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#7151 - 03/04/02 05:48 PM Charlie Returns  
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dachsie Offline
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dachsie  Offline
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I hope I have chosen the right heading for this !
Charlie is my U2, this is the second time I have owned him. I will try too be brief, so as not to bore you all. I originally bought Charlie when he was five years old from a lady who had just become bored with him. He came home and was a total dream with me. The lady had not mentioned the fact that he hated all men, young or old. This was a big problem for me as I had three teenage sons, a husband, my daughters fiance and a kennel boy who worked for me all living at home. The problems got worse and worse with Charlie eventually inflicted real damage on the men, so rather then keep him caged I sold him to a lady who lived alone and had other parrots. She promised to let me know if things did not work out, this she did not do and sold him to a young man and his brother. The inevitable happend after biting the two men a number of times he was resigned to the cage. I just by chance saw an advert for an U2, and had a vague feeling it was Charlie. To cut a long story short I went to see him and how excited he was to see me. He displayed to me cooed, sung and danced as soon as I walked through the door. This actually brought tears to the eyes of his owner, he could not believe that he remembered me after two years. My bboys have now left home as has my daughter, so with just my husband at home Charlie has come home too. Now I do not know what has happend to him in those two years but it is certainly not good. I do know that he had not been out of his cage for five months but that is all. He will now not eat any fresh or cooked food, no fruit, just sunflower seeds. He will not eat his nuts or dried fruit. I offer him his cooked veggies and fresh fruit every day, even though they go in the bin, do I just keep offering him them. He will not eat yoghurt, which he used to go crazy for. He has been home a week now and is out of his cage for most of the day. He is making up for lost time and running about everywhere. He loves to play with the running tap in the kitchen sink. He has what seems to me panic attacks, he will suddenly run crest up and scream for about ten minutes at a time, nothing pacifies him. He has periods of trembling and cries under his breath, this is so sad to watch. Also he will not play with his toys, he had none at all in his cage when I collected him. I have filled his cage with all his old favorites, but they are un touched. He is tolerating my husband, but attacked and bit my son when he visited. Any advice on how I can help him settle down would be very helpful. Do you think he will forget what ever it is that is troubling him, I feel so guilty that I abandoned him. He will never leave me again. He has not feather plucked and seems healthy. Many thanks to you all, Dawn and a very sad Charlie. laugh

#7152 - 03/11/02 12:40 AM Re: Charlie Returns  
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Anna Offline
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Hi,

I hope everything works out for you and Charlie.
He must be 7 or 8 by now? I know it's not uncommon for a cockatoo to favor one person (the mate) and try to run everyone else off. I have to constantly monitor our cocktoos around the rest of my family, and our U2 hen has to be caged whenever we have company. It is tiring, but I am hopeful that some day they'll settle down if I'm consistent enough. I've already seen some improvement with our Moluccan, but it's been very slow coming, and he still can not be trusted solo with my kids, at least I am unwilling to take the chance.

I wish you well, and by the way, we do what we can for these birds, but they can't come before family (people). So, I think you did what you had to do when you placed him out of your home the first time. You can't condemn a person for protecting their family.

Anna

#7153 - 03/11/02 07:08 AM Re: Charlie Returns  
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dachsie Offline
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Thanks Anna for your words of advice and encouragement. Things with Charlie are getting better day by day. I have bought him a new cage, which he seems to like and has actually started to play with some toys. He is eating some veggies but still no fruit. And he is eating some live yoghurt, which seems to have increased his appetite. He has stopped the screaming, well apart from normal too yells. He is slowly getting used to my amazon, stanley, but it is early days. I hope they will become good friends. I have convinced my husband that Charlie needs an outside play room. I have sorted the site out, but the weather is not good enough to start it yet. I have done some rough plans and am hoping it will be 30ft square. Space is not a problem for me here, we have fifteen acres and no neighbours. So I do not have to worry about the noise factor either. I plan to put Charli out in his playroom, sounds better than aviary, in the mornings and get him in at dusk, then he can play as normal all evening and just go in his cage to sleep. I just wondered if any one could tell me how ccold it can get before he wont be able to spend the day outside. He will have a sheltered end. Incase he wants to get out of the rain. By the time this is built I hope to have learnt how to post pictures on here, and will post one of charlies new outside play room !! cheers Dawn.

#7154 - 03/11/02 11:27 AM Re: Charlie Returns  
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Michael Offline
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The playroom for Charlie sounds great. Is it going to be 30' on each side? I might be asking the obvious but, is it going to have a roof? I asked because of the size you mentioned, being so large. I my area of the country (Massachusetts) we have hawks that can kill a Cockatoo. So our outside aviary must have a screened in roof? Not to mention they could climb out if it doesn't have a roof.

