Thread: First Parrot
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:02 PM
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EllenD EllenD is offline
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Re: First Parrot

First of all, PLEASE IGNORE THE STATEMENT MADE BY MarrMarr of "people here are way too sensitive about bird keeping", as it is one of the most irresponsible and idiotic statements I've ever heard made by someone who actually already owns a pet parrot, and is a member of a parrot forum. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "BEING WAY TOO SENSITIVE ABOUT BIRD KEEPING", or "pet keeping" in-general, regardless of the type of pet...Why do you think there are hundreds of thousands of pets in need of homes in this country? BECAUSE OF PEOPLE WITH THE SAME MENTALITY AS MARRMARR...Get mad at me, I don't care one bit MarrMarr, it was totally irresponsible of you to make that statement to a teenager who came onto this parrot forum asking if getting a pet parrot would be right for he and his family right now...THIS 18 YEAR OLD IS FAR MORE RESPONSIBLE THAN YOU ARE ALREADY, JUST BY ASKING THE QUESTION THAT HE DID!!!

Now, moving on to your question...I do think people perceived you as being a young teenager, I did at first too, I assumed you were in your early teens. So you're 18 and going to college, and living at home and commuting...okay. The point that everyone was trying to make to you is that "LIFE HAPPENS", and trust me, it does. Things happen out of your control, plans change, you meet your future spouse, you have kids, you move for a job, etc. That's what we're talking about. You have to realize that you're talking about a Green Cheek Conure, Sun Conure, etc. that can and probably will live into their 30's. That's a long time. Not that getting a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a ferret, etc. isn't also a huge commitment, it is, but when you buy a parrot, even a Budgie (who can live into their 20's despite what people commonly think), you're making a commitment that will automatically last for decades, just like having a human child. In addition, the other big factor that makes getting a parrot, any parrot, different than getting most other pets, is the fact that they have the intelligence of a human toddler! So put that all together and think about it for a minute..."So I'm talking about bringing home a baby Conure, who has the intelligence of a human toddler and will live into his 30's"....Now you see why parrots usually have an average of 5-7 different homes throughout their lives, usually more than that? We can't just sell or "rehome" our human children like we can parrots, though I'm sure if we could there are many people who sadly would...

For me, the questions that you need to not only ask yourself but also EVERY PERSON WHO LIVES IN YOUR HOUSE are:
-Can you keep your bird's main-cage in the "main" room of the house, the room where the action in the house is, the room where most people are when they are home, such as the living room, den, family room, etc.? You cannot keep your bird in your bedroom or a "spare" room where he will be able to hear people are home but will not be able to see them. And even though this will be "your" bird, per se, you cannot put his cage in your bedroom, go to school or work, and make him stay in your empty bedroom while anyone else is home, watching TV or whatever in the living room. He will cry and scream and have socialization issues if you do this. Even if no one is paying direct attention to him, just him being located in the room where people are, where he can see them doing whatever it is that they are doing, will allow him to feel comfortable and content being in his cage and entertaining himself with his toys and such inside of his cage.
-Do you all have the financial resources to not only pay for the bird himself, and not just for the "initial" costs such as the largest cage you can possibly afford and fit in the main room of your house (the larger the better as long as the bar-spacing is the right size for the species you get), initial toys, etc., but like the monthly food bill, which should NOT be simply a bag of medium to large bird seed mix; you must make his main staple food a high-quality, fortified pellet, such as Harrison's or Zupreem, which may involve ordering them online on a monthly basis or in-bulk, then a supplemental-only, high-quality seed mix that includes a varied list of ingredients, not just seed, but rather dried veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, etc., such as SunSeed vita seed or Tropimix, and then also a varied mix of fresh veggies and fruits EVERY SINGLE DAY; a different mix of toys for him that should be switched out every month and rotated inside of his cage so he doesn't get bored; and very importantly AN EMERGENCY FUND FOR A CERTIFIED AVIAN VET!!! This last one is the one that most people discount and forget about, of they just assume that they won't ever need. The fact of the matter is that Certified Avian Vets are more expensive than a general dog and cat vet, but are totally necessary if and when your bird gets sick or injured. The difference between paying for a Certified Avian Vet or just taking your bird to an "Exotics" Vet when he gets sick is the difference between him living or dying. So you need to make sure that either you are saving money each month for a Certified Avian Vet (he should have at the very least a "Wellness Exam" that includes baseline blood work and Fecal Cultures once every year), or that your parents are going to be willing to pay for the CAV visit, tests, and treatments if he becomes sick or injured, which are usually at least a couple of hundred dollars a pop...
-Are you able to allow your parrot to get at least 4-5 hours of out-of-cage-time with you or someone in your home every single day? That's the minimum amount of attention and direct stimulation a parrot needs to stay happy, healthy, and to prevent boredom, behavioral issues, and syndromes resulting from a lack of attention, such as feather plucking..
-Do you have a plan if a problem with your current dog arises? The fact is that he is NOT a "non-issue", not by a long-shot. He's never shared his home with a bird before, i don't know if he's ever shared his home with any other animal before, but definitely not a bird, so the truth is that you don't know what kind of issues are going to arise at all. He may become very, very jealous of the bird and become violent towards him, he may exhibit a prey-drive towards the bird, and it may be impossible to have them both out at the same time. In this case, the bird cannot suffer, he cannot be punished by spending all of his time in his cage and not get his minimal 4-5 hours a day out, nor can the dog be punished by being constantly locked inside a crate or a room alone all the time. ***I'm putting emphasis on this issue because it's obvious to me that you haven't put ANY thought into it as all, as you automatically wrote it off as a "non-issue", and as anyone on this forum will tell you, you cannot at all judge how any current pet is going to react or act like when you bring home a new parrot. And just as you don't know how the dog is going to react, you also don't know how the bird will react, he may be aggressive towards the dog, and their beaks can do a lot of damage. Everyone here will also tell you that this is such a common and usually overlooked issue prior to getting a pet bird, that it often results in one of the two pets having to be rehomed shortly after the arrival of the bird. It's not fair to the dog to have to leave his home, he was there first, and it's not fair to the bird to get settled into his new home and then have to leave. So this is an issue that you must sit down and speak about with your family before even thinking about bringing a bird into the house. You must discuss all of the possible issues that could arise and how you will handle them.

The other thing that YOU in-particular must think about, since I'm assuming this is going to be "your" bird, meaning you will be his "person", is what will happen to the bird after you graduate from college, or even possibly prior to. You're only 18 now, you just graduated from high school not long ago, but you're not going to want to live with your parents forever, and as I said above, "life happens". So if you meet someone and develop a romantic relationship with them and they want to move-in together, they might have pets already, etc., or if you have to move for a job, etc., what will happen to your bird? These are the things that unexpectedly happen in life my friend, and though you cannot predict them happening or how they will happen, you do have to make a commitment to that bird the day you bring him home!

We all care very much about our birds, they are our families, this is very true. However, we also care about the literally hundreds of thousands of birds living in rescues and shelters, and in abusive and neglectful homes, and bouncing from home to home to home to family to family to family. This is why we take questions like this so seriously, because we are trying to educate you BEFORE YOU BRING A BIRD HOME! We want to do everything we can do to prevent another bird from being a lost soul, floating throughout it's life with no stability or love at all. Contrary to what MarrMarr apparently thinks, this is not us being "way too sensitive about bird keeping", IT'S US BEING RESPONSIBLE, CARING, LOVING BIRD OWNERS WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN SIMPLY JUST GOING AND BUYING A PET BIRD "BECAUSE YOU WANT ONE"...
"Dance Like Nobody's Watching".
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