GCC as a college student?


Active member
May 5, 2016
Southern California
Kermit, ♀ GCC (Green Demon)
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and don't have a bird (yet). I've fallen in love with the GCC species but am currently gathering information on whether or not I would be a good caretaker.

My beloved budgie Jack Frost recently passed. He was only 4, far too young for the little fella to pass on. He was under the care of family and no one recognized the troubling signs :( He came from one of the budgie bins at petsmart but over time I was able to tame him somewhat with a chunk of spray millet and some patience. He'd even let me scratch his neck if he was in a good mood. So I'm familiar with budgies; and before Jack I've had many a budgie before him.

I am a full-time college student and am moving back home. I really want to get another bird. I know I could easily take good care of a budgie, however I've found myself wanting to branch out into new avian territory. I really like GCC but I want to be VERY sure I could take good care of one before I will even consider it. I would only be able to devote 3 hours a day on week days, much of which would be overlapped with studying. I could probably do meal prep and what-not at the odd hours of the night I'm up, but the bird would be asleep. On weekends I'd obviously have a lot more time to devote. With plenty of toys and a large cage would I be able to meet the GCC emotional needs? I could put on background noise like a radio to keep him company. And on top of that I do intend to socialize him with my family, so they may be able to keep him company when I'm not around.

Another thing I've found attractive about the GCC is that they seem to enjoy traveling and going outside. This is something I was never able to do with a budgie (too small for a harness and skittish with quick movements). I will be living by the beach with my family and I feel like he or she might enjoy trips outside in the fresh air :) I like the idea of walking my bird.

And my final concern is the most troubling to me. My family owns a dog. A troublesome little terrier who, although dear, is VERY terrier and could not be around the bird at all. I could certainly keep the bird in my room with the door closed (I managed to do this for years with budgies and am quite good at keeping them safe from dogs), but I am worried that this would mean the GCC couldn't integrate itself into my family like I'm sure he would like. He couldn't hang out in the living room and would have to spend most of the time in the house kept safely in my room. I'm sure some of this could be amended with some outside time, but has anyone else had experience with keeping both dogs and birds?

Thanks all in advance :p
I think your schedule now could definitely work for a green cheek. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you know that you will be able to devote at least this much time two years from now? five? fifteen? When you're done with school will you be in an apartment eventually?

Are you willing to spend those three hours in your room only, since your dog will be roaming the house?

I would not discourage you at all; it is very doable. Those are just realistic questions you have to ask yourself.

Good luck!
Hi and welcome!:)
Your situation sounds very conducive for a GCC. 3 hours out of the cage on weekdays is realistic and fine as long as like you say, he's got plenty to do and space to live in while he waits for you to come home. If you properly care for him, do keep in mind he can live many years. It really depends on the person. Some people can deal with life transitions while taking their pets along, some find it to be too stressful or lose interest when other things come up. So nobody can answer those things for you. IMO there's nothing wrong with getting a parrot in your twenties, despite the changes, but maybe I'm just a tad biased. ;)
Also, we are talking GCC, not Umbrella Cockatoo lol.
I vote give it some more thought, and if you've positively answered psychocircus' questions, GO FOR IT! :D
Good luck and feel free to browse the forum for some expert advice on parrot ownership. There is such a variety here and so much knowledge.

EDIT TO ADD: I have a large dog and a parrot and I've trained him to leave the bird ALONE! He tried stalking him before and I definitely made it clear to him that that was Not Okay. It is possible to train both animals to live in harmony, but you MUST supervise them ALWAYS. Even when they are trained, the instincts can take over. Good luck!!

EDITTED AGAIN TO ADD lol sorry for all the edits. I didn't see at first about the terrier paragraph. On my phone I guess I skipped that part. Yeah... I have no experience with training small dogs and their prey drive so I have no idea there!! Sorry..

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited:
I'd say go for it.
My birds live in my bedroom.
However when I was a college student I had a conure and I found the noise distracting!

Other species that are a little less noisy that make wonderful companions are cockatiels and parrotlets!

I'd recommend a parrot let for the size resemblance to budgies and the big bird personality.
Easy. Shoot the dog, get the bird.


Terriers are smart and trainable ( most of them). My Jack Russells was NOT one of those and 100% supervision was needed any time both were in the same room. My little bee bee parrot, Max, would not have been more then a mouthful for Sasha, but she wanted him BADLY. I couldn't live in a bedroom, and I don't think my 3 you old grandson could either.. tough decison, make the choice based on the parrots best interest, not yours. Perhaps wait until you have your own place. Blessings.
Our little terrier/Maltese mix sooooo wants our bird but she's getting the message no touchie! She knows not to go in the same room, even after years, I would not leave them alone together. Too easy for an accident to take place. They are predators, it is in their nature and I can't fault him for it.

Most Reactions