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Old 10-19-2018, 07:54 PM
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So many questions about a military

Ok we are first time bird owners kind of involuntarily with soooo many questions. Last november we were asked to hold a military for an acquaintance because they needed the room for a child moving back to the state. Was supposed to only be like 6 months tops. Should have known when she said we had an option to purchase her. So long story short we haven't heard from her, so we are proud bird owners.
Luckily, i look and sound similar to previous owner, because she really seems to have taken to me. I've been making slow progress with getting closer and closer to her. I mean she has always stepped up and allowed me to scratch her around the head and neck, she will ride on my shoulder. I've had occasion to roll her over with a towel and she's grabbed my finger with her beak and i could lift her up. I was scared to death honestly, it was a one time only thing. She seems so moody, those good moods are very few and far between and hard to determine.
She has a designated room with a huge cage it almost takes up the entire room. Her food and water is kept in cage, but she has free range. There is a baby gate in doorway and that is where she spends most her time. There or under cage. She gets very nervous and uneasy whenever i try too bring her out with us to socialize. She's fine if i go in her room and sit with her, in fact she tries to keep me in there with her. She has a varied diet but near impossible to get her to eat anything fresh or good for her. Prefers raw peanuts, raw sunflower seeds, and pellets, will eat various other nuts. Loves protein of any kind. Any meats. Screams allot, had never plucked.
If i knew i was going to end up with her it'd have asked so many more questions. All i know is she said she had her for 7years. She will shower if i turn on shower and sit on side off tub with my arm stretched across tho far wall so she can walk out at her leisure.
We close her in her room at night,and during the day as we both work full time. So She only has her toys and radio all day until like 3. Then she's opened up till like 10.
Doesn't really seem.to play with toys much. We give her everything and doesn't enjoy much. Shredding magazines mostly. Not destructive.
There will be a whole nother post concerning her and my husband's relationship, that is where most of our questions lie. That and the possibility of adding other creatures of various kinds to our clan. We Jane always been dog people, I'm heartbroken thinking i May not be able to add canines to my home after losing 3recently. Pico came at the perfect time, i really have a hard time even thinking of rehoming her as She doesn't deserve to be shuffled from home to home. Just really asst a Crossroads right now. Any one with military advice specifically is appreciated please.
Tia
Tammy
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:27 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

Welcome to Parrot Forums!

Sounds like you need to develop a comfort zone with the family. Consider locating your Mac to the main activity room and once in that room, off to the side so your Mac can watch from a safe spot.

One of our Mac members should be along soon to provide more information.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:06 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

Welcome to you!
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:33 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

LOL "macmember" here and though I sympathize with you - having a macaw dumped in your lap is *quite* a surprise.


Okay...she

(? are you sure she is a girl? if you are stuck with her, mayby get some tests done?) screams a lot-
is that the usual beginning and end the active-day-for-her noise?
Or is she like mine: accidently taught to holler for attention ?
(back tot the shunning method if she is/ sorry, a lot of work, but it can be done! )



You've had yours a lot longer than I have mine - but apart from being good with dogs, do you have any other parrot-experience?
(I can explain things in relation/compared to dogbehaviour of course, but I speak parrot a lot better )


Chuck the peanuts for ever, and sunflower only for training if nothing else will do.
Mine will do almost anything for unshelled cedernuts/ pinenuts.
Try to get some macadamia-nuts in her; they are ridiculously expensive (here anyway), but as nuts go are loaded with usefull nutrients instead of just calories and macaws need the fatty goodness (within reason of course).
As long as the pellets are of good quality (not just fillers like rice, corn and sugars) you'll be fine.


Macaws are quite a handfull (good you have dogexperience! Mine is so riduculously puppylike sometimes.) and love to be included in all the crazyness that goes on around them -
so get her a perch where the action is and it will probably cut down on the noise.


and yes...new things (like a unknown room) will freak her out.
so take it step by step, litterally speaking, it took me weeks to get my macaw to even want to come with me on the balcony (and she can see that from her cage all day long!) - she would freak out and bite my arm when I took a single step over the treshold.
(and just as unpredicatable tried to launch herself into the even more unknown bathroom and toiletbowl, because she wanted to explore... birds are insane)
Just ask yourselves: do you *want* her to roam the house - that will happen once she gets over the fear of the unknown...
(it like dogs: allow a cute puppy something you would *never* want an adult dog to do? No? Then stop the behaviour right there and then)


I am curious what goes on with the other human in the house.

Has she picked you and is now being unkind/ agressive to the hubby?
Does she prefer hubby?


You have through all the sticky's yes?
Fear of big beaks
Bitepresseurtetraining
bonding
etc.etc.


