Nanday Conure Forum
Message #2096. This is a followup to #2094.
|Date:||Wednesday September 22, 2004 10:46:01 pm MDT|
|Subject:||Re: Should I or Should I not?|
|Message:||Oh, good, you've bird-sat for a parroted. Those are quite the "big birds" in little packages, for sure. <grin>
One other thought with the dorm and all...other students are going to be studying and they might not appreciate the noise a Nanday would make occasionally. That might toss in added stress on you if you suddenly find yourself needing to do something about the bird when you are in the middle of a semester. Just a thought.
Also, let me say that there is something to be said about going out and meeting the birds and having a bird "pick you", so to speak. Not all Nandays are the same, but if you are the animal lover like I am, my heart goes out to all animals that need a home and they don't have to "pick me" for my willingness to love them "forever". But birds are unlike any other animal you'll ever have (in my opinion). They are truly life-changing pets. They are long lived pets and can be feisty and nippy at times - so having that immediate "click" between your personalities can be more important than one might think. That can lead to the most satisfying and rewarding pet/owner experiences. That doesn't mean that there will be "instant love" and cuddling between the two of you, although it can.
I'll try to be brief (Ha, yeah right! - <sorry>), here is the way I acquired 3 of my favorite birds (all conures)...
Gizzy (acquired at 2 yrs old, a Nanday) - Went to the fish store to look at their angelfish. Hubby went straight to a rose-breasted cockatoo and called me to come over to the birds. I walked that direction, but immediately fixed my attention on the Nanday. As I approached I asked if he was my sweetheart and that bird scrambled to my side while inside of his cage. He was making little sounds and communicating with me and as one of the other birds housed inside his cage (a quaker and two sun conures) approached the side where my face was, up next to that Nanday, the Nanday would chase them away from me. So I took the Nanday out and he promptly ran up to my shoulder. As I put my hand up to scritch his head, he grabbed my finger with his foot, pulled my finger up to his body and promptly began rubbing his own head and cheek on my fingertip. Silly bird, didn't he know that was what I was going to do anyways? When I took my hand down (when he let go of me) I turned in his direction and he rubbed his cheek on my nose, on my chin and on my cheek. When my husband went to scritch him, he ran to my other shoulder and wouldn't let my husband remove him from me. I went home without the bird but couldn't stop thinking about it. Lucky for me, my birthday was within a couple of weeks and I told my hubby that was all I wanted for my b-day. He said if the bird was still there we could bring him home. Lucky for me, again, the bird was there and still was very receptive to my attentions. He came home and has been my sweet baby ever since.
Whammy (acquired at 3 months old, a sun conure). Went to pet shop for supplies (I live in the pet supply store) and stopped to visit the birds they used to leave out for anyone to handle and socialize (that stopped when a bird got stolen). There was a sun conure and some cockatiels. I picked up the sun and scritched him, played with him, talked to him, etc... It was an instant liking we took to each other. The bird was nice and that was fine, but hubby was rushing me along...finish our shopping, we've got other stops to make, etc... Ok, goodbye you cute little bird. As I set the bird down and went to finish shopping, I bumped into the small crowd that gathered to watch me play with this bird. I had no idea these people were around me. I was in my own little world with this bird, I guess. Anyhow, I set the bird down and began to make my way through the people. Someone else picked up the bird and all of a sudden, here this bird jumped out of their hands and onto the back of my arm as I was leaving. OK, that bird was coming home with me. His buddy, a cockatiel, was screaming and calling to Whammy as we left, so I went back and brought him home too. Several years later, they are still good buddies. Whammy is my little sweetheart.
Cozzy (acquired at almost a year old, a maroon belly conure). This bird was so nippy that nobody was interested in buying him. He had been in the pet shop way too long. I'd see him when I went in for supplies. Hi bird, nice bird, nippy little creature! My husband spent more time with him than I did. My husband is the one who bought him. Shortly after this "vampire bird" came home, he had bloodied my husband in half a dozen places - actually broke skin, blood and all. Definitely a biter, not a nipper. Oh, Michael (husb.), what did you do? Hubby was going to school full time, working full time and I got laid off, so I began spending more time with this bird. He never bit me like he bit (and still will bite occasionally) my husband. He is our best talker and we don't make any effort to have any of our birds talk...if the do great, if they don't we don't care. He tells me "love you", "I'm your sweet man", "you're my sweetheart", makes kissy sounds and all sorts of things. He snuggles into my hair and under my ear, he just shows me in so many ways everyday that he loves me, and I also love him. He is also a sweet "mamma's boy" or should I say he's my "sweet man". LOL! Not exactly a "match made in Heaven", especially not in the beginning, but I can't imagine not having this little character in my life.
So anyhow, go meet the birds. Every bird is different and has their own personality. Find one that you really "click" with and you will probably never be sorry.
