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WARNING – Please Be Aware

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We do know of some so called ‘Parrot Rescues’ who are taking in birds, and then re-selling them despite what their web sites states.

  
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Last Post 03-03-2015 3:11 PM by  PyscoFalcon
Urgent help needed :(
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PyscoFalcon
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09-02-2015 8:56 PM

    Hiya all.
    I've come here as a last resort before having to rehome my parrot Merlin.

    Background

    I took in Merlin (will be 12 years ago this November) When I got her she was petrified of everything, had shredded wings and bashed up beak.
    Vet tested her for PBFD and Psitticosis and came back clear. We checked up with DEFRA as to what her leg ring ment and what bird she was. Turns out that the leg ring led to a Spanish vet. Also she's a White-eyed conure.

    Anyway at the time I bred a few smaller birds and hamsters for exhabiting, keeping most of them, the rest went  to local breeders to introduce new blood etc. Very rarely did they go to the pet market even tho I handled all of them.
     So Merlin could hear and see the birds via a window until out of quentine. During this time just getting her used to a perch and food that wasn't sunflower seeds was a battle.

    Once in the room with the others she started to come round. Screamed less (before if she's wasn't petrifed and quite in corner of the cagge then she was screaming)

    Over the years my health got worse so gave up my breeding pairs and young to other local breeders but I kept all the old ones and Merlin.

    We then moved house as landlord wanted to sell and we ended up in a smaller place.
    The move spooked Merlin so had to start all over again with getting her to eat out my hand without attack me etc. Also moved her onto a better diet eventually and got her used to some toys with the help of my other birds.

    At this house we kept her in the living room with 1 cockateil to help get her used  to us more. She still hates all men and will attack to bleed. (even attacked my poor dog) I oftern let her fly into the bird room where the elderly birds stayed in warmth and comfort.

    Still had several complaints about her screaming so got a better cage and a cover which helped a little.

    After a few years I was left with only 2 guniea pigs (she loved stealing there veg) Merlin and Meg my elderly teil.
    We was forced to move again but across country this time. During the move 1 pigger had a heart attack and the other a stroke (but she lived until she was 7 )
    the house was much smaller again meaning Meg had to be kept upstairs in spare room where I did my crafting, Merlin stayed in the living room and I bought a parrot tower to try and help.
    Once she settled down she accepted it for a while but screaming and attacking got worse. (she's never got to the point where I can touch her with a bare hand for more than a split seccond. Even step ups onto arms have to be fully covered and padded or she'll take chunks of skin off and that hurts!)

    My health was getting worse but I plodded on as best I could. I then fell pregnant in 2012. Got HG badly and almost lost the baby a few times. During all this Merlin became so evil and screamy. At first I thought it was jealousy, especially when I had to stop letting her out when baby was born and downstairs as she attacks to kill her covered cot. Attacks me too.

    Fast forward to today. Again new rented house back at other side of country (near Bristol)
    My health has got very bad and I've had a failed operation that's left me with nerve damage. I can't clean her out or scrub her cage so it's horrid as I have to beg hubby to clean it. Meg refuses to get out the cage now as she's that  old she can barely fly but loves head scratches and will take food off me.

    I've tried letting Merlin out when my now 2 year old is at nursery but she just attacks me and draws blood and bruises me. She screams almost none stop all day even when covered. She's currently kept in a lean to ype extension room next to Meg (does have a radiator and carpet)
    My husband hates trying to clean her out as she tries to take his fingers off when moving the cage etc also shoots poo at him through the bars of the cage.

    Now I've been told there is no cure for a few of my conditions and I may get worse before it settles to a constant, I'm out of ideas what I can do. Landlord refuses to let them into the main part of the house as highly allergic. Plus I'm scared she'll maim my daughter.

    Food
    Pellets with some of Megs cockateil mix (both bought from 24parrot.com not a normal petshop)
    Apple,plums and grapes when in season

    Cage stuff
    Manzeta? perches, swings, plastic chains to beat up, babble ball and other toys. Tissue boxes to shred.

    Her screaming is that bad I can't stay in the same room anymore as she gives me migraines and changing food and water pots is a game of which fingers get bit first
    I really don't want to part with her but I also want what's best for her.

