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Old 11-17-2020, 08:30 AM
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Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

I don't plan on having an Eclectus right now, but I'm investigating more about them. So, Eclectus owners or people with experiences, are Eclectus hens aggressive? Are males as docile as they are portrayed? Or is this just a shot in the dark? Also, are they cuddly (I don't mean all the time, but do they like head scratches every now and then?), and easy to handle? How do they do with kids? To clarify, I don't have a kid and I'm not planning on having any for at least another 10-12 years, but I do have little cousins and nephews that come every now and then. I also want to know how do they do around a little bit of chaos since my Mexican family likes to do parties every now and then. Thank you all to you that are reading my post and taking some time of their life to answer it!
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:21 AM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Eclectus can be magnificent birds....but also incredibly aggressive when they hit puberty.

I've heard of very docile males being sweet as can be as babies but turning into terrors as they mature! This is simply from the threads I have read here, I am not an ekkie owner. But I will say I absolutely LOVE the turquoise blue male mutation that I see some breeders sell. Little fingers in cages may possibly mean getting them bit when they mature, just a warning if you want to have your younger relatives over.

They have quote complex diets, different than other parrots, so also take this into consideration -- you'll be meal prepping and preparing specific fruits and veggies for 40 years for them. They do require a specialized diet so take that into consideration -- a seed and pellet diet simply won't do.


A lot of their characteristics will be determined by how the breeder has socialized them! A lot of larger parrots do not do well around small children or busy households -- the noise can scare them and stress them out a lot.

All the best of luck!
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:49 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to research well in advance of purchase, this puts you well ahead of most people in terms of preparedness.

May I ask how old you are? You talk about your big family, it sounds like you are still at home with parents? You say you are a ways off from purchasing, assuming you still live with your parents, one of your goals to getting closer is to be settled into your own place. The challenge is if you're bringing a parrot into a home with other people, EVERYONE need to buy in. Every single person, 100% in. Because they will all be inconvenienced by the bird when it screams or gets aggressive.

Be cautious when you generalize to a species: each bird has its own personality, and many times doesn't always fit the mold of what the internet suggests they are.

That said, with ekkies you can sort of generalize a LITTLE, due to the dynamics in the wild. The females can be bossy, opinionated things. Doesn't mean aggressive, that means they are more expressive with their opinions - a personality trait. Where a male might just sit there staring at you, a female might come up and let you know they don't like that cup your drinking out of. There are plenty of calmer females out there who are less opinionated, so take the generalization with a grain of salt. Due to territoriality and hormones, they could be quicker to bite than the males, but its hardly a certainty.

The males are a bit calmer in general. I like to say they are the stoners of the bird world, utter dufus dunderheads at times. But there are some, like my boy, who can have a fiery temper out of the blue when he wants. So again, grain of salt.

Ekkies as a rule - and this is almost universal - don't really like to be touched. I can pet my boys back all I want and run a single finger down his chest, but the head is off limits, and he lets me know it. Every bird is different in what they will tolerate, but you will usually encounter some form of resistance if you try to touch them SOMEWHERE.

Ekkies really aren't great birds to start off with if you've never owned birds before. I don't really believe in the concept of starter birds, but there are birds that are absolutely HARDER than others that newbies should think twice about. this is due to two reasons:

1. Diet: as noted above the ekkie diet is strict. Most medium/large parrots in captivity, in peoples homes, are on primarily pelleted diet, with other stuff thrown in for variety (fruits/veggies/grains/seeds). Thats fine for those, but you cannot feed an eclectus like that. They have unique physiology that requires them to eat mostly fresh fruits/vegetables/grains/etc. They are adapted for a wild diet that is relatively nutrient poor - their bodies are great at extracting nutrients from where there are little. But that means its somewhat easy for them to overabsorb vitamins and minerals, which can lead to significant health risks. Most pellets have added viatmins and minerals, making them unsuitable for eclectus consumption. Throwing seeds or pellets is a surefire way of eventually killing your bird. If you're looking for a bird ou can scoop food out of a bag and feed it, ekkies are not the bird for you. I wouldn't necessarily say the diet is complex, its just veggies/grains/fruits for the most part. Its just not a diet for lazy people who want to just scoop and dump seeds and pellets.

