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Parrot Rescue Centre > Diaries > ben | You are here


Ben/Penny Food Diary

June 9th, 2012
Ben/Penny Food Diary

Background on Penny.

When Penny came to us in June 2011, she was 6½ years old, never been fed on parrot food for the whole of her life she had had human food. She nips her feathers, she doesn’t pluck them out just nips the ends off them. After blood tests and x-ray there was no underlying cause found for this behaviour and so I think it is diet related. The test results showed that she was healthy with no fatty liver, which was a surprise after her bad diet. The only thing that was a concern was that her calcium level was dangerously low so a course of Calcivet and correct feeding sorted that. Now Animalzone has come along and I am starting Penny on the Plumage Enhancer, Museli and Fruit Sticks to see if this will improve her well being and maybe even help her to stop nipping her
feathers. This is Penny’s diary.

Tuesday 25th October Day 1

Today is day one of the new Animalzone diet for Penny, Charlie is on it as well but it’s Penny who is the subject of this diet change to see if it can help her with her feathers. So, today no other food given and she treated all the new food with her usual suspicious attitude, picking through it to try and see if I’d hidden any of her usual pellets in there, no such luck though, it’s all Animalzone food. I put in a handful of Plumage Enhancer, a handful of Museli and half a handful of Fruit Sticks…I don’t think she ate much more than a few tiny peices from the Museli.


Wednesday 26th October Day 2

Not much eaten on Tuesday at all, certainly none of the Plumage Enhancer and a fair bit was on the floor of the cage. I emptied what was left out of the bowl and put it in a container (it will do for birdy bread) refilled her bowl with the same quantities as yesterday. Again, she picked a bit at the museli and not a lot else when I first put it in. By midday she was a little bit more inquisitive about the food and picked at a fruit stick or two. At supper time…..she ate and ate and ate the Plumage Enhancer, Museli bits and Fruit Sticks, so we are on our way!


Thursday 27th October Day 3

Wow, she has eaten loads overnight, still a bit left in her bowl so that’s gone to the container for the birdy bread. I filled her bowl and she couldn’t wait, straight in and eating the Plumage Enhancer first. So, we have success, now it’s a matter of keeping it up and taking photos to see if there is any improvement like Animalzone claim. I’m very sceptical to be honest, Penny is the kind of bird that lets her feathers (flight & tail feathers) grow to about an inch long and then nips them right back. She doesn’t pluck out the entire feather and doesn’t have bald patches, but she nips at her feathers so much. I’m not sure if the wing feather follicles have been damaged, so maybe those flight feathers will never grow. Only time will tell.


Friday 28th October Day 4

This morning she had some chop for breakfast. I put a mixture of Museli, Fruit Sticks and Plumage Enhancer in her bowl after a few beakfuls of chop she went right over and got stuck in to her Animalzone food. I think that can be classed as a success. I have tried to put a cylinder feeder in so that she has to work for her food as well, as suggested by Phil of Animalzone, but somehow she has managed to take the bottom off the feeder, leaving the top attached to the cage but of course in taking the bottom off, the pellets ended up all over the floor. Back to the drawing board on that one I think.


Saturday 29th October Day 5

Same as yesterday, she started the day with some chop but much preferred Animalzone pellets. I’ve noticed that she picks out the bits of museli first and then eats the Plumage Enhancer. I don’t know if it’s my mind playing tricks on me, maybe a bit of wishful thinking, but her feathers seem to have a bit more sheen to them today. Even the fluffy bits where she has plucked seem to be in better condition. As it’s only Day 5, it might just be my imagination.


Sunday 30th October Day 6

Well putting the clocks back didn’t fool the birds at all! Penny continues to eat her pellets, museli first and you can tell she really is enjoying them. She seems a lot more “alive” just lately, she has a UV lamp as well which coincided with the start of the Animalzone diet so a combination of the two and she is like a different bird. She used to sit in the corner and do nothing, she has a cage full of preening, foraging and shredding toys, but she didn’t touch them, just sat and preened. Since having the light and change of diet she is more active, she doesn’t really play with her toys, I don’t think she quite knows how to play but she will forage a little bit now and she shreds paper and preens a rope toy that she has.


Monday 31st October Day 7

Penny continues to eat the pellets and museli, not much else to report today to be honest. She’s still her usual unfriendly self to me but that is completely normal for her, I wish there was a pellet that would make her ultra friendly haha.


