I am going to get an alexandrine parrot


Apr 6, 2019
islamabad, Pakistan
Hi all, I am Intisar from Pakistan, My son, 8 years is interested to have a parrot. I brought a pair of cocktail parrots , male 8 months , female 18 months, ( as the birds shop man told me)
but the keep fighting and male bird , though was a bit trained but suddenly started biting,
so we decided to return these to birds shop and bring one alexandrine BABY parrot.
is that ok to keep one alexandrine parrot? what should i go for ? a male alexandrine parrot or a female? which can be trained well for getting friendly and to teach talking ?
You returned a set of Cockatiels due to they started biting and were fighting?

I won't recommend getting any more birds at this time, till you do more research on parrot keeping, you don't want to put another bird through the stress you put the first two birds in. One issue is maybe not your fault and maybe the bird shops fault for not telling you and forcing the birds to pair and share same cage and ETC. You have to slowly introduce them to each other before even attempting to put them in the same cage? The cage is their territory and if one bird don't like the other they will fight and can seriously injury, or even kill each other. So then you would have had to keep them separate and in separate cages at that point.

Then the biting could be for many reasons? If he was tamed as you stated earlier, then it something you could have done? It could have been lack of attention? The way you may have handle them? or forcing them to do something that they didn't want to? Grabbing them instead of allow them to step up? I would say it could be they bonded to each other and don't want much to do with you which happens with bonded pairs, but you stated they were fighting each other quite a bit?

My main issue is the fact you gave them up due to they were biting you, a very poor reason to give up, not a reason to put two parrots under all the stress of a new home and then turn around and give them back due to you gave up? Then you want to get another bird? Birds are very sensitive to being re-homed. They get depressed and can develop behavior issues as a result. They are like 5 year old kids pretty much.

Bird training 101. Anything with feathers will likely bite you at some point till they built trust and are bonded and even then they still could bite you once in a while if they get upset, or to warn you. As matter of fact it how they warn at time other flock members beside screaming to each other.

If you do decide a bird is for you and your son, get one as the bird will bond better to you and way easier to deal with, then trying to get a pair. Pairs tend to be hard to bond to you as they are more into each other, yes you could bond with both, but you would have to keep them separate from each other for a while before introducing them to each other and making sure they get equal attention as they could get jealous of each other, then you have to be very careful not to cuddle, or pet them below the head as they consider it foreplay and is a hormonal trigger and will one, or both will consider you the mate and then fight each other over you and yes if they become a mated pair then they become protective of each other as well.

There is a lot to deal with when bringing home a parrot and a lot to even getting your home parrot safe and ETC. Do your research first and don't take a bird shops word for it, as most only care about turning a profit and be able to pay the overhead. Plenty to read up on and other will hopefully some will be around shortly to provide links on taming, general bird care, bird proofing your home?
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If you want a pet that won't bite, I do not recommend buying a bird. Birds have not been owned by humans for hundreds of years like cats and dogs have. So birds do bite.

It is ok to keep one alexandrine by itself, but you must keep it in a very big cage with several toys and interact (train or play) with it for at least 1-2 hours every day. If you do not have a big cage and you do not take it out to play daily, then you could have a bird that screams or plucks itself. You cannot teach most parrots how to talk - some parrots will choose what they want to say, other parrots will not say more than one word. If you want a guaranteed talking thing, a parrot might not be for you.

If you are getting a baby, be careful. Many Pakistani breeders sell birds before they are ready (most are unweaned or force-weaned). Which means it is risky for you to raise a baby bird - many baby birds die from inexperienced feeding or have neurological/brain problems.

