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Thread: Meet Zeus.

  1. #16
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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

  2. #17
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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.

  3. #18
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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 ^_^

  4. #19
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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)

  5. #20
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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.

  6. #21
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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.

  7. #22
    Tailfeather 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.

  8. #23
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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.

  9. #24
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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!

  10. #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.

  11. #26
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I know that is actually pretty common to throw things at a bird cage when they get to yelling. My mother threw pens and yelled at my first bird, a IRN when she would get to yelling before I moved her into my bedroom back in highschool.

    Zeus spent a hour sitting with me and playing on the couch last night. Came down off his playstand and even figured out how to climb the pillows a little bit but wont have much to do with them. He flew up to his playstand from the couch when he was done and that really surprised me. He has never flown willingly before last night. It was always something reserved for fear.

    I will be moving to a bigger cabin in three weeks, after the move I will start working with him now that he is building some confidence and trust.

    Oh! A huge breakthrough last night also was Zeus let my bf pet him when he was on the couch. He also played fairly close to my bf and didn't run to the stand as soon as bf said a word or moved. Much much progress in such a short amount of time.

    And yes, he did strip most of his feathers down to just the stems.

  12. #27
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I am so happy for you that Zues has finally became your friend and good for him to let your BF pet him.

    We still want to see the pictures you said you were going to post of him...
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  13. #28
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Ahh I'm soo sorry! I forgot all about that- I am so bad at putting up pictures. I WILL post a picture packed post this weekend! I SWEAR IT! >.>

    In other news- He is getting oh so much better about playing with his toys. I'm starting to get to know what he enjoys out of toys.

  14. #29
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    I'm so bad at posting pictures so here is a post devoted mostly to pictures of Zeus!


    Hmm, what to think of KiKi?


    Bath time staring the "evil" boyfriend!


    Boyfriend went to refill the bottle
    Zeus: Hey, whered ya go?


    Fluffed up for some bathing!


    The great god Zeus is a bit soggy.

    View My Video
    Kill the towel!

    And for the random because my other kids would be jealous if they didn't get the spotlight:


    Happy pooch with his brand new 30 foot tie out line replacing his 10 foot line. 30 feet of run on a 60 foot runner cable0 lucky dog!

    View My Video
    "The Tail Must Die!... Ouch" Staring Hades


    And because it is cool- Chena hot springs dragon!

    And lastly- Look Ma, I made bird food!




    Still working on convincing the carrots and the celery to grow but I am growing all of Zeus' favorite veggies. Go me!
    Last edited by Sinthea; 07-01-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  15. #30
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    Re: Meet Zeus.

    Nice Garden and I am impressed you can even grow any kind of vegetables in Alaska. Zues does look like he is a happy bird and he really does like playing with towels. I just love the one where he is all fluffed up for his bath and even with his ruffed up feathers he is adorable.

    I really like your dog, he reminds me of the dog we had when I was young living with my parents. Is he part Shepherd? Ours was Shepherd and Lab and looked almost just like your dog does.

    Do you live near the Chena hot springs? The dragon looks like a great piece of yard art to have.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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