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-   -   Before Getting an Eclectus? (http://www.parrotforums.com/new-members-welcome/64924-before-getting-eclectus.html)

cece15 10-14-2016 12:49 PM

Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
I have a couple questions regarding Eclectus parrots.

I know that no bird is silent, but are these birds extremely extremely loud?
Can these birds bond with more than one person?
Are they extremely messy? Like scrub down the entire cage and vacuum the area once every ___ days?
Are these birds difficult? As in no one without bird experience should own or no one with no parrot experience should own?
When they bite, do they bite hard?
Do they become destructive or develop bad habits, such as screeching etc.

Thanks.

OutlawedSpirit 10-14-2016 01:14 PM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
First off, I want to say that the answer to every one of your questions is yes and no, and that it all depends on the individual bird. Let me explain.

Are these birds extremely loud?

My female, even when she is making noise, is very quiet. If she was in a different room than you, you wouldn't even know she was there. My male, on the other hand, if you were on the next block over, you would know he was there.

Can these birds bond with more than one person?

In my experience, it depends on what you mean by bond. With my female, my wife can take her out and pet her, and just generally interact with her with no issues. However, I am her person. If she is with me, she will have nothing to do with anyone else. So if you're just trying to see if more than one person could interact with them, sure, not problem. However, most of that depends on you. The better you socialize an ekkie, the more social they will be. That is true of any bird.

Are they extremely messy?

Again, depends on the bird. My male is pretty easy to clean up after. The couple bars on his cage that are next to his bowl have to be wiped off daily, but that is about it. I do feed my birds almost exclusively fresh foods, which does make them messier, in my opinion. My female, however, is by no means a neat bird. Half of her cage has to be wiped down daily, plus the floor all around her cage, under her cage, and in other random spots that I'm not even sure how it gets there, but it does.

Are these birds difficult?

I guess this depends on what you mean by difficult, and what you're starting with. Both of mine were rescues, so they both required more work than they would have, had I got them as handfed babies. My male is blind, so he requires extra care when it comes to handling and cage set up, but I wouldn't say he is difficult. My female can be very pushy and intimidating. I do not find this difficult, but I'm sure a lot of people would. They can be difficult, compared to some other species, in that their diet is so specialized. These are not a bird that you can just give a bowl of pellets to. Not that you should with any bird, but ekkies are extremely diet sensitive, and even if you do everything right, you can still end up with issues like toe tapping.

When they bite, do they bite hard?

Duh. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :D They are a bigger bird, with a big beak, and they know how to use them. A lot of how hard they bite depends on training, and why they are biting. Do they have the capability to bite hard and do a good amount of damage? Yes, very much so. Ekkies also are a bit like the pit bulls of the parrot world, in that they have a tendency to bite and latch on. As they use their beak like a pair of scissors and try to saw through your hand. I know, been there, done that. However, with any bird, you WILL get bit and some point, and you will probably get bit good. It is something you must accept before you decide to bring a bird into your life. Even the little guys can give an awfully painful bite. I think my least favorite bite (is there such a thing?) came from a cockatiel.

Can they develop bad habits?

Of course they can, just like any bird can. A lot of that comes with the individual bird, and their environment. The less stimulation a bird has, the more likely that they will develop bad habits. Often, bad habits develop because of boredom. Again, this is true with any bird species, not just ekkies.

SilverSage 10-14-2016 01:26 PM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Some I have met have been nearly silent, some have been extremely loud. When they scream, their call is quite grating. I suggest you hear it before adopting.

Any bird can bond with more than one person if properly socialized, or at least learn manners enough to be handled by more than one person.

Of all the birds I have owned, these are the messiest. And no vacuum involved because they need a fresh food diet due to their unique dietary needs. And the poop is extraordinary.

If you are dedicated to learning, you can handle them (but for the love of all things feathered DO NOT get an unweaned baby!). Your questions show you still have a lot to learn. Spend hours on google, join species specific Facebook groups, learn here, volunteer at a rescue, join local bird clubs. Visit ADULT eckies before making your choice.

