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#63772 - 03/14/04 09:00 AM "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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ok, I'm new and I need some advice. I'm a stay at home mom with one 11 year old son (daughter has moved on to college.) I have a healthy happy marriage to my best friend. We have a respectable family income. On with the dilema... My husband has always wanted a Cockatoo, but the kids were young, etc. Well, I've been watching the paper and for the last two weeks I've seen an ad in the "Pets for Sale" section (I watch the ads for Mastiff rescue.) There's been a Cockatoo for sale ad these last weeks that states the bird is an "outside bird" and the asking price is 1K. I called the man and he told me that he caught the bird 8 years ago, put it in a 4 foot square cage outside and that's where it's been ever since. The weather here gets below freezing occasionally in the winter and well over 100 in the summer for several months. I asked him how the bird tolerated it and he told me that he threw wet tarps over the cage. After 8 years, this poor bird still has no name, has never been out of that cage. I stood in front of his cage and talked to him and at first he was terrified. His tail was spread as far out as it could go. I spent about a half hour talking to him, then had to leave. He was clucking and making friendly sounds toward me while I was spending time with him... after I left him in the dark and outside he screamed and screamed. It broke my heart.
Now, I'm trying to be rational. I'm actually willing to pay this man for a bird he has abused for 8 years, I have time to give this poor animal and the facilities to give it a good home. I'm even considering building an outdoor aviary for him after he's used to human contact again.
So, go ahead. Talk me out of it. Tell me to go ahead, I can only be a step up for this bird. Warn me away from giving my heart to something tht will ultimately drop feathers over every inch of my house. I appreciate any input you may have.

Thanks,

Rhonda

#63773 - 03/14/04 09:46 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hi Rhonda - that's a pretty sad story, and I'm not going to try to talk you out of providing a home for the poor soul. But, keep reading the posts on this site, so you'll know what you're up against. Take your husband to visit the bird the next time and try to spend at least the same amount of time (and probably more) that you did this time because you've added another variable (hubs). A third visit should include all three of you. Also, check out what has been provided for food so you can plan ahead for a diet change if necessary. Locate an avian vet or two near you and take the bird for a complete checkup right away. And of course, be prepared with unlimited love and patience, and make sure no young visitors "tease" the bird by poking fingers in the cage, etc. How does your son do with the dogs, and how does he feel about getting a bird?

A challenging bird like a 'too (what kind of 'too is it?) may be seen as competing for your attention, and your son is approaching some difficult years. He might need your time, attention, and supervision more than your daughter did. I'd love to see the bird live a better life, but you have to think about the needs of all of your family members, too. I think all involved should be aware of both the challenges and the rewards, agree on the family addition, should be willing to devote time to his/her care, and should understand that the gratification may very well be delayed. Sometimes that's the hardest part. Best of luck, keep asking questions, and let us know what you decide!

#63774 - 03/14/04 03:16 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  

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If this is a wild caught bird, it is going to take ALOT of time and patience to work with him. But I'm confused, was this bird caught in the area he now lives? It's heartbreaking that someone would take him from his environment, stuff him into a cage and then just keep him out there so he can watch his world from behind bars. frown If this is his home town I would be tempted to open the cage and set him free actually.

#63775 - 03/14/04 07:18 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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ok, the Cockatoo is a Greater Sulfur Crested, subspecies C. Galerita Galerita. smile We've been spending some time on the internet looking at photos and descriptions and that's definitely him. I took my husband and son with me when we saw him last night... my husband is good with the idea, my son is an animal lover and wants to be a vet when he grows up. He's wonderful with everything. He has wanted a bird forever too. We are a family of pilots, and we have serious flight issues. We've been feeding birds in our backyard for so many years that we have hundreds of returns every year and 4 pairs of a species of woodpecker that have diminishing numbers that come here. so... when we build the outside aviary for him (during perfect weather) he'll have LOTS of company. We are not - however - social animals. We have a small circle of friends, none with small children.

I don't know how long it will be before I can handle him, but I'm ok with that... we're going to have a great deal of time learning that I'm not going to hurt him... His beak is enormous... that kind of power is something I'm certainly going to respect. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'm planning on spending several hours a day with him, just talking to him, feeding him treats, etc... until he lets me touch him.

He was flying with a flock of Egrets when he was found by the man I'm getting him from... at least I'm 90% sure I'm getting him at this point
I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the encouragement... I'm going to need you guys like crazy I can tell.

