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MBS (Multiple Bird Syndrome) AKA Just one more...

Theresa

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There have already been a few threads about it, however I would like to start a more generic thread with the hopes of it becoming a sticky.

It can be used to help new members "in the first glow of birdy love", but also serve as a reminder to those of us who have been in birds for a while on the dangers of it.

MBS does not have to mean lots of birds, it can also mean going from 1 to 2 if that second one takes you over your personal, financial or family harmony limit.

I would love our members input and personal stories.
Also what helps you stay at your personal limit of birds?
 

Shade

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There have already been a few threads about it, however I would like to start a more generic thread with the hopes of it becoming a sticky.

It can be used to help new members "in the first glow of birdy love", but also serve as a reminder to those of us who have been in birds for a while on the dangers of it.

MBS does not have to mean lots of birds, it can also mean going from 1 to 2 if that second one takes you over your personal, financial or family harmony limit.

I would love our members input and personal stories.
Also what helps you stay at your personal limit of birds?
Realizing that I'll have one more cage to clean :lol:

Seriously though, I think a lot of people think "at this point, what is one more?" - one more cage to clean means more time doing that and more time away from your flock. (obviously cage cleaning, the in-depth cleaning, is my least favorite parrot related chore..)

It's also one more vet bill. One more bird to worry about when you want to go away on vacation.
 
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sthiele

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Space and time. I work full-time, am finishing up my Master's degree, and I still live with my parents. I'll move out when I can afford to buy a house (not going to try to live in an apartment with 2 sun conures :lol:) and when that time comes, I'll add a CAG to my flock.
 

Theresa

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One of the things that stops me is the fact that I am godmom to a few bird. One set of birds in particular is truly going to be a challenge and because their Mom is older and not in the best of health, it's a worry.
I did get Mom's agreement that I could find them Great homes, but since I'm so picky that would still mean months of extra birds.
 

Mizzely

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I think about how awesome my two birds are now: they each have a "person" to be with whenever they want, they get along. Adding another bird could upset the harmony. It could mean separate out of cage time, which would be harder. It'd be more food, more toys, more cleaning. My husband helps me keep things in perspective: we discussed Koopa quite a bit before we got her, and made sure we pre-planned for a worst case scenario.
 

cassiesdad

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Limited space is one of the main reasons that 9 is the absolute limit here, along with financial reasons. Vet bills-EEEK!
 

Renae

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For me, the biggest thing is SPACE. I also worry a bit about the “what if’s” when I get a job. It comes down to space, and will eventually become time as well as space, so both of these things are being kept in my thoughts/mind constantly now.
 

Birdasaurus

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For me it's the future. We'd like to start a family soon, and "just one more" may be possible now, but a huge mistake when a baby arrives. Plus, I'd like to think 14 is a healthy limit :huh: :lol:
 

allison

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Volunteering at a bird rescue is awesome but I have to admit it made me want to adopt a lot of them at the begining. My dad kept me in check and I'm glad he did because I know I wanted at least 20 birds in my first few years volunteering. I know my limits now and after what I went through with Kei and Toady I know I couldn't afford proper care for more than 4 birds. I have seen many birds that I fall for and want and it hurts when I can't take them but I know I can't have them all. Instead I provide the best home possible for my current birds. I save my extra money for vet bills and have a monthly toy budget as well. I try really hard not to browse ads for birds and try not to go into stores that sell birds. All of these things have really helped me stay in check with my numbers.
 

Angela_tiger_1999

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I will share my story in the hopes that it might help a new member or parrot owner...My first parrot was a blue front amazon (from a local rescue) that I loved very very much. I will admit being apart of this forum and seeing everyone else with multiple birds made me feel like I should add a second, now it wasn't just the forum...I thought that my zon would like the company (not necessarily a friend) but atleast another parrot to hear while I was at work..boy was I ever wrong and it couldn't of blown up in my face any worse. My sweet zon turned into mad, angry, and upset zon...began dive bombing and drawing blood at every given opportunity and for the safety of my family had to be returned to the rescue. I miss my Emma dearly and if I had it to do over again I would have never in a million years brought other birds in my house, don't get me wrong I love the two I have now but they are not Emma :(

So please think long and hard before adding another parrot...they will not always get along, they may not want the company of another...they may just be completely content being an only bird.
 

