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Having To Give Up A Bird

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#1 PacosMom


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

Just reading about Ron and Susie and Carrie Ann, and feeling the sadness and joy that comes with re-homing a bird.

I have been in exactly the same situation, and want to tell you all that as hard as it seems at the time to do, it will be better in the long run for everyone.

I was beginning to feel that I had at one time starting to show signs of becoming a "hoarder". Let me tell you, it is not an easy realization to come to. One day you are falling head over heels in love with your first bird, and the next day you just want to explode with joy over how wonderful it is to have a new bird.

Then, there were so many looking for new homes, and, wanting to care for all of them and have the largest flock of all. Never mind that the chores, cleaning cages, cooking for them, finding and making toys to keep them happy, searching the internet for answers to all the questions that pop up about them.... and suddenly, it is so overwhelming, that you begin to feel like you just don't even have any time left in the day to actually enjoy their compay. And, at the same time, ears still perking up when someone says, this bird needs a new home.

Okay, I am finally cured, and it took reducing my flock by several numbers, to get to the point that we are all happy together once again.

I also want to apologize to any other members that allowed me to adopt their birds, promising to be their 'forever' home, only to have to find new 'forever' homes for them. It all started with sincerely good intentions, but, sometimes you just don't know what is going to happen down the road.

And, it almost cost me my marriage, and that was not a happy home for any of us. Things had to change or they would all have to be gone. I eventually settled on keeping only the birds that I had hand fed from tiny little chicks, and the two CAGs.

I am thrilled to get back reports of the birds that I adopted out, and hear that they are still in happy homes. That makes it all worthwhile, just knowing that they are still happy and thriving.

Anyway, this may just be considered rambling thoughts that ought to be in a blog somewhere. But, I hope that when you take home your first bird, you do so with care, and try not to let that MBS become your downfall.

I am just so thankful that there is this forum to learn about quakers, and all sorts of general bird information. And, a place to meet other members who still have room in their homes for that 'special' adoptee. It's never easy to pass them on to another, but getting to know the new parronts beforehand, makes the transition a lot easier.

Thanks to everyone for just being here, and sharing so much.

#2 wilywind


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 01:31 PM

You're right, no one knows where life is going to take you. All you can do is the best you can at that moment.

Luckily I've fought off MBS for now. I got a dose of reality with MHS that was a bit out of control. H standing for horse. Every time someone needed a new home for a horse it was brought to me. I just reached a point where I couldn't handle it anymore. Especially after selling my property.

I guess what I'm saying is that I understand what you are saying. biggrin.gif

#3 Joanne's Animal Kingdom

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 01:45 PM

I have never had to give up a bird but I have a one that was rehomed from someone here on the forum and I have to say I found adopting him very stressful too.

I was worried about not being able to live up to the care and attention the previous owner had given him, him getting sick or hurt, him not liking me.....

I also feel guilty posting about how well things are going sometimes - I know that it probably a comfort to the previous owner but I sometimes feel like it is rubbing salt in the wound.

I just thought I would add the perspective of the other side of rehoming. I am sure Carrie Ann has some of the same feelings I have had since taking in Mongo.

#4 Carrie~Anne


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 02:08 PM

Oh yes, Joanne!! Not so much the care and attention part, but definitely where he wouldn't be happy, or not adjust, or hate me. I worry about that SO much (happy to say the little man is adjusting very well and doesn't seem to hate me at all).

I also hesitate to post too much about him, although Ron and Susi encourage me to do it. I just don't want to hurt them more then they are right now.

Gail, your post was so well said. MBS can be very catchy and can be a bird owners demise. I know, for myself, that I am done with adding birds to my flock. I'm also holding off on doing any breeding too. I don't want to take time away from my current birds to raise someone elses (if that makes sense). While I enjoy it, it is something that I can do without.

I think Gail's post says so much and it should be read by anyone thinking about adding another bird to their flock. It isn't something that a person should do on a spur of the moment. It should be a thought out process.

Thanks, Gail for bringing this up smile.gif

#5 Guest_IMPduJour_*

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 02:21 PM

This is def a good thread.
I dont really have MBS mostly because I have been blessed with being allowed to foster birds as well as care for them in a shelter. I say blessed because I can have some hands on with the birds but also admire them from afar and take comfort in knowing when they go they will have good homes.