    Deep down I really feel like she might not want to be a pet/house bird

    Please help - the RSPCA said if they take her she'll be put down as too agressive to rehome.
    Here is a pic of her.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/PyscoFalcon/Pets/Nov14_zpsya5nxdp0.jpg

    Below the line on her beak is all new growth (she was seeing a vet regually to shape and sort her beak out from the smashed up beack to how it is now)

    Doddie Kent
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    10-02-2015 9:58 AM

    Poor you - and poor, poor Merlin! She needs an aviary more than anything else. Clearly doesn't like people at all, she attacks anyone she can reach. How did she react to Meg? Interested? Ignored her? Aggressive to her? First thing, replace her water with Chamomile tea. It'll do one of two things - calm her down, or nothing at all. Food: try her with vegetables, raw and cooked. Most fruit is fine, no pips/stones. Give her wood to chew. Untreated wood. Or branches of fruit trees that haven't been sprayed with chemicals. Scald, scrub, dry, and put in cage. Are you right-handed? scrunch up a small handtowel in your left hand, put that hand in the cage first, let her bite it, do whatever needs to be done with the other hand. Reverse if left-handed. Keep the towelled hand between her and you at all times. This should save you some skin.


    I assume the cage is against a wall? Try covering one rear corner of the cage with something dark, put a perch in the dark place. She'll feel safe. Do you know why the beak needs shaping/trimming? It could be a sign of liver problems. Milk Thistle extract is good for clearing the blood of toxins if that's so. Does she scream when you're not there in the room? Have you tried putting a large mirror in the cage? So many questions...

    The RSPCA don't know enough to cope with any birds, they are not experts, the vets they use are not avian vets - an essential qualification, ordinary vets don't get enough training on birds. The RSPB won't deal with non-wild birds at all.

    Have a think about all the things in this reply, see how you feel. I don't see why your Merlin should be put to sleep - there are lots of birds that prefer an aviary to a home with people in it. A word of caution - if you decide an aviary is the place to go, no bird should be put in an aviary for the first time in the winter. They need acclimatising. Spring, when the weather warms up and is stable, is the time to try any bird outside for the first time. Merlin may want to have the aviary for herself, or she may like a friend, this is something that you could perhaps discover if you put in the large mirror, and see if she likes the 'other' bird, or if she attacks it.

    Good luck with it all,

    Doddie
    Doddie Kent
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    10-02-2015 10:01 AM
    Perhaps I should have mentioned that avocado is toxic to birds, cherry stones, apple pips etc also. Try presenting fruit/veg in different ways - on a spike like a kebab, cut large or small, there are lots of ways to try. Don't give up, keep going with different foods, you'll find what she likes/dislikes. Try walnuts, almonds, hazel nuts. NO MONKEY NUTS, they're dangerous.

    Doddie
    PyscoFalcon
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    10-02-2015 6:53 PM
    Posted By Doddie Kent on 2/10/2015 9:58 AM

    How did she react to Meg? Interested? Ignored her? Aggressive to her?

    I assume the cage is against a wall? Try covering one rear corner of the cage with something dark, put a perch in the dark place. She'll feel safe. Do you know why the beak needs shaping/trimming? It could be a sign of liver problems. Milk Thistle extract is good for clearing the blood of toxins if that's so. Does she scream when you're not there in the room? Have you tried putting a large mirror in the cage? So many questions...

    Doddie

    Okay answers  

    With Meg she'll groom her and get over pocessive of her. If I get them out the same time and go near Meg, Merlin will stop me, she will not let me near Meg at all.
    My female budgie Whistler stood up to her and put her in her place tho (RIP) to the point Merlin would feign charge her then go and sulk!
    However she attacked and almost killed Bobby my red rump and Chandler (Whislters mate)

    She's not needed her beak shaping and trimming for past 2/3 years now thankfully. Vet thinks mainly due to malnutrition and possible overcrowded and damaged in transportation to the country. It's grown back beautifully now.

    Her cage is partly covered at all times to keep out drafts and to have a dark safe space to drink and eat.
    Okay I'll try some twigs and things for now

    Yes she screams when not in the room but much much more when I'm in the room. That much I've had to move my sewing supplies next to dogs bed where toddler can't get to them :p

     

    I was dreading that she might need an aviry but kinda thought it would be so. Don't want to loose her but it's just mental abuse keeping her here if that's so

    Can she have homemade smoothies? Might be a little bit cold this time of year but I make them from strawberries,bannan, pinapple that I freeze and apple juice. (or just defrost those fruits for her or is frozen and defrosted food bad?)

    Oh yes the mirror - we did have one in the cage but had to take it out as she was hanging off it biting and screaming at it and beating her wings at it :p

    I think that's all
    Good job I drink herbal teas too - she can share my caromile


    Doddie Kent
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    10-02-2015 8:09 PM
    frozen stuff (as long as it's completely thawed) is fine. Try frozen sweetcorn. Microwave for a couple of minutes, wait until cooler, and dish up.

