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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-24-2019, 06:17 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Don't push contact early but do allow him out of the cage if you can do it safely. Mind windows and mirrors and anything he might fly/slam into if frightened (boiling water, fire etc).
Try to just do things in the room near him --don't get up in his face or try to touch- let the bird initiate. Birds move SOOOO slowly when building trust. Don't be shocked or offended if he appears to like one of you more than the other during the first few months (this can easily change).

Just remember, with an adult bird, we are talking about weeks (more often months) before you will get a real feel for your bird (usually there is distrust, followed by building trust/honeymoon, then full trust and true colors). Mine wouldn't step up for 3 months and she knew how...Every new home is a shift/scare for birds initially (they have lost their mate/flock).
Before trying to touch your bird, try giving treats and if he/she wont take them from your hand, let him/her see you place them in the bowl. Try reading calmly in the room and allow plenty of time at night for bedtime (if you wait for him/her to go back into the cage, you don't want plans that evening)...Also, solid and quiet sleep is important. I would cover the cage the first night (unless the previous owner didn't). You will want to make sure that whatever you cover it with hasn't been washed in a strongly scented detergent (I use free and clear) and that it is a breathable fabric. I bought a special cage cover that is black but breathable.

Make sure you avoid peanuts, and sunflowers (unless extreme moderation during training). Peanuts can harbor a fungus and sunflowers are like fatty crack for birds.

Avoid citrus fruits (except in very small quantities as too much vitamin c can cause iron storage disease). For my u2, the vet said nor more than 2 small tangerine wedges per week...

If your bird screams for attention, DO NOT attend to it and do not attempt to yell back or say "BE QUIET! or no yelling!". You will need to wait it out if you can help it. Sometimes birds will flock call but I caution you against indulging any screaming with eye contact or physical proximity....I actually used to leave the room when my bird would scream for my attention (not returning until she has been quiet for 10 seconds).

Last edited by noodles123; 01-24-2019 at 07:37 PM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2019, 08:48 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

Noodles thank you for that great advice. I'd be foolish to say I wasn't a bit nervous about tomorrow. I read somewhere to wait a week before allowing them time out of the cage. I understand the thought of adjustment time...but it seemed a bit counterproductive, leaving such social/curious animal confined like that. What do other people typically do? Just leave the door open and let them out on their own terms?

I'm glad to hear about the peanut and citrus guideline. I knew sunflower seeds weren't all that great...I was unaware of peanuts though or citrus restrictions. Are other nuts safe? or are there daily fresh foods they can have with out concern?

Thank you all again for your help on this journey!
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:59 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

I was finally able to find a more detailed list of safe foods. Luckily we keep most of these on hand in our house. I'll enjoy finding what he prefers over the coming weeks. I also ordered him in some better orthopedic perches (currently has bamboo rods), some foraging toys, and some regular toys. His current toy selection is bland. I've read that some peoples birds are intimidated by toys yet they should be rotated regularly to keep a healthy mental state. Should new cage fixtures wait for later down the road?

We are planing to build him a jungle gym stand and a hanging wall gym here soon to accompany his cage top play area. Its amazing the things you can build from pipes and nature. Its also amazing finding out sticks from your yard might not be safe... this is a crazy new world we are entering.
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noodles123 (01-25-2019)
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2019, 05:01 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdmom12 View Post
Noodles thank you for that great advice. I'd be foolish to say I wasn't a bit nervous about tomorrow. I read somewhere to wait a week before allowing them time out of the cage. I understand the thought of adjustment time...but it seemed a bit counterproductive, leaving such social/curious animal confined like that. What do other people typically do? Just leave the door open and let them out on their own terms?

I'm glad to hear about the peanut and citrus guideline. I knew sunflower seeds weren't all that great...I was unaware of peanuts though or citrus restrictions. Are other nuts safe? or are there daily fresh foods they can have with out concern?

