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Old 08-08-2018, 12:47 AM
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Urgent Rehoming to Us

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Hi guys, I realise most of y'all are sleeping, and I'll probably be mid-shopping by the time you respond. But you might remember I initially joined this forum when a little ekkie got lost and landed on our balcony. We did find and return him home Then a month or so later, we met up again with him and his family to catch up.

His family reached out to us earlier this week, saying that they urgently need to rehome him because of their newborn baby. They know we've been interested in adopting/rescuing in the future, and I suppose they like the way we interact with the little guy (and that we're open to them visiting him anytime).

So this is quite a few months in advance of my original plan (of mice and men, ya know). That being said, I know I'm inexperienced, but I also believe he has a better chance with us. So let me just sum it into 2 parts - ideal and questions on reality.

Here was my ideal:
  • Our adoptee would be mature, past adolescence. This little one is only a year and three months, which is good (past the weaning period); just didn't mentally prep for teenager angst, but will brace ourselves now.
  • We'd get a hacienda-style cage for him with plenty of flight room and space of toys inside.
  • We'd get an acrylic covered feeder to prevent fruit/veggie flinging outside of the cage.
  • I'd already have a ton of toys for him to grow accustomed to as well as a mobile playstand.
  • He'd have his own personal computer/tablet with screen for him to watch videos and for me to skype in during work hours.
  • We'd have medical records and knowledge of his diets/triggers.
  • I would already have everything - toys, harness, cage, etc.
  • We'd have meshed up our window ledge. It's about 1.5 feet extending outside with a shelter overhead and 6-7 feet wide. It looks like it would be a good viewing area for the ekkie.
  • I would have already sewed a symbolic cage cover - to use just to let him know it's bedtime.

...

Here's a couple of pressing concerns, especially since he needs to be rehomed urgently - can't delay. So I need to know what to rush out for ASAP, since tomorrow is a Public Holiday:

- I can't buy a good sized cage immediately in the country; I'd have to ship in, taking weeks. But I also know he has zero toys whatsoever (toys aren't considered a necessity for birds locally, so most don't provide toys for their birds). I was planning on finding maybe a couple of toys as options for him. Any specific recommendations since he's not familiar with toys and I'd have to teach him how to play? (I do have an ongoing list of toys I'd like to buy, but I'm more concerned about his unfamiliarity with toys).

- I know he's a toe-tapper. I saw it myself, but we don't know his trigger (and people where I live aren't particularly concerned about this). I plan on following the diets (and process of slow introduction) that Lincoln and Jasper and other ekkies with toe-tapping are on. But is there anything else I can do? I do plan on taking him to the local avian vet ASAP, but it'll be sometime before the appointment.

- His family is giving us his little cage (I mean little for an ekkie; it seems more cockatiel size). We'll use it at first to not scare him and offer him a mobile playstand if he feels comfortable leaving the cage. He's not used to playstands at all either; he's only used to perching on a tripod if he's outside of his cage. My partner is excited to build things for the little guy, but how can we make a playstand more friendly for him, apart from food and time?

- He's currently got an S-hook for his leg chain. I'd love to get rid of immediately, but I know he'll be skittish and local avian vets are fine with leg chains. So it'll stay on until we can harness train (likely well into next year before we can even start thinking about that process) and I can convince a vet to remove it. However, while we are scrambling to make our house bird-proof, we have a lot of openings to the outside (above windows have a sheltered opening that anything can move through, from cockroaches to lizards and, I anticipate, ekkies). Luckily the room he'll be staying in doesn't have this, but our bathroom does. While we are looking to mesh them up ASAP, in the meantime, how can I give him a proper shower? Just mist-spray him from above? Or bring him to the bathroom with a retractable leash on his S-hook (I know, worst case scenario, but I don't want him to feel dirty and start plucking)?
I know this is far from ideal, but I'd rather take him in now, knowing that in a few months, he'd have a larger cage, a better diet, more toys, more opportunities to socialise, regular vet access, no leg chain; rather than letting him go to a home that is unlikely to provide such things (just a cultural fact).
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 01:15 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Cage - you'll have to use his current cage for the time being until you can get a more suitable cage together

Toys - if you don't have any immediately, maybe you could look into making your own toys for now? There's a ton of DIY toy ideas out there, add in foraging to help keep his mind occupied and engaged!

Toe Tapping - *so* many reasons.... getting to a vet is a good start! If he eats pellets, then I'm not going to tell you that he shouldn't be eating pellets as there are ekkies out there eating pellets without any toe tapping or wing flipping issues! But I also wont say that it's not part of the problem. It could be due to an owner feeding vitamins and minerals on top of already feeding a pellet based diet, or maybe it's a calcium deficiency. It could be zinc toxicity, food allergy, or any other number of possible issues.

