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tomt1990

Advice on a first Parrot

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Hello again everyone!

 

As some of you have read in the thread I posted in the introductions section, I am beginning to research/plan owning my first parrot. In the near future, I will be moving into my own house for the first time (I am 22). I will be living alone and can think of nothing nicer than having a Parrot as company (and, entertainment of course :P). Realistically, it won't be anytime soon I will actually be looking to buy a parrot, but when the time does come, I want to be 100% sure what I want to get and that I can will be able to look after it properly.

 

So, my first question is, what type of parrot should I be looking at?

I am fairly positive, through previous research, that a smaller parrot will be best for me (I have been reading alot on Senegals? conures?). I work a full time job 5 days a week, so will be out of the house most of the day (a usual working day I would be out of the house from 8:00am until about 5:30pm.) So a Parrot that isn't going to get too stressed by being left alone for this amount of time. Ideally I would want a Parrot that isn't going to be so loud that neighbours get annoyed by it. Most importantly though, is that the bird is likely going to be friendly and enjoy alot of interaction with me. I understand that each Parrot has its own personality, but are there types of Parrot that tend to be friendlier and "cuddlier" that others?

So, based on this, is there a type of Parrot that you would say would suit me the best?

 

also,

 

Strangely enough, I have never interacted with a parrot of any kind. I have seen a few of the larger parrots before in a garden center pet shop, but I have never seen, to my knowledge, one of the smaller types of parrot that I would be looking at getting. Where, if anywhere, would I go to see all different types of Parrot in real life? considering that I live in Milton Keynes?

 

I'm sorry to ramble on but thank you in advance for any help and advice you can give me  :D

 

(oh, and sorry if I have posted in the wrong section..... it seemed the best place for this to be asked!)

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Guest anz3001

Welcome to the forum.

 

Firstly, and its only my own personal opinion, but I would be looking at two parrots. I work similar hours to you and initially only had one parrot (a harlequin macaw) and it became apparent very quickly, once youve seen how much they relish companionship, that it wasnt fair for the bird to be left alone.  It never got to a point where it started causing problems but it was clear it wasnt right.

 

So my advice would be to consider two birds, I obviously got a little experience with the first bird, handling,general husbandry etc and then got the second (a greenwing macaw) about 6 months later, this worked out perfectly for me and I'd expect it to be even more 'do able' with the smaller birds, not because smaller birds are easier to care for ofcourse but more due to the physical size of cages,toys,amounts of food and mess etc.

 

As for places to go to get close to and interact with a number of birds a trip to tropical birdland in leicester may be worth while

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Always so lovely to see people doing research before getting a parrot :-)

 

In general, I think the poicephalus (senegal, Meyer's, brownheaded, etc) are relatively well suited for living with us. :-) We've got a Meyer's Parrot, and she's the loveliest little parrot ever. However, it all depends on how they've been brought up, how they've been treated after that, and the individual personality. It's simply not possible to guarantee that any parrot, regardless of species or age, will grow up to become "friendly and cuddly". It's a risk that we all take with every new parrot. If you rehome an adult parrot, you're more likely to know the general personality of the individual, though nothing can be guaranteed.

 

Of the parrots we have (and have had), Luna the Meyer's Parrot is by far the most easygoing of them all. But I can't judge how much of that is the species and how much is her individual personality - I'm guessing it's mostly the latter. I've read that the Senegals generally is a bit more outgoing and possibly more dominant than the other pois, but I have no personal experience with which to back that up. Now, don't get me wrong, Luna IS quite dominant and feisty, and she likes things to be done her way and she will complain if they aren't (just like most other parrots). But she's very sweet, and charms everyone she meets (she loves strangers, they exist only to give her attention and cuddles, you see...). And she's a good size (but still needs a roomy cage, of course), she can bite hard but you're highly unlikely to need to go to the A&E, lol!

 

The greencheeked conure we had was much more dominant, aggressive, and my goodness he had a hard bite... He was also much louder and more screechy than both Luna and Pandora (the pois can make a very high pitched whistle which hurts your ears if you're too close, but it's unlikely to annoy your neighbours and it's nothing compared to other parrots).

 

Since you're away so many hours per day, it might be an idea to think about getting two? That way they can keep each other company during the day :-) It's difficult to say how an individual will react to being left alone for so long, I think most parrots probably do ok provided they get enough attention the rest of the day and provided they've got a nice roomy cage with plenty of toys and foraging opportunities. But having two would be the best option.

 

So, basically, from my own personal experience and from what I've read about others' parrots, I'd recommend a poi rather than a conure. That's not to say that conures aren't lovely, of course. Maybe you can try to meet some different species? I'm sorry I can't be more helpful, don't know where would be best to go for that... But maybe someone else will come along that do :-)

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Thanks to you both for the advice....

 

To be honest, I haven't really given alot of thought to having more than 1!

