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Amazon advice needed!

Foxy_

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Hi guys! I was referred to this forum by an amazing person on reddit. I’ve read through a few things and absolutely love all the information available on here! But I have a few questions.

My bird was given to me by my family when I was 5 years old. Once he got a little older he did become aggressive and none of my family was able to touch him. I however still was able but spending time with him was limited because everyone was too afraid to get bit. Fast forward to when I left home he was stuck in his cage for about 2 years with no one letting him out etc. he was basically abused by my dad and seems to hate men because of that.

I recently bought my own house and brought him with me. Now he spends the whole day out of his cage, he has as much toys as I can afford and loves to bite up cardboard boxes lol.

But here’s the deal.. my family fed him like crap. He loves people food and for the last 3 months I’ve gotten him on zupreem pellets which was challenging. He does eat it but picks through the things he wants and leaves the rest... But what is your outlook on birds eating people food? He unfortunately loves chips and all that. I don’t give him any but when he sees it you can see he wants it.

I also have questions about how to deal with his hormonal periods. He does regurgitate his food on me, along with interesting noises and little flaps of his wings. I’ve heard not to touch his back feathers when he’s like that, so I don’t but I’m curious should I put him away when this happens? Or just let him do his thing and wait it out..

Also i wonder if it’ll be possible to have him be friendly to anyone else but me... Ive been the only one to handle him for the last 20 years. I now live with my boyfriend and he’s able to give him treats now and then but has tried to bite him lol also he’s tried to fly at him and attack him as well... is there a fix to this lmao I wanna become a better bird mom which means learning more and being informed.

He’s been to the vet before we moved since we needed a health certificate and the good news is he’s in perfect health and is around 25 years old :) thank you guys
 

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Clueless

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Welcome!

My hubby has been able to skritch my two amazon's heads thru the bars but it took a while to get there.

Before he passed away, MC would still try to fluff wings against the side of his cage to threaten hubby when he walked by. I think MC thought it was a great game.

Secret (avatar bird) isn't fond of anyone yet but tolerates both of us.

Food? Secret has liver damage so I'm against processed food and bad stuff.

Try organic red bell pepper slices (or smaller pieces or chopped). It's all about presentation and eating what you eat.

Currently Secret is sharing organic carrot pieces during our evening meal time.
 

Foxy_

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I’m now understanding why he fluffs up when my boyfriend is around haha but thank you for the info! I actually have red bell peppers on hand so I’ll try that for his snack today. Lately I’ve just been giving him apples, grapes etc for snacks
 

Mockinbirdiva

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All things considered with his previous diet his feathering looks great. And how cool is it to see a photo of you as a young girl and now again as an adult with him. Congratulations for keeping this beauty for so many years!!!! You're in the right place here. We'll help guide you through to a healthy diet and behavior problems... while we may not solve the attacks on your boyfriend we can offer some suggestions. As far as people food... if it's bad for you it's bad for them. There are certain foods that are toxic to birds... do you know what those are? Good on ya for transitioning him to pellets... are they the colored zupreem pellets and just picking out certain colors he wants to eat? I feed the natural colored Zupreem. What else do you feed him? There are plenty of great vegetables you can serve raw or cooked. Some birds take well to new foods and some won't touch them at all. Several of us make "chop" which is a conglomerate of a variety of vegetables and cooked grains or no grains added in at all. I do make some cooked grains ( I do toss in a handful of split peas in the last 20 minutes of the cooking grains ) for my two zons and add in other ingredients like sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, buttercup squash, zucchini, a bit of apple to sweeten ( all the vegetables I use are individually put in a food processor and chopped ultra fine, mixed together and cooked in a large bowl in the microwave - covered by a plate and not plastic wrap). Cooked grains are kamut, quinoa, red wheat berries, white wheat berries, rye.... cooked and mixed with the cooked veggies. I fill sealable sandwich bags, press them flat and freeze so I can break off portions every evening. I cut other fresh vegetables to add in with the thawed chunks so the evening meal would be 50% grains - 50% vegetables or more. You might also try smaller chunks of vegetables in a separate bowl to see what he is most interested in, limited fruits because he'll eat those first and ignore the veggies.

