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-   -   Should we get a budgie? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=865486)

Mama Zappa 11-13-2018 09:19 AM

Should we get a budgie?
 
Our cleaning lady has a number of parakeets... who, being healthy young birds, have produced MORE parakeets.

She wants to give us one.

I kinda want one.

She asked us to suggest a name, so she can get it used to it. I suggested Morty - not knowing the sex yet (I didn't ask), I figured it could be from Rick And Morty, or short for Morticia if he's a she.

Lots of questions though.

I imagine he'll be relatively hand-tame as he's been raised by a human. So I assume I just need to get him used to *my* hand.

How big an issue would allergies be, with one small bird? Some of us are slightly feather-allergic (though the one who notices it the most also sits in a down-filled easy chair regularly).

He'd mostly live in the family room - which has a cathedral ceiling and might be a bit drafty. The only less-drafty places would either be very much in the way, or very much out of the way (i.e. no socialization).

Will a bird be OK in its cage, solo, for 48ish hours if we need to go out of town for short jaunts?

I'd like the bird to have cage-free time - but also don't want it at risk - do people clip wing feathers? If so, how??? (or should I take it to a vet for that?). Can they glide a bit if their feathers are trimmed? A friend had a hysterically horrible anecdote involving a a pitcher of margaritas and a free-flying bird who managed to simultaneously drown and embalm itself :eek::eek::eek::eek: (and no, you sickos, they did NOT drink the margaritas... I think.....)

The cage would be 15-20 feet away from the stove. Do we ban our one Teflon frying pan permanently? We have some nonstick ceramic pans - are they okay?

Any hints on "potty training" a parakeet? I know they can't be "trained" as well as larger birds, but it'd be nice if we could *reduce* the splats somewhat when having out-of-cage time.

If Morty is actually Morticia, do females learn to speak at all? I know males generally do better. Maybe we could record a few phrases on the laptop and have it on a repeat loop overnight to help with teaching phrases. What slightly twisted but not actually obscene phrases should we teach it? "Please sir, what did the parrot do?" seems an obvious one.

CookingWithGas 11-13-2018 09:43 AM

I have a parakeet that I rescued a few years ago (in Nottoway Park on the other side of Vienna). He was an adult and he has never gotten acclimated to handling, so I suspect his prior owners just put him in a cage in the corner and left him alone. I gave up after months of trying to get him to perch on my finger. He is a nice presence in the house, though.

Nor has he learned to say any human words. Maybe you have to start when they're young. I think parrots are better at it. He does seem to have calls that mimic other birds, though.

Two days of alone time should not be a problem. Longer than that, we get someone to come in and freshen the food and water.

I cover his cage at night with a blanket, which helps avoid drafts and also seems to calm him.

I see no reason to clip wing feathers; I don't know if that's common. We tried letting ours of the cage a few times but it seemed to freak him out--he would fly around wildly until he was exhausted then I would pick him up and put him back.

Teflon isn't an issue unless it overheats, in which case it isn't good for you either.

Jumpbass 11-13-2018 09:50 AM

Last time I had birds, we had two parakeets. They were a nice presence in the house and weren't any harder to take care of than one. They were always singing, filling the house with a very nice energy. They could also keep each other company.

I wasn't a fan of trimming wings. I wanted them to be able to actually fly, especially if they got outside. There are good arguments both ways, though, so whatever you do is up to you.

They can be messy. Seed hulls and feathers abound.

Merneith 11-13-2018 10:50 AM

Are budgies happy as single birds? Would it be better to take two, for company?

Broomstick 11-13-2018 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21320153)
I imagine he'll be relatively hand-tame as he's been raised by a human. So I assume I just need to get him used to *my* hand.

If the budgie was removed from his/her parents very young and hand fed by a human willing to devote the time to doing this then you'll have a hand-tame bird presented to you.

If the bird was raised by his/her biological parents you might not have a hand tame bird, or a bird that is tame at all. You can still tame the bird at that point but it's a lot more work.

Imprinting during the initial few weeks is vital to the bird identifying what is and is not a flock member. "Hand taming" requires a LOT of human contact in that time frame. Bird vary considerably in their own temperaments as well - some seem more drawn to humans despite similar upbringing to less friendly birds.

In any case, if you want a friend to sit on your finger or shoulder even with a true hand-tame bird you will need to put in considerable one-on-one time with the bird when you initially bring him/her home.

