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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:04 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Yes it takes hours every day. Cleaning, feeding, socializing, etc it’s a lot. I would just wonder at your stage of life if you shouldn’t consider waiting until you are out of school. Those are my thoughts.


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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:14 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

It does not sound like you are in a good position to take on a parrot right now. If you wouldn't want a human child of your very own, a parrot is very similar, plus they have all of these respiratory sensitivities and their volume capacity is much louder. I will post some "new to parrots" stuff that has a lot of the care information you were asking about. They can live for so long and re-homing them if you cannot do a proper job really leaves a scar (they get so attached). Your parents and everyone will have to be 100% willing to change the way they cook/clean etc---NO CHEMICALS OR TEFLON in the house EVER. The Teflon thing is huge. Someone will have to be there every day to uncover and cover the bird at the same time (AM and PM) as they have to have set sleep schedules and a bedtime (just like a child). They also tend to wake up early...and you can't just leave them covered because you want to do your own thing.

In terms of the amount of time needed---you will need multiple perches set up throughout the house so that you bird can keep stay wherever the action is. They are flock animals so if you leave their line of sight, you will generally get screaming etc. That having been said, you do need to build independence with them so that they don't lose it if you do have to leave for a bit.

I would strongly suggest that you wait on this whole thing because there is so much that is going to be super complicated for any 17 year old. These birds pick who they pick and if your bird picks you, what happens if you go off to college etc? Birds are terribly suited for apartments and not allowed in most dorms.

I have to get to work but I will try to add to this later.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-13-2020 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:14 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

When you have a bird, any sort of heated mechanism (anything that heats or is intended to be heated) and contains PTFE/PFOA/PFCs/Teflon will be out of the question (and most things that heat up or are intended to be heated DO contain these chemicals)--This includes things like pots, pans, cupcake trays, cookie sheets, cake pans etc, but it will also things like include hair-dryers, straighteners, curling irons, curlers, rice-cookers, SLOW COOKERS, popcorn poppers, air fryers, microwave meals (including certain types of microwave popcorn), steamers, irons, ironing board covers, electric skillets, griddles, George Foreman Grills, drip trays, toasters, toaster ovens, poaching pans, electric blankets, humidifiers, heat lamps, SPACE HEATERS, Scotch Guard etc etc...Here 2 links about it: https://www.ewg.org/research/canarie...on-kills-birds
To find out what contains PTFE/PFOA/PFCs/Teflon, you have to call and be a bit insistent about it over the phone (and in some cases, you won't get far--but sometimes it is a matter of how you ask). Almost always, it will take a few days (and numerous holds) for them to get back to you and you must provide the full chemical names, abbreviations and brand-names. Shopping when you have a bird is super annoying because cannot visually ID these chemical coatings, as they can be colored, transparent, or mixed into metal/fabric during the manufacturing process. Teflon and chemically similar products have killed birds on separate floors with the doors shut. Similarly, while DuPont claims that off-gassing only occurs at higher heats, there have been myriad bird deaths (even within academic circles) at temperatures well within the 300 degree F range! There is a reason they used canaries in coal-mines and it is because they die very easily due to even low levels of fumes of any sort. Some specific accounts: https://www.ewg.org/research/canarie...-death-diaries
Here are the abbreviations and full spellings of the chemicals you need to ask about when inquiring about a product (give the name, spelling and abbreviation of each):

Teflon= common brand-name using the chemical types in question
PTFE= Polytetrafluoroethyline
PFOA= Perfluorooctanoic acid (sometimes known as C8)
PFCs= Perfluorinated chemicals

Sleep=essential to hormonal and immune function. Different species have different requirements, but 12 is pretty much the average. This means that someone must be there to cover and uncover the bird at the same time each night and that your home must be conducive to sleep.

