Leo, A rescue story
Leo was "rescued" by a well meaning lady who knew next to nothing about parrots. Her intentions were good, and I might add very much needed.
She had read in a local paper about a parrot for sale in a near by area and as she had been thinking that she might like to have a parrot but as to how she could not afford the high prices in pet stores, she decided to go have a look.
She got to the house and was shown to a dark and messy back covered patio, where she first saw little Leo. He was being kept in a small 12x14x14 wire cage with one yellow #2 school pencil stuck thru the wire for a perch. There were two jar lids on the floor of the cage. One was full of old bird seed hulls and not much else and the other was supposed to be for water, but I won't bother to say what it was full of. Nasty. Very, very nasty.
She bought Leo for twenty dollars, cage included, and took him home. Next day she went to the local pet supply store and purchased the biggest most expensive parrot cage they had in stock. She also bought a book about parrot care, (I don't think she read it) and several bags of seeds, pellets and fruit and vegetables. Sounds great for Leo doesn't it?
Poor little Leo was lost in that big old cage, and could not eat half of the stuff she had bought, being that she had gotten the large bird size pellets and had no idea which fruits and vegetables he should have. He promptly started losing feathers and looking very sad indeed.
During a break at the local Bingo hall, I happened to hear her talking about this poor bird. She had no idea what to do with him and was thinking of giving him away because he was so loud and mean (he bites!) and was so very messy and wasn't very pretty any more since he'd lost his feathers. I asked if I could have a look and she said yes. I probably had no more knowledge than she did, but I took Leo home and read the book.
Next day he went to the vet. Surprisingly, he was pretty healthy, except for three toes missing (one from one foot and the other two from the other foot.) Vet said that it looked as if they had been biten or cut off at the first knuckle joint above the claw.
And as such, he had a hard time holding on to perches (or shoulders) the vet said that he was approx. two-three years old. He soon grew new beautiful feathers and even started trying to talk! He just needed the right food and a calm and clean place to grow comfortable in and someone to care.
He's been with me for over two years now and I will admit that because I know what he had been put thru, I might have over indulged him...a little.
Now,...My problem. He's bonded with me. And no one, I mean NO ONE, can come near him, or me if he's out of his cage. Not even my son or my grandchildren. He will scream and divebomb anyone who gets close. He bites and draws blood and pulls hair.
I understand this. But it makes it hard to deal and live with. I hate having to put him away in another room when company comes to visit. But for everyones sake, it's for the best. Does anyone have any ideas how to help him overcome being so scared and defensive? Help, please!