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AfricanGreys.com • View topic - How to help handicapped Grey

How to help handicapped Grey

Welcome to the Grey Play Round Table African grey Question and Answer Board. Maggie Wright, author of the Barron's Grey pet manual and creator of the Grey Play Round Table African grey newsletter/magazine, and Lisa Bono, African grey behavior expert, will be the two moderators to answer your questions. Please check out the areas that have already been dealt with... and submit your new questions.


Due to the incredibly high volume of SPAM, the board has been set up so that you cannot submit a question. Instead, please send me your question at merlin@AfricanGreys.com and I will post it for you. Then, both Lisa and I will post responses. Sorry for the inconvenience.

PLEASE send me your questions... we REALLY want to help you!!! merlin@AfricanGreys.com.


Wishing you GREY'T Blessings!
Maggie Wright

Moderator: merlin

How to help handicapped Grey

Postby merlin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi.
I've lived with and loved an African Grey for over 30 years. She is truly part of me and my family. Hence my love and respect for these feathered deviates. Recently I was introduced to a Grey who is in desperate need and have been offered this bird if I feel I can care for it. This bird is probably 13 or 14 and was a hand fed baby. At some point the owner's care went severely down-hill. I understand most of the birds were being fed dog food. They have been removed and are being cared for.

This Grey is the worst of the lot. It had a foot bitten off by another bird. It was allowed to heal on it's own with no medical care. This bird is also very very scared. What I do not know are the requirements for a one-legged parrot. I assume a long, low cage...but I know there must be much more to it.....please...any information I can use to ease this poor Grey's life would be appreciated. Even if I'm passing the info on the someone else, if I do not bring this bird home, I have to do something....

Thanks,
Carol
merlin
Site Admin
 
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Re: How to help handicapped Grey

Postby merlin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:46 pm

Hi Carol,

You have a beautiful heart and the grey is blessed to have found you! I have Googled the Net and found some sites that talk about and show what handicapped parrots can do. Don't fret. Instead, get a positive and determined attitude that you're going to help this little one get a happy and productive life.

I would suggest that you get a wide cage with very low perches, at least in the beginning. You may even want to get something like a large rabbit cage that is wide but not tall. You may want to place soft materials in there so he has a flat surface, and then a few very low perches.

As for the fear, you need to treat him behaviorally like a phobic bird. Place his cage in a quiet room or in a quiet corner of the room that you choose. Place the cage with its back to the corner so that two sides of the cage are facing walls. This is so that a fearful bird does not become more terrorized because he has to watch all sides of his cage for "danger." Keep the lights low and play soft music. Spend time near the cage talking to him and reading to him. Tell him how much you love him and he's going to be alright. Avoid direct eye contact, but instead enter the room and look at him at an angle. This is to make him feel that you are NOT coming after him. Find some treats that he may love... break them into bits (ie... cashew bits or one sunflower seed at a time). Give him the treats as reward thru the cage bars and don't serve them in the cage. Instead, give him the pieces from your hands. But don't overfeed. This will help him get calmer and it will help you begin to build that bond of trust.

Below are the links:
http://www.africangreys.com/articles/behavior/phobia.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER7zkJMAlzs

http://www.skarlettsweb.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=52
http://birdboard.com/forum/topic/5886023-disabled-special-needs-parrot-project/

http://www.parrotchronicles.com/features/disabled/disabled.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Parrots-1638/2008/1/Teaching-handicapped-bird-play.htm


Good luck. Please keep us posted!
Blessings,
Maggie-
www.AfricanGreys.com
merlin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Re: How to help handicapped Grey

Postby Lisa A. Bono » Wed May 02, 2012 6:44 pm

Hi Carol. Thank you for writing the note. I have lived with several Special abled birds. Each one of them had a different handicap that we would have to overcome. Several had bad feet, missing limbs or twisted legs. They can adjust well. Most did not even know they were different. My little love of my life, Emma Lynn, has a twisted neck.
They have special perches you can purchase to make perching easier. There are ramps, shelves and all sorts of places to rest. All of my special abled birds have been so devoted and loving once they settled in. Its as if they know they are being helped. I have a soft spot for them.
With that said, sometimes the handicap they have bothers us humans more then the animal. They adapt.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to speak to someone who has been there...multiple times!
Best wishes and thank you for wanting to help this special baby.
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International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants-
Associate Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant #729
Lisa A. Bono
 
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Location: Long Beach Island


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