2. Hormones - most birds have breeding seasons, in the spring and partly in the fall. during these times they may get unruly/aggressive/amorous, some may become a challenge to handle for a few weeks. These are governed by environmental cues like daylength and temperature fluctuations. Ekkies are not subject to breeding seasons and in fact are able to breed year round. This means their breeding triggers aren't necessarily seasonal and you have to always be on the lookout. They can be induced to hormonal behavior by things like inappropriate touching/petting (anything but the head), lots of sugar in the diet (fruits are a big source of this), putting toys in the cage that you have seen cause the bird to, to name a few. Hormonal control can get complicated, its a very high learning curve to identify what's hormonal behavior and what isn't, whats causing it, and how to mitigate it. Its easier in seasonal birds, its not something you are doing wrong, its here and its gone, all mostly out of your control. With ekkies, if your bird is hormonal 24/7/365, its definitely YOU doing something wrong in the husbandry.

Speaking to how they do with large familys and kids, that will very from one bird to another, will depend on how respectful the kids are, how on point your training is, how well you learn your birds body languge and respect it when it says NO. There is a trope out there that ekkies are extremely sensitive and need a quiet home in order to really thrive, but I've not personally observed that in my bird or anyone elses for that matter. They are less likely to become one-person birds, so you have that going for you.

Hope this helps! ITs a lot to take in, but ekkies ARE a lot of bird to handle. If you do fine with a steep learning curve, you could in theory do well with them.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:54 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

So on point Chris!
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:25 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to research well in advance of purchase, this puts you well ahead of most people in terms of preparedness.

May I ask how old you are? You talk about your big family, it sounds like you are still at home with parents? You say you are a ways off from purchasing, assuming you still live with your parents, one of your goals to getting closer is to be settled into your own place. The challenge is if you're bringing a parrot into a home with other people, EVERYONE need to buy in. Every single person, 100% in. Because they will all be inconvenienced by the bird when it screams or gets aggressive.

Be cautious when you generalize to a species: each bird has its own personality, and many times doesn't always fit the mold of what the internet suggests they are.

That said, with ekkies you can sort of generalize a LITTLE, due to the dynamics in the wild. The females can be bossy, opinionated things. Doesn't mean aggressive, that means they are more expressive with their opinions - a personality trait. Where a male might just sit there staring at you, a female might come up and let you know they don't like that cup your drinking out of. There are plenty of calmer females out there who are less opinionated, so take the generalization with a grain of salt. Due to territoriality and hormones, they could be quicker to bite than the males, but its hardly a certainty.

The males are a bit calmer in general. I like to say they are the stoners of the bird world, utter dufus dunderheads at times. But there are some, like my boy, who can have a fiery temper out of the blue when he wants. So again, grain of salt.

Ekkies as a rule - and this is almost universal - don't really like to be touched. I can pet my boys back all I want and run a single finger down his chest, but the head is off limits, and he lets me know it. Every bird is different in what they will tolerate, but you will usually encounter some form of resistance if you try to touch them SOMEWHERE.

Ekkies really aren't great birds to start off with if you've never owned birds before. I don't really believe in the concept of starter birds, but there are birds that are absolutely HARDER than others that newbies should think twice about. this is due to two reasons:

1. Diet: as noted above the ekkie diet is strict. Most medium/large parrots in captivity, in peoples homes, are on primarily pelleted diet, with other stuff thrown in for variety (fruits/veggies/grains/seeds). Thats fine for those, but you cannot feed an eclectus like that. They have unique physiology that requires them to eat mostly fresh fruits/vegetables/grains/etc. They are adapted for a wild diet that is relatively nutrient poor - their bodies are great at extracting nutrients from where there are little. But that means its somewhat easy for them to overabsorb vitamins and minerals, which can lead to significant health risks. Most pellets have added viatmins and minerals, making them unsuitable for eclectus consumption. Throwing seeds or pellets is a surefire way of eventually killing your bird. If you're looking for a bird ou can scoop food out of a bag and feed it, ekkies are not the bird for you. I wouldn't necessarily say the diet is complex, its just veggies/grains/fruits for the most part. Its just not a diet for lazy people who want to just scoop and dump seeds and pellets.

