So..you think you want an Eclectus.

labell

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I decided to spend some time today really giving the honest truth about eclectus both good and not so good. Some of these will be generalizations there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules.

I will also discuss some girl vs boy points. Typically males make better pets if you are wanting more of a hands on pet. Girls are wonderful in my book but they are somewhat different, not better or worse imo just different. While both male and females tend to seek out petting affection on their terms this is more true with the gals, again this is mostly correct, there are exceptions. An eclectus will usually politely push your finger away or give other signs and sounds that they have had enough petting. Ignore this at your own risk. They have scalpels for beaks and when you get bit it will not only be a pressure bite but unless your hands are super callused and you wash them in battery acid it will also CUT!:eek: All that said eclectus love spending time with their people flock and enjoy hanging out and talking while being able to see you. They do respond well to training, they are highly food motivated and excellent at talking if you put the time in.

They are not allopreeners so they don't necessarily appreciate having their feathers messed with as other species do. In fact I once saw a boy in really bad feather condition, like the feathers were worn thin. He was on an excellent diet, sunshine, plenty of baths but his owners pet him all the time and encouraged others to as well. The rubbing and oils from human hands had actually ended up being the culprit to his feather condition not to mention once he hit sexual maturity, all that touching had him masturbating and regurgitating on everything and everyone.

Both sexes can be somewhat cage territorial though it can be worked through. I don't really consider this a negative just something to be aware of and always stick step-up train as well as hands.

Noise, this is one of those that is not a set yes or no. Babies make the most god awful noise, it is constant, it is loud and there is no stopping it until they are completely weaned. No one should hand feed a baby unless they are very experienced but when it comes to eclectus this is even more true they are one of the most difficult. They don't have a super strong feeding response which makes it easier to aspirate them if you are not experienced and they like the formula warmer than most species. However too warm you can burn the crop too cold and they will refuse to eat or end up with crop stasis (food hardens in the crop). After weaning they stop that particular baby noise. Some can be what I would consider quiet but others that I have seen and heard are not.. so would I say absolutely they are quiet...no way. Noise is an individual thing very dependent on both the bird and the environment and what the bird is used to. Stress out an eclectus and they stand perfectly still while screaming their heads off! Their alarm call can peel the paint off the walls.

Speaking of walls....eclectus are messy, not as messy as toucans and lories but very, very close. They rub their soft fresh foods every where on the bars of their cage, on their play stands, on the perches, on the edges of their bowls and fling with true abandon. You will be scrubbing things like beet juice, pomegranates, blueberries, carrots and all manner of staining foods from everything! It must be cleaned up daily, if they eat old scraped off food it is a great way for your fid to get a bacterial/fungal infection. Not to mention the high likelihood of unwanted outside critters being attracted if it's not kept clean.

Toy selection is also a bit different with them. You can't go into your local Petsmart and grab a medium size toy and call it good. Typically when someone tells me their eclectus doesn't play or chew wood I find they are not providing the correct toys. Eclectus love to chew but the toys that are designed for macaws or amazons are cut too thick and the wood is mostly harder woods. Eclectus appreciate softer woods like balsam and pine cut thinner than you would for some of the other species. Shredding stuff is great and gals like that especially but those softer woods must be provided so that the beak can be kept in good shape. An over grown beak is usually caused by not providing correct chewing toys or feeding an incorrect diet resulting in liver issues.

The two major things in my book are baths and food. Mist often at least 4 times a week whether they act like they love it or not it is very important! Don't let the bird decide when it will bathe.

NUMBER ONE...FOOD!
The correct diet must be fed, not sometimes, not when your schedule allows, not when you feel like it..always! Many, many eclectus lived short miserable lives when they were first imported due to incorrect diet. Even now with the information out there birds suffer with toe tapping and wing flapping (imagine a muscle tick that won't go away, won't let you sleep, it can lead to neurotic feather plucking and even flesh mutilation). Over grown beaks, shot livers, kaput kidneys all because someone jumped into eclectus ownership before doing research or thought they could handle it and a few months or years in they don't want to hassle with that kind of extensive food prep and it is..both expensive and time consuming. Though there are ways to make it easier such as making larger batches of chop (enough to last a month or so) birdie breads, sprouting.

