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Best Family Parrot

Discussion in 'Parrot Chatter' started by LemonZaz, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered


    I initially came here asking after pionus parrots. I picked them because i have two young children and read they are good flock birds and are affectionate. Upon further research ive also read that Quakers, Meyers and indian ringnecks are also good at tolerating children. A bird that can talk, like the ringneck would be a bonus but ultimately its about the one that would fit our family best.
    Obviously my children would never be left alone with the bird and to a certain extent its about socialization. However, as a general rule, which would you suggest is better suited for a young family?

    Indian ringneck

    Thank you
  2. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    you have missed cockatiel. they are a parrot, a small one but a real parrot and are some of the most character packed, sweet natured birds who can also sometimes learn to talk. (not always mind!) I really really rate them- smart, clever, not too loud, not nippy (if handtamed and handled) you can even have 2 handreared which is even better as more love to spread round and they will keep each other company while you are out.
  3. Ararajuba

    Ararajuba Regular Member

    Haven't kept any of these species, but we were quite interested in the pionus too (we are planning to get a new bird soon ourselves) as it seemed a little more suitable to have around our own young child (and future children) due to often having a more placid temperament and being a bit quieter than many other birds in its size range. A suitable temperament cannot be guaranteed with pionus though. @Roz might have something to say about her blue-headed pionus Kobe here. He's defniitely not the kind of bird I would want around my daughter, but there are various factors involved in his behaviour including his upbringing and early training.

    We have a daughter of 19 months old. She seems generally more comfortable with smaller birdies (our new budgies, and the conures that we've had longer than her, which are roughly cockatiel sized) and often goes to talk to them/look at them. She seems to like the in-laws' cockatiels too. She sometimes wants to scratch the conures because she's seen us doing it, but I haven't allowed that kind of interaction yet, as the one who will accept scratches is also the one who is liable to bite, and they are also small enough for her to hurt them accidentally - too much risk of something going wrong or someone getting hurt at her age. When the conures have been screeching a lot she sometimes goes to tell them off by shaking her finger at them and saying "Naughty Birdies!" which seems about right! She seems to find her great aunt's Amazon a little intimidating, or at any rate less interesting than our smaller birds - I'm not sure whether this is due to his much larger size, or because she's just not so used to seeing him as our own birds.

    One thing that might be worth bearing in mind is that any bird which is a very good mimic, particularly if it has a preference for loud or shrill noises, is likely to enjoy mimicking the sound of a child screaming, so if you have very young children you may be hearing their tantrums on repeat for many years to come, possibly as long as the bird lives! Amazons seem especially prone to mimicking this type of sound. The great aunt's Amazon immediately made a very fair imitation of our daughter's loud scream, as soon as he heard it for the first time, and we have heard quite a few child screams from him since, despite him rarely having seen her since then, let alone heard her crying. I think that hearing such an exciting noise just once was enough for it to enter his permanent repertoire, unfortunately! One reason we were interested in the pionus is precisely that they are not usually very loud birds, and tend also to prefer mimicking quieter sounds.
    LemonZaz and sunnyring like this.
  4. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    :welcome: LemonZaz! Love the name! :biggrin: Also love that you are doing your research now before actually getting a bird/parrot.

    I did a lot of research on Pionus before getting Kobe. What I found is that almost everything you read in books about Pionus is written by people who don't live with them as pets and therefore is inaccurate. I wanted a Pionus because of their "good nature" and "gentleness". Eventually I joined a Pionus forum (which doesn't exist any longer) and got the truth. They can be just as aggressive as any other parrot - males even more so and some females too. I was advised to go for a hen if I were adamant on getting one. Kobe was sold to me as a hen. After only a few days of living with him, it became obvious to me he was a cock and later DNA tests proved this so. I adore Kobe. He is funny, into everything, affectionate but more aggressive than any of my Amazons. Hormones effect him a lot. I would not trust him with anyone let alone children. When I have visitors he has to go into his cage. He hates my brother and will fly to attack him. He also used to attack the Amazons before they stood up to him. I know of aggressive females, but this is the White-capped. White-capped and Dusky are smaller and said to be more fiesty, which I think overall is true. Yet, there are some really laid back males that I know of. If you get a rehome, then you will more easily be able to see the character. If you were to go for a Pionus I would suggest you get a Maximilan's, Blue-headed or Bronze-winged hen. Bronze-winged are harder to find in the UK.

    Meyers too were another I researched. They were smaller in real life than I expected (smaller than Pionus). Again they can be really laid back, but I know of a couple of males who were extremely aggressive before training using positive reinforcement.

