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Old 01-15-2018, 11:57 AM
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Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

Hi all,

I've been thinking recently about getting a female eclectus to keep my male company.
But i've read very mixed things about the females, as most of you will know they are not the reccomended eclectus in most cases.
Now i get that they tend to be more dominant and nippy but is it really that bad?
Also i'd like to know how females are diffrent from the males.
If i have to describe my Rio;
Gets along with everyone, doesnt do much, whenever i start vacuuming he goes nuts flufs up hangs upside down and starts screaming like crazy... also he does not want to be touched, he just prefers to sit somewhere up high and look at whats going on in the room.

Now what i've heard about females is that they are way more playfull and like to interact with people.
But i also hear that they are very agressive, bite a lot and are just plain mean at times (I doubt this all to be true)

Can someone with a female give me some info about your bird?

Also i hope that a femal eclectus would be a little more cuddly than my male, i've seen youtube vidoes of eclectus parrots and never really see any males enjoy cuddles but females often do?. (i know.. if i want to cuddle i should get a cat or something but i dont like any animals but birds.)
My macaw is very cuddly, and i dont expect many birds to show this behaviour but at least i hope that eclectus can enjoy an occasional head scratch at the least without running away from me. or am i really in the wrong species here?

Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:21 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

I only have experience with the males.

The females reputation is a bit overblown. Yes most of what you read has a grain of truth: they are more dominant and opinionated, the fiery red heads of the parrot world. But those are the worst cases and need to be averaged over the total spectrum of personalities.

What do you mean by cuddly? Lots of petting and scritches? Nuzzling? Ekkies generally don’t like extensive touching regardless of gender. And extensive touching can lead to hormonal behavior. So if cuddly is what your looking for get another macaw.

With ekkies you have to find other ways of expressing affection. It’s not hard to do.

Here’s what I want you to hear: if you’re happy with your male, you won’t go wrong with the female. I do believe that you will be perfectly happy with a female. I don’t think it’ll be the issue you’re imagining based on what you’ve read.

Of course, “to keep my other bird company” is also the worst reason to get a bird since there’s never a guarantee they will get along. You really should only get another bird if your mentality is “my bird is great but I have room in my heart for another one and I really want another bird”. If any thought of “for my current bird” creeps in, you’re headed for trouble and need to stop immediately.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:37 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

I haven't had my eclectus very long, but of my 3, the males seem more playful.

Bella would previously sit on me for long periods, but she doesn't really like stroking or petting or playing without being aggressive.

The boys on the other hand - will tolerate physical contact more and seem to be more engaged with playing.

Also, from what I gather, multiple males are more likely to get along. Bella and Dexter tolerate one another, but Dexter and newcomer Gerry seem to enjoy socialising with one another more than Bella and Dexter ever did.

If you want cuddles and head scratches, eclectus probably aren't the way to go.

Also like what Chris said - birds are like people and just because you have 2 birds of the same species, doesn't mean they will like eachother at all.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:49 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

Disclaimer: My girl is very young, less than 6 months old, and from what I've read her personality might change when she hits sexual maturity. (please please please let the changes be good lol) She's also only been with us for 3 months so I think we have much more to learn about her.

In my opinion, Remi's personality is in line with her breed and her gender. I expected this when I got her and I'm OK with all of it.

More detail:

She doesn't like excessive touching, and one of her favourite things to do is fly off and be by herself. (Presumably to plot world domination)

However, this doesn't mean she's not receptive to affection, it's just not in the form of scratching feathers. I have noticed she will happily take "kisses", either gentle ones directly on the beak, or a kiss on the fingers, that touch her body. They're brief but I do them regularly, and she doesn't mind at all. The way she shows affection is by closeness.
She loves snuggling with my partner and will settle on his chest and just rest her beak on his face and go off to sleep. (When I see that I remind myself that "eclectus aren't affectionate". Hmmm.)
When she is relaxed and content, she will sit on my shoulder and just be very close to my face, and often mumbles herself to sleep. That, to me - is not standoffish at all. Just a different way they show affection (and in some ways, I prefer it to being demanded to give out head scratches!)

Sometimes I cannot help myself and scoop her up to gently squish her - and she complains, but I set her back down before she can escalate her discontent She has also demonstrated some playfulness with soft toys (when trying to tear their poor eyes out) - but this is not all the time.


She is not disinterested in company, in fact she craves it. When she has been playing (or whatever the heck she does) by herself, she will often fly the length of the house to come see what my partner or I am doing.

If she's in her cage, contact calls definitely bring her comfort.

I've noticed she's been irritable about stuff on the top of her cage - but she is very clear with her body language before she goes to bite. Lots of feather-hackles and growling - plenty of time for an observant owner to get the message.
That being said, this behaviour can (and will at some point) be resolved with training.

Playing with Remi usually involves her flying to things and wanting to chew on them and her game is "which thing can I chew that can make mum panic the most?". Other times I'll have her chase me down the hallway, or we'll just get a big box of foot toys and munch on them. Usually when she's 'mischevious' like this I'll try direct her energy into training (which has sort of worked?)

I have seen female eckies getting cuddles but they are usually very young. You can also develop an affinity for touching with training but it is true that many other bird species just crave it "out of the box".