Tuesday 1st November Day 8

I haven’t given any chop since Saturday and she continues to eat almost everything I put in her dish for her from Animalzone, so I know she is getting all the nutrients, vitamins etc that she needs. I don’t know if I’m looking too hard but I can see a difference in her in general, not with her feathers yet because that is very early days although the ones that she has look better. She seems to be more alert, more active and more like a parrot. It’s very hard to describe unless you knew her before the pellets.


Wednesday 2nd November Day 9

We have one feather on her crop area that hasn’t been nipped! I shall be watching that feather with interest, usually she lets them get to a certain size/length and then nips the ends off. No problems with the food, she continues to eat it all with enthusiasm.


Monday 14th November Day 21

I know it has been a while since I did this diary, but really there has been nothing of significance to report, Penny continues to eat the food given to her and she is looking a lot better. I noticed over the past week that she has let two wing feathers grow. One is the longest she has ever let it grow, it’s about 3 inches in length and not been nipped!!! On her other wing there is another feather growing which is about 2 inches in length and not been nipped! I am keeping everything crossed in the hope that she leaves them alone. So, three weeks into the new Animalzone diet and yes, I can see a big difference from when she first started.

Wednesday 30th November Day 37

We have had the painters decorating the outside of our house and it has freaked Penny out. I haven’t been able to move her to different rooms because her cage is way too big. I’ve done all I can to minimize the trauma for her. However, she has still found it necessary to pluck at one of her feathers and make it bleed. As you may or may not know, Penny absolutely hates me, she can’t be handled by me or my partner although she allows him to scratch her head, I can’t even walk too closely to the cage without getting lunged at. So, if she bleeds we just have to keep a really close eye on it and hope and pray that it stops. So far so good, we have only seen three drops and then it seems to stop. If I thought for one minute that there was any danger for her, no matter what, I would get in the cage and towel her and rush her to the vets, there is no two ways about it. I just don’t do it immediately because the stress of that would make her pluck even more. Sometimes it’s best to let them get on with it before rushing in and doing what we think is the right thing to do.


Saturday 3rd December Day 40

Well here we are on day 40, that is almost six weeks since starting Penny on Animalzone food. When I first put her on the food, I was told by Phil of Animalzone to give it six weeks and I should see a difference. Well…there are an awful lot of foodstuff, lotions and potions that claim to be the cure for plucking out there on the market, so why should Animalzone be any different but I was willing to give it a go and to keep this diary to prove a point either way. This morning I had a look at Penny, usually it’s a look to see how she is doing, has she plucked, has she made herself bleed, etc etc. this morning however, I had a look, a really good look and wow!!! We have pin feathers on her throat and neck, we have feathers growing nicely on her wings (I know if these are flight feathers I’m going to be in trouble when she flies hahaha) we have tail feathers growing! Her general appearance is looking good, yes we have nipped feathers that still need to moult out and yes she has nipped a few more while the painters have been around but all in all, Penny is looking so much better than she did six weeks ago! I am really hoping that she lets these feathers grow, in the past she has let them get to a certain length and then nips them off, only time will tell I guess, but all in all, Animalzone parrot food seems to do what it claims to do and even if we have the odd set back and a quick pluck or nip, the food is well received by both of my African Greys, they love it and therefore I will continue to feed it to them.


Tuesday 13th December Day 50

It was Penny’s birthday yesterday, she is now the grand old age of 7. So yesterday she was treated to her usual Museli and chop, plus I made her a little birdday cake, she shared that with Charlie. I didn’t buy her any toys because she still doesn’t quite know how to play, which is a shame, although she will preen rope toys now, so that’s a major improvement and of course it saves her precious feathers. So far so good with the tail feathers, they are growing lovely and more on the way. She hasn’t nipped them, so fingers crossed. I am going to put her back on just the plumage enhancer for a while because I’ve found that although she likes the museli, she is picking bits out that are her favourite and leaving a lot of the other bits. It doesn’t matter because I just collect it all and make birdy cakes out of it, so she still gets it but I think I’m going to just give her the enhancer again for a while and see what happens. I suppose in a way it’s like us eating the same meal night after night, we need a little bit of variety.


Wednesday 14th December Day 51

Penny is back on just the Plumage Enhancer, she’s turned her beak up a little bit today, just sort of picked at it. She was holding out for her museli, but I’m stronger willed than that and by tomorrow she will be eating just the Enhancer again. She can have the museli back but just in little bits in a week or two lol. She has “overpreened” a couple of feathers but they aren’t nipped!! So that’s a good result.

