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Old 01-11-2018, 09:44 PM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

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Yep, unfortunately it's a balancing act, so it doesn't come across as "I can handle this, you can't."

Unfortunately words like "loud, messy, bitey, moody," while accurate, do not fully depict what these creatures are capable of! Very easy to undermine without first hand experience, as sailboat stated.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:26 PM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

Yes absolutely. Parrot ownership is arduous. It’s like marriage. Some days I genuinely want to strangle my partner. Some days I want to stuff my pillow with Parker. Especially when he’s a raging hormonal walking pair of scissors.

Then he settles down, reaches out his little claw to have me pick him up so we can sit on the couch together. It’s as if the bite never happened and I’m in love again.

Parker settles down too...

To quote Charlotte from sex in the city “I’m not happy all day every day. But I’m happy [almost] every day”

Parrots more so than dogs or cats illicit this sort of doubting one self and ones intentions. A few bad days with a dog doesn’t make you think about getting rid of the dog. It doesn’t phase you at all. You get frustrated but it’s par for the course and you easily adapt. A few bad days with a parrot can be absolutely jarring and make you wonder if you made the right decision. For some reason it’s harder to adapt to the difficulties of parrots than dogs.

They and their lifestyles are so out of the norm that it’s easy to underestimate what it means to live with these messy loud animals. After all, dogs and children are loud and messy. How different can it be?

Well....

Last edited by chris-md; 01-11-2018 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:43 PM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

The few times I have been asked I have been honest. I don't really try to discourage or encourage. "I love having my bird but it is a lot different than what most people think." Is my starter for strangers, then I go into what I have had to give up, and what I have gained as a bird owner. Then comes the truth of how important it is to understand how much Mushka needs to stay with me because I am at least her third home and many parrots are re-homed many more times than that. And that I will have the responsibility of Mushka the rest of my life, possibly beyond my life my family will have to care for her. If someone I know asked I would be completely honest and discourage most of them. There are a few I would actively encourage. But in my experience only strangers have asked, and I don't like to make snap judgments about people, just state my experience both good and bad and let them take it for what they will.

The one exception with strangers when they ask is once a woman with a toddler asked what they were like and I told her they were wild animals that can make great companions under the right circumstances but should NEVER be trusted around children as we want our children to reach adulthood with all their fingers intact.

Last edited by MooshieBird; 01-11-2018 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:49 PM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

I have been known to stand by the conures at Petco (where I got Ollie) and discourage a person or 2 on occasion. I say that I have a conure and they ask me stuff about it and I'm brutally honest about just how much of my life I spend with this bird and how he's on my mind basically all day everyday and he's in the center of my life with me and my husband revolving around the SUN(conure). I tell them how I leave parties early to put him to bed and spend his hour of cuddles before bed each night, I tell them how our house is filled to the brim with bird cages and tree stands and even play stands in the bathroom. I tell them that parrots poop A LOT and you can train them but not all of them are able to learn it and even if they're trained they have accidents and you will get pooped on and bit. I also tell them that NO I'm not just super weird...this is what parrot ownership is if you're doing it right. People are usually like" oh I had no idea, I just thought it will talk and sit in a cage". My husband and I joke that you should have to pass a test to own a parrot, especially a baby. I love that rescues sometimes even do an in-home visit before they let you adopt a parrot...but any a-hole with $450 can buy a conure from Petco. That reminds me because I saw something really sad that I couldn't stop from happening last weekend right before we found Finley. We were at a local bird store (not the one we got Fin at) and the people walked in and saw a pineapple conure and said "box that one up and give me 10lbs of your cheapest seed" and the store asked if they wanted to hold the conure first to see if they liked it's personally and they were like "what?". I paid for my things and bolted and cried in the car clutching Ollie. /Sigh Anyways... I've definitely discouraged people from getting a bird before. I have encouraged people to get a bird that I think could handle it but only people I actually know.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:07 AM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

I normally go for the money side of things. People think that spending a couple hundred on an African Grey is expensive then I point out to them that I spent nearing 2000 on the initial set up for my teeny little conure and that didn't include vet bills. Then when I point out that they can't go to their usual vet for a bird and that they can easily spend over 500 a visit for a larger bird.

If they're okay with that (few are okay with it) I then go into all the care needs, how delicate their bodies are, you'd be surprised how many people can't give up their air freshener. Their general daily care and the rules of no more lay ins. Finally after that if they're okay I then talk about how no matter what their bird just plain may not like them and their bird will 100% no question about it bite them. Especially for people looking at Amazons and Too's they normally run for the hills when I tell them the bird may put them in the hospital!
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:48 AM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

I discourage others from getting parrots virtually every time Kiwi comes out and about with me. Not in a rude or mean way, just emphasize how messy, loud, destructive and wild they can be and what a PITA their care is. My favorite way of putting it to wide eyed people asking probing questions about the large, eye catching bird with me while having impulsive thoughts about going to get their own is "they require a huge dedication of time, money and patience and they bite *really* hard" I rarely gush about how wonderful they are as pets because idiots will then just tune out or forget the negatives to bird ownership they've heard or you told them.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:11 AM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

yes I will clarify the only reason I discourage people is because it lets people know what it's like. Setting people up so they can see what it's like in a bad scenario and weed out the impulse people over the legit people. Anyone I find interested even when I talk about the downsides I say "research, it will save you so much trouble if you research them and find a bird that works for you or you save a load of money and stress if you decide it's not for you"
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:41 AM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

I really appreciate everyone who contributed to this discussion. I think it is an extremely important one, and I hope anyone who has never had a pet parrot maybe reads this thread.

I had never lived with a parrot before marrying my husband. Luckily, my husband had a budgie when he was a kid, and knew how much he loved the budgie. A budgie was our first parrot as a couple, and it was a good bird to start with since he (the budgie) was much easier to care for than my young Hahn's macaw. We made some mistakes, though, and our budgie's early passing devastated us and taught us some very important lessons. We later adopted a Pacific Parrot with special needs (he was partially blind). We put 110% into feeding him the best and most nutritious diet and I spent so much time with him. He really flourished and lived 15 years. Perhaps he could have lived even longer, but he hurt himself.

With my Hahn's macaw, we have encountered what we call a "totally different kind of animal", which is said partially in jest and partially not. I try to put 150% into keeping him safe, healthy, happy, stimulated, loved, and otherwise well taken care of. As you all say, it's a hell of a lot of effort and responsibility. Far more than cats and dogs, in my opinion. But when my happy little guy looks at me with his eyes I know it is all worth it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:20 AM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

can definitely see how you could easily put that much effort into your hahns. I love the "little" guys. They're in the top 5 birds for me
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: Have you ever found yourself discouraging parrot ownership?

Maybe keep this link handy as a bookmark, and advise anyone considering becoming a parront to watch it:
Parrot Confidential | Full Episode | Nature | PBS
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