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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hello to everyone!

Hello, guys!

I just registered with the forum and thought I'd say a few words about myself

I have been a bird lover all my life. To date I have only owned budgies. I have to admit I have a particularly weak spot for them, but I love bigger parrots as well and have educated myself as much as possible on them.

I am considering getting a bigger birdie to add to the six budgies it is currently my privilege to look after, but I have not yet decided on the type of parrot I would like to have (I should probably mention that I live in an apartment). I am hesitating between an African grey, an Indian ringneck (preferably a lutino) and a green-cheek conure (my favourate mutation is the pineapple followed closely by the normal variety). I have read up pretty much all the information available on the web regarding all these three types of parrot, and I am aware of their specificities in terms of behaviour, attention needs, mental stimulation needs, care, what to do and what not to do to avoid encouraging the bird to develop unwanted behaviours etc.

If I lived in a country with parrot rescues, I would definitely adopt. As things stand, I do not have this option here in Brussels.

I love, love, love my birds. I give them out-of-cage time every day. I clean their cages at least once a day, sometimes twice if they make too much of a mess. I feed them sprouted seeds every day, as well as a variety of veggies (broccoli, carrots, carrot tops, basil, parsley, celery, endives, spinach, salad etc.) and hard-boiled eggs (two to three times a week and every day during molt time). I do not feed them any pellets. My budgies love all the foods I give them. When they see veggies coming, their enthusiasm is unmistakable Sometimes I also add a few drops of organic apple-cider vinegar in their drinking water.

Regards,
Svetla
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg SAM_3677.jpg (1.35 MB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg SAM_2661 - 31.5.2013.jpg (1.54 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Pippi - 23.8.2014 SAM_3951.jpg (1.51 MB, 4 views)

Last edited by svetlak; 01-24-2015 at 12:14 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 09:10 PM


 
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Welcome Svetla! You have a gorgeous flock there, and it sounds like they're spoiled rotten! I can't really give you advice on choosing a larger parrot that you haven't already read up, but I will say don't expect a new, larger parrot to get along with your Budgies. That could spell bad news!

And just one tip, I wouldn't feed boiled egg, or protein in general, that often unless you are wanting to promote your Budgies to breed. Too much protein for Budgies that aren't breeding can cause health issues.



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 09:44 PM
 
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Hiya! And welcome! Happy to see another new face.

I've had various birdies in the past but the one I have now is named Digby and he is a Congo African Grey. I'm a HUGE Grey lover. They are generally quieter birds, although that isn't always the case and they do have the capability of being too loud for an apartment.

With apartments, it varies from place to place, but generally bigger birds just don't mix well with apartment living. Whether it's lack of space, the noise, the owner not wanting a bird (or any pets) in the complex, whatever. So I can't say for sure unless I knew your situation.

If you have any specific questions about greys I can definitely help.




DIGBY 4-year-old male Congo African Grey
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hello, Kayla and Abby!

Thank you for the warm welcome.

Far from me the thought that any larger parrot would get along with my budgies I know that getting a larger bird will require a certain amount of more or less complicated logistics on my part.

When my budgies are molting, I feed boiled eggs (once a day, not the whole day) for no more than four days in a row, and it seems to help a lot, particularly with little Pippi (she is the smaller of my two sky blue budgies - the fifth picture). Pippi seems to be the only one to take molting badly, looking sick, poor thing. My other budgies, although they loose their usual polished look, do not seem to suffer. They get a lot of out-of-cage time, so they do not get overweight (if that is one issue you are alluding to). They are excellent flyers, with very well-developed musculature. I will reduce the egg meals to once to twice a week at the most.

I have a budgie breeder friend, who feeds her budgies egg food every day and even though her budgies are in a pretty large aviary (inside her apartment), many of them are very overweight. I have seen them flying around in the aviary, but they do not expend as much energy as mine do when out for play/flying time. I told her (nicely) that she should limit the egg food to no more than twice a week (for the non-breeding birds), but (and don't ask me why) she doesn't follow my advice. And it is not like she doesn't care for her birds - all the perks a bird can get in terms of care, her birds get from her, except with the egg food added to the sprouts...

