What's best for my Amazon :( Advice needed

Angelesse

New member
Mar 14, 2018
10
0
New Jersey, USA
Parrots
Male Panama Amazon, age 32
Male Cockatiel, aprx. 15
Hello everyone, and thank you so much for taking the time to read my situation. Your time, experiences, and advice are appreciated and very much needed. I'll try to explain my difficult situation as descriptive yet as briefly as possible.

I own a approx. 32 year old male Panama Amazon, Albert, whom I took in 9 years ago from another family member whom rescued him from a bird club 16 years ago, whom has come to have mutilation associated anxiety. As he has been in my family since approx. the age of 16, same as my age, we have grown up together and he ultimately bonded to me, after rejecting the person whom originally adopted him along with other family members who tried to tame him. Knowing this, along with the obvious that I love him, and am just as bonded with him as he is with me, I am moving out of the house we've both been staying in, along with my approx. 15 yr old male cockatiel, Ricky, he amazingly shares his cage with and loves, along with my dog and cat. He has moved into other places with me before with very little issue. However, where I am moving to now concerns me. This is a finished basement apartment in a mother-daughter, the only apartment I could afford on my own that accepts pets. I had to take it. My living situation where I am now has deteriorated to emotionally abusive and I needed to find a new place asap.

I have not confirmed with real facts but have observed that anyone I knew who owned birds did not seem healthy and did not live long in below ground dwellings. I am unsure if that's actually a directly related thing, or a combination of many other things and just a coincidence for the few people I've known to keep birds in such places. I will be having the small basement windows for natural light and circulation in his possible living space, but am concerned that will not be enough for him for a healthy internal clock and hormone release. I worry about the boiler(which is behind a closed door at least), but still a worry about indoor pollution and gases. I worry about the landlord cooking with non stick cookware upstairs as well(I have a drop ceiling. Would that go through a floor?)

The other side of this is, I do have someone who is willing to take him and is experienced in owning birds, but not parrots. And while I have multiple people saying that this seems like a great idea and am encouraging me to take her up on her offer for the reasons listed above, I am very torn. At his age followed by his anxiety and mutilating, I'm afraid he won't bond with a new owner, let alone a new owner in a unfamiliar house all of a sudden. I have made the mistake of not slowly transitioning cages when his kings cage he's had since we first got him rusted to the point of being dangerous and needed to be thrown away immediately, to my own ignorance and unpreparedness, which is what has made him become so anxious and upset to begin with. It's because of that he wears his rx fleece collar full time(which he loves and is very protective of). He needs to be hand preened every so often and water bottled down, as he immediately goes back to trying to bite himself within a short time of taking it off, and I feel that my friend will not be able to do that for him, which would lead me to having to drive an hour each way to see him and take care of his pin feathers for him and bathe him periodically. I worry that a move into a brand new home with a brand new owner would be stressful enough, and worry about how my visiting monthly would affect him.

Despite growing up with him all these years and being his only handler for so long, I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place and am not experienced enough, as well as emotionally biased, to know which situation is best for him. My heart tells me if he is going to be stressed and depressed, it would be negligible for me to put him through a new home when I am allowed to have him with me in this new apartment, but at what risk to his health with the boiler room a door away and only two tiny windows into the living space for light and circulation? Is it worth those risks knowing that he would at least feel safe and happy with me? I also have my landlord to worry of, for he has no problem "giving them a try", but if they do not adjust or is too loud for his liking, I may not be able to keep them there, as he lives right above me. I've had people tell me I'm better off putting him to sleep as the ultimate answer to all of my thoughts and worries, as they think each choice is bad for his well being and are both negligible choices on my part, but that sounds awful and heartless. I do not have the heart to do that to a healthy animal, let alone any of my pets in my care. Albert along with all of my pets are my family. He's like my sibling or cousin to me being around him in and out all of these years. Your advice and expertise would be very much appreciated. I am very distraught and wish this move wasn't necessary, but circumstances lead to me having no choice.

With all that I explained: What do you think Albert would want, and what do you think the best would be for him?

Thank you all,
A sad and concerned parrot mom
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,124
2,843
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
I am very sorry that your Thread had been missed. That sometimes happens with long Threads with many questions as individuals may feel the need to address all of the questions.

First, Welcome to Parrot Forums and in addition, the Amazon Forum! Also, thank-you for loving and caring about your Amazon! PA's are commonly sweethearts, congratulations on your success together.

Basement Apartments have their challenges, but you state it has a window that sunlight enters. The best window would be the one with a Southern view followed by an East and than a West window regarding choices. Any window that provides daylight will help with their internal clock.

Boilers commonly do not present a serious problem as their design commonly pulls (draws) air from around them as part of their operation. As long as the piping is solid you should not have back flow. I would need much more information regarding the age and fuel type used to go beyond that basic statement.

