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Thread: Meet Zeus.

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Meet Zeus.

    Meet Zeus.

    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.


  2. #2
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I think he is one handsome bird especially after what a rough life he had in his past. I am so happy your found him before he was set free and I want to say Zeus must have some really good Gods up there watching over him to let him survive being left alone in a house. I never had a Too or even handled one but I do know I would be like you and a little nervous with such a big boy on my shoulder. I think the best thing you can do for him is open his cage door so he knows he can come out and go about doing what you normally do except make a point of going near his cage and talking to him. Big birds are scary. I take care of my sister Amazon Mango and he likes to bite out of the blue and he has got a hold of my finger a few times and he draws blood every time. In time I hope Zues will learn to fully trust you and become part of your family because he does deserve a good loving family and it sounds like he found one with you and James.

    Thanks for telling us his story and posting his picture, he is really so cute. We had two of them at the bird store near me and both of them were sweethearts so hopefully in time your Zues will become your sweetheart.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  3. #3
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Zeus is so handsome! Look at him munching on his cucumber

    I'm with you: I don't think I would want him on my shoulder either, until he learns not to bite! I love my babies but I still don't let them on my shoulder much because I think they get cockier up there -- well, that and they try to mate with my face. Maybe a nice nearby playstand would help you interact with him without him being right up on your shoulder like that? I just have mine step up as soon as they climb onto my shoulder and then I move them to an arm or a hand, and I can see how that would be hard with a bird you can't totally handle yet.

    Have you toweled him? Some birds hate it, but some accept it. My TAG, Roscoe, is pretty good about it now. The only time he'll let a new person handle him is when he's swaddled in a towel. When my BF & I first got serious I let him towel Ross for a 1/2 hour or so every couple of days, and the "I'm going to bite you" war dances declined sharply. He just chewed on the blanket and accepted whatever cuddles or scritches Joe wanted to give him. IDK. Again, it's definitely not for every bird: if I'd tried toweling Ross for scritches a few years ago he would have squawked bloody murder.

    Deanna's idea about leaving the cage door open so he comes out is a great idea, as is her idea about talking to him softly. I used to tell Ross what I wanted to do in his cage and ask him permission, and it sounds silly but it really did work. When I used my soft voice and my eyes/gestures, he usually moved right out of the way and let me fiddle around in there. I was surprised, since this was a bird who would lunge at me if I passed within a couple of feet of his cage. His bites always left big ugly bruises.

    I bribed Ross out with hot food at meal time, too. I'd fix him a paper plate of whatever appropriate foods we were eating, and if he wanted to eat with us he had to come just outside of his open door to get it. It probably helped that we had another bird eating his own plate of food with us, to lead by example, but it's still worth a shot.

    Zeus's cage looks like it has a playtop. You could encourage him to come out more by hanging some of the toys he likes up there, where he has to come out to get to them.

    Hopefully you can find someone to come and clip his wings for you. Until you get a better feel for his behavior it might be nice to know he can't bolt at any moment. As soon as Ross started getting deeper into his training he liked to fly off erratically and skid into things! He was so nervous that I always worried he would break his neck, and he had a strong aversion to getting into carriers to be clipped. I ended up having to towel him and place the whole towel into the carrier, and then open it up when he was already inside! The manager of the bird shop that clipped him had to wear steel gloves to get him out. It was just awful for him and everyone else. I'm glad he lets me do it myself now.

    (Just in case this sounds like I horror story, I have to add that Roscoe is so tame I can pick him up and smother him in kisses, now, even straight from his cage.)
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Roscoe really has turned into a lover boy. I am happy to hear that. I am going to be bird sitting Mango again soon and he likes to lunge at me as I come near his cage too but when my daughter walks by he gives her crazy eyes and fluffs his fat head up for a pet. Birds are just too funny sometimes. I forgot about bribing them with food, it works with Mango all the time. He has no problems coming out of his cage and sitting there but hates going back in so when I am alone with him I get some food I know he loves and put it in his cage and he runs right down into it to get the food. Mango and even boomer use to do anything for good food.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    From looking at the photo you uploaded, your Zeus looks healthy and he seems to be enjoying his cucumber. Stick to what you are doing with his diet. Very happy to hear that his feathers are growing back. From what I have read about Zeus and his past history the only thing I can recommend to you is patience. Your going to have to earn his trust, and I'm sure in time, it will happen. I think fate brought you and your Too together.. I wish the best of luck and please keep us updated on the progress you are making. He sure is a beauty.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I think you are making progress with Zeus. As you are doing, just keep on slow and steady to care for the bird and he will be fine in a ratter of time. Do not worry if you are doing everything right, just do the best you can, he will be fine.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I'm happy you all enjoyed the picture. He loves cucumbers but sadly we don't have them often as we are just getting by. My boyfriend works at the food bank here so 90% of our food comes from there so we don't always get what we want but I hope to get more cucumbers soon, I love em and one just isn't enough for both me and Zeus!