I love the fact you have taken her in, given her a room of her own apart form the huge cage, you interacting a lot \0/, offering showers (the one thing that is guaranteed to get mine in a good mood when she is being *****y/bitey) worrying about the food etc.etc..


I have always loved the military macaws - from a distance unfortunately: they are not so abundant here as the B&G's and greenwings etc. - I only meet people who keep them as breederbirds/ aviarybirds or because they "have one of each" as part of the houseflock, so do not know many 'only bird stories' about them.


As for adding dogs: high preydrive dogtypes are an absolute no-no to ever mix and even wih the perfectly trained laid-back ones: never let them together without some kind a barier.
(bench one or the other).


==


LOL whoops this is the "welcome" section (completely missed that) ... just answer al my nosyness in your other thread plze, will find you!


thats what we do here: listen, enjoy and help if we can.
You picked a good spot!
.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 10-20-2018 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:59 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

Welcome to the Community!!!

Firstly, I don't know where you live, but birds/pets in-general are considered "Personal Property" in most US States, so even though it seems that the person/friend who you were watching her for has vaporized and seemingly abandoned her bird, don't be surprised if she just shows-up some day in the future and demands that you give her the bird back...This happens all the time, and with people like this, who obviously don't care about their bird or have any emotional attachment to their bird, they usually come back/show-up to take their bird back once they realize how much they can sell it for, or when they come into financial issues and need the cash. Young-adult Macaws in-general bring private re-homing fees that are typically between $1,000-$1,500 on sites like Craigslist, Hoobly, and all of the "bird breeder" sites such as BirdsNow and BirdBreeders.com, so I would be prepared for this person reappearing out of nowhere (what I mean by "private re-homing fees" are re-homing fees asked by people who are re-homing their birds directly to someone else and who advertise on websites like Craigslist; in-contrast, when a Macaw or other large parrot species is re-homed by an Avian Rescue, shelter, etc., then the re-homing fees are considerably less, usually only a couple hundred dollars at most, as they are actually "re-homing" the bird, whereas private owners are simply selling their birds like they would a piece of furniture or a used car)....The reason I'm bringing this up is because you seem to have become quite close with Pico, and you are no-doubt providing her with a much more loving home than she had with her prior owner, so I'd hate to have this person just show-up out of nowhere, say that she's taking Pico back, and have you and your husband not know your legal rights to Pico, and feel like you would have to simply give her back to her prior owner, which you absolutely would not have to do. When it comes to Personal Property, possession is everything, and once someone leaves a piece of their Personal Property on someone else's property and abandons it for a full year, and has also ignored all attempted contact made by the person who has their personal property to come and take it back, then they have forfeited their ownership of that personal property to the other person. A lot of people don't realize that pets are not considered "living creatures" by the law, or that they don't get any special consideration by the law, they are simply just "Personal Property", just as a car, clothing, a lawnmower, a TV, etc. would be. And while that's really disgusting to think about, it actually does protect you in this situation, because again, possession is everything.

So if Pico's prior owner does happen to show-up saying that they want her back and demanding that you give her to them along with her cage and other possessions, just know that you do not in any way have to give Pico back to her if you don't want to. All you have to do is tell her prior owner, if this happens, is that you are now Pico's owner, and if they want her back then they'll have to file in small-claims court for her, and a judge will decide where Pico belongs. Typically that ends the issue, because #1) They don't want to pay the court-costs involved with filing a suit in small-claims court, which they would be responsible for since they are the ones filing suit, and then #2) They usually realize that no judge is going to award ownership of the bird back to them after they totally and completely abandoned the bird for a full year, during which they paid for none of Pico's care, and in which they completely ignored all of your attempts to contact them to get them to come and pick Pico back up...That's an easy decision for a judge to make...

****As far as important things that you need to do right away to improve Pico's physical and psychological health, as well as her overall behavior, the very first thing I too would do is to relocate Pico's cage from that room she's in now, and move her into the "main room" of your home, the room where the "action" is in your house, essentially the room of the house where you and your husband spend most of your time, which is usually the living room, family room, den, etc. As Sailboat also recommended that you make this change immediately, wisely, I too would make this the very first thing I would do, like right now, today. As long as you keep Pico's cage in that room by herself, she is never going to become socialized, nor feel comfortable being around you or anyone else outside of that room.

