Help with re-homed African Grey Parrot

by Donna

I need help!! Long story and not sure it will all go here. We took a African Grey from a women that hated it. Don't know age or what treatment it received other than not good. She showed up with "Cleo" in the cage, on wheels, on a horse trailer tied to a 5' rope. There was no way we were going to let the woman leave with her. She wanted to give it away and before we left she wanted $500 which we paid just to not let the bird go back with the issues and advice we need.

She is afraid of EVERYTHING..cannot have anything in her toys, chews nothing but her food and water. She will come to one spot and let you pet her but no where else. She cowards in the corner digging at the side of her neck. We have now had her for 4 months and very little progress. I'm not sure where to start over at this point. Any suggestions on what we can do to get her to a point of not being terrified? Tried toys starting across the room and slowly moving over, not working. She whistles, talks some and seems content as long as you don't go near her or her cage.

Help!!! She does not pluck feathers, she eats fine. She has to be bored to death. We work 6 hours a day and are home the rest of the time and try to play with her by talking to her all the time.

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Nov 04, 2013
Help with re-homed African Grey Parrot
by: Sandra D Singh

Hi Donna, thanks for the update, it was very nice of you. It's good to know that Cleo is healthy and everything is fine. I'm happy to hear that she's taking things from your hand and although it's through the bars of her cage that's still a very good sign. Don't try to speed up anything, take it slowly and Cleo would learn to trust you in time.
Only open her cage door when you're there to monitor her and close it before you leave her alone. By sticking her head out of her cage means a lot; very soon she may come out and sit on her top of her cage. If she does that do not approach the cage or even gets up because she may think that you're coming to get her and she'd then go back inside. You can say very softly, Cleo is a good girl! praise her but "don't" approach the cage.
You said that she may've belonged to a man before that "evil" woman. It may or may not have been so or could it be that she's afraid of women because of the treatment she'd gotten from that "evil" woman which makes her afraid of women. Thank God that you now have her Donna, she'll trust you and God would bless you tremendously.
It's good that you left the wooden perch in her cage and I think that you should've also left the two toys that you'd put in her cage. She'd soon realize that the perch and the toys just sits there doing nothing to her; eventually she'd sit on the perch and play with the toys. About the grey that your ex took and bringing him for a week or so, it's not a bad idea at all. According to you, she'd observes how you and the grey interacts with one another and I think that would speed the whole trusting process with Cleo and you. Donna, I trust that whatever your dear heart feels like doing would be good for Cleo so follow your heart. I do wish Cleo and you all the best and God bless.

I do hope that someone with a good heart would purchase those other two unfortunate little birds that this "evil" woman has for sale and they'd get a good home and the love and care that they both deserves. I'm sure going to pray for them as well. May the Good Lord bless everyone and better their lives, especially those unfortunate animals and of course some of us humans too. This world has so much cruel people it's a shame! Donna, please update again and thanks.

Nov 02, 2013
by: Donna

Took Cleo to Avian Vet and everything is fine and she is healthy. He was of course disgusted about her toes/claws but said she has learned to cope. At this point the only progress we have is that she will take items out of our hand through the bars. She is vocal with whistles, hello's and "come on girl". When we go out of the room she starts all over. We have a pug, Sophie that she has learned when she wants to go out and will start her whistle and come on girl every time. Other than that and scratching her head we have made no further progress. I just found my post so I now have the cage door open, which I have been doing some. When it is open she will stick her head out and that is it. If we approach the cage she scurries tot the other side. I realize it is going to take a LONG time and we are not going anywhere or is she regardless if she comes around or not. I think she belonged to a man prior to this woman getting her because she likes my husband more than me. We have bought so many toys for her,, put them in and she geeks out so we remove them and they are laying in a pile on the table next to her cage. I will put two in and just leave them. I bought a wood perch and changed out one of the three that were in there and she freaked and won't go near it but I have left it, 3 days not. She hangs on the bars to eat and on the side instead of getting on it. I'm not so sure she has ever had anything in her cage because of the way she reacts.

