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I don't desire to Re-home my birds, but...

Wyld0ne

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I love my sweet GCCs. They are so fun to watch and get to understand.

However, my 6 year old are absolutely obsessed with them. To the point when it's difficult to get her to understand that they are not toys to be played with.

She's not mean to them by any means. It's the complete opposite. She loves them way way too much and it's become a bit of a problem with the birds in general. They are tolerant of her but they are fearful of her. They definitely have more trust with me but immediate distance when it comes to her...

It's become a real behavioral trigger for myself and for my 6 year old.

I've been considering the idea that maybe they need to be re-homed and possibly going for a medium sized bird that is not as easy to handle in small hands.

Any advice would be amazing!
 

Shezbug

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If the situation is hard to control with smaller birds then a larger bird is going to be a serious danger risk to your child.
I think you’d be better off teaching proper behaviours and boundaries regarding other living beings and maybe even childproofing an area that your birds can get to but your child can’t- a safe zone for them as such.
 

Wardy

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I have 3 grandchildren - 3,6 and 9 and they all know how to behave around my birds with regards noise going close to the cage they also know if the curtain is up across the door they cant come in they dont live with us so it is a different senarion however importand for there safety as much as my two conures.
 

Hankmacaw

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Birds as a rule are not good pets/companions for a child - especially a small child. Personally, I would rehome the GCCs (mainly for the safety of the birds) and wait a few years until your child can understand better.
 

Shannan

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The birds seem to be your joy and as a mother, you have a right to have something that you enjoy. 6 year olds do try boundaries but they really just want to know that the rules are consistent. Set up firm boundaries and rules regarding the birds and be very consistent. Plan organized time with the birds only with you present and provide a specific task with the birds. For example allow her to help you wash the water bowls, fill food dishes etc. Explain what you do and how you do it for the birds. Then teach her exactly how to interact with the birds. IE Watch how mommy walks up slowly and talks in a soft voice so I don't startle the birds. Birds are very fragile so we must treat them gentle so we don't hurt them. Also read books about birds and other animals and discuss how to keep them safe. She will learn both how to handle the birds correctly and your love of birds. You can do this and it is important, not just for your birds in the short term but in the long term for your six year old to grow up loving and caring for animals and listening to her Mom. Your child's teacher can also give you some suggestions to help with setting boundaries. I raised my two children with an African gray and we had very specific rules and Walter (the bird) always had a place where he could get out of reach of the kids. (I put his cage on a table so the top perches were roughly 5 1/2 feet high and out of reach.). Good luck and know it can work, hard work at the beginning will pay off in the long run. Sometimes its hard to be a Mom. Be graceful to yourself but commit to this! (I am a teacher and a mother so I understand)

PS. baby chickens are a wonderful kids introduction to birds if you have space, and time.
 

sunnysmom

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I hope you can figure out a solution to keep your birds. Bigger bird is definitely not the answer. Bigger beaks can do serious damage and a young child can't read their warning cues that they are about to bite.
 

Monaco

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I just wanted to chime in with a some nostalgia... Some of my favorite memories with several family members are directly related to animals. Learning about them specifically, taking care of them, behavior, training, etc. Those were some of the only memories I have that were so rich and emersive, involving all of my senses with physical movement...it's definitely how I learn best.

Anyway, I know it's a challenge, but it's also a huge opportunity! Especially since she's so interested already.
 

Wyld0ne

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Thank you so much for the insight and advice!

The birds seem to be your joy and as a mother, you have a right to have something that you enjoy. 6 year olds do try boundaries but they really just want to know that the rules are consistent. Set up firm boundaries and rules regarding the birds and be very consistent. Plan organized time with the birds only with you present and provide a specific task with the birds. For example allow her to help you wash the water bowls, fill food dishes etc. Explain what you do and how you do it for the birds. Then teach her exactly how to interact with the birds. IE Watch how mommy walks up slowly and talks in a soft voice so I don't startle the birds. Birds are very fragile so we must treat them gentle so we don't hurt them. Also read books about birds and other animals and discuss how to keep them safe. She will learn both how to handle the birds correctly and your love of birds. You can do this and it is important, not just for your birds in the short term but in the long term for your six year old to grow up loving and caring for animals and listening to her Mom. Your child's teacher can also give you some suggestions to help with setting boundaries. I raised my two children with an African gray and we had very specific rules and Walter (the bird) always had a place where he could get out of reach of the kids. (I put his cage on a table so the top perches were roughly 5 1/2 feet high and out of reach.). Good luck and know it can work, hard work at the beginning will pay off in the long run. Sometimes its hard to be a Mom. Be graceful to yourself but commit to this! (I am a teacher and a mother so I understand)

