Maximilian Pionus for a companion pet?

Fey

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Aug 2, 2018
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Hi everyone.

Cockatiels, budgies and pionus are recommended for first-time bird owners with children. I have a little one (pre-schooler) and I’ve prepared a large setup for a Maximilian Pionus, ready to go ahead next week!

Before getting the bird, I’d appreciate opinions on whether this sounds like the right species for my family. A Maxi Pionus should live for a very long time, and I only want one bird, so I want to get this commitment right the first time and choose a species most likely to thrive in our home.

I’m looking for a companion, long-term. I’m home all day, every day. No other pets. I’d love a bird which made noise, chatter or squawks to keep me company and liven up the house. This will be even more the case when my little one starts school (I'll miss the constant noise and games of having my toddler/pre-schooler all day, I’ll even miss the tantrums and toilet training. I can’t have more children. So, as silly as this sounds, my research makes some parrots sound like demanding 3 year olds, with beaks, wings and hormones for some extra trouble, and that’s precisely the kind of company I’m looking for! :D:p). Birds recommended for people who work 9-5 might not be quite what I’m looking for.

I’d love a bright, curious bird who follows me/us around, gets into whatever I’m doing during the day or just generally played around the house or with me (I have set up a play table and will have tonnes of toys, too). I’d really appreciate the company and in return I can offer a child proof (nearly parrot proof!) house, many hours of my time and attention, lots of space and enrichment or training. I read that Maximilian Pionus are described as being slightly less destructive than other large parrots.

I know birds shouldn’t be cuddled or touched below their neck because of hormones, but if a bird wanted to be on my arm/shoulder/head while I go about my day, or enjoyed head scritches, that would be lovely. :) I will be harness training so hopefully the bird can get more natural light/sunshine in our garden and enrichment on trips out, any species more likely to enjoy this would be great.

It appears most companion birds aren’t recommended for homes with children. Birds who bond closely with one person (I’m home all the time) can be prone to jealousy, and I have read about “dive bombing” and attacking other members of the family. I will socialise the bird with the whole family every day from young, and would never leave my little one with a bird unsupervised. The house is open plan so supervision is easier, but dangerous aggression or unpredictability concerns me.

I have read that Pionus can make good pets for homes with children due to their steady nature. I've also read that they can be a little stand-offish and independent, or "persh-potatoes" :D. Do Pionus make good companions? If anyone has an opinion on this, or can make suggestions for other species, I’d be really grateful. Thanks!
 

Terry57

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Hello & welcome to the forum!
I don't have a Maximilian Pionus, but I do have a White Capped and a Blue Headed. My WCP is very quiet, and is content to play on her own. My BHP is loud, and talkative, and loves attention. He loves nothing more than to be cuddled and get scritches.

I have a 2 year old granddaughter, and I wouldn't trust her with either of them until she is older. Both can, and do bite hard. Talli (BHP) gives a warning, but Pisces(WCP) doesn't. Both of ours like my husband and I equally, and neither have ever dive bombed because of jealousy (so far).
All birds are different, though.

I think Pionus are wonderful birds, they just need the proper training as do all species.

I'm really glad you joined us!
 

TiredOldMan

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Welcome, come on in!

If you want a bird that is noisy and rambles all the time plus being stuck to you like velcro or gorilla glue go to a rescue and look at cockatoos. They can be unpredictable with people they don't know or like. The rescues are full of various species of cockatoo primarily Umbrellas and Mollucan. They are noisy, needy, clingy, and really tend to need a constant companion. Absolute darlings to people they like and cuddly.
Do your research as the shelters are full of unfortunate birds acquired by people who didn't understand their needs.

I urge you to consider a rescue no matter what species you decide on.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Welcome to Parrot Forums!

You have received great advice above. I will only add that you want to allow the Parrot to Choose You! Again and Again over several visits!
 
OP
F

Fey

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Aug 2, 2018
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Welcome, come on in!

If you want a bird that is noisy and rambles all the time plus being stuck to you like velcro or gorilla glue go to a rescue and look at cockatoos. They can be unpredictable with people they don't know or like. The rescues are full of various species of cockatoo primarily Umbrellas and Mollucan. They are noisy, needy, clingy, and really tend to need a constant companion. Absolute darlings to people they like and cuddly.
Do your research as the shelters are full of unfortunate birds acquired by people who didn't understand their needs.

I urge you to consider a rescue no matter what species you decide on.

I’ve been checking rescues, the birds I’m interested in disappear from listings so fast :eek: they usually only consider experienced homes without small children, others need an outdoor aviary. :( It’s great to see high standards and loads of interest though. Can I ask what part of the world you’re from? I haven’t seen any cockatoos for rescue here in the UK.