I am not going to go into the full list of what should or shouldn't be fed it is already here in many threads as well as The Land of Vos. Think long and hard about whether this is something you can and will do for many, many years. When I was in the hospital I had my husband go to Whole Foods and buy their fresh organic cut stuff from the salad bar, it cost us a fortune to buy it that way for convenience but I wasn't able to make chop and hubby was working and visiting me in the hospital. The birds still HAD to have their fresh imo no matter what is going on in my life. Hope this helps someone make the right decisions on whether or not an eclectus is the right species for you.:D
 
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Anansi

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Excellent post, Laura! Chock full of info for potential new ekkie parronts that could prove invaluable if read before taking the plunge... and even afterward as a reference.

Here are two good ekkie diet threads, just to add my two cents worth. More than two threads, actually, when you consider the links provided within the linked threads: http://www.parrotforums.com/eclectus/48375-eclectus-diet.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/eclectus/28350-eclectus-diet-confused.html

And a link to my favorite ekkie diet site: Eclectusparrots.net
 

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Thank you Laura. This was very illuminating as I am currently debating between a blue crown conure and a male ekkie. It didn't really help my decision making, but definitely put the ekkies in a new light.

I would follow up your post with the question: is there any significant difference in temperaments/behavior among the different subspecies? And how would you rate them on ultimate controllability/tameability over time? I know I can control a conure through its different life stages, easy squeezy, but are eclectus similarly easy to control?
 
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labell

labell

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Thank you Laura. This was very illuminating as I am currently debating between a blue crown conure and a male ekkie. It didn't really help my decision making, but definitely put the ekkies in a new light.

I would follow up your post with the question: is there any significant difference in temperaments/behavior among the different subspecies? And how would you rate them on ultimate controllability/tameability over time? I know I can control a conure through its different life stages, easy squeezy, but are eclectus similarly easy to control?

I do believe that Solomon Island are the sweetest and have more reliable easy going personalities. Red Sided are also great but in my opinion less so than the SI. The most issues come with the Vos sub species for whatever reason Vos seem to be more sensitive to food and more prone to plucking and behavior issues.

I don't know that I really would be able to compare conures and eclectus. They are very different. IMO conures depending on species can be more opinionated and head strong as a generalization.
 

drlisaort

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Thank you Laura! I always take away something of value from all your posts. I can add with reference to Oliver, he is a very sweet, for the most part, even tempered guy. Of course he's still a baby at 2 and a half with more maturing to come. As for preparing food, I find it easy as I eat almost the same as him so it's not really extra work...and as you suggested, I batch cook and freeze to make life easier at night when I come home from work. If I had to pick one annoyance it would be this new shrill scream he picked up a few weeks ago out of nowhere. Usually he talks and coos and makes adorable sounds but once to twice a day he is not so adorable vocally. And as for petting, if he had his druthers he'd be on my arm 24/7 and loves when I pet him...which I do sparingly due to the oils...and his maturing...

Thank you, thank you...for always providing a wealth of information! Lisa
 

EdwardH

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Hi Laura, good post. I had my Eclectus for 7 years and the only issue I had was the mess. They certainly like a food fight. The constant cleaning gets tiresome after a few years. A plastic sheet hung on the wall makes the cleaning a whole lot easier as well as protecting the paint!
My two were both quiet, rarely screeched, maybe one a week if that and then only because they wanted to be with me which sometimes couldn't happen. Neither liked to be touched though they loved to be with me.
 

Allee

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U2-Poppy(Poppy lives with her new mommy, Misty now) CAG-Jack, YNA, Bingo, Budgie-Piper, Cockatiel-Sweet Pea Quakers-Harry, Sammy, Wilson ***Zeke (quaker) Twinkle (budgie) forever in our hearts
Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge, Laura! Very informative.
 

Birdman666

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Thank you.

Eckies are one of those birds that just require a lot of species specific information.
 

Birdman666

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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
I don't know that I really would be able to compare conures and eclectus. They are very different. IMO conures depending on species can be more opinionated and head strong as a generalization.

