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About pruebella

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  1. OK, I won't complain if you say hello here (if anyone wants to brave it now ) Not owned by any feathered friends at the minute, but figured I'd hunt out a forum and do my research to make sure they're the pet for me. I've been slave to various critters in my time and find that the more intelligent they are, the more rewarding they are to own - but usually cause the most problems too I've had pets that need constant interaction and changes to their routine to stimulate their minds (rats), ones insistant on making as much noise as possible, the very instant you start drifting off to sleep (degus with their chirping, whistling and singing, hamsters with squeaky wheels, gerbils deciding the gnaw on something), ones with different ideas about the interior decorating and a knack for eating skirting boards and removing wallpaper (chinchillas), and those in need of constant training (dogs) so I think I've got the practise for parrots, just need to find the right time to own them! My favourite would probably be Amazons, followed by Macaws, though I was rather taken with some baby Greys I worked with and the Vasa who acted like a little kitten. I was certainly converted from "Birds? What's so good about animals that flap and poo everywhere?" to loving their hugely distinctive personalities and traits, and I'm hoping to learn more by being here
  2. I'm not exactly sure what cube breeding is but as explained in my post I would remove the floors/levels as the cage is very customisable - I certainly wouldn't house parrots in them 'as-is' as I know they need more heigth/space than a 2' tall unit. It would basically be (up to) a 9' wide, 2' deep, 4' high (excluding stand) cage with no levels/walls. If the depth wasn't enough, another option would be to make an L shaped cage, the deepest part being 4' deep x 3' wide and 4' tall, with the ajoining part being 3' wide x 2' deep x 4' high. Of course, if this space is still too small I'd look at alternatives, but I have certainly seen smaller commercial specific parrot cages
  3. Thanks. If they are free of zinc would they be suitable? I have contacted the supplier I got them from to see if they can confirm what was used to make them
  4. I currently own 3 of the Midwest 'Ferret Nation' cages for my small critters. I was looking at selling the spares, but as I'm considering parrots in the future, I wondered if the cages could be converted for use as a parrot cage. It's a modular cage, so can be enlarged if necessary - http://furetsdeparis.com/boutique/images/FerretNation-Array.jpg I own three of the two-unit cages, which are currently assembled as 2 three-unit cages. Each unit is 3' x 2' x 2', and I have also seen people who have removed the side panels and attached units side by side - meaning I could potentially have a cage of a maximum of 6' wide, 2' deep and 6' tall (though I've read parrots are best being kept at/below eyelevel so would probably leave the top off - unit could then possibly be made to be 9' wide and 4' tall max) The cages are fully flat-packed, so the floors of each unit could be removed to make one large inside area, and the bars are very sturdy and thick (pretty much the same as 'regular' parrot cages), and are 1" spaced (would potentially be for 2 Amazons, or similar sized). The doors have a locking mechanism to be ferret-proof, requiring you to pinch the two little handles towards each other at the same time. They're quite stiff so not sure a parrot could figure them out. They open fully, so access is very easy Yay or nay? Getting something else is no problem, but there's no point selling them for less than I paid if I could use them again (they're practically brand new)
  5. I'm certainly used to that - it's well-known among family/friends that my current critters eat better than I do myself (but fortunately I haven't resorted to eating my own poo!) I certainly would lean more towards a mix than a complete diet - while complete diets provide everything necessary and may be fine for grazing animals like rabbits, who would eat near enough the same thing day in day out (grass, grass and a bit more grass), I can see how it would be quite bland and boring to animals like birds who would eat a variety of things in their natural habitat. The parrots I had the pleasure of working with certainly spent plenty of time foraging through their bowls for various foods and I wouldn't want to deny them of the mental stimulation that all the different textures, flavours etc must provide
  6. A shop I used to work at sells lots of small bags of various seed/grain/fruit (varying weights starting at 500g) so it may be feasible, but I wouldn't want to risk the diet lacking vital parts if I didn't have a tried and tested 'recipe' to follow. Would have to consider the quality of the ingredients, being 'pet' stuff rather than human-grade, but at least it would allow me to control amounts of things that should be limited, or replace with human-grade things where practical. I am more than happy to try a commercial food that has been produced by someone such as David who has the needs of the animal in mind if a homemade diet is going to be too impractical or risky though What?! You mean dogs aren't really sitting in front of the TV salivating over the idea of a moist, meaty roast dinner?
  7. Thanks David. I agree with the convenience bit - having worked for several years in petshops, I often felt like I was banging my head against a wall when having to explain how unsuitable 'x' food was for a certain animal, despite it being marketed as the next best thing since sliced bread. I know lots of companies will fill their food with cheap fillers or particular favourites of the species which aren't necessary good in excess, but make the owner believe food must be good as the animal loves it (when in honest, as much as a lot of us would love to live off a diet of chocolate and icecream, it wouldn't do us a lot of good in the long run!) Nutricrunch looks good, I'll add it to my "things to look into as a potential parrot-slave" list
  8. Just doing a bit of pre-parrot research! I've owned various small furry animals, and someone in the fancy with a fair bit of nutritional knowledge developed an almost totally homemade diet (using human-grade ingredients) as a healthier alternative to pre-made store-bought feeds. This means you know exactly what you're feeding, that it's good quality (not cast-off food that didn't make the grade for human food) and can adjusted to fit the needs of the animal (protein/fat/carbs reduced if you have issues with weight, changes made in the event of health problems that may be aggravated by diet, etc). This diet is quite well-known in the fancy, especially due to being published in a 'diet guide' book by the developer of the diet. It was designed for one species but is easily adapted for others with a slight change in ingredients, so is a fairly versatile diet (which is then supplemented with fresh foods) Is there a similar well-known homemade diet suitable for parrots? Or is there a particular brand of feed that is recommended over other mixes/a home-made diet (I've seen the Double Dutch mixes mentioned in a couple of threads?)?
