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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

Have any of you been over-the-top excited to bring your baby bird home and when you got them… felt really unsure about them?

I can't say that I have, but this year has been quite tough on me... to the point of doubting having pets at all. I've grown up having some sort of animal around me at all times... I don't remember the cats and dog that were around me when I was an infant, but I do recall my grandmother's last dog she had, the cats that we kept at her place, the rabbits... then getting into birds when I was 12 years old and having birds since then. (as well as cats and dogs) In fact, I still have my first cockatiel that was given to me at 13 years old.

By the time I was 16 1/2 years old, I stopped buying birds (only birds I ever bought were budgies). I had people giving me birds, so I didn't see any point in buying a bird if I'd end up with another. I've cared for budgies, a lovebird, a turquoisine, bourkes, cockatiels, four different conure species and an african ringneck.

Since many of the birds I've taken in were older or came with health issues (or were somehow genetically prone to an early death...), I'd have to deal with losing them. This year, I've lost over half of my pets (my cat[s] included), and this isn't even taking into consideration the aquariums that I've struggled with as well.

From the animals I had at the beginning of the year, I only have 3 birds and my dog left. I lost two in one month. Some of the others... it was like as soon as I started to heal from one loss, I was losing another.

My vet says that there's really nothing I could have done differently. Knowing that doesn't change the pain. Knowing that many were older, and with age comes cancer or other health issues still doesn't change the pain. Knowing that one was doomed due to genetics (died at 7 - having outlived her father and apparently siblings as well - she should have lived for 20+ years) doesn't change the pain.


Remi, my 4 month old eclectus is incredibly sweet, and definitely mischievous. But I’m not head over heels for her like I thought I’d be.

Sounds like how I feel about my mother's new cat. He's cute, but he's not *my* cat. I don't feel the bond with him that I had felt with my own cat.

Having said that, it can take time to feel that bond. It's still early on and you two are still learning about each other.

Alternatively, maybe an eclectus isn't right for you? Not to say that parrots aren't right for you, but perhaps not an ekkie? Or maybe it's just her?

It's hard to say for sure, honestly... of the multiple birds I've cared for, I've had a closer connection to certain birds than I have had with others. That doesn't mean I cared for the others any less... just, certain ones have held a special place in my heart that the others haven't.


What about hormones? What if I miss behaviours and she develops problems (biting? screaming? out of control hormonal behaviour? cage aggression?)

The dreaded hormones.... something that has never been an issue for me. My birds don't become aggressive when they are sexually hormonal. Excessive biting? "Easy" to deal with... don't get bit! Excessive screaming? Teach new behaviors. Cage aggression? Again, never been an issue because I've worked with my birds in a way that has prevented cage aggression.


There are a few little things I constantly worry about - the fact she only eats mash, her disinterest in treats, the fact I haven’t been able to start any training. She lives a long, LONG time so I know these are probably temporary. But what if they’re not?

My first thought.... is there anything in her mash that she goes bananas over? Anything in particular you could use as a reward for training?


It’s clear that she needs lots of active attention (something you may have seen me tell lots of other members) - and I find myself quite sad that I can’t do some of the things I used to. Either because I can’t watch her when she’s out, or because I don’t have time because I’m cleaning up after her (!!)

Something many people don't realize - ambient attention can be just as important as physical attention! Having her out on a stand playing with toys or foraging is also good for her!

Too many people don't try to encourage birds to play independently, so you end up with birds with behavioral issues because they are too reliant on human beings.


It can certainly be a balancing act.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:06 AM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

This strikes me as a painfully honest post. I don't read it as "I thought everything was going to be perfect, but now the reality is it isn't". Your expectations seem to have been realistic, but you don't seem to be getting the rewards from the relationship that you expected. It got me thinking about my relationship with my parrot. He's pretty pliable. I've been bitten maybe 5 times, but I've developed the pattern of covering my skin, which is a habit I need to break. I remember feeling hopeless, and saddened (what am I talking about, I've cried with unbridled frustration) that we don't have the bond I would have loved - because he bites me. I don't think I've felt like you do though.

Maybe you just don't enjoy having a parrot as much as you thought you would? There certainly doesn't seem to be any behavioural or health issues that are making things harder. Your care for her sounds wonderful so the hard stuff isn't the problem it seems.

I don't agree that parrots deserve to be showered in love, because human love and parrot love aren't the same language. A parrot needs to be clean, fed well, challenged mentally and physically (I mean flying and climbing etc rather than threatening to fight it obviously!) and needs to be part of a flock. I believe this can all happen in someone's front room or in an aviary where the funny featherless 2 legged things just deliver food and clean up.

I think the question is more about whether you want the relationship to continue. Can you and Remi be happy as things are? She will of course mature with time and your current feelings might just reflect the fact she's so young and your expectations and hopes will be met with her when she's older. I must admit, I can't really stand puppies! They are cute, but ultimately I find them boring and not rewarding! Which sort of reminds me of what you're saying.