Wednesday 21st December Day 58?

Penny has had a week on just the Plumage Enhancer so today I gave her a handful of the museli as well as a treat, she really loves it. Her feathers are continuing to grow and sprout out from loads of places where I thought they would never grow again, to be honest. But….she has gone a little bit mad on her tail feathers, there are a few of them that she has “overpreened” She hasn’t nipped them right off yet, so it’s a case of wait and see for them, I can’t think that anything else would have upset her, the painting of the house has finished now, she can’t see anything different from her cage. I just hope that she lets the rest of them grow. On a plus side, she has plenty of flight feathers growing through, so I’m getting in training to run when she can fly again, because I just know that I’m going to be in trouble. hahaha

Benny To Penny!

July 23rd, 2011
Benny To Penny!

All the results of the blood and poop tests are in now and it’s really good news to know that all is well. One result was a bit of a surprise though, after six and a half years of being Benny, it turns out that it should have been Penny! Penny is doing well, she has learnt to follow a stick for a piece of grape, still no sign of her stepping up yet without shredding skin but that’s not a problem, I’m sure she will be fine but she will do things in her own time. Penny has a huge new cage and spends a lot of her time finding her way around it, she has loads of toys in there and this week has actually had a bit of a play with a couple so things are moving forward. She is a very good eater and because her cage is right next to Charlie’s they tend to eat together which is nice, so plenty of chop mix and I saw her eating a pellet today just the one but it’s a start. All in all she is doing really well, her feathers are growing although occasionally I see a little bit of nipped feather on the floor, since being in the big cage with more toys and things to do, she hasn’t done it quite as much. I am waiting for the day that her flight feathers grow back because she clings to the side of the cage, inside or outside and flaps like a demon, one day her feathers will be there and she will take off and that will be brilliant, it will probably frighten her lol.

Ben Update!

July 9th, 2011
Ben Update!

Well, what can I say, Ben has had a clean bill of health so far, we are just waiting for one more result to come through and his DNA to establish whether he really is a boy or whether he should be Penny instead of Benny!

He’s doing ok, he’s bad tempered, bites a lot, doesn’t want to play with any of his new toys, but he’s a little darling and I’m sure that in time he will let me get within a foot of him without lunging at me hahaha. He’s on a better diet now with lots of chopped up veg, fruit and nuts. He is also eating Tidymix but I am really trying to get him onto Harrisons pellets.

His Calcium Iodise level was dangerously low, the average is 1.02 and Ben’s was at 0.46 which meant that he was in danger of having seizures, but hopefully that has risen a bit now that he has been on Calcivet liquid and powder.

All in all, it’s been a hectic time for him with moving house and owner, visiting vets, moving from upstairs to downstairs and meeting Charlie but he’s taken it all in his stride and I’m sure his feathers will be growing back soon. I think he was clipped on one wing as well, so those might take a time to grow back, but if he carries on doing his flappy exercises, then one day Ben could well be flying around the house with Charlie.

Ben’s first touch of a rope toy hanging in the kitchen.

New Rescue – Ben

June 27th, 2011
New Rescue - Ben

I picked Ben up on Thursday from a lovely lady and her daughter. They think Ben is around six years old, he has plucked his feathers quite badly on his wings.

Ben is settling in quite well and we now know the ringtone on their telephone and the cheery “Helloooo” way that the previous owner would answer the phone lol. It was a major struggle to get him to eat anything at all for the first couple of days because he had been used to table food which isn’t any good for birds, so I was determined that I wasn’t going to give in…unfortunately, so was Ben. It was a battle of wills, but I won, he is now eating Tidymix and a few pellets, with a good chop as well.

We took Ben to the Vets on Friday for a check up, the vet has referred us to a better equipped Avian vet because she thinks Ben has a fatty liver and feels that he is quite thin, so he is off to the Avian vet tomorrow (Tuesday) to have the works done to see what is the cause of his plucking. I will let you know the outcome of that. Trying to get Ben in a carrier is a bit of a task because he is far from tame, he lunges and tries to bite my hand every time I put my hand out for him to step up, so once again it’s a battle of wills. Once sorted and tamed, I’m sure Ben will be a lot happier and he will make a lovely companion.

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