Make sure you aren't using any unsafe products around the bird. This is pretty much everything with a scent (and some things without).
No perfume, PAINTS, carpet cleaner, flea shampoo, aerosols, solvents, air fresheners, paints, smoke of any kind, vaping, sunscreen, bugspray, candles of any kind (organic or non), insecticides, certain soaps/shampoos, fire-places, burning or heated oil/fat, self-cleaning ovens, gas and any household cleaners (e.g., bleach, windex, lysol, fabreeze, scrubbing bubbles, kaboom, pine-sol etc)...You will seriously have to re-think your entire home and your cleaning routine will change a ton.
NEVER use the self-cleaning oven function or try to season cast iron around birds.
The list goes on. Birds have VERY sensitive respiratory systems. Essential oils are also fairly unsafe due to their ability to be absorbed into the blood-stream and due to a bird's sensitive air sacs.
In terms of safe cleaning alternatives: White vinegar + water (as long as you don't heat it), grapefruit seed extract + water, baking soda (for scrubbing), some (but not all) natural cleaning products sold in pre-mixed formulas, and then avian-safe veterinary disinfectants, such as F10 SC (the yellow/clear concentrate has to be mixed with water but it is super safe and more effective than vinegar at killing bacteria etc).

Fumes make traveling with a bird complicated, as it is very unsafe to bring your bird with you into a location where teflon or chemical cleaners are being used. My bird does travel with me, but it is important to consider the safety of your final destination, as well as car temperature and any stops along the way (if you plan on bringing your bird inside).
I would recommend getting an air purifier (non-ozone producing/non-ionizing) to help with dust/mold etc (which can harm birds). Please note- a purifier will not protect birds from cigarette smoke, vaping fumes, teflon/ptfe/pfoa etc. It will only help increase the quality of the air to some extent. You cannot use unsafe chemicals around the bird just because you have a purifier.

Generally, you should only pet birds on the head/neck and you should not allow any shadowy spaces in the cage (boxes, bedding, crumbled paper, tents, blankets, low furniture, in clothing etc)...and so are tents/huts/hammocks etc. These things are hormonal triggers and they can cause health and behavior problems and snuggle huts can also entangle birds and cause blockages.

Birds hide illness like crazy, so there is nothing intuitive about their diseases. You have to be ready to study your birds poop and behavior daily, because even the slightest change can be a huge indicator. Blood work must be done frequently (ideally, 1x a year, but some vets will say every 3) and should be done soon after you get a new bird. Birds can carry and spread deadly illnesses without showing any symptoms, so play-dates and exposure to boarding facilities etc come with risks of their own. PBFD, ABV and PDD are all very serious and very contagious diseases that can be spread by things like feather dust in the ventilation system. These diseases are also notorious for producing false negatives in infected but asymptomatic carriers (when tested).
Bottom line: make sure that you have a certified avian vet (CAV) near you. Exotics vets who see birds are not the same thing. If you don't have a CAV near you, your life will be much more anxiety-ridden than if you do (and the difference between a CAV and an exotics vet can mean the difference between life and death for your bird in certain instances). NOTE: I know CAVs are not available everywhere, so do the best you can to find one. I lived in a place that didn't have one in the past, and I had to shop around for exotics vets and I always researched before trusting anything my exotics vet told me. Some of it was good advice and some was terrible. Never trust a vet that says to mix medicine into a bird's water! That is a sign that they are totally clueless. Also, never trust a vet that gives a bird antibiotics without first running some sort of test on the poop etc...and don't mix vitamins into water, as they increase bacterial risk and are too hard to monitor (speaking of water---try to go with dishes and not dispensers, as the dispensers are dirty and can get clogged).

Birds are very sensitive to temperature changes and drafts. Any temperature change of 10 degrees or more puts significant stress on their systems. If you have to take your bird out in the cold, make sure you carefully cover the cage and pre-warm the car. Also, make sure you don't have any air-fresheners in the car or vents blowing directly on the bird. Extreme heat can also be harmful. Over time, birds can adjust to a wide ranger of temperatures, but this adjustment has to take place over a long period of time. Anything too quick is going to shock their systems.

