Young parrot owners

This is a word of advice to anyone who still lives in their parents house and is considering a parrot. Just make sure your WHOLE family is in on it. That does not mean make sure you convinced them all. If you have to convince your parents, than maybe a parrot isn’t a good choice for the time being. I was under the influence I could convince my parents and everything would be okay. Turns out, they weren’t willing to base their life around a cockatoo. Make sure no one is allergic to dander either, which was about half my family, unless you wish to have an air purifier running all the time. Even if your parents know what they are getting into, it might be a better idea to adopt one when you are done with college or if you’re religious like me, your mission. So, if you have to have a parrot before you move out, just make sure your whole family is willing and knowledgeable about the responsibility, not convinced. My parents are much to orderly and discipline centered to be comfortable with a parrot, so I will wait until I’m in my own house, especially because I will leave for my mission in four years, and will be gone for two. You have to consider these things if you absolutely have to have one at a young age. Like most teenagers, I thought “That won’t happen to me, everything will work out” and whadaya know, three months later Lilly was back at the shelter. You also need to think about space, money, and time. Won’t you have a job and go to college? Will you be able to pay for a parrot while paying for a tuition?Just something to consider.

Thank you for such an excellent post and advice.

This is a bad day. I am so sorry that you had to give up Lilly. We will miss her with you. Console yourself that she is in a shelter that will care for her. It is a shame that there are no members in your area who could take her.

You are a very grounded young man and will make an excellent care-giver for a lucky parrot one day, Matt. In the meantime, maybe you can volunteer at a parrot rescue - they are always happy for somebody kind and willing to spend some time with them, the poor babies.

Matt, you make perfectly valid points but unfortunately too late. My question to you is would you have listened to this very advice a few months back? What can folks tell to children (and/or parents) who refuse to heed this sort of advice? Thanks for sharing.

I can definitely identify with your situation Matt. I am a young parrot owner myself. My parents had parrots years before I was born (all of which were sold or passed on to other people so their track record wasn’t great to begin with). My mom decided she wanted to get a parrot again and fell in love with a baby cockatoo. Being 15, I was just ecstatic at the possibility of getting a pet since we had never been allowed (my brother has asthma and is allergic to all furry things, and it turns out bird dander as well…). So we got this cute little bird, with the understanding that since he would likely outlive my parents he would become mine once I was through school and settled with a house. Several years later it became apparent that the novelty had worn off for them, and they were no longer interested in having a bird. It was a tie-down, because they wanted to downsize and become snow birds and didn’t want the responsibility, mess, or noise. So they wanted to sell him, and I was devastated. Being in undergrad and working nearly full time I couldn’t afford an apartment but they made it clear that he could not stay any longer. I begged my boss to let him live at the clinic I work at, and he did for 8 months with me stopping in every day before school to get him ready for the day and after school to spend time with him and put him to bed. Then my parents sold the house and bought a smaller one that conveniently had no room for me in it, so I moved in with my boyfriend and brought my 'too along too. Less than a year later I got into vet school and moved to Canada with him and we live in an apartment here. It’s been really difficult to accommodate him, and he’s been such a great sport about it this whole time. As hard as it might have been for you, you didn’t make a wrong decision to give your bird up. I’m not sure sometimes if I should have done that. It’s definitely costly (it’s going to be roughly $600 just to get him back and forth across the border with me for Christmas, and I specifically pay for a 2 bedroom apartment so he has his own room to sleep in while I’m up late studying) and time consuming (I come straight home after class to spend time with him, missing out on a lot of extra labs and study groups). Unfortunately people don’t do enough research when it comes time to get a parrot and the birds are the ones that end up suffering because they can’t fit into our lifestyles. Most people would not do what I’ve done for my bird. You’re very mature and strong to stand up and recognize your mistakes and to make a selfless decision for your bird. Hopefully you can arrange to get her back when you are in a more stable situation, since it sounds like you’ll be a great parrot owner when you’re able to.

Wolf wrote:Thank you for such an excellent post and advice.Thanks

liz wrote:This is a bad day. I am so sorry that you had to give up Lilly. We will miss her with you. Console yourself that she is in a shelter that will care for her. It is a shame that there are no members in your area who could take her.I’m not sure if there were others around us who would take her, but the shelter (Best Friends animal society) said to bring her back if things didn’t work out. Frankly, I trust them more than someone I don’t know.

Pajarita wrote:You are a very grounded young man and will make an excellent care-giver for a lucky parrot one day, Matt. In the meantime, maybe you can volunteer at a parrot rescue - they are always happy for somebody kind and willing to spend some time with them, the poor babies.Thanks. The shelter is five hours away, so going there is somewhat of a rare occasion. Although, I think there might be one just an hour away, but I haven’t managed much information about them. But I will definately take your advice.

Michael wrote:Matt, you make perfectly valid points but unfortunately too late. My question to you is would you have listened to this very advice a few months back? What can folks tell to children (and/or parents) who refuse to heed this sort of advice? Thanks for sharing.To be honest, I don’t know if I would’ve taken the advice to heart. Teenagers, including me some times, tend to have a strange mindset that nothing bad can happen to them. I feel like that one event has made me more humble and practical. Before however, I was something along the lines of this “Don’t worry I’ve done my research. I’m responsible.” I think having them volunteer for a whole day with their family might change their mind, but that excludes people who are ready, but don’t see the troubles and obstacles in the future (college, mission, financial problems).