Big bird ownership? - Talk Parrots Forums

Large Parrots Discuss specific (larger) species in this forum: Mini-macaws, macaws, African greys, amazons, cockatoos, etc.

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 45
Thanks: 0
Thanked 22 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Big bird ownership?

I'm just wondering, but what exactly are the major pro's and con's specific to large parrot ownership? Are they the same pro's and con's as keeping any bird, just to a different extent? It's my dream to own a large parrot someday, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to do so. The fact that I'm a bit afraid of holding a big parrot (Yeah, seriously!) would PROBABLY be a setback.
Boosh96 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 01:59 PM


 
wyrinth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC, USA
Posts: 1,058
Thanks: 1,411
Thanked 748 Times in 515 Posts
Rep Power: 12
       
kind of like the difference between owning a cat or a tiger .

Stitch Pikachu Thor Loki

BlazeCinder Sunday

Storm Sky
wyrinth is offline  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Jenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 3,838
Thanks: 194
Thanked 130 Times in 103 Posts
Rep Power: 43
                     
Send a message via AIM to Jenny
Pretty much same emotional needs, time out of cage, etc. The biggest difference is diet is more varied for large birds and their size needs - bigger cages, bigger toys, bigger beaks so bigger bites. They do tend towards being more emotionally sensitive, so more prone to plucking as well, depending on the species. Outside of that, it's down to each individual and species differences



Jenny is offline  
 
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 03:02 PM



 
catalinadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,637
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 99
                     
Jenny nailed that one, IMO. Everything, but bigger and they definitely are a bit more emotional

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 03:14 PM


 
Kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outer Sydney Australia
Age: 67
Posts: 887
Thanks: 135
Thanked 235 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 36
                     
I agree with bigger for everything, everything that is except for seed. One of the biggest mistakes over here is that big birds only eat big seeds and therefore feed them on a diet of mainly Sunflower seed and Cracked Corn. Being the owner of several cockatoo's I also would not feed them pellets. They tend to use their beaks as shovels when it comes to food. Pellets over here are very expensive and I would find it very annoying that as soon as I fill their feed container they shovel it all out and it goes everywhere. It is annoying enough with seed, but not as expensive.

A good quality seed mix of mainly millets, canary, some wheat and oats and small quantities of Sunflower and Safflower seed. Combine that with fruit and vegetables and that is a good diet. It is summer here at the moment and Mango's are in full season and very cheap, my guys love it as they eat the seed pod after I have finished with eating the mango. During breeding season if I am breeding any of my birds I put a small amount of Calcium Carbonate Powder through their seed so that everytime they eat a seed they get a little calcium. Cockatoo's are high calcium birds, especially at breeding time.

Personally I find them no more difficult than smaller parrots.
Kate is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Kate For This Useful Post:
Jenny (01-03-2014)
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 03:14 PM
 
Topaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 324
Thanks: 7
Thanked 136 Times in 109 Posts
Rep Power: 8
   
Bigger and more money. Oh and don't forget really loud and bigger messes.

Yuki my budgie. Pixie budgie. Blue IRN Goose
Topaz is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 05:04 PM


 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 562
Thanks: 5
Thanked 72 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 14
           
Think of it this way, your going to be living with a toddler potentially for the rest of your life. Tantrums included lol.
CaptainHowdy is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 05:51 PM
 
thekarens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 501
Thanks: 372
Thanked 343 Times in 223 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Seeds should be the last thing you should feed your parrot. Ideally it would be fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, second pellets, last seeds. If course there are exceptions, eclectus absolutely should not have pellets.

It's similar to humans if you think about it. You could live on junk food or processed food, but fresh vegetables, whole grains and fruits are much better for you and you'll live a healthier life.

Sent from my Nexus 5

Senegals - Sammie & Sydney
Linnies - Pippin & Buttercup
thekarens is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 09:28 PM
 
ollieandme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 367
Thanks: 187
Thanked 161 Times in 127 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
i've looked into it many times and money seems to be a big difference! they cost more, their cage is bigger, avian vet fees are costly etc. all parrots are time intensive but a big one may need even more intellectual stimulation.
i don't own one myself, but that's what i've heard and read seems to me, even cockatiels are intense little pets to own!

Ollie Finn
Bjorn Casper
Ivy Gwyn
ollieandme is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 02:47 AM
 
Abby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 5,750
Thanks: 734
Thanked 474 Times in 379 Posts
Rep Power: 42
                     
I think just because birds are small, doesn't make them less fun or not as cool. They can be just as great, just without nearly as much mess, noise, etc.