Thank you all again for your help on this journey!
Most but not all nuts are safe---I wouldn't give in shells (they can eat the shells and get a blockage...not all, but some don't spit it all out, and it doesn't take much).
No salted nuts.
At a glance this looks like a decent list (pretty sure certain types of walnuts are unsafe):
https://safeforparrots.com/nuts/
Peanuts (shelled or other) can harbor fungal spores and are high in fat.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, coffee (even decaf), most teas, any artificial sweeteners, raw honey, rhubarb, iceberg lettuce due to poor nutrition, avocado, carbonation, excess fat, sugar or protein, excess oxalic acid (go easy on vegetables high in oxalic acid)...no raw beans (must be cooked and canned ones are high in sodium+ preservatives), no mushrooms, no tomatoes (due to risk of ulcers from acidity), no celery (can block them up).
Make sure you feed some pellets mixed with a high quality seed blend(no sunflowers, peanuts in the mix)---dried corn is another cheap filler that is not good due to low nutrients and high calorie.
OH- and garlic, onion, leeks, chives etc (all of those are not good)
No fruit pits- don't even give the bird the part that touched the pit--and no apple seeds either (nor the part touching the seeds).
Wash everything thoroughly---remove skin if possible or buy organic for things that don't peel well...It isn't a must, but they are sensitive.

https://www.zupreem.com/feed-smart/a...uld-never-eat/
https://www.petcha.com/dont-feed-you...d-these-foods/


A tiny bit of salt or sugar won't kill a bird, but I mean tiny. Over time, it can cause disease, so don't get your bird used to hand-outs from your plate...AND, human saliva contains components that can harm birds, so don't go sharing spit (some people share food, but it is a bad idea).

Birds are lactose intolerant as well.

In terms of cage stuff, it will depend on your bird what you do in terms of letting him out. I let mine out and kept food and treats inside of the cage (door open). She went in and out and wasn't worried I would shut her in because I only did that at night and I dimmed the lights so she thought it was getting late anyway. It will not work like this with all parrots....Good luck!


PS: You are right to avoid pushing too many toys early on. An unfamiliar toy can really scare a bird. When introducing new ones, play with it yourself near the bird and allow it to sit in its environment before just shoving it in the cage.
The ones you already have in there are fine, because everything will be new, but keep that in mine.
Also-- make sure to supervise with toys initially---Many toys made for birds can still cause medical problems: bells have choking parts (depending on how much your bird chews), rope perches pose a hazard when let to fray and/or if the bird is chewing on them (they often lead to intestinal blockages). Don't assume all toys for human children are all safe for birds either, as humans can eat things that parrots cannot, and human babies cant grind things up and break them open, as they don't even have teeth. Even toy blocks can contain paint that is unsafe or be made of wood that is unsafe...and then there are the internal parts that may or may not be hidden from view (screws etc)

Last edited by noodles123; 01-25-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:35 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdmom12 View Post
I was finally able to find a more detailed list of safe foods. Luckily we keep most of these on hand in our house. I'll enjoy finding what he prefers over the coming weeks. I also ordered him in some better orthopedic perches (currently has bamboo rods), some foraging toys, and some regular toys. His current toy selection is bland. I've read that some peoples birds are intimidated by toys yet they should be rotated regularly to keep a healthy mental state. Should new cage fixtures wait for later down the road?

We are planing to build him a jungle gym stand and a hanging wall gym here soon to accompany his cage top play area. Its amazing the things you can build from pipes and nature. Its also amazing finding out sticks from your yard might not be safe... this is a crazy new world we are entering.

Yes- good call on getting new perches with various textures (don't want your bird getting bumblefoot)

No sticks from the yard unless:
A) You know no pesticide or insecticide has ever been used on the plant/tree (they do absorb it and birds chew).
B) You live in a place where run-off from the roads couldn't easily get into the soil (including gas, oil, salt from the driveway in winter etc)
C) The plant's wood is deemed safe (some wood types are toxic-- PS- never ever use plywood or pressure treated wood from hardware store for your bird)
D) The wood is washed/scrubbed (without chemicals) and baked for a long enough time to kill mold/fungi, bacteria, parasites and inactivate viruses...Cut wood immediately starts to break down and wild birds have a totally different immune system than captive ones, having survived thus far, despite exposure.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-25-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:43 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdmom12 View Post
Noodles. I was unaware how affection in certain areas could cause hormonal behavior. This is excellent to know. I also had a basic knowledge of chemicals/scents are harmful to birds. I had no idea the extent of this though. Like ironing boards or heated blankets. We clearly have a lot to look at in this subject matter.

