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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not a good birdie owner...

I just realized (after reading Masterjacks 'tiel thread) how uninformed I am about Abe!!!

The whole molting thing-NEVER knew it had to do with lighting. We keep a sheet over his cage at night and in the mornings I only lift it up and place it to where its still draping over the back of the cage! What was I thinking!

I knew about Night Frights but I remember when I woke up to the first one. Abe 'bout made me think he was going to commit suicide! I had no idea about the light thing (again.)

Far as nail trimming- I don't know much about that either. My mom usually complains to me to clip them when they get too long, but I don't know how. So what we do is towel wrap him, get human nail clippers, and clip them that way. However, they crack and bleed! I hate doing it and I'd rather let him just walk on his special perch to dull them down...

Now about my finch- I wish we never got him. This poor bird. He needs a better owner. I know nothing about him. I can't clip his nails either, and they are wretched looking. Please please please give me some advice on how to handle/care for (I know they're hand shy) Finches....

I'll post some pictures of the Finch later today. If I can. I know I'm making myself look like an idiot but I feel like one. I'm not a very huge bird person I suppose but I need to learn. Thanks guys, for any help. I know that Critter and JGawana and Deja plus everyone that posted in Masterjacks thread about Floyd were all helpful too...

Thanks everyone...



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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 03:51 PM
 
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Don't feel bad Mallory...that's what we're here for! I'm no expert either - I learn every day from Toby & stuff I read. I'm glad you asked questions and are willing to learn & research!

I'm about to leave work so I can't write too much right now but I'll post more when I get home.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 04:06 PM
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Mallory -
Aww, you aren't a bad bird owner sweetie, we learn new things every day!! I have 5 birds and I am still learning. I don't know anything about finches, can't help u there I have 2 cockatiels. We cut their nails using a birdie nail clipper, this is best. This looks just like the one's we have. Actually, we cut all the pets nails with it, it works well.
http://www.birdalog.com/index.cfm/S/...l_Clippers.htm
I wrap mine in a towel, too, b/c they can get defensive and Brad's bird Gizzy, bit down hard and took a chunk out of Brad's thumb!!! (He has never been nice, Sunny is a sweetie) Usually, having 2 people helps while doing it, one to hold the bird, one to clip. You should have this stuff on hand called quick stop or syptic powder. Since birds are so fragile(little ones especially), it's hard cutting their nails(especially on a cockatiel, mine have black nails) so, just try to cut the tips, so you don't get too close to the quick. It is possible they could bleed alot. I cut my parakeet Snowys nails one time by myself, and got too close, and she was bleeding, and I didn't have that stuff on hand. I was freaking out, and trying to get a bird to sit still and not get blood all over the place is hard. I took a paper towel and tried to stop it. One word of advice, never put the bird in water. LOL. Her nail finally stopped bleeding, and she had blood all over, so I thought, hey, I'll give her a bath. ummm no no, she started to bleed again! Yikes! Finally it stopped though, and she was fine. But thats just a little story of what can happen,that syptic stuff is great to have on hand, stops it right away.
I have a type of calcium perch (I think,don't know the brand) and it helps keep their nails trimmer. You can find those at Petsmart. Don't use the sandpaper things, thou, those are bad for their feet.
Hope I could help you a little bit. Thats why we're all here, to help each other, and I know you are a great bird owner and love your birdies Mallory!!!:bfly:

~* Jackie *~

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 04:23 PM
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I know just how you feel Mal - there's times when I wonder what business I have keeping a macaw. I think we're both just too hard on ourselves. It would be nice to know everything there is to know, but I think that's near impossible. he important thing is to keep learning, keep researching, and do our best.
I have a hard time even thinking about clipping Eephus' nails - so I bought this nail file at the pet shop that's sold as "an alternative to clipping nails", and I just try to keep them filed back. I know his nails are actually too long, but not long enough that they'll hurt anything (other than my arm now and then).
And, you're definitely NOT a bad birdie owner - if you were, you wouldn't care enough to admit you needed some advice. I wish I could give you some, but I've never dealt much with the little guys. Good luck - and give Abe a big wingie hug from us all !

Sharon
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 04:46 PM
 
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Here are a couple of sites on nail/wing trimming:
http://www.acstiels.com/wing.html
http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/artspctl.htm

I take my bird in to a bird place to get groomed - you could always do that if and watch how they do it, maybe pick up on a few tips. Toweling can be very stressful on a bird but sometimes it's necessary. I would try to do it without using a towel. And make sure you have the syptic powder or liquid nearby - it's the same stuff you would use for your dogs.