There's not much you can do about hormones, though some may come along and suggest hormone therapy drugs... I know nothing about those. I just deal with the hormones for the duration..... it's pretty ugly with my male yellow nape this time of year. Yours is regurgitating for you as he sees you as a mate and love interest. I would discourage this behavior by walking away from it and later giving him something to redirect this behavior such as a shreddable foot toy or a larger chunk of vegetable to distract and change his focus on you. He will be more likely to attack your boyfriend in this time... he's considered an intruder and chasing him away from his love interest - you. He can also go as far as biting you when your boyfriend is around... who ever is closest gets it. Avoid the bites!

We have quite a few vendors as members here that sell good healthy foods and beautiful toys. Off the top of my head here is a chop recipe by one of our members for you to look over. This link is to her blog that has other great information... scroll down for the chop recipe.

 

Monaco

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What a beauty, and a quite a story! Welcome to the avenue. You're going to be finding all sorts of resources and help around here.
 

Foxy_

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All things considered with his previous diet his feathering looks great. And how cool is it to see a photo of you as a young girl and now again as an adult with him. Congratulations for keeping this beauty for so many years!!!! You're in the right place here. We'll help guide you through to a healthy diet and behavior problems... while we may not solve the attacks on your boyfriend we can offer some suggestions. As far as people food... if it's bad for you it's bad for them. There are certain foods that are toxic to birds... do you know what those are? Good on ya for transitioning him to pellets... are they the colored zupreem pellets and just picking out certain colors he wants to eat? I feed the natural colored Zupreem. What else do you feed him? There are plenty of great vegetables you can serve raw or cooked. Some birds take well to new foods and some won't touch them at all. Several of us make "chop" which is a conglomerate of a variety of vegetables and cooked grains or no grains added in at all. I do make some cooked grains ( I do toss in a handful of split peas in the last 20 minutes of the cooking grains ) for my two zons and add in other ingredients like sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, buttercup squash, zucchini, a bit of apple to sweeten ( all the vegetables I use are individually put in a food processor and chopped ultra fine, mixed together and cooked in a large bowl in the microwave - covered by a plate and not plastic wrap). Cooked grains are kamut, quinoa, red wheat berries, white wheat berries, rye.... cooked and mixed with the cooked veggies. I fill sealable sandwich bags, press them flat and freeze so I can break off portions every evening. I cut other fresh vegetables to add in with the thawed chunks so the evening meal would be 50% grains - 50% vegetables or more. You might also try smaller chunks of vegetables in a separate bowl to see what he is most interested in, limited fruits because he'll eat those first and ignore the veggies.

There's not much you can do about hormones, though some may come along and suggest hormone therapy drugs... I know nothing about those. I just deal with the hormones for the duration..... it's pretty ugly with my male yellow nape this time of year. Yours is regurgitating for you as he sees you as a mate and love interest. I would discourage this behavior by walking away from it and later giving him something to redirect this behavior such as a shreddable foot toy or a larger chunk of vegetable to distract and change his focus on you. He will be more likely to attack your boyfriend in this time... he's considered an intruder and chasing him away from his love interest - you. He can also go as far as biting you when your boyfriend is around... who ever is closest gets it. Avoid the bites!

We have quite a few vendors as members here that sell good healthy foods and beautiful toys. Off the top of my head here is a chop recipe by one of our members for you to look over. This link is to her blog that has other great information... scroll down for the chop recipe.

This was such an amazing and informational response that you. You’ve given me so much insight. I feed him the zupreem smart selects, it unfortunately does have color and yes he will only eat certain pieces and leave the entire bowl full of stuff he doesn’t want he does eat veggies like lettuce, kale, carrots, bell peppers etc but because my family fed him terribly while I was away he loves processed food such as French fries, chips etc. whenever he sees them he wants to ignore his own food.

