Problems With My 42 YO Amazon Parrot I Adopted 12 Years Ago
I really like reading all the information you provide about birds,

Problems With My 42 YO Amazon Parrot I Adopted 12 Years Ago

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

jenn7558 relates,

I really like reading all the information you provide about birds, and most particularly, domesticated ones.

I just read your latest that talks about the way to arrange walls of toys and the reasons for doing that.

I also read the part about different kinds of perches and how to arrange a cage.

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My situation is that I adopted a yellow-headed Amazon parrot named Phoenix about 12 years ago.

For the past 7 years she has been blind in her left eye and her head tilts to the right side, due to a stroke she had in 2014, which caused her to fall from the top perch of her big cage.

For the past 5 years, she has been living with 60% cataracts in her right eye as well. So, for the most part, she is nearly blind.

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She’s OK in the daytime to be in her large cage.

At night, we have her sleep in a small carrier cage, so she feels secure enough. Her activity level has diminished probably because she doesn’t see very well.

Handicapped African grey parrot on flat perch inside birdcage
Disabled Timneh African Grey Parrot on a shelf perch in a birdcage by an open door, soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. reflections of stained glass on his feathers.

So we keep all her toys (no foraging toys though) at the bottom of her cage.

She sleeps mostly at the top perches. She stays on our shoulders most of the time when we’re home.

Do you think we are hindering her fun time or abusing her by not taking chances?

She sees her vet 2-3 times a year, or more depending.

Her last blood tests taken around September show her being in great health.

Vets, however, don’t always know the right things to do in our circumstances, that someone like you would know that could be more beneficial (or harmful).

I am looking for help. We always want to do the best for her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. JenniferG

Hi Jennifer,

Your bird must be considerably older than 12 years, do you have any idea? Are you her second owner or have there been more than two? 

Amazons have the capability of living from 50 to 80 years old.

Sadly many of these birds come from homes that were less than ideal, too small of cages, and a total seed diet plus they may have never been let out to fly or exercise.

Due to this, amazons are often obese and suffer from fatty liver disease and even mental damage due to so long in captivity. However, the damage is done, and kudos to you for allowing her a better life now.

That she has issues with cataracts and from her stroke, I don’t see a need to push her out of her comfort zone.

That you let her out daily to be with you or to wander her cage as desired is plenty at this point. 

A birdy playstand placed in a family area would also be good for her. Yes, enclosing her in a smaller cage at night is not a bad thing so she can feel secure.

It sounds like you are doing a good job caring for her.

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Thank you so much for your great wisdom about Phoenix and whether we are taking care of her as she so deserves.  

Phoenix will be 42 years old on June 10. 

It was fortunate that her former vet was able to take her away from the abuse she sustained — how long it went on, and whether that was the only other owner she had, is unknown to me. 

However, since we had her back in April 2010, we continue to treat her as a full member of our family. 

Neither my husband nor I ever believe in taking in a pet that we don’t treat as our own family. 

How unfair that would be to that pet, especially if it is a rescue, which is what Phoenix is. 

This includes always keeping her with us when we’re at home, and even when we have company visiting, and making sure she has all she needs when we are gone for the day.

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I have had her on Harrison’s pellets from the 1st day she came into our home, which is kept in both cages at all times. 

I learned about Harrisons back in 1979 when I bought my 1-year-old blue-front Amazon Crackers and kept him on that starting 6 months after and up to a couple of weeks before he died in July 2018 from a horrendous case of arthritis, one that completely debilitated him.

Anyway, regarding Phoenix, we also feed her with regular food.

For breakfast each AM, we feed her mostly the same: a little pieces of apple, grape, 1/2 piece of almond, pecan, walnut, little piece of dried cranberry, hard-boiled egg, bell peppers, greens mix of broccoli, kale, spinach, a few sweet snap peas. For dinner each PM, we feed her some organic soups with vegetables. When she doesn’t like the soups, she resorts back to her Harrisons.  

Phoenix is our pride and joy.  She has such a great personality.  She has a few toys, some that swing, we keep at the bottom for her safety.

Thanks again for your response.


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