Considering a pet bird

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Considering a pet bird

Post by Gregory Aren » Thu, 23 Jul 1998 04:00:00



Hi,

        I recently graduated from college and am living on my own in a
two-bedroom apartment now that I've taken full-time employment. I am
considering getting a pet to keep me company, and (you guessed it), I am
thinking about purchasing a bird.
        I have only had a cat and tropical fish for pets in the past
(the cat is living with my parents, and the fish have been long-gone),
and I was looking to get something a little different. Please bear with
me because I've never had a bird for a pet - not even temporarily. The
only experience I had was with a parakeet my aunt had, but that was a
very long time ago when I was only about 6 or 7 years old and we didn't
see her very often.
        Anyway, since my landlord wants me to pay a deposit before he'll
let me bring any animals into this apartment, I was wondering if
somebody could answer the following questions for me:

1) What kind of bird(s) are fairly quiet and are not excessively messy?
I am not naive enough to think that you can keep your house faultlessly
clean with a pet in it, but I don't want to have to pay a fortune in
cleaning fees when I move out. As far as the noise goes, I just want to
make sure that I don't get any complaints from my neighbors while I'm at
work. How much does the breed(s) you are recommending typically cost?

2) How much does a cage cost? How big should it be?

3) Related to the messiness question above - am I going to have to put
something underneath the cage and around my furniture? Like I said, I'm
not naive enough to think that a pet will never make a mess or never
have an accident, but on the other hand, I'm not eager to ruin my
brand-new furniture, either. I also don't want to go dragging around
drop cloths whenever I move the cage from one room to another.

4) How often will the cage need to be cleaned? Will I have to remove the
bird to clean the cage? If so, where do I put it while I'm cleaning the
cage?

5) How difficult is it to handle a bird? Like I mentioned earlier, my
aunt had a parakeet, but I remember getting bit by it once or twice (of
course, I was also a lot younger and less experienced with animals).

6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time? My job
should not require me to travel very often, but if I need to travel or
leave town for the weekend, will the bird be able to take care of
itself if I leave it a clean cage, fresh water, and fresh food? If not,
are there people/companies that can board it? How much would that cost?

        The reason why I'm asking how much this stuff will cost is to
make sure that I can fit this into my budget and to ensure that I don't
get ripped off by an unscrupulous pet shop owner taking advantage of my
lack of experience with birds.
        Please don't send any replies to the rpi.edu address shown
above. I would appreciate it if you could please e-mail any replies to

newsgroups - I have to call long distance to do it whereas I can check
my e-mail at work for free).
        I would appreciate any advice that anybody might be able to
offer me to help me make my decision.

Thank you!

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Lara deVrie » Fri, 24 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Hi!
First, make sure you read up *thoroughly* before you buy a bird; this is
something you should do with all pets, of course, but in my opinion it's
especially important with birds because they're so much more emotional and
intelligent than most pets.
On that note, when thinking of buying a bird, you ought to note that a bird
is not like a hamster, gerbil, or even a slightly more high-maintenance pet
like a rabbit or ferret; birds are much closer in terms of emotional
attachment (yours & the bird's!) to a dog... of course the type of care is
very different, and the personalities are very different, but it's on
*that* sort of leval.  You know what I mean?
Anyway, here goes...

Quote:
> Please bear with
> me because I've never had a bird for a pet - not even temporarily. The
> only experience I had was with a parakeet my aunt had, but that was a
> very long time ago when I was only about 6 or 7 years old and we didn't
> see her very often.

You might want to visit a few pet shops that will allow you to handle their
birds; get a feel for handling them, dealing with those beaks (they scare
some people!), just generally getting a feel for them.

Quote:
> 1) What kind of bird(s) are fairly quiet and are not excessively messy?
> I am not naive enough to think that you can keep your house faultlessly
> clean with a pet in it, but I don't want to have to pay a fortune in
> cleaning fees when I move out. As far as the noise goes, I just want to
> make sure that I don't get any complaints from my neighbors while I'm at
> work. How much does the breed(s) you are recommending typically cost?

Mess is a relative term.  Bird mess consists of droppings, and food flung
around.  Also a certain amount of dust and dander from the feathers.
Parrots often chew excessively; those with small beaks rarely do much
damage (altho I wouldn't want to put important papers near them!), but
larger birds are more than capable of literally destroying furniture and
the like!

