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Old 05-15-2013, 12:23 PM
Aelle Aelle is offline
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Hello =)

I'm hoping to find some help with picking out the right type of bird for me. I have no experience raising birds (aside from a crow with a broken foot that I nursed back to health when I was younger), however I do have experience with exotic pets who have special needs and diets.

Please, please don't recommend a bird to me simply based on it being a "starter bird". A starter bird is fine, but I'm looking for a pet that fits my personality and lifestyle, not an animal to use for "practice". I'm also a research oriented person and I prefer to know everything I possibly can about an animal before taking it home, so I won't be unprepared if it requires more care than I'm used to.

I only have one deal breaker: this has to be a bird that I can handle. I am an affectionate person and I love to hug and snuggle and make embarrassing baby noises to my heart's content. I will never be able to form a bond with what equates to being a decorative pet.

Mid-sized birds are preferred-- I am so very afraid of having fragile pets, so the smaller they are, the more nervous I am. Noise is not an issue; I'm half deaf from my German Shepherd barking directly in my ear, anyway. Expense is an issue. I can't afford more than $500 for start-up costs, including bird, cage, and toys. Availability is also a bit of an issue because I live out in the middle of nowhere and the closest breeder is two hours away, and I just don't feel good about having a bird shipped to me. Lifespan is also a big deal for breaks my heart when I lose one of my pets, so short lifespans equate to me being very, very depressed.

Here's a quick overview of my living situation:

I'm a college student who lives at home. I currently have two large dogs and two cats, all of which have lived with smaller animals before and respect their boundaries (my cats used to sleep on my sugarglider's cage before he passed away from old age, and my dogs used to lay near it and watch him play). Because of my classes I don't have a regular schedule, and the bird would have to be alone for hours at a time. However, I do spend the majority of my time at home in my office which has a perfectly free cage-shaped corner, and an unused room that can be easily converted into a playroom (with all the cables in my office, I would be afraid it would chew on them and get hurt if they were out of the cage in there).

It will be a few months before I actually make the purchase, so I have plenty of time to learn what I need to know. But first I need a starting point...I've looked into conures, parrotlets, ringneck parakeets (my favorite so far), and caiques-- not the best choice for a beginner, I know, but I just love their bossy little personalities...unfortunately they're out of my price range.

Any tips, suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated!
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