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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a very delicate subject over on the parrot forums, so I decided to bring up the subject with people I know and am comfortable with. I take great joy in raising baby birds--most of them pigeons and doves, however--but I have not yet had the chance to raise a larger breed of parrot. For quite a long time, I have studied them, and found their behavior both extremely interesting and endearing. I tend to enjoy my visits at the pet store more than anything, and will be applying to work there very soon, so that I may pass on some of the knowledge I have on avians, their care, and the science behind their amazing intellect. I see a lot of pathetic people working with the birds at our pet stores, many who are hand feeding unweaned babies every year when they hardly know how to and advising people not to touch very friendly birds.

For instance, I was once giving a rather large cockatoo nice scritchies on her head, and she loved me and so was very close to my face, preening my eyebrows and hair. All the people had to say was, "BE CAREFUL! SHE BITES SO HARD, SHE'S A MEAN BIRD! Put her back or you'll be sorry, she's vicious!" These people don't even know how to handle birds! It's absolutely pathetic, the bird was so sweet and just needed someone with patience and respect. Birds need to be respected like people or they will not respect you. My dear pigeon folk, you of course know this--I adore you all and am so very happy to have found those in appreciation of avians in all their wonder.

However, it has come the time that my research and studies have caused me to wish to raise a larger parrot of my own one of these years. I'm not sure when--three years ago I was still thinking of raising one, and have not come to a solid conclusion yet. I imprint on birds just as they do on me, and find it to be an amazing bonding situation for me to raise a baby bird from the egg. People discourage this strongly... But I find it to be amazing. My attachment to my pigeons, Toad and Muffin is extremely strong, as is my connection with the Moody goose. They are like my children in every manner of the word, and I would love to raise a companion parrot--one of these years, that is--that would be the same.

I have dealt with goose poop in liters, my friends, and spilt corn, pellets, seeds and anything else you wish to think of--and would find a parrot a rather simple task to take on, given what I've had to face with Moody. My handfeeding experiences are not as vast as some of you respectable people, however I am gentle, patient and kind, and dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the babies I raise.

So here I am to ask a few questions, if any of you are 'parrot savvy'... First of all, do you think it would be wise to, in a few year's time, take on the task of raising a baby parrot? Secondly, what parrot would you recommend? I'd love a cockatoo, but honestly, I worry that due to their extreme intelligence and obsessively possessive nature, something may go wrong. I'd love a macaw, but they are very needy and difficult to train. Those are absolutely my favourite parrots... All birds have their pros and cons, but both should be kept in mind, of course. A smaller goffins cockatoo might be a good bet, as they're a little more manageable than the umbrella...

And finally, last but not least, that is--do any of you breed parrots and are located in Canada, or know some who are? Would these people, or you, be opened to the possibility of allowing me this wonderful chance, to attain an egg, incubate and raise a baby? I know it is tricky business, and I would not attempt such a feat without hands on training and consultation from quality avian vets. I am very close to one of the best avian vets in Canada, actually, who specializes in avian medicine and works at the university of Saskatoon. Applying at the pet store would also teach me hands-on hand feeding of baby parrots, as I believe they have a few trainers there... I don't know if they tube feed, but I hope not. Spoon feeding and a slow syringe at the side of their mouth seems to be such a gentler method...

Now I'm just rambling. Please hear me out. Do any of you have any suggestions or help for me?

Kind thanks,

Vasp
 

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Hi Vasp,

I have no real experience in rearing a hookbill "eggling" of any type. I had some unexpected lovebird babies this past year and thanks to the help of some members here I was able to assist the parents in rearing those little ones.

I definitely would NOT undertake raising a large parrot from the egg. It would be far better for the baby parrot to be fed and reared by the parents for a few weeks before you, the human, intervened.

I have a hybrid Cockatoo (Umbrella x Moluccan), an African Grey, a Nanday Conure, lovebirds, cockatiels, and parakeets. All of them are rescues.

From what I know from experience with my hookbills, I would suggest that you start with something a bit less formidable than a Cockatoo or a Macaw. A Goffins might work well for you, but I would still suggest something in the Conure or Caique line to start with instead.

I'm sure others will be along shortly.

Terry
 

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Hi Vasp,



Yahhhh, from what I know, Terry is right-on with the wisdom of having the Parents raise the Baby for a few weeks or something, if not off and on for longer even...and to transition variously, during or from there.


Really, I would think, the ideal, if one's intention IS to have a Life Long Companion-Bird elected from the 'Egg'...

Would be to have the biological Parent's trust, so one may participate in the Brooding and the raising, spelling them so whoever is on the NEst can have a little breather now and then, then once the infant is pipped, even if only just be being near for the first week or so with some incidental hand covering for one's spell of the keeping them warm, and, then, in small ways, participating in incidental feedings or 'sitting' or other tasks an 'accepted' Aunt or Uncle or Neighbor-Friend might do...


And being part of the Natural continuity all along then, once the youngster fledges, you are accepted by them more or less the same as they accept their biological parents, and the transition can proceed from there, with you respecting how they may go through some period of wishing to be independant even, if co-habiting an environ with you.


Later then, should they elect to be friends with you, and likely they would, that would proceed naturally in their terms with no pressure or oblige, and of course, one can invite them to be friends, too...


That would be the sense I make of it.


