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Baby to adult. Will they still love me?

Lisa L

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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.
As a fairly new bird owner, I have heard people refer to getting "sexy' with the birds. What does that mean so I can avoid doing it. thanks. Lisa :hehe:
 

Birdiemarie

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Getting sexy with your bird means to pet or caress it in places that will sexually stimulate an adult bird such as petting/stroking the back, under wings, etc since this copies mating behavior in birds. :)
 

SueA555

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Joey is 16, and I got him when he was four months old. Our relationship has changed over the years. Our bond is still there, but Joey is more independent and likes to explore by himself. He still enjoys skritches, and sometimes cuddles. He used to bite. I have learned what sets him off, and avoided doing those things. He rarely bites now. I am still learning the best way to care for him, and I'm very flexible. He recently started to want to go in his cage for bedtime earlier. I put him on top, and he goes in. When he is asleep, I turn out the light and close his cage door. I enjoy watching him change, and try to accommodate his changes. We get along very well.
 

macawpower58

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Wow, I can't believe it's been two years since I started this thread. I've enjoyed reading through it again.

A little update:

Chaos is now over most of his new hormonal aggression. For quite a bit of these last two years, he'd become quite aggressive and reactive to me. I was nailed multiple times, and at first never saw it coming. It didn't take me long to know what to watch for! He went from being such an easy bird to one I handle with caution. The last 6 months have been very good. Haven't been bit, nor really lunged at. We still don't snuggle anymore, but I think that's more from my nervousness of his earlier attacks, then him not allowing it. He does still like to come sit on me, preen me, and generally keep me company. He is now cage territorial to a degree, which he never used to be. I'm not sure if his behavior is better because of time, or better because I respect and do as he asks. Maybe a little of both. There's things I can't do anymore that I once used to. As long as I don't try and force those things, we get along fairly well these days.

Sweden my little Goffin is pretty much back to her sweet self. My daughter also got married and moved out. I think that help a lot! She still can get uppity, but it's easy to see and avoid. No more attacks from her like before. Most of her naughty behavior is normal Too overdrive stuff. When my daughters come to visit though, I'm back to being the interloper.

Solomon my Mealy has the oddest change of all. He's also the bird that was fully weaned by the breeder, though still quite young when I got him. Both of my others I did handfeed some. Sweden for a short time when she regressed slightly upon bring her home, and Chaos from a 5 week old baby.

Solomon for years was in love with my daughters. He liked me, but I wasn't allowed to approach when they were near. It was always like that and I was used to it. For the last couple of years though Solomon has been changing. I've never been solicited for any kind of touch from him, but I'm now regularly asked to give pets and preening. The bird with the least interest in me, is now the one who looks the most forwards to seeing me! It's very nice being 'special' to one of my birds. :laugh:

So many changes, they do keep me on my toes.

Chaos gives me the belief that in time we'll be good buddies again, but we'll never be like we were before.
Sweden is a Too, and pretty much demands attention. She'll take it from me if no one else is around.
And Solomon seems to have decided I'm not so bad after all, in fact pretty cool.

I wonder where we'll be in another 5 years? :wacky:
 

carolz7

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Well this truly sucks since i was not prepared for this at all. Obviously i did not do any homework. I knew i wanted babies from the start since i did not want other peoples problem birds or birds that were maybe abused etc. Now look what i have on my hands. I recently adopted a 32 year old amazon and i can truly say this is the way to go people. Give the older birds a home like you would have given to your new baby. These birds seem better in nature and are much calmer. Just my thoughts i am no expert. My green wing was totally an accident and he was my world and now he cannot stand me to touch him or come near him. What do you all think about the nurture or spaying not sure what its called with birds but anyone have any ideas on it. I would go to the end of the earth to make it right with my Red.
 

JLcribber

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Well this truly sucks since i was not prepared for this at all. Obviously i did not do any homework. I knew i wanted babies from the start since i did not want other peoples problem birds or birds that were maybe abused etc. Now look what i have on my hands. I recently adopted a 32 year old amazon and i can truly say this is the way to go people. Give the older birds a home like you would have given to your new baby. These birds seem better in nature and are much calmer. Just my thoughts i am no expert. My green wing was totally an accident and he was my world and now he cannot stand me to touch him or come near him. What do you all think about the nurture or spaying not sure what its called with birds but anyone have any ideas on it. I would go to the end of the earth to make it right with my Red.

