We all have stories to tell about our own birds, if you have a story that you would like our customers and visitors to read send it to us and we will put your story on our web site.
Some of you will know that we at Midland Parrots do accept some parrots that are unwanted or perhaps have a problem where we feel that we can give the bird a forever home.
We have recently had a few birds where the owners have found it hard to cope with the bird for various reasons, not that they haven't tried hard, just that the bird wouldn't settle in that environment.
December the 4th 2009 is a day we at Midland Parrots will never forget. There was a telephone call from a lady who informed us that she had a parrot that had pulled his feathers out. Instead of, as we expected, asking for help and advice she informed us that she just wanted rid of the bird.
A short time later she turned up with her husband and produced a cat carry box out of the car, inside was something I hope I never see again. Inside the box I could see a lovely orange beak and a beautiful green head. A couple of wing feathers and the rest completely bald, I could have cried, in fact probably did wipe a tear away as I looked at this poor little fellow just pleading for help.
On asking the question I was told by the lady that she had called him Baby and had bought him from an elderly gentleman some three months before. Did he have all his feathers when you bought him I asked? Yes, was the reply but we have seven small dogs and they won’t stop jumping at his cage. She went on to say “ I think he is getting stressed up, because he is shouting back at the dogs and as you can see pulled his feathers out.” Why do I not look surprised, I asked her? After a short conversation she told me that the old man had called him Monty but he didn’t seem to like that name. Really! Perhaps I thought it was you and your dogs he didn’t like. As I stroked his beak through the bars on the carrier I said “Never mind big man, I’ll get you sorted” at that point the lady’s husband said “Once you’ve got him sorted, Mate, you can sell him and keep the money” those of you that know me will know that to me a spade is a shovel and my reply was short and to the point as I looked the chap straight in the eyes and said “Keep the Money, mate. To be quite honest I am struggling to keep my hands in my pocket. “This here is animal cruelty” Ooops I probably should have said less but as you can imagine I was furious. Sell him and keep the money, Anyway I quickly took the carrier and put him in the van saying “leave him with me, I have a business to run and walked off quickly, I feel more so that I spoke out of turn again.
I went into the shop and passed the keys of the van to Diane and told her to take a look in the van, I walked outside the rear of the shop and stood I think more in anger than anything else.
Well, Baby/Monty whatever your name is. Your new life starts today.
We took him home and of course I feel it was a case of ‘what is going to become of me now’ We had three Springer spaniels at that time and of course he had to accept them as they were going to be part of his new life. I put him in a cage and let him settle for an hour or so and of course he was in quarantine so although he could hear the others he could only see a couple.
That evening after our meal I took him into the sitting room and talked to him, I called him baby but go no response I then said “Is your name Monty then” and would you believe he turned and looked at me so that was easy, his name was Monty, obviously his previous owner didn’t like that name.
I put Monty on my knee and asked Diane to let the dogs come in to meet him. Of course he was very concerned at first and went a little tall and thin but within an hour Monty, me and the dogs were all on the floor and Monty was walking in between them to get to me, still of course a bit wary. He had a spell out and then it was bedtime and he settled down ok in his new cage with some food, water and toys.
Next morning I spoke to our advisor at Harrison’s Bird Foods which we feed to most of our birds and asked for their help and advice. I knew that 70% of their diet was fruit/veg and had sat up on the internet the previous night researching the Eclectus, printing off page after page and moving from site to site.
Harrison’s recommended going 50/50 Harrison’s High Potency Course and fresh fruit/veg and then slowly reduce the Harrison’s and increase the fresh foods.
Monty was moved into the bird’s room at the rear of the house and of course met all his new pals, all 30 odd of them, her he was with his new family. Of course the dogs and Monty had struck it off as well and he wasn’t bothered about them at all now they just carried on as normal and Monty accepted them.
As time passed he and big Tom, one of the dogs became great pals and tom would go and lie under his cage. Monty started to recover some of his feathers and was looking good until sadly we lost big Tom who had taken a stroke, we never really thought at the time but a couple of days later Monty had pulled out every new feather. As I say at that time we didn’t really put two and two together, but of course he had lost, as we all had, a friend. Goodness knows if that was the reason but it did seem a coincidence.
After a while, and of course a lot of love and care he started to get his feathers back slowly, however the strange thing was that when he came to us he had no tail feathers at all and when Tom died he pulled all his feathers except his tail feathers. Anyway he got more feathers and although he loves a shower I put him under the tap in the kitchen most mornings and he has a lovely luke warm soak.
Monty doesn’t really like anyone but me, he is even a little verbal towards some of the other birds but strangely enough I can do almost anything with him.
I recall taking him to Harrison’s with me one day and when I walked in the first thing that Susan said to me was “Don’t tell me that’s Monty?” You can imagine how proud I felt and you know as I drove back home with co-pilot Monty I couldn’t help feeling that all the staff at Harrison’s felt very proud of my Monty as well, as they could see how their diet had help change him. Harrison’s have always said that the food is not a cure but a very good diet, and we all know how we feel on a good diet.