DIGBY 4-year-old male Congo African Grey
Abby is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Abby For This Useful Post:
ollieandme (12-31-2013), wyrinth (01-01-2014)
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 04:54 AM


 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 562
Thanks: 5
Thanked 72 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 14
           
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
Seeds should be the last thing you should feed your parrot. Ideally it would be fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, second pellets, last seeds. If course there are exceptions, eclectus absolutely should not have pellets.

It's similar to humans if you think about it. You could live on junk food or processed food, but fresh vegetables, whole grains and fruits are much better for you and you'll live a healthier life.

Sent from my Nexus 5
Pellets are a processed food. . . Seeds are actually part of their natural diet. None of mine get pellets. In fact when my first rescue came to me he had been feed pellets for two years. Once he swapped over to his current diet his condition improved greatly and he is like a different bird.
CaptainHowdy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to CaptainHowdy For This Useful Post:
petiteoiseau (12-31-2013)
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 06:52 AM
 
thekarens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 501
Thanks: 372
Thanked 343 Times in 223 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
I think if you read up on it from parrot nutritionists and aviculturists you'll find that seeds aren't the best diet for parrots.
Many parrots, such as Amazon's don't eat seeds in the wild, which is why fresh fruits and vegetables are the ideal diet. Sunflower seeds are the worst thing you could give them. An all natural pellet like TOPS is a much better. I'm nobody so I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for it. Check with avian specialist. There's not a one that's going to tell you mainly seed diet is healthy for a parrot.

I should clarify that I don't mean they shouldn't get any seeds, just that it should be the smallest part of their diet and should be healthy seeds, not junk like sunflower and peanuts.

Sent from my Nexus 5

Senegals - Sammie & Sydney
Linnies - Pippin & Buttercup

Last edited by thekarens; 12-31-2013 at 07:01 AM.
thekarens is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 07:18 AM


 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 562
Thanks: 5
Thanked 72 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 14
           
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
I think if you read up on it from parrot nutritionists and aviculturists you'll find that seeds aren't the best diet for parrots.
Many parrots, such as Amazon's don't eat seeds in the wild, which is why fresh fruits and vegetables are the ideal diet. Sunflower seeds are the worst thing you could give them. An all natural pellet like TOPS is a much better. I'm nobody so I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for it. Check with avian specialist. There's not a one that's going to tell you mainly seed diet is healthy for a parrot.

I should clarify that I don't mean they shouldn't get any seeds, just that it should be the smallest part of their diet and should be healthy seeds, not junk like sunflower and peanuts.

Sent from my Nexus 5
Ah I see your in america, I know over there pellets are a big thing, over here many are shunning pellets due to the problems they cause in birds, I know of a couple of cases now of cockatoos who were fed pellets who ended up with lots of medical issues caused by the pellets, not to mention the birds with nutritional deficienes caused by pellets. No vet I know of over here recommends pellets to be a big part if any part of a parrots diet. My vet has certainly never told me to add them in after I have listed out my birds diets to her.

Amazons in the wild eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fresh vegatation and fruits.

I wasn't saying you have to feed a mainly seed diet but for most parrot species they should be given seeds in their diet. Granted it should be a good quality seed mix and not your standard cheapo mix of peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Mine get a low sunflower african grey mix as a base, with various other mixes mixed in to ensure a wide range of seeds, then they get their soaking pulses, their soaking mix, their human grade nuts, their fresh fruit and veg, their palm fruit. . . You get the idea lol. but yes they get sunflower seeds as a treat, I certainly don't cut them out completely. They do not however get any monkey nuts.
CaptainHowdy is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 07:34 AM
 
ollieandme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 367
Thanks: 187
Thanked 161 Times in 127 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
I don't know about other parrots but for cockatiels, seeds should make up the majority of their diet, along side some pellets and plenty of veggies it's natural and healthy. Isn't it true birds can get liver problems if they're eating solely pellets?

Ollie Finn
Bjorn Casper
Ivy Gwyn
ollieandme is offline  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 07:38 AM


 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 562
Thanks: 5
Thanked 72 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 14
           
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollieandme View Post
I don't know about other parrots but for cockatiels, seeds should make up the majority of their diet, along side some pellets and plenty of veggies it's natural and healthy. Isn't it true birds can get liver problems if they're eating solely pellets?
They can get lots of problems on a high pellet diet. Certain species are not recommended to be fed any pellets.
CaptainHowdy is offline  
post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 08:02 AM
 
thekarens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 501
Thanks: 372
Thanked 343 Times in 223 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
The only species I've heard that shouldn't have pellets are eclectus.

