Potentially adopting a "complicated" galah

bug_n_flock

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B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
Read what is essentially "part one" of this story here: http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/87940-semi-idle-mbs-thoughts-think-me.html


Inspired by Laura talking about craigslist birds I was checking out my local craigslist and found a Galah listed. I sent an email to the poster and we have been speaking since. Things are looking very good for us to adopt the bird, but he comes with a backstory and some emotional baggage. He had been neglected by a previous owner and is very afraid of new things, he has issues with his feet due to healed or mostly healed bumblefoot(yes, a trip to the vet is an immediate first step).



He is cage bound and fear reactive. Has only accepted 1 toy and 1 perch in the last 2 years. Covid changed the energy in his current home, so his current family is rehoming him. He used to come out of his cage and interact with people, but with the kids in the home all the time now he has not been willing to leave the safety of his cage. He spends most of his time clinging to the bars rather than sitting on his perch. The guy has some issues. We have been sent photos and videos of the bird, and he is in good feather with the sweetest face you can imagine. He seems like a cuddly love bug, but is not one to step up. He is not clipped but cannot fly. Current owner says he likes to glide from one side of her house to the other, and then walk back, climb up his cage, and do it again.. or at least he used to, when he would still come out of the cage. She says he screams some times but not constantly, is not a biter. Says he clearly wants to be loved on but is afraid to step up(video confirms his sweetness.).


Current owner is willing to bring him(and his current cage and play stand) to us, and we are thinking yes, we will take the plunge. But I would like some thoughts and input from cockatoo owners. I know they are NOT easy birds, even when they do not come with baggage. I have been around an adult galah at full volume before, we had a galah at the parrot shop who came in as an owner surrender. While he did come around, at first he was a screamer.



Current owner says Mojito(current name for the past 2 years but he doesn't seem to know it) does not bite.. once or twice has "nibbled" the current owner's husband when he was pushing boundaries too far. Mojito will ask to be picked up, will put 1 foot on you, then lose his nerve and not fully step up. He will reject any perch with any amount of movement to it(makes me suspect he may still have some discomfort in his feet, our vet will let us know what she thinks).


His diet is not terrible, he is a great eater on a homemade diet along with zupreem pellets, bird bread, veggies, etc. Likes sunflower seeds but is picky about other seeds.



I know he will take some work, but I think that he has in him the potential to be a happy and healthy bird again. Any tips, pointers, words of warning?
 

Betrisher

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Patience. That's all you need.

Firstly, make sure the cage is placed somewhere close to the action in your house. While birdie might be afraid, he'll never get used to the normal goings-on in your house if you protect him from them.

Secondly, try to spend as much time as you can close to the cage, speaking in a low voice or reading aloud or singing to him.

Thirdly, try to find some food item that birdie will look for. It might be sunflower seeds or peanuts or a smear of peanut butter on the end of a chopstick, but you need to find some high-value food item that will become your 'carrot' to lure him out of his cage.

With our galah, I began by simply leaving the cage door open. After many weeks, he eventually felt safe enough to sit in the doorway and observe his surroundings. As soon as anyone approached, though, he would scuttle back inside to the farthest reaches of his cage. Doesn't matter. Just persevere. It might take months, so be ready for that.

One day, I tied a broom handle to the cage and set the other end on the kitchen table. Good grief! Dom took one dainty step onto the handle and then scurried back! Over time, he eventually worked his way across to the table and when he got there, he found his favourite treat (sunflower seeds) waiting for him! This process took weeks and weeks, but it was a red-letter day at our place! We would scatter different food items on the table and then sit back to enjoy watching Dom learn how to seek out food.

Once you've got birdie enjoying a particular treat, the rest is comparatively easy. The thing is, a neglected or abused galah has a lo-oo-ong memory and it will take time to undo his fears. Once you do, however, he will give you everything he has to give! So don't be discouraged and do feel free to ask questions and get ideas.

Words of warning: I'd be sure to include the whole family in this process. I made the mistake of being the only one who worked with our Dommie, so I became The Person and he wouldn't go to anyone else. Eventually, though, he shifted his trust to my husband, who has a very attractive and safe-looking beard. That became Dom's Happy Place and he would creep up under The Beard and go straight to sleep with his head in the hollow of hubby's throat. He'd become a one-person bird and I became chopped liver. (Didn't matter! It was so *good* to see this gorgeous creature being a bird again!)

If your bird doesn't fly, then you need to make opportunities for him to exercise. Galahs are very prone to lipomas (fatty tumours) and these can become cancerous and life-threatening. Ladders, ropes, cargo nets, boings and swings can all play a part in this.

