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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9384
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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I have just got a rescue ringneck she initially was wild but

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I have just got a rescue ringneck she initially was wild but attacked by another animal. I think maybe a larger bird. She was rehomed in a bad environment in a small cage and covered 24 hours a day. I've had her since Thursday and shes earting well exploring her cage and showing interest in toys but not made a single sound. Shes a parakeet
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the bird?
Customer: Nothing I'm just frightened she has damaged vocal chords I get her being afraid and may not want to make noise to draw attention to herself due to trauma but not one sound. Is that normal. She isn't sick I'm sure of that
Assistant: Where does the bird seem to hurt?
Customer: She has an old injury to her wing and her head but her feathers are growing back nicely. She is also looking really vibrant and sleek. This injury happened about 5 months ago I think. The guy took her from was vague
Assistant: OK. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: No nothing just that she hasn't made any noise. Apart from that she seems really happy and content
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you

I am August Abbott, certified avian specialist and owner of N.CA Parrot Rescue (now known as Broken Birds Sanctuary) - I take in only previously abused, neglected birds that have permanent handicaps and disabilities. From being tortured while blind, to have both legs fractured and pulled out of their sockets - I see the worst of the worst. AND I also see them adjust to their disabilities when in an environment of love, trust and unconditional acceptance. It appears this blessed bird has found that in you

Here's what's happening: She came from a horrific environment and absolutely has no idea of what this new environment is going to be for her. She's evaluating you, learning you and adjusting to new regimens and care. This is called "the honeymoon period" - she's likely on her best behavior right now. Once she's confident and comfortable she may become one of the most chatty, vocal birds in your world.

Be consistent. Make sure she's on a good diet (NOT seeds). I'll include my dietary guide below.

It seems her healed injuries aren't debilitating enough to warrant special needs structures or care, but if you notice she has a problem perching (one of the most debilitating of disabilities) let me know and we'll work on fashioning working options.

Let me reassure you that she WILL likely adapt and flourish despite the injuries; however, this is vital, have her seen by an avian knowledgeable vet no later than this week. It doesn't have to be a 'board certified avian vet' - any vet who sees only birds or at least 1/3 of their practice being birds should be fine. Pet Smart's have Banfield Clinics inside and usually have an avian vet on staff, plus are open 7 days a week. Pet Co shares their avian vet's phone numbers if you ask and ANY local vet should have an avian vet in their files ready to refer bird owners to

Here is my feeding guide. This diet helps protect against liver disease, tumors, kidney failure, heart problems, respiratory problems and many other complications that are frequently seen when an in-home bird eats predominantly seeds. That's like feeding a human toddler nothing but french fries and ice cream and keeping them in their bedroom for years. They may LOOK fine, right up until they are seriously ill. Let's not let that happen with your rescue.

It’s generally recommended that most of today’s companion birds have a predominantly pelleted diet. Pellets have been continually updated since being introduced to the market years ago and today’s formulas are better than ever.
Supplementing this diet with fresh foods every day is ideal and many owners find they can re-introduce seeds - in limited amounts (perhaps once or twice a week) without the bird refusing the pellets overall.
Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes. Include the colors orange, yellow , green, plus reds too! Think sweet potatoes/yams, squash, melons, oranges, peas, chard, beets and others.
Brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous and natural, whole grain pastas are great choices.
Limit fats, especially the kind from animals. Good fats are most plant fats like soy, olive and canola oils. No fried anything
Another thing you can try is all natural, human baby food. Stick to the orange colors.
They can be mixed with tiny pasta or rice, whole grain bread or toast - remember, be more creative than the bird is stubborn.
As odd as it sounds, birds don’t need much, if any vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin which means it passes out of the body after the body takes what it needs and C is available in a wide variety of both fresh and processed foods given to birds.
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene, on the other hand, is frequently found to be deficient in birds. This is a fat soluble vitamin which means it gets stored in the fat cells of the body, so it’s possible to overdose on it. With our companion birds though, too little is the situation most often encountered.
The symptoms a bird will show when deficient are increased allergic reactions, respiratory/sinus infections, reproductive problems, skin and feather disorders, even cysts and tumors, as well as various intestinal complications.
Vitamin A is most ideally received from natural foods like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash and other dark colored vegetables. If your bird doesn’t care for fresh vegetables, a ½ teaspoon of natural baby food (human baby food) of any of these vegetables. Again, it must be all natural and nothing but the vegetable with water sufficient for processing.

--- Nutritional Overview
Even though this is put out by a cockatiel site, it’s applicable to all hook bills from budgies/parakeets to conures, greys and macaws.

cites feeding both seed and pellets, but only after weaning the bird from a mostly seed diet.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I know that she was seen by a vet in the care of SEFFRA and so she is healing really well. Today shes been showing off her acrobatic moves and strangely likes being praised as she does it again. I have been giving her cockatiel food with fresh cale grapes peas some carrot and blueberries. She chucked the peas out the cage. If I have the slightest concern about her general wellbeing I will definitely take her to the local avian vet. I plan to eventually tame her while she gets better and if she does ever regain full flight will set her free as she wasnt bred in captivity.Thank you so much for your advice. I so want this little one to have the best life as shes had a rotten start. I have her in a huge cage with plenty of toys and perches.I'm really thankful on your reply and advice ��

I LOVE everything you're doing! Good job! I would be absolutely honored to work with you going forward - and I have a great procedure for taming too.