I do have 4 birds of my own as well as two dogs. Thats my limit. Its all I can handle and still make a life for myself. I love them to pieces and they make the darkest of days brighter. Yet I am honest with my friends and family that I just dont want any more animals because I dont want to really clean and cook all day long. I dont want to wack out my budget by adding more to the mix.

Its kind of off tangent a bit here but people sometimes ask me why I dont have any more children. I have one son. One is enough for me. Kids like birds are expensive. I want to ensure he goes to college and has a good life. Its not that I dont like children I love them but I know better than to just have babies for the sake of having them because I like kids...I like lamborgini diablos too but I wont buy one because it costs the same as buying a house.

I buy education bonds for my son...for my birds I put money in a savings account for that rainy day that hopefully will never happen. I just want to be prepared. Some have told me I am too prepared for my own good. Perhaps thats the case and yea it blows being responsible.

I am too practical. Impluse shopping gets one into trouble.

I think the one thing I find that makes it easier to just say no is the fact that after seeing and knowing all of you on this forum that I know there are good people in the world. People who take care of their animals. With that said I also know that because of this that when I pass on a bird someone else is going to step up to the plate and that I am not the only one that is capable of taking care of an animal. If that makes sense?

I wrote a novel ooooppssss

#6 Uncle Zippy

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 03:47 PM

Gail, you hit it right on the head. It all boils down to a mild version of hoarding. Or a severe version in some cases. Birds can just be so addicting, and being a member of a site like this can compound the problems. I don't mean there is anything wrong with the site itself, but when you encounter other members whose flocks are larger than yours you can falsly assume that you should be able to handle that many as well.

Then you come to the sad realization that what works for some doesn't work for you. Thats why you have to really give yourself a sanity check and think long and hard about how it will affect not only you, but your human family, your pets other than birds and the existing bird(s) you are already responsible for.

It can take months or years before it starts to catch up with you. It can be something as common as switching shifts, switching jobs or losing a job, moving to another city or country. Life has a habit of throwing us curve balls, and when you have pets you have to be fully prepared to accomodate them during these life altering events.

I can say that the experience we're going through with Tiko is very difficult. We're very lucky to have found someone close who we trust implicitly with our former charge.

I think this thread should be pinned as a warning to newer members and those new to aviculture. Not to point fingers but members with multiple bird may be inadvertantly contributing to others finding themselves in difficult positions. A view from the other side of the fence may help disuade some from getting in over their heads.

I'm sorry you had to make the same tough choices Gail. Peace to you.

#7 PacosMom


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:44 PM

Thank you all for your kind words. I cannot forget how hard I cried with the first cockatiel that I sold. I believe the woman was beginning to think I was a stalker. But, it definitely made me feel so much better when she told me how thrilled they were to have her as part of their household.

It's just so easy to think that if one bird makes me so happy, two will make me twice as happy. It is so hard to know when to draw the line and realize there has to be a stopping point.

The first bird I adopted from here, Abby, I was afraid to mention her name, thinking that the previous owner would be hurt just hearing about her. It turned out the other way around. This forum is a great way to keep in touch with your previous pets and hear how happy they are. So, if Abby's or Ziggy's previous owners ever check back in again, I want them to know that they are both together in a household with only those two quakers, and get so much more love and attention now, being the only two birds in the house. And, they are both best buddies with each other, too!

You just never know what kind of curve ball life will throw you. I do believe my husband could now handle caring for the fids for a short time, if I ever had a car wreck and ended up in the hospital, etc. And, he actually likes the birds that I have now. smile.gif

#8 snugglbutt


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:02 PM

Yep, rehoming is sooo hard. I tend to have MPS (multiple pet syndrome). That's why we have 5 dogs, 2 birds, a cat and a guinea pig. It's soooo hard to say no when there's one that needs a home, especially when you love animals.

I'm recognizing I'm in over my head, and am beginnning to rehome. Bailey, the dane, is looking for his forever home. He costs a small fortune to feed every month, not to mention he's just HUGE. I love him to pieces, and I recognize the best thing I could do for him is to find him a loving home where he will get more attention. Plus, with him in the home, I have to play musical animals all the time. He goes after the birds, and will eat the guinea pig if I gave him half an opportunity. The other animals all co-exist peacefully.

If, after Bailey's rehomed, I'm still having this much difficulty giving the fids out of cage time then I will have to rehome them. At the very least, Jojo. Taz, he doesn't seem to mind it quite as much as Jojo. Jojo needs soooo much more attention and one on one time, and if I can't start giving him more of that soon then I'll be searching for a home for him. Not because I don't want him or don't love him, but because it's not fair to him to have days where he doesn't get to come out or see us at all. We're just going to have to see how it goes.