I am a firm believer in keep a family together. You will likely move at some point in the future and will likely be in a position to choose a better apartment or home. Having your family together at this point will provide you more comfort.

Advise is worth precisely what you payed for it, unless it is based in real World facts.

Amazons are highly adaptable as long as the foundation of their 'stuff' is around them. If they have a problem, commonly it is as a result of their abilities to tie closely to our emotions. If we are stressed, they will also be stressed, so check you emotions at the door, it will help your Amazon greatly. If your emotions are overloaded, pull your Amazon to you, so they are part of the flow and can return a comforting to you. Remember, they are social creatures and want to be part of their family. When not allowed to be, that can be a source of issues like plucking.

Hold Albert close, he is happier with you then anywhere else he could be!

You will be fine together!

Remember, life is on-going and change is at the center of life. A few years from now, it will be different and Albert will still be there. There are just somethings that never change and an Amazon's Love is one of those!

I hope this will help!
 
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LordTriggs

New member
May 11, 2017
3,427
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Surrey, UK
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Rio (Yellow sided conure) sadly no longer with us
Boats once again sums this up very well. His and your happiest paths are with each other. Sure it's a hard time but right now that's why you should bolster together!

Take a long deep breath and try to de-tension yourself. Moving alone is a struggle, especially that first time but you'd be amazed how quickly things fall into place. Wishing the best of luck to you
 

Kiwibird

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2012
9,538
55
Parrots
1 BFA- Kiwi. Hatch circa 98', forever home with us Dec. 08'
Sailboat has given a wonderful response.

I just wanted to add a few things:) First, amazons form strong bonds with their social group (i.e. their flock) in nature. Most birds stay in the same flock they were born into their entire lives. It is against their very nature to go from home to home (flock to flock). Our amazon has lived in some pretty abysmal apartments with us, including a studio and a sublet basement in a house, but I guarantee you he could care less where we lived or if it was a beautiful, new, modern living space. All he wants in this world is to be with us, his "flock", the people he's accepted as his own family. That is all Albert wants too. I'd move mountains not to give up my bird. They're like children, you figure things out and you don't just get rid of them, you work harder for them to better your situation for them. This precious little creature is bonded to YOU and that is a very very special relationship, one that will likely last the rest of your life. A crappy living/life situation will not last forever. He won't care it's a dingy, dark basement apartment. If there's no good window for him to look out, turn on the TV for him to watch while you're at work. Make sure he has toys so he's happy/entertained during the day. Make it a point to play with him every day, as much as you can. Get him outdoors enjoying real sun on the weekends, weather permitting. Getting a bird backpack such as the pak-o-bird (a more pricey option) or if you're budget is really tight, simply placing a small cage (padlocked shut) in a baby stroller (which can both be picked up cheaply at garage sales/craigslist etc...), or harness training him (bird harnesses are available for under $20) if you feel he would be accepting of that, would all be great options to allow him to venture out safely with you in the warm months and to get lots of natural sunshine and fresh air if that's a big concern. Speaking of air, a small air purifier will help indoor air quality. Again, if your budget is super tight, turn to craigslist or thrift shops, find a used air purifier, clean it up, new filter and your set. Our amazon also enjoys a special "sun lamp" made for parrots by Featherbrite in the winter months where it is very gloomy and too cold for him to go out. Some people say full spectrum bulbs from the hardware store are a more affordable option and provide a similar "pick me up" for birds in dimmer spaces.

So many options for you to keep Albert, and you've stumbled on a forum of people from all walks of life who've been there, done that and can help you along the way.

Adding- If you're worried about him being in a dark basement with little natural lighting, a setup like these can be made very cheaply (under $20 if you do it right) and would be a great, safe way to get your bird outside into natural sunlight, from which he will greatly benefit. Parrots are typically ok outdoors once temps are in the mid-60's and above! When you live in a small space, getting them out and experiencing the world is especially important. Even if you eventually live in a mansion, parrots who go out with their owners tend to be the happiest/most well adjusted of all.

Cajollers-1024x768.jpg
 
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OP
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Angelesse

New member
Mar 14, 2018
10
0
New Jersey, USA
Parrots
Male Panama Amazon, age 32
Male Cockatiel, aprx. 15
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Kiwibird, LordTriggs, and SailBoat,

I am so grateful and thankful for you all! With the basement myth now debunked, I am so happy and confidant that Albert and Ricky will be okay on this new adventure with me. Thank you all for taking your time to explain things to me with so much compassion and love for my babies. I was so sick to my stomach, and now I feel so much better. I am so happy to have these new ideas and suggestions for proper lighting at my disposal, and can't wait to share pictures of them with you once I move in a couple of weeks! You all are the best <3 Thank you endlessly! Albert and Ricky thanks you too! :grey::greenyellow:

AP6z1nv.jpg
 
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KBEquine

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May 19, 2011
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South-central PA
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From little to big - currently 6 Linnies; 2 Budgies; 1 BHP; 2 CAGs; 2 Zons; 1 GWM. Formerly in the flock: 1 LSC2 [fostered/rehomed] RIP: 1 budgie 1 WCP & 1 sweet Pan Am
First, best of luck - I agree with everyone who said Albert is better with you than without you. And this thread also gave me the opportunity to see those GREAT outdoor stroller/cages, which I will now try to create for my fids!
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Oh please keep Albert, he loves you! Salty is outside a lot in the warmer months, either in his travel cage or in harness, and he enjoys both. Panama amazons are supposed to be one of the sweetest dispositioned amazons, so who knows, once you are settled in Albert may not need his collar. But really dont consider putting him to sleep as an option.
 

Scott

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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.
I have little to add to the wonderful advice shared, but concur you and Albert are best together. So happy you rejected the well-intended but callous advice to consider euthanasia.

If you have concerns about the boiler, it is possible to purchase a plug-in carbon monoxide detector which can alert you to the deadly and odorless gas. The cheapest may not detect trace amounts, but a mid-grade device might be the best compromise, and they are often combined with traditional smoke-detectors. Many areas require smoke detectors and one may be already installed in the basement, but carbon monoxide units are less common.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
May 14, 2016
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Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 37-year-old Patagonian Conure
This thread is the kind that makes me love this place!

Yes, please keep dear ol' Albert. We want to follow your story.

Welcome to our community; you're gonna fit right in.

Those pictures are precious.
 
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Angelesse

New member
Mar 14, 2018
10
0
New Jersey, USA
Parrots
Male Panama Amazon, age 32
Male Cockatiel, aprx. 15
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Oh please keep Albert, he loves you! Salty is outside a lot in the warmer months, either in his travel cage or in harness, and he enjoys both. Panama amazons are supposed to be one of the sweetest dispositioned amazons, so who knows, once you are settled in Albert may not need his collar. But really dont consider putting him to sleep as an option.

He really is a sweet heart, and I hope he will feel happy enough to not need his collar(it's not easy taking it away from him for bath time, and he doesn't like me putting it back on him once it's off from being so stressed out in the first place) I will most certainly get a set up for both of them to be outside with me later in the spring <3

It disturbed me that a couple members of my family(whom were parrot owners of their own!!) suggested that to me. I think they were driving more towards the point that Albert would just be so miserable without me. I firmly believe that once you have a pet, you should do everything you can possible to always keep them, because it's unfair that they have no control of their environment and they look to you as family to take care of them, no different than a human child looking to their family for love and protection. However we all have seen and heard these stories of people who just love their animals so much that they don't realize the conditions that they're putting them in is against their best wishes emotionally and health wise, though usually in more obvious and more extreme cases like you see on Animal Planet and in headlines :( I wanted to make absolutely sure through a community with years and experiences behind them I would not be doing the same thing to them~ Unless I had absolutely no choice, I will always keep my flock close to me <3
 
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Angelesse

New member
Mar 14, 2018
10
0
New Jersey, USA
Parrots
Male Panama Amazon, age 32
Male Cockatiel, aprx. 15
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
I have little to add to the wonderful advice shared, but concur you and Albert are best together. So happy you rejected the well-intended but callous advice to consider euthanasia.

If you have concerns about the boiler, it is possible to purchase a plug-in carbon monoxide detector which can alert you to the deadly and odorless gas. The cheapest may not detect trace amounts, but a mid-grade device might be the best compromise, and they are often combined with traditional smoke-detectors. Many areas require smoke detectors and one may be already installed in the basement, but carbon monoxide units are less common.

I had asked my future landlord for exactly this, and he will provide one for me :) I also believe there are apps and devices that can give you notifications through your phone in the event of fire or carbon monoxide, such as Canary, which I will look into, so that if I am at work or away, I can act quickly in the event of an emergency.
 

Scott

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Aug 21, 2010
32,147
6,162
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.
I have little to add to the wonderful advice shared, but concur you and Albert are best together. So happy you rejected the well-intended but callous advice to consider euthanasia.

If you have concerns about the boiler, it is possible to purchase a plug-in carbon monoxide detector which can alert you to the deadly and odorless gas. The cheapest may not detect trace amounts, but a mid-grade device might be the best compromise, and they are often combined with traditional smoke-detectors. Many areas require smoke detectors and one may be already installed in the basement, but carbon monoxide units are less common.

I had asked my future landlord for exactly this, and he will provide one for me :) I also believe there are apps and devices that can give you notifications through your phone in the event of fire or carbon monoxide, such as Canary, which I will look into, so that if I am at work or away, I can act quickly in the event of an emergency.

Awesome! I believe you'll be able to mitigate the risks of air contamination, assuming the unit is reasonably maintained and not decrepit.
 

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