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Thread: Anyone want to talk birds?

  1. #1
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Wink Anyone want to talk birds?

    I am considering getting a larger bird, Moluccan cockatoo. I know it is a big commitment. Years ago I looked at it also and ended up getting two parakeets that we really enjoy. They are a lot of fun as is the lap dog that I also got some yrs later. I am still interested in a parrot and after some research and talking to "bird" people came to the conclusion of possibly getting a cockatoo, in particular a Mollucan or Sulfur crested one. I like African Greys a lot but feel because of my family it is not the right bird or we are not the right family for an African grey. I also wonder how a small dog and a large parrot would work out. Any bird owners out there with stories to share?
    Anna Quilts

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I have a African Grey male. He loves to tease the dogs. He used to pull the hair on the poodle's head when she got close to the cage. She passed on and now he picks on the chihuahua. He gets on the floor and stand in front of the dog door and won't let Paco inside. He also hollers at the dog to shut up, mimics the dog whining, and will bark like them and then say "Shut up". The chihuahua knows who is the boss!

  3. #3
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I had 2 of the sweetest parakeets but sadly lost them both within a 3 week span. They hated it when I wanted to take a nap on the couch and you would think I had the Tabernacle Choir in my living room. There were my only pets and I live alone so they were company to me!!

  4. #4
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Pat M your African Grey sounds so typical African Grey. LOL My dog is small too, 7 lb or so.
    Anna Quilts

  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Nanamoms that is so sad to hear. It sounds like it might have been something contagious. We have had our male for a long time and lost two females over the yrs. My DS, who loves birds, go to pick the last new "female" but picked an adorable very young budgy that turned out to be a male. He is doing well and the guys get along great. I have heard two females together do not work but two males do. If you get new budgies besure to bleach the cage and wash it off real well and let it dry in the sun. I knew of one family that lost a canary and then got a new one after standard regular cleaning and the next canary died too. I really like budgies. Did yours sit with you and come out of the cage? All but one of our parakeets, first female, were nice.
    Anna Quilts

  6. #6
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Eons ago I had a green parrot. The pet shop said he knew a few words..(hello, bye, and hey) I can't remember the rest. He was a great friend, he loved peanuts and french fries as a rare snack.
    But, anyways, he grew attached to me. And every time I laid down to sleep.he would start saying..........Robin, Robin, Robin.....until I answered him......LOL His name was Buddy, he died of a broken heart. We had my sister in law (when I was married to my 1 st husband) watch him while we went to Mississippi to help out my Mother in law for a few weeks.
    We told my SIL to let him out of his cage and he would sit on his perch and look out the window. She never let him out, he died while we were out of town. When we called to see how he was doing she said he was fine.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Oh no Chasing Hawk that is the saddest story. Fortunately I have a wonderful friend that owns multiple parrots and would watch mine if I were out of town. This would be once a yr and Belinda would definitely handle the bird.
    Anna Quilts

  8. #8
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    Nanamoms that is so sad to hear. It sounds like it might have been something contagious. We have had our male for a long time and lost two females over the yrs. My DS, who loves birds, go to pick the last new "female" but picked an adorable very young budgy that turned out to be a male. He is doing well and the guys get along great. I have heard two females together do not work but two males do. If you get new budgies besure to bleach the cage and wash it off real well and let it dry in the sun. I knew of one family that lost a canary and then got a new one after standard regular cleaning and the next canary died too. I really like budgies. Did yours sit with you and come out of the cage? All but one of our parakeets, first female, were nice.
    I actually ended up putting the cage and accessories in the trash. One of the budgies was a birthday gift from my best friend and I bought the other for company...a male and female. They were so funny. He would try to get next to her and she would knocked him off the perch. I think they did "kiss" a lot though. I could never get them to sit on my finger. I read that it's harder when you have 2 as they keep each other company. My 6yo grandson could get them to sit on his finger though! The female died first and then the male.

    My youngest son had parakeets when he was younger. He LOVED them. They would figure out how to open their cage door and get out and fly around the house.