    His cage does have a play top. After about a week of being with us he would venture onto the top and hang out there. If we go close to his cage or move around too much he runs back inside though.

    He also has a hanging perch that was donated to the food bank (they get weird nonfood things all the time, like a electric toothbrush, electric shaver and our two mattresses haha). It was donated because the pet store couldn't seem to get it to sell and got tired of having it around.

    Zeus wont really go to it on his own less James forces him out of the cage. The perch is in the bedroom. We don't have a couch or anything yet for our living room and the floors are all hard so we spend most of our time sitting on the bed but without room in there for his cage we have to bring him in there with us. He will sit on it, play with my keys and hang out on top of the bookshelf or down on the floor kicking the dog off his bed.

    My dog is a pansy, 80 pound dog getting pushed around by Zeus!

    I do talk to him, most days I'm home from sunup to sundown. I only leave the house three or four times a week. Zeus gets to listen to me read him my textbooks for school as I am always studying. Or I read him my papers as I write them. My grades have improved over the time hes been with us.

    He has added a "bop" and a "beep" sound to his small list of noises. He now hisses when the door is opened- he doesn't like the cold air the floods the house from outside, calls for Mama when we leave and yells "hi, Zeus!" for food.

    He also seems fond of the odd noises that seem to be a part of every Japanese horror movie. Watched Ju-On, the original japanese movie that The Grudge was a remake of and his head feathers would pop up and he would lean down to see the TV every time the grrrrrrring noise the ghosts make came on. It was so cute! James also got slapped in the face with a wing when he got up to turn off the TV, startling Zeus and causing him to fly around the room and land in my hair.

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    First Clutch Hatching... maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Now Zeus is a very handsome Too, for sure!! You are to be admired for taking him in and saving his life. It sounds like he is already happy in his new environment. I agree that patience and time are your two best allies. As he gets more used to you and James, and realizes that you will not mistreat him or hurt him in anyway, he will show you deep affection in little things that he says and does.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and the picture of Zeus!! And "yes", I'm on board with you for the journey you are taking with Zeus so keep us posted on how things are going. And of course, we all love pictures, so you might even consider posting some in the gallery.

  9. #9
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinthea View Post
    His cage does have a play top. After about a week of being with us he would venture onto the top and hang out there. If we go close to his cage or move around too much he runs back inside though . . .

    Zeus gets to listen to me read him my textbooks for school as I am always studying. Or I read him my papers as I write them. My grades have improved over the time hes been with us.
    Aww, he's timid. After all he's gone through, isn't it amazing that a soothing voice and some patience goes so far toward helping him trust people? I always think that about Ross, too: I'm the same kind of animal that came and took him away from his home/family and somehow he's found it in his heart to love me

    Maybe you can use his aversion to being touched as a training stepping stone. The first request Ross ever learned to follow was the request to go into his cage. He was so upset by being touched that I could just walk up to his cage, open the door and ask him to go inside, and he would! He quickly learned how great I thought that was, and from there the leap to 'come out of your cage?' wasn't quite as big. So maybe when he's a little less skittish you can use that direction to teach him the link between words & actions -- ask him to go inside (like you already know he will) & then reward him with praise for doing so.

    With all the time you spend with him it's no wonder he's coming around -- plus a revolving supply of surprise yummies to choose from. What a great environment for a rescued bird.
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Congratz on the new bird!! He looks precious


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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    You know, Roscoe's Mom, I never thought of that. I think I will do that. I have been at such a loss as to just how and where to start his training due to his cage aggression and skittishness. I have started giving him a treat and praise when he lets me give him scratches through the bars of his cage and have been making progress with that. Does anyone have any tips on teaching Step Up to him? I would like to be able to move him from his cage without scaring him from it as soon as possible. I would just move the whole cage into the room with us but we don't have the space and the cage doesn't have wheels on it.

