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Old 01-07-2021, 08:56 PM
A 4 year old House Sparrow named Kiwi and a 22 year old dove named Baby
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Canada
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Ephy is on a distinguished road
Re: How did your lifestyle change after getting your first big bird?

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Oh Lord...where to begin lol....
1. Had to throw out or give away most of my kitchen due to teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs.
2. Got rid of all of my candles, scented oil warmers, diffuses etc.
3. Had to get rid of all of my cleaning products and find bird-safe replacements.
4. Had much less freedom as far as doing stuff after work because I have to be home to get the bird out and play before putting her to bed (they have to have at least 10 hours sleep each night on a schedule, like a toddler has a sleep schedule...From 3 to the time she goes to bed, I have to be here, as she still needs to go to bed at a reasonable time in order to get 10 hours and get up with me each morning before work)
5. I rarely get to sleep in and definitely cant stay places over night without her unless I leave after she is asleep and return by 5-8am to uncover her. I also have to be there to cover her each evening-- and she needs interaction too.
6. Burning food and chemical smells are now much scarier than they were before.
7. Visiting people with my bird is a pain because you can't use Teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs in the same house with them, which makes being a guest very hard.
8. I think about new furniture in a totally new way (major changes often freak them out) but also, things like new couches, mattresses etc off-gas high levels of VOCs, so that is another complication.
9. You don't get sick days--- but your bird can also get sick from you, so even when you are puking, you still have to get your bird out etc, but you also have to be really careful about germs.
10. Hand washing is even more important.
11. I stopped wearing perfume or using hairspray because it's very bad for them. If I do use either, I spray it VERY lightly outside as I am leaving for the day (which, again, is rare).
12. Buying appliances is a GIANT headache because Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs are hidden in MANY things-- air fryers, popcorn poppers, microwave popcorn bags, griddles, grills, space heaters, curling irons, straighteners, pots, pans, cookie sheets, irons, counter-top grills, etc. You have to call the company and give them the full spelling of each chemical and abbreviation and that takes forever because they always try to tell you that they are safe without any basis for these claims, so then you have to ask for proof/ ingredients and sometimes you will get a call-back a few days later with an answer, but other times, you will just have to not buy the product because they will tell you that the chemical contents are a "trade secret".
14. Traveling is a massive pain. Getting people to watch a parrot is super complicated because a.)they are not you and your bird won't like them as much usually, which means taking the bird out may be impossible...b.) it requires a bird-safe home and most people use things that are toxic to parrots repeatedly on a day-to-day basis...c.) boarding birds is expensive and can be a source of disease (as they can spread deadly illnesses through dust etc and show no symptoms).
15. Having to constantly watch poop and behavior for subtle signs of change etc---as birds hide illness like crazy until its often too late.
16. Picking a place to live---- apartments and large birds do not mix...The noise and the habits of neighbors can be very problematic...Plus, many rental companies don't want parrots.
17. Cooking high oil foods----if you heat fats at too high a temp, that can be as bad for your bird as teflon in some cases. I don't ever use the oven over 400 and I am always trying to find ways to get the cooking smells out of my house. Note: teflon etc is NEVER safe in the same home--- even if you close doors etc-- birds have died on separate floors through closed doors due to teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfc use in the kitchen.
18. Art is a lot harder- as are home repairs...It's awkward to tell a maintenence guy that they can't use spray foam, scented glues, paints etc because of the bird.
19. Power outages in the winter are downright scary when heat is so important for birds.

20. The amount of time it takes to keep them entertained and happy...while setting boundaries and finding ways to interact that don't upset hormones.
21. The noise....
22. The amount of time spent researching etc...
23. LOTS of much less money lol
24. The amount of time it takes to cook for them and clean up..the time added to my morning wake-up routine.
25. The need for air purifiers without ionizing/ozone settings-- so much freaking dust...and as a safety net for VOCs etc.
26. Talking about your parrot and having people think you are crazy because they are used to low-maintenance pets like dogs or cats.
27. The need to overthink a lot more than I ever had to before when it comes to moving furniture, etc.
28. Talking room to room whenever I am home-- it's definitely a lot harder to focus on work when she is up, although I can do's way easier to work when she's asleep.
29. Realizing that you have to work at your parrots pace can be agonizingly slow and stressful at times.
30. It is like having a VERY complicated toddler that never grows up-- but people don't give you the respect or leeway that is given to a parent when it comes to medical issues, getting home by a certain time etc etc. Can't go to a work dinner unless it's after the bird is in bed, or unless someone else can get her out and interact with her and then put her to bed-- sure, you might think that it's no big deal, but when they get stressed, they can resort to problem behaviors, like plucking etc...So even if it seems crazy, it's legitimately stuff to think about.

31. No more long trips out of town-- Being gone for 2 weeks is pretty much out of the question...Hell, even 3 days is a lot for mine. They NEED their people and leaving for long periods is very hard on them.
32. Other pets and visiting people with pets can be a problem...Dogs/cats are not the safest around birds...We have relatives who like to bring their dogs when they visit, and that is complicated, as they would both think of her as a squeaky toy...I recently was considering applying for a job with the FBI (lol no joke)-I am a great candidate, minus the bird- There is no way I could do their sleep-away trainings or be on call 24/7..I have to be here for her during certain hours and that is already a challenge with a standard job.
33. Having a room for your bird---especially large ones---I am not saying I leave her in there alone out of the cage, but her cage and accessories take up a lot of room and she also needs a quiet space to sleep when I stay up. Having a room makes this MUCH easier. When I looked for a new place to live, I looked with her in mind...Not just for a room, but also with regard to the kitchen appliances etc within the house. Similarly-- looking for certified avian vets before moving- because that is so hugely important when at all possible.

34. Car trouble can be SERIOUS-- if your car is giving off fumes or if the heat or AC won't work, or if it dies on the highway while you have your bird, that can be really really bad. I PERSONALLY would be okay in more extreme temps, but birds can't handle it. Plus, reliable transportation is important in case of an emergency.

EVERY single point you listed, I could have written myself.
Every point, I am already obsessing over, have done, been thinking of, or realized how it has "restricted" me.
Not that i have any complaints, lol

Only difference is that I have 2 soft bill birds. A dove and a house sparrow.

All these issues are just so true, so important and I FEEL as well as can relate to everything you have said.

For the last 5 years, I have dreamt of that special day when I might be able to bring home a parrot.
Like the OP, I also love macaws, but I am afraid I will never achieve that perfect work/life balance that is required for their care.

(How did you current parrot owners know you could/should take on the care of your parrots? Were you terrified?)

It is a very difficult decision. IMO, it can be compared to making the decision to have a child. Which parrots pretty much are, but never actually grow up.

Just like parenthood, its nothing I would rush into without first ensuring I could provide the best, financially, emotionally, mentally etc.

I mean, taking care of 2 soft bills already require vast amounts of my time, energy and money that I couldn't imagine taking on another much larger beak anytime soon much less in an apartment.

The dream that one day I will be ready (and after having moved into a house) will always be there, and yet sometimes as much I would love a large parrot, I am terrified that maybe I will never be ready.

Last edited by Ephy; 01-07-2021 at 08:58 PM.
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