help with introducing a new scarlet male to my blue and gold macaw

zoeygirl81

New member
Mar 28, 2013
7
0
Hello everyone,

need some help.
long read my apologies
I have had a blue and gold named Zoey for over 10 years. in all honest terms she is my kid. Very recently i moved in with my fiance and Zoey has been having a very hard time. Not only did I move in with someone but i changed my job and am home less. Now.. i am only out of the house 4 hours a day 3 times a week when before i worked from home. SO she started plucking about 5 months ago. About a month after i moved. Took her to my avian vet he originality believed it was stress induced and that it would subside after she acclimated better. it got worse..... took her back he found that she had a feather anomaly. it was a twisted feather growing out of the same follicle as a regular healthy feather. He belived it was painful and was causing a feather cyst. SO we had it removed. she seemed ok for a few days a bit sedated from the pain meds. Then the plucking returned. took her back for blood work and to test for beak or feather disease. everything came back normal. He then put her on bird haldoperodol. .25 mg twice a day... it sedated her. but did absolutely nothing for the plucking. finally he took her off the meds.. gave her a shot of hydro cortisone this past monday and put her on antihistamines. wallah. the plucking has completely stopped. looks like it was a skin allergy possibly to my fiances cat. Who she loves by the way.

now this past saturday i went to a bird store to pick up some toys. As im walking around i see this super plucked super huge super sad looking scarlet. i ask because i cant help myself. Attis is a 36 year old male who has been at the store for over a year. His owner dropped him off for boarding and died on his way home to pick him up. family wouldnt take him. now hes beautiful. but beautiful in the type of way that only people who love birds would see. He is naked. like has plucked every feather and every follicle off his belly, back and under wing. every single one. he actually looks like hes wearing socks and a crop top. He stepped up to me immediately greated me with a great hello and lifted his wing to be pet... now heres a bird thats been through alot, little to no human interaction at all and hes sooo sweet.

as my heart breaks. my fiance tells me we should take him home. we are more then capable of giving him the life he deserves. my only problem.. zoey.. how is she going to react. Now i have to tell you zoey is fully and completely bonded to me. she cleans out my eye brows. pulls the hair of my arms... calls me mama and blows me kisses everynight as i put her to sleep. she is truly my child. i don't even think i could physically birth a kid id love more. the vet had told me. maybe she needed a friend. so... we waited for the store to close, waited for the stands to be sterilized and took zoey in for a meet and great.... it was difficult to tell.. he wanted to be close to her. she wasn't so sure... she opened her beak and he got the picture. the store told us we could try it. give it 30 days and bring him back if it didn't work. i wasn't going to take him.. but then he said hello to her and she said hello back both their eyes dilated and he did a little hello dance for her and my heart strings were pulled right out of my mouth. the owner showed us that he had been vet tested for every disease and everytihng was negative.

well hes home with us..

we made zoey a huge bird stand ourselves and added a whole other part for him.. we keep them together about 20 minutes and then we move one to the other room this is day 2. shes afraid of him. but i think shes afraid in a way that she believes hes going to take over... i don't want them to bond with each other ive been told aggression comes with that and i love her to much to loose her. He tries to get close, but i don't allow it.. i am watching every second of their interaction. he is much bigger then her and i can't risk it.. she shows him her beak i tell him to back up and he does. they have their separate cages in one room on opposite sides of the wall.

in end. whats the best way to test this without risking either ones health. What steps do i need to take to try and form a relationship that is basically to combat loneliness, without actually having them pair. is this possible? he is 35 and she is 25. the truth is her attachment to me is endearing but it is also super exhausting. if im home she needs to be with me.. and nothing will stop her shell fly to me, rattle the cage.. scream MOMMMMMMM as loud and as long as possible to get me over. no amount of time outs or leaving the room aide in this, and i want her to find joy in something other then just me. I will tell you that zoey is super difficult when it comes to human contact. NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE can go near her if im home its like she can smell me even if she doesnt see me. If im not present shell digress and go with my fiance to her cage for bedtime. its been a difficult one.. i blame myself, i know its my fault. i was so afraid that shed feel left out when i moved that spent every extra minute with her... up to 8 hours of interaction a day. we go to the beach, the park and i even take her on my picnics or to the grocery store (she waits in the car).

