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#185547 - 11/19/08 07:53 PM How many is too many?  
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Donnalee Offline
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I have been wondering how many toos one person can own before it crosses the line to hording? I ask this because I have been wondering if Baby Girl would be happier with a too of her own kind. Then I remember John's story of how he has to keep a close eye on 2 toos. So how can a half dozen or so parrots be kept in a house and be given proper supervision and out of the cage time which is crucial to their well being?


Donna
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#185551 - 11/19/08 08:10 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Donnalee]  
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EchosMom Offline
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There is no magic number Donnalee, for 'Toos, bird, cats, dog, or any animal. It depends on many variables. The caretaker/s abilities and experience, the number of hours they are home each day , their set up, and the personality of the birds themselves.

Here is a great article, but lengthly report on hoarding.

http://www.tufts.edu/vet/cfa/hoarding/pubs/AngellReport.pdf

Happy reading! smile

Last edited by EchosMom; 11/19/08 08:11 PM.

Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

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#185553 - 11/19/08 08:12 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Donnalee]  
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At one time I had over 25 birds. Now I'm down to 4 and sometimes that is too many.

Getting a pal for Baby Girl may or may not work out.

The two that live with me are not buddies but they can see each other. They do not interact at all.

I had a G2 that lived in the same cage as the M2 for over ten years. They got along fine. One day the G2 started beating up on the M2. The G2 had to be re-homed for her safety from me as I was going to euthanize for aggression. She attacked and killed two other conures. Thankfully my Vet was able to re-home her into a single bird household.

#185570 - 11/19/08 09:18 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Elliott]  
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I would say it depends on several factors.

Do you have enough time to spend on the amount of birds you have?
Do you have the required space?
Do you have the finances to properly care for them? Including emergency care etc.
And do you have the patience.


I would love to get a goffin at some point, however because I am both working and finishing up my two college degrees I know I will not have the time to put in having two cockatoos.

I admire people who can take unhomed animals into their homes, and one day I will be able to do that.
If you can and do qualify, I think thats wonderful smile

#185579 - 11/19/08 09:37 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Mookie]  
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You know if I had a house, I would have a minimum of 10 birds. I think birds do better with less human interaction because then they learn they are birds and not human. I've been in many houses with people who have multiple birds and those birds all do really well. They form friendships and they know they are birds.

Now having said that, if you can't afford to vet them, feed them properly, house them properly, give them lots of toys and enrichment items, then you shouldn't have them.

Bev

PS: I think having same size birds is a good thing also whenever possible. Although 3 of my good friends have different sizes and they somehow make it work. It is fascinating to watch and I swear they are less noisy than mine.

Last edited by ZazuSally; 11/19/08 09:38 PM. Reason: Added something, what else LOL

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#185587 - 11/19/08 10:15 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Cebr2007 Offline
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
I think birds do better with less human interaction because then they learn they are birds and not human. I've been in many houses with people who have multiple birds and those birds all do really well. They form friendships and they know they are birds.


From my own, personal experience, I think this is so true, but at the same time it is unbelievably difficult to achieve just the right "balance" between any given group of birds.

For example, I have 5 lovies, 2 tiels and a budgie. My three female lovies CANNOT be allowed near the my two male lovies, my two male tiels, and my male budgie. I don't know why this is, if it's a gender thing, but it just is this way. But, as long as they get have separate out-of-cage time, everything is right as rain in my house. I shudder to think, however, how hard it would be if I had to divide them up into even more than just my two "groups". I consider myself lucky it has worked out like this. And I do happen to fully believe that they benefit from being able to spend time with their own kind.

Now take Dazzle, my goffins. He is just a baby still, and I worry all the time whether he would be better off with another 'too in the house to socialize with. (So I can sympathize fully with your question.) It will break my heart if, someday, I realize that he needs that fellow-bird companionship, because I honestly do not know if it would even be possible to find him a playmate. I mean, you just can't bring in a bird just to test them out, so to speak. It would be a risk that I, or anyone, would have to be willing to take, because it might not work out, and personally, I hope that I'm never in the position to have to try.


-Christine
#185624 - 11/20/08 05:18 AM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Cebr2007]  
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Donnalee Offline
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Thanks for your answers! I think that I'm going to put up a No Vacancy sign at my house. I have 3 birds, 1 cat (plus 20ish barn cats that I feed & water that were here before me), 2 dogs, 3 fish, 2 horses and 3 children. My biggest worry is that Baby Girl has the best I can give her. If I got another triton and they hated each other so I had to let them out separately that would be too much for me to deal with. I guess the teil and budgie will have to be a good enough flock for Baby Girl. So when you have several birds some can be supervised in groups that get along instead of letting them out separately? I think I'll cash in my chips now. lol


Donna
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#185625 - 11/20/08 05:19 AM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Cebr2007]  
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I agree about the statement as to the time the caretaker spends with his or her birds. If you've got the time and the ability to take on more then by all means do so. I've got four birds, three cats and fish. Birds and cats get along fine and the birds get along with each other well. Gotta keep the smaller ones caged while the big ones are out just for safty reasons. But there has been no attacks and all know each other well and spend a lot of time in the "mutual" squack sessions daily...calling back and forth to each other.