Don't give up hope of teaching him to fly, though. Our Dom had lived in a small cage for decades and his flight muscles were atrophied. With ongoing encouragement, he learned to flap them and eventually to fly short distances. He never became a great flyer, but did come to enjoy flight around the house and was *so* pleased with himself when he made it up to the top of our tall bookshelf (a place from which no one could reach to get him down again).

I envy you your journey with this bird! The rewards are enormous in a situation like this and I look forward to hearing about his progress. :)
 

Laurasea

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Having him stand in warm water with a few drops of betadine will help feet 3 or more session a day as long as he will tolerate standing in it at each session.. SSD ointment if prescribed I think is good, but its prescription

It can take up to a year to heal Bumble foot, depending on cause, can require bandage and padding to help heal . I've only seen the worst kind. His might be easier to fix. Especially if he stops clinging to tge side of a cage....

Penny was afraid if anything new. For me setting everything up first, then putting her in the cage was much better than trying to change and add things later. She still hates anything new. But if I take her to a different room, redo her cage abd bring her back she does better, but still might be grumpy fir a few days. But heck no, can I add anything while she is watching. Each parrot is different. But with a big move to your house, I'd try and just set it all up new and improved from the start.
We will see if other agree or disagree. But with foot problems I'd want lots of options to support the feet right away. Smaller diameter the more pressure points. Flat isn't usually that great either, but depends on what sores and where on foot are.

I'm excited to hear how the story goes.
Clinging to cage and one perch sure didn't help his feet. Make a big C with your hand, try and have one perch that size for maximum weight distribution on feet.
 
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noodles123

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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I agree with patience, 500%, but make sure you have many hours a day as far as time is concerned-- not that experienced with Galahs, and know they are generally far more relaxed than some cockatoos (as far as stereotypes) but they do need A LOT (but not too much) attention/enrichment-- even though they want attention/cuddles (bad news in excess, which is easy to do) . Cockatoos (as a rule) can be VERY needy because they get pent up easily, are used to a mate-bond +flock simultaneously and they are very active. Tri-point bite is not fun at all, but if you have the time and patience, you could make it work..just try not to compare a cockatoo to other parrots-- they are weird and great (but very weird)
 
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chris-md

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Yes, patience patience patience!

This can ALL be turned around with time, love, patience, and care. And you have the know how to do it.
 

noodles123

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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I would ALSO be cautious about a cockatoo and macaw though- given their propensity toward hypersensitivity and cockatoo dust.
 
OP
bug_n_flock

bug_n_flock

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B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
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The dust is a factor we are thinking about very much as well, Noodles. Freedom spends time around our 3 cockatiels, but usually 1 at a time, and we have air filters going(and windows open when the weather allows). Methinks now is also the time to invest in at least 1 more serious air filter. The last thing we want is to have Freedom suffer from us bringing home another bird!



We would probably have Mojito HQ out of our bedroom, at least during quarantine. Hubbs has a blood pressure issue that causes him to need to lie horizontally when he is feeling unwell, so we do hang out in the bedroom quite a bit during the day. Freedom spends most of her time in the living room, some time in the bird room. We have not welcomed her into our bedroom yet, ever. LOL we have a lot of family heirlooms in the bedroom that would disappear in a second if she had access to the room. IDK how they do it, but they always manage to find the things you don't want them to destroy!! These we will have to pack away for now though if we turn our bedroom into Galah Central. Some times our home feels like that "fox, chicken, corn" riddle :rolleyes: But we have a 2nd mobile home we will be completely rennovating so that will add another 1000sqft or so to our living space. Out of 6 bedrooms we can have 1 be for the heirlooms, and keep them in storage until then.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I've not had galahs, but folks suggest they are the "easiest" of cockatoos. (easy is relative, but you are highly experienced)

Mojito seems well worth the potential challenge, most everyone ought have a cockatoo at some point! Her personality and demeanor appear receptive to a loving home. One thing to consider, galahs are more susceptible to FLD, so a well-check is essential for baseline. My vote fwiw, go for it! :)
 
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bug_n_flock

bug_n_flock

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B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
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We decided to go for it! We are currently rained in(*REALLY* hoping we can get out before Christmas, or else our Christmas is going to really suck, and we really could use an emotional pick-me-up. The stress and covid-isolation has really been getting me down lately), but the next time we can get out we will make a trip to the bank and such, and start to work out a date to meet up. Very excited!
 

Laurasea

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Congratulations!!! Can't wait to meet him!
 

SailBoat

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Well, being an Amazon Snob kind of eliminates me. :D Plus, Galah's are kind of rare in this area, so I have spent zero time with one and the same regarding comments from local owners. So, got nothing...

That said, having brought home a far share of Amazons that had no interest in ever trusting another Human ever again. The basics remain the same regardless of species.

