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Old 02-20-2013, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,762 posts, read 13,307,777 times
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Theo, my Amazon, once flew away for about 72 absolutely crushing hours, about four years ago now. I'd taken him outside with me hundreds of times in the past and had even let him frolic about in the grass and perch on trees, but at that time, I had a roommate who I later found out had been shouting at him to "shut up" and covering his cage all day while I was out, and he felt massively distressed and angry. I went outside with him, holding his talon, and he gave me a really sharp bite and then flew off into the trees.

Well, he came back on his own, and since then, he's shown absolutely no interest in the outside.

I keep him in a cage while I'm out during the day for the simple reason that I have lost books, collared shirts, shoes, remotes, etc. to his beak, and he's also quite fond of pushing objects off of ledges - especially glasses. Beyond this, he also is a big fan of chewing through cables, and I don't want him to get shocked. However, when I'm home, he's out; he spends much of this time on my shoulder, and if I walk out of the room, he'll fly after me to either sit on or next to me. Eventually, he'll retire to his cage to nap, eat (if I give him a treat, unless I'm eating as well, he prefers to fly back and eat it in his cage), play with his toys, or sit there and sing, even though the door's open.

He also loves to go "exploring," walking around on the floor and under the desk or bed, into open cabinets; I'll hear his talons clacking against the floor and discover that he's just walked from one room to the next. My cockatiels would do this, too. As Foxywench stated, flying in the wild is largely a defense mechanism that allows them to quickly move from the ground to their safe vantage points in trees, where they build their nests. Once they're on the ground, they walk from one part to another, rather than fly a foot at a time; when they're on their tree, they walk and climb from branch to branch. This is part of the reason that you put so many branches inside a parrot cage; climbing is a natural and fun activity for them. Theo likes to climb up chairs and try to reach across with his beak to the table rather than just fly to it, or climb up my pantleg to my hand.

Theo, like the vast bulk of pet parrots in the US, was born and raised in captivity; he's always been around humans, and has always been loved and cared for (except by that a-hole ex-roommate, who I kicked out immediately afterwards). He didn't fly far away from where we lived, and I'd hear him calling to me all day - he thought of me, my roommate, and my ex as his "flock" and couldn't understand why we didn't just fly up there with him! After a few days, whether it was because of a lack of food and cold weather (this was in Seattle), or it was because of loneliness, or a combination of the two, he decided that he prefered living in a cage inside of a house with humans.

It's difficult for a non-bird person to understand why it is that the notion of keeping birds in cages as being cruel is a very simplistic thing to say because, again as foxywench stated, it's hard for someone who hasn't spent a lot of time around birds, learning about them and watching them and interacting with them to stop looking at their world through the prism of humanity and through the prism of being a parrot.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,426 posts, read 62,665,397 times
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It is funny to see people applying their personal viewpoints to birds and then generalizing about all birds. Soaring above the clouds is appeal to some birds, but would be terrifying or impossible to others. Toss an Emu up abouve the clouds and it will fall screaming to its death.

Likewise some birds are made to flap flutter, others to soar. Soaring birds are rarely kept in cages.

We have quite a few birds. All of them get at least a few hours out of their cages each day (excpet the finhes, they rarely get out becuase they are hard to catch again).

They are all different. Our two cockatoos have no interest in flying. They flutter to the ground and walk around. If a cat or dog comes near, one will flutter up onto a chair or something, the other has a deformed wing and cannto fly. Neither one fo them have interst in flying except in panic sutuations. They prefer to walk or climb. Their wings are usd more for displaying than for flying. They put them out to look bigger to frighten off a predator, to try to impress each other, or flap them to try to get attention, and for affection (they love to be scratched under their wings).

The cockatiel likes flying a little better. Still he is not a soaring bird. He will fly a couple of rounds around the house, usually looking for his favorite boy so he can land on its head. He also likes to wlak and climb, but clearly enjoys small bouts of flight roughly evenly.

The finches fly. It is what they do. They are not walkers or climbers. However they do not fly far. Even when out of their cage, they just fly to a high spot and perch there. We are building them a bigger cage (44" by 80" with a tunnel to a much larger outdoor cage). they will be happy in there. They want to be able to fly around, but they are not really interested in going any distance. In the wild, they will sometimes live their entire lives in a single tree (unless they need to migrate for food).

For many birds, flying is hard work. It is like running for people. Preventing most people from running would make them happy. For other types of birds however it is like preventing a person from walking.

Our chickens vary. Many of them cannot fly. they just use their wigs to help them run faster or jump higher. the Banthams are decent flyers, again however they only fly to escape, not to travel. If they are not scared, they walk.

Birds spend most of their lives in a panic of fear. Their cage is a safe place where they do not have to live in constant fear. from my personal perspective, I think it may be better to live in a cage where you cnanto fly than to live in a constant state of panic.

For a bird like a crow, a cardinal, hawk, eagle, etc, it might be cruel to deprive them of flying about.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,762 posts, read 13,307,777 times
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Yeah, no one really keeps an albatross as a pet. Keeping an albatross as a pet would be cruel.