There is nothing "wrong" with the bird. It just requires more skill and less "feeling" to look after. There is no need to "attempt" a very risky, invasive medical procedure that has a very high mortality rate that isn't going to "fix" the problem.

Spaying/neutering is life threatening surgery in birds. Because of their anatomy, the ovaries/testes are very close to vital organs and the amount of bleeding involved is just too risky. mammals are very different, neutering is simple surgery with very little risk and great benefit to the animals health and well being.


As far as birds, spay/neuter is only employed in drastic or life-threatening situations. The surgery techniques have not been perfected and are not always effective in controlling undesirable reproductive behaviors. There has been some attempt to neuter male parrots to control aggression, but the procedure has up to a 50% mortality rate. Evidence suggests that within one to two years, other organs will compensate for the lack of testes and start producing testosterone (a common factor in aggression). Occasionally, hysterectomies (spay) are performed on female parrots with a history of chronic egg laying who don't respond to hormone therapy or other life-threatening, reproductive conditions.

Consider how natural developmental stages within the wild flock are so very different in the birds we hand-raise and take into our “flocks” and call “pets”. If they didn’t have a source of hormones, they would not be driven to progress through these stages of development and would be perfectly content to stay at the baby stage or at least the young adult stage. They would then be “domesticated” and we would not see the degree of behavioral problems that have caused this website to be necessary.

Yes, in short, it WOULD dramatically improve their quality of life as long as we force their life to be devoid of all possibility to progress through the natural stages of development and behavior activities they would be free to follow if they were wild, in the wild. We opened the “can of worms” when we began imprinting them and denying them the opportunity to follow their natural instincts.


Neutering, in particular, only makes a 'too impotent, does not decrease the bird's sex drive.
 

Bokkapooh

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Like with Becky, you're going to have to keep on keeping on. You'll make it through this aggressive period. Give it time. Please also consider training, such as clicker training using positive reinforcement training. Target training is also recommended.

Read up on it. It'll help improve your relationship with your GW, Red.
 

lalagimp

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I got Jak when she was four-five months and terrified, high up in an enclosure in one of Petco's old, loud bird rooms. She was heavily clipped and would fall to the floor when she'd run away from you. When we got her home, she wouldn't play with any of her toys and in a month or so she started molting, so she needed extra help from us with the pinfeathers. Whenever we would leave her sight, she'd call out with contact calls like how dare you leave me where are you!? She would also accept scritches from us. Jak does not like children.

I got her a bird. Koi was still weaning with the other chicks in the hot box. She didn't even have both eyes open yet. I spent time with this girl for a month or so and then brought her home for Jak. She and I would play and I could flip her over in my hand and poke her belly and she'd step up on demand for anything. But the longer she was allowed to bond with Jak, the less friendly she's gotten with me over the last two years. She bites. The only time I get her to step up is if I have another one of the birds on my hand already and she'll come step on me because she's jealous. She has also told Jak that we will not be giving Jak scritches anymore. I give them a gesture that they're going in the cage and I start to put Idris and Jak away and Koi does not need any help I CAN DO IT MYSELF and puts herself back into the cage. She also told Jak it is still ok to hate children, but I gotcha covered. My baby bird is a baby butt. She still plays Gimme Kissy with me and when we do the belly pokes, it's my finger through the cage bars and her saying back POOOOKE.

Idris came along a year or so after and has been a dream. She'll be turning 3 in February, and as the third bird out, is not bonded to Jak or Koi. Koi will even chase her. If Koi is busy, she will snuggle and groom Jak, but she has no bird of her own. So she really loves bf and I and will even hang out with strangers. She was a few months old when I acquired her. She loves to fly to the kitchen when I'm busy and just hang out on my shoulder, watching everything going on. She loves people. I wonder if that will change.

So I have my shy one, my independent managerial bird, and my easy peasy lemon squeezy. The dynamics have been interesting.
 

Bird_lover6

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This has been an interesting thread.

I have always assumed that my two cheekies would develop a stronger bond with each other as time passes. That just doesn't bother me, but I didn't want a "needy" bird or "cuddly" bird, which is why I brought home two. I am hoping, however, that they stay tame enough that I can handle them. Being under a year old, they are still very bonded to me, and want to spend a lot of time on my shoulder, but, frankly, I love to watch them play on their atom and other play areas.

For those of you whose birds have sexually matured beyond their relationship with you (I don't know how else to word that :( ), are you still able to handle your birds on a regular basis? Pick them up to move them? Feed them treats? Play with toys with them?
 

