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Old 08-17-2012, 10:47 AM
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Eclectus vs. African Grey

So I have posted previously that I have always wanted a parrot and I am doing my research on which type and whether or not a parrot is even the right choice for me right now. I was originally torn between the Grey and an Eleanora Cockatoo. I posted on the Cockatoo thread and with the help of the folks there I determined as much as I fell in love with the bird I saw, it was not the right bird for me.

During my research I started reading about the Eclectus. I love everything about the African Grey but I have my reservations because it has the reputation of being a one person bird and I have a family of 4 that would all want to interact with the bird. I also have young children, 4 yoa and 7 yoa. The Eclectus seems to be the best of both worlds being a very intelligent parrot, great talker and an affectionate parrot with the whole family.

Now I realize a lot of factors come into play on how the bird, no matter the type, acts with everyone in the family. A handfed, well socialized baby being the key factor. But I want to know which type of parrot would be more likely to thrive and be happier in a more chaotic, family household. I want everyone to be happy campers, including our new feathered baby.

So what I know so far is the Eclectus has special dietary considerations that other birds do not have. I also know that there are personality differences between the males and females. From what I have read the female would do better in a family with young children that can tend to be more chaotic.

Any input, good or bad, is very welcomed as I am a complete novice here.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:33 AM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

I think your on the right track with everything you've read. A female would do better in a chaotic home as the males I've seen plus my boy DO NOT like the chaos. While the females I've seen plus my girl don't mind it so much. BUT females can be nippy! But once they've grown attach to you, that will go away if you train them properly. Their diet isn't all that complicated, we thought it was complicated at first but it's really not that bad. We just feed fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis and just a little seeds at night. We also give them their weekly cooking of egg with shell, chicken breast meat, sweet potatoes, etc. Just remember NO added vitamins as it causes more harm then good for these birds. They don't create much dust at all, BUT they tend to be messy when they eat!

African Greys are wonderful to have too, but just remember they're dusty birds!!! I've been around them but never gotten into them or even want them. I personally will watch these guys a bit closer since you do have young children.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

I was in the same situation as urself my friend lol
I have 2 children a 11 yr & 3 yr old & wanted a family pet 4 us to all enjoy. After several months of intense research I decided 2 get a male Eclectus Parrot.I couldnt be happier about my choice
Seaweed is the best of both worlds.I must say that they are VERY sensitive to envoirmental changes.When ever I scold my children Seaweed screams (which is something he RARELY does) He clearly doesnt like it lol.I take him out with me & the kids often.He has a bird harness which allows me to safely take him with me almost anywhere.I take him to my sons school & allow the children 2 pet him & the occasional adult can also handle him 2.I also encourage my kids to feed him little treats so that Seaweed associates positive things with the hands of my children.People are amazed to see how tame and passive he is with strangers.I believe that Many birds become 1 person birds simply because they havent been properly socialized.Female Eclectus tend to be more dominant in nature,so its definately something to consider especially if this will be ur 1st parrot.Maximilian Pionus are a great addition to family with childrens.They are very passive,quiet & rarely show aggresion,but they dont talk very well.Having a well behaved parrot is a lovely addition to any family & is sure to bring u smiles everyday My highest reccomendation in whater parrot species u choose is to make sure it has been handfed,get a flight harness 4 it & socialize it with as many ppl & places u possibly can.U are sure to have a woderful addition to urfamily 4 many years to come Best of Luck to u my friend
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:35 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

You are on the right track. The Eclectus will bond to your family as its "flock", and if you choose a female, then she will be more tolerant of chaos and noise. Make sure your bird is handfed, and comes from a good breeder.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:43 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

Thank you everyone for the input. This is a very big decision and not one to be taken lightly. I consider my animals part of the family and I want everyone in the family to enjoy them. I am starting to think the eclectus would be a great fit. Seaweed I plan on taking my bird with me when we go on walks, playground, school functions, etc and it's so nice to hear that your Ekkie handles that in stride. Do you have any dogs? Just wondering how an Ekkie would handle barking dogs and screaming children?! Which is a relatively common occurrence in my household! Haha
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:47 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

Also anyone know of a good and reputable breeder in the Central Texas area? I've always gotten my pets from rescue but I feel in my case with small children I need to get a baby and socialize the new addition with children. But I want to go to a breeder who is good, socializes their babies properly and is discriminating on where their babies go in an effort to reduce the need for rehoming them down the road!
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:14 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

