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Topic: Need a parrot, now what?
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Sep 17, 2004 02:17AM)
Alright, I love my doves. They are easy to work with, don't complain about the cheap pay after each show, and the kids love to see birds in the act. I would like to start building up! I want a parrot; however, I don't have parrot experience. What is the best kind to work with? What do they normally cost? How do I go about hand raising one? Any advice would help. Magically, Bryan
Message: Posted by: sperris (Sep 17, 2004 12:36PM)
Just make sure you have a lot of time on your hands to devote to the bird. They're like haivng a two year old for the rest of your life. Probably one of the biggest investiments you'll have is in time with the bird every day and toys to keep it satisfied and entertained. Those are just a few, ask Dave Womach, his brother markets parrot training materials and stuff and Dave uses them in his act.

Message: Posted by: DaveWomach (Sep 17, 2004 02:02PM)
Parrots are a pain in the ass. Enough said...

If you are still interested, learn ALL that you can BEFORE getting one. Imagine having a 2 year old kid, who is an illegal immigrant, but you have to take care of him, and travel with him but he doesn't have a passport. This could be tough.

What I'm getting at is a parrot will out live you if taken care of properly. The airlines hate to ship them, and often WON'T. I've been stuck in other countries, and not been able to leave, because of my cockatoo, who I had the right paperwork for. And on top of all of this, you have to spend nearly $1,000 everytime you want to transport this bird in and out of the country. You have to prove that your parrot wasn't smuggled, and the permits for this can often take 6 months.

A scarlet Macaw is an Apendix 1. Which means it's as difficult to ship as a flippin TIGER! The permits take nearly 6 months to get, and I don't think they are guarenteed.

An Umbrella Cockatoo, or Blue and Gold Macaw is an Appendix 2, which means they are not as endangered, and the permits take a month or two to get from the U.S. You have to get the same permits to travel into other countries. This is difficult as Costa Rica doesn't accept international calls and good luck getting them to reply to a fax!

If you're still reading this, and want to get a parrot, consider not traveling internationally. I'm goign to be on a ship Sep26-Nov1. My cockatoo doesn't get to come, because I had 2 weeks notice for this gig. This is common with Ships. So basically I'm leaving my kid at home, which sucks because I miss him.

Do everyone a favor and do NOT get a parrot if your ownly reason is to make your show bigger. You must love birds, and have a major interest in birds before getting one, because ALL birds will have problems. Screaming, biting, feather plucking these are just a few.

My brother and I produced a training DVD for the serious bird lover. We show us taming and training our 15 year old, WILD macaw. By the end of the series we have him flight trained. We cover all the major problems, and offer ways to solve them. It's a very complete course.

Even if someone else produced it, I'd still recommend getting it, just so you know what you're getting into. I'd also HIGHLY SUGGEST getting a book called "The Guide to Owning a Cockatoo" it will be your bible, even if you get a parakeet. It will prepare you for any problems that you will encounter. WIth parrots, you must be ready for the problem before it comes. This book can be purchased anywhere, and is written by Gayle Soucek and sells for $9.95 from a pet shop or online.

Our DVD/Kit is available at http://www.BirdTricks.com More information is online too to answer any questions.

Hope this information helps. Sorry it's so long. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.



Posted: Sep 17, 2004 3:06pm
Take a look at our preview for our flight video. The final addition to our kit.


It's going to be released in a few days.

Message: Posted by: R2 (Sep 18, 2004 09:47PM)
Dave has given you some solid and practical advice. Many years back, I made the commitment to birds. I wasn't prepared for everything they literally threw at me. Some of them do toss things at me with their beaks.

I was the one who had to adjust not they. Think about Dave's advice before jumping into the water sort to speak.

If you are going to work with your Parrots be sure that you will a lot some REAL TIME to spend with them. These aren't doves which you can feed and use. Parrots are much more demanding of your attention! Think about how much patience, time, and care, that you are prepared to give!

Do you have the time, money, patience and knowledge to develop a proper and thriving relationship with the bird or birds of your choice?

If you answered no to any one of these, STOP until you do!

If you answered yes to all of the above? GO FOR IT!
Message: Posted by: magicmanrob (Sep 18, 2004 10:07PM)
RAY AND DAVE ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. It's like having a baby with you 24-7, I mean you love them but they are so social and need lots of time and effort every single day. When you are tired and don't feel like spending the time or effort they still have the need for the invlovement. We have a blue and gold and sometimes after we have been gone for the day he is needing attention and if you don't comply with him he gets louder to get you to come get him. Now for the other side if you do get a parrot be ready for an incredible friend, who you won't want to leave alone as you will be attached to them as well and Dave was right you will miss him while you are gone a lot.
Message: Posted by: DaveWomach (Sep 19, 2004 01:06AM)
I forgot to even mention the money side of things. I did say it's expensive to travel, but don't forget...

