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The Good The Bad and The Ugly about Eclectus Parrots

Discussion in 'Eclectus Alley' started by Kimo, 3/17/13.

  1. Shinobi

    Shinobi Jogging around the block

    Joined:
    2/28/16
    Messages:
    647
    I know that this is an old thread, but I prefer to think my time with my parrots is a journey and the good, bad and ugly is all part of the journey.
     
    Rukaruko likes this.
  2. EkkieLuv

    EkkieLuv Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    5/31/13
    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Houston
    Real Name:
    Leslie
    So true!! People have different tolerances for the bad and ugly, though. My motto is - expect the best but prepare for the worst!! The more knowledge you have, the more equipped you are to handle the ugly times... and those come with just about ANY species :D
     
    Rukaruko likes this.
  3. Rukaruko

    Rukaruko Checking out the neighborhood

    Joined:
    7/20/17
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Malta
    Real Name:
    Richard
    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum so I thought it would be a good idea to jump right into this thread/discussion to share my experience with Eclectus Parrots. Before I (try to) sum up the good, bad and ugly, the following is an overview of how I acquired my three ekkies: two males, and a female. This should also serve as an overall context for my future posts in this forum.

    Ever since I was a kid (and that's quite some time now!) I wanted to own parrots and my top favourite at the time were scarlet macaws and Vosmaeri Eclectus. Years passed and I settled in my own house with my partner, bought a good number of books on Eclectus and the desire to own a breeding pair grew stronger and stronger! In 2015, I decided to built a large aviary in our garden in the hope that if I do come across a pair of Eclectus I would already have everything set up for them. In the process of building the aviary, I went to a local pet store to but two sets of revolving feeding stations and the owner, assuming that I already owned a parrot, asked me which species I have to which I replied none at the moment but eagerly looking for the right breeding pair. He said you're in luck because right at the end of that row there is a breeding pair of Vosmaeri Eclectus that might be what you're looking for: female hatched in 2006 in Czech Republic and male hatched in 2008 in Italy. The second I saw them I fell in love!! The female's wide yellow band to its tail was the first thing that caught my attention, but their relatively large size, pristine plumage and appearance was a definite go-for-it humongous YESS!! I paid a deposit there and then and a week later they were exploring their new aviary in my garden. Ruka laid her first egg in July 2015 and her last one with Ruko in March this year. I wanted a true breeding pair but 14 (way too much but yes, correct, 14!) clutches later not a single egg hatched. Ruka simply refused to have a break and every 50 or so days after she eliminates her clear eggs she would resume soliciting Ruko for mating with her incessant robot-like call "eee-low" and crouched posture. Ruko would just stand next to her totally disinterested in taking the next crucial step. Yet whenever I inspected the nestbox to take note of when the eggs were laid (so that I would estimate the hatch date), he would try to mount my hand all the time. That is how I got to confirm that he was hand-reared so much so that I suspect he was either hatched in an incubator or taken away from his mum from a very early age and never socialised with other ekkies.

