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Old 05-05-2009, 12:35 PM
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Need Advice on Amazon in Nesting Mode

I have a female yellow naped Amazon, Rosita. I have had her about 20 years and she is probably about 25 years old, maybe more. I also have a fair amount of experience and fair amount of knowledge about parrots, but Rosita has me stumped.

In the past she has had a lot of freedom, often out of her cage and often with a tower of cardboard boxes on top of her cage to tunnel in and tear apart. I could even leave her unsupervised for an hour or more and never have a problem. Then last year she had a deformed egg that she couldn't lay and the avian vet at the U. of Tennessee vet school ended up having to remove her uterus and the egg.

In late winter this year she went into breeding mode and has stayed there non-stop. She has turned into a terror--not biting but constantly on the move and trying to destroy everything she can reach as fast as she can reach it (and she moves fast). She has eaten 2 holes in the rug, a hole in our new couch, the bathroom door, and this is with me "supervising her." I can't take my eyes off her for a second. As a result, she has lost all her freedom and is constantly locked in her cage. I can take her out and put her on my shoulder but she instantly climbs down me and heads for the nearest dark corner to start her destruction.

The vet told me no more cardboard boxes because it would make her too likely to try to produce an egg, which now has no place to go. So I can't even give her cardboard boxes, which she just loves. (She doesn't care much for toys.)

I have a very large cage in our heated basement--4' by 4' by 4'. I am wondering about moving her there and trying to find another bird for company. At least she would have a lot of space and some company. I feel so sorry for her locked in her current cage, and she is always begging for me to come get her.

I know that finding her a bird buddy would be tricky. Maybe that is unrealistic? (She was on loan to a breeder a number of years ago who tried several different males, all of whom Rosita attacked. So I definitely wouldn't try a male Amazon.) I don't have any experience mixing different species or species compatibility.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:27 PM
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Re: Need Advice on Amazon in Nesting Mode

My Amazon can chew through a good sized wooden perch at least once
a week especially this time of year. As I wrote in my first post I can't leave her unsupervised at any time and I'm sure she would be as destructive as yours.
This said there are two or three things that can make her happy. One is eating..... a steady supply of carrot sticks, apples, oranges anything that takes a few minutes to chew. Once or twice a week I feed her scrambled eggs... I think the extra protein helps her mood. Spaghetti, rice, lima beans. She eats these and "shares" with the crimson winged male (her "boyfriend").
I think I would try a mirror in the cage before i would buy another amazon and take a chance they wouldn't get along.

Michelle
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:49 AM
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female yellow naped amazon Rosita. Have owned her for about 20 years.
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Re: Need Advice on Amazon in Nesting Mode

Thank you. Those are good ideas. I will stock up on carrots, apples & oranges and see what happens. I know she also loves walnuts in the shell if I can find them this time of year.

One thing that I have tried that might help you is paperback books. I drill a hole in the center, run a piece of lightweight nylon rope through the hole and hang the book at about perch level. She loves to shred the book and it takes about 2-3 days for her to get through an entire book. She ends up with a mountain of pieces of shredded paper on the floor but it is worth the clean-up.

One thing that I have wondered about Rosita is that at some level she knows there is something missing from her body. I have never seen her go into breeding mode as badly as this time--she just doesn't seem to come out of it and it is all she has on her mind all the time. I am beginning to wonder if it is ever going to stop but I suppose it will. I am sure a good diet couldn't do anything but help.

Thanks again.

Joy
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:33 AM
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Re: Need Advice on Amazon in Nesting Mode

You may want to check with a veterinarian as to whether hormone replacement would be beneficial. Reproductive hormones have a very powerful impact on avian behavior and so it is no surprise that their absence after the surgery has had drastic effects.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:53 PM
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Re: Need Advice on Amazon in Nesting Mode

My birds are pretty well geriatric never showed much of an interest to nest until last year when the crimson female started acting strangely.
After about a week of thinking she was going to die due to her being old and all, I took her to an avian vet to see what was wrong. I offhandedly asked could there be an egg stuck in her causing this? The vet took x-rays and told me the birds days were numbered (no egg)that her liver was enlarged and too far up. She gave me some lasixs (sp?) to give her along with something else told me to go home and wait for her to die anytime (i was crying.....) Went home and tried to give her the medicine but gave up after one dose, figured this was just too much stress on her.
She got worse, so much so I got a cardboard box ready so i could bury her in the backyard. That night i gave the birds a little watermellon and noticed the bird trying to eat it. Next thing I know she lays an egg and was alright.
We're going through the same thing this year so I know these birds will be settling down after nesting season in a couple of weeks.
I guess my point is, if you can make it though a couple of weeks before you take to vet this may go away for awhile.

I'll try the paperback book on a rope idea, thanks!

Michelle
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