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Old 12-29-2014, 02:15 PM
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No time for my bird! Rehome him?

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I want start by saying this is a post meant to ENCOURAGE people, not to blame or hurt.

I am on several forums and facebok pages that are flooded with rehoming posts listing "I dont have time to give him the attention he deserves" and variations of this as the reason the poor pet is being let go. My first reaction is to scream "WHY DID YOU GET HIM THEN??? DIDNT YOU GOOGLE EVEN FOR A LITTLE WHILE???" And sometimes this reaction truly is justified (When you say it in your own head, not when you actually scream at people), but other times it is not. An unexpected move, job change, illness, pregnancy, a child who is struggling, ANY NUMBER of things can come into our lives that take away time we thought we would have to spend with our pets. Even the most responsible of us can get caught unaware and suffer a sever time famine.

That said, I want to encourage people to take a look at the long term before rehoming a pet. Parrots in particular form incredibly deep bonds with their humans, and rehoming can be very hard on them. If you are finding you have less time for your bird and wonder if you should rehome, consider this; what if your best friend had no time for you for a long time? Would you want to never see them again? Or would you rather be lonely for a while, and have that friend back in the end? I feel this is especially true considering the life span of birds compared to other small pets. A budgie can live 12 years, and a cockatiel 30 - and should we even mention the larger species who can live 70+ years? 6 months of loneliness IS a big deal, a year even more so, but I struggle to believe that is worse than being ripped out of the home entirely.

Does that mean if your bird is lonely you just toss up your hands and say "Oh well, we will work this out at the end of the school year when things calm down"? NOPE! There are things you can do to help your fid through the crazy time that are a lot less drastic than rehoming:

-Multi-task. Too much homework/office work t get done, not enough time for birdie? Put the bird on your shoulder, on a play stand, etc, and spend time with the bird without making them your focus. This may mean you have to put some time into teaching your bird to play on their own while near you, but that is a skill your bird needs anyway. Take Polly in the shower with you, put her on the towel rack to preen while you do your hair/shave/brush your teeth. sweep the floor with a bird on your head, make phone calls while giving scritches, etc. I have my husband do this, too! He is very busy, but he doesnt rehome me Instead, when I feel like he isnt spending time with me but he has work to do, he will sit by me on the couch and do his work, or invite me to eat lunch with him in the middle f the day, which brings me to my next point...

-Make meal time flock time. Everybody's got to eat! This may gross some people out, but eating is a flock activity for birds, and I find one of the easiest ways to break the ice with a new bird is to bring it to the table (Eeeeewwwww birds in the kitchen! lol, yep, all the time in this house!) If the only time you have for your bird is while you eat, eat with your bird! Be sure to do this safely by not sharing saliva and making sure to only feed bird safe foods. It isnt ideal, but a meal a day goes a long way when time is tight.

-Get up earlier. It really isn't that hard. I know it can SEEM that hard, but in the end it is a pretty simple way to make more time for birdie. I like to get up and get a bird out to help with the food prep! Again, you are busy, but you can have your bird with you at the same time.

-Have your bird harness trained ahead of time. Harness training takes a lot of time, but it's one of those things that would be wise to do while you have time time, just like teaching your bird to play near you, etc. my GCC Flick can go with me while I walk the dog, and she gets not only her "mommy time" but also some good physical activity, as she loves to fly to the end of the leash and back (the stretchy leash is important for safety!!). On crazy days being able to take both pets out at once is a life saver!

-Work where your bird is. Put the cage or play stand near where you spend most of your time at home. Even mumbling over your finances next to your bird is better than them sitting alone all day!

-Bird Sitter DVD or other stimulation for while you are gone. It can be as simple as leaving the TV or radio on, but I prefer something bird related. My friend just got a smart tv and she can choose from a number of live feeds of animals. While the baby goats are cute, the flock of budgies on tv could mean a world of difference for your little friend. No smart tv? Youtbe!