Here's a few species that are good for beginners, lower in price, and don't
have beaks large enough to do a great deal of damage:

Budgies: "Parakeets", more properly known as Budgerigars or just Budgies.
Range in price from around $10 thru $30 for hand-feds or the larger
"English" type.  Rarely hand-fed, meaning you'll have to work on taming the
bird yourself, but this generally isn't difficult.  They have entertaining,
active personalities; not usually very cuddly, but love their owners
anyway!  Noise is soft chatter with the occasional louder whistle; nothing
that could possibly bother the neighbors, I don't think.

Cockatiels:  Another very popular first bird.  Hand-feds are tame & usually
very cuddly and sweet!  They're not very active, but still like to play
with toys.  The females are usually *very* quiet; the males, on the other
hand, like to whistle a great deal and this can get obnoxious on occasion;
still, I doubt it would bother the neighbors much.  Price ranges from about
$40-$60 for a hand-fed bird from a breeder, to $60-$100 for the same from a
pet shop.  The less common colors will be more.  Cockatiels do have quite a
bit more dust on their feathers than most birds.

Lovebirds: A personal favorite of mine!  Small & adorable.  They're very
active and love to play, but are also very cuddly and love to snuggle with
you.  If you're looking for a tame lovebird, look for a *hand-fed* bird
that has been handled a *lot*; any bird that isn't obviously friendly and
enjoys handling is *not* the bird to buy, as lovebirds are rather hard to
tame.  Price ranges from $40-$70 for a lovingly hand-fed bird from a
breeder; on the high end or a little more from a pet shop.  Lovebirds can
be loud; they have high-pitched, squeaky voices.

Parrotlets: Parrotlets are some of the smallest parrots in the world  - the
two common species, Pacifics and Greenrumps, are under 5" long!  They make
active, sweet pets that are often called "big parrots in a tiny body".
They have a lot of personality!  Price ranges around $100-$150 for a
hand-fed bird from a breeder.  Noise is negligible; basically tiny squeaks
and chirps.

Small Conures:  Greencheeks and Maroon Bellies specifically.  A bit smaller
than a***atiel, at about 10" long.  Very pretty little birds.  Active,
*very* cuddly and sweet, and playful!  I've got my Greencheek, Zach,
cuddling under my hair at the moment.  Hand-feds generally cost anywhere
from $100-$250, averaging around $150.  Noise is almost always very low;
they *can* be loud (pairs tend to be quite obnoxious) but very rarely
*are*.

Quote:
> 2) How much does a cage cost? How big should it be?

Cages range in price a lot.  Never skimp on the cage tho; cheap cages
usually mean cages that are poorly put together, even dangerous for the
bird.  Large, appropriate budgie and lovebird cages will cost around
$35-$60.  Cages for***atiels and small conures will cost around $50-$80.

Quote:
> 3) Related to the messiness question above - am I going to have to put
> something underneath the cage and around my furniture? Like I said, I'm
> not naive enough to think that a pet will never make a mess or never
> have an accident, but on the other hand, I'm not eager to ruin my
> brand-new furniture, either. I also don't want to go dragging around
> drop cloths whenever I move the cage from one room to another

It's generally best to do something like that.  Most of bird mess is easily
vacuumed or swept up, so depending on the cage location it may be easier
with something under the cage.  On your furniture, it's generally not
necessary, unless you plan on letting the bird climb on your furniture, but
if you're worried about it getting dirty, it's usually just as easy to
confine the bird to areas that are easy to clean.

4) How often will the cage need to be cleaned? Will I have to remove the

Quote:
> bird to clean the cage? If so, where do I put it while I'm cleaning the
> cage?

The cage will need to be cleaned pretty often; some people clean theirs
every day, others every week.  In any case it's an easy task; all good bird
cages come with trays which are easy to pull out, and it's simply a matter
of removing the old newspaper and replacing it with new.  The bird can stay
in the cage while you're doing this, tho of course you could also place it
on your shoulder... pretty much anywhere.

Quote:
> 5) How difficult is it to handle a bird? Like I mentioned earlier, my
> aunt had a parakeet, but I remember getting bit by it once or twice (of
> course, I was also a lot younger and less experienced with animals).

Look for a bird that has been "hand-fed"; this is a bird that was taken
from the nest early (usually 10 days thru 3 weeks) and then fed with a
syringe or spoon until weaning.  This makes for a bird that is imprinted on
people and is quite tame... and easy to handle!  Biting is generally not a
problem, altho it can be with some birds.

