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Long time animal lover, first time wanting a bird(lots of questions!)

McBoredFace

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Hello everyone! I’ve had many different kinds of pets; cats, a dog, different rodents, reptiles, fish, amphibians, a pig, and more. Never a bird. Now is the time! I’ve been addicted to watching those adorable YouTube videos of cute and funny birds and the more I watch the more I want to have that adorable little feathered friend of my own. I’m totally prepared to put the work the in for as many years a bird lives...(as you can see I don’t even know how long they live yet, I also failed the verification question of how many toes does a parrot have. I said 6... I thought 2 in the front and one in the back lol)
So I need lots of help. I do still have a northern blue tongue skink at the moment and would love to add a bird now. So here’s the questions!
I dont even know what kind I want! I know I want one that can mimic lol (jeez I’ve never been so uninformed on an animal in my entire life! I usually know so much but as a kid and teen birds never interested me. I know sounds crazy right??) so a bird that can mimic. I don’t know the care level of different birds but if there are beginner level ones that mimic that’s great refer me to those! If not then that’s fine. My first reptile was a chameleon! Those are advanced lvl reptiles that people do not recommend to beginners but he lived a long healthy happy life! Same with my chinchilla, sugar glider, my pig would have if my mom didn’t give him away while I was out of the house.. (terrible I know. Long story maybe another time) but I’m more than capable of accommodating for a more advanced animal companion. So which kind would be a good fit?
Will they fly? Or fly away? I’m not sure how I feel about having bird’s wings clipped. It doesn’t sound nice. But again I don’t know anything maybe it’s better? Idk.
How much do these birds go for?
How much is the starting price for everything?
How much does a vet visit usually cost?
After I find out what bird I’d like to get I can pretty much do the rest of my research and ask questions as I go. But that’s what I’d like to know for now. Any other information I should know would be much appreciated! Since I’m new I’m not even sure what I should be asking yah know? So tell me everything! I’m all ears! ... do birds have ear canals? You can’t see under their feathers lol

By the way I won’t get this bird until I know for sure what I’m getting into and have done all the research and have asked way more questions! So please don’t be rude like many forum have been in the past and tell me I’m an idiot who knows nothing about this animal so I’ll kill it if I get one and horrible things like that... I know I am very uninformed but I want to learn so I can find out if having a bird is right for me. Which it should be since I’ve clicked with every single animal I’ve had because all animals are just so amazing and MUCH better than people haha :)
 
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junglechicken

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It's good that you are willing to ask questions before getting a bird. Too many people get a pet and ask questions later.

some people believe in "starter birds" but i don't really. figure out what you want, learn all about it, then go for that. all birds require a lot, i mean A LOT of care. i can't refer you to a certain kind of bird, but i will recommend that you go to the bottom of the site where there are headings for separate breeds of parrots. click on those, and find the part that says "the good, the bad, and the ugly" that won't tell you everything, but it's a good place to start! read everything you can on this site. it will give you some good information. ask questions as they come up when you read various posts.

keep in mind that birds need out of cage time every single day. they need hours and hours of out of cage time, ideally. that can be hard if you have a job and/or school. they can bond very strongly to their person....or not. when they do it can be frustrating, when they don't it can be heart breaking.

i'm so glad you are researching before you get a bird! start reading, my friend!
 

McBoredFace

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So I’ve been looking around the forum and notice birds live a very long time! I’m totally prepared for that commitment! My northern BTS has a life span of 20 years which isn’t as long as a bird but I wish it did. Id much rather have a long term animal than a short term. I put so much time, money and effort into my chameleon just for him to have a life span of 5 years! It’s heart breaking.
But I also do have a lot of time on my hands. My husband works while I’m basically a house wife. I am thinking about working part time but even then it’ll be twenty hours a week. I have so much free time and I BABY my pets. I mean I have to spoon feed my skink! He won’t eat if the food is on a plate in his enclosure. He has to be sitting on my lap or wrapped in a blanket with his head poking out while I spoon feed him and clean his messy face when he’s done! Then he basks to digest his food and I take him out again to give him exercise in case he hasn’t pooped in his enclosure which he usually doesn’t until he’s active again. Then after that we basically cuddle and hang out all day. And I’d love to add another addition to my animal family again. I miss having more than one animal at a time.
Anyway! I tell you this to show you I’m fine with the work and care and I have the time and enjoy every little bit of it!
 

McBoredFace

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Thank you so much! I’ll definitely go check out that thread and the rest of the forum. Also as you can see from my post I just made to, I definitely have the time and really want an animal I can hang out with for long periods of time! So this might be a perfect fit! Thank you so much again!
 

TinyFeathers

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So basically, there is a lot of birds that could be suitable for you! I assume you want to type of parrot. I think really, if your getting a bird, you shouldn't worry about beginner, intermediate, etc. Because all of them are going to be a challenge, and you can't skip anything for even the smallest bird. Although a large bird would be more challenging, it's still generally the same.