And about the molting thing - also be sure to give your tiel lots of baths/showers (whatever Abe prefers)...that softens the sheaths around the feathers and helps them to molt easier & quicker. Molting can be uncomfortable for our fids so anything we can do to help them is much appreciated!!

Do you preen your tiel? I bet Abe would really appreciate that! And it's good bonding time too.

I don't know much about finches but I will do some research for ya and see if I can't find some good links. I know that at another bird board a few of us go to there are a couple of people that are really experienced with finches. www.landoftoos.us

Maybe you could take your finch in to a vet or pet store to get trimmed?

Now, quit feeling bad & go get a slobbery kiss from your dogs.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, new question... 'tiel diarhea (sp?).
Abes got the runs. I noticed them today when I got home. I KNOW this can't be normal, every plop is runny! I don't know what it is called that my mom bought as feed, but I'll take pictures of it and post it in a second....

But anyways:
Today I went home from school, and after reading all this bird stuff, I went and decided to give him a sink shower. He doesn't look like he enjoys this and I've never got that impression before either. But he doesn't bite or hiss at me, he just tries to get away. (flutters away, crawls up my arm, hops to the other side of the sink...) I've tried misting him before but he hissed because he's protective of his cage. Which reminds me. I talked to my mom about making a T perch. She works at Home Depot and so she'll know just where to get the right stuff. I was thinking maybe some small tubing with rubber stickys on top? (like they have in the bottom of bathtubs sometimes...) Then some way of supporting it. She thought it was a good idea.

Another question I thought of earlier--
So showering with your bird is bonding. Knowing me and Abe could use some of that, I thought this would be a good idea. However, I'm worried about the water being too hot. I know that he shouldn't be in the direct spray, but like steam.... I like hot showers so would I just have to take a cooler one? Also, as I don't have a shower perch (?) or anything, is it safe for him to stay on the tub floor? I figure outta common sense that I shouldn't leave him down on the floor when I shampoo and use soap and such so maybe I take him out then... But I just mean in general, it is safe. (ahhh, I feel like a retard!)

I KNOW there was something else...

Oh yeah. I read on one of those links that nails that have been allowed to grow out, the quicks grow out too. As far as the finch goes, it is truely pathetic how long his nails are. I'm terried of scaring him to death. And that little beak can sure pinch. Gloves scare him just as much as my hands do so I have to wear them, but either way his little heart is racing and I don't wanna find out the little bugger keeled over. (I'm serious, this little guy is so spastic it freaks me out to stick my hand in there.) It takes me a good 20 minutes or so before I even catch him in. And its not like his cage is very big either.... So anyways, to my question *sigh*:

When I clip his nails it will most likely be a gauranteed bleed. When I get it to stop, the next time I clip his nails, will the quick be far back enough again, so that I won't have to worry about it bleeding again?

I hope someone knows....
Thanks for the help guys. Its MUCH appreciated.
-Mal


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Picture of Abe's food, in case it has anything to do with why he had the runs earlier... btw, when I brought him up here just now, he did a plop on the desk, and it was firmer... YAY!

Anyways, does this look like the right kinda food???

We fed him a mixture of this:


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 02:10 AM
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Mal-
That looks like Zupreem pellets (which are good) and some seeds. Did she buy that new, like he hadn't had that particular kind before? Maybe that caused the loose stool? Glad to hear that it looks better now thou. I know you should feed pellets all the time, too bad I didn't know this at first, my guys are stubborn, especially the keet's. They don't want to touch pellets. My tiels' pick at them. I can't get them totally converted, I would really like too.
I know Jodi, I hate us having to put a towel around Gizzy, all my other birds are fine, but he will literally take a chunk out of your skin if you don't put a towel around him, He bites SOO hard! It's unbelievable! It seems alot of time I cut the birdies nails, they just tend to bleed a little easier than other animals...just have that syptic powder on hand. It's good stuff and immediately stops it. I have heard flour does, too, but I have never tried it.

