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ShanJax 01-03-2021 04:37 PM

My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Hello all and I'm so happy to be here! 4 weeks ago my Husband bought me what he was told was a Male IRN "Sammy" is supposed to be a 5 month old male but I believe Sammy is a girl, not sure of course. I have a few issues with Him/Her. The breeder and store owner told us her babies were hand fed but had been in a cage in her store for a couple of months. She told us that to know the sex of the bird she needed to feel the pelvis. So after two days of visiting Sammy, we decided to buy her. We were assured from breeder that she would calm down and bond quickly to us once out of the store and settled in our home.....oh how wrong this lady was. When I was a teenager I had a cockatiel for a few years, I kept her for my friend who went out of state to college as she was 4 years older than me. Anywho...that is about the extent of my experience with birds other than a very brief 8 months that I saved a white capped parrot from a home daycare. So we proceeded to buy Sammy and a small cage to bring her home in but the breeder wanted to clip her nails and shave her beak before we left. She reached into the cage and Sammy and her 2 siblings went insane! She snatched Sammy out roughly and when Sammy bit her she squeezed her beak!!! She took a seat and flipped Sammy on her back ( AS SAMMY CRIED AND SCREAMED THE ENTIRE TIME LIKE SHE WAS GETTING KILLED) She spread Sammy's feathers to look at them, started cutting her nails which all bled badly...then took a type of drill looking tool (looked like a professional dog nail grinder from a grooming salon) Sammy screamed faster louder then started panting!!!!! I was in shock and odd smell as she was grinding the beak and it was getting hot! I shouted at the lady to stop!!! Her husband tried to calm me down and said this was perfectly normal and they did this all the time. I am not stupid, maybe a bit ignorant about bird parenting but I was sick to my stomach. She sighed with a scowl look on her face and put Sammy in the cage where she gripped the side of the cage for dear life and her chest looked as though it would burst at any moment! The husband had given me a bag of that was any consolation for me or especially poor Sammy! He stated this was all they fed every species of bird in the store and it was all sunflower seeds,peanuts in the shell, big hot red peppers, corn and other tiny seeds. He stated that I should feed her this daily and as a treat I could give apples, lettuce or any other fruits and veggies twice per week. He also said that changing her food would make her sick so just come to them weekly for more( RIGHT!!!) THEN HAD THE audacity to tell me to bring her in every three months for nails, Beak and wings to be done by them at no charge in exchange for newspaper and paper towel donations....O.M.G.!!! I WAS HOLDING THE CAGE WALKING OUT LIKE A ZOMBIE. IF I COULD I WOULD HAVE TAKEN EVERY BIRD OUT OF THAT HORRIBLE PET STORE FROM Hell. I cried the entire way home. I sat in the back seat by Sammy for the hour long ride...just talking sweet and calm. Her big button eyes staring at me like I was gonna reach over and "get" her at any moment.
Needless to say, the first 5 days were terrible. She screamed and flew into the back of the cage fluttering from side to side every time I approached, just to sit by her and talk or feed or clean her cage. I was feeling defeated like I would never be able to tame this traumatized baby. I started reading all I could about this situation and Sammy's behaviour and how to earn this babies trust. I have felt so sad for her/him. No human touch, will not take a bath, lunges at all of us if we come near the cage and hated most of the fruit and veggies I bought, but not all. She slings her pellets I bought for her all over showing her dislike for them. But every day I took a trip to the store to buy three new veggies and fruits to try. Not all at once, just a little at a time. She would get so ANGRY she would tear that cage to pieces daily and somehow picking up and dumping food and water bowls out and beating up her toys I bought...growling and hissing at them. I started sitting closer and closer to Sammy throughout the day and evenings, reading out loud, watching t.v. it singing softly. On the 7th day I started eating my meals near her cage and over a 5 day period she got closer and closer until she would make little squeaks for my food so I shared. Sammy would snatch and run. I repeated this everyday. I was able to start taking a perch and having her step up on it to clean the cage daily and wipe it clean. She usually perches on a lamp while I'm doing it. Every morning she would flock call then make sad cries. I would come let her out to get on her play gym. I have been bitten several times and bled a lot. I became frustrated and reached out to other breeders, one said just try to give the baby a chance and if after 2 months nothing changed and i felt I was unable to help this bird, then he would take her. That very nite I spoke to the breeder, Sammy let me take the perch and carry her through the house. She was looking at everything and I spoke in a calm quiet voice the entire time. Now a month in, Sammy is scared of my husband still and hates hands but will reach out when I'm close to grab my shirt and climb up onto my shoulder! I feel like this is a breakthrough. Then I read that I should not be letting Sammy go from the playpen on top of the cage straight onto my arm or shoulder. So 2 days ago I had her in my room playing by herself with toys and she came over to me and perched on my speaker, tucked a foot up and took a nap! Beak grinding and all. But if I make a sudden move she is spooked. In making slow progress i think? Sammy calls out and makes horrible monkey sounds when I leave the room and will climb down flap to the floor and follow me where I go. I finally decided to ask her to " Step up" on my hand and I did it pretty swiftly so before she had time to bite she was stepping up.... We did this a few times then stopped and went back to her cage. Now we do it daily and every morning she sits on my shoulder while I prepare her breakfast then again for lunch and dinner. I messed up and now when I eat she freaks out until she can get over to see what I have and share. She has lots more energy, preens, hates baths but will get in with me and let me sprinkle water all over her but no touching. Not even with a towel, im sure because that breeder lady would always
Wrap her in a towel and put her on her back to clip nails and shave beak. I know I have messed up coming to her every time she cries and letting her hop onto my shoulder but I am changing to two fingers now and for the most part she will step up but is still nippy. She is scared of my family but my husband gently persists. Not pushing but hanging around her cage. She lunges and tries to bite him still. She was biting my ears lightly but with a tiny pinch when I was letting her hop on my shoulder and sit. I just need advice on diet, to clip or not to clip her wings, how to start training her with other toy many questions and I know this was so long! In trying to explain every detail. Oh, I also cover her cage every night, usually between 8 and 9 any earlier ...she has a fit. But sleeps quietly through the night on her favorite swing. These breeder's told me she could get no diseases and she's a boy from palpating the pelvis. I may not know if Sammy is male or female until the avian vet does the dna test. We are also checking for diseases. Please again forgive the length of this post. I just wanted to give the entire story so you guys would know exactly what all happened. I think/ hope I will be able to touch her and love on her one day. Thank you