But, using my Amazon as an example again... Amazons have a short, stocky body; short, thick tailfeathers; large, muscular feet; and are fairly heavy as far as birds their size go. They can fly, certainly... and they can fly well enough, as his flying away once indicates However, he was not physically built to fly long distances or for extended periods of time. They tend to fly from tree to tree, staying in the same general area, and their migration areas are miniscule and inter-regional, compared to other birds who migrate intraregion.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: A Very Naughtytown In Northwestern Montanifornia U.S.A.
1,088 posts, read 1,591,410 times
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Thumbs up Our bird likes her cage ~♥~ left open !!!

We never shut our bird cage, she often flies down to the floor and makes her way to one of our chairs to keep us company.

We take our pets every where we go, even to the spa !

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,898,064 times
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I don't have birds and know little about them but I'm not a fan of keeping any creature confined in a small space. I don't have an issue with cages, per se. I have an issue with small cages. I used to know a couple that had two birds, I think they were some kind of parrots but I may be wrong. They had a cage that took up half the living room. It wasn't really a cage, basically just bars put up from floor to ceiling and the birds had half the room to move around in with a bunch of stuff in it for them to move around in. I thought that was great and I think the birds agreed.
Wouldn't stuff like that be an option for people with birds? I realize that not everyone can give the birds half the living room but why the small cages?
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,711,255 times
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why the mall cages? because people dont reserch and assume PETSTORES know what there talking about, mot cages advertise clearely on the labels "perfect for cockateils" or "sun conure" ect...so people ASSUME these manufacturors and the people selling them have a clue...

THATS the SAD reality...

jack jacks cage is huge compred to his size, hes a mini macaw and in a cage designed for one of the much larger macws (its big enough for a greenwing) and even then hes rarely locked in and free to come and go...

he does have a "time out" cage which is a 24" dog crte (its also his travel crate) when hes feeling stressed or i need to put him in a safer "bed time" cage thats the one, but its just for very short periods when he would normally be sleeping otherwise (some birds become cage agressive nd need to have a "bedroom" (sepreate cage for sleeping in) to keep them orm becomeing socage agressive tht they become cage bound.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:57 AM
 
6,156 posts, read 4,137,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I don't have birds and know little about them but I'm not a fan of keeping any creature confined in a small space. I don't have an issue with cages, per se. I have an issue with small cages. I used to know a couple that had two birds, I think they were some kind of parrots but I may be wrong. They had a cage that took up half the living room. It wasn't really a cage, basically just bars put up from floor to ceiling and the birds had half the room to move around in with a bunch of stuff in it for them to move around in. I thought that was great and I think the birds agreed.
Wouldn't stuff like that be an option for people with birds? I realize that not everyone can give the birds half the living room but why the small cages?
This is my ultimate plan, wouldn't work in the apt I'm in now however.

BirdRoom (Patent Pending)
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,609,687 times
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I love birds and I feel that keeping them as pets in general is unnatural and cruel. Very few people have set-ups where birds can fly freely and live close to a normal bird life. Having said that, I have a cockatoo I adopted a few years ago, that I adore. She was brought here from her native land and it's not like I can bring her back; if I did I doubt she could survive after over 25 years of being a pet.
Cages by themselves are not a bad thing I don't think. When we are home, ours is open and my bird goes in and out freely. The cage keeps her safe from harm when we are not with her, and she goes to it for safety and security if something startles her. Most bird owners know that birds require large cages and sufficient, appropriate toys to help prevent boredom.
Enjoying all of the bird photos here! Here is a picture of Peepers right now looking at me! She must know I am talking about her.
Attached Thumbnails
Is keeping birds in cages cruel?-015.jpg  
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:10 AM
 
Location: Central Bay Area, CA as of Jan 2010...but still a proud Texan from Houston!
7,484 posts, read 8,671,834 times
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I owned an Amazon and he would be one sad Parrot if I kept him in his cage. He loves to fly! I made perches all around my house and he would follow me into the various rooms of my house. He had a huge cage but I soon realized that he did NOT want to be inside of his cage. He loved being out of his cage. I found a broken tree branch and wired it to the top of his cage and this is where he lived, ate, played and slept. He loved to fly and that was his joy! That little buger got out the front door on 2 separate occasions in the huge city of Houston, TX but he came home everytime

Attachment 108085 Click on it to enlarge it.

Here is a photo of him flying to me and you can see the big cage with the tree branch attached to the top and all of his toys hanging from it.

He NEVER wanted to go inside that cage after he learned how to fly and was set free from it.

Last edited by TVC15; 02-27-2013 at 03:42 AM..
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:34 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,711,255 times
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and thats where every bird is different, jack loves his cage, when im home its open and he comes nd goes freely...and despite being fully flighted the furthest hell fly willingly is from wherever his cage is, TO me...lol.
in his first year i ried to flight train him, you see youtube vids of parots flying next to thier owners motorcycle, or flying across feilds...
jack jacks responce...Land nd run LOL! hes fully flightd, i dont clip his wings and he knows how, but he chooses not to...
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