5 main things to know before I get talking:
1. He/she is too young to sex (I'll call him a he)
2. The breeder claimed he was born with a foot deformity which I'll explain at the end
3. He was hand-reared but left in the pet shop for a few weeks til my friend bought him
4. He has two cages.
- Day cage - located outside, fit for a macaw (tall and wide), several perches of different thickness's/lengths/directions, a few toys (he doesn't play with them, just nice to look at), a teaspoon of pellets, water and a treat bowl for nuts/berries etc. As for fruits and veggies I tie them to the cage bars with cable ties (which he doesn't chew)
There is also a towel which covers half the top of the cage and a little of the side for shade so he can choose where to go.
- Night cage/training perch - located inside, has an open-top where his perch fits, his fruits/veggies are tied to the cage top, inside has two sticks, some pellets and water Considering this cage is MUCH smaller than the outside cage and its only for sleeping/training it has minimal entertainment (1 decoration) and fewer sticks.
5. My father is a big lover of birds. When he was younger he studied every bird throughout Australia and travelled the country to bird watch.
Considering he doesn't want the responsibility of owning a bird, he takes advantage that his daughter has one, how? He tries 'helping' with my bird eg, he takes him outside in his night cage at 6am because he considers Sasuke being in bed til 8am 'cruel'
, he feeds him things he should have in moderation like fruit and dates too often, Sasuke has flown away (not too far) because my father tried to bring him inside with him on his finger as "he is scared of hurting Sasuke by grabbing him too hard.. "
I've even caught him letting Sasuke "try cheese". Thankfully Sasuke didn't eat any, dad claims he "liked the texture".
Its not that he is uneducated on birds (he studied Sasuke's species whilst he was at work..) he just doesn't understand food moderation or how to handle pet birds.
Now answering your questions:
My bird's name is Sasuke, he is just over a year old, he has been with me since last October.
His training routine is dependant on when I work:
If I'm not working his routine is training at 8am (as mentioned above, father wakes him up and puts his night cage outside at 6-7am.. *sigh) for 10-30 minutes due to him getting distracted if the session is too long.
He still remains out of the cage after training is over for 'resting time'. I give him different foods to nibble on like lettuce, snow peas, broccoli etc (not very filling foods while he rests) then we train again 1-2 more times for the same amount of time, sometimes longer as he is hungry and more motivated. During his resting period he usual grooms, flies to different parts of my room (good for strengthening his poor weak wings from clipping!), naps a little, eats or climbs around on things.
By this time the sun is close to my room outside which is where his "out-door cage" is.
I put him here til around mid-day/late afternoon so he gets his daily vitamin D and can talk to the other birds.
He gets about a teaspoon of pellets, then sometimes gets some nuts ie. cashews, almonds, walnuts, occasionally a section of fruit or a few berries like raspberries, blueberries, half a strawberry or a section of green apple. Then his low cal stuff like snow peas, beans, corn, broccoli, carrot, salad mix. On occasion I put in something new like oats, banana etc
Mid-day/late afternoon he comes back in for 2 more training sessions (like the morning) then has relaxing time til bed which is around 7:30pm - 8pm.
If I'm working he can only be trained 2 times in the late afternoon which doesn't seem to phase him as he is just as excited for training as he would be in the morning (either its the berries or he is excited to see me haha). After training he gets his usual relax time which he is usually very placid since its night time when they wind down, then he gets put to bed at the usual 7:30pm - 8pm.
He generally climbs around the cage for 10 minutes before he accepts its bed time then sleeps.
- Sasuke was fortunately and unfortunately a gift from a friend (animals shouldn't be gifts, they're a responsibility) since my elderly peach-face passed away mid last year.
- Work didn't roster me on often when I first acquired Sasuke. I'd be working three days a week minimum and for 5 hours either 7am - 12pm or 3pm - 7pm so I did spend a lot of time with Sasuke.
- Although he was accustomed to humans he was obviously in a new environment (two in fact - outside cage and sleep/training cage) so I eased him into my household with out-of-cage time, walking around my house, introducing parents/ people and noises (vacuum, blender) which he coped with well, never flew away once, (he knew how to step up and wasn't any trouble on my shoulder) and he adapted in less than a week.
After the week was done and he appeared comfortable and attentive I started clicker training, introduced the target stick, then more intimate/close contact training with my hands ie, placing my hand on his back, fingers under his neck etc etc all while training small tricks in between like putting wings up, waving, flight training etc.
- Sasuke knows how to: wave, shake, turn/360, put wings up and fly to me and back to his perch in short distances. He will put his head through his harness until he gets a treat then he will try and get out, and with grabbing he will let me grab him sometimes (by sometimes I mean he will see my hand coming and try and run for it haha) and only during training.
Sasuke hasn't bitten me since the first week he was with me either, he only pushes my fingers/hand away or nips if he doesn't like what I'm doing.
- The friend that purchased him (pet shop worker) clipped his right wing which I'm furious about. He is still a strong flier (flies a short distance to me and back to his perch no problem) and the feathers are growing back nicely.
- Considering I'm a vet nurse and work at an animal hospital (unfortunately we don't have any bird specialists where I work - closest is an hour away) he has minor health checks etc.
- With his deformity, his right foots's back toe is permanently forward with his front two toes (think like he's permanently gripping something) and the breeder claimed he was born with the deformity.
On vet inspection at my hospital it was clear he could still use the foot/toe and grip as strong as the other foot. When perching/lifting one foot up he tends to balance on the deformed foot and raise the normal foot up. He is just a little wobbly and cant react too fast to things like when shouldering and I move around to fast but besides this he can use the deformed foot almost as well as his other foot.
At my hospital we attempted to create a make-shift orthopaedic fixture using some rolled up cardboard which we placed onto his foot so he gripped it like a normal foot, then bandaged it and left it on for a week. Unfortunately upon taking off the bandage all he got was an itchy foot, the toe was not fixed.
The vets claim it is a perfectly fine deformity, just aesthetically it looks unappealing.
We could amputate but its truly unnecessary .
With that, I apologise for the essay but Wolf you wanted a full analysis on my bird hah.
It wouldn't let me upload any photos
Ps. Michael, I'm currently reading your book and I just wanted to say its truly inspiring.
Any questions or improvements on my bird I'm all ears!!