- Watch like a Hawk for any signs of not eating!!!
- Anything regarding their history of not bitting -- pure BS.
- Anything regarding their not screaming -- pure BS.
- If the cage is in good condition, the seller's believability raises several points.
- Seeing your Avian Professional ASAP is important for a couple of reasons (as you know): An illness coming into you flock /herd. Underlining medical issues, catching them early.
- All the standards regarding trust building.

Look forward to hearing about the journey.

Your bridge still out and/or the water is too high?
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
We decided to go for it! We are currently rained in(*REALLY* hoping we can get out before Christmas, or else our Christmas is going to really suck, and we really could use an emotional pick-me-up. The stress and covid-isolation has really been getting me down lately), but the next time we can get out we will make a trip to the bank and such, and start to work out a date to meet up. Very excited!

Yay!!!!!! Mojito will be your "Christmas" bird, should lift spirits and be entertaining!
 

Ellie777Australia

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We decided to go for it! We are currently rained in(*REALLY* hoping we can get out before Christmas, or else our Christmas is going to really suck, and we really could use an emotional pick-me-up. The stress and covid-isolation has really been getting me down lately), but the next time we can get out we will make a trip to the bank and such, and start to work out a date to meet up. Very excited!


Congratulations...can't wait to meet your newest 'soon to be' family member. I do hope that the waters recede so that you can get out before Christmas. Before we were burnt out last year, we had a river crossing to gain access to our property in the mountain. Sometimes we were stuck for a few weeks if the river was too high to cross. I sure loved the isolation when WE chose it, NOT when it was forced upon us!
 
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bug_n_flock

bug_n_flock

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Yeah, the last time we were out was at least a week before Thanksgiving. X.X Between the culverts being blocked, the creek being high, and our truck having issues we have been stuck on property for ages. As far as food goes, we have some potatoes left, an onion, and a couple of winter squashes. No other fresh produce(plenty of frozen fruits and veg tho). We have a few big hunks of pork and 1 small beef steak in the freezer. Plenty of canned and dry foods and such, but we really don't want to be limited to stockpiled foods for Christmas. Just called our neighbor to the north(past the bridge), they are going to pick up some stuff for us from the Walmart on Monday and hopefully we won't have to rig up a pulley system to get the groceries across! LOL


But knock on wood, we are hoping tomorrow morning we can get out, and the only precipitation called for after that is light... cross your fingers and toes for us! The culverts have gotten more and more damaged since we moved here. Yes there is another way or 2 out, but on foot. We have been thinking about demo-ing and replacing at least the center section of the bridge, and putting in a much much larger culvert pipe. We have currently 2' pipes. They get blocked, buried in creekrock, overwhelmed by sheer water volume, etc. Allegedly they are the size the guy who first put in the bridge was told to use by whatever officials are in charge of such decisions... but we don't exactly believe him. He is known to have a different version of the truth than others, and apparently he just sorta put the bridge(and dirt road and a gate) in one day without telling anyone. He owns 5 acres next to us now, but used to own the whole area. Sold it to the people we bought it from.



Cage seems in good condition from the photos. It looks to be a King's Aviary cage, but they bought it used so don't know the brand. It is about 3'×2'×5' if I remember right(they sent me the exact dimensions but I don't have them handy).


The weird thing? It looks just like a larger version of the cage my grandmother had JD the grey in. :eek:


We will be taking quarantine super seriously as we usually do, and get him in to see our vet ASAP. We will wait until we have purchased a 2nd vehicle, as long as that happens really soon. Otherwise we will be taking him in our current truck.
 

SailBoat

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Yup, likely a mid-night installation. Everything goes well until it rains...

24" is not recommended any longer for much larger than a tiny stream you could easily step across. Smallest I have seen used is 36" with 48" being more commonly used. Most County's has a Drain Commissioner that oversees such installations /specifications. Locally, we are seeing a movement to full bank to bank openings, especially with the Great Lakes being so very high, which have our rivers, streams and inland lakes also very high.
 
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bug_n_flock

bug_n_flock

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B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
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Here are some photos from the ad, and that the current owner sent. :) Doesn't he have the sweetest face? :3

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AmyMyBlueFront

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And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Here are some photos from the ad, and that the current owner sent. :) Doesn't he have the sweetest face? :3

Ms Buggie..take a good look at the second photo..doesn't it look like the little cutie has a halo around his hat?:19: DON"T BELIEVE IT!!

But yes...he certainly looks like a handsome dude :60:



Jim
 

LaManuka

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Bug, sorry I'm coming in here a bit late but CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming adoption of Mojito! I hope everything goes off without a hitch and I'm so looking forward to the homecoming pics!
 

Laurasea

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It's hard to believe there can be pink parrots! So beautiful/ handsome @ i see the halo
 

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