Now im struggling. i believe im doing even more harm because possibly giving her even more attention in fear that shell be jealous of the new bird. if he gets a nut she gets one. if i pet him. i pet her. if i hold him its usually when shes not looking. if she sees me i put him down and hold her. same goes for my fiance trying to be equal but its harder with zoey.

any advice would be ideal... thanks guys sorry about this book i just wrote.
:blue1::red1:
 
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Ellie777Australia

Supporting Member
Apr 12, 2019
1,280
49
Queensland, Australia
Parrots
SI Eclectus Female, Ellie; RS/SI Eclectus Male, Bertie (both adopted as rescue/re-home)
Welcome zoeygirl81, Zoey and Attis....so delighted that you are with us. If Zoey is 25yo and you have had her for 10 years then she had 15 years under her belt before you and you have been amazing with her. Darling Attis may finally have found a place to spend the rest of his sweet life at the age of 35. Kudos to you for both rescues.

Both my babies are rescues. I also had the female first who is very attached and calls me mommy or MOMMY when I'm misbehaving. Bertie came home with us on July 2, 2019 which I do believe is the same day that Attis was welcomed into your family. Anyhow, I expect that many of our forum members will be along shortly and provide incredible advice...you are not alone...we are here for you and this will work!:)
 
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Ellie777Australia

Supporting Member
Apr 12, 2019
1,280
49
Queensland, Australia
Parrots
SI Eclectus Female, Ellie; RS/SI Eclectus Male, Bertie (both adopted as rescue/re-home)
Hi again, I guess our North American friends are sleeping at the moment and our Australian/European members are yet to settle down for the evening but I do expect you to hear from them soon. The advice/scenario which I present stems from information that I have read and trial and error based on close observations of interactions. I welcome advice from our members just as much as you do.

Working through the content of your post, let us start with established facts: Attis is at home with you; Zoey was seriously bonded with you; work and home/fiance changes have already affected Zoey (negatively ?) in that she is seeing you less frequently. You will have to continue the 'less frequent' contact because your work routine/situation has changed. And, Attis has a feather plucking problem to boot...

Your current primary concern to be addressed is 'interaction' between the two? Or, primary is Zoey's contact being less than previous? Either way, you have to continue to limit Zoey's contact to wean her into acceptance of the real work life situation. Contact has to be of highest quality and the new routine has to fit into your work schedule. She will adjust to the change with you. Ensure that she has toys for every need: destroying, chewing, puzzles, foraging etc and confirm that her cage is large enough for wing-span/flapping exercises etc.

Attis also will need appropriate size cage and toys. He will more readily accommodate to your new routine. As other more experienced members have stated, try to maintain the contact and routine every day as fitting your schedule. Schedules are important even on days off, weekends etc.

Zoey and Attis interaction: slow, distant, observe every interaction. I'm alert to Ellie's body language but only just getting to know Bertie's. He came with 'biting and screaming behaviours'. I have to observe and note triggers for him. I can't risk a family member or Ellie being bitten or attacked. Play it safe until you know Attis better and also how Zoey feels about him. Relationships take time.

Cage styles and territory: Bertie's is domed and Ellie's has a playground top. The playground top generally causes more territorial behaviour around the cage zone. I dismantled everything from on top of both cages and everything they need individually is inside. I dismantled all Ellie's other play zones and have only the two cages and a very basic neutral zone at the moment, just for testing the waters. This was to ensure Ellie didn't do the territorial thing with play areas as well as her cage. Ultimately the play zones will be shared fun. Realistically they may be sharing it via alternating play times if they don't get along. I would never leave them out of the cages together without supervision.

The current cage separation that you have permits distant interaction via visibility and vocal responses. Ellie and Bertie are starting to chat back and forth now after a week. I personally will always keep Ellie and Bertie in separate cages. I feel that they need their own space as they are both used to it. I call it their 'safe zones' so if either is feeling a little insecure or tired they can go to their 'safe zones' as they wish.
 
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wrench13

Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
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1,774
Isle of Long, NY
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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Welcome. Other macaw folks will chime in here. I only give you this advice. Never get a second ( or third etc) parrot solely to keep another parrot company. You get them because you want a second one. Introducing more birds to your flock, in addition to 2X the work and time, can backfire, badly. They could hate each other. They could decide that they like or love the other bird better than you. They could ignore the other bird. And they might find solace in each other. I commend you for wanting to improve this scarlet's life, just make sure you do it for the right reasons.
 

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