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I got Sadie (formerly Chip) yesterday. She has a few particular rules before I get into more details.

1. Nothing needs to be done that cannot be done from Mommy's shoulder. This includes eating. If Mommy is desperate enough, she will hold the cup to me and I will eat from here.

2. I know I am missing feathers on my face. Don't ask.

3. I only like the yellow pellets, thankssomuch.

4. Do not clip my wings. Don't even think about filing my nails. Neither of these may be completed from Mommy's shoulder, therefore they are unnecessary.

5. I know I smell. Deal with it.

6. Please pet me all over. Scritch my head, under my wings, my neck, my tummy. I love you I love you I love you!!!


So, back to Sadie. Somebody truly loved this bird. She is eight years old. A year and a half ago the gentleman's wife of 25 years left him, taking the macaws, the mollucan, etc. She left Chip/Sadie with the man, who is in his 70s and legally blind. Sadie has not been out of her cage since then.

Her diet has been cake and sunflower seeds. When I went last Sunday to visit her, the water was a week old. Yesterday when I went, there was none. :(

And oh the smell. The smell. It's awful. I gave her a good shower last night, even using some organic shea butter soap. She's still dirty, and the smell won't go away... It's nauseating. :(

Good grief... he took the cover off of her cage to fold it up. No fewer than TWENTY COCKROACHES dropped from the blanket. I actually think they crawled on her, which is why she is so itchy and pulling out her feathers. She does not appear to be neurotic in the slightest. Her cage is completely rusted out. I'm surprised she doesn't have zinc poisoning!

So, I picked her up. The old gentleman just sobbed. I felt so, so sorry for him. He said, "Goodbye, Chip! I'm so sorry!" And I know he was. He said he'd had birds his whole life. He has a cockatiel and a parakeet left (both in good feather).

On the drive home I let her out of the travel cage I brought. She darted out and raced to my shoulder. "This is my spot, thankssomuch." I showed her some new toys I'd gotten. She was fearful at first, but after a few moments played with all of them as I offered them. She is very trusting--not afraid of hands, not too afraid of new things. This is how I know she had an excellent upbringing. She reminds me of Sophia in her trust for others.

Oh, she also absent-mindedly lifts her foot when I walk by--like Sophia. "Mom's here. She'll pick me up."

We got home and showered first thing. She didn't know what to make of the shower, and initially hated the water. I tried to get her into it by singing and dancing... no such luck. By then, though, she was pretty wet. I dabbed a little soap on her wings--that's when she settled down. It seemed very soothing to her. Then we got out, and I towel-dried her without any problem at all. I turned on the blow drier, not a big fan. I put it on the ground facing her direction and after a while she stood in the wind because it was nice and warm :)

Then it was bedtime. Not a peep from her, not a sound. All night, no problems. N was over, and I thought for sure when she heard us up this morning she'd start screaming. Nope!! Not a screamer, not a biter, just a lover, this one.

I'm so happy to have her. My little plucked chicken-girl :)



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June 2010

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