New Member Curious for Your Opinions

Hello! I am a new member here who is currently seriously considering the keeping of an avian. I am a 16 year old military child who is about to move to Corpus Christ, Texas. The avians I am considering are: a gcc, 'tiel, handraised breeder budgie, grey parrot, or some sort of macaw, preferably green wing or if more manageable maybe a Hahn's. So before you point it out, I am aware of of the implications of owning any bird and am in no specific rush. In fact I plan to volunteer at a local botanical garden which seems to stock large parrots and have identified a reputable pet store that carries a lot of good birds in the area with great reviews. My essential question here would be should I go for a smaller bird that might be less dangerous than a bigger bird even. Though my interest is less or maybe prepare more and try and see if a larger bird is right for me. I do not subscribe to the idea of a starter/beginner bird, but I do understand the technical safety differences between owning a greening and owning a budgie. I know I have limited parental support but they have made it explicit that is will be 90-95% my responsibility, only really for socialization and maybe some birthday food assistance pledges. I do hope that my volunteering will help me learn more as opposed to going in "blind" but I want to know your opinions. I know this is prompt is brief and lacking in a lot of relevant information, but it is being written on a phone and I want to get it out and I figure more infocan be provided per your questions. Thanks for your help guys!!:yellow1:
 

marrmarr

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Bird the budge
cant say for sure because of all the factors you have to consider. it seems easy but once you have a macaw in your home under your responsibility it can become overwhelming. your personality plays a big role in the kind of bird thatll be compatible with you. ive been around parrots my entire life and am still afraid of macaws and cockatoos. theres also expenses, the larger the more pricey. id suggest conures, caiques, tiels, small size amazons, even a budgie. I currently only own a budgie and hes awesome, chases me across the living room and tries to drink my coffee lol.
 
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Flboy

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Dec 28, 2014
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My having JoJo has nothing to do with β€˜danger’! If he is upset with me then my butt is kicked! He is my life and companion!
 

Scott

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Welcome to the forums! Thanks for a thorough and mature view of the realities of living with a companion bird.

That you are willing to volunteer and not in a rush gives great hope for a rational decision. At your age I'd focus less on the potential danger and consider the longer term implications. You are a few short years from a significant life change: college/vocational training, full-time work, or some combination of mixed responsibilities. It is a mind-bender to consider the arc of a large bird's life will take you through adulthood, middle-age, and retirement! (Age 16 + 60 or so = 76!)

I believe you will enjoy a thread written by moderator "Anansi" discussing students and birds: http://www.parrotforums.com/new-mem...-students-should-ask-before-getting-bird.html
 

wrench13

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Welcome and be welcomed. Parrots in general are a lot more $$ that almost any otherkind of pet. A macaw will out of the question foryou as a student, as you will have to work a part time job just to keep a Mac in toys, food, and vet bills. That plus going to school will leave little time for being with your macaw, and that is counter to the whole reason for getting one. With out time for socializing , your Macaw will become depressed and could scream all day or start topluck his feathers or even self mutilate, or all 3. This could happen with many other species of parrot too , but Mac are especially prone. Please describe for us what you envision any parrots life will be like for you and your parrot for the next 8 to 10 years. Not trying to be snarky, just trying to let you know what you might be in for. Good on you for doing research but take in ALL the info,not just the info that supports your position. There are thousands and thousands of parrots that are surrendered to parrot sanctuaries every year, where owners can no longer give their parrot the time and or $$$ it takes to give a good home to them. Most often surrendered? Cockatoos, Macaws, Greys and Amazons. Thats a fact.

Remember - you will have family, friends, work associates, on-line buddies. Your parrot has only you.
 
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Thank you all for your advice! Yeah, Macaws are more of a pipe dream driven by the idea that I would be working with them at the botanical gardens. In reality my max would likely be an African Grey which some people have started with and not regretted and again might fall into the concept of just waiting longer for my top bird. But the idea of like a turq gcc is awesome too. I do know that people are able to sustain normal workdays and keep a conure. Personally I want something I can chill with that can have some antics from time to time. Part of me is attached to the longer lifespans because it would be a lover term companion. I do know that I get 20 bucks a month and I am going into this with about a thousand dollars and twenty bucks a month and a birthday to cash in. Also my mother will likely be volunteering with me due to botanical garden rules so maybe she might enjoy working with the birds more too, she did keep budgies as a child, albiet in...ignorant conditions. I do hope if I did this I could do better.
 
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Wrench, I envision my life to be a mixture of school and part-time work, although I am currently in online high school my family and I are debating public, but nonetheless I personally prefer online. I will also be next to Texas A&M and I might get one of my degrees there if we stay in the city. Preferably I would get a bird I could move with..maybe even internationally because I am considering emigration to Canada or Europe (Scandanavia or France maybe) when I become older, (pipe dream). But that is not a major concern for me. I do have a dog who is about 5. If I did get a bird, part of me hopes I could maybe sinoly climb the ranks of the botanical gardens even after I have my bird or work at a pet shop. It would be cool if I could integrate my bird into my first job or volunteering.
 

Peebles24

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Welcome to the forum. Id be very cautious thinking about a large breed considering your income as others have said. 1000 will get you started with a conure but that is it. 20 dollars a month after will not cover the cost of food, toys and treats. I will say my conure is a absolute blast though and ive heard someone on the forum here compare them to a tiny mccaw.
 

GaleriaGila

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Welcome. I appreciate your reaching out for advice and opinions!
I see you're getting wonderful input above. The link by Anansi is especially helpful. I was going to post it, but Scott beat me to it!
 

Kiwibird

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Jul 12, 2012
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Would you consider yourself ready to raise and care for an infant/toddler? Because that is what parrots are- perpetual 2 year olds who never grow up. They need attention and care every single day without fail. Want to sleep in? Hungover from a night partying? Doesn't matter, they still need to be woken up, fed, cleaned etc... every morning without fail and without much variation in time because routine is essential. It will make a big impact on any social life you may have or will have in a few years in college, having to dedicate 4-5 hours a day to interaction with your bird, not to mention having to be home every night to feed/play with/put the bird to bed. This applies from the smallest $20 pet chain budgie to the largest macaw. What about if the bird gets sick? My bird just went to the vet for a minor complaint and ended up being diagnosed with serious kidney infection. The vet bill for that visit was $350. He will need at least a follow up visit of around the same cost next month (so up to roughly $650-$700 total for this issue) and potentially more meds/visits if the infection hasn't cleared and/or the kidney hasn't healed. What happens when this kind of thing happens to your bird? Can you afford it or will your parents pay for it? How will you handle administering meds or a special diet or other accommodations a sick bird might need? Birds are care intensive animals and 16 year olds tend not to be *quite* ready for that level of commitment and responsibility. Having grown up my whole life with large parrots, I will tell you they were a pain in my butt when I was a teenager and my parents would go away for the weekend or something. What a nuisance to have to stop what I was doing with friends on a Saturday afternoon/evening to drive all the way home and feed/play with/put to bed parrots because no one else was around to do so and they were relying on me. I couldn't imagine being their full time caretaker at that age! My reptiles that I was solely responsible for were much easier for that age-range as they had less intensive care needs.

If I were you, I would definitely start learning about birds now, perhaps volunteer at an avian rescue to get hands on experience. But wait until you're an adult with your own space (no roommates) before you get a bird.
 
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LeaKP

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I have loved birds from a young age as well. I hope that volunteering with birds will help you move in a direction that will be good for both you and your sometime in the future bird.

Greys are great birds but without proper stimulation they can easily become neurotic pluckers. It’s also difficult to travel internationally with them due to their protected status. They are too intelligent and feel quite deeply. I say too intelligent because they are able to speak in context and understand much of what is said and going on. They are quick to pick up on things which makes them a joy and handful.

My grey is my good friend and I am fortunate enough to have my office in my home where he accompanies me daily.

Just food for thought about greys of which I am a great fan. They deserve not to be rehomed year after year because those getting them didn’t realize what having a grey meant. Good people just unprepared. I’m sure volunteering will be a great help for you!


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Yea, to be honest I've just always been fascinated by greys and I want to get a bird with as little re-home possiblity as well... possible. I have even considered adoption of something like a grey where I can both have the experience and not as much of a lifespan and it's just a good thing to do.
 

Kiwibird

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A pair or multiples of same sex finches or even small doves may be a good idea in your scenario. Naturally, they would still need to be cleaned, vet care when sick or injured, routine times to expect to be fed, wake up/put to bed etc... but "aviary" bird species do not have the same human attention/interaction requirements parrots do, significantly reducing your time demand in caring for them. Most are quite content if in a large cage with a few friends of their own kind. Most aviary species also have significantly shorter lifespans than parrots as well. Be sure though you get all of them as the same gender so they cannot reproduce! You DO NOT want to deal with an exploding population issue or the many problems that come with breeding birds (or any animal really).

If you love African grays, keep that in mind as a goal for yourself to get one once you're a responsible adult capable of caring for and supporting one:)
 
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That could be a good idea...man, I just want even a taste of that parrot interaction. I heard somewhere that some person out in Cali was promoting pigeons as another sort of companion bird and that might be possible. But I was thinking a conure or budgie or cockatiel. I mean what gets me is that those birds are so common and cool and there are a lot of success stories with young people and birds. I do know as time goes on my income should grow and my experience at these gardens will help. I mean even as an adult the conditions for parrotkeeping will likely not be ideal, and may never be. I mean is it truly impossible for me to toy with the idea of trying a hand-reared budgie or conure or cockatiel after some time working in the botanical gardens with large parrots? I do wish to provide a great environment for any Feathered friend but I do not see myself rushing into college, if anything I was hoping to maybe just get a bachelor's and obtain a skill such as plumbing or something blue collar to fall back on and then consider college later in life. Or if my volunteering becomes amazing even pursue that as a paying job at a pet store or at the gardens themselves.
 

Flboy

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Something to consider. You spoke about going into other countries. With any β€˜pet’, that is a major endeavor! With a companion bird, a nightmare!
 

marrmarr

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Feb 15, 2018
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Bird the budge
no one will be able to give you a real answer since we don't really know you or how you spend your time. seems like your mom prefers dogs over birds. just wait until you know for sure what you want and when you don't depend on your parents so much.
 

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