2. Hormones - most birds have breeding seasons, in the spring and partly in the fall. during these times they may get unruly/aggressive/amorous, some may become a challenge to handle for a few weeks. These are governed by environmental cues like daylength and temperature fluctuations. Ekkies are not subject to breeding seasons and in fact are able to breed year round. This means their breeding triggers aren't necessarily seasonal and you have to always be on the lookout. They can be induced to hormonal behavior by things like inappropriate touching/petting (anything but the head), lots of sugar in the diet (fruits are a big source of this), putting toys in the cage that you have seen cause the bird to, to name a few. Hormonal control can get complicated, its a very high learning curve to identify what's hormonal behavior and what isn't, whats causing it, and how to mitigate it. Its easier in seasonal birds, its not something you are doing wrong, its here and its gone, all mostly out of your control. With ekkies, if your bird is hormonal 24/7/365, its definitely YOU doing something wrong in the husbandry.

Speaking to how they do with large familys and kids, that will very from one bird to another, will depend on how respectful the kids are, how on point your training is, how well you learn your birds body languge and respect it when it says NO. There is a trope out there that ekkies are extremely sensitive and need a quiet home in order to really thrive, but I've not personally observed that in my bird or anyone elses for that matter. They are less likely to become one-person birds, so you have that going for you.

Hope this helps! ITs a lot to take in, but ekkies ARE a lot of bird to handle. If you do fine with a steep learning curve, you could in theory do well with them.
Hi! Thank you for such an extensive response! I guess I am considered quite young in the parrot owning community (I am 17 years old). I already have my college set and I live in Mexico (No residential college), my family is super on board with a parrot. I don't really have a lot of experience owning parrots, but my parents do! My mom had multiple Orange-fronted parakeets while she was growing up (they were my grandma's) and my dad used to have a red-fronted amazon that he loved to death (unfortunately they stole him because my grandma left it outside in its cage). They are also okay to help me take care of him if I can't take him with me immediately after I start living on my own. I was thinking about an Eclectus because they don't tend to be a 1 person bird. Also, their diet is one of the reasons I choose to investigate more about them. I love cooking! And I have a really veggie-based diet (I am "ironically" really picky with meat) so I think I would mind chopping a couple more veggies than mines (I meal prep my own food). Also, I hear that they tend to have a vitamin A deficiency? (That would mean more orange veggies for them, wouldn't it?). They don't really like to be touched? So sad! I guess that if I end up deciding to get and Eclectus I will just have to respect that. Kids that come to my house tend to be at least respectful of animals (they don't mess with my dogs), but I am kinda worried that while I am away talking to my older cousins they will try to touch them (let's be real, they are stunning). I am guessing that adults will do this too (uncles), but I do not care about them, they were warned, and they are not little kids. By the way, we tend to have family barbeques almost every weekend, but it mostly consists of my mom's sisters (so parrot experience there) and my older cousins (21 years old minimum and me). Also, I have a "little brother", he is 11 but quite respectful of animals in the household (he also tends to prefer slower animals? He likes tortoises and has his own). The house I am living on is big and has no connected neighbors, my dogs are also outdoor dogs.

If you have any recommendations on other parrots that may fit my lifestyle better please tell me! I am willing to research more of any species. Also, what are parrots that are cuddly (enjoy head scratches every now and then)

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Old 11-18-2020, 08:12 AM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Speaking as someone who bought a bird at 18 while in college, and is now 34, I will caution you with purchasing a bird before being settled in post-college life. Every roommate you have in college will have different feelings about the bird. Your neighbors as well... My cockatiel is now almost 16 years old. I wouldnít have changed my decisions but I can look back and see just HOW different my 20s could have been if not for her. Not coming home from the bar, or a friends house because youíre too tired isnít an option when youíve got a bird expecting you home. You may find it more difficult to move into your own place due to pet restrictions/noise ordinances.