Good Parrot $2,000.00
Quality Cage $500.00
Monthly Food $30.00
Monthly Toys $50.00
Peace and Quiet... priceless...

There's so much to consider before getting a parrot. But they will be your best friend, or your worst enemy.

Just more of my thoughts. Please let me know what you decide to do.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 19, 2004 07:21AM)
Dave, thanks for the good advice as I am sure most guys do not realize the investment in time and money these birds require. And add to the fact , they can outlive most of us in many cases.

I'll stick to my feather flowers. No Permits, no vets, no food & water, and no hassles.
Message: Posted by: Jkta99 (Sep 19, 2004 10:17PM)
One of the best parrot trainers in the US is Steve Martin. If you have ever been to disney world and have seen birds in a show then I am sure that you have seen his work. Like everyone has said parrots are a lot of work and you have to love them. They can not be just another prop for your show.
Message: Posted by: R2 (Sep 20, 2004 04:08PM)
I have really enjoyed reading everyone's experiences. Thanks to all of the players!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 20, 2004 05:12PM)
My suggestion for parrot training, assuming that this is to be a true stage bird, is Zoo with IQ in Hot Springs, Arkansas*. These are also the people who train animals for the US Department of Defense.

(A parrot can be trained to report to a laser light spot! Pick a card? An envelope? and A cup with a ball under it!)

It's not free but it's not normal either!

Magic By Sander

*Richard Ford (610) 624-5545
Zoo with IQ
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Sep 21, 2004 03:20PM)
Hey guys,
Thanks for all the informative replies. I never realized how much went into being a parrot owner. Now I know. I think I will stick with the doves for a while and see where that goes. Dave thank you for the long reply, Great insight. Good Luck on the cruise ship!
Magical wishes to all!
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Sep 23, 2004 12:33AM)
Macaws and Cockatoos are a big investment.
There are many parrots that are not nearly the same financial outlay.
Any of the Amazon varieties and the African Gray are great birds. And both can be great talkers, especially the African Grey.
They do still need a lot of attention!
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Sep 27, 2004 02:43AM)
Thanks again everyone... I think parakeets might be a better solution!
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (Sep 29, 2004 05:12PM)
Cockatiels are a nice small bird that has some of the personality of a parrot, or the Senegal/Meyers parrots are also smaller, but big personalities. Just keep in mind the above posts are still relevant to smaller parrots.
Message: Posted by: MDS (Oct 7, 2004 11:59PM)
Dave Womach, Amen brother.

I had an Umbrella Cockatoo and a Blue and Gold Macaw and I had to get rid of the Cockatoo because I am doing so much traveling that it was really getting expensive to travel with him and if they can't go with you then they get lonely and start to become distructive and so on. I personally didn't have this problem but I know that it is very common. Even now I have to travel with my Blue and Gold and my doves and that is a pain but, I have a very close relationship with my macaw and even though she does cause me a lot of added stress she is worth it.

I have a funny story about traveling with my macaw: I was on my way to perform in Vegas and I usually put my macaw in the pressurized belly of the plane but, it was too cold so I was forced to take her in the cabin in one of the airlines animal cariers. I got about 3o minutes out and she started making the most auful noises that I have ever heard. They had just served breakfast (this was a 4 AM departure by the way) so I thought ok I will give her a bannanna. So I pull out her cage and come to find out she has chewed her way through the side of the cage and she is ready to fly so she takes off and starts flying around the plane with her 48" wingspan and people were screaming like crazy. She is trained to do a flyback so she landed on my hand and then she took about the biggest crap that I have ever seen right in the middle of the isle. Needless to say I am currently black flagged in the Delta Airlines Computer and I had to stand in the back of the Plane for 3 and 1/2 hours until I got to Vegas.

I can laugh about this now but, boy was I mad at her then. Maybe this will help you make up your mind.

Message: Posted by: donsmagic (Oct 17, 2004 08:43AM)
Very funny story! I am a parrot owner too. Don
Message: Posted by: MDS (Oct 18, 2004 11:00PM)
Proving Dave right once again, today I spent $121.00 at the Bird farm buying Parrot food and pellets, a new toy and getting her nails and beak trimmed. On top of that I spent about $100.00 two days ago buying the other stuff that I mix with her seed and some fresh fruit and vegetables. Even on top of that you don't just have to spend time with the bird, but you have to spend time in prep. I honestly think that I could slice fruit and vegetables in my sleep after nearly 8 years of performing with exotic birds and I spent over an hour pressure washing her cage yesterday to get it nice and clean for about a month before I do it again. Man it gets expensive and time consuming and I sure put up with a lot, but it is all because I love my bird and if you don't than you have no business owning one.