#63776 - 03/14/04 08:00 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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If you decide to proceed, do so with the full knowledge that vet bills may run into thousands of dollars in a very short time. We have a wild caught Goffin that we can't handle, but we are making progress at a snail's pace. Don't expect anything from this bird. By simply providing a caring home, a healthy environment, and unconditional love and support, you will improve his quality of life a 1000 times. He may surprise you and adopt you as one of his own. He may select your husband, son, or infrequent visitor as his human of choice and treat you with disdain. Don't dispair. Realize that by expecting absolutely nothing from this bird, you are allowing him to be as much of a free spirit that is safe for him under the circumstances. Provide an ever changing array of toys and other stimuli, mixed with a flexible routine, established boundaries, and mutual respect. Encourage each family memeber to spend time by the cage reading books, singing children's songs, dancing, and doing wing flaps. Interact by mimicking his behaviors and keeping a journal of his responses to your actions. Keep detailed logs of positive and negataive responses to what color and style of clothes you wear, the time of day, food, toys, music, TV Shows, household activites, cage placement, etc. If possible video tape interaction sessions and watch what he is responding to and when you get a positive response, repeat it often. When you get a negative response, elimante it if possible.

Do expect to understand the truama this poor tortured soul has endeared. Just try to proivde a stable and secure future. Good luck.

Lei

#63777 - 03/14/04 09:41 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hmm....Do everything mentioned above (except turn it loose!)...and try to talk the SOB down in price. Mention the vet bills, whatever it takes. He got the bird for free. The bird will certainly need to be treated for intestinal parasites if it outside w/ the wild birds.
Greater Sulfer Crests are great birds, but they are really, REALLY loud. Listen to the birds on the mytoos site at full volume. That doesn't even come close to the real thing. Any close neighbors? If it is a female, things may be a bit easier (males tend to be more aggressive). If the birds eyes are a fairly bright brick-red it may be a female.
If you get the bird, be sure to do a search of the lost and found archives on the web. (Has the web been around for 8 years? laugh ) Someone lost that poor fellow. Perhaps you can trace the band. Good luck with your decision. Please keep us informed.

#63778 - 03/14/04 11:28 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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I've talked him down to 600! laugh I'm finding a cage today and picking the big guy up tomorrow. I asked him what he's been being fed... This is it guys... Some peanuts(unsalted) from the 99 cent store and Sunflower/Safflower mix from Walmart. Sometimes left over salad. Only fed every other day. Yikes. So, how should I change that over to a proper diet. I've got to tell you guys... you won't believe this bird, he's been living outside with this kind of care for 8 years and he's beautiful. His feathers are full and long... he looks perfect. I don't want to make him sick now! Just tell me what to do, my husband left me with the AMEX card!... hee hee

#63779 - 03/14/04 11:50 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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take him to a qualified avian vet on your way home!!

Conrad had been on a similar diet and the first thing I did was cut out the sunflower seeds...actually hand picked them out of his mix and hand fed him 3-5 a day at first....

I also read read read about diet and started baking and experimenting with foods to see what he will eat. Conrad and I have been together 8 months and diet is a daily issue for us! laugh

Have you noticed the search feature?? Use it!!read lots and ask lots- you might want to think about joining up for live chat too

cheers

(and thast good news indeed for birdie!! I hope it turns out to be good news for you too)

brody

#63780 - 03/15/04 12:01 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Yee-ha!!
Buy a bag of pellets and offer it w/o any seeds availiable. You might get lucky and he'll eat them right away (it has happened for me). I wouldn't be suprised if the poor birdie eats everything in sight. Of course, don't be surprised if he has no idea that what you are offering is even "food." Eat whatever you are offering in front of him with great enjoyment! Feed it to your husband or child. Lots of tips are in these message board pages.
Three cheers to you for rescueing this guy!!

#63781 - 03/15/04 12:15 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda - what a fascinating development! Please keep us posted every step of the way.
What type of cage did you get for him, and where are you going to place it? Do you have your air filters yet?

Do you have an appointment with an avian vet yet? Your first vet visit alone should be a couple hundred dollars at least, but besides being absolutely necessary the peace of mind alone is invaluable.
You're going to get really familiar with the 'search' feature on this site - just type in any key word from any question you have, and keep reading.

Harrison's is generally the most highly recommended by avian vets from what I've read on here. If you can get him started on that right away, it'll be easier than having to convert him later on.

I am absolutely intrigued by this whole scenario - like I said, please keep updating us every chance you get! Best of luck to you in this new adventure, and blessings to you for making this lifelong comitment to rescue this beautiful creature.

#63782 - 03/15/04 12:23 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Harrison's bird food is available at a vet's office at such short notice...

