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Looking for advice when considering getting a bird

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Looking for advice when considering getting a bird

Postby Glass » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:39 pm

Hello! I'm new to the forum, and new to learning about birds. I've been considering getting a bird for awhile, but I think talking to some real owners may help me more than me research has. Here are my current concerns:

My family has a cat and a dog, I will be going to college in a few years, it will be a lot more than I bargained for.

I have read many articles about why you should and should not get a pet bird, and most of them seem to be about parrots. Here's where my main question lies. Many articles say that parrots require immense amounts of time and effort to keep happy, and the cons can sometimes outweight the benefits. On this forum I saw a similar post about why you probably shouldn't get a parrot. However, I'm a little confused about what qualifies as a parrot that these people are talking about. Most pet birds are types of parrots, right? (parakeets, parrotlets, conures, cockatoos, cockatiels) Do they mean all those birds or the "serious parrots" like African Greys or Macaws. I can definitely see the last two requiring a lot more time, money, attention, and dedication; however, I'm not even considering getting those big birds.

If I were to get a bird it would be a smaller/medium sized parrot(?) like a conure or parrotlet. Is the amount of work similar? Should I not get a bird? I would appreciate help answering these questions. Currently, I go to school for about 8 hours a day. I am home most days for 1 hour in the morning and 5-6 hours in the evening. Extracurriculars might change that later in the year. I usually have all of my weekends free. I've read that birds require multiple hours of attention a day. What does this entail? Just hanging out, or hours of active engagement(not sure exactly what that would be).

Going back to my concerns, I've read that you can keep a bird with a cat. I would obviously be very careful about keeping it in a locked room when I'm not with it, and always supervising when it is out of it's cage, or locking the door. My main concern is that when I go away to college in a few years, I won't be able to take it with me, and it will be stuck with my family after bonding with me. In the best case scenario I would be able to take it with me, but I know this isn't always the case. Don't think I could get it classified as a comfort pet either.

Sorry if this was long and unstructured, I just have a ton of questions. Hope it's not too much. Thanks!
Glass
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: Yes

Re: Looking for advice when considering getting a bird

Postby Michael » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:56 am

Glass wrote:Hello! I'm new to the forum, and new to learning about birds. I've been considering getting a bird for awhile, but I think talking to some real owners may help me more than me research has. Here are my current concerns:

My family has a cat and a dog, I will be going to college in a few years, it will be a lot more than I bargained for.


I think you've answered your own question. A few more things you probably haven't even thought of yet:

-Parrots are birds and birds need to fly. Your family might not appreciate a bird flying and pooping around their house.
-Family may not be ok with you putting the cat/dog in crates or outside while bird is out
-The price of the parrot is the cheapest part of the whole equation. The necessary supplies will cost more than the bird. The yearly care will be at least as much as the bird originally cost. It can easily cost $500-$1000 per year to keep a small to mid sized parrot.
-Other members of your household may not be ok with the noise.
-A vet visit costs $300-$1000
-Even if you do your research and fully decide and commit to all the ups and downs of parrot ownership, the rest of your family won't be as educated about it and not realize what they are getting themselves into. When someone gets a parrot, it inevitably affects everyone in the house and the neighbors too.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6112
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
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Re: Looking for advice when considering getting a bird

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:55 am

Welcome to the forum and thank you so much for doing thorough research before you make a final decision! I am afraid that I have to agree with Michael on every single point he made and I will go one further and tell you that, out of the four GCCs [small conures] I've had, three of them came to me because their original owner went to college and the family could not deal with the bird; my female red-belly and the caique I recently flew to Miami to pick up also came to me from guys that got them before they went to college and, although they managed to keep them throughout their college days, they had to give them up once they got themselves a job and a steady relationship. It's very, very rare that young people can keep their birds as they become adults... And, even some of them hold on to them for years, eventually, something makes it impossible. And they are not like dogs or cats, either. A cat or a dog would be perfectly happy staying behind when its owner goes away to college or moves away but parrots are one-person pets and they don't switch their allegiance as easy as that. It happens - and I know this for a fact because all my birds came from somewhere else- but it's real hard on them and it's not so easy to find them a good home, either!

A word of caution though... I would not call grays and macaws the 'serious' parrots and put them in a different category from conures, parakeets, caiques, amazons, cockatoos, etc. Those species are as 'serious' a parrot as any macaw or gray. Now, if one wanted to make a difference between types of parrots, one would talk of aviary species versus companion species. Aviary species are cockatiels, budgies, parrotlets, lovebirds, canary-wings, etc. and those can work out for your situation AS LONG AS the family is willing to keep them after you leave BUT you will need to get a male/female pair, keep them in a large flight cage, teach your family how to care for them properly [which you would need to do yourself because, for one thing, you can't interact with them after sunset and, in the winter, they go to sleep at 4:30 pm] and you will not get the same kind of interaction from them as you would from a companion species. But they are beautiful, smart and very entertaining and enjoyable birds! I have a pair of plets and they are lovely little birds although I call the female 'The Queen of Mean' :lol: and my husband adores the little budgies -he refers to them as 'the pretty birds'.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Looking for advice when considering getting a bird

Postby Glass » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:56 pm

Thank you everyone for your advice. It seems now is not a good time for me to get a bird, so I will put that on hold until my life is more stable. Perhaps depending on the college I go to, if they allow birds I will get one then. I'm glad I did the research and didn't end up causing problems for the bird.
Glass
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: Yes


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