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.