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Hi, Everyone!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JackAndRob, May 18, 2019.

  1. JackAndRob

    JackAndRob Regular Member Registered

    A very good Saturday morning to you all.

    My name is Rob, a relatively new bird keeper of 3.5 years. My wife and I started with budgerigars (Basil , Pepper, Chilli), then we took in a Quaker (Bailey) last year and very recently a Jardine (Jack).

    My wife is the primary carer for the budgies. Bailey was supposed to be "my" bird, that I could occupy when my wife was handling, feeding and playing with the budgies. Unfortunately, Bailey started attacking the budgies when he was about 9 months old. He became generally aggressive and would scream the house down, pretty much all the time. The situation became unmanageable and we took the very difficult decision to rehome him. The budgies weren't happy, Bailey wasn't happy and we were stressed out of our minds trying to keep the peace. After two months of dealing with time wasters, and what I suspect were traders looking to quickly buy and resell (Bailey is a beautiful bright yellow Quaker), we found a lovely lady with Quaker experience and she took Bailey in. We've kept in regular contact and he appears to be thriving. For whatever reason, he couldn't settle with us, but a change of scenery has done wonders for him. We both wish him the best of health and happiness.

    Bailey left a big hole in our lives and despite the problems that we had with him, we miss him dearly. A chance visit to a local store for a few £pounds worth of budgie food turned out to be quite expensive because we were introduced to Jack, an incredible, extraordinary, three month old Jardine. Hand reared by a breeder with decades of experience, he took to me almost instantly. Silly tame, curious, affectionate, he was all over me in a safe side room in the store, so a deal was done and he came home with us. The shop also had a gorgeous Conure and a beautiful little Kakariki provided by the same breeder. They were equally tame and affectionate. That man really knows how to raise wonderful birds.

    Almost every piece of advice that I have read about introducing new birds to your home say that birds can be traumatised by the confines of the carrier and the journey, they don't want to leave their carrier, they are afraid of the cage that you want them to move into, everything is strange and scary, it takes a few days for a bird to settle ,etc. Jack is not one of those birds. He walked straight out of the carrier into the cage, had a mooch around, something to eat and drink (relief!), played with the toys, then perched, looking at me ( I was quietly sitting on a chair across the room), as if to say "Well come on then, what's the plan?!".

    I offered him some fruit and veg pieces and he calmly took them, slowly munching on each one and sat patiently waiting for something else. Nuts and seeds went the same way. So easy, my wife and I couldn't believe how calm and attentive he was. He watches me closely with big bright eyes, trying to suss me out and see if I had anything else for him. Treats were gratefully received, taken quietly not snatched. He is so gentle, even the smallest item, like a de-shelled sunflower seed are taken carefully, without fuss. Such a polite boy!

    Some Roudybush pellets arrived from Scarletts and I offered those to Jack. To my surprise he took to them immediately (Mmm, crunchy!) - the budgies and Bailey never did. I hand fed them at first, then dropped some on to a table for Jack to forage for, which he was happy to do. They are in a separate bowl in his cage now, so that I can monitor consumption, but he appears to have taken to them, as much as his seed mix and fresh fruit & veg. I know some birds reluctantly take to pellets (if at all), so again, this has been something very easy for us to do.

    Keen to get an expert opinion on Jack's health, I booked him in to see our local vet. We are lucky that our local clinic has an avian specialist, Adam. As is typical when he is about to examine a bird for the first time, he likes to know what is going to happen when the carrier door opens. Is the bird aggressive or timid? Will he immediately fly away? will I have to grab him in the carrier? I said that Jack will probably come out on his own, survey the room and then make a B-line for me, which is exactly what happened. He complained a little when Adam took hold of him, but the indignity of the examination didn't upset him for too long and he quietly sat on my shoulder as Adam and I chatted. Adam said that from what he could feel and see, Jack is in excellent condition, physically and mentally. We discussed avian husbandry, and Adam provided a few tips (gratefully received). Generally, he seemed satisfied that I was doing the right things for Jack.

