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Brave-Heart

7 DECADES SERIES 2002 BIRDS PART 26 A - Your WRITES

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Three major events took place in 2002: 1) i discovered birds as pets 2) I completely retired 3) being judgement proof The most fascinating thing to me were the birds and I learned a lot about them. I started off with one budgie--you call them parakeets---then another--after that I got a cockatiel and then another. I would eventually get 2 zebra finches not knowing they are worse than rabbits! Before I knew it I had 19 finches! I, finally, got wise and put the females in a separate cage.

Let's start at the beginning. I wanted a pet and was thinking of a pug--if you read the early parts of this series you will know I had a pug that I absolutely adored. There were three main things holding me back with the first being the responsibility of walking them, not being able to go to go away for a weekend--no, I wouldn't put the dog in a kennel. The second was that Gateway required a $500 deposit for all dogs and then, the deal breaker, the scoop if they poop! On a coffee break at Big Louie's one of the other servers started talking about birds which perked my interest. The following week I was out looking at birds. At one of the pet shops I talked to the owner and told them what I wanted, which was a pet that wouldn't be a lot of trouble! (Now I ask you--is there such a thing???)

I really didn't have the patience to train a bird so he suggested I get two budgies as they would keep each other company. My first question was about bites as my doctor had warned me that if I got a bird bigger than a cockatiel or one that had a sharp bite it could cause problems because of my taking coumidin. That was the first mistake I made as later I learned a single bird is more of a pet because they had to adopt you as part of their flock but if they had a mate why would they need me?!?!!? Oh yes to feed them, give them clean water and clean their cage!

I immediately fell in love with 2 budgies--a male and female--and between the cage, food and toys it cost me $96. I decided to call them Butch and Cassidy after the Sundance Kid movie. Instead of doing all the reading I could on the Internet and bird books BEFORE buying them, being the kind of person who when he wants something wants them now, I started doing research. I went to Border's and read book after book, bought 2 bird magazines plus a book on budgies.

The first thing I had to do, and was a lot easier than I thought it would be or people told me, was to change their diet from only bird seed to pellets and cooked food.

Birds are really very easy to take care of--basically feeding them once a day, changing their water and once a week a good cleaning of their cage. I discovered very early the 'trick' of layering the bottom of the cage with newspaper so that each morning all I had to do was pick up the top page and throw it out leaving a clean bottom.

Many people told me to keep their wings clipped so they couldn't fly out the door or get into trouble. I didn't--I let them out of their cage any time I was home making sure the doors were locked as well as the windows. They very easily learned to return to the cage on their own at 10 PM for a snack.

Oh yes--I did train the birds to be on my time. I covered their cage after the late news and didn't take it off until I woke up. I never heard any noise from them in the morning.

Yes I did learn to find poop all over and I was surprised at the damage they could do to anything hanging on a wall like photographs, clocks and plaques!
This was just the beginning of my 'bird history'!


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