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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Need some advice

So this is not a question for right now, but more for the future. I would love to get a medium/big bird and I would like to hear some suggestions and perhaps stories from people who own one or who know a lot about them in order to begin the decision making process.

Right now I own five birds; a lovvie, a ringneck and three budgies. I do, however, have my heart set on getting a bigger bird. This is something for the future as I don't have the means to get one right now. But I think getting some information right now and then beginning to do some research would be a great idea.

So basically, I would like to hear suggestions and advice about having a bigger bird. I have ruled out a macaw and the bigger cockatoos as I just don't think I'd be able to give them the home they require, but I am thinking more like an African Grey, a Galah, an Amazon, an Eclectus, etc etc.

If anyone has any advice on things like noise level, mess, cost of keeping etc etc, that would be fantastic.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 11:23 AM

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The quietest of the birds you've listed would be an African grey. Don't forget the Timneh African grey as well as the Congo. You can pick up a Congo from just about anywhere but I personally have a bit of a think for the Timneh grey, I think they're a beautiful bird They would also be the least messy. African greys are well known for being somewhat nervy but it's something that can be worked on. It depends really, if you get a baby then they should come from a reputable breeder that socializes them well and tries not to spook them at such a young age. I've written a blog post about greys and how they're put into large cages with nothing for a soft landing in the bottom. They fall, get hurt and develop this 'large space' phobia that could have easily been prevented. The bigger the cage the better, as with all species

Galah cockatoos are high energy, high pitched, very needy and pretty darn messy/destructive. They're wonderful birds, but unless you can put a lot of time into one then it simply wouldn't be fair to keep one IMO. They're great cuddlers and have a personality similar to a very hyperactive cockatiel They're not as difficult to care for as the other 'too species but they're not an easy bird. Oh, they don't have anywhere near as bad as a bite either Galah need a low fat diet as they're prone to obesity and fatty liver disease

Amazon parrots, well, where to begin. It depends on the species you're looking into getting. There is the 'hot 3'. These are your blue fronted, yellow naped and double yellow headed Amazon parrots. These 3 get that name from the attitude they develop during hormonal changes and once a year at every breeding season. That's not to say that other species don't do this, because they do, but these 3 are not for the faint hearted. Probably the most common species of Amazon parrot you can get in the UK would be the orange winged. Now. In my experience the female orange wings are far, far more manageable and quiet than the males. My male, Clyde, was extremely loud and had quite a nasty aggressive streak. I've noticed that with more than one too. They can be very destructive and I'm not just talking toys. They'll trash whatever they can get into! For noise though, here's a video of Clyde. It is a LOT louder in person and can make your ears ring pretty darn bad ~ They can be a nightmare when they hit maturity with screaming. They also have a habit of flying at the faces of those who annoy them or upset them

Eclectus parrots are a tricky one because I haven't had all that much experience with them at all. From what I have seen and have known of them, they're in a class of their own. They can have quite a loud, shrill call and are very destructive birds (have you SEEN that beak aha!?). They are messy too, as they have a specific diet that requires them to have a lot of fresh food. This isn't very detailed but it can give you a rough idea. Due to their need for low fat, they shouldn't be fed seeds. They make pellets for ekkies but personally I don't think they should be fed them what so ever. Same goes for lories/lorikeets ~ I don't have a lot else to say about them but like I said, because of their specific dietary needs they can be a bit more difficult to keep in comparison to the other three species you listed

As for the cost of owning these birds, the expenses are all going to be somewhat similar. They all need large housing, large toys (which they'll go through often), an avian vet (assuming you already have one with your current birds) and all sorts of other bits and bobs. Regarding diet, the most expensive to keep would be the eclectus. I think that most birds should have an almost entirely fresh diet anyway so to me it wouldn't make that much difference but if you don't already feed your birds chop then it may not be something that would be easily affordable

Hope this helps somewhat. If you have any more questions feel free to ask I'm sure the other owners will chime in

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Daisy, thanks very much for your informative post.

At this point, I am leaning towards getting an African Grey as, from what I've read so far, they do seem to be the sort of bird I'm looking for. Obviously I'll need to do a lot more research before I make a decision though.

One question I forgot to ask is do you think that you can mix big and small birds? I would be worried about a bigger bird going for my lovvie or one of the budgies.

As far as noise goes the bench mark I have is my ringneck. Her screech is loud and very high pitched/piercing - thankfully she doesn't do it too much! But I find I am able to deal with it - and I guess I can always get some ear plugs!
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