I know you're not asking about whether to regime your bird, and it highly likely that in 2 hours she'll make some silly noise and you'll only want to talk about her and it for the next 9 hours, but I don't think an owner should keep their bird(s) out of duty. You're right, in time care could be effected.

Thank you so much for such an honest post
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:33 AM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

It appears having Remi is rousing a lot of anxiety for you. You aren't alone in how you're feeling! It is blatant you want the best for Remi
Owning a parrot is a big responsibility... a process. Every relationship is different. It is an adjustment for the two of you not forgetting, it is still early days.
Sending positivity x

P.s. everyone elses responses are wonderful! We all need reassurance from time to time.

Last edited by Loz; 12-12-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:41 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

The OP's post rang quite true for me too....

I researched getting a Doberman for years. Never had my own dog before. Finally got him from a reputable breeder and soon the honeymoon stage was over, he wasn't like a cat where he'd be fine laying on the couch, calm and still. No! He was a rambunctious little puppy that needed constant supervision and needed walking and running and playing or else we realized he would be wound up and destroy things.

We never gave up on him, but we found our lives shifted around, centering around him. He needed exercise, stimulation and to be let out all the time, not like cats at all, like we were used to. We have our set routine though and after 2 1/2 - 3 years he finally chilled out and our bond is very strong, he is like our child.

Having been through that is the reason I will wait to get a macaw, to really think about it. My dream bird! While the idea of owning such a magnificent creature is wonderful to think and daydream about (I can take him out shopping iwht me, to pet stores, he'll learn all these amazing tricks, we'll have such a deep bond) I realize after being a member of this forum that owning a large bird such as this is way more than I am ready for right now. With this dream, there's also the underside you don't see.... the 60+ years of flinging poo clean-up, constant cleaning of floors and cages, NOT to MENTION the daily chop theyll need, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for that amount of time. I don't want to get to year two and think, wow I'm kind of tired of making this chop stuff and having to clean up daily poop messes on floors and clothing, and the bird is really being a stinker today, what did I get myself into?? SO I am taking my time to really think hard, hard hard about the next step in parrot ownership.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:12 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

I love my fids tons. Mochi lately has been super bitey and aggressive with me - which is on me for not reinforcing and educating positive behaviors when she was younger. I've resigned myself to getting chomped - HARD - when getting her to step up or whatever.

I don't blame her for it, but yes I do sometimes wish I had a nicer, kinder, more cuddly Mochi - the way she was when I first got her! Then of course we got Mango, and she super-bonded to him and flipped and bonded to my SO, heheh.

It's natural, and don't beat yourself up over it. Everyday when I come home from work I know, that absent any dedicated re-training with lots of effort on my part, Mochi is gonna be the way she is. I'm at this point just happy to ensure she's content and well-cared for, despite that.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:38 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

This is one of those threads that shows me why I love this place. No place else is there the depth of understanding of these issues...
I have a very... shall we say... challenging bird who has caused me endless uncertainty about the whys and wherefores of having him.

Maybe you'll find something in my story...

Even after all these years, I sometimes find myself putting myself or my bird down... stuff like...
I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS OR THAT.
WHY CAN'T HE BE SWEET AND NICE, LIKE A PUPPY?
PEOPLE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY I PUT UP WITH THIS.
Stuff like that.
But the Rb is a parrot... in his particular case, one generation out of the wild.
I do all the right things, as much/well as I can, but in the end, I just LOVE my bird,
Some parrots are SO SWEET, some are NOT. I'm HAPPY and a bit JEALOUS of those successes.
I have lessened my psychological and physical wounds over the decades... not because I've changed the bird, but I have changed me. And a lot of that has involved giving up on a lot of my desires/expectations. After years of battle, I surrendered. I admit... as to why have I not (and why am I unable/unwilling) to train the Rb to do anything that he doesn't want to do?
Example... if I have a treat, and he sees it and wants it, I HAVE to give it too him. I simply cannot/will not NOT give him what he wants. No training there!
Consequently, I have a Tazmanian Devil on my hands. I love him. I have no complaints, really. He's HIMSELF. And I'm MYSELF. And the result... check my Signature for videos. etc., if you like.
Over the years, I have been very embarassed/downhearted/sad about having a pet that was so... out of my control.
But finally, I accepted that I have an amazing half-wild being who shares my life! It's magic enough.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-2017, 03:50 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

You guys are fabulous. Thank you.

For those who asked about why I can't go out to dinner any more - I'd often do things for a few hours before returning home, most days in the week. Going to the gym, heading out somewhere further for dinner, groceries etc. I'd get home ~7-8pm.