    If I end up getting another one, I'll probably just get one at first

  9. #9
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    I have an amazon parrot who I just love. He is a joy and does require time and effort to take care of. But is well worth it. I would suggest getting to know any bird prior to purchasing. I've heard cockatoos are very friendly. Good luck and lest us know what you decide.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I had a cockatiel - female, I taught her lots of words and phrases and she would rearrange the words and phrases. I had her for about 5 years. Bird store owner told me the chance of getting a female to talk was about 5%. I bought another and she talked some when I first got her but won't anymore. She doesn't whistle either. I guess I don't spend enough time with her. I have a small cage I take her outside in when it is warm. She loves it and makes noises, the wild birds don't pay her any mind.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Lois-nounoe's Avatar
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    I just lost an Amazon that I had for 35 yr. He was suppose to be 3 when I got him but could have been older. I sure miss him. He did talk for many years than just decided (like a child) to only say what he wanted and to get my or hubby's attention. If he called my name and I didn't answer he would call my hubby's. He was really funny with our cats and I miss him a lot. Now I have a smaller parrot that I inherited from my hubby's nephew. A white crowned Pianus.Nice little bird but he has a thing against women. After many years I finally got him not to try to bite when I feed him. After ten yrs you would think he would trust me by now. But the house cats love him and (though I can't let him out of his cage cause I can't trust him not to come and bite me) they pat him at the cage wires and sit with him a lot. My Amazon always had the freedom of in or out unless we would be gone overnight and many a time we would hear him climb down the cage and walk into the bedroom at night while we watched tv. He would visit and cuddle for a bit and then I would put him back on his cage. After more then half my lifetime I sure do miss him.

  12. #12
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Before he succumbed to Avian Flu.My cockatoo-Baby loved his 4 legged friends- He would have coffee and toast with me (that was before I knew coffee was bad for a bird), then him and the dogs (1 dauschund, 1 poodle who thought he was a dauschund...LOL) would follow me all over the house. When I sat down the dogs would be at my feet and the bird would come up and perch on my shoulder. Just like any other fur babies or feather babies-they just need to know each other is not going to kill the other and trust will evolve ... Just remember BIG birds need wood to chew on as in the wild they chew on the trees to help their beak. Patience and love are just part of the world to come when owning a feathered baby, as well as keeping them clean and thier area clean. Be sure you have the time to spend with them.
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    A few years ago we had a BlueGold McCaw, an African Gray and a poodle and they got along fine. The two bird cages sat side by side and talked to each other but we never let them out of their cages at the same time. They teased the dog but they all got along fine.
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    I,ve had sulfur crest cocketoo. he needed alot of attention or he'd scream(LOUDLY) and he out did the TV. He talked and swore. I had dogs he'd chase the dogs. After many ,many years I call the parrot club and they would put him on a adoption list. They said they already had 7 of them on the list. But my Cookie, found a home quickly. The gentlemen who adopted him had a huge bird room. and most of the birds where not in a caGE UNLESS THEY WANTED TO. Look up a Parrot Club in your area and go to their meetings lots of help given. Just my opinion, Good luck

  15. #15
    Senior Member jarenie's Avatar
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    I have a South American Blue Tip Parrot. He an my husband had a great time. I also have a Mini Doxie who barkes at the bird to try to get him to throw a peanut. When the bird has had enough of the barking, he swings his door out and poops on the dog. If I could only get a video of that. They have been nose to nose and there have been monents that I thought my dog would get a bite, but no they just go nose to nose and then on their way. As my husband pased about a year ago the big bird will have nothing to do with me. The bird man that I have been talking to says it will just take time as the bird and my husband had bonded. The big bird is still a lot of fun to watch. When we have birds dring out of our swimming pool the big bird will yell and the dogs go running out barking and off go the birds.

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    jarenie I am in stiches about your poop on doggies bird. Too funny!!!!
    Anna Quilts

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    Super Member JoyjoyMarie's Avatar
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    My bro and SIL have an African grey and he is a hoot! They have two dogs also and they all seem to get along fine. SIL has the bird trained to play dead - so funny- and he does these crazy monologues totally imitating my brothers voice and other people talking. It is all very cool there.

