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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 AM
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What to look for in a young Eclectus?

Hi guys,

Really excited, we're bringing a cage home today (large, corner cage!)



Now it's finally time to start looking for the right eclectus. I was at a local bird store yesterday and they had a young guy (born Dec 1), he's not ready to come home yet they said, he is already weaned though. They put him on a play stand so I can spend some time with him.

I honestly don't know what to pay attention to in selecting (this is my first bird). He seemed attentive, but not really playful (but he's young so I think that's normal). He would bite my finger if I put my hand in front of him in any way, not in an aggressive or scared way, just normal young behavior I assume. I was able to pet him briefly on his neck or back if I I bring my hand around from behind him more.

What kinds of things should I look for to make sure we select a healthy, playful bird?

Also, in terms of colors.. his beak had some black. His feathers weren't 'all' green, I can't really explain it but I guess were more green and black mixed, do they get greener when they get older? Or is a young bird's color pretty much the same color they will be when older?

I know they are different species, the store was busy so I may go back this weekend or early this week to see the bird again and ask more questions, the specific person at the store helping I don't think was sure of exactly his species and I don't know enough either. Maybe I'll take a picture of him while I'm there too.

I also plan on looking at other pet stores. There are no breeders close to me that I know of.

Thanks
Nathalie
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:49 AM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

Hi
That cage looks great kind-of like one that i almost bought.
Being weaned after under 2 months seems a little weird/early to me for an ekkie though... are you sure he was born Dec 1?
While some can be absolute clowns, i really think that Ekkies are more 'chilled' than some other species of birds and they may seem less playful because they are just content to sit with you really...

With the beak colour, a lot of the boys lose the black off their beaks before they are even ready to go to a home (3+ months), but on another ekkie forum i'm on the breeders told me that it isn't uncommon for some black to linger about the edges until they are adults, (so up to 3 years). I asked this because my pickle still has quite a bit of black at around 2 yrs [though he has various other reasons].

As for the feathers, they could just be crappy looking because they are his baby feathers. And they very well could brighten up a heap in the first moult, but because you mentioned that they seem to think he has weaned so early i wouldn't rule out nutrition as a cause. The brightness of their feathers really doesn't depend so much on age; but stress, nutrition and grooming/care that each moult of the feathers receives. (for example an older rehomed bird can look entirely different after one moult on a good diet)...

I'm not anywhere near you so i cant really help, but other people on here might be able to direct you to some breeders. It would be great if you could find some, even if you don't go with them they can give you all sorts of advice. And If you have an avian vet nearby as well it would be a good idea to suss them out and possibly ask them a few questions.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:50 AM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

I have no answers for you as I have never owned one but wow that is a great looking cage and I am sure he is going to be a happy bird
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:46 AM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

That is a great cage! But I would definitely worry about that wean date. My breeder says her eclectus (which are never forced to wean; no bird should be) on average take from 4-6 months. Under two months sounds really strange to me. I'm not saying that bird can't be wonderful, I'd just proceed with caution. Also, is he well-socialized, handled frequently, and given lots and lots of positive attention? If not, maybe try elsewhere. Early socialization and attention are vital in the first few months to raising a stable, confident bird.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:14 PM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

FABULOUS cage! Your Eckie will LOVE it - no doubt in my mind.

I agree that something doesn't sound right with the hatch date, and the baby being completely weaned. That is MIGHTY young for an Eckie to be eating all on his own. I raised a pair of Red Sided Eclectus and if I remember correctly, the male stopped asking to be fed when he was around 15-16 weeks, while my female took 18 weeks to be fully weaned. Oh, and just because the male refused formula one day, didn't mean he was completely weaned either, because after a couple of days he started begging again, asking to be fed.

As for the beak color: My male arrived with his beak still VERY dark, but by the time he was 1 year he had that beautiful candy corn beak. The dark streaks in the feathers "could" be stress bars. They WILL lose them over time if provided with proper TLC.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:33 PM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

If I was ever going to get a baby eclectus, I would never get one from a bird store. I would go to a breeder. I find that most eclectus in bird stores are either scared to death of people or don't like people and try to bite. This is because, according to most eclectus books, they are generally very sensitive, and do not like a lot of craziness, or having people poke fingers in their faces. However, many great eclectus breeders actually raise the babies with their families, so they are constantly around kids and even other pets. This gets them very used to being held, touched, and used to noise. My eclectus does not like to be held or touched because I adopted her from someone who bought her from a crappy pet store. Also, breeders tend to know the personalities of their babies, so they can tell which ones are shy-er than others or more aggressive than others.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:26 PM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

Thanks for all your help. I went to a couple of local bird shoppes, one was very noisy and the little guy would bite a lot (he was only a few months old and not ready to go home yet)

Then we sent to another shoppe, the service was better, the store seemed better kept and the staff knowledgeable. They had a 7-month old male. I spent some time with him, he is a sweety. We picked him up yesterday

He's still very quiet but I think he's adjusting well. He surprised me by saying hello a couple of times.

Very excited
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:02 PM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

Oh how exciting!! What's your new baby's name? Wow, talking at 7 months--how cool is that!!! My Oliver is 17 weeks and is trying to make little sounds but nothing recognizable at this point. I can't wait to hear more about your bird...

Lisa
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: What to look for in a young Eclectus?

We named him Kiwi.

Here he is, hanging out while we were adding some wooden perches to his cage:




He's like a little stuffed animal lol.
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