The alternative to finding a parrot in a rescue is looking for a rehome for sale online. It seems like most people who decide they don’t want their larger parrots here just sell them. There usually only seem to be budgies, cockatiels in the actual shelters. I think this is because people want all their money back on larger birds when they change their minds or run into problems, whereas they probably wont try to sell a budgie as there’s no money in it and so just dump them at shelters :12: I will carry on checking.

I feel uncomfortable with the idea of spending several hundred (or more) on a rehome sale because the seller is usually more interested in securing the sale to recoup costs than on finding the right home or being truly up front (bird flipping?) and this can mean unknown health/sex/age/history/behavioural or special needs, huge costs and many hours of travel. I would prefer to get the opinion of a genuine shelter on a bird’s needs before deciding if I have a suitable home. Does anyone know of a UK shelter which would consider a first timer like me?

I will carry on waiting and searching. I have read so many warnings about cockatoos as pets, the person they decide they dont like could be my little one which worries me. Although, I’m sure that can be said of any parrot to an extent. If I didnt have a little one I would probably be looking into rehoming a cockatoo. Pionus don’t come up often and seemed like a more stable choice. If anyone has both kids and a cockatoo living in the same building it would be useful to know how that worked out.
 

LordTriggs

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I'm going to guess you're checking the RSPCA mostly, they're frankly terrible when it comes to understanding what birds need and just say all of them need experienced people with an aviary. I've seen the local one near me have a 20 year old Amazon who had been with a Family as an own bird all its life and they said they needed to be in an outdoor aviary with other birds.

Take a look at Birdline and Problem Parrots, they're 2 of the better UK rescues though Birdline do need to update their list of parrots more regularly, it seems to be at random they update the list to be honest. But get in contact with them, describe your life to them and what you are looking for in a bird and they should help you in finding one
 
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Fey

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I'm going to guess you're checking the RSPCA mostly, they're frankly terrible when it comes to understanding what birds need and just say all of them need experienced people with an aviary. I've seen the local one near me have a 20 year old Amazon who had been with a Family as an own bird all its life and they said they needed to be in an outdoor aviary with other birds.

Take a look at Birdline and Problem Parrots, they're 2 of the better UK rescues though Birdline do need to update their list of parrots more regularly, it seems to be at random they update the list to be honest. But get in contact with them, describe your life to them and what you are looking for in a bird and they should help you in finding one

This is fabulous advice, thanks so much! I’ll message them and see if they think I’d be suitable for any of their birds!
 
OP
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Fey

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I have tried to register at birdline, but there is an error on the site preventing full paid membership. I will have another go at signing up later, and contact them about it. There are some wonderful birds for rehoming on the site, and their homing process is fantastic. I do worry that any application I make will be overlooked due to my inexperience, but it’s certainly worth trying! They have fully mature birds with honest and frank descriptions, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
 

Kiwibird

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Just chiming in as someone who actually grew up around parrots, 2 is a bit young to start handling them IMO and any interaction at all between such a young child and parrot would have to be extremely closely supervised (or better yet, just have the bird be for looking only until the child is older). My dads cockatoo took a chunk out of my face when I was about 3, but neither of the amazons ever bit me and were much more patient. Pionus are related to amazons and are said to have similar personalities to small species amazons (i.e. known for being fairly gentle and calm birds). If that is fairly accurate, than they would likely be pretty ideal.

Given you do have a young child, you definitely need to find a rescue or rehome bird who is already pretty 'nice'. While "challenging" rescue birds can definitely be trained and turn into wonderful companions, it likely wouldn't be a good idea to take one on in your situation. I wouldn't discount finding a private seller either. You'd obviously want to meet and interact with the bird before deciding, but keep in mind some people don't sell their birds because they're irresponsible and lost interest, some people have to rehome their beloved companions due to illness, job loss, divorce etc... and want to be 100% certain that special pet is going to the right home by being the one to choose the new owner. Often times those who care most do charge a high rehoming fee. It's actually recommended, as you want to be sure whoever takes your bird can actually provide for the bird. The logic behind this is that initial purchase price of a parrot is probably the cheapest part of owning one. They're pricey and if you can't afford a couple hundred dollar rehoming fee, how will you afford a cage, constant new toys, constant fresh foods, visits to specialist avian vets etc...? It's a way to screen potential new homes for the heartbroken owner having to give up their pet. Yes, there are some unscrupulous flippers out there, but using some general common sense should help you avoid those types (not that the birds they sell had any choice in the matter or are any less deserving of a loving forever home).
 
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TiredOldMan

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Apr 24, 2018
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Welcome, come on in!

If you want a bird that is noisy and rambles all the time plus being stuck to you like velcro or gorilla glue go to a rescue and look at cockatoos. They can be unpredictable with people they don't know or like. The rescues are full of various species of cockatoo primarily Umbrellas and Mollucan. They are noisy, needy, clingy, and really tend to need a constant companion. Absolute darlings to people they like and cuddly.
Do your research as the shelters are full of unfortunate birds acquired by people who didn't understand their needs.

I urge you to consider a rescue no matter what species you decide on.

I’ve been checking rescues, the birds I’m interested in disappear from listings so fast :eek: they usually only consider experienced homes without small children, others need an outdoor aviary. :( It’s great to see high standards and loads of interest though. Can I ask what part of the world you’re from? I haven’t seen any cockatoos for rescue here in the UK.

The alternative to finding a parrot in a rescue is looking for a rehome for sale online. It seems like most people who decide they don’t want their larger parrots here just sell them. There usually only seem to be budgies, cockatiels in the actual shelters. I think this is because people want all their money back on larger birds when they change their minds or run into problems, whereas they probably wont try to sell a budgie as there’s no money in it and so just dump them at shelters :12: I will carry on checking.

I feel uncomfortable with the idea of spending several hundred (or more) on a rehome sale because the seller is usually more interested in securing the sale to recoup costs than on finding the right home or being truly up front (bird flipping?) and this can mean unknown health/sex/age/history/behavioural or special needs, huge costs and many hours of travel. I would prefer to get the opinion of a genuine shelter on a bird’s needs before deciding if I have a suitable home. Does anyone know of a UK shelter which would consider a first timer like me?

I will carry on waiting and searching. I have read so many warnings about cockatoos as pets, the person they decide they dont like could be my little one which worries me. Although, I’m sure that can be said of any parrot to an extent. If I didnt have a little one I would probably be looking into rehoming a cockatoo. Pionus don’t come up often and seemed like a more stable choice. If anyone has both kids and a cockatoo living in the same building it would be useful to know how that worked out.

Sorry, I'm in Texas and don't know about the circumstances in the UK. Forgive me for assuming.

Around here we have few rescues but in the ones I've been to the most numerous species seems to be the cockatoos. That may not be the best species for you, that is a decision you and the bird have to make together.

I wish you good luck in your search and please keep us updated.

Thanks:)
 

LordTriggs

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May 11, 2017
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Rio (Yellow sided conure) sadly no longer with us
Sorry, I'm in Texas and don't know about the circumstances in the UK. Forgive me for assuming.

Around here we have few rescues but in the ones I've been to the most numerous species seems to be the cockatoos. That may not be the best species for you, that is a decision you and the bird have to make together.

I wish you good luck in your search and please keep us updated.

Thanks:)

Rescues on the whole over here are a bit different to USA (I much prefer the USA way of handling rescues) over here a rescue has volunteer safe-houses instead of an actual rescue center, so you are left with going online or phoning and there seems to be very little if any meeting the bird until they approve you to take them home! I do wish people could just get a large rescue center and have people volunteer at them like the US does because it would make life so much easier for genuine people who want to make sure they meet the right brid
 

Tinabell

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Hi, I’m from Oregon ,I’m nearly in the same situation as you with twin 3 year olds and twin 9 year olds. Your story could be me. I’m a stay at home mom and looking for the right bird for my family.No dive bombing attacking birds please! I’m so curious, so what did you choose? How did it work out ? I’m looking at a baby double yellow headed amazon in , or a read us Maximilian Pionus, or a rescue Goffin. My concern with the Pionus is it may be not cuddly enough for me? Anyway, your story is so much like mine and I have no experience either. Can’t wait to hear what bird you choose and how it’s working.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Hello and welcome!

Please read my post on page 2 of the following link.
The lifestyle changes regarding Teflon/cleaners etc with any bird are huge, so a lot of what I was going to say to you has already been typed there!
Page 2 (see post by Noodles123)--The link should take you straight to that page:
http://www.parrotforums.com/new-members-welcome/80621-parrot-owner-wanna-seeking-advices-2.html

Also, please read my response (Noodles123) to this poster (see link): http://www.parrotforums.com/new-members-welcome/80102-hi-some-parrots-questions-everyone.html



After you get done with those, here are some more that you might want to read through:
http://www.parrotforums.com/new-mem...ember-looking-new-potiental-owner-advice.html

and here: http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/79944-wanting-purchase-my-first-feathered-friend.html
 
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