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Old 09-24-2020, 08:55 PM
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Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Hi all,
I have read this forum for years but finally registered and this is my first post. I need help. I lost the love of my life, my first GCC a few weeks ago. We had a cockatiel before him. My GCC had the most amazing personality. He was bigger than life. I loved him so much. He got sick and through some veterinary missteps, he ended up passing away after 8 years. I cannot tell you how much I loved this bird. He was gregarious and engaging and funny. Needless to say, instead of waiting till I was in a good frame of mind and purchasing a new bird from a breeder, I broke one of my cardinal rules (to NEVER buy from a pet shop) and bought a pet store conure that is five months old. It wasn't cheap either. Ridiculous price. We have had this bird for a week. OPPOSITE IN EVERY WAY my beloved conure. This bird barely allows us to touch it or interact with it and rarely explores. He/she has made some progress in the past week, but very little. We try to interact, use positive reinforcement, and just leave the cage door open so it can decide to come out. Very little has changed in a week. Our other two birds - it was immediate connection. I am a very empathic person and just already have a visceral (gut feeling) of not liking this bird at all and not feeling like it will get better. Here we have a new baby at home and for most of the day (90%) I am not enjoying this bird. The bird will explore a little and then it seems cute or it will allow me to pet it some, but that is so limited. Started some training with the bird, but it will sometimes run from the very treat it seems to like. I should never have bought this bird while I was grieving. I don't know what to do. It still runs from us like we are the devil when our other birds clearly bonded with us a little every day. I am not having good feelings about this at all. My gut is usually very solid. What do I do?
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:10 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Hi there,

So incredibly sorry for your loss. I know how difficult that can be. Number one rule when getting a new bird (even though it can be hard to put into practice) - you can never expect a new bird to be exactly like an old one. This rule is especially hard when you get another of the same species. But it does apply here: this new bird may be very different than your old conure, or it may be exactly the same. But you certainly haven't given it enough time.

I can say from experience that my two previous African greys were SO different. My first, Bambi, bonded to me instantly, but as soon as she met my mother she wanted nothing to do with me, and it was heartbreaking (luckily she was a foster). My second, Mabawa, took so long to bond (stepped up after a month, and some birds take much longer than that, and thats okay!), but we had a fantastic connection once he did.

Here is my advice. The journey with every bird is different. I would advise you to wait it out, because truthfully if you work hard enough, a young bird is very impressionable and will most likely bond gratefully. However, if you think you will not be satisfied unless the bird is identical to your last, then I think it would be best to take it back. I almost never suggest that, but it would be best to make the decision now. There is almost no way that any bird would be exactly like your last one. But you may have a connection with this bird that becomes even stronger in a new and different way.

I hope this was helpful. Again I am so sorry for your loss and I hope everything works out for the best.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:49 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

KitKat, you've been giving such great advice, im glad you joined us, and are taking time to help people!

MegZ im do glad yiu joined us. Im so very sorry for your loss. You are in the middle of greif, and you will jump through all sorts of emotions.

There is nothing wrong with pet store birds. Both of my GCC are and were ( my 17 year old has already passed) .

Firstly all birds are different in how they handle transition into a new home. We have had many on tge forum go through the same thing with burds straight from the breeder, even some who met the bird at the breeder and it was relaxed and happy only go home and
Be very fearful.

You have barely had this bird, and assuredly he can pick up on your stress and greif. Also yes sometimes burds at petstores begin to accumulate negative interactions with people, and may take a little longer to trust you. But how lucky is this burd, he got you! And you have knowledge and experience, you know how wonderful your relationship can be! Your not clueless and scared witless as many first time moms are. You are probably just the perfect person to be his mom.

I've worked with and taken in screaming mad self destructive birds abd watched them turn into happy trusting loves. Your little baby isn't near that!

My love Neptune escaped, but I still hsve my other parrots. During my greif i have felt resentful to them, I have felt thst giving them love , and that love should have gone to Neptune. I have felt thst i didnt even want parrots anymore... when Neptune was still here I had enough love for them all . Greif is a terrible thing. Im at 3 and half months without him, and finally I dont feel as guilty loving on my remaining parrots ( i still feel that way some ) and im funding joy in having them...

You are going to have to
Work through this. Take a deep breath. Give thus baby tge chance he deserves use your knowledge and experience and draw him out of his shell, allow your relationships to develop in its own time. And be kind to yourself yiu are grieving a huge loss. And right now you gut is crap
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Last edited by Laurasea; 09-24-2020 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:22 AM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

KitKat and Laura have given you spot on advice, which I echo. Some parrots take months and in rare cases even year+ to open up and flower. Always always work at your parrots pace and not the pace of your expectations, which in this case are very high.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:27 AM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
KitKat, you've been giving such great advice, im glad you joined us, and are taking time to help people!
Thank you - that means a lot! I'm working my way to being a parrot trainer, so I'm glad my advice is worth something!
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:37 AM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Welcome to the forums under bittersweet circumstances. My deepest condolences for the loss of your GCC. You are in the midst of grieving and any new bird at this juncture will foster mixed emotions.