G3ck0

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I've wanted a Blue & Gold for a few years now, and nothing I've read has turned me off of that idea. Until this thread. Why would I go and spend $5000 on a bird that will just end up not wanting to be with me eventually? Does buying a rehome solve this completely? And if so, what age would you have to buy to make sure this doesn't happen?
 

Macawnutz

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I've wanted a Blue & Gold for a few years now, and nothing I've read has turned me off of that idea. Until this thread. Why would I go and spend $5000 on a bird that will just end up not wanting to be with me eventually? Does buying a rehome solve this completely? And if so, what age would you have to buy to make sure this doesn't happen?

My rehomes love me like no other. :hug8:

Some birds don't mature until they are a bit older but I would say find a bird 6-9+ years old. Where are you located?
 

JLcribber

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I've wanted a Blue & Gold for a few years now, and nothing I've read has turned me off of that idea. Until this thread. Why would I go and spend $5000 on a bird that will just end up not wanting to be with me eventually? Does buying a rehome solve this completely? And if so, what age would you have to buy to make sure this doesn't happen?
Just going and "buying" a rehomed bird sight unseen is no different than you ordering a mail order bride on the internet because of a picture. You must meet someone face to face and spend some time getting to them before you can make any judgements as to whether you want be this person's friend/mate or not.

If you truly want a bird then the trick is to expose yourself to as many "adult" birds as you can (rescues are the perfect place for that) so that one of these great birds has a chance to "choose you". That is the bird that will make a great companion and always see you as its favorite.
 

melissasparrots

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I've wanted a Blue & Gold for a few years now, and nothing I've read has turned me off of that idea. Until this thread. Why would I go and spend $5000 on a bird that will just end up not wanting to be with me eventually? Does buying a rehome solve this completely? And if so, what age would you have to buy to make sure this doesn't happen?
Getting a pet isn't about buying something to love you. Its about buying/adopting something to love. For the most part, if you love a bird as unconditionally as you expect it to love you, you might go through rough patches but usually you'll circle back to some sort of decent relationship. Maybe not exactly the same as when the bird was a chick, but still decent and usually very good.

There are never guarantees. Getting a rehome absolutely will not solve the problem completely. I have birds that I've raised from hatching that are adults now and still love me. I have birds I've purchased as weaned babies that still love me as adults. I have birds I've raised since hatching that still love me but that doesn't stop them from being a territorial, biting, screaming brat more often than not. I have rehomes that love me but bite me periodically while otherwise being a good match. I have rehomes that have always be been a little blah...nice pet, decent bird, sometimes a brat/aggressive but not quite a great bond.

Those that are anti-breeding will talk up rehoming like its a magic cure to prevent a bird from changing at maturity. In my experience, it makes little difference at what age you purchase a bird. If you get a rehome, your likely to have baggage to deal with possibly a bird that never learned to fully trust people. You can treat it right and watch the bird blossom, or you can treat it right and watch the bird continue to be the same year after year as the day you brought it home. You can get a chick and raise it right and have it turn out to be a monster. Although that isn't likely to happen. You will still have stages that the bird will go through. But then again, if you get a rehome, you'll have some behavior stages too. My adults go through phases of being clingy, screamy, aloof don't touch me, and back to clingy. Just depends on their mood that day.

At some point you have to go back to the first thing I said. If you take a pet into your home, you have to be willing to love it period. Even if it doesn't love you. Its still your responsibility to provide that animal with a good life. If you can't love it through the rough times when its acting like it doesn't love you, then don't get any kind of bird. A dog would be a much better choice.
 

G3ck0

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But from the sounds of it, once birds reach maturity they end up hating their "parent" and don't want anything to do with you? Is this not the case? If it's just rough patches that's fine, but if it ended up wanting to be with someone else because I'm its "dad" and it wants to move on, that doesn't seem like much fun. I understand that they'll change, and be different when they're older, but if I bought a Macaw I'd want it to at least want to be with me for as long as I have it.
 

macawpower58

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I don't think they start to 'not love you'. Chaos still loves me very much. IMO it's just they have urges to find a mate, and nature is telling them to look further afield, out of the nest area. It's the frustration and confusion that causes the behavior changes people (like I did) may see.

I also believe once the heavy hormones stabilize, you still will have a relationship with your bird, it just may change.

And there are the lucky ones that never see these changes.