    Personally, I would go for a Cockatiel or maybe a Quaker. Another to consider might be a Green Cheeked Conure... can be a little nippy?
    Ararajuba, sunnyring and LemonZaz like this.
  5. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    also consider noise level. I had a pair of ringnecks and had to rehome as it was them leave the house or my husband as the noise got to him badly. my husband is a very tolerant man but the pitch they created was more then he could bare-and it was relentless- near enough all day. get a recording of whatever species you fancy kicking off and play it for an hour solid at true to life level and see how you feel about it.
    LemonZaz likes this.
  6. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered

    Thank you everyone, for your experiences and advice. Lots of really good points to consider!
    I hadnt thought about a bird mimicing tantrums, and with a 2 year old and 3 month old, that would be awful haha! Really interesting to hear your experience of a pionus too @Roz .
    I think safety wise in terms of my children then, im leaning more toward a cockatiel. Same with the noise level - a bird mimicking screams or relentless noise, probably would drive me nuts!
    Perhaps its best to leave a larger, more talkative parrot for the future when the kids have grown and go for a cockatiel for now.

    Does anyone know of a reputable breeder that hand rears, in the UK, for these birds? Preferably Devon? Id like to chat to a breeder and get a feel for the breed :)
    sunnyring likes this.
  7. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    make it 2! cockatiels are wonderful and 2 is double fun :)
    dianaT likes this.
  8. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    I wouldn’t recommend a ringneck from your list, unless you can find a very trust worthy breeder who has hand tamed and socialised the bird well. There are so many selling ringneck these days, and many are aviary not handled birds, wing clipped, and are not well suited to the companion bird situation.
  9. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Sign of the Owl usually have teils too.
  10. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered

    I would only buy a hand reared bird to be honest - dont want any chances taken.

    I found a lady with a hand reared cockatiel ready soon - beautiful happy little bird, but she's charging £180 which is bit steep imo!
    I then spoke to sign of the owl and he too advised a cockatiel or a pionus (bred his first this year and loves them!). He lets his birds rest in the winter though and wont be breeding until spring. Whilst im excited and impatient to get a bird lol, i liked that he only breeds them in spring. Shows care & kmowledge :) His would be £75 & are also hand reared.

    Ive definitely decided on a cockatiel now
  11. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    £180 for a teil! That’s crazy!
  12. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Good grief £180 !!!!
  13. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    highest price I have ever seen for a hand reared cockatiel is £100. 180 is far too much.
    there are plenty of people doing hand reared cockatiels so take your time and be choosy. its advantage of not having something mega rare is there is more of them!
    LemonZaz likes this.
  14. Stinkie

    Stinkie Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Told you she's expensive!
    LemonZaz likes this.
  15. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    I am pleased you decided on a cockatiel. They are wonderful birds. I miss my Cheeky loads. He was a massive character in a small bird. They are as entertaining as larger parrots, if not more. They give soo much love and affection. Cheeky would sit on my nephew and let him feed him. The kids would giggle as they thought Cheeky was funny. He was the favourite when people came round. Even though I have a too and ammies he was the one that the people wanted to see.
    Good luck on finding your cockatiel x
    LemonZaz, sunnyring and dianaT like this.
  16. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered

    Aw, cheeky is a cool name! He sounds delightful I think they look like little pikachus from pokemon

    I think i might have found one already Went to visit and it was very attached to its mum, but inquisitive and perched on my finger (wasnt keen on me also stroking it though, but then i am a stranger). Am going to have a think on it, but i was happy with the temperment and condition of the birds.

    What cage would you guys recommend? I would like a spacious one but since looking at cockatiel cages, cant find any i like. I found this one, but think the bar space would be too big (2cm)?

    JessCheekyMia likes this.
  17. Stinkie

    Stinkie Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    TomsMum and LemonZaz like this.
  18. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered

    Thanks, that one looks good :)

    Ive found one very similar to that with 1.6cm bar spacing but half the price. Is that still too big?
  19. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    yes too big, you want about 1cm.
    TomsMum and LemonZaz like this.
  20. LemonZaz

    LemonZaz Regular Member Registered

    Ive bought the one that you suggested, @Stinkie :) Really good size! Did you take the metal grate out? Only it says there would be a gap if its taken out & i know tiels like foraging on the ground. Not sure how i would go about raising the tray :/

    I may have also gone a bit mad & bought £60 worth of toys for a bird i don't even have yet lots of rope and wooden perches, a toy that also has calcium things, foraging toys, mirrors, bells...all sorts! Oh, and a shower perch.