Might Be Adopting an Older Amazon

Teddscau

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To make a long story short, an elderly couple wants to know if I'll take their 29 year old parrot. I met her tonight, and it turns out she's a 29 year old yellow shouldered Amazon, and her name's Jasper.

I've never considered an Amazon before, but she seems sweet and is definitely in need. They definitely seem to care about her, but she's been very neglected. Her feathers look quite dull, her beak's a bit overgrown and is dull and yucky looking, her feet have pressure sores, her posture is quite poor, she only has three toys (they're all really old and don't look very fun), she only has two perches (she has a big dowel perch which is causing bumble foot; and a single cement perch), she seems to be kept in a room away from her humans, and they never take her out of her cage. It's clear she doesn't receive adequate mental stimulation or exercise.

She was very quiet for the first twenty minutes or so, but she started coming out of her shell when I started complimenting her and doing baby talk. She started climbing upside down in her cage and was hanging upside down to show off for me, and she started making cute Amazon sounds at me while I was flirting with her. She also did a little dance for me, and she'd come right over to the side of the cage to mumble at me. She became really excited when I started calling her by her name. I didn't take her out or anything since we were meeting for the first time, but she seemed to like me, and she wasn't territorial.

I don't have any personal experience handling a bird her size (well, I snuggled with an orphaned gull while taking him to a wildlife rehabilitation centre), but I gained a lot of experience handling and training aggressive birds when I adopted little Noah. He was such unbelievably violent the first few months I had him. He's a sweetheart now.

Apparently Jasper isn't loud, and she likes whistling hymns. She used to talk, but she hasn't talked for a long time now, which is sad. I don't think adopting her will change my life very much. I'll still have plenty of time to play with the birds in the aviary. When I'm not sleeping, eating, or in the aviary, I can just take her out of the cage and have her sit on me or put her on a play stand (I'll have to buy a couple). She doesn't have a history of aggression, so she should be fairly easy to handle after getting her used to being handled again. The trick will be to get Dad's chihuahua not to try to nibble on her (the dog's a freaking idiot). I'll need to train her to eat chop, sprouts, mash, and birdie bread, but she's already on pellets, which is great. I'll have to spend a lot of money getting her toys, perches, and appropriately sized pellets (I just have tiny pellets). I'd probably harness train her as well after she's all settled in. I'll probably buy a new Caitec carrier for her as well for when I need to take her to the vet, or when I want to take her on a walk or something.

So, what do you guys think? I'm seriously considering adopting her, but it's quite a big decision. My parents are a bit hesitant, but they definitely seem to pity her and aren't saying no. I'll probably visit her at least a couple more times before adopting her, and I'll see if she'll come out of the cage for me.

It's kind of funny now that I think about it, because Jasper's a few years older than me.
 

fiddlejen

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Ooooohhh. Bringing tears to my eyes. I say go for it.
 

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It sounds like you two have made a good start.

Sometimes having the bird choose you is the best way to know which way to jump.
 

wrench13

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Hi! So first off, are you sure she is a yellow SHOULDER Amazon? If you read any of my threads you'll know that a) they are rare in aviculture in the Northern hemisphere b) are one of the parrots most sought after in their small native range of north eastern Venezuela and 2 off shore islands and c) they are wonderful companion parrots. YSA are easily spotted because as their name states, the shoulder is yellow only, no red or other colors and the face is only partially yellow, stopping around the eyes and they have yellow thighs (on a 32yr old bird they will be very yellow). They are smart, playful, inquisitive and can be great talkers ( my Salty is). '

If your family can findit in their hearts to give this older lady a good home, and can afford the necessities and upkeep, AND she is showing interest in you, go for it. At 32, she is middle aged and these parrots can live to 50+ when cared for. I'd suggest an immediate avain vet visit , to get a base line examination of her vitals and so forth. Also, you will want to quarantine her for 30 days, away from your other parrots, just in case. What an exiting time for you and your family. I hope Jasper comes home with you.
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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I'm pretty sure she's a yellow-shouldered amazon. I'd never heard of them before (I didn't realize Salty was one), but she looked different from amazons I've seen in photos, and she was surprisingly small. She only has yellow on her forehead and a bit around her eyes, with a bit of white above her beak, and a bit of blue on her cheeks. I didn't notice any yellow on her thighs, but I'm looking at some photos of her and she appears to have some yellow on them. Her shoulders are yellow, but I think her one shoulder has a single red feather on it.