Food that I feed her is a assortment of fruits and veggies, some of what ever we have such as chicken, pasta, rice, oatmeal. She loves mashed potatoes. I have one bowl of pellets that I leave at all times. I feed her scrambled egg, toast and fruit in the morning and the above in the evening. She has no problem eating. Seed I give her just a little a day and peanuts she has to take from us.
We will have to take it one day at a time and keep doing what we are doing and hopefully she will eventually come around.

I have thought about getting the grey that my ex took and bringing him to the house for a week or so just so she can see how he acts and how he allows you to handle him and all. Not sure if that would be a good idea or not...any thoughts??

I received a text from this woman asking me if I knew anyone that wanted to buy the two cockatoo's that she has. They are the one's that she purchased when she also got Cleo as a package deal Said she wanted $500 for each and if she needed to deliver in the horse trailer it would be another $100. Just unreal. Hopefully someone will buy them that will give them a good home. God knows what they have been through.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will start applying them tonight.

Oct 13, 2013
Help with re-homed African Grey Parrot
by: Sandra D Singh

Hello Donna, I’m so happy to hear that you’ve taken this poor bird into your home; you’re truly an ANGEL! If you haven’t already taken Cleo to an “avian vet” please do so just to be sure that she’s indeed healthy. Birds may look fine to us but they may not really be so. You didn’t say what type of food you’re feeding her but “if” you’re only giving her bird seeds it’s better you switch to pellets, it’s healthier for her. Cleo is very lucky to have you in her life and I’m sure that the both of you came into one another’s life for a reason.

It truly puzzles me though to know why and how did this unfortunate bird came into this evil woman’s life? Thank God that you do have a very kind heart and God would bless you tremendously. I had done the same for three unfortunate little birds. Maybe Cleo is not afraid of everything in her cage she’s just not accustomed to having anything in her cage except food and water. I think that she sits in the corner digging the side of her neck out of boredom. Donna, it will take a lot longer than 4 months to get Cleo to be where she can fully trust anyone in her life ever again.

That evil woman had violated her trust and now you would’ve to have a lot of patience to regain that trust and turn Cleo’s life around. You’ve already started by showing her that you're trustworthy by talking to her and putting toys nearer to her cage. Now you can put about two toys inside her cage and leave it there whether she plays with it or not; just leave it there. Make sure to buy two interesting toys for the time being, one that has a ring to it and one that she can shred. By now it would be safe to leave her cage open; whether or not she wants to come out it's up to her but “only when you’re at home. Try to touch her and if not send kisses to her from afar until she gets to trust you a little more. Leave her alone if she seems not to be interested in having you near to her. Never use force in any way or else the situation would worsen.

She whistles, talks, eats well and does not pluck her feathers which sound really good so you know that she’s depressed but not totally. It seems to me that the situation is not very bad so don’t you worry too much. Donna it may take “years” but please do not give up. I’m sure that if anyone can do this, “you” can; you’ve a heart of not gold but diamond! Donna you take care of Cleo and yourself and don’t you forget to update us. “I” would be happy to know when Cleo and you’d be playing together. I’ll keep you both in my prayers; God bless.

Oct 12, 2013
Help with re-homed African Grey Parrot
by: Linda

Thank You for taking this poor bird in, and the woman who had her sounds like a dangerous piece of work!

Many parrots have been in abusive homes, and many of them are worse off than this little bird. At least she is eating, drinking and so forth. The first order of business is to take her to an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area and have her thoroughly checked out for infections plus some basic bloodwork done to see what kind of shape her organs are in. If she is sick, and she probably is, she will not get better without the help of an Avian Vet, so do not delay this exam. I realize you already spent $500 on her, and she still has to have a comprehensive exam with an Avian Vet because it is likely she is not physically well.There are NO free or cut rate pets.

Write back later, after she has been examined, and we can go into more detail about how to handle this. For one thing, she's probably already been left by herself a lot, and so you will need to look into that more thoroughly. Another bird in another cage nearby may help a lot. If she's lived an existence mostly by herself, she is near to if not already mentally ill. Parrots are social creatures and to be alone is the worst thing for them. Also, understand that she may be mentally ill at this point and all you can do is be patient with her and hope she comes around. First the Avian Vet exam and any meds needed to get her well and then we can talk further about things. If she's sick, there is no need to go into much here.

Keep in touch as we'll be waiting to hear back from you and many Blessings to you and family from ours.


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