leaving eclectus with another carer for extended periods

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Feb 15, 2015
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Hi! I am considering the idea of getting a young eclectus, but I have a couple of questions that I can't find answers for online. If anyone could direct me to pre existing threads or give advice/opinions I'd be very appreciative.

I'm pretty sold on eclectus as the best kind of bird for us, after reading as much as I could about every kind of bird I could find information on, and I'm also completely in love with the bird that my housemate (comafly), who lives downstairs from me, has brought home this month.

The main concern that I have is that I have family overseas, so every two years or so, I tend to go for an extended visit with family for around 6 weeks. I have one of these trips planned in about 6 months time. I was thinking that the best way to deal with this situation would be to make variation in carers a part of the birds routine from early on, and give the bird plenty of time with other people (Especially the people who would be willing to help with it while I'm away).

Housemate has said that he would be willing to bird sit while I'm away, if I do decide to get a bird before then. I also have someone else who is experienced with birds who is happy to help, so I'm not too worried about that. I want to know if it would be better to get a bird before the trip, and use that time as an opportunity to establish a secondary carer routine earlier on in life. Or would it be better to wait six months until after the trip, and get a bird that will not experience extended absence in the first two years of its life, and introduce it to that experience at the later stage? OR is it totally unreasonable for me to consider an eclectus as a pet when travel is a part of my lifestyle?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

weco

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Nov 24, 2010
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Nanday, suns, parrotlet, Patagonian
Whether you get a bird now and use the intervening time to acclimate the bird to two care givers or wait until your return to acclimate a bird to two care givers will be totally dependent on the individual bird.....while you may be the purchaser of the bird, it is totally up to an individual bird as to whether it accepts your being gone for six weeks or so.....

From experience, as long as you have a strong trust factor and good rapport with a particular bird or birds, then your absence should only be just another period of time in their lives.....

At one time I had 8 birds when I accepted a job that required me to travel outside the country for extended periods of time, sometimes up to six months before I returned...I was very lucky to have a neighbor who was familiar with companion parrots and who agreed to bird sit my flock.....I made a few CDs and a couple of DVDs that she'd play a couple times a week, so that they didn't forget me...I even added a couple of new birds to the flock on one trip home and only had about a week and a half to get acquainted with them before leaving again. About two weeks after I returned overseas, the bird sitter played one of the CDs and one of the recent rehomes walked all around the speakers, apparently looking for my voice.....so, yes, if you prepare them for your departure, it should not cause too much trauma, but the key is to establishing a high level of trust as well as reducing the bird's dependence on you for their entertainment.....they have to be able to entertain themselves while you or your temporary caretaker are absent...in short, you can't develop a clingy bird.....

Waiting until you return from your upcoming trip would give you more time to develop the trust factor...AND...introduce the interim caretaker.....

Good luck, but as long as you prepare your bird, you should still be welcome on your return.....
 
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Thanks so much for the advice! I was thinking that I could use skype to keep 'in touch' with the bird too. Does not developing a clingy relationship with the bird mean incorporating time without me interacting with it into its routine?
 

weco

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Nanday, suns, parrotlet, Patagonian
My reference to a clingy bird is one that is always trying to be on you or always within your sight or theirs.....if you do end up with one of those, I think you'll find that as hard to deflect as a screaming bird.....
 

Tate

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Aug 24, 2013
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NSW, Australia
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Pippa-Cockatiel, Yoshi-Eclectus
I got my eclectus in Dec 2013, and went overseas for 6 weeks the following june/july. My parents were to look after my birds (my tiel had lived with them for 18 years already so he was fine staying with them). I'd have dinner with my parents once a week and started taking Yoshi around each time to get him used to both my parents and the house. He became quite comfortable with them (liked my dad more than myself at this point) so i had no problems leaving him with them after making sure they knew how to look after him properly.
When i came back it took a day or 2 for Yoshi to warm up to me again. I still take him around every week and he's completely comfortable in their house and loves hanging out with both my parents (whoever is in the kitchen is the automatic favourite :p ). I think its a great way to keep them socialised with other people too.
As much as leaving my babies for that length of time sucked for me, i think they deal with it quite fine. It took a total of about 6-12 months for Yoshi to truly bond with me, we really began to click a couple months after my return, and now 7 months after my trip he is my little green troublemaking shadow whom i love to bits.

So based off personal experience of a very similar situation to your own, i dont think it matters too much if you get one now or after, they cope quite well. Introducing them to who and where they will be looked after beforehand i think really helps them adjust.
 
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Thanks for sharing that experience, that's really positive :) I'm ok with it taking additional time for the bird to bond with me when I get back, as long as the bird can be kept reasonably healthy and safe in that kind of situation. I have plenty of time and patience to wait for a bird to get used to me again! I'll do some more research about how to help clingy birds in case that is the personality type that we end up with.
 

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