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Need To Rehome My Orange Wing Amazon :(

Discussion in 'Rehoming' started by nicolemorgan, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Hello, I really need some help and advice. I'm sorry it's so long...

    I have taken the heartbreaking decision to rehome my beloved OWA and it isn't really a decision rather than a necessity for my family's safety. I have had him for 14 years, rescued from a breeder who kept him in filthy conditions having rejected him for not breeding. Looking was fatal and I took him straight back home with me. He is 20 now. He has some behavioural problems and I have persevered and found ways to overcome things over the years, training him to become tame and come out of his shell to become quite a sweet little bird when he wanted to be, but now I have to consider my children's safety. After a few years of getting him bonded to me in my mid 20s, he used to be so cuddly and sweet, we even found ways to handle his excessive screaming even though at one point my partner and I almost went our separate ways because of it.

    Since the birth of my now two year old son, my OWA has become snappy and aggressive towards both me and him. I kept thinking it would settle in time but most recently he got down on the floor and then got spooked because I got up quickly to stop him chewing our furniture, and he went crazy and flew up and started trying to attack my face. The next day when I handled him he lunged up and grabbed my chin and refused to stop biting me. He did considerable damage to my face as he was hanging off me. He wouldn't let go and I had to wrestle him off after blood started pouring everywhere and the excessive pain left me with no choice. Since then he will not let me handle him and to be honest I'm quite frightened of him. And he is really angry and aggressive now, lunging towards me every time he sees me or if I move a muscle near him. When given the chance he tries to fly at my face again. I'm having to resort to ushering him around with a stick just to get him in his sleep cage at night whilst wearing a coat for protection and not letting him escape and fly up to my face. I used to handle him in and out of everywhere without a second thought. The trust it took 14 years to establish has seemingly been destroyed. It is one thing that he has savaged me in such an aggressive way but if he ever did anything like that to my son I would never forgive myself. He could easily blind him as he could have done to me.

    I am currently 37 weeks pregnant with our second child so I have another person's safety to consider and another source of jealousy for my bird on its way. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for so many years but now I have other defenceless people to seriously consider.

    My partner has been able to handle him on occasion but they never really bonded or even liked each other much. Indifferent I think is the best description. He also works away for a few weeks at a time then is home for a few weeks on a constant rota so there has never been any stability for them to build any kind of relationship. My bird has bitten my and my partner's fingers a few times over the many years but we're now on a whole different level of aggression and danger and there are now small children involved.

    Sadly whereas in my 20s I had all the time in the world to train him, I now have small children who will take up so much of my time I can't even begin to think about starting all over again with a parrot, especially one I don't trust not to potentially savage my children, or my face again for that matter, and who has quite clearly decided he doesn't like me anymore.

    It is a horrible decision to have to make and I will be devastated to give him up but I have to think about children's welfare first. I have spent hours searching the web for sanctuaries and charities that rehome parrots but I am at a loss as to what to do. I was looking at this website: Yet another bird charity website/contact us.shtml as it seems to be one of the more established ones who contract the birds to their ownership despite who rehomes them, but then I stumbled across an old thread on this website regarding rehoming a feather plucking African Grey and a member called Lou was saying sanctuaries or rehoming charities are not the best idea and suggesting someone on this forum might be willing to take that particular parrot on. Now a feather plucker I can fully understand however I don't know anyone who would consider taking on a screaming orange wing with a known tendency to attack but I thought I would just try and get some advice. He is actually very well behaved for other people like my mum as he has been to stay with her for extended periods of time in the past for various reasons and shown no screaming or aggression, but she isn't prepared to take him on given the difference in their ages and the fact that her grandchildren will inevitably spend time at her house. He also spent many years going to daily parrot day care when I worked too far away to pop back home during the day to see him, and he was always a different bird there. Calm, happy, settled. I think overbonding to me triggered the screaming and agitation at home and now jealousy from that overbonding is causing severe aggression. I'd love for him to find a new home where perhaps he could have a one to one relationship again with someone as that is when he seems at his happiest. And I would really like to keep in touch with any future owner from time to time to see how he's doing. I will miss him so much but I'm missing him already because he's changed so much recently and isn't the same bird as I once knew. There seemed to be quite a bit of concern over the subject of sending your parrot to a rehoming charity on this forum so I could really do with some advice. If you got this far, thank you so much for reading.
    Wakizashi21 likes this.
  2. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    :welcome: I am sorry you have had to join us under sad circumstances but I do understand.
    Thank you for being so honest. It is a tough decision for you to have had to make but I can see why you have done so.
    We do have members on here who offer good homes and I will link in @marley to see what he has to say.
    As for charities there are good and not so good ones and the forum do not recommend any of them as are the forum rules.
    Let us see what members have to say.
    Which part of the country are you in please and would you want any payment for your parrot plus cage, this information will help prospective new homes.
    You have started the ball rolling and I am sure we shall support you best we can.:thumbsup:
    Michael Reynolds likes this.
  3. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Thank you for your support. It's so sad I can hardly believe it is happening. I am in Dorset and would not require any money at all for him or his cage(s). We have three but he only actually likes one! I would only want that he goes to a good home where someone will love him and have the patience and experience to let him start over again. He is such an amazing little guy when he's not driven to extremes by jealousy. I would also really love to have occasional updates on his new life. This is the single most difficult decision of my life and I have had a fair share of those to make; it's heartbreaking.
  4. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Well if one of our members is able to offer a home you will receive updates on here and photos that's for sure.
    Which may mean hanging on a bit for the right home to come along, are you in a hurry? Can you bide your time. Sometimes these things happen quickly another time they do not.
  5. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    Hello and welcome, I have four amazons living with me three of them OW's Charlie is the bird in my Avatar. I am so sorry that you have experienced the more dangerous side of keeping these wonderful birds but I hope the damage has not been permanent. Can you tell me were you live (Area) I work with birds that have become attackers for a charity but I am not allowed to mention the charity on this site but I know you have looked into them. Congratulations are in order for expecting a new family member. I will say thank you for being honest about the situation you have found you are in and the way your bird has been acting towards you. I have quite a full house at the moment but I will be looking at the responses you have What's his Name.
  6. DizzyBlue

