Sign Up For Auto-Renew Subscription and Save 10%

How to Sign Up


On Her Way To Success


I have been researching, studying and writing about feather destruction in regards to our beloved exotic birds so much that I have not really delved in to the topic of prolapse much…yet. However the subject has always been right there in the forefront of my mind along with PDD and one that I have researched right along with feather destruction; I just have not discussed it a lot in the public arena.

Recently we were given the opportunity to receive an adorable 12-year old female Umbrella Cockatoo into our sanctuary. The previous caregiver simply didn’t want “to deal with her yelling, screaming, aggressive behavior anymore.” Besides, in the words of the previous caregiver: “She has developed some kind of growth on her anal parts and I don’t want to spend the money to have it cared for.” Folks, if we don’t want to spend the efforts, time and money to care for the very animals we bring into our lives then we shouldn’t bring them into our homes to begin with. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

“Maggie” is now a permanent resident in our “Providence Right-to-Flight Sanctuary” for birds that cannot be placed in private homes. She will live her days out with us, unless we die before she does and in that case we have in place a trust where our birds will go to others with experience to care for these beloved fragile creatures.

​Regarding Maggie’s health; she has been thoroughly vetted and her tests returned with great, flying results except of course the prolapse. Our vet diagnosed her with “Complex Prolapse” which basically means that she has multiple prolapse of her organs; urethal, rectal and oviductal. We don’t hear much about the different types of prolapse do we? –So when our vet told us that Maggie had Complex Prolapse, turned her upside down and showed us exactly what it is, our hearts broke and melted right there in the examining room. Our vet did the best that could be done at the time of her visit. As normal procedure at the time it was attempted to gently, but firmly push all of her organs back up inside of her.

We were told that a “temporary fix” could be done by stitching her vent to hold everything up inside of, improving her diet and hoping that her surrounding muscles would gain enough strength to eventually hold everything in place on their own. We were warned than anything we do would only be temporary and that she would most likely have a short life and never fully heal from prolapse. (Yes, we realize we can and should get a second opinion regarding a permanent fix. That will come later down the road when we financially recover from this first visit. Remember, we are a privately held sanctuary, we receive no public donations. All funds come directly from the sale of our BirD-elicious! Origins Wild Diet® foods.)

Of course we were also told to go home and “place her on a good, well-known, healthy pelleted diet”. NOT going to happen doc! The previous caregiver HAD her on one of those “good, healthy pellets to begin with and you are telling us “doc” that diet is probably what caused this in the first place! So, um, no.

So home we went with Maggie in tow to do what we know has worked with all of the birds in care previously — formulating a diet that would work specifically for Maggie.

Knowing that calcium is the main mineral responsible to keep muscles toned, strong and healthy, I began by increasing her calcium intake, but also knowing that certain other minerals are needed in order to ensure that calcium is absorbed. And then we waited for her blood test results.

When her blood test results were in I was not surprised. While she didn’t show any of the avian diseases or cancer or any horrible illness, she did show extreme malnutrition. So even though she had been fed one of those “good, healthy, scientifically balanced popular brands of pellets”, she was extremely malnourished. Her calcium to phosphorus ratio was off, her total protein was low, and her sodium was at the low end. Knowing what I know about nutrition I immediately knew that we had to get her calcium up and that also meant that we had to get her magnesium up. I also knew that we immediately had to raise her protein intake and that meant raising her sodium intake; protein cannot be absorbed without sodium to begin the hydrolysis process.

I have my work cut out for me, but I’m up for the challenge; this little girl’s life depends on it.

Maggie wasn’t producing any droppings to speak of; a sign of malnutrition for certain. So first off we had to get food into her. She was no doubt upset by the transition from a change of residence even though where she had been living she was kept by the front door that banged into her cage each time it opened. And from what we understood no one ever took her out of her cage to interact with her so she is cage-bound, which is why she is aggressive.

I immediately placed her on one of our BirD-elicious! Origins Wild Diet® foods (she is not a feather destroyer). I am also offering her fresh mango and papaya coated with Brazilian coral calcium and magnesium oxide along with sprouted sunflower seeds for the zinc and B vitamins they offer. She also receives meal worms for the B vitamins, fatty acids and protein they offer. Occasionally I feed her organic, hard-boiled egg whites. She is a picky eater and really doesn’t know how to feed herself. I find this very unusual. She is extremely hormonal so I am using an essential oil blend to help calm her hormones; it is working wonders. I mix 4 drops Tangerine, 5 drops Lemon, 3 drops Clary Sage and 2 drops Geranium in 4-5 ounces of filtered water misting her 2-3 times per day.

I have included a photo of Maggie’s prolapse now, but when we first received her the prolapse was THREE to FOUR times worse than it appears in this photo, so know that she is making huge strides of improvement. (We will eventually be soaking her to get her cleaned; right now she will not allow us to handle her to any extent.)

Below you will see what her droppings started out like and how they have progressed! This is nothing short of a miracle!

I am very, very hopeful that with time Maggie’s prolapse will get even better as more and more calcium absorption takes place by her body and her muscle tone increases.

Prolapse as of 9.28.14 - Was 3-4 times larger than this only 1.5 weeks ago.

9.13.14 - When Maggie first arrived urine was the only excretion she was producing. We believe she was not eating enough to produce feces or urates. Plus she was impacted due to her "plumbing" unable to properly eliminate.

Then about four to five days in our care Maggie began producing long, stringy feces that would just fall from her. She couldn't push them out, they would literally just fall out of her rectum. She was beginning to receive enough nutrition to actually produce feces! But no urates yet which would indicate protein in her system.

Morning of 9.28.14! Yay! Finally urates! This means her system is building up protein! Maggie is receiving nourishment all the way around! Her system indicates it is capable of absorbing nutrients! This is a very good sign that her body is not totally ruined and she will be able to regenerate to some degree! Now the question is how much restoration will her body allow?

Early afternoon of 9.28.14! A miracle! A well-formed normal dropping! Folks, this is what a good, balanced diet does for a bird, even one with "Complex Prolapse"! The urine is dark only because our BirD-elicious! foods are rich in dark berries, fruit and tender greens. Look at those urates! Nice and white! Maggie is absorbing protein! Her "plumbing" is beginning to function properly! Yay!

Maggie has a very long, long way to go, but she is well on her way!

Please understand that diet is the basis for all of our birds' health; it is the first line of protection from every health-related issue they face be it physical, hormonal, psychological or emotional.

We simplay cannot just toss a "well-known" commercial food into their bowls, ignore them day in and day out and believe they will be "okay"!

These exotic birds are bright, intellgient sentient beings requiring highly specialized diets, not mere poultry diets, not human diets, and not truly omnivore diets...they require diets for "Aves". They are, after all in a class all their own, mainly frugivores, and secondly herbivores.

They also require stimulating activities in their environment similar to what they would find in their natural environment; not childish toys like we would buy for our toddlers consisting of bright colors that stimulate their hormones. Rather they need items they can sink their beaks into

that are natural textures they can chew and shred, safe textiles that don't splinter and not ropes that can tangle or cause "furballs" in their crops.

Having an "EXOTIC" in your home requires a lot of thought and dedication along with the financial means to support it. THINK before you buy or adopt!