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I Need Advice


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Quakerlvr

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:16 PM

I am considering taking in a Quaker that is being re-homed. He is 11 years old, has been with the same family since he/she was a baby. The bird strongly prefers the man in the house, will not go to the female, it tries to bite her. It will occasionally go to the man's father if the man is gone.
The Quaker used to get out of cage time for 4 hours a day, but now doesn't even get out everyday, and when it does it is only for a short while. It doesn't sound like the bird has a whole lot of toys, but I don't know for sure. They are rehoming the bird because they are having a baby, and the bird is too noisy, they can't get any sleep during daylight hours, and figure the baby won't sleep during the day either.
I have been waiting for a baby bird to get weaned...that is what I had planned on getting was a baby. Now I am not sure what I should do. I don't know if I would be able to change this birds mind into liking me, and build a good relationship? I don't want a bird that screams all day either...
Anyone have advice? Thanks in advance.

#2 Siobhan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

If there's anything I hate more than "we're rehoming because we're having a baby," I can't think of it right now. Oy. But here's what to consider. You want a Quaker. Here's one in desperate need of a good home. He's going to be a project. He's probably going to bite and squawk and be difficult, at least at first. Maybe forever. But he needs a home. The baby you're waiting for might well turn out to be a squawker or a plucker or a biter, no matter how carefully hand-raised. They're individuals and they generally do what they darned well please. And they ALL make plenty of noise. It's just what parrots do. Put yourself on his perch. He's spent his entire life with this one family and suddenly they don't want him and are handing him off to strangers. Parrots are intelligent. They think and reason. Imagine how that will make him feel. Are you willing to take that on? If you are, with your whole heart, then take him. We're all willing to give you as much help as we can. I certainly have a project bird of my own and so does Allee. 



#3 easttex

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

I'm with you, Siobhan.  I just do not understand the concept of giving away a family member.  My CAG was given up by a family after six years because they "just didn't have the time for her."  Oh well, their loss, my gain.  But it is heartbreaking to think of what these intelligent, sensitive creatures go through every time they are rehomed. 

 

I hope you decide to take him in, Quakerlvr.  It sounds like there are similarities with my situation.  Peppy was a man's bird, though I don't know if that was true for his whole 21 years.  He has a preference, but I'm afraid he's not going to be able to make that choice here.  My husband is not a bird person.  He's been cage bound for some unknown time, but he's actually made quite a bit of progress in just three weeks.  He likes to come out on his porch, and has even flown a bit.  Not a great flyer, but he will land on my hand.  And then promptly bite it, but even that he's not doing quite as much.  We're working on that.  smile.png

 

I'm no Quaker expert after three weeks with Peppy, but by impression so far is that the Quaker personality makes them a little more emotionally resilient than some parrots, and you might find you can make good progress with him fairly quickly.   



#4 Quakerlvr

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the replies! I agree, I don't believe in re-homing a family member either, that is why I came here for advice...it is really tugging on my heart. I emailed the owner and asked more specific questions that will help me determine if he has always preferred a male, or if it is just recently, since he doesn't get hardly any out of cage time. I am positive he has cage aggression, and I asked if he bites to draw blood or just bites enough to let you know he's unhappy. I work in healthcare, so I can't show up to work with a bunch of open bite wounds...lol. I was wondering if target training might be an option with him? I have a target clicker (I have been slowly getting things for the new bird). I also asked about the size of his cage and how many toys he has, because an unhappy or bored Quaker tends to be noisy, right? So, I will see what his responses are. I may go and meet him on Saturday and see if we click. I am supposed to be going to see my Quaker baby anyway, and that is west of Chicago. I believe this gentleman is not too far from there. I also wanted to go to the bird fair in Rolling Hills, IL while I'm in the area... I'm from WI.
Anyway, I will let you know, thank you!

#5 easttex

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:18 AM

Target training sounds like a very good idea. If you do take him and start working on that, my advice would be to take him to a room where he can't even see his cage. I'm afraid I have resorted to wearing gloves if I have to handle Peppy. He'll draw blood, and while I'm not a healthcare worker or a hand model, I don't enjoy it! I'm hoping I can eventually go to bare skin, but for now I think it spares both of us some trauma. Good luck on the visits.

