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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2003, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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What do you think?

I have always wanted a parrot for a long time. I have researched both african grays and cockatoo's. My sister had a cockatoo a few years back which her husband got in thier divorce. She ran a daycare and from what I have been reading he was an exception. He was out all the time and loved everyone. I am leaning more towards the african gray cause for some reason I really like them. I have three children in my home 6,7, and 9. How do I really decide which would be a better fit? There are not any breeders in my general area for me to go by and talk to. I am in touch with one breeder and she has given me alot of info but she only breeds one kind and is of course partial to them. I would also like to know is hand feeding a must? Can I wait untill it is down to only one or two feedings a day? Thanks for any info you can give
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2003, 05:24 PM
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I'll just give my opinion, and leave the hand-feeding issue to Critter and Jodi.
I, personally, wouldn't have a cockatoo - I hate housework, and I've read all about the massive amounts of dust that come off of them. They're also screamers - and it's no ordinary scream ! I'd also be afraid of getting one that had behavioral problems, I guess I don't have confidence enough to think I'd be a good cockatoo mom. Jackie (kittygurl) can give you a better idea of life with a cockatoo.
To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have a grey either, because they're so super intelligent, and we're away from the house (work, etc.) too much to give one the attention he/she would need (and deserve).
Have you given thought to a macaw? They can be a handfull too, but I think they're a little more forgiving when things aren't perfect. They're also such little clowns, and so interactive, I'm sure the kids would really be able to enjoy a macaw, and in turn - the macaw would enjoy them !
Just my opinion, but I'm a bit biased !

Sharon
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 02:39 AM
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Hi Glider-
Sharon gave some very very good points! I have an Umbrella Cockatoo, named Angel. We got him at 2 months old and hand fed him starting 3 x a day. Let me tell u, an awesome experience! They taught us how to do it, where we got Angel. It's not too hard, but you have to know what u are doing. They can actually block off their air passages to swallow the food (when u syringe feed), and it has to be done properly so they don't aspirate. I was so nervous, my boyfriend did it all himself the first week, but I knew what I was doing and did it myself after that! Here is a link on hand feeding, we were taught to feed Angel with a syringe.
http://www.parrotletranch.com/hand-feeding101.html

First, you must think of how much time to spend with them. They are needy birds, this is true. But we don't mind one bit. Yes, like Sharon said, they can let out a rather loud scream, but Angel actually isn't so loud. He actually gets loud when I vacuum and my dogs are fighting, lol. We got him right when we were moving out of our apt, I wouldn't suggest an apt for him, as they can get very loud and could get the neighbors mad. Yes they DO produce massive amounts of dust!! I started a thread about kitty asthma. Turns out my cat has asthma,and it most likely could be caused by Angel's too' dust, so to speak. We give him baths, and put a filter under his cage, to help out Snugs. Although he has been alot better lately. I had NO idea he could get asthma from the dust, keep that in mind too, with humans and other furries. Alot of people are allergic, too. We are contstantly cleaning the surrounding furniture, with all that dust and feather dander.
We know someone with a gray, and he just loves him. Those birds are so neat, and can be awesome talkers! Critter has a grey, she will be able to tell u much more.
From everything Sharon and Jodi say, Macaws sound absolutely awesome!!!! ( But since I have a zoo already, no I can't get one guys! )
Sounds like you are doing alot of heavy research. Cockatoos are wonderful and loving birds. They are so smart and very cuddly as well. The hard decision is just trying to find the right bird that will fit you and your families life styles Life with a too is definately fun and full of suprises! =)
I found a good info site on too's. Just turn the volume down after you get there, they start off by letting you hear how loud they can be! lol
http://www.mytoos.com/
Hope I could help some!!! Let us all know what you decide to get Glider!