It might be easier for you to buy an adult - that way you know if the parrot is wild or tame. Babies can change personality or character when they age.
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thanx for ur reply and kind suggestions, well i was thinking to get a parrot of an age of 2, 3 or 4 months. that can become familiar:green1: with the owner... am i right ?
Please buy ONLY a fully weaned baby. That means a bird old enough it eats food on its own and need no hand feedings. That is still plenty young enough to train. For alexandrine, it seems they wean around 3-4 months old, so I wouldn’t buy any younger than that. Do not let an ill informed or unscrupulous seller tell you to buy an unweaned baby because it will “bond better”. This is simply untrue and inexperienced bird owners can harm or kill baby birds not knowing how to properly hand feed. Buy a baby who can eat on its own!!!

That said, please know all parrots occasionally bite. That comes with owning them. Especially around the time they reach sexual maturity, which is likely what happened with your cockatiels. Since you want a pet, buy one bird and work daily with that bird. There is no need to have a pair and never a guarantee any 2 individual birds will get along. In fact, multiple birds often cause far more problems than it solves. Females of most species tend to be less aggressive come puberty, but can develop other issues surrounding laying infertile eggs (which is hard on the body). Male or female, measures can be taken to lessen (not completely stop) hormonal behavior, such as consistent year round light/dark schedule (can be achieved by covering/uncovering cage at same time daily), not offering any nest like areas in the cage, offering plenty of toys for mental stimulation/distraction and a healthy diet with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. I also want to be sure that an adult will be making sure the bird is receiving proper care, as children can be irresponsible at times;)

Please let us know if you have any further questions!
There are no non-biting birds-- when a bird bites, you cannot scold the bird or yell or flinch, or you will just increase the biting. If you were getting bitten, it wasn't the bird's fault. As humans, we tend to project our desires onto animals, but it is very important that you read a bird's signals and not push the relationship before they are ready. Birds bite to communicate, so if you were bitten, it was trying to tell you something (e.g., I'm scared of you, you are too close to my mate, I don't want to be touched right now, I want attention etc etc). I cannot emphasize the importance of avoiding biting by reading signals BUT, WHEN (not if) you are bitten, you CANNOT react---most 8-year-olds (and most adults, for that matter) lack the self-control it takes to remain still and silent when a bird has drawn blood.....failure to do so will only increase biting behavior and the more a bird bites, the more likely it is to bite in the future. You must determine the cause of the bite (e.g., to get someone's attention, to get an object, to get put down or escape something undesirable like being held or being put back in the cage etc etc) and then you must make sure that your reaction doesn't provide the bird with the desired outcome. That having been said, you must spend months building your birds trust...and remember that trust is like a bank---if you do something to withdraw trust, you want to have a solid foundation of trust in the bank already, or you will go into debt...You will need to make more deposits to get back to where you were if you mess up and make a withdrawal. Do you get what I mean by that analogy?

If you personally want a parrot and have the time and energy to invest in one, then fine, but don't get one as a pet for your son under the assumption that there will be little work on your part (I know most parents anticipate picking up some of the slack when they get a pet for their kid, but think about what you might have to help him with if he had a dog and multiply that by 50). I am not exaggerating when I say that they are a TON of work (WAY more than a dog or cat--on par with a child). Parrots are flock animals and they are highly intelligent (even the small birds like parakeets and love birds). They are prone to self-mutilation, aggression and screaming when their needs aren't being met and since they have the intelligence of a 3-6 year old child (depending on type), it is very hard to keep them happy. They also bond closely with people (often one person). The bird picks who it likes, and it may or not be your son (it could be a neighbor or you or your husband). It is also extremely easy to train them to behave badly unless you have a solid understanding of their behavior....Birds can also over-bond with people and become dependent upon them to the point that they scream and self-harm when their "person" is not around.

Birds also live for a long time. Your son is currently 8 and with proper care, even the smallest parrot species is going to live for a minimum of 10 years....If he was upset by a biting bird (or you were), it is very unlikely that he (or possibly you) will remain interested enough to take on a 10+ year commitment that could extend well beyond his 18th birthday. **If** the bird does bond with him, then what will happen when he goes off to college and cannot take the bird with him? Even if you are willing to care for the bird, you will be no replacement for the loss of his person. This pet will end up being your responsibility (whether or not it bonds to you or your son)---not just yours, but the whole family's responsibility. You will all have to understand and follow certain rules when it comes to behavior. This includes the appropriate way to react when bitten, what to do when the bird screams (NEVER YELL BACK OR SCOLD)....the list goes on...