Just today I started feeding him at the same time I eat and it didn’t seem very interested in my food since he had his own and we were doing it at the same time lol idk someone else told me to try it and it seems good. Also today is the first day I’ve discouraged his hormonal behavior. We were on the couch and he got his usual morning cuddles and then the regurgitation started. I just moved him to his cage and didn’t respond to it and hopefully that’s the right thing so I can keep doing that.
Yesterday I ordered a sample pack of TOP’s large pellets to see how he’ll take to it. but my question is would I mix that with veggies? Or would he just eat it alone? Also I notice you were speaking about an evening meal.. so I feed him twice a day? Man I feel like such a noob when it comes to proper care for a parrot. Also I really like what you said about making chop, I eat pretty healthy and have a lot of those veggies on hand already so gonna check out the recipes on the blog and see how he responds to it.

Other then that some people on reddit mentioned that small dark places encourage nesting or hormonal behavior.. and I have noticed he’s recently loving going under his cage and hiding or going under my bed or in boxes and whatnot.. is that true? I will say he’s definitely going through major hormonal behavior I usually don’t get bit very often maybe once a year? But in the last 3-4 months he’s tried to nip me 4 times now. Twice was my fault because he hates hats and I was in a rush to leave and had a hat on and as soon as I reached for him he chomped my thumb fml so no more hats around him ever. But I’m hoping if I encourage the right behaviors and properly learn to turn his attention away during his hormonal periods things will get better soon?

i guess my next question is how long does this hormonal period last? Lol anyhow thank you so much for your helpful info! I’m trying to be the best bird mom I can be and I appreciate you all taking the time out to educate me
 

Clueless

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I leave dry pellets out all day but my amazons were on the thinner side.

I feed wet/fresh foods to Secret twice a day, morning and evening. You can't leave those in the cage very long.
 

Foxy_

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I leave dry pellets out all day but my amazons were on the thinner side.

I feed wet/fresh foods to Secret twice a day, morning and evening. You can't leave those in the cage very long.
Ah I see so you do feed your birds twice a day! I’m guessing I should bump my bird up to twice? Idk
 

Mockinbirdiva

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This was such an amazing and informational response that you. You’ve given me so much insight. I feed him the zupreem smart selects, it unfortunately does have color and yes he will only eat certain pieces and leave the entire bowl full of stuff he doesn’t want he does eat veggies like lettuce, kale, carrots, bell peppers etc but because my family fed him terribly while I was away he loves processed food such as French fries, chips etc. whenever he sees them he wants to ignore his own food.

Just today I started feeding him at the same time I eat and it didn’t seem very interested in my food since he had his own and we were doing it at the same time lol idk someone else told me to try it and it seems good. Also today is the first day I’ve discouraged his hormonal behavior. We were on the couch and he got his usual morning cuddles and then the regurgitation started. I just moved him to his cage and didn’t respond to it and hopefully that’s the right thing so I can keep doing that.
Yesterday I ordered a sample pack of TOP’s large pellets to see how he’ll take to it. but my question is would I mix that with veggies? Or would he just eat it alone? Also I notice you were speaking about an evening meal.. so I feed him twice a day? Man I feel like such a noob when it comes to proper care for a parrot. Also I really like what you said about making chop, I eat pretty healthy and have a lot of those veggies on hand already so gonna check out the recipes on the blog and see how he responds to it.

Other then that some people on reddit mentioned that small dark places encourage nesting or hormonal behavior.. and I have noticed he’s recently loving going under his cage and hiding or going under my bed or in boxes and whatnot.. is that true? I will say he’s definitely going through major hormonal behavior I usually don’t get bit very often maybe once a year? But in the last 3-4 months he’s tried to nip me 4 times now. Twice was my fault because he hates hats and I was in a rush to leave and had a hat on and as soon as I reached for him he chomped my thumb fml so no more hats around him ever. But I’m hoping if I encourage the right behaviors and properly learn to turn his attention away during his hormonal periods things will get better soon?

i guess my next question is how long does this hormonal period last? Lol anyhow thank you so much for your helpful info! I’m trying to be the best bird mom I can be and I appreciate you all taking the time out to educate me
You can transition him over to the natural pellets gradually and hopefully this will eliminate the color selection. I'm fairly sure all of the pellets in the colored selects taste the same. Never again should he eat any of those foods your family gave him. There are other healthier alternatives. You can still make him 'french fries' by cutting strips of sweet potato and pan fry or oven cook with a little red palm oil ( Nutiva Organic red palm oil.... I know Kroger grocery stores sell it... you can also find it online).