Parrots are extremely territorial, and whenever they are brought into a new home with new owners, the first thing that they "bond" with is usually their cage and the area their cage is in. This becomes their "safe space"...What happens whenever you put a bird in a room away from where the people of the house spend most of their time when they are home (besides avoiding daily socialization, whether active or passive, doesn't matter as both are incredibly important with parrots) is you basically allow them to take that room as their "safe space", and this is exactly why Pico does not want to come out with you into your house and socialize. And she never will UNLESS you bring her cage out into the main room of your house, as what this will do is put her "safe space" right into the action of house, and will basically teach her to feel safe and secure not only in your presence, but in the presence of people in-general. Having her in the room with you while you are simply watching TV, reading, playing video games, talking, eating your meals, listening to music, etc., even when you're not directly interacting with her or even looking at her, will not only make her feel safe and secure in your presence, but it will also make her feel secure enough, safe enough to entertain herself with her toys and foraging activities that she has inside of her cage or on top of her cage, whatever the set-up is. One of the main reasons that she is not playing with toys or basically not doing anything but sitting in that room, or even more why she's sitting on that babygate, is because she wants to be with you, she can hear you in the other room,
she knows you're there, but her safe space is in that room because that's where her cage is...So while she wants to be in your presence, at the same time she can't be because her cage is in that room...So she can't even begin to think about playing with toys, because she needs to be on alert, sitting on/near that babygate where she can see both her cage and hear you guys at the same time.
By moving her "safe space" into your living room or whatever room you and your husband spend most of your time when you're home, you are not only going to quickly socialize Pico, but you are going to open her world up so much that you'll not be able to believe it...She's going to have her safe place, her cage, out among where you guys spend your time, and she'll be among you, near you, but on her cage, and suddenly she's going to just relax. She's going to start to feel safe and secure enough that she'll allow herself to start entertaining herself, playing with toys, climbing, singing, chewing, shredding, doing all of things a happy parrot does, Because she'll no longer have to stay close to her cage and still try to be as close to you as possible without leaving the cage, or her "safe space". So this needs to be the very first thing you do, right away, today! There is a reason that Pico wants you to come into her room and spend time with her, just being in that room sitting with her, she basically is trying to move your living room into her room where her cage is...
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:40 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

The very next thing that I would do (if you haven't already) is to find either a Certified Avian Vet or an Avian Specialist Vet that is closest to you, which we can help you find if you haven't done so or can't find one, and make an appointment for a "Wellness Exam" that includes at least a Fecal Culture and routine, "Baseline" blood-work, which you'll then have the results to that you compare to the new results you get every year when you take her for her annual Wellness Exam...Taking her to a CAV or Avian Specialist for a Wellness Exam that includes Baseline Blood-Work and a Fecal Culture is going to serve multiple purposes that are all very important. Obviously the main purpose is to make sure that Pico is healthy, isn't suffering from any infections, nutritional deficiencies, and that her kidneys and liver are functioning normally, and that her daily diet of sunflower seeds, nuts, etc. has not caused the start of Fatty Liver Disease. Parrots need to have this same Wellness Exam done at least once a year, and then their blood-work results can be compared to the levels from the year before. In addition,
taking her soon for a Wellness Exam with routine testing is going to show you and your husband basically "taking ownership" of Pico, just in-case her prior owner does decide that they want her back.
In fact, in most countries/US states, when "proof of ownership" of a parrot is needed and there is no receipt or purchase-order from the bird's original breeder available, what they use to show proof of ownership are vet records. Also, you absolutely need to have a DNA-test done to confirm Pico's gender,
unless you were given a DNA-Certificate from her prior owner, which I doubt.
Military Macaws can not be sexed visually, so a DNA-test is the only way to confirm Pico's gender, and this is extremely important because you need to be prepared for any laying of infertile eggs, because if Pico is a female, and she ever starts laying eggs, You need to prepare yourself/educate yourself and be ready to recognize any outward signs/symptoms of Pico being "Egg-Bound". Egg-Binding is 100% fatal without immediate medical intervention, and unless you're ready for it and almost expecting it, then it's very difficult to know what's going on...Plus, when you take her for her Wellness Exam they will already be drawing blood from Pico, so they can simply add the DNA-test to the blood-work, and she won't have to go through any additional blood-draws. Also, since Pico's regular, daily diet has consisted of very fatty seeds and nuts every day, she really does need to have her liver function/values checked, and if she is in-fact suffering from Fatty Liver Disease, which is likely, she needs to start taking the appropriate medications/supplements to reverse the disease, as she's still very young and this can be totally reversed without her suffering any issues due to it,
usually by simply putting her on a daily dose of Milk Thistle.


