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Baby to adult. Will they still love me?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by macawpower58, 6/1/12.

  1. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I've been pondering this for some time now. What will my hand reared babies think of me as they mature? Will I always own their hearts? What if not...:(

    Now as my parrots are entering fully mature status I'm learning the answers to my questions. My Too is 17, my zon is 13, and my GW is 12.

    Two of them I got right before the weaning age, and did the weaning. My Macaw I fed from 5 weeks.

    So far two of them are switching their affections. Solomon my amazon did so long ago, he loves my daughters, and accepts me. When my girls are home, I leave my feisty greenie alone!

    Sweden my Goffin has begun looking for a love interest. I am not it. :( She also loves my daughters to death, and is even courting new folk these days. When alone her and I get along fine. But lately (last several years), she's taken to going on the attack if I dare to get between her and her new interests. In the last two days, I've gotten two bites. One on my neck (she flew at me), another on my hand as she pounced on me. My daughter moved back home this week, so these attacks are intensifying.

    I'm glad she's not a U2 or M2. I can see how terrifying a large attacking Too would be. She does calm down, and I can handle her when she does so. But while she's in this intense state, I dare not approach her, or be sure to have a towel/blanket in hand if I do.

    I think this stage will get worse before it gets better (if it even does).

    Chaos is my youngest, and is also showing maturing behavior. He though has no one to switch his affections to, as he and my daughters have not so good relationships. He must deal with me, and only me. As it is, we now almost never snuggle, I am permitted head petting, but not much more. He keeps me at a distance. My knee is a good perch, but my arms are not to wrap around him.

    I've grown with all of my birds, watched these changes slowly occur, and even sort of expected them. They still are not easy to accept. I am not hurt badly though, I've done so much research I've not been taken by surprise by their change in affections. And I still have their friendship most of the time, if not their undying devotion.

    What I would do differently if I could.

    I'd not buy a baby! I wanted companions to age with. I didn't want bird children to rear and have leave me! :p

    How many uninformed owners though will have this happen and not know what hits them? How hard it must be to have your loved bird of 10 years suddenly start to attack you. I can see why so many birds of this age are up for adoption.

    The dream of having a loving flock for life is slowly evaporating. I wonder how things will be in another 10 years. Will their attitude towards me turn to hate as their frustrations worsen? Will they calm down and accept their 'mom' is all they'll ever have?

    Is rehoming a bird you've raised from a baby better for the bird? Will they be happier leaving the nest, and forming a new different relationship?

    I wish I knew. :huh:

    If anyone else is going through this, or has been through it and knows answers to my questions, I'd love to hear from you.
    Has anyone else ever worried about this happening?

    Life is ever changing. How do we help ourselves and our birds deal with it?
     
  2. Kolkri

    Kolkri Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I raised Topaz from day one. She is still my baby and 5 years old. Joey was around 20 when he picked me. He is still my baby at 30. So I would have to say it depends on the bird.
     
  3. DQTimnehs

    DQTimnehs Ri-DQ-lously crazy 4 TAGs! Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Good questions! And another good reason to rescue/rehome! I got Pogo from a weanling and I was his favourite although he also loved my ex-h. I think he would have switched to him if we had not broken up. He also loved my ex-bf after that but I was still his favourite.

    Quack was 10 when I got her but she favours men. She loves me but we have trust issues (& scars). I've had an easier time with her without a man around but still have to be careful. Darwin was 13 when I got him and he loves me. Itsy is 6 and loves me, so hopefully we are past the stage of wanting to switch although I could see that happening with Quack.
     
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  4. Holiday

    Holiday Mac Mama Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Becky, I just wanted to give you a big hug :hug8: Partly because I feel for you, and partly because I'm glad you posted this.

    I know exactly what you're talking about, and it's something that often crosses my mind when I see people posting pictures of their new baby birds. Not that they all have the urge to move away from "mom or dad" as they get older, but it seems that that's the natural course of many. The way your relationship with Chaos changed is exactly the way my relationship with Max (Hahn's) changed. He was my little baby boy, my snuggle bunny, and he used to cuddle under my chin every day. Now that he's a grownup birdy, he will sit on my shoulder, chat and allow beak rubs and the occasional (cautious) kiss only. He does have a SO in Sonny, but he was beginning to pull away and look for something else even before Sonny got here, and that's why Sonny's here.

    It's so very different with Elvis. She was five when I got her, already a full-fledged young adult. And she loves to sit on my lap; she'll accept scritches. I can't cuddle her unless I want things to get "sexy," LOL, but plenty of petting and kisses on the face are all right. She grew to love me, and our relationship is rock solid. It is such a huge contrast between the two.

