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#7294 - 04/21/02 06:10 AM Making progress, but have some questions  
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3toos Offline
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Back in January we adopted Jazz, our 8 year old M2. When we got her she was basically oven ready, scared and hissing at everything and everyone, except me. For some reason she chose me, I was amazed when she climbed up on my shoulder to investigate me for the first time. It was compassion that brought me to her in the first place, and it was the intelligence and emotions in her big liquid eyes and expressions that prompted me to rescue her. I believed that she had once been very loved, and desperately needed someone to understand and love her for what she is, a cockatoo. I know that I was taking a huge risk, by the gamble was my inconvenience vs her life.

I never had any intentions of having a M2 in my life, I was waiting for my CAG to be born. They are after all "the hardest bird to keep" and I wanted no part of anything that intensive, I wanted a companion bird to replace our beloved Amazon that passed away last year.

Well the progress has been beyond my wildest expectations. As soon as I got her home she jumped into my arms and cuddled me. eek Things have been going nonstop since then.

I just want to see how others view this change of behaviour. I want her to be as happy as possible.

Before: Scared, shaking, avoided human contact, growled and hissing at everyone, in a ramshackle cage with a metal garbage can bolted to the side as a "nest". Fed a mostly seed diet and no toys to play with, only one post to chew. Her nails and beak were overgrown and she was oven ready.

Now: Confident, seeming happy, struts and calls to us, the cat, Sophie, goes into full display and has a blast calling to other birds or just for fun. She can be as loud as she wants and she enjoys it. Complete grooming at the avian vet, DNA certified, growing feathers at a tremendous rate. Has more toys than "toys are us" destroys at least one per day. Enjoys her 7 layer salad, pellets, seeds, and whatever happens to on my plate or hand. I can spoon feed her, I can even feed her with chop sticks and she loves Korean food which we eat 5 days a week here. She is with me most of the day either at home or at the office. She even mows the lawn with me, (we have an oldfashion push mower the kind with no motor, she seems to enjoy the sound and excitement) she eats with me at the dinner table even with 6 house guests here.

Now here is my question, I can basically handle her any way I want now, I can handle her wings, feet, beak, even her eyes. She enjoys cuddling up on me, even when I am laying down. She seems to lay down on me, and tuck her head in and almost falls asleep when I am preening her. I give her full body massages, and even massage her legs and feet. I am hoping that the stimulation will improve her feather recovery rate, it seems to help. Also it seems to deepen her bond with me, and she seems to have complete trust with me.

Should I get her one of those hide-hut snuggle things for her to sleep in? I did not think that M2s would enjoy laying down to sleep but she loves to sleep on me like that, are these a good idea for them?

She enjoys preening my beard and eyelashes, and loves the face to face interation, does this mean that she has completely bonded with me and is happy? She calls to me in the morning, and I spend a minimum 40 minutes morning cuddle, then breakfast and shower with her. Then off to work or work at home, then afternoon cuddles, walks, yell at the seagulls time, dinner and then evening cuddle time before bed. I do this everyday with her and only the time, not the program varies.

She will cuddle and close her eyes and just lay with me as long as I want to cuddle and preen her, is this a really content cockatoo?

She is now talking, a lot. She came up with "I love you" yesterday.LOL it was great to hear that, she can also call the cat, whistle 10,000 different sounds and a few complete songs. Are M2's known to have more than just a few words?

I thing that I am on the right track with her, she certainly seems happy. She is healthy and looking better everyday now. I just want to be sure that she is happy, what are the real signs of a content M2?

We will be getting 'Roo in about two weeks now, he is a male U2 about 6 years old. He was not abused and is in perfect feather, but the owner feels that she does not have the time to dedicate to him, she has another U2 and a macaw. I want to make sure that I am spending enough time with Jazz so that I know what to do with 'Roo, they are so different from an amazon I want to make sure that I doing a good job for her.

Please let me know your thoughts on this, I appreciate your input.

Peter (with Jazz her as usual)


Some days it's chaos around here!
and I would not have it any other way.
#7295 - 04/21/02 03:58 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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What a wonderful story. It sounds like Jazz has found a wonderful home, one even better than in the wild, which is a very tall order to fill (in my opinion).

I read recently about a Sun Conure that died from being caught in one of those bird huts. I also read about others that chewed off their feet to get unstuck. I don’t know about larger birds, but I would avoid them personally.

Our U2 Chloe says a good number of words. I think the more human interaction they have the more words they will pick up. Chloe tends to talk when he wants to be held or interact with us. It is a way to get our attention.

Has she regurgitated on you yet? This is the ultimate sign of bonding. It is an attempt to feed you as she would her mate. It sound to me like Jazz is one happy bird, can I move in smile

You will need to watch Jazz closely when Roo arrives. Chloe would get a little extra needy when a new bird would come live with us. But after the sixth he accepts it more readily now that he knows his place here is secure.

I think Cockatoos have very contradicting tendencies. On one hand they are very cautious of new things (having the flight at danger instinct). On the other hand they are very inquisitive and love to interact and cuddle with you. This makes for some interesting things. For example my son was brushing his teeth the other morning with Chloe on the counter. Chloe was skittish of the toothbrush and didn’t want anything to do with it. But was also concerned for my son seeing how the toothbrush was in his mouth. So Chloe came over and grabbed his nose trying to say “what are you doing, get that thing out of your mouth”. It was both startling and then funny after I realized my son was not hurt. But I have read stories were people were seriously hurt in similar circumstances.

