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MGMork 05-23-2018 11:51 PM

First Parrot
Hi everyone,

NOTE: If you vote in the poll, please explain your vote! (Message or comment is fine)

So for about a year now, I've been stricken with a love for parrots. It started with Cockatiels, and has, more recently, spread to Conures, Caiques and Indian Ringnecks. But before I get to the details of my question(s), I'll shed a little light on my living situation/lifestyle.

For starters, I live with a family of 5 (myself included) in a rather large household (roughly 4200 square feet). The youngest member of my family is my 11 year-old brother. A fair thing to mention is the fact that we do have a small dog as well (a miniature schnauzer), and while he may be quite noisy at times, he's never been one to chase/harm anything or cause issues, so he is of no concern. Like I said, the house is rather large, and we have a lot of free and open space to spare.
Now, about my (and my family's) lifestyle. As a whole, we are a pretty 'in-and-out' family, but that doesn't mean the house is always empty. Both my parents work (my dad is full time, and my mom is on call), my younger brother is in elementary school, and I have a light course load myself. The only other member of the family is my older sister, but we rarely ever see her anyways. Most days, the house is totally unoccupied from 9 until noon, and some days that can stretch until 3, but other than that, there's almost never less than 1 person at a given time. Even still, I'm at the house most of my time, whether it be in the morning before classes or relaxing afterwards. I do have a part-time job as well, but I don't work many hours. So, personally, I'm out of the house for roughly 6 hours each day. Again, that can vary, but I generally have classes in the morning and work in the evening. And like I said, the house almost always has someone in it, whether it be my parents or my brother, and they have all agreed to care for the bird when I am unable.

Alright, so that's enough about me and my family. I hope that's enough to give a sense of what kind of environment the parrot would be living in, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask! The more help, the better.

So, now on to my questions and current situation. Like I mentioned before, I've got my heart set on a few types of parrots. As it stands, I am leaning towards a Conure, but more specifically, a green-cheek or a sun Conure. My local pet store actually works with a breeder from Vancouver, who both breeds, rescues and hand-raises Conures. I've spoken with him quite a bit, and spent some time last month with a green-cheek he brought in. I've done hours of research and forum-searching, and have asked almost everything I can to both the breeder and the pet shop. While it does seem that everything would work out, I'm still petrified that I'll make the wrong decision, and end up with a bird I can't care for. I even got to meet a green-cheek in person and get used to it's nature (and I ended up spending hours in the pet store...)

But that brings me to my next question: Is a Conure the right choice for me? Like I said, I've been torn between them, Cockatiels, Caiques and Indian Ringnecks. They all have such wonderful personalities and potentials that I'd happily embrace. The only important thing to me in terms of qualities/traits is their ability to socialize/interact. I love cuddly animals, and them being hands-on is a must. I've heard that all of them are quite clown-like and acrobatic, with Caiques being the most energetic, and the more playful the better.

Anyways, I think that's about it! Again, if there are any important details that I missed, don't hesitate to ask. Ans if you do decide to vote in the poll, please explain your vote! Thank you in advance! :yellow1:

chris-md 05-24-2018 06:55 AM

Re: First Parrot
Hello and welcome!

Unfortunately you aren’t going to like the answer: none of them are appropriate at this time.

You seem to be a teenager. While you could - for the time being - provide a good home, life is going to happen to you very soon. Off to college very soon, where your probably living on campus, then in assorted apartments. Extra curricular activities, studying late nights at the library.

Then graduation and moving to a new job, where you are likely to have roommates in an apartment that possibly won’t allow any pets.

The list goes on. The short answer is that parrots - of any time, cockatiels to large macaws - are best suited for stable homes, better for after you’ve bought a home and aren’t leaving anytime soon, a time when you have a greater emotional intellect to properly coordinate FUTURE care of the bird. The average parrot will see 5-7 homes in its life, which is so tragic. Part of that is a lack of planning and thinking ahead. . Buying parrots for teenagers who will be leaving home soon.Parrots are unfortunately viewed as expendable, readily discarded at the slightest inconvenience. We don’t treat dogs like this. So sad given how emotionally and intellectually intelligent they are.