Apples to apples.

Conures really are best compared to macaws... (Shrink a macaw, you get a conure.)

Actually, I don't think I know of a single bird out there I would compare to an Eckie. They kind of have their own distinct personality quirks. If anything I'd compare them to a CAG. (Flock bird, handled on its own terms, not especially big on the touchie feelie stuff, both can be very smart and comical, both tend to be talkers.)

But even that doesn't really fit. There are too many subtle differences...

Eckies are just Eckies. Their personalities are as different from other birds as their feathers.
 

Anansi

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This very informative thread is now a sticky. If anyone has any helpful eclectus information that they would like to add, please feel free to do so.
 

Birdman666

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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
One thing I would add to this thread is the importance of keeping a food diary with an Eckie...

In case there is an onset of toe tap/wing flipping. It comes in handy either as a diagnostic tool for the vet - [ahah, you fed him corn yesterday... and this had spirilina in it...]

Or to be able to look at him at the onset and say, okay, what ingredient did I feed him/her that was different...

You can solve a lot of dietary related issues [and the majority of the issues you have with an Eckie will be diet related.] with basic deductive reasoning.

Without it you're just blindly guessing.

As others have said, these birds just don't do well on pelleted diets.
 

Rubytheeccie

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Ruby 2yo Eclectus
Jade baby Yellow Sided Conure
Pretty Boy male galah
Cocky male galah
Thank you for your post. I bought home a 2 1/2 yo female SI Eckie in January this year. Never owned one and didn't know anything about them, just fell in love with her as a bird in general. I researched hours and hours and days and weeks and now months and still research daily, think I will be researching for the rest of my life.
However, I will never look back. My Ruby is amazing, she is so loving and sweet, she has never ever bitten or showed any aggression. She does screech extremely loud where my neighbours 8 houses away can hear her, but that is only because she can't see me or she is not with me.
Ruby and I bonded the first minute I stepped into her aviary where I bought her from. She was not cheap, I paid nearly $1000 for her, another $1000 for her cage, hate to think how much on toys and I'm sure I've paid a second house off with her diet, but at the end of all that she is worth it over and over again. Ruby is a very special, sweet, loving lady that will be with me forever and ever.

With all this positive I do agree what other ppl here are saying, not that if I had read any of this it would have prevented me from buying her, but for Ruby's best interest I wish I had researched a lot more before jumping the gun and buying her. But with that said, I have never looked back as I love her dearly and with all my heart.

I am a animal lover that will die for my animals, will go to jail for beating someone hurting an animal (I am not aggressive but I turn into a wild bear if I see animal cruelty or animal neglect). No money is ever spared for my furred or feathered kiddies. For example nearly 2 years ago I had a beautiful 9yo female tortoiseshell cat, she was given to me as a kitten from my very best friend, sadly Debbie my bestest gf ever passed away suddenly in 2008 and KJ was my final link to her. Anyhow to cut a long story short poor KJ was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She was insulin dependant twice a day which she tolerated very well. On a Monday night (will never forget this time of KJs life) I got home from work around 755pm and noticed KJ was not well. I rang my vet clinic but unfortunately they had already turned their phones over so I rang a 24hr emergency clinic and raced KJ there. When there they were not very nice people and kept trying to push me into euthanising KJ sying I couldn't afford her treatment required. KJ was very sick but money was not going to be the reason I didn't give her a chance and not bring her home. KJ spent 2 1/2 days here then another 2 1/2 days at my usual vets. These 5 days cost me over $10,000, ridiculously expensive but I would do it again over and over to ensure she was ok and not in any pain. KJ came home after 5 days away from me (I visited her every morning before work and every night after work) anyhow, she is home with me and the rest of the tribe, which was amazing. Sadly KJ got very sick again with her diabetes a month later, my vet (also a very dear good friend) and I discussed KJs options and they weren't good. It was cruel for me to keep her alive when she was so sick. It was not fair on her and I had to separate my own selfish reasons to keep her with me and let her be in peace. That night I let my KJ go be with her Aunty Debbie in heaven. Absolutely broke my heart. Guess what I am trying to say here is that my furred and feathered babies will now and always get everything and anything they need to thrive and live a happy healthy safe life. Nothing is spared for them. I am no one special just an average income earner, but I always make sure that I have enough money put aside incase they ever need anything.

