Scarlet-Chested Parakeet - does anyone have one?
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  #1  
Old 01-31-2010, 02:54 PM
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Twitter09 (Ron)
 
Scarlet-Chested Parakeet - does anyone have one?

I'm curious as to the behavior of hand-raised Scarlet Chested Parakeets - does anyone have one? I may get one and was wondering if it will get along with my Bourke Parakeet? Here is a tame one I found on YouTube.

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I have 2 Bourke Parakeets, 3 doves, and ~10 finches (and 2 dogs)

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  #2  
Old 01-31-2010, 03:28 PM
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nanay (Donna)
 
Ron,
My scarlet-chested and my bourkes get along well. Both were hand-fed. Both went through a skittish period that began about one month after weaning. The bourkes is the older of the two. I can't exactly remember when his skittish phase ended, but it was before he was six months old. The scarlet-chested is still going through his skittish phase, but he is definitely getting better, coming out on the other side of it. He is currently five months old. I can't tell for sure how he will be once he is past this stage, but the bourkes became even steadier than he was before he started into this stage, so I expect the scarlet-chested will emerge steadier, too.

I can house both birds in the same cage, and sometimes I do. They are good together when they are playing out of their cages whether they are housed together or not. They do sometimes beak fence and bicker verbally, but they have never really fought. They also will feed one another on occasion. I have never seen them preen each other, but I may have missed that if it happened. However, they are both male, so I suspect they just don't do that. They both prefer our linnie, who is supposed to be a female. They will preen her.

I do not intend to house them together for the long haul. The bourkes is every bit as people oriented when he is housed with the scarlet-chested as when he is not, but the scarlet-chested is more people oriented when he is housed alone.

The scarlet-chested plays in a less inhibited manner than the bourkes. He holds toys with his feet. However, my bourkes plays with almost any toy made for a bird his size, too, which I understand is unusual for a bourkes. The scarlet-chested also climbs the cage bars, which the bourkes does not. I have found that it is important to have at least some horizontal cage bars for a scarlet-chested because they like to climb cage bars and the horizontal bars are more difficult for them to climb.

My scarlet-chested is significantly smaller than my bourkes. I do not know if this is normal or not. I thought they were somewhat smaller, but not this much smaller.

Like the bourkes, the scarlet-chested has a beautiful voice, although they are distinct. I think I actually like the scarlet-chested's voice the best, but I love them both. The scarlet-chested starts in singing a bit later in the day and ends a bit earlier than the bourkes does. He loves to sit on my shoulder and give a serenade. I do not know if the females do this or not.

I have other friends who have both bourkes and scarlet-chesteds in the same house, even in the same cage. They can be aggressive with one another if you have mixed-sex pairs, but even then I think the worst they do is keep the tail feathers rough.

I can not imagine a scarlet-chested bothering your doves or finches, either. I would say it would not do anything worse than your bourkes does.

I would expect your scarlet-chested to be a bit more athletic in his ability to climb, a bit more active in general, and a bit more playful. Other than that, they are much the same.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:09 PM
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Sabinoesque (Jen)
 
I have 2 Scarlet Chesteds and I just love them. One was handfed and I got her at about 10-12 mos old this past December. She loves food and toys. She has never met a food that she did not like. She tastes EVERYTHING... I have caught her wandering her cage just licking things. She is not fond of scritches, but does sit on my finger or shoulder. My Scarlet Chested parakeets are just a hair bigger than an American Budgie. They do climb, and hop from perch to perch. They like more space to fly back and forth if it's available, so a flight type cage would be better than a smaller one. My female is a bit bossy with her someday-mate and not hesitant to facedown my green cheek conure, but she never fights. She will try to push them off things though. All in all I really love them. I can't wait for little ones.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2010, 09:04 PM
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Twitter09 (Ron)
 
Thanks for the info

Nanay / Sabino,

Thanks for the speedy replies. Sounds like the Scarlet-Chested could be a good playmate for my Bourke. I found a 5-month old one for sale - it hand-raised but is now housed in a big parakeet flight cage. But the breeder says it's still tame. It's a male and my Bourke is a female so that may help them get along - but I will most likely cage them separately but next to eachother.

I have to drive 2 hours to get it so I won't have it before next weekend most likely, if I decide to get it. But I am leaning towards 'yes'. It better be at least somewhat friendly when I go see it though.

Twitter, my Bourke, is about 6 - 7 months old now. I've had her since October. She has been slow to come around but she is definitely tamer and friendlier now. We have a morning ritual now where I let her out of the cage and then watch TV in the other room with my coffee. Within a minute or two, she flies into the livingroom and then jumps on my knee and chatters to me. Lately, she flies from there to my chest and continues that on my shoulder. When she's done, she flies back to her cage in the Diningroom. And depending on how long I sit there, she will repeat this several times.

It's exciting that she flies to my arm and shoulder now - and she does so strictly when she wants to - she won't stay long if I put her there. So I just let her decide - I think being non-aggressive and very passive is working with her, to build trust. From my observation, I think you can't be pushy with a Bourke - they are timid and will just fly away if you get too aggressive in your taming - even if wing-clipped, they would just run away. Mine was clipped by the breeder but it mostly fully-winged now and I will keep her that way.

