Parrots!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, you bird people, come out of the woodwork:

    I just obtained a Citron Cockatoo. No idea of age/sex/history. Haven't even met it yet. My father knows an eldery lady who can no longer take care of it, and she is selling both the bird and it's rather large cage for $300. My father is buying both, because he wants the larger cage for his Amazon Grey. He is going to give me the Cockatoo and his Grey's old cage.

    I know little about parrots. Growing up, we always had cockatiels, which I constantly played with. Even helped my folks hand raise a baby when I was in middle school. We currently own two parakeets, but they were put together as young birds, not hand raised, and just don't like people. We look at them and feed them but we can't take them out and play with them. (well, with a little effort I can catch one and hold it, but it bites and squirms the whole time)

    Anyway, I'll be picking up my new bird this evening and want to know everything I can about it. I'm told it's tame, but really prefers women. So how about it, bird people? What should I do, what should I look for, etc? I want to give it a good home. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Malcolm Garren

    Malcolm Garren Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's probably an African Grey your father has.

    My experience with cockatoos is that they are the teddy bears of the parrot world. Most love to be handled and played with, but unfortunately they have a reputation for being very demanding of your attention, to the point that they may scream when you are out of sight. If this becomes a problem it may help to provide alternate stimulation, like plenty of toys in the cage, or better yet, a good movie on your home theater.

    Depending on diet and environment, parrots can live 80+ years. Many people make the mistake of feeding their birds only seed. Too much fat! There are good commercial "pelletized" parrot feeds available, if the bird will eat it; my Amazons get just about everything I eat plus a little bit of seed to keep them happy. They love spaghetti. Just don't feed a parrot chocolate or avocado; it could be deadly.

    Parrots tend to get attached to one person as their favorite, but this usually doesn't preclude their behaving well with others. My yellow nape Amazon, however, cannot stand women. The first time my wife tried to handle him, he took a chunk out of her wrist. Put him on the floor, and he'll chase after any woman in the room, while letting out an evil laugh.

    Depending on how long your father has had the Grey, he should be able to give you some basic instructions on handling the bird, and simple commands the bird should know. If you have the opportunity, make sure to have the previous owner brief you on the cockatoo's behavior and personality.
     
  3. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Malcolm.

    My parents have a Mullucan Cockatoo. Super lovable. Likes to be hugged and played with. He get jealous easily, and screams like hell when he's not happy (he's just spoiled). But as soon as you get him out of his cage, he just goes back to being quiet and lovable. He has rarely bitten (5 times maybe in 8 years) anyone, but when he does they are like being pinched, HARD.

    They all definitly have their own personality. My parents also have two other macaws, a scarlet/blue and gold mix, and a blue and gold. It's so funny how they are all so different. They are like little people, with likes, dislikes and habits.

    They feed the bird several kinds of fruits and vegetables. The bags of mixed, frozen veggies from Costco are popular. Check with a vet before starting them on any diet, though. There are many types of food that parrots can't digest properly, and it can kill them. Even some types of trees are poisonous to them if they eat the bark - note that when making perches for the cage. And you will need to keep making perches; they chew through almost anything.

    Good luck, and have fun.

    Jared
     
  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  5. Malcolm Garren

    Malcolm Garren Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a few more thoughts;

    You may want to give the parrot a few days (or more) to get used to you and its new home before you try to handle it. Most parrots bite out of fear or excitement, so it's a good idea to let him figure you out before you stick your finger in his face. If he does latch on, try to remember to push towards him rather than pulling away (I know, hard to do when you're getting pinched), this usually will put him off balance and make him release. When you first tell him to "step up" and put your hand an inch or two above his feet, don't be surprised when he places his beak on your hand; the parrot uses its beak like a hand and is balancing himself as he steps up (unless he is actually trying to bite. It's hard until you both learn to trust each other!).

    Most parrots love showers. Mine would gladly shower every day if I wasn't too lazy to do it. Be careful the water isn't too hot.

    You should probably schedule a vet visit (try to find an avian vet) as soon as possible, and get the bird's wings trimmed.

    Parrots have intelligence and behavior very much like a two or three year old human child. Remembering that can be helpful when trying to understand your new friend.

    Parrots tend to be extremely messy. They will flick their beaks and send food flying. Their poop is like concrete when it dries. You may want to pick up some plastic mats to protect your floor around and under the cage.

    Have fun! My yellow nape is a great buddy. He tells jokes, laughs, loves to wrestle with my fingers, loves to watch football, and loves to scream, "Hello!, Hello!" and, "Ma!, Ma!" when my wife is on the phone, so much so that people on the other end of the line are always asking her if she needs to go take care of her child.... Good luck.
     
  6. Kirsten

    Kirsten Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obscure bit of parrot advice to follow:

    Be careful if you own any teflon-coated pans. The fumes caused by overheating is a toxin to parrots, and some birds have been known to die from this.

    Strange but true.......
     
  7. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    12,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    "What happened to your hand?"

    "A parrot bit me."

    - The Third Man
     

Share This Page