Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021

Poorly parrot got so depressed when its owner died it started self-mutilating

A parrot whose owner died got so depressed that it began to self-mutilate and lose most of its feathers.

Pickle the parrot, an orange winged amazon, was luckily rescued by Problem Parrots national charity and taken to their refuge, reports Derbyshire Live.

The charity is now appealing for volunteers to help look after their vulnerable parrots while they find new homes.

Tanya Day, Welfare officer for the South, said: "Pickle is a severe 'plucker', she has done this from stress and boredom and it’s now a learnt behaviour.

"She was in a house with several others the owner had been in hospital then passed away they had been on their own for several weeks with someone just feeding them, they were in a bit of a mess."

The charity has managed to nurse Pickle back to health and she is currently up for adoption.

Another featherless parrot which was rescued by the charity is Rommie.

"Rommie came to us about three and half months ago now, he came in completely plucked and as a self-mutilator so that means he bites at himself and bleeds," Tanya said.

"His owners adored him but didn’t have the time for him and couldn't keep up and he was getting worse and worse.

"They’d taken him to a vet but unfortunately it wasn’t an avian vet so they only got certain things and they didn’t think they actually needed to go back to the vet.

"Because he’s an eclectus they require a specific diet and he wasn’t getting that, so that wasn’t helping."

Upon arrival to Problem Parrots, Rommie was quickly taken to an avian vet in Loughborough where they announced his wounds were infected.

The self-mutilation meant the charity was forced to change his collar to stop him from plucking any more feathers and biting his wounds.

Tanya continued: "Over three months he got a lot of medication and company from other birds – plus a large cage, toys, UV light and all the things he should have had – and now slowly but surely he's recovering a lot of his feathers."

It will take six months for his features to grow back and another year for Rommie to look like a normal electus again.

"It may be that some areas never grow back so he might have a few patches. He has recovered enough to go up for adoption, however, he will only go to someone with a bit more knowledge because of his needs."

The charity also takes in parrots from owners who are no longer able to look after their birds anymore.

Cookie was rescued from a cage in Buxton after being locked in for at least five years. The death of his owner meant he was left alone for half a decade.

The daughter of the owner contacted Problem Parrots to see if they could help.

Tanya said: "We had to use bolt cutters to get him out – he was dirty and had broken feathers.

"Unfortunately the cage was also too small. There were no toys just a dowel perch."

Cookie was transferred to a safe house in Durham where he received a bigger cage and toys.

Another bird being cared for by Problem Parrots is Casper. He was rescued from Ashbourne.

"Casper's owners loved him dearly," said Tanya.

"They ended up working long hours which meant he was not getting the time he needed. Parrots are social animals and need time and attention, so his owners contacted us to take him in."

Casper is currently up for adoption.

Problem Parrots operate solely through volunteers and they're always looking for more help.

The charity currently has around 50 safe houses across the country.

"The only area we don't cover is Scotland," Tanya said.

Problem Parrots is also looking for volunteers to work as welfare officers. Officers like Tanya are responsible for the welfare of rescued birds and will carry out house checks after they have been adopted.

Once a bird has been rescued by Problem Parrots it will remain as a 'charity bird', this means the charity can continue to monitor and take them back in if an adopter proves unsuitable.

The charity says it will only reclaim birds as a final option.

Those wishing to get in touch with the charity can visit www.problemparrots.co.uk.

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