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Old 11-08-2011, 06:13 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Quote: Originally Posted by Purevil21 View Post
Everyone,

I have been researching birds for months now. I originally was drawn to parrots by a female eclectus that my uncle owned. I want to purchase a male directly from a breeder, not a pet store (I am well aware of the horror stories). I understand they are harder to keep then most birds, and I tossed around the idea of a different bird for awhile. I have come to the conclusion that I simply do not want to settle, I would rather commit and get what I want. That being said I have every intention of being responsible and doing all my due diligence. So I want some input from people who actually own one of these beautiful creatures.

1) What is a good size cage for this species? I do not want a bare bones minimum here, I want to know what size cage I need for the bird to really thrive during the day while I'm at work.

2) What is the best diet? I know all about the long digestive system, no fortified diets, pellets, etc. So what exactly IS best for them?

3) What type of mannerisms you have experienced? Does your bird seem to bond to one individual, or is it more adept around all members of the family? What did you do to socialize your bird?

4) What have you seen from your ecletus as it concerns biting? This is not so much for me, but I have a small child. While I have no intentions of him handling the bird immediately, eventually that time will come. I wouldn't imagine they pack the punch of a macaw, but how bad of a bite do they possess?

Sorry to ask so much, but I am truly wanting to learn as much as I can BEFORE I purchase a bird.
Ok so let me tell you that I agree with mtdoramike that you should get a baby that is well socialized since you have a child. They are definitely easier to handle when they are socialized as babies. Also I think your decision on an Eclectus is a good one. I could never have asked for a better bird when we rescued our Ezmerelda from someone who couldn't care for her. But to answer your questions.
1. No cage is ever too big. The bigger, the better. Get the biggest cage that you can afford for your Eclectus and they will thank you for it with their funny antics and love. The one that I have for Ezmerelda is a Macaw size cage. I do wish that mine had a playtop on it, because Ezmerelda loves to spend time up there. So I would say that should be on your list for when you buy a cage.
2. Your Eclectus can have pellets as long s they are pellets designed especially for Eclectus parrots. I leave a bowl of those pellets in her cage at all times, and then I have fresh water at all times. You will have to change the water often, because like all birds they tend to put their food in it and bathe in it. Then you give as much vegetables as possible and some fruits as well. The only foods they can't have are avocados, chocolate, caffeine, and you don't want to do much salt or sugar. I have a website that is good for things they shouldn't eat.
3. My Eclectus was not well socialized as a baby,and was not very well cared for when I got her. She had only ever met the one man that had her before we got her, so naturally she bonded a little closer with my husband. She preens him and still prefers him, but she will let me do anything I want to her. I dry her with the blow dryer after baths,lift her wings up, and pretty much can touch her anywhere except her head area. She allows no one near her head. Also my parents come to visit because they are snowbirds and she will step up and go to either of them as well. She is very gentle, and only bit us a couple of times when we first got her because she did not know us. The best thing to do for socialization is to be patient and spend as much time with the new bird as possible. Sit by the cage, eat by the cage, talk quietly to the bird when sitting close. Take it slow and your bird will learn to trust you. A change in environment can scare them and they are not trusting like dog and cats. Also I think that they are quieter than many parrots. Don't get me wrong, they can be loud when they wan to be, but I lived in an apartment for a year when I first got her and never had a problem.
4. As for the biting, they can bite down pretty hard, but Ezmerelda only did that a couple times when we first got her and she never broke skin. I have no experience with other parrot bites to compare it to.

Sorry this is so long, but I tried to answer all your questions.
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mtdoramike Supporting Member (11-08-2011)
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:26 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

These answers are simply my opinions.

Quote:
1) What is a good size cage for this species? I do not want a bare bones minimum here, I want to know what size cage I need for the bird to really thrive during the day while I'm at work.
I have two female eclectus are they are each in 32 inch cages.

Quote:
2) What is the best diet? I know all about the long digestive system, no fortified diets, pellets, etc. So what exactly IS best for them?
My parrots do not free-feed. I feed them twice daily.

Morning: a wide assortment of chopped, fresh fruit (apples, bananas, berries, melon, pomegranate, etc.) sprinkled with some sort of grain, such as plain, organic cereals or oats.

Evening: a mash that I create weekly that is comprised of sweet potatoes, carrots, long-grain rice, kale/sprouts/lettuce, cucumber, peppers, etc.

For snacks, I give them raw nuts and an occassional hard-boiled egg.

Always provide mineral/calcium bars or perches and change water often because Eclectus like to "dunk" their food in their water bowls.