Back to Ruby, I do blv that some Eckies are high maintenance and to a certain degree my Ruby is, but with saying that I am willing to put In The hard long tiring yards to ensure she gets the best of everything, being food, vets, toys, house and love.

If you don't think you have the time, money, patience or lifestyle required to own an Eckie, please reconsider. It is not fair to buy any animal on a whim then realise it is too hard, or it is too noisy, or it is too expensive or just simply that the excitement of owning an exotic bird is not that exciting anymore and then decide to get rid of it. This is not fair on the Eckie (or any animal in any case). Any feathered or furred kid you buy are a life long commitment and they deserve your respect, your love, your time, your patience and most important to be in a warm safe home.
Please always do your homework and remember, your feathered baby could outlive you!!!

Sorry for this being long, and because I am on my iPad and it is late, I apologise for any typos lol

Thanks for reading

Love and respect your animals just the same as you want to be loved and respected by them

Xxx
 

Taw5106

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Venus - Solomon Island Eclectus (4 yo)
Buzz CAG (2 yo)
Sam - Cockatiel 1997 - 2004
Tweety - Budgie 1984 - 1987
Sweety - Budgie 1985 - 1986
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I laughed at the female politely pushing your finger away, Venus does this and I'm mesmerized by it, lol. This is a great post, thank you for sharing your knowledge, both you and Stephen have been so valuable to me with Venus.

BTW, we are heading to the vet in the next hour for the Diva's check up. So far this morning she keeps pushing my hand away, lol. I hope she's in a better mood soon!
 

Anansi

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Keeping you and Venus both in my prayers, Tracey! Let us know how the visit goes. I'll keep an eye out on that thread.
 

Doublete

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I am so glad I didn't take on an eclectus. I would feel awful if I wasn't able to keep up with its needs.
I love everyone's pictures as they seem like wonderful birds! Just too high maintenance for me. :)
 

Anansi

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There have been a few questions lately as to what exactly it is that makes an eclectus so different when it comes to their dietary needs. So, in the interest of answering some of those questions, here are links to various sites touching upon the topic:


diets
Meeting the Special Nutritional Requirements of the Eclectus Parrots
Eclectus parrot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Birds n Ways - Eclectus Diet - Eclectus Forum September 1997 Pet Birds, Pet Parrots, Exotic Birds
Solomon Island Eclectus Parrots from Avalon Aviary
Eclectus Parrots | Parrot Parrot
 

jibbs1977

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For Meal times what axact measurements do you give these parrots? I know its 80/20 but what are exact quantities as in 1/3 cup fruit and 1/2 cup veg for example. I cant find this info anywhere on the net even on the chop websites they all just tell you what veg to put in blender. I am trying to work out if I can afford to keep one feed wise and cant find any info anywhere.
 

JerseyWendy

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For Meal times what axact measurements do you give these parrots? I know its 80/20 but what are exact quantities as in 1/3 cup fruit and 1/2 cup veg for example. I cant find this info anywhere on the net even on the chop websites they all just tell you what veg to put in blender. I am trying to work out if I can afford to keep one feed wise and cant find any info anywhere.

jibbs, I don't think anyone actually takes out a measuring cup when feeding their ekkis. :) You will learn how much of the fresh food you provide will be eaten vs being tossed and/or played with. Some ekkis are notorious for painting the walls with some of the fresh stuff - so you always have to keep in mind that not every morsel you put in the bowl will actually go into the bird's belly.
 

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
That's because you're overthinking it. A fair rule is if t was in his last meal, don't give it. My Parker probably eats about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of food each day. I started with 1/4 cup each feeding - all foods in- but there was always lots of leftovers after 13 hours.

thie isn't something you get so specific about. Just eyeball. Much of it is simply what you add. And you're not going to get exact proportions. Some nights parkers meal is an entire half pomegranate. 100% fruit. A good mix, focusing a bit more heavily on fiber and vitamin a, and you'll be fine.
 

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