    I haven't had any birds since I was a child. Our two cats both passed this year, and we are really "empty nesters" now. It's been a bit of a relief, since the one required soo much special care in his last years, but we may get more later, after we've had a touch of freedom for a while. Pets are so much fun and add so much to the family.
    KEEP CALM and CARRY ON!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cheryl's Avatar
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    Hi Anna, I have an umbrella cockatoo, she is 15yrs young. She was given to me as the lady really didn't have enough time to spend with her as much as she use to . Because her children were active in sports, and other activities and also when her son would try and study the bird would go into her LOUD SCREAMING and also when her husband came home from work after working all night and trying to sleep she would be so noisy that he was getting upset with it. I never had a big bird like this and when I went to get her all I could think of is she going to bite me or not take to me etc. Well she took right to me and I LOVE Allie so much. But the thing is with these kind of parrots is their very high decimal pitch of hollering or noises they make and also the Moluccan cockatoo has a much greater piercing voice. You have to think are you going to be able to stand this and will this interrupt things with your family living. These are one of the first birds that people try to find someone to take . My friend has a double yellow head amazon and he is just a wonderful bird he talks and his voice isn't like the cockatoos. She got him when he wasn't quite a yr. old and he is just soooo funny. So Please really check out about if you really think the cockatoos are the right bird for you and your family. They Require ALOT of attention from their owners. But I just really love mine yes sometimes she really gets my nerves on edge .LOL

  19. #19
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Budggies are great birds. My Macy would play hide and seek with me peek a boo and showered with me every morning. He would stay on my head in the shower and do his thing while i did mine and when we finished he would sit on the edge of the mirror and prean and talk to himself. He was so smart.

    I caught Macy in a parking lot of a mall that is right next to a kiddie amusement park where they had birds to use as entertainment. This little guy forunatly escaped. He was setting right under the tire of my car so I tossed my sweatshirt over him and carried him home in my lap. He was with me for twelve years. A great friend.

    The one thing you must consider seriously when taking on this kind of commitment is it will be a life time campanion. Parrots are very long lived so you must really be commited to it's care and protection for a lifetime.

    They become very attached to people and routine is real important too. You can't just have a neighbor care for them if you take a vacation. They can get depressed if denied their loved ones.They are a lot of work. It it not just seeds and water and cleaning a cage. Parrots require a lot of attention and mental stimulation. They should not be allowed to languish in a cage by themselves all day while the household is at work and school and busy.

    I have seen this happen and have cared for several birds that unknowingly were negected. When you think you are giving a parrot enough attention you are only at the edge of what they truely require.

    If you are serious about getting a parrot PLEASE try to get a rescue bird and NOT one from any pet store. Do some research on where these birds come from and how they are captured.

    Unless you buy a bird from someone who hand raises them from egg up to fledge, you may be participating in a very cruel trade in animals.

    Please do your homework on this. Parrots can be wonderful companions if done right.
    peace
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  20. #20
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    We had a Goffin Cockatoo. He was a riot. It's like having a small child in the house. He was a rescue and had been ignored, so he would pull his feathers out. We paid a lot of attention to him and he got better about it. He would sit on top of the roof and throw rocks at us if he was feeling ignored. We had a large dog and the dog knew who was boss. The cats just left the room if he was out. My DH taught him to play toss with wads of paper. He would mumble things to himself, but didn't really talk much. He would call my daughter in DH's voice. When we both started teaching he went to live with a retired teacher, because she could be with him more. She rubs him with herbs to keep him from pulling his feathers.

