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Thread: The Problem With Quakers

  1. #46
    Breeding Roscoe's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    My husband and I cared for a quaker transitioning between homes. He was a character. Every time that he heard the 20th Century Fox theme song, whistled or hummed or played, he would stand at attention and then -- CHARGE!!!! and attack whatever it was coming from.

    I have to admit that I recorded it onto a Wordy Birdie and spent hours hiding it and watching the wrath of Beaks. He was tough, but he was a loyal pal to whoever would get past the greeting stage.

  2. #47
    Brand New Egg juliebird's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Hi everyone -

    This seems to be quite an old thread, so I'm not sure if anyone is even going to see this.

    We are lucky to have 2 adorable little quakers (Frodo and Sammy) that have captured our hearts. By all accounts, these two have broken many of the "rules" that we have heard about keeping quakers and birds in general... while other "rules" have definitely held true with them.

    I guess the thing to remember is that no bird will follow every generalization that has been made about it. For example, not every African Grey is a talker...

    Keeping two birds together - I'd heard that if you do this, the birds won't be interested in people and will bond to each other in exclusion of everyone else. In our case, this is definitely NOT true. What we've found is that they LOVE to come out, play, and snuggle with us. On the other hand, they're best buddies. They spend the day when we're at work playing, preening, and snuggling with each other. Putting them back in their cage isn't a problem because they're not always desperately wanting our attention. Sure if we walk by, they'll throw out a few kissy sounds to try to entice us to play, but that's it. Also, both birds talk and make various sounds (unfortunately, their favorite is the "farty sound").

    Hormones - We've never had problems with them being hormonal (yet). Perhaps this is because we were expecting problems with them that were worse than anything we've seen. They're about 3 now and so far, things have gone well.

    Biting - This is perhaps one of the things that I've found most intriguing about raising these guys. Once they got out of their "cute little snuggly baby" phase, they started testing us. They'd latch onto our fingers and see what we would do. We didn't overreact. Calmly told them no bite, put them back on the cage, turned our backs to them, etc. That got them through the majority of biting issues. However, occasionally, they would still play a bit hard with our hands. The interesting part was that we'd notice if they were preening each other and one preened too hard on a spot, the other one would make a little squalk and pull away. So we started doing that. If they pulled a hangnail out or nibbled a bit too much, we'd make the sound and sort of twitch our hand. And the little sweeties would stop! Frodo actually gets pretty upset when Sammy preens us too hard - he'll get all skinny and start bobbing his head... so we have to reassure him that it's ok.

    Being one-person birds - This couldn't be farther from the truth for our guys. They love both my husband and myself. When friends come over, they're happy to jump onto their hands and start talking.

    Plucking - So far, we've been lucky with this. No plucking. They preen each other well - I've never even seen a pin feather on their heads!

    Hating other birds - We've got our budgie flight cage next to the quakers. While we never let the birds be in direct contact with each other, the quakers definitely assume the budgies to be part of their flock. They call to each other and Sammy acts like the cage policeman. When something is wrong, she'll let us know. In fact, that's how we found out our last budgie was sick. She was acting strange as she didn't come running out to me when I opened the cage. I finally got her on my hand and she kept leaning and leaning toward the budgie cage, right to near where Pippin was sitting. It was then that I realized he was sick (we put him to sleep last week ). They obviously care alot about the budgies.

    Now for the rules that have held true:
    Noise - These guys are LOUD. Luckily enough, we have a nice bright walkout basement. So that's where our entire gang lives. And it's a good thing, 'cause when these guys do their calling, they're SO LOUD. You can hear them outside of our house (which is insulated for our Canadian climate). I find that this is the big problem with non-bird friendly guests. Usually, the quakers will get excited to see new people and let out a squawk. This is enough to turn most people away from the birds - it's especially frightening for our little nieces and nephews.

    Not sure if anyone has had trouble with this one, but it's something we always have to work at
    Fear of colors - For some reason, our guys have chosen a select number of colors that they have deemed to be mortal enemies. If anyone comes in wearing these colors, they'll do their dog-like growls and screeches. This is another deterrent to unsuspecting guests, especially children who seem to have an affinity to these bright, apparently unwieldy colors! We try to introduce the parrots to new objects with strange colors to try to get them to become more used to them, but it's an ongoing battle.

