Nanday Conure Forum

Message #2090. This is a followup to #2085.

Date:Wednesday September 22, 2004 6:57:18 pm MDT
Subject:Re: Should I or Should I not?
Message:I am so glad you are giving this a lot of thought, and you should.  These birds can live to be in their 40s, so it is not too unrealistic to figure that this pet may see you through to retirement (or thereabouts).  That is a long term commitment, wouldn't you say?  <smile>  

With that in mind, your situation today is going to be changing over the years... (and I'm not saying this is "you" or the steps your life "should" be taking, just tossing these situations out for the sake of consideration, OK?) ...from high school, through college and/or dormitory life, parties, social life and the dating scene, to a full time job much the same hours you keep today, through a husband, through pregnancy and raising babies, and so on.  I bring these things up because some of the most common excuses people use when they need to rehome their birds are included there above.  What will you do with your pet next year and for the next 4 years or so, if you go away to college and live in a dorm where you cannot take your loud, messy parrot?  What if college, studying, parties and friends, and perhaps even a part time job to help you get through college - what if all that takes too much of your time up and you're too tired to let your bird spend a couple of hours out of its cage each day, prepare it fresh foods daily, clean the cage papers each day, wash the food cup with hot soapy water each day and freshen the food cups?  What if your bird is going through a vocal period when you are trying to study for an exam?  It can be hard to concentrate with a high pitched scream literally hurting your ears.  What if your boyfriend/husband/roommate hates your bird?  What if you live in an apartment eventually and cannot keep a loud parrot there, or if it is just a "no pets" apartment?  What happens if you have a baby?  Will you still make time for your bird?  What about the parrot's screams which may wake your baby during daytime naps?  What if your toddler teases your bird and perhaps receives a nasty bite?  What would you do with your bird if you went on vacation?  These are all valid questions to ask yourself before you actually bring home a bird.

Now I certainly don't know you personally and I don't know your situation or what your future plans are, and of course I can't tell you what is in store in your future, but if you are career minded, what would you do if offered the opportunity to work in Paris for a couple years in the area you may be majoring in at college?  Birds leaving the U.S. and going to other countries can often sit in quarantine stations for 6 months.  Would you allow your bird to sit in a warehouse for that long with "strangers" caring for its basic needs?  I'm sure it wouldn't be socialized or handled much, if at all, during that quarantine.  What if your career involves occassional travel for weeks at a time?  What would you do with your bird?

Maybe you could consider bird sitting for someone?  Do you know anyone with birds?  Hey, if you're in Michigan, perhaps we can talk!  I have 23 parrots and I spend 2 hours each morning before work cleaning cage papers, washing about 40 bowls with soap and water, refilling the food and water cups, then sweeping the floor first, then following it up with a vacuum.  Heaven help me during molting season!  LOL!  Then there is the time I spend with them all each evening, preparing their fresh food items and giving them out of cage time and individualized attention.  I'd love to take a vacation WITH my husband for a change.  It would cost me over $500 a DAY to board my pets, so even an "el-cheapo" camping trip where there is no running water at $15/night would cost me over $2500 for 5 days.  LOL!  No fooling.  But anyway, caring for someone's pets can give you a very realistic idea of what day in and day out life with a parrot would be like.

I think that people with a full time job can own a parrot.  You need to make sure your bird has things to keep itself busy with during the day.  Don't spend more time each day with your new bird than you can reasonably expect to spend with it every day for the next 40 years.  Many people make the mistake of holding their new bird all evening, playing with it constantly and inundating the bird with attention and as the "newness" wears off, they spend gradually less and less time with the bird who doesn't understand what it did because "mommy used to like me and spend a lot of time with me".  Those birds often turn into "screamers for attention".  I like to hide treats for my birds to find in their toys or in their food cups (such as burying a piece of dried fruit in their pellet cup).  I like weaving paper or a straw through the bars to give them something to chew on.  Perhaps positioning them near a window where they can watch the sky, the trees, or anything else out there.  You may also want to cover a corner of the cage so that if something is scaring your bird outside, he can retreat behind his "privacy curtain".  You could leave a TV or a radio on for the bird to enjoy.  I like leaving cartoons/children's programming or an easy listening radio station turned on rather low.  Happy sounds, no profanity and bright colors found in children's programming can be interesting for the birds to watch and the easy listening station provides pleasant background music because your bird will nap during the afternoons anyway.  It is easier to nap without some hard driving rock or rap pounding out of the speakers.  LOL!

Birds aren't noisy all the time, but they do have their noisy times of day.  Usually that would be first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon or evening.  So it can seem to someone who works full time that their birds are screaming when you're getting ready for work and screaming when you walk in the door (which they will do anyway because they are happy to see you!) and perhaps again a bit later right as the sun is going down.  I don't think the Nandays squawk more than other parrots, but they do have a high-pitched squawk that some people find offensive.  Have you ever heard one let loose in person?  If not, I sure hope you don't first experience that when they are sitting on your shoulder.  You will truly be temporarily deafened and your ear will experience actual pain, no kidding.  You may not make any friends with nearby neighbors either.  <grin>  Oh, which brings up another question to ask yourself...what happens if you work midnights and have to sleep during the day - or if your husband or the next door neighbor does?  Not everyone can sleep when the sun is up, not to mention when you've got a parrot sqawking too.  My husband works midnights...he uses earplugs, closes the bedroom door, runs the window air conditioner (what he'll do this winter I don't know!) for background "white noise" and wraps a soft king size pillow around his head.  That blocks out most of the din.  Anyhow, that is another thought...who will take care of your bird's needs during the day if you're working at night and sleeping during the day?

Well, this note is getting long enough here.  Sorry for being so "wordy".  I hope some of this helps.

JessS wrote:
> Hello! My name's Jess and I'd like to delve into the chasm of Nanday
> conure information that is this forum. I've been a bird-junkie for
> years but, unfortunately, have not been able to get one of my very
> own due to the fact that I don't own the house I live in (I'm 17, not
> some older girl who still has to live with her parents). But I have
> done substantial research combined with having extensive hands-on
> experience with caring and working with birds so despite never having
> one live with me full time, I have a pretty good idea of what being
> owned by a bird is like. The only real hitch is trying to decide
> whether I would be right for a bird such as a Nanday. Thing is, I'm
> in my senior year of high school and am rather busy during the day.
> For example, most days I leave around 7 in the morning and dont get
> home until 5. And some days, tuesdays for example, I don't get home
> until even later. So as to my actual question, do you, the Nanday
> experts, think it would be a good idea for me to get a bird such as a
> Nanday, or a bird at all? Thanks a ton for any and all input :)

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