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New Grey Mom!


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:02 AM

Hello all! I am a new grey mom! Lollipop joined our family about a month ago. The largest bird I had owned prior was a cockatiel and I'm learning that they are very different! Now Lolli had broken her leg before we got her so she has a crooked leg and the people said she could fly but they had clipped her wings, but they are grown out now and she still can't fly. I would love for her to be able to because she jumps off of things like her cage, the couch, our hands/shoulders and has injured herself. The vet says her muscles have pulled away from the breast bone, it will heal but she has been relegated to the floor or in her cage for six to eight weeks, I feel HORRIBLE! Any ideas how I could help her after she heals? And I have been told she can eat habaneros, now I know it won't hurt her tounge, but won't they hurt her tummy? Any advice or helpful tips/hints would be greatly appreciated as I want to be the best grey mom I can be! Thanks,

Jenny



#2 Mama2ManyMouths

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:24 AM

Welcome to AnAG, Jenny!

 

I'm so sorry to hear that Lollipop has had such a history of serious injuries, to date.  sad.png  I hope that the vet you consulted is an avian vet with plenty of experience with parrots.  I've heard of injured keels, but never muscle separation from the keel.  YIKES!  ohmy.png

 

I would consult with your vet regarding rehabilitation of this before proceeding with any type of physical therapy.  Birds were meant to fly, and they will try very hard to do so even if it's not possible for them to.  We rehabilitated a bird (without this serious an injury) and it took him 3 years to learn to fly properly.  There is no quick fix for a bird that has not successfully flown for some time.  It may take a long time and need to be medically supervised in order to succeed in getting your Lollipop flying again.  You will need a lot of patience and radiate calm when handling your Grey.  They pick up on our exuded energy and reflect it back at us.  If you are calm, she will calm down. 

 

Regarding hot peppers:  if she will eat them, she'll be okay.  I've never heard of peppers bothering a parrots tummy unless they have a hole in their crop or intestines already, and then it wouldn't matter what they eat at that point. 

 

In the meantime, make yourself at home and peruse the website.  We have lots of useful information in our GREY TOOLKIT (link at the top of every page) and our LINKS (see the black menu bar over our mascot's photo in the bannerhead). 

 

Any time you have a question, post it and we will do our best to help.  Our community is rife with friendly folks from all over the world who are ready and willing to assist you.  smile.png


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Miu (rehab'd & rehomed CAG), Kumiko (TAG), Skyler & Sunny - our devil-may-care parrotlets

"Be warned -- being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart." -- Dr. Joanna Burger, Ornithologist


#3 Lady Pym

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:28 AM

How old is Lollipop?



#4 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:11 AM

The people I got her from told me she was just over a year. The vet I found specializes in most exotic pets and has owned a grey in the past. They seem very knowledgeable and took the time to explain most of my concerns to me. Lolli is still new to our family so we are still learning about each other though she likes me fine she LOVES my husband. He can get her to do much more than I can. She is such a bright and happy girl but hates to be cooped up in her cage all the time, I let her out to play on the floor everyday after work but she has gone from only being caged at night to most of the day. So she is rebelling. dry.png I have gotten her new toys but she is still cranky with me and is still trying to jump off of things. She so wants to fly and I'm scared she will be hurt again.....just a thought, could she be too fat? Her previous owners said she spent most of her time caged because the husband worked long hitches on a rig and she was his bird so she was caged weeks at a time when he was gone.



#5 Mama2ManyMouths

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:41 AM

It is possible that she's a bit overweight, but if your vet did not bring this to your attention, then I wouldn't worry about it.  In the meantime, even though it's making her angry, keep her confined and limited to the floor.  It's hard, but it's not forever either.  We had to do the same for Miu during his rehabilitation, and for much longer than a few weeks.  His new flight feathers kept breaking and he had to be confined for months until they all came in.  If you can keep her reasonably content during those 8 weeks, then keep at it. 

 

I think it's more likely that during all her confinements in her previous household, that her breast muscles weakened from lack of use.  This is the major drawback to long periods of confinement.  It's much like being prevented from walking for similar periods of time.  Muscles atrophy and weaken, and when suddenly put to use, they fail to hold you up.  The same thing happens with a bird's flight muscles. 

