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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Ronnie
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    New and considering a bird/birds

    Man I just wrote this whole thing and it was deleted!

    The short of it:
    Husband has always wanted a bird, now were able to get one (financially and spacially). He wanted an Amazon, but we have 2 young children and as far as I can tell Amazons aren't for children. Our children would be allowed to see the bird but not touch bird or cage until they are older. We have 2 dogs (outside only) a fish tank (closed) and 2 sugar gliders. The gliders are mine and they stay in the cage unless it is bonding time as which point the gliders and I are in our bonding tent; Gliders are nocutrnal.

    From what I have read birds (like gliders) do better with fresh fruit and veges as their main diet and commercial bird as a treat or not at all but what about protein? Gliders must have protein too-but I don't know about birds.
    We know that they need sunlight and will be building a flight pen for them to go outside (supervised) when the weather is nice.
    We know that they need attention (I'm a stay at home mom) for at least a few hours and ability to exercise too-as well as toys for enrichment etc.
    We have a vet that specialiazes in birds and exotics that's a 15 min drive away. We don't want to breed-at least not until our children are older (as in at the earliest middle school). We need to know what breeds would be good for our family (children being the main factor). Also if sex matters or age? I've been told sex does matter and it doesn't and that younger is better for bonding but then no older is...

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Bill
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    Re: New and considering a bird/birds

    To appear to have a good program for starting a bird in your home. Bird Talk magazine is very good on bird adcive. Also, endless advice from people on this site and the internet as a whole. Maybe can also try wwwBirdChannel.com. Good Luck

  3. #3
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Marie
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    Re: New and considering a bird/birds

    Welcome. That is a lot of questions, so I am just going to go in order.

    1) What type of bird?

    If you have not had any bird experience (as in, owning your own) I would not go for a large parrot to begin with. Amazons, greys, macaws, etc are all much higher maintenance and difficult to care for than a lot of their smaller counterparts. I love them all too, but I am just not in the situation to care for one, so I adore them from afar.

    Some good low maintenance species are - tiels, budgies, lovebirds, conures (avoid suns unless you don't mind a lot of noise). Ones I don't have much experience with but have heard are pretty easy going are princess parrots and rosey bourkes as well. Now, each one has their own little quirks you need to learn to handle. Tiels are prone to night frights and can become clingy if you let them, for example. But they are much more beginner friendly than say, a cockatoo or amazon. And more child friendly.

    Important thing to remember is ALL birds CAN bite so your kids need to learn this rule. Even if they can usually have it sit on them etc, birds can sometimes bite and a child is less likely to be able to read body language to know when enough is enough (even if it is playing that they like to do). I know some parents will resent an animal that harms their kid, so that is always something I like to remind parents about when thinking about a pet. One day the pet may bite the kid and it most likely won't be anyones fault. Not saying you would be angry at a pet that did, just like to put that out there in case that is something that might happen.

    2) What dietary needs?

    It depends on the parrot species. But yes fresh foods are VERY important to parrots. You can make your own if you know enough about their needs, or feed a salad and supplement it with seeds/pellets for whatever you may have missed. Birds should be able to eat when they are hungry due to their high metabolism, so I keep a bowl of pellets out at all times and feed a small amount of seeds and some fresh daily. Some birds can be picky about eating fresh foods so you may have to teach a new bird what these foods are and it's OK to eat them. And they may turn up their noses at it for a bit, for example my tiel stubbornly refused carrots for months whenever offered then one day he was like "well, this tastes good after all" and ate an entire baby carrot and now he loves them. It's like a baby shoving food away even if you get some in their mouth they are so focused on "I don't want it!" to notice "hey, that didn't taste so bad after all"

    For protein you can feed a pellet or seed mix, or if you prefer making your own, nuts and even a little meat is OK (chicken is liked by a lot of birds, I know, it sounds so ... wrong somehow for a bird to eat bird, but it is healthy in small amounts) and you can get seeds from health stores and such. Some birds can / will eat worms or insects too.

    3) Does gender and age matter?

    That one varies, as you've seen. I think honestly the birds personality matters the most. Birds form very deep bonds to their owners, so it is stressful/traumatic for them to lose their home so I think that plays a part in rehomed birds sometimes not being as open with their second owner right away. Also, a lot of owners don't really know how to care for a bird and do some things that make the bird fearful (even if they don't mean to), so an older bird who has been handled roughly is more work to bond with than a younger one that has not really had anything beyond the breeder (which, if a good one, will have made humans a positive experience). It's kind of like if you adopt a dog that has been hit, it will shy away from your hand out to pet it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't like you... it just has to learn to trust you. A bird that has been poked at, or held against its will a lot, or abused in any way, or cage bound etc will be less trusting of humans to start, it doesn't mean they don't like you... it just means they have had bad experiences. And a lot of the older rehomes and rescues have had those experiences. A younger bird from a good breeder will have no reason to not trust, beyond that they don't know you. But either can bond if you're willing to work at it and rescues are often considered more rewarding, since they have so much personality once you break through their shell. So, that is my take on age.

    On gender, some people find males to be more loving because they are less hormonal. A female sometimes can be more territorial and prone to become "nesty" - which can lead to aggression (though, males can get hormonal too sometimes). Often with a female you have to take a lot of care to not trigger their need to lay eggs, remove dark hiding places, shredders, anything that could become a nesting material, etc. I personally find males a lot easier to handle and males tend to mimic more. But females are still loving and wonderful birds, it isn't their fault nature gave them an urge to reproduce and if properly handled they are great pets. So it just depends on what you want. If you do get a female, I suggest researching the tricks you can use to keep them from becoming nesty and look up information on egg binding (if they can't pass an egg, it gets stuck and they can die if not treated) in case she does lay eggs, so you know the signs to look for. Usually a bird on a good diet won't get egg binding, but it can happen.

    Opinions on a lot of those subjects vary. And that is just my opinion on your situation. You can get a lot of different ones if you look around, there have been plenty of the "what kind of bird should I get?" threads in the general bird discussion section, where a lot of members have related their experiences with different species if you would like to browse around them. The search on top right can help you find what you are looking for exactly.

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg
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    Ronnie
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    Re: New and considering a bird/birds

    Thank you for all the information! I will tell him all you have said & search the forums like you suggested

  5. #5
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: New and considering a bird/birds

    Thank you for all this information! I was emailed this, but I forgot my password so I couldn't log on to thank you. :P

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