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Nikkie's Cockatiels

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Neo's Page

I'm Neapolitan! Neo for Short!

Neo's First Night Home
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Neo joined our family in late May, about 2 weeks after Apache's homecoming.  He was a pied too, like Apache, though his colors were a little different.  I learned later that Neo is a "Gray Pied" and Apache is a Cinnamon Pied. Ah hah! That explained it.  Neo was just a baby, 9 weeks old, when I brought him home, but right away, he was ten times more vocal than Apache.  I knew already that the Pied Mutation was impossible to visibly sex, but I was excited.  Could Neo be a boy? He sure was vocal!

Most of his early vocalizations consisted of flock calls.  He looked for his mother and father constantly, since he'd never been separated from them.  I felt awful for having taken him away, but I knew that it would only be a matter of time before he settled in, and all birds have to leave the nest some time. 

A Sick Birdy?
A few days after bringing Neo home and before I could even get started with taming him, I began to notice that something wasn't right.  He wasn't eating well, and sat huddled up most of the time. He looked "fluffy" and his tail bobbed up and down.  I read on my posting board that those were all signs of an ill bird.  I called my friend and told her, and she assured me I probably had a case of "New Mommy" syndrome.  Realizing she was probably right, I tried to relax.  Still, remembering Apache's first few days, and watching Neo, doubts nagged at me.  Then I noticed his nares (nostrils) were plugged.  He'd sneeze, and whatever it was wouldn't get dislodged.  When his stools became runny, it sealed my decision to take him in to the vet. 
 
Sure enough, Neo was a sick little guy.  He had a respitory infection.  He required two medications, to be administered twice daily orally, for three weeks.  I knew this was going to be a chore! I had NO IDEA how to medicate a bird. Especially an unfriendly one. 
 
Little Neo had NO INTENTION of coming out of his cage without a fight.  Finally, I wrapped him in a towel and drug him out.  Next, I had to somehow insert this tiny little syringe into the side of his beak and squirt the medictions in.  The first dose was successful, but the second time, he aspirated on the medicine.  I broke down and cried, thinking I'd killed this poor little thing trying to safe his life.  Fortunately, with the help of a steam vaporizer and a super heated room, he recovered. The medication drained down his throat and he didn't choke or get pneumonia.  It was touch and go for a few hours though. 
 

Neo's "Baby" Picture
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Early on, we realized that Neo was terrified of people and had never been socialized.  My son Cameron decided that although Neo was meant to be a birthday present to him, he'd turn the taming aspects of Neo's care over to me.  He knew from experience that cockatiels CAN and WILL bite if frightened and cornered, and more importantly, he knew his inexperience might traumatize him if he did something wrong. 

Neo has since made a complete recovery, but it took weeks and two trips to the vet's office to get the gunk out of his nares.  He's my "Special" guy and he's a fighter! I think because he got off to such a rough start in life, he didn't grow as large.  Out of my three birds, he's my smallest, weighing in at 85 grams.  Don't let his small size fool you though.  He's packed with personality!

Taking his Medicine
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Neo finally relaxing on my shoulder
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Neo & His Favorite Toy - Lucky Links!
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Neo was pretty much cage bound due to his own fears, but he was always entertaining us.  He loved interracting with the the family through the safety of the bars.  He learned to "give mom kisses" by immitating the Kissy sound when I'd "kiss" to him.  He'd wolf whistle to me, and even learned how to immitate the telephone ring!  My son taught him "flappies".  He'd stand in front of Neo's cage and flap his hands and say "Flappies!"  Neo would jump down to his middle perch and drum his wings vigourously for Cameron.  There was no doubt in our minds that Neo was an intelligent creature.  All he needed was time! 

In the end, patience and persistence paid off.  We worked and worked with him, a little bit at a time.  Now, Neo is now much more relaxed outside of his cage. I give Apache a TON of credit for "teaching Neo the ropes".  He learned so much from watching her interract with me. He is still much more tense than Apache but that's just Neo.  He's come a LONG way.  Its really heartwarming. Neo really put me to the test and he'll always be my "special guy" because there were a few times when I thought I was going to loose him.  Neo's FAVORITE affectionate treat is to be scratched on the head, particularly around the cheek patches.  I can put him to sleep scratching him there!

Now that you've met Neo, it's time to move on to Silver, who is Neo's younger brother from a different clutch.  In other words, they have the same parents. Neo's outstretched wings are giving you a warm hug for spending time with him.  Click on that picture and it will take you to Silver's page.

Flap on over to Silver's Page!
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Keep Current with the Flock! You can read all about Patchie, Neo, Silver, Taxi, Teika, Trinity & Buzz at Tiel Tales, their very own, up to the minute BLOG!

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