    Anyways - we love our quakers more than I ever thought I could and wouldn't give them up for any other bird. I guess I just wanted to say that we've been really lucky in finding happy, well-adjusted birds... but it's taken ALOT of work on our part. They are not birds that you can buy, get bored of, lock up in the cage, and expect to behave nicely. I'm sure that if we stopped interacting with them and finding ways to challenge them, they would definitely pick up some of these other unfortunate habits. But for people who are comfortable with training birds, are aware of these issues, are willing to work hard to take care of these guys, they're amazing, hilarious (yet LOUD) little bundles of fluff.

    I bet that even if we were to get two quakers from the same breeder that these guys came from, they would behave completely differently. So please don't assume that our experience is the "norm"... even with all of the work that we've put in.

    One of my favorite times with the birds is when we're holding them and I'll be blabbering or singing to them. They'll get so happy and fuzzy that they're feathers end up sticking straight out from their bodies and they look like two grey/green little pompoms of feathers.... followed by a big happy tail shake.

    - julie

  3. #48
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Hello! My name is Eleanor Strong and I'm the owner of a wonderful, one year old quaker parrot. He is not quiet. I knew that and did not mind. I got that information from a great book - Parrot Training-A Guide to Taming and Gentling Your Avian Companion which also stated that all parrots are noisy and if I wanted a parrot I would have to be willing to put up with that.

    From that book I learned to teach my parrot to step up everyday until he would automatically lift his foot at that command. Then I repeated the same training in his cage and then on top of his cage. Now he steps up on command no matter where he is, even behind the couch on a dowel. The Parrot Training book also addresses many unwanted behaviours and how to train them not to do them.

    The screaming in the morning doesn't bother me and it doesn't continue all day. However, when I'm watching tv or a movie and he's screaming it does. I think he's bored or lonely or just sees me sitting there and wants to be with me. So I usually drape a towel over the back of the couch and he and I interact and bond(quietly).

    I think its a very good idea to warn people that owning a parrot is not all fun and games. It is a responsibility and commitment (someone should tell that to prospective parents.) You did a good thing there.

    However, nearly all the things you've mentioned occur when an owner has not educated himself or is not interested in his responsibilities toward it. When parents do not interact and/or discipline with their children they raise screaming, demanding spoiled brats. That's what happens with the parrots you've described. Concientious parents educate themselves, read books(plural), and ask countless questions. Then they apply what they've learned. Usually this produces well adjusted, well behaved and pleasant children. They are responsible parents.

    I say usually because we can't choose our children. Sometimes it doesn't work. But we can choose our parrots. I checked out 3 before I settled on my quaker. He was 10 months and snuggling with his breeder. When I held him he snuggled with me, too. I could work with that. But it takes work. If you don't work with even a good quaker you will end up with a disaster.

    So educate yourself, choose a sweet docile bird and apply your "parenting skills". Being a parrot owner is like being a parent. Many parrots have the intelligence of a 3 yr. old child. You wouldn't put a toddler in a corner, interact with him only when you are in the mood and expect him to behave if you don't teach him how. Parrots are not goldfish. If you're not willing to work with your quaker don't get one. Get a goldfish.

    Eleanor
    Last edited by elstrongf; 04-21-2006 at 02:41 PM.

  4. #49
    Geaux Tigers!!! Tailfeather NeapolitanSixth's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Thank you all for your insightful posts! You're right; the purpose of this thread was not to bash quakers, but to warn of what problems will probably come if you do not socialize the bird and educate yourself. Any type of parrot can react this way too, so take this as a general warning. Thank you again for all the wonderful personal stories and snippets of info and advice....keep it coming!

    -Nikki
    Come visit my flock!! ( click )
    Need help finding an avian vet? Click HERE.


    Check out my blog!

  5. #50
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    This is a really great post. Any bird that is out-lawed in many states should be carefully considered before made a pet. If only people were made to take a class about bird behavior , there would not be 4 rescued birds in my house. Just because they were not what the people who bought them thought they would be.