Quote:

He'd mostly live in the family room - which has a cathedral ceiling and might be a bit drafty. The only less-drafty places would either be very much in the way, or very much out of the way (i.e. no socialization).
He'd do better in the family room, drafty or no. Budgies have a decent tolerance for the temperatures humans find comfortable indoors. I provide my birds with a cardboard box in the cage (I use the empty "fridge packs" you get cans of soda in). That way, the bird has a place to retreat to if he's feeling chilly. Likewise, in summer especially be careful about putting the cage too much in direct sunlight as birds can also overheat (I shade one corner of their cage with an old towel so they can move from sun to shade on their own). At night cover the cage.

Quote:

Will a bird be OK in its cage, solo, for 48ish hours if we need to go out of town for short jaunts?
Um... you might want to put an extra food bowl in the cage. Birds go through a LOT of food for their size. I've left mine overnight on their own but I'm not really happy with that, birds imprinted on humans need the social contact as well as basics like food and water and particularly for a single bird being alone like that can be very stressful. Although if it becomes a regular event (say, once a month) the bird will become accustomed to the routine. If you anticipate that occurring anything more rarely that is a reason to get two birds, so they have social contact while the humans are gone.

I have a local vet that will board birds as well as cats and dogs. I used the service once when I had lost all utilities and had no heat. I think the birds had a better night than I did. If I had to be go out of town more than 48 hours I would definitely use that option because my birds would be safe, cared for, and get social contact.

Quote:

I'd like the bird to have cage-free time - but also don't want it at risk - do people clip wing feathers? If so, how??? (or should I take it to a vet for that?). Can they glide a bit if their feathers are trimmed? A friend had a hysterically horrible anecdote involving a a pitcher of margaritas and a free-flying bird who managed to simultaneously drown and embalm itself :eek::eek::eek::eek: (and no, you sickos, they did NOT drink the margaritas... I think.....)
"Bird-proofing" a home is definitely a thing.

My birds get free-flight time every day. This is supervised, and I'm careful to make sure things like the stove are turned off, the toilet lids are down, windows and mirrors covered at least partially (birds don't really comprehend windows or mirrors) etc. The "freaking out" is usually from birds that either don't get this, so they really are afraid and don't know how to handle the situation, or the environment is new and the birds are unfamiliar with it. When I moved to my new apartment the first week free flight time was solely in one room of the apartment. It's now nearly two months later and they're still having issues with negotiating the hallways, finding landing spots, scared of the vertical blinds in the front room, and so forth.

If you want a bird that can enjoy free-flight it's best to start young and in a small space. If the bird is older you can still teach them to enjoy it but, again, you want to start with a small space, pay close attention as the bird learns the space, and be prepared to rescue the little darling from under beds, behind bookshelves, and so forth.

I have had wing clipped birds, it's not hard but if you're hesitant then you might want to have a vet show you how it's done first. There are also now videos on YouTube. You'll want to use a very sharp, heavy-duty scissors for clean cuts on the feathers (you only cut the feathers, not the bird).

Currently, two of my birds have "full flight", that is, unclipped flight feathers. One of them is kept wing-clipped because otherwise he gets unmanageable. There are circumstances where I'd consider clipping the other two (such as extensive travel) but they're well-trained and well-behaved enough I don't feel a need. Obviously, this various with the bird.

Quote:

The cage would be 15-20 feet away from the stove. Do we ban our one Teflon frying pan permanently? We have some nonstick ceramic pans - are they okay?
You can not have hot Teflon and birds in the same household. If you have birds don't use Teflon cookware. Period. You won't know when the Teflon starts giving off fumes, and by the time you realize your birds are poisoned it will be to late - it's not something fixable.

(Some people take that risk and get away with it for a long time - as long as you can keep the Teflon from reaching a critical temperature it's safe but I personally view it as an unacceptable risk)

I have no idea if your "ceramic nonstick pans" are OK - it all depends on what makes them non-stick.

Quote:

Any hints on "potty training" a parakeet? I know they can't be "trained" as well as larger birds, but it'd be nice if we could *reduce* the splats somewhat when having out-of-cage time.
I've had some luck potty training some parrots - others just seem to have no clue what I'm asking. There are videos on YouTube on the subject. Even with my best-trained birds, though, you still get accidents.