There's nothing wrong with feeding a tile a high quality pellet like TOPS or Harrison's

Sent from my Nexus 5

Senegals - Sammie & Sydney
Linnies - Pippin & Buttercup
thekarens is offline  
post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:29 AM


 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 462
Thanks: 133
Thanked 222 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 7
   
Everybody has a different opinion on what is a proper diet for a parrot and this is mostly and unfortunately because nobody really knows what their nutritional needs are (no, not even avian vets or avian nutritionists, I am afraid -there is simply not enough reference or studies). What I do is go to nature and see what the bird eats in the wild, not so much in terms of specifics because, of course, we don't have access to the same type of plants, fruits, seeds or nuts they do in the wild, but more of the composition of the diet meaning how much protein, humidity, fiber, fat, what type of vitamins, etc, when and how much of each thing, etc.

I live in USA but I don't feed pellets. I've done research on parrots diets and nutrition since 1994 when one of mine was found to have high uric acid and I was horrified at what I was actually feeding her so I changed it and have been tweaking it ever since.

Now, the main reason why pellets are considered good for parrots in America is the way they were commercialized when they first came out. Dr. Harrison is a very smart business man and sold them only to vets and, because avian vets do NOT study parrot nutrition in school, they tended to believe everything the salesmen told them. Mind you, back in those days, people fed them mostly peanuts and sunflowers seeds as well as crappy human food like pizza, meat, etc so of course that pellets were a much better alternative at the time! Add this to the fact that the vets made money selling the product and voila! Every single vet out there was recommending them which created this 'I better recommend them too or everybody will think I know nothing about this subject' mentality. But, if you look at the ingredients, you realize that they are nothing but ground grains and pulses mixed with man-made vitamins (with the exception of TOPs which uses nature-derived) so you might as well feed them a good multi-grain bread and add vitamins to their water. It would be cheaper and healthier for them because bread is moister than pellets and the grains used would be human grade instead of animal feed grade (and there is a big difference between the two -I worked for ten years at a grain company).

My birds get seed/nuts for dinner. Not in the morning and not free-fed. They get them for dinner, a measured portion (just enough to fill their crop) and as low protein as I can make it so, in the winter, the larger species get a cockatiel mix with just a few striped sunflowers (I do NOT feed black oil ones), some safflower and mostly millet, canary seed, wheat, etc. which are all cereal grains and not oil seeds. People have a misconception as to what parrots eat in the wild and do not take into consideration the globalization of crops. For example, peanuts are form South America but wild African parrots (particularly Senegals) eat the people's peanut crops. Wheat as we know it has been cultivated into an almost different grain from what Nature created and I've seen people state categorically that gluten is bad for parrots because they don't eat it in the wild but that's because they haven't seen a wild flock of BFA, Patagonians or Quakers descend over a crop field and decimate it in a matter of hours.

As to the biggest difference between small and large species, in my personal opinion, it's noise, space needed (you need a minimum of 30ft long rooms for a macaw to fly while 10ft is a large space for a budgie), and emotional needs. The smaller species do EXCELLENTLY in an aviary environment with companions of their own but the larger ones are normally much more dependent on and attached to their human so you need to spend A LOT of one-on-one time with them while the little ones appreciate but do not really need your company.
petiteoiseau is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to petiteoiseau For This Useful Post:
wyrinth (01-01-2014)
post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:59 AM
 
thekarens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 501
Thanks: 372
Thanked 343 Times in 223 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
TOPS is actually human grade, not animal grade and there are no vitamins added.

Ideally yes, you'd feed your birds the correct amount of vegetables, fruits, protein, etc with fresh food, but not many people can or will do that. Instead, a good portion of people will go to your local petsmart or wherever and buy whatever bag of seed is available and when they do that birds are always going to go for their favorite, peanut or whatever the bag and the healthier stuff is tossed (assuming there is healthy stuff what they bought) which is why TOPS (or other pellets like it) is a much better choice.

Birds crack nuts just fine so I see no reason why a pellet is bad because it's not soft. Occasionally for variety I'll soak my pellets with a natural fruit juice or crush it and bake it into birdy bread.

As with children, everyone has to do what they think is best for their birds.

As far as I'm concerned it's already been proven that an all seed or mostly seed diet causes and/or contributes to fatty liver disease. My birds also get some seed each day, but again, it's the smallest portion of their diet.

