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Old 03-17-2017, 11:02 AM
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New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

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Hey everyone! I finally got that pair of kākāriki from the Humane Society! I spent 5 freaking hours in the car yesterday to bring them home.

Anyways, they're bigger than I was expecting, especially the male. They're yellow colour mutation red-crowned kākāriki, and they're around 2 years old. The female suffered from eye problems and an upper respiratory infection. She was on antibiotics for 45 days. I know what you're thinking–psittacosis. Yeah, I'm slightly concerned, so they're seeing my go to guy (Dr. Morris) on Monday at 1:30. As per the norm, they're being quarantined for at least 30 days on a completely separate level of our house. As per my usual, paranoid CDC-esque protocol with new birds, I'm doing surgical scrubs at least 6 times during and after looking after them.

Ria (female) seems to have conjunctivitis in her left eye, and was sneezing more than I'd like on the trip home. I'm going to have a basic physical done on both of them, along with maybe crop swabs, fecal floats, and fecal cultures (and gram staining). I'd also like to have their nails trimmed, and maybe their beaks as they seem a bit overgrown. I'm thinking of asking him to cut their leg bands off.

I feel bad for them because they're in a tiny flight cage (suitable for parrotlet and budgie quarantine, but not for kākāriki), and they're quite restless, doing laps in the cage (climbing all over the place). At the Humane Society, they were in a small cage (their tail feathers are dirty and frayed), eating a horrific diet. The food they've been eating is a mix of peanuts, roasted soy beans, chickpeas, buckwheat, wheat, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, dried (and likely sulphured) papaya and raisins, and some sort of generic pellet. I mixed a bit of that into the food I'd already put in their cage, but I think I'm just going to throw out the rest. I'll just be giving them sprouts, Goldn'obles, TOPs, organic millet, lavender, chamomile, crushed Brazil nuts, goji berries, mulberries, sunflower seeds (sparingly), mash, that Goldenfeast fruit pudding, and that Goldenfeast seed mix that Ju is allergic to. I also want to get some pine nuts for them since they eat a lot of those in the wild. I'm going to try giving them some spinach today. Their poop is a bit off, but I can't say if it's due to illness or the antibiotics and subpar diet.

They've been eating and drinking (I'm paranoid about their kidneys because they drink a lot more than my other birds), and Tiki's been vocalizing a bit. They seem to be pretty settled in, as they'll eat, drink, and preen while I'm watching them. They're a bit freaked out by our dogs. They can hear the birds in the aviary through the vent, and they definitely seem interested.

When we finally got home, they wouldn't go into the quarantine cage on their own, so I had to grab them (is there a better word than "grab"?), and they were actually pretty good about it. They put their beaks on me and pinched me a bit, but it didn't hurt very much and they didn't break the skin. They only bit me when I initially grabbed them, then they quit. I'm used to having my fingers shredded, so this is a nice change of pace.

For some reason, we aren't allowed to see their vet records. I mean, I understand doctor patient confidentiality, but I'm their guardian now, so you'd think it would be in their best interest if I knew their medical histories. Anyways, Morris is having the records sent over from the Humane Society, so I'll ask him about their medical history when we see him on Monday.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:10 AM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...
Thank you for rescuing them!
You're a hero...
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:19 AM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Thanks for rescuing a beautiful couple desperately in need of a great home! Seems they subsisted on a pathetic diet and haphazard medical care, something you and your AV can rectify. Hopefully proper diagnoses will ensure a return to health. Kakarikis are charming birds and should acclimate nicely!
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:31 AM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP 12/09/2016), and Alice (RIP 05/29/2017); Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Thanks you two! I'm hoping Ria just happened to have a respiratory infection and eye infection, and that it isn't anything serious (I'm praying it isn't one of the dreaded parrot diseases). Anyways, Tiki seems to be fine.

The names they originally had kind of sucked. The male, now known as "Tiki", was originally called "Kiki". The female, now called "Ria", was originally "Coukie". Yep, I came up with the names several weeks ago. Thought I'd go with Maori names in honour of their heritage. Most of the Maori names I looked at were really weird. No, I'm not being culturally insensitive. The web results were mostly names of mythic warriors, rivers, deities, and mountains. None of them seemed to be "typical" names the Natives would give their children. It's like if you wanted to find a good Japanese name, but all you got were names of various spirits, demons, and legendary warriors and yokai.

I gave the pair some mash this morning, but I don't think they've tried any yet. I'll toss it at 1, then give them some sprouted millet, lentils, mung beans, and chickpeas. After that, the Goldenfeast seed mixes Ju has problems with, and some dried fruit, flowers, and crushed Brazil nut, with some Goldn'obles mixed in.

Hopefully they'll be given a clean bill of health, because then I could train them and eventually teach them flight recall without worrying about plague germs being spread everywhere. I'll still quarantine them, but it will be less "Zombie Apocalypse", and more "slight case of the sniffles" level of paranoia. My poor nerves can't handle it!

Anyways, their care was very sad, and I didn't like the fact that they just had them out on display in the small animal section. It was especially disconcerting, as they had a python (or was he a boa), in the reptile quarantine room near their cage, and people would freak out in front of the kākāriki when they saw the snake. The snake didn't pose any danger to the birds, but the panicking humans would've been stressing them out. Geez, he's just an unwell little snake, held in a terrarium, in a completely secure room; no need to yell "yuck!" or flail dramatically in front of my poor kākāriki.

