Advice needed for socializing an older Amazon

NissaNoel

New member
May 13, 2024
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Parrots
Double headed Amazon
Pineapple conure
This is CoCo, my beautiful old man amazon. He is about 45 years old and I've known him and tried socializing with him ever since I was a kid. In 30 years I've only been able to touch him once. The day he moved in with me, let his guard down for a few second and I was able to give him the head scratches.
His background: CoCo was a gift to my grandmother back in the 70s from my grandfather. She said CoCo was just a little tiny baby bird when she got him and she has had him ever since. He has probably spent his whole life in a cage or around it. I honestly have no idea if he's ever been handled in the past. As my grandmother is getting older some things have gotten harder for her to do, so she gifted him to me, since as she puts ir, CoCo has at least another 40 years In him and she knows I will be there loving him. Sad reality.

Since getting him, we've taken him to the vet. He's in great health just a little fat from years or peanuts. To get him out of the cage tho I had to use a towel, and he definitely wasn't for it. A few bloody finger later he made it to the carrier. He's definitely protective of his space and will try to bite or yell at you for going in his Space. If I leave the door open he dose not try to get out or escape. If anything he pokes his head out or on rare occasions sits on the door opening. We talk everyday, I work from home so I get to see him all the time and talk to him. He diet has changed from just seeds and peanuts to an assortment of fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. On special occasions a tortilla chip or 2. It does not matter what food I offer him he will not take it from my hand. I've tried everything. All the training research has said to use food as a reward but I'm at a loss on how to if he won't take it.

Home life right now I keep in in the same room as my 1 year conure. Whom he tolerates being around and talking to but hates when she is on his cage. She always trys to be near him when she out of her cage. If he would let her she would go in his cage with him. Unfortunately I'm certain he would bite her head off. He bruised her foot by biting it already.

I basically need any advice on how I can improve his quality of life. I know he's slowly been bonding more with me but being able to actually able to handle him would be great. His feet are dry and I'd like to be able to moisturizer them or able to trim his nails. I know it will take a lot of time for him to let me pet him but I'd like to at least get him to come out of his cage, stretch his wings a bit.
 

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This is CoCo, my beautiful old man amazon. He is about 45 years old and I've known him and tried socializing with him ever since I was a kid. In 30 years I've only been able to touch him once. The day he moved in with me, let his guard down for a few second and I was able to give him the head scratches.
His background: CoCo was a gift to my grandmother back in the 70s from my grandfather. She said CoCo was just a little tiny baby bird when she got him and she has had him ever since. He has probably spent his whole life in a cage or around it. I honestly have no idea if he's ever been handled in the past. As my grandmother is getting older some things have gotten harder for her to do, so she gifted him to me, since as she puts ir, CoCo has at least another 40 years In him and she knows I will be there loving him. Sad reality.

Since getting him, we've taken him to the vet. He's in great health just a little fat from years or peanuts. To get him out of the cage tho I had to use a towel, and he definitely wasn't for it. A few bloody finger later he made it to the carrier. He's definitely protective of his space and will try to bite or yell at you for going in his Space. If I leave the door open he dose not try to get out or escape. If anything he pokes his head out or on rare occasions sits on the door opening. We talk everyday, I work from home so I get to see him all the time and talk to him. He diet has changed from just seeds and peanuts to an assortment of fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. On special occasions a tortilla chip or 2. It does not matter what food I offer him he will not take it from my hand. I've tried everything. All the training research has said to use food as a reward but I'm at a loss on how to if he won't take it.

Home life right now I keep in in the same room as my 1 year conure. Whom he tolerates being around and talking to but hates when she is on his cage. She always trys to be near him when she out of her cage. If he would let her she would go in his cage with him. Unfortunately I'm certain he would bite her head off. He bruised her foot by biting it already.

I basically need any advice on how I can improve his quality of life. I know he's slowly been bonding more with me but being able to actually able to handle him would be great. His feet are dry and I'd like to be able to moisturizer them or able to trim his nails. I know it will take a lot of time for him to let me pet him but I'd like to at least get him to come out of his cage, stretch his wings a bit.
Have you looked at the Bird Tricks YouTube videos? Touch/Target training is a great place to begin!!! It's hands off and yes, treats are suggested as a reward, but you can give praise, sing a silly song, scratch his head through the bars? He is not getting peanuts now? You can use as a reward. Peanut butter on carrot...

When I removed seeds from my CAGs diet he became a lot more eager to train in order to get a seed!

Can you get him a new cage? Change his environment.
 
I question if he really is a double yellow head Amazon. At 45 or so yers old, his entire head should be a solid yellow. And his beak is the wrong color, DYH's have a natural colored beak, no black streaks. He looks more like a yellow fronted Amazon. See the pic below. As far as training him, I would remove the nuts and fruit from his daily diet. See if you can entice him with something from those food groups. Personally, we train our little Amazon Salty with small pieces of pine nut. He would plow the back 40 for a pine nut. You don;t want either of those groups to form a big part of his diet anyway. I suggest having a specific little bowl for the treat foods, inside and close to the cage door. Once he is eating and expecting those treats to be in the bowl, I would then fasten it to the outside of the cage, also right next to the door. Then gradually move it further and further away from the door. At that point I would try to offer his special treat from my fingers right at the open door, and progress from there. This will likely take several months if not more - from what you said above, this guy is really cage bound and that takes a long time to overcome. But it can be done, no doubt about that.

yellow-crowned-amazon.jpg
 
Bless you and bless that beautiful amazon and your grandma too, smart to go to you to re-home.
 

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