#185836 - 11/22/08 05:57 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Daisy's Daddy]  
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Bev with the multiple bird owners I was wondering if the birds wings are clipped and/or only let out of their cages for a couple hours a day. If birds have to have their wings clipped or kept in their cages most of the day to prevent attacks on the other birds (I don't know how you could have 10ish birds and have them all out of their cages at the same time and be flighted as well) I don't think that is a life of quality. In that case they would be better off left at the rescue to find a good home. That is why I am scared to get another too. Baby Girl has the absolute best life possible and I wouldn't want to take away from that.


Donna
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#185841 - 11/22/08 07:26 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Donnalee]  
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Your brain works similar to mine Donna. I just read your glove comment and now this. Since Charlie has been able to fly somewhat he has not spent as much time outside foraging and playing. I noticed a tiny change in him for a couple of days. He seemed a tad bit more aggressive, or more animated with his mouth. I attributed the new behavior to his loss of outside time because that seemed the most likely. I'm force to ask myself, does Charlie want to fly or go outside? I have a plan though so we just have to get through this rough spot and he will have a harness and a place to go outside and forage. But if I didn't have a plan I might reconsider clipping his wings. He loves to play in the rocks and dirt and I'm sure he gets a lot out of it.

I also agree with the idea of multiple birds, if I can't guarantee a new bird would get along with Charlie I wouldn't do it. Charlie is always out, I'd hate to take that away from him. He's NOT a couch potato unless he's locked in his cage. He's active most of the day. I'd really like to rescue another in the future once I have more ability and room, maybe the perfect too will cross our path some day, but for right now he has the parakeets.


entiendo.etsy.com
#185857 - 11/22/08 08:47 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: charlieandme]  
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I'm with you charlieandme. Maybe when the kids are in school I'll rethink the situation but for now things are swell. I think of Charlie's Baby & Larry and they are doing awesome; I'll follow in his footsteps. : ) Sometimes less is more.


Donna
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#185861 - 11/22/08 08:58 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Donnalee]  
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I think as soon as you cross the point where you cant adequately give the birds the attention they need, then that is too many. You may get lucky and find a bird that doesnt want for much attention! I have 2 quakers, 2 lovvies, 3 greenchecked conures, 1 maroon bellied conure,1 jenday conure, 1 black capped conure, and a little blue budgie, some of them are fosters, but all of which I am very lucky I can let out together, and are now learning that they are birds, not people, and slowly some of them dont "need" me as much, they are much happier flying round and causing mischief.


I am a bird: can you question that I am any less human than you?
#185875 - 11/22/08 10:44 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: charlieandme]  
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I have 5 'Toos - all flighted (all my birds are flighted). I am fortunate because none are bird aggressive. They are all out during the day at the same time. It is my experience, as I said, the experience of the caretaker, the setup of of the home, whether the human works outside of the home, etc., AND the individual birds all play factors. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my birds, especially the human-imprinted ones benefit greatly from being a member of a flock.

And as far as giving each quality time, it has been my experience again, that birds who are a member of a flock unit, the desire for human interaction diminishes. Even Echo who I bought at the ripe old age of 16 weeks, a hand-fed, human imprinted velcro bird is one no longer velcro. Sure she wants attention and she gets it - lots of it. They all do WHEN they want it. But what they will usually choose is being allowed to be birds. There are constant flyabouts in my house and everyone gets involved. They chase one another (playing) and do aerial acrobats together. Kind of like, "OK, if you are going to fly to the top of my cage, I'm going to fly to the top of yours". When they get really riled up, there's lots of happy vocalization. They are all skilled flyers and my open, 2 story house design with a cathedral ceiling all the way to the upstairs gives them lots of space. Sometimes I expect to see air collisions, but it's never happened. It's almost like watching the Blue Angels and wonder how they get so close and do all those maneuvers without slamming into one another.

Here is a picture of Echo flying up to the loft http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/thtotheloft.jpg and another of her flying indoors. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/Echosmom/WebEchoFlight.jpg

Multiple birds isn't for everyone, but it can and does work given the right conditions and the right birds.