Dowel perches that are smooth/even in texture lead to a disease called bumble-foot. Textured perches prevent this---look into dragonwood, manzanita and pummice perches. There are numerous guides to appropriate sizing online.

Birds move in slow motion and especially and establishing real trust can take many months. Do not push physical contact early on. Do quiet things near the cage, read a book out loud etc. The goal is to form positive associations between low-stress, rewarding situations and yourself/bird. Don't push anything your bird isn't comfortable with while building trust.

A baby bird will generally be friendly to all (much like a baby human), but teen and adult birds experience significant hormonal changes which impact their personality and preferences. Puberty is particularly bad in many cases. Although it passes, an adult bird will never be as nice as a baby and it will come with a whole new set of preferences, desires and rules.
It is very important not to engage in behaviors that will eventually be inappropriate for the bird as an adult, as this sets an unsustainable precedent. You must teach independence, refrain from allowing the bird to graft itself to you all day, do not spend excessive time with your bird due to the fact that they are a new and exciting new pet (because you will be expected to keep it up long-term), pet on head/neck only and do not provide your bird with access to fleece huts, huts in general, tents, boxes, blankets, pillows, bedding etc, ignore screams for attention and attend to the sounds you will be able to tolerate long-term, ignore biting when it happens and do not scold/react unless you know why it happened---you don't want to reinforce behavior by reacting in a way that will strengthen it. There is also information on this forum about "the shunning" method which can work for some birds depending on who is being bitten and your relationship with the bird.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:15 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Here is the 2nd part that I just wrote the other day-- there are a few redundancies, but they were typed a few months apart--

Foods- stick to a low-fat diet with occasional seeds (for most birds) although some varieties do need a few more in their daily diet.
Unless you have an eclectus, a diet of pellets and chop (fruit/veg with more vet than fruit=ideal). If your bird is eating seeds as a major part of his diet, don't just cut him off (as they can be stubborn and starve if they are picky enough). Mine eats a healthy seed mix (no sunflowers or peanuts) and pellets (plus chop). I give her some seeds because she came to me eating them and she is eating less now than she did then...her blood work etc is fine and so is her weight, so I am okay with a few mixed in.
Tobacco residue (in the air or on hands/body)= very bad for them too, so if you smoke, vape, chew etc, MAKE SURE you are completely aired out and that any part of your body that the bird will be touching has been washed if it came in contact with the tobacco etc.
Birds are lactose intolerant, so dairy isn't very good for them (although a teeny-tiny bit of a hard cheese or something can be given like once a month or something lol---like a very rare treat and when I say tiny, I mean tiny).

Unsafe foods- tomato, mushroom, rhubarb, chocolate, coffee of any sort (even decaf--there is an actual component in it other than caffeine), artificial sweeteners, AVOCADO, apple seeds and the meat from fruits cut near the pit, alcohol...Avoid high sugar foods, avoid high-fat foods, Salt should be EXTREMELY limited , do not allow your bird to come into contact with your saliva or eat directly after you (human saliva has the potential to make birds sick in some cases). Some people also say to avoid celery, as it can cause the crop to get blocked (same with other super-stringy foods). OH---No garlic, onions, chives, leeks, shallots, green-onions etc....Now, a teeny bit of cooked garlic in a dish filled with other ingredients isn't going to kill a bird if it sneaks a bite (assuming there is nothing else toxic in there) but it is toxic for them in general.
Peanuts should be avoided as they contain aflatoxins and can cause aspergillosis.
Certain beans are also toxic and should never be fed to birds (even when cooked)--It depends on the type..
Citrus fruit/citric acid should be very limited (as in oranges etc) because too much can cause iron storage syndrome.

Wet food shouldn't be in the cage more than 3 hours before getting dumped and washed with a bird-safe soap like Dawn. Something like an apple slice can obviously stay longer than something like oatmeal.
Water dished should be washed at least 1-2 times daily with water and soap.

