Am I to young for a macaw?? :/

crazyparrot.mom

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Nov 4, 2021
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Hi!!
I have wanted a macaw for two years. but, I am 14.. is that to young?? I had called a rescue asking about a macaw, and they were EXTREMELY rude about my age! " you are not responsible enough! " " don't call us again till you are 21..! " Which totally upset me! I have had two lovebirds, 1 who died, 1 is still with me :) and my male indian ringneck! I have never owned a macaw. But there is a lady down the street from us who has two, who i handle and see times to time. My whole family is aware of this, the mess, noise, money cost, EVERYTHING! they are on board with it as long as i can save all the money. I babysit and clean peoples houses in our area so its not like i have no money. I wouldn't be getting one until next year when we move to our new house
I love these birds with all of my heart. I really want one, not just for the feathers, or the talking, but for a life long friend, and for the memories!
TIA
 

WingDing

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First, choose not to be offended. Some people lack tact (myself included). You sound like you've thought some very important things through.

Please recognize that adopting a macaw is like adopting a 2 year old child. That's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, forever, and they never really grow up. Think twice... 2yo child, forever :)

You would be committing/devoting your life to the care of a living being. At 14, can you say that you know if and where you'll be going to college? When you are 20, 25, or 30 years old, will you be able to live in a place conducive to raising and supporting a undomesticated animal? What job will you have? Will you make enough money? Will you have enough time? A macaw is a very, very social animal -- it's nature is to spend all day and night living within a flock. Will you have be able to spend the time it requires to give the bird a quality life? Will you be able to financially support an animal that thrives on special food, accommodations and toys that need to replaced on a weekly basis? Will you be able to pay the vet bills that can be thousands of dollars a year if the bird gets sick?

These are big, big questions that you need figure out the answers to with the help of your family.

We have 2 birds in our family. I am fortunate to have a large home and make enough money to support our birds, but it took me half a lifetime to get to this point.

I don't want to discourage you but I think there are many concerns about raising a large bird that are not obvious.
 
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LaManuka

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Welcome crazyparrot.mom ! Kudos to you for reaching out with your question and understanding that owning a macaw is indeed an AWESOME responsibility that most certainly requires total commitment, not only from you but from your entire household.

The answer to the question “is 14 too young to own a macaw?” is yes, probably greater than 95% of the time. Which is not to say that you might just be in that few percent of those who might just be able to make it work – there is a member here who has done just that. Unfortunately she’s not as active here any more but she does visit us occasionally to update so with any luck she might spot your post and share her experience with you. But even with all of the best intentions and good will in the world, the odds are not stacked in your favour. I was around your age when I decided that I REALLY wanted a sulphur-crested cockatoo, and that would have been a terrible idea as I ended up moving to a whole different country not once but twice, and that certainly was not something that I had ever planned on doing. So many things in your life will change in the next few years with school, further education, careers, relationships, and these are just the expected things. Life usually throws us some surprise curveballs too, although that can happen at any age. Having a macaw is akin to being a teenage parent who is responsible for a toddler with high-care requirements who never, ever grows up and he or she will always need to be your first consideration before anything else.

A very similar question was asked by another young member not all that long ago actually, so I will link that thread for you here…



I wish you the best of luck with whatever decision you ultimately make.🙏
 

Laurasea

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hello,
I to has a love if animals from a young age, and like you, had the right temperament for being responsible.

But I couldn't have taken on a macaw. Because school, future summer internships , part time jobs plus school, hobbies, sports, dating...possibly having roommates.

Birds just aren't easy pets. They aren't part time pets. And larger species, that come with larger noise, larger destruction are even harder. It restricts were you could live, and who would be willing to out up with all their special needs. Like friends, significant other, roommates.

Like stated above its like having a needy toddler who never gets less needy. It would restrict your life so much. In ways you can't think of now.

Its not that you couldn't take care of one right now . Its in 5 years, with college, friends, dating. A burd bonds with you, they don't break up, they can't get passed around to family, that's not fair to them, and so stressful for them.