We contacted her guardians this morning to let them know I'll be adopting her. I've never been all that interested in amazons since they have a reputation for being little devils, but yellow-shouldered amazons sound really laid back. One of the "back" toes on her right foot is deformed and can't bend back properly, so it's upfront with her other two toes. Their daughter actually got her for free from a breeder due to her deformity.

I'm picking out supplies for her online, and I already have some suitable toys and perches for her since I tend to buy supplies for medium sized birds for the littles.
 

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Yep, that description fits for a YSA ! Small bit of white by the beak, touch of blue at the cheek and smaller size. THey weigh between 280-320 gr or so. Cool beans! At 32 she is certainly past puberty and has settled into her adult disposition. Pictures after you bring her home are required!!

Take the time to read and then reread the 2 threads on the Amazon subforum, Amazon body language and I love Amazons. These are GOLD for all Amazon parronts. Read them out loud to Jasper, 'zons love being read too.
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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Holy fudge! Those are some long articles SailBoat wrote! Amazons definitely sound like they're easy to read, unlike Rosie. I can never tell what she's thinking since she doesn't use any sort of body language. It doesn't matter if she's excited, sad, scared, or angry, her expression never changes. I've seen photos and videos of lovebirds online, and they're way more expressive than her.

I'm going to visit her again tomorrow afternoon for at least half an hour, and I'm gonna bring her some sunflower seeds and Nutri-berries to see if she'll take them from me. I'm also going to bring a few toys over and a perch for her current guardians to put on the outside of the cage so she can get used to them before moving in. I'll be bringing her home sometime this weekend. I think I'll move her into the kitchen eating area, and once she's comfortable in her new surroundings, I'm gonna move her into the family room.

I just ordered a variety of shreddable toys, durable toys, pellets, freeze-dried food, and a few perches from Things for Wings for her (and for the aviary birds). Unfortunately, they didn't have any nice rope perches or swings, so I'll be ordering some additional toys and soft perches from Oliver's Garden to give her for Christmas. I'll probably have to buy some stands for her as well. Unfortunately her cage is a dome top, so she can't really play on top of it. I just spent over $700 at Things for Wings, so I'll have to wait a bit before buying more stuff, otherwise my parents will accuse me of having poor impulse control >_>

It's interesting how much fresh whole foods SailBoat recommends. That diet looks very similar to what I'm currently feeding the kids in the aviary, although my guys get more grains than they do veggies (my kids are mostly granivorous after all).

As for Jasper's feet, I wonder if she'd let me put medical-grade honey on her sores. They'll probably heal just fine once I get her on some new perches, but the honey would help speed things up. I'm going to put a couple of platform perches in with her so her feet can relax.
 

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All us Amazon parronts owe a big debt to Sailboats for putting those threads up. They have helped so many people !! Thanks 'Boats.
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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Oops, meant to say I'll be buying her a Celltei carrier, not a Caitec.
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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I think I'll be making her play stand(s) myself (well, Dad will be using the power tools since I'll probably cut a hand off). I'm going to use apple tree branches since we have a massive apple tree on our property. It's the same apple tree I got the huge limb from to hang in the aviary.

I think I'll make one for the dining room for when I'm playing Arkham Horror with Dad, one for the basement when I'm watching the reef tank, and a small table top stand. As for the family room, I think I'm just going to buy different perches to put on the outside of her cage. I'd love to be able to hang ropes and cargo nets for her, but my mom would probably freak if I did that >_>

The problem is, I think I'll go overboard and end up making the stands way too big. I'm also trying to decide if I should start making them now, or wait for spring.
 

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So exciting to read of Jasper! Hiw her life is going to change!

Wrench and Sailboat have great threads I read and learn and apply to my non Amazon's
 

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Speaking of hanging stuff from ceilings, we have a hard plastic chain going from Salty's cage to his hanging boing, where his food bowl for wet stuff like chop and fruit and other veggies is located. Spans 10 feet or so and all of his toys hang from that. UNder his boing is suspended a 30" stainless bowl to catch the uneaten food and poops, and under that on the floor is a floor mat for a desk, which is easy to clean.
 