No corn cob bedding or bedding in the cage---period (line cage with something like paper towels, butcher paper or black and white newspaper)
No cages or toys made of galvanized metal, copper, zinc, or lead...Certain amalgams contain these but go by a different name, so always check. They can get metal toxicity from things like money, costume jewelry, cages etc---Stainless is the safest-- followed by bird-safe powder coated cages (but you did need to verify this because some powder coatings and certain iron blends can contain toxins---especially those made in China).
Here is some more information on metals and their safety--

Heavy Metal Poisoning in Birds
http://www.multiscope.com/hotspot/ar...eavymetals.htm
another link to a list of household hazards:
Parrot Precautions - CHICAGO EXOTICS ANIMAL HOSPITAL

No huts/tents/access to shadowy spaces (in or out of the cage) or it can make them get crazy and hormonal over time.

Make sure he has safe toys but don't just shove a bunch into the cage without making sure you give him time to adjust to seeing them from a safe distance and model playing with them for a few days nearby (silly, but important for young or timid birds).

MAJOR RED FLAGS---sitting on the bottom of the cage with no apparent purpose, falling/difficulty balancing for no reason (babies excluded), wheezing, tail pumping/bobbing when standing still and breathing, audible sounds when breathing, discharge from eyes or nose, frequent sneezing. If you notice these things, it isn't a "wait and see" health issue, it is a get them in ASAP issue. Bleeding is also another important one as birds don't have much blood. In an emergency, corn starch can be used to temporarily stop bleeding but it isn't a permanent fix in many cases..oh, and straining to poop is another one to look out for. There are 3 parts to poop--- the poop, the urine and the urates. The urates are like a white, stringy liquid and they should always be white. The urine is the liquid that surrounds the poop . The poop should not have chunks of undigested food in it. Super watery poop or NEON green poop can be bad--poop should never ever have a smell. Bubbly poop can indicate yeast over-growth. Stress can diet change can temporarily alter poop, but its important to keep an eye on it daily and change cage liners daily.
https://www.northernparrots.com/what...l-you-blog507/

Pay attention to poop as it will be very important for you to check it daily--- different colors/consistancies mean different things. Some of it will change depending on diet but it is important to get an idea of what your birds healthy poop looks like.

Many people use a gram scale to track their bird's weight every few days--you can buy one with a perch attached or make your own, by attaching a t-stand to one. Just remember--- not glue/fumes around the bird if you do this.

Birds are sensitive to drafts and major temperature changes. Make sure your bird isn't near drafty windows or heating/cooling vents. If you have to take him outside and it is cold, cover the cage with a blanket before returning to a temperature like he was used to.

When you cover the cage at night, make sure you cover it with a material that is breathable--- you do not want to smother the bird. They sell special cage-covers that are black-out materials yet breathable, but you can use other things as long as you are sure they aren't too thick. Also, your bird should never be covered during the day aside from travel in cooler weather. Never cover to stop screaming etc...bad news. Make sure that the laundry detergent you use doesn't have a strong smell. I use free-and clear and never any fabric softener or drier sheets, as these chemical scents are bad for the bird (and people honestly).

Make sure your bird's cage is in the main area of activity in the house (excluding the kitchen, as that is hazardous)--spend time socializing your bird. Remember that even a bird with clipped wings can fly given wind/height/space etc, so never take the bird outside without a cage or harness. If you ever do get wings clipped (which not everyone does), make sure you do not get a single-wing clip---you do not want them falling to the ground or losing control if they try to fly---the goal is for them to glide down safely.

Bathing opportunities should be provided once your bird is comfortable with you. If it doesn't scare him, you can spritz him with a spray bottle (not in the face and never as a punishment) but DO make sure the house is warm and draft free and never get a bird wet right before bed. Another option is setting out a shallow basin of water and allowing him to walk around in it. Some people will take their bird into the shower and let them go in and out of the water as they please, but there should never be any contact with soap and water should be luke-warm to cool (not as hot as people would generally prefer to shower and not super cold either).