#7155 - 03/11/02 08:44 PM Re: Charlie Returns  
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dachsie Offline
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Hi Michael,
Yes it is going to have a roof, half of it will be a solid roof, the other just wire. My husband is an engineer, who builds agricultural buildings, amongst other things.
The main supports are going to be whole tree trunks, as I want it to look natural and to fit in with the woods that surround our property. The back wall is going to be solid, so as to stop a through wind, with the sides and front open wire. The floor is paving slabs, we have already laid these. I think that it will be easier to clean and stop any rodents from digging in. I plan to have a shallow planted pond in there, with a rockery around three quarters of it, and a sloping front. So Charlie will be able to paddle safely, he just loves water. I am going to put loads of tree trunks, hollow logs, half wooden barrels, ropes, wooden swings and loads of chewable toys. I also plan to put tubs of edible plants and herbs in for him to chew and destruct.
Sadly Charlie can not fly as he has a deformed wing, but I am sure he will just love climbing and running around all day. My son is busy making a large wooden jungle gym to go in there, which will be covered in his toys also. Where the play room is going is with in sight and sound of my lounge patio doors. So Charlie will still here and see me. I am going to build this play room to try and look as near to a jungle as I possibly can. After reading how badly treated these wonderful birds are in captivity, and what we do to them, I feel this is the least I can do for my too. I know I cannot release him, so I hope that this will be the closest Charlie can get to being free. He will at least have a small jungle of his own, and my eternal love. I can only hope, that with his "jungle" all day and the run of the house and fun and games with me at night, he will not need to self destruct. I love him too much to watch him do that to himself.
I will keep you posted on the progress of Charlies Jungle as we go along, cheers for now Dawn smile

#7156 - 03/12/02 02:12 AM Re: Charlie Returns  
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Anna Offline
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Anna  Offline
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Ohio
Hi,

He will love his outdoor play room. I put up an aviary (25'long x10'wide x 7'high) two years ago, and it has done wonders for our birds in terms of their health, disposition and general well-being.
Best money I ever spent. This will definitely help both of you cope over the long-term. These winter days can be awfully long with everyone cooped up. And the break you'll get from cleaning alone will be worth the expense!

Regarding temperature, I take mine out if it's 50 degrees Farenheit or more. I read 45 degrees at the Gabriel Foundation web-site (www.thegabrielfoundation.org). They are supposed to be "experts", but 45 seems a little too chilly to me...especially where I live, it's usually damp. And I believe the assumption is that the bird would be gradually introduced to the temperature.

Nice chatting with you...good luck.

Anna

#7157 - 03/12/02 11:39 AM Re: Charlie Returns  
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Michael Offline
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dachsie, that sounds like a great play room for everyone not just Charlie. Best wishes to you all.

#7158 - 03/13/02 11:23 PM Re: Charlie Returns  

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Hi Dawn,

I'm sorry to hear of all your bird, Charlie, has been through, and all of what you have been through with him. Thank Goodness you came around to realize that you cannot trust the rest of the world to treat Charlie as he deserves! (What a miracle you have him back again.)

There is A LOT you can do for him now that he is back with you. Please be assured of that. For any and all behavioral problems, issues, and general interest in behavior for the purpose of having more fun with him and providing him mental stimulation, you can turn to the science of behavior (the way all sentient beings learn), operant conditioning. The best bird training site I know of (it's the first ever clicker training site specifically for birds, and I believe still the best) is "Bird-Click." It's on Yahoogroups, so you want to be registered at http://groups.yahoo.com/ with an ID and password, but you can also subscribe to the list from www.geocities.com/birdtrain If you do this, I promise, you will be forever grateful to those amazingly capable, professional, patient, and generous trainers who run it, as well as the many members who will post there to help you--and so will Charlie! And this is all FREE.

You can teach him to eat the good foods again, too. I have an umbie named Bodhisattva (from a previous home), who has always been a very, very picky eater--mostly just taking the sunnies and sampling a little apple or carrot, but that's about it. By offering him the fresh mash at www.birdsense.com every day, even though he would not eat it, he eventually learned. This recipe is excellent because it's a balanced diet and also because the flavors "marry" together, so when he picks out something he likes (like the peas), he gets a taste of many other ingredients. That got him to try everthing, over four to six months, I'd say, before he finally would eat all of his mash. It also took lots of cajoling and demonstration from me, and he watched our caique eat it, which helped a lot as well. But you have to keep trying, and never give up offering fresh, nutritious foods. (I still offer Bodhi new foods all the time, and he still rejects most of them at first, yet he does learn to eat most of them eventually.) Just don't let it bother you when Charlie rejects the foods you offer. Simply toss them out, and offer them again later, or the next day, or whenever. One day, he will decide most of them are safe (eating them in front of him will help, too).

I hope that helps you! laugh

Rene'

#7159 - 03/25/02 11:21 PM Re: Charlie Returns  
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dachsie Offline
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dachsie  Offline
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united Kingdom
Hi everyone,
Well at last the weather has been mucch improved and we have made a good start on Charlies jungle. I have altered the plans for this slightly. We have built a brick room, which measures eighteen foot by ten foot, his flight will run off of this room. He has a large window in this room with a shaded perspex roof. I am going to fit this room out with toys and climbing frames, so with the bad weather he will still be able to spend all his days free from a cage. I would just like to ask some advice on the best type of heating for this room, for winter days. My husband doesnt seem to think that he will need heating as the room is brick and double lined with breeze blocks. But I am sure that he will need heating. What would be the best type of heating for him?
I am going to be able to close off the out side flight in bad weather. But I have been told that this will not be needed and to let CCharlie have the choice of going outside, no matter the weather. I am not sure about this. U2's in the wild would not see cold and damp or would they? We also have snow in the winters, how would he cope with that? My husband seems to think that if the heating was on in his room he would come in and out as he felt best. But I am worried that he would spend too long out in the cold. I want to do the best for him and letting him choose what he does and when sounds lovely, but I am not sure he will choose the right things, after spending so many years in a cage. Will he know when its time to come in from the cold. Sorry to ask so many questions, I'm just not sure of how to play it with him. I know he is not daft, far from it, but he has never been free to make his own decisions. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Dawn. confused


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