Regarding African greys, they are my top favourate for a larger bird. I own my apartment, so no owner to reckon with. I also have plenty of space, so space isn't an issue either. My biggest concern with greys is the time I can devote to one. It is not the desire on my part that is lacking. I work as a translator at the European Commission and way too often I have to work crazy hours (9:00 - 21:50). The last thing I would want is to have a bird (any single bird) sitting at home all alone, waiting for me to get back. During warmer days, I could bring the parrot to work with me. I have done so previously with a budgie or two, and my colleagues love them. Plus, we all have our own offices. The cold days would be problematic though, as I do not own a car. I have a 20-minute walk to work every day.

Another concern I have with greys is their longevity (if properly looked after of course). I will be 40 in May this year and it worries me that I do not have anyone to leave my bird to should he/she outlive me.

I love Indian ringnecks, but here in Belgium there aren't many breeders to begin with, and the few there are are not ones (as in the US and Canada for example) who would be willing to let me have a weaned baby, and also visit the baby before weaning. There is one breeder my friend knows of, who, however, breeds his ringnecks in large aviaries and the birds are completely wild. I know that the age of a bird doesn't matter. It is what you do with the bird (how you work with it, how you build a bond of trust) that matters, but I would like to get a very young bird (weaned of course) that I would have, hopefully, less trouble building a bond with. So, there you go, another problem.

This is why, for the time being, I am leaning towards a lovely green-cheek conure. My friend breeds them as well. She has two pairs, the younger one of which will hopefully have chicks for the first time at some point this year, and could also have pineapple babies. We will see...





P.S. My birds munch on each other's tails sometimes and bend them slightly at the very tip. That is why I call them "my little commas"

Last edited by svetlak; 01-27-2015 at 02:54 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:12 PM


 
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It sounds like you take amazing care of your birds and it's great to see you thinking about your future Parrot's needs above your own. That's great!

For the health issues related to too much protein, most animals will develop kidney stones at the very least, but other more severe issues are the real problem.

I think a Green Cheek would be a great addition to your flock, although they can be loud little guys!



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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If I could adopt an older grey, that would be great. That is what I would go for if I that opportunity was available to me. To me every single bird, no matter its age, deserves the whole love in the world and the best care possible.

I was on a second-hand selling site yesterday (don't know what you call these sites in English), out of curiosity. People sell pets there as well, and there was someone giving away their five-month-old African grey. The bird is gorgeous and I am soooo tempted.

I have been thinking about adding a larger bird to my flock for several months now. There are so many things to consider between the three different species that I am interested in.

I am in the process of enquiring into the possibility to travel with an African grey (or any parrot for that matter) from Brussels to Sofia and back. Travelling would be a last resort option, but I need to know if it would be available to me should I decide I can responsibly acquire such a bird. I am thinking everything through for the hundredth time.

I realise that travelling is stressful for any pet, but there are ways to minimise stress a lot (I already have a strategy in mind), and having spoken to Lufthansa Cargo, I have to admit I feel quite reassured. The employee I spoke to was very kind and helpful. He assured me that they transport live animals a lot and that animals are treated in a way adapted to their needs. They are kept in warm, well-ventilated areas, given water prior to boarding but not during the flight to avoid spills which would make the animal wet and uncomfortable etc.

As I like to say, information is free, and it never hurts to be informed. Travelling with a cat or a dog is easy enough in Europe, but once you mention the word "bird", they cut you off on the spot. Most airline and airport employees are clueless when it comes to transporting a pet other than a cat or a dog.

I am also not excluding the possibility of not acquiring any larger bird after all. I am very torn... The bird I want most is the one which is the most difficult in every respect, and that's the grey A thing I like about greys is that they are not as hyperactive as many other parrots.

I'll let you know what I decide.

Really nice to be able to chat with you. Not many people understand
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just spoke with a Lufthansa bookings employee (not their cargo department) and she confirmed that a/my bird can indeed travel (as excess baggage) with me, and for not too high a cost either! I am so happy to learn that. This resolves the problem of who is going to look after my bird when I am away, which is always an important consideration. Which means I would spend very little time apart from my bird, should I get him/her.

I am now working on trying to finish work most days within reasonable hours. This will not always be possible, but if most of the time I can manage to leave work by 18:00 h, I will have a few hours to spend with my birds before bedtime.

