Skip to main content

Weekly Sweet Pea Update

 Sweet Pea continues to interact more with her enrichment items and toys. 

    Her 1st week or so here she wouldn't even sit on the other perches we had bought her, and would only use the 2 that came with her cage.  She didn't interact with her bird toys, or sit on her rope swing.  She wasn't used to having items in her cage, and this 'stuff to do.' 

Sweet Pea stepping out!

    This is likely one reason she began plucking at some point- a bird will 'go to its body' to have something to do, with which to interact, to feel they have a job/purpose, when they don't have a lot of enrichment options.  -This is what we've learned from bird behaviorist videos and writings. 


    The idea is for Sweet Pea to start interacting with, and enjoying, her environment more, and ideally: plucking less to not at all. 

Sweet Pea hanging out on her rope swing

    So it's a huge deal that she's playing with her toys... grabbing them, biting them, moving them, destroying some of them- this is what we want!!!  We are thrilled to see her engaging in more healthy, natural behavior for a parrot in captivity.  Of course she's still out of the cage ample time daily as  well (2-5 times/daily).  She typically works on her little sheet-nesting area on top of her cage when out, and I toss millet and/or small seeds up there to encourage natural foraging behavior. 

It's not all 'sunshine and lollipops' though.

Not sure why I save some of her plucked feathers, but I do (I show them to her, and say 'no pluck')

    Doing everything 'right' for Sweet Pea: getting her vet care, showering her with calming bird mist (pluck no more) 2-3 times/daily, feeding her an enriching diet consisting of cooked, organic whole grains, seeds, fresh organic fruits and veggies, interacting with her a lot, loving her, has not 'fixed' her plucking issue.  And we now know that none of this may ever fully 'fix' that dirty little habit of hers.  It's just that- an unhealthy habit- and as we humans know all too well- unhealthy habits can be very hard to break... but for the grace of God

    She had the most beautiful, vibrant, soft and shapely yellow chest feather than had fully come in a few days ago- 

We would compliment her on it daily, and praise her for 'letting it grow.'  -This morning I noticed it was no longer on her chest... but on the bottom of her cage.  That was heart-wrenching, and so discouraging. 

Proof of her latest vet visit for weekly antibiotic injection (Shively is affordable!) 

    Lastly, her little bird poncho is scheduled to arrive today.  We're hopeful that can help her learn not to pluck.  I've watched videos by the maker of that product line, UnRuffled RX, and learned that the poncho should be left on just for a few minutes at a time at first.  So that will be a process in and of itself!  As always, we will do our best.  -We do love her.  And I still envision her living in a warm environment, in a gorgeous, large outdoor aviary with other macaws, or as someone's most precious and loved sidekick. It is still my goal to find her a home (when the time feels right) in sunny Florida, or warm New Mexico, Arizona... there are many warm places, and all must have some bird lovers! 





Popular posts from this blog

Sweet Pea and the Big Egg She Couldn't Pass (Egg-Bound)

  " What makes you think she's egg-bound?" asked Michelle, an avian vet tech at Shively Animal Hospital.     "She's been lethargic, she's grunting, straining, pushing off and on, has had diarrhea, been constipated, and her lower belly is hard and swollen," I answered, holding back tears. Sweet Pea and me last week     I knew this was serious, potentially fatal, to the macaw the rescue took in just 6 weeks prior.     "Dr. Mary Jane wants to know what you guys have been doing at home that could make her want to lay an egg, and become egg-bound," was Michelle's next question.  Sweet Pea on top of her cage, last week     The question could've surprised, and even offended me, had I not already asked myself that very same thing.       Upon suspecting Sweet Pea was egg bound, I quickly took to (reliable sources) on the internet, and reviewed symptoms, causes and treatment for the condition.  I rapidly confirmed she had virtually every symptom

Are You a Young Person Considering Re-Homing Your Dog? -Consider This.

  Yuri was a happy, fun-loving, pot-smoking, young Brazilian man living the beach life in SoBe, Miami, when we met.      A happy-go-lucky type, even when luck wasn't much on his side (which was pretty  often), Yuri was also a dog-lover.  Yuri P.     He was my friend.  We ran with some of the same crowd of Brasileiros on Miami Beach, and he was just a great person.  I was working at the shelter then.  And he was open to having a dog.  Back then, if you were 'open to having a dog,' and I knew you... you were targeted, or soon-to-be-targeted as a potential adopter for a sweet, innocent death-row-dog.  Reason being: circa 2010 Miami Dade was still euthanizing for time/space ( this means lack of time/space in shelter talk ), and pet euthanasia was a daily reality in the shelter then.     And as much as I tried to keep from going to URI (upper respiratory infection), a long, double-sided row of kennels housing our dogs with URI, I could never stay away for long.  Since it's v

Sweet Pea The Macaw: Her Rescue Journey Begins

We heard about Sweet Pea while we were still on vacation, in late November.      Her owners had been tragically killed in a car crash on Thanksgiving Day.  The woman had bought Sweet Pea as a baby Macaw from a breeder in central Ky. 25 years ago.       When I spoke with the adult daughter of Sweet Pea's owners, naturally I asked lots of questions.      I found out that Sweet Pea's owner, we'll call her Debbie, had bottle-fed Sweet Pea as a baby macaw.  -Just an interesting tidbit.        Sweet Pea has chronically plucked her feathers for 20 + years.  Sweet Pea's first 'portrait' in our home, 4-5 days after her arrival        When we   found this out from Debbie's adult daughter, we were nervous.  -Could we take this on?       Yes, I do love birds, but the rescue has never had an exotic, large bird, and much-less one with a neurotic-plucking disorder.  I thought on it for a couple of days.  And the same question kept coming up: if we don't take her, who