-MORE TOYS!!!! Especially foraging toys! Being alone AND bored is the worst! I know they can get expensive, but there are tons of cheap DIY ideas out there that are great. The more time your bird can spend DOING SOMETHING the better, whether you are hard up for time or not

-Move the cage to a higher traffic area where the bird gets more "exposure" to the human activity, and can be chatted with throughout the day, even if you are just running in to grab something and running back out again.

-Get the bird a friend - MAYBE!! I say this, but it does NOT apply to every bird! Read your bird and your situation. Over the years I have become pretty good at figuring out if a bird is going to get along with other birds or not. If your bird was hand raised in the most common way and then has been the only bird for a while, chances are this will just lead to you having two birds who you dont have time for instead of one bird you dont have time for. But in certain situations with birds who were flock weaned and properly socialized, a friend can be the best thing in the world for them, even when you DO have the time. So do a lot of research and observation of your own pet before considering this, but if your bird is lonely and likes other birds, than another bird that ALSO likes other birds may be a great way to ease the loneliness. again I state this is NOT FOR ALL BIRDS. I share my life with 23 birds right now, along with a dog, cat, and husband. I often hear things like "Wow, how do you spend time with them all?" Well, I work from home so that helps, but a huge part of it is that they have each other. Only three of my birds are caged alone (remember the part about not all birds accepting friends? Yeah, I dont think these three even recognize that the other birds are "their own kind"), and while time with me is important, when I am away they are not alone they are in a flock. This is actually why we got the cat - a buddy for our dog. Having a friend is important, even if it isnt your BEST friend

-Remember that "spending time" doesnt have to mean "focusing 100% on the bird." focusing on your bird is important just like with your human friends, but a well socialized and trained bird knows he isnt the only thing in your life. Give the bird the time you DO have, even if it isnt quite as special as you would like it to be. Is your bird not able to understand this? Training starts now


In the end it MAY BE that another home is the right move for your family, and I am NOT trying to put guilt on those people who have to make that hard choice. What I want to say is that this should be a last resort, and before surrendering a family member, please try to look beyond the stress of the moment and see if this is temporary. Even if temporary means a year or more, things CAN be done to help your feathered buddy through it. If you are going through a tough time, chances are your pets are not the only ones you dont have enough time for, but the rest of your family has no choice but to wait it out, perhaps your bird would choose to stay with you if given the option?

Best of luck everyone
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:35 PM
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Thank you so much for posting this. I do think that people need help in figuring out clever ways of spending more time with their animals or what they can do for their animals. You have given some great ideas. Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:41 PM
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
I want start by saying this is a post meant to ENCOURAGE people, not to blame or hurt.

I am on several forums and facebok pages that are flooded with rehoming posts listing "I dont have time to give him the attention he deserves..."
When you've done rehab long enough, you begin to realize that this is often a euphamism for "the novelty of scrubbing floors, cleaning cages and catering to the attention needs of a [insert species here]" has worn off.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:44 PM
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post

Parrots in particular form incredibly deep bonds with their humans, and rehoming can be very hard on them. If you are finding you have less time for your bird and wonder if you should rehome, consider this; what if your best friend had no time for you for a long time? Would you want to never see them again? Or would you rather be lonely for a while, and have that friend back in the end? I feel this is especially true considering the life span of birds compared to other small pets.
BINGO!!! Nailed it with that one.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2014, 02:45 PM
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Eclectus, Blue Headed Pionus, Quakers, Indian Ringnecks, Green Cheeked Conures, Cockatiels, and Budgies, Canaries, Zebra Finches
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
I want start by saying this is a post meant to ENCOURAGE people, not to blame or hurt.

