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Old 03-27-2016, 12:44 PM
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Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Hello all,

I made my first post several years ago regarding which bird species I should start with. I settled on a Pyrrhura conure and came very, very close to buying a pineapple green cheek from a local breeder. However, I decided against it last minute because I wasn't sure where my career would take me. I was a junior in college and was considering studying abroad.

Since then, I've graduated with my BS in Biology (never ended up studying abroad, oh well) and decided to pursue a career in dentistry. Arkansas doesn't currently have a dental school, so no matter which school I get into I'll be moving out of state. If I get in this year, it looks like I could either end up in Chicago or New York. I'd be moving in June or July and starting school in the fall.

I still find myself wanting a green cheek conure (a local breeder has some gorgeous young rose-crowns as well). The only thing I'm wrestling with is whether I should get the bird now or wait. I'm fairly certain I'd have the time to dedicate during dental school. I know a lot of dental/med students have dogs and even children.

Right now I'm just working part time and would have plenty of time to spend training, socializing and getting the bird acquainted with my girlfriend and family, while it's young. However, would the move be too tough on the bird?

I'd also be traveling home periodically to visit the aforementioned girlfriend and family. Would the bird be okay traveling with me or being looked after by someone else while I'm away?

Finally, I have some concerns about the bird limiting which apartments I could rent when I move. Would any bird-owning renters mind sharing their experiences with finding an apartment in a new city?

Sorry for the lengthy post! Thanks!

Ryan
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:13 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Sorry, my advice to you and any other young prospective parrot owners. Wait until you are established. Parrots require so much time and so much of your attention that it would not be fair to you or your parrot. besides giving him attention to keep them him socialized there is the time spent cleaning up making sure that his cage area is clean, time spent preparing food and then spending time with him most fun time and also work time. and to this school and study time. want a girlfriend then add time for her. Can some do it? But you willing to take achance? Why not volunteer at a sanctuary for awhile? Sorry if I sound down, I just know how much time I spend and use with Salty.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:53 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
Sorry, my advice to you and any other young prospective parrot owners. Wait until you are established. Parrots require so much time and so much of your attention that it would not be fair to you or your parrot. besides giving him attention to keep them him socialized there is the time spent cleaning up making sure that his cage area is clean, time spent preparing food and then spending time with him most fun time and also work time. and to this school and study time. want a girlfriend then add time for her. Can some do it? But you willing to take achance? Why not volunteer at a sanctuary for awhile? Sorry if I sound down, I just know how much time I spend and use with Salty.
We have 2 GC conures and are home a lot. I don't think they would thrive if they weren't out as much but of course we have always done it that way. I agree about the volunteering part. That would definetly let you experience all th different breeds etc. good luck!
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:16 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Thanks for the advice! I'm well aware of the time commitment these animals require. Although dental school will be much more challenging and intensive than college, I still anticipate spending a great deal of time at home. I'm sure that's where I'll spend most of my time studying, during which I could let the bird out. I've heard dental/med school equated to a full time job. Don't people who work full time successfully own parrots?

My concerns are less about time commitments and more about the potential stress of moving homes and travelling for holidays/leaving the bird with a sitter. Can most parrots handle that so long as they're properly socialized and introduced to many new things at an early age?

I really wish I could volunteer at a rescue! Unfortunately, there aren't any in my area. The closest is several hours away.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:51 AM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

To me, the question here isn't really about time. You will be studying a lot, and can probably arrange your schedule to make it happen.

It isn't really about moving or traveling, either. A gcc shouldn't be able to handle a move and travel with you easily if you do the right educational foundation with him early on.

The question comes down to two things; commitment and MONEY. first, are you committed to doing what it takes to keep this bird happy and healthy for the next 30 years? If so, break out your piggy bank and start counting!

You are an adult so I'm sure you have already researched the general costs associated with responsible parronting. Assuming you have that covered, it's time to talk about housing.

If you are going to get a parrot and you know you will be moving, you need to also know that you can afford to be REALLY picky about housing, and potentially pay way more just because the housing that happens to allow parrots in your new city may (very likely) also happen to cost a lot more than you might otherwise pay. In my area you can expect to pay $500 or more a month above the normal price for housing that allows pets. I have moved 6 times in the last 7 years due to my husband's career, so this is a struggle I am familiar with. Think long and hard and do a lot of research into the housing markets of the cities you may move to, and ask yourself it is worth it.

With all that said, if you still think you are ready to take this on, then do so. I highly suggest being careful with the species you choose based on noise level, and be prepared to work REALLY HARD at teaching your bird to self entertain.

