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Old 08-29-2019, 09:19 PM
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Question Should I get a bird? What species?

Hello, I'm quite new here and I've been wanting a bird for several years now. I used to own chickens, ducks and budgies a long time ago, however due to some family struggles I have ended up living in an apartment with my mother and sister, along with my two burmese cats.

I have been doing weeks of research recently, visiting local bird shops and asking for advice and such etc, however I am still very uncertain if I should even consider owning a bird right now, let alone what species would suit my particular living conditions.

I'm 17, and I spend a LOT of my week being at home. I am taking some classes, however they do not occupy much of my week. I'm also an artist/animator, meaning I spend plenty of time at my computer drawing away. I plan to continue this path as a later career, whereas I'm unsure how much of my time will be taken up by the work. However, I am certain that right now and for the next couple years I have a lot of time to spend that could be used on taking care of a bird.

First of all, the cats. They are two male desexed burmese brothers, and are extremely sweet with all humans. They are indoor cats, meaning they have never hunted or killed any mammals or birds in their lives. (We chose to keep them as indoor cats as many many of our previous cats have unfortunately been run over/stolen in the past.) They are somewhat familiar with birds however, with wild lorikeets hanging on the trees outside, sometimes visiting our balcony for treats. The cats would chatter and occasionally scare them off. The only creatures they have 'killed' are insects or small lizards they would normally watch and follow, occasionally tapping it.

One of the bird shops we visited suggested a confident quaker or lory, along with training the cats to be 'afraid' of the bird. The other shop suggested not getting a bird at all. They had also recommended to avoid small birds like finches as they are extremely flighty, making them very tempting for the cats.

Lastly is the fact that we live in a small apartment. This means low noise and small space. Many birds could qualify for these two aspects, but I'm not sure on what species would be a good balance of everything I've mentioned. Let alone if I should get a bird at this time. I have heard many good things about the pionus, but I just want to be safe on the matter.

That should be the gist of it.

But yeah, thank you for any input, it would mean a lot!
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:24 PM
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Re: Should I get a bird? What species?

I am going the be very honest here, I hope you don;t mind.
At 17 you are going to have manychanges in your life before you have settled down and located for a long time, both in location and in your daily schedule. You have yet to meet and stay with a life partner, who may or may not love parrots as much as you do. You may end up living in an appartment who does not allow pets, or had a sensitivity to loud pets. And all parrots have their momments where they get loud.

If your really wanta parrot, I sugges ta budgie. They twitter a lot, but their loud is very soft compared to evena pionus. Budgies are parrots, dont let anyone tell you different. They are quite smart and can be tamed rather easily. INfact the parrot who has the largest vocabulary is a budgie !!! Because they are small, food iis smaller, and toys are smaller and less xpensive. Cages are smaller, less mess to clean up and they are less of a long term commitment. Budgies live 10-15 years, most smaller parrots like a pionus are up in the 30+ years and will be with you and need your commitment to themfor that long.

I hope this helps you in your decision.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:37 PM
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Re: Should I get a bird? What species?

I see a few pros to getting a bird, and several cons based on what you’ve told us. This is only my opinion, and you know your circumstances best!

Pros: You have time now, and you have previous bird experience. It sounds like you are very invested and have a long term interest in birds, with a lot of love to give to one.
Cons: Close quarters with 2 cats (even if they have not hunted before, the instincts are there). Others in the residence would have to be willing to give up things that can be harmful to a bird, careful of letting the bird out and willing to live with the noise. Birds live a long time - and while you have time now....things are going to change a lot over the next few years and you’d need to consider how a bird that’s bonded to you would feel if you became inaccessible. All birds make noise - and depending on how sound carries in your building, it could be an issue to heavily consider.

All that to say....it depends (on you, your family and your home). It could be beneficial to get some more experience while you go through some this time where life is transitional, fluid and a bit unknown. A part time job at a bird store, volunteering at a shelter, zoo or rescue/sanctuary....these can help you gain valuable experience, build contacts in the bird world, help you decide if an avian companion is truly something that you want, and if your lifestyle will suit a bird.

I look forward to hearing about your journey (whether you get a bird or not). Please ask lots of questions...there’s lots of collective knowledge here!
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:14 PM
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Re: Should I get a bird? What species?

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
I am going the be very honest here, I hope you don;t mind.
At 17 you are going to have manychanges in your life before you have settled down and located for a long time, both in location...
Thank you for your opinion! It's very true that it will be a while before I settle down in life, and nobody can say for sure if having a bird when it happens will be a tough or smooth transition. The worst case scenario would be having to return the bird or to pass them on to another owner, which I cannot determine that it will happen or not right now. I'd do my best to keep my pets regardless of what living conditions I'm in (unless obviously I'm in a very bad condition that affects the animal), losing them and being forced to give some away in the past has been heartbreaking and I'd hate for that to happen again.
I'm mostly worried about budgies due to their flightiness and having cats being nearby most of the time, however they seem to fit every other aspect perfectly! It's more so a gamble with the cats unfortunately.

Quote: Originally Posted by Jen5200 View Post
I see a few pros to getting a bird, and several cons based on what you’ve told us. This is only my opinion, and you know your circumstances best!

Pros: You have time now...
This was very helpful! I understand that instincts will be present with the cats no matter what I do, so precautions would always be mandatory. Noise has been a worry, however I do live in a very 'bird heavy' environment. We always have lorikeets shrieking, cockatoos, kookaburras etc, whenever I'm in calls with some American friends they would tend to point out all the strange bird sounds that I'm so used to I barely notice! But yes, even considering all that I would still prefer a 'quieter' bird! I've read that parrotlets are wonderful with that.
As for the part time job, I'll certainly take it into account!

Thank you for your responses!
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:29 PM
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Re: Should I get a bird? What species?

Hello chilicube

This is the problem right here and what we’re trying to avoid: “the worst case scenario is I return or pass on to a new home”

Birds are the third most popular pet, but hands down the #1 most rehomed pet because people don’t think ahead To future plans like they would a dog since a cage is involved. The average parrot will see 5-7 homes in their lifetime, which is evidenced by parrot sanctuary and rescue overcrowding.

The honest truth and best advice you will receive at this stage: If your opening statement is “I don’t know what the future holds or if I’ll be able to keep the bird”, you are not a suitable home for a parrot.
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Last edited by chris-md; 08-30-2019 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:54 AM
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Re: Should I get a bird? What species?

Hello Chilicube,

Welcome to the PFs. I am very happy you are reaching out and explaining your 'current' situation and asking questions.

So far, I agree with everthing that has been said. It is all true and you really need to listen to this advice. The most important point everyone is trying to get across, is what is in the Birds best interest and not your desire to become a parront. Being bounce to and from muliple homes, is Not in the birds best interest.
Look at it from this perspective, say we are talking about a human child in foster care living in multiple households. Think about that child's feelings and all the psychological baggage that can come with this type of unstable living conditions.
Birds are very emotional and sensitive, they can develop horrible self mutilating behaviors when not in a stable, loving environment.

Another very important point is income. Birds are not cheap to keep. You are 17 years old. Even though I was working at 17 and living with my parents, I was not even close to making enough money to keep a parrot happy and healthy.
So, when you get a minute please read this enlightening thread.
The cost of owning parrots

We have given you a lot to think about. Please take the time to work out every angle before you buy the bird.

Good Luck!
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