For cleaning around the house, I use vinegar and water or f10 sc (bird-safe disinfectant). If you get the kind that is yellowish/clear, it doesn't have to be rinsed (there is a green kind with detergent that does have to be rinsed). F10 does have to be diluted before use though--- one tiny bottle makes something like 17 gallons if you mix it at a 1:250 ppm ratio (e.g., 2ml of F10 to every 17 oz h20)...It is a really great product and it kills germs way better than vinegar. It is safe for use in diluted form with your bird in the same room. Once mixed and stored in a spray bottle, it is good for up to 6 months. Unmixed, it lasts for years. I use f10 to clean my birds cage, but I have to scrape off the poop, as f10 doesn't break down grime, it just disinfects.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:29 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
It does not sound like you are in a good position to take on a parrot right now. If you wouldn't want a human child of your very own, a parrot is very similar, plus they have all of these respiratory sensitivities and their volume capacity is much louder. I will post some "new to parrots" stuff that has a lot of the care information you were asking about. They can live for so long and re-homing them if you cannot do a proper job really leaves a scar (they get so attached). Your parents and everyone will have to be 100% willing to change the way they cook/clean etc---NO CHEMICALS OR TEFLON in the house EVER. The Teflon thing is huge. Someone will have to be there every day to uncover and cover the bird at the same time (AM and PM) as they have to have set sleep schedules and a bedtime (just like a child). They also tend to wake up early...and you can't just leave them covered because you want to do your own thing.
Yes i understand my family has to make certain changes. I am slightly confused about the chemical stuff, so i can not have any teflon anywhere in the house? how... for example... will teflon in the kitchen affect my bird in a different room? Again i am only 'challenging' you because i want more information so please Please don't be offended. And yes i believe i will be able to have a constant wake up and sleep schedule.

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Old 01-13-2020, 05:32 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Quote: Originally Posted by LaManuka View Post
It would seem you posed a very similar question yesterday on a different thread.

My question to you is, are you prepared to take on a creature that is much less like a pet and much more like a human toddler? With all the demands on your time, money, emotions and personal freedoms that comes with a human toddler? Which never grows up and may very well soon clash with your life post-school, when you may wish to leave your home town, live or work overseas, get married to someone who hates birds etc etc etc? Birds have emotional requirements far beyond those of cats or dogs and do not do well if the human they’ve come to love and trust is gone for great swathes of the day, or disappears altogether.

You may think you have your next few years all mapped out but life at your age can throw you unexpected curveballs like it did for me when I ended up moving and living halfway around the world not once but twice, and I would have hated the thought of leaving any companion bird behind. I am not trying to scare you off but these are the more important issues you need to very closely examine, not which species you should get.
You are saying it might affect my life POST school? So you are saying that the school life shouldbt be a big problem but infact it is my life afterwards. I have that planned out, will be staying at one place for the rest of my life, excluding vacations. And also, "you need to very closely examine" , this seems to be an issue to me, i have not found a proper guide on everything i need to know, so far the only thing ive read is "they need a lot of time", " they are very intellgient" .
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:32 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

You cannot heat Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs anywhere in the house--- not even on a different floor.

They produce an odorless gas at certain (variable) temperatures and there are numerous accounts of people losing birds on the opposite end of a house and with doors shut (as a result of teflon). According to my vet, it is the leading cause of avoidable death in pet parrots. The temperatures at which it off-gasses vary and depend on 1000 different variables (age of pan, type of food, amount of food, acidity, etc etc) so you should really never use it.

Unheated, it poses no threat


Again though-- it is not something that is always easy to identify even though it is SUPER common, so you will have to call the manufacturer and state the full chemical names and abbreviations of PTFE/PFOA/PFCs and "Teflon" (brand) whenever you get something that heats of is intended to be heated---I think I wrote a ton about this in my first huge post, so you can find more on that there.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-13-2020 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:34 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Have you ever babysat for a toddler? Having a bird is a lot like that. You have to have activities and games for them. They need structure but they don't know that. They are stubborn and will manipulate. They are emotional and intelligent. They need you to cook for them and they have to have a bedtime. They will make a huge mess wherever they go and they need a lot of toys and mental stimulation.