Honestly, the cage they were in was small. It made Noah's "big" Amazon cage seem, well, adequate. Man, what's with people keeping birds in unsuitable cages? I get it that they're a non-profit, but at least get them one of those A&E or HQ flight cages. It doesn't even have to be the double-flight model! It looked like it might've been a wrought iron cage, sans powder coating. Ugh, and I almost had a stroke when they showed me what they've been eating. I noticed some of their feces was red, so I was praying they were being fed that blechy Zupreem Fruit Blend. They weren't. I'm praying it's from the dried papaya. They haven't had any red poops in their new cage.

Man, peanuts, cracked corn, and roasted soy beans? I'm surprised they haven't been giving them abestos to play with. Okay, I might be overreacting a bit, but please, why? Why couldn't you just settle for the soy, cracked corn, and sulphured fruit? Why did you have to put peanuts in the mix, too? I'm going to start giving them the liver detox from BirdsRX (or whatever it's called), and put them on probiotics.

Morris isn't exactly an avian vet, but he has decades of experience and a great deal of knowledge in working with both "regular" animals (dogs and cats) and "exotic" animals (rats, hamsters, birds, fish, ferrets, hedgehogs, pythons, tortoises, frogs, etc.). I trust him, and I also have quite a bit of avian knowledge, so we share our knowledge and decide on the best course of action. Also, it isn't like he only works with exotics once in a blue moon. He's the only qualified exotic vet within 100 km of here, so he's the guy dozens of people trust with their exotics. He also goes to other veterinary clinics because his expertise is in such a demand.

Last edited by Teddscau; 03-17-2017 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:33 AM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Oh thinking of you as you embark on this journey! Praying and hoping all goes well.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:14 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP 12/09/2016), and Alice (RIP 05/29/2017); Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Thanks, we need all the hopes and prayers we can get. Ria isn't acting like she's all that sick, as she's climbing around, eating, and drinking. She seems alert enough, and isn't fluffed up or sleeping a lot (I could still hear the little goofs banging around in the cage an hour or so after covering them and putting them to sleep last night). I'm just a bit concerned that she had to take antibiotics for 45 days. Either she was harbouring some sort of hardcore superbug, or she wasn't getting the right dosage or type of antibiotics. It shouldn't take 45 days to treat a simple bacterial infection. I know respiratory infections aren't easy to treat, but 45 days of treatment, not just recovery after the treatment, has me worried.

Anyways, hopefully they only need to be quarantined for a month, then can finally join the others in the aviary, where they can actually fly and explore for what's likely the first time in their lives. I know most captive birds don't get to experience the freedom they deserve, especially the high energy kākāriki. They're considered to be the most active parrot, constantly flying from one place to another, unable to sit still for more than a few seconds. I find it disturbing that some websites actually recommend clipping their wings. Even worse, some websites suggest clipping their wings before they even have a chance to learn to fly, so as to keep them "safe" and so they don't "miss" being able to fly. Of all the parrots, these small New Zealand parakeets are truly meant to fly, and clipping their wings would be a tragedy. In fact, those who know anything about kākāriki recommend keeping them in at least a 10' x 6' enclosure.

I was worried I wouldn't be able to sex them, but my worries were completely unfounded. Tiki is significantly (relatively speaking) larger than Ria, his crown is a much richer red, his yellow plumage seems to somehow be even richer and more intense than Ria's, and he's the more vocal of the two. Honestly, he's a very big, handsome boy. I mean, the length of his tail alone! Even his feet are bigger than Ria's! Honestly, he's quite the stud. Man, he is one solid bird. Man, Pollo won't be able to control himself when he sees them. He has a thing for yellow birds, and gender doesn't matter, so I doubt species will matter to him either. He's going to be completely exhausted.

Last edited by Teddscau; 03-17-2017 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:14 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Really loving your narrative, Tedd!

You tell a good story.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:03 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

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Old 03-17-2017, 08:23 PM
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Budgies: Samantha, Charlie (RIP Sunday, July 23, 2016), Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, Simon (RIP 12/09/2016), and Alice (RIP 05/29/2017); Parrotlet: Noah; Red-fronted kākāriki: Tiki and Ria
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Well, Ria must've fallen at least 20 times since going into the quarantine cage. Their large size makes it awkward to move around in such a small space, their muscles and balance aren't very good since they haven't been able to properly exercise, they're used to dowel perches, she's been ill, and her left eye is swollen and the sclera is red, so I doubt her depth perception is very good, either.

I bit the bullet (first time I've ever used that phrase), and mixed some of that garbage food in with the Goldenfeast mixes. I offered them mash twice today, but both times they wouldn't touch it (they stood on the dish looking at it, but didn't try it), and they wouldn't eat the sprouts. Tiki poked at the sprouts a little, but I think the moisture grossed him out. They're definitely drinking well. I'm a bit worried about their droppings, seeing as the urine is very green. So, we're probably looking at something bacterial, or their livers are dying. Or their droppings just enjoy being green. They're pooping, so I guess that means they're eating. I feel like a monster feeding them that garbage mix. I dare not imagine the levels of toxins in that food. Ew, I'm going to have to put them through a full system detox before putting them in the aviary. They're going to be shedding yeast like crazy.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:50 PM
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Re: New (Sickly) Kākāriki!

Wow. You should pick a Maori-class warrior name for yourself.
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