I too think this post should be pinned.

#9 Movedonandhappy


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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:28 AM

I know how hard it is~! Because sometimes I think Pita my grey would be so much happy if she had a male caregiver. She does not care for me that much. I can clean her cage,change food and water. She does let me hold her when Ray is not around. But Ray has to put her in my lap and I have to be careful or I could get bit. She had bitten me pretty hard~!

But I just can't seem to let her go because I love her so much, but it breaks my heart when she is whinning for Ray to give her attention. His just not into birds. She would make a wonderful pet for a man birds. But I can't do it, maybe someday if I find the right home for her I will let her go so she can get more attention that she needs. She does not pluck and she seems happy. She talks up a strom and dancing when I sing to her.

#10 Julies Jungle

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:13 AM

That psot really hits home. It was perfectly stated and boy ohhh so true. When i pick up Blue I am done, I am at my limit. I am ill and never know when it will take a turn for the worse so I need to think about the future and who will take care of my babies. Luckily I have a loving husband that helps but my parents are up in age and going down hill and they live about 2 hours away so it makes it hard to go home when they need me. I run home for a couple of hours and back.

So I am sticking to what I got after Blue arrives in a week or so but boy will it be hard me being a softy and loving animals but I know what I have to do for the well being of me, my family, and my babies....

Thanks Gail for writing this.

#11 GeorgiaOnMyMind


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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:27 PM

Oh! This is very important. Sometimes I worry that I simply have too many birds. I mean, if anyone from the forum were to come to my apartment, they would be amazed (and probably apalled) by the fact beyond a bed, couch, tv, and computer... everything is bird related! Wall to wall cages. Gyms hanging from the ceiling. Toys stuffed everywhere!

But I'm very fortunate to have a partner who is absolutely as insane about birds as I am. And five of our birds live in flights and require only toys, food, and lots of treats...

But yeah, my lifestyle is not one that would appeal to most people. Bill and I spend 80% of our time together hanging out with the birds, and that works for us... but sometimes I fear that if we ever break up, neither of us will be able to handle our respective six and five birds alone....

And, believe it or not, we have reached our limit. I actually turned down a rehome offer the other day, just because right now I feel very at peace with the attention each bird gets. And the honesty of members like Ron and Gail have helped to honestly evaluate my situation and admit that, for my dear bird's own well-being, there can be no more.

So this is an incredibly important topic and I'm so thankful for our member's honesty. It has helped me make better decisions about my own limits, and I'm so thankful for that.

#12 Dee


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Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:48 PM

This is an excellent thread and I am sure will be beneficial to anyone who is planning on adding to their flocks ..

I currently have one dog and two birds ... and we are at our limit. Both Ian and I are 100% involved in caring for, exercising, stimulating, playing with etc .. our dog and birds so the responsibilities are shared equally but we just can't add to our home without someone doing without and that just isn't fair ...

Once I complete my studies we may add another grey to our flock .. but will see when the time comes.

#13 arnies_mom


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:11 PM

Hi I totaly agree about how addicting it can be to keep adding birds to your flock. I had 12 birds at one time mind you 6 of those where babys waiting for new homes. I'm telling you I'm on disability and i'm home most of the time and trying to give 12 bird quality time aspeicily baby birds to keep them tame so that the new owners get wonderful loveing pets is almost impossible. I finaly sold all the babys and was down to 6 I find six is a very good number for me I can manage to give them all the quality time that they need just by having them around me all day long but now I'm down to four bird as I sold the pair that had the baby's I couldn't handle breeding anymore and I tried to keep them in separte cages but beside each other because they where bonded but They where very unhappy they wanted to have more babys so I ended up rehoming them to a breeder so that they could be together to say the least I will never breed birds again they are my pets and that all. I'm down to 4 birds now and I am getting a African Grey but that is my limit I know I can do 6 birds but 5 is enough after I get the bird I've always wanted my dream bird so to speak is a cag I don't want any more I'm 50 now and I know My kids will take my birds when I'm gone because we have discussed it but I will have 5 birds and I have 5 kids thats 1 bird each and that the way its going to be. But I ain't going anywhere any time soon so who knows what going to happen between now and then but one thing I do know is Tyco will be the last bird I take I also have 3 dogs and when their gone I'm not going to get anymore Destiny my border collie is 12 yrs old now Gloria my ******h-zu is 6 yrs old and TC my pappion is 3yrs old so I'll have them all for a little while yet except maybie Destiny but I'm sure he'll hang in there for at least a couple more years but once there gone they won't be replaced pet are somthing to be enjoyed and when the joy turns into a chore its not fair to you or your animals.


