M.. asks from Anchorage, AK on May 27, 2010
Can Anyone Give Me Some Advice on a Pet Bird?
My daughter loves birds, so I have been toying with the idea of getting her a pet bird for her second birthday. I know nothing about birds, and have never owned one so I don't know if this is a good idea or not. I was thinking of a parakeet maybe. Does anyone have a pet bird that can tell me if this is an appropiate pet for a two year old? She understands "gentle hands" very well, so I am not worried about her hurting the bird. I am more worried about the bird hurting her. Do pet birds peck a lot? Is there a breed of bird that would be better than another breed? Are they hard to take care of? Are they prone to getting sick, or could they possibly make a child sick? Is this a terrible idea?
Thanks for any help anyone can give me!
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the great advice ladies! After reading your responses I have decided that a bird is a bad idea. Maybe when she is older, but not now. Thanks again!
A.S. answers from Denver on May 27, 2010
Why not get a birdfeeder for outside where she can watch them? Or a hummingbird feeder? She can be 'responsible' about helping you fill it and it's not devastating if you forget a day or two.
Birds can also pass along a lung disease, personally I hate the things in the house. As others have said: they stink, they're messy, they're loud, ugh. I'd rather live with a crocodile in my tub than a bird in a cage. GL!
T.G. answers from St. Louis on May 27, 2010
I don't think pets are good presents for children, especially someone so young. If she is interested in birds it would probably be better to get her movies, books, stuffed animals, etc.... instead of a pet. If interaction is what you are looking for, it would be a better idea to take her to a zoo.
I have reaised birds - finches, parakeets and love birds. My FIL also had a parrot.
I can tell you that birds are very very messy and loud. If you are purchasing a parakeet, lovebird,cockatail(spelled it wrong I'm sure) or parrot from a pet store, more than likely it will be a very long time before your daughter can handle it. If you are looking for a bird she can touch, you will have to find a breeder that is hand raising them.
Before you purchase a bird, you should really think about this. A 2 year old gets bored - really fast. How long will it be before the newness wears off and the bird is forgotten about? Who is going to clean the cage EVERY day. Birds get sick very easily if they are not cared for properly.
I also recommend you educate yourself BEFORE you buy the bird. Go online and research how to properly care for the bird. You will be surprised that there is much more involved than just throwing some seed in a cup and refilling the water!
3 moms found this helpful
N.L. answers from Little Rock on May 27, 2010
A good starter bird is a parakeet. A bird that is caged often and not handled from the beginning will become biters and be aggressive. They are hard to take care of but they need daily attention and not just left in a cage to stare at. Also DO NOT feed them seed! Bird seed that sell in grocery stores and all your regular run of the mills stores is junk and will actually shorten the lifespan of the bird and can cause alot of health problems too. Use PELLETS! Zupreem is a great brand and birds really like it as its colorful like fruity pebbles and actually has a scent like it too. Bird like fruits and veggies too along with some occassional pasta. Do NOT get a cage that is labeled as being a certain breed cage as companies that label cages to FIT certain types of birds are simply just as a guideline. The bigger the cage the better and the less behavior issues you will have. Also small cages can cause damage to their wings and their tails as well. Birds need toys and they need their toys changed and moved often to also stop them from developing behaviorial issues. Anyways I could go on and on in this post so if you have any other questions feel free to message me! We had 3 large birds and used to go to bird shows all the time. We were forced to get rid of our birds when my first son was born as he was HIGHLY allergic to the dander of the birds and wasn't able to breathe. :-( Just know that they are a lifetime pet that needs care daily and not a novelty pet to be the greatest thing when you first get it only to be left and neglected after a few months of having it. I have seen this waaaay too many times as has my friend who runs a bird rescue :-(
1 mom found this helpful
K.B. answers from Houston on May 27, 2010
I don't know anything about birds, but my MIL has a Quaker Parrot that we all (except for my MIL) absolutely hate. Let me just say, that my guess is most of the problems we all have with the bird are a direct result of how my MIL chooses to treat the bird. Perhaps better habits from the owner would make it more tolerable. She places the bird on her shoulder all the time when she is at home and then walks all around the house with this thing. As birds will do, it poops whereever and whenever it wants to. She wears a towel on her shoulder under the bird, but the bird doesn't always hit it. Also, when in the cage the bird is LOUD. It squawks and carries on like crazy. Placing a cover over the cage only helps a little. The cage must be cleaned regularly or it becomes totally disgusting and my MIL (being 70) doesn't necessarily clean it as often as she should. The big downside for us to this particular breed is the lifespan. Guess who has been asked to take the thing when my MIL dies? Yep, she's already been told that's not going to happen :-)
Also, when I was a young child my parents did get us a bird. It was returned after about 3 months because my mother was tired of taking care of it and the 4 of us kids thought it was a boring pet so we were getting nothing out of it.
1 mom found this helpful
L.D. answers from Albany on May 27, 2010
As someone whose mom and aunt have had a bunch of parakeets and cockateils, I can tell you, I will NEVER get a pet bird for my child. They are messy and loud as someone else said. They CAN peck/nip hard so unless you go the route of breeder (expensive) where it is held since it's born, you are taking a chance in her getting hurt. Also, I have just come to have a personal issue with the things being caged up. They were created in a way they could fly and to keep them, we have to clip their wings and keep them in a cage. :( My mom's bird goes NUTS when he hears birds outside and she will get tired of it after a while and tell him to be quiet 1) like that works and 2) I don't know what she expects. He probably wants to be outside with THEM.
If she loves birds so much, make bird feeders with her. You can use bagels cut in half or pinecones. Spread peanut butter on it and sprinkle with bird seed. Then hang them up near a window she can see out of. She'll get a real kick out of watching the birds eat HER food she made them. :)
P.W. answers from San Francisco on May 27, 2010
No, they are not prone to getting sick, but they aren't really much of a pet for a two year old. They won't peck her, really, but she can't do much more than look at a bird. I suggest a cat, something she can hold and pet.
I have about 20 birds, so I know about birds. If you do get a parakeet, please get two so it has company, and don't get a too small cage. Also, unless you raise them from a baby, they are almost never really "tame."
A.M. answers from San Francisco on May 27, 2010
When my son was two, he always wanted to pet our cat. The cat had no patience, however, for a two year old. So we found him a cat stuffed animal, which became his favorite of all times -- and he could pet it whenever he wanted. I really would not recommend a bird unless you really want a bird yourself; I assure you it will end up being your pet!
B.C. answers from Norfolk on May 27, 2010
A pair of finches might be more what you are looking for:
C.S. answers from Cincinnati on May 29, 2010
Don't get your 2 yo a bird. They are very messy and you'll be the one cleaning their cages,etc. Instead, get season passes to someplace that allows you to "feed" birds. Some aquariums and zoos have a "feed the lorekeets" section where you purchase a small cup of nectar and the birds come and sit on your hand and your head and drink the nectar.