the vet yet, but it's not even 8 am here, so I'll give her a break. laugh

Today I have to get a better perch into his cage... the round dowels aren't good for his feet (so sayeth the vet)...

He's being so funny. Apparently he always tipped his water over, so the previous owner drilled holes in his clay bowl and wired it to the cage. BTW, it was an algae covered disgusting bowl. Well, Billie's bowl now is secure in his cage because the bowl is made with bumps on it to keep it from pulling loose from the metal bands it hangs in. Billie is putting a great deal of time and effort into figuring out how to tip the darn thing over. He's very determined. He tries, then he turns over and eyeballs the bowl for a few minutes, then he tries again. so far no luck... hee hee.

Rhonda

#63807 - 03/18/04 06:44 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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Ok, more good news... I talked to a lady at the USDA Animal Import Center (310)725-1976 and she told me that although the records for the band have been destroyed, she can tell me that he was someone's pet and not wild caught. She said that wild caught birds were processed through private quarantine stations and the usda only processed pets. laugh So at least we know he has been loved at one time, and he wasn't wild caught.

Rhonda

#63808 - 03/18/04 08:25 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  

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What wonderful news, but beware, as a lot of people shipped birds in as "pets" to avoid the long LONG lines at the quarentine facilities. Its sad, but true.

The water bowl trick, ah I know it well LOL. Mabye you could give him a shallow dish on the cage floor to tip, or splash in ... whichever he decides to do. Some 'Toos just like to play with their bowls. I gave mine some empty plastic crocks to play with.. just to bash around merrily. She thinks its a great game, and will cart them up to her other dishes, stack and then tip them LOL.

Im sorry he had such a hard time with the vet, but im glad you got the tests done. Knowing all the results will make you feel better, be it good or bad. We, as humans, always feel better knowing what we are dealing with.

Keep up the updates, its wonderful to hear about it like this... its also a great learning experience for anyone who is considering doing what you've done.

Athena

#63809 - 03/19/04 02:57 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda! No way!! I live in Vacaville too!!
It's great you got him now with this 85 degree weather we are having in March! Sheesh

I know a GREAT place in Napa, that sells bird toys, and gyms and perches for reasonable prices, and I am not sure where you bought your harrisons or for how much but you can get it at the Pet Vet for $36 for 5lbs.

#63810 - 03/20/04 07:10 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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Most of the results from the vet check up are in and everything looks good. The Uric Acid was a tiny bit high, but we'll retest that in another 6 months or so... and his cholesterol was high (291) but he's been living off of Peanuts and sunflower seeds... no vegies for 8 years can raise your cholesterol level. No parasites, everything else is good! So... we're just getting used to real food and company together. I could use some helpful hints for re-taming an 800g bird that hasn't been handled in 8 years... I'm thinking that taking it at a snails pace is best... we'll just get to be safe pals from opposite sides of the cage first. laugh

Rhonda

#63811 - 03/20/04 02:57 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda,

I have a rescued wild-caught Goffin that was at one time a pet, then a breeder. Jasper history is long and dark. I know that he was severely abused/neglected by more than one owner. When he first came to us, he didn't move from his perch if a human was in sight. He also didn't vocalize the first 4 months he was here - not a sound! When he first came, I had a temporary cage that was 24"x24" since we waiting to purchase a cage at a bird fair the following month. I used a rope perch that spanned from side to side. I put it at the very back towards the top. Each day I alternately moved one end forward and down until the rope perch was close to the front and about in the middle of the cage. By doing this very slowly, it allowed Jasper time to acclimate himself to his surroundings. I sang children's songs to him while I moved the perch. I also took this opportunity to offer him special treats that he promptly tossed tot he ground. Two years later and he loves to scream in the bottom of his stainless steel bowl on his top perch that holds the "skylight" doors open. He has learned to dance. He obeys my hand signals, but doesn't allow human touch. He will allow us to get inches away from him and the grand prize is that a few weeks ago, he jumped onto the bed while we were on it. He only stayed a few seconds, but he has never jumped on the bed before. He has gained weight, stopped plucking, and often leads the nightly chrous with all the TOOs. I can look in his eyes and see that he is not the same tormented soul that came here all those many moons ago. He loves to chew wood and his favorite toy is newspaper rolled up and secured with a Goofy Link attached to the side of the cage. He doesn't scatter his food that the other TOOs and he keeps his water bowl free of debris by using another bowl for bathing. He is a very different bird than my domestic TOOs, but I love him and I am very happy with the progress he has made. If he never goes beyond the level of interation we currently have thats okay with me, because he is 100% times better than before.

If you don't expect anything from your new friend, then you open the door to enjoy every tiny accomplishment as a major step. It sounds like you are right on track in laying a solid foundation of mutual respect. Good luck.

Lei

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