Wipe up accidents immediately (another reason for supervision during out of cage time). I find ammonia-based window/multi-surface cleaners do a good job.

Birds will tend to find a favorite perch spot. That's where you should concentrate your poop-training efforts (I should note that sometimes they decide on a spot YOU don't find convenient - then you get to find out how stubborn birds can be).

Quote:

If Morty is actually Morticia, do females learn to speak at all?
Females can learn to speak, but need more encouragement and training than the males do.

Here is a video of a female budgie vocalizing, including some identifiable words

The key to getting a bird in the parrot family (and budgies are included in the parrot group) is to talk to the bird. Also, being around humans talking and interacting. The more the bird hears the spoken the word the more likely the bird is to pick up on it, and one-on-one interaction is more effective than a tape. Sure, a tape recording is helpful, but remember that parrots are social animals, they're wired to interact with others, and engage in give-and-take communications.

(One of my current birds will speak a word or phrase and expect me to repeat it back. He's thrilled he's taught a human to speak on command. Sometimes he indulges me by repeating what I say.)

Quote:

Maybe we could record a few phrases on the laptop and have it on a repeat loop overnight to help with teaching phrases. What slightly twisted but not actually obscene phrases should we teach it? "Please sir, what did the parrot do?" seems an obvious one.
Don't disturb the poor bird's sleep like that - put the computer recording on a loop when you aren't at home, but during the day. Then use the phrase when you speak to the bird, which you should be doing every day.

Consider that for mental health parrots (and, again, budgies are small parrots) require social interaction. If you aren't willing to put some time in every day you might want to reconsider getting a bird.

If you get two birds they can keep themselves company. But then you risk having two birds that interact with each other and largely ignore you. That's not certain - my spouse and I had a multiple bird household for about 25 years and most of our birds still craved human interaction as well as bird interaction, to the point that sometimes the bird attention drove the humans crazy.. But that's because we made a point of socializing with the flock every day for a significant period of time. If you don't put the time in the birds will be more interested in interacting with each other than with you.

Gatopescado 11-13-2018 12:27 PM

One big problem if you don't clip the wings is they will fly into windows and hurt/kill themselves. Or, if they get out, they don't come back, no matter how much you think they love you.

Otherwise, go for it. They are fun little pets. Kinda noisy and messy, but fun to have around.

I never had an issue with allergies, and he sat right next to the couch.

Mama Zappa 11-13-2018 12:32 PM

Thanks, all! Broomstick especially, thanks for the detailed reply.

The reason for having the bird in the family room is that it's where humans are most likely to be during the day - well, my son will be holed up in his room, and I do NOT want a bird in bedrooms. Took risky from an allergy standpoint - easier to keep the bedrooms dander free. I might get out one of our HEPA filters to keep nearby. I don't expect major problems - not like if we had a cat (as I'm DEFINITELY allergic to cats, that's a no-go anyway :(), but a little prevention is a good thing.

And I work from home - in the family room - so Morty would have plenty of company on weekdays. So he (?) should be fairly used to me, and I should have plenty of time for quick "see this hand? it brings GOODIES" visits.

I don't know if he's hand-raised per se, or just used to having one of those big flightless birds nearby. The fact that our cleaning lady asked me to provide a name for him suggests she's putting in a bit of time with him; I'll talk with her more when she comes next.

Two birds: Yeah, I've heard they're good at giving each other company and then ignoring people (and not speaking as much as a result). I'd prefer just one for now, as a) the point of having a pet is having one that wants to interact with me, b) the risk of a potential allergen - for example, one cat was fine, the second one nearly did me in, and c) if the two are misidentified, I might wind up with my *own* flock! At least if allergies DO turn out to be an issue, the cleaning lady would be willing to take him back.

I do keep mentioning allergies. I don't *think* I have a significant feather allergy (I was tested as somewhat allergic 50 years ago but have had basically no exposure since then, and I have used down-filled pillows with no issue). But if we do adopt Morty, I'll make sure that he can return to his former home if there are issues.

Sunny Daze 11-13-2018 12:59 PM

You might try asking Floaty Gimpy. I believe she has several budgies, and they are definitely part of her family.

EmilyG 11-13-2018 01:07 PM

I like birds but have never owned one, but I recommend the website http://trainedparrot.com/http://trainedparrot.com/ . I like reading that site and I think it has a lot of useful information.

