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Old 08-17-2011, 10:15 AM
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should I or shouldn't I???

Hi!
I am new to this forum, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself first. Many years ago I had a roomate with a blue front. Well, I always told myself that someday I would own a similar bird. I have waited many years until I felt that I could give enough time to a bird of this species. My children are in school all day and I am home during the day so I feel that this is the perfect time to look for the perfect bird. Well in doing lots of research on different species I have been told repeatedly that the amazon might not be the type of bird that would do as well in a family. (husband, two daughters 11&13) I was steered towards a hahns. I have been quite excited about getting our new bird and do feel that a hahns might be a better choice for us, however the thought of an amazon has always been the bird of my dreams. Well I just heard of a rescue of a lilac crown (not even a species that I was familiar with) I have researched & researched this species and they do seem like a wonderful bird. I was set to bring home a baby, feeling that it would bond to all of us. This bird is 15 years old, comes from what appears to be terrible conditions. It is in such a small cage, she is dirty (almost oily feeling) It seems to be very frightened, kind of shaking a bit. She keeps her beak a bit separated and works her tongue back and forth inside almost like a panting motion. Her feathers are white and fuzzy around the edges. she is also very weak. She steps up wonderfully however I almost feel like I have to hold her back or she could topple off. I am not sure if it is just that she had such a small cage with only one perch. However with all of this negative she is so, so sweet! Now this could change when she gets healthier. I have spent a several hours with her over several days, I am just so nervous that I may be getting in over my head. I was referred to this site from another forum that I am on. My daughter has a little linnie that is just a marvelous bird! I am out of my comfort zone here and don't know if I am just thinking with my heart or should be thinking more logically. I hoping for some direction. I have pictures of her feathers below.



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Old 08-17-2011, 10:24 AM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

It sounds like someone really needs to take that bird and give her a better healthy home.

Whether you are that someone though is another question. Rehabilitating a bird from such a situation is not easy even for someone with a good deal of bird experience. She likely has some health problems which could carry untold costs in vet bills, and potentially a shortened lifespan.

I am a bit torn as this bird really does need someone to care for her - but I suspect you may be in for quite a bit of cost financially and emotionally if you take such a 'fixer-upper' as your first parrot.

That said, a bird rescued from a bad environment rarely takes things for granted and can become the best companion.

Hopefully others will chime in on this - but on balance, given that this is your first parrot, I'd give this very careful consideration and lean towards finding a healthier start.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:29 AM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

LCA is similar to my bird (red crowned amazon). He's alot of bird, but I think they are the quieter, gentler amazon. That doesn't mean he doesn't bite @ times, or he doesn't scream & be noisy. It means that they don't do it as much. Merlin has alot of energy, he's fully flighted so it makes life interesting. He does want to be w/me alot of the times, but sometimes during the day he will play or nap on his own. I know a lady who rescued an older female LCA, & she is in love, her girl is sweet & polite.

You need to evaluate how much time you can spend w/your bird. Can you afford vet bills, if she has been in a bad home, there could be health concerns. But most of all, make sure you are in it for the long haul. This bird has probably been passed around & doesn't deserve to come to you if you are not 100% positive that she will have a forever home. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:47 AM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

Ten years ago I adopted an older Blue-Front Amazon (it was thought to be a male for the first 8 years of her life, mainly because she was so aggressive toward her "caregivers"). At the time I adopted her (she had been turned into the feed store by her former owners because they were tired of her). She had up until that point only been fed pigeon food, twinkies, pizza, fast food fries, and other similar fare. Her feathers were ratty and oily, her nares red and inflamed, the feathers under her wings a dull grey. She did not look healthy at all. She had never flown in her life and was kept in a cockatiel-size cage. She had never had toys nor the pleasure of a shower. As I understand it, she lived alone, on their screened in porch for all her life, which I believe because of the sad sounds she sometimes makes of crows and crickets. This was an angry, unloved, misunderstood bird. That said, I adopted her and have never been sorry. She is now healthy and vibrant and the most devoted and affectionate of my avian companions. She has complete trust and is a wonderful pet. It took many, many months to achieve even a tiny amount of success with her. We started at the vet for a full (expensive) workup and it took over a year to bring her cholesterol into the normal range. It took her almost two years to consume at pellets as her base diet. It took eight YEARS before she would go to anyone but me (trust issue). Are baby parrots easier? Yes, by far (my other three were all acquired as babies); however, the satisfaction of working with a rehomed bird that really needs a better life is FAR, FAR and away more gratifying. There is no question in my mind that my Amazon appreciates the changes that happened in her life. Good luck on your choice. I hope you get to help this bird.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:57 AM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