Yes, research! But be careful, ask us anything. Make sure, you get the right cage size, and diet. I wish i had known this before. @Mizzely and @Jas really helped me figure out the right cage size, and diet, for the birds I wanted. Your cage needs to be big enough for the birds to fly around quite a bit, and they should still be let out regularly. For the diet, it depends on the birds, but a lot of birds need pellets, seeds, and fresh fruits and veg. Check out around which birds you feel comfortable with, and what could fit in your house, but remember, even if you get a small little tweety bird, they might still need a castle of space.

Like @junglechicken said, check out some of these,
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly about BUDGIES! | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Cockatiels | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Lovebirds | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum

check out any others you like!

Welcome to AA! People will be a lot friendlier here then those other forums!
 

Farlie

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First of all, you'll find that a bird is a life-changing experience. You can't use sprays of any kind anymore such as smell goods. No underarm antiperspirants or bathroom sprays. No room or incense stuff.
Bathroom cleaners and floor cleaners are a no-no.
Dawn dishwashing liquid is the only thing you can use.
If you let the bird fly freely you must cover all windows and mirrors so they won't fly into them and break their necks or end up with brain damage.
Prices vary depending on the bird.
A parakeet (budgie) will cost about $20.
A Hyacinth Macaw parrot will cost in the thousands.
My Farlie, (Sun Conure) was $500.
Proper size cages cost about $150 and up.
Parrots are very LOUD. They SCREAM their heads off and are not recommended for apartment living.
My vet visits cost $49.50 and everything else is added on. Such as X-Rays for $100 and blood work at $150 etc. etc.
Bird toys are kinda expensive and need replacing on a monthly basis cuz parrots love to destroy everything they can get their beaks on.
He SCREAMS and is LOUD but, I love him dearly. :heart: :hug8: :heart:
 
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McBoredFace

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Top 10 'Talking' Birds

I found this link by the way, would you agree with the list? Cause I’ll start checking out these birds unless there are some weird exotic hidden gems not listed.

I should mention I’m the type of person who hates to get a common animal. I like getting the odd ones or rare or just plain weird. I like having a pet that not a lot of people have. Like the number one on this list is the African gray and I know too many people with them so I don’t really want one. I want a breed that not many people are known to have but I’m sure that’s a different case when it comes to this forum lol but yeah maybe that’ll help too when teaching me more stuff about birds
 

TinyFeathers

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What size of bird are you comfortable handling? (think of beak strength, cage size, etc.) This might help with your search.
 

McBoredFace

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Wow so much kind information! Thank you so much. I feel so welcome and you’re all teaching me so much. I’ll check out the forums. But if you can’t use certain cleaners how do you clean? You can only clean your house with dawn dish soap?
 

Brittany0208

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Welcome to the Avenue!
 

McBoredFace

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What size of bird are you comfortable handling? (think of beak strength, cage size, etc.) This might help with your search.
I guess a small-medium? Like maybe something around 6-10 inches tall? I’m not sure. Big enough to be very noticeable and can’t get into right spaces if he wanders my apartment, but not too big because I have an apartment. Oh yeah! I live in an apartment... just one neighbor in front of me though. So nothing that screams, but definitely one I can teach a bunch of words and sounds and talk to.
 

TinyFeathers

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Oh yeah! I live in an apartment, so nothing that screams
I don't know if that's quite possible, i think the medium sized birds are pretty loud, you guys tell me if I'm wrong but pretty much all birds will be loud right? There is a few though, i've heard budgies, and Lovebirds go well in apartments, budgies can learn to talk, but not all do. Just remember, birds are like kids, they usually won't be who you want them to be. Not all birds talk, African greys for example, they hold records for learning 1000 words and such, but you might go buy a Grey, and it might never talk. If you want a bird, be aware, no matter what kind you get, they still might not talk.
 

Farlie

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Sounds like a parakeet or parrotlet or maybe a cockatiel. They will most likely talk or mimic your speech but there is no guarantee.
They are smallish birds and won't be too loud.
Look into those three birds.

I use Dawn to clean everything. Floors, walls, dishes, bathroom, and tub. Yes, everything.
 
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junglechicken

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Wow so much kind information! Thank you so much. I feel so welcome and you’re all teaching me so much. I’ll check out the forums. But if you can’t use certain cleaners how do you clean? You can only clean your house with dawn dish soap?
I use dawn dish soap and white vinegar. Not mixed together....lol. Dawn on floors, vinergar as a spray for surfaces like counters.
 

Farlie

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Top 10 'Talking' Birds

I found this link by the way, would you agree with the list? Cause I’ll start checking out these birds unless there are some weird exotic hidden gems not listed.

I should mention I’m the type of person who hates to get a common animal. I like getting the odd ones or rare or just plain weird. I like having a pet that not a lot of people have. Like the number one on this list is the African gray and I know too many people with them so I don’t really want one. I want a breed that not many people are known to have but I’m sure that’s a different case when it comes to this forum lol but yeah maybe that’ll help too when teaching me more stuff about birds
These birds are known talkers and SCREAMERS. They are considered large birds, except the parakeet, and will hurt your ears.
 

Lady Jane

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There is much research on the web about having companion birds in your life. Much of it is outdated so when you are reading something look for the date it was written.
The information and educational articles here on AA are the best, also the personal experiences from members. One of the most important items that should be on the top of a potential bird persons list is finding an avian vet where you can take your bird and call upon in emergencies. There are so many people that say "I cant find or afford an avian vet". If this is true then that person really should delay having a bird until such a time that an avian vet is available for services or you are willing to travel to and can afford that vet.
 

JLcribber

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It doesn't matter what kind of animals you've had in the past because none of them were birds. You have a "vision" of what parrot ownership is like from a bunch of orchestrated YouTube videos. The reality of owning a parrot is nothing like those videos. You can research until your eyes bug out. It will not prepare you to own a parrot

You should be visiting a rescue and actually getting face to face with some birds and interacting with them. It will become self evident very quickly if you're cut out for parrot ownership or not.

If you have the right stuff a lovely bird in that rescue will also see that and "choose you". That is the bird you are meant to have.

Parrots and apartments go together like fire and water. A small species like budgies or cockatiels is doable.
 

Brittany0208

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I can only echo what John said. I did a years' worth of research before I even knew what species I was bringing home, and still, I was completely unprepared. Not only did I end up with a species I never heard of, I ended up with a bird that had a traumatic past and is physically impaired because of it. I'm still learning every single day, and the videos online should be taken with a grain of salt because these are usually highlight reels. Most videos don't show the true nature of a parrot, because people don't want to see that.
All in all, I've learned much more on AA and through experience than I ever could by an internet article. Parrots are a LOT more complicated than you could never imagine. And despite all this, having them is worth every meltdown. Just keep an open mind. Do that, and you won't be disappointed.
 

junglechicken

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I can only echo what John said. I did a years' worth of research before I even knew what species I was bringing home, and still, I was completely unprepared. Not only did I end up with a species I never heard of, I ended up with a bird that had a traumatic past and is physically impaired because of it. I'm still learning every single day, and the videos online should be taken with a grain of salt because these are usually highlight reels. Most videos don't show the true nature of a parrot, because people don't want to see that.
All in all, I've learned much more on AA and through experience than I ever could by an internet article. Parrots are a LOT more complicated than you could never imagine. And despite all this, having them is worth every meltdown. Just keep an open mind. Do that, and you won't be disappointed.
Yes. This. I ended up with a Timneh African Grey. I always wanted a grey, but i was not expecting to deal with his emotional issues from his horrible childhood. He picks his feathers terribly no matter what i do.
 

Hankmacaw

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Because you know so little about birds, John's advice is great advice. Go to a rescue or a large bird store and look at and handle as many parrots as you can. Stores are as a general rule not a good place to buy a bird - they are in the business of selling birds so many will tell (or worse not tell you) the absolute truth about a bird. Good place to see lots of birds though. Absolutely, don't buy from a bird fair - they are cesspools of disease. My preference is that a person always gets a parrot from a rescue or even off Craig's list (if you know what you are doing).

Something to keep in mind. Parrots don't come in prepackaged varieties. You can't pull one off the shelf and say this is an African Grey, so it will be like this and do that. Each and every parrot is an individual with his own personality and abilities. I had two Greenwing macaws a male and a female and they were as alike as night and day - each was/is his/her own bird and not like any other bird.

It will be far better for you to see many birds and handle as many as possible. BTW - all parrots are VERY noisy, VERY messy, VERY destructive and all bite.
 

TinyFeathers

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I actually can relate here,

I wanted birds so bad! I researched and researched, bought books, and watched youtube videos, all the time about birds, for years! I tried so hard to get some, i did everything i could to find some! When i did, i listened to my outdated bird book, bought a little cage, some seeds mix, and a few toys, and two birds. They meant the world to me! I loved them so much! I did everything i could. I thought i was doing it right. But i was really, really wrong. They were just eating seeds, had cheap toys, and a small cage, i also didn't have a vet in my area. Both, died. One from the cheap toy, and the other from either a disease or heart attack, she was in the window. I bought two more, promised myself no window, and no cheap toys. The one, figured out a way to slide the food dispensers in a way they could escape, we tried to fix it, we thought we did. We, went away, and the bird slipped out in the night, and got caught behind a dresser, and suffocated herself :(. The last one, my baby, my 3 year old baby, i miss you so much :(. He died boxing day, he started acting sick, he was sleepy, fluffed up, and falling of his perch, i didn't know what to do, there was no vet, nothing i could do, he kept falling off his perch in a sleepy way, i knew it was his last day, a few hours later, of trying to help him, with everything, he died in a seizure. I was not prepared, i had not found AA, i was on my own, and had just lost my baby.

For the past few months i had been thinking about getting more, but i can't stand loosing them again, my parents won't listen to me about a new cage or diet or anything. Now, i'm waiting a few years, till i have my own place/job/money and I'm going to do it right. I wish i could have done better, i wish i could have a do over, i miss them. Don't make the same mistake i did. Buying a bird isn't something easy, it's a commitment.
 
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