Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Macaws, Cockatoos, Greys, Poicephalus, Conures, Lovebirds, Parrotlets, Parakeets etc. Discuss topics related to specific species of parrots and their characteristics, mutations, pros, and cons.

Is it acceptable to get African Grey as first time parrot?

Yes
14
52%
No
13
48%
 
Total votes : 27

Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:51 pm

Do you believe it is alright for someone who has never even touched a bird before to buy an African Grey as their first parrot? What do you believe is the minimal threshold of parrot handling/owning experience prior to buying one of these? What about an Amazon, Cockatoo, or Macaw?

If you'd like to expand this topic even further, what kinds of parrots make good "first time birds?" What parrots should never be bought without extensive parrot experience?
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6234
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby lzver » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

No, I don't believe that an African Grey or larger birds like Amazon's, Macaws, etc should be the first bird someone purchases with no prior experience.

I will say there are exceptions ... MandyG is one in my opinion. Seems like she did lots of research and made an informed decision.

Being that I started with a Red Belly and a Senegal... I would say they are a good first time bird. And now that I've seen my step-daughter with her Cockatiel, I believe they make a good first bird as well. Its amazing what she has taught Charlie in only 6 months.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Laura's Bird World Blog - http://laurasbirdworld.blogspot.com/
Jessie - Senegal
Lucy - Red Bellied
Kylie - Meyers
User avatar
lzver
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 788
Location: Guelph, ON
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: 1 Senegal; 1 Red-Bellied; 1 Meyers
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby notscaredtodance » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:56 pm

http://parrotnation.com/2010/06/04/i-do ... /#comments


edit:
To expand on my point, with my own experiences, it drives me insane when people ask for good "starter fish". Usually they don't mean what fish will be easy to understand and is a healthy choice, they mean, what fish will be able to surive terrible conditions, dirty water, and missed feedings. Just because an animal is strong enough that it CAN handle not being respected, doesn't mean it should have to.

When people ask for starter birds it just makes me think "which one will be able to surive my incompetence." Anyone who doesn't want to put at least the effort of buying a BOOK on their animal, doesn't deserve a pet. Not a 1400 dollar hyacinth, and not a 25 cent goldfish.
Last edited by notscaredtodance on Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
notscaredtodance
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 157
Location: Ohio
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot
Flight: No

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby Natacha » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:58 pm

I would argue that it depends on the person.

I don't entirely believe in the concept of "beginner" birds where someone will start with a smaller bird but really wants something else.

While I don't believe that African Greys are for everyone, far from it, I do believe that if someone is committed to researching as much as they can, preparing as well as they can, then possibly an African Grey might do well with them, even if it's their first bird. And if this is the bird they truly want, and don't feel the need to have any other, then great, this bird has just got all the attention from their owner.

However....I find that people that do the extra mile before getting their bird and assessing that it is truly the one for them are rare. So no, an African Grey is not a good "first parrot" for a lot of people, nor will ever be the "right" parrot.
My blog http://poiworld.blogspot.com/
Videos of my birds http://www.youtube.com/user/poicephaluslady
Piper ~ Lovebird
Shade ~ Senegal
Joey & Pixel ~ Red-bellied parrots
Petey & Zuri ~ Meyer's parrots
Léa ~ Cape parrot
User avatar
Natacha
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1277
Location: Ontario, Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 7
Types of Birds Owned: PF Lovebird, Senegal Parrot, Red-bellied Parrots, Meyer's Parrot, Cape Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:03 pm

notscaredtodance wrote:http://parrotnation.com/2010/06/04/i-dont-believe-in-starter-birds/#comments


Please post your own opinions rather than links to others. If you'd like to cite that as a source that drives your opinion, that is alright. But I'd prefer people not post links to outside sources unless it is factual. Of course if you wrote that and it is your answer to the question, go right ahead. It's just that posting outside links draws away from discussion rather than supplementing it (when it's an opinion discussion like this). Thanks.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6234
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:08 pm

Natacha wrote:I would argue that it depends on the person.

I don't entirely believe in the concept of "beginner" birds where someone will start with a smaller bird but really wants something else.


How is someone to know that they like birds, can handle birds, and have enough requisite knowledge to realize that it is right for them? Of course this would probably mean no one should buy a parrot to begin with. However, within practical limitations, there are parrots that have simpler needs and a person that commits to owning one, despite realizing it's not their favorite thing, could still care for the bird and let it live out its life. With larger or more needy parrots that is certainly not possible.

Yet how is one to judge the criteria of a difficult or intellectually needy parrot if they don't know what that means on a smaller level even? I'm not saying that people who want a big parrot should buy a small one first. On the contrary. I'm suggesting that perhaps there is a range of parrots that are more manageable for a first time owner and those larger/complex parrots should only be considered as an additional parrot for a household that has success and enjoys the more "beginner" ones.