Love My Zons

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I am at my limit of three but one being the easiest my littles but the other two are center attention of the household birdwise. I know that I could handle more birds financially but the attention that others would need would be very hard to balance.

So they are it for now, they have all of me each day and I feel they are very fulfilled, they are flighted, they are happy boys and that matters most to me. I cannot see adding just one more for a very long time if ever. When you have a balanced flock or pair and things are going well, there is no need to upset or disturb a good thing.

P.S. the "just one more" applies to me moreso in the doggie addition here :heart:
especially with rescuing a needy mutty mutt.
 
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luvsgreys

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Like Andrea, I also want to start a family very soon. Plus since my fids do not like each other, I feel that for awhile two is all we can handle. Brian can entertain one, while I entertain the other. :highfive:
 

merlinsmom13

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A really good topic. I have 1 bird & feel like thats the limit. After having Merlin for 5 years I know him pretty well, & he would not be accepting to another bird. This is my feeling, I could be wrong, but I've observed him w/people & other animals. He's very jealous of any attention we paid to our dog. My husband even has to be careful about touching me during hormonal times. This could be his personality or a result of not being around other birds.

I also don't want another soul to be responsible for, I've had multiple animals my entire life. I just need a break from the expense, cleaning, & worry of having multiple pets. I just want to be able to pick up & go if I want. One parrot would be possible to travel with, whoever said the more the merrier, wasnt talking about traveling with pets. :D
 

~birdybea~

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I obviously went through a phase of getting "just one more" bird, and as far as food bills, vet bills, and cleaning time i'm not bothered by the number of birds i've got. :) At a basic level it doesn't particularly affect the amount of attention they get either, as i spend x amount of time in the bird room with them each day and the ones who want hands on time with me come and seek it out, while the others mind their own business and keep happy as a flock.

So many birds, even the easy little guys, makes finding a sitter challenging. With the flock Steve and I have together we would probably be looking at finding someone to live-in if we were to be able to go away (even for a weekend, argh). So in that sense the large flock is very restrictive. I would also love to be able to do more training with my birds, but having a good training session means working with them one on one, which takes time and often causes other flock members stress if i've taken just one bird out of the cage. If i want to work properly with Savvy, Zoe has to be in her cage. If i want to work with the cockatiels then the conures and princess parrots have to be away. It's a juggling act which i don't have time for most days, so i miss out on interacting with my birds in the way i'd like to.

I acquired my birds starting with budgies, graduating to cockatiels, then to conures, etc. This was mainly because that was the order in which my parents allowed me to get birds. I would encourage anyone wanting a bird to research what it is they ultimately want in a bird, and skipping the "starter" birds in favour of going for what they actually want. In hindsight i'd rather a smaller flock, where i could develop a more personal bond with each member of the flock. But i'm happy enough, and am not going to do any of my birds the injustice of shuffling them along to a different home because i couldn't see the harm of "just one more".
 

Theresa

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Thank you everyone great answers, keep them coming :)


I will share my story in the hopes that it might help a new member or parrot owner...My first parrot was a blue front amazon (from a local rescue) that I loved very very much. I will admit being apart of this forum and seeing everyone else with multiple birds made me feel like I should add a second, now it wasn't just the forum...I thought that my zon would like the company (not necessarily a friend) but atleast another parrot to hear while I was at work..boy was I ever wrong and it couldn't of blown up in my face any worse. My sweet zon turned into mad, angry, and upset zon...began dive bombing and drawing blood at every given opportunity and for the safety of my family had to be returned to the rescue. I miss my Emma dearly and if I had it to do over again I would have never in a million years brought other birds in my house, don't get me wrong I love the two I have now but they are not Emma :(

