Help with an Umbrella Cockatoo
Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:09 PM
He is 7 years old and has had 2 owners before me. This bird has been treated horrifically, it seems he was beaten with a stick and has some reason for being terrified of hats. And terrified is lightly compared to the behaviour. When he sees either a stick, dowel, or hat he will actually run as fast as he can to get away from it and he almost sounds like he's crying. I've never seen a bird cower like this. He has big beak issues as well. It looks as though someone forced something hard into his beak and pushed really hard. The corners of the beak are actually crushed. The he barely close his beak as it has overgrown so much. His poor toes! You know how on most birds it looks like their toes are almost one except that they go both ways, his toes have been severed at least half way through. It's horrible. He can't really grab onto anything very well as his nails are so overgrown that they are almost touching his legs. He has obviously had no groomin done. His feathers are dreadful on his back. His head feathers are quite pretty and soft as the casings were never broken. They are beautiful. The rest of his feathers are either not there, from plucking, or they are just a mess. He has almost no powder on him either. It's horrible. I have a rescue Moloccan and he was never like this. Booboo's eye is horrible too. Whoever had issues definitely didn't like this bird. His right eye is completely sucken in. You can only see about 2mm maybe 3mm the eye itself. That's how they used to make him do things. They actually told us to only approach him via the bad eye. That way he would do whatever they wanted. It's horrible what they did to this bird.
Now, he is friendly with females and nervous about males but he will let everyone pet him. The odd thing is, if you watch his behaviour, his body says, get the heck away from me but cowers and wants to be pet. He wimpers when you do pet him. He was never fed anything by hand and has a limited variely to his food. So, getting to step up? Not gonna be easy. He runs when you try to get him up. He will avoid it at all costs. I don't want to chase him. I don't want to put him into a cage because he won't come out. They used to chase him out. We can't bribe him with food, he has no interest. We can't move him from where he is as he won't let you get him. He will move closer to you for some loving if you can get him up. He is scared of toys too. He will walk away from them. I feel so bad for him. We are letting him have his own stand so we can get him around the house but this is challenging.
My daugher and I have tried so many things with him to no avail. Anyone else have some ideas? I will try almost anything with him. He doesn't scream either!! Bonus!! I just hate to see him like this. Poor bird. Anyway, if anyone has ideas, that would be great.
Thanks, sorry it is so long.
Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:38 PM
Second, a good bath!
Third, once all the hectic stuff is over, leave him in the cage! Try putting him in a quiet area, perhaps in a corner, or cover 1-2 sides of the cage if it will help him feel more secure. When *anyone* heads towards the cage, be sure to talk to him and let him know it's ok. You don't have to pay direct attention to him, but just let him know that you are there so he wont freak out as much.
Give him more time to settle in, and if he doesn't have to come out of the cage, then don't force him. You can, however, put a perch on the door and/or on the side of the cage with a treat cup, so in case he does decide to venture out on his own, there's always something good to come out to.
The main thing is is that chasing him around or forcing him to come out may only be terrifying him more and making things worse. If you can pet him through the cage bars or the open door without him backing away, then keep it to light handlings for now. If he cowers away, then don't force the issue.
If he likes soothing/calm music, you might try playing some and singing along. This, too, may help him settle in.
Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:22 PM
He actually picked an extra cage himself. He spent the night on a perch in my room and then picked the cage he wanted. He is in my room with me and my hubby now. He will go in and out on his own and will actually come for loving. His nature is really good. Despite everything, he just wants to be pet and loved just no picking up. He is getting a bit better already with toys. He watched me play with a bunch and the wandered through them. I left them all on top of his cage. That way he can make more decisions on his own and he loves music too. I found some country that he seems to like. He let me crack about 20 head feathers while he listened and then did a jig for me. Again, play without touching. That can be tricky! I love this bird. You can tell he wants to be loved up and wants to cuddle he's just so scared. He's really a very good bird. He has definitely worked his way into my heart already.
Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:20 AM
Is the vet at the university an avian vet or works frequently with avians/exotics? If so, that's great! I would be interested in hearing the results!
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