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Old 10-11-03, 08:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ya i have a cockatiel, it only screams if it has no food or water, they are messy eaters, seeds everywhere, if u get a female she will lay eggs through the year,
Ours never screamed, but called. Never noticed them being anymore messy than our budgies and doves. And I've only had my female lay an egg once when I first got her. Never another all the three years I've had her.

Still vote for cockatiels if it's your first bird. Better to leave bigger pirds (parrots, cockatoos etc) after you've had some bird experience. Although I've heard that parrotlets are everything like a parrot sans the bad parts.
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Old 10-11-03, 08:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My girlfriend and I are getting some Button Quails. They stay small and seem really neat.
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Old 10-11-03, 08:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'd like an African Grey parrot. They are not too big and they are supposed to be easy to teach to speak or mimic speach rather. Cockatoos are nice, yeah I used to watch Baretta. The amazon parrots that I've seen are often nasty even though they are beautiful .
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Old 10-11-03, 10:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Reptile - African greys are really good birds....but need alot of time....and by the sounds of it hes looking for something that needs less time than a grey. Yes they are very good talkers though
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Old 10-11-03, 10:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sorry, I was just wishing here lol
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Old 10-12-03, 04:30 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I would have to put my vote clearly on Timneh Greys. I have had a number of birds, (cockatiels, budgies, maroon- bellied conures, eastern rosellas) over the years and I found it it really doesn't matter what you go with, the care level is going to be the same regardless. You still have to clean cages, prep food, change water and give them quality human interaction time. The key is never buy the bird on the first trip out. Go back and check it out regularly and note your intentions that you plan on buying a specific animal. Then it is best to visit the bird as often as you can so that it will come recognize you and trust you.

When we got our Timneh, from the time that the decision to buy to the time he was actually brought home was almost three months. During that time regular visits were made and a small in-store class was attended for 6 weeks. During this class session, everything from housing, to feeding, suitable toys, dealing with injuries, hygiene, and human interaction were all discussed.
At first I found this approach of "you must take the course before you take the bird" to be just a little anal as I had kept birds before. But in retrospect I feel that it was the best thing we could have done to improve the knowledge base and has paid off in spades ever since. This was through a small petstore here in Ottawa that actually cares about where there birds are going. If you have the chance to attend such a class it is definitely worth while. You may also want to check with your local bird clubs for some sort of program along thses lines. For those in Ottawa, I will give the store a shameless is Critter Jungle in the Hampton Park Plaza...thanks Jeff and Colleen, I couldn't have asked for a better experience

Stay away from the chain petstores..I have found that their only motivating factor is a quick sell, and I don't care who is supposed to be the "bird expert", anyone who gets minimum wage and is motivated by a commission is bound to tell you anything you want to hear. Did that person go the extra mile to get the fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis? Did that person spend additional time (not paid) caring for babies? Did that person clearly make themselves available after store hours to assist in making your new ownership more rewarding? At minimum wage..... not likely.

Just like in any other department in a chain store they are bound to operational budgets and the animals will only get the minimum care to maintain the bottom line.

Agreed birds Macaws and Cockatoos are beautiful animals but both require a high level of human attention and can become a problem down stream if not given that quality human time.

My guy has been with us for two years now and is so well adjusted because of the approach we took to the buying/education process. We can safely leave him alone all day long and he will play with his toys, look out the window and whistle at anyone who goes by, chow down on goodies. He has a strong vocabulary and can respond to given situations. He is fully flighted and can clearly manouver around. Frankly he never goes in his cage anymore expect to get some water and dry food. Otherwise he has his favourite spots and does not destroy anything. Some may consider this to be irresponsible, we don't as he is so well adjusted and understands the whole mom/dad away from work, home from work routine..

All I have to do is say "Gotta go to work Buddy" and Buddy the timneh will fly to his cage and settle in for the day. Some days he reminds me "Daaaddddyy, Gotta go to work...gotta go to work,... NOW!" If he is hungry.."supper? supper?" or If he is thirsty.... water? water?...and of course your Timneh grey experience would not be complete without the bird rummaging around in your plate at supper time..

He has his moments, but that will be the same with any bird. Vocal in the morning and early evening, sometimes the incessant vocalization, sometimes the attitude...but it all comes down to the total package of owning a bird. Once adjusted though you won't find a more entertaining friend to join the family..

Hope this helps

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Old 10-12-03, 06:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks to all of you for the great input. We've decided to put it off for at least another year. We want to wait until we move to a new house with central heating and air. The temp fluctuations in this place are too big. The other problem is finding a source for our new bird. I would prefer to buy one the same way I buy my snakes, from a breeder.
Thanks all,
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Old 10-12-03, 08:53 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Wait I just wanted to make it clear that there is a world of difference between Timmeh grey's and Congo grey's (the most common).
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Old 10-12-03, 09:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I don't own birds as pets but I help maintain three different species at the zoo.
1.Macaws. God no. But you probably already no that so I won't elaborate. :-P

2. Quaker Parrot. Not terribly loud and the cute factor is definitly there. They have lots of personality. They are VERY territorial over especially over their food. I got a nipped knuckle from trying to swap old food with some fresh stuff. I think they need to keep entertained. Ours, Willie, is kept in a busy building so while he doesn't get a ton of personal attention 24/7 he does have a lot of stimulus around him.

