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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi:
I am new to this forum. My 8 year old girl that is an animal lover wants a bird. So far she has a ginney pig (trained to go up the stairs into her room and into her cage) a fish and a dog. She is very responsible.
I need advice as to weather a Parrotlet is the right bird for her or not. And if it is where to get one in the San Francisco Bay area.
Thank you very much for your help.
Best Regards
Aaron
 

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Parrotlets can be very sweet - but they are bossy butts!

I recommend a pair ( no matter what species of bird is kept), and a cage no smaller than 21 x 32, such as this one pictured:



Parrotlets are pros at clicker training which is useful :)
http://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=482&highlight=clicker+training

Also of assistance, this is a link to our basic avian care guide. It has been developed over the past several years - a combination of information based on research of avian behaviorists, parrot trainers & veterinarian:

http://www.bonsaibirds.com/Documents/aviancareguide.pdf

Following this guide our flock as well as client's flocks have minimal, usually no behavior issues :)

Best of luck in your research and decisions.
 

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Like Andrea said, they can be bossy butts!

I agree with her about the pair too.

Since your daughter is young, but has "experience" with pets, a parrotlet is okay.
But:
If you get a single, it would totally rely on her as it's companion, meaning she must give it a LOT of attention, and if she ever leaves, when she gets older (these parrotlets can live up to around 20 years) and leaves, then the bird will be very depressed, and go through a very stressful time.
Also, your daughter may have other activites, and things to do during the day, and will not be able to give the bird the full attention it needs.

Getting a pair is more natural, and the bird will be much happier whether your daughter is there, or not. Also, the bird will look at your daughter as a flock member, not a companion, and will be much nicer to her. Since this is going to be your first parrotlet (??), I think you should go with the pair, and learn a LOT about them. (This forum is the place to be.) And eventually, you can get one more and keep it as a pet if you would like.

About the cage: Andrea's size reccomendation is pretty good. It's okay to keep it in a smaller cage for a week or two, but not much longer. Oscar (My blue parrotlet) used to be in a pretty small cage. I recently bought a much bigger one, and like everybody else will tell you, his personality opened up, and greatly turned for the better.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum! :):)
 

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Please don't think me mean but I think 8 is young for the resonpsiblity of a p'let. The are like amazons and if they bite and they will it maybe more than a little 8 year old is ready for. Caring for a bird is not as easy as you would think. Little kids want to hold a bird and play with it and thats all good but their nutrition is important,keeping their surroudings clean and the water dish very clean. Then there is injury, an 8 year old doesn't have the wisdom to realize the dangers to them. I think that teaching a child how to care for a bird is a huge undertaking. Eight seems very young. These little birds or for that matter any bird need to have their mental health observed, they are very intelligent creatures.
Every little kid wants to hold a bird and have one but there is alot to owning a healthy bird happy bird. They live a ling time if you care for them correctly.
 

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On this site you will find everyone loves their parrotlets, however, my first bird was a hand fed cockatiel and I think they make terrific pets. I don't feel that they go thru the changes in personalities that parrotlets do. If you get a hand fed baby, once they bond with your daughter and the family they make great pets. I don't think 8 years is too young for a cockatiel but a parrotlet yes. Birds require a lot of attention and it will be a big responsibility for her, but it sounds like she is up to it. Good Luck!
 

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Yes, I agree...cockatiels are very sweet and much easier to handle. I think they would make a much better first bird.
 

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I'm in agreement... for a first time bird owner that she will be, either budgies or 'tiels would be good. Their personalities are pretty easy going and consistant, and dont seem to get moody like some other birds do with puberty or even molting. I think a p'let would be the perfect 2nd time bird owner :)
If you do decide to get one for her, the cage andrea posted is good. And I do agree, a pair would be better for when she goes to school, one can get lonely all alone. But it might make training a bit more difficult for her.
Lots to think about... either way, whatever bird you choose, you'll love them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you!

Thank you everyone!
It has been quite informative.
The other bird we are considering is a cockatiel.
Thank you again for all the information.
 

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Hi Aaron - glad you came across the site.

I must agree with the posts not recommending the Parrotlet as the first bird. Parrotlets can be a handful and very demanding. For a small bird they have been likened to the larger Amazon in personality.

The young birds you will find in Pet Shops will be very sweet being they are so young but as they grow the can become very nippy and territorial - they have a VERY large bite for such a small bird and can draw blood. In my opinion they are not the right match for the novice bird owner.

I don't mean to paint a bad picture of them. But they do require a lot of work and a lot of research on how to keep them properly. For a starter bird they really don't fit the bill.
 