When my sister was 8, she begged for a parakeet and that poor bird was neglected terribly--not obviously neglected to the untrained eye--- (it always had food and water and a clean cage) but it was never tamed because my sister was too impatient to build trust and so she got bitten a lot and lost interest when the bird continued to show signs of fear and wouldn't talk. My sister was super-devoted for about 2-3 weeks, which is pretty patient, as kids go (sitting by the cage for hours, talking to the bird etc), but after awhile, friends wanted her to go on play-dates, the novelty wore off, and she gave up on trying to work with the bird. After giving up on bonding with the bird, she just stuck to changing water and food...She did that without a lot of nagging for about a year, but soon, the bare-minimum responsibilities (such as feeding/watering/changing liners) became a source of contention and they eventually fell almost entirely on my mom; especially when my sister was in high school ("Did you feed Granny?" "MOM-I AM GOING TO BE LATE!!"). We couldn't ever let the bird out of the cage because it would injure itself, so we had this sad, cage-bound, neglected bird who screamed all of the time, and was a general nuisance from my sister's perspective...At the time, my parents did not know what we were getting into and we had no idea that parakeets were as smart as larger parrots). My sister was also a very smart and responsible child...It didn't matter though because at 8, kids don't know what they want a year from then, let alone 10. She swore she would do everything it took to care for that bird, but she didn't know what caring for a parrot required (nor did my parents). We had many pets growing up and mistakenly had assumed that a parakeet would be like a hamster because they were sold next to each other at the pet shop and because the parakeet was cheap and is commonly portrayed as an easy family pet. These assumptions were terribly harmful to Granny, and looking back, we all feel so guilty knowing what we know now. Granny needed to be out of her cage and interacting with us, but she never got there due to our lack of knowledge and patience.

They move in slow-motion and can takes MONTHS to adjust to new people and changes within the environment. My bird wouldn't step up for 3 months. If you push them before they are ready, you will get bitten. Children do not generally have the patience required for dealing with parrots because they want a pet that likes them right away.

Parrots also get very moody and can be sweet one moment, then neurotic and aggressive the next. As a rule, they are not good pets for children (not just because they bite, but because they require as much work as caring for a child---if you wouldn't leave your son in charge of a 2-year-old child, then don't leave him in charge of a parrot).

When birds are babies, they are often sweet, but when they hit sexual maturity, they often change dramatically (in terms of preferences, but also in terms of increased biting etc). If you can deal with the personality of your adult bird, you will also be challenged 2x a year during breeding season (when aggression and moodiness increases significantly).

Birds need to have a set sleep routine (just like a child) and when they do not get their 10-14 hours of dark, quiet sleep, they can have health problems and behavior issues.
Birds are not good pets for cuddling (even though they may enjoy cuddles). Cuddling a bird or petting a bird on its back, under its wings (anywhere other than the head/neck) is a major trigger for hormones because it is very sexual to a bird. It sends the wrong message and can lead to all sorts of problems (biting, screaming etc).

They also need lots of time out of their cage each day and this is very important whether or not you work etc. You must make time for the bird every single day and you cannot just keep it in the cage because it is biting (or you will end up with a fearful, biting, cage-bound bird like Granny).

Finally, if you get a bird, you will have to be very careful about cooking and cleaning. Birds are extremely sensitive to chemicals and using standard cleaners or using products that contain Teflon/PTFE/PFOA can kill them (doesn't matter if the door is shut or they are on a different floor--the fumes can still kill them). Things like smoke, perfume, incense, air fresheners, cleaners, candles, burning food, paints, polishes, glues etc all produce very dangerous fumes. Their respiratory systems are completely different from ours and that makes keeping them in a home complicated.