Was the bird outside when you went to see it? If so, birds do pant when they get hot (depending on how hot it is the bird may be weakened just from the heat). It looks much like when a dog pants. They usually hold their wings a bit away from their body (makes it easier to catch a breeze to cool off a little) and they will hold their beaks open a little and move their tongues back and forth to help cool off.

Secondly, if you have always wanted an amazon and that is the bird you most desire (you have already had exp. with them as you mentioned that you had lived with one) then don't cheat yourself. Whatever parrot you pick (including this one thats 15) will more than likely be with you for the rest of your life. You need to make sure that you get what makes you happy, its you that has to deal with the bird everyday and with the amount of work that you put into them you might as well get the most fulfillment out of it.

Thirdly, your schedule is ideal for a bird. If you are truly home all day then I don't see any reason to not get this bird. Just keep in mind that it is going to take time and a great deal of patience to rehab this little guy but you have the ideal set up. You would be home in a completely quiet, distraction free environment for the greater part that you are working with the bird. This will allow the bird to get comfortable with you. Theres nothing wrong with getting an older bird, they can still bond to you the same (if not - more as they know what it is like to come from unloved home). If you do get this little guy - try to go into it with the mindset that you have the rest of your life to develop a relationship and take baby steps - let the bird choose how fast it develops the bond with you. More often than not when you take a bird out of a bad environment and into a good one you'll be surprised at how fast they not only come around, but appreciate you as well.

If you do get the bird, I would suggest taking it to the vet, get some blood work done make sure that its not undernourished and put it on a good food. Provide a respectable, stable, structured, consistent, loving home and you'll have a happy bird in no time.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:08 AM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

I will try to address everything you brought up.Earlier posters have good points concerning health and vet bills, however at age 15 i think most of her possible health issues can be fixed with proper diet and cage,perches etc. A complete vet check is needed ASAP.Any rehoming fee needs to be based on outcome of that vet check,owner bears some responsibility after all.
As for a amazon not being a good family bird,hogwash.Yes any parrot could be a issue in a family envrioment if not well socialized (but if steps up for you a stranger,that's a good sign).Amazons love an active house hold with lots of action and want to be in the center of it all.I would plan a family outting and visit the bird ,just to see how it reacts to everyone.I don't think the sweetness part will change as the birds health improves ,it may pick a favorite person but ALL of my rehomes can be handled by most anyone.Active participation by all of the family members would go a long way to making this a great family pet.It's often said"let the bird pick you" if this is the case then my vote is go for it. I for one would be here to help any way I can and have plenty of free advice if you need it.
PS welcome to the forum and hope you join in ,even if you don't get this bird.
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Last edited by henpecked; 08-17-2011 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:09 PM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

Hey there,

I had to join just so I could chime in here. I am the proud and happy owner of 4 rehomed, large birds: Optimus, a female CAG purchased from a woman who had to move to Florida to care for an elderly mom; Loke, a male CAG given to me by a man who was undergoing treatments for cancer; Rosie, adopted from a rescue, where she ended up after her "mom" passed away; Polly, a female Goffins purchased from Craigslist--Polly is wild-caught, and spent her first years subsisting on nothing but cracked corn--reportedly had only a brick to sit on. All are delightful in their own way. All have their individual quirks.