I also agree with Chris-md - I would be more inclined to get a bird YOU want, if you were to get any at all. Birds of any species can get along if properly introduced and everyone's personalities are so individual you'll never know who will become best buddies (or mortal enemies).

Hope this helps you in your decision making.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:56 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

From your description, it sounds like you want an eclectus because:
1) you have one
2) you like the idea of having another one around.

The bottom line is, each bird is an individual. I have worked with female eclectus that like human contact, males that do not, and vice versa. I would agree with Chris though, if that is your main goal, it's not the best species.

You could be very much changing your flock dynamic by adding another bird (not just dealing with behaviors of the new bird). Hormonal behavior may increase, they may hate each other, they may live in harmony. There is no way to predict.

How long have you had your current flock members. If several years, you are likely equipped to handle such changes, and modify and adapt as needed, but ultimately you have to decide what you really want in another companion bird.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:21 AM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

Just to throw a different point out there in regards to another parrot.

Remember what you went through very recently and still are dealing with your Macaw. Would it truly be fair to bring another bird into that world splitting your time down even more, if your mac were to relapse into her previous problems again would you be able to look after everyone or would someone suddenly fall to the wayside? May not be exactly what you want to hear but it is something you have to think of when your mac was having those problems.

Don't forget as well in just a few years she's going to become a hormone monster and you just don't know what that will bring with her. I will always say to wait until all birds in the home are sexually mature before adding anyone else just because truly nobody knows what that will bring
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:53 AM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

Quote: Originally Posted by LordTriggs View Post
I will always say to wait until all birds in the home are sexually mature before adding anyone else just because truly nobody knows what that will bring
I think that's fabulous advice, Mr Triggs - and I would second that too. Sometimes personalities can change on a dime when hormones are involved and you can't guess at what'll happen.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:47 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

@lordtriggs
Yeah i know, but the main reason i am thinking about a female is for my male. Overall he's doing great but i just feel like he's missing something now. Normally i would have enough time to give him all the attention but jacky my macaw is just so demanding.
I just feel like he would be happier with a partner.
Reason i asked about the females is becouse it would be nice to have a parrot who would like / accept cuddles and all. but its not the main reason.
But... My eclectus does seem to get along with pretty much every bird that is smaller than him, they can even share cages without problems and always seem to have a blast toghether, especially with my friend's pionus and senegal.
So regardless of the attention i'm going to give to his companion it would be nice to have a parrot who would fit in with my lifestyle and behavior.
I think he would get along great with a female eclectus, but i'm afraid that if ekkies are just like that (not liking touch and all) i would be happier with another bird, and my ekkie would get along anyway i believe.

Anyway this is not a decision i'm making lightly here, i understand the possibility of neglect with a very demanding macaw in the same home. but right now it's pretty certain that my ekkie is not getting the attention it needs.

So it pretty much comes down to this, I'm looking for a bird to keep my eclectus company but also a bird that can get along with me and my macaw.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:16 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

“I can’t keep up? What to do? Let’s add another!”

I understand your concern. However It’s not a birds responsibility to give your ekkie attention. It’s yours. These aren’t finches. They require more than what you are currently offering up. Require, not optional.

This sentiment you express is quite disturbing.

If one ekkie isn’t getting the amount of attention it needs, a second one doubly won’t. And if they don’t get along you’ll now have two neglected birds.

Honestly this is a disaster in the making. You’re all over the place. First sentence is “the main reason is for my boy”, middle is is “I want it for myself”. Then last sentence is back to “it’s for my boy”. You’re rationalizing, and that’s bad.

I strongly suggest you figure out how to care for and give love and attention to the ekkie you do have before you consider another bird that will likely end up neglected. A reasonable, rational person in your position looking for a resolution would conclude one of your current birds needs to be rehomed.

Why?? Because The problem is you’re overwhelmed. Another bird won’t fix that.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!!

Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Last edited by chris-md; 01-16-2018 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:23 PM
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Re: Thinking about getting a female / are they really bad?

I knew an eclectus breeder and he had to try to pair up his ekkies multiple times just because ones he'd try and put together... well... just didn't like eachother.

I would say ONLY take on another eclectus if you are prepared for the following outcomes :
A: The new bird hating your existing bird
B: Your existing bird hating the new bird
C: Both birds hating eachother
D: Both birds liking eachother

That's a 1 in 4 chance. But then you have a 3 in 4 chance of potentially having even less time to spend with your flock if you end up having to split time between them all.

I have had Bella and Dexter for over a year, and it has taken nearly all that time to get it to the point where they can both be out at the same time with minimal lunging. I had to split my time between them for quite a long time every day! Even now, the best way for me to get them to coexist is to shove food in both their beaks! But even then, the moment one finishes eating before the other, the other is trying to steal the food from the other ones beak and start a squabble.

ADDED:
I agree with chris_md (who was seemingly typing his message while I was typing mine.) If your eclectus isn't getting enough attention, another eclectus won't do your job for you, it will mean you have to give even more of yourself to another bird... when you've basically stated that you don't have enough time for the eclectus you already have. If you're spread too thin, spreading yourself thinner won't help.

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