Superb advice above, I too suggest giving your new GCC a chance to form a deep and lasting bond. If you believe this is not possible after a period of time and effort, the kindest option may be to rehome in ethical manner. Both you and the new bird deserve utmost happiness.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:08 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

I want to thank everyone for their advice. I read each and every message. I appreciate both the condolences and the advice. I agree that my gut might not be working so great right now given my loss. I have really learned a valuable lesson about grieving and that is to give myself more time. I would honestly give almost anything to have my GCC back. He was so special. I can't say enough about him. He was feisty and bigger than life. This bird is so very different but I know it is only fair to give the bird a fair shake. We all know birds are very misunderstood and often treated poorly. I don't want to add to this bird's likely terrible history. So, we will give it our best shot and give it time to blossom. With that said, I do think it can happen that animals are a better match for certain people. We had adopted a kitten once, long before we had birds, and quickly realized that the kitten and us were not a good match. We tried. We ultimately found the cat a new home - never got another cat - and the person who got that cat, ended up loving him as her favorite cat of all time. Needless to say, we will go slow and give it our best. I truly appreciate all the input, especially reminding me know, that I don't really know how this bird will turn out. It's too soon to tell, and to be cognizant that my grief is affecting my response.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:12 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Keep spending time with the bird and giving him treats for good behavior. Sit near the cage a lot and just talk to him before you try and touch him. The conure I have currently was a pet store rescue. No feathers when I got him, and would scream and act aggressively whenever I walked by the cage. It went on like for for about 4 months to the point where I thought I was going to have to get rid of him because he was also aggressive towards my cockatiels. One day when I had his cage open, he was watching me scratch my cockatiels head, and flew over and landed on my knee and fluffed up his head feathers to be scratched. I was absolutely floored. He is now my most cuddly bird in the flock and comes over to me to play on a regular basis. So keep it up for a couple months - every bird is different, but it is very likely that yours will come around with additional socializing.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:14 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

You have to be patient --- move at the bird's speed-- not yours. If he isn't wanting to do something, don't push to the point where he has to step away etc (that harms trust). You honestly need to give this time...You have had him for too little time to make this call.

If you can safely open the cage door and allow him to enter and exit as he pleases (without having to chase him back in if he leaves)....that is a decent start. Read nearby (out loud), talk as you do chores and use key words to say what you are doing, associate yourself ONLY WITH POSITIVES--- I know eating from your hand may seem stress-free to you, but if the bird hesitates, don't sit there and try to lure it. Take no for no, and put the treat in the bowl. If you are patient long enough (while talking to your bird etc---mind you, not in it's face- unless you are at that level) this WILL work.
I know your last one seemed to come very naturally, and I am very sorry for your lost, but I believe there is a ton of potential here---- it's just going to take a little more work in terms of reading body language etc on your part.

I could not pick up my bird for 3 months (excluding the very first day when she did allow me to remove her from her travel cage because she was terrified). We are great now...but it was like an arranged marriage...I hadn't even met her when I agreed to take her home..so there was no pre-bonding, and I agreed before getting her etc. You would never guess that she used to dislike me, but it took time and a lot of work (not pushy--mind you).

Last edited by noodles123; 09-25-2020 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:37 PM
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Re: Bird Purchase Mistake - Help!!!

Quote: Originally Posted by MegZ View Post
I want to thank everyone for their advice. I read each and every message. I appreciate both the condolences and the advice. I agree that my gut might not be working so great right now given my loss. I have really learned a valuable lesson about grieving and that is to give myself more time. I would honestly give almost anything to have my GCC back. He was so special. I can't say enough about him. He was feisty and bigger than life. This bird is so very different but I know it is only fair to give the bird a fair shake. We all know birds are very misunderstood and often treated poorly. I don't want to add to this bird's likely terrible history. So, we will give it our best shot and give it time to blossom. With that said, I do think it can happen that animals are a better match for certain people. We had adopted a kitten once, long before we had birds, and quickly realized that the kitten and us were not a good match. We tried. We ultimately found the cat a new home - never got another cat - and the person who got that cat, ended up loving him as her favorite cat of all time. Needless to say, we will go slow and give it our best. I truly appreciate all the input, especially reminding me know, that I don't really know how this bird will turn out. It's too soon to tell, and to be cognizant that my grief is affecting my response.
Straight from the heart, your passion and insight will see you through this period of grief and mixed emotions. My fervent hope is in time you'll look back and describe both birds as unique and special.
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