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Should I return my parakeet to the store? #395856 02/19/10 05:03 PM
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mangoman Offline OP
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Hey everyone, bear with me through some exposition please.

I fell in love with having a parakeet when my dad acquired one from my stepmother. He was playful, funny, and I adored the noise he made. I didn't learn until later that he probably wasn't quite right in the head, as he was infatuated with a mirror in his cage as well as a plastic bird on a perch that he kept knocking around. Still, he was a fun little bird.

Fast forward almost a decade or so, and I get one for Christmas. I'm ecstatic, naturally. We went to petsmart, and I decided that I'd pick the first male that I saw bobbing his head. (I've heard that males are advantageous to the fairer sex in just about every way). Wasn't as simple as I hoped; the employee that got one out at the time managed to scare away 100% of them into abject terror just by having his hand occupy the same physical space. Since they were flapping around spastically, I reverted my decision and just let him get whichever he could catch first. His fingers formed a cage that could pin one down. I took him up on his offer to clip the feathers before we took him home. (retrospectively, bad move) He was then placed in a small, dark box as we took him home.

I tried to be empathetic. Here was a timid bird, scared out of his wits as he's forcefully taken from all his bird friends and stuffed in a cramped space, with no idea that he'll be put in a noticeably smaller cage and have bigger, scarier-looking humans for company. I didn't exactly feel like I was rescuing a poor creature from a shelter.

So we've tried to help him cope. We replaced his food from the pet store with something a bit less cartoonish, gave him some toys (none of which he likes), cuttlebone, etc. I want to give him a bigger cage, but we're kinda strapped on money, I can't drive so no job, and it seems like a big investment for something that seems perpetually miserable in our company. He enjoys his cage a lot more than us, fluttering to it whenever it enters eyesight. Can't imagine why; once he's in he motionlessly, silently stares.

I've asked my mom to return him, seeing as he was probably happier there. She refused, noting how much everyone loved him for his incredible cuteness, not to mention the $100 or so we spent getting him some things. Nonetheless I just feel selfish keeping around a pet that seems constantly afraid of our every move, adorable though he may be.

Okay, all done. Sorry. Anyway, what do you think I should do?

Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: mangoman] #395857 02/19/10 07:41 PM
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Jessica Cole Offline
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Hello, Mangoman! Welcome to the forum! smile

Well, it depends on how long you've had him if you want to return him. At the petsmart in my hometown, they give a 14 Day gaurantee notice, which is basically saying that if you are not satisfied with your pet within the 14 day period, then you may return it and get your money back.

However, there are other options, I believe.

First of all, how long have you had him? --->> It is natural for a parakeet to be still and silent for a few days. Because of my budgie's circumstances back in September when I first got him, it took at least a week to get him to become comfortable. So, don't feel frustrated if it is taking a long time.

Second of all, have you attempted finger training? --->> Finger training takes a lot of patience and time. You should start out with talking to your budgie softly and putting your hand in the cage for a few minutes and then removing it to let him know that you are not a threat. Note: A parakeet does not trust right away. It takes a great amount of patience!

Third of all, do you have a mirror for him? --->> Single birds should have a mirror near by to feel comfortable. My budgie has a mirror and he is completely content with the other budgie that is inside of it. However, if you want your little friend to befriend you first, then you should remove the mirror during finger training or not have one in at all.

Fourth of all, how big is the cage? --->> Single birds do not need very big cages unless they are going to be in one 24/7. (Which I do not recommend keeping a budgie in a cage 24/7 if you want him/her to have a good life.) My budgie is not in a very spacy cage right now, because I have him out most of the time for excercise and fun.

Clipping the feathers while you were at the store was, indeed, probably not a good idea. Capturing and being thrown in a box is already stressful for the bird itself. You could have probably clipped the wings yourself. There are lots of helpful sites online. Just google 'parakeet wing clipping'...you will get diagrams of the wing and the place you should cut along without causing injury. Anyway, we can not change the past. What's done is done. The bird is at your house now and it is your job to make your budgie as comfortable as possible.

I admire your compassion. It is good to think about these things, but there are better options.

There are many people who can help you on this forum and I'm sure they can add something that I have missed. smile

Hope everything goes well!

~ Jazz and Jess





Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: Jessica Cole] #395859 02/19/10 07:46 PM
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Jessica Cole Offline
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I found this very helpful when I was just beginning with my first parakeet. Here is a video about wing clipping --->>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2ogVDBAVsU

Here is also a site with a helpful diagram --->>

http://birdmart.com/reference/wings.html

(I know your budgie's wings are already clipped, but this may be useful for the future if you decide to keep your budgie! Hope this helped!)




Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: Jessica Cole] #395862 02/19/10 07:59 PM
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illusive Fantasy Offline
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hi there...i see you had your bird since christmas..he / she is still new to everything and everyone..and its all about moving slowly and being patient .
However, i do not advocate clipping wings yourself without much experience and being shown how to do it a few times first by someone with experience..actually i dont advocate clipped wings at all but the feathers will grow back after the first moult..
One person now should be the one involved with the training..once the bird becomes relaxed enough and you will know as he / she will also show interest in others in the family then they can become involved..
I also dont advocate a mirror right away BEFORE any training is done to a great extent as they become more interested in only themselves and will gravatate to bonding with their mirror image instead of the family flock..
Size of cage is important even for one bird but so is also saving money for vet emergencies..which should be among your priorities and i hope is..the minimum space i feel for a single budgie on cage space is 24x14x22inches in height..24inches for length..and then dont counter intend the benefit of space with over crowding of ladders toys this n that because now you once again just restricted free movement..a ladder and couple of extra perches and food cups with a couple of toys ..swing fills up the space pretty quickly.
Dont place the cage in the heaviest traffic area at first..with close comings and goings being only a couple feet from the cage but yet in a family orientated room.
Cages of that size are not that expensive..if you cant get one right away keep eyes open in flea mkts when they start or you can get pretty good used ones on ebay..only thing is keep in mind shipping cost..
Its really nice to hear you have really connected with all the trauma a bird goes through when first brought home so many dont..and expect within a week they have this perfect little bird.
Food be sure you offer a variety with a good mix..also do your homework on pellet feeding and other types of food..a good recommendation i always give is these two items which birds readily seem to accept ..thank goodness because there is so many benefits is

www.twinbeaksaviary.com

their herbal salad the smallest amount goes a long way and also on ebay

darford mini veggie-hearts which you may also find in your local pet stores but usually not in the bird dept but rather under small animal section but its good for and made even for birds...just that you will for a budgie have to crush it into more beak size eating...

hope this helped.

Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: illusive Fantasy] #395868 02/19/10 10:07 PM
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cyberbud Offline
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Read all of Lisa's info on training. Keep in mind it can take weeks or months to develop a bond of trust with your bird. He won't automatically like you...you have to work to earn his trust.

Sit outside his cage with the door open and talk to him, read or sing in a quiet voice. Get into a routine. You come home, and always sit with him for awhile. He will learn to look forward to it...birds are flock animals. He wants to be friends with the big creatures but doesn't know how.

Welcome aboard...and keep us updated!


"Many have forgotten this truth...You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: cyberbud] #395904 02/20/10 04:55 AM
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Jessica Cole Offline
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Like I said, I am still learning. There are many people on this forum who have been bird owners longer than I.

Cyberbud is right! We enjoy updates! laugh




Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: Jessica Cole] #395923 02/20/10 07:39 PM
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kksuns Offline
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Should you return him to the store?? In one word NO!!!
You haven't had him all that long. It tkes some birds longer than others to become comfortable and bond with their Person. Give him more time talk to him lots and lots. He'll come around eventually.
If you return him to the store he will have to start all over again. It's hard for them to have to change from place to place frown
Just be patient and love the lil guy.




Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: kksuns] #395927 02/20/10 09:42 PM
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baby blue Offline
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i would have to say... depends.
i just got a new baby and it is showing signs of problems that i can't deal with and don't want to put the rest at risk. sadly, little fweep is going back. if thet will treat the problem, i will be glad to take little fweep, but otherwise, i can't put the other 5 at risk.
if you have had birdie that long... some new types of stimulation and alot of time and love from you. be positive and keep trying, some keets take longer to warm up to you but you will have a best bud if you keep working with him. good luck and keep us posted!!
baby blue


baby blue
Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: mangoman] #395948 02/21/10 12:59 AM
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joandboys Offline
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It really helps to play music if he is alone during the day so he doesn't think predators are going to eat him. It stresses them and they get quiet when it is quiet.

Preferrable is putting his cage in a busy area where he can be part of the hussle and bussle. As long as you are not yelling and making sudden frightening moves he will adjust.

Just remember to not put him in the kitchen or use teflon or air sprays or candles or smoke around him. Some of these things can be deadly.

It is normal for him to clam up and sit like a statue until he feels safe and trusts you.

Cover three sides of his cage and let him see out the front. Gradually remove the cover when he gets more comfortable.

Sit by him and talk every day at the same time. Breakfast is good. Give him food and have a snack with him. Do not get a mirror until he has bonded to you. After you work with him and get him finger trained, let him sit on a perch in a closed off room and use a mirror to make him feel like he has company while you are getting him used to being around you. It is a good training tool.

Don't be discouraged, he will be worth the wait.



Cookie and Sweetie
Re: Should I return my parakeet to the store? [Re: joandboys] #396022 02/21/10 09:12 PM
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baby blue Offline
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joan is right...i leave music on all day while i am at work. they love tunes and noise. in the wild... noise is good. if things go quiet in the wild, that is a sign that trouble is afoot and to hide and be quiet.
be patient... the more time you spend with your little buddy... the more he will come around.
be loving, understanding and patient with your little friend and spend every minute you can together... soon birdie will know your routine and responding in funny and very rewarding ways. don't give up!


baby blue

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