    Does anyone know any sites that sell good cheap bird cages? I worry about the safety of this cage as the paint is peeling and it looks older than I am. I would just sandblast the paint off and repaint it but I can't do that until summer and if this cage is unsafe it cannot wait another month and a half or two months.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinthea View Post
    Does anyone have any tips on teaching Step Up to him? I would like to be able to move him from his cage without scaring him from it as soon as possible.
    I couldn't get Ross to step up for a long, long time b/c it made him so uncomfortable, but that was a personal decision. About 4 1/2 or 5 years ago I went to a bird show with a couple of other people from TF, and there was a bird trainer from Pittsburgh there who worked with a lot of rescues and with the local PEAC. I asked him what he would do about a bird who hated to be picked up, and he gave me some instructions that sounded great. I didn't follow them b/c by then Ross & I had worked out our own little routine, but here is what he told me:

    He said to practice him stepping up using a designated dowel or perch thick enough for him to grip comfortably. He told me that I should have him step up onto the farthest end of it from my hand, and as he became comfortable with the routine I should move my hand closer and closer to the point he used to step up until, eventually, he would have to step up with one foot on my hand. Each phase would take as long as it took for him to feel safe with my hand as far away as it was at that point. Once he became used to stepping up onto very little stick, he told me to forego the stick altogether.

    It's worth a shot.
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Well we have progress. I can now reach into the cage and pet Zeus when ever I feel like it. He hasn't tried to make me into a snack in the past few days as well, and that makes me very very happy. He dances now when a song comes on that he likes but I haven't been able to pinpoint a type of music or even a single song that he likes enough to get a video of it. It's really cute though, sways back and forth going from foot to foot bobbing his head, all real slow like.

    He gets excited when James gets home. His cage is next to the window so he can see the car coming before my dog hears it so I have warning to quickly make it look like I have been productive all day when Zeus starts bobbing up and down real fast looking out the window. He gets so excited if his grip slipped on the cage I think he would actually be jumping up and down. I think he got that from me, James came home with some of my fav icecream from his work and I was jumping up and down all excited- I hadn't had icecream in a good five months!

    He doesn't always run into the cage when I walk by now. I can even walk up and pet him on top of the cage sometimes without him rushing off inside.

    He has me trained, I have weaned him to just a few peanuts throughout the day for being good and letting me pet him rather than one after every single pet- we are running low and need to make em last five more days- but when he really really wants a peanut he sits on the top corner of the cage, just when he can see me and i can see him from the bedroom when I'm sitting on the bed ( I had to take to sitting on the bed for the past few days rather than on the floor in the living room as my back has been killing me) and crouches down real low. He gets it so his beak is right in the middle of the corner and he has a eye peaking out on each side of the bar railing with his wings out flat. He then does this until I feel bad for the cute birdy and give him pets and peanuts.

    I feel bad, I can tell he wants in the room with me when I have to resort to sitting on the bed. He leans down, facing me and has his wings out a little bit shaking them slightly like my old IRN did when he wanted to fly somewhere but wasn't sure if he could make it. I can't get Zeus to step up yet and I have yet to get something to use other than my hand and with all the progress I have made I don't want to scare him into leaving flying off his cage so I can then handle him. I try to spend a good three or four hours in the living room with him and always sit where he can see me in the bedroom.

    In about a month James and I have to drive to Anchorage (the largest city in AK, about 6 hour drive south of Fairbanks on a good day) and leave Kody and Zeus for three whole days. Our landlord and my mother are going to check in on them, feed and water them. They say they will each sit with Zeus for a hour or so each day but if they actually will or not is anyone's guess.

    I can't take Zeus with us as we will be staying in my old motorhome and on top of not being remotely bird safe, it is heated by propane. The vent for the gasses is away from all the windows but Anchorage is very windy and I know that if the wind blows right it can and will blow a little of the gasses into the back of the cab where the bird would have to be and I know that is not good for us so it must be even worse for a bird.

    Zeus loves noodles. I have some nice organic whole wheat noodles that we won't eat due to organic whole wheat noodles tasting funny to us. Does anyone have any recipe ideas for birdy goodies I can do with these noodles? I have just been cooking them up and adding them to his food mostly.

    Made a birdy spaghetti last night. Noodles, homemade tomato sauce with some fresh bird safe herbs and veggies cooked in as well as some beans. Kept him from begging for our dinner for a whole...15 minutes. In other news, my dog likes birdy spaghetti.

