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  1. #1
    Your friendly admin! Tailfeather Community Administrator Dan's Avatar
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    How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    Not alone alone but with someone who drops by to take change food and water, and say hello for a few minutes, without removing them from the cages.

    Ours are out several hours a day of course, but I am thinking ahead to a long weekend in March where we may be gone from very first thing Friday to late Monday -- so even though they'd see us for a tiny bit on each of those days, essentially it'd be four days away. :/ We do have a bird sitter that watches them if we are gone, but they live a six hour round trip drive from us -- so if four days wouldn't be tooooo horrible, it'd be much more convenient to have someone drop by than to do that drive late on Thursday and late on Tuesday after work both days!

    Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
    First Clutch Hatching... maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    Hi Dan, Are there folks in your community that are "bird sitters". Perhaps an Avian Vet's Office or a Pet Shop might have people who are into "bird sitting". Of course you would need to get a background check to be sure they are credible and are doing a good job for others that might need their services. All birds are different when it comes to bonding with their caregivers. Personally, when I have had to be absent from my home for several days I have a friend who takes my birds to her home. She has birds of her own, so I trust her to take care of mine, and my birds have fun "visiting" her home. One way or the other, I would hope you could find someone to take them for the days you will be gone, or in the alternative come in once a day for awhile, clean their cages, talk with them, and encourage them to play for a short while, etc. etc. I hope you will come to a good resolution for your particular situation, and have a wonderful trip when you do leave town for a few days.

  3. #3
    Your friendly admin! Tailfeather Community Administrator Dan's Avatar
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    I've looked into those previously and there's just nothing like that nearby unfortunately, none of the vets or pet shops seem to offer this sort of service.

    We have a lovely neighbour who is excellent with animals (she has loads of horses, cats, goats, etc. and owns acres and acres of land!) but not any bird experience. Obviously the birds wouldn't be able to be in her house given that she has 10+ cats, but I'm sure she'd be more than happy to pop in a bit and chat with them each day. Not sure how comfortable I'd feel saying to take them out though, as they can be tough to get back in the cages -- especially when the grey flies somewhere high up (we manage since we're quite tall, but I don't think she'd reach some places the bird likes to go to!).
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  4. #4
    Brand New Egg Jenny P's Avatar
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    ugh - isn't this situation a crummy one! Personally, 3-4 days would be the max for me that I'd be willing to leave my tiel w/only someone dropping by to see to the essentials.
    "Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, & yet sings, knowing that she hath wings." Victor Hugo

  5. #5
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    Could you leave pre-made foraging toys and such for her to replace into the cages to try to keep Bailey and Martin entertained? With a smaller bird, a long weekend would be OK, but with a larger one like a grey I would worry about potential for stress plucking without the interaction.

  6. #6
    Your friendly admin! Tailfeather Community Administrator Dan's Avatar
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    Do you think plucking and such could be induced so quickly like that? My worries were more from a boredom and sadness perspective -- but I never imagined it could be that extreme so quickly!
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  7. #7
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    Well, I know with the larger parrots, when they get bored / lonely they can sometimes pick and a grey is so intelligent, boredom will happen fast if left alone. Most the pluckers I have met are Toos or Greys who are left alone for long stretches of time, some only pluck when their owners go away on business trips etc (a week or so) and never when they come back home. I doubt it would become a habit that quickly, so if she did, it would probably be pretty easy to break. But, I would make her a large stockpile of her favorite toys and show the neighbor how to change them out without risking escapee bird, that way she can take out her boredom on destruction of her toys daily. I assume she goes through a chew toy pretty quick with that big beak of hers, especially if she has little else to entertain her.

  8. #8
    Hatched! DesertDweller's Avatar
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    I would leave a radio or tv on, or several of the birds' favorite songs on repeat. I would accustom my birds to being in their cages for longer periods than usual with plenty of interesting foraging and other entertaining toys like Marie said, and leave them alone longer than usual while I'm still around. Doing this helps me to see what problems could arise when I'm really gone. I'd make sure that the birds had access to several sources of water - a bottle as well as dishes - so that they could be assured of having water at will. I would also put food in several different types of containers for interesting variety.

    I'd ask the bird watcher to come by to handle the birds' care while I'm home to simulate the situation when I'm gone.

    Gradually accustoming the bird to know what to expect when I'm gone will help reduce possible separation anxiety for the bird and for me, and it would help me to identify what problems might arise when I'm really gone.
    Six of my fids are now 2 years old - Sweetie, Tubbie, Misty, Kahnee, Rosie and Riley are all grown up!!

    Gabby Renee and Chauncey will celebrate their 2nd birthdays in March!

  9. #9
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    Re: How long do you think it is ok to leave your birds alone?

    It really depends on the bird's personalities and habits. Only you can really say how they would do. Are they needy or can they entertain themselves pretty well?

    I would fallow the advice given. Get the person who will be caring for the birds used to them and them her. Make sure she is confident in handling them as hesitation welcomes bites. She should be confident handling them so if an cage escape does happen she can have a better chance at getting them back in the cage.

    Start getting them used to the change now. The more time for them to adjust the better.

    I know if I leave Zeus alone he would be plucking within 24 hours but that is his issue. You know your birds.

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