I thought I was set for life with mine. It took over 10 years for me to see them. I'm guessing all owners of exotci animals have to deal with sexual maturity in some way or other.
Baby and young adult big cats are so loving to their owners. Yet then you here of all the attacks. I'd bet my life the animals attacking still loved their people, but something in their nature caused them to strike out (same as some of our birds are doing) and bite/attack. We're lucky this isn't a big cat forum, and we're all keeping lions in our homes!
 

G3ck0

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Fair enough... it seems almost mean to keep them away from a mate. Would it be better to have two birds, one of each gender? Or would they then not want anything to do with you and just bond with each other.
 

Crazy4parrots

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What age would you consider mature For a lovie?
 

melissasparrots

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Fair enough... it seems almost mean to keep them away from a mate. Would it be better to have two birds, one of each gender? Or would they then not want anything to do with you and just bond with each other.
They would probably not want much to do with you if they had a mate. Sometimes you can have a relationship with a bonded pair. But its a lot different than the relationship you have with a pet. Less petting and snuggling. More of a quick scratch and talk to them and enjoy them for being birds. If you go into purchase of a single pet with the expectation of enjoying the bird for being a bird, you are much more likely to get through any personality changes that might happen through maturity without feelings of disappointment. I have mostly female pets and I don't live with other humans. Females as a general trend, have fewer behavior changes through maturity than males. Although there are plenty of exceptions and in macaws, the sexes tend to have fewer differences than in some other species.

Any time you have a bird in a home with multiple people, the possibility exists for the bird to switch preferences. It can happen when you take an adult bird home from the rescue. At the rescue its sweet and seems to like you or doesn't show a preference between you and other family members. You get it home and it starts to show a preference. Many times for the person that is pressuring the bird the least to like them. Which often means the person least interested in the bird. If you are the least favorite, you can still have a relationship with the bird. But its more likely to be when the other person isn't home and more likely to be feeding it treats and talking to it rather than lots of snuggles. If you are not the favorite, you will probably have to be more careful and watch body language so as not to get bit. But then, that applies to the favorite person too. Fact is, they are not selectively bred to be sweet to people. For that matter, every dog I've ever had while they interacted well with all family members, they had a definite favorite. Cats too. With birds, the tendency will be more pronounced. They will usually allow the favorite person to do a lot more with them and handle them more casually than everyone else can handle them. If you bring a bird into a family, there really isn't any telling who the favorite will be. It has to be a family decision to enjoy the bird for what it is. A member of the family with definite likes and dislikes and a personality of its own. If you want sure love, get a dog.

You made a comment about being fun. Over the long haul, large parrot ownership is less about fun and more about responsibility and devotion to something you love and care for. The bird will change. Sometimes in major ways, sometimes in small ways. Most of my females have only changed in small ways and sometimes changed for the better. I don't really like it when I come home and my 14 year old cockatoo wants/needs snuggles when I'm in a hurry to get some hawk training done done before daylight ends and then hurry off to martial arts. 14 years of that takes the shine off the cockatoo snuggles. But, that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve that time every day or most days. She gets it, just not always when she wants it. Sometimes its really relaxing and rewarding for me, other times, its more of a chore to sit still and give the bird what it demands of me as her favorite person. Same deal for the hyacinth. Sometimes I'd like to pet her and have a nice snuggle because I have time and she'd rather not. Sometimes she'd rather play on her gym and throw a screaming fit when I'd like peace and quite. After a few years, that becomes less fun and more annoying/fact of life with large birds. Owning a non-domesticated species is more about what you can give them, and less about what they can give you. The rewards come from a lifetime together and making the bird happy and being happy with what its willing to give you. It has the potential to teach you acceptance and patience.
 

macawpower58

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Love your post Melissa! Exactly how I see owning parrots.

Of course I didn't see things this way in the beginning! But time, education and my birds, have changed how I see things, and it's better for the bird's sake.
 

Bird_lover6

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The only expectation I have that would really disappoint me is if my gccs became couch potatoes and never played, since I adore watching them play and move about. I never really tire of watching them. However, I know they all have their own personalities.

Our previous parrotlet was a total dud when it came to playing, but she was very cuddly and my daughter loved that. She was truly a little bird who was comforted by being in my daughter's hand when she died. :sad2: Unfortunately, she had been deprived of a large cage and toys in her previous home. She just never "learned" how to play, but our current parrotlet, Skeeter, (my daughter's) is extremely playful and feisty, but not so cuddly! :)
 
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