Luckily our current birds (cockatiel and parakeet) we have in a pretty bare room next to our dinning room & family room. This has in a way become our bird room. We have green plants some chairs and their cages. Of course now I am thinking we will have to check into these plants if a larger and more adventurous bird comes home.

Thanks again these are great things we need to learn more on.

I found this video and it does a good job of explaining some basics about hormones that are often ignored. I am posting it because you said earlier in the post that you were unaware, and since your baby is coming home soon, there is no time like the present lol:


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Old 01-25-2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Thank you for all of that! I so appreciate the guidance! Went and saw the big guy tonight before pick up tomorrow. He was much more interested in me today. Lots of gurgling noises and he ate some banana from me. He always stretches his wings and looks like if he could he’d fly to me but haven’t learned what he means yet.

I did get some roudybush Pellets the some zupreem fruit pellets ordered to pair with fresh foods. I will investigate some sort of seed like you mentioned above. We also got a dog carrier to transport in. Now though I’m not feeling overly confident he will agree with it.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2019, 07:35 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

Your bird should eat more pellets than seeds, but cutting out seeds entirely is unnatural (in my opinion) and they provide a backup source of fat etc for a picky bird who may or may not eat your pellet variety. Safflower is a good base seed. Also- if you can find out what he was eating, I would mix that in to ease the transition. Some birds are picky enough that they will starve, rather than eating non-preferred foods...That having been said, a diet of only seeds is deficient in vitamins and can lead to liver disease.


Put dry food in its own cup! If you don't you will waste a ton of money---you still need to change and wash the dry food dish every 1-2 days (even if it looks full, as it may be full of hulls or stale food)--also, don't fill to the brim-- parrots LOVE to dig and throw food. Bottom line, when it comes to wet and dry food, don't mix them unless you want to throw everything out every 2-3 hours lol! Things like cut apples or carrots (harder fruit/veg) can last longer, so you might want a 4th dish for those...but even then, 8 hours would be my verrrry maximum...
Fresh/wet food dishes should not sit out for more than a few hours without removal/washing (with safe soap)
Water dishes should be washed (at minimum) 1x daily (with safe soap)---non-concentrated Dawn is a good one.
I recommend mixing a probiotic powder (like Bene-bac) with wet foods if you can---ask your vet about this, as it is a good preventative for various GI issues.

Put some sort of liner around the edges of your cage because your bird will poop off of it or throw food around---I got carpet protectors (long, cheap, spiked rolls) from Wal-Mart for next to nothing. They are made of plastic and they do have an oily feel, so I washed mine with white vinegar and water and allowed them to off-gas (unrolled in the open air...and then washed again) before cutting them to fit the perimeter of my cage. They are great, but don't let your bird chew them etc, and make sure you unroll them and let them off-gas outdoors first.


It will be crazy (total roller-coaster ride). I bet you will doubt your choice at least a few times within the next 3 months, but DO NOT FRET....Research parrot behavior (ABA is helpful) and as long as everyone responds in the same way, things will get easier. If you slip up, start over (do not assume all is lost). It is crazy, fun, amazing and terrifying. PATIENCE will be the most difficult thing to maintain at certain points, but just know that everything worth doing is difficult at times
Be very very very careful about Teflon/PTFE/PFOA and any scented products (as I have stated before).

Final few things: Birds hide illness better than any other animal I know. They would get killed if they didn't. Look out for: tail-bobbing when perched, open-mouth breathing, audible breathing, clicking in the chest (not the beak) when breathing, a generally fluffed up appearance, discharge from nares (nostrils), poop sticking to vent (butt-hole ), undigested food in poop, changes in poop color/consistency (poop should consist of 3 parts: urates, urine and feces---you can google this in depth), crusting on the feet/beak, any sores on the skin, red/droopy eyes, changes in behavior (like increased sleeping, biting, screaming or plucking).
If a bird is showing decreases in weigh/appetite, shows labored breathing or is on the cage bottom for no reason (sitting there), you have a serious medical emergency on your hands. Birds hide it until they cannot hide it any longer. Also, other (seemingly healthy) birds can be a source of illness for your bird, as many serious diseases are hosted by asymptomatic carriers..so avoid contact with other birds whenever possible. Disease can be spread by things like feather dust very easily--on things as benign as human clothing, toys from shops etc.

