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Walters Molting, now what?

Shannan

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Shannan
Ok, so Walter is my 38 year old TAG. For the last year or so he was not in the best of health but his health has improved greatly over the last month or so. He has some arthritis, some cataracts, etc. Well over the last month, his energy level has gone up, he's talking, making noises more often, sleeping less and playing more. I was just thinking the other day how much better he looks and as I was cleaning his cage over the last couple of days I have noticed a lot more feathers and am feeling more pin feathers which mean that he is molting. As an older bird, is there anything else I can do to help him through this molt? He has made so much progress health wise and I know how much it can take out of them to molt. Does the molt mean that he is doing better (and his body knows it)? I don't know whether to be panicked, excited, or just plain normal!
 

SummerWing

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Snowghost

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Terri
I'm far from a molting expert, I would think you have nothing to worry, its a natural process. I would think misting with water, or if he likes showers will help keep him clean. Paco lost feathers on his left wing and he nips at the pin feathers growing back, its been over year, but I have increased his showers and we now have 3 feathers! Now don't go worrying that Walter will do that. I do know daily showers help their feathers.
 

Shannan

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Shannan
Thanks. I never really worried about his molts before but he seems to be doing a bigger molt than he has in a while. I had just noticed how much better he was looking and acting. He doesn't look as scruffy and old as he was looking. I am so hopeful that he can get healthy and continue to be his wonderful self. I nearly lost Walter about a year in a half ago when he got a hematoma on his ceres and nearly bled out. He was a very sick boy and had to have surgery. (in the height of Covid). I was still grieving the loss of my beloved Percheron who had passed in a freak accident and just don't think I could handle losing him too. A part of me temporarily panicked that we were sliding backwards again when I noticed an unusually large number of pin feathers and a few of his smaller tail feathers the other day. Then it hit me that he is molting. I am hoping beyond hope that he is well enough that the body said...hey I feel good and getting the best nutrition ever and decided to do a big molt. I also noticed that his appetite is improved. He is eating a greater variety of foods and seems generally happier. He has been on pellets but at the suggestion of my vet, I reduced his seeds down to a sunflower seed or two as a treat for taking his medicine and increasing his veggies. I am slowly increasing his veggies and adding more variety of grains. I am not sure whether to try to spritz him or not. Typically that has been the one thing that he hates. He will sometimes crawl into his water bowl which is really too small for a full bath but refuses to get into a big bowl on the bottom of his cage that would be big enough.... African Grays!!!!... I might just dampen my hands and then give him cuddles. Maybe that will work. How is Paco doing? I know you said at some time but what pellets does Paco eat? I bought some Roudybush and some Tops just to add a little variety. He currently eats the Zupreem fruit and natural (and sometimes the nut variety). All the pellets are so confusing. I think that Walter had a negative reaction to peanuts so I try to avoid them in his regular diet. Glad to hear from you! Thanks for your vote of confidence. I needed it....
 