    As much as I tried to find a parent-reared vos male, all attempts were futile until I received a call from a friend of mine who knew someone who owned a male Eclectus. A few calls and questions later I finally managed to find a parent-reared male but the shop owner could not confirm if it was a Vos or not. So I went to pay a visit only to realise it was a Solomon Island Eclectus x Vosmaeri? :(. Decisions, decisions.... Many thoughts went through my head. After a year and a half searching high and dry for a parent-reared vos I am now looking at a SI possibly cross-bred with Vos albeit in pristine condition, a 'frozen posture' attentively staring at me, and the closer I move the farther he distances himself from me (the complete opposite of Ruko). Cross-breeding or acquiring a cross-bred in the first place was not on my agenda so I left the shop, sat in my car thinking things through. Shall I attempt setting up a trio? Will Ruko 'learn' the ropes now that he would have competition? I went back to the shop the next day and bought the bird. I left the new male in a large cage opposite the aviary so that everyone can see each other well but from a distance. Ruka was already sitting on her 14th clutch at the time and when she first heard him she went out of her nest box, and showed clear signs that "yay we have company!!". Ruko was none the wiser/disinterested either way! I decided to release SI with the pair three days later. I sat there watching them the entire day. SI first flew onto a branch and stood there for a while, then Ruko went to 'investigate' him whilst Ruka stayed in her nestbox. No confrontation and both males went to the feeding stations to eat. SI (I still haven't given him a proper name, so I will refer to the new male as SI from now on) then, to my huge surprise, went to check Ruka and entered the nestbox where she was, sitting on a clutch of two eggs (both were clear). My heart sank, thinking that any minute I will have to intervene as this surely was a recipe for disaster. Silence, followed by what seemed to be soft squeaking sounds. After an hour both went out of the nest box and SI started feeding Ruka. Ruko had never fed her in two years, never entered the nest box, and at times even harassed her away from the feeding station (they say females tend to be more bossy but there are exceptions), he only just 'play fed' her by touching his beak with hers but without ever passing any food. It was very frustrating to see this all the time, so I can imagine what Ruka must have felt! Up to two weeks later everything was peaceful but then one particular afternoon I heard a lot of commotion and screaming and rushed to see what happened, thinking the inevitable happened. Half of Ruko's tail was missing so I immediately removed him and placed him in the cage that I bought when I had bought SI. He is still in this cage but I do let him out to hang around me at least three times a week; something he obviously enjoys very much. Anyway, the last two eggs Ruka laid when still with Ruko were destroyed by Ruka a week after the hatch date elapsed and then she took a well deserved 4-month break from laying (thank goodness!). Mind you, a year and a half ago, I began noticing missing feathers on Ruka's chest, belly and shoulders. Within two weeks she was totally featherless on her shoulders, chest, back and belly. Despite ruling out feather mites and disease (Ruko and SI have impeccable plumage), a good fresh fruit and veg diet from day one and a lot of natural eucalypt branches to chew on, natural light etc, she still hasn't regrown these feathers and I doubt she ever will. Based on what I read in the literature, "chest and shoulder pluckers are most commonly influenced by hormone changes and broody behaviour" (Feather Plucking in Parrots

    Ruka is currently sitting on two eggs (the first two with SI) which she laid on 2nd and 5th of this month. I haven't candled them so I don't know if they're fertile.

    THE GOOD: Ekkies are beautiful (dare I say the most beautiful sexually dimorphic parrot in the world), highly intelligent and inquisitive. My hand-reared is totally smitten with me but he gets along very well with practically everyone. He doesn't talk much, only says his name (but not very clearly) and whistles. He also laughs (literally) whenever I'm in a bad mood (yet he doesn't laugh when I pretend to be in a bad mood to hear his laughter!) or when I trip over something! Ruka is parent-reared or if hand-reared was very well socialised with ekkies from a young age. She doesn't interact with me much, doesn't talk but boy is she smart! She follows my every step I make when it's feeding time, and when brooding, she only leaves the nest box the minute I finish cleaning their feeding stations and refill them with food and water! She accepts food morsels from my hand and never bit me. Checking the nest box is like running the marathon, it's a race who gets to the finishing line first! She always climbs in the nest box before I have a chance to open the inspection door. She does this even when not brooding. Very calm and docile during such brief nest inspections and she even allows me to caress her beak. I always give her a treat (usually a sunflower seed because that's the least amount of food I give them, and she loves it!) before and after a nest inspection, maybe that's why she remains so calm. SI has more of a 'no offence mate, I'm totally disinterested in you or any other human being for that matter. I have my own ekkie to take care of, now where's my pomegranate, broccoli, carrot, peas, did you wash that lettuce well mister?...' attitude towards me. If I'm at the far left hand-side of the aviary he's at the opposite right corner, when I move to the other side, he flies to the opposite corner and so on and so forth! always flying diagonally to maximise space between the two of us of course! We must have the same magnetic polarity! Ruko whistles when he hears me or knows that I'm in the house. When I'm in the garden he utters chattering-like sounds with a sound of a barking dog thrown in as well, and when I'm next to him he calls his name but rather than a clear "Ruko", it's more like "roo-oh!"; or Ruko without the 'k'; very funny! SI, although still have to confirm whether it's him or Ruko picking this up recently, makes a not too loud a sound similar to a machine gun "chi chi chi chi chi chi chi chi chi" whenever he hears an unfamiliar sound or noise, even if it is someone they've never heard. Can be quite intimidating for someone who doesn't know the sound is coming from a parrot!!!!

