Best bird for an 8 year old?

Bratcat31

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
195
Reaction score
336
Anyone here a bird person and can give me thoughts on the best bird for an 8 year old? He REALLY wants one that will talk. I really want one that won't live 50 years.

I have read quite a few articles on what is suggested and why, I'm just curious for personal thoughts.

FWIW - I 100% understand
1. He's too young for a bird that is strictly his responsibility. He will have responsibility but ultimate responsibility lies with me
2. Many birds can easily live 10-15 years and he's liable to get bored well before then (back to the adult responsibility part

I have not actually decided if I will let him get one but I did tell him I'd think about it.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,927
Reaction score
36,422
Location
Colorado USA
I don't know if the birds that aren't so long lived necessarily have the ability to talk at the level of an African Grey.

he's liable to get bored well before then
...maybe not...

All that said however, Parakeets and cockatiels are darling birds, are quite vocal when they're happy and can mimic words, and have life spans of less than 20 years. (Don't forget to mist them ;) )
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
13,974
Reaction score
12,025
Location
USA
Kids *really* want a lot of things but quickly lose interest once they have whatever it is. Maybe you can revisit having a pet bird in a few months and gauge whether your kid is still seriously interested or not.

Shelters often have birds for adoption. You may want to go check the local shelters out and ask questions.

Try pet bird club / associations for good info, too. Most would probably steer you away from parrots and larger birds because they live for so long and can be pretty destructive if bored.


You'll need an avian vet for a pet bird. They're not very common so finding one in your area may be difficult if nonresistant. And avian vets are often more expensive than regular dog / cat vets. There's a vet locator here: Association of Avian Veterinarians The web site has downloadable resources on bird care.
 

Kieka

Snowshoe Servant
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
9,549
Reaction score
13,749
Location
Southern California
Parakeets are mean little buggers to other birds and can be to others in their group if in larger groups. But.... as a solo or pair they can be trained and very social with their family. They do take a lot of time to be good with people and getting s younger one from a bird specialist or breeder is best if you want a social bird. You will have to trim their wings and I would suggest a male over a female. Females tend to be more aggressive and get along with others less in larger groups.

My parents bred parakeets for the local bird farm when I was younger. We would have a few in every clutch that just were more social with people and very easy to finger train. My grandparents were able to get a few parakeets to talk but those were kept in the house and interacted with people frequently. They are messy (they throw the seed shells when eating) and can be loud but their lifespan is shorter and they do fine without constant interaction if they have a buddy or even just a mirror and cuddle sack.

I would not consider any of the larger birds if you think he will grow bored of it. Those guys bond strongly and will suffer greatly if they start to get ignored more. I would probably do a pair of parakeets (Male-female or male-male) so that they have each other; makes them less likely to learn to talk but their life will be overall better once they are not entertaining for a child anymore.

Or get a mechanical robot pet which can talk and wont care when it gets left in a drawer some day.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Bratcat31

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
195
Reaction score
336
Kids *really* want a lot of things but quickly lose interest once they have whatever it is. Maybe you can revisit having a pet bird in a few months and gauge whether your kid is still seriously interested or not.

Shelters often have birds for adoption. You may want to go check the local shelters out and ask questions.

Try pet bird club / associations for good info, too. Most would probably steer you away from parrots and larger birds because they live for so long and can be pretty destructive if bored.

[/URL]
[/URL]

You'll need an avian vet for a pet bird. They're not very common so finding one in your area may be difficult if nonresistant. And avian vets are often more expensive than regular dog / cat vets. There's a vet locator here: Association of Avian Veterinarians The web site has downloadable resources on bird care.
He's been asking for one for almost a year now actually. The agreement has been that once he earns enough money for it ($300+) that we could discuss it. Figured that would buy me at least 2 or 3 years. Interestingly, he has offered up his birthday party and all his presents from me and his father, as well as all the presents he would have gotten from the party goers in exchange for us spending the money instead on a bird.

He also religiously cleans the cat box every day (another requirement - and one we check to make sure it's done well), feeds the dog and the fish every day and helps me quite a lot with our foster cats. (All within reasonable expectations of a 7 year old)

There are actually 4 bird specific vets/hospitals in a 25 mile radius of where I live and there is at least one small animal vet practice that does exoctics as well less than 3 miles from my house. I don't like the closer vet particularly as a primary source after my experience with them and our 3 rats but they are open on Sundays so they are there if needed. The other vets are all open on Saturday at least and one in particular has absolutely rave reviews. Emergency care could be more difficult as I think only one of the Emergency Vets around here does birds at all and they aren't a specialty. But, that is likely true almost anywhere.

In truth I don't really need of help figuring out if we could care for a bird or if we should get one. I'm well equipped to decide that, and we are well capable of doing it if needed. More just what kind of birds would be best suited for us if we decide we want to go that way. Then it will become my sons job to come back to me with every piece of information we need about care and housing for whatever bird(s) we come up with as possible viable options.

I actually already looked into places around here to foster and/or adopt from and am not finding anything online in my area. Petfinder has no birds at all in a hundred mile radius. I would love to try fostering first to see how it plays out, but the only place I can find that fosters only does so in a 30 mile radius and they are 150 miles from me. I have a few emails out to see if Im missing something and will look a little closer at the small avian pet shops to see if they are also a charity/rescue. Fostering would be ideal really.

Interestily, a shelter I foster for wound up with a Double Yellow Headed Amazon being dropped off that swears and bites. ROFL!! Just last week but thats waaaaay too much bird for us. I agree with your 'not a parrot' stance. I'm eyeing budgies and cockatiels mostly, but know there are a ton of birds out there that I know nothing about so was interested in what people's experiences were! Can never have too much info in my mind!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Bratcat31

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
195
Reaction score
336
Or get a mechanical robot pet which can talk and wont care when it gets left in a drawer some day.
:flail::flail::flail:that's funny!! If I could con him into a mechanical robot pet I would. Pretty sure he won't go for it though.

Thank you very very much for the info on Parakeets. I sent an email to a breeder in town to get a bit more info from him. I firmly believe exoctics should be bought from proper breeders or adopted if applicable. Pet shop exotics tend to be (or at least used to be) far less social and far less healthy. But I haven't gotten an exoctic in more than a decade so that my not be so true.

I really appreciate the male/female personality information. I'm not against 2 if that's better for them. I also won't let them be ignored if my son does grow bored of them. Responsibility is ultimately mine. Part of the hesitation. It's not just about him wanting them. It's about whether we are ready for a 10 year time and cost commitment. 🤷‍♀️
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Bratcat31

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
195
Reaction score
336
I think cockatiels are the best all-around pet birds. They aren't as inclined to be cranky as budgies are, and aren't as emotionally complicated as the larger birds.

And it's pretty easy to find a breeder.

DON'T get a Quaker, lol.
LOL!! I had a Quaker growing up and he was pretty cool! I was much older though and they are a bit more than I think I would want to start my kiddo off with.
 

Maria Bayote

Mama of 4 Cats, 3 Dogs , 2 Budgies & 2 Humans
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
2,292
Reaction score
5,431
I would love to have a cockatoo, so I would recommend one also for your son. :)

I currently have 2 budgies - their names are Freddie & Mercury, which I adopted when the owners suddenly left and abandoned them. They are VERRY talkative Well, not really 'talking', but very noisy. They can talk non-stop for an hour and very loudly that I at most times cannot hear the news on TV. LOL.

But they are very smart birds, and fierce. They are not afraid of my cats. Nuh uh.
 
Top