Jade the quaker
by Mary Ann
About 2 months ago, my husband and I went to see a 3 yr. old quaker who was advertised in a local paper. She was in a dark upstairs apartment kitchen with no windows and 4 small children ramming fingers in her cage. Her color was dull, she was very hostile, and screaming.
I was told she was "nasty, hated everyone", would "take a hunk out of me if I reached in her cage", and didn't talk. They gave me some horrible food they said they got for free at the local animal shelter, a little canary seed and about 90% sunflower seeds, and said she would not eat anything fresh.
She just broke my heart. She was so unhappy and miserable, I bought her anyway, just to get her out of the situation. I figured she would be nice to look at even if I could never handle her.
I spent 2 days just talking to her. She calmed down almost immediately. By day 4, I let her come out on top of her cage, and she immediately started to rub her head on my face and purr like a kitten as she whispered "sweet baby" in my ear.
After a week, I could pet her from beak to tail feathers and scratch her cheeks. The next week she started talking, asking my husband "are you a good girl?" She hasn't shut up since. She now says over 20 words and phrases, whistles Beethovan, and I can reach in her cage and she immediately comes over and rests her head in my hand. Finally, yesterday she stepped up for the first time as she had BIG issues with fingers. I just love her!
I have her on a high quality diet and she is now eating fresh veggies and fruit as daily treats. I took her for a "well baby" visit to the avian vet, and he said she is happy, healthy, and thriving. He also said her feathers and color are absolutely beautiful.
I think it is horrible that these people could own her for 3 years and not know her at all. Talk about neglectful.
If you are considering a quaker, all I can say is just be very kind and very patient, especially with a rehomed bird. Now Jade lives for my attention. Of course, feed a good, high quality food. As I can attest to, quakers can be the sweetest, most lovey little things. Or they can be hostle little biters.
As I see it , it is all about how you care for them and treat them. I never force her into uncomfortable situations, I go at her pace and comfort level, and she has never bit me. We are very bonded at this point. My little Jadey is one of the best things to ever come into my life.