Our new family member

This topic contains 24 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Lake District 7 years, 1 month ago.

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    As if I dont have enough to do…

    I did want hubby to have something special for his birthday( we are taking a trip to Antwerp) so I asked him if there was anything he really wanted.

    ‘ A bird ‘ ..was his answer. They always had a bird when he was a kid and he has always been fascinated by them. Since my daughter got some canaries a few months ago this interest has been re-awakened..

    Now my mum is petrified of birds but my nan had a budgie so I know them but Ive never really been involved in them…

    I did a bit of looking around and decided I could be doing with a small flappy thing too hysterical, and we really couldn’t afford a parrot so maybe a cockatiel???

    I offered my idea to OH and he seemed quite happy for me to go ahead and arrange that for him..
    Then yesterday morning my friend arrived for a cuppa..She seemed as if she had something on her mind and then suddenly asked ‘ do you want to buy my parrot’?
    I hadn’t even mentioned to her about getting a bird..

    She has only had it 3 weeks but it doesn’t seem to be bonding with her and its already bitten her boyfriend..So he didn’t want it in the house anymore. She knows it will be well cared for here and OH hardly took breath before saying yes.

    So yesterday the bird and cage arrived much to the amazement of the dogs..
    An African grey ,six years old and badly neglected for the last two its a bit of a manky looking thing, its pulled quite a few feathers out which are now starting to grow back slowly.. It can talk a bit and makes lots of clicking and whistle sounds..
    Un-used to fresh fruit it tastes and throws away fruit eating mainly seed.(not good)
    So the bird has issues..
    OH has also decided he doesn’t like the name. Everyone with a parrot in this country calls it Coco and this is no exception.. OH says its Basil , as in Basil Fawlty (another nutcase).

    So we are plunged into a crash course learning parrot care..I checked about the name change and that shouldn’t be a problem.
    We did that with our dogs too, sometimes its a relief to have a name change as the old one is often the one associated with abuse.. The animal only hears its name when being shouted at or punished.

    I think by this time next year we should have seen some improvement..Basil seems to respond ok with me although Ive been told he didnt like women..He calls to OH when he leaves the room and seems fascinated by the dogs..

    I cant post a photo yet. I don’t want to scare the poor thing by flashing a camera at it just yet..So the picture is what it should/will look like!

    Any advice on parrot care gladly received :cheese:

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    heheheh I would love to hear the words it pick up


    OH let the bird out last night while he high pressure washed the cage..I doubt thats been done in years.. :-/

    So the bird does follow some commands but not all and it went up the curtain and sat on the ploe..so
    Q how do you get a bird off the curtain pole?

    A you wait til the bird decides to come down…

    I asked it to come down and was surprised when I got a grumpy No.. as answer!

    Then it come off the curtain but sat on top its cage ..no problem the dogs ignored it and after 3 hours it went back inside..

    We are planning to let it out every evening so that it will get used to the idea and the command to go inside…Nothing ventured nothing gained!


    Well we’ve had Basil 10 days now and things are moving along..
    I’m becoming quite fond of the little guy. Hes out every evening and he does step up onto OH arm..

    Hes not trying to bite anymore..OH did get bitten but only when the person who sold him to us came round and called him by his old name. Basil started to shake and OH went to comfort him but Basil hit out and bit OH in the heel of his hand.

    He isn’t so fond of me but that’s because when the first owner got married it was his wife who insisted that Basil be locked away.
    He is terrified of sticks or brooms walk past with a stick or broom and he cowers and shakes.

    He likes music and Ive caught him whistling along with the radio.. He does talk but only when facing the wall and we cant quite make out what he’s saying so I left a camera running yesterday..
    Deaf and Dumb while we are home once we leave the house he’s talking non stop.
    Most of what he says is English come on ..good boy.. ben ben ..walk on (all me calling the dogs)give us a kiss, hallo, hallo darling, cuppa coffee, magic , cool, thats not nice, .
    Then there’s the noises ,, he does the beeep from an answering machine then he mutters something then 3 short beeps. He clucks and clicks his tongue just like I do when calling the dogs and he makes the noise the phone makes when you put the handset in the cradle..
    He went on for 45 minutes non stop.. Then my daughter came in and he zipped his beak!!
    Im not sure if hes just shy or afraid to talk in front of us..