    I love them both. But, Elvis reciprocates fully, and Max no longer does. She wants to be with me; but, I'm someone he loves at a distance. It's okay--fine, actually, because he doesn't attack me or anything (although I've gotten a couple of hard nips from his territoriality), and I really just want him to be happy--but it's not what I had anticipated when I put down that first deposit. And I think there are many, many people who do not realize that getting a baby parrot guarantees nothing. I now have five rehomes, and I highly doubt I'd ever have anything else. This is partly because I believe it's the right thing to do, but it's also partly because, in my experience, they make better companions. I'm not saying all rehomes do. I'm just saying that, for many, it seems like that move away from their original home puts them in a better position for a life-long relationship.
     
  5. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I'm happy for your lasting relationship with Topaz, I'm guessing for a Quaker 6 is fully grown up? I'd say it's not for the bigger birds. Joey though wouldn't fall into the baby loving parent category. I'd expect an older bird to stay bonded to a new owner once that bond formed.

    I do think rehoming an older bird gives you a better chance for lifelong bond. I also at times wonder if gender has much to do with it. I think my boys are attracted to women more than men. Have you had Itsy since a baby? Sweden started this sometime after 10 years of age. It gets worse/better with the changing seasons. Right now she's bad. I believe Chaos is female, and wonder if a man ever entered my house, if Chaos would fall in love hard? It's hard not calling Chaos a 'he' after so many years. The nesting behavior right now is intense.
     
  6. 65sunnyday

    65sunnyday Biking along the boulevard

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    I wish I had an answer to your questions, though it seems to me that your birds DO love you, in much the way a child growing to adulthood will always love their mom. They trust you, & know you'll always be there for them. Until the day you're gone, you will always be beloved, though sometimes hormones & their affects will cloud those feelings, & resentment can be felt. :hug8:
     
  7. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I think many of us 'long term' owners may have been (or are going through) something like this! At least those of us who have kept our babies for years. I think this is one of the reasons I miss my now passed Gimli so much. He was the only bird I didn't raise. He was bonding with me in a way my own babies want nothing to do with.

    Maybe someday there will be parrot 'parents' that own and raise our birds for the first 5-10 years of life, then allow them to really fledge and find their life partners. Odd how differently I think these days. At one time I thought raising my birds was the best thing. Now I believe I may have raised the perfect parrot for someone else!

    Watching Sweden last night with my daughter really brought this home. Sweden played all over her while lying on the sofa. Snuggled, played, jumped and showed off. Every now and then she'd hop towards me and make threatening motions! Then back to my daughter for some more bonding. She'll even hop through the house looking for her if she leaves the room for a moment. She does not ever search me out anymore. :(

    Each time I think I've got parrot ownership down pat, my birds turn my world upside down! :lol:
     
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  8. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I know my birds love me, just as I love my mom/dad. But, I don't want to live with my mom! Nor have her hugging on me all of the time. I think my birds are feeling the same.

    Now the question: If they love someone (say my daughter), is it better to let them go? Or does owning parrots for life mean just that. I love my daughters, but let them go.

    If parrots are like our children, can we only try our best to raise them well, them let them go?

    Theoretical questions. I AM NOT THINKING OF REHOMING MY BIRDS.
     
  9. wonderb

    wonderb Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    This is interesting. Rocco the GCC is the only bird I've raised from weaning age. We stuck through the terrible twos, which for greenies really do seem to hit at age 2, where he was very love-hate with me but had no alternative. Now he is 8 years old, and spent several years at a different home. When were were reunited he was SO excited to see me, clingier and more affectionate than ever. I honestly did not expect that reaction. I thought he'd be pissed at me, LOL, and even wonder why "mom" was coming back for him. So I guess he is one case where you could say he did not switch allegiances, and actually seemed to prefer me. I'm not sure how his time in another home factors in there at all, of course.
     
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  10. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I also wonder if parrot species has anything to do with this. Do some parrots, Toos for example, bond deeper than say GCCs? Does that have anything to do with how they view their relationship with their humans?
     
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  11. BraveheartDogs

    BraveheartDogs Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue

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    For me, I would rehome an animal that I felt would be happier somewhere else, for sure. With birds it is so hard because I would have to know the person would be committed. If your bird loves your daughter and she loves him, I would let him go with her if she wanted to have him.