    I try to make Zeus a birdy vision of what ever I'm cooking for dinner.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I am with you on that: I could scoop Ross up beneath the wings before he would ever step up, because he hated having his undercarriage touched so much, and despite all the advice I got to use a perch to train him to step up instead of my hand the look of fear on his face convinced me patience was a better tactic.

    (If that was a run-on sentence blame the flu.)
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Well it is spring time in Alaska! We went from it getting dark at 5PM to it getting dark at around 10:30PM. And the sun is showing its face much earlier as well. Sun is up by 7:30 maybe 7 now. It wasn't showing itself till around 10Am this time last month.

    With the style of Zeus' cage I can't cover him as I'm too short to manage such a act and I don't have a blanket or sheet big enough.

    How does all this added light affect a bird when the change is so sudden?

    Zeus has a history of plucking and so I am always watching out for that. My IRNs in the past would get a hand full or two of new feathers every spring. It was normal for me to be picking up three to five feathers off the bottom of the cage every day with them. The male, the last one I had was worse and got more new feathers every spring than I remember the female getting. This would go on for a month, maybe a month and a half.

    For the past week I have been picking up maybe four to six feathers off the cage floor almost every morning. Other than the daylight nothing has changed. They are not for the most part chewed up or anything and look normal. Some are a bit chewed up but a good majority of his body feathers have been chewed to almost just the stems when I got him and so I don't *think* that he is chewing on them now. But how would I tell?

    He has new feathers coming in on his body and they have gotten a bit longer- how long until they fully come in? He looks sorta funny with a naked bag and under wings. I managed to get a picture of his back, he was visiting me when I was sick a few days ago.

    James startled him out of the cage when he was cleaning it and Zeus woke me up by kindly landing on my head with his sharp nails. But he kept walking around the bed and going to me for pets and some loving. For the first time he really got into the pets, almost laying down on the bed enjoying them so. Cheered me up when I felt so sick I wanted to die.

    Anyway, side story over, I'll get the picture on maybe latter today. At what point should I be worried about finding feathers on the cage floor? Would plucked feathers look different than feathers that are just being replaced? How long till his new back feathers come in?

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I know Alaska has a local PEAC. You could call and ask them how other bird lovers in your area deal with daylight changes. The PEAC in Pittsburgh, PA always answers my emails. As an organization they are tops in education and advice.

    Isn't that first heavy scritches session wonderful? I'm so happy for the two of you. I know it was a digression from your real question but it's the part that really jumped out at me. You must feel so special because this amazing creature has picked you

    Ross chews and strips his feathers but he does not pluck himself bald. Still, when they come out thay have a threadbare look. I have not noticed whether the seasons influence this behavior in him, but I have noticed that stress makes a difference. So does boredom. Getting less than 10-12 hours of sleep a night might be kind of stressful -- maybe you can find a smaller sleep cage to keep in a dark, quiet place so he can sleep uninterrupted for as long as he needs, and see if his over-preening cools down? Ross & Penny sleep in the bathroom with the fan on between 7:30-8:30 b/c we live in a 1 br apt, and I have noticed it makes a difference in their temperament. Penny yells less and Ross is less moody. So it's worth a shot.

    Sometimes birds who pluck do permanent follicle damage to the areas they pluck most, and occasionally I have heard some feathers never grow back. I would think his down feathers would return first, followed by contour feathers. Does he have any down?

    IDK if TF has any groups for plucking support, but I bet if we did there would be quite a few members -- or not, perhaps I misunderstand the nature of the groups? I never joined any. I would think, though, that there has to be some place on the web where people whose birds have plucked could get to know each other and ask questions. There is such a need for that.
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Thanks for the idea. I tried emailing the group but never got a response. The drastic change in daylight affects everything, even the people here. It happens so suddenly too. I moved his cage into the bedroom, the darkest room in the house more so he will be with us more. I don't have any thing to sit on in the living room so he was alone when I couldn't take sitting on the floor any longer. He has gotten a bit shyer again. His cage is only two feet away from the bed so he is adjusting to having us that close all the time as well.

    He seems happy. He has discovered he can destroy his hard wood toys and is slowly working that. He has this cute little habit of squeaking when he poops- I think I taught him it. Out of boredom I would say "boop" when he poops and now he squeaks. Woot. He dances more as well.

