COAH Community

Having Birds as Pets


#1

I’m curious about where you got your birds, if you have recommendations for what kind of birds are good for having as pets, and cost associated with having pet birds. Thanks!


#2

I’ll begin by saying that I have owned many types of birds, worked for a bird rescue, worked with a top avian veterinarian (there are not many vets that specialize in JUST birds) and worked at an exotic pet shop (not something I’m proud of), so my advice comes from a lot of knowledge and experience.
Here are some of the good and bad thoughts to consider: If you want a cute, “low maintenance” family bird, then you are fairly safe with parakeets/budgies or even cockatiels (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH COCKATOOS). Parakeets and Cockatiels can live for many years - about 10-20 depending, so they are a bit of a commitment (but not like your large parrots and cockatoos which can live for 50-100 years). Parakeets and cockatiels are best when they have a buddy to live with. There is the debate that if they have a friend bird then they won’t be as likely to bond with the people, but unless you plan on having the bird out, on your, with you and playing and eating with you most of the day, it can be a sad life for these social birds not to have another bird - for whistling with, preening, cuddling, etc. If you are up to it, it’s especially good to leave the cage door open during the day so they have freedom to move around and explore, even if it’s just one single room.
There are a few things to be cautious with - birds are very sensitive to temperature extremes, especially cold. They shouldn’t be kept in front of drafty places in extreme cold. For defense in the wild, they are great at pretending they are completely healthy until the last possible moment, so don’t think that because they are showing no signs of a chill that it’s definitely a safe place. Birds are also extremely sensitive to fumes that people wouldn’t be - candles can (though not always) effect birds, and they have been known to kill birds. Another toxin to birds is cooking on Teflon around them - we don’t smell the fumes, but it can damage them internally (I have seen this first hand.) And one final note - I know large birds (not sure about the small ones) can’t have avocado - it’s quite toxic to them.

Other than these few factors, birds can be fun and rewarding, and fairly low maintenance.
If you are thinking about a parrot or something larger than a parakeet/cockatiel, PLEASE do major research (or even private message me) - I have loads of advice (good and bad) about these birds.
I hope all of this helps :slight_smile:


#3

Thank you so much for all the info! This is very helpful. I we get birds, I think we’d go for the small, lower maintenance ones. Thanks again!


#4

What a great reply triton17!! :grinning:

I agree with everything already said! When we got our budgies I found a lot of good information on this forum: http://www.talkbudgies.com/. There are a ton of other good sites on the web too. You might also consider reaching out to a local breeder…especially if you plan to hand train your birds.


#5

Thanks Jason! I’ll check out that site.