I also have some small birds, many of which have never been tamed. But I'm allowed to touch them, but only briefly and when I go into the upstairs flight room, they know it means food and anxiously await at the enclosure doors for me to come in. Some will land on my head, or pick at my glasses. I also have a couple of medium sized birds. Those birds also gets lots of out of cage time - usually after the 'Toos have worn themselves out with their flying games and return to their cages to eat and take a nap...or are taken out to the back patio to have more fun doing bird stuff. The medium guys are let out and are free to get their exercise, and have individualized time with me, if they chose it. But they all prefer the company of one another, than that of mine. Why? It's not because they don't love me. It's because they are being allowed to be who and what they are - birds. When I adopted my female G2, she instantly formed a bond with my male G2, who is an old wildcaught and was never human-imprinted. When I adopted JoJo instead of having gaining a bird, I in some ways lost one. Because neither are dependent on me for interaction. They don't need my helping preening those hard to reach head feathers - they take care of one anothers. And I get great joy just watching them two of them and interfere as little as possible. I provide for their needs, but it's their flock that they look to for interaction and doing bird stuff.

It requires alot of time and diligence on the part of the caretaker...because you never know when things could suddenly deteoriate. There has never been 1 physical confrontation, but being flighted, if there ever was a squabble, all have the ability to flee. And that is a bird's natural reaction. When I adopted my U2 he was clipped and the two G2'S realized he was at a disadvantage and decided to play little bullies. They didn't harm him just scared the crap out of him, flying close to his head when he was standing on his cage, etc. Of course I intervened and Alex because he couldn't fly, would come running to me. Now that he can fly, he is no longer at a disadvantage and between my initial interference and now that he can fly, there is no more bulling/taunting.

Ok sorry for going on and on. But the answer again is there is no magic number.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#185884 - 11/22/08 11:29 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: EchosMom]  
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I agree; there is no magic number. I have ten birds now, but six of them are "bird oriented" and so do not need human interaction. The "birdy-birds" are my pair of Lineolated Parakeets, the two budgies and the two Button Quail. They live in an aviary in the living room that gives them room to fly, and each aviary bird has a same-species companion. I just need to clean up after them, feed and water them, give them new toys, and enjoy watching them.

The human-oriented birds are the ones that are lots of work. There's no way I'd have four such parrots on my own if I were single. My husband loves the birds too and usually has two out near him (Ripley and Mitri, the Amazon and Cockatoo) and I'll have the conures out near me. Each has a play area outside the cage they can hang out on and they seem happy just being near people. Mitri does like to have one-on-one time with my husband each evening, and I usually do a little training session with each bird each evening. The conures can be close to each other, but otherwise the birds tolerate each other's presence but do not really interact with each other. Some human-imprinted birds do not get along well with other birds.

#185898 - 11/23/08 12:40 AM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Garnet]  
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Oh-o.k., that clears it up for me. I envisioned rows of locked up birds waiting for their one hour out of their cage or their wings clipped so that they couldn't get off of their cage. And thanks EM; that explained it very well and was very interesting. My three are o.k. with each other so far (I do keep a close eye on them). Maybe down the road...


Donna
Free as a bird???
#185914 - 11/23/08 03:43 AM Re: How many is too many? [Re: Donnalee]  
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EchosMom - Your house sounds like FUN!

#185917 - 11/23/08 04:12 AM Re: How many is too many? [Re: ChickenBaby]  
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Yeah, I want to be owned by EM!


That's what I pictured as well Donna, after hearing it can be difficult to have multiple birds.

Last edited by charlieandme; 11/23/08 04:19 AM.

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#185961 - 11/23/08 09:57 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: charlieandme]  
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We DO have alot of fun here! Besides the fly-fests there are also have scheduled scream fests during the day, started by yours truly. Since I'm home all day and all the neighbors around me are at work, I time them one in the morning and one late in the afternoon, so as not to disturb anyone. All it takes is for me to crank up the music on a favored song, and the entire house goes into a blissful uproar!

For those of you that have teen, or preteens, you may be familiar with the Cha-Cha Slide. It's got a great beat and is actually a good work out song for me, so I join in with them and do the "Cha-Cha". Although sometimes it's hard to hear the song if they get all worked up. Each has their own version of the Cha-Cha dance. There's lots of bobbing, hopping, head swinging and whistling too!

Echo isn't a big talker but she lets me know when it's time to get crazy and she bounces up and down on the top of her cage, swinging her head and says "cha cha" over and over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qhnQDbYZAU


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#185966 - 11/23/08 11:17 PM Re: How many is too many? [Re: EchosMom]  
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That's so cool EM! Love your house too. : )


Donna
Free as a bird???

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