FloatyGimpy 11-13-2018 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunny Daze (Post 21320646)
You might try asking Floaty Gimpy. I believe she has several budgies, and they are definitely part of her family.

Yeah, I'm just heading out to work and I work late so I'll write a reply tomorrow.

Short answer to your question: Everyone should have a budgie! :D

Enola Gay 11-13-2018 06:04 PM

I don't know anything about budgies, but feel very strongly that you should adopt one.

Broomstick 11-13-2018 06:39 PM

When it comes to dander/allergies the biggest problem comes from cockatiels and cockatoos, not budgies. Sure, they generate some dander and fluff (your home's dust bunnies will start to acquire the same colors as the bird, at least in the room the bird is in) but not enormous amounts.

Still, it's good to have a backup plan in case the allergies turn out to be a problem.

FloatyGimpy 11-13-2018 08:15 PM

I have 4 budgies, two of which I helped hand-raise:

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=812274

Having a budgie friend can be great but, unless you spend time with him every day, he won't necessarily be hand-tame. Even after hand-raising my babies, I still have to spend time playing with my budgies every day. If I miss even one day, they are a bit hesitant to go on my finger.

If you don't think you'll have time every day to work with him, you might want to get two. Two budgies interacting and playing/exploring is a lot of fun.

With the babies and when I've gotten a new budgie, I always clip their wings one time (just the flight feathers). That way they can get the lay of the land without smashing into walls and injuring themselves. They can fly 10 feet or so and then they just softly land on the floor. Then you scoop them up and put them back on their cage. By the time all the feathers grow back, they know their little world and don't fly into things.

I would leave them overnight if I was going away but more than that I get a pet sitter to come in.

All of my budgies are free and out of their cages all day even if I'm not home. I know that's not recommended but that's what I do. They have a large area that has their cages, toys, baths, perches and each other and they just don't go getting into stuff. They do often choose to be in their cages, though. After all, in their cages are toys, treats, food, water and it's their safe spot.

Budgies as pets can be highly rewarding. But you do get what you put into them.

Oh, try to get males. That way you won't have to deal with egg laying and all the "joy" that comes with it.

Gatopescado 11-13-2018 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21321462)
Oh, try to get males. That way you won't have to deal with egg laying and all the "joy" that comes with it.

The last male we had exhibited severely inappropriate behavior towards my wife. If he had hands, I'm sure he would have 'Trumped' her. He did everything else, the nasty little bastard! :D

panache45 11-14-2018 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21320153)
A friend had a hysterically horrible anecdote involving a a pitcher of margaritas and a free-flying bird who managed to simultaneously drown and embalm itself :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Or my childhood parakeet, who fell into my mom's bacon grease. The bird survived, at first featherless with pneumonia. Recovery took months.

Gatopescado 11-14-2018 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 21321746)
Or my childhood parakeet, who fell into my mom's bacon grease. The bird survived, at first featherless with pneumonia. Recovery took months.

This is both Horrifying and Delicious.

Broomstick 11-14-2018 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 21321668)
The last male we had exhibited severely inappropriate behavior towards my wife. If he had hands, I'm sure he would have 'Trumped' her. He did everything else, the nasty little bastard! :D

Two of my three lovebirds discovered the joys of masturbation. Not sure if it was disturbing or hilarious that they used the back of the couch for self-stimulation. Oh, and there was the time one of them attempt to use my spouse's head for that purpose, but for some reason the human objected. :eek: :D No further attempts were made, but perhaps there is a reason male birds are called "cocks" or that "cocks" were named after male birds.

They're cute, they're feathery, and they have sexual urges.

kambuckta 11-14-2018 03:23 AM

We have a budgie, bought as a baby about 5 months ago. It has an intellectual disability this budgie. We call him our Special Needs Bird.

I've had heaps of budgies over the years, and every single one of them I've managed to tame and allowed them to fly around the house, only to come to return. Our current budgie won't have a bar of it. Stupid bird likes to chew his bell and move his seed-box around the cage, and freak out like a psycho when I change his water.

Oh well...:D

CookingWithGas 11-14-2018 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21321462)
If you don't think you'll have time every day to work with him, you might want to get two. Two budgies interacting and playing/exploring is a lot of fun.

