I was told he is five years old. He has a history, it seems every bird I have had has a history. I always said after Feathers, my Indian Ringneck passed away that I was never going to obtain a bird again unless I am to go through a breeder and visit the facilities. But I couldn't let him be set free.
Zeus was abandoned in a home sometime last summer in Delta Junction, Alaska. It is known that his past owners only fed him left over people food. A highschool girl found him and took care of him in the home, feeding him left overs from her lunch and such. Zeus plucked every feather he could reach in that time but with the girls limited interaction they began to grow back
Three months ago she was able to find someone to take Zeus in, a man and his wife. They have a young son, 8 months old. After two months they decided they couldn't keep Zeus as he is cage aggressive and the child couldn't keep his fingers out of the cage. So after trying to find Zeus a home in Delta couldn't travel to rehome him they came to the conclusion that setting him free would be the best option. If an eagle can do it why can't Zeus, right? They had switched him to an all seed diet sold for parrots and more of his feathers grew back.
I happened to be in Delta that day, driving around with my boyfriend and just hanging out. We ended up in a park where a man was unloading a large bird cage from the back seat. Seeing the bird I confronted him about his actions as it was -45F outside. Hearing his intentions we ended up taking Zeus home.
That was a month ago. He is now on a diet by Zoovita mixed half and half with fruits, veggies and beans. More feathers have grown back. I regret using the petstore food but he eats it when he will starve himself with anything other than seeds.
He is very scared. Very timid. I can pet his head through the cage, my boyfriend can reach in and pet him. He won't venture from his cage and unless forced from his cage will stand in the same few spots all day long when not eating or calling "hi Zeus" trying to get whatever I am cooking. He likes throwing food out for my dog to eat.
The man said Zeus doesn't play with toys. He had one toy, all hard painted wood. I purchased him a mixed dyed bamboo toy colored with food coloring. it had cuttle bone bits and bits with softer woods easy to tare up. He likes to murder paper cranes I give him. recently he started playing with this toy, now reduced just the bamboo.
I had to throw away all his perches when we brought him home, they had been so covered in crap that it was impossible to clean. The man never once cleaned the cage. it took me two hours with my boyfriend's aid to clean it.
We cannot remove Zeus from the cage without being bitten. James, my boyfriend does the honors so Zeus won't fear me when it's cleaning time. He becomes a "cuddle bird" then, terrified of my boyfriend when hes out of the cage and supper gluing himself to my hip for protection. I can then handle him freely until he is returned to his then clean cage.
because of this, James cannot go near him when hes outside of the cage. But he still begs James for pets the moment he walks through the door. I'm a full time student taking my classes online so I'm home with him almost all day every day.
Really, we are probably in no way ready for him but here we go. It's an adventure and I'm already three bites in. So, you guys think you are willing to go through this with me?
Now that you know his story, my questions!
He goes almost instantly to my shoulder if I'm not always pushing him away from it. I am terrified to have a bird as large as him on my shoulder and want this stopped as soon as possible. How?
How can I end the cage aggression and encourage activity?
What can I do to help him to become easier to handle?
What can I do to help him?
I would like to get his wings clipped- not that he ever flys unless its when hes running to my side from James. At this time I can't do so because I can't get him into a carrier to transport him.
Any other advice that you feel will help? comments, questions? Anything at all.