by Joann Colapinto
(Rochester, NY)

yesterday I began to foster 2 forty year old Amazons. They are in separate cages. They were in a store since 1970. The owner passed away and the family didn't want them.

One is blind. She has no feathers on her chest and shook on her perch, all day. The other seems to have settled in, so far, nicely. He started talking yesterday and seemed very excited when I responded. My concern is for the other. I am an inexperienced bird owner but I do want to take the best care of them possible.

Where do I even begin?? Their previous diet consisted of sunflower seeds and water. How do I get them to eat healthier foods? I fully understand that realizing their true personalities may take some time and I am prepared.

The one says "hello". The other, nothing thus far. Can they be taught new words at this age? Can they be taught tricks?

I am pretty excited and if I can learn the proper care for them, I would love to adopt them. I have enough room in my house to create a beautiful, room sized, cage. They have always been in separate cages. How can I find out if they will get along together, sans cages?

As you can see...many questions.

Thanks for any guidance you may offer.


Comments for Fosters

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Jul 23, 2015
Adopting older parrots - convert to better diet
by: Tracie

So glad you rescued these birds! Depending on your age, they may even outlive you. :-)

It would be best for you to have both birds checked out by an avian vet. Once you have determined they aren't fighting any health issues, you can begin to switch them over to a high quality pellet diet.

Switching to pellets can go quick, or can take a year or more. I took a budgie that was weaned to pellets and had never eaten seeds. It took me over a year to get that bird to try a seed! So it isn't a matter that they don't like something, it's a matter of getting them to recognize it as food they are to eat.

I have 2 switching to pellet article links below. Even though the second one is designed for budgies, I have used it for all kinds of parrots. Once you see the bird eat a pellet, it knows it's food. Once it knows it's food, you can withhold treats until they have eaten most of their pellets. (You will need to count the pellets put in the cage, to see if they have eaten any of them at first.)

You may need to buy some new perches for the cages, I suspect. They need a variety of perches to have healthy feet. I provide some rope perches, some natural wood branch perches and some pedicure perches at the feeding stations to help keep their nails trimmed. (Completely toss any wood dowel perches, they are horrible for their feet.)

Parrot Training page

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Alternate Switching To Pellets article

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