     
  12. henpecked

    henpecked Sprinting down the street

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    I have a hen zon i raised from a 3 wk old baby,now at age 42 she still finds me her favorite. She has been best buddies with several of my now grown kids,my ex-wife and now my present wife. She has never shunned me ,but a secret i learned long ago,is to learn how to preen her as a mate would. I think you can be best buds but still not really bond. I have many other zons who i've "befriended" but i haven't tried to bond with them like i did with "Jake" (my hen). They seek my company and enjoy my attentions but i don't think they view me as their mate. Several of my zons i handraised from hatchlings but that doesn't seem to truly endear them to me,tolerate yes,bond no. I have never tried to bond with more than one ,( i,m a one woman type of guy) LOL, and i'm not sure that that would work out. i do feel that if you ever get a bird to truly bond with you then the chances of that changing are pretty rare. An older rehome might switch because someone new might remind them of an old owner(mate). But if your their first and only then the chances would seem slim to me,(if they are really bonded to you), especially if you maintain the relationship.I also keep my pet separate from the others,the rehomes are in another room and because other birds are present ,they tend to view me as part of the flock.(maybe it's harder to bond when multiple birds are around). My advice would be to pick one bird and focus my attention on that one bird and maybe treat it special from the others. Hope some of that helps your situation.
     
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  13. macawpower58

    macawpower58 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Thanks Richard for your ideas. The only thing that'll help my situation right now, is if I was able to repeat the last 17 years over again! :D

    My flock and I will just have to muddle through this, as we've muddled through other ups and downs.

    One day my daughters may actually take one of my birds home, but today is not the day!
     
  14. wonderb

    wonderb Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I don't know that deeper is the word I'd use. If you've seen any bonded pair of birds, it doesn't matter what specie, they are inseparable. Toos definitely have a more intense and complicated bond, with humans and with other birds, of probably any specie. As others have said, there is a difference between being buddies and being bonded "mates". I think the former is actually preferable and fosters a healthier relationship between bird and human. JMO.
     
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  15. DQTimnehs

    DQTimnehs Ri-DQ-lously crazy 4 TAGs! Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    No, I just got Itsy in December (birdsat her & kept her ;))). I was told she is probably female but she wasn't DNA tested. She doesn't like men, so I suspect she could be male. I don't think she has ever laid any eggs.

    I have found the male/female connection in most cases too, when there is a choice. Pogo was male & preferred me. Darwin is male & doesn't like men. Quack is female & prefers men. Itsy doesn't like men but her sex is not confirmed. I may do feather testing if it is possible to send them over the border or if there is a place in Canada that does feather gender testing.

    I also think their voice can indicate their male/female preference, i.e. speaking in the voice of the rival. Pogo talked in a male voice. Quack talks in a female voice. Darwin talks in a male voice (except when he's imitating Quack). Itsy talks very little but I would say it sounds more male than female, at least it's not a high voice.
     
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  16. henpecked

    henpecked Sprinting down the street

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    Don't we all wish we could do that, i know i wish i knew then what i know now,LOL
     
  17. Ziggymon

    Ziggymon Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    As I've learned more about parrot instincts and behaviors, I've realized more and more how little people generally understand of either. I now cringe when I read/hear people say they want a baby bird because they want that *special* relationship that they think they will get from raising and/or handfeeding a baby - it really underscores that they don't understand what happens as a parrot matures.

    I am immensely grateful that my natural preference for mature/older animals led me to adopt older birds, because I too didn't know any better for a long time.
     
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  18. Holiday

    Holiday Mac Mama Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    On the gender issue: I believe birds do have gender preferences--heck, I know they do--sometimes it's beyond obvious. But, I think life experience can alter those preferences, and I also think that not all birds prefer the human (or bird) of the opposite sex. Here's the way it works at my house:

    Elvis (DNA female rehome): Strongly prefers men, but loves me anyway. Does not like any other women. Previous owner was male.
    Zoe (DNA female rehome): Prefers women. Previous owner was female.
    Patrick (DNA male rehome): Prefers birds to humans of any gender but slightly prefers women. Previous owner was female.
    Keene (gender unknown, although I suspect female, rehome): Strongly prefers women. Reacts with fear to men--her previous owner was male.
    Sonny (DNA male rehome): Prefers birds to humans of any gender. Seems to have no gender preference whatsoever in humans. Previous owners were a couple.
    Max (DNA male): Prefers birds to humans of any gender, but slightly prefers female humans. I am his original owner.
    Parrotlets: Prefer birds to humans of any gender. I am their original owner.
     
    Last edited: 6/1/12
  19. Theresa

    Theresa AKA TMS Administrator Chief of Police Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    This type of thread has great potential for a sticky. Maybe one of you could talk to a MOD and start one :)
    Kind of a "So you want a baby bird..." type sticky. It might make some rethink their want of a baby, or at the very least prepare them for the bumps in the road :hug8:
     
  20. Ziggymon

    Ziggymon Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    This. I think that people tend to assume that birds will prefer a human or bird of the opposite sex.
     
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