Archive for the ‘PETS’ Tag

Birds Are THE Best Pets To Have Part 2   Leave a comment

Please DON’T do what I did and that was to buy the birds first and then read up on them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was getting two budgies as they had each other and didn’t need me so I didn’t become part of their ‘flock!’ I missed out on a lot because I bought Butch and Sky as a pair so I wouldn’t be bothered by them too much. It took a long time before they interacted with me though they both did learn ‘step up’, meaning to get on a perch/finger which is important for all pet birds to learn.

First let me tell you birds are very easy to take care of starting with their cages. I would line the floor with 7 layers of paper every Sunday so all I had to do every morning was pick up the top layer and they had a clean floor. Once a month I would take the cage(s) downstairs, hose them down plus clean the perches. They were not high maintenance at all! Yes poop was a problem though I have heard that some people trained their birds to poop I specific spots but I didn’t. When I let them out of their cage I draped a towel over my shoulders but I should have added a shower cap on my head!

I had no trouble converting them to pellets so I really didn’t have the mess of bird seeds all over the place. I would occasionally give them seeds as a treat but not enough to dirty the floor..

One of the first things I learned was that it was easy to tell the differences between the sexes on most birds. In the case of budgies the males had a blue cere–that is right above the beak–while the female had a brown cere. The male Zebra Finch as an orange patch on each check while the female doesn’t. In the cockatiels the males have a bright orange patch on their cheeks while the female’s is duller and they have bars under their wings and spots under their wings but both are hard to see.

Sorry ladies but in the bird world the males are the more colorful ones–just look at the peacocks!

One of the many benefits of having a bird as a pet was that I met Jill on line and she lives in Fort Lauderdale. We became friends and she once surprised me by giving me a cockatiel. Also in the previous post if you look at the part 1 slideshow the eggs hatching were her budgies and she gave me 2 of them! In both part 1 and part 2 you will see a picture of her green neck conure Andie that I took care of for awhile and though it took a bit for her to warm up to me she finally did.

I did learn one lesson very quickly regarding finches–they are worse than rabbits!! I started out with two and before I knew it I had 21. I quickly separated the males and females into their own cages.

Another bird you see in the slideshows was an African Grey Parrot whose owner had to go into the hospital for a couple of weeks so I took care of it. It was then I learned that birds can lay infertile eggs without any males present, sit on them and after a couple days they would ignore them. They can cause problems for the bird if they do it too often.

All in all having birds was a smart move on my part–they really are great pets to have and will interact with you as any other animal would. It’s been a couple of years now since I have had to give them up and I miss them!

I have kept one cage—just in case! :O)

Posted October 22, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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I know I wrote a post about my birds but I am unable to find it so I will do a brief recap, or maybe it will be a new post, before I get into the heart of this post.

I have always had a pet, usually dogs, starting with mutts and the last one I owned was a pug. I have had salt and fresh water fish tanks but by the time I moved into Gateway I just didn’t want the responsibility of a dog plus you had to put down a $500 deposit and fish didn’t appeal to me any more as keeping the tanks clean were a pain. I was never a cat person though I have always liked looking at them and I remember when Mike had gotten two kittens and we would spend hours watching them interact.

I was working at Big Louie’s and talking about pets one day when another server suggested a bird. I had never given a second thought to getting a bird. I did know I couldn’t get one of the big birds as at that point I had been taking blood thinners and a bite from a parrot could cause me problems. He suggested a parakeet and after a few weeks I thought I would go off to a bird store and look around.

Long story short I got 2 budgies–what Americans call parakeets–and the rest was history. It wasn’t long before I had 2 budgies, 2 cockatiels and 21 Zebra finches!

It would be about 6 years before my lung doctor told me I had to get rid of the birds due to my having COPD and a few breathing problems. They were so much fun and I still miss them!

Every evening I was home I would let the tiels and budgies out of their cages and they would fly around nibbling on frames and posters, perching on placards so thin it was amazing. At around 10 PM they knew it was time to get back to THEIR own cages as it was snack time. I couldn’t let the finches out because they were too small and quick and could get lost or in trouble. As it was I had a problem with them but I will talk about that in part 2.

It didn’t take very long but all the birds got on my schedule going to sleep around 1 AM and not peep out of them until I woke up and take the covers off. You have to know that birds are at their loudest at sunrise but not mine!

Things I learned about birds—finches are worse than rabbits!–and how easy they are to take care of plus I wish some humans had a ‘bird brain’ as birds are not only smart but easy to train in part 2.

I’ll explain about some of the photos in the slideshow but keep an eye out for Andi, Jill’s bird and the budgies hatching a new family.

Posted October 21, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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