PS. baby chickens are a wonderful kids introduction to birds if you have space, and time.
Oh my goodness, yes! This was so helpful. I will work on this. She is really good with set rules but she just gets so excited around them. It doesn't help that we are going through a lot of transitions right now.
I just wanted to chime in with a some nostalgia... Some of my favorite memories with several family members are directly related to animals. Learning about them specifically, taking care of them, behavior, training, etc. Those were some of the only memories I have that were so rich and emersive, involving all of my senses with physical movement...it's definitely how I learn best.

Anyway, I know it's a challenge, but it's also a huge opportunity! Especially since she's so interested already.
Yes! I am the same way! It's part of why I was so hesitant!
 

Shannan

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Glad too help. six is such a great age because they are like little sponges.... now lets hear a little about your amazing (tolerant) little birds.....
 

Destiny

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My nieces and nephews love visiting my aviary. They are all older than your daughter, but didn't have any previous experience handling birds. So I made sure to set clear ground rules and explained how to interact with the birds safely. They figured it out quickly and we haven't had any issues.

20200705_134454.jpg

I think learning how to interact with animals respectfully is really good for kids of all ages. It teaches empathy and consideration for others. Some will understand it naturally and others take more guidance to get it right.

For my younger aviary visitors, I will ask them to talk softly and move slowly, because the birds get scared easily. Even young kids can usually understand being scared and don't want to frighten the birds. If the kids get too excited and forget, I just gently remind them to slow down and let the birds come to them.

Close supervision is key, since both kids and animals can be highly unpredictable!
 

Amaterasu

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I would put the birds in a room that is not somewhere your child has a lot of reason to spend time in, perhaps your bedroom or an office. Or a place that you have a good line of sight so that you would immediately know if the child went into the room. You want to eliminate any time she might be interacting with them without you being aware of it. Put a lock on the cages as well if she opens them without permission.

Then I would set aside time to have her interact with them under your direct supervision. But before you take the birds out, you need to make the rules and expectations very clear. She needs to be calm, speak quietly, move slowly and be respectful of the bird's body language. I told my kids from a young age that a bird uses their mouth like we use a hand, to help them move around. And they can also use it to say no because they don't have another way to do it. The bird is allowed to say no and should never feel forced or trapped. There's a lot more you can say and explain to your daughter that may help but it would depend on the exact situation. I always try to put things in to perspective for my kids by explaining how the bird feels (people are so much bigger, scary etc) or how they would feel (how would you feel if I forced you do something when you've already said no?).

Keep the interactions short, 5 minutes max at the beginning. You want to end on a good note for both the birds and your daughter. If you end it once it's already started going south, that what the birds will be most likely to remember.

I would also suggest teaching your conures some tricks with clicker training. Once they've gotten a trick or two down well, let your daughter participate in a training session. That will give the interaction structure and control for your daughter and your birds will probably be more relaxed because they know what to expect (ie treats!) and what is expected of them.

If the bird is not in the mood for that kind of interaction at a particular time, don't force it. Wait until the bird is in a better mood.

A larger bird is not likely to end well, even if the new problem is different.
 

Bird_lover6

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Large cage. Locks.

Supervised out of time visits with your daughter.

Unless your bird is mean and your daughter continually sticks her fingers in the cage and gets bitten, this should not be an uncontrollable problem unless your daughter has behavioral issues. I think you are in the midst of it, overemotional, and perhaps not thinking clearly.

Please know that I'm not judging you. I have been in your shoes regarding a beloved family pet and daughter, and rehomed my dog. I cried for months and regretted it terribly I thought I was doing the right thing for my child, who should always come first, of course, but it definitely wasn't the right decision for us.
 

Wyld0ne

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Glad too help. six is such a great age because they are like little sponges.... now lets hear a little about your amazing (tolerant) little birds.....
They are such a tolerant and loving little pair. They get along famously... except around food. My male is a bit aggressive around food and my female is just a darling peach. They are so super tolerant of my daughter. I was lucky in that!


My nieces and nephews love visiting my aviary. They are all older than your daughter, but didn't have any previous experience handling birds. So I made sure to set clear ground rules and explained how to interact with the birds safely. They figured it out quickly and we haven't had any issues.

View attachment 401000

I think learning how to interact with animals respectfully is really good for kids of all ages. It teaches empathy and consideration for others. Some will understand it naturally and others take more guidance to get it right.

For my younger aviary visitors, I will ask them to talk softly and move slowly, because the birds get scared easily. Even young kids can usually understand being scared and don't want to frighten the birds. If the kids get too excited and forget, I just gently remind them to slow down and let the birds come to them.

Close supervision is key, since both kids and animals can be highly unpredictable!
Oh my gosh, the cuteness is overwhelming!

To add to this, thank you for the insight. She is actually getting a bit better. The more I talk to her about it. She is learning restraint. I've told her that instead of trying to pick them up, she can feed them in order to bond with them and that has been super helpful. She still has a moment or two but she is certainly learning!
 

Wyld0ne

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I would put the birds in a room that is not somewhere your child has a lot of reason to spend time in, perhaps your bedroom or an office. Or a place that you have a good line of sight so that you would immediately know if the child went into the room. You want to eliminate any time she might be interacting with them without you being aware of it. Put a lock on the cages as well if she opens them without permission.

Then I would set aside time to have her interact with them under your direct supervision. But before you take the birds out, you need to make the rules and expectations very clear. She needs to be calm, speak quietly, move slowly and be respectful of the bird's body language. I told my kids from a young age that a bird uses their mouth like we use a hand, to help them move around. And they can also use it to say no because they don't have another way to do it. The bird is allowed to say no and should never feel forced or trapped. There's a lot more you can say and explain to your daughter that may help but it would depend on the exact situation. I always try to put things in to perspective for my kids by explaining how the bird feels (people are so much bigger, scary etc) or how they would feel (how would you feel if I forced you do something when you've already said no?).

Keep the interactions short, 5 minutes max at the beginning. You want to end on a good note for both the birds and your daughter. If you end it once it's already started going south, that what the birds will be most likely to remember.

I would also suggest teaching your conures some tricks with clicker training. Once they've gotten a trick or two down well, let your daughter participate in a training session. That will give the interaction structure and control for your daughter and your birds will probably be more relaxed because they know what to expect (ie treats!) and what is expected of them.

If the bird is not in the mood for that kind of interaction at a particular time, don't force it. Wait until the bird is in a better mood.

A larger bird is not likely to end well, even if the new problem is different.

This is great insight! I have to certainly agree about the Clicker Training. It's her favorite thing to do with them and has helped her feel less out of place around them. Thank you!
 

Wyld0ne

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Large cage. Locks.

Supervised out of time visits with your daughter.

Unless your bird is mean and your daughter continually sticks her fingers in the cage and gets bitten, this should not be an uncontrollable problem unless your daughter has behavioral issues. I think you are in the midst of it, overemotional, and perhaps not thinking clearly.

Please know that I'm not judging you. I have been in your shoes regarding a beloved family pet and daughter, and rehomed my dog. I cried for months and regretted it terribly I thought I was doing the right thing for my child, who should always come first, of course, but it definitely wasn't the right decision for us.
LOCKS! Yes. Do you recommend any Bird Friendly locks?

Oh no, its totally okay. I knew there may be some risk in having birds with my daughter but I also know she's teachable. She just gets very attached and absolutely wants to love them. I know re-homing was not a good idea for any of us. Especially her and the birds, hence why I wanted to see what options there were to make ita right fit for everyone. Kids can really astound you because recently she is really getting better and better.
 

Shannan

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I'm so glad things are looking up for you and your daughter. They look so adorable together. My daughter is in college and Walter just lights up when she comes to visit. Keep up the awesome work!
 

Wardy

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They are such a tolerant and loving little pair. They get along famously... except around food
I would suggest using two feeding bowls or only feeding them when they are in there respective cages.
 

Wyld0ne

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I would suggest using two feeding bowls or only feeding them when they are in there respective cages.
I have a ton of different food dishes but what I used to do was place a bowl of snacks out for them to nibble. At first, they were okay sharing. Now, it seems that whenever it gets down to the last bite or two, Vido (my male) will snatch it from her beak or the bowl before she could get it. So today, I made sure they were no longer sharing because he's relentless!
 
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