  21. #21
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I am looking at a rehome but eventhough I think it is great to try rescue birds, dogs etc. I definitely do not think it is for everyone especially if it is your first parrot. I am nervous if I am ready enough. We have a large family and I have lots of experience with people that are "rescue" so my kids are super excited about adopting a bird. Sometimes helping people or animals that come from hard circumstances can hurt the people in the family. Not everything can be fixed. I wish people would think more then twice before they would get a bird because so many are in need missing basic care. Our rehome is not from neglect. There will be enough of an adjustment I am sure but it will help one bird and will give one family the joy of owning a bird.
    Anna Quilts

  22. #22
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I love all the bird stories. We already have two budgies and I think they are the best too ube quilting.
    Anna Quilts

  23. #23
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    I am considering getting a larger bird, Moluccan cockatoo. I know it is a big commitment. Years ago I looked at it also and ended up getting two parakeets that we really enjoy. They are a lot of fun as is the lap dog that I also got some yrs later. I am still interested in a parrot and after some research and talking to "bird" people came to the conclusion of possibly getting a cockatoo, in particular a Mollucan or Sulfur crested one. I like African Greys a lot but feel because of my family it is not the right bird or we are not the right family for an African grey. I also wonder how a small dog and a large parrot would work out. Any bird owners out there with stories to share?
    I have 3 large parrots & 2 toy poodles. I had more poodles (8 total), but they have passed away, from old age, since we got the parrots. My parrots are all now 13 years old. 2 came from pet stores (African Grey & Umbrella Cockatoo). The 3rd parrot (Blue & Gold Macaw) was a rehome/rescue. You would not believe the condition she was in or the terrible life she had & she was only 2 when I got her. There are many sad stories about parrots. My dogs soon learned those big beaks bite, so they keep their distance. My dogs were also taught to let the parrots alone, ie, do not chase them, etc.

    A large parrot requires a large very sturdy cage (stainless steel is best if you can afford it) & lots of chewable toys. A playgym would be a good idea for a "away from cage exercise area". However many can & do climb or jump off them. They must be left out of the cage daily to exercise. Large parrots have LOUD voices, so expect LOUD high pitched screaming, which can be heard a few blocks or more away. Each sound/scream they make is for a reason. If you watch them you cna learn what sound they associate things to. Many parrot owners make the mistake of telling/yelling at them to shut-up, which just makes them scream more to get the added attention. They are sort of like a 2 year old child that never grows up.

    Moluccan Toos are big chewers, so do expect damaged furniture, cupboards, etc. If you do decide on a M2 or other large parrot, visit a local lumbar yard, Lowe's, etc that has untreated pine & ask for scraps. Many toss them out & you can make cheap toys for your bird from them. Take note a M2 can destroy a $50.00 toy in a day. My U2 took the lock apart on her cage while I was at work. Yep she managed to unscrew the nuts/bolts/screws & got out. She did major damage to my sofa, TV cable, drapes, wall decorations. Came home to find her sitting on top of her cage just as happy as could be. We now padlock her in.

    Large parrots also require more than a seed mix & pellets for diet. They should have some veggies & fruits daily, as well as nuts. I buy all my nuts (raw in shell) off the internet as it's much cheaper to buy in bulk. We store all foods (seed mix & nuts) in gallon glass jars. I got the jars at a local Italian restaurant. I place 2 layers of wax paper on the jar & screw the lid down tight. This keeps the food fresh for a good 1.5 years in our basement. If your basement is not cool then you can store food in the freezer for up to 2 years. Also note that large parrots waste a lot of food. It's in their nature to reseed the Earth, so they toss/waste a lot of food.

    Then you have the dust factor. Cockatoos are "powder" birds. They make powder to coat their feathers. This powder can not just be sucked up in the cleaner, as it's sort of oil based. It sticks to everything & must be wiped up. Cleaning soon becomes a dreaded chore once you own a cockatoo. They should be showered at least once per week. I use a table perch in the tub to shower the U2 & Grey. My macaw loves showers & plays for a good 20 minutes before she's ready to get out.

    Large parrots tend to chose 1 person as their mate, so do not expect a large parrot to be a "family bird" & like everyone. Large parrots can also sense your adrenal levels & with kids in the house it will cause the bird to be more active/scream/etc. The M2 & U2 have what is called "3 point beaks" the lower beak has 2 points, which can land a nasty cut if bitten.