One of my birds was given up by a college student. He could not do school full-time, work part time, and have a girlfriend, plus he had room mates who didn't want to put up and sacrifice for a parrot, and he felt the room mates weren't safe to have around his bird , it led to unsafe situations for him. So it broke his heart to give up his love .
He took excellent care of tge bird. But no one can juggle so much
 

Skarila

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I strongly agree with the other members. And it's not even just "am I too young for a macaw" but also "is my life suitable for a macaw?. The other comments are spot on - I don't have much to add but from my personal experiences, where I strongly wanted (still do) an African grey, but seeing how life changes so fast, even though I am quite settled, I still do not dare seeing how long they live, and how complex it can be to keep them, even still I do not find myself ready to own one. Plus, It wouldn't be just my decision, but my partner's as well.
 
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crazyparrot.mom

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Thank you all tons.
this has helped me come to the conclusion I should wait. Ever if it’s just till o am out of college in a few years. Or even u til I’m out my parents house. While they were okay with me getting one, I had to think, “ okay, but will I be in the next few months? What will it be like in a year for me. “
♥️
 

kme3388

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Hi there, and welcome. You do appear to have experience with parrots which is a wonderful thing.

I have myself volunteered at a parrot shelter. They tend to be VERY picky about who they adopt their parrots out to. Shelters are very protective of their parrots. I don't think the shelter meant to be rude. Quite a few parrots end up there because parents buy their kids parrots. Once the kid grows up they no longer want the parrot, or don't have time for the parrot, and then that parrot ends up rehomed, or in a shelter. I would suggest volunteering at the shelter you called. Prove them wrong, and show them that you would be a great Macaw owner.

I do not recommend parrots as pets to anyone. No one will ever see me saying that parrots make great pets. They are messy, hormonal, require a lot of attention (parrots are very social), their cages need cleaned daily, they need daily baths, their diet is complex, parrots aren't going to cuddle like a dog/cat, avian vets are hard to come by, long lifespan, expensive vet bills, cannot be locked up in a cage for hours on end (parrots tend to feel neglected then they feather pluck/self harm), and they bite!!! Yes, parrots bite, and there is nothing that is going to stop this natural behavior. It's going to happen from time to time. I could go on, and on why someone should not own a bird. They truly were never meant to be in captivity. Sense they are in captivity I think people who own birds should require a license. I think it would prevent the amount of parrots that are rehomed, or end up in shelters. It will hold people more accountable for their exotic pets. It has nothing to do with age, or anything other then there are people who make for great owners of parrots. Then there are people who should have never been able to purchase a parrot.

I know I sound mean but I try my best to educate anyone interested in buying a parrot. I think people need to understand what they are truly getting into. If someone still wants to own a parrot after accepting the above things I talked about... then that truly is a person who is going to make a great parrot owner.
 
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crazyparrot.mom

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Nov 4, 2021
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Lovebird, indian ring, chickens! ahaha!
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Hi there, and welcome. You do appear to have experience with parrots which is a wonderful thing.

I have myself volunteered at a parrot shelter. They tend to be VERY picky about who they adopt their parrots out to. Shelters are very protective of their parrots. I don't think the shelter meant to be rude. Quite a few parrots end up there because parents buy their kids parrots. Once the kid grows up they no longer want the parrot, or don't have time for the parrot, and then that parrot ends up rehomed, or in a shelter. I would suggest volunteering at the shelter you called. Prove them wrong, and show them that you would be a great Macaw owner.