    It is hard for us to believe that Jack has only been with us a week. It feels like he has been here for months, going from strength to strength daily. I work from home, most days, and Jack and I have been inseparable. If I do have to go into work, I can keep an eye on him using a WiFi camera, viewed from my phone. He seems fairly calm and relaxed, but he is very happy when I get home. He whistles a greeting and waits impatiently for the cage door to open. A couple of treats later and a bit of fuss, then he is a happy, cuddly boy again..

    My wife was inspired to make a "necklace of many wonderful things", from our well stocked tub of plastic and wooden bits and pieces that we use to make bird toys. I wear that while I work and Jack can spend hours playing with it, When he tires, he loves rubbing his head on my neck and chin. He likes head and neck scratches too. he is getting used to me rubbing his back and I am hoping that this will advance to the point where he will allow me to hold him in two hands, if for example I need to handle him more firmly. I don't think it will take long as our trust and friendship is building rapidly.

    We're working on the step up, set down. From a perch he can step, hop and short-fly to my hand. He is a little unsteady (he's still only a baby), but he is improving all the time. He is learning to fly to my arm and shoulder, and a table top perch too. He really enjoys learning and is quickly expanding his knowledge of his surroundings, being curious and inquisitive. Small treats like de-shelled sunflower seeds are his favourites, small enough that our fun training sessions move at a decent pace. As an extra special treat for doing something especially awesome, a pine nut and lots of praise is the reward. He gets those when he goes back into his cage for bed time and our meal times. Reluctant at first, he now understands that when I put him back, he gets a pine nut and it is working really well.

    Vocally, he is very active, but it is mainly soft and low volume (and very cute!). Before his cage opens in the morning, he greets me with lots of different whistles, pips, squeaks, and purring noises. He makes the same noises when I put him away for bed time, before I cover him.. There are other noises that could potentially turn into human voice mimicry, but he is probably far too young to start doing that. It would a lovely bonus if he did talk, but I would not be sad if he didn't as he has so many other wonderful attributes. That being said, he appears to be learning some of the whistles that I make - they are tuneful and almost pitch perfect, so he could be a talker when he has grown up a bit.

    To finish, I will say a bit about something that amuses and irritates me in equal measure. I believe that Jardines were "discovered" in central Africa by William Jardine Jr, in the mid-1800s. He brought one home to the U.K., introduced it to his mates who said "wow, that's new!". He replied "Yeah, my dad named him after me - the Jardine Parrot". I bet the indigenous people of the Congo were very relieved. They'd probably been calling it "thing" for thousands of years. Probably not, but Jardine Jr could at least have sounded them out before attaching a common name. Western arrogance. At least budgerigars were effectively named by the native Australians. I didn't know at the time, but Billy J also named his bird Jack. Pure coincidence, but we tried a few names on our lad and it seemed fitting :)

    Wow, a long intro! Thanks for sticking with me and I look forward to sharing further experiences with you all, contribute to the community and gain valuable knowledge from it. I'd love to hear from fellow Jardine keepers, and I will be checking out all of the forums for any information that will help me to be a better bird daddy for my Beautiful Baby Jacky Boy!

    Best wishes,
    Jack (Peep!) & Rob :)
    cazimodo, Dave Smith, Roz and 3 others like this.
  2. DizzyBlue

    DizzyBlue Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Hi and welcome to the forum :)
    Sounds like you have a lovely little sweetie there. Is Jack dna sexed or are you presuming he's a he?
  3. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    :welcome: We shall be looking forward to updates on dear Jack and photos too.:thumbsup:
  4. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    Hello and welcome, I loved your introduction and how the bird was named after its founder but when you said about the Budgerigar and it Aboriginal name and know it English translation (good to eat) it dose not sound so charming, Americans just call them Parakeets. you have a lovely bird and I love to hear more about the progress, thanks for Joining but we all love Photos and Budgies are great members of the parrot family, one of the birds I will not take on is a quaker as I have quite a few flock members and they have a reputation of being dominant although I love there character I can tell I was a hard choice to make I am pleased you found it a great home
  5. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Hi and :welcome: to the forum. Well what a lovely post to read and sounds like Jack has been well reared and socialised.
    One thing I would recommend is that you also get him used to some in cage time on days when you are home, so that he gets to learn to amuse himself and be busy in his cage, foraging and playing with toys, etc.....as you don’t want him to become totally fixated on being with you all of them time, as this can get difficult at maturity when the hormones kick in.
  6. Wendy Cooper-Wolfe

