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Old 07-14-2017, 09:28 PM
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Best larger bird for a beginner?

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Hi everyone!
I've been wanting to get a parrot for a while now, preferably something larger, like a macaw or cockatoo. I've been around all kinds of exotic animals my whole life so I'm pretty experienced with them, and I do have my own house so noise isn't really a problem. I have the time and resources to care for a parrot, and because of my background with exotics I'm pretty good st taking care of advanced animals. I just want to know what god opinions are on a good starter parrot? Thank you!
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:57 PM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

How much exposure have you had to larger parrots? I mean up close and personal with handling. Both species listed are complex creatures with complicated social needs and powerful beaks.
My best advice would be to find a local rescue and spend at least several days around some of the larger birds, handle them a bit if possible, take a few bites, learn from the people working/volunteering.
I wouldn't deter someone from owning these amazing creatures, as long as he/she puts in the time, work, and gains the education needed.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:11 PM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

Hi,
I've been around bigger birds a few times, held them, fed them, etc. I've been bit by one before though it was a while ago, so I do know the pain. I've done a lot of research, and also had friends who've had Macaws so I have some exposure, just never owned one. If I could narrow it down to one or two kinds of birds, I'd like to go to the local rescue I plan on adopting from and asking them if I can handle them, and have the people talk to me a little about the bird(s). As far as making sure they have what they need, I'm fully prepared to spend as much as I need to to make sure they're happy and healthy. I'm in college currently, but I do it online so I am home for pretty much the whole day, so I can spend lots of time with them.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:05 AM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

I wouldn't get a large bird. Smaller birds can be just as great as large birds.
If you are set on getting a large bird, how about a mini macaw? They are macaws, but a little smaller, still rather large though.
How about a Galah cockatoo, I wish I could have one, but I can't.


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Old 07-15-2017, 07:18 AM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

Large Companion Parrots require much more than the likely time you have to provide. Complete your studies, get a job, and then show-up at the Rescue ready to provide extensive time starting at the very bottom cleaning cages and providing food and water. After several months 'likely more' they will determine what additional abilities that you need prior to beginning thinking about, which Parrot maybe interested in you!

The majority of Rescues are only interested in providing Parrots to 'Forever' Homes. That commonly includes being able to prove your abilities with Parrots.

Once you have been at the Rescue for a long enough period that you have come to see that some Parrots will have no interest what-so-ever in you and other Parrots will show some general interest, you are getting closer to a point that you: Allowing a Parrot to Choose You, can be understood. And, more importantly you accepting that choice as more important than your 'want.'

Slow-down and learn at the hands-on level! You will be much more prepared to accepting a 'Forever Parrot' into your home!
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:13 AM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

I have to agree. My babies are a relatively small greencheek 3 yrs and Ringneck 16 yrs. Parrots are not like cats,dogs, rabbits, horses etc. Parrots need you as much as a baby human and cockatoos,galahs any parrot will end up in great emotional stress if you do not give them your full attention as you would a child. A dog eont pluck its feathers out because he misses you while you are at work. Also PLEASE REMEMBER HOW LONG THEY LIVE. Longer than you. Please don't get a parrot small or big unless you're in it for life. My two babies are my world and because I not only love them but RESPECT THEIR NEED FOR CONSTANT LOVE AND REASSURANCE they are happy and healthy. Id love a Macaw/cockatoo but unless I had enough money to leave them in my will so they could live comfortably if and after I passed I would not get one. Parrots are your mate for life so unless you are really willing to give them your all-shortened holidays, daily quality time, cleaning continual mess and noise-GET A DOG they love you-dont live up to 100 yrs,are not as emotionally needy. I adore parrots and they are my life and unless you are willing to make a complete commitment look at another animal. Its cruel to keep a parrot/bird in a cage for most of its day. PLEASE THINK HARD BEFORE PURCHASING ONE OF THESE MAGNIFICENT CREATURES.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:03 PM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

Consider long term when thinking about getting a parrot. Yes you may be home a lot now, but what about when you graduate and get a job? Certainly people with jobs have parrots but we've all seen so many times people giving up birds, and other pets, because they suddenly feel like they aren't home enough to devote enough time to a pet. Are you willing to devote most of your free time after working away from the house all day to ensure your parrot receives adequate time and attention? Having to pass up dinners out with friends or going to the movies? Not that you will never be able to do those things of course, but having a parrot means that you have to make enough time for him and jobs take up a lot of time so other leisure activities need to be cut back.
I wholeheartedly agree with the " volunteer at a rescue " advice. You will soon see whether parrots are a passion for you or you will decide that you dodged a bullet by not getting a loud, messy, expensive, needy pet before making sure it was right for you.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:33 PM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

I have to agree with the preceding posts, I know I am not ready for a large parrot, I accept that. If you are looking for a companion with personality the best starter bird is a cockatiel or a conure. Both are sweet by nature, won't bite really and if they do it's no big deal you just negatively reinforce the behavior. And both will sit on your shoulder and take your online college lessons with you. Both are relatively quiet and can learn to talk a little if that's important. And both are very cuddly.

There's all sorts of facets to owning a bird, like when it's near bedtime and he starts chirping and griping because he's tired, but oh wait he won't go to sleep because you aren't going to sleep. It's just like a newborn baby....for years and years and years. Start with something manageable. You won't be disappointed. In a week you won't be able to go home without your first stop getting him out to be with you.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:28 AM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

Being in college put very simply, no don't get one. You're at a very uncertain point in your life. What happens if when you finish college you're offered an amazing job but you have to travel a lot? You can't care for a bird when doing that, or what if you have to constantly work late nights? Or what if you can only afford an apartment with no pets allowed? Or even just an apartment? A Macaw will get you kicked out immediately if a neighbour complains which with a large parrot they will.

I would say even a small bird isn't right at the moment. Wait until you have a steady job after college and re-assess if you're ready for a bird, and then look into smaller ones like Tiels or conures. Conures especially have personalities like a macaw and are great companions plus you don't have to think about adding them to your will, and due to their size landlords are far more willing to have them
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:51 AM
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Re: Best larger bird for a beginner?

Well...asking about a "starter parrot" is like asking about a " starter child". "Starter" implies a trial run, an experiment...the word implies change. You start with X, then after getting some experience you move on to Y. This is fine for cars, bikes, smartphones, etc. but not so good for an animal that might live as long as you and require as much attention as a human toddler. Parrots are emotionally complex and will develop psychological disorders if they are neglected. For example, our macaw spent the first six years of his life as a spoiled rotten parrot, and the next eight shut up in a cage above a steadily growing mound of poop and filth because his human experienced a stressful life change. I have the medical records - obviously, the first owner had good intentions and spent thousands of dollars on his medical care and feeding. Then something went wrong. There was no way his human could have predicted that. That's why my advice, at least, is to delay, wait until you are done with school and figured out a career and a permanent home. Humans are very bad at imagining how we will feel in the future. It's like when you are mad at someone and you can't even remember what you ever liked about them in the first place.

You might in fact be the perfect person to own a large bird. If that's the case, you will still be perfect one or five years from now. But if an unexpected change arises, and did not wait, it's not just you - there is a beautiful bird who will suffer. In fact, the more strongly we feel we need to have something NOW, the more likely we are in the grip of emotion, and the more important it is for us to wait and be sure that this isn't a fleeting fancy that might only last ten years.
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