LordTriggs 05-24-2018 07:28 AM

Re: First Parrot
agreed with Chris on this one

I would say anyone wanting a pet (of any sort) should wait until settled in their own home to know if it's suitable to keep a pet. The amount of posts online selling parrots that have been in a home for only 2 months because "don't have the time" is mind boggling

Sunnyclover 05-24-2018 08:09 AM

Re: First Parrot
Agreed with those guys. You're too young for such a huge commitment. Getting a conure is like getting a 2 year old with a weapon on it's face that will scream it's head off if you don't spend enough time with it. In same cases the conure might only need 1or 2 hours of time a day but in most cases they won't be happy unless it's 5 to 10 hours a day out of cage and with you time. Personally I have 2 Conures and I love them with all my heart but they're a lot of work and my house is covered in tree stands and bird cages and various bird paraphernalia to help keep them happy and healthy with plenty to do. Don't get a bird unless you can put in 110% into it and at your age that's not possible for a sustainable timeframe. So I have 2 birds and one of them is the perfect bird and the other one has a ton of issues and is very taxing and frustrating on me mentally and emotionally. Sometimes birds are just like can get a perfect bird like my Ollie or a difficult bird like my Finley and if you get the later it will be very very hard to take care of as a teenager. Not to mention the vet costs. My difficult bird Finley has gone to the vet 5 times in the 4 months I've had him and the total cost for those visits have been around $1600...are you and your parents prepared for such an expense? Some of the vet visits were life or death so of I didn't take him he most likely would have died. Just food for thought. Sorry to put a damper on things.

clark_conure 05-24-2018 09:50 AM

Re: First Parrot
I have to agree with the above comments. BUT if you Know your going to be diligent....a GCC in my experience is the funnest part of my life....besides the other things. But it's not like getting a cat that you can ignore....birds need socialization all the time. And everyone in the family would have to be on board. And you will be going to college or off to work when he needs most his interaction time. Think about the future....several years ahead.

clark_conure 05-24-2018 09:53 AM

Re: First Parrot
I'm sure you're like OMG why all the no!... It's because we put the parrots first.....It's the standard with which we base decisions....and teens about to go off and do amazing things.......the bird usually gets left behind.

Now if your dad wanted a parrot.....that would be a different story....

LordTriggs 05-24-2018 09:57 AM

Re: First Parrot
don't forget too the entire family needs to be on board with noises when it's your birds bedtime, the noise (even quiet birds like conures can make your ears ring) and the family and you need to be aware a bird can easily bond to just one person (not always the one who interacts with them) and can begin attacking everyone else and start screaming non-stop if the other person leaves their sight.

Also are they ready to do without their non-stick cookware? typical cleaning products? aerosol deodorant? Perfume? Air Fresheners? Teflon coated appliances? All of those cannot be present with a bird around or they will kill a bird.

Sunnyclover 05-24-2018 10:01 AM

Re: First Parrot

Originally Posted by LordTriggs (Post 729545)

Also are they ready to do without their non-stick cookware? typical cleaning products? aerosol deodorant? Perfume? Air Fresheners? Teflon coated appliances? All of those cannot be present with a bird around or they will kill a bird.

Excellent addition LT!

marrmarr 05-24-2018 10:57 AM

Re: First Parrot
I'm sure you can make it work if you really tried. people here are way too sensitive about bird keeping. people in 3rd world countries (which is most of the world) keep birds in what people here would consider "atrocious" conditions and are probably just as healthy. just my 2 cents. good info here, just don't let others discourage you from doing what you consider possible.

MGMork 05-24-2018 11:07 AM

Re: First Parrot
Thank you everyone for your answers!

You seem to all think that I'm younger than I am... I'm 18 years old, taking college courses already. My parents and I live a few minutes away from campus, so there is no need to move. And everyone in on board with it! Not one person isn't ready for this commitment. And yes, we have prepared to make the changes regarding chemical products. I would be putting the bird first, trust me. There's nothing you guys have said that I haven't prepared for.

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