  9. Could anyone answer (otherwise I'll email them myself), are the prices per year?
  10. Thanks for all the welcomes. The shed already has electricity, and has a heater fitted out there on a thermostat to keep it at a fixed temperature - the insulation also keeps the heat in, and the location of the shed protects it from the elements (it has solid structures on two sides, an almost solid fence one the third, and then a tree which mostly blocks the wind/rain against it on the fourth side). The walls have been lined, wallpapered etc. so basically it's another room, just outside the house. It would allow me to give them more room than they would if they were indoors, while allowing the family/neighbours to be spared from any noise they may make when I'm at work/sleeping. I would have some kind of indoor setup - a smaller cage as a 'base' for them, and some of sort climbing frame/perch setup etc for my room, which they'd be in from when I get home just after 4pm until bed time (midnight-ish) I totally understand if this isn't suitable and will have to put off parrotdom until I move out (or, if plans go well, start working from home), but just to explain it a bit further - it's very similar to the bird room aspect and the shed isn't too far from the house and is already pre-converted to be much like a room (infact, think it's cosier than my bedroom!)
  11. Well, a relative newbie. A few years ago, I spent several months working in a pet shop which sells birds, including parrots. I was quickly converted to loving their parrot-y ways! My hours included working before the shop opening hours, alone in my department, so of course the parrots and myself had some very meaningful conversations while I bowed at their feet scraping the cage free of poo and squashed up mashed dried fruit that they'd nicely flung down there the evening before :roll: I particularly fell for a new addition, a shy and slightly grumpy blue fronted Amazon. I made him my 'project' and would spend whatever free time I could trying to bring him out of his shell - I left a few months after his arrival but in the meantime I'd heard his first word (a very bashful 'hello'), been the first member of staff he'd stepped up onto, and gained a bit of his trust (and thus was always the one radioed back to the department during lunch because he'd gone off in a sulk when all the parrots were let out of their cages in the afternoons and refused to let the other staff return him to his cage ). He very nearly came back with me when I handed my notice in, but I certainly wasn't in the position to keep him correctly, nor do I believe in supporting the sale of pets in petshops (one of the reasons I left) so I sadly had to say goodbye (he'd been sold or transferred to another branch by the time I got around to visiting again) However, being an animal-y person from the word go, my time's been filled with caring for rodents, bunnies etc. - I used to do a small amount of fostering/rehoming of small furry critters too, so never had the time to seriously consider parrots, though the idea has always been at the back of my mind. Anyway, with time my menagerie has decreased, I stopped the rehoming side of things (it was difficult, getting attached and then all the stress over whether you've picked the right new owner, what if something goes wrong, etc) and was reminiscing over the old job with a friend, and the idea of parrots popped to the front of my mind again and I decided to start researching them again for the future. I'm not sure if I'm in a good position to own them at the moment - I know they're hard work, and I work full-time and will do for the foreseable future, and although my family like animals, I couldn't rely on them to chip in with any help other than the odd bit of fuss and attention. I also have to consider my family's opinions as I have done with any pets - my current pets live in a converted 8' x 6' shed which has been insulated and wired up with lighting and electricity, and come in daily for human interaction/a change of scenery to give mental stimulation. I know some parrot species can be kept in aviaries, but I wondered if a shed type setup would be suitable for something like Amazons. I would certainly not expect them to stay out there all day - I would have them indoors from the moment I got in from work until I went to bed, but would this be enough? I was considering getting more than one, so they'd have company - most of the animals I've owned thrive better with company, and the parrots at my old job always got along fantastically. Are two parrots a good/bad idea for a relative beginner? Could they be kept entertained during the day by each other and a nice large area full of toys etc? My other reason for the shed would be that on top of the insulation, it could be soundproofed more easily to prevent disturbing the neighbours with parrot-y noises. I live in a semi-detached house, though only have one immediate neighbour as we're located on the edge of town, surrounded by farmland. I have read that BF Amazons aren't generally too loud, and the one I 'worked with' certainly wasn't noisy or shrieky (mind you, they all seemed quiet compared to the Macaw and Cockatoo!) Any other considerations I've missed would be appreciated. I've owned lots of animals with various temperament issues, from near-savage rats, to my old dog who was prone to being quite temperamental and hard work due to health issues (so am also well aware of large vet bills/the need for insurance!) but never birds, so it's a challenge I'd be up to but want to be fully prepared for, so the parrots don't suffer while I learn the ropes. I'm used to my time being taken up by animals and am prepared to wait until the last of my current critters pass on, so I can dedicate that time 100% to parrots, if/when I move out it would definately be to an animal-friendly place anyway as I couldn't deal with not having a pet at all. I just feel that animals like parrots are so rewarding, giving back what you put in, and would love to become a parrot slav-I mean owner in the future, even if it's not quite yet.
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