The only thing I would ask about that is.... would having more than one effect the way they 'bond' with me?

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If you can get two tame parent-reared young birds, rather than hand-reared, there is a better chance that they will still remain 'tame'. I agree with the previous comments that leaving any single bird alone all day should not even be an option.

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Guest anz3001

would having more than one effect the way they 'bond' with me?

 

I can only really give my personal experience and I do have to say that my birds arent sexually mature yet but they are very affectionate and spend aslong as i'll let them with me. When I had Lola (the harlequin) on her own she was very clingy, it sounds (and is) good at first but believe me it wears thin very quickly.

 

if you are out of the house 9.5 hours and if 'best practice' is 12 hours sleep for a parrot that is a maximum of 2.5 hours interaction a day. Thats without you leaving the house for shopping,socialising, going for a dump (unless you take the bird with you) etc for the next 10-20 years. Thats not likely to be fair on any bird. Get a second bird you can have your 2.5 hours still but the bird gets its full 24hrs companionship that parrots are known for. The bond maybe slightly less 'strong' but in a good way imo as you wont be feeling quilty about having a life that isnt devoted entirely to the needs of a parrot.

 

I appreciate that all sounds very melodramatic but ive experienced it and know it to be true, social creatures need company

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Guest anz3001

having read that back I suppose it would be better to say,

 

Social creatures need company in order to thrive

 

I'd also like to add that my birds are same sex birds (and my favorite smaller bird is the black headed caique)

 

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Good advice from these guys.  A lone parrot that is left alone all day is a miserable, clingy creature, whereas with two you can still have (a bit of) a life and enjoy watching them interact.  Many parrots are of course flock animals and it's natural for them to have the company of many others, 24/7, and they have many different relationships with others in their flock.  It's a myth that only single parrots become tame.  Also, it's good to support breeders who allow the parent birds to rear their own young.

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Thanks once again guys...

It is certainly something I am going to have to think alot more about. The last thing I want to end up with is an unhappy Parrot, but I also do not want to end up with 2 parrots that have bonded to each other and have no interest in any interaction with me. Plus the extra cost of an extra Parrot isn't great!

 

Not that I disagree with anything any of you have said (I don't have the right or the knowledge to disagree with you!) infact I completely agree with you all... but I have read that (and again, this is alot based on reading about Senegals) provided the Parrot is left with plenty of toys to play with, that plenty of interaction is given to them when you are home and maybe even the low volume of a radio or a TV is left on then a lone Parrot will be fine left home alone. How true or how likely this is I don't know? And I guess that alot depends on the nature of the bird.

 

But who knows what will happen.... I might even end up moving so close to my place of work that it won't be a problem at all as I will be able to pop home to check on him/her a couple of times through the day   

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I keep various different Parrots of both the large and small variety and would definitely reiterate what others have advised, to have two birds, rather than a lone one.

 

In Germany, where animal welfare legislation is much better than in this country, it is actually illegal to keep a single bird, unless you have professional veterinary certification (by a government appointed vet, not your own) to the effect that there is good reason. 

 

In my experience, even if the two birds bond to one another, if they are already human imprinted, it makes little to no difference to their relationship with the owner.

 

Senegals are wonderful little birds with a big personality.  I have one that is completely inseparable from a Sun Conure friend and they share a sleep cage; they two of them will both fly to cuddle up with me, together.

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Exactly.

 

Some people will tell you that parrots really are not much trouble at all.  That's because they want to make some money by selling you one.

 

The reality is that the responsibility is equivalent to taking on a large intelligent dog, or perhaps having a child.  Of course a senegal is less demanding than a grey or macaw, but it is still unable to cope with being alone for long periods and will suffer mental illness if unintentionally neglected.

 

Say, for example, you fancy a few beers after work, and then perhaps go on a date the following night, then you quickly realise the parrot has basically been alone for three days -  it will be sitting there waiting for you, perhaps squawking or pulling out its feathers.  If you have two, they will still miss you, but they will not be as desperate as the single parrot.  My two parrots are completely devoted to me and follow me everywhere - and I still feel guilty if I am not back home at the expected time, as their distress is clearly evident. 

 

My parents have a happy single parrot, but they are retired, and it is never alone for more than about  four hours.

 

I don't mean to put you off, but these are the facts.  Those who tell you otherwise usually have a few bob in mind.

 

 

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These others as usual have given great advise..mine is what my birds breeder told me...READ, READ then for a change READ some more...and keep reading and learning even after you think you have got it all sorted as things change and get discovered. My Dusty was the first parrot I had as a pet...and I was lucky to find a great breeder who advised me and offered a phone number to call if I was worried at any time. So maybe once you decide what you want, think about from whom you buy your bird from...look for someone who cares and will provide "back-up" should you need it. A breeder who wants shot of the parrot and your money in their pocket and thats the end is to be avoided in my opinion.

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