Snowghost

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Terri
@Shannan
Thanks. I never really worried about his molts before but he seems to be doing a bigger molt than he has in a while. I had just noticed how much better he was looking and acting. He doesn't look as scruffy and old as he was looking. I am so hopeful that he can get healthy and continue to be his wonderful self. I nearly lost Walter about a year in a half ago when he got a hematoma on his ceres and nearly bled out. He was a very sick boy and had to have surgery. (in the height of Covid). I was still grieving the loss of my beloved Percheron who had passed in a freak accident and just don't think I could handle losing him too. A part of me temporarily panicked that we were sliding backwards again when I noticed an unusually large number of pin feathers and a few of his smaller tail feathers the other day. Then it hit me that he is molting. I am hoping beyond hope that he is well enough that the body said...hey I feel good and getting the best nutrition ever and decided to do a big molt. I also noticed that his appetite is improved. He is eating a greater variety of foods and seems generally happier. He has been on pellets but at the suggestion of my vet, I reduced his seeds down to a sunflower seed or two as a treat for taking his medicine and increasing his veggies. I am slowly increasing his veggies and adding more variety of grains. I am not sure whether to try to spritz him or not. Typically that has been the one thing that he hates. He will sometimes crawl into his water bowl which is really too small for a full bath but refuses to get into a big bowl on the bottom of his cage that would be big enough.... African Grays!!!!... I might just dampen my hands and then give him cuddles. Maybe that will work. How is Paco doing? I know you said at some time but what pellets does Paco eat? I bought some Roudybush and some Tops just to add a little variety. He currently eats the Zupreem fruit and natural (and sometimes the nut variety). All the pellets are so confusing. I think that Walter had a negative reaction to peanuts so I try to avoid them in his regular diet. Glad to hear from you! Thanks for your vote of confidence. I needed it....
Peanuts and sunflower seeds are not good for parrots according to experts. My Amazon had them for 25 years. I don't feed Paco sunflower seeds and he only gets human grade peanut as an occasional treat. He is crazy for pumpkin seeds, and they are hard to find here in Virginia. Try switching Walter to them and get rid of the sunflower seeds. I read on my own about Zupreem and they have a lot sugar in them. I know people feel that Lafeber nutri berries have GMO in them but I have read up on them as well. NO GMO, made by vets and are 70% pellets. I will start him back on Roudy Bush pellets, I can't afford Harrison's. His diet continues to improve, I added yellow squash and he is back to eating sweet potatoe's. I discovered its a texture thing for him, he doen't like soft foods. I might try chop again and make it crunchier. The left wing now has 4 little feathers on it, hope they continue to grow, he does worry that side and it bleeds sometimes, but he always cleans it up and then he is fine. I know he needs a vet visit to trim his nails but I just started a new job and not sure if they would frown on my taking off so soon. What kind of grains are you using? Paco won't touch anything with sesame seeds or chia on it. Sigh, he is very picky. Hope to hear from you soon!
 

Shannan

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Shannan
Thanks for your suggestions. Walter and Paco are opposites. Walter prefers soft food to hard foods so now that I have figured it out, I am offering new food pureed first, or cooked and it seems to be increasing his variety. He is still very picky. I no longer give him any peanuts at all. He gets one single sunflower seed a night (the same as my one piece of chocolate) as a treat for taking his medicine because we are still new to reducing the seeds so dramatically. Sadly he refuses to eat pumpkin seeds no matter how I give them to him. I want to try giving him the Lafabers Senior nutriberries but I worry about his "reaction" that may have been to the peanuts. I am not sure. Grains are an area where I need the most work. He loves rice and I recently he has taken to eating lentils. Quinoa, he isn't thrilled about yet but I think in time he will get there. I want to get some flaxseeds for him. I did buy some roudybush and TOPs pellets but he just throws them, enthusiastically. I keep throwing a little around his cage hoping he will eventually give it a try. His diet is definitely a work in progress. I am glad Paco is doing better with his feathers. I am so lucky that Walter has never taken to abusing his feathers. His big self abuse is that he loves to fling his toys which are hanging and sometimes he doesn't duck fast enough. In his youth he had one that was a big calcium block. He actually swung it so hard he gave himself a black eye. It took me a while but I finally figured out that he needs more foot toys and less hanging toys, except for his favorite which is stainless steel. He likes to fling it and use it to scratch himself like an extra pair of hands. I had to string it up so that he can use it from the ground as his grip is weaker making him more likely to fall and the exact height so that it gently rubs him without hurting him. (Like I don't spend enough time scratching the itches). I understand completely about the vet. If you don't have a job, you can't spoil him. I try to use those weird holidays like Columbus Day or Veteran's day to make appointments. I am a teacher so I HATE taking off work because it is so much extra work.
 