    I would have him sleep in a nice dark bathroom but I don't actually have a bathroom... I live in a dry cabin meaning I have no running water. At all. Means my bathroom is a not so porta portapotty. Every room in my cabin has windows as well but the bedroom window faces away from the sun so it is a bit darker in there.

    His chewed feathers give him a fluffy look I find cute.

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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    So Zeus is loving being in the bedroom. He survived his first road trip a week ago. Spent it glued to the front of the little dog kennel he was in while the world passed him by. We had it set up so he could see out of the front window.

    For the while four days he lived away from his cage and did good. It was a chance for me to really see the progress he has made by putting him in a completely new situation with a new person in a new house. He did great and was talking for food after only two hours.

    Next month I am replacing his cage, does anyone have a good website to recommend?

    Zeus had his biggest step forward last night. I was doing schoolwork and had my feet resting on the bottom of his cage on the grate. I wasn't paying much attention and before I knew, he was on my foot. Then my knee. Then begging for pets. He didn't stay long but came back one. Then, before I went to bed I was talking to him, saying our goodnights while he was in his cage. The dog got into something and i turned my head to yell at him and all of a sudden, Zeus climbs onto my arm.

    I love how good progress feels ^_^

  19. #19
    Brand New Egg
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    Sinthea
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Pictures, as promised!

    This is back when I was sick and he came over to me on the bed. It is the only time I have been able to get a good clear shot of his damaged feathers. You can see where they are chewed right to the stem on his back. On his sides under his wings they are chewed right to the skin leaving little white nubs. I wounder how long it will take for them to be replaced with new feathers?



    This is his play stand where it sits at home. the blocks of wood seem a bit big for him and he still doesn't show any interest in them. He stays on this stand when we travel with him to Anchorage though I hope to have a better play stand for him soon.



    Last is a video of the progress! Zeus checking out my pant leg and tickling my foot. I was oh so happy that my toes did not get nibbled on.

    View My Video

    Please forgive:

    The messy cage
    poor video quality

    Video staring:
    Zeus
    My Legs, feet and voice
    as well as....
    Boyfriend's voice!

    that's right, we are movie stars now!

    (laying off the soda)

  20. #20
    First Clutch Hatching... maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Zeus sure has come a long way since you took him home with you. He is sure a "handsome dude", for sure! One suggestion I would have is to do some research on "wheat germ oil" and see if he could have some in his food, because I know wheat germ is wonderful for bird feathers. Years ago, I had a little budgie who had several spots on his body that were "featherless" because he had a condition of dry skin. I started putting some wheat germ oil in his food and the feathers all grew back. I would say you also could get wheat germ in the local health food store, which is a seed that you can use like a cereal. I would try to get the ground wheat germ seed. You could add some to his seed cup rather than the oil. You should be able to get the wheat germ oil at the health food store also.

    Thanks for giving us the update on Zeus. You were the "best thing" that could ever have happened to his little life, for sure.

  21. #21
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Wheat Germ? I will have to look into it further tonight but I am willing to try anything to get his feathers looking good even though I find him cute as can be with his roughed up feathers.

    So does it help in the same way fish oil helps with a dog's coat? By making it healthier or something? what exactly does it do? He seems to be really itchy on his back, under wings and legs where the feathers have been so damaged. I think it is because of the condition of the feathers in those areas but I will have to look into it further.

    If I am correct in assuming that it is because of the feather's condition than how would I help ease that? He get's misted once or twice a week depending on his mood. How long would it take for his feathers to be replaced by healthy ones? There is nothing I can do to encourage him to replace those feathers I am assuming.

    So many questions! Sorry, I am using this post as a note pad in a way to keep my questions collected as well as the answers.

    I think I will pick up some wheat germ seed when I grab some sunflower seed and peanuts if it is not too expensive.

  22. #22
    First Clutch Hatching... maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Hi Sinthea, Yes, the wheat germ oil acts much like the fisl oil that is used on a dog's skin and coat. It is a supplement that is full of Vitamin A and E which are necessary for the feather and skin quality of all birds. Here is a wonderful website to google search: Doctors Foster and Smith. This site is ALL about every animal and pet you can imagine. These two Doctors are Vets, and have written many articles about the proper care of all animals including birds.