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Teddscau

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I definitely wish I could hang stuff from the ceiling for her. Mom barely let us hang the lights for the reef tank. Unfortunately, I also don't think Jasper's cage will fit where we were planning on putting it.

Our visit this afternoon went very well. I was there for over an hour, and she was happy to see me again. She was very gentle taking treats from me (I gave her the Nutri-berries first to gauge how grabby she was). I think she might've been so careful taking the treats from me because she didn't want to intimidate me.

She was very relaxed with me, and she even preened a bit in front of me. I asked her if she wanted to come out and sit with me, but she decided not to. I took a closer look at her, and her breathing seems very good (her tail barely moves at all), but her feet looked bad. They're very dry and flaky. All my birds have quite healthy feet, so to see such dry feet was a bit of a shock. She has big flakes of skin sticking out from them. Once I get her home I'm going to see if she'll let me put a bit of olive oil on them to soothe them. I'll also be working with her to change her from a strictly pellet diet to a mostly whole food diet with a few different types of pellets in it to round it out. I definitely think she has a bit of a vitamin A deficiency going on.

I showed her the different toys I'm going to put in her cage on Saturday, and I left them on the "skirt" around her cage. I showed her one of the perches as well, but she was quite concerned about it, so I just left it on the couch for half an hour before putting it away in the bag I brought.
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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Okay, so I think I know how she might've gotten vitamin A deficiency. The pellets she's on (as with almost every other pellet brand) only have a MINIMUM of 5,000 IU/kg of vitamin A. Vets recommend a minimum of 8,000–11,000 IU/kg.
 
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Inger

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Oh this is so exciting! I can’t wait for pictures and to hear how she settles in. She’s going to have a much better life with you!

Also I’m glad to hear that little Noah eventually became a sweetheart [emoji3526]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Teddscau

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Thanks, Inger! I remember when you were thinking of adopting a parrotlet as well. I'm glad Bumble was easier to handle than Noah. He was such a little terror! I mean, he wasn't a bad kid, he was just never taught how to control his anger. He and Rosie became mates a couple years later when the Humane Society gave her to us for free. She's definitely a lot more even tempered than he is, but unlike with him, I can never tell what she's thinking.

Unfortunately, I'm running out of room to store their stuff! I'm going to be throwing out a bunch of things that my previous rescues have come with (most of the items are really cheap and likely leach chemicals) in order to make some more room. I ordered 20 new toys and perches, plus 11 different bags of food. I'm probably going to sneak some of their foods into the pantry on the main floor.

I finished making the chop today. It has butternut squash, acorn squash, beet leaves, dandelion leaves, romaine, purple nappa, bok choy, radish, apple, and a bit of chia to soak up the excess water. I saved some of the squash seeds to give to Jasper.
 

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Well a great big belated Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amazons!!!

Happy that you have found my Amazon Thread of help to you. As I was completing the first two thirds of that Thread, it came to me that so much of it was relevant to Parrots in General. Specific areas like Diet vary depending on where in this huge World one's Parrot's home range occurs. And Yes, veggies are a huge part of an Amazons normal day's search. A lack of at least some veggies will result in vitamin deficiency.

It is very important to remember that Additives rarely provide the natural vitamins all parrots need. Also, that one never wants to guess at what their diet requires to define what additives are needed. The first goal should always be to have an Avian Medical Profession conduct a New Parrot examination that includes a full spectrum blood test. If a need is found, the place to start is Naturally Available Veggies that provide such a need(s).

It is not uncommon for Amazons to have dry looking feet, its part of their natural structure of the claws and legs. If you are looking at their feet, always check the bottom of their claws, looking specifically at their pads. Pink to deep red is an indication of poor perching products available. Natural wood perches that undulates is preferred over straight, perfection of a wood dowel.

Again, Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amazons!
 
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Amazons are capable of amazing longevity. Jasper has potential to be with you well into your middle-age or later!
 
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Teddscau

Teddscau

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I'm so excited! It's almost time for me to go pick her up! I have her new (well, new to her) perches all clean and ready to go, and the dog crate lined with newspapers and paper towels ready for her sore little feet!
 

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