    THE BAD: Ruko can be VERY VERY VERY (VERY) loud when startled; an ear-piercing but thankfully brief aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrqq aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrqq aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrqq!. His whistle is also ear-piercing within short range (e.g. when on my hand). Ruka also makes a loud call but very infrequent and usually whenever she doesn't have any eggs in the nest. Otherwise both Ruka and SI are very very quiet. Food preparation is not an issue as such since the household consists entirely of vegetarians! :wacky: Oftentimes I do feel like I'm spending more on their food than we are on ours and I'm also seriously thinking of buying a refrigerator specifically for them. I'd say their dietary requirement can be on the high side since these beautiful wonders deserve the very best selection of fruit and veg (with just a little bit of seed, millet spray etc: I don't feed them processed/pelleted feed), especially when some of their favourite items like pomegranate is out of season. :credit::shopcart:

    THE UGLY: Very difficult to stop them from feather plucking once the habit sets in but other than that they are absolutely adorable.
     
    Last edited: 7/21/17
    Christy Cat and Featheredfuffs like this.
  4. Rukaruko

    Rukaruko Checking out the neighborhood

    Joined:
    7/20/17
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Malta
    Real Name:
    Richard
    I am so happy to announce a new addition to my Eclectus family! Ruka and SI are the proud parents of a newly hatched chick (hatched last Sunday). Their second egg seems to be fertile and is expected to hatch today, but I will not inspect the nest again before Saturday as I prefer to keep such inspections to a bare minimum.
    :egg:
     
    Mococo likes this.
  5. Christy Cat

    Christy Cat Meeting neighbors

    Joined:
    11/21/17
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I can't say how much the good the bad and the ugly are helpful! especially the ugly!!! Really gives a great over view of the worst aspects so I know what I could be getting into. As much as I think that Ekkies are my dream parrot, I'm pretty certain that right now their diets would be a bit much for me to handle. Maybe someday, but I think I'll start with a smaller parrot that's not quite as high maintenance.
     
  6. Artémise

    Artémise Meeting neighbors

    Joined:
    8/4/17
    Messages:
    28
    Hello
    Thank you for the post
    I’ve learned a lot about Ekkies from you guys
    I am from Mauritius and I have a female eclectus about 11 months old, Artémise.
    Had her since she was 2 months old
    The good: she’s adorable, doesn’t talk yet but makes the most adorable sound
    We have some long conversations at night
    I never cooked for me and planned to do so for some time only but she likes her evening cooked food so much that I’ve ended up cooking everyday.
    The bad: the biggest problem is where I live there are no avian vets and very few products for birds. So I have to rely on the internet and books for everything. And for instance she often destroys the feathers on her back and I could not find why. The vets and the people I bought her from have no clue.
    Well I hope it will pass her cause she is my little cutie who bites my nose when I ask for a kiss. ☺️
     
  7. Megumi

    Megumi Moving in

    Joined:
    6/3/18
    Messages:
    14
    Real Name:
    m. Pinero
    *thumbs up* I attest that hearing owner's experience has been my best resource for getting a good glimpse at what I CAN expect and MAY experience. You get to hear both extremes in most cases and hear about birds from different walks of life. Members aren't trying to sell me something so no need to reassure me or say it's X.Y,Z it very well couldn't like a breeder/shop worker and I find few people post videos of their birds being less than well behaved.
     
  8. Les charlson

    Les charlson Sitting on the front steps

    Joined:
    6/23/18
    Messages:
    16
    The Good. They are wonderful parrots. Smart and very gentle once they know you. They are easily trained and do what they can to fit in and please.They are not destructive as much as other parrots. The bad. They are smart which means they can tell what you are thinking. They will become depressed or nervous if you are as well as happy when you are. They preempt what you are thinking before you think it. They pay attention. Eg, they know when the jug is on or you do a certain ritual such as chopping vegs that it means food for them. They watch, learn and can predict your behaviour. The Ugly. They can be hormonal so its important to cut out any behaviour such as touching their back as soon as they respond.Give a new toy etc. They are gentle and their feelings are easily hurt.They are not for beginners as they need someone who takes time to understand their behaviour and their diet.
     

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