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Thinking of adding IRN vs Quaker to our family

Younglis

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Hi guys! I have been thinking of getting a bird for some time now and have kind of honed in on an IRN vs a Quaker. Sorry in advance from the novel but trying to give as much info as possible:
Some of my background: I do have *some* bird experience, having previously owned cockatiels. My last cockatiel passed away about 10 years ago and I've been missing a bird buddy. I am in my late 30s and have a pretty big house that I share with my husband, very small kiddo (1 1/2 years), and 2 dogs. My husband works from home in IT, I'm finishing up my masters (online) and currently a SAHM, but plan on re-entering the work force eventually (hopefully finding sometime PT or remote, but not guaranteed). This is what I'm looking for:
-a bird with a lot of personality
-cuddling isn't super important, but I want a bird to be a companion, hang out with me, teach it things, etc. I have a big office that I was hoping to turn into kind of a "bird room" that has multiple perches/toys and the bird can hang out with me while I'm working during the day, painting, etc. Also, since I do have 2 dogs, a lot of the out of cage time will happen in here (don't want to take any chances). I do plan on keeping their cage in a main area of our house and letting the bird have out of cage time here too, when the dogs are outside/in another room.
-I'm fine with loud noises and occasional screaming but would prefer a bird that doesn't scream *constantly*. I adore sun conures, but don't think I could handle their noise levels.
My cockatiels never bothered me and they were in my bedroom, but I know they are pretty quiet birds comparatively. I realize every bird is an individual, and I would never re-home one for being "too loud", but it'd be nice to start out with one I might have a better chance of NOT screaming incessantly.
-I do have a toddler that won't be able to handle the bird until they are much, much older... But I can't guarantee that they won't, from time to time, stick a finger in the cage... so I don't want a super territorial bird that will go ballistic when this occurs (this makes me Leary about the quakers)
-one with talking ability (also realize they don't all talk. But it'd be a big bonus)
-a bird that's happy with me being around it often and interacting, but can be independent too. I can't give it my undivided attention except for 1-3 hrs per day (due to school/family life).

I think an IRN would be a great fit for us from what I've read about them, and I'm not too concerned about the bluffing phase, as it is a "phase" we'll just have to work through. Moreover, I'm concerned because we do have a tendency to have a loud household (ahem, toddler), and I'm not sure if that'll be too stressful for an IRN? I did consider a cockatiel again because they are SO sweet, but would love to have a bird that is a little bit 'more bird'. I am not awake of any quaker breeders where I live so would have to likely go out of state or try to find a rehomed one. There IS, however, an IRN/eclectus breeder in my town that hand feeds babies/ raises them around her grandkids and seems very reputable. Any advice or thoughts is appreciated, especially if anyone owns both of these guys. Thank you!
 

Pixiebeak

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:greet13:hello and welcome!
Plus for quakers don't tend to be one person burds so good chance would be a family bird.
Neg...probably for sure going to bite fingers poked in cage..but so will many species. Mine are cage protective big time..but great away from cage.
Also don't think 1-3 hours would cut it with them...very prone to screaming in cage like continously...because highly social and active and brainy so from frustration and boredom turn to screaming. Mine always want to join in on any phone conversations ;)

But as full member of your family and integrated into all of your daily life...and not left alone caged a wonderful parrot.
 

MnGuy

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I adopted a 7 year old IRN about two months ago and he’s amazing. He says a few phrases but his speech is pretty limited.

I find the volume and pitch of his calls a lot more tolerable then many other species. He will scream for attention on occasion and “complains” more than my grey. The ringneck alarm call can be shrill.

IRNs are considered independent, but mine has to be on or near me when he’s out. He doesn’t like to hang out on top of his cage or play stand. When he’s out, he’ll even fly back to his cage, grab a pellet and come eat it near me.

I have a grey and had a Meyer’s years ago. My IRN is the only one who, so far, has never tried to bite me or threaten to do so. He has a more steady personality and is less moody than my other birds.

He also has a lot more energy and will run back and forth on the bottom of his cage if he wants to come out.

Unlike my other birds, he also loves to swoop very low when he’s flying. This can be very dangerous around dogs. (I also have two dogs.) He also loves to land on the floor and walk around.

He’s not cage aggressive at all, but he’s the only IRN I’ve been around so I don’t know how common that is.

He will attack a phone or remote in my hand, and has shown some jealousy when I’m petting my small dog near him.

I’m loving him and the species so far.
 

AussieBird

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IRN do not have a bluffing phase, a brief search here and you can find multiple post on that topic.
This is a common myth, but ringnecks *DO NOT* bluff. What is considered "bluffing" is a *very nice* and *very clear* way of them saying "No," "I'm not comfortable with this," "I'm scared," "I don't understand what you want" or something similar. This is them needing their space and needing to be trained to understand. I do not recommend ignoring this behavior.