 

Once your vet green-lights flight training, then you can encourage her to flap her wings, but build her up slowly.  The trick is to "pin" their toes with your thumb while she is on your hand and encourage flapping in a controlled and limited fashion.  Once the bird understands that you are trying to help her, she will be more willing to allow these limitations.  Miu, our rescued CAG, used to hang on very tightly and wanted us to hold his feet just as tightly.  This enabled him to "fly" by almost dragging us along behind him.  :P  It took him a while to build up himself enough to be able to fly independently, but once he was able to, he was supremely pleased with himself and gained much needed confidence in himself.  :wub:

 

When we had to retrain our TAG to fly again (after being clipped by his breeder), we encouraged flapping and passed him back and forth between us.  As he got stronger and better at it, we'd step back and "toss" him between us, making sure that there was no chance of injury or taking a fall.  Having the bed between you is good for this, so if you do happen to miss, the birdy simply bounces on the soft bed surface with no injury. 

 

When dealing with young birds, their enthusiasm can work against what you are trying to accomplish.  Learning how to control the situation is always a challenge, but is very important.  They are so much like taking on a human child of similar age.  rolleyes.gif


Posted Image

Miu (rehab'd & rehomed CAG), Kumiko (TAG), Skyler & Sunny - our devil-may-care parrotlets

"Be warned -- being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart." -- Dr. Joanna Burger, Ornithologist


#6 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:57 AM

We love having her, we also have two young boys, 6 and 2, who love her just as much as we do. (They aren't allowed to handle her yet.) Our oldest is very calm and level headed for his age so he can pet her with supervision but no holing her yet. The two year old is only allowed to look and not touch for the moment, maybe when she heals. Thank you for the advice on flight training. My vet says he can do surgery to fix her leg but I'm not sure I want to put her through that. She walks alright, more like a lopsided waddle, but it doesn't seem to bother or hurt her. Any thoughts on this? It just seems like a lot to put her through for something that seems to be just cosmetic. I have also read all the "puberty" stories on here, do all greys coming of age do this or just some? Is this something we get to look forward to?



#7 Mama2ManyMouths

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:23 AM

If she was limited to walking only, then leaving her the way she is would make sense, but if she's to be a confident, flighted bird, then her leg's lopsidedness may become an issue.  Birds need a good pair of legs in order to launch and land.   Best to discuss this further with your vet. 

 

As for puberty, yes most birds tend to struggle through this period of their lives.  Every bird is an individual, some have more difficulty than others.  I have an all-male household (other than myself tongue.png) and so my experience is primarily with male parrots aging.  My previous experience (30+ years ago) was with cockatiel hens and budgies which had their own problems (ie. losing feathers due to hormonal imbalance, egg-binding issues, etc.)  With male birds, territoriality seems to be the biggest problem, plus cage protectiveness and related aggression.  Females can and do become territorial but I haven't experienced a female CAG's behaviour first hand so I cannot really comment. 

 

One older member, long-absent from AnAG, had an adult female CAG who laid her eggs in his bedside table drawer and defended it with much energy, but he coped fairly well with her.  He was her favourite person, which helped a lot.  smile.png   We have a fair number of members with female CAGs, so they will be the ones to advise on puberty issues for you.  Anni (& Kez, her CAG) have 16 years together, so she will be able to tell you something of what it's like to live with a female CAG.  smile.png

 

As a rule of thumb, be prepared for some puberty issues.  If you expect the worst and it doesn't come to pass, then you can be relieved.  If the worst does occur, then at least you are prepared.  wink.png


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Posted Image

Miu (rehab'd & rehomed CAG), Kumiko (TAG), Skyler & Sunny - our devil-may-care parrotlets

"Be warned -- being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart." -- Dr. Joanna Burger, Ornithologist


#8 Anni

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:25 PM

Hi Jenny & Lollipop & welcome from me & Kez :)

Poor Lollipop really sounds like shes been through the wars.....poor girl but im sure, now that shes found you her life will be much better :)

Please ask anything you like, no matter how small, as thats what we're here for. We are one big international family on here & you will always find someone online to help, advise, have a moan to or just have a giggle with :)

You've found the best parrot forum on the web here..... So enjoy :) xx
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#9 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

Thank you all for the advice! I'm sure I will have many more questions as Lollipop and I continue to grow and learn from one another! She (aside from my boys) has been our best addition yet and we are looking forward to many many happy healthy years with her! wub.png Here is a picture of my girl!