#14 arwenelle


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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:41 PM

This post definitely hits home. If I didn't live with my parents, there's no way I could handle all the animals we have... Mind you when the time comes for me to move out, 3 of the lizards, 1 dog, and of course Barlow will come with me. But it is a lot of work and a lot of money, two things that are in small supply to a college student. I'm really lucky to have my family's support or my animals really wouldn't get what they need. (Well the lizards would but they don't care too much.) Just a few days ago I posted about a sun conure that was just breaking my heart because I wanted him so bad and its only with reality checks like this that I realize that I can't do that. Especially if I'm going to have to start my Masters in a few years, or get married, or even just move out. Those are all changes that could cause some big problems for a bird. I really admire everyone's honesty here. I think this thread is a great resource for anyone considering on adding fids.

#15 equineRtist



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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:11 PM

Great thread an I'm sure a huge eye opener for many.

When I was a much younger woman (1975) I had a couple of Tiels, a Canary, 4 Society Finches, 2 Cordon Bleus, a pair of Strawberries, a Red Rump Austrailian Keet 40 Zebra Finches and a Blue Front Amazon Parrot, 77 horses, 4 dogs, 2 aquariums, 8 geese, 10 chickens, 20 ducks, 2 Peafowls and about 20 barn cats.

None of these were a chore to me at the time. I was young and had tons of energy.

Things change! I am old now and still have 8 horses, 3 birds, 3 dogs (one is not mine...lives next door but has refused to go there for 3 years), a pond full of Koi and around 18 barn cats. I find time for them but hubby helps with the horses and feeds the barn cats. The dogs and birds are for me to tend and that's fine. The Tiel requires very little care. He is totally blind so he can't play outside his cage because he will fall off of things or bump into things. All I can do for him is sit by his cage a few times a day and talk to him. He loves it and he is a great talker. The other 2 birds get olenty of time out of their cages because I work at home. While I am painting, they are often "helping" me. rolleyes.gif

If anything happens to them I will not replace them unless it is the last one. If I had NONE, I would look for ONE. As I get older, it is tougher to care for more animals. The "next door" dog is 15 so he won't be here much longer I'm sure. I will not have 3 again. Two are great.

I too wrote a book. Sorry about that. I think you got us all to thinking and our thought went rambling on.

Thanks for starting this thread. It may save some stress for others along the way.


#16 Andie's Mom

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 12:29 AM

Wow, this is a great thread!

As most of you know I have Scads of birds and animals...and I have reached my limit! How do I know...Because my birds are telling me so.

While I enjoy each and every one of them and I'm still able to give each of them one on one attention everyday. There will be no more inside birds.

I too am in my 50's and I know beyond a doubt that several of these guys will out live me. Luckily I have Andie who I know will care for my birds when I'm gone...

With the crew I have Its a FULL time job to see that cages are clean, feed and water and keep nails and wings trimmed when needed etc. Besides...My house is at capacity.

The fact that I do bird sitting for other people really helps with the MBS symptoms and I can love 'em and spoil 'em and send them home...

Having taken on this Foster bird for the next year is really an eye opener...He's a nice bird not loud etc...and I like him...But I'm going to be glad when his owners come to pick him up...At least I HOPE they come to pick him up. I will be able to have my furniture back ...or NEW furniture hopefully.

I truly enjoy each and every one of my guys but it isn't without its down falls. The noise level at times is outrageous but I knew that going in so I deal with that. And now I too will have to worry about finding people to care for my birds if I want to go someplace...Luckily I have my kid...

I've always been one to help an animal in need, even if it meant I went without something for a while if need be...and I'll probably always be that way...But as others have mentioned, You have got to know your limits. I'm there.

I'm down to 1 dog of my own, 1 cat. The cat will stay an only cat and well the dog...I'm having mixed emotions about that...As he has always had company since the time he came here...and he doesn't deal well being an only dog...SO, when this Dog I'm boarding goes back to his owners in December, I'll have to make a decision...But for now...No more new animals...

Do I regret taking on any of these animals...Absolutely not! But I know that if I brought any more into the house...it would be a dis-service to all involved.