    As another poster stated...you just can't let them with a neighbor & go on vacation. If you do you may come home to a bald bird. They will rip out their feathers or even go as far as to chew a hole in their chest. Not all will do this, but many will. They bond to you as a mate & when their "mate" leaves they become stresses/depressed. Also vvet bills are not cheap when it comes to parrots. One visit can cost a few hundred to several hundred, depending on the illiness.

    M2's & U2's can live into thier 60's or 70's. That's a long time, so you need to consider what will happen to the bird down the road. Cost is a major factor as parrot foods keep going up in price & most are not cheap. Feeding a large parrot is nothing like feeding parakeets.

    Of my 3 parrots if I had to chose one it would be my Blue & Gold Macaw. She is less "needy". She doesn't make the massive powder that my U2 & African Gery does, so cleaning would be so much easier. She entertains herself & even invents games to play. She is fun loving & very forgiving. She loves to be in the middle of everything I do...dishes, baking, cleaning, weeding, etc. She is a good talker, but note that not all large parrots talk & if they do not all talk well.

    At 13 years (all 3 are same age within 6 months of each other) we are now to the point they have damaged their cages (chewed the paint off/broken welds/feet no longer roll/etc.) so we will need to buy new cages. Stainless steel cages for 3 large parrots will set us back major, but they should be the last cages we have to buy.

    Don't get me wrong, large parrots are awesome, but they are also a ton of expense & work. This is why so many end up in rescues, stuck in garages, abused, etc. They are highly intelligent. You can teach them many things, including hand signals. They do not come knowing how to step up/down/talk/etc. You must teach them & they are nothing like a dog. You can not teach parrot "No". No to a parrot means try later, lol. They should be included in daily activities to keep them busy & wear off energy. They busier you keep them the less they are apt to become a screamer. So play games, involve them in what you are doing, etc.

    I would highly suggest you locate a rescue & visit several times before deciding on a large parrot. Go on line & research the species you are interested in before you make the choice. Once you get the bird home give it a few days to settle in. Then take it for a walk thru your home. Explain things it sees, furniture, frig, door, etc. Touch things so the bird knows they are safe. Let the bird touch them. Birds see things different than we do. Never under estimate their intelligence.

    Best wishes

  24. #24
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Thank you for your post feahter3. Wow I will have to reread it several times to take in all the information.
    Anna Quilts

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    My husband and I had an umbrella crested cockatoo (Maui) for several years before we had children. Maui was fun, messy but fun. I had to clean under her cage daily. Usually when I got home from work I would let her out and go about what I needed to do. Most people liked her, but there are some people, such as my mother who did not like birds in the house, so then she would have to stay in her cage. Maui had few demands like if you ate a banana, you better share or she would yell at you. The same with grapes. If she was out of the cage, she gave you an opportunity to share, but if you ignored her, before they were all gone she would steal a grape, then glare at you as she ate it.

    Before our first daughter was born my husband had her sitting on his chest, she would rub her head against his chin if he needed a shave, then one night she threw up on his chest and we were both shocked, I ran to get the bird book and started laughing, my DH was not amused when he said, okay what's wrong? Nothing, she was trying to feed you.... She never did it again, but we think it was because her feelings were hurt from his reaction.

    When we had our first child Maui was fine. She was very good with her, then 3 years later we had our second daughter and Maui was not happy. She would get on the edge of the playpen then hiss and threaten her. So I could only let Maui out of the cage when the baby was asleep or not home. After a few months my sister said she would take Maui - actually she wanted my daughter but we felt it was better that she take the bird. It is our understanding she now resides at a bird farm making babies with her mate, Jack.

    My sister thought Maui was lonely so got her a mate because out of the blue she started laying eggs. Once she had a mate she quit being a pet. So my sister traded Maui to a bird farm for an Amazon Parrot.

    We have never gotten another bird, for some strange reason my youngest doesn't like birds in the house either.

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