Last edited by svetlak; 01-27-2015 at 05:58 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 04:34 PM
 
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Have you gotten to talk to the people giving away the bird? Here in the US, we have to worry about scams where people say one thing, but don't really mean it...
I have a CAG and really enjoy him! They are really interesting, and as long as you don't spoil them as soon as you get home and then give less attention later, I think they can do fine with a working parent!!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 09:30 PM


 
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Hi and welcome, If an african grey is your dream bird I say go for it, you are doing the research and that is great! I also will caution you about scams, here we have many used sites the most popular are craigslist and kijiji, if your heart is not set on a grey then you should relook at the little green cheeks. I have a little pineapple green cheek sitting on my shoulder as I type this and she is an absolute delight.. I love this bird with all my heart. I have 5 budgies, 2 tiels a parrotlet and my greenie, I love them all early but my greenie is by far my favorite bird. if I could only keep one there would be absolutely no question who it would be. I hope it would never come to that tho cuz I do love all my other birds dearly also. Hope everything works out for you!!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachaelslp View Post
Have you gotten to talk to the people giving away the bird? Here in the US, we have to worry about scams where people say one thing, but don't really mean it...
I have a CAG and really enjoy him! They are really interesting, and as long as you don't spoil them as soon as you get home and then give less attention later, I think they can do fine with a working parent!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParrotletsRock View Post
Hi and welcome, If an african grey is your dream bird I say go for it, you are doing the research and that is great! I also will caution you about scams, here we have many used sites the most popular are craigslist and kijiji, if your heart is not set on a grey then you should relook at the little green cheeks. I have a little pineapple green cheek sitting on my shoulder as I type this and she is an absolute delight.. I love this bird with all my heart. I have 5 budgies, 2 tiels a parrotlet and my greenie, I love them all early but my greenie is by far my favorite bird. if I could only keep one there would be absolutely no question who it would be. I hope it would never come to that tho cuz I do love all my other birds dearly also. Hope everything works out for you!!
Hello and thank you both for replying

Here's an update on the situation/my research (which proved quite difficult and time-consuming). I spoke the other day to my friend, the budgie and greenie breeder (Claire), and she advised me, and I agree with her, that if I choose to acquire a large parrot, I should acquire it from a breeder I have complete trust in. Thankfully, she knows a guy who breeds macaws and greys (he is located in Belgium, so that's good), and she says that I can trust him 100%. He is a registered breeder, so his birds have bands, which is important for identification purposes. If I will be travelling with my grey, I will need to have all the bird's documentation in order in order to prove that the bird is not wild-caught, and that includes a band. So I will not be buying a bird from a private person, on a second-hand site. It is just not safe.

Another problem I encountered is that apparently in Bulgaria (which is where I would be travelling with my bird to most), there aren't any avian vets... I will try the zoo in Sofia in the hope that they will have a competent vet there, but for the trip Sofia - Brussels, I will most likely need a vet certificate issued in Bulgaria, and for that I will need a vet to go to there as well. I have still to check with Belgian airport customs what their vet requirements are.

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am also concerned that my grey might outlive me. I have no children and I have been thinking of giving him/her away to a nice zoo, but the problem with this is that, knowing myself, I will not have the strength to part with a bird that has shared his/her life with me for 40-50 years. Saying that I grow very attached to my birds is an understatement.

On the other hand, Brigitte, a friend of my friend Claire's, who is also a breeder, wrote to me on the subject of the bird's longevity and my related concerns: "You shouldn't think like that, Svetla. By that logic, only children of 10 years of age should acquire greys (you know, to make sure the bird doesn't outlive them, or at least reduce the chances of that happening drastically). Who knows when a bird will go, and also who knows when its keeper will go? Greys are wonderful companions."

I get her point, but I also think mine is valid as well. So I am having a very, very difficult time deciding. I would love to give a bigger bird a wonderful life. That, I know I can do.

I am writing this fresh from a visit to Claire's. We spoke about this topic again, and she suggested that I wait for her younger greenies pair to breed, because she says I might fall in love with one of their babies.

Thank you loads for your opinions and advice. They mean a lot. I would like to apologise for being what must look like indecisive. This decision is a very difficult one for me. I am not someone who can acquire a bird and then give it away because "you know, it doesn't meet my expectations/it is too difficult".

Kind regards
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 11:18 PM
 
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