The last thing you need to do immediately is to eliminate both the sunflower seeds and the nuts from her daily diet. The fact that she eats pellets as her daily "staple" diet is very, very good, however, if the pellets that she is eating are "fruit-flavored" pellets,
or pellets that are not of a high-quality and are full of fillers and preservatives, then you need to change her pellets over to a "Natural-flavored" pellet of a higher quality,
as all fruit-flavored pellets are just loaded with sugar, and this sugar is simply turned into fat and stored in her liver.
So feeding a bird fruit-flavored pellets is essentially the same as feeding them a cheap seed-mix that is full of sunflower seeds, peanuts, corn, etc. There are many healthy, low-fat, low-sugar pellets out there that are extremely healthy for Pico, including Harrison's, Tops, Tropican, Zupreem Natural, LaFaber Pelletberries, etc.

Keep in-mind that Pico cannot eat anything unless you give it to her. Things like sunflower seeds, nuts (specifically peanuts), and corn should not ever be a part of her daily diet, because they are only serving to cause Fatty Liver Disease, Diabetes, Gout, and any number of other serious and extremely common health conditions/diseases that effect captive, pet parrots, and end-up costing you thousands in vet bills down the road, as well as of course ending her life very early. As mentioned above, there is a huge difference between "healthy fats" and worthless fats, and the 3 most commonly fed foods to parrots are unfortunately also the 3 unhealthiest foods that you can feed your parrot, and they are Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts, and Corn/Cracked Corn.

Pico's regular, daily diet should consist of a staple diet of a Natural-flavored Pellet, and small amount of a healthy, low-fat, low-sugar, varied seed-mix, and then fresh veggies. Fresh fruit contains a ton of sugar unfortunately, so it should only be given 3-4 times a week at most, and in small quantities; Fresh Veggies, other than Onions, which are toxic to birds, are extremely healthy and can be fed every single day...Usually it's about finding the fresh veggies that the bird likes, and you usually have to try several before you find one that they love. Veggie "Chops" are usually liked, and there are a ton of great Chop recipes in the Food forum...

Try fresh veggies and dark, leafy greens such as Green Beans, Peas in the Pod, all types of Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn, Yellow, Green, etc.), Sweet Potatoes, Egg-Plant, Okra, all types of Peppers, specifically all colors of Bell Peppers which they usually love, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, etc....The dark, leafy greens that are healthy include Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Dandelion Greens, Bok Choy and Pak Choy, Arugula/Rocket, Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach (sparingly), Romaine Lettuces (sparingly), etc. Usually they like the meatier veggies, such as the Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Plant, and Okra, along with all types of Peppers the best (birds do not have the receptors that perceive "heat" from peppers, therefore they can eat any type of Peppers without feeling the heat)...

As far as healthy seed-mixes that contain No Sunflower Seeds, No Safflower Seeds, No Sesame Seeds, No Nuts of any kind, and no Corn, they include Tropimix (which also contains Tropican pellets in it), Higgin's California Blend, Higgin's Non-Sunflower, SunSeed VitaPrima Non-Sunflower Seed, Zupreem Sensible Seed, VitaKraft, all of the Volkman seed-mixes...

****Sunflower Seeds should only be given to Pico as a very occasional treat; All Nuts should also only be occasional treats, but Peanuts contain little to no nutritional value to Pico, so when choosing Nuts to give Pico as occasional treats, choose Nuts in-the-shell, as Macaws love to shell nuts, and choose healthy Nuts that will provide some valuable nutrition and healthy-fats, such as Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Filberts, Macadamia Nuts, etc. And never give any Corn Kernels/Cracked Corn at all; Cooked Corn-on-the-Cob is a good, occasional treat, they love to eat it right off of the cob.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:22 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

Welcome to you and Pico! Definitely a "dump job" but rather surprising with a fairly valuable bird. And no contact! Agree with the advice given regarding possession and the law.

You'll find much information in the Macaw Forum. "Birdman666" has written extensively about macaws and their behaviors. I've had GW and B&G Macs but never a Military. Beautiful birds!
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:25 AM
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Re: So many questions about a military

You already know about not using scented anything (candles, Bleach, Lysol, Windex, nail polish, sharpie markers, shoe-polish, carpet cleaners, air-fresheners, scented oils etc) , right?


Also, anything that heats up (kitchen- or non-kitchen) often contains deadly PFOA/PTFE/Teflon or fluoro-plastics....DO NOT use these around your bird (not even in the same house). Non-stick pans are the most obvious, but air-poppers, steamers, blow-dryers, curling irons, space heaters, vaporizers etc often contain internal heating elements coated in the same dangerous chemicals. The only way to verify is to call the manufacturer and give them the full names of the chemicals, as well as the abbreviations...They will likely have to call you back, because it is something that takes a bit of research on their end.
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