Natacha, you really think someone who has never had a parrot before could just go in and buy an umbrella cockatoo and have any idea of what they are getting themselves into? They may be ambitious and determined... but even then is that enough? Furthermore, are there any specific kinds of parrots that you would definitely agree should not be owned by anyone that lacks experience?
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6234
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby pchela » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:12 pm

I do not believe in the idea of "starter birds" either. I really think that any bird deserves an owner who researched and actually went out and spent time with different parrots before making a decision. The term starter bird makes me think that people are going to test things out on this one and then move on to bigger and better things.
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
User avatar
pchela
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1281
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal -Pippin
Red Belly - Nicholas
Lesser Jardine's - Rupert
Timneh African Grey - Isabeau (Ibby)
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby notscaredtodance » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:13 pm

I actually had a long reply typed out and somehow I got logged off in the time I started typing my reply and the time I hit submit, no idea how, and had that link at the very bottom because those thoughts are obviously not my own and would be plagiarism had I not cited her. But when I lost my whole reply I said F it and just posted the link the next time, and I've edited it to give a more personal opinion, only slightly relating to birds.
User avatar
notscaredtodance
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 157
Location: Ohio
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot
Flight: No

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby Natacha » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:18 pm

Michael wrote:Natacha, you really think someone who has never had a parrot before could just go in and buy an umbrella cockatoo and have any idea of what they are getting themselves into? They may be ambitious and determined... but even then is that enough? Furthermore, are there any specific kinds of parrots that you would definitely agree should not be owned by anyone that lacks experience?


As far as African Greys are concerned, I know of people who have got this bird as a "first bird" and are taking really good care of it. Was it all they expected it to be before purchasing it? No. Do they regret their decision, no.
While they didn't have all the practical experience, these are people who have an affinity with animals and that have taken their time before jumping in with parrots. These are people, when having come close to deciding what they wanted, who have done a lot of research, visited a lot of breeders and have possibly gone to parrot club meetings to see what the parrots are like, have talked to owners. These people have then, without having owned a parrot, made a decision with some experience/knowledge.

Again, I did not say I believe that an African Grey is suited for everyone. But I refuse to adhere to the concept of "beginner birds" because often, these "beginner birds" end up being sold because the people finally got what they really wanted and this is truly not fair to them. I will not continue to propagate the notion that people should start smaller and then get what they want because that is how it should be. You might choose to believe that people will only get what they want if their experience with the "first" parrot is successful, I have seen on too many occasions smaller birds being uprooted from their family because they finally got what they wanted and only have the attention to devote to the new bird or because the two birds don't get along and therefore the older bird, who wasn't really what they wanted to begin with, must go.
My blog http://poiworld.blogspot.com/
Videos of my birds http://www.youtube.com/user/poicephaluslady
Piper ~ Lovebird
Shade ~ Senegal
Joey & Pixel ~ Red-bellied parrots
Petey & Zuri ~ Meyer's parrots
Léa ~ Cape parrot
User avatar
Natacha
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1277
Location: Ontario, Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 7
Types of Birds Owned: PF Lovebird, Senegal Parrot, Red-bellied Parrots, Meyer's Parrot, Cape Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Is it acceptable to get an African Grey as first parrot?

Postby notscaredtodance » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:27 pm

Alright now I'm just going to HAVE to retype that reply. Maybe more concice this time.

1. A starter bird, as pchela said, implies that this bird will basically be a "test" bird, and starter birds, for most, tend to mean cheap birds, like parakeets and cockatiels. These birds, if they die in 2 years, weren't a huge investment and although they might be missed, it is not a huge loss. So people feel more comfortable just "winging it", no pun intended. These birds will get the bulk of owner mistakes like cages with guillotine doors, wing mutilation (the extreme version of clipping), no vet care, an all seed diet, and losing the bird through an open door, a dog/cat attack, whatever.

2. It also has to suffer in terms of enrichment. Just because a smaller bird for the most part won't screech and feather pluck because it is neglected, doesn't mean it isn't suffering. Some budgie owners are great and very aware of their bird's needs, but most, me included when I had them, just let them chill in the cage with a mirror, some plastic bell balls, and a bowl of food and water.So if a person "successfully" keeps a starter bird, then goes to an african grey, no, i don't think they'll be prepared for what a grey needs.

3. For more species related problems and interaction (cockatoos being needy/likely to feather pluck, amazons being aggressive, macaws being loud) a person should be researching heavily, vising breeders of the species they are interested in, avian vets, and really getting to understand the good and the bad of that species. They should also be mildly aware of body language and sensitive to an animal's comfort level. I have recently started visiting an aviary consistently and can handle the quakers all the way up to the macaws because I respect the birds

4. For more mechanical things like not aware of the diet needs, clean up, noise, if a person isn't ready for that, they're not ready for most pets.
User avatar
notscaredtodance
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 157
Location: Ohio
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot
Flight: No

Next

Return to Parrot Species

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store