Any parrot has varying levels of bite, from "I slightly annoyed" to "I kill you now." Clues have a very sharp beak which is also large. One of the worst bites I have seen was from an eckie. But you run that risk with any parrot. Parrots aren't like dogs; if you can't handle being bitten, don't get into parrots. That said, I almost never get bitten now that I have learned to read and respect parrots, as well as train and socialize my birds.

The bad habits you mention are almost always caused BY THE HUMAN. Very often they are caused by a human that no longer has the bird, sometimes by the breeder years before the bird starts to do these things (practices like early clipping, force weaning, etc), so NEVER judge a bird owner by how many feathers their bird has, but some birds are more likely to pluck than others. Of the 5 eckies I have had in my life (two I rescued, 3 belonging to a friend) 4 were plucked, 3 were screamers. My two both re-feathered almost completely within a year of being on a fresh food diet, proper bathing, and having toys and interaction, as well as no longer being forced to live together. However the two my friend rescued never improved much, and mine never stopped completely. One of the screamers proved, two did not. I don't know what "normal statistics" would be, but those are the experiences I have had. Ultimately parrots are extremely specialized pets and if you aren't willing to be a slave to them, don't get one.


Can you tell us a bit about what you are looking for in a parrot and your life situation? That would make it easier for us to point out possible issues with Eckies :)








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SilverSage 10-14-2016 01:27 PM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
I should say, any species can bind with multiple people; some birds have had experiences that prevent them from trusting.


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SirEdwin89 10-15-2016 08:59 AM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
First off, welcome to the forums. Glad to have you, and good to see you doing research before jumping in to a situation, it never hurts to be more prepared. You've gotten 2 great answers, and I don't own eckies myself so I can't chime in on specifics, but a few things I just want to put emphasis on.

Cleaning. You asked how many days in between vacuuming around cages, and cleaning them down. The answer is 0. In fact, for me, usually less than 0. We sweep up around the birds cages probably 3 times a day, and cages get wiped down daily.
Parrots require a huge amount of time and work investment.

For the rest of your questions, again really, it completely depends on the specific bird. Not there species even, parrots are as varied and diverse personality wise as humans.

You really need to go in to owning a parrot prepared for the worse, and hoping for the best. These are incredibly intelligent and social animals that *need* a lot of socialization, stimulation, and love.

Scott 10-15-2016 10:37 AM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Welcome, and thanks for joining! I admire and respect your quest for some answers before taking the plunge!

I have had a total of two and currently live with one Eclectus, so my sample is small.

Noise is the least of my problems, just an occasional "honk" that is a sort of flock-call. Not terribly loud, and they don't scream for minutes as do other species.

My female is a strictly one-person bird -me! She will tolerate other males but despises females. My male was generally more social.

In my experience Eclectus are a bit neater than other animals. No destructive chewing or Houdini-like cage dismantling, but their droppings can be a bit wetter than others.

No more difficult IMHO than others, mostly the same needs overall.

Their biting is indeed like a saw or scissors, progressively harder and, if given the chance, deeper! They are generally quite gentle and like all parrots, use the beak as a tool.

I haven't notice any particularly bad habits. Mine don't display emotions as clearly as other parrots, the clues are very subtle as compared with my cockatoos.

SirEdwin89 10-15-2016 11:39 AM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott (Post 610699)
Welcome, and thanks for joining! I admire and respect your quest for some answers before taking the plunge!

I have had a total of two and currently live with one Eclectus, so my sample is small.

Noise is the least of my problems, just an occasional "honk" that is a sort of flock-call. Not terribly loud, and they don't scream for minutes as do other species.

My female is a strictly one-person bird -me! She will tolerate other males but despises females. My male was generally more social.

In my experience Eclectus are a bit neater than other animals. No destructive chewing or Houdini-like cage dismantling, but their droppings can be a bit wetter than others.

No more difficult IMHO than others, mostly the same needs overall.

Their biting is indeed like a saw or scissors, progressively harder and, if given the chance, deeper! They are generally quite gentle and like all parrots, use the beak as a tool.

I haven't notice any particularly bad habits. Mine don't display emotions as clearly as other parrots, the clues are very subtle as compared with my cockatoos.

