How Do I Acclimate A 29 Year Old Double Yellow Head From Outside To Inside Living?

bcgal

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Sep 3, 2021
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Double Yellow Head
Hi.....new to the site but have been reading for a couple hours off and on looking for an answer. I have a friend that has an outside female DYH that she can't care for any longer. The bird has never been handled, not tame at all and in fact will bite your finger off if given the chance. She is loved, treated and taken care of very well, lives in a 10Lx7Hx6D aviary but has always been very aggressive. I've offered to take Iris, but would like to make her an inside bird for several reasons....one being that I have a very small yard and have a lot of cats that would drive her nuts and definitely eat her if they could. Two, I live right on a bayou near the swamp in southern Louisiana and the mosquitos would eat her alive. And three.....I think she is lonely and would like to try to tame her, or at least give her more stimulation than she gets now. I'm an animal lover and rescuer and am very comfortable around all animals. I've had Quakers and Cockatiels in the past and am prepared to be bitten in the process. Maybe LOTS of times :). I have gone into her aviary to put up new perches, heaters, fans, heat lights or toys and with animal gloves to catch her a few times when necessary. She's actually flown at me as if to attack, so I've learned to just have a fishing net to keep between her and myself.

I'd love some help on the acclimation from outside to inside as my friend said she was told that Iris might have molting issues if we try to bring her inside. I know it can't be done just like that, but I don't know the right way to do it either. Also, any advice on trying to tame her, or is it even possible at 29 years old? She was bought with a mate but sadly he died about 15 years ago and she has been alone since. They were supposedly a handfed pair and he was indeed very friendly and could be handled whereas she was not friendly at all and my friend became scared of her after being bitten pretty good a few times. So their relationship has existed with cage bars in between them all this time. Iris seems to enjoy the interaction of people standing at her cage talking to her and she comes right up to you and talks and whistles and takes treats, but again.....leave your finger vulnerable to being bitten and it will happen.

We are in south Louisiana and still having internet and cell phone issues after hurricane IDA (we do have power back) so I will check in as often as I can. Thanks so much for any help!

Iris 3.jpg
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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In the old days people poached wild parrots and befriend them.
So yes , tho progress can be slow.
I know our Amazon folks will give you great advice.

The largest cage you can get. Explain everything to her, always come towards her from the front of Cage, use the sane phrases. Be predictable, have routine, so she feel in control and knows what to expect.
 
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bcgal

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In the old days people poached wild parrots and befriend them.
So yes , tho progress can be slow.
I know our Amazon folks will give you great advice.

The largest cage you can get. Explain everything to her, always come towards her from the front of Cage, use the sane phrases. Be predictable, have routine, so she feel in control and knows what to expect.

Thank you Laurasea, and BTW I read about your baby Neptune and am so very sorry. I read a few pages then skipped to the end to see if he had been found :-(. The that special one for me was also a Quaker, Benny years ago. I walked in to a pet store to buy a dog collar and he jumped on my shoulder when I passed by him and the rest was history. I lost him to fatty liver disease and still miss him so much. I pray Neptune finds his way home and your heart heals.
 

wrench13

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Hi and welcome. First thing is to read and re-read several times the AMazon Body language thread and the I Love Amazons thread over on our Amazons subforum. Both contain invaluable info on living and understanding Amazons. Written by Sailbaots, one of our best Amazon gurus here! So this one already has zero reason to trust you, since your use of animal gloves to capture her will pretty much have drained that away. Parrots are all abut trust. Good news is that amazons are able to set the clock to zero, very often, so you may be able to re-establish your relationship with this one.

Just be aware the presence of "a lot of cats" in your home is going to make this a difficult journey if these are cats that have the run of the house. Not only are cats predators, and parrots prey, but cat saliva and even scratches from a claw can be deadly to parrots, as they have no biologic protection from the pathogens contained in felines. This is aside from the nerve wracking this bird will go thru from constantly being in close proximity to a predator, even if your cats ignore the parrot. We see so many cases of where cats ( and dogs) and parrots are inside the house together, and seem fine until one day when they aren't and the bird is the one who suffers. All it takes is a split second, a literal blink of an eye.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Thank you, there isn't a day that I don't think of him. Benny sounds like he was an awesome boy too, its hard to loose one for any reason.

I hope you keep updated! I can't wait to read of your adventures .

I think the biggest part of helping any animal , or parrot. Is to see them, they are all unique, to let them know you see them. I don't know a better way of saying that ..

maybe the transition will go smoothly..they are social. So I'm hopeful , maybe she will be happy to have you. But you can work through any hiccups
 
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bcgal

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wrench13

Thanks for your response. The majority of the cats are outside. My entire small yard (36 w x 16 d) is completel enclosed with an 8 ft aluminum fence wrapped in about 8 gauge wire with heavy duty deer netting and shadecloth for a roof, joining a 10 x 10 ac'd glassed in portion of my porch with a cat door. Yeh.....they have it made LOL.. Nothing can get in or out. Come to think of it, this would be a great aviary! Seriously, I used to be heavy in to cat rescue and as anyone in rescue of any kind of animal knows, you end up with more than you care to admit for one reason or another......mostly unadoptables in my case. Because gators, eagles, owls and coyotes tend to view my cats as snacks I had to do something to keep them safe. The cats are why Iris can't be outside or this would be so simple. The few cats I have inside, I am aware of the challenge this will present but am confident it can be done. I'll read the Amazon subforums you recommend.

Any advice about the molting issue?
 
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bcgal

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Sep 3, 2021
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Double Yellow Head
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Laurasea

I do understand what you're saying about seeing them, yes :). I will not move her here until I figure out exactly what I'm going to do and am completely ready. I need to find out more about this molting issue, but will update as I go.
 

wrench13

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Molting is a natural process, which occurs over a given period of time, a feather at a time and usually bisymetrical, so the bird is not off balance. Plucking is an entirely different matter. The self removal of feathers, triggered by any number of things, usually confined to one area, at least initially. Some parrot species are more prone to plucking, like cockatoos, greys and macaws, but any one individual of any species could start plucking given the specific triggers for that individual. It's a very Complex problem, not fully understood even today. Addressing it can be frustrating for the human and parrot alike, and treatment can range from medical, if that's the source of it, to mechanical, like wearing a cone like collar, to psycological, with all the inaccuracies and approximations that mental conditions carry with them. Amazons are not noted for developing plucking for mental issues
 

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