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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question Suggest a bird as pet

Which of these birds would you suggest as a pet cockatoo, dove or canary?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 12:12 PM
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Those are drastically different choices, each with their own challenges. Cockatoos are by far the most "advanced" of the three, and I would never recommend anyone get one without doing extensive research, and perhaps even spending time with someone else's cockatoo. They can be a handful, and even vary quite a bit within subspecies. I haven't personally kept doves, so can't say a lot about them - but they are among the quieter bird pets, if that's a concern. Canaries and the finch family are small, fun little birds that are quite easy to care for, but are not as "cuddly" as other, larger birds. So they're more of a 'set them up in a nice cage, and watch' sort of bird. I currently have a mix of different kinds of finches, they're crazy, playful little birds and silly to watch.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:54 PM
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Rav is right on.

I've owned all three, I even used to breed Moluccan Cockatoos.

They are so much different, it's like wanting to know which is better, a motorcycle, a Ferrari or a bulldozer. It depends on what your needs are.

If you want advice, maybe you could tell us more what you are looking for in a pet bird.

Canaries and doves are relatively low maintenance (for birds). They require little interaction on your part other than to feed and water them once or twice daily. A Cockatoo is really a bird for a person that has no life outside the home. They demand (not ask for) attention ALL the time. Otherwise they scream, are destructive, and tend towards self-mutilation. ...sometimes to point of tearing their own flesh. I'm not sure I could even recommend one as a pet to most experienced bird people. If you want a big parrot, there are much better choices, but I'm not sure even they would be good choices for a new owner.

Parrots (when done correctly) are not like other animals you may have owned, like dogs or cats. Owning a large parrot is essentially, taking in an animal that will probably outlive you. Owning a parrot is a lifestyle change, ...something more on the order of having a child.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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I am a former parakeet owner, but I don't want to have parakeets anymore. I want to own a bigger bird, and that's why I asked about the three birds.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 09:48 PM
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canaries are smaller than a parakeet i think.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 11:29 AM
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Consider a Conure.

I'm a big fan of the Green-cheek and the Maroon-belly Conure.

There are also bigger conures, like Suns, Nandays and even the somewhat rarer Patagonian. Like the bigger parrots, you'll get the experience of a loud bird, but maybe one that is not so long lived (only 15-20 years as opposed to 50 or longer) or demanding.

None of these birds will talk as well as the parakeet if that is a priority. The bigger conures are much louder (if you live in an apartment, your neighbors will be able to hear them when they scream ...and they WILL scream). They can be annoyingly loud when you are trying to sleep late or watch TV or have a conversation.

As you move into the bigger parrots, you move in to larger vet bills, food bills (we are talking omnivores now, no more "seed only" diets) and housing.

You'll have a serious investment in the bird, you you need to have a good vet that is familiar with birds.

If you want a healthy bird, over half the diet should be pelleted. You won't be able to buy the "big" bags because the food will go stale before one bird could eat it all, small bags are more expensive. Most of the remainder of the diet should be fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Birds are more sensitive to pesticides than we are. There have been instances of birds dying of the pesticides in grapes sold in grocery stores. So buy organics.

If you cook, prepare for new cookware. ALL non-stick cookware, like Teflon or Silverstone, give off a gas when heated that is incredibly toxic to birds.

Are all of these things new info for you? If they are, then you aren't ready for a big parrot, and you need to do more research about owning a bird. Start lurking on bird forums and reading FAQs.

Bob



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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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The reason that I like Cockatoos is because they don't cost thousands of dollars to purchase them. I've also always loved doves, and they may be the right birds for me.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 06:47 AM
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The price should be the last consideration as to what to buy. Cheap doesn't always mean suitable.

You have to understand that with a larger bird like a cockatoo, it's literally torturous to these animals if you can't provide what they need, which can be time consuming and expensive.

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Parrots are intelligent and will react the same way a person would by enforced confinement without enough enrichment -- anger, aggressiveness, and self mutilation. There's a parrotlet sitting in our local shelter RIGHT NOW who's bald from plucking.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 12:34 PM
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You've yet to say anything more about yourself.

Are you just asking someone's permission or are you looking for some kind of affirmation? If so, then the answer is no. Cockatoos aren't really good pets for 99% of the people out there. Unless you are independently wealthy and a shut-in.

If you have unlimited funds and time for a pet, and are willing to devote yourself to it, then maybe....

Doves are sweet and I like the sound they make. They are, as you said, inexpensive to purchase and care for. If that's your main concern, then sure, ...it's a go.

All things remaining the same, my first choice as a beginning bird would be a budgie or a cockatiel. I happen to think budgies make the best pets of any birds. Talkative, affectionate, easy to keep and not too long lived.


Bob



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 04:16 PM
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Justs wondering... Are you by chance mistaking a Cockatoo for a Cockatiel? The names are pretty similar sounding, and somtimes Ill confuse them for a split second. This would make more sense, based on your other bird choices. Going from parakeet to Cockatoo is a pretty big jump. Parakeet to Cockatiel would be much more reasonable.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'm fairly new to birds, and I now realize that I made a mistake in the name of one of the birds that I'm interested in. I meant Cockatiel, and not Cockatoo.

I appreciate all of the good advice that all of you have taken time to give me. It will help me in the future when I get ready to buy a bird. I will definitely keep in mind the challenges of owning certain birds. I wouldn't want to have a pet that I couldn't care for properly, and I wouldn't want to rush in and acquire a pet that I didn't have enough knowledge to make an intelligent decision about. Thanks again,
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:41 PM
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Thought so!



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urofan View Post
I'm fairly new to birds, and I now realize that I made a mistake in the name of one of the birds that I'm interested in. I meant Cockatiel, and not Cockatoo.

I appreciate all of the good advice that all of you have taken time to give me. It will help me in the future when I get ready to buy a bird. I will definitely keep in mind the challenges of owning certain birds. I wouldn't want to have a pet that I couldn't care for properly, and I wouldn't want to rush in and acquire a pet that I didn't have enough knowledge to make an intelligent decision about. Thanks again,
Good save! Yes BIG difference. I was confused.
I have a friend that has 2 cockatiels and her male is a hoot. I've heard males are more vocal. So be ready for non stop favorite noises Canaries I believe make some very pretty little noises and are relaxing birds. Don't know about doves...
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 01:03 AM
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Cocaktiels are really a fun bird to have! my mom has 2 of them and they are fun loving birds they require a couple of hours of attention a day so when you're sitting down watching tv they are more then happy to sit on you and just stay in place while you scratch their head. The males can be loud lol but that depends on how you train them, birds respond to attention and take the attention as they are getting what they want from you weather its you yelling at them to be quiet or praising them lol. If you ignore their vocals or bad actions they will stop in time. You can train them to say a lot my mom had her's calling the cat for her lol. They are really fun birds to get! Very social and loving. I have heard that females aren't as affectionate as the males and can get aggressive but this is only what I have heard. They are so much fun though! And will live for a long time! I believe the life span is about 20 years, but i'm not 100% sure on that.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 11:49 AM
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I've started keeping doves since this thread was posted. I have a pair of ringnecks, and I take back the part about them being quiet. They may not screech, but the cooing and laughing at all hours takes some getting used to.

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