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View Diary: Dawn Chorus: She was not a refined woman... (193 comments)

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  •  I think it's also very important (18+ / 0-)

    to understand the noise level, the mess level, and the time commitment that will be required before you bring a captive raised parrot into your home.

    So many people buy birds first and then learn all those things later. That's why there are so many parrots in shelters, and so many of them are in such bad condition (having been kept in what amounts to abusive isolation before being surrendered to the shelter). And that's not even considering the parrots who are dumped outdoors. That's probably how the feral parrot flocks in so many U.S. cities got started.

    Parrots also have species specific nutritional needs. You can't just put a cup of seed or pellets in the cage and think you're done.

    •  Yes, the commitment level to living with a parrot (17+ / 0-)

      is very high.  My original version of this diary basically read like "why no one would want to live with a parrot".  And I realized that as much as I caution people about all of the hassles and the mess and the noise, I love living with them so much that it's all worth it.  I wanted to get both sides of the picture in, but maybe I went too far to the fun side.

      •  Our vet (14+ / 0-)

        begs everyone to read an article posted on mytoos...(I think it's mytoos) about mouloccan cockatoos.  
        i know that spelling is wrong.

        We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

        by Christin on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:31:32 AM PST

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        •  It's really important to know what you're getting (15+ / 0-)

          into with cockatoos.  They are insanely affectionate (and beautiful), but most are also very needy for attention, and will go nuts if they don't get it.  For someone who can give them that attention, there isn't a more loving pet, but it's crucial to understand their needs.

        •  Moluccan Cockatoo aka Salmon-Crested Cockatoo (11+ / 0-)

          Moluccan cockatoos seem like very interesting birds.  That they are very beautiful adds to their desirability, I would think.

          The Wiki article reinforces what lineatus said..., and it sounds like this bird needs her/his flock about [human or otherwise] 24/7.  That would be a lifetime investment.  I can't think of anyone who could put that amount of time into a pet unless they are agoraphobic and never leave the house.

          The Salmon-crested Cockatoo can no longer be imported into the United States because it is listed on the Wild Bird Conservation Act. However, they are being bred in captivity. They are popular for their beauty and trainability (which makes them popular in trained bird shows). The Salmon-crested Cockatoo is widely considered to be one of the most demanding parrots to keep as a pet due to their high intelligence, large size, potential noise level, and need to chew. Moluccan cockatoos require a very large and very sturdy cage or aviary. Salmon-crested Cockatoos are highly social and pets can be extremely cuddly, affectionate, and gentle birds. This can lead to problems if a young cockatoo is spoiled with a great deal of attention and cuddling when young and does not get the opportunity to learn to play with toys, forage, or otherwise entertain itself. Salmon-crested cockatoos require a great deal of attention and activity to remain healthy and well-adjusted. Attention and training from human caregivers is important in keeping them occupied, as are chewable toys and foraging toys that require them to work for their food. As with most large cockatoos, the Salmon-crested Cockatoo may develop health and behavioral problems such as feather-plucking and aggression if not provided with the appropriate environment, attention, and enrichment opportunities.
          There are 21 different Cockatoo species, according to the Wiki article.

          A long-ago friend had a beautiful Sulphur Crested Cockatoo..., and a Macaw (with colors like the one lineatus had), and two or three cockatiel (one walked up my arm from the table to perch on my shoulder; it had been a hand-raised bird) and a couple of green African parrots.  Said friend lost her new husband in a very tragic helicopter accident, and friend started to have symptoms of hoarding (birds in her case, not cats or dogs - she had a great super-high-ceiling in her huge living room, and she had a monstrously huge cage for the macaw and the cockatoo, a couple of smaller cages for the smaller birds that were still very large for them, but all was dwarfed by the huge macaw cage, so it was an ideal place to have birds).  When I moved she was at the phase where she was being a complete recluse, didn't answer her phone or her mail, so I sometimes wonder if her parrots survived her extreme grief.

          Except for taking care of the office bird, a blue budgie, at my home full of cats one winter (the office was too cold when the heating system for the entire building went completely wonky one winter), and I hung her cage from the ceiling of the hallway so no cats could get at it, I have zero experience with birds.  I just like birds.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:42:19 AM PST

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          •  When we added a second bird, we had a serious (12+ / 0-)

            discussion about numbers.  We wanted to make sure that our bird(s) had enough attention, so we agreed two was it.  I had seen enough articles in the bird magazines about people who 10, 15, 20 birds - not breeders, just people with that many birds - and it didn't seem like a good situation.