#63783 - 03/15/04 02:21 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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I TOTALLY disagree about switching him cold turkey....... I'm delighted it worked for you BF but its not for all birds thast for sure...

by all means only offer him pellets in the am when he's hungriest but if he isn't eating well you will HAVE to offer him something else in the evening

Birds can (and have) starved themselves to death due to not realizing that food was available to them.

Experiment and use common sense ...and keep asking questions

cheers

brody

#63784 - 03/15/04 05:47 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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I am with Brody on this one. Both of our birds immediately switched to harrison's on their own, but if either of them had refused to eat I would certainly provided them with food later in the day. Depriving a bird of food simply reinforces the idea that people will hurt it.
For other assorted foods, try hanging up large chunks of fruit and veggies just to introduce him to food in different forms. (ours esp. like apple or greens or squash or yams) and backing off for a while. (Make sure that the new items don't terrorize your new companion) This may or may not work at first - just remember he didn't learn to eat just peanuts and seed in a day and he won't unlearn it in a day either. Leave fresh foods out only for a max. of 3 hours (bacteria build up, you know) and give them to him daily. After a few weeks he should realize that you're not doing anything scary... and calm down about you fiddling around his cage.
As far as interaction goes... for my 2 cents look here my opinion
Take your time... you've got YEARS ahead of you.

#63785 - 03/15/04 08:54 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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omg. I just spent an hour typing to you all and made a stupid mistake and it's gone. drat. Here's the skinny. Billie is here, and has eaten some of the food I bought from the Bird Store I purchased his cage from. I bought a 40x32x70 cage. I put a large curly swinging rope and a big bunch of blocks on ropes in the cage. He loves it all. I'm taking him to the vet as soon as I can get an appointment, I'm calling tomorrow morning for one. He's got lots of actions and vocalizations that I don't know if you'd see in an untamed/untrained/wild bird. He bows sometimes when I tell him he's a good bird. Spreads his wings, extends his crest and bobs his head left and right... is that normal? He is very cute. laugh Ok, what forum should I write you all in now... I guess the rescue mission is a success so far. The vet is next. The guy I got him from had the audacity to act as if he was doing me a favor by letting me take the bird out of his backyard and giving him $600 for the honor, because as he said, "this is a real expensive bird you know... breeders may have paid me alot for him... you know you could breed him..." grrr. No way, no thanks, no how. This guys on easy street now. Indoors, real food on a regular basis, health care and all the toys he can destroy. Here's a link to a few pictures of the day... first is the two cages tied together with my son and I sitting and talking to him, then Billie in the old cage and 3 of him in his new home. http://john.roman.home.att.net/GSC2/ Thanks to you all for everything.

#63786 - 03/15/04 10:45 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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You're right - he's a beauty!! Nice cage, too laugh . He must think he's in cockatoo heaven - what a wonderful story! The behavior is normal cockatoo displaying.

It looks like his perches are large dowels, which won't be lasting too long. 'Toos tend to chew through their perches (there are some very funny stories about that on this site), so get him some manzanita perches of appropriate size. The hanging bell that's in the old cage looks like it could be a safety hazard. Definitely read up on toys and safety. And also check the list of what NOT to feed your Billie.

From the temperatures you mentioned, I'm guessing you might live in the Sacramento area or one of "the valleys." If you live in the San Fernando Valley, I can recommend a great toy and perch vendor (he doesn't breed or sell birds) who's a wonderful person that will bend over backwards to help you out. He does have a web page, but it's not updated, and he's got much better toys than the pictures show. He will ship toys.

Enjoy your new friend, but make sure he gets his 12 hours of beauty sleep! Looking forward to more posts from you smile

#63787 - 03/15/04 03:16 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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What a great story, Billie is an absolute beauty. Can't believe he spent that long outside ALL the time stuck in his cage - the poor bird. He is soo lucky that you found him and decided to take him on - he is awesome. Wishing you all bags of good luck with him.

Janice.