3. European Starling. I'm not even sure if these are available in the pet trade but they are neat. They are big time mimmickers! Our always makes the phone ring and answers it with the appropriate zoo dept. name.
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Old 10-13-03, 09:02 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Tried the bird thing ...nice critters but with cats and dogs...too noisey, always yelling at the other animals from the cage....nope
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Old 10-13-03, 09:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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get chickens!!! some of them are so adorable and cuddly!
one of mine is, you can pick her up and scratch her head and she makes little cooing noises!!
plus you get yummy eggs!
they dont need alot of attention! just a clean yard, food and shelter!
its becoming one of my new obsessions!
i think they are highly underated! lol
but you probably dont want chickens... i consider them pets though!
i dont keep any other birds...... so i cant give any other opinions!

keep chickens........... chickens..... :: waves hands in attempt to hypnotize::

lol @ nolagurl!! thats so cute!! i can just immagine that! aaaw! i want one!
oh yes! i may be wierd... but this wierdo comes with new, improved Live Journal action!

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Old 10-13-03, 11:30 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I totally discounted my old pet birds in the past when I replied to this, mainly because they weren't really pets other than the pigeon. None of them were intended, but I have ended up handraising 100+ starlings over the years I used to board my horses out at this one place, as well as one pigeon (I didn't know what the hell it was at the time, my horse just found this pink thing on the ground). The starlings are hilarious birds to have around, every morning as adults they were all there at the window wanting food. These are not legal to keep as pets due to the fact that they are a native species. Pigeons make good pets, but they require a lot of space and attention.
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Old 10-13-03, 11:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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We keep an umberella cockatoo for about 2-1/2 years now and have found that they need to be kept occupied with toys and things in there cage to keep their attention, we leave the tv on for him when we are gone, Dont know if this does anything for him or not? Buy more important is a schedule.
If work schedules change then so does his time out with us and he does not handle the change very well at first usually takes a couple of weeks for him to accept the changes.
He also gets check ups at the vets every 6 months and at the same time gets his wings clipped and nails trimmed.
It is important for the vet to do these, as it is very traumatizing for the bird and is better he hate the vet then you. LOL
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Old 10-13-03, 12:31 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Currently I only keep 1 budgie, 1 conure and 1 hahn's macaw.

I wouldn't encourage any 'new bird keeper' to get an African Grey. Particularly ones who are practically never home. Yes certain care aspects are similar with all birds, cleaning the cage, feeding, some time. But parrot types require more time either way as well as more attention to their emotional needs and mental requirements. Their cages and toys alone cost a fortune, and don't always last long... my macaw has ruined a couple toys within two seconds of them passing by him. They're far louder then a budgie, and you need fairly tolerant neighbors. (This being parrot types, Grey's may be fairly simmered down for a parrot..)
Due to their intelligence, they are aware of their surroundings more so then a canary would be. Any changes can effect them negatively or positively, they may not like where you moved the couch and begin plucking to show this to you. Or acting as if they are afraid due to this... I work with rescues as well.
Besides, if you are new on the topic of birds, why buy something that will more than likely out live you? You may end up not even liking birds and most birds have a pretty darn long life span. Even a budgie can like 15+ years, and I know 27 year old cockatiels. In the bird world, that's "short" but to us, that's one darn long responsibility.
The bigger the bird, generally the longer the life span, is he ready for that? The more 'intelligent' the species, the more like a child it acts. Depending on how well he knows his training will be whether he has a spoilt toddler or a well behaved one. E.G My conure I spoilt beyond reason, and he acts like a cheeky, moody 2.5 year old. My macaw is very well behaved and is fairly independent, acting like a well brought up 6 year old. Heck he even knows to take his Nutriberries inside his cage and eat them there rather then making a mess outside his cage. He's a very good boy...and so far he doesn't throw his fruits and veggies around the room or fill his water dish with them like the conure does.

Everyone will share different experiences about any species of bird of course.
Though General Truths.
Cockatoo's are loud and co-dependant: A definite no no for any first time bird buyer. And should be utterly ruled out for anyone except the most insane bird nut who is ready to dedicate their lives to this beautiful bird. I work with two mollucans...big, huge, loud, pink birds LOL. Though the two have totally different personalities, Cloe is pretty quiet for a cockatoo most of the day...Romeo is loud, highly energetic, and is the one who may bite a stranger if they go towards him the wrong way. But then, we believe he was beaten in his previous home. So I won't blame him for this behavior, I just hope it can be worked out of him. Oh, these are also dust bunny birds, if you have asthma, don't even go near one.