~* Jackie *~

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Last edited by kittygurl823; 10-08-2003 at 02:53 AM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 03:03 AM
 
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My mom had an african gray. He was soooo smart! Unfortunatly he turned into a one or two person bird (I don't know if thats the norm or not) and was mean to everybody else. Let me just tell you, smart and mean is NOT a good combinaton, lol. They figure out all kinds of creative ways to be a jerk. I don't know why he was like that, if it was lack of attention or what but it's scary to have a bird that big actively dislike you!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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. Thanks for the info. I have read in quite a few places that grays are only a one person bird. But then I have read lots of peoples personal websites and they say that their grays are great with the whole family. I am not so worried about the loudness I won't be getting anything until we move which will hopefully be next summer. Our new house is on 10 acres so there are no neighbors. I will just continue to read everything I can and any more info you guys could give would be great
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:06 AM
 
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I'll let Critter give her input on the Greys but I've heard the same thing as Becki. They can be one person birds (but a lot birds are like that) and have a tendancy to be feather pluckers. They are SO intelligent that they need to be kept busy...if they get bored than you may have behavioral issues.

Any parrot that you choose will require a lot of time & attention. They are very demanding. They don't like being locked up in their cage when you are busy. They literally want to be a part of your life, involved in what you do. And one on one time with you parrot is important for bonding. But if you're ready for the challenge they are also one of the most rewarding experiences ever! They give a lot back to you.

As far as hand feeding, I hand fed Toby (macaw) but wouldn't recommend it if you've never hand fed a parrot before. It's not like hand feeding a dog or cat (I hand fed 4 puppies from birth and that was a lot easier!!) Hand feeding is NOT necessary to bond with your bird.

Cockatoos & Grey's have different personality traits. I would look in to each breed and decide which would fit in with your lifestyle. I'm partial just like Sharon is but macaws are a great bird too. I love cockatoos but I couldn't be around the dust - that would kill my allergies!

I think it's great that you want a parrot but be sure that you have the time and energy to give your new bird. IMO, they require much more than a cat or dog - especially the type of parrots that you are looking it to. I'm not trying to discourage you, I just don't want you to be surprised later! Parrots are awesome birds to share your life with!! Good luck in your decision. Let us know what you decide!

Ok Critter, your up....
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 12:39 AM
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I have to pipe in here and agree with Jodi. I've handfed my fair share of baby parrots - and a Cockatoo (or any larger breed) is not the place to start

I had a Citron Cockatoo (Daphne). I hand fed her (like I have all my birds, and a few for other people who wanted a weaned baby- practically from pin feathers) and lemme tell ya! She was the hardest bird to wean... not to mention she was a challenge to hand feed because for some reason she wasn't a very good "pumper". I really had to get creative and I actually hand fashioned a spoon to feed her with. (I was used to syringe feeding in the past - then graduating to a spoon!). I spent many worry filled weeks with that one

Cockatoos are an absolute joy - IF you are serious about the commitment. They are total cuddle bugs and want to be with you all the time. As far as the volume- I didn't find that she was any worse than my Macaw. She actually was a better talker - and learned to speak faster than my Macaw, Dante did. When all 3 of mine did their daily gab and yell fest it was really something! Funny though, I love to hear them interact. They can be hillarious!

They require a lot of care. Because of the heavy dust coating they really do need to be bathed every day - or every other day. It's also very hard to wet a 'Too They are also SO messy. They throw food (and anything else they can get hold of) all around... and I mean all over the place! The mess they make is incredible!

Both Greys and 'Toos can be feather pluckers. Sometimes the cause is as simple as them needing more frequent bathing - or as complex as a developed neurosis - something lacking in their environment, boredom - or over preening that leads to forming that bad habit. I've found that by educating yourself totally you can usually prevent having a plucker by learning to read the status of their health as well as their emotions. It really is like caring for a human toddler - they are that intelligent!

If you ever want more info on Cockatoos, care, etc... just like everyone before me, I'd be more than happy to try to answer any questions... good luck I don't want to discourage you either - but if a 'too or a grey will be your first bird you really may be biting off more than you can chew. As everyone else said... either or both breeds are among the toughest to be owned by.