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#10 Anni

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:22 PM

Pretty girl :)

#11 Sheliak

 
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Posted 17 August 2013 - 06:17 PM

Hi and welcome from me and my flock. Lolli is just adorable. Glad you have joined us, this is a great forum.
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#12 Mama2ManyMouths

 
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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:27 AM

What a lovely little girl.  :wub:


Posted Image

Miu (rehab'd & rehomed CAG), Kumiko (TAG), Skyler & Sunny - our devil-may-care parrotlets

"Be warned -- being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart." -- Dr. Joanna Burger, Ornithologist


#13 1greybrd

 
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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Welcome hello.gif   What a beautiful girl you have. 

 

I am one of the members with a hen & yes they can be territorial also.  Our CAG Mateo is only territorial with anyone other than me when it comes to the coffee makergiggle.gif . I do not know why she picked that but it is better than territorial about her cage or tree play area.  She also has boxes that she will enter and drag toys into that she is sometime territorial towards my son and occasionally hubby. 


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#14 Lady Pym

 
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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:42 PM

My Maroon Bellied Conure is territorial with the kitchen Aid Mixer ... I think it is because the stainless steel bowl distorts his look so he looks bigger and more ferocious!  He has a bit of a Napoleon complex ;-) He parades back and forth in front of it and won't let anyone get near it.


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#15 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:27 AM

Lollipop normally likes to mouth us quite a bit but if she's on your shoulder she will bite if you try to get her off and she won't let strangers get her off her cage.



#16 Mama2ManyMouths

 
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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:04 AM

Remember, shoulder perching is a privilege, not a right.  If Lollipop bites when removed (or an attempt to remove her) then you MUST stop her from sitting on your shoulder.  This is very difficult to accomplish if you aren't firm and ready to take a bite in order to get the message across.    As for allowing strangers to handle her, I don't blame her for that part.  tongue.png  It takes a very tame and gregarious AG to be friendly to strangers, especially around her/his cage.


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Posted Image

Miu (rehab'd & rehomed CAG), Kumiko (TAG), Skyler & Sunny - our devil-may-care parrotlets

"Be warned -- being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart." -- Dr. Joanna Burger, Ornithologist


#17 Jen and Lolli

 
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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:07 AM

We definitely make her get off anyways. I think our work will be set back by her injury though.



#18 Jemima

 
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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

Welcome Jen and Lolli from Jemima and I! Lollipop is gorgeous, and it sounds like she is lucky now to have a wonderful home with you. :)  I love the name 'Lollipop'!



#19 Dee

 
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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:30 AM

Aawwee she is beautiful .. Welcome to AnAG!  I hope you are enjoying the forum!


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#20 Luvmegreys

 
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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:14 AM

I work a lot with handicap birds and I have a grey with a handicap leg. I was very concerned about it when I got him, my vet was crap and told me to confine him. I would have to see the leg to say more of what I think...anyway flying may be what got her in that mess. The people who had my Gimpy cut his feathers like you wouldn't believe, he had a good 2 inches of his butt hanging out, and was not just his flights. I let them grow out, took over a year. He didn't fly even after that. One day he just realized he didn't plummet to the floor. They get scared, used to their wings clipped, I bet she just needs time. I wouldn't force flying on her, chances are you will want to clip her wings when she does figure it out. I wanted my Gimpy to have his wings because of his bum leg, but after chasing him for 9 hours, climbed 3 trees, eaten by ants (that I'm allergic to btw), a fire department call, a race 20 miles to town, yeah ill be clipping his wings forever. I tried to leave him some and 5 feathers later he still flies lol.
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