Establishing her as your bird with a vet is important - it's gets you to the front of the line if you ever have an emergency! Believe me, this is valuable

I'm not supposed to give two different subject matters here for one price, but I'm going to list my taming procedure - and if you rate it right after it will remove it from the open board so no one sees

New to You

When we bring a bird into our homes, no matter how old they are or what conditions they came from, we may have to start with them like they’re brand new.
It’s not unusual for some birds to be very friendly and cooperative the first few days or even week - they are totally dependent on us as new providers and they don’t want to be shunned, rejected or hurt.
Taking your time and letting the bird learn you, adjust to their surroundings and ease into sharing life with you – is by far the better choice. Even if the bird never learns to truly trust, at least to live in peace, comfort and care is a huge accomplishment.
Here are some guidelines you can try, add or reassure yourself you’ve already done:

Start by providing the largest cage appropriate for the species of bird you have. Include 3 different types of perches (suggested): 1 natural wood perch, 1 rope perch and 1 ‘rough’ perch for grooming (concrete, mineral, etc.). Never use those sandpaper perch covers. They do not provide secure grip and can result in injury; plus, they just don’t do anything worthwhile.

Perches should be of varying widths as well, from where the feet wrap ¾ of the way around, to where the feet wrap ¼ to ½ way around. The rope perch will likely be chosen for sleep/nighttime; the concrete/rough perch should not be placed where the bird is forced to stand on it without other options (such as to eat or drink). They’ll choose the perch when they need it.

Approach the cage when the bird is calm. Be slow, keep your movements smooth and don’t raise your hands above your own shoulder level – or above the eye level of the bird. Speak with a soft voice and give the bird time to calm down and accept your presence. If it doesn’t adjust relatively quickly, back away until it calms down – the last thing we want is for the bird to injure itself by flailing around in fear.

Remember, patience.
I approach our new additions (usually abused birds entering rescue/rehab) an hour or so after tucking them in for nighttime. Their cages are covered on all sides, leaving just ½ of the front uncovered so they can see out and feel secure. It also insures decent air circulation.
The room light would be very dim, but not totally dark. Most birds have poor night vision, unless they’re nocturnal birds like owls and approaching them in total darkness is frightening to them.
At this time, whispering, putting a hand up against the cage and just holding it there is a start. Remember, keep it non-threatening and below their eye level.

When you notice them calmly stretching a wing and leg slowly out to the side and back, mimic the action with your own arm slowly stretching out to the side and softly stay engaged vocally (“what a good bird you are”, “that’s a pretty bird”, etc).

After just a few minutes of nice interaction, leave them be for their night and the next day use the same tone of voice and slow, calm movements around them.

Open the cage door (as long as your bird is not panicking and will be safe if they escape, unable to get to places you cannot recover them from) and offer your finger/hand just above the feet and gently touching at the breast area there say “step up”. This command is important to use every time so that when the bird hears it they know it’s time to be on hand/finger.

In an untamed bird there may be some biting and squawking, but if you can tolerate it until they are on hand, you’ve accomplished a very important step. Once up they usually stop biting where they’re perching (your hand) and if they don’t, giving them an “earthquake” a gentle shaking of your hand, but not enough to dislodge them or cause them to feel insecure, will often distract them.

I’ve also found that walking quickly into a different room (which isn’t hard to do with a big macaw chomping down on my arm like a pitbull) will surprise them enough to stop. Suddenly, in new surroundings, I’m their best friend.

If you cannot get your bird to cooperate right away with hands, remember, you’ve got years ahead of you – it’s worth it to do this right. Try just placing your hand in the cage for a minute and letting them get used to it being there. Having a treat in hand will help make your fingers a positive thing.

Continue the night whispering and no matter what, don’t give up.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Bless you. I cant thank you enough for both your kind words and expert advice. I seem to be doing the right things and that's really reassuring. Take care and thank you again

I'll be you and your bird's best friend for life. You listen, you care and you are unconditionally compassionate. A better home could not be hoped for!

If you haven't rated this yet, please remember to do so. It will always be available for follow up if you need; or if you have a new subject to address post a new question and ask for "August" in the subject line or first line of the question and I'll make you my priority

Thank you for loving this baby!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How do I rate please? I'm not sure is there a link?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you but right now I'm really strapped for cash at the moment. I'm sorry but I dont get paid for a week

There's supposed to be stars either at the top or the bottom (we experts can't see what you do) -- and the payment should be part of the deal you signed on for as a member.

But no matter what - I won't abandon you

S. August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ahhh I see. I will see if my mate can stick some money in my account I'm sure she will and do it in the morning.