Chris has been insanely helpful with our male eclectus. Iíve listened to his, and othersí advice from these forums the last few months and have seen great change in my guy. My wife and I love him dearly. The hormonal years have been hard, no question. And we both have worries about starting a family and how heíll react to that change.

Iíll reiterate, we love our birds. They are a lot of work and certainly keep us from extended trips or weekend getaways (due to boarding cost). The rewards are worth it, but there is sacrifice. These are things that you may not even be thinking about yet but your future bird will be around for decades. Good luck!


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Old 11-18-2020, 12:35 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Welcome, deep respect for researching and having a clear mindset of desired attributes! I've had one each male and female Ekkie, completely agree with chris-md's assessment. I bonded closely with my female "Angel" and was able to touch her without restriction. However, the male "Sasquatch" was strictly business and merely tolerated gentle neck stroking. Specialized diet would dovetail with your affinity for veggies! Both of mine were extraordinarily good talkers, emphasis on stunningly clear voices - not the "gravelly" tone most common.

Cockatoos are worth a look if you prize cuddling and extroverted personalities. They come with a special set of cautions and needs. Various conure species are widely prized for socialization and ease of bonding. The "Sun" variety are striking beauties!

Students can accommodate life with a parrot if willing to sacrifice at times and are mindful of their extensive needs. I offer this beautifully written thread with much wisdom: What Students Should Ask Before Getting a Bird.

Good luck with your quest, we're here for advice and support!!
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:51 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Welcome, deep respect for researching and having a clear mindset of desired attributes! I've had one each male and female Ekkie, completely agree with chris-md's assessment. I bonded closely with my female "Angel" and was able to touch her without restriction. However, the male "Sasquatch" was strictly business and merely tolerated gentle neck stroking. Specialized diet would dovetail with your affinity for veggies! Both of mine were extraordinarily good talkers, emphasis on stunningly clear voices - not the "gravelly" tone most common.

Cockatoos are worth a look if you prize cuddling and extroverted personalities. They come with a special set of cautions and needs. Various conure species are widely prized for socialization and ease of bonding. The "Sun" variety are striking beauties!

Students can accommodate life with a parrot if willing to sacrifice at times and are mindful of their extensive needs. I offer this beautifully written thread with much wisdom: What Students Should Ask Before Getting a Bird.

Good luck with your quest, we're here for advice and support!!
Thank you for the useful link! I will definitely look more into the smaller cockatoos (or maybe the bigger ones too) and I will keep researching! Also, I am more than willing to sacrifice time with friends for my future parrot!

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Old 11-18-2020, 02:34 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
So on point Chris!
Thank you sir!

Quote: Originally Posted by Ekkietiel View Post
Chris has been insanely helpful with our male eclectus. Iíve listened to his, and othersí advice from these forums the last few months and have seen great change in my guy.
Thats incredibly kind of you to say, I'm humbled. We don't often hear quite that feedback showing great strides like this. Glad to have had the opportunity to contribute in some way.

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Cockatoos are worth a look if you prize cuddling and extroverted personalities. They come with a special set of cautions and needs.
My dear friend, why...on gods green earth...would you intentionally subject this poor kid to something as neurotic as a COCKATOO
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:03 PM
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Re: Male or female eclectus? Eclectus just in general?

If youíre dead set on getting a bird, and one that will cuddle with you, Iíd look at cockatiels (Not cockatoos lol, theyíre cute but crazy). They are very cuddly and love being pet. They adjust well to schedule changes. Males can learn to whistle and even say a few words (though less common). I have a male and a female cockatiel and love them both.

If you really are set on a parrot maybe look into a quaker. Iíve never owned one but know people who have. From my experiences theyíre very friendly with their owners, smart and (letís not forget) not nearly the hormone or dietary issues of an eclectus.


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