Hello, I am going to be a fist time bird owner and wanted some advice. I have had some experience socializing with birds, but not a whole lot. I was doing some research online about the different types of birds I could possibly get and decided to settle on the quaker. But, as I am going to be a first-timer, I wasn't sure if I was going to be taking on more than I was capable. I really want to make the right decision, I know that these birds can live for a loooong time and so I want to be sure that both the bird and I will be happy with each other. I know that there is always a case by case basis of the individual bird's personality and I am aware of the pros and cons to owning a quaker. I have gone to a few different places to talk to the people and visit with the birds that were available but always felt pressured to buy a bird that was 'sweet' while it was trying to bite off fingers and screaming and flying around. So I want some people's honest opinions who aren't in the game of 'the sell'. Do you think it is too ambitious to get a quaker for my first bird or would it be okay? If it is not advisable, then what other birds would you suggest? Thank you so much for helping me!
I think it's a really good sign that you are asking this question. Quakers can definitely be challenging, but if you are educated on the matter and dedicated to giving your bird a good home, regardless of how difficult they are sometimes, then chances are you will do fine. It certainly won't be easy all the time... but my QP, Cupcake, is our first bird, and after a few years I would say we have done pretty well thus far. But any parrot is a massive committment, and will certainly reduce the flexibility of your existence substantially and essentially permanently. If you are ready to embrace that, and your lifestyle can accommodate it, then you have the makings of a good bird owner.
Is there anything in specific that you are concerned about that you'd like to discuss? I know others will suggest a Budgie as an alternative if you are looking for a bird that is a bit less demanding but still very interactive and trainable. I have little experience with them but hear almost universally positive things about them (except perhaps that people tend to wish they lived longer). Another option I hear good things about is a Parrotlet. Super cute little guys
I just know that they can be challenging, I had considered adopting one but figured that for my first time having one that had been hand raised would be better. It seems that they are prone to feather plucking if they are stressed or are not given enough time for bonding and toys for entertainment and engaging their brain. Because they can be cage aggressive I had wondered if I wanted to get another bird or was able to adopt one, that they might get stressed and unhappy and start mutilating or try to attack another bird that would be introduced. Does that happen regularly or just from bird to bird?
Post by msdani1981 on Feb 12, 2015 19:23:25 GMT -5
There are many reasons for plucking and mutilating. Genetics, stress, anxiety, illness, and boredom are a few.
The best advice I was given was to not spend more time with my bird in the beginning, than I would be able to continue long term. That applies to all parrots, not just Quakers.
Dani and Zach ---------- FIDS: Taz (Cockatiel), Chewy (Quaker) and Lily (Budgie); Bilbo (Dog); Diablo (Cat); Mr. Newt; Fish; Camelia aka Cami (Horse); Pork Chop (Guinea Pig) Rehomed: Mickey the pigeon, Gypsy the horse, and 4 of the Jackson 5 (Diamond Doves) RIP: Arnie, Conan, Sammy, Petey, Ms. Praying Mantis, Tito, Pico, Mantis Shrimp, Fuzzy Lionfish, and Phoenix
My impression is that Quakers are a bit more emotionally complicated than many parrots, yes. They need lots of attention to be happy, but it's unlikely you will have mutilation problems if the bird gets proper attention and care.
Unlike other parrots, they build complicated multi-family multi-room nests in the wild that have specific rules for who can visit the inner-most room, which probably has something to do with why they often have cage aggressive tendencies-- but they aren't always cage agressive. Ours is not.
Dani's advice about not spending more time with your bird in the beginning than you would be able to continue long term is *extremely* good advice.
I am not a multi-bird owner so I do not have much advice on how to handle the dynamics of multiple birds. You are correct that there is a chance that your bird will react negatively to the introduction of another bird into the flock, but that is not unique to Quakers. That could happen with any bird that has formed a primary bond with you and suddenly finds your attention divided between itself and another bird. Birds can definitely be very jealous creatures. But there is no way to know how your bird will react-- it is totally unique to the individual. And it will also depend on how well you are able to divide your attention.
I don't think a Quaker is too much for a mature and prepared person. I wouldn't recommend one if you anticipate major life changes in the near future, such as going off to college, getting married, moving to a state where they are illegal (in the US), etc. They do require active attention every day. They can be challenging, but normally less so than an African grey, Amazon, Cockatoo, or some others.
You're wise to resist attempts to "sell" you, but keep in mind that the behavior you see in the shop may be very different from what you'll see in your home. Any parrot might be stressed in a store environment, and under certain conditions any parrot will bite. If you eventually decide to take one home, you'll need to give it plenty of time to adjust. Patience is key.
Regarding a second bird, I would always approach it with the assumption that the two will not get along. They will need separate cages and playstands, at least in the beginning. After gradually letting them interact, you might be able to put them together, but you might not. Also keep in mind that if all goes well for the two of them, the bond you have with your first bird will change.
Quaker Peppy (RIP my sweet pea), CAG Allie, dogs Wanda and Bonnie, feral kitties Cleo and Antoinette, mice Charlotte and Emily, née Jake and Elwood
Post by Sharyn and Mr P on Feb 16, 2015 22:02:28 GMT -5
I'm going to throw in my 2cents here since I just saw this thread (been out of town for work)
If you are going to buy one from a pet shop, I wonder if you might not consider adopting one from a rescue instead. I foster for a local rescue here in FL and I know that if I get a bird in that has behavioral problems when they come to live with me, I do my best to work on helping the bird overcome his issues BEFORE he is adopted. I have my doubts as to whether a pet shop bird would have the same loving home as a foster parront would give a rescue bird. I dont know if it works that way in all rescues, but everyone on this board has seen what I've been doing with my current foster, Pele the Pionus and I can say that anyone that belongs to the rescue I foster for would do the same thing. So yes, you may be adopting a bird that you are unsure of its background, but most of the time, if you adopt a bird from a rescue, it comes with support as far as a TON of knowlegable people willing to make your adoption successful.
Now, having said that, for a first time bird owner interested in a quaker, you may want to consider buying a baby from a breeder. I understand that adoption is not for everyone but if you are actually going to purchase a baby, I would get one from a breeder, rather than a pet shop. Do you research, ask a ton of questions and make sure that breeder is going to be around to help you if your baby gives you problems behavior wise.
Remember, in my opinion, it's just as important to have a solid support network from wherever you obtain your bird as it is to feed your FID a healthy diet or buy him toys, or keep his cage clean. 99% of the birds that come into our rescue are in there because the owner just didnt know what to do with behavior issues (and I'm not talking just quakers) and they give up, and give the bird up.
There are some really good quaker books out there and some really good training/socializing advice to avoid behavior problems in the first place.
Quakers are sensitive and super smart. Respect them as an individual, understand they arent dogs, but more like toddlers that never grow up
Oh..and btw..I absolutely ADORE budgies, but they take a HUGE chunk out of your heart as they don't live as long as some of the other, bigger parrots!