Friday, January 25, 2013

For The Birds

|Credit: [x]|
I wanted to bring up an issue I was working through lately. You know how there are certain pet stores that have no qualms shoving a good 12+ budgies in a cage that would normally be too small for one bird? I won't name names -- but my one budgie, Quill, came from one such store. The other two, Gimli and Olórin, came from a store that created a habitat that had enough space for their ~16 birds.

The price of budgies is relatively low. My birds were $18, $25 and $25 respectively. People think that they are disposable creatures -- that they can be shoved in a cage and looked at. And when they find that the birds make just too much noise to be "pretty," they get rid of them. They re-home them and give up. The budgie is constantly stressed; changing homes and environments. The only time a person comes around is to force them into a small box to go somewhere else or to take their food dishes away or change the papers in the bottom of the cage. They are largely ignored otherwise. All because their owners just don't understand.

I've always admired those who had larger parrots -- who could care for these birds as well as they deserve. I have always wished to have birds of my own -- and now that I do and have been researching -- the carelessness I read about is heartbreaking.

Budgies are not disposable. They can live anywhere from an average of 8 ~ 15 years depending on their diet, stress level, environment, and also their activity levels. They need attention, even if you have other budgies housed with them. If you don't act like part of their flock and present yourself in their lives for a couple hours a day, they will be completely terrified of you. There will be no training, no talking, and no calm birds. If you feed them just seeds and don't attempt other things -- no matter how picky the birds may be, it's just the same as feeding your cat those "treats" that come in pouches -- and that's it. If you don't have patience, these are not the pets for you. Plain and simple.

There is no excuse to not research. The "this is my young child's first pet -- not mine" excuse doesn't work either -- because the child can't read up on the topic as well as you should be able to. In fact, parrots shouldn't be anyone's first pet without the proper supervision.

In short -- they're not "JUST PARAKEETS" -- and my roommate at school would agree with me, I'm sure. Having the three of them is a project. They're intelligent, interesting little creatures. If you do your research and have a heart, they are rewarding pets. Really. They all have different personalities and may show they love you back -- or they may not. They may be easy to train, or they may not. Patience and understanding is key.


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