I would recommend checking out the article/survey that was put together about eclectus toe tapping and wing flipping. It's the last one on this page, and if you search the page (Ctrl + F) and type in "tapping", it will take you directly to the beginning

https://healthyoregonlovebirds.wordp...ctus-articles/


Playstand - you could get him more used to one with toys (if you find any he likes) and foraging opportunities! You can also work on target training him to learn to enjoy it!

Here's some bathing techniques you can try.
  • Try luke-warm water
  • Try cold water
  • Try ice-cold water
  • Try a spray bottle
  • Try a plant mister
  • Try in the sink with the water running or just some water in the bottom
  • Try in the sink with the sprayer
  • Try in the tub with some water in the bottom
  • Try a casserole dish or similar with some water
  • Try the dish with ice
  • Try the dish with foot toys
  • Try the dish with some leafy greens like endive or other types of lettuces that may create a "natural" bowl
  • Try the dish with a vacuum cleaner
  • Try in the shower with you - watching you having a blast getting wet!
  • Try dancing the bird into the shower with the water already going
  • Try spritzing yourself, and have fun doing it! Then spritz the bird
  • Try outside in an empty cage large enough to spread wings during a nice rain shower
  • Try outside in an empty cage using the hose with a mist/shower attachment


I know it's not exactly an ideal situation but it's great that you are able to help this ekkie out and give him a better home!
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The Earth is not flat and the Sun does not revolve around the Earth. Don't be afraid to question what you learn. In doing so, you may discover a greater truth. ~Mc
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 02:24 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Whoeii...I knew it.... he really belongs with you!

Ehm...cagewise: I always keep my new ones in the crappy, annoying, waaaaaaaay to small cages till the have settled down (a bit) to the new house.
It's far from ideal- but they have something familiar (even if it turns my stomach to see it) and it helps them to adjust.

Then (when they want to come out, not when I want it) I let them check out the larger one and so far they have moved in asap: birds usually know a good thing when they see it! Clever ones!

So...no worries if your large cage isn't there yet.
It will come.

=

LOL I just loooove the fact you have almost finished preparing for the arrival of another bird and now your first friend comes back...
He already picked you, so one less worrie about finding 'the perfect bird'

=

Ugh legchains...the are forbidden for some very good reasons, great you want to remove those.
! Start harnesstraining him as soon as you can get one!!
He is still young and accepting new things easily - do not wait!
Make it part of cuddling up etc.

and ....just take it slow, he will be with you for a very long time
Cage and comfort first, fix his diet .the rest will follow.

(Monica got showers and diet covered already)

Do not forget to enjoy the experience!
EKKIETIME \o/

I think you guys will do great together.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 08-08-2018 at 02:27 AM.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 04:53 AM
Member
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Cairo the Ekkie!
Join Date: May 2018
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Thanks: 172
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Quote: Originally Posted by MonicaMc View Post
Cage - you'll have to use his current cage for the time being until you can get a more suitable cage together

Toys - if you don't have any immediately, maybe you could look into making your own toys for now? There's a ton of DIY toy ideas out there, add in foraging to help keep his mind occupied and engaged!

Toe Tapping - *so* many reasons.... getting to a vet is a good start! If he eats pellets, then I'm not going to tell you that he shouldn't be eating pellets as there are ekkies out there eating pellets without any toe tapping or wing flipping issues! But I also wont say that it's not part of the problem. It could be due to an owner feeding vitamins and minerals on top of already feeding a pellet based diet, or maybe it's a calcium deficiency. It could be zinc toxicity, food allergy, or any other number of possible issues.

I would recommend checking out the article/survey that was put together about eclectus toe tapping and wing flipping. It's the last one on this page, and if you search the page (Ctrl + F) and type in "tapping", it will take you directly to the beginning

https://healthyoregonlovebirds.wordp...ctus-articles/


Playstand - you could get him more used to one with toys (if you find any he likes) and foraging opportunities! You can also work on target training him to learn to enjoy it!

Here's some bathing techniques you can try.
  • Try luke-warm water
  • Try cold water
  • Try ice-cold water
  • Try a spray bottle
  • Try a plant mister
  • Try in the sink with the water running or just some water in the bottom
  • Try in the sink with the sprayer
  • Try in the tub with some water in the bottom
  • Try a casserole dish or similar with some water
  • Try the dish with ice
  • Try the dish with foot toys
  • Try the dish with some leafy greens like endive or other types of lettuces that may create a "natural" bowl
  • Try the dish with a vacuum cleaner
  • Try in the shower with you - watching you having a blast getting wet!
  • Try dancing the bird into the shower with the water already going
  • Try spritzing yourself, and have fun doing it! Then spritz the bird
  • Try outside in an empty cage large enough to spread wings during a nice rain shower
  • Try outside in an empty cage using the hose with a mist/shower attachment


I know it's not exactly an ideal situation but it's great that you are able to help this ekkie out and give him a better home!
Thanks, Monica!

It does makes sense to start with something simple, DIY for toys. I've saved a lot from this forum, so will definitely start from there.