Many birds like to eat when we eat.. it's a social thing they do in the wild. Glad you tried it when you ate your meal and gave him his meal at the same time. If you have a stand for him to sit out on I would transfer him to the stand instead of locking him up in his cage so he doesn't feel rejected and give him something to do to redirect the hormone urges. My male zon will eat some Tops but favors his zupreem pellets. The Tops don't have D3 added to them... the zupreem does. Tops will get really mushy and fall apart when they are wet.... the zupreem will hold their shape when wet. You can soak a few of those and serve on top of his veggies to see if he'll eat them soaked. My zons have pellets in their bowls at all times. The evening meal they get is the grain/vegetable mix I make. It's how I get them to eat more vegetables I want them to eat and is a supplemental meal. If I gave them chunks of a variety of vegetables they won't eat them. This is why I finely chop them and mix them in with the cooked grains.. fat chance they can really pick through for a favorite. They really look forward to this meal .. it's part of their daily routine. They eat what they want out of the bowl and also eat pellets after they've gorged on what they want from the cooked meal. I only do this cooked meal in the evenings. You can give him chunks of vegetables you know he likes ( or try different vegetables) in the morning as well. When I lock them up at night they get a few small pieces of walnut, a whole almond or almond slices and a teaspoon or less of safflower seed, including some of the smaller pellets I feed my conures ( zupreem, roudybush minis) as a late snack which makes lock up a happier event. Henry often goes to the top of his cage and waits me out refusing to go in at bedtime.... this is his motivation to go in on his own without having to make him go in. ( the evening snacks are in a separate bowl from their pellet bowl which stays in all the time.)

He could be seeking a nesting spot in those areas, though I'm more inclined to think that behavior is more likely for a female. Is your bird definitely a male? DNA tested? You can always block those areas off to discourage him from going under the bed or cage... give him some foraging boxes or toys to keep him busy. A foraging box for Henry simply needs to be killed at the present... it's the amazon wrath in the nastiest of ways! The length of time for hormones varies for each bird... it can depend on the amount of day light hours they receive in their daily schedule, interactions with you ( like the snuggling). You can't stop it... but you can change things around with a strict routine. For me... it lasts around 3 months!!! ( seems like forever..)
 

Clueless

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Ah I see so you do feed your birds twice a day! I’m guessing I should bump my bird up to twice? Idk
Secret is on medication twice a day. I add the meds to her chop, easier to get the meds into her that way.
 

Anita1250

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I have had my BFA since 1983. There were not a lot of good pellets available back then, so he grew up on seed. I slowly switched him to pellets at about 15 years old. It took about two years for him to really enjoy them. Today, he still gets a little seed. He also loves people food. One time we were eating potato chips. I gave Sam some apple, which he threw at us looking for the chips. Once he got so crazy, he jumped on the table and ran into a bag of popcorn. All we could see was his tail sticking out. It was really funny. Today, he eats his pellets and a few seeds. He also eats plenty of fruits and veggies, and an occasional people treat, usually pizza crust or pasta. It has taken me 30 years to get him to accept all the healthy foods.

Also, my first husband passed away about 16 years ago. When I remarried, Sam took about 5 to 6 years to accept my new husband. Now he loves him! I sometimes call him Judas because he seems to prefer him to me LOL. It may take a looooooong time for your bird to accept someone else in his life. Go slow, give him time and have patience. You will be rewarded with a good relationship.
 