Quote:
3) What type of mannerisms you have experienced? Does your bird seem to bond to one individual, or is it more adept around all members of the family? What did you do to socialize your bird?
Luna (10 months old): sweet, snuggly and friendly with literally everyone, including strangers off of the street. She loves my husband and I both. Every morning after breakfast, she goes into "dinosaur mode", in which she growls at and tears at all of her toys, running around ontop of the cage like a "dinosaur". She then becomes tired and takes a nap, after which she is back to her calm self.

Evie (new 3 year-old rescue): still very timid from her pet store experience, but she is totally sweet to my husband and I, though she is a bit wary of others. This will soon pass.

They are both very quiet during the day, except when they hear me chopping fruit in the morning or heating up their mash in the microwave at night. Even when they are "loud", they are not very loud at all. Just an occassional excited sqwak.

Quote:
4) What have you seen from your ecletus as it concerns biting? This is not so much for me, but I have a small child. While I have no intentions of him handling the bird immediately, eventually that time will come. I wouldn't imagine they pack the punch of a macaw, but how bad of a bite do they possess?
During the first couple of days after her rescue, Evie bit me a couple times when trying to pet her feet or under her wings, etc. It is definitely not that bad. Luna has literally never bitten anyone hard. She will play by chewing on my nails with her beak or by gnawing on my fingers lightly, but she never bites.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:40 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Also, if you have settled on an Eclectus, you will then need to decide on whether a male or female bird would better suite your house hold. Males tend to like a more quiet house hold than females, which can tolerate more noisy busy house holds.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Thank you everyone, all this is great information. As far as making a choice, I really prefer the males. Our house is pretty quite as we don't often have guests over and we just have the one child. My wife works nights, so it would be nice to have a pet I can interact with. I had read that the females can get somewhat aggressive during mating seasons, and the males tend to be more docile. I don't know how accurate the statement is, I take everything I read with a grain of salt.

I do have one more questions though, do you recommend clipping their wings? I know this can be a hot topic, but I have no idea. I have read some articles both for and against, but it seems to be unanimous that the bird should at least learn to fly before being clipped. I have also read they should be clipped in such a manner that allows them to glide. Apparently some people clip only one wing, but that sounds extremely cruel. I have no intentions of doing anything cruel to a bird, or any creature for that matter. So what do you all practice?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:07 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

I have an ekkie, and to me they are the most wonderful birds. I have a male that I got as a baby, and you would think that I laid the egg that he came from, the way he acts.

He's my velcro boy, but has also learned to play by himself, so he's not clingy.

As for the noise, I can only go by what my Sydney does. He can make a loud noise if he wants, but he mostly talks to me and the other birds in a conversation level. He's a great apartment bird.

For the biting, I've never been bitten for real by him. He started beaking me as soon as I got him, and from day one he learned how hard he can clamp down. I just say "easy" if he does it too hard, and he listens.

My Sydney will step up on anyone if I tell him to, and he'll hang out with them as long as he can see me. He's never bitten anyone.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:09 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

I clip my ekkie's wings..both wings...evenly. He's a strong flyer and he likes to try to fly into the living room window, so I have to keep him clipped.

He's so used to it, I'll lift a wing and he'll hold it there while I clip.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:46 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Hello Purevil21, I breed & hand rear these beautiful birds. First i will address the wing clip. That is entirely up to you & IMO it dosen't make an ounce of difference providing the clip is correctly done.

Males can be a little laid back, I wouldn't say they need a quiet home not by a long shot, they love to be in the thick of things. I don't treat any eclectus baby or adult for that matter any different to other parrots. I wouldn't hesitate selling a baby boy into a family with children. Eclectus & kids get on very well together. Bottom line is TRUST.

Don't ever believe that these birds don't bite hard. They do. They pack a punch & you can even end up in the ER having stitches. That said it is usually something a carer has done wrong & the bird didn't like it. In all the years i have had eclectus i have never been bitten by my boys. Breeding hens with chicks is a different story.

Most males are very placid as long as they have been trained well. Problems can arise if they are to human imprinted. I am dealing with a 5 year old male that is so naughty. Screams 24/7 & bites when it doesn't get it's own way. If we don't sort this birds aggression out he will forever be looking for a new home. What makes me so angry is it isn't the birds fault it's the uneducated owner that has ruined this bird & now she doesn't want him. So is wanting to sell it to her friend.