  6. #51
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Unfortunately for me, I bought a quaker without research.
    About three years ago, I went to Uncle Bills Pet Store to purchase a cockatiel. When we went to see the birds, the cockatiel I had wanted had been sold. I began looking at the others, as well as interacting with them when I happened to see the small green quaker. I imidiately inquired about the curious bird, and I was told that the quaker was an excellent family bird--just the same as a cockatiel. This fact reigned true...for the first few months.
    Soon after, the quaker (named Sammy) chose me as his one and only. When this was accomplished, Sammy began seeing my younger sister as a rival. His loud screeches and irritated behavior escalated dramatically everytime my sister came into my room to spend time with me. I still believe what Sammy was experiencing was jelousy. He hated the fact that my sister could get to me when he couldn't. This jelousy soon formulated into a grudge. Now, everytime Sammy sees my sister, he grabs ahold of the nearest item and clamps down on it, shaking it with all his might. This is how he relieves his frustration, but it's not very pleasent when he ends up putting a hole or two in my shirts.
    Although, it is rather humerous when Sammy is wandering around on my bedroom floor and my sister walks in. Sammy immideately chases her off, laughing hystarically at his triumph. I try not to laugh with him, and most times make him go back into his cage for a while. But nothing I do is able to change his behavior.
    And although I'm his 'one and only', he 'tattles' on me. Sam knows that when my mom comes in the room and says 'good night' that he is able to fore me to bed at any time he chooses. He'll sqwauk once to let me know it's time for bed, then he'll proceed to tell me 'night night'. If I don't listen, he'll throw a huge fit, only pausing to say 'Oh-o' when he hears my mom coming down the hall. He's silent as she yells at me, and proceeds to laugh when she closes the door, proclaiming 'night night' again. However, anytime I choose to say 'night night' and cover his cage, he's pleasently happy to go straight to sleep.
    I love my quaker immensley, and will never give up on him. But as many posts on this topic have stated, quakers require a lot of patience and dedication.
    So far, Sammy is a healthy three-year-old. He's never experienced plucking nor medical issues. But as for his behavioral issues, I have learnt to deal with them since none of the other remedies seem to work.
    They're funny little guys...that's for sure.


    (That's Sammy)

  7. #52
    Beeks
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Being the owner of a Quaker (or should that be the other way around?) I feel I must sound off here. While Kiwi tries to act like she's the devil re-incarnate, if you call her bluff, she mellows right out. She is the second Quaker I have owned and I have had her for about a year now. I don't remember my first Quaker being so hidiously loud however. If "Fred" made noise, it was like a gravely cawwing sound, but Kiwi has this highly ear piercing shreak that she blasts out rythmically about every 2 seconds for hoouuurs on end unless I put her in the bathroom and turn off the light. Aaahhh silence. I am so lucky that the Macaw and the Cockatoo seem to be more annoyed with the sound rather than show signs of joining in....Thank the Lord!!!! She talks alot too, more than the big birds, she says her name of course, but she will whisper it too and then make little kissing sounds. She says, here kitty kitty, barks like a chihuahua, coughs and laughs like the pot heads I got her from, whistles like a cockatiel, says Hi Kiwi and pretty bird, and just mastered Gidday Mate. She also likes to mumble when I'm talking on the phone, and tries to do the "no pants dance" with herself in her mirror. (No eggs as of yet) While I will admit she can be trying at times, she is also very clever and loving when not charging the cage with beak agape. I got her, because I was visiting the people who had her (friends of friends) and when I heard her in a back room I asked if I could see her. Once in the room I wanted to take her out and was told good luck she bites. And YES she did....Hard!!! But only once, and when I held her close to me and starting cuddling with her, their jaws nearly dropped. She was kissing me and fluffiing her feathers looking for scratches, etc. I went home with her a few weeks later. They thought I was some bird whisperer or something. Too funny. Sometimes you just have to call their bluff. I have always liked the cocky little quakers with their decieving little cuddly faces and fox like intelligence. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but I wouldn't trade the little monster for the world.

  8. #53
    Beeks
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    PS...I realize some of these threads are pretty old but I have a question on the whole "dangerous, illegal" thing. Are they dangerous because they could threaten ecologically if enough people just turned them lose? I find it hard to believe that a bird native to much warmer climates could survive let alone thrive in the Wyoming wilderness. I expected to see the warmer states ban them, like the Pirrahnah and Caiman (who could conceivabley reproduce in the warmer water ), but it seems not to be weather related. Sooo, why are they illegal?