OK, so here are some of the ways having birds have changed my life. I no longer paint my fingernails, it scares my birds. I no longer wear any jewelry, they are just parrot toys (to the birds), besides not only can they remove stones, but costume jewelry can contain toxic metals and "real" jewelry can be toxic if traces of jewelry cleaner are still on the piece. Jewelry is definitely NOT parrot toys. I eat healthier because of all the fresh fruits and veggies I maintain to feed my birds daily (a variety of at least 12 items on a platter fit for a king - yes, I'm a "crazy" bird slave). All my great non-stick cookware is gone. I sweep twice a day and vacuum twice a day - at least. All those wonderful scented candles...goodbye. No aerosols of any kind, no air fresheners - plug in or otherwise. I no longer wear perfume as the fumes can be toxic to my birds. No more hand lotion as that could coat their feathers when I handle them and can make them sick when they preen themselves. I quit smoking cold turkey (Hooray! I needed to do that anyway.) after being a smoker for 20 years and I'm going on my 3rd year as a nonsmoker now. I can't believe I put my birds through that before - :-( . I no longer let others smoke in the house either. No more electric space heater on cold winter mornings, the heating elements are Teflon coated which when heated are toxic to my birds. My "dream home" no longer includes a fireplace because the smoke is not good for my bird's sensitive respiratory system. Everywhere I look, I see potential "parrot toys" - those wooden spoons at the dollar store, that pack of bendable straws in wild colors, that natural untreated willow basket or grapevine wreath at the craft store, those children's blocks for sale at that garage sale, dog rope toys, whiffle ball type cat toys with a rattle or small bell inside, those little plastic containers that hold a toy in those 25 cent machines...and the list goes on.
I'm sure birds have changed my life in more ways than just the ones I've listed above, but when you are young and you don't have your own place, you need to consider your bird's safety and well being. If you have a dorm mate or room mate (such as if you later move on to an apartment before purchasing a home - and besides the fact that many places don't allow pets like a noisy parrot) - think about your room mate. Will he/she like incense or scented candles? Can they "not live without" their George Foreman grill or other Teflon coated cookware? Do they smoke? Will they allow others to smoke in the home (such as when you are at work or not home)? In those cases, having a bird impacts them as well. Will they be quiet after the birds are put to bed? That means no TV, no loud conversations, no disturbances - birds need 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night (in addition to a good nutritious diet) to be agreeable companions.
I remember being 17. I felt so grown up. I know in many ways you probably are grown up and "mature", but the next 8 years or so are going to bring so many changes for you. School, change of residences most likely - probably a couple times at least, new job and career direction, possibly even meeting a great guy and getting married. Personally, I don't know if I would have really been ready for the constant responsibility of a pet parrot at that time in my life. I wanted to have fun. I didn't want to "have to" do anything. I enjoyed my freedom. I bought my first home at age 22 and things started to settle down in my life around that time also. That is when I acquired my first pet - an Italian greyhound (who just passed away last October 6th and totally broke my heart). Within a couple more months of acquiring that pet, I got myself a little pug. A year after that I adopted a retired racing greyhound. That is when I became a believer in adopting animals that are in need of homes. What a good dog Bandit was. I would say that 1/2 my pets that I own today have been given to me...a deaf dog that the previous owners had trouble housebreaking and it was left to spend it's first winter outdoors in Ohio - and the dog breed is an Italian greyhound which means they are skin and bones and practically hairless (this dog was frost bitten in half a dozen places), an old dog that nobody wanted riddled with tumors and cataracts who had two previous old lady owners die and nobody in the family would take him so he ended up in rescue at the age of 12, several cockatiels that people tired of for whatever reasons, pet fish (a goldfish first, later also a gourami) that the owners got tired of caring for and no longer wanted, a young male hamster that the owners got tired of cleaning up for. It is so sad the lack of commitment people have towards pets. Maybe you could consider rescuing a Nanday who lost his home (probably due to noise, that is a common excuse - and the ex-owners probably unwittingly reinforced the screaming behaviors). It is sad, but the chances of a bird being adopted as a baby and living his entire life out with that person or those people are practically nill. Check out www.petfinder.com, that is my favorite shelter/rescue website. When the time is right for you and you find the right bird for you, make that bird a very happy sweetheart by making sure his next home will be his "forever home".
Well, there I go with another wordy response. I'm really sorry about that. Thanks for having the patience to actually read it. LOL!
Again, I hope this helps.
Jess S wrote:
> Thanks so much, Margaret! Let me tell ya, despite all the research and
> hands-on experience I've had, it's a real treat to have some one
> actually answer my questions so I don't have to make a guess on my
> own. All of your suggestions were dead on and, as it were, factors
> I've actually thought about before. I have to check with my first
> choice school to see what their policy on pets in the dorms is, but
> seeing as their an agricultural/animal oriented school, hopefully
> they wont be too mean about students bringing their owners with them.
> I have actually bird-sat a lot for a friend - their parrotlet, Naomi-
> and volunteer at a local wildlife rehabilitation center/zoo every
> weekend so really the only experience with birds that I haven't had
> (that I can think of) is actually owning one myself. Which, of
> course, I'm constantly seeking to change ;) As of right now, I do
> have the opportunity to get a young, (supposedly) male Nanday named
> Cloe. I can afford the initial cost as well as the continuous
> purchases for as long as the mind can see, but I'm a little worried
> that in all my excitement on finding this little fellah that I might
> be rushing into it too fast. That's why I'd like any and all help in
> putting my lifestyle into perspective and deciding whether or not
> this would be a good decision, not for me, but for the bird. So
> really any input at all will help much more than you can imagine :D
> Thanks so much to everyone who responded already!
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