Getting a parrot as a second pet?

ivy1026

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Feb 18, 2008
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Toronto
My DH is begging me to get a talking parrot (african grey) as our second pet. We have a cat now. Is it a lot of work to take care of a parrot?
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
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Aug 8, 2006
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It's a lot of noise I can tell you that. If you don't mind a lot of noise and you are a bird person you might enjoy it. My DH has 2 birds and they don't seem to be a LOT of work to take care of. Keep them fed and watered, keep the cage clean and spend time with them. That's the other thing...you have to spend a good deal of time playing and talking to the bird. I'm sure a bird person will give you better advice. lol I can tell you that my cats are afraid of the birds. They are loud and will chase the cat if you give them the chance. lol Not that I would ever leave them alone together. When the birds are in their cage the cats pretty much ignore them....unless they throw something good to eat onto the floor.
 
Sep 14, 2007
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I feel like birds need to be let out and it's kind of hard to leave them in the little cage teh whole time. They're used to having room to roam you know? For that reason I would have a difficult time owning a bird.
My best friends family has one and the noise is INCREDIBLE!!! So so loud and when he isn't talking he's squaking and it's pretty bad.
Good luck and keep us posted!
 

ivy1026

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Feb 18, 2008
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Toronto
Yes - Cindi and IcansPotaFake21, making too much noise is my concern especially in the middle of the night and they have to be out of the cage all the time. I'm afraid that my cat and the parrot will end up in a fight all the time. My DH works at home so he is able to spend a lot of time with the parrot and give it all the attention it needs. But I've to admit that it is incredible how much a parrot can speak! Oh well, may be DH will change his mind. He is still thinking.......
 
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boomie

Dogs Rule
Nov 24, 2008
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Norfolk, Va
African greys are so smart and they needs lots of stimulation! Tons of toys, a huge cage and time outside the cage or they get bored and may feather-pick themselves bare. It's really sad to see :sad: They also tend to bond with one person from what I've heard. Personally I've had cockatiels that weren't as demanding, but then again, probably not as rewarding as having a grey. Those birds are amazing...the best talkers of all the birds, and they do live a very long time, so it's a lifetime commitment! Birds, in general, are loud and noisy...so that's something to consider. My one cockatiel was quite loud and made quite a mess, but he was a sweet little guy. Birds do sleep at night...it's best to cover them with a dark blanket so they stay quiet.

I'd be more worried about the cat getting hurt by the grey than the other way around :smile: Those birds are tough!
 

ivy1026

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Feb 18, 2008
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Toronto
African greys are so smart and they needs lots of stimulation! Tons of toys, a huge cage and time outside the cage or they get bored and may feather-pick themselves bare. It's really sad to see :sad: They also tend to bond with one person from what I've heard. Personally I've had cockatiels that weren't as demanding, but then again, probably not as rewarding as having a grey. Those birds are amazing...the best talkers of all the birds, and they do live a very long time, so it's a lifetime commitment! Birds, in general, are loud and noisy...so that's something to consider. My one cockatiel was quite loud and made quite a mess, but he was a sweet little guy. Birds do sleep at night...it's best to cover them with a dark blanket so they stay quiet.

I'd be more worried about the cat getting hurt by the grey than the other way around :smile: Those birds are tough!
DH is impressed by how smart African Greys are and how well they can stimulate human speech. We understand that it's a lifetime commitment as they live a long time and probably DH and I will be gone before the bird does :P. If we are getting one, we will give the bird the best care for sure. Hope the cat won't get jealous!

I heard that cockatiel is quite smart too.
 

Lakritze

♥
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Jun 4, 2006
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Germany
I used to have an african grey. They are amazing birds. He was very smart, never in his cage and I didn't care for him talking. He had a cage with his food and water in it but it was never locked. Parrots should not have to live in a cage. They need lots of space and we put up trees for him to sit in. And yes, they can be loud and they are messy. ;)
 

aklein

Member
Dec 30, 2007
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African greys can live for a very long time. We're talking 50-70+ years. This is a pet that very likely will outlive you and your DH.
Don't forget that parrots are also considered 'exotic pets' and you will need to find a vet that specializes in exotic animal care.
 

