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Old 06-25-2013, 11:44 PM
 
Location: so cal
1,110 posts, read 1,947,779 times
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None of it matters, rats.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:52 AM
 
6,156 posts, read 4,136,032 times
Reputation: 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLA74 View Post
I haven't been able to check in for awhile...busy preparing to move at the beginning of July!

Anyway, glad to see some love for the ratties! As for birds, I'm still thinking finches, or maybe even canaries (which are a type of finch, I know). They would be for us to just watch and enjoy (and care for of course) but at this point I'm really not thinking in terms of a pet specifically for my son. He's really too young for any pet right now...it would pretty much be mine to care for, and he could just enjoy.

Dragonslayer, that's a cool aviary you built...and I like the idea, but I don't think that would work for my situation (moving into a rental and can't really accommodate one). Also, I think it would be better to start small as a beginner. That does bring me to a question...I know many people keep birds outdoors, but what kind of temperature ranges can finches handle? It can get extremely cold at night here, even in summer. And summer days can be very hot.

Another care question: I read somewhere that you need to give finches daily baths and handle them. I thought they weren't really for handling much? How do you deal with the bathing? I can't really commit to something that needs more than just feeding and interaction on a daily basis, so if that's the case I would hold off until I could do that. Rats are easy since they require only minimal care in terms of cleaning, etc. (cage cleaned once or twice a week). I really need easy right now

Glad to see this thread is still alive and kicking!
Finches are just to look at. You're really not getting the bird experience with Finches. Not even close.

As everyone else said, Cockatiels are great. I started with Green Cheek Conures, a little more expensive and supposedly slightly harder to deal with, but they are great too. My GCCs are the first birds or pets for that matter that I've had and I have had almost no trouble with them despite my lack of experience, although there are certain people they do not like and will attack on sight. But there are reasons behind this, they are friendly with 99% of people they meet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-cheeked_Parakeet

As for noisiness, GCCs are relatively quiet which is why they are often chosen as pets. The operative word being relatively.

They are very social and friendly. They will bite if you do not know how to handle them, but I have never found it to be a serious problem. They have never drawn blood (well, from me at least).

Now they are living in a laundry room, but I dealt with the mess at my old place with a home made cage like contraption. Pine box, PVC shower pan liner on the inside, filled with dirt, and a post set in the dirt with perches etc attached to the post. The post will rot but it can be replaced, PVC protects the base.

I don't know why I don't have more pictures but here is the base before we built the post. Simple box filled with dirt (plants will grow like crazy from the seeds they spill believe it or not).



And this is the top end of the post while still under construction (the thing on the back is a wooden plank screwed to the back of the box, inside of the roof you see there is a UV lamp).



Not exactly a walk in aviary, but compact enough to fit in my small apartment and they loved it.

Then I had about 400 of these porta-perches scattered around the house. Base is finished with water based polyurethane, non toxic once dry and easy to clean. These take all of 15 minutes to make.



Note: I couldn't leave Finches out like this. They'd fly all over the place.

Bathing is easy. Give them a bowl of water, they'll bathe in it.

I don't know enough about temperature to comment. I have been told that Cockatiels are extremely sensitive to even mild cold but there seems to be some disagreement in this thread. Keep in mind though that most parrot/parakeet species originate from much warmer climates than North America.

I had no problem taking them outside on my balcony but I never did so when it was under 60 degrees just to be safe. I wouldn't worry about heat as much as I would worry about cold, as long as they have water.

This would be most important. If you get any parrot/parakeet species especially, I would highly recommend getting more than one, from the same breeder as babies ideally. This will allow you a great deal of latitude on interaction time. I would not even consider getting only one bird. I couldn't imagine caging a bird alone to sit by itself for more than a couple of hours at a time on a regular basis. Birds are extremely social creatures.

It is a pretty big commitment, more than rats for sure. But that would be my recommendation, all factors considered. They really are incredible pets.

I was able to occasionally leave them on their own for a few days at a time as long as my roommates were around to change their water (went to Florida once for a week, left them out of their cage at the time, came back and they were sitting in the same spot as when I had left), I've never felt that it was more of a commitment than I could handle and I stay very busy. But as I said this is mostly due to the fact that they get along very well, and can at least keep each other somewhat entertained without me.