    DizzyBlue Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Welcome to the forum sorry it is under such sad circumstances.
    May I ask if you have had the bird to an avian vet to see if the reason for the sudden onset of attacks is in any way health related?
    One of my birds is a blue fronted amazon and he is blind in one eye (the left) if I come up on him suddenly ion that side I risk having my head taken off! Alfie normally totally adores me but sometimes he just does the attack before realising actually its me. Roz is does our training posts and perhaps she can give you some advice.
  7. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Yes I can bide my time to find him the right new home. After 14 years it's the least I can do for him.
  8. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    I am pleased that in your post you have been able to recognise the turning point that changed the way he is with you and also the over bonding that has been the main cause of aggression. there are many reasons that a bird can turn including diet and health but looking at your post Going to a new home may with the correct approach and time get him back to his gentle ways, As hard as your choice has been I hope a member can take him on and keep you updated 010.JPG
  9. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Thank you for your encouraging response. His name is Jack and we live in south west Dorset. In a different life and if didn't have children's safety to worry about I would have a house full of rescue parrots too! I bonded with my neighbour's elderly parrot from age 14 when he was in and out of hospital for years. I looked after her much of the time and when he passed away when I was 17 he left her in his will to me. She died of extreme old age 7 years later and I felt I had a life set up for another and found Jack in need of a home.
    dianaT likes this.
  10. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    I do hope you will get another bird even a budgie so your children will learn to love them. I know how heart braking it is when you lose a feathered friend so taking on Jack must of filled the hole that was left.
  11. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Hello and :welcome: to the forum...I’m sorry that it’s under difficult circumstances for you and your family, but can fully understand your reasoning. I hope you have recovered from the facial attack, that must have been quite scary for you...and also for Jack...he is obviously struggling with his changing position in your flock.

    My personal view is that Jack is not going to find the best home through the charity/rescue route, as they do not have the time/resources/ or enough people with experience to find the right home that would be able to give him the attention he needs.

    There’s one member who comes to mind that may have some ideas of a possible home @marley
    CaptainHowdy and dianaT like this.
  12. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    I think I'll have to one day once I've gotten over having to part with Jack. There have been parrots in my life longer than there haven't been! I grew up with my grandad breeding budgies and cockatiels and he gave me my first budgie, so a male budgie would be a good idea. When we didn't have budgies we had bantams then rescued ex battery chickens so I've been bird mad my whole life!
    Michael Reynolds and dianaT like this.
  13. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Thank you. He hasn't been to a vet lately but his sight seems pretty eagle eyed as he can spot birds of prey a mile off regardless of which way he's looking. We live in the countryside. I know they hide illness well but he seems no different to usual. His appetite is very good and his "deposits" are normal. He is registered with an avian vet nearby so I could take him for a check up although given his behaviour now I'm not convinced I'd be able to get him in and out the vets without him going crazy!
  14. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    One thing I will have to say and that is you managed to tame Jack and give him a great home so please do not think you have let him down as this is far from the case and your love for him shows in your posts and I admire you for thinking of him as much as the need to think of your family. not all the birds I have are rescue and even less are staying here through the charity if I was closer I would of loved helping Jack get back to his old self with you but I live in Kent
  15. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    Thank you, I've not thought of it that way regarding the charities but it does make a lot of sense. My face still feels like I've been punched but at least I didn't need stitches and it wasn't higher up near my eyes! I think it did scare him too and that's why he aggresses me every time I go near him now.
  16. nicolemorgan