Opti, who lived with a smoker, was and is a plucker. Has had every test under the sun, and is perfectly healthy. Vet hoped that once the nicotine was removed from her feathers, she'd stop plucking. Three years later, she still looks mangy. On the other hand, she has a huge vocabulary and is extremely gentle. Wouldn't hurt a fly.

Loke can be fiesty, and is the peskiest of all the birds in the house. You can't leave him alone for a minute, or he'll chew something up. On the other hand, he talks, dances, and loves to follow me around the house.

Rosie is a sweetheart. Only says about 5 words, but says them in the sweetest, little-girl voice. She hates my dad, and will go out of her way to attack his feet if he wears sandals. With me she is sweet as pie, though once in a while she'll let you know she doesn't want to be petted.

Polly I've had the longest. The three others will step up and let me handle them no problem. After more than three years, Polly still won't step up. On the other hand, she LOVES for me to pet her--will sit for hours behind me on a chair and let me scratch her head. Doesn't talk, doesn't dance. But she LOOKS like a different bird since being put onto a healthier diet, and she's a love. At her most recent check-up, the vet noted she is developing cataracts. Probably the result of early malnutrition, though we don't really know how old she is. But so far she can still see, and she seems happy just to have healthy food, wood to chew on, and scritches.

I wouldn't give up any of my second-hand (or third or fourth-hand) birds. They are all amazing in their own ways, and I don't regret adopting any of them.

Last edited by savagem13; 08-17-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:54 PM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

Thank you so much for all th input! I just came back from visiting with her again. She is still very sweet, and very quiet! One of the girls that work there weighed her she said she weighs 1.17 lbs. is that even possible? I mentioned to the girl that I thought she might be a little chubby however it seems like that is more than a little chubby! She is kind of puffy around her crop which worried me however now I just think that she is just very heavy. I brought her lots of healthy food choices to try and feed to her today however she really didn't want much to do with anything except a few nuts.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:42 PM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

she might not have a clue what the other things were??

i'm gonna play devils advocate an tell you about when i accepted nut, she was sweet for 2 wks an all hell broke loose, she started biting, lunging, flying attacks (when i say bite, it means bruising or breaking the skin) its taken a few months to find the routine that works best for us all, i say routine, as the basic training of stepping up etc nut already knew an understood

well since i have found the right routine, its all smiles, she is still nippy with my son, but its his fault as he will keep pestering her to play, when she is not in the mood, he'll learn?? (i hope)

a few months may sound a long time, and can cause stress for whole family, but it IS worth it, as what is a few months on the incredible lifespan of these birds

and welcome to the forum!

i won't say nut is the perfect bird, and i cannot say her change to being a sweet little sennie will last, if the routine seems not to work again then i will try a different tactic
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:13 PM
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Re: should I or shouldn't I???

I adopted Sammy 7 months ago from a rescue.
He's my yellow crowned amazon. Well hes been hospitalized for almost 3 days now. 2 nights. And has something hidding we cannot find. Vet thinks it has alot to do with the fact that his previous owners under nourished him and mistreated him as well.
Well 700+ dollars later and sams still there . I'm expecting to reach a thousand. I'm Completly wiped out of my funds. I have one job that's 2 days a week and I roof for extra cash. I literally work my a$$ off so I can tend my bird. It's the price of rescuing.
You could indeed Recive a healthy bird. It's very possiable. I'm 19 years old. And I do whatever it takes. Even if it means flat broke. It was my desion. So if you don't mind being "broke" all the time. (I mean that in a diffrent way then said)
Then go for it. I'm not saying that this bird is sick. Just chances are high.
Exotic animal care is always extra for everything.
Exotic blood panels
Exotic admission
Exotic medication (though birds use human meds)
And more. Add 100-200 to anything tested or admitted just because it not a dog or cat
It's a risk I guess. Babies cost 1000. However so do vet bills. So it's choise you would have to make. But for a first bird. Idk. I'd go with a healthy baby
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