Foxy_

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I have had my BFA since 1983. There were not a lot of good pellets available back then, so he grew up on seed. I slowly switched him to pellets at about 15 years old. It took about two years for him to really enjoy them. Today, he still gets a little seed. He also loves people food. One time we were eating potato chips. I gave Sam some apple, which he threw at us looking for the chips. Once he got so crazy, he jumped on the table and ran into a bag of popcorn. All we could see was his tail sticking out. It was really funny. Today, he eats his pellets and a few seeds. He also eats plenty of fruits and veggies, and an occasional people treat, usually pizza crust or pasta. It has taken me 30 years to get him to accept all the healthy foods.

Also, my first husband passed away about 16 years ago. When I remarried, Sam took about 5 to 6 years to accept my new husband. Now he loves him! I sometimes call him Judas because he seems to prefer him to me LOL. It may take a looooooong time for your bird to accept someone else in his life. Go slow, give him time and have patience. You will be rewarded with a good relationship.
I’m glad to know there’s some hope that he will accept my boyfriend one day lol it’s hard to live in the same house as someone he hates I need to be very careful because he’s sneaky and tries to get a nibble in every chance he gets lol for a bit I thought it was going well because he was able to give my birb treats but then he got bit and is now afraid. Luckily he didn’t funny latch on so he got away with just a scratch from the tip of his beak but still. He definitely prefers woman over men.All the vet assistants at our last vet were woman and although they couldn’t touch him he wasn’t trying to chop on them when they were near him lol progress.

haha about the popcorn bag.. my guy loves popcorn. I don’t mind giving him some as a snack sometimes since I eat a no butter and very minimal sea salt one. But still he just loves people food.. I wonder how long it will take to lean him off lol we started eating at the same tome yesterday and it seems to help but when he sees my food he doesn’t want his own and then it takes him a bit to accept he’s not getting any and eventually goes back to his own food. So we’ll see how that goes
 

Foxy_

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You can transition him over to the natural pellets gradually and hopefully this will eliminate the color selection. I'm fairly sure all of the pellets in the colored selects taste the same. Never again should he eat any of those foods your family gave him. There are other healthier alternatives. You can still make him 'french fries' by cutting strips of sweet potato and pan fry or oven cook with a little red palm oil ( Nutiva Organic red palm oil.... I know Kroger grocery stores sell it... you can also find it online).

Many birds like to eat when we eat.. it's a social thing they do in the wild. Glad you tried it when you ate your meal and gave him his meal at the same time. If you have a stand for him to sit out on I would transfer him to the stand instead of locking him up in his cage so he doesn't feel rejected and give him something to do to redirect the hormone urges. My male zon will eat some Tops but favors his zupreem pellets. The Tops don't have D3 added to them... the zupreem does. Tops will get really mushy and fall apart when they are wet.... the zupreem will hold their shape when wet. You can soak a few of those and serve on top of his veggies to see if he'll eat them soaked. My zons have pellets in their bowls at all times. The evening meal they get is the grain/vegetable mix I make. It's how I get them to eat more vegetables I want them to eat and is a supplemental meal. If I gave them chunks of a variety of vegetables they won't eat them. This is why I finely chop them and mix them in with the cooked grains.. fat chance they can really pick through for a favorite. They really look forward to this meal .. it's part of their daily routine. They eat what they want out of the bowl and also eat pellets after they've gorged on what they want from the cooked meal. I only do this cooked meal in the evenings. You can give him chunks of vegetables you know he likes ( or try different vegetables) in the morning as well. When I lock them up at night they get a few small pieces of walnut, a whole almond or almond slices and a teaspoon or less of safflower seed, including some of the smaller pellets I feed my conures ( zupreem, roudybush minis) as a late snack which makes lock up a happier event. Henry often goes to the top of his cage and waits me out refusing to go in at bedtime.... this is his motivation to go in on his own without having to make him go in. ( the evening snacks are in a separate bowl from their pellet bowl which stays in all the time.)