If you decide on a baby you need to let him settle into his new environment, usually it will only take a day or two. If your new baby lunges at you, your moving to fast, slow down. Learn his body language & read up as much as you can on parrot behavior that way you will be able to identify a problem & hopefully work with your bird before it gets out of control.

I have 16 eclectus at the moment & truly they are all so well behaved, we get the odd alarm call but for the most part they all just talk to each other. To be honest i don't know why people have so much trouble with their companion parrots, it not that hard to raise a well adjusted parrot without hangups.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:29 AM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Hiya,

I have a young male eccie, about a year old.
He is also a velcro boy, totally sweet, cuddly, funny, just lovely.

Quiet unless im in another room and he will call to me, or the vacuum cleaner sets him off. Loves noise and activity all around him, a little bit wary with new people but just 'freezes', never shows agression at all. He gets used to new people after a few hours.

I have 3 step children, aged 5, 7 and 10. They all interact with Gizmo, who is probably the most tolerant bird on the face of the earth. In fact he seems to love the attention. He has been tucked in prams and pushed around, cuddled and played with for hours on end and not only does he tolerate it fully, he enjoys it. I have often put him up on his cage for a break and he will jump straight back down and go looking for the kids. In saying all that i got him as a vrery young baby and he was well so******ed to people by the time i let him interact with the kids.

In fact, he has never once bitten anyone. I took him in recently for a parrot fever test (involves a swab being taken from up his bum, so not pleasant), and he doesnt even need to be towelled. He is just so placid, and is totally trusting. I think that trust relationship is so important with ekkies - once they trust you, they do with all their heart and it is important to keep that trust - if you do they are a total dream. He happily lifts his feet up to me one at a time for a nail clip, and loves to shower with me.

He is honestly the most fantastic bird, I couldnt ask for a better fid. He is funny, sweet, loving, and scarily smart. By far the smartests bird i have ever owned.
He may change when he goes through the terrible twos and reached sexual maturity but at the moment he is an unbelievably compliant, sweet boy, who is also independent enough to play by himself.

Im biased, but they are fantastic birds!
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:22 AM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

I'm a firm believer in wing clipping, I have lost two birds out of open doors in the past and one bird that got spooked off my shoulder and flew into a wall. But I do not like to clip a birds wings that have already learned to fly. To me it breaks their spirit. I would suggest though if you do decide to wing clip, make sure and have an experienced avian groomer or vet do it. They should be clipped on both wings NEVER ONLY ONE WING and a shallow or easy clip, which is not as drastic a clip as most birds. The wings feathers will grow in quicker, but it allows a stocky bird such as an eclectus or african grey to glide to the ground rather than drop like a rock and either break a leg or crush their breast bone.

My Eclectus gets groomed by our mobile grooming service about once every two months. They check the wings and may clip a little on them, check his beak and may pass a file on it a swipe or two and then the nails get filed. In two months their nails get pretty long and sharp. Mine is getting ready for another grooming and you can tell when it's getting time because I will have little red spots up and down my arm from his nails gripping me while walking through the house. The grooming runs about $40.00 every two months and that is for two birds, my Ekkie and my Sennie. What I love about it, they don't have to be caged up and transported anywhere.

Last edited by mtdoramike; 11-09-2011 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:21 PM
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Re: I want an Eclectus

Quote: Originally Posted by mtdoramike View Post
I'm a firm believer in wing clipping, I have lost two birds out of open doors in the past and one bird that got spooked off my shoulder and flew into a wall. But I do not like to clip a birds wings that have already learned to fly. To me it breaks their spirit. I would suggest though if you do decide to wing clip, make sure and have an experienced avian groomer or vet do it. They should be clipped on both wings NEVER ONLY ONE WING and a shallow or easy clip, which is not as drastic a clip as most birds. The wings feathers will grow in quicker, but it allows a stocky bird such as an eclectus or african grey to glide to the ground rather than drop like a rock and either break a leg or crush their breast bone.

My Eclectus gets groomed by our mobile grooming service about once every two months. They check the wings and may clip a little on them, check his beak and may pass a file on it a swipe or two and then the nails get filed. In two months their nails get pretty long and sharp. Mine is getting ready for another grooming and you can tell when it's getting time because I will have little red spots up and down my arm from his nails gripping me while walking through the house. The grooming runs about $40.00 every two months and that is for two birds, my Ekkie and my Sennie. What I love about it, they don't have to be caged up and transported anywhere.
I also use a mobile groomer.
She's excellent with them and I feel that it alleviates some stress.
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Last edited by Pinkbullets; 11-09-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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