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Old 05-30-2010, 11:57 AM
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Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Hello,

I am planning on buying a baby bird but am on the fence about what breed. We currently have a Blue Fronted Amazon. We got him about 3 or 4 months ago and he has decided that my husband is 'his person'. He is friendly to me MOST of the time, but can be very aggressive towards me. I find him to be very entertaining and I really enjoy him but I want a bird that is as bonded with me as our amazon is with my husband.

I found a local breeder that is great at socializing her babies and only sells them once they are weaned. I would be able to visit the baby before it comes home. I have handled her CAG babies that are 5 weeks old. I also visited some of her almost weaned Macaws. She teaches all of them to step up and down and to lay on their backs.

The breeds that I am considering are Congo African Grey, Macaw and Eclectus.

I really think CAG's are amazing and I am leaning towards this breed. I have heard that they are not very affectionate though. I have also understand that they are one person birds too and it would absolutely break my heart if my CAG 'picked' my husband over me. The only adult CAG's that I have seen have been in petstores. They were kind of nippy and lunged at me. I assume that this is from being in a petstore, but I am concerned that it may be their nature??

The breeder that I found specializes in Macaws and suggested that if I wanted a 'cuddly' bird, that I might consider one. I must say that I am a bit intimidated by their size, especially their beaks!! Although it would be nice to have a bird that would cuddle in my lap while watching tv. The breeder kind of equated the difference between a macaw and an african grey as a macaw having more of a friendly golden retriever personality and a african grey having more of a stand-offish cat personality.

I haven't had the opportunity to handle an eclectus and don't know much about their personality. I would want a male because of their beautiful green color. I love their 'candy corn' beak too.

Basically I am looking for a bird that is friendly and sweet (that likes me...I know that this is not really controllable...) that doesn't mind getting pets and scritches. Talking clearly is a plus too. I would prefer a breed that generally doesn't have aggressive tendencies. Our Amazon certainly does-although we've been told that we got a pretty good one!

I would appreciate anybody who is familiar with any of these breeds to give input. I want to take the time to make the right decision since this bird will most likely be with me for the rest of my life!
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Old 05-30-2010, 02:17 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Quote:
The only adult CAG's that I have seen have been in petstores. They were kind of nippy and lunged at me. I assume that this is from being in a petstore, but I am concerned that it may be their nature??
No, not at all. Your first assumption is correct, it's likely to be from living in the pet store. There aren't quite as many social opportunities in the pet store environment, often leading to a bird who is fearful. CAGs are great birds, and form very strong bonds with their guardian. They are often one-person birds like you mentioned. They are generally not the cuddliest birds, but they can be cuddly. It definitely depends on the individual. Most people buy Greys for their sweet disposition and for their talking abilities.

Quote:
The breeder that I found specializes in Macaws and suggested that if I wanted a 'cuddly' bird, that I might consider one. I must say that I am a bit intimidated by their size, especially their beaks!!
I myself am a tad nervous around their beaks, they are very large. Macaws never really bite much at all, unless they think that's what the situation requires. They are sweet and cuddly, and don't cause harm unless threatened or hormonal. They do tend to mouth their playmate's hand, but not with the intention of causing any damage. My only advice for your fear of the bird's biting is to watch for the key signs that he will nip you.

Here are some links for more information.

The Nature of Greys by Bobbi Brinker & S. G. Friedman, Ph.D.
Blue & Gold Macaws aka Blue & Yellow Macaws: Species information and Photos
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:34 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Parrotqueen, thank you for the information and the links. I read both of them. It sounds like Macaws are a handful from that article.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:59 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Hello undecided. I do not think we have much control over which human a bird bonds with. I live alone so my TAG had no choice in that manner. AG are a super choice for a bird. If they are raised in a home that has multiple people who have intracted with the bird they will not be a one person bird. It is not their nature to be nippy. My Rosie is cage agressive and will nip me if I have arms or hands in the cage. Good luck with your choice.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:51 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Quote:
I do not think we have much control over which human a bird bonds with.
I agree complety. You never know who you new bird will bond with, so that is something to consider if your getting a bird for yourself. On that note, I think Cockatoos are a great choice. Their nature is quite cuddly, but it depends on how you train them. But if not, African grey are a great choice .

If you are going to get another parrot, you should seriously consider getting a second hand parrot! There are SSOOO many birds out there that people don't want anymore, and they are usually a better price than getting a new-baby one. I used to be involved in a parrot rescue, and the birds arent always mean. My little green-cheek, and my hyacinth macaw, are both 'adopted' from other homes, and they are very sweet. I dont think they've bitten me more than... twice.

Hope I helped!!!!!