I know I was late jumping in here... I don't know how I missed all these threads... I'm wondering if you've decided on getting one?

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 08:32 PM
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Okay, quit dissin' the Grays about being pluckers!! I've seen nearly naked 'tiels, cherry=head conures, macaws and 'toos. I think that has a lot to do with the individual personality of the bird and how/where it is raised rather than just "this breed in general does this."

I would talk to as many breeders as you possibly can. I'm more concerned particularly about the children than any thing else. Could that be because I've had a macaw and a cockatoo both grad be in the past few weeks?

Are you adamanent (SP) about a BIG bird?There are some great smaller birds out there that can talk, be handled, taught tricks, etc. I'm really paranoid about the kids' fingers and those beaks!!

I love my Capn Sweets. He really lives up to his name. When we took him to board the first time he totally blamed Bubba and wanted nothing to do with him when we got home. Then when we were both gone and went together to pick him up he decided that it was silly to act that wayl! Only time I have trouble getting him out of his cage is if he gets out on his on and is taller than I am - quite an issue with birds (whose eyes are on the highest level).

I don't feel like I'm making a lot of sense tonight. If you have any other questions feel free - you know we'll answer them!!

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 11:50 AM
 
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You don't necessarily have to take a bird while its still being weaned. I know that this is a big controversy in the bird world but many behaviorist say that its better not to. Parents are responsible for feeding babies and then the babies leave the nest to find their mate. If they see you as a parent they will eventually leave or reject you to go find their own flock and their own mate. Now that is just what I learned but obviously there are many successful owners who have weaned and still have excellent bonds with their birds. It is just another option to think about. I think it all depends on the bird. Some birds will take to you right away others will not like you at all, they are very picky just like people. There are always stories of people that go looking for a specific bird and end up with a completely different one because the bird fell in love with them.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 03:16 PM
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That's an interesting way to look at it, Dena. In my bird family right now I've got 3 that I weaned and 1 that I did not (plus the 2 others I weaned for family members).

Bottom line is that I think these guys have different personalities, just like people and other animals. Some want to be close, others don't. Erin hated to be held when she was a baby (really encouraging for a first-time mom!) but for the most part my FIDS are Mama's big babies.

How is your Senegal doing, Dena? I was thinking about him the other day. I definately made a good decision by listening to you and Becki about getting this little girl. She's a hoot!

CRITTERCALL


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 05:19 PM
 
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I agree 100 percent Dena. IMO, you do NOT have to hand feed a baby in order to bond with it.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well thank you for all your answers. Actually I have two friends that are bird breeders. Don't ask me why I did not think to talk to them Anyway I went over and as you all know how the story ends lol. A little QP would not leave me alone. Needless to say I am now a proud new momma. I am still going to research reserch about "bigger" sized birds that is and in a year or so hopefully will still get a grey.

Meet Binx
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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By the way I do not use that kind of chinchilla dust in the back ground lol
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 07:06 PM
 
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Awwww what a cutie! That name is awesome!

Congrats and more pictures!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 07:35 PM
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Congrats!! How cute! awwww great picture!! Please post more!! Is he on a play-gym? It looks great!


Dena- I agree with you 100% and have the proof right under my own roof! You're totally right- you don't have to hand feed and wean to form a bond. It CAN work against you. I hand fed Dante from the time he had pin feathers... weaned the little booger, trained him etc.... he reached the age of I suppose what would be "sexual maturity" - and he turned on me! He's totally bonded to my husband and son... he totally rejects me and is even nasty to me! He's definate proof that they leave their "parents" and move on to form their own flock...

I just happen to enjoy the process of hand feeding, weaning and training even though I know that the risk is losing the bond...
So- I'm always happy to fulfill that need with other people's babies

Glidertales- much luck and happiness with your new fid!! Binx looks like a great birdie buddy!! Congrats, congrats!!

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