Chicky, a nervous Rose Breasted Cockatoo, was about to be euthanized until these two bird lovers teamed up to bring him back to life.

You see in 2019, his previous owner had had enough of his nervous ways. Constant plucking and mutilation. Screaming. Hiding from human companionship, and the like.

She packed him up in his carrier and headed to Dr. Crupi's office giving him instructions to euthanize her nervous bird.

The Challenge

When the team saw him, Chicky was in terrible shape. But, they saw that little glow in his eye's that he wasn't done yet. He had a spirit of hope.

A true bird advocate, Dr. Crupi gave us great insight into Chicky's early condition. "I believe initially it was behavioral and pain related from the self trauma. He was initially treated with hard collars, oral antibiotics, pain medications (meloxicam and gabapentin) and haloperidol. For wounds, we also used a spray called Tricide-neo which has also helped other birds in the past. We also had Jim use silver sulfadiazine cream topically."

Chicky when treatment was started

Slowly but surely...

"When his wounds healed or were healing, we switched over to your Fringy Neck Collar which he seemed to accept well. We are currently trying to slowly wean him off of the haloperidol but leaving the collar on longer. This has been going on since 8/19. Jim and his wife were kind enough to adopt him about a year ago and have the patience to work with him. Hopefully he will continue to do well."ย 

Early on, Chicky engaged in a lot of self-mutilation and had intense panic attacks. Jim was careful to follow the treatment plan but he slowly and systematically tried to desensitize Chicky to ordinary bird care activities, like baths, gentle handling, and trying new foods.

Jim kept a diary of his progress with Chicky. He kept making small changes so as not to add to Chicky's anxiety and panic attacks. Jim slowly but steadily worked on parrot wellness.


Infographic by Diane Burroughs, LCSW

As Chicky's physical and emotional health improved, the feathers started growing back and the self-mutilation decreased.The last time that I heard from Jim, in January 2022, Chicky was bravely whacking at bird toys in his cage!ย