So please think long and hard before adding another parrot...they will not always get along, they may not want the company of another...they may just be completely content being an only bird.
Thank you Angela, I know what a difficult decision it was to send Emma back.
Hopefully you sharing your pain will help others to think twice or maybe even 5 times before adding a bird :hug8::hug8::hug8:
 

FreeByrd

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I'm adding another budgie and that is that. I like budgies. Marley is happy, flighted, makes lovely sounds and sings, plays with toys, isn't nippy (except for after we first moved but she was stressed) and is not expensive to feed or keep. I aim to get her a budgie friend, and I am praying that they like each other as I don't want more than two budgies.

Right now things are perfect. Marley has free range during waking hours. She can stay in her cage, come out and play on the gyms, or fly around. She stays off my stuff and doesn't chew on "human things".........

Cleaning is a big factor in the number of birds I take on. Marley doesn't poop when she flies, so the only areas I have to clean are her cage and around it. I am a clean cage freak, so being as I clean it every day........ I can't see me adding more birds/cages that would also take more time/effort/supplies to clean. I feel birds have the right to have a clean cage and not have their feathers fly around them when they take off..... and I want her toys/perches to be in spic and span shape. I totally haven't a clue as to how people with large number of birds keep up with cleaning.......... especially as the larger the bird, the more poop! :p I am also aware that Marley is MY bird and my choice to have........ so I don't feel it is fair for my husband and son to deal with seeds on the floor and feather fluff. Not to mention the dander. We all suffer from allergies. Hence my cleaning really good daily.

Finances are another factor. I need to know that I can take care of her vet needs, her nutritional needs, as well as spoil her. I know she doesn't NEED the fun toys and things that I buy from the merchants on here. Just like she doesn't require organic food..... but I want the best for her, and that includes a variety of fun toys and healthy foods.

Space is a big concern. I don't have the room for more cages. And if I got more birds, I'd feel they deserved not only their own cage space...... but play spaces as well. And right now our home is safe for flying. (as safe as it can be with walls and windows) If it was stuffed with cages and play gyms, it just wouldn't be the same. (SMALL apt.)

Death is a bigger concern. (of me) I have plans for the two budgies were I to die. It wasn't hard for me to find backups being that I only have Marley (and a future budgie) I'd think the more birds, the harder it would be.

But I'm not a normal case. At least not as of yet.... I can look and admire and leave it at that. (which is why I'd LOVE to have neighbors with some different varieties of birds that I could interact with!) I wasn't raised with animals, so I am used to petting and enjoying and then moving on..... :rolleyes:
 

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For me it is all about 'life balance'. I have 5 birds but only three really come out (the budgies very happy in cage, altho they have the option to come out if they want) I have 4 cages (budgies cage is a hex and a pain in the proverbial to clean). I have a hubby who works full time, an 8yo son, I work 20hr per work (4 shifts), a dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, 1 guinea pig and a 4ft tropical fish tank.
I will be honest and say I would and could love another bird BUT realistically I think my home and heart is full with what I have. I always seem to be cleaning, feeding, playing with someone. Having said that, if I ever see a bird in dire need of a new home, I will enquire about it and go from there, so its not out of the question, but it would have to be a very special case for me to go down that road at this point. I am so glad that we do not have CL over here. I think also it really is a case of knowing what you can and cant have, deal with, handle, financials, time etc.
 

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When you are sick with flu or a severe cold think about this. You have just finished cleaning cages, feeding birds, don't want time with them as you can barely take care of yourself. At this point you would be done. Think if you had 1, 2, 3 or more to still do. Oh, husband and kids not available either. Getting older. I think you should share with a pet but be realistic on what you can handle now vs what you use to be able to handle.
 

