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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Eliz Aisling's Avatar
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    Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    So, my mom came over yesterday and we were standing in front of Calliope's cage, playing with her. Out of the blue, my mom says, "You should try putting cat litter in that bottom tray". My response? "HELL NO!"

    I mean, really? What would ever possess anyone to put cat litter in a cage? ...And this is one reason why, despite her offers to watch Calliope when I go away for a couple weeks, I always get a proper bird-sitter!

    I mean, it doesn't make me angry. It just shocked me to realize how little some people know about birds. Come on, all that dust? Plus, it wouldn't even be convenient.


    Have any of you ever gotten stupid suggestions from people who know nothing about birds?

    I love my doves, Calliope & Calypso <3

    CALLIOPE ("kə-LIE-ə-pee"): from the Ancient Greek Καλλιόπη, meaning "beautiful voice".
    CALYPSO ("kə-LIP-so"): from the Ancient Greek Καλυψω, meaning "she that conceals".

  2. #2
    Hatched! Pipers Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    You got to be kidding me.. Cat litter!!!!

    After the first of the year, I purchased a new cage.. I went to many different stores looking for a new cover for it. A sales associate at PetSmart actually told me to purchase a BBQ grill cover.. I looked at him and turned to my husband and said "Let's get out of here"..

  3. #3
    Breeding Roscoe's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    This wasn't a suggestion given to me, but I thought it was pretty funny and it's stuck with me:

    About 5 years ago I got into a teensy disagreement with a woman on Yahoo Answers, who claimed to be a cockatiel breeder, after she told a pet owner who didn't want her parakeets to breed to flip both birds over and inspect them for 'retractable penises' - if neither one had a telescopic birdy phallus, she assured this woman, they were both female and could live in the same cage.

    Despite my objections and a whole SLEW of links I posted explaining parrot anatomy, hers was selected as the best answer . . . Can you imagine what those poor confused budgies must have thought?
    Tailfeathers Superstar

  4. #4
    Fledgeling Kerry C's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    And Roscoe's Mom THAT is why it is sooooooo important to READ books on the proper care and breeding of your pet birds. Way too many people want to be spoon fed information on their birds by others. A chat board is great, but you don't always know WHO is giving advice. If you've never bothered to do a bit of homework on your own you might be libale to swallow hook line and sinker a bunch of bunk! It could be dangerous for your birds.

  5. #5
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    People don't really give me tips on care, because everyone who knows me knows I am a psycho nut about researching their care and won't take anything but the best. But when I was little we had a tiel and he got into masturbation rather heavily so everyone told us we HAD to breed him

  6. #6
    Brand New Egg Eliz Aisling's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    Piper's Mom -- As a PetSmart associate myself, I have to say I am shocked/ashamed! A grill cover? God knows what kind of toxic materials those are made out of!

    And... omg... telescopic bird penises? You have got to be kidding me! "Cockatiel breeder"... right!

    And, oh dear, the whole breeding thing. It makes me sad that people are so willing to just breed birds because they think it's "sad" that they'll never get to be parents otherwise. Just because they engage in sexual behaviors doesn't necessarily mean they want their own little fids anyway... it means their instincts are telling them to do what they're programmed to do to survive. But that doesn't mean you go out and breed a bird just for the hell of it xD

    I love my doves, Calliope & Calypso <3

    CALLIOPE ("kə-LIE-ə-pee"): from the Ancient Greek Καλλιόπη, meaning "beautiful voice".
    CALYPSO ("kə-LIP-so"): from the Ancient Greek Καλυψω, meaning "she that conceals".

  7. #7
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    Let's see. The main one I get is being told to buy those HUUUGE bags of wild bird feed for like songbirds and whatnot and just feed my birdy that. I have been told to squirt my birdy when he is being bad as well, this was a looong time ago that I was told this.

    I don't really get much unwanted advice and when I ask for he advice I tend to make sure of who I am asking it from. I also take everything with a grain of salt.

  8. #8
    Fledgeling Cheaps's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliz Aisling View Post
    And, oh dear, the whole breeding thing. It makes me sad that people are so willing to just breed birds because they think it's "sad" that they'll never get to be parents otherwise. Just because they engage in sexual behaviors doesn't necessarily mean they want their own little fids anyway...
    Do you ever wonder if that's the stance they take with their 14 year old daughters?
    We got lots of Ham here

  9. #9
    Brand New Egg Eliz Aisling's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheaps View Post
    Do you ever wonder if that's the stance they take with their 14 year old daughters?
    Haha, I do wonder! Imagine the overpopulation there would be in the world... as if there isn't enough already!