I have an adult male, at least five years old but I'm not the original owner so I'm not sure of his age. I thought about getting him a companion. At his age would that be a welcome companion or more of a stressor? Is he going to tell, "Get off my lawn!"

FloatyGimpy 11-14-2018 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CookingWithGas (Post 21322494)
I have an adult male, at least five years old but I'm not the original owner so I'm not sure of his age. I thought about getting him a companion. At his age would that be a welcome companion or more of a stressor? Is he going to tell, "Get off my lawn!"

He would probably be absolutely thrilled!

Here's an old video of mine with two budgies meeting for the first time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1V6xXjei0

Sailboat 11-14-2018 12:55 PM

Broomstick and FloatyGimpy know their birds, listen to them. I will reiterate: NO TEFLON. Too many horrible tales from the bird forums. Look out for things like new toaster ovens, muffin tins, indoor grills -- they're putting PTFE in everything these days. And it breaks down into Perfluoroisobutene:

Quote:

PFIB is about 10 times as toxic as phosgene. Its inhalation can lead to pulmonary edema, which may be fatal.

...<snipped>...

It is a Schedule 2 substance of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
When we had budgies, we dedicated an entire room of the house to be "theirs." They could wander in or out of their cages and were only closed in for bedtime or serious storms (in case a window broke, we didn't want them flying off). To ensure that they weren't ignored in their room, we put my computer workstation in there, so they could sit on my shoulder and chat into my ear while I surfed. Bird-proofing the room was a bit of a trial-and-error process (they will gnaw on wires and paper products, even wood).

Mama Zappa 11-14-2018 08:59 PM

I don't think we'd let the bird fly loose if we were not right there in the room - too many places for him to get lost / stuck / injured in our overly-cluttered open-plan house.

In case anyone was wondering, we *are* going to hell. My husband suggested that instead of Morty, we name the bird "Spatchcock".

And a friend then suggested that the bird's full name would be "Alfred Spatchcock".

We don't dare, really - the cleaning lady would probably do us harm..... or quit, and we've known her longer than we've know our kids.

RTFirefly 11-15-2018 05:29 AM

Pygmys, budgies, Kuala Lumpur! :D

Sailboat 11-15-2018 12:01 PM

Our local county animal shelter always has budgies in its care -- sometimes as many as a dozen to choose from. If you're not planning to train a hand-raised chick to be highly interactive, these are just as good and you'd be saving one or more lives. We've had some very friendly rescued budgies.

Whatever you do, don't accept anything from a budgie smuggler.

Mama Zappa 11-15-2018 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailboat (Post 21324610)
Our local county animal shelter always has budgies in its care -- sometimes as many as a dozen to choose from. If you're not planning to train a hand-raised chick to be highly interactive, these are just as good and you'd be saving one or more lives. We've had some very friendly rescued budgies.

Whatever you do, don't accept anything from a budgie smuggler.

There are *budgie smugglers*??? For a bird that is so common and inexpensive here as to make the idea of smuggling one completely unprofitable? (or maybe I'm being whooshed?).

If I were getting a bird from any other source than our cleaning lady, I'd certainly look at a shelter.

She's giving us a cage as well. I'll have to find out the size - certainly a bird would need a larger cage than the one my canary had when I was 10 - no room to fly at all :( (we didn't know any better; back then a flying cage would have been an anomaly, I'm sure). Depending on what she plans, I'll probably get a larger cage. Any ideas as to the minimum size, with the understanding that Morty will certainly get out-of-cage time as well?

Ike Witt 11-15-2018 01:20 PM

IIRC, budgie smuggler is the British version of a banana hammock.

cochrane 11-15-2018 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21324748)
There are *budgie smugglers*??? For a bird that is so common and inexpensive here as to make the idea of smuggling one completely unprofitable? (or maybe I'm being whooshed?).

@ Mama Zappa, you were indeed whooshed.

Mama Zappa 11-15-2018 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cochrane (Post 21324846)

Aha!

So I take it, if we offer Morty certain types of fresh fruit, it should not be served using an oblong fabric holder suspended from two sides of the cage.... :D

Limmin 11-15-2018 02:37 PM

<dumb joke starts>

"Should I get a budgie?"

"Dunno, depends on your budget!"

<end>

teela brown 11-15-2018 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21322652)
. . . Here's an old video of mine with two budgies meeting for the first time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1V6xXjei0

Awwwww!