April

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I suffered from MBS about three years ago,I had only had Nala for about 2 years and never once in that time did I think to myself hey I want another bird. Then one day out of the blue I just had the urge to get another to love and shower with affection. I found another Greenie on CL we met and hit it off right away,I brought him home Q'd him for 2 months and everything was going great. I had plans to slowly introduce him and Nala and see if they could be friends. Well that didnt quite work out,just before I planned on starting the we were forced to move literally within 3 days so once we got to our new much smaller place there was no where else that Peanut could go but in my room with Nala. They had both been single birds their whole lives and had no idea what to think of each other,at first there was a grudging peace they would avoid each other but if both were on me they would beak spar and I would have to seperate them. This went on for a little over a year and all was well,then again one day I just thought to myself wouldnt it be so fun to have just one more bird,what could it hurt?

This was the biggest mistake I made,if I hadnt been caught up in my own selfish thoughts I would have realized just how lucky I was that Nala and Peanut could co-exist as long as I wasnt handling them both at the same time. And that I should have been thankful for what I had and left well enough alone. But as most of you know,I didnt. I searched CL for about 3 days and posted an ad,someone answered and told me that they had a Sun Conure that they wanted to rehome and would I be interested since I had posted looking for only another Greenie. I said that yes I would still be interested and we met and even though Simba bit the crap out of my thumb upon meeting me I still loved him at first sight and brought him home with me.

I Q'd him,and this time I did the intro's properly and at first no one seemed to care about one another so that was good. But then it happened,One night about 4 months after I got Simba,he and Peanut got into a fight whitch Nala joined in because she got scared and flew/fell onto Peanut's shorter cage and joined in the fight.

After that fight,Peanut became scared to death of everything and grew to hate me and would flail about in his cage if I even walked by. I had no where else to move him in our current living situation so he was stuck in the room with Simba and Nala even though I covered his cage and moved him as far away from their cages as I could.
He was clearly misrable living like this,and I couldnt even change his bowls without him having a panic attack and throwing himself down from his perches to the bottom of the cage.
I was worried for his safely and well being so I sadly rehomed him to my co-worker who had no other birds but had raised all sorts for over 20 years. He is so happy now,in a family with 3 people he always has someone home with him and he rules the roost. In this case,Nala didnt start the fight and until it happened,was able to peacefully co-exist with him.


But the damage was done,and now Nala hated Simba's guts from then on every single time they were both out if he came anywhere near her she would do her best kill him for real. She even managed to grab the top of his head before I could seperate them and ripped out a ton of his feathers. I had to beg my mom but I managed to convince her to let me clear out some room in our other room to move into in hopes that would help,for awhile it did they didnt have to see or be around each other and all was well for about a year. Then the screaming started,I developed a horrible reaction to his never ending screaming he had screamed before of course,but this was something else all together. I tried everything under the sun to curb this behavior,but nothing would work and I wouldnt stand it anymore.

I literally would get a horrible migraine the second he screamed even once,it was like a knife to my brain. Even with that happening,I still couldnt bear to let him go and changed my mind about 5 times when a friend had offered to take him for him,and keep him forever in her loving home. I finally months later came to the realization that for his sake I needed to do this because he was getting less and less out of cage time,since I couldnt stand to be in the same room with him once he screamed even once.

At the end of '11 I contacted our own Anna from Macaw & Cockatoo and she kindly agreed to take Simba and find him a wonderful home like only she can. I cried the whole way to the airport and it just about killed me to leave him with those strange people in the airport,as soon as I started walking away he screamed bloodly murder and even over the plane noises,I could near his screams as I walked out the door.

I hope that my story will help people to not get in over their head,and to realize just how hard it can be to juggle multiple birds when even just one of them hates all others with a fiery passion and will do their best to hurt all other birds.

I would give anything in the world to change what happened,I want all my babies still but if it ment avoiding all this pain and misery I would have just stuck to Nala,and never thought that "just one more bird" wouldnt change anything.

I will forever hate myself for all the things that have happened,I still think that I am a horrible person and that maybe I never should have been blessed with a bird in the first place. I know that Nala is happy now being alone,and I respect that and will never bring in another bird while I still have her in my life. Even in the future after she passes,with another bird I still will never chance having two again unless the people I adopt the bird from say that they enjoy the company of other birds.
 
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