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About P-and-s

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  1. Stormbird, Thanks for your replies. The vets suggestion to get a companion came a number of years ago when Merlin was recovering from Psittacosis. He was understandably somewhat quieter than before and a bit withdrawn and the vet thought a companion bird of any species might give him a new interest and bring him out of himself. We did actually borrow a Cockatiel for a few weeks but it might as well have never been born for all the notice Merlin took of it, so we asked around and Kris offered us Charlie.
  2. We were always doubtful that the food thing would do anything, but it was worth a shot - the theory that went with it, was that plentiful supply of high value food at the right time triggers a mating/nesting behaviour. Only mentioned it in case anyone was going to suggest it. In answer to your question about our female bird ( Charlie!), she may be part of the problem, at least. We've had her for about 7 years and got her as a companion for Merlin on the vets advice. She came from KrisJV after being re-homed several times and she was somewhat aggressive towards Merlin when she first came, really just through insecurity we think. For years she would not allow any kind of close approach from us but developed a love-hate relationship with Merlin, they are fine when the bars of a cage are between them but Merlin will not allow her to get close if they are both out together. However with the bars of the cage between them they frequently 'beak' i.e they both put their beaks through the bars and lock them together before pulling away with a 'click'. Now over the past 6 months or so Charlie has really come round and will now come on to my arm most of the time and loves to have her head scratched etc. We have talked about this, obviously, and Susie thinks Merlin's behaviour may coincide with Charlie's change in attitude towards us, i.e. is he simply jealous and trying to get attention by biting? He doesn't actually get any less attention now than he ever has, we've always been very careful to treat them both exactly the same, but maybe he doesn't see it that way? One thing that has been noticeable is that he sits and fixes one eye on me and simply stares without moving, for ages at a time. There doesnt seem to be any reaction from Charlie towards Merlin one way or the other, but she is generally just a happy bird these days as far as we can tell, she whistles and chortles and plays with her toys and is basically no bother at all now.
  3. We have a problem with our CAG, Merlin (who is DNA'd male). We've had him since he was 18 weeks old ( he is now 13 ) and up until recently had no real behaviour problems. In the past he has got a bit bolshy at times when his hormones played him up, but generally speaking nothing we couldn't handle. This year however, its been going on for months now, and he is getting more and more aggressive towards both of us. He has always been a bit that way towards me but Susie used to be able to do anything with him, but that is changing now and he bites her as well. He spends a lot of time on the floor and make a bee line for my shoes and bites them as soon as he can reach. In past years he has amused us by balancing on his beak and scratching at the floor of his cage to build a 'nest', this year he has been going into dark corners and digging holes in the carpet if we dont spot him in time. We read somewhere that reducing things like grapes, cheese and chicken bones will help to calm aggressive hormone behaviour, but stopping those items competely seems to have made no difference. Has anyone got any suggestions, please? Philip & Susie
  4. It's been a very long time since we updated this thread, mainly because there hasn't been anything much to say. Life just goes on, much like parrots fly round and round. We have had something of a break-through with Charlie in the last few weeks though. She has always tended to favour me rather than Susie and would go mad, skreetching and marching up and down the perch when I left the house to go to work, etc, but that was it, she would not allow us to get near her and certainly not allow physical contact for years ( literally), apart from very occasionally landing on our heads for a few seconds before taking off again. Then some while ago she started to allow us, and me in particular, to scratch her head through the bars of the cage, which was major progress. However, there was still NO way that she would step up on to an arm, and she still had a mortal dread of anything long and stick like ( we have a suspicion that somewhere in her previous life, she might have been hit or at least threatened ). Anyway, a month or two back, whenever I left the dining room to go to the kitchen, she suddenly started started following me and landing on my head. Yes, I know that is reckoned to be a bad thing to allow them to do, but after almost 7 years it is a major step forward and certainly not something to be discouraged. Our hallway is quite dark but with a glazed front door facing south, so it is very bright at one end. Charlie has always had a "thing" about flying out there and almost crashing, before turning and hurtling back ( think the light-dark disorientates her a bit), so we tend to try to keep the doors shut. However a couple of weeks ago she flew out, almost crashed and as a result landed on top of a an ornamental figurine. I went to get her off it and gently put my arm in front of her. Normally that was enough to make her take off immediately, but this time, somewhat hesitantly, she put one foot on my arm!! I stopped breathing as she leaned forward, got a grip on my sleeve with her beak and climbed onto my arm and stayed there as I walked carefully back to the dining room!!! The same thing has happened again two or three times since, and although she still backs away most of the time, it is major progress. Merlin is still Merlin. Sits around and does nothing at all most of the time, but turn your back for more than a few seconds and he's biting something! Keyboards, Sky remotes, mobiles...anything with buttons basically - wouldnt we all love to know why they do that?? Philip
  5. Hi, Our CAG, Charlie, does over preen her neck and legs from time to time. It always seems to be at about the same time of year so we suspect it may hormonally based?
