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Old 04-11-2011, 01:57 PM  
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Birds

My daughter wants a pet, does anyone have any experience with birds?

I think it would be nice as she loves them.

Any advice/ type I should be buying?
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:41 PM  
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No bird keepers?
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:48 AM  
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I have two parrots. One is an Congo African Grey, the other is a Blue Fronted Amazon. Parrots aren't good pets for kids of any age so don't get it unless you're willing to be the one taking care of it for the next 60-80 years. They have human life-spans.

They noise is also a factor. Birds are LOUD. They aren't just loud in the way birds chirping are loud either. My CAG imitates fire alarms, my phone, car alarms, percussion noises he learns from television. If you have neighbors and they don't like your bird, they will be pissed.

Parrots require a ton of attention. Be prepared for at least 2 hours a day of actively engaging them. The amazon is a little more independent. The grey needs to hang out and do almost everything with me. He has a perch in the shower. He watches me shave, brush my teeth, get stuff done for work, likes when i read my work out loud to him. After about 6 hours of interaction I can put him back with his toys.

PARROTS WILL SELF MUTILATE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THEM OR IF THEY ARE NEGLECTED. They will rip all their feathers out. They will be emotionally damaged and impossible to re-home to anyone other than a really experienced aviary.

You MUST create a trust instrument for them to take care of them when you're dead. Make sure they are taken care of by someone who wants to take care of them. They will outlive you.

I ended up with the amazon when her original owner died from cancer and she had nowhere else to go. I ended up with the CAG because a young kid owned him and decided living in an apartment with his friends was more important than his bird.

If you take in a bird make sure you are ready to provide a "forever home". This means you needs to be ready to pay for an avian vet (they're expensive). They need a GIANT cage. You can't keep them in a travel cage or they'll self mutilate. Be prepared to spend 200-300 dollars on a decent cage and another 20-40$ on toys you need to circulate to keep them stimulated. You need to feed them special food (not just bird seed). Harrison's birdfood is a good brand because it comes in pellet form and is reinforced with calcium (if they lack it they die) and vitamin A (if they lack it their beeks get all flakey). You need to cut up some food once a week to toss in there too (fruits, veggies, etc...).

They typically bond to ONE PERSON and they will hate or tolerate everyone else. You can mitigate this problem by socializing them, but even then there is a good chance your bird will bite the ever loving **** out of someone trying to handle them who isn't "their person". This could be you, or your wife, or someone else in the house. If your daughter becomes their person, and you hug your daughter, the bird might just take flight for your face.

Flighted birds are generally agile and in good shape. Some people are vehemently against wing clipping, but when you bring a new bird into your house to avoid it smacking into all your windows you might want to clip it's wings until it adjusts. They're prey creatures in the wild, so if something startles them they will be gone with a quickness. This is more of a personal preference though.

That said - parrots are really cool friends. They're really loving and cuddly. They're a **** load of work, but they can be good companions. They are not pets for kids though and they aren't pets period for most people due to the amount of time required. I would not recommend them as a pet for a kid.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:12 PM  
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Don't buy your kid a bird, take your kid to the zoo.
Or better, visit an animal shelter and show them all the abandoned and miserable pets other kids got sick of - there are tons of birds in shelters that really need attention.

if you really really really really think your child can not survive living without a bird, buy two parakeets or lovebirds that will keep each other company so that when your kid gets bored they won't suffer neglect.

Owning a pet is like having a child. If you don't feed it every day, take care of it, give it fresh water, pay attention to it, give it exercise, it will die or go insane, or become developmentally retarded.
It's good to teach children how to be responsible, but your daughter is probably going to grow up and move out if you're lucky, and how long is that pet going to be around and who is going to take care of it then?

Doves are a great bird if you've never owned a bird before.
I mean they still crap constantly, make noise, unleash tons of fluffy feather bits and allergens into your home, need attention and care and costs a fortune to take to the vet, but hey...
At least they don't rip the feathers and skin off their own bodies and bleed to death when they get bored.

Yes, anyone with experience with birds will probably tell you that you don't *really* want to buy a bird.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:25 PM  
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Fillergirl makes a really good point. They are like children. Imagine having a three year old forever. A three year old with a beak that chews the base molding around your walls and takes the buttons off all your dress shirts and your suit.

If you really want a bird for yourself you should go to a Rescue. They have TONS of birds. Remember not to go in thinking you want a particular bird. Let one of them pick you out. My CAG ran up to me and loved on me immediately.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:48 PM  
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Thank gawd you two are here to help him. I'd have told him to grab a smart Grey but no more.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:35 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fillergirl View Post
Don't buy your kid a bird, take your kid to the zoo.
Or better, visit an animal shelter and show them all the abandoned and miserable pets other kids got sick of - there are tons of birds in shelters that really need attention.

if you really really really really think your child can not survive living without a bird, buy two parakeets or lovebirds that will keep each other company so that when your kid gets bored they won't suffer neglect.

Owning a pet is like having a child. If you don't feed it every day, take care of it, give it fresh water, pay attention to it, give it exercise, it will die or go insane, or become developmentally retarded.
It's good to teach children how to be responsible, but your daughter is probably going to grow up and move out if you're lucky, and how long is that pet going to be around and who is going to take care of it then?

Doves are a great bird if you've never owned a bird before.
I mean they still crap constantly, make noise, unleash tons of fluffy feather bits and allergens into your home, need attention and care and costs a fortune to take to the vet, but hey...
At least they don't rip the feathers and skin off their own bodies and bleed to death when they get bored.

Yes, anyone with experience with birds will probably tell you that you don't *really* want to buy a bird.
I'll call to see if my shelter has any birds.

I don't know if I want one, you guys kind of convinced me not to go that direction.

My wife brought home her dog that we had to leave with her parents when we were in an apartment. so I think she's happy for now.

Parrots go crazy? It makes sense, I just never thought of it before.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:22 AM  
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I have had a few birds.

Congo African Gray
Love Bird
Blue and Gold Macaw
cockatial
Senagal Parrot

They are a world of work and like the others said can be very demanding. If you want an exotic pet get a lizard. I lost all my birds $5k worth to a girlfriend we purchased them together and when we were coming to an end she flipped out and killed them all off.

Stick to a cat, dog, gerbial, mouse, rat for kids pets. Hell get a chinchilla they are super cool and no bathing required just a jar of chinchilla dust is needed.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:52 AM  
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omfg. dont do it.

they are filthy. if you do not have the time to keep up with the cage EVERY DAY, dont bother.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:53 AM  
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get her something cuddly. something that doesnt need to be walked. something that can be cleaned once a week.

get her a lizard. i always liked lizards. hahaha i had an iguana once that would eat pancakes and eggs.
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