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Old 08-20-2015, 11:05 AM
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Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

I am having a hard time figuring out which species is right for us/which one would be happy in our family.

My bird experience: I grew up owning budgies and loved them, but have been waiting to get a bird until my youngest was school age (he just started 1st grade), and developmentally ready to be calm around a bird. So I'm aware of things like step-up training, seed messes, nipping, etc.

I'm kind of leaning towards a bird that's more touchy-feely, more personality than a budgie, but I don't want to get in over my head. My oldest has asthma, so a cockatiel probably wouldn't be a good idea because of their dustiness. I'm thinking about a hand raised green cheeked conure, but willing to get an English budgie if our lifestyle wouldn't be right for a GCC. Any other suggestions are welcome, too!

I have everything ready and set up for a feathered friend:
- a cage in our living room (inside dimensions 32''L x 20''W x 35''H with 3/8" bar spacing)
-natural tree branch perches (no sand covered ones)
-a few bird-safe toys (chewing wood, bells and a ball)
-a table top play gym, etc.
-many, many hours of internet research on balanced diets, gentle training methods, bird safety (no avocados, no teflon, etc),

Here's a rundown of our lifestyle:

-I have school age two boys, both relatively calm and gentle with animals, even small animals. (We had two dumbo rats that just passed away that they were very sweet with, the rats loved them back, too.)

-We homeschool, so we're home for more than 6 hours most days, and often are home all day. However, our schedule is different each weekday: We're gone Tues and Mon mornings for P.E. and group classes, and Friday afternoons for "recess" playdates with other homeschoolers. Every other week we have an all day field trip on Fridays. Every summer we go visit family across the country for up to two weeks. (I have a volunteer bird sitter I trust locally already lined up.)

-We have a single family home, though that could change to an apartment as my husband's job may make him move next year.

-Ready to do training sessions for 10-15 min every morning once we've established a trusting relationship (step up, potty training, etc.)

-We'd love to bring the bird over to the table top birdy gym at our school table while we do morning school work. (We did this with our rats, and although the rats chewed the corners of their papers, it was a good time for them to get out of the cage and have some casual interaction with us.)

-We'd also have a set time around lunch every day (except field trip days) that we devote more solely to playing with the bird for 30 min-60 min.

-We'd also often have time to play in the evenings before and after dinner, but it will depend on the day.

However, I don't know if our schedule would be more stressful, or better suited to a bird than say someone who works a more predictable full or part time job. I already know something as needy or loud as a large parrot would not be a good fit. I need it to be OK with kids as well. But, I also want a sweet, interactive pet, not just a "decoration", not something that will be terrified of us like finches or canaries.

Thanks SO much for your help!
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:13 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

Conures all the way! Where are you located?

The green cheeks get a little full of themselves during maturity. A well raised sun conure could be kept in an apartment but they can get a little on the loud side if you don't teach them to be on the quieter side early on. My quietest bird, besides my cockatoo, is my sun conure. In my experience Nandays and Duskys are more annoying then suns but I haven't been around any that aren't in a rescue.

Our shelter has a large group of english budgies, that I believe are still available, if you are nearby....
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:18 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

I am in Eastern Georgia. There are two shelters near me, but one is closed for renovations, and the other primarily has the larger birds, or very, very needy birds that already have plucking problems, were abused, etc. As much as I'd like to help them, that'd be something I wouldn't want to take on just yet.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:26 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

One of them Miss Vickis? I'm not sure what she has right now but I don't think she puts everything she has online just like us. We work with her often, so was just curious if she was one of them.

Every shelter in the world has a bunch of problem birds and then the ones that are more adoptable. If you are prepared for a baby going through maturity then go for it. Your kids will most likely get bit but that will most likely happen with any bird you get!

I would lean towards a sun, jenday, crimson, or green cheek. Maybe a brown throat or cherry headed. All conures by the way!
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:26 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

Conures are truly a good choice, but I would not be so quick to discount a Cockatiel. A regular shower routine will limit/eliminate the dusting issue. Birds and dust is a natural combination.

Until your world settles a little more (possible move in the near future) you may want to wait until that is settled before you get a bird. Not all apartments or apartment complexes allow pets.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:31 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

If your kid has asthma why risk a dusty bird. Yes showers and an air purifier help but the problem is not eliminated if your kid has bad asthma. If a cockatiel shakes even one with baths and such will most likely shower dust and down feathers at your kid. My cockatiels are insanely dusty and showers only reduce the problem.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:48 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

No, Miss Vicki's is nearly 3 hours west of us. We're in Augusta, on the GA, SC border.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:57 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

I love my GCC, but for sure, nippy is their nature! And a baby going through teen hood terrifies me!
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:59 AM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

I've read conflicting info on whether to get a young, hand fed bird and start off right or to get a grown rescue and avoid puberty, but deal with a bird that has issues. Maybe this is a dumb question, but are there often hand tame, family friendly birds at rescues? I'd be willing to drive a ways out if there are.

If I go for a grown bird, at what age are they out of the woods for puberty?

Most of the local profiles detail birds that are pretty skittish, previous breeders, or avid pluckers. I'll give that one that's open a call and see if they're just not listing all their birds.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:00 PM
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Re: Help me find the right bird, but tell it to me straight

Quote: Originally Posted by Flboy View Post
I love my GCC, but for sure, nippy is their nature! And a baby going through teen hood terrifies me!
lol it really was a nightmare! Both of mine went through it at around the same time...I remember wanting to strangle them often.

My sun was easier I don't know if that was because I knew what I was doing that time around or if she is waiting until her twos to get really bad.
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