Hessefan

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Sep 14, 2009
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My dad used to have an African grey when he was young, but had to give him away as he was very protrective of my dad and would attack anyone who came too close, so my grandmother refused to come in the room until he was gone. Our neighbours also had a green parrot (not sure what they are called) and that bird was so messy, they had newspaper all over the furniture as there was poop everywhere. I also always feel sad for any bird that is caged or even confined to a room. I think they should be able to really spread their wings.
 

lovelysarahg

Advocate of Glamour
Jan 3, 2010
515
1
I would not advise getting a Grey as a first bird. Go with a cockatiel first, or if you want something a little more talkative (cockatiels - and even parakeets - have been known to talk, but only some do), a conure or Quaker parrot.
Greys are loud, big, messy, and you really need to have experience beforehand. There are dozens of parrot breeds out there that might be a better match. I would definitely recommend researching all the different types available before making a decision since birds aren't like a cat or dog that will live for only 10-15 years...but really more like 60-70!


Another option that I hope you consider is looking through a rescue. I did a quick Google search on "bird rescue toronto" and came up with:
http://parrotsanctuary.ca/
http://www.parrotadoptontario.com/

I'm sure they would be wonderful resources in picking out the right bird for your family. Let us know if you do choose to adopt one - I've always loved birds and was debating getting one last summer (but ended up with a cat instead).
 

ivy1026

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Feb 18, 2008
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Toronto
Thanks ladies for all for the helpful advices :ty:.

It seems like being too loud is the most common problem for African Grey and they can be quite high maintenance. The only time they are in the cage is when they are sleeping at night. DH and I have no experience in having any type of birds so it will be totally new to both of us. DH has thought of adopting one instead of buying one which I second this idea IF we are really getting a bird. Our cat is adopted as well. Honestly we are not in a rush so we will think about it more before committing to anything or may be DH will change his mind if the wait is too long :P
 

CoachEnvy

New Coach Addict
Mar 8, 2010
92
0
Colorado
I hate to be "Captain Bringdown" here but African Greys are a TON of work-they are mostly compared to 2 yr olds. They require a lot of daily attention and if not given that then they tend to be feather pluckers and start having behavioral problems. I have been a vet tech for 9 years and have yet to see an African with all its feathers. We have 2 lovebirds and although they are adorable to look at, they unfortunately do not come out of their cage very often as they have bonded more with each other than us. I would advise against them knowing what I know now because they are the loudest of all the small parrots-don't get me wrong I love them but they can get quite noisy at times. We also own 10 cats and an 11 week old Chihuahua so the house is pretty full which is why they do not come out of their cage ever unless for a vet visit or a thorough cage cleaning.

Whatever you do choose I would do a lot of research on different breeds as well as talk to a local vet in your area that sees birds and get their opinion on what bird would best fit your lifestyle and desires in a bird. Good luck and let us know what you get and cannot wait to see pics!
 

ivy1026

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Feb 18, 2008
2,030
2,009
Toronto
I hate to be "Captain Bringdown" here but African Greys are a TON of work-they are mostly compared to 2 yr olds. They require a lot of daily attention and if not given that then they tend to be feather pluckers and start having behavioral problems. I have been a vet tech for 9 years and have yet to see an African with all its feathers. We have 2 lovebirds and although they are adorable to look at, they unfortunately do not come out of their cage very often as they have bonded more with each other than us. I would advise against them knowing what I know now because they are the loudest of all the small parrots-don't get me wrong I love them but they can get quite noisy at times. We also own 10 cats and an 11 week old Chihuahua so the house is pretty full which is why they do not come out of their cage ever unless for a vet visit or a thorough cage cleaning.

Whatever you do choose I would do a lot of research on different breeds as well as talk to a local vet in your area that sees birds and get their opinion on what bird would best fit your lifestyle and desires in a bird. Good luck and let us know what you get and cannot wait to see pics!
haha...sounds like you are living in a zoo :biggrin:. I wish I can have 10 cats! I love cats. Yup, we will definitely do more research before making any decision.