Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outer Sydney Australia
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Just Operated on a Cockatoo
A couple of months ago a friend of mine rang me telling me he had had a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo dumped in his front yard in a Budgie Cage. She/He had most of its feathers missing and an overgrown beak. He wanted to know if I could take it in, which I did. It looked like Beak & Feather Disease was a real possibility. Even with the very overgrown beak it could eat with very little problems and now after settling down a very sweet nature is coming through.
Nat called round this morning to help me clip her beak to a more normal level as the bottom mandible was jutting out to the side and was starting to make it difficult to crack seed. The operation went very well with only a tiny drop of blood being lost. Nipped the end of the top mandible and given it a nice piece of hard wood to have a good chew on to help grind down the top to a more managable length, otherwise it is going to have to be put under anaesthetic to have the beak cut back and cauterized to stop bleeding and then feeding could be a problem as the beak will be even more tender than it is now. Plus there is the risk of knocking off the scab and bleeding to start. He/She seems alot more comfortable now that the bottom beak is back to relatively normal.
We have had a good discussion about it and it may not be beak and feather but poor nutrition that has caused alot of the problems. That plus we believe there has been abuse to the bird which has resulted in self mutilation. It was obvious that this bird had been hand raised as it wants to be friends but is frightened of humans. The only places where the main feather loss is, is where feathers are easily gotten at. No feathers down the front and flights and most tail feathers gone, but secondary flights are all there as are all the wing feathers except for flights of course. Its fear of humans also indicates abuse. It is trusting me alot more now and will take a piece of bread from my hand. The way it loves bread points to the fact that this may have been the main diet the bird was on. I am slowly introducing fruit and vegetables into its diet and so far she is eating mandarin, carrots and Rockmelon (cantaloupe). It didn't know what they were at first but on seeing the other cockies eating them decided to have a go as well. Will now start putting supplements into the food and see if that improves the feather growth and overall health. But things may be looking up for this poor little baby.