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I have one Parrotlet, a little girl. I know a little girl in my bird club that is a perfect little owner of a Parrotlet. She had wanted a P'let for months and finally got one. It is adorable to see them together. Each child and bird is diferent. I love the bond with one bird and a child might enjoy than more that two that may only be interested in each other and not the toys and people as much.

I was always with birds, dogs, guinea pigs etc. as a very young child. Just depends really. They are a handful, but my little girl is quiet. That is important to me. The Cockatiels can get loud, as least for me. They are great as a pet, but dusty.. I can't be with them long.

Make sure the dust will not be a bother for you all. Lots of baths for the bird will help. Also, an air filter.

My Chipper is a HOOT, so much fun to be with and watch. She is on my shoulder all the time. "HELPS" me in the kitchen too!

 

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Please don't think me mean but I think 8 is young for the resonpsiblity of a p'let. The are like amazons and if they bite and they will it maybe more than a little 8 year old is ready for. Caring for a bird is not as easy as you would think. Little kids want to hold a bird and play with it and thats all good but their nutrition is important,keeping their surroudings clean and the water dish very clean. Then there is injury, an 8 year old doesn't have the wisdom to realize the dangers to them. I think that teaching a child how to care for a bird is a huge undertaking. Eight seems very young. These little birds or for that matter any bird need to have their mental health observed, they are very intelligent creatures.
Every little kid wants to hold a bird and have one but there is alot to owning a healthy bird happy bird. They live a ling time if you care for them correctly.
These are all valid points - many young people tend to be selfish (I don't intend that in a condescending tone) as they simply have not learned that it isn't always what they want - but that they MUST respect the animal's needs/wants/wishes. This is SOOO true of parrotlets over some other species. Parrotlets thrive on feeling in charge, which means staying two steps ahead of them almost constantly :) Then again some people never learn this *L*
 

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On this site you will find everyone loves their parrotlets, however, my first bird was a hand fed cockatiel and I think they make terrific pets. I don't feel that they go thru the changes in personalities that parrotlets do. If you get a hand fed baby, once they bond with your daughter and the family they make great pets. I don't think 8 years is too young for a cockatiel but a parrotlet yes. Birds require a lot of attention and it will be a big responsibility for her, but it sounds like she is up to it. Good Luck!
Cockatiels are very easy going compared to parrotlets indeed :) They are more prone to go with the flow, parrotlets aren't always keen on going with the flow - which, in my eyes, is part of their charm and part of why I enjoy them so much. They are challenging ( to me in a good way!)
 

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I'm in agreement... for a first time bird owner that she will be, either budgies or 'tiels would be good. Their personalities are pretty easy going and consistant, and dont seem to get moody like some other birds do with puberty or even molting. I think a p'let would be the perfect 2nd time bird owner :)
If you do decide to get one for her, the cage andrea posted is good. And I do agree, a pair would be better for when she goes to school, one can get lonely all alone. But it might make training a bit more difficult for her.
Lots to think about... either way, whatever bird you choose, you'll love them!
Honestly, pair training has been easier for me (when they are kept properly) They have one another to rely on, it seems to ease the stress and pressure - they can do it together.

When I was new to parrots it was more difficult - I kept them in smaller cages and kept them clipped (unable to fly) They were much more difficult to train and keep trained. Skip one or two days and they'd be wild. But kept in pairs, in a large flight, flighted and well trained in the beginning and they are easier (for me)
 

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I think this is one of those situations where your child should visit a breeder or rescue that has parrotlets and just spend time with them. Some children that I have met are way more competent than some adults I have known. As a generalization, parrotlets may not be the best first choice for a child, but maybe for some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You convienced me, I will read more about cockatiels. Thank you very much. You may see me back in this forum in a few years.
 

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Your daughter is so cute. I am really happy to see another little animal lover coming along! They make great grown ups! I started my son teaching him about pets as soon as he was born. He is 27 now. He is an animal lover and very good person! He was always so sweet to our pets starting right away. I am glad you are teaching her and giving her pets. I think that is so important.

You cannot expect the kids to always feed and care for the pets, but they learn and grow and know how to care for them.

I hope you let us know what you get. We all love photos!
 

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Honestly, pair training has been easier for me (when they are kept properly) They have one another to rely on, it seems to ease the stress and pressure - they can do it together.

When I was new to parrots it was more difficult - I kept them in smaller cages and kept them clipped (unable to fly) They were much more difficult to train and keep trained. Skip one or two days and they'd be wild. But kept in pairs, in a large flight, flighted and well trained in the beginning and they are easier (for me)

I have a daughter this age, and i've seen how it is for her to train 1 bird compaired to 2, 1 is a lot easier and less frustraiting for her. I have no problem training 2, but a child is different.

Here are some picture of my daugther in a rescue shelter helping with a woodpecker and then enjoying the birds.
adorable photos!!!
 
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