This is a public service announcement. DO NOT GET A PARROT.
We’ve had a lot of people tell us they’re going to get a bird, after seeing Petra’s viral videos. This BLird (Bird Blog) is to help spread the word to not do that.
Birds are nasty, you’ll get poop, feathers & dander in places you didn’t even know were possible. If you don’t clean up after them, you’ll get bugs & judgment from guests. We’ve had the white, seemingly lighter than air “under fluffies” feathers float into cups of water at the other end of the house. They are literally everywhere, and can not be avoided.
Poop. It’s everywhere. Great big piles of gross, nasty, sticky poo. Petra and Oscar are wonderful feathered friends. However, I have never seen such nasty creatures in my life. Poop will be squirted on the carpet, up the wall, down the cage, under the cage, on top of the cage, on perches, on toys, in the water and food bowls, and stuck on perches. Tile? Poo will stain the grout. Hardwood floors? Poo can remove the varnish, and get stuck in the cracks. Carpet? Dander and poo will penetrate down past the pad. Poo forever.
Birds have dander made out of karotin from their feathers. This dander gets everywhere, and can cause illness and allergies. We’ve been told there is a thing called “bird lung,” and can make you very very sick. Our dog approached Oscar, and he jumped down to the bottom of the cage to see him. In doing so, Oscar kicked up a CLOUD of dander and feathers, making even the dog sneeze.
Birds need toys, that they can chew and entertain themselves with, some have bells on them that can be quite noisy. Birds love toys they can shred and have fun with, but those paper toys make for a huge mess. If you don’t clean that mess up quick, it gets covered in piles of poo. Bird toys are not cheap, and in most cases don’t last very long, needing replaced every week or two. We try to stay away from bird toys on chains, because we had a very scary accident a few years ago. We came home, to Petra having accidentally gotten an empty chain wrapped around her neck. If we had not gotten home when we did, Petra would no longer be with us. Once a toy has been emptied or nearly emptied of it contents, ropes and chains must be promptly removed.
Birds waste a LOT of food, and you can not simply pick it up from the bottom of their pan, and put it back into their bowl. Once it hits the poo piles, it is no longer safe to eat. Petra will kick her food out for fun, and even call the dog “Jack Jack, come here. Do you want a treat?” Tossing him some food pieces. You also can not simply fill up the food bowl to the top, birds peck, kick, scratch and shovel their food around. You have to give them room in the bowl to do that.
Love to travel? Not with a bird you don’t. It’s expensive to hire a sitter for a bird, not to mention if you can’t find an in home bird sitter, you risk stressing the bird out. If you put a bird in an unfamiliar location AND leave, that can cause the bird to stress pluck, or scream. Some birds are okay with that, and boarding a bird is completely okay to do. This public service announcement is just to point out things people don’t think about. If we go somewhere, we have an in home sitter and request daily “proof of life” photos to assure us the birds are okay. (We once had a love bird pass away and the sitter’s didn’t tell us about it. Had we had proof of life photos, we’d of known much sooner.)
Teeth. Well… birds don’t have them, but they do bite! Just like the dog that grandma says “Oh, he don’t bite.” Well, he has teeth doesn’t he? Then he can bite. Birds taste, explore and move around with their beak. Even if they don’t mean to, birds can draw blood. Once at a bird show, a man had a nasty scar, from the side of his lip, to half way up to his ear. His beloved Eclectus (A medium sized parrot) was sitting on his shoulder, and had tried to go in for a kiss, and for some unknown reason, ripped his face. He still has the bird, he just no longer lets her sit on his shoulder. We’ve also known of people that had ear rings ripped out by their pets. You have to be mindful of jewelry and shiny objects around birds. Which is why we don’t allow birds on our shoulders, for safety sake.
Mani Pedi’s. We choose to clip our birds, to keep them from flying into glass doors, and windows, as well as keep them from the dangers of ceiling fans. This involves trimming the flight feathers back. You have to have someone who knows what they are doing, in order to do this correctly. We had someone give us a lecture on not clipping our birds, only to have her son leave the door open, and her fully flighted feathered baby flew away. Most likely becoming hawk food. Their toe nails also need attention, if your perch doesn’t keep their toes nails trimmed, you’ll have to hire an expert to do so. Occasionally a bird will need his beak trimmed if their toys and perches aren’t cutting it.
It’s also hard to find an avian vet. Not all veterinarians take on birds, and the one’s that do, are not cheap. Exotic pet’s are harder to find Vet’s for. Birds can get mites, lice and other irritants. If you get a new bird, it must be quarantined for a period of time, before you put it in with other birds. That way you can make sure if it has something contagious, it’s treated before it’s too late.
Deadly food. There is a whole list of foods your avian vet will give you, that
WILL KILL YOUR BIRD.
The top of our list is avocado’s, we knew a kid that was raising Indian Ringnecks, he separated the boys from the girl. The baby boy Indian Ringneck’s got out of their cage, and ate off of the avocado plant, all 4 died. The Lutino female was the only survivor, as she had not gotten out to eat on it.
Just like children, the more entertaining things are, the faster they’ll learn. This includes words and phrases you might not want repeated.
Fowl language. We understand it can by funny, but teaching your bird bad language is a horrible thing to do. If you are in a season of life that can change, a child, grandparent, or other person you don’t want to hear those words, comes into your home, that’s not going to be so funny. Not to mention if something happens to you, the people you leave your bird too may not appreciate the cursing. What you’ve done at that point, is made a bird that may out live you, into a breeder. (A bird that doesn’t get played with, and is solely used for breeding purposes. Even though your bird is pet quality and lovable.) Or worse yet, a bird that will be rehomed for the rest of his or her life. Most people don’t want a bird that has an undesirable vocabulary in the home. Do the bird a favor, and don’t condemn them to a life of uncertainty.
Birds have hormones just like people do, and if your bird goes through that and chooses you as her person, expect regurgitation. This is the process of parrots “throwing up” food from their crop. When a bird feeds a mate, or a baby, this is how they do so. Yum! Petra once did so, shook her head, and we had to clean moist, chewed up bird food off of her Google Home and out of Alexa’s … everything.
This concludes your public service announcement.