Mama's Little Chicken
Mama’s Little Chicken
One day in June I came home to find a surprise waiting for me. Tucked in the corner of the living-room was a large bird cage . Inside staring back at me was a near bald , half starved
5 1/2 year old African Grey Parrot by the named of "Jake". He reminded me of a plucked chicken. Hence the nickname “ Mama’s Little Chicken”
When Jake arrived at the house I knew nothing at all about parrots, especially African Grey Parrots. He let me know through ear piercing screams, bites ,temper tantrums, food flinging and fits of feather plucking that I was doing things wrong. I quickly learned on a daily bases what not to do.
Jake needed medical attention because of the stressful condition he was in. From first glance you could tell that his physical state was a mess. He had open wounds on his chest , legs and right wing. The injury on the wing was located on the joint so every time he moved or extended the wing it would reopen the wound leaving a fair size hole that made it impossible for him to fly.
When he would lose his balance he would land either on his breast bone or injured wing causing major bruising on his chest along with re-opening existing wounds. Regardless of pain or injury he would continue to try and fly.
Jake’s prier living arrangement was unhealthy , unstable and unpredictable. He had a bacterial infection in his mouth and an intestinal infection in his stomach. He was under underweight and weak .
Jake’s emotional state was no better then his physical. Loneliness and boredom his constant companions. Everything from food, toys, people and other pets caused some levels of stress or anxiety. At the same time he was curious and inquisitive at all the new attention and changes in his little world. Leaving him with the come here come here go way go way syndrome.
He compulsively plucked feathers out of frustration, boredom and stress. Other times plucking feathers for attention.
We managed through trial and error what worked and what did not work with Jake.The next six months changed him into a completely different bird.
Physically,emotionally and mentally he was making leaps and bounds all in the right direction. Ninety percent of his feathers had returned including a beautiful red tail. Body weight was steadily rising and appetite was back on track with clean supply of water and wholesome food. Jake's mental state also was one of major change.Again for the best. Singing,talking and constantly mimicking the sounds and noises in his surrounds.
Then everything came crashing down in January 2007 when I came home from work to find a blood soaked parrot peering up from his cage with his right wing ripped off. The hurdle ahead would turn out to be a heart wrenching ordeal that we would have to endure for many months ahead.
It has been two years since Jake's accident. A lot of changes and new ways to adapt to life with one wing. We both have come along way since that dreaded day and I could not imagine life without my little chicken. I could write pages on this amazing little fellow and what he has brought and taught me in my life . Thank you for allowing me to share Jake's story
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