    'Protecting' Meg ... sounds like she's bonded to Meg. Clearly the mirror's not a good idea. Does she (do you know she's a she?) allow Meg into her cage? Go into Meg's? As for stepping up - try her on a perch, or a cushion, or something else. At least you'd be able to move her wherever you want to. I'm no expert, but Merlin sounds like she needs an aviary. Perhaps you could build one in the garden? You'll need a shed or something that can be used as shelter in the worst weather, a rat proof area for her to fly in, and perhaps allow Meg to share it. Does Meg like Merline? Or not? If they're bonded, they shouldn't be separated, however inconvenient. Chamomile tea - doesn't always work, but you need to replace her water with it. No water at all, just Chamomile tea. It won't hurt her at all, won't fight any medication she's on, and takes a few days to kick in. Worth a try. I'm surprised she saw off a Red Rump - they can be nasty birds.
    There are cages you can buy that are big enough for a small bird to fly in. Or you can get her wings clipped (by a vet, both wings, cutting the primary feathers - the longest ones on the edge of the wings) which will remove some of the aggression. This type of clip stops aggressive flying at others, but still allows the bird to glide if falling. Routine, routine, routine. If she knows she comes out at the same time, goes back in at the same time, she will get used to it, and will go back, eventually, on her own. Or you can find an aviary in late spring. Be aware not all aviaries are good. There must be shelter, warmth in the worst weather, and places to hide, and things to do as well.

    You say she goes into the room where the older birds are. Is she happier there? Perhaps she misses being part of a flock? There are a million things that you don't know about this little one - if she's a wild-caught bird, she's had experiences we can't guess at. Hard as this is for you, the bird's needs should come first. Easy to say, not at all easy to do.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Don't do anything quickly. I will pm you, I hope there's been help in some of my comments.

    Doddie
    PyscoFalcon
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    10-02-2015 8:47 PM
    Thank you.
    she was happier even tho tho otherbirds didn't like her there.

    I only have Meg left now who tolerates Merlin but can't keep them together as Meg likes her own space more and is on special diet as trouble keeping weight on (Merlin is a right bully when it comes to food and will eat it all)
    Merlin does like to cling to her cage and try to get into it with Meg tho. Then again Meg is 27 years old and always the boss of all birds I've had. (used her as a greater to any new birds)

    I would love to keep her and build an aviry but we rent now and only have a courtyard garden

    TBH I have no idea if she is male or female. Only guessed at female due to her behavious unless that was just copying my other birds during breeding seasons?

    I'm in South Glos between Bristol and Badminton so if you know of any good avirys between Bristol and Chippenham please let me know (ps it says I have no PMs when I click my profile :S )
    I can't drive but hubby can cart me around at weekends.

    What do you think of Longleat? Is it worth contacting them?
    Doddie Kent
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    11-02-2015 9:06 AM
    I didn't know that Longleat had aviaries - never been. I'm Southeast, on the outskirts of London. I will ask if Birdline have any aviaries in your area - can you let me have your postcode?
    Sexing - she wouldn't copy other birds, I don't think. When she's hormonal, if a hen, she'll put her head up, her middle down, bottom up, making almost a w shape ...

    Doddie
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    11-02-2015 10:59 AM
    Thank you for all the help.

    It won't let me send a message but the first part of my postcode is BS37
    SharonH
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    14-02-2015 5:26 PM
    Pyscofalcon, you can't send PM's as you are only a registered user.

    I can't add anything to what Doddie's said, she's very experienced and knowledgeable. However hard it is for you, little Merlin clearly needs an aviary, and most likely a friend, but one of his/her choice.

    I hope she'll be able to find out from other members what aviaries are available in the area for you.
    PyscoFalcon
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    15-02-2015 1:04 PM
    Thank you.
    I know it's best for her and I'll let her go and cry lots afterwards. I'll always be worried about her tho and how she's doing so hope I can at least have yearly updates to keep me at ease.
    PyscoFalcon
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    02-03-2015 1:19 PM
    Any news yet?
    Had to move her into the dining part of kitchen as her screaming was distressing Meg.
    Meg is now happier and even came out of her cage last night.

    Obviously don't like her been there even tho I rearly cook anything other than pasta etc in my steel pans due to been a veggy.

    Any thoughts on rining Bristol Zoo?
    Doddie Kent
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    02-03-2015 7:53 PM
    Remember that Merlin can't go outside in the cold weather unless the aviary (flight and shelter too) are heated to a reasonable degree. Merlin's been living inside for a long time. Imagine how you'd feel if you had to spend the night tonight in the garden with no coat on...
    Doddie
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    03-03-2015 3:11 PM
    Heated shelter - got it
    There's no heating in the kitchen/dining room. Can get quite nippy in there but she's got covers etc.
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