*everything* is subtle when compared to cockatoo's! LOL

OutlawedSpirit 10-15-2016 11:46 AM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SirEdwin89 (Post 610735)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott (Post 610699)
Welcome, and thanks for joining! I admire and respect your quest for some answers before taking the plunge!

I have had a total of two and currently live with one Eclectus, so my sample is small.

Noise is the least of my problems, just an occasional "honk" that is a sort of flock-call. Not terribly loud, and they don't scream for minutes as do other species.

My female is a strictly one-person bird -me! She will tolerate other males but despises females. My male was generally more social.

In my experience Eclectus are a bit neater than other animals. No destructive chewing or Houdini-like cage dismantling, but their droppings can be a bit wetter than others.

No more difficult IMHO than others, mostly the same needs overall.

Their biting is indeed like a saw or scissors, progressively harder and, if given the chance, deeper! They are generally quite gentle and like all parrots, use the beak as a tool.

I haven't notice any particularly bad habits. Mine don't display emotions as clearly as other parrots, the clues are very subtle as compared with my cockatoos.

*everything* is subtle when compared to cockatoo's! LOL

Ekkies can be rather hard to read. Until you learn to really read them, you may find one dangling from your hand before you realize they're getting ready to bite. Not that I would know...

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SirEdwin89 10-15-2016 11:57 AM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OutlawedSpirit (Post 610739)
Quote:

Originally Posted by SirEdwin89 (Post 610735)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott (Post 610699)
Welcome, and thanks for joining! I admire and respect your quest for some answers before taking the plunge!

I have had a total of two and currently live with one Eclectus, so my sample is small.

Noise is the least of my problems, just an occasional "honk" that is a sort of flock-call. Not terribly loud, and they don't scream for minutes as do other species.

My female is a strictly one-person bird -me! She will tolerate other males but despises females. My male was generally more social.

In my experience Eclectus are a bit neater than other animals. No destructive chewing or Houdini-like cage dismantling, but their droppings can be a bit wetter than others.

No more difficult IMHO than others, mostly the same needs overall.

Their biting is indeed like a saw or scissors, progressively harder and, if given the chance, deeper! They are generally quite gentle and like all parrots, use the beak as a tool.

I haven't notice any particularly bad habits. Mine don't display emotions as clearly as other parrots, the clues are very subtle as compared with my cockatoos.

*everything* is subtle when compared to cockatoo's! LOL

Ekkies can be rather hard to read. Until you learn to really read them, you may find one dangling from your hand before you realize they're getting ready to bite. Not that I would know...

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Oh, I wasn't disagreeing or anything. I just think Cockatoo's have the subtlety of a freight train shooting off fireworks :D

Anansi 10-15-2016 01:25 PM

Re: Before Getting an Eclectus?
 
Hahaha! Yeah, ekkies and 'toos are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to subtlety. No doubt.

Some great answers up above. At the risk of redundancy...

An ekkie can be extremely loud, as in their alarm call is one of the most ear drum rending noises known to man, but in my experience they tend to be along the quieter spectrum overall. Of course, like any bird, if you unintentionally teach them to scream your experience will be quite different.

Maya and Jolly are rather neat eaters. Especially Jolly who eats with near surgical precision. My first ekkie (Bixby), however, enjoyed tossing food the length of the room if he found the taste particularly offensive. Lol!

And what has been mentioned about their poop is sadly accurate. Fresh food diets make for wetter and more... dramatic... droppings.

Cleaning should be frequent with any bird.

Difficulty is relative and subjective. As was mentioned above, ekkies aren't drop-some-pellets-and-run type birds, but once you get used to doing chop it really isn't a big deal.

And yes, their body language can be tough to read at first, but observation will do the trick. Just pay attention. They are trying to communicate. It's just up to us to listen.

Yes, they are capable of biting EXTREMELY hard. The worst bite I ever received was from an ekkie. (Not my own. Bixby's hatch mate.) There was blood everywhere. But if you work with your ekkie, such bites become far less likely. Bixby only bit me hard before I'd completed his bite pressure training, Maya only drew blood from me once, during a moment of hormonal rage, and Jolly has never bitten me.

They can develop bad habits, as can any bird. Like greys, ekkies are especially prone to plucking in response to boredom or other emotional issues. So you will want to provide them a stimulating environment.


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