Quote:
> 6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time? My job
> should not require me to travel very often, but if I need to travel or
> leave town for the weekend, will the bird be able to take care of
> itself if I leave it a clean cage, fresh water, and fresh food? If not,
> are there people/companies that can board it? How much would that cost?

If it's only a day or two, and only once in a while, the bird should be
fine; altho if you could get a friend to pop in once or twice just to make
sure everything's going good, and maybe handle the bird a bit, than that
would be great.

Quote:
>         The reason why I'm asking how much this stuff will cost is to
> make sure that I can fit this into my budget and to ensure that I don't
> get ripped off by an unscrupulous pet shop owner taking advantage of my
> lack of experience with birds.

Speaking of pet shops, you may be better of if you could find a local
breeder or two.  Breeders are the ones that bred the birds, so they know
the bird's personlities, how it was raised, and other stuff like that.  A
good breeder will not focus on selling the bird; they'll focus on finding
the bird a good home.  Their prices will also almost always be lower
because they're "wholesale", so to speak.  Try picking up the magazine
"BirdTalk" (almost all pet shops and magazine stands have it), they have a
list of breeders by state in the back.  They also have a list of bird
clubs; if you could find a local bird club to join, that is one of the best
ways to meet bird people & find out a lot more on birds!

Anyway, hope some of all that helps - feel free to email if you have
anymore questions!

Lara

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Terry & Teresa Arsenea » Fri, 24 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Is there an *** bird group in your area?  You might consider connecting
up for a while. The members will be only too happy to help you find a bird
that is right for you.  I would start with a hand-fed baby that you can
choose straight from the nursery before it is weaned.  Then you can visit
every week with the breeder to help you along.  He/she can educate you and
steer you to some good books. My breeder keeps photocopies of articles and
recipes on hand to give to potential buyers of her birds. If you choose your
bird young, by the time you take it home you should be feeling pretty
confident. Also, start with a bird known for being gentle and easy to
handle.  Budgies,***atiels, Meyer's, Brown Bellies and Pionus are smaller
and said to have gentle, quiet natures.  It is unlikely you will get a
hand-fed budgie, but if you go to a private breeder there is a good chance
you will get one that is finger tame.  Cockatiels are being hand-fed quite
often these days. But do buy from a private breeder.  Pet shop birds (the
smaller ones) are not handled and are not likely to be tame.  You will be
happier if you start off with a tame bird.

Blessings,
Teresa Arseneau
Sarnia, Ontario -- Canada

Quote:

>> Please bear with
>> me because I've never had a bird for a pet - not even temporarily. The

>> 1) What kind of bird(s) are fairly quiet and are not excessively messy?
>> I am not naive enough to think that you can keep your house faultlessly
>> clean with a pet in it, but I don't want to have to pay a fortune in
>> cleaning fees when I move out. As far as the noise goes, I just want to
>> make sure that I don't get any complaints from my neighbors while I'm at
>> work. How much does the breed(s) you are recommending typically cost?

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Kevin Ch » Fri, 24 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Note:  Original article was not sent to requested email address.

I just want to add a comment:

Quote:

>> 1) What kind of bird(s) are fairly quiet and are not excessively messy?

I can't think of any birds that are quiet, except maybe finches.  All
birds are messy, but birds with specialised diets like lories will be
messier.  Budgies are "relatively" quiet, but not "quiet."

Quote:
>> 4) How often will the cage need to be cleaned? Will I have to
> The cage will need to be cleaned pretty often; some people clean
> theirs every day, others every week.  In any case it's an easy

Daily.  Not weekly.  The bird will help you by supervising from your
shoulder.  Birds tend to get into things so you'll have to keep an eye
on the bird as she supervises.  Water and food bowls will need to be
cleaned more than daily.

Use newspaper and not bedding.

Kevin

--

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Horizon/6871/

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by kay chok » Fri, 24 Jul 1998 04:00:00


I'll be blunt and to the point.
You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away from
home for 8 hours but the rest of the day it should be out of the cage
and interacting with you.
I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've been
there.
My advice...
1. Forget the bird.
2. Get married, have some kids.
3. When they go off to college, then get a bird. (Getting laid won't be
as important anymore, trust me.)
6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time?
While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl full
of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!
___________________________
Gee, "Fast Eddie", you sound like you're
quite the expert. The fact that he posted
to this NG & very politely asked for advice
(very thought out questions too), indicates
to me that he probably would be a very
concientious bird owner (which I know because I emailed him in response
to his questions). Sounds like he's not the one who's preoccupied with
sex.

Kay
&
Gyro -- The Terrible 'too

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Michael Smit » Sat, 25 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Going to a breeder won't guarantee that you get a "tame" bird.  You just
need to find a hand fed baby, and it will take a LITTLE time for the bird
to get used to you, but if you're loving and gentle, they come around
quickly if they're babies, and even more adolesent and *** birds will
come around frequently as quickly if you're gentle and loving.


Quote:

> > and said to have gentle, quiet natures.  It is unlikely you will get a
> > hand-fed budgie, but if you go to a private breeder there is a good
chance
> > you will get one that is finger tame.  Cockatiels are being hand-fed
quite
> > often these days. But do buy from a private breeder.  Pet shop birds
(the
> > smaller ones) are not handled and are not likely to be tame.  You will
be
> > happier if you start off with a tame bird.

>    I am thinking about going to a private breeder... I looked in a couple
of pet
> shops this evening and while I liked a couple of birds, I was told that
they weren't
> tame yet. I've never owned one before, and I'd rather not start off with
a pet that's
> going to bite & claw me.

> Greg


 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Jaye Isha » Sat, 25 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Eddie:

This is why people have such a hard time with this group!  Why can't you
just give the kid some advice instead of making all kinds of
generalizations.  Newbies, like me, want some real advice not lecturing
from somebody.  I can't believe you said the things you did.  jesus!



Quote:


> >Hi,

> >       I recently graduated from college and am living on my own in a
> >two-bedroom apartment now that I've taken full-time employment. I am
> >considering getting a pet to keep me company, and (you guessed it), I am
> >thinking about purchasing a bird.

> I'll be blunt and to the point.
> You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
> need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away
> from home for 8 hours but the rest of the day it should be out of the
> cage and interacting with you.
> I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
> laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've
> been there.

> My advice...
> 1. Forget the bird.
> 2. Get married, have some kids.
> 3. When they go off to college, then get a bird.
> (Getting laid won't be as important anymore, trust me.)

> >6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time?

> While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
> honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl
> full of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!

> >Thank you!


 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Gregory Aren » Sat, 25 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
> need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away
> from home for 8 hours but the rest of the day it should be out of the
> cage and interacting with you.
> I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
> laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've
> been there.

        No, that is not my primary goal in life. It may have been yours at my
age (and it still seems to be yours), but it ain't mine. I'm not the
only one, either.

Quote:
> While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
> honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl
> full of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!
> I'll be blunt and to the point.

        You were using your own behavior at age twentysomething as an example
and automatically assumed that that is how I am. I resent that, so you
can guess what I'm going to do with your "advice." If I did things like
go off in the woods for hours at a time with my "latest conquest," would
I really be interested in getting a pet in the first place, let alone a
bird? Heck, if I was as impulsive and preoccupied with partying and
getting laid as you must think I am, would I even have bothered to take
the time to type out a long article in a newsgroup full of bird owners
who, until I heard from you, provided me with honest and helpful advice.

Quote:
> You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
> need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away

        I think you're the one that is probably too young for a bird, or any
pet, considering how preoccupied you are with sex.
 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Wheele » Sat, 25 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Greg gets the points on this one,  Normally I say to wait a bit before you
make the kind of commitment a bird requires, but, Greg you sound like maybe
you have a maturity not often found in the "twenty something's" (I got one
at home, told him to get a hedgehog).  Still, if you spend some time reading
EVERYthing you can find then visiting aviaries and "Pet Shops" it will make
you're decision a lot easier.  I am partial to the Quakers and Teils for
first timers.  Check them out....  Note:  Birds can become ***ive and
they have a tendency to rule the roost, all puns intended.

Bob W

Fear is the Mind Killer


Quote:

>> You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
>> need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away
>> from home for 8 hours but the rest of the day it should be out of the
>> cage and interacting with you.
>> I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
>> laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've
>> been there.

> No, that is not my primary goal in life. It may have been yours at my
>age (and it still seems to be yours), but it ain't mine. I'm not the
>only one, either.

>> While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
>> honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl
>> full of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!

>> I'll be blunt and to the point.

> You were using your own behavior at age twentysomething as an example
>and automatically assumed that that is how I am. I resent that, so you
>can guess what I'm going to do with your "advice." If I did things like
>go off in the woods for hours at a time with my "latest conquest," would
>I really be interested in getting a pet in the first place, let alone a
>bird? Heck, if I was as impulsive and preoccupied with partying and
>getting laid as you must think I am, would I even have bothered to take
>the time to type out a long article in a newsgroup full of bird owners
>who, until I heard from you, provided me with honest and helpful advice.

