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I never had any trouble with the birds though I had to learn a lot, mostly through experience. I had separate cages for the budgies, finches and tiels though the tiels would 'visit' the budgies I still had to keep an eye on them just in case.

There is a great debate as to whether to clip pet bird's wings or not. I didn't clip the wings of my birds but I made sure when I opened the cages to let them out that all doors and windows were not only shut but also locked! I wouldn't open the door for anyone when the birds were out of the cages. Most times I let them out in the evenings after 6. I did get them in the habit of a snack in their cage at 10 PM and most would fly back into the cages a few minutes before 10 ready for their snack.

One of the first things I was told was to train them to 'step up'--that is to get them on a perch or your finger. It is great if there was trouble brewing or you wanted to move them somewhere. I started by getting them use to my finger in their cage and within a couple of hours they were hopping on my finger except for one tiel! Growing nails can be a problem with birds because if they grow too long they can get snagged on things and break their legs! I didn't have any problems like that as between the 'nail' stone and the perches they stayed in good shape.

Another problem for some is to change the birds diet from seed to pellets and using seed as sort of treat. It really wasn't a problem for me as most of the birds, and their parents, had been raised on pellets.

There were two major problems I had--though I heard it was possible--I wasn't able to 'train' them to fly back to their cage when they needed to poop and birds poop a lot!! No matter what I covered they would find the uncovered spot--I did have to keep my bedroom door closed or they would 'attack'. The other problem, and I wasn't aware they did such things but the gnawed on my picture frames and, in many cases, on my pictures. They almost destroyed my prized ticket to the anniversary performance of "A Chorus Line" when it became the longest running show on Broadway. They did destroy the ACL posters I had hanging all around. I didn't believe how little room they needed to perch on something and they did.

I didn't know that birds were such friendly pets who could be very affectionate and trained to do many things. They were fun to watch as they went about their business in and out of the cage. Watching them preen themselves and help each other do the same was fascinating and watching how they defy anything possible with the way they used and moved their necks was mind boggling. They gave me many uncountable hours of fun but first let's talk about 'birthin babies'!!

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