  6. We paid £61.51 to Golden Valley last year and have just renewed with Brookes Braithwaite for £59.74 ( inc a £6 no-claim bonus), for two CAG's. What they are like if we need to claim remains to be seen, GV were superb!
  7. We had about 1.5" overnight, started about 7pm yesterday evening
  8. Been snow flurries on and off all afternoon, but snowing lightly and settling for the last half hour or so in S. Northants.
  9. Golden Valley were out of this world good when we needed to use them for Merlin a few years back. The new owners have a lot to live up to! We had official notification last October from Sharon at GVIS that as from 1st Nov 2011 the underwriters will still be the same ( Allianz Insurance PLC) under the Golden Valley name, but administration will be by Brooks Braithwaite ( Sussex) Ltd. We've had no other contact with them.
  10. Well, we definitely NEED an " Active Topics" option to list the active threads...the 'recent posts' link at the bottom is useless because there are ( currently) ten pages of mixed up posts on all sorts of topics and we can't help with a lost bird in St Day, wherever that is ( sorry!), or breeders for Jardines, so we don't need to try to disentangle those threads from others that we are interested in.
  11. Our CAG's both get a spray from a hand sprayer every morning whilst still in their cages. Charlie LOVES her daily spray, usually the first thing she does is come right up to the bars and drink directly from the nozzle a few times, then she goes to the other side of the cage and sits there until she is thoroughly wet on the outside, she she starts her loop-the-loop routine where she climbs up the side bars, goes across the underside of the roof, down the other side, back across the perch, up the side....with her feathers opened up so the spray gets right down inside. Sometimes she'll go really mad with wings half out and flapping hard just short of take-off, whilst she gets the spray. Merlin is less keen and just sits on his perch with water dripping from his beak and tail, but every now and again, at no fixed interval, he'll stand on the side of his drinking water pot, dip his head and throw water all over himself ( and the cage, and the room!). He'll go through 2 or 3 pot refills doing this. Both of them like the water surprisingly warm, I've ruined several of those plastic hand sprayers from accidentally getting it too hot, but the hotter it is the more they seem to enjoy it.
  12. We have two greys. Their cages are almost touching in our living room. When we settle down to watch the box, usually at around 7/7-30pm, Merlin will come down to the lowest perch, which is as close as he can get to us, and just switch off. Charlie on the other hand will clamber about and generally make a noise on and off all evening, sometimes hanging on the the side bars and flapping her wings like mad. We generally go to bed about 10-ish and Charlie will usually come to have her head scratched goodnight. Merlin will sometimes stir himself for a scratch and sometimes not. In the morning they are quiet until we go in to them at about 7-15ish but they are both wide awake. On the rare occasions that we are late up, they will start to make a noise at about 8, to remind us they are there. We never cover them.
  13. We have a pair of robins in the garden, they've been around for months and we think they've possibly already raised one brood and from the way they keep disappearing into the ivy at the bottom of the garden, we think they are probably feeding a second lot. The thing is that couple of weeks ago we noticed that one of them appeared to have a patch of white feathers just above its left eye and that eye seemed to be bulging out a lot. At the time, best guess was that it had had a close encounter with something larger and just escaped. However the white patch seems to have been getting larger and this morning I finally managed to get a couple of pictures of it. It looks as though the poor thing is losing all the feathers on its head and the white area isn't feathers at all but bare skin. The red feathers just under the eyes look a bit peculiar as well. Other than that it seems quite healthy, eating ok and food gathering and hurtling backwards and forwards to the nest. Nothing wrong with its flight or walking that we can see. Any one ever seen or heard of this before?
  14. We have two CAGs who need a holiday home for a couple of weeks in the second half of June, please. We are in S. Northants but will happily travel a reasonable distance to deliver and collect them. P and S
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