#6 Quakerlvr

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

Hello, I received a reply from the gentleman this morning. I also discussed the situation with my husband last night. Unfortunately the person is not going to be home on Saturday for me to be able to meet the Quaker, and it is two hours from my house. He says the Quaker does draw blood on anyone except him, and his wife doesn't even attempt to try to hold him, she has no interest....which means he probably is neglected if not yelled at too. :( The cage he is in is 26 x26 x 30 ( L x w x h) so it isn't very big for the amount of time he spends in there, and he says the bird has never really shown much interest in toys other than a couple things that hang down from the top of the cage and some clothes pins on his cage. I feel awful for this poor bird! I can tell he cares about it. My husband doesn't think it is a good idea because he wants me to have a bird that is going to like me...not him so much. I only want one bird, I have a very small house and not a lot of room. I am also in Nursing school, so once my clinicals start back up, I won't have more than a couple hours a day to devote to the bird, and I think this bird is going to need a lot more attention than that.
Anyone have ideas? Is there anyone in IL that would be interested in him?

#7 Siobhan

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:34 PM

I have eight already and one of them is a project (Jade) who has made great strides but is still far from normal. We have other Illinois folks here, though, don't we? 



#8 Quakerlvr

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:26 PM

My husband and I are leaving early in the morning to head for IL to meet the bird. We have to be there by 9:00 AM to meet him because they are leaving by 10:00 AM for other commitments. I am excited, and I actually hope we hit it off okay. I would like to give him a forever home. We are still planning on visiting the bird show in Rolling Meadows, IL too. :)
If I do take the 11 year old, I'm hoping to maybe pick up some toys, a flight vest, and maybe a new cage for him. I won't switch him over or make drastic changes right away though...I know he will need time to adjust.
One question though, the owner doesn't clip his wings at all, and at first I would like to clip at least a few so he can't fly as well. He has been known to fly away. Could I do that right away? Would that be too drastic? Would it improve his attitude any?
Thanks for any answers!

#9 easttex

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:57 AM

You will get very different strongly held opinions on clipping, and everyone makes their own decision, but I am in the "don't clip" camp. Some people clip for safety reasons, so their bird doesn't fly into pots on the stove, toilet bowls, ceiling fans, or out open windows. Many escaped birds have, in fact, been clipped. And unless you do a really severe clip, which is not advisable, they still are able to glide into pots, toilets, etc. Add in the new hazards of being stepped on and not being able to escape the dog. In my view, I'm in control of the environment and it's my job to ensure my birds can't access things I don't want them to have and places I don't want them to go.

The other main reason is to make the bird feel more dependent on you, and here's the source of my primary reservation. Clipping makes a bird more dependent because their fear is exploited. Their first response to danger is to go up to safety, and when they can't, they feel vulnerable. Some birds will handle this with no problem, but for some this may set the stage for fearful behavior problems. And for some birds, it actually seems to depress them. In any case, anxiety doesn't seem to me to be the best foundation for a new relationship. I'd rather use positive reinforcement, even if it takes longer.

All that said, perfectly reasonable people do clip their birds. If you do take him in and decide to clip, I would suggest that you give him a little time with you first; give him a chance to get to know you and vice versa.
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#10 Sharyn and Mr Piggy

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 09:40 AM

I live in Florida, my house is hot if I don't keep ceiling fans on all the time. I clip for my bird's protection so he doesnt fly UP into the ceiling fans. Ceiling fans and flighted birds do NOT mix well

 

Like Easttex said, it's a personal decision.

 

As was mentioned, clipped birds CAN still fly, just not far, and they can't fly up and gain altitude (at least not in the house, outside with the wind, is a different story)

 

Even if you decide to clip, as mentioned above, please remember that a clipped bird can still fly away AND can still get into trouble!

 

And yeah, you will find a lot of different opinions on this. Ultimately, when you choose to welcome a parrot into your home, you do what YOU feel comfortable with.

 

A good option might be to clip for a few months so the bird IS dependent on you while you bond, then let his wings grow back out after the bond is formed.

 

Like I said, for me, there is no option, it is too hot down here to leave the fans off, and I wouldn't risk Mr P flying up into the moving fans.


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