As for me, I of course enjoy raising Baby Pigeons or other Birds, very much...when I know the drill on how to do so...but I would never wish to do so when their Biological or Surrogate same-species 'Parents' could do so instead.

I many times have participated in incidental Brooding of the Eggs, and of the Neonate even, and, if not tending to do any feedings, I have been a part of the process anyway, and it is a lovely and delicate thing to get to be a part of.


The way I see it, no matter how much I care, no matter how good a job I might do, I do not feel I can ever do so good a job of it as their own parents would, unless their own parents are idiots, or are goof ups, or have some problem going on to interfere, in which case, of course, I would intervene and take over!


Pigeons are more or less for a long LONG time, if they are to be 'House Birds'...and Parrots, are more or less 'For Ever', since they will out live us, or should, when well cared for...even if we were born the same time they were...!

Churchill's Parrot is still alive last I heard...still cussing out Hirohito, Kemal Pasha, Mousillini, and Hitler ( and probably cussing out Rosevelt too...)


Lol...

Phil
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I know you have wonderful intentions to raise a youngster and I think any bird fortunate enough to be in your family would thrive. IMO, however, there are so many parrot and other hookbills in need of a loving home that I think you might go to one of the bird rescues in your area and apply for such a lonesome one. Like children, the babies are quickly taken, it's the older "kids", teens, and crotchity old folks (sounds just like people ;) ) that are desperate for a loving family. As sweet and endearing as babies are, someone with the love that you obviously have for birds, could take one of these birds and make it very very happy -- just think of how you connect to the birds in the pet store. I almost hate to go into a pet store and see all the birds and other animals trapped in cages waiting for their uncertain futures (and there ought to be a law against most of those small bird cages they sell, but that's another soap box :rolleyes: ).
Like Phil said, you'll have to select a species with regards to its lifespan. The hookbills are quite able to outlive their family and can be quite difficult to place so you will definitely have to list some guardians for them. Just make sure to not give it too many "colorful" verbs, adjectives, and nouns as like kids, they will definitely pick up words you'd rather not let your mom or grandmom hear :eek: !
And the voices on some of those parrots can be (can't say it any other way) LOUD!! When they decide to call for those flockmates that are way far away, they can sure put some power in that voice of theirs LOL!! We were walking through the Denver Zoo's tropical bird house when the two macaws cut loose and OH, MY!! (and I thought they could be loud in the pet store).

Good luck on whatever you do. You'll have to let us know so we can all be long-distance aunts and uncles :)
 

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I have to agree with FSZ. So many birds need good homes, why get a "new" one and encourage breeders to breed even more. I've seen too often in the clinic that the owners don't want to spend the money on their medical bills and just drop them of or never pick them up and the worst, they want them put to sleep rather than having to pay the bill.
My favourites are African Grays, from all the hookbills they seem to be the easiest to live with, they don't scream and they are pretty laid back. Cockatoos are pluckers and so are Amazons, even though I find Amazon's are the funniest.
Macaws are cool birds but very noisy and tougher to handle due to their size. Cockatoos are screamers too. Goffins are very cute and sweet. I would go for a Goffin or African Gray.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As usual, you all speak from logical perspectives. I can certainly see your point and I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps one of these days a troubled or abandoned parrot, baby or not, will come into my care. Aside from that, perhaps I'll just forget seeking out what I originally wanted. Not only is it not very acceptable among most people, it's unwise.

Thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've watched that video a million times. :p I love it. I find it very enjoyable to watch hand feeding formula being mixed for some reason.

Also, I was thinking that if I work at the pet store and begin hand feeding young parrots (not newborns, of course), I might just bond with one of them and adopt it. Otherwise, I might just train up and try to raise a 3 or 4 week old baby or something. You know, one that's been fed by someone else or its parents for a while already, just to make sure it has a better chance of survival.

But honestly, I don't think I'm ready. I'll know when I am. I just know there may be many years before I feel it's time.

The same went for Moody, and her time came, too. After many years. But it's not a decision I regret making because I took so long to make it.
 

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As usual, you all speak from logical perspectives. I can certainly see your point and I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps one of these days a troubled or abandoned parrot, baby or not, will come into my care. Aside from that, perhaps I'll just forget seeking out what I originally wanted. Not only is it not very acceptable among most people, it's unwise.

Thank you all.

Hi Vasp,


Far as I know, many, possibly most larger Citys, have 'Parrot Rescue' groups, sometimes these are somewhat private and not in the press, or are loose or casual affiliations, but the local Avian Vets would tend to know how to get ahold of them.


I have met people from such groups while at my Vets, and waiting for our turn. I could tell, once we had been talking a little, that they were sensitively posed to be recptive were I to inquire about adopting one, but, too little room here for that to be a wise notion for now, so...


Anyway, if you wanted to adopt an older Parrot, I am confident such a group would be glad to talk with you.


Of course they would be very relieved and find it refreshing for an inquiry to come from someone who has a lot going for them and who has real Bird experience...so, if anything, you might find quite a few to elect from...


Someday, when I finally move and am resetlled someplace where I can say I am 'Settled'...I will likely do so, get a couple of older Parrots, and see what shakes from there.


So far the ones I have met I liked very much, and, it felt like there were good potentials for friendship, even the 'grouchy' ones..!


Phil
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