I'm in love and need a reality check!

trimblegirls

Member
Dec 30, 2016
183
1
Northern CA
Parrots
African Grey: Jasper
Blue and Gold Macaw: Lulu
Eclectus: Pickles
I have absolutely no business even entertaining the thought of adopting a blue and gold macaw. Seriously, not one with special needs. I just need a reality check. Even those with the best intentions make HUGE mistakes!

I still visit the rescue that I got Tillie and Jasper from. I probably went there a half dozen times before I actually adopted. And there was Lulu....a B&G mac in all her glory. Every time I went she'd flirt with me. She doesn't talk hardly at all. She barely makes a peep. No screaming or whistling...nothing. Bonnie always tells me how much Lulu really likes me. I was a little intimidated by her beak. Last time I went, she let Lulu out. She doesn't usually when people come by because Lulu will charge at them and scare them. Lulu came out and asked me to hold her. She held up her foot and asked. I was a little afraid but what the heck. I couldn't say no to such a polite request. I was smitten.

I went today to drop off some pellets. Lulu is in full flirt. I open the cage and she's already got her foot up. I had to make her wait until she went poop first. Mac poop is HUGE compared to GCC or Grey poop. Her head is down and she's wanting me to scratch her. OMG, heaven! She's leaning into me. I'm melting. Bonnie tells me to ask her for a kiss. I do. Uhmmmm....not quite expecting to almost french a Mac. Lulu licked my lip. All this while not a peep from her. I put her on top of her cage and turn to go to the next room. She starts hollering so loud and fast. I had to go back and get her. She let me touch her all over. It didn't matter as long as I was petting her she was a happy girl. Bonnie said that she's been there over a year and has only let her pet her a few times. Lulu only tolerates Bonnie. She said it was nice to see Lulu so happy.

I know it's illogical. I know it's not possible. I know that I shouldn't even think about it. Even if I "got educated", I already have 2 parrots. Jasper and I are just getting started. I'm waiting for him to get a little more settled to start some training. I also want to harness train Tillie so we can take her outside. When the heck would I have time for a 3rd parrot? Not to mention that Lulu has some serious plucking issues. Bonnie mentioned that she doesn't/can't fly. It's not from being clipped. I didn't ask for more details. I didn't want to fall even more in love. That's how we generally pick our pets - get the ugliest or most neediest one.

I did tell Lulu that I'd come back to visit her again and again. Bonnie said that people are too afraid of her when they come to see her. She lunges. She was fine until my phone came out. Then she wanted nothing to do with me. I put my phone away and she came back around.
 

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wrench13

Well-known member
Parrot of the Month πŸ†
Nov 22, 2015
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Isle of Long, NY
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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Serious MBS can strike any time. Multiple Bird Syndrome. I too feel it's tug. But I know what Geri and I can handle and what we can't. Had we the resources and more importantly the time, our first and second floors would be bird rooms. But alas we are but mortal people, and Salty is destined to be an only .
 

Jottlebot

Member
Aug 29, 2012
507
14
Shropshire, UK
Parrots
Orange-winged Amazon - RIP Charlie,
Spock - Common Mynah,
McCoy - Alexandrine
Oh my goodness!!! I feel for you!!! That excited/naughty/surely it's possible, bubbly, fizzy feeling but that niggle in the back of your head that it's just not a good idea. I know how it feels when you or circumstances decide it's not going to be.

I would be concerned that she would need you so much and need so much from you that it would be so upsetting for her when she couldn't have you?
 

plumsmum2005

New member
Nov 18, 2015
5,330
90
England, UK
Parrots
Lou, Ruby, and Sonu.
Fly free Plum, my gorgeous boy.
Wow, a really OMG moment to be so chosen. Understand your dilemma, sometimes the heart overrules the head and it is so hard. How would Tillie and Jasper accept another member into the flock? Wish you luck with whatever you choose. :)
 

SilleIN

Member
Aug 18, 2016
495
33
Denmark
Parrots
Lots of parrots, most of them rescues
I wish I could help you, but I am a sucker for being chosen. I now have 4 "free range chickens" in my house. First macaw was Sugar, who was plucking and lunged at EVERYBODY (but me). Home he went. Second was Tino, who like Lulu is completely bare on his body. I was looking for a healthy male, but Tino lifted his foot to me and I acommodated. He climbed up on my shoulder and there he stayed. He had been living as a breeder bird in an aviary without real human touch for more than 20 years. He stayed on my shoulder out the aviary and into the car.

Sorry for not being any help. If I should try to be helpful, I can say, that the macaws (and especially the special needs ones) need a lot more attention, than most other parrots. Also with a special needs parrot, you have a constant nagging in the back of your head: "Am I doing the best i can for this bird? Is there anything else I could try to help the problem?" and for the most part, we have to live with an "oven ready" macaw, who hurts your inner being for not being the "healthy" bird, you wish it to be.

Hmmm maybe I helped a little anyway :)
 

Scott

Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
32,673
9,605
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
It is quite an honor to be chosen by a bird with a temperamental history! Fortunately time is on your side and an immediate decision is not necessary. I have found that contemplation and research helps determine the outcome. Read some of the excellent threads in the Macaw section, particularly those by Birdman666.
 

Pinkbirdy

New member
Feb 26, 2013
2,203
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Clifton Springs Newyork
Parrots
macaw,LS2,congo grey,2Blk Hd caiques,Hawkhead,yellowstrk lory,Blue frnt amazon,sun conure ,Yellow sided greencheek ,Goffin ,Rosebreasted Cockatoo,Greenwing Macaw,Blue and Gold Macaw,Nanday conure,Ecle
I think "Bonded" Macaws are easy birds.I have 4 ,They are like your best friend. I can get mine in harnesses
 

OutlawedSpirit

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Apr 12, 2016
1,020
18
Northern Illinois, USA
Parrots
Bo - DYH ~ Gus - CAG ~ Twitch - Linnie ~ Apple - Pineapple GCC ~ Goliath - Quaker ~ Squish - Peach face Lovebird
I'm probably going to be no help whatsoever, but I have found myself in this situation before. It was with my ekkie, Tiki. I already had my female at that point, and she was my baby, and only my baby. I had even already told myself that if I was going to get another big bird, it was going to be a hand fed baby that everyone in my family could interact with, not another strictly me bird.

However, while fostering for a local rescue, I was asked to work with a screaming, old, blind, aggressive, ekkie that was known to pluck. So I brought him home. He really wasn't that aggressive, I think people are just afraid to work with him because, until he gets really used to you and trusts you, he bites out of fear because he can't see. He didn't get the interaction he needed before he came home with me, and I don't know that he ever would have.

So I asked myself, if I don't keep him, will I regret it?

Now, I could ask that of any bird I foster, but there was a difference with Tiki. I think if I would have let him go back to the rescue, and either stay there the rest of his life or go to a different home, he would be a different bird than he is today. It's not all rainbows and roses. To start, he was a difficult bird to work with, there was a very steep learning curve for us both. I took some nasty bites from him for a while. I sacrificed sleep, some household duties, and other fun things I would have like to have done in order to have time for all of my birds.

But I don't regret it. And I think I still would if I hadn't kept him, considering I had the physical resources to take him in. It would have haunted me that he didn't get the life he deserved simply because I thought he would be an inconvenience.

I think you need to decide if Lulu would be your regret. You have the other two birds, yes, but as long as you have the space and finances to take her in, the time works itself out. They all adapt to sharing you, as long as they all realize they still get their special time with you, they adapt. Just like human children adapt to having a new sibling. They may not like it at first, but they get used to it.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month πŸ†
May 14, 2016
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Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 38-year-old Patagonian Conure
I might well have a housefull, as I fall in love easily and have no self-control.

BUTTTTTT... the Rb is so out of control and demanding and territorial that I've never been seriously tempted.

Part of me would love to see Lulu get her way...
At least you're under no time pressure and can think.
Meanwhile, maybe Lulu will meet another love who will take her, and you'll feel good. Or bad?
I was no help at all, was I? No.
Good luck.
 

Teddscau

Active member
Sep 25, 2015
636
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2
106
Ontario, Canada
Parrots
Budgies: Alex and Sunshine; Peach-faced lovebirds: Rosie and Jaybird; YSA: Jasper (♀)
I agree with OutlawedSpirit. If you have the resources to take her in, I'd consider it. As long as Tillie and Jasper will still receive the care and attention they need, why not? I'm not saying you have to get her, I'm just saying you should think about whether or not you could manage three birds without becoming overwhelmed. I'd start training Jasper as soon as possible, as a well trained bird is a lot easier to care for. It's when you have a bunch of untrained, unsocialized, bored parrots that you run into problems. If you can teach them to be independent and to entertain themselves until it's their turn to have quality time with Mommy, adding one more parrot shouldn't be too hard. It would be a different story if Lulu was a cockatoo, as those guys can be incredibly needy and demanding.

Lulu seems absolutely smitten with you, so she'd probably be fairly easy to train. If she were violent, had a bad temper, and couldn't control her emotions like Noah when I first got him (he was like the Tasmanian Devil off of Bugs Bunny), then I might reconsider. However, it just sounds like she hadn't found anyone she could trust until she met you. The reason she'd charge at other people and threaten them is because she's scared and feels she has to lash out to protect herself.

With you, Lulu's able to open up and is eager to both give and receive love and affection. So far, she isn't able to let anyone else in but you. If you put a little hoodie on her and work on target training and having her hop from one perch to the other, she may one day learn to fly.

Sorry, I'm kind of pressuring you into adopting her! You seem to like her, and we all know she's in love with you ;). Just ask yourself: if one day you went to the rescue and she wasn't there anymore, could you live with that knowledge? Or would you forever regret not taking the plunge to adopt her?
 

BeatriceC

New member
Feb 9, 2016
1,351
89
San Diego, CA
Parrots
Goofy (YNA), Oscar (Goffin 'too). Foster bird Betty (RLA). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal), Charlotte (scarlet macaw). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
Some perspective from a disabled macaw home...

Once you get into a routine it's really not all that bad. The beginning is quite the learning curve, but once you get it all mostly sorted out, it's pretty fun and not all that difficult.

Now here's some things that MrC and I have that a lot of people don't:

-Huge house. Our house is 4200 square feet (or 4700, depending on what set of plans you believe). It's a tri-level split, semi-open. We have a ton of space.

-While we're not rich, we're not poor either. He's a retired pharma scientist and I'm a former teacher turned corporate statistician, and while no longer working, still have a small income.

-Neither one of us work, so we have scads of time.

-We work as a team. He's honestly better with birds, but I'm willing to put the time and effort into preparing proper diet, designing cage and play space to meet her specific needs, and training. He gets all the love.

-Our kids are adults and teenagers. His daughters are long since out of the house and my teens are fairly independent. While two of my boys have significant medical issues, I have MrC as back up with the birds and the kids should I need help with any of the tasks that normally fall to me.

As you can see, we're uniquely set up to work with large, difficult birds. It can obviously be done by people with jobs, but it makes it so much easier to have two full time adults in the house.

All that said, the difficult part is the first few months while you and your new bird get to know each other, you get a feel for the special needs of your disabled bird, and figure out how to best compensate for whatever his physical issues are. Once that's settled, you fall into a routine, just like you do with any other bird.

The only factors I can see that would totally eliminate you from being able to have a macaw is inadequate space in your home, money, or a job that keeps you away from home for excessive hours. Depending on the bird, even an apartment might be suitable. Charlotte rarely makes any noise above a conversational volume, and never at night, so she wouldn't actually be an issue in an apartment assuming it had the space to house the her equipment.

So if you really want that macaw and the macaw really wants you, then it's probably not impossible. It's certainly a commitment, but might not be out of reach.
 
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trimblegirls

trimblegirls

Member
Dec 30, 2016
183
1
Northern CA
Parrots
African Grey: Jasper
Blue and Gold Macaw: Lulu
Eclectus: Pickles
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The good news is that time is on my side. I don't have to make a decision anytime soon. I really need more information about Lulu and her needs. When we adopt, we adopt for the life of the animal so I need to be absolutely sure. I also need to read more about macs.

Financially, I can afford it. My youngest is a senior in high school. Our house isn't huge but could accommodate another cage. Logistically, everything works. I just don't know if I want to reduce the amount of time that I spend with Jasper and Tillie. I would definitely have to figure out how to split time.

Would it hurt her emotionally if I just went by every week or so and spent some time with her?
 

itchyfeet

New member
Nov 1, 2014
1,013
7
Middle Earth
Parrots
Ethyl the cockatiel, Henry & Clarke the IRN's, and Skittles the lovebird (my daughters)
I don't think so. You're only visiting, she's used to what she's used to where she is and you're likely to be recognised over time as a wee treat in her day. it gives you a chance to make a more informed decision, and her a chance to form a wee connection on the off hand she comes home with you. And if she doesn't, she'll be happier for it in the meantime and go home with someone else who can meet her needs and love her :)
 

LeaKP

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Aug 11, 2014
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Congo African Grey
I'm not a MAC owner (would love to be tho but I have my hands full with Nigel my CAG), but if I were you, I probably would go on visiting and see what happens. Any decisions made under pressure of "having" to choose are often wrong ones.
 

SilleIN

Member
Aug 18, 2016
495
33
Denmark
Parrots
Lots of parrots, most of them rescues
If you do decide to make Lulu a member of your family, you should know, that you are never alone in the obstacles you face. Your extended parrotforum family is here to help you through :04:
 

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