Section Maker:Jupe 11-16-2018 10:39 AM

Realy great advice from everyone. I have about "about" 30 budgies, (and 30 conures and small parrots). Mine are outside, but conures are moved to inside cages at night. Budgies get covered and heaters added when it gets below 45F or so.
Just a few thing I would add.

They need regular baths, mostly spray or misting from a bottle, to clean their vents and get rid of that dander.

Although they seem to love to just eat seeds, they NEED greens and vegetables.

What I do: lettuce heads, and leftover veggie scraps, grasses and dandelions are a big favorite. I put safe garden cuttings, orchard and ornamental sticks etc. They will chew them to bits, and it (I feel) makes them healthier and happier.

Most bird sites offer the safe/notsafe food and wood list, or a link. You should research food and general safety as much as possible
There are budgie specific forums that are helpful.

They do like to breed, which is how I ended with 30. That and some rescues. Two budgies will groom each other, and the 2 bird philosophy is how I ended up with...err 30. (we bought friends for the conures too, so its a bit of a compulsion)

When they are happy, and have a little house, they pair off and off ya go!:D Politics get intense though, with males and females competing and protecting their turf. Not for the faint hearted. They can be....umm little dinosaurs.

ZipperJJ 11-16-2018 11:11 AM

Sounds like we're getting a budgie! Yay!

Typo Knig 11-20-2018 06:39 AM

OK, I get that teflon cookware is a no-go. What about teflon cutting boards? We dont heat them up on the stove, but we do wash them in a dishwasher, usually on a heated sterilize cycle. I would guess theyd be OK, but birds are sensitive and Id hate myself if I were wrong.

CookingWithGas 11-20-2018 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Typo Knig (Post 21333003)
OK, I get that teflon cookware is a no-go. What about teflon cutting boards? We dont heat them up on the stove, but we do wash them in a dishwasher, usually on a heated sterilize cycle. I would guess theyd be OK, but birds are sensitive and Id hate myself if I were wrong.

Are you sure the cutting boards are Teflon? Teflon is easily damaged by scratching--metal utensils are a no-no. It seems like the worst possible choice for a cutting board surface.

Mama Zappa 11-20-2018 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CookingWithGas (Post 21333211)
Are you sure the cutting boards are Teflon? Teflon is easily damaged by scratching--metal utensils are a no-no. It seems like the worst possible choice for a cutting board surface.

Google "teflon cutting board" and you'll get lots of hits.

Whether they're truly the same Teflon that one finds in a frying pan, I don't know. I don't think so - some sites say "HDPE" while Teflon is PTFE.

Supposedly the danger zone starts at well above what a dishwasher would achieve:

From here: Many studies have found that PTFE-coated pans must be heated to above 536 F to release toxic particles and fumes, in a reaction called pyrolysis. ? This is a very high temperature, and is rarely reached during normal cooking. Most cooking in PTFE-coated cookware is performed at temperatures between 250 and 400 F.

Unless our dishwasher is a LOT better at the sani-cycle than I'd have expected, Morty should be safe (Typo Knig is my husband and one of Morty's soon-to-be pets).

What I also just stumbled across: self-cleaning ovens are also dangerous. Better get that sorted out before Morty comes here to live. We can't get rid of the oven, but we don't run the cycle all that often anyway, so we'll have to do so beforehand.

Morty update: Morty might be a still-in-the-egg bird, versus one of the ones that has already hatched, as we can't take him (her) until early January. Our cleaner asked if we wanted two! I said not unless we find we do OK with one - plus we'd like the bird to want to be around *us*, as opposed to hanging in a cage with his buddy and viewing us as "feed me, now go away" fixtures in his life. Also - she does clip wings so they can't fly too far; that'll be helpful at least at first. She says they're more tractable when clipped - dunno, as I'm clearly not the expert.

CookingWithGas 11-20-2018 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21333832)
Whether they're truly the same Teflon that one finds in a frying pan, I don't know. I don't think so - some sites say "HDPE" while Teflon is PTFE.

I see. They look like solid plastic blocks. I had imagined a Teflon coating just like on a pan.

cochrane 11-20-2018 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21333832)
Google "teflon cutting board" and you'll get lots of hits.

Whether they're truly the same Teflon that one finds in a frying pan, I don't know. I don't think so - some sites say "HDPE" while Teflon is PTFE.