Last but not least: When birds grow new feathers, all of them come in these little transparent "straws" (like a clear coffee straw) and that "straw" encases the growing feather. These "pin feathers" (or "blood feathers") have an active blood supply. If you look at them, the bases will be pink (because there is blood in them at that point--when the feather is fully mature, the blood will recede into the skin completely). Birds preen off the "straw " coating on the parts that are white, but the coating (keratin sheath) needs to stay over the pink part. In the wild, birds with a bond will help preen the other bird's head/neck, as they cannot reach it themselves. It will be too early for you to help your bird with this right away, but if you see these weird white, pointy, tubes, they are newly-forming feathers and they may itch and/or hurt at times (a parrot can pick off the keratin from the white part on a blood feather, but that picking should stop right before the pink part of the feather starts). On a related note, if a bird cracks a blood feather and there is blood coming out, it is vital that you take your bird to the vet (after first stopping the bleeding temporarily with cornstarch). A badly broken blood feather (if located on the wings or tail/main feather areas) can cause a bird to bleed to death and must be looked at by someone who knows what they are doing. These feathers must often be pulled, but not always. The point is, when broken and bleeding, it is like a shunt to your birds insides, and it can start bleeding again when bumped etc. This was something I didn't know about birds when I got mine, so I am telling you (not so that you worry) but so that you know ahead of time that this can happen and that it can be serious...especially is a bird is slamming into things when flying etc.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-25-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:31 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

“Surprise!” Lol! I look forward to hearing how it goes . Just take your time with him, let him settle and take your queues from him....it’ll work out fine.

I have heard good things about Higgins pellets (but haven’t fed them), Roudybush and Zupreem natural are also good pellet brands. I wouldn’t buy huge quantities of pellets until you see what he likes. I went through a few brands before my birds settled on to what they like (and they all like different pellets...sigh). Time it takes to convert diet is dependent on the bird...some of mine looked at the pellets and ate them, others took weeks to try them. It’s good that he seems to like dried fruits and veggies - you might consider trying to give him freeze-dried chop if he doesn’t like fresh stuff right away (the nutrient retention in freeze dried is pretty good, and you can feed it dry or hydrated).
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:42 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

I'm late to this party, but I guess today is the day that you bring JoJo home!

I wanted to comment about the person who knew JoJo in his prior home and said he "couldn't be around strangers" and "had to be put away whenever visitors came over"...I want to point out that this is actually not uncommon at all, and is something that I often have to do with my Senegal and even my little Green Cheek Conure...The problem is that the person who made these observations and didn't think that JoJo should be called "a sweet bird" or "a good bird" simply doesn't have a clue about parrots, and thinks they are like a bad dog that can't be around visitors and has to be put outside...That's not how parrots work, and you too may have to keep strangers away from JoJo, because the thing is that this is the safer choice for both JoJo and for the visitors!

I don't allow ANYONE that doesn't already know my birds very well to handle them...I don't even do step-up with them, simply because I am not comfortable with it, only with my female Cockatiel will I allow that because I know she won't ever bite, but if she looks upset upon stepping-up for someone then that's it...People that don't know about birds think they are just like any other pet, a dog or cat or rabbit or ferret or guinea pig, etc...So the very first instinct people have is to go "Ahhh, what a pretty birdy!" and then out comes the hands toward the bird...And the bird, who has the intelligence of a 3 year-old human toddler goes "Whoa buddy! Why are your hands coming toward me, I don't know you!"...The bird's reaction is exactly the same reaction that WE AS PEOPLE WOULD HAVE if someone we don't know at all were to try to touch us out of nowhere!

So the bottom-line us that you need to remember that all parrots are "flock animals", and their flock consists of everyone who lives in your house...And even though JoJo will probably choose a favorite in your home to bond closest with, he will eventually adopt everyone in the house as "his flock", regardless of whether he is as close with everyone as he is with others...But "his flock" will never include visitors to your home that he doesn't know, and the best thing is to not EVER force him to be introduced to new people except through his cage bars, just like you were first introduced to him at the Rescue...And then that's it, no poking, no holding, no neat tricks, etc. And if visitors to your home think he's "rude" or "a savage animal" simply because they can't pick him up like a puppy and squeeze him after just meeting him, it's only because they have no idea how birds work...
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