    I just did a little research on that website about the wheat germ oil I spoke about in my message to you. If you would like to learn more about it, go to that website. Once you get there, on that website search" Ecotrition Wheatgerm Oil. When that page comes up, it will be a small bottle of wheat germ oil, and will tell about the benefits of the oil. You will note you can also click on "more info", as well as "articles" on that page promoting the oil. So, click on each one and read all about the wheatgerm oil, and I think you will see how it benefits the feathers and skin of all caged birds. It is very inexpensive, and you only put a drop or two in the seed cup (mix with the seed) each day. If you have pet shops, or chains such as Petsmart or Petco where you live, I would say you could pick up a bottle. Further, you could also give your Vet a call, and ask him/her if it would benefit Zeus to have wheat germ oil added as a supplement to his diet. If you decide to try the ground wheatgerm seed instead, it is my opinion you would start with just a small amount (perhaps 1/2 tsp.) added to his seed each day, and see if his feathers begin to grow in better, and that his skin and feathers take on a much better "feel", as well as being shiny and healthy too! Being that he is a bigger bird, you might need to feed perhaps 1 tsp of the ground seed, but I would begin with the 1/2 tsp, because if you see that it is helping, you would not need to increase the amount.

    I have used Doctor Fosters and Smith for at least ten years to buy food, and toys for my budgie and cockatiel, as well as to go to that site and research different things I'm interested in about my birds. They have a library on-line with all kinds of info, so you might also find some good info on there about cockatoos, their behavior, their diet, and their health.

    And of course these are just my opinions and suggestions, so you will need to make the decision if you wish to try the wheat germ, and perhaps call your vet to see if he recommends it for Zeus.

    I hope this info is of help to you. Good luck with Zeus!! He is a very beautiful "too"!
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-29-2012 at 12:16 PM.

  23. #23
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    So it's been a while. Zeus is now cage free due to his cage aggression and the poor condition of his old cage. He has a playstand from petco that was labeled as for tiels but he does very well on it as it has room for toys, a perch and some nice thick bars for him to walk on. It doesn't have a grate so it allows him great access to all the food he drops

    He now makes a zipper noise. Not sure where he learned it as we don't really zip anything up in the cabin but Okay.

    He did at one point relapse into plucking when I started working after I graduated college about a month ago but that quickly stopped when he adjusted to the new schedule.

    He has made great progress. I often sit on the arm of the couch next to his play stand and he will climb down and sit on my knee for attention. Last night he shocked me and walked down, got on the arm of the couch and hopped on the blanket over my feet. He spent a good half hour or so playing with the blanket and at one point gave my toe a good bite on accident.

    And today he walked around the arm of the couch again. The pillows seem to confuse him as he wouldn't go anywhere near them.

    I still can't freely grab him from the playstand or just pick him up whenever I want.

    I also feel bad as I still don't really trust him not to bite me. I am not scared of him or anything but that trust you develop takes time to build and for a rescue or rehomed animal who's history is troubled or that you don't know it takes a long time to be able to fully know their personalities and trust that you know them and their reactions.

    It took me a good year before I fully trusted Kody, my German/husky dog whom was a stray. That's about the recommended time to learn a dog and have a dog learn you. I'm sure it is longer with birds. I try not to worry about it. Trust will come with time and bonding. What matters is progress.

    I will post pictures soon.

  24. #24
    Tailfeather pixibubbles's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    The other thing you can try is Red Palm Oil
    I know a lot of rescuers over this side of the pond who swear by it. and best news - it's really cheap. About a fiver for a jar the size of a good peanut butter jar. Think it's about 700 grams. And that price was with it being imported from the states. And it lasts FOREVER. Just spread it on whatever he likes to eat.

    As to the feather question - a while. Possibly even a year. In a way it's good, because what I can see of his feathers - he's barbering, or stripping the feathers, and not attacking the shafts. Good because he isn't hurting himself or going for the bits that can bleed, but it's bad because he could start doing it... but it also means that they've not been pulled out, which means they won't be replaced as fast as ripped out feather would.

    Congrats on saving the little guy, and I hope you have a very long, happy life together x


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

  25. #25
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I am happy Zues is still progressing and is coming around to be near you now. After what he has been though this is a big step for him and hopefully in time both of you will feel comfortable and there will be no more fear between either of you. It sounds like with your patience in time both of you will bond and he will love to be near you. I got to wonder if maybe at one time people were throwing couch pillows at him if he was noisy. Birds remember these kinds of things and perhaps that is why the pillows confuse him?? I hate to say it but my sisters husband has been known to sit on his couch and when Mango her amazon wont stop squawking I have saw him throw a pillow at poor Mango's cage to make him be quiet.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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