I am on several forums and facebok pages that are flooded with rehoming posts listing "I dont have time to give him the attention he deserves..."
When you've done rehab long enough, you begin to realize that this is often a euphamism for "the novelty of scrubbing floors, cleaning cages and catering to the attention needs of a [insert species here]" has worn off.
yup. Hence the "Didnt you google even a little?" translate "Were you completely unaware of the work involved here, or just completely uncommitted to doing it??" I dont think anything I can say or so will change that type, what breaks my heart are the people who WANT to do the best thing for their bird but are told that if they dont have time for it they should give it a new home.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:49 PM
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.) Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
-Multi-task. Too much homework/office work t get done, not enough time for birdie? Put the bird on your shoulder, on a play stand, etc, and spend time with the bird without making them your focus. This may mean you have to put some time into teaching your bird to play on their own while near you, but that is a skill your bird needs anyway. Take Polly in the shower with you, put her on the towel rack to preen while you do your hair/shave/brush your teeth. sweep the floor with a bird on your head, make phone calls while giving scritches, etc. I have my husband do this, too! He is very busy, but he doesnt rehome me Instead, when I feel like he isnt spending time with me but he has work to do, he will sit by me on the couch and do his work, or invite me to eat lunch with him in the middle f the day, which brings me to my next point...
A parrot that is out of his cage on a playstand in the same room you're in, and occasionally gets paid attention to, is getting "quality time." So, quit making excuses, or beating yourself up over it.

Example: Yesterday I watched a football game. Each quarter I changed the bird that was perched on my leg. (Didn't even NEED the playstand!) THAT counts as quality one on one lap time for them... and they were perfectly content to stay like that. (For one quarter, or the whole day if I'd let them.)
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:53 PM
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
I want start by saying this is a post meant to ENCOURAGE people, not to blame or hurt.

I am on several forums and facebok pages that are flooded with rehoming posts listing "I dont have time to give him the attention he deserves..."
When you've done rehab long enough, you begin to realize that this is often a euphamism for "the novelty of scrubbing floors, cleaning cages and catering to the attention needs of a [insert species here]" has worn off.
yup. Hence the "Didnt you google even a little?" translate "Were you completely unaware of the work involved here, or just completely uncommitted to doing it??" I dont think anything I can say or so will change that type, what breaks my heart are the people who WANT to do the best thing for their bird but are told that if they dont have time for it they should give it a new home.
No, in most cases (in my experience) this translates to- "I totally knew all this up front, but ASSUMED all the cleaning, time, toys, specialist vet, special/messy/difficult diet ext... only applies to those 'crazy bird people' and would totally NOT apply to me. I purchased this intelligent, sensitive animal on the assumption it would sit in a stripped down, barren cage and sing all day and I could take it out every once in a while (of course it would automatically be perfectly trained/well behaved) to show off to my friends. As a bonus, it matches my drapes too!".
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:53 PM
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
-Get the bird a friend - MAYBE!! I say this, but it does NOT apply to every bird!
This is the one thing I take issue with... and I saw it too many times.

Well, my bird was acting up, and I decided to get him a friend... but I didn't have time for that one either, so now they're both acting up...

Only now they cannot be separated.

Uh-oh!

Last edited by Birdman666; 12-29-2014 at 02:56 PM.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2014, 02:54 PM
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Parrots:
Eclectus, Blue Headed Pionus, Quakers, Indian Ringnecks, Green Cheeked Conures, Cockatiels, and Budgies, Canaries, Zebra Finches
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

I had a cockatiel on my shoulder/lap/screen while typing that up, and now I am getting Mel out while I do some reading.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:56 PM
SilverSage's Avatar
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Parrots:
Eclectus, Blue Headed Pionus, Quakers, Indian Ringnecks, Green Cheeked Conures, Cockatiels, and Budgies, Canaries, Zebra Finches
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Re: No time for my bird! Rehome him?

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
-Get the bird a friend - MAYBE!! I say this, but it does NOT apply to every bird!
This is the one thing I take issue with... and I saw it too many times.

Well, my bird was acting up, and I decided to get him a friend... but I didn't have time for that one either, so now they're both acting up...

Only now they cannot be separated.
Which is why I posted it under "I have no time for my bird" and not "my bird is out of control" with multiple statements that this is not for every bird
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