I do not recommend parrots as pets to anyone. No one will ever see me saying that parrots make great pets. They are messy, hormonal, require a lot of attention (parrots are very social), their cages need cleaned daily, they need daily baths, their diet is complex, parrots aren't going to cuddle like a dog/cat, avian vets are hard to come by, long lifespan, expensive vet bills, cannot be locked up in a cage for hours on end (parrots tend to feel neglected then they feather pluck/self harm), and they bite!!! Yes, parrots bite, and there is nothing that is going to stop this natural behavior. It's going to happen from time to time. I could go on, and on why someone should not own a bird. They truly were never meant to be in captivity. Sense they are in captivity I think people who own birds should require a license. I think it would prevent the amount of parrots that are rehomed, or end up in shelters. It will hold people more accountable for their exotic pets. It has nothing to do with age, or anything other then there are people who make for great owners of parrots. Then there are people who should have never been able to purchase a parrot.

I know I sound mean but I try my best to educate anyone interested in buying a parrot. I think people need to understand what they are truly getting into. If someone still wants to own a parrot after accepting the above things I talked about... then that truly is a person who is going to make a great parrot owner.
Yes for sure. I’ve had conversations with family members and friends who want one just because they think they are fun pets. They are not exactly ideally FUN 😅😅😅 I’d love to volunteer at a parrot rescue but everything near me is about an away or to far for me to bike ride. I’ll probably just wait a while years before getting one. I’ve gotten bite by my lovebird, and that hurts. I can’t imagine a.macaw. While I have been bit by one, it was just a play bite, from the macaws in our neighborhood ( somebody owns two )
 

Scott

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Thank you all tons.
this has helped me come to the conclusion I should wait. Ever if it’s just till o am out of college in a few years. Or even u til I’m out my parents house. While they were okay with me getting one, I had to think, “ okay, but will I be in the next few months? What will it be like in a year for me. “
♥️
So much respect and admiration for you having developed the passion, asked questions, came to very logical if not personally disappointing conclusion. You've avoided the excitement of purchase and very likely buyer's remorse with agony of re-homing. Of course parronthood might have worked for you at this stage of life but odds very much against.
 

Emeral

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Sep 16, 2021
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Hanhs Macaw
Hi!!
I have wanted a macaw for two years. but, I am 14.. is that to young?? I had called a rescue asking about a macaw, and they were EXTREMELY rude about my age! " you are not responsible enough! " " don't call us again till you are 21..! " Which totally upset me! I have had two lovebirds, 1 who died, 1 is still with me :) and my male indian ringneck! I have never owned a macaw. But there is a lady down the street from us who has two, who i handle and see times to time. My whole family is aware of this, the mess, noise, money cost, EVERYTHING! they are on board with it as long as i can save all the money. I babysit and clean peoples houses in our area so its not like i have no money. I wouldn't be getting one until next year when we move to our new house
I love these birds with all of my heart. I really want one, not just for the feathers, or the talking, but for a life long friend, and for the memories!
TIA

I am sorry they were rude to you simply because of your age. I was thinking, do they have to be concerned for the bird's well being and be rude to anyone? No. Of course not. We need more trained professionals who are kind both to birds and humans.

Anger is not good for them nor to anyone near them. Explaining about bird purchasing and what kind of commitment it requires doesn't have to be rude. They certainly have set an example of "what not to do"

It is nice that you know what you love and feel inspired by macaws. So before you are certain about what life has instore for you, may I suggest some short-term, medium term or longer term goals...........?

1) not everyone can have it all,
if you have to choose, what is your choice? To you, what is loving a macaw means?

Paying the bills? ownership?
Or
spending time with the bird? Bird babysitting?

Which is more fun to you?

(Play with the bird while getting paid) Vs
(Owning one may means spending less time with the bird, since you may have to work to pay the bills for the birds.)

Babysitting the bird or Pet sharing idea is where you can share the responsibility, play with them but without long-term commitment. This way you can still love the birds and use your savings on your education at the same time. Plus you can relocate accordingly. Or can you, take your ringneck and your love bird with you?

2) teaching your lovebird and your ring neck some cool tricks, what is his or her names?


(Just out of curiosity, what will happen if the new bird can not get along with your ringneck? Which will you rehome?)

3)help at the shelter or

4) or for a long term goal, become an avian vet? We need more trained professionals who are kind both to birds and humans.

You might find this an interesting read?


 

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