And I don't know why I had blanked on bathing! Haha, but your list is a huge helpful reminder and I learned something new with adding leafy greens to the bath. I'm hoping his little cage is big enough for him to stretch/flap his wings when he needs to.

For his diet, I'm definitely going to go with fresh chop if he'll accept it (if I can give him my best, I'll do it) and hope that'll help him in the meantime until we can see the avian vet. I've saved a lot of reading on the topic, but hadn't come across your link - so thank you!! It's a daunting thought for me, seeing how it's progressed worse for some of the ekkies on this forum. But the wealth of knowledge and advice is reassuring.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 05:05 AM
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Cairo the Ekkie!
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
Whoeii...I knew it.... he really belongs with you!

Ehm...cagewise: I always keep my new ones in the crappy, annoying, waaaaaaaay to small cages till the have settled down (a bit) to the new house.
It's far from ideal- but they have something familiar (even if it turns my stomach to see it) and it helps them to adjust.

Then (when they want to come out, not when I want it) I let them check out the larger one and so far they have moved in asap: birds usually know a good thing when they see it! Clever ones!

So...no worries if your large cage isn't there yet.
It will come.

=

LOL I just loooove the fact you have almost finished preparing for the arrival of another bird and now your first friend comes back...
He already picked you, so one less worrie about finding 'the perfect bird'

=

Ugh legchains...the are forbidden for some very good reasons, great you want to remove those.
! Start harnesstraining him as soon as you can get one!!
He is still young and accepting new things easily - do not wait!
Make it part of cuddling up etc.

and ....just take it slow, he will be with you for a very long time
Cage and comfort first, fix his diet .the rest will follow.

(Monica got showers and diet covered already)

Do not forget to enjoy the experience!
EKKIETIME \o/

I think you guys will do great together.
Thank you, Christa!! It feels like a strange fairytale come true, haha! I know he's still very shy with anyone outside of his family, so it'll definitely be a long time before he opens up again. The last time was only because we were humans and a source of company/food! A cheeky little guy, he was then.

He doesn't like being touched at all, but will tolerate stepping up to a certain extent before he starts biting (but he's polite enough to gradually increase pressure to give warning). So it'll be a slow process just to get him ok with his new environment and for me to read his body language better. I'm hoping eating food with him and sitting/chatting with him will be a good reintroduction to each other. God knows I can chill out with animals for hours!

I know his family did try doing some free flight with him and some recall training (hence him flying off to our place ). But I think it's safer just to start from ground zero with target training after he's more comfortable with the new homing situation. So I anticipate a while of just food bribes and chilling. We'll see if he's up to learning to be ok with a harness, but I don't want to stress him so much since this is his first rehoming (and his last if I can help it!).

And I'm so scared/nervous/excited - I don't want to jinx it by saying his name just yet!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 05:08 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

For reference, here's his current home!
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Urgent Rehoming to Us-38646153_1012172205620312_2141783517728604160_n.jpg  
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:05 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

That is about the size you would expect not very well informed parrotowners to get for their first one- it's not a great cage, but also not completely horrible- so he will probably survive the few weeks till you can get him his "grande palace".


Just feeling sorry how he seems to be shoved out of the way there, the cage covered so he can't see out.
Saying that... already knowing he'll be better placed helps a lot!
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:54 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
That is about the size you would expect not very well informed parrotowners to get for their first one- it's not a great cage, but also not completely horrible- so he will probably survive the few weeks till you can get him his "grande palace".


Just feeling sorry how he seems to be shoved out of the way there, the cage covered so he can't see out.
Saying that... already knowing he'll be better placed helps a lot!
I'm keeping it as reference now that I'm buying him stuff. Like now I know I need a perch of varying sizes because he's on a dowel right now. And a toy that's small enough to fit his cage. It's just a struggle to find things that are safe for him and match his size. Haha, googling now to see if Beeztees is a safe brand

Luckily he'll only be moving in on Friday - I'm just messaging different bird stores to see if they're open tomorrow during the Public Holiday.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 07:48 AM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Hi, kings cages has really good cages and I've actually just ordered one for myself. This one to be exact
King's Cages - Avian and Pet Bird Cages, Supplies, Food, Toys, Perches, Aviaries, Pluck No More
I got the chance to see one in person and it's a really really good size imo (I knew the dimensions before I ordered it and stuff and I knew it was bigger than his current cage but I have a hard time visualizing stuff)

I don't think I've really talked much about Lincoln's toe tapping issue. It was really on and off for awhile. He would toe tap and I would change his diet and then he'd be fine for a bit but then after a few weeks start toe tapping again. It wasnt until i took him to the vet and did a full spectrum blood work did I get my answers. He seems to be doing okay now, I'm a tad cautiously optimistic but yeah. Do take him to the vet asap.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2018, 01:16 PM
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Re: Urgent Rehoming to Us

Does he need to be caged? I have had birds for 48 years, door to cage only shut when workers or non-bird people around. Back in 70's we had a wild amazon, once we let him out, he bonded quickly.
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