Snowghost

Rollerblading along the road
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Terri
Thanks for your suggestions. Walter and Paco are opposites. Walter prefers soft food to hard foods so now that I have figured it out, I am offering new food pureed first, or cooked and it seems to be increasing his variety. He is still very picky. I no longer give him any peanuts at all. He gets one single sunflower seed a night (the same as my one piece of chocolate) as a treat for taking his medicine because we are still new to reducing the seeds so dramatically. Sadly he refuses to eat pumpkin seeds no matter how I give them to him. I want to try giving him the Lafabers Senior nutriberries but I worry about his "reaction" that may have been to the peanuts. I am not sure. Grains are an area where I need the most work. He loves rice and I recently he has taken to eating lentils. Quinoa, he isn't thrilled about yet but I think in time he will get there. I want to get some flaxseeds for him. I did buy some roudybush and TOPs pellets but he just throws them, enthusiastically. I keep throwing a little around his cage hoping he will eventually give it a try. His diet is definitely a work in progress. I am glad Paco is doing better with his feathers. I am so lucky that Walter has never taken to abusing his feathers. His big self abuse is that he loves to fling his toys which are hanging and sometimes he doesn't duck fast enough. In his youth he had one that was a big calcium block. He actually swung it so hard he gave himself a black eye. It took me a while but I finally figured out that he needs more foot toys and less hanging toys, except for his favorite which is stainless steel. He likes to fling it and use it to scratch himself like an extra pair of hands. I had to string it up so that he can use it from the ground as his grip is weaker making him more likely to fall and the exact height so that it gently rubs him without hurting him. (Like I don't spend enough time scratching the itches). I understand completely about the vet. If you don't have a job, you can't spoil him. I try to use those weird holidays like Columbus Day or Veteran's day to make appointments. I am a teacher so I HATE taking off work because it is so much extra work.
OH wow, gave himself a black eye? That's how silly they are. What I don't get is the first three months after I got Paco no issues with the feathers, then working at night and bam. I have been a 8-430 job now for 5 months and its still an issue. Paco's last owner hand fed him, so rice is hard to scoop up but he does like it. He loves Quinoa put its the devil to hand feed him that too. Even though he bit when I first got him, he likes warm peas, and he gently gets my finger once and a while and he gets mad at me, not really mad, but he's like "hey". So we work on it. I give him hard boiled eggs on the weekends without the yolk, and I leave it in bowl trying to encourage him to eat on his own. A little tip about the pellets. I call them treats! He wouldn't take berries at first either but, I always left a "goodie" bowl for him, berries, pellets and the pumpkin seeds. I don't even think he eats the berries and likes to hear the sound they make when they hit the bottom of his cage. He wants the pumpkin seeds. I think I"m going to try adding red palm oil to his diet, just wonder how the texture will be for him.... The adventure goes on!
 

Shannan

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Shannan
I hand feed Walter some treats with a spoon. I started with apple juice when he was young and now he will take pretty much anything from a spoon. You might try with something he likes first and that makes rice so much easier. I keep feeding him pellets and he thinks its a game of You give it I throw it! Will Paco play with foot toys? If so, what do you give him as foot toys? I think with Walter's propensity to damage himself with hanging toys that foot toys might be better. He does have a willow ball and a couple of willow sticks that he carries around. I also have a forage toy that he likes and I have used it for seeds but as we are off of seeds except for the 1 treat. I may try putting some different pellets in there. Let me know how it works out with the palm oil. It might be good for Walter as he could use a few more grams of weight. Poor guy, he must think that all I want him to do is eat..... eat... eat....
 

Snowghost

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Terri
Sadly, Paco has been cage bound most of his life and was neglected, hence the plucking. I think for the first time in his life, I have offered him an opportunity to see what it is like to live, if that makes sense. He is very scared of a lot of things, its not his fault, so I go slow, try to keep a routine and talk to him. He would be terrified of a spoon, hey, he's afraid of laundry. We are working on that. His world consists of a corner in my bedroom. I encourage him to get out of his cage every morning for breakfast, fresh water, clean cage. In the evening we do the same thing. On the weekends, I spend more time with him. He has been with me for 2 years, and has made great progress. He hoots like an owl, says what ya doing Paco and I taught him the Andy Griffith theme whistle. I think he even said Sexy the other night, LOL. He might not be the most sociable bird ever, however he has come a long way. I read from another poster that Red Palm is in a Grey's diet in the wild and you can get it on Amazon. Walter seems to be doing great, keep up the good work!
 
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