    Hes eating well and getting used to fresh fruit which we give him daily..He hates his showers but it has to be done or else he will get itchy and dusty..

    His cage is awful though when you first look at it , it looks biggish then you realise that he cannot spread his wings its almost like us being locked in a toilet cubicle all out lives..
    So we have ordered a new cage its a big corner cage and will hopefully give him some room to move about in even though he is outside every evening now.

    We just have to persuade him to move into it once it arrives… Im thinking of not putting food in the old cage but only in the new and making sure its yummy food then once he gets used to going in for meals Ill move his stuff over …It might take a day or two or maybe a week or two but we will get there its scary for him I know so we are not pushing too much.

    Strange how a little grey bird no bigger than a pigeon can take over your life so much. OH keeps saying hes glad we were able to take on a lost soul again and with us Basil will be cherished..I see a long road ahead but we will get there…at Basil’s pace!

    Below a picture showing the style of his old cage his is minus the play perch on top …and the new corner cage…Plus the boy himself..

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    I know zilch about keeping birds, Cassandra, but he’s a handsome fellow alright!

    I have this lovely image in my head of you telling him it’s bedtime and him saying “no” and looking all grumpy. πŸ˜†

    Cue parrot jokes……..


    Oh he’s so cute Cassandra, glad to hear that he is adjusting to your family, but how could he not with all the love and attention he is getting. I don’t know anything about birds either other than the fact they can live for a very long time, some as long as 50 years. That is amazing. I do happen to know a couple of good parrot jokes though.


    A burglar sneaks in a dark bar…(after hours) and goes right to the cash register. A voice calls out, “GOD IS WATCHING YOU”. He looks all around and sees nothing so returns to jimmying the cash drawer. Again, the voice says, “GOD IS WATCHING YOU”. The burglar looks around and finally sees a parrot in a cage and says, “Oh, Hi Polly. You startled me.” “Hey” said the parrot. “My name ain’t Polly. It’s John the Baptist.” The burglar snorted, “Who in the world named you John the Baptist?”. Parrot says, “The same guy who named that Rottweiler over there GOD!”


    Well the new cage has been a long time coming the one we ordered was no longer available so he he is in his new cage ..

    Love the joke Kamille πŸ˜†

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    Oops Sorry here is Basil in his new cage

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    I saw the pic with your OH and thought yeh I’ve finally converted cass hehehe


    Oh dont worry Caz Ive still got the old cage..:lol:


    The boys certainly look happy with their new cage, Looks like they’ve settled right in Cassandra…


    I just thought Id give you all an update..
    Basil is doing relly well and talking a lot more..He repeats whole sections of phone conversations I hear him make a beep noise then ‘ hallo….yeahhh ok .Oh? (then laughter and )yep ok byeee.

    Its so funny listening to him he still talks mainly when we are out of the room but he is beginning to say the odd word when we are around he will say hallo everytime the phone goes and he does call the dogs..

    The one thing Ive learned from him is that our house has a lot of laughter Ive noticed that Basil laughs in many different ways and tones some I know are me and OH the rest ?? who knows.

    Last night I happened to be laying on the floor and he crept down the side of the cage toward Oscar who was laying just out of reach…he did get a pluck of hair as Oscar got up but there was no damage done..

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    Thanks for sharing these photos! He is such a beautiful bird.

    I had a budgie once but hated the thing. It would squark like crazy and was generally unsociable. I fled to Australia to get away from it.

    I didn’t abandon it though – we gave it to a breeder who later got in touch to say it was the best breeding budgie he’d ever had!


    Handsome boy ja…. many years ago I inherited an African Grey when my mom’s sister passed on. OMGosh it was quite nightmarish – talk about ‘biting the hand that feeds you’. He must have been in mourning… spent his days screeching and calling out her name incessantly, pulled out his feathers and as mentioned, at every opportunity bit, charged anyone who was in close proximity! After several months.. six months or so, I gave him to a Vet – believe it took many, many months before this bird settled.


    Dont swear in front of it. Believe me you’ll pay!

    And try and tease him into eating the fruit. Offer him some, when he doesnt eat it, eat some yourself to show him its ok to eat. In the meantime, try giving him vitamin drops in his water, or even better on his food so he wont notice the flavour as much.

    ^^ Highjacked advice from friend with a small zoo of birds

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