Oh-- and, if you get a pair of birds, you are going to have an even harder time training them because, like I said, they tend to pick one person or bird. If you get a pair of bonded birds, you will be like the 3rd wheel. That having been said, if you get one bird and it picks its person, all other people who aren't "the chosen one" will have to work 10x harder to avoid being bitten etc. Yes, with proper training and socialization, some birds will accept more than one person, but acceptance isn't the same as being "the chosen one". When you have a single bird, you are the substitute for their entire flock, so you have to spend even more time interacting with them and including them in your daily activities.

There is so much more to say, but that is a good start. Please do not get birds and return them like that. They are very sensitive creatures who bond deeply and every time they are returned, their lives are turned upside-down and their trust in people is damaged. It is harmful to the bird long-term and creates lasting damage.
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Kiwibird and Noddles123, am thankful to u both, u helped me a lot , now it is quite easy to deiced some thing,
Yes am not going to handover the pet to my son or depending on him, i will manage the bird myself , i have a plenty of place including a huge cage,
now am going to have a parrot who can eat on his own, thnx and love
I am glad that you sound like you want a parrot as well. That is very important because, as the adult, you will have more patience.
Both genders will bite...with females, you run the risk of egg-binding (and egg-laying) which can be dangerous. I would probably get a male for health reasons...That having been said, I have never owned an Alexandrine personally, so there may be other things to consider as well.

On a semi-unrelated note, I just found some information on a website about Alexandrines that might be helpful, as it relates to some of the things that you can anticipate:

"They have a tendency to become "one-person" birds, strongly bonding to their favorite family member while shunning others within the household. Like other asiatic parakeets, many Alexandrine Parakeets go through a hormonal bluffing phase during adolescence, which can be difficult for less seasoned bird owners to handle. However, with proper socialization and the use of bonding techniques, Alexandrine Parakeets settle nicely into pet situations and thoroughly enjoy interacting with their owners. "

Please look into what I said about Teflon/PTFE/PFOA before you bring your bird home (It's all over many pots/pans/cake sheets/cookie trays, but it is also in things like space-heaters, blow-dryers, curling irons, irons, rice-cookers, drip-trays, popcorn poppers etc). It produces fumes when heated and those fumes are what kill birds. So, you will need to make sure that your pots/pans etc do not contain this. Stainless steel and ceramic are 2 safe options. Similarly, when cleaning, consider using something like white vinegar and water (As this is not harmful to bird's lungs---unlike chemical cleaners).
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Hi Intisar, welcome to our group.

Alexandrines are interesting birds to keep, but I wouldn't recommend them for a family with children. Alexandrines are happy enough to sit on the owner's hand, but many don't like being petted or handled. They will bite and the bite is very painful because of the large bill. A child's small finger would be in danger from an Alexandrine bite!

The cockatiels would probably have been a better choice for an eight-year-old. The thing is, no bird is easy. If you want one to be a pet and sit on your hand and be friendly, you have to spend many hours every day taming and training it. If you forget or grow bored, the bird will become wild again (this is especially true of Alexandrines and other ringnecks, which is why I wouldn't recommend them as a beginner's bird).

If you get a very young bird, you will have to spend nearly all your time with it to make sure it learns good manners with humans. An older bird which has been trained by someone else will be more expensive, but it's probably better because you won't have to do all the groundwork. It takes a LOT of work to make a bird quiet and tame. Children don't usually have the patience to do it, so that burden will fall on you.

Female birds can be difficult to handle during the breeding season. They can become very cranky and frustrated or can begin laying eggs (even without a male bird present). This can lead to health problems, so maybe a male bird is easier. Why don't you try again with a different cockatiel? I think that bird's personality and size would be much easier for your son to handle and, while all birds will bite, at least the cockatiel has a small bill and won't remove fingers!