Littleredbeak 01-03-2021 07:05 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Awe poor Sammy! I am so sorry that happened! A lot of breeders and vets apparently trim there nails past the wick - I don’t agree with this. I also got a IRN from a bad situation/petstore- they over clipped her wings so now one wing has the feathers growing in wrong or she is over preening. I personally would not clip Sammys wings because it will give her more confidence and flying is what they are made to do. You may find this article helpful- I did.

I feed my IRN organic fruits, veggies, sprouted seeds, nuts and Senior nutri berries. I offer Harrison and Topps pellets. I also sprinkle organic avian herbs, Thrive vitamins and bee pollen on her food. I read in the wild they eat flowers too- so I’ve been using dried flowers from organic teas. I’ve recently read about Bach flower essences and will be trying it soon

I am glad you adopted Sammy! I would love to see photos!!!.

ShanJax 01-08-2021 02:25 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Thank you for the information!I wrote back and added pics...i thought. I don't see them. I'm so confused...

wrench13 01-08-2021 03:55 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Whew, a lot to unpack here! First welcome and be welcomed. Thanks for rescuing Sammy form this horrible but all too familiar pet store environment. So, ringnecks are famous for going back to an almost wild state, even if they had originally been "hand fed or hand reared' if they are not handled and played with almost daily. A young parrot left in a shop cage for weeks and months is a prime example. Especially if so roughly handled. They also don't do well with wing clipping. Really try to avoid the chasing around, even if she steps up eventually, the chasing is a trust buster. Block the cage exit with your body. Use the monkey brain to figure that one out!

I think you are making progress, despite the nips and bites, She obviously is becoming attached to you. Just take your time with the progress and don't try to force anything.
Parrots rate of accepting change is glacial when compared to our monkey brain adaptability. Her diet: drop the peanuts! they can harbor fungi and mold, even the human grade ones, that is deadly for parrots. Walnuts, almonds are much better, either whole ( doubt she will take those) or shelled. The red chilies - very good for her!! Try fresh red hot chilies or other hot peppers either whole , halves or diced. Don't worry about the heat, super hot spicy chilies are merely tangy to parrots, who have 1 taste bud to 100 or ours. Start to introduce a good quality pellet slowly into her diet. Some of the good big companies offer a trial package so you don't waste $$$ buying and throwing away foods. Expect to waste a lot of produce as you introduce fresh vegetables and vary how they are presented - whole or big chunks, smaller chunks or finely chopped. Eventually you will hit the right combination and she will try and hopefully like some of them. My Salty loves mashed sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, corn, and carrots, so all are contestants in the food of the week sweepstakes!

ShanJax 01-11-2021 09:10 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Thank you Wrench 13! We had our Doctor appointment for Sammy on Saturday. Very reputable doc and the staff were awesome! Sammy got the full work up and DNA testing. We also started her/ him on. Harrison's tiny pelleted diet. She received a clean bill of health. Also now will not leave me alone...( I LOVE IT) yet my husband is butt because Sammy is still very fearful of him. Really of anyone but me. I want her/ him to like folks. But hopefully with time and patience Sammy will come around. Thanks for all the great tips and links! I still have lots to learn and tons of questions. Ill post what sex Sammy is within 7 to 10 days!

ShanJax 01-11-2021 09:12 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Oh yea, doc says sammy seems to be molting and is maybe 7 to 9 months old. So just a bit older than what i was told

ShanJax 01-11-2021 09:21 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
No more peanuts! And I went and got the peppers. Your right, I have thrown out so much produce this month! She is eating small amounts of the Harrison's pellets but sometimes( I believe she/he throws them out of bowl purposely) to show her disdain for it? I only give sunflower seeds while attempting to train. She is addicted to those things

ShanJax 01-11-2021 09:36 PM

Re: My first IRN and we have a few issues, seeking answers/advice!!
Folks, I try posting pics but nothing. I'm really not sure how to do much on this forum. Lol

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