And whatever you do, don't look at my profile picture.

Last edited by rw47; 06-26-2013 at 01:23 AM..
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
115 posts, read 187,167 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBarrow View Post
Finches are just to look at. You're really not getting the bird experience with Finches. Not even close.

As everyone else said, Cockatiels are great. I started with Green Cheek Conures, a little more expensive and supposedly slightly harder to deal with, but they are great too. My GCCs are the first birds or pets for that matter that I've had and I have had almost no trouble with them despite my lack of experience, although there are certain people they do not like and will attack on sight. But there are reasons behind this, they are friendly with 99% of people they meet.

Green-cheeked Parakeet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As for noisiness, GCCs are relatively quiet which is why they are often chosen as pets. The operative word being relatively.

They are very social and friendly. They will bite if you do not know how to handle them, but I have never found it to be a serious problem. They have never drawn blood (well, from me at least).

Now they are living in a laundry room, but I dealt with the mess at my old place with a home made cage like contraption. Pine box, PVC shower pan liner on the inside, filled with dirt, and a post set in the dirt with perches etc attached to the post. The post will rot but it can be replaced, PVC protects the base.

I don't know why I don't have more pictures but here is the base before we built the post. Simple box filled with dirt (plants will grow like crazy from the seeds they spill believe it or not).



And this is the top end of the post while still under construction (the thing on the back is a wooden plank screwed to the back of the box, inside of the roof you see there is a UV lamp).



Not exactly a walk in aviary, but compact enough to fit in my small apartment and they loved it.

Then I had about 400 of these porta-perches scattered around the house. Base is finished with water based polyurethane, non toxic once dry and easy to clean. These take all of 15 minutes to make.



Note: I couldn't leave Finches out like this. They'd fly all over the place.

Bathing is easy. Give them a bowl of water, they'll bathe in it.

I don't know enough about temperature to comment. I have been told that Cockatiels are extremely sensitive to even mild cold but there seems to be some disagreement in this thread. Keep in mind though that most parrot/parakeet species originate from much warmer climates than North America.

I had no problem taking them outside on my balcony but I never did so when it was under 60 degrees just to be safe. I wouldn't worry about heat as much as I would worry about cold, as long as they have water.

This would be most important. If you get any parrot/parakeet species especially, I would highly recommend getting more than one, from the same breeder as babies ideally. This will allow you a great deal of latitude on interaction time. I would not even consider getting only one bird. I couldn't imagine caging a bird alone to sit by itself for more than a couple of hours at a time on a regular basis. Birds are extremely social creatures.

It is a pretty big commitment, more than rats for sure. But that would be my recommendation, all factors considered. They really are incredible pets.

I was able to occasionally leave them on their own for a few days at a time as long as my roommates were around to change their water (went to Florida once for a week, left them out of their cage at the time, came back and they were sitting in the same spot as when I had left), I've never felt that it was more of a commitment than I could handle and I stay very busy. But as I said this is mostly due to the fact that they get along very well, and can at least keep each other somewhat entertained without me.

And whatever you do, don't look at my profile picture.
Thanks for your insightful reply! Your birds are beautiful! I guess I'm a bit nervous about getting in over my head, which is why I was thinking finches to start. That's not to say I wouldn't get a parrot/parakeet in the future once my confidence improves. I'm mostly concerned about not being able to be as committed as required for certain bird species. My son needs so much of my attention and time which is why I need super low maintenance pets right now. I'm fascinated by the larger birds like parrots, etc. I love how gorgeous they are and I can appreciate their uniqueness and personality. I would only attempt to have them if I knew I could handle it and provide them everything necessary.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:42 PM
 
1,288 posts, read 2,395,375 times
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I think birds are not usually good fits for rats-people.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:32 PM
 
6,156 posts, read 4,136,032 times
Reputation: 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLA74 View Post
Thanks for your insightful reply! Your birds are beautiful! I guess I'm a bit nervous about getting in over my head, which is why I was thinking finches to start. That's not to say I wouldn't get a parrot/parakeet in the future once my confidence improves. I'm mostly concerned about not being able to be as committed as required for certain bird species. My son needs so much of my attention and time which is why I need super low maintenance pets right now. I'm fascinated by the larger birds like parrots, etc. I love how gorgeous they are and I can appreciate their uniqueness and personality. I would only attempt to have them if I knew I could handle it and provide them everything necessary.
Well your fears are not unfounded.