My chickens are going to be headed for the freezer in the next week or two and after that...No more chickens...In fact I have plans to make that area into an out door aviary for Quakers...Where They'll have a 25' x 15' area to just be birds. They'll get to have free flight and will have an indoor area where they can be in out of the elements if they so choose. And by having this area I'm hoping to educate myself even further when it comes to quakers and their natural Habitats...Well OK...as natural as an Aviary can be... I plan on letting them colonize as they see fit. And as I've said in another thread...ITs not for a breeding situation...its just to give unwanted Quakers a place to be a bird...If they produce offspring so be it...if not...that's totally fine too...

I'm repeating myself but I really do want to thank Paco's mom for starting this thread...Its helped me in realizing that YES, I am at my Limit...

So...again...Thanks for starting this thread...It does help other people to realize that one more isn't always better...

#17 NCVon


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Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:21 AM

Wow, so glad I came on this one! I too the last month or so have come to realize I am over my limit. My bird room is at its limit and working full time my evenings are filled with bird care. I have been thinking over the last week about selling my breeder tiels, I simply have too many and all the babies on top of it......is just too much. My plan to have my small hobby/business for retirement I have built up too fast since I still have at least 10 years before that can come through. Plus hubby's health isn't good and I think the tiel dust is bothering him, so I m thinking of taking the tiels to the Morganton bird fair and selling them. However, I won't be losing my quakers, gc, CAG I just don't know I am so torn and yet know I must do it. Reading this thread helped me to understand that I have over done it and need to make corrections. Thanks for posting this it has helped me.

#18 Natalie Yoshi and Yoda

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:35 PM

I cannot relate to this directly, but I do know a lady who has MAS. We are both Australian Wildlife Carers and she is my mentor.

She has approx 300 possums alone, then fruit bats, micro bats and birds galor. She needs help so badly but when she dropped 9 possums onto me (I live in a tiny rental townhouse and am on a trainee income) I just freaked out and had to disband.

I wish there was some way I could do something else to help.
I know that she gets two hours sleep a night due to regular feeds etc.

Then she has her own pets to love.

She couldnt understand why I wanted to give my possums back before Yoshi (baby Quaker) comes home. She told me plenty of people care for dozens of wildlife, and their pets as well.

It was too much for me.

#19 Carrie~Anne


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Posted 20 December 2007 - 09:41 PM

Just thought I would give this a bump up for any one who hasn't read it yet. This is a very powerful thread and I think any new (and even old) bird owner should read it and realize that 'the more, the merrier' isn't always true.

#20 Joie


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Posted 21 December 2007 - 03:11 AM

kind of spilling my story here but my freshman year of college I developed an eating disorder. From there my life fell apart. I was depressed, alone, and so unhappy. I surrounded myself with animals because they need you. They make you feel worthwhile. Like you have a purpose on this planet...
So at one time I had 2 dogs, a water dragon, 2 bearded dragons, a corn snake, 2 betas, a 30 gallon salt water tank. And that's just my pets. Other pets I took care of in my house included a chinchilla, a parakeet, a cat, and another dog (those are my family's pets...)
I had a huge 4 foot wide and 5 foot tall enclosure for my lizards. My room was about 90 degrees from all the heat lights. It was horrible. The saddest day of my life came when I had to rehome my lizards but I just couldn't live at home (where I just have a bedroom!!) and have them.
I got Lucy (my Quaker) a few months after.
When I lost Lucy I lost a piece of me. She was the greatest companion. I am proud to say that in about two weeks I'll be bringing home a baby Hahn's macaw to join my flock and I have adopted a poor terrified little female parrotlet.
So now, my zoo includes 2 dogs, soon to be 2 birds, 2 betas, a 30 gallon saltwater tank, and 2 aquatic turtles.

So far I've been able to manage with no problem but there is no way I'm adding another pet into my bedroom. I live in the basement so there's a LOT of room... but still... it gets a bit crowded.
When I do move in with my boyfriend we hope to get a bigger tank for my fish and corals, we also hope to get a redfoot tortoise, and my boyfriend and I really want to get a little yellow sided green cheek.

My boyfriend is a big animal fan too!

We have thought about it time and time again as to what we would actually be able to handle between the two of us. Time wise and money wise. We want to provide for all our little furry, scaley, and feathered companions.
Bottom line of what I've learned, animals can help your depression and sad life but they won't fix it. And geting in over your head hurts because rehoming is soooo painful