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:28 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

That's funny that you should suggest a second hand bird and a cockatoo because I just found an umbrella cockatoo on craigslist and am going to try to see him tomorrow.
I don't have any issues with getting a second hand parrot as our Amazon was purchased as a 5 year old. He is a very good bird...for an Amazon. My mother loved my guy so much that she adopted a Yellow Nape from the local parrot rescue. I just want that bond so much that I thought a baby might be the best way to achieve it.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:40 PM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Im glad that your adopting and that is funny- what a coincidence. I hope it turns out well!!!!

-Cass
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:50 AM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Hi Tara, tough decision.
Here goes, will try keep it short, but want to express myself properly.
I have always had AG's. "Congo" my first, was given to me, he was 3 years old. He was very aggressive and stubborn. He preferred being in his cage. He only spoke a black language , when we got him (very difficult to talk they click their tongues all the time) After 6 weeks, he was speaking English perfectly. I must mention that I work from home, basically being with the bird 24/7. I could hold him, but not cuddle him. He eventually trusted me enough to clip his wings and file his nails. He loved lots of attention, which he received. Congo learnt to do quite a few tricks on command. Unfortunately, I had an accident with my right hand, completely severed the alnur nerve. Was in a cast for 6 weeks. I was unable to take care of Congo. It broke my heart. My ex husband took him in.
After 2 years, my ex said I needed a bird in my life again, and bought us an AG "GiGi". I could manage a small bird with my injured hand.
He had her sexed. I hand reared her. She spoke cutely, but would rather play and do tricks. GiGi was the most cuddly AG I had ever come across. We argued at night, as to who will hold her. Eventually each one had 15 minutes at a time. She did the cutest thing, she would run up to your t-shirt, nudge at it, we then had to lift it up. GiGi then got comfortable near the armpit, and fell asleep. When she wanted to do her business (she was potty trained) she would nip gently on our arm, to let her out. GiGi loved males and females, handling her, no problem there. Unfortunately, at 13 months old she had a stroke and died. Part of me died with her honestly. I was devastated. Swore never to get another bird ever again.
A friend has an AG, whom I am very fond of. I realized how much I am missing out, the companionship, the love they give.
We decided to hand rear another AG "Mishka". She is now 2 1/2 years old, the love of my life, could not imagine my life without her. She is not a cuddly bird, but lately she lets me rub her tummy. Have not had her DNA. Mishka loves people, lets anyone handle her, and stroke her. Anyone can feed her, tell her to do tricks etc. Talking to Mishka is like talking to a human, she loves talking all day 24/7. She loves lots of interaction and attention. From 5pm, she gets my undivided attention, until 8pm. She plays for the first hour on her playpen. Then we chat and play together, where I teach her new tricks. The last hour, on my lap, we talk and talk and talk. I teach her new words, or sentences, we have learned during the day.
Mishka is the most talkative, and active AG I have ever come across. She is constantly on the move. Loves being in her cage, going through the rings, swinging on the chains.
Each bird is so different, personality wise, character etc.
You will know which bird is meant for you, when you see "your bird" your gut instinct will let you know.
Hope this was helpful.
Let us know what your decision is okay.
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Last edited by antoinette; 05-31-2010 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:02 AM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Antionette: You should take Mishka to the schools to be an ambasador for AG. She would like that too.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:37 AM
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Re: Trying to decide on new bird breed.

Quote: Originally Posted by tastakelin View Post
The breeder that I found specializes in Macaws and suggested that if I wanted a 'cuddly' bird, that I might consider one. I must say that I am a bit intimidated by their size, especially their beaks!! Although it would be nice to have a bird that would cuddle in my lap while watching tv. The breeder kind of equated the difference between a macaw and an african grey as a macaw having more of a friendly golden retriever personality and a african grey having more of a stand-offish cat personality.
I wanted to share my experience with macaws. We got my husband's red-front from a local breeder who specializes in red-fronts and blue-throats. Jade is amazingly cuddly. One could describe her as demanding for attention, but she's really just very social. She loves to watch TV with us but also does laps around the house. In her quieter moments she'll actually nuzzle against your neck. However, she's a bit vindictive and will "punish" us if she feels it's necessary - like when she's spent too much time in her cage. But this isn't often and usually just a little nip. We're working on this.

Some good friends of ours have a blue-throat from the same breeder. Zeus is also very cuddly and a little more laid-back than Jade.

We're getting a CAG from the same breeder so we go to her aviary every other weekend or so and have seen a lot of her birds. It may just be her, but almost none of her birds bite. She's rehomed a couple who did bite when they came to her, and one still does, but I don't recall any of the others biting. She has a young (5 year old or so) granddaughter who spends time at the aviary on weekend. This little girl is perfectly comfortable with the birds - even the large scarlets - and I don't believe that she's ever been bitten or at least not often.

Macaw beaks can be very intimidating but macaws are easily trained to use them only when necessary.
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