I have 2 dogs - a 5 pound Papillon & a 50 pound Boxer hybrid.Seaweed is the Boss.He steals their food hangs out on the tops of their crates.However I have to emphasize that u must show ur dogs what behavior is & isnt allowed with ur parrot.Parrots are natrually Prey & dogs are predators.Once ur dogs understand that intense staring & over excitement isnt tolerated as appropriate behavior around ur feathered friend,then the trust becomes more apparent when its clear that u are the pack/flock leader.And once the bird becomes comfotable with the dogs he will establish what is and isnt tolerated in his eyes lol.Seaweed has free roam of my house & can fly down to the floor as he wishes & the dogs will come up to him & kiss him.People LOVE to see parrots out in public.when ever I take Seaweed out with me I get a flock of people fascinated to see him.Most ppl think hes fake until he moves lol.Seaweed has developed some fans lol.Seaweed will climb 12 steps on his own to get to me,he is so attached & used to getting much attention lol.Eclectus are such a special breed of parrot.There is a good reason why there barely isnt any Eckies that are surrendered,they are such great companions.With the socilazation u plan on doing with him will just make him a more valuable & cherished family member.U will not be disapointed

Oh! P.S ~ I would only purchase from a breeder who hand raises their birds.I brought mines from a breeder who handraises parrots & has 3 small children herself.I found that to be of most importance considering that I have a 3 yr old at home myself.I bought my Seaweed from a great breeder her name is Laura her website is
Exoctic Parrots 4 sale
She also has a FB page where u can readily see the birds shes raising. Having a healthy well raised parrot is worth every penny u can spend! Best of luck to ya doll.Blessings
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:21 PM
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Cool Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

Quote: Originally Posted by njgray21 View Post
Also anyone know of a good and reputable breeder in the Central Texas area? I've always gotten my pets from rescue but I feel in my case with small children I need to get a baby and socialize the new addition with children. But I want to go to a breeder who is good, socializes their babies properly and is discriminating on where their babies go in an effort to reduce the need for rehoming them down the road!
I would highly recommend the breeder I got Seaweed from.Even though she located in Sandpoint,ID She does shipping.What made me choose her above the others is because she handraises her parrots around her 3 small children & has a very clean environment.I found that to be really important,considering I have 2 small children myself.Her site is - Exotic Parrots 4 Sale - she also has a FB page u can readily view all her birds & she takes constant pics of their growth progress.Hope this helps a bit

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:16 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

I don't have an eclectus but I keep hearing around here people saying greys are one person birds, and my grey seems to go wild for men, but I can still take her out and play with her too, she just loves to flirt! She loves attention from anyone and everyone. I think both ekkie and greys are great birds and I want to get an ekkie someday too

My grey is ready to bite the dogs and loves to taunt them. We have a rat terrier, pomeranian, hound mutt and just adopted a bull terrier last week.....who wants to eat my rabbits. Sigh. He already got to meet the amazon and grey with an attempt to bite that big nose! And now he knows to stay away. I have a baby gate up in my bedroom now so he cannot come and harass my grey, Chloe or my rabbits.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Eclectus vs. African Grey

An Ekkie is an excellent choice if you want a bird that will be social with the whole family. They have the same mimicking ability that a Grey has. Mine talks all day non stop. I just posted this so I copied it to save some typing: " Ekkies in the wild live in large social flocks. They are one of the few parrots that aren't monogamous. They will breed with multiple birds in the flock and don't bond to just one bird. They are a community bird, where cousins, brothers, aunts, uncles will all help raise each other's chicks. They are known to be more of a family bird, they usually don't have such a strong preference for one member of the house to the point that they wont go to others. This comes from how they live socially in the wild. Ours follows the typical Ekkie trait and doesn't show preference between us." Their diet is not hard to do, really the only difference is that they require a lot more vitamin A than other birds, fresh fruits and veggies. They do have ekkie specific pellets out there that you can supplement the diet with but fresh fruit daily is a must. I have two large dogs that run around and bark all day and it doesnt phase Rocco. In fact he is a great (almost too good) watch dog. If someone walks into the backyard he throws a fit. I absolutely LOVE my Ekkie, he was a great choice for us. If it wasn't for Rome's super submissive personality I would have gotten a female but I wanted to pair a submissive natured bird with her. The females are dominant over the males but they can still make very lovely pets for the experienced. Good luck with your choice.
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