We have a member (umarkhanmardan) who lives in Pakistan (Mardan) and who keeps Alexandrines and various other species as well. You could send him a PM for advice about your area.
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Thanx for ur kind advice , yes I have got it, n now have accepted this challenge all over my shoulders, I hope I LL do it well, insh Allah.
Congratulations on your new bird! Please don't hesitate to ask questions about caring for him - we'll help as much as we can. For now, just try to be calm and quiet around him while he gets used to you and your family. :)
Welcome Intisar, thank you for seeking advice and joining ParrotForums! Wish I had personal advice, but have not lived with Alexandrines nor Cockatiels. Both species are well represented by members with a lot of knowledge.

If you wish to message member umarkhanmardan as suggested by Betrisher, please know you must have 20 posts to use the private message system. However, you can message any moderator (names in purple) and we'll happily exchange messages for you. That way you can choose an outside method such as personal email to continue.
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Thank God, am doing good so far, feeding my parrot. He is ok, we have named him Heero, and strange we call him and he responds.
I want to ask that what should I do to make him more familiar, with me , we have made a chart , we brought him yesterday and after ur expert opinion we have decided his age 21 days , so today he is 22 days old. So how to keep him mix-up with me, with family?
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I want u people to watch this video...

[ame="https://youtu.be/ZZdilm8yXJM"]Baby parrot || hand feeding || one month || - YouTube[/ame]

In this video baby is being fed other than formula feed, is this ok?
Coz I m just giving my 22 days old Alexandrine formula feed
To get you started. Link provided below goes more into details, as a lot to learn with temperatures, mixing formula only when ready to fed, a brooder and etc.

I use Kaytee exact formula for my cockatiels. Then when they were older started giving him some fresh chopped food mostly soft during the day to see if they would begin eating on their own. I also mixed in crushed pellets with banana on a spoon to convince them. I eat some in front of them so they learn by example. One you see him looking for crumbles of pellet and food in the bottom of his cage- this means he is beginning to wean on his own.

Now your bird is only about 3 weeks old and Alexandrines/IRNs usually take to handfeed around 2-3 months. About 15cc 3 to 4 times a day In about 10 weeks and reduced his formula feeding down to 1 feeding before bed and during the day see if he eat solid mushy foods. You can also use some human baby food like, sweet potato, carrots, mango. Put some in a small spoon and let him taste it. Warm it slightly more than room temp, or pellet food and soak it in warm water put small chop up pieces in his mouth, also eat some and he learn it food and that it safe to try. Only start doing this when he ready, never force, or starve him. You will know when he ready when he start rejecting his formula and the transitions to weaning him should begin

Here some good references to hand feeding


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Thank God, am doing good so far, feeding my parrot. He is ok, we have named him Heero, and strange we call him and he responds.
I want to ask that what should I do to make him more familiar, with me , we have made a chart , we brought him yesterday and after ur expert opinion we have decided his age 21 days , so today he is 22 days old. So how to keep him mix-up with me, with family?

While it is considered improper in many areas to sell an unweaned baby parrot, we are not going to pass judgment after the fact but rather help you succeed with Heero!

Please read this thread from one of our experienced and caring breeders: http://www.parrotforums.com/breeding-raising-parrots/74363-so-you-bought-unweaned-baby.html
Thank God, am doing good so far, feeding my parrot. He is ok, we have named him Heero, and strange we call him and he responds.
I want to ask that what should I do to make him more familiar, with me , we have made a chart , we brought him yesterday and after ur expert opinion we have decided his age 21 days , so today he is 22 days old. So how to keep him mix-up with me, with family?

While it is considered improper in many areas to sell an unweaned baby parrot, we are not going to pass judgment after the fact but rather help you succeed with Heero!

Please read this thread from one of our experienced and caring breeders: http://www.parrotforums.com/breeding-raising-parrots/74363-so-you-bought-unweaned-baby.html

Your correct it is what it is. I rather help, as been through same story myself when I raised my first bird a blue streaked lory when a kid, as breeder sold us a unweaned baby. Thankfully received a lot of help and learn a lot from that experience over the years .

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