    nicolemorgan Registered

    It's almost like I need a complete reset with him to start again but I don't know how to feasibly do that when he's in so much of a rage with me. Maybe some time apart for him to realise he misses me, calm down and start behaving like he used to and then start over, but there is no way to make that happen. I don't know anyone I could ask or who would be willing! Which is why I think he may be able to start again in a new home and be more settled and happy again, somewhere where there isn't an expanding flock to be jealous of and somewhere where he isn't overbonded.

    Thank you also for your kind words in your most recent posts, it means a lot. It's a shame Kent is so far away from Dorset! Love the photo of your amazons. :)
    Wakizashi21 likes this.
  17. Wakizashi21

    Wakizashi21 Regular Member

    Hopefully this plans out. Iv rehomed a few gorgeous parrots from the people on this forum and the support has been fantastic. Your in good support here even after rehoming so rest assure to get loads of photos and updates.

    Im slightly to far as I’m al the way in the Midlands. Hopefully a solution can be found with someone here.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    dianaT likes this.
  18. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    yes a break for a few month's may be the answer it will give him time to forget the incident
  19. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    :welcome: Nicole! This must have been a very hard decision to make since you have lived with Jack for so long. You seem to be knowledgeable about parrots which has been a huge bonus for gaining Jack's trust in the first place. He was lucky to have found you.

    As you noticed Jack has changed since you brought your new son back. It sounds very much to me that he has been showing some displaced aggression when your son is near you. For example if I had Kobe or Bobbie (two of my own parrots) on me and a stranger was in the room, there would be a strong possibility that I would get bitten (unless that stranger was used to parrots and moved slowly and calmly). I am betting that you would have been in very close proximity to your son each time you approached Jack which would have resulted in aggression towards you. Babies/children are unpredictable and fast in their movements which might be a little scary for Jack. Introducing Jack to your new baby might have needed a different approach.

    The last attack must have been terrifying for you both. As you say he spooked - it could have been blind panic. Some animals choose flight, some fight. And now your relationship has disintegrated further.

    Whilst you are waiting to rehome him, I would suggest you work with him to regain his trust. Maybe in the evenings when your son has gone to bed. Just sit quietly near him and chat to him. Lower your energy by taking some deep breaths to start with. Maybe he should be caged to start with so that you gain confidence. The way to build up trust again is to pair yourself with as many wonderful experiences as you can for him.

    Right now you are paired with an aversive - the last attack, so no wonder he is wary of you. You are also afraid of him which he can pick up. He is a pro at reading body language - all parrots are! Because your body language is screaming "SOMETHING IS WRONG!" he is on edge wondering where the danger is. He's ready to take flight or fight. It must be very stressful for you both. You can turn it around. What things does he like? What treats does he particularly like? Would he take a favourite treat from your fingers through the cage bars after a little talking to him? Maybe after a while you can progress to giving him a careful head scratch through the cage bars. Make a quiet fuss of him and let him know that he is safe and loved.

    When he's calmer, you could ask your partner to bring your son into the room just inside the door. Give Jack a favourite treat for showing relaxed body language. What you are doing is pairing your son with a good experience (the treat). Each time your partner brings your son a step closer, give Jack a treat and make a fuss of him. You might want to leave training at just one or two steps into the room. The next day or later in the day try again, this time bringing your son a little closer to the cage. Watch Jack carefully - if his body language changes (tiny changes... way before aggressive posturing) at all go back a step or two until he's relaxed again. Eventually your son should be able to be right near the cage with Jack showing relaxed body language. Same with the new baby - pair his/her arrival with awesome experiences for Jack.

    I'm sure we would all like to see a picture of the lovely Jack. Orange-wings are one of my favourite Amazon species. I have an Orange-wing too called Ollie. He was also a rescue coming from appalling conditions. It has taken a lot of work to gain Ollie's trust.
    TomsMum, DizzyBlue and dianaT like this.