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Diagnosis: Too much freedom

We took Simon to see the avian vet yesterday, to consult about his behaviour problems. She thinks he’s got too much freedom and he’s taking advantage of it. He has overthrown the rulers and seized power! I need to rein him back in, start some daily training and convince him – gently – that I’m the leader of the flock.

She also gave him a full physical exam, including a CBC and a vent swab. And, with my permission, she trimmed his wings, which will bring him down a peg or two by making him more dependent on us. I feel kind of bad about that – flight is so integral to being a bird, it seems cruel to take it away from them. But I keep telling myself it’s just a temporary measure, and he can still fly, just not as well. He had two crash landings this morning, but he’ll soon figure out his limitations. Poor guy. He’s pretty subdued.

On the bright side, it was a pretty calm morning around here without Simon terrorizing everybody. I love him dearly, but he was starting to scare me.

Today is the second anniversary of the day we got Kazoo, the Double Yellow Headed Amazon parrot. She’s such a wonderful bird. She’s so gentle and sweet, and I don’t think there’s been a day in the last two years that she hasn’t made me laugh. Her vocabulary isn’t extensive – mostly just “Hello Coco,” but she also quacks like a duck and laughs like a human being and makes other assorted noises. And she says “Hello Coco” in so many different ways – everything from an enthusiastic yell to a sultry drawl.

I’ve got an appointment with a neurologist this afternoon. About six months ago, my left calf started looking and feeling like it was pregnant with aliens. The muscles ripple and roll and it looks like the alien baby is rolling around and kicking. It’s like that all the time, except when me leg is busy doing something else, like walking. According to Dr. Google it could be anything from nothing to ALS. It’s probably nothing, but we won’t know for sure until the neurologist rules out everything else.



12 comments to Diagnosis: Too much freedom

  • I’m glad there’s hope for Simon.

    My calf does that – mine is nerve damage from my back issues… that might be what it is for you too.

    • Valerie, the doctor agrees with your diagnosis! She’s sending me for an MRI to confirm it. Also, it turns out I have no reflexes in my left leg when she hits it with a hammer.

  • Cara

    One of my cockatiels was aggressive and trimming his flight feathers largely fixed the problem. He’s had his feathers trimmed for over 20 years and has taken to walking everywhere.
    Our vet reminded us that just as we had to learn to live with the bird; the bird also needed to learn to live with us. He eventually figured out that his human flock mates were the alpha birds and began to behave accordingly, but it does need to be constantly reinforced. Given a chance he’d still try to run the household.
    You may notice his behaviour gets weird again once his feathers have grown back. Without fail my bird calmed down once his flight feathers were re-trimmed.

    • Thanks Cara. I think you and I have the same vet – Dr. Roscoe? She says I have to work on training him so he’ll see me as the flock leader. (I don’t have a dominant personality at all, so this has always been a challenge with any alpha-inclined pets. Men too.)

  • Glad Simon’s calmer today.

    Your calf sounds troubling. The body is such a pinata of surprises.

  • I don’t think I could have said things better than Pearl just did *g*

  • You could write a book called “Tough Love for Parrots”!

    • Ha! I am SO not the tough love type! I still feel kind of sick to my stomach that I helped pin Simon down and cut his wing weathers. The only thing that makes me feel a little better about it is that he’s being a much nicer bird.

  • mudmama

    Oh I would be such a bad pet bird keeper! With my poultry if they get aggressive and psychotic I eat them, maybe save a few feathers if they were especially pretty!

  • mudmama made me laugh out loud! Will watch this space for good news on all fronts.