So I did the stupid month of no pellets and everything seemed fine however I forgot about Piper. His diet should have been monitored a little more closely because he is prone to the fatty liver disease. The last week of “no pellet month”, he started refusing to eat his food, he was still eating his treats when trained but otherwise the fruit, veggies, pasta, rice, bread etc was not being touched.
He somehow managed to maintain his weight of 99 kg so I wasn’t too worried and I knew it was just a matter of days before I would go to the store to buy pellets. I continued to monitor him. His poop was hard to monitor because of all the fruit and veggies being incorporated into their diet, so it was very watery. Anyhow he was still training and activity level remained the same, until that Thursday, he came out of the cage and started training but refused the treat at one point. Piper has NEVER refused a safflower seed EVERY! My red flags immediately went up! He flew away from everyone on to a stand that’s in a corner. If you know Piper, he is a social butterfly and never wants to be alone. The Wednesday he weighed 97kg but it was still close to 99 so I wasn’t concerned but that Thursday he weighed 91kg I immediately was scared. He flew away from me and wouldn’t fly back when called, I was scared.
Friday came and he was at the bottom of his cage, not being able to lift his head up for long. He weighed 81kg. He mustered up all his energy to fly once or twice when out otherwise he would find a dark spot and hide. I was in trouble. My credit card for the birds were maxed and I was in negative in my bank account (being on maternity leave is not easy :(). I was devastated over the fact that Piper needed me and I couldn’t bring him to the vet because I was broke! I made sure to provide him water via my finger so he wouldn’t be dehydrated and put him in his cage with a cover so he could rest.
Saturday morning, I was scared to uncover him but I did and he was still alive. I sent for pellets, milk thistle and a syringe. I made the pellets into a mash with the milk thistle and fed him through the syringe 1ml every hour. He seemed to be doing better. In the night I tried to give him 4ml of the mash and when I went to weigh him he became unbalanced, fell to the floor, I believe hitting his kneel (I made have that spelt wrong) bone and died.
I feel like I failed Piper, Lola, Parenting Parrots, my kids and myself. I’m so sorry, I don’t know where I went wrong but I know just like with Lola I feel an empty space in my heart.
Piper was amazing beyond words. Every morning I was greeted with “Good Morning, How are you?” and I would respond with “Good Morning Piper, I’m good how are you?” He would then say, “I’m good, how are you?” I believe he was waiting for me to teach him what to say next but I never did. Every evening we ended our night with a wonderful, “Good night”. Piper would sing Sugarland – Stuck like Glue. It was his favorite song, even when we would be singing a different song he would jump in with Sugarland lyrics. He knew all the kids’ names and would call each one. He especially loved to call Shennai because she would bring him a treat every time he called for her. He would be the starter of our “peek-a-boo” games. He would say it first and the other birds would follow. He just learned “Peek-a-Boo, I see you”. So if I said Peek a boo he would respond with I see you. He was just so talented. He loved interacting with people and other birds.
Piper would fly to the other parrots’ cage and let them out. I was planning on having a video on YouTube called “Prison Break – Parrot edition” and it was going to show Piper letting out Rasta or Ringo or himself as those are the only 3 cages he could open. I would turn my back and all of a sudden I would have Piper and Rasta out doing nonsense hahaha. I miss those days now. The house doesn’t seem the same without him – he was the glue that truly kept the flock together.
He would always engage with all our visitors. He is going to be missed so much! I loved watching his green and blue wings soaring through the house, I was so excited to get him harness trained so I could take him outside and now I will never have that chance. NEVER in a million years did I think I would lose Piper so soon. I was always so careful with him and his diet. I don’t know what exactly went wrong but I take full responsibility. Life will never be the same without Piper here to stir things up but this has gotten me doing further research into the other parrots’ diet because it’s the only thing I could think of that went wrong.
I’m sorry for the long post but I’m still hurting. I sit and watch the videos of him every night, it feels unreal and I’m to blame because I didn’t have money saved for their emergencies like I recommend others to do. I feel like a hypocrite, I tell everyone to make sure they do it and here I am with their credit card maxed so I couldn’t do what needed to be done. Maybe if I had the funds, I could have saved his life. I will still be blogging about things to do with Quakers because now more than ever do I feel the need to share how they should be taken care of and how precious they are. I feel like I took Piper for granted and I’m experiencing that feeling of: “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” I have a video of Piper, the Friday before he died but it’s sad.
I will not be obtaining another quaker parrot a.k.a monk parakeet unless I somehow inherit one. It hurts when you lose a member of your family. We got Piper the same time my 1st daughter was born maybe that’s why they were so close. She keeps asking me for him, so far I told her he is at the doctors. I don’t know how to tell her he is gone. At first, I was wondering if I could get another quaker and re-teach it all the things Piper knew so she wouldn’t know the difference but financially it’s not an option so I’m hoping with time, she will slowly become unattached and I can then break the news.
Please don’t judge me, I just know Piper was her favorite and I don’t want to see her heartbroken. The below video was a brief video that isn’t complete, it was shot in the end of December 2017, I started it for our YouTube channel but changed my mind and used a different footage.