    I love my doves, Calliope & Calypso <3

    CALLIOPE ("kə-LIE-ə-pee"): from the Ancient Greek Καλλιόπη, meaning "beautiful voice".
    CALYPSO ("kə-LIP-so"): from the Ancient Greek Καλυψω, meaning "she that conceals".

  10. #10
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    It is sick to breed anything that doesn't need to have it's population expanded simply for the "fun" of breeding. Heh, I would love to breed cute little birdies but I don't know the first thing about it and because of that I will not. There are no breeders in the state of Alaska I could learn from that don't have a poor reputation anyway.

    Sorry, my two cents on the breeding issue.

  11. #11
    Breeding Roscoe's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marrie View Post
    But when I was little we had a tiel and he got into masturbation rather heavily so everyone told us we HAD to breed him
    Ha! Penny masturbates more aggressively than any bird I've ever had -- even birds with STRONG breeding instincts like PF lovebirds -- and I think it has very little to do with actually wanting to breed: she backs right up into something that belongs to me, grunts and makes direct eye contact, like "What?!"

    What I think a lot of people don't realize about breeding hand-fed birds, in particular, is that some breeders isolate their babies from one anther during those critical socialization days. It ruins them for parenting -- and then someone comes along and expects them to rear chicks, and can't understand why they get aggressive, or why they won't sit & feed. The poor birds just don't know what to do!

    So I have had hand-fed lovebird chicks who I socialized very well go on to become great parents, but I would never try to breed a pet bird whose history I didn't know. Out of all the bad advice non-bird people can give, I would have to agree with you all that 'breeding' advice is some of the most reckless
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  12. #12
    Brand New Egg Paloma's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    I was told by a customer that I was being suckered by my vet. I feed my birds Harrison's Mash (Twitter) and Harrison's Super Fine (Earl), along with Ecotrition seeds (as a treat), fresh greens, and veggies. Why would I waste all that money? Even the seeds at work were a waste - $8 for a little 2.5lbs bag!? I could totally just go to Wal-Mart and buy "premium" seeds for both of them, because seeds are seeds, and I'd only spend $8 for a HUGE bag.

    A coworker told me that I was mean for not giving my parakeet a mirror, and that everyone knows that all parakeets should have a mirror - that's why we sell them. This same coworker told me that pellets weren't good for birds, Kaytee was the best I could feed them, and doves didn't need a big cage because "they just sit there, they don't fly alot".

    I've been told by customers that green parakeets will never be able to talk, only the rare colors (and sometimes the blue ones) can. I've been told that every bird needs a nesting box/nest to sleep in because it makes them feel safer. You should always put your birds in a sunny spot so they don't get cold...mmm... Arizona sun. Yeah, these are the only ones I can think of right now... It's like that "Bad Idea" Verizon commercial - "No, no, no. Don't lift with your knees. Lift with your back! Feel the difference?".

    Twitter - Diamond Dove
    Earl - Budgie
    Rorschach - Kitty
    Marco (Polo) - Russian Tortoise

  13. #13
    Brand New Egg Eliz Aisling's Avatar
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    Re: Worst suggestions you've gotten from non-bird-people?

    I feed Harrison's, too - Calliope gets the Adult Lifetime Fine. They're just about the best bird food out there, and pellets are much better for them. No parakeet "needs" a mirror (where are you going to find a mirror in the middle of the Australian outback, where their natural habitat is?) and nests make many birds hormonal. Doves don't fly around a whole lot compared to some birds, but they do need space to exercise, hop around, and stretch their wings, especially seeing as they can't climb around on the bars like hookbills can. I have a nice big flight cage for Calliope and it was worth every penny because she loves the space.

    ...Some people! Sheesh.

    I love my doves, Calliope & Calypso <3

    CALLIOPE ("kə-LIE-ə-pee"): from the Ancient Greek Καλλιόπη, meaning "beautiful voice".
    CALYPSO ("kə-LIP-so"): from the Ancient Greek Καλυψω, meaning "she that conceals".

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