Sent from my Nexus 5

Senegals - Sammie & Sydney
Linnies - Pippin & Buttercup
thekarens is offline  
post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 03:47 PM


 
Kate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outer Sydney Australia
Age: 67
Posts: 887
Thanks: 135
Thanked 235 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 36
                     
I agree with everything Bibi has said. Pellets here also were originally sold by vets. And the vets got kickbacks from the manufacturers.

Being in Australia and having a good range of large parrots, which incidentally are wild around me. I have Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Galah's and Corella's all living and breeding around me. I can assure you in the wild they don't get much in the way of fruit and vegetables and seed does make up the majority of their diet, as is a fair amount of pollen and nectar from the flowers. Our Eucalyptus trees flower and the parrots eat those as well as the nuts that follow the flowering. There is a wattle tree next to my gate and when the tree has flowered it produces a bean that contains seeds, the cockatoo's etc. all go nuts for that. On my back fence I have Conifer trees and when the nuts on that are still quite soft the Sulphurs attack that in droves. And they make more noise than the 15 Sulphur's, Galah's and Corella's that I own do. They also like the nuts from the Casuarina trees that grow near me, these trees are also known as She Oaks. In the grain growing areas the Cockatoo's do attack the crops of wheat, sunflower, safflower, oats and any other grain that is ripening at the time. Before the advent of these crops in this country they would eat the wild types of these seeds. Some of the weeds that grow in my yard I encourage and feed to my birds (if the wild ones don't get to them first), which are wild oats, rye, windmill grass and many more than I can mention. They will also get down on the grass and dig up the roots of many grass varieties including the seeds from the grasses as well. It is wonderful to see a whole flock of Galah's or Corella's down on the grass feeding, then taking flight on mass.

I have also in my yard apple trees, pear trees, peach, mulberry, almonds, oranges, mandarins and used to have a vegetable patch and the wild cockatoo's never touch them. The only thing that does attack them are the Fruit Bats and the Lorikeets (who are not seed eaters but pollen and nectar feeders mainly).

My birds get basically a good quality mix of all the millets, with the addition of small amounts of oats, wheat, sunflower (grey stripe and not the black oil seed) and safflower. When available I give them chick weed, sows thistle, the wild seeding grasses, along with fresh corn on the cob, silverbeet, mango (which my birds love), apples, endive to name a few.

Yes the pelletized food manufacturers have been very good at marketing their products and yes they are made up of crushed grains with some vitamins added, so I would much rather give my birds the real thing and not a ground up product, which does nothing to keep the birds beaks ground down like the tree branches and whole seeds do. I never buy the seeds mixes from the supermarkets as they are very poor quality cheap seeds that are sold at a premium price. I use a very high quality clean breeder mix and my birds do very well on that. Most breeders in this country feed the same as I do and if they do feed pellets they are more of a treat than a full on diet.

All my birds get a similar diet to my large parrots, even the budgies. The only ones that don't are the lorikeets which get an artificial pollen mix that I developed and make myself. Even my pigeon gets the same feed mix and he is over 14 years old now. Things like almonds, peanuts, walnuts etc. all in the shell are given as a treat and not a part of their daily diet.
Kate is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kate For This Useful Post:
petiteoiseau (01-03-2014), wyrinth (01-01-2014)
post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 05:22 PM


 
aether-drifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Age: 34
Posts: 328
Thanks: 202
Thanked 226 Times in 124 Posts
Rep Power: 9
   
Sorry if it's already been mentioned (I haven't thoroughly read every response), but I think one of the major reasons a largely seed-based diet in pet birds is unhealthy is that the seeds we buy are dormant. In the wild, birds eat seeds and grains in all states of germination. Sprouted seeds are much higher in nutrition than dry ones! A bird that is fed no pellets, lots of seed and not enough veggies and fresh food WILL end up with nutritional deficiencies. Pellets only are not healthy, but neither is seed only. Common sense dictates that variety is key...for species that are prone to obesity and fatty tumors, I don't see why a diet free of dry seed would be bad. Mostly sprouted seed and fresh produce, supplemented with high-quality pellets, bird bread, cooked grains, nuts, beans etc. would seem to be ideal.

Last edited by aether-drifter; 12-31-2013 at 05:25 PM.
aether-drifter is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to aether-drifter For This Useful Post:
petiteoiseau (01-03-2014), wyrinth (01-01-2014)
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Talk Parrots Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome