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What bird for a beginner?

(7 Posts)
snickledon Fri 20-Apr-18 23:06:22

My DS is desperate for a parrot. It has just occurred to me that I had immediately said no just because I'm personally not mad on birds but I've said yes to DD having a cat in the future (as I am very much a cat person).

So any suggestions on what would be a good bird for a beginner as I weigh up more seriously my DSs constant pleas for a parrot? I know parrots live a long time, so don't think they would be an ideal bird but perhaps another breed? I'm open to rehoming. We have chickens if that counts for anything.

Ideally as DS is young (7) and it will be me doing most of the work I would like something not too noisy, with a bit of personality and that doesn't shit as much as chickens do.

Waitingonasmiley42 Sat 21-Apr-18 09:03:17

I'm not much help here but we are also considering a bird. I was considering a Cockatiel. They aren't too large and apparently can be affectionate.

jarviscockatiel Sun 22-Apr-18 00:56:44

As my name suggests, I have a cockatiel - he's currently my fourth. They are lovely creatures with huge personalities. If you want them to bond well with you, you should look at hand reared ones and only buy one. However, I would only advise this if you have plenty of time to lavish on them.

Our birds have always been free in the house rather than being locked in a cage and usually spend their days sitting on our shoulders or on a shelf/window sill in the room we are in. They love company and often demand head rubs. They are very chewy though and have caused quite a lot of damage by chewing wood, paper and electrical wires!

If your birds are free you cannot open windows and must check doors carefully before closing them - often our birds fly to the top of doors just as we're leaving rooms and we have accidentally caught their feet.

Cockatiels are noisy and have a loud 'eek'. Males are more likely to be able to imitate words and sounds than females. Their droppings are small but frequent - we've yet to toilet train them (although you can buy avian nappies!!!)

I can't imagine life without mine but would strongly recommend you read up on them before you commit.

Cloudywishes Sun 22-Apr-18 11:03:05

I also vote for a cockatiel.
I was never a fan of keeping birds as pets.until I was given a pair of cockatiels as an emergency rescue. They are perfect for 1St time owners and children, extremely friendly if hand reared and properly cared for. Males make more noise and can mimic,where as females are alot quieter and just chirp.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Sun 22-Apr-18 13:03:57

Please have a look at www.birdline.org.uk which is the UK parrot rescue website. They have birds for adoption (they retain ownership but you get the bird until it or you dies or unless your circumstances change and you can't look after it any more, in which case it must go back to Birdline). They don't just get parrots , they also get budgies sometimes and cockatiels. (It takes a while to adopt one from them but it is giving a needy bird a good home). I do think you are right, if you don't want a bird for 35 years or more, then probably don't get a parrot. Other things that you need to know are: Don't get any bird if you allow smoking in your house, don't get a bird if you are going to keep it in the kitchen, never burn a non-stick saucepan or do your ironing in the same room as the bird (you will kill it in a few minutes), don't use plug-in air fresheners in the house, do not use aerosol sprays, light candles etc in or outside the bird's room, don't feed it tea, coffee, chocolate, mushrooms,onions or garlic - there are other toxic foods to birds, you would need to look on the internet. In fact Birdline don't let you have non-stick cookware (they come and do a house check and make sure you don't have it or that you know you have to get rid of it). You soon get used to these things and it is worth it as it is heartbreaking to find you have accidentally killed your bird by one of these means. I have a quite small parrot, a Senegal, which I fostered from Birdline - he is fairly quiet, so perfect as I live in a flat (I used to have large parrots that are VERY noisy) and very affectionate - an average life span for a Senegal is about 35 years (less than the large parrots) - mine is ringed so I know when he was hatched and he is currently 18 - I fostered him when he was 11 (though Birdline thought he was 6!). People who have never kept birds have no idea how entertaining and affectionate they can be (and very funny). All my birds have been completely different from each other (like dogs - I also have one of those) and a real joy. My current parrot spends the entire day sitting outside his cage (luckily he is not a chewer of soft furnishings, wallpaper, etc, unlike his predecessor) and flies little circuits if he feels the need. Previous parrots could only be out under supervision because they were destructive but it is important that they can spend some time out of their cages at least once a day. If you do get any sort of bird you'll have to be careful also, never to leave a window open enough for them to escape and never leave any outside doors open - ALSO no bird will survive if it is in direct sun through the window, with no recourse to shade. All birds appreciate quiet times when they can sit and doze in a quiet room - they also all need, preferably, at least 12 hours' uninterrupted sleep at night (not in noisy room with family and telly, once they've gone to sleep).

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Sun 22-Apr-18 13:05:57

Sorry, that was very long!

snickledon Sat 28-Apr-18 21:44:25

Thanks Mrsjoy. I think our current house might not be ideal as its quite open plan ao hard to limit smells and noise. but your info was very useful, thank you

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