Adding an 18 year old amazon to a household with a 5 year old, possessive conyure

by April
(South Florida)

Hi everyone. I am at a crossroads and I need some advice from people who understand my dilemma.

I adopted a sun-nanday conyure mix (Max) when he was 1 1/2 years old about 4 years ago. There was instant chemistry between us and we quickly became great pals. He screams for me, sleeps under my shirt, grooms me, pretty much adores me and I adore him. We have a lot of fun together.

Yesterday I was at my favorite pet store that usually has a lot of beautiful, well cared for birds, and I had my arms full and was heading to the cash register when something made me turn around. There was a red crowned amazon parrot that was starring right at me. So, I made a beeline to his cage and started talking to him and he was saying "hello" and tilting his head in that curious way they do. I played with him for a few minutes then asked the clerk what the situation was with the amazon. She said that he's a rescue and is 18 years old! Apparently they are liquidating all of their birds so heaven only knows where they are going, and are relocating to a more posh area and are going to specialize in doggie boutique, grooming, vet, etc. When I checked out they offered me a 20% off coupon for the new location and, although I have 3 dogs, I said no thanks.

This bird has haunted me all day and all night last night, and today all I can think about is going back to the store to check on him. The thought that this poor 18 year old bird has no family is unbearable. I have cried so much and so hard that I have a splitting headache today. I apparently am somewhat of an animal whisperer because I can't begin to tell you how many animals, wild and domestic, that I have rescued over the years. They always manage to find me and usually I successfully find the owner or get the wild animal back to the wild. This amazon, however, captured my heart for whatever reason.

I have never planned on getting another bird, mainly because Max is extremely possessive of me and considers me to be his "mate" and I think he would really be upset if I brought another bird into our lives. But, and here's the question: do you think over time he will adapt and accept the new bird, or will the endeavor be disastrous. My first obligation is to Max, but this poor 18 year old soul-eyed amazon has me actually thinking about adding him/her to our family.

What are your thoughts? Has anyone experienced this before?

Thank you all in advance for your help, I sincerely appreciate it.

April

Comments for Adding an 18 year old amazon to a household with a 5 year old, possessive conyure

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Dec 22, 2012
Adding amazon to household
by: April

I know exactly how you feel. I was going to go by the pet store again yesterday but I have family coming into town and I was afraid it would ruin it for them to have a wimpy woman around. Birdtricks gave me some articles to read that I intend to as soon as I have a spare moment then I guess I'll go back to the pet store :-).

Sometimes it hurts to have that compassion and love for animals.....

Thank you, and congratulations on doing a wonderful job of rehabilitating your bird!

Dec 22, 2012
Adding amazon to household
by: April

Thank you so much for your comments. I honestly didn't think about clipping the wings so I'm very grateful for that advice. I agree so much with you about who clips the wings, but my experience with an avian vet was not a good one. When I first got Max I took him to an avian vet to get his wings clipped and she clipped his wings so short, plus she filed his nails, that he couldn't grasp my shirt and he would fall like a lump of coal since his wings wouldn't even give him a little glide to gracefully land. I was furious and decided from there on I would just do it myself. I only clip him if he starts flying all over the house, but usually he will stay on his cage. If I get the Amazon I will definitely have someone knowledgeable clip his wings, or supervise every move the vet makes.

Dec 21, 2012
Adding an 18 year old amazon to a household with a 5 year old, possessive conyure
by: Linda

April, I understand how your heart feels right now, because I'm a rescuer too, and it breaks my heart to see an animal or bird in need.

With that said, let's move onto the actuality of this situation. The Amazon sounds like a Mexican Red Head Amazon, and they are a wonderful size and normally of good temperament. First the bird will have to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY BEFORE he comes home. See if the pet store will pay for this checkup because if not, you may be bringing disease and infection into your home. If they say they will pay for a checkup for bird, then have the Avian Vet board him until he is well if he's found to have any infections or other physical problems. You will take him to Avian Vet if pet store will sign off on it. You will have to take him regardless, so make sure you have money for that.Make sure you take him either way. They are welcome to come along, but don't leave it up to them!

Once he is either cleared for infection/illness or diagnosed, board him with avian vet so they can give him meds he needs before coming home to your other bird. Eighteen is considered an older bird, and all rescues and older birds have to be examined by avian vet prior to either purchase or before being brought into home because infections are highly contageous.

Next issue is cage which needs to be Amazon sized with swivel out cup holders. He will also need to be started on high quality pellets like Harrisons. Below is link on how to change both birds over once you get to that point. All seed diets cause fatty liver disease plus a lot of other problems because the diet is without high quality protein, vitamins and minersl.

http://www.parrot-and-conure-world.com/switching-birds-to-pellets.html

Your Conure will be jealous, so have both bird's wings clipped. The 4-6 Primary Flight feathers are all that need trimmed and these are the long ones at the ends of each wing. I suggest you have Avian Vet, not pet store, trim the wings because sometimes pet store people know what they're doing and sometimes not. Don't take a chance with either bird.

The clipped wings will keep either bird from flying over to the other cage to start a fight. Your Conure is going to behave very badly about this new bird, and it will get better once he accepts the Amazon which can take however long it takes. You can tell sex of the Amazon by looking at the iris's in his/her eyes. Males have a dark brown iris and the females have a reddish brown iris. In good light, it is very easy to see which one this bird is. A female would be great, and a male will also work as the Amazons are friendly and sweet most of the time. I have two Red-Lored Amazons, and they are same size as this one you're looking at.

The final call is yours. Remember the Amazon was thrown away by his last humans, so commit to him if you are willing to follow through with your commitment. I think the Conure will appreciate the company in time.
Love,
Linda

Dec 21, 2012
Adding amazon to household
by: Anonymous

I know exactly how you feel. I was given a Quaker parrot for free because the previous owners were abusive and did not want her anymore. She was always nervous and plucked herself until she bled. Thankfully the plucking has stopped and she is the smartest, funniest bird I have ever owned. She is also quite possessive and set in her ways. I was at the pet store and took a stroll through the bird area and found the cutest green cheek conure that came right up to the glass and was chirping and rolling over and doing anything it possibly could to get my attention. I was lovestruck and couldn't stop thinking about this bird. It was hard for me to walk away. I thought about it all night and discussed it with my husband. A lot of households have more than one bird. I didn't go back to the pet store for a few days and when I did I found someone had already bought her. I hope she found a good home. I know my Quaker would not have been happy if I brought another bird into the house and could have started plucking again and been miserable. Now when I go to the pet store, I don't stop by the birds anymore.

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