#63788 - 03/15/04 05:32 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Billie sure is a beautiful boy! It's amazing how resilient our birds really are. When you take him to the vet make sure they know about his previous diet! (They may want to do additional blood tests to check for organ failure.)
I'm glad you kept his cage simple for now. It's very stressful to change homes and all the other unfamiliar items just add to it. Once he's settled in I also suggest getting some sort of very hard wood for his perches (sandblasted manzita, dragonwood or others available on the market) just make sure there's lots of other soft wood toys to keep him busy. Here's a suggestion for a very inexpensive idea that our too loves... get an old phone book, drill a 3/4" to 1" hole through it... string it up with sisal rope and voila instant shredder toy. Good luck and keep us updated.
His behavior sounds to me like interest. Keep talking to him. Have you tried bowing back? Our too just loves it. Eventually she gets really worked up (especially if we sing or play music) and she dances for us.
The forums have descriptions... see which category fits best and post there, if it's in an innapropriate forum the moderators will let you know and normally they'll move it. If you're continuing the same thought (ie letting us know what the vet said or other info from previous owner etc...) just continue on this thread.
We got our too from a guy and paid a $500 ransom for her. He just wanted to "recoup his expenses" *gag!* so, I know how you feel. Some people have alot of nerve.
p.s. to save you from the dreaded accidentally erased really long post, type it on word, works, wordpad or notepad at your leisure. Save it and then copy and paste it here. If for some reason your post gets lost in cyber space you have another copy on your computer. I think all of us here have experienced the frustration of typing for extended periods and losing all of it.

#63789 - 03/15/04 05:34 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Wonder why I can't get them....all I got was the Rescued GSC2, with the pic boxes, but nuthin in 'em. Good on ya for rescuing this guy, he'll be thanking you for that! :p

#63790 - 03/15/04 07:04 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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What a gorgeous bird! You can't tell how he's been living by looking at him. I wish you all lots of luck!

#63791 - 03/15/04 10:24 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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I made an appointment with an Avian Vet in Rohnert Park, CA... I'm up in Vacaville, so we've got a little over an hour each way, but my only other option is the UC Davis Vetrinary Center... I really don't think he needs students messing with him. So, I'm driving an extra 45 minutes each way in my big truck with gas here in CA at well over $2 a gallon... and I'm happy to do it. laugh Getting Billie out of his new cage and into a carrier is going to be my new challenge. Then it's off for the full treatment. We're having the vet do a full workup on him and clipping nails and beak... nothing has been touched in 8 years. wow. I hope I can do this without him experiencing too much trauma. It's alot of input for his brain considering what he's used to. If anyone has suggestions on how to remove him from his cage without getting maimed or frightening him I need them. Today I'm shopping for fruit... and I'll talk to the Vet about his diet and what he was being fed, get some good food and work on the transfer.

#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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Rhonda Offline
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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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CATHRYN Offline
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USA/AUSTRALIA
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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Northern California
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

#63812 - 03/21/04 07:32 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Lei, that really was beautiful. I really like what you have to say regarding not expecting anything from him. Kudos to you for doing such a wonderful job with Jasper.

#63813 - 03/21/04 08:51 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Hi,

I live in Australia. Your Billie is an Auistralian native and an icon in our country. If you need an any advice or just want to chat about him, what he does or what he needs, please e-mail me. I would love to talk to you. Cheers, Linda. lindamb@dodo.com.au

#63814 - 03/22/04 06:27 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda Offline
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Northern California
Well, I've had to rename Billie to Billy. The boys in the house said that I spelled it like a GIRLS name. *sigh* Ok, so his name is Billy. Fine. I don't think he'll see a difference <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> Yesterday Billy made noises to my husband, and when John mimiced him, he did it again... it lasted all of 5 minutes but PROGRESS people! Yes! He still won't play, dance or even move when John is in the room, but he is blinking and making the tiniest bit of noise, so we're happy. He does strike at my and my son's fingers/hands, so we'll just give him some more time before we even think of taking him out. I think he's doing great. He's exploring his cage a little, tearing up his toys, showing off for me, dancing to music, yelling at me in the morning (I got up at 6 for 5 days in a row, the 6th day I woke up to Billy yelling at 6:15) and I think these are all good behaviors, right? Oh, and the new avatar is the newest picture of Billy. We put it on with the other on the link I posted before. I need to figure out how to do a yahoo pictures page like you guys have.

Rhonda

#63815 - 03/22/04 06:49 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Rhonda, yes, that's wonderful progress. Good for you for being so patient. Keep up the good work!

#63816 - 04/01/04 09:45 AM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  
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Keep the Faith Rhonda, and he will come around, Rome wasnt built in a day, Hes a beautiful bird, and trust me when they really settle, the call to flock or roost will increase in volume.

#63817 - 04/01/04 04:57 PM Re: "Rescuing" a Cockatoo for Cash  

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I think this story is wonderful. Billy is a very lucky bird!! Just to let you know, I think patience, patience, patience, is the best way to proceed. My husband and I had our severe macaw for 5 years before he would let us hold him. Earning their confidence and trust takes time but when you do get it, it's worth the wait. Good luck to you and please keep us posted on your progress. Glenda

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