Supposedly the danger zone starts at well above what a dishwasher would achieve:

From here: Many studies have found that PTFE-coated pans must be heated to above 536 F to release toxic particles and fumes, in a reaction called pyrolysis. ? This is a very high temperature, and is rarely reached during normal cooking. Most cooking in PTFE-coated cookware is performed at temperatures between 250 and 400 F.

Unless our dishwasher is a LOT better at the sani-cycle than I'd have expected, Morty should be safe (Typo Knig is my husband and one of Morty's soon-to-be pets).

What I also just stumbled across: self-cleaning ovens are also dangerous. Better get that sorted out before Morty comes here to live. We can't get rid of the oven, but we don't run the cycle all that often anyway, so we'll have to do so beforehand.

Morty update: Morty might be a still-in-the-egg bird, versus one of the ones that has already hatched, as we can't take him (her) until early January. Our cleaner asked if we wanted two! I said not unless we find we do OK with one - plus we'd like the bird to want to be around *us*, as opposed to hanging in a cage with his buddy and viewing us as "feed me, now go away" fixtures in his life. Also - she does clip wings so they can't fly too far; that'll be helpful at least at first. She says they're more tractable when clipped - dunno, as I'm clearly not the expert.

FloatyGimpy helped hand-raise two chicks from eggs that her hen budgie hatched. She did clip their wings before they could fly. She said it made them very easy to handle, but they didn't lose their independence. They still managed to climb around and explore their environment, and she let them fly once their wing feathers grew back.

Broomstick 11-20-2018 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21333832)
She says they're more tractable when clipped - dunno, as I'm clearly not the expert.

This is true - they are more tractable when clipped.

I usually clip young birds for a year or so until they're fully trained (and I currently have one adult I keep clipped otherwise he starts to lose him tameness). I let the feathers grow out early on so they can learn to fly, then clip them back. I also don't clip them so much they are unable to fly at all - I want them to be able to get safely down to the floor from a height, and be able to get from the floor to about waist height before they get too tired to continue. You want the bird to be able to exercise, and also not to get hurt. Clipping means they fly slower and it's more effort so they can't do so for an extended period of time, not that they're entirely grounded.

Sailboat 11-21-2018 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21333832)
Google "teflon cutting board" and you'll get lots of hits.

Whether they're truly the same Teflon that one finds in a frying pan, I don't know. I don't think so - some sites say "HDPE" while Teflon is PTFE.

Supposedly the danger zone starts at well above what a dishwasher would achieve:

From here: Many studies have found that PTFE-coated pans must be heated to above 536 F to release toxic particles and fumes, in a reaction called pyrolysis. ? This is a very high temperature, and is rarely reached during normal cooking. Most cooking in PTFE-coated cookware is performed at temperatures between 250 and 400 F.

When I researched this, I saw a lot of similar comforting claims. Then my brother, a materials engineer, mentioned that while that may be, the heating element itself of ovens, toaster ovens, and presumably dishwashers gets much hotter than the intended target temperature setting -- for a 400-degree bake, the element might get close to 800 degrees. And it might be teflon-coated. Or a teflon-coated pan might contact it accidentally.

I don't mean to make anyone paranoid, but exercise due diligence with this stuff.

FloatyGimpy 11-21-2018 02:07 PM

I have banished all teflon products from my house - too dangerous to mess with. All it takes is something cooking and a mild distraction and suddenly all your birds are dead.

One flight feather clipping does the trick with having them fly around safely. As I'm typing I have 4 kamikazes flying from their cages, over my head and back to their cages.

They all just helped me finish off a warm cinnamon bun. :)

Mama Zappa 11-21-2018 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cochrane (Post 21334070)
FloatyGimpy helped hand-raise two chicks from eggs that her hen budgie hatched. She did clip their wings before they could fly. She said it made them very easy to handle, but they didn't lose their independence. They still managed to climb around and explore their environment, and she let them fly once their wing feathers grew back.

Ah yes - I was a participant in that thread (in fact I named one - How's Octamarine doing these days?).

Is it safe to use ammonia in the house if we have birds? I read somewhere that it was risky (not that we'd be using it right by the cage, but the kitchen isn't far), bot a friend said she thought it was bird-safe.