I think I got somewhat lucky, mine are very easy to deal with, I got them from an apparently very good breeder. And I can not over emphasize that had I gotten one rather than two, who get along very well, I'd be singing an entirely different tune right now.

All things considered, if you're really that worried about commitment and time I would take my previous recommendation and toss it. GCCs were a great choice for me and I have had zero regrets, but that's not you, that's me. I've had an easier time than I thought I would, but I've spent a ton of time with them.

I don't know if you are still considering rats, but it may be best to stick with what you know if you don't want to make too much of a commitment. As I said Finches are mostly just to look at (I personally don't see the point) and won't really give you nearly the same bird experience as most parrots/parakeet species will, but at the same time they will probably be higher maintenance than rats (I could be wrong, this is just my impression, family's had rats but never Finches or Canaries).

You could also do budgies. Slightly higher maintenance than Finches or Canaries, but much more social and fun to be around. This could be a happy medium. Budgies are probably the most common beginner's pet bird. Just whatever you do, get two, preferably hand fed from a breeder. This will make things a hell of a lot easier.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
115 posts, read 187,167 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBarrow View Post
Well your fears are not unfounded.

I don't know if you are still considering rats, but it may be best to stick with what you know if you don't want to make too much of a commitment. As I said Finches are mostly just to look at (I personally don't see the point) and won't really give you nearly the same bird experience as most parrots/parakeet species will, but at the same time they will probably be higher maintenance than rats (I could be wrong, this is just my impression, family's had rats but never Finches or Canaries).

You could also do budgies. Slightly higher maintenance than Finches or Canaries, but much more social and fun to be around. This could be a happy medium. Budgies are probably the most common beginner's pet bird. Just whatever you do, get two, preferably hand fed from a breeder. This will make things a hell of a lot easier.
Budgies might indeed be a good choice, and I'm definitely rethinking getting some since I do like the idea of a more social/fun bird. If I do, I will probably wait until my son is a bit older...maybe in a year or two. We will be giving a home to 3 rats belonging to a family who has to move out of the country next week, and they are indeed very low maintenance pets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timing2012 View Post
I think birds are not usually good fits for rats-people.
I am not a "rat" person, I just happen to think they make good pets. I enjoy having a variety of animals, and have owned, in addition to rats, cats and horses. I am trying to have a legitimate discussion here and all you are doing is being mocking and snide. Please take it elsewhere.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:35 PM
 
1,288 posts, read 2,395,375 times
Reputation: 766
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLA74 View Post
Budgies might indeed be a good choice, and I'm definitely rethinking getting some since I do like the idea of a more social/fun bird. If I do, I will probably wait until my son is a bit older...maybe in a year or two. We will be giving a home to 3 rats belonging to a family who has to move out of the country next week, and they are indeed very low maintenance pets.



I am not a "rat" person, I just happen to think they make good pets. I enjoy having a variety of animals, and have owned, in addition to rats, cats and horses. I am trying to have a legitimate discussion here and all you are doing is being mocking and snide. Please take it elsewhere.
Are rats people always this defensive?

An environment with rats might not be good for birds as rats carry disease.

Last edited by Timing2012; 06-28-2013 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
3,355 posts, read 2,678,639 times
Reputation: 7525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timing2012 View Post
Are rats people always this defensive?

An environment with rats might not be good for birds as rats carry disease.
Oh stop it. Birds carry disease too. We're talking about domesticated rats AND birds here. If you're clean and keep your pets clean and healthy, there's no issue.

What is this adding to the conversation, anyway?
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:59 PM
 
1,288 posts, read 2,395,375 times
Reputation: 766
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Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
Oh stop it. Birds carry disease too. We're talking about domesticated rats AND birds here. If you're clean and keep your pets clean and healthy, there's no issue.

What is this adding to the conversation, anyway?
I am warning her that rats carry diseases and can be passed to birds and humans.
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