            •  I had to do this also (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, kishik, Christin, lineatus, tgypsy

              I am owned by two parrots-a military macaw and an african gray.  Both beautiful boys and very interactive (with me and my spouse).  A friend of mine a while back was looking for a home for a blue and gold (that her landlady was evicting for noise reasons) and it was so hard to say no!  But two big birds are definitely my limit.

              One thing I have learned about grays-they can definitely become one person birds.  My gray preens me and bites my spouse, even though we share the feeding and cleaning duties.  So that is something else to be aware of, parrots can become jealous of one's mate.

              One needs a high tolerance for mess, noise, distraction, destruction and love to have a parrot.  One also needs to find a good bird vet, which is not always easy; we drive 60 miles each way to ours.

              The funniest thing is when the macaw yells - usually 7:10 am, like clockwork-the gray leans over towards him and says Inca, shutup.

              Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

              by barbwires on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:10:14 PM PST

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        •  ahhhh... (12+ / 0-)

          ask one of my friends about this.  Again, a rescue (she bred lovebirds and cockatiels for some time at one point... then before she knew it, she was winding up being almost like a rescue.  This is dangerous.  So I just want you to know!!).

          If I call her, I will always here her cockatoo in the background.  She needs someone around constantly.

          All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

          by kishik on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:42:52 AM PST

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    •  yes... (9+ / 0-)

      :(  

      So many are captured by the absolute beauty they present.  And babies are babies!  When they are young, they're so cute and love to be held (if they were handfed).  Then they grow up, and become loud and sometimes think you're their mate!  Then they get louder!

      People really do need to research carefully before bringing a parrot home - they require much more care than most other pets.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:50:40 AM PST

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      •  A related problem is that people lavish attention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kishik

        on a bird (especially a baby) when it first comes home, but then they settle back into their typical household routine and spend less time with the bird.  The bird doesn't understand that it was just fascination with something new on the humans' part, and thinks that it's being ostracized.  As hard as it is, it's good to try not to overdo it at the start and give the bird what will be its normal level of attention.  

        •  the worst is... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lineatus

          places that sell birds that are not yet weaned... with the idea that the new human continue handfeeding so the bird will bond with them.

          :(

          All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

          by kishik on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:56:19 PM PST

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          •  We finished Harlan's handfeeding, but he was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kishik

            close to weaning when he came home with us, and I spent three weeks visiting during feeding time to make sure I could do it properly. We didn't make a big fuss over mealtime, so it didn't result in a drop-off of attention once he was done.  The guy I got him from gave me a good, realistic timetable for weaning him, and said that if we had any problems Harlan could come back to be weaned under his care.  (No problems.)

            He also explained that it was important not to let it drag out too long.  There was a woman he birdsat for sometimes who continued to handfeed her bird for 12 years (!!) because "he just seems to like it so much better".  

            As with so many other elements of living with parrots, it's something that can be good or bad - the most important thing is knowing what's involved.

            •  but lineatus... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lineatus

              you are bird experienced.  Most sold to this way are not.

              :(

              Okay - so one thing I do do, not handfeed, but DO continue to give all my flock warm mush fed by spoon.  I found it's the best way for me to administer meds if needed (in food if possible with the least amount of stress on the bird)  The mush is made up of pellets softened by carrot juice or carrot puree.  

              All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

              by kishik on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:00:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's why I pointed out that I got instruction (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kishik

                Any place that just turns people loose with a baby to feed oughta be shut down.

                Both Amelia and Kodachrome loved warm mush variations.  (Kodachrome would walk across the floor and up my bathrobe to get at oatmeal - pretty impressive considering what a homebody she was.)  For some reason, Harlan isn't that interested in mush, and we've tried a few different things.  He is not nearly the foodie that those two were - don't know if that's a Grey thing, or a male thing (did the females see it as being fed by their mate?) or just a Harlan thing?  My data set is small.

                •  feeding.. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lineatus

                  goes both ways.  My pair of GCCs feed each other in the season.

                  Maybe it's a Grey thing??  does he like warm pasta? or other people food?  '

                  Mine get their version of people food (various pasta/seed/grain mixes) and also I'll always have a batch of bird bread in the freezer that takes easy warming up.

                  All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

                  by kishik on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:05:28 PM PST

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                  •  He is a picky eater; occasionally gets interested (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kishik

                    in a new food, but a week later he doesn't like it again.  Part of it may be age.  Who knows?  I keep trying things.

                    •  heh... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lineatus

                      sounds like a serious plan to keep you on your toes.  ;-)

                      That Harlan certainly is smart!

                      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

                      by kishik on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:49:02 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

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