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Old 07-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
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Who has a bird?

I just adopted a stray parakeet and I have questions. Anyone here have experience with birds??
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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I have a parakeet...fire away.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
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I had several growing up. Do you know how old it is? They're very easily tamed, you just have to take your time and be patient. Lots of close proximity, soft-spoken words, etc., before actually picking the bird up and handling it - that is if it isn't already tamed. Apparently they can be trained to talk too, but I've never had any success with that
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:00 PM   #4
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I've had him since Monday. He flew into our shop at work, and nobody else could take care of him, so here I am. Took him to the vet and he's healthy. The vet was really surprised at how tame he was. Looks like he's a little escape artist. Had to put twist ties on the cage doors that don't latch today. Also let him fly around in my room for a couple of hours, so we can figure each other out. I plan on letting him have free reign as much as possible.

I think my big question, right now, is how do I work on keeping him content in his cage when I can't let him fly around? I just put a slew of toy/fun things in his cage today, so hopefully that will help. I've Googled a bit about them, but this bird thing is brand new to me. I've only ever had furry animals.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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Toys in the cage help keep them occupied.
Most love having a mirror so they can talk to "that other bird".
Time out of the cage is good, just cover up any large mirrors while he's out...they have been known to fly into them thinking its another room.
If he's young, you may be able to get him to talk. Ours says a number of phrases, such as "Merry Christmas", "good boy", "kiss", "my name is Prince", "Hi Sweets" and a bunch of others. Persistance is necessary for this, though not all of them pick it up.

They thrive on companionship, and since this one is tame, I assume he is used to interacting with people...once he's comfortable with you, you should be able to finger train him and get him to land on your shoulder or head while he's out.

They are great pets.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarityat3am View Post
The vet was really surprised at how tame he was. Looks like he's a little escape artist.
Well I guess that answers my question above

Quote:
I think my big question, right now, is how do I work on keeping him content in his cage when I can't let him fly around? I just put a slew of toy/fun things in his cage today, so hopefully that will help. I've Googled a bit about them, but this bird thing is brand new to me. I've only ever had furry animals.
Mirrors are a big one, anything with bells or otherwise makes noise, ladders, swings.. You can get strands of millet seeds - they looove those. Cuttlebones are great for gnawing on. What else..

You may also find it helpful to put a blanket or a towel over his cage at night, especially if he's a chirper. It makes them feel more secure and they'll naturally want to use that time to sleep.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:15 PM   #7
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He now has: a mirror with beads on it that slide like an abacus, a cuttlebone, a ladder, a bell and a wooden climby thing. Sounds like a lot, but it fits in there comfortably. I bought him a nice sized cage.

He'll get on my hand as long as I don't come at him sideways. Sideways just makes him skitter away. He landed on my back while I was sweeping today. Tiny little bird feet on my back.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
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We have an African Grey parrot...very beautiful but very hard to take care of. Sure is a lot of work! But it's so fun when she says new words and sings. We keep her wings clipped so she can't fly around. She actually loves being in her cage playing with all her toys and we change them up every few weeks. We also have a perch that we can wheel into any room with toys on it and branches to climb so she can be with us when she's not in her cage. Also, if you want your bird to talk they say they may learn things from listening to the tv and radio and stuff, so whenever we go out we usually leave a radio talk show on for her to listen to.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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Also, quite important (though not so much now in summer), avoid drafts, they can be deadly, don't have his cage near an open window when the weather starts to cool down.



You may also want to invest in a bird playpen for when he's out of his cage, we have one, cost like $22 bucks or so. It has some perches, a ladder and swing and room to place toys so he has a place to fly to and play when he's out. Otherwise you'll find him constantly landing on top of the curtains.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:28 PM   #10
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My room has been dog proofed, which is easy since I have a 5 pound dog. I'm now bird proofing it. I've never had to worry about stuff up high til now!

The dog seems to be ok with the bird, btw. I'd never leave them out together unsupervised though. I know that's just asking for trouble!

I've been leaving music on for them when I'm at work. I left Mozart on today.

As for work, I'm gone 11 hours a day...would it be advisable to maybe get a second bird to be friends with this one because I'm gone that long every day? Maybe after some bonding time? It's something I'll have to thoroughly consider. I don't think I'm ready for two right now though.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:54 AM   #11
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A second bird isn't necessary, he should be OK while you're at work as long as he has his toys, food and water. We leave ours for as long as a full weekend when we go away and he's fine.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:11 AM   #12
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This is the first time he's chirped in the morning. I wonder if the roommates can hear it.

He his little mirror! I'm thinking about buying him some food toys/treats. I really need to find a store specializing in bird supply around here.

He seems to want to escape ALL the time now, though...it seems to be all his little mind can think of. I hope that doesn't turn into a problem.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:28 PM   #13
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My daughter had a parakeet and he was a big mimic. She taught him to say one word "hello" but after that he just took off on his own picking up random stuff from our conversations and he talked all the time. So watch your language And like Kaf said, get the millet spray for a treat, they love those things. He was also very affectionate and loved to cuddle up to her cheek and fall asleep there. Have fun!
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:16 PM   #14
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I had a parakeet growing up. Her name was Feathers. We aren't very creative when it comes to pet names in my family.

She loved her cuddle bone and the bird bath we could attach to her cage. What she loved most is when we would take a large serving spoon with a bit of water in it and hold it for her as a bath. It was a mirror and a bath at the same time. She was at least 12 when she died.

She learned to say "pretty bird" and mimic this electronic noise maker toy my brother had.
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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We have

Two cockatiels (Austin and Snowy)
Two lovebirds (Bono and Edge)
And a budgie (Herbert)

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