>> You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
>> need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away

> I think you're the one that is probably too young for a bird, or any
>pet, considering how preoccupied you are with sex.

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Frederick Wilso » Sat, 25 Jul 1998 04:00:00


Quote:


> > I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
> > laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've
> > been there.

>         No, that is not my primary goal in life. It may have been yours at my
> age (and it still seems to be yours), but it ain't mine. I'm not the
> only one, either.

> snip
>         I think you're the one that is probably too young for a bird, or any
> pet, considering how preoccupied you are with sex.

  Outstanding response, though if you had given Fast Eddie the attention his post
deserved, you would have ignored it!  You'll do just fine with any pet you
choose!

TA
FAW

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Fast Edd » Sun, 26 Jul 1998 04:00:00


I don't know of any kid that age that is responsible enough to take
care of a bird properly. They just don't exist, period.

Fact: Birds need lots of attention and interaction.
Fact: Guys in their 20's are out exploring the world.
Fact: Neglected birds wind up neurotic feather pluckers.

Maybe you are ready to nominate a 20 year old "Bird Owner of the Year"
but I'm not. Odds are that 6 months from now you'll find  the bird in
the classifieds or stuffed in a closet cuz it makes to much noise from
being lonely.

Just to set the record straight, I'm not preoccupied with sex.
But ***agers are! Which is probably why most caring parents worry so
much when their daughters go out on dates.


Quote:

>I'll be blunt and to the point.
>You are too young to get a bird. Birds are extremely intelligent and
>need constant attention. A bird cage is fine for when you are away from
>home for 8 hours but the rest of the day it should be out of the cage
>and interacting with you.
>I suspect that your primary goal in life right now is to party and get
>laid. That doesn't leave much time for a bird. I know because I've been
>there.
>My advice...
>1. Forget the bird.
>2. Get married, have some kids.
>3. When they go off to college, then get a bird. (Getting laid won't be
>as important anymore, trust me.)
>6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time?
>While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
>honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl full
>of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!
>___________________________
>Gee, "Fast Eddie", you sound like you're
>quite the expert. The fact that he posted
>to this NG & very politely asked for advice
>(very thought out questions too), indicates
>to me that he probably would be a very
>concientious bird owner (which I know because I emailed him in response
>to his questions). Sounds like he's not the one who's preoccupied with
>sex.

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Fast Edd » Sun, 26 Jul 1998 04:00:00


I did give some advice and I even labeled it "My advice"!



Quote:
>Eddie:

>This is why people have such a hard time with this group!  Why can't you
>just give the kid some advice instead of making all kinds of
>generalizations.  




>> My advice...

    ^^^^^^^^^^^
Quote:
>> 1. Forget the bird.
>> 2. Get married, have some kids.
>> 3. When they go off to college, then get a bird.
>> (Getting laid won't be as important anymore, trust me.)

>> >6) Can the bird be left alone for one or two days at a time?

>> While you are off in the woods having marathon sex with your latest
>> honey, your poor bird will be cooped up in a cage with a waterbowl
>> full of poop and no food. No way should you leave it alone!!!!

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by Alex Clayt » Sun, 26 Jul 1998 04:00:00



I don't know of any kid that age that is responsible enough to take care
of a bird properly. They just don't exist, period.

Quote:
>Ranting from sex starved guy sniped

Gee sounds to me like "fast" Eddies rep has caught up with him and he's
not getting any. He's a little on the grouchy side today.

"Son, it's faster horse's, younger women, older whiskey and more money"
        >T T Hall

 
 
 

Considering a pet bird

Post by kay chok » Sun, 26 Jul 1998 04:00:00


attention and interaction.
Fact: Guys in their 20's are out exploring the world.
Fact: Neglected birds wind up neurotic feather pluckers.
--------------------
Fact: You ASSumed that the original poster fit your ridiculous,
stereotypical image of twentysomethings.                Fact: You gave
your "advice" in an offensive manner.

Odds are that 6 months from now you'll find the bird in the classifieds
or stuffed in a closet cuz it makes to much noise from being lonely.
____________
Odds are in 6 months, the original poster will be building a wonderful
relationship with his pet bird.
Odds are in 6 months you'll still be nu***, giving offensive &
useless 'advice'.

Kay
&
Gyro -- The Terrible 'too