Macaws: Can be just as loud as the cockatoo's, but are generally less frequent. But this all depends on the house they were raised in, and what they have to occupy themselves with. More colorful, not dusty, and if you don't let them learn their beak can be used to get what they want...they generally don't use it. Hyacinth macaws btw, are one of the least 'aggressive' of all macaws, they are generally gentle giants. If you don't have tolerant neighbors, this is a no. If you don't have the time to spend around this bird, a no. I may not spend all my time with mine, but I do talk to him throughout the day whenever I walk by his room. He quite likes this and enjoys saying "Hello..." "Goodbye" every time I pass the door.
They are less needy then the cockatoo and not nearly as "velcro-ish". They like to play games like minor wrestling, tug-o-war, peek-a-boo, etc.
But, both of these are big birds and have an instinct within them that causes them to destroy things. If you don't give them things to rip up, they'll find things, and this isn't always a good thing.

Greys....don't even go there unless you've studied them. You need to be a certain kind of person to be able to have a grey. These are wonderful birds and I know a few of them along with their keepers who are relaxed people who pay attention to detail. They aren't good in high strung houses or people who are constantly moving. Read books on these if you ever think of one...they're mind is a horrible thing to waste, and people who just buy a bird because it may talk are morons. No offence...
Never buy a bird because of it's known capability to talk, that isn't a birds best feature. Their personality is, besides, not all greys learn to talk, while some do but refuse to speak in front of people. Not all are stage performers...

Besides, even a budgie can learn to talk for crying out loud.
And on the aspect of cockatoo's bonding to one person, they are suckers for attention and will try to get it from anyone if they can. They may over bond with one person and become protective when they are around that person. But if that person isn't there, anyone will do. It's usually in the 'partner' case where it's a problem..aka, Cockatoo bonded to Jill, but Jack came home and showed affection to Jill. Cockatoo will get jealous and try to chase Jack away.
This isn't a case only known in cockatoos, ALL parrot types are known for this (ranging from outright territorial aggression since YOU belong to THEM in their completely ignoring the person they don't like. Even my little conure gets territorial of his people. Which is sort of funny to watch since he's pretty small compared to a human being.)

Conures: Depending on family (look at the latin names) are whether it's really a bird for you or not. Pyhhura conures are the better "apartment bird" in the conure family. Not nearly as loud as an Aratinga. Sun conures are loud but beautiful, but when I say loud, I'm not joking.

Poisephalus: Your senegals, meyers, jardine's etc are "quiet" parrots. More so then the pyrhhura conures, but they do have a sharp whistle, at least I know the meyers does when it really wants your attention and you're leaving the room. Very soft to the touch, but you need to get accustomed to the senegals eyecolor. Some people don't like it...

Pionus: Now THAT is a quiet parrot, but is more of a one person bird. They have a unique smell to them when up close, but they are awesome. The Maximillian is gorgeous and I wouldn't mind one myself some day. One thing that scares people is they wheeze when nervous, but you get over that after a bit and stop rushing them to the vet every time they wheeze. They talk more in whispers mind you.

Cockatiels: Great first birds I think, carry all the traits of the larger birds, can whistle and some talk though once again, this isn't their 'selling point'. They've got quite the cute little expressions and have a 'cockatoo look' without the cockatoo down falls. Their noises aren't that loud, so anyone who complains about a cockatiels noise level really should never look into any larger of a bird. They are quite soft and the hand tamed ones are pretty nice cuddlers. One problem with them is they are prone to being over weight if you don't give them enough exercise...avoid fatty diets please.
(No french fries for birdy)
About the egg laying thing, that can be delt with.
-Don't over stimulate the female (aka, stop stroking her)
-Reduce her photo periods (uncover her later, cover her up earlier, simulate winter periods if you need to.)
-Remove any nesting box or material
-Cage separately from other birds
-Remove any mirrors and take away any toys she's been excessively preening or showing courtship behavior to.

There are other things, but in general, that works.

Budgies: Pretty good in busy homes, don't seem to mind you being away for long periods of time. Come in a variety of colors. But to keep them happy, give them numerous toys, and no, mirrors are never an necessity with any bird.

Both the cockatiel and budgie (more so the budgie) drop down feathers quite a bit. So be prepared for that if you go with them.
Cockatoo's do as well and they come out like these circular puff balls that can be pretty darn huge...

ALL birds are "messy" it's their job. Eat the prime pieces of anything and throw the rest to the forest floor for new growth and to feed all the land animals. Besides, if all you had was a beak to move things around (smaller birds) so you could get to your favorite morsels, where the heck do you think you are going to put the things you don't want to get them out of your way? If mess is a problem, get a seed guard around the cage or over the dishes and buy one of those thick pieces of plastic you put under your desk chair to help it roll. I do that with my parrot types and it makes clean up easy.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough…
I’m gone..birds need their salads anyway.
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Old 10-13-03, 03:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Jayson

It is important for the vet to do these, as it is very traumatizing for the bird and is better he hate the vet then you. LOL
Bird Whisperers come in handy for this.
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