    Wendy Cooper-Wolfe Regular Member Registered

    Welcome, You have found and joined a wonderfully informed community here - I am constantly amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience people have and have learned such a lot from people here. Loook forward to hearing more about Jack.
    TomsMum likes this.
  7. JackAndRob

    JackAndRob Regular Member Registered

    Thank you all for your messages. I feel very welcome here. Yes, I will get some photos sorted out as soon as possible.

    Jack has not been DNA tested, hence the potentially switchable name. I did discuss DNA testing with his vet, but we are really not fussed about the gender. We'll let nature take its course, whilst being sensitive to any changes in behaviour that suggests that Jack is a Jackie.

    Hmm, the Aboriginal budgie name is a little disconcerting. They might be tasty, but they wouldn't serve a family of four ;) Our budgies are very well loved. Beautiful, charming, playful little warriors. "I'm a Hyacinth you know, really I am! Hear me roar!", Their all-day chatter is a wonderful sound. Basil is particularly vocal.

    We were perhaps a little naive with our Quaker. Alone, he may have turned out different, but he is happy in his new home with another Quaker, so we feel that it was the right decision to rehome him - for his well-being. Hearts wanted to keep him, heads said you can't. We would not let him go to anyone that wasn't familiar with Quakers. His new keeper had the required understanding, and time to devote to him.

    Jack does get some cage time when I am in the house. Sometimes it is impossible to get things done with a bird on your shoulder (back, chest, etc). There's the particularly messy fried rice incident that I didn't mention. It had cooled and I lifted him before he ate any, but it's enough to say that he goes back in his cage before we eat as he is desperate to try anything that we put in our mouths. Sometimes he's a little unwilling to go back, but we're working on that. What he/we have achieved in one short week blows my mind sometimes.

    Bailey took truly epic baths, with everything and everyone in a two metre radius getting drenched. Seriously - sou'westers and umbrellas required. Jack has shown little interest so far. He shook his head in the luke warm water, but that's all. I know that it is particularly important for Poicephalus, so I will shortly be attempting to introduce him to a shower. Typically, I have encouraged him to try new things, without pushing him, and he has enjoyed it. This could be fun. Wish me luck!
    Michael Reynolds, TomsMum and dianaT like this.
  8. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    :welcome: Rob, Jack, Basil, Pepper and Chilli! Sorry you had to rehome Bailey, but it sounds like he's doing great in his new home!
  9. JackAndRob

    JackAndRob Regular Member Registered

    Shower - not having it. I will have to try other ways to introduce him to water. He may have been tired as he'd had a busy morning. He's having a nap now. I'll try the bath again later.
    Photos here. The Necklace of Many Wonderful Things is on one of them - he loves it. "All beads must die!".
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    cazimodo, dianaT and Michael Reynolds like this.
  10. JackAndRob

    JackAndRob Regular Member Registered

    Jack's original accommodation wasn't big enough, but his new Liberta Cambridge mkII arrived today. It is currently decorated in the minimalist style, but now that I have gauged the size, more furniture and entertainment features are on the way.

    As is usual for Jack with anything new, he took it all in his stride and performed a thorough survey. Once he'd checked that everything has been positioned to his satisfaction and given his new pad the toes up, he was carried to the play top where a feast of delicious munchies had been prepared for him. He approves of roof top dining.
    TomsMum, Michael Reynolds and dianaT like this.
  11. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    Jack sound very happy with his new accomidation
  12. JackAndRob

    JackAndRob Regular Member Registered

    He is becoming quite the acrobat in his new cage now - strength and agility improving all the time. There have been a few nervous "do I step in?" moments, like most parents get, but he's worked it out on his own. I cannot watch him 24 hours a day (but wish I could :D)
    cazimodo likes this.
  13. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    just like children you need eyes in the back of your head
    dianaT and JackAndRob like this.