This is really Bella’s story, but for 5 weeks it was very much my story too. I want to tell you about it, because there are a lot of stressed birds out there, that are getting the right loving but still pluck under stressful conditions.
My mom and dad moved in with me for 5 weeks and mom was really not well, once we had sorted out all the right doctors and hospitals, Belle knew there was someone else in my life. She didnt understand it,she was weary of my parents and Bella soon realized mom was following me around everywhere. She just needed to be with me and got very stressed if she couldn’t find me, or hear me. I was still loving Bella talking to her getting her out the cage, but the real one on one relationship was fading. I got more and more tired and unfortunately it was my relationship with Bella that suffered. To begin with she just refused to eat! that was dreadful in itself but she soon started screaming to get my attention, and then when I went to her, she scratched me bit me,and was absolutely horrible. All this was going on with my mom getting sicker and sicker.
In a bind! to say the least,I had already refeathered Bella once before when I took her over and the thought of having to do it again was just plain awful, but a decision had to be made, and you only ever have one mum and mine needed me so That was where my energy time and love went. Bella was clearly very upset but I knew I could love her back to normal, she was just going to have to accept where I was at that moment.And the inevitable happened all the chest feathers started coming out, she pulled her tail til it was all frayed, she was not the best looking Goffin on the block. She was screaming all the time, eating very little and completely freaking me out.
Mom did get well enough to go home to Bulawayo to see her best friend and her precious dog, but it didnt last, she was readmitted to hospital and passed away peacefully after chats with my dad and her best friend.It was a blessing, but I really started to struggle. Grief is a horrid thing to endure, and if you are grieving at the moment, be aware I am holding you close to my heart!!
My emotions went from bad to worse and I eventually needed medical help, so even with my mom gone Bella was not getting my full attention and love.The one thing that reasured me was that I had fixed Bella once before and I knew I could do it again.
So Bella was bald, screaming hungry and ticked off, I woke up one morning and said this is it, I am going to love Bella bald!I forgave the biting, screaming I ignored and 3 times a day she came out of her cage so I could “kiss her tummy better” she loved it! Still screamed and didnt eat, but it wasnt long before she had learnt the sound of kissing and we did it together. Now when ever I go past her she makes the kissing noise, and I have to stop to “kiss the tummy better”
Slowly over the next couple of weeks she screamed less and less, and now we only have the screach when she is hungry and she gets her food, and let me tell you, she is eating much better, all sorts of food that in the past would have been tossed to the ground.I was so excited, I just couldnt wait for the feathers to start growning again. I knew they would, she was back to normal.I was allowed to love the birds that boarded with me,she wasnt biting or scratching and although I had lost my beloved mother, Bella was back! About a week later the first feathers started to appear, we were still kissing the tummy but oh I ws so proud of her, she never picked them, or pulled them. The feathers are still very small, and there is still a lot of bare flesh, but because I could love her bald, we made a journey together to wholeness.
I am healing, but when I work now, I remember my mum, she read a lot of my books and magazine and loved the birds! I still have melt downs and will do for a long while, but there are 3 happy people in this story….. Mom, is at peace! I am getting stronger and stronger…. and Bella is growing feathers….
If your bird is bald, dont give up, dont think it is ugly, dont pass silly remarks about being bald,do everything you can to fix the problem Refeathering a bald bird takes 4 months so you will need patience, perseverence and lots of love. I hope you can find those things and find healing, for your feathered friend.
Good luck! see you next week….