It makes me cringe reading that she is on your shoulder a lot. I have read many stories of ripped ears and cheeks from a startled bird.

My only suggestion is not to cuddle Jazz too much. The reason I say this is not that it will affect her life with you. But if for any reason you are not there to continue this routine. I have seen a number of birds at our local rescue that has had a lot of interaction with a single-family member and then that family member was no longer willing or able to continue this interaction. The bird then gets very depressed, the result being a self-mutilating bird (as you have seen first hand). These birds then look for someone that can replace this emptiness, just as Jazz has done with you.

We as care givers to these wild creatures have a real balancing act to perform when caring for these wonderful creatures. They really need love and attention just like people do.

You should find a person that Jazz likes and is willing to take Jazz and continue the cuddles and interaction if needed. I believe I read that Jazz is not as bonded with Miriam, is this true? You should try to have Jazz spend more time with Miriam. You should do the same with Sophie. If I read incorrectly and you’re already doing this then never mind. But this should go for all bird owners. We need to consider who will take care of them when we no longer can. Unlike our children which grow up and become independent. Our birds never grow up.

In closing I think your doing a wonderful job with Jazz. She sounds like a very well adjusted child.

#7296 - 04/21/02 07:26 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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3toos Offline
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Michael,

Thanks for the reply, and yes she has regurgitated for me (thanks but yuck! :p ).

That is interesting about the hidey hut thing, that is why I ask because there has to be someone that would know.

As for when we get 'Roo, I thought there would be an adjustment period, and hope that I am prepared to handle it.

Regarding the shoulder thing, I better explain. I will "park" her there if I am doing something that requires both hands, IF I am at home or someplace safe. When I walk her she is on a leash and usually held not carried. I understand the risks, and try to minimize the dangers. She seems to be comfortable and happy to be there, she has enough flight feathers to fly 5 feet from her perch to land on my shoulder when she wants to come visit while we are working. Remember that she is an M2 and quite large so the shoulder is much less intrusive to doing work with her on me.

Unless I perish in an accident (god forbid) I really cannot foresee not having Jazz for all my life. We are in our mid thirties, and will not be having any children. We will be retiring in another 3-5 years (we own a class "C" internet company, streaming multimedia broadcast & specialized hosting, all contract work booked for the next 3 years laugh ) We are planning our new sailboat around blue water cruising with our "girls" (and 'Roo) look forward to a long life of adventure. My long term plan is to home her with friends or an organization like the Gabriel Foundation when we pass on. So we definately did not get into this on an "impluse", I hope we have all the bases covered.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate the advice.

Peter


Some days it's chaos around here!
and I would not have it any other way.
#7297 - 04/21/02 08:58 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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I didn't want to be blunt but I was referring to if you pass on. My comments were also meant as general and not necessarily directed at your situation. I know a lot of others would read this and I took the opportunity to get up on a soap box smile

#7298 - 04/21/02 10:59 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  

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The cuddling with others is a good idea-these birds are supposed to live 60 years or more, and I distinctly remember someone saying be a parent, not a grandparent, was that you? I think that is a very good point, and Peter and Miriam seem to be doing a good job, they tell me they take their babies out to coffee and such, which means meeting all sorts of new people-which can only be mentally healthy for their birds. PLEASE PLEASE keep us updated on the countdown to Roo... I wonder how Jazz and Sophie will react? laugh

#7299 - 04/25/02 01:24 AM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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I have a Goffin and she is wonderful, but would also love to have a Moluccan. Your success story has reallly encouraged me. Could you by chance post of picture of her for us to see?

#7300 - 04/25/02 02:00 AM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  

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3toos has a whole website...click on his handle name or what ever and he SHOULD have a link....I keep waiting for them to post more pictures, especially of their birds!

#7301 - 04/25/02 04:25 AM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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Ok Ok Ok Ivan, :p

I have some more recent pictures up on my website at

Pete space bc

I do have to do some more work on the site, I think that some of my links are not working, but I simply have not had a lot of time lately. Go ahead and have a look.

And Felineangel please go look at the page, there are some good pics there. I will be happy to share any information that we have on M2's. We also have an LSC2 and are getting a U2 next week, so we know bit about them. Be warned however that the M2 was a gigantic risk, and I am extremely lucky as to how this worked out, this is not the normal situation. But then again every situation is unique, so don't let that scare you, just be informed.

Peter (using the wifes computer as I left mine at the office again) laugh

#7302 - 04/25/02 04:52 AM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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Jazz is beautiful.

#7303 - 04/25/02 05:49 AM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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Thanks Michael! laugh

If you want to go to the "our parrot family page" there is also a video of Sophie, (our LSC2) talking and dancing,, we have one of Jazz dancing to Jimmy Buffet but it is not up yet.

Peter (still using the wife's 'puter) eek

#7304 - 04/25/02 01:45 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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Michael Offline
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I've already been there Sophie is gorgeous. I especially like her movements. It must be difficult to get work done at home. How can you resist those come hither movements.

I’m looking forward to those pictures of Jazz dancing. You have been promising that video for awhile now. I think I recall you threatening a petition over a similar “crime”. What do you think guys, do we need to threaten Peter with one? smile

#7305 - 05/02/02 12:56 PM Re: Making progress, but have some questions  
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Michelle Offline
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About those huts.

I have one for my mini macaw. However, I don't fix it up for her to sleep in---sleeps on a perch beside it, cuddled up. My cockatiel has a "birdy buddy" thing that he sleeps with and copulates on. :rolleyes:


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