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  #5  
Old 01-31-2010, 09:06 PM
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Ella
 
I have never owned one, but I found these links:

http://www.grassparakeet.com/scarlet.htm

http://featherfantasy.com/information.php?info_id=24

I really do not agree with all this info about them not making good pets. I have seen loads kept as pets, and they are very lovely birds. They are quiet and very sweet, and although they are not real cuddlers, they can be quite affectionate.

From what I know and have seen, they have lovely voices, and can become quite tame if handraised. They are very inquisitive, and love to test things, although are not known to be nippy or destructive.

And I believe a bourke and a scarlet chested would get along. They are both about the same size, and both related.

Mostly, birds from the same genus or related genuses will get along, and if my budgie and my conure can be best friends, I'm sure they can as well.

I hope you get one, they are really nice birds, not to mention very beautiful!
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2010, 09:55 PM
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Twitter09 (Ron)
 
Grass Parakeets as "pets"

Ella,

I had also read for years that all the "grass parakeets", including Bourkes and Scarlet-Chested, were not good as pets but were more like strictly "aviary birds". I suspect that might be because they are less domesticated than budgies and maybe less tameable, when parent-raised - but those opinions might have been made before people started hand-raising them and seeing what good pets they can become. I imagine, over time, both Bourkes and Scarlet-Chested may become more domesticated and easily tamed, even without hand-raising.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2010, 11:12 PM
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nanay (Donna)
 
Ron,

If it is going through the same developmental stage that my scarlet-chested is, and that my bourkes also went through, it may be very timid at 5 months of age. I would suspect that treating it just the way you treat Twitter would work wonderfully if it is in this stage. I wouldn't rule it out if it is skittish right now, because my Isaac was highly outgoing, came to anyone in the bird store, adult or child, and came to all of us when he first came home, until he reached some where between three and four months of age. We also took him to the school to visit, and he went to every kid in the class.

I don't know if my daughter scared him one day or if flying into a wall and sliding down behind a couch scared him or if he just hit a normal developmental stage, but he became highly skittish, overnight it seemed. I tend to think, though, it is as much developmental as anything, and maybe it was also bad timing that he got spooked just then. So many species of parrots go through skittish stages when they would be learning to completely fend for themselves in the wild, and I really think grasskeets probably have such a stage, but we don't have anyone writing books on their normal development the way we have people studying and writing about the more popular pet species.

Bourkes, if they have such a stage, would naturally tend to freeze more at this time, because they are well camaflouged (sp? sorry, absolutely no clue on the spelling of that, lol). I suspect you have experienced that with Twitter. Scarlet-chesteds would tend to flee, maybe moreso the males than the females, because they are brightly colored.

I guess all I'm trying to say is that I've met a hand full of scarlet-chesteds who were handfed. That isn't many, but they all were very sweet birds. 5 months of age seems to be a frightening time for them. I also think that a scarlet-chested kept with budgies might be a bit nervous due to that - not bad, and nothing to cause any lasting emotional stress, but the bird will be happier once you put it in your quieter home with its own cage and your other sweet birds for company.

I agree that it will be nice for the two birds to be of opposite sexes, and you will probably be happy you have two cages. That way, if they want to visit one another, they can, but they can also have their own space.

Congratulations on finding a hand-fed scarlet chested male. Because you enjoy Twitter, I really believe you will enjoy this fellow, too.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2010, 07:43 AM
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Twitter09 (Ron)
 
Developmental stages

Nanay,

Thanks again for the info about the developmental stages of these birds. That's why this forum and others, are so useful. You'd rarely find that kind of info in a book! Based on what you said, I will probably go for this Scarlet-Chested. It will probably make a nice next-door companion for my Bourke - likely more compatible than a budgie but less likely to form an obsessively strong bond as another Bourke might.

I think alot of birds have these stages. I know when I raised Diamond Doves, the babies went through several stages like this. When they first fledge (and look like little short-tailed quail), they are as tame as you could want. You can put them right on your finger and, even being able to fly, they would sit there just fine. But when they grow their long tail, they become extremely nervous. 6 months later, when they get adult plumage, they settle down again. If not handled, they won't be finger-tame but they are at least steady and not frightened by every move. As you say, I guess all these behaviors are part of some survival strategy. Maybe with grass parakeets, they become skittish when they start to develop their mature coloration and so learn to be careful as they become more visible to predators?
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:34 PM
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nanay (Donna)
 
Interesting about the doves, and likely true with the gras parakeets. I think you will really enjoy the scarlet chested. I really like their songs, too
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2010, 10:19 PM
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Twitter09 (Ron)
 
The baby Scarlet Chested

Nanay,

It looks like I will be picking up this new baby Scarlet Chested on Friday!
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:15 PM
Akala (Christian)
 
I don't have one, but I plan on getting one ASAP! lol
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:41 PM
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nanay (Donna)
 
I hope you enjoy him as much as you enjoy Twitter and I enjoy Isaac.
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