This is where training can help you *so* much in getting the desired behaviors that you *DO* want! So don't ignore a bird telling you that they will bite if push comes to shove, and try not to get bit! ;)




I have an ARN and she has coexisted in an aviary setup with my cockatiel and my mitred conure. Prior to being put in the aviary though, she was on one half of a double wide flight cage with my tiel(s-at the time) in the other half. Of course, she's also a wild caught bird, which may mean that it's easier to integrate her into a mixed flock than it would be to try this with a handraised bird that doesn't know how to socialize in a flock setting.
 

Kiwi's Dad

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Younglis

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IRN do not have a bluffing phase, a brief search here and you can find multiple post on that topic.
Interesting. I'll have to look into that. I feel like I've heard repeatedly that the bird can kind of "change overnight" and then revert back to it's "old self" some weeks to months later. If not a bluffing "stage", is it simply a period where the bird is learning boundaries and developing trust? I will definitely read more on this!
 

Younglis

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:greet13:hello and welcome!
Plus for quakers don't tend to be one person burds so good chance would be a family bird.
Neg...probably for sure going to bite fingers poked in cage..but so will many species. Mine are cage protective big time..but great away from cage.
Also don't think 1-3 hours would cut it with them...very prone to screaming in cage like continously...because highly social and active and brainy so from frustration and boredom turn to screaming. Mine always want to join in on any phone conversations ;)

But as full member of your family and integrated into all of your daily life...and not left alone caged a wonderful parrot.
Thanks for your reply Pixiebeak! This is what I've been debating too. I think I can dedicate one on one time in the mornings, and certainly for a few hrs in the evenings. I'll be with the bird casually interacting during the day and letting them free flight with me in the office, but won't have "dedicated time" during my school (and eventually work) hours. So just trying to decide if that is going to be enough for a bird like an IRN or Quaker, certainly want to ensure they are not suffering due to not enough one on one time with me
 

Pat H

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Q-- If you don't want a loud bird... then why/ how are you considering a Quaker?
Oh... and WELCOME to the Avenue!!! :marlenesmile:
 

AussieBird

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Interesting. I'll have to look into that. I feel like I've heard repeatedly that the bird can kind of "change overnight" and then revert back to it's "old self" some weeks to months later. If not a bluffing "stage", is it simply a period where the bird is learning boundaries and developing trust? I will definitely read more on this!
Whenever I read bluffing I generally ignore that part. Do they say the bluffing started at maturity? It wouldn't surprise me if it's simply a baby hitting maturity and saying no more to touching. A lot of people are not aware that Asiatic parrots do not Allopreen, and insist on petting and touching their ringnecks.
@fashionfobie has a plumhead and is very knowledgeable on things Asiatic parakeets :)
 

MnGuy

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Whenever I read bluffing I generally ignore that part. Do they say the bluffing started at maturity? It wouldn't surprise me if it's simply a baby hitting maturity and saying no more to touching. A lot of people are not aware that Asiatic parrots do not Allopreen, and insist on petting and touching their ringnecks.
@fashionfobie has a plumhead and is very knowledgeable on things Asiatic parakeets :)
My IRN loves having his head and face scratched. He came that way so I don’t know if it was forced on him, or if he asked for it. He’s had two previous homes before me.
 

AussieBird

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My IRN loves having his head and face scratched. He came that way so I don’t know if it was forced on him, or if he asked for it. He’s had two previous homes before me.
Oh, I am sure there's probably some exceptions. I just know I've seen far too many videos of people petting their RNs and them acting so stimulate while their human completely ignores it.
 

Parutti

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I have a 2.5 year old African Ringneck and a 6 month old Quaker :) My Quaker is much louder all day long and will escalate his volume to be heard over everybody else - which makes sense to me, being a species that lives in a giant complex community. My ringneck sounds a bit different from an IRN but his alarm calls are the same as an IRN.

You said you have a ringneck breeder near you - would they let you visit and see what the adults are like? Any rescues where you could meet a Quaker? Or local parrot Facebook group where you might find owners of each?

I also agree with the ringneck bluffing being inaccurate. In my experience my ringneck has been very very clear with his boundaries and expectations but his body language is a lot more subtle than my baby Quaker. I can't imagine a scenario where my ringneck would try to bite me, even though he doesn't want to be touched. My Quaker learned beak pressure super fast, but he'll test me a lot still too - granted, he's at a developmental stage where I feel like it's expected, but he's just more assertive about using his beak where my ringneck is quicker to use his voice.
 

Xoetix

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I have a cockatiel, and have/had two quakers, but no experience with an IRN (although I’m absolutely dying for one!).

Everything you’ve listed, is there a reason you’re not considering getting a cockatiel again?

My tiel in comparison to the quakers is WAY quieter. He talks/sings incessantly, but volume-wise I’ve found cockatiels to be overall easier and more “cage friendly” birds, in that I don’t worry about him biting a finger through the cage. I have a toddler (he’s 3) and I won’t let him near a Quaker cage because he’ll absolutely be bitten.
 