These days, Remi's usually pretty hungry for her second mash at 6-6:30 (mostly because she only picks at the other food I've provided). So I usually need to go straight home to feed her (as sometimes even that can be as late as 6pm). Once a week might be OK (which I strive to make the gym day) but only feeding her before I put her away for the night 3-4 times a week doesn't seem fair to me. That'd mean some days she only gets one hour people time a day. (Not enough in my opinion). I try to fit engagements taking me out of the house (or further out) on the weekend, where she can be in her cage during the day, which suits the routine we have weekdays better. But even so certain things aren't possible now. I ride motorcycles and long trips or overnights aren't feasible anymore, if we wanted to go on a spontaneous camp we couldn't really enjoy it it (not until she can eat solids do I feel comfortable boarding her) and even a long drive where we need to stay over, I'd need to pre-plan for pet friendly places. Maybe I underestimated the amount of stuff I actually do outside of work... but I always thought it'd be manageable. Not being harness trained makes it much more difficult.

The funny thing is I can see how short-sighted it is to lament on this - In a year or two I hope to move to the country (like, far out in the country) - and our lifestyle will turn upside down again. But there, I can build her a flight aviary, and we'll be in our own house (as opposed to a rental) where I can build fun things for her into the house itself.

Monica - your post was enlightening. It's possible an eclectus isn't for me, but I know it's not just her. I don't want to go "shopping" for the right bird though. It's probably more likely the right bird might trip over me some day by accident.

For those interested in the treats saga I might update the thread - but I have tried tonnes of stuff. I have not tried cooked sweet potato, which seems to be the magic ingredient in the mash (that takes it from "poo" to "SHOVEL IT IN ME"). I will try it and update it in the thread.

It's a relief to hear I'm not alone in how I feel. The rollercoaster is tiring though - "I want to take her back, I want to stick it out".

Last night she did an actual attention scream for the first time (a few times actually) and that didn't help matters... but in between, she's sweet and chatty. Jeez.

Thanks again everybody. I hoped my honest post would be understood and it certainly has.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:17 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

And to be fair, I'm sure nearly all of us have at least had the thought "What would life be like if I didn't have this bird/these birds" (implying it may be simpler, more free.)

The thing I try to remember is while the birds are a HUGE part of my life, I am virtually their WHOLE lives.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:15 PM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

Quote: Originally Posted by psychocircus91 View Post
And to be fair, I'm sure nearly all of us have at least had the thought "What would life be like if I didn't have this bird/these birds" (implying it may be simpler, more free.)

The thing I try to remember is while the birds are a HUGE part of my life, I am virtually their WHOLE lives.
This, totally this

Earlier Enzo chewed a huge obvious hole in my kitchen cupboards, im about to buy a new kitchen for around 13K so im pretty damned pissed with her.... a minute later she's in her cage and out of my sight for 10 minutes. 2 hours later with her shoulder surfing me, she asks for cuddles, not head scritches proper leaning into me cuddles. An hour later my hands are tired and shes not, i'm giggling and trying to work out what i need to do with the next kitchen to be a little more parrot safe. She's a total nightmare, 100% PITFA but i love her. Frustrating yes, worth it.... of course. My family would not agree though.

BTW ive recorded Enzo's 'come here' rants upon your request, ill edit them so you don't have to wait between calls. Ill try post them up tomorrow, you'll realise that anger == funny sometimes (im same as you btw, she needs more training but im too soft with her!)

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Old 12-15-2017, 11:29 AM
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Re: Reflection/Rant/Long Post - Doubting myself & Second thoughts about parronthood

Yeah, everyone wishes they didn't have birds every now and then. But if given the opportunity, none of us would actually rehome our birds. We just sometimes need a break from them. Once or twice a year, I travel somewhere with my dad to visit museums for a few days while Mom stays home and looks after my kids. I always come back refreshed and ready to slave over my birds again. Then again, it's their health problems that really wear me down, but now that we know that at least some of them have AGY, things are a bit easier. I'm about to start medicating a lot more birds, so that's fun.

Anyways, a lot of my birds are rescues (well, I adopted them from shelters and negligent families), and it was by no means love at first sight. Alice screamed non-stop for more than a month due to her PTSD, Ziggy was completely helpless and was barely able to function because he was cage-bound, Rumi, Lara, and Pollo were kind of "meh" at first, Noah brutalized me for two months, and the kākāriki have been extremely sick since I adopted them and I've been spending thousands of dollars on their recovery. However, all that being said, I ended up bonding with all of them and freaking love them. Eventually they grow on you.

I mean, when you first get a bird, the two of you are complete strangers. Why should you or Remi love each other? Unless the two of you are soulmates like my dad and his chihuahua (you should've seen it when they met...it was freaking weird. They were instantly drawn to each other), feeling indifference, resentment, or regret is normal. It's just that society acts as though these feelings towards your newborn child/newly adopted companion animal are abnormal and disgusting. Just be honest with yourself that these feelings are normal and that you don't need to be ashamed. Heck, I pretty much despised the orphaned animals I've had to raise. I mean, they can't pee or poop on their own, they constantly need to eat (and they suck at eating), they get formula caked onto their fur, they're saucy with you, and of course they're covered in fleas so you have to bathe them which is a pain. As much as I've hated raising those orphans, I always find it hard to give them up when they're ready to go out into the big wide world on their own. And if I come across another orphan, I know I'm going to bring them home with me. I'm such a chump -_-
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