He could be seeking a nesting spot in those areas, though I'm more inclined to think that behavior is more likely for a female. Is your bird definitely a male? DNA tested? You can always block those areas off to discourage him from going under the bed or cage... give him some foraging boxes or toys to keep him busy. A foraging box for Henry simply needs to be killed at the present... it's the amazon wrath in the nastiest of ways! The length of time for hormones varies for each bird... it can depend on the amount of day light hours they receive in their daily schedule, interactions with you ( like the snuggling). You can't stop it... but you can change things around with a strict routine. For me... it lasts around 3 months!!! ( seems like forever..)
I will say he loves sweet potato lol so I always share some with him when I bake it for myself. But also he’s out all day unless he did something bad lol he has a top portion on his cage he loves to hang out at. I do eventually intend to get him a stand but I just moved and Covid type things I’m lagging A little behind.

But I really like how you’re feeding your birds. So they always have pellets available but you give veggies in the morning and grain/veggies in the evenings?

And dang I thought the fact that he doesn’t lay eggs means he’s definitely a boy lol we haven’t had a dna test lol
 

Hankmacaw

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Some birds don't lay until their 30s, 40s or 50s. They generally have to be very healthy before they will lay.

TOPS (as mentioned) does not have Vit D#, necessary for bones and heart function. If you don't switch to a pellet that is a complete diet, you will need to make sure he gets 2 or three days of 20 min of unfiltered sunshine or give him a Vit D3 supplement.

Yes, I think almost everyone feeds their bird twice a day and some feed three times a day.
 

Mockinbirdiva

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I will say he loves sweet potato lol so I always share some with him when I bake it for myself. But also he’s out all day unless he did something bad lol he has a top portion on his cage he loves to hang out at. I do eventually intend to get him a stand but I just moved and Covid type things I’m lagging A little behind.

But I really like how you’re feeding your birds. So they always have pellets available but you give veggies in the morning and grain/veggies in the evenings?

And dang I thought the fact that he doesn’t lay eggs means he’s definitely a boy lol we haven’t had a dna test lol
If you look on Pinterest you can find quite a few great ideas to build a stand. Hopefully your boyfriend is handy with tools!

Yes, all of my birds always have pellets available. If given the choice of seed or pellets they would all choose the seed. Any seed they do get is minimal in amount and meant as a late evening treat. There's a health food store north of where I live that sell a variety of grains by the pound. I'm glad I loaded up the last time I went there. I store them in my freezer to keep them bug free before I need to make another batch of cooked grains. This meal is served in an ample amount, they eat a fair quantity with plenty left over. Given the vegetables mixed in the volumn of grain they actually eat daily is a small amount. I've also cooked quinoa and mixed it with finely chopped sweet mini bell peppers ( the red, orange and yellow variety packs), along with a couple of jalapenos,kale, sugar snap or snow peas chopped and some finely chopped apple too. Henry likes it... Lola pushes hers aside. None of my smaller birds like the cooked mixes.. they get whole vegetables raw or cooked depending on the vegetable. Many of the members here sprout grains to serve... it's a healthy food source for you to read up on. I wish I sprouted grains... it's just one more thing to add to my already busy day. If you type in 'sprouting grain' in the search bar on the upper left you'll find a lot of threads discussing sprouting. You cannot serve the sprouts you buy in the grocery store as they may have bacteria on them... safer to sprout your own. There are so many vegetables you can feed, try a small variety in the morning and later in the evening. I'm not one to buy the bags of frozen mix vegetables, I like fresh better.

Your bird has shown signs of nesting going under furniture, it doesn't mean it's a female, it could be exploring. I don't believe we've had too many female amazons that have been chronic egg layers like some of the other species here on the forum. Like Mary Lynn said... they can lay eggs even later in life. Should your curiosity take over... the next vet visit you can ask your vet to do a dna test.
 

Clueless

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I did the DNA tests on mine because the vet said it could take a while to get results. If something happened and the bird was ill, it would at least tell the vet he didn't need to worry about an egg issue if the results showed the bird was male.

Of course, both birds were male but by then, I was used to calling Secret a her.
 

txdyna65

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I also leave pellets out all day for my YNA Lucy. She also has a mix that is left out all day. We feed her fresh veggies in the morning and in the evening when we eat.
If we dont do it that way she is a persistent beggar.
Love the picture of you as a kid and now.
 
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