Younglis

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Q-- If you don't want a loud bird... then why/ how are you considering a Quaker?
Oh... and WELCOME to the Avenue!!! :marlenesmile:
I'm pretty sure I said I was fine with a loud bird above (though, sunnies are a little too much for me). My friend did have a Moluccan cockatoo and he was a bit much also. It's more the incessant screaming that I'm trying to avoid since my husband works from home. Some screaming is ok/expected. But, if quakers tend to be prone to long screaming bouts, that's definitely something for me to consider. From what I have read, usually incessant screaming in any bird is due to some behavioral issue/unmet need though.
 

Younglis

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I have a 2.5 year old African Ringneck and a 6 month old Quaker :) My Quaker is much louder all day long and will escalate his volume to be heard over everybody else - which makes sense to me, being a species that lives in a giant complex community. My ringneck sounds a bit different from an IRN but his alarm calls are the same as an IRN.

You said you have a ringneck breeder near you - would they let you visit and see what the adults are like? Any rescues where you could meet a Quaker? Or local parrot Facebook group where you might find owners of each?

I also agree with the ringneck bluffing being inaccurate. In my experience my ringneck has been very very clear with his boundaries and expectations but his body language is a lot more subtle than my baby Quaker. I can't imagine a scenario where my ringneck would try to bite me, even though he doesn't want to be touched. My Quaker learned beak pressure super fast, but he'll test me a lot still too - granted, he's at a developmental stage where I feel like it's expected, but he's just more assertive about using his beak where my ringneck is quicker to use his voice.
I think it's a really good idea to reach out to the breeder and see if I can spend some time with her adults and discuss with her if our lifestyle would be compatible. Unfortunately, I don't know any quakers around here- there IS a parrot rescue 3 hours away that has 1 Quaker that they've had for awhile. They haven't had any IRNs in the last 6 months. But, still may be worth going and talking to the organization and seeing him.
 

Younglis

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I have a cockatiel, and have/had two quakers, but no experience with an IRN (although I’m absolutely dying for one!).

Everything you’ve listed, is there a reason you’re not considering getting a cockatiel again?

My tiel in comparison to the quakers is WAY quieter. He talks/sings incessantly, but volume-wise I’ve found cockatiels to be overall easier and more “cage friendly” birds, in that I don’t worry about him biting a finger through the cage. I have a toddler (he’s 3) and I won’t let him near a Quaker cage because he’ll absolutely be bitten.
I did consider getting a tiel again, they really are great birds. I had a very close bond with my first tiel. My other one was a lot more skittish and wanted to do her own thing (she wasn't hand fed, either). I think what was making me lean away from one is that: I love the look of the IRN, their squeaky voices and talking potential, their intelligence, and my husband does have asthma. It's controlled with medication, but I am unsure how the tiel dust will affect him. That said, we have a pretty big space, so it might completely be fine. I haven't ruled one out ;)
Re: my toddler- i do supervise him pretty closely, and I certainly don't condone him putting a finger in the cage, I just know how life is and that it might happen. That being said, I think a lot of birds wouldn't appreciate a finger in their cage. I just know quakers tend to be pretty territorial over their home. Thanks for your input!
 

fashionfobie

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Welcome to the forum! :)
I have experience with cockatiels, parrotlets, a goffin cockatoo and asiatic parrots. In my personal, and very biased point of view, asiatics are the hidden gems of the parrot world- this includes IRN. I personally find asiatics very easy to live with. They are gregarious, highly intelligent and a little more independent. This isn't to say my other birds haven't been perfect, but I think they generally require a lot more direct engagement. My plumhead can easily entertain himself nearby without needing to be on me all the time. My parrotlet by comparison will scurry into my hair, or try to sleep on my keyboard and he is generally a lot more disruptive. In a family environment you may find an IRN (or if I can suggest, two!) may be fairly easy going with everyone, not being as possessive or territorial of select humans. As @AussieBird said they are not an allopreening species. They do not require help with pin feathers like a cockatiel would. This doesn't mean they don't or won't interact with you in fun ways... but being touched on the head or body is usually something very stimulating, and in wild environments this touch is reserved for courtship. Yet an IRN's regal and personal dignity is what makes them so easy. You may also find that an IRN is more experimental and willing to try diverse foods, and easier to acclimate to healthy veggies and diet choices compared to some other parrots. I will also stress that this post is a generalisation, and IRN can also have a lot of behavioural problems if they were mishandled in the past. Hand fear, panics and stereotypical behaviours from lack of intellectual enrichment can present in IRN. They are problem solvers. I find my Pi would rather search a foot toy for food than food from a bowl. He likes the challenge and thrives from being given a task.

Bluffing is an old fashion view on animals. It is a bad way of people saying, "this birds has grown up and is healthily rejecting being babied". No parrot will bite for no cause. You may find this informative. :Do Animals Bluff? - Northern Pet Company Blog
 
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