"next time I clip his nails, will the quick be far back enough again, so that I won't have to worry about it bleeding again?"
Hmm about that, Im not exactly sure.
Abe hates baths huh? Hmmmm, you said you misted him and he hissed, did u keep trying it for a minute? I think my tiels love being misted more than an actual *bath*. How about getting him out of the cage, on a toy play pen (or something he plays on he can perch on outside the cage) and try misting him there?
About taking showers with him, I don't know about that, yeah I would wonder about the water being too hot? Anyone else out there try this? That idea about making a perch to go in the shower, thou is a great idea! I found one on Dr Fosters and Smith, too, to show you what one looks like. Or, like you said you could make one.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...=5&pCatId=5833
Yes, and if you don't feel comfortable about cutting Abe's nails, like Jodi said, you could take him somewhere to do it, too. I take my Umbrella to be done at a special birdie store sometimes, and sometimes we trim them ourselves. My vet also does it, too.
Hope I could help some!

~* Jackie *~

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 07:05 AM
 
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I dont have any advice,,,,but I am so glad you asked questions and are willing to learn,,,,,thats the main thing,,,,,,,I hope everything works out and you learn everything you need to know
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2003, 08:51 AM
 
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If y'all haven't been giving him showers then it will take him some time to get used to showers/baths. Toby used to FREAK when he would get near water...now he LOVES it!

Sharon's hubby made us a great shower perch that attaches to our shower wall. It's made out of PVC with suction cup thingies to hold it to the wall : http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/showt...threadid=10875 You could also put him on the shower curtain rod so he can get used to the sound & etc. You can also buy shower perches at Petsmart: http://www.petsmart.com/bird/shoppin...%5F34844.shtml One for a tiel will probably only be about $20.

We take showers with Toby all the time (actually either every day or every other day - especially when he is molting). We have a hand held sprayer shower head that I can hold over Toby or just hold it still and he will go back & forth out of the water. We use the same temp that we shower in...but if you like really hot showers than I would cool if off. Just a nice warm temperature. Keep the soap & shampoo away from him too. And until he is used to it and really "in" to it, don't hold him under the direct water...that will definitely freak him out! And the whole time he is in the shower/sink/whatever sing to him and act all goofy. If they think you are having fun then they will want to join in. We usually crank our music and sing (I know, how embarrasing ).

Just start out slowly....a laundry room sink with nice warm water and try to get his feet in...and just get used to the water. And I agree, try misting him away from his cage. If he has a seperate playstand you could try misting him there.

I guess the reason I'm going in to so much detail is because I believe it's really important to give our fids showers/baths/misting. In the wild, the birds love taking "showers" in the rain. And it also helps them molt quicker.

As far as the diahrea, check out this link: http://www.cockatiel.org/petquestions/index.html Birdie poops are more runny anyway (ok, I know this is gross) so.... Is this something new? or has it always been this way? Has anything changed in Abe's world lately? Btw, how long have y'all had Abe (you prolly said I just can't remember!!)

Good luck Mal - I'm so glad you are trying and willing to figure out what you need to do. That's awesome that you are so open minded and willing to listen & learn! And I think you are doing a good job!! ABe looks good!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2003, 07:29 AM
 
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I don't have any advice to give because I'm still learning too! Don't feel bad, keep asking and I'll learn along with you!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2003, 06:52 PM
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Cool

I'm thinking the diarrhea may be caused from the stress of nail trim, etc. Do you give him any veggies? Sometimes these can cause a bit of diarrhea for a while, but it should last. Just keep an eye on it (as you seem to be doing); birds are so small that they can dehydrate pretty quickly.

I have nail clippers like the ones on one of the first links on here, but I always take my birds to the Bird Shop to get them trimmed. The big birds are always done with a dremel (macaw owners might want to try one of those!) and the smaller birds clipped with the little scissor-looking things. I have silver nitrate sticks on hand, just because I have an easy way to get them. If you don't have styptic powder or quik stop use flour - that goes for the dogs, too. Just cake it on then put 'em back in the cage!

It is hard to get them used to baths. Henry is my oldest and he still hates for us to get him wet, but he will volunteerily dunk himself in his water dish. Just like us, they all have their little oddities!!

I personally think it would be wise to take both birds to a pet store or vet clinic to get them groomed a couple of times just so that you can watch and learn. The right person will even let you help if you tell them you want to learn to do it your self!!

For goodness sake, don't feel dumb when you ask questions. We all have questions and we'll never learn unless we lean on each other. It's interesting how the questions and answers change with the size of the bird - finches can get freaked out really easily. I have a parrotlet, similar in size and disposition, but a bit friendlier. Still no holding with him though!!

Good luck - you can do it!!

CRITTERCALL


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