Life is never fully settled, but it seems to be more stAble the older you get for most people. Waiting until you are done moving is good advice most of the time, in fact it is what I usually tell people. Of course if I followed it myself I wouldn't have birds until my husband retires. But we are deeply committed and financially prepared not only for the cost of the birds but the cost of NEEDING pet friendly housing.

Ask yourself if this is the right time. Think about the hardships that might come, and think about which you will regret more; waiting a few more years, or bringing a bird home now. This answer will be different for every person.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:59 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Thanks! I will definitely be waiting until I know which school I'll be attending (hopefully within a week or two) and checking out the housing market in that city before actually making any purchases. You mentioned noise level. As an owner of several GCCs, would you recommend them for apartment living? Do you think it would be different with just one bird? I've read mixed reports on the actual noise level of the Pyrrhura conures.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:07 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilverSage View Post
To me, the question here isn't really about time. You will be studying a lot, and can probably arrange your schedule to make it happen.

It isn't really about moving or traveling, either. A gcc shouldn't be able to handle a move and travel with you easily if you do the right educational foundation with him early on.

The question comes down to two things; commitment and MONEY. first, are you committed to doing what it takes to keep this bird happy and healthy for the next 30 years? If so, break out your piggy bank and start counting!

You are an adult so I'm sure you have already researched the general costs associated with responsible parronting. Assuming you have that covered, it's time to talk about housing.

If you are going to get a parrot and you know you will be moving, you need to also know that you can afford to be REALLY picky about housing, and potentially pay way more just because the housing that happens to allow parrots in your new city may (very likely) also happen to cost a lot more than you might otherwise pay. In my area you can expect to pay $500 or more a month above the normal price for housing that allows pets. I have moved 6 times in the last 7 years due to my husband's career, so this is a struggle I am familiar with. Think long and hard and do a lot of research into the housing markets of the cities you may move to, and ask yourself it is worth it.

With all that said, if you still think you are ready to take this on, then do so. I highly suggest being careful with the species you choose based on noise level, and be prepared to work REALLY HARD at teaching your bird to self entertain.

Life is never fully settled, but it seems to be more stAble the older you get for most people. Waiting until you are done moving is good advice most of the time, in fact it is what I usually tell people. Of course if I followed it myself I wouldn't have birds until my husband retires. But we are deeply committed and financially prepared not only for the cost of the birds but the cost of NEEDING pet friendly housing.

Ask yourself if this is the right time. Think about the hardships that might come, and think about which you will regret more; waiting a few more years, or bringing a bird home now. This answer will be different for every person.

Best of luck!
I couldn't agree more with this. As long as you are willing to put in the time, money and effort, you can definitely make it work and I'm speaking from experience that is similar to your current situation. I had my childhood pets throughout college because I refused to leave them behind. Did it make my life more difficult? Of course, but I wouldn't have done anything differently. It's all a matter of how committed you are and how willing you are to make sacrifices. Finding pet friendly housing can be difficult, but is possible. My husband and I have moved 3 times in the past 3 years and refused to move into anything where our furry, feathered and finned family wasn't allowed, but as stated above, it will cost you more. It really depends on the individual bird, but moving and bird sitting has never been an issue for us. My mom took care of all of our animals while we went on a cruise last fall, and the birds enjoyed the "grandma spoiling" of special treats and toys while we were gone. I will also stress the importance of teaching self entertaining. My husband and I both work full time and our birds, who are excellent self entertainers, have always done fine because they have plenty of toys and foraging activities to keep them occupied while we're away. You do, however, still have to be willing to spend hands on time with them even after your long days at work/school, so keep that in mind. If you are truly determined and willing to share your life with a feathered companion, don't let anyone discourage you based on your age and "unsettled" state. In my mind, those are irrelevant (once again, speaking from experience). What is relevant is you providing the best forever home you can
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:56 PM
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Re: Seeking advice: Is now the right time?

I third the difficulties with renting and owning a bird. I've never had to pay more, but I definitely had a lot less options.

Green cheeks are good apartment birds. Most neighbors never knew I had parrots (both mine are considered "apartment birds" but the pi has a good set of lungs on her). Green cheeks just aren't built to be too loud or ear piercing when compared to other parrots.

I've also found my green cheek to be very flexible/resilient. He's traveled with me extensively. We were even homeless a few weeks (living in car)! He's done okay with being babysat. A friend of mine served overseas and her parents kept her green cheek until she came home a year later - her conure still loved her and was happy to see her, but did just fine in a loving home until she returned.
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