In November 2010 Monty found a new friend, not of his own kind though. Diane decided we were going to have a black Labrador puppy 7 weeks old and of course Monty must have wondered what on earth had hit him, young Ebony seemed to think that the whole ground floor of the house was a race track and that the macaws cages were something that she could just jump in and out, Monty must have thought that she was a beak cleaner because when he came down to the bottom of the cage to see her he got his beak washed with her tongue. He has taken to her very well and they have become great friends. Although he thinks its great fun to shout at her so that she runs the length of the house then goes back for more, it is great to watch them get on so well after his original ordeal with dogs.
Monty’s diet has never changed he gets Harrison’s as 30% of his diet and the balance fresh fruit and vegetables, he gets the same as the others, pasta, potato, and eggs etc. and enjoys his food. He like the others have what I call a ‘Seed Day’ when he gets no Harrison’s but gets a portion of Johnston & Jeff low sunflower seed mix. Again I never give him or any of our birds a strict routine his seed day could be a Monday this week and a Thursday the next week.
As you can see Monty has turned the corner in his life and has a good home and is well loved by all. I think most days I get customers ask me how he is doing and of course I am so proud to show them the pictures of him.
I am sure that you can see by the photos how much he has changed. I always take things with birds a day at a time and of course who knows if Monty will pull out any feathers in the future. Hopefully he is settled enough to continue going forward. I honestly believe that diet plays a massive part in every bird’s life, and of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. He has never had any extra vitamins, minerals or additives to his diet. Just Harrison’s High potency and his fresh food.
When people tell me that that their birds won’t eat Harrison’s I usually say that it is you that has given up not the bird. We of course have a couple that won’t eat the cubes but they get Harrison’s in a different way.
I see what the diet has done to our Monty, and of course again thanks to Brian Stockdale, (our advisor) and the staff at Harrison’s for their help and advice.
We have recently taken on a Blue & Gold Macaw whose owner passed away and he stopped talking and started to pull his feathers out, Wally is now a Harrison’s Diet and has not pulled any feathers for nearly 6 weeks now, we have had him about 10 weeks so again it is a day by day exercise but hopefully he will come good. I know he will never forget the 7 years he had with his previous owner but hopefully we can bring a little happiness to his life as I feel sure we have with Monty.
To Midland Parrots this is a Sucess Story, We have told Monty's story as it is and wanted to publish his story through the Parrot/Aviary magazines. Neither wanted to print the story for fear of upsetting other advertisers or because they did not have the proof that the diet was the main reason for Monty's recovery.
Of course it's not 100% change of diet, and we would be totally stupid to believe that.
What we wanted to do was to say parrot owners out there who have a parrot that plucks, NEVER GIVE UP .
Of course we changed his diet, all our birds get a Harrison's diet, but the change in Monty can be due to many issues and could be
- Change in environment,
- No fear of our dogs,
- Other birds,
- Maybe just by being allowed to be "Just Monty"
- There are so many different reasons
Of course we believe that the diet is the main reason but that doesen't get away from the tender love and care he has had.
Perhaps he just feels safe and contented. Who know he may be just feeling cold, ha ha
At the end of the day there are many very distressed parrot owners who hopefully can see that all is not lost, try differnt things and see what works for your bird.
Remember, birds never pluck in their own environment, only in captivity. So there is something that we do or perhaps don't do, something in the home or perhaps the water.
The truth is: We don't Know why parrots pluck
The answer is out there! We just need to find it.
And it doesn't really matter how he looks he will always be. Our Monty
Max one of our Timneh's came to live with us after his owner passed away, as hard as the family tried Max was not his old self and the family decided that he would be better off somewhere else where he could perhaps start a new life and put the passing away of his owner to the back of his mind.
It was a real pleasure that the family came to visit him in his new environment and could see he was happier and I am sure he was pleased to see them.
Vicky, who some of you who have visited the shop will have met was Max's owner and tried so hard to give him everything she could. Wayne, Vicky's brother has now gone to Australia to live but every couple of months Vicky,Wayne and Simsy came to visit Max. He was always pleased to see them. So now Vicky comes for the weekend to visit Max and of course to pay for her keep she has to work in the shop. ( lol lol) It is great to see that he still loves to see her and of course Vicky loves to see Max and is pleased that he is happy and lives with his little mate Tojo the Jenday conure in the same cage.
A happy ending for Vicky though as on her first visit on her own she went home with Gizmo a hand reared little baby quaker parrot. She now has the love of her life, he is such a characer and adores her, It is lovely to see, We also have the best of both worlds, When vicky comes to see Max we get to see Gizmo. Happy all round.
Parsley, is an African Grey, the owners had him from a chick and watched him grow, He was a fabulous bird and and learned to talk, calling both owners by name and became a major part of tha family, He was always really a man's bird but the owners decided to purchase another African grey and then moved to a smaller house where Parsley had to share a cage with the other bird. He started to bite and became very nasty towards both owners. It became a heartbreaking decision that because of his now nasty nature he would have to go. In fact some of the bites he gave really could have done with a stitch or two.