A bird will take away from the time you can devote toward school-- especially if you have any after-school activities...You will need to be home at the same time daily to feed it dinner and put it to bed---but you will need to come home earlier than that so that you can have it out of its cage for approx 3-4 hours a day (minimum in my opinion).

Ecclectus parrots have extremely complicated dietary requirements (they cannot eat pellets so, while all birds require fresh produce daily, ecclectus have to have a balanced blend of fresh vegetables, grains etc on a daily basis as their sole source of food).

Last edited by noodles123; 01-13-2020 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:50 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

Quote: Originally Posted by joshwahwoo View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by LaManuka View Post
It would seem you posed a very similar question yesterday on a different thread.

My question to you is, are you prepared to take on a creature that is much less like a pet and much more like a human toddler? With all the demands on your time, money, emotions and personal freedoms that comes with a human toddler? Which never grows up and may very well soon clash with your life post-school, when you may wish to leave your home town, live or work overseas, get married to someone who hates birds etc etc etc? Birds have emotional requirements far beyond those of cats or dogs and do not do well if the human they’ve come to love and trust is gone for great swathes of the day, or disappears altogether.

You may think you have your next few years all mapped out but life at your age can throw you unexpected curveballs like it did for me when I ended up moving and living halfway around the world not once but twice, and I would have hated the thought of leaving any companion bird behind. I am not trying to scare you off but these are the more important issues you need to very closely examine, not which species you should get.
You are saying it might affect my life POST school? So you are saying that the school life shouldbt be a big problem but infact it is my life afterwards. I have that planned out, will be staying at one place for the rest of my life, excluding vacations. And also, "you need to very closely examine" , this seems to be an issue to me, i have not found a proper guide on everything i need to know, so far the only thing ive read is "they need a lot of time", " they are very intellgient" .
You have come here seeking opinions and advice - these are mine and you are free do with them as you wish. Congratulations by the way on your ambition to become a vet, a noble and worthy career indeed!

The species you refer to are among the more challenging to keep. If their intellectual, dietary and emotional needs are not met it can result in a miserable bird who ends up plucking all his feathers out or even mutilating his own flesh. And yes, the gases from Teflon which are not detectable to us can and do travel throughout whole houses and kill birds many rooms away, as has happened to even very experienced owners on this forum.

I have no wish to discourage you from owning a bird and in looking for insight from people who have had birds all their lives you are showing a willingness to learn what it takes first before jumping in feet first - if only everyone did that there’d be a lot fewer birds who end up miserable, neglected, rehomed or dead. We here have all made mistakes along the way and only wish to prevent others from repeating them.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:56 AM
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re: Questions about getting an Eclectus or African Grey Parrot

I want to add to what she said-- you do seem like a respectable/smart person. When I say "wait to get a bird" it has nothing to do with your intelligence or responsibility, and everything to do with how much life changes between 17-25. There is so much change in terms of schedule, responsibility, employment, housing etc...and financially it can also be a VERY difficult time. Birds do terribly with change, they cost a ton of money long-term, they limit your flexibility in terms of your own schedule (due to bedtimes/meal times etc) and they can struggle with being boarded if you have to leave. It's not like you can have a neighbor come over and let the bird out either because the bird would have to be bonded with that person or they would likely get bitten and have trouble performing care duties.

SO I just wanted to repeat----you sound like a smart guy but I say to wait until you are older because I would never get a parrot until I was settled in a house (not apartment) with my own ability to set rules for what can/can't be used in the home (chemicals and Teflon) and with a steady job that had a suitable income and bird-friendly hours. You sound like a great future parrot owner (because you can enough to research)--it's just a matter of planning for the best time.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-13-2020 at 06:07 AM.
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