FloatyGimpy 11-21-2018 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21336036)
Ah yes - I was a participant in that thread (in fact I named one - How's Octamarine doing these days?).

Both Octa and Aqua are doing fabulous and will be 2 years old on the 28th!

Mama Zappa 11-21-2018 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21336615)
Both Octa and Aqua are doing fabulous and will be 2 years old on the 28th!

Cool!

And of course I spelled my own god-budgie's name wrong - it's Octarine, not Octamarine (from Discworld).

Mama Zappa 12-22-2018 07:45 PM

Doing some more planning. Morty may not be coming to us after all, as our cleaning lady said he seemed to be getting sick and she wasn't sure he'd live :(.

But she's got a couple more new ones and we'll be able to get one of those when they've grown enough.

Would this cage be large enough for a bird to have enough room to flit around when he's in lockup?

There's this one that seems to allow for a nesting box if needed - though we're really hoping not to need that!! And it's smaller (18x14 vs 26x14; both are 36" tall).

FloatyGimpy 12-22-2018 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 21392675)
Doing some more planning. Morty may not be coming to us after all, as our cleaning lady said he seemed to be getting sick and she wasn't sure he'd live :(.

But she's got a couple more new ones and we'll be able to get one of those when they've grown enough.

Would this cage be large enough for a bird to have enough room to flit around when he's in lockup?

There's this one that seems to allow for a nesting box if needed - though we're really hoping not to need that!! And it's smaller (18x14 vs 26x14; both are 36" tall).

I strongly recommend getting a cage that has a top opening. It's much easier to get them back in the cage if they're a bit freaked of hands. They also can easily step in and out from the top, rather than having to climb down the side to get in the door. Also you can put things on the top for them to play with.

Gatopescado 12-23-2018 02:33 PM

Found out we're getting one early next year. Someone is hand-raising it right now.

It's name will be
SPOILER:
Bird Ferguson. Funny name. :D

Mama Zappa 12-24-2018 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21392689)
I strongly recommend getting a cage that has a top opening. It's much easier to get them back in the cage if they're a bit freaked of hands. They also can easily step in and out from the top, rather than having to climb down the side to get in the door. Also you can put things on the top for them to play with.

If you have any links to the right sort, let me know - the ones I see at Amazon that have a flat top don't have an obvious opening up there.

This one has a flat bit on the top, and if the "roof" shaped part opened that would seem to meet what you suggest, though it doesn't appear to open.

Gatopescado: I don't get it.

Toys: things with hanging bells seem like they'd be amusing but isn't there a risk of the bird getting beak or a claw stuck in those??

FloatyGimpy 12-24-2018 07:44 PM

Something like this would be good:

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

Top opening cages are just way more convenient. If something startles them, they can just quickly jump back down into their cage. And if you want them on your finger you can just offer it to them while they're standing on top of the cage, rather than sticking your giant hand into their home. You can also clip treats onto the top flat part of the cage. It creates a whole other play area for them.

Mama Zappa 12-25-2018 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy (Post 21395306)
Something like this would be good:

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/cages-...ml?cgid=400103

Top opening cages are just way more convenient. If something startles them, they can just quickly jump back down into their cage. And if you want them on your finger you can just offer it to them while they're standing on top of the cage, rather than sticking your giant hand into their home. You can also clip treats onto the top flat part of the cage. It creates a whole other play area for them.

Thanks - that second one looks like one I'd seen at Amazon (from a different angle). The third one: it's not obvious that the top opens. The first one also looks like the one I saw at Amazon, though it seems a bit small - 16x16x23 (of course, #2 at 18x18x27 isn't that much bigger....).

I saw one at Amazon that proudly announced "Cage snaps off from bottom for easy cleaning!", Er, no, that's not my definition of easy!!!

Mama Zappa 12-25-2018 08:57 PM

Might this one do? We'd probably put the stand portion away as we have a table to use for the cage. One question asked about parakeets and one reply suggested the bars were too far apart, though.

I figure some flexible rope perches will enhance whatever we get, as well as some ladder-type things. Any recommended suppliers for millet sprays? I gather those are like pure crack for parakeets and we want Morty to think we bring good things to him.

What fresh food is good to have on hand? Greens? Fruits? Millet, I gather, should be more of a treat / reward / enticement to sit on hands, but are there birdseed mixes that should be the "keep around at all times" food?


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