  9. #54
    Breeding Roscoe's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeks View Post
    PS... but it seems not to be weather related. Sooo, why are they illegal?
    It's really hard to believe, but they can survive almost anywhere in the US North. No joke. Here's a link to the official "Brooklyn Parrots" web site:

    http://www.brooklynparrots.com/2005/...est-tests.html

    They're in Boston!

  10. #55
    Egg's Cracking... pilove's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    i have quaker parrots that live in the town i work in, which is in CT. they are everywhere down there.

  11. #56
    Beeks
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    I just looked at the link for brooklyn parrots and was amazed! To me, it just seems so weird to see parrots cavorting with starlings, pigeons and wrens. And look how fat and healthy they are!!! I will have to be doubly dillegent about keeping my Quaker indoors. I just made the stupid assumption that she would perish in the cold if she ever got loose. I know invasive species can cause some ecological problems, but I have to admit it would be cool to take a stroll in the park and stop to watch a flock of these little comics. I also did not realize all the different calls they have (orange alert, red alert, etc) I wish someone had an audio of the different call levels, so i know what my little screamer is trying to tell me. Up to this point I just figured all calls were to annoy the crap out of me. LOL

  12. #57
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    These posts are absolutely correct about Quaker behavior. My girlfriend's is as sweet as a *****cat, but does occasionally act just like a Vise-Grip pliers.
    Amazingly, he has learned at least 75 words, and uses them in COMPLETE SENTENCES to get what he wants.

    AMAZING.

    I disagree, though, that they are the loudest birds. My Goffin's cockatoo has them beat.

    If you have read my introductory post, you already know that my Quaker is shacked-up with a Rainbow Lorikeet. The only downside of this co-habitation, is that both birds have lost much of the motivation they originally had to talk.

    Separating them would be cruel.
    And, besides, who would get the Hoei cage [retired for the moment], and who would get the California Cage [seven times the price]?

    As far as the Brooklyn Parrots website goes:

    I live in Brooklyn, walking-distance from their biggest parrot concentration.
    The electric company removes their nests, and kills the birds. They deny it, but I pressed a worker for the truth, as I snapped photos of the nests being destroyed.

    When I wrote to the head of the parrot website, and told him that I witnessed this, he insisted that the nests are long-abandoned.
    Bull**it. There were fresh droppings under each nest. This webmaster pretends to be a Quaker advocate. He holds tours of the Brooklyn College parrot nests, and, obviously maintains the website.

    I have seen the truth, and am not happy with it. What can be done to help these birds. They are considered to be disposable pests, which is very far from reality.

    Interestingly, the Rainbow Lorikeet holds similar status in Australia and New Zealand.

    Edit: I cannot believe that *****cat was edited out of my post.

    Seth

  13. #58
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Given that the native Carolina parakeet is extinct, would it be so bad to have another parrot species take over its niche?

  14. #59
    Brand New Egg BrooklynParrot's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Quote Originally Posted by notransistors View Post
    As far as the Brooklyn Parrots website goes:
    When I wrote to the head of the parrot website, and told him that I witnessed this, he insisted that the nests are long-abandoned.
    Bull**it. There were fresh droppings under each nest. This webmaster pretends to be a Quaker advocate. He holds tours of the Brooklyn College parrot nests, and, obviously maintains the website.
    Seth

    Hi Seth,

    Terrific to meet you here. Thanks for mentioning my web site.

    If you have proof that Con Ed, or its subcontractor, is hurting or killing the parrots in Brooklyn during nest removals, I would encourage you to reach out to the media, as I have re the current poaching problems in South Brooklyn, to get the story out.

    I gather from your remarks in this forum you don't think very highly of me or my efforts; that's certainly your right, and this is why you should take such evidence directly to the media.

    I gather your conversation with the utility worker leads you to believe that your claim is true. What was his name? Did he work for Con Ed or Toro (the subcontractor)? When did this conversation happen? Any and all such details will help you establish your case. It will help you greatly if you can provide a second source, which the reporters I have spoken to typically demand.

    There are a lot of people in the states in which the wild quakers live who strongly dislike them and wish to be rid of them. I am very glad that you are a person who is in the opposite camp.

    Best regards,
    Steve Baldwin
    The Brooklyn Parrot Society
    http://brooklynparrots.com

  15. #60
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    Re: The Problem With Quakers

    Do quakers and cockatiels get along?
    Visit my work's website!
    http://www.amazinglabels.com

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