Fortunately we took Parsley on board and within a couple of days he had settled down in his new forever home, He has never tried to bite or attack either Diane or myself and in fact he has been even quite happy being held by customers and friends.
His owners came to see him and although had tears in their eyes could see he was happy and content, and yet another success story for Midland Parrots.
Well, Peppy came to us for a 3 month stay as her owners were off on holiday, when she came she was on medication for a damaged wing, which she had caused herself. Whilst here Peppy's wing healed up and she was ok and in fact we never had to treat her wing. On her return home however Peppy started to mutilate her wing again and when the owner tried to apply the medication she was all over the cage flapping and squaking.
This year the birds again came on holiday but the owner spent her 3 month holiday deciding what was best for Peppy. Again her wing had healed and she was fine. Her owner of 17 years put the welfare of the bird first and asked if she could stay here, One of the most difficult decisons I thenk they had ever had to make.
Peppy is now a resident in our front room/office where she can chat to Parsley all day, we have had no problems with her wings and although she doesn't want to venture out her cage she appears happy here.
We are in constant contact with her owners and informing them of her progress.
Charlie 2 (We already have Charlie, our Blue and Gold Macaw). came to us in late April 2009, the RSPCA, bless them had rescued him from a violent Domestic environment and of course we received the call " Can you take him on board"
We have no real details of Charlie, yet another Orange Winged Amazon. We were told he is about 2 years old and when we took him on board he looked a sad little fellow, Now we are obviously unaware of his past so we don't know if he has been badly treated or not. Charlie settled in well and within a couple of days we had him on a Harrison's Diet. He was in excellent condition and although a little skittish he looks great. After nearly four weeks of not saying anything I went in on Monday 17th May and as I was changing his food and water to my surprise he said " HELLO" of course I spoke back to him and he said it a few times but when I tried talking to him when Diane was here he was having none of it. The following evening when Diane went into say goodnight and close their curtains she spoke softly to Charlie and this time he responded by saying his "Hello" . That's hopefully the breakthrough and he may come out his shell a little more each day as he starts to gain trust.
Blue & Gold macaw
Wally, who is 9 years old had a fantastic life, his owner took him everywhere and gave him all the love and care that wall could ever ask for.
Unfortunately around 2008 his owner got up one morning and went down to make a cup of tea, when his wife went downstairs some twenty minutes later she found that her husband (Wally’s owner) was lying on the kitchen floor after suffering a massive heart attack.
Wally never got the chance to say goodbye to his owner and best friend and stopped talking and whistling. No matter how much Julie tried to comfort Wally, nothing worked and he started to pull his feathers out.
An outside aviary was bought for him, where he could go during the day for a few hours and then back into his cage in the house.
Wally’s owner’s sudden death caused him stress and eventually after almost 3 years of trying to make him happy we were asked to take Wally on board.
He came to us in July 2011 and after some time in quarantine; Wally has now become part of the family and lives indoors with our own parrots.
On occasions Wally can be very aggressive, not towards Diane or myself but towards his toys, he attacks them like a man possessed and appears to take out all his aggression/frustration on the toys.
However, either Diane or I will open his cage and say “Come on Wally, what’s up mate” he will come out his cage and into the sitting room with us where he will calm down and get back to his normal self, They really are strange and emotional creatures. I really do wish I could read his mind.
Lucy is now 12 years old, she came to us two years ago in 2010.
So why did we end up with Lucy?
Well Lucy as usual was bought as a family pet, more for the children of the house, and by all accounts was loved and cared for and was part of the family.
Unfortunately as the children get older and start to move in their own direction in life other things take priority.
As the children started to move away, Lucy was didn’t go and was left behind with the parents, who, didn’t have the time for her nor did they actually want her, so we ended up taking her on.
Although she sometimes has her moments and tries to nip me, Diane can do anything with her and she comes out regularly to sit with Diane and have a cuddle.
She will lie on her back in Diane’s hand and have a tickle. She is a real little treasure and has settled in well here. Doesn’t talk but is a real little Character and knows how to get her own way.
A reminder of what Alchol can do to your best friend
Ok, so I bought a year old hahns macaw and her name was casey off a couple in droitwich wen I bought her home she was amazing had her for four a week and in the first few days she had a little fit although did not know this at the time then on the 5 th day of having her the old owners got in touch and said she likes wine a lot we forgot to tell u this so my thought was how much? I booked her in with a vet for 2 weeks as he was on holiday till then so on the 6 th day was a Friday and I got stuck at work till a bit later then normal but mom called and said casey was screaming a lot and was sat on her floor when I got back I went to her I opened the door to transport her to a vet and she came out the cage in a complete state her wings head and body were uncontrollable she was having a fit then before I could get her to vet she had another unfortunately casey never pulled through the last one a postmortem was done and reviled she had liver failure there is nothing worse than watching this happen with no control over it because of ALCOHOL