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Giving away an animal?

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  • Giving away an animal?

    Lately I've been considering giving away my beloved cockatiel. He is a very sweet boy, I love him to death, but the last 2 years have been hectic, and I find myself not paying enough attention to him. Those of you that have birds will understand this, I hope. He thrives on attention and I feel horrible leaving in the morning, shutting him in his cage all day. Sometimes he goes for a few days with no "outside" time, because I am gone at dawn and don't get home until 10 pm or later.

    I think it might be best to try to find a home for him that will appreciate what a fun little bird he is, but I'm just struggling with the thought of "abandoning" him. I'm also taking into consideration his age, he is 9, and while that isn't extremely old, he isn't young either, and I think it would be harder to find him a home.

    I'd probably give him away, no adoption fee, with his cage, toys, food, etc, but thoroughly check out adopters with home visits, reference checks, etc.

    I feel terrible for even thinking about this, but I just truthfully don't have time him on a daily basis. When I got him I was in grade school and of course had hours to spend with him, but as a full time college student plus a full time BO, it isn't working.

    Any suggestions? Has anyone ever had to make a decision like this? I feel like an awful person.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    I thought birds like parrots live for years and years. Is nine really old for a cockatiel? You are not an awful person for wanting your pet to be in a home with more attention. Is there any possible way you could keep him at the barn? Then there would be all sorts of people around for him to interact with. Or, could you get him a bird friend?
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


    • #3
      Small birds tend to live closer to 15 yrs rather than the large birds that can live something like 75 yrs!
      Birds can be a bit tough. I am out of my place a lot too and my little lovie is sometimes in his cage too much. He hasn't seemed to suffer any sadness from that and in fact even when I am home a lot he comes out of his cage for maybe 5 mins at a time then wanders back in and stays in there for 30-60 minutes before maybe wandering out again.
      I do think a lot of bird owners, unless super dedicated bird people, have birds for a couple years then rehome them. So if you do give your little bird away I don't imagine it will be his last home so that's something to be aware of.
      When I was younger we had two cockatiels. Mine and my dads. When my bird got sick of liver disease (I think) and had to be put to sleep, we did rehome my dads bird as he was an evil little thing and you couldn't really do much with him. I don't know how they went about that though.


      • Original Poster

        Generally cockatiels lifespans are between 15-20 years, not nearly as long as large parrots.
        Barn is not an option, there is no heat and they are tropical birds.
        I had a 2nd cockatiel, but she had to be PTS about a year ago because of seizures. I'm not very willing to get another bird because that is another 15+ year commitment. As much as I love birds, I don't think I want another.

        I think he's definitely minding the lack of attention, he is a PITA to get back in his cage and will scream when you walk out of the room. I try to let him out daily, but usually only 10-15 mins is active "play time".

        I would definitely be very thorough in finding a home for him, I'm just not sure if it is the best thing for him. He may be bored but he is well cared for with quality food, some attention, and no stress. Im not sure how well he would adjust to a new life.

        Thanks for the replies!
        come what may

        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


        • #5
          Originally posted by Guin View Post
          I thought birds like parrots live for years and years. Is nine really old for a cockatiel? You are not an awful person for wanting your pet to be in a home with more attention. Is there any possible way you could keep him at the barn? Then there would be all sorts of people around for him to interact with. Or, could you get him a bird friend?
          Missed this earlier. As the OP said there is no way to keep a bird in a barn. Not only is it cold but birds are quite sensitive to drafts, both warm and cold as well as being very sensitive to airborne toxins. You cannot have things like air fresheners or non stick pans in your house so can't imagine how a bird might survive with fly sprays, grooming sprays, smoke from the farrier, ect.


          • #6
            Op>> Is your bird flighted? My bird is much more cooperative and quiet when he's clipped. My guy gnaws on his cage when he sees me home and his door is closed but like I said, he really doesn't mind being in his cage, specially when clipped, even when the door is open. He seems maybe a touch sad initially after being clipped (though clipping them is a bit traumatic cause you have told hold their bodies and they don't like that) but after a couple days he's back to his normal self just quieter and more chill. Still comes out and sits on my shoulder and plays in my clothing and such.


            • #7
              Maybe you can find him a shorter lived bird friend, like a parakeet? Keep them in separate cages, but side by side? You'd have to have a sleep over date though, just to make sure they like each other.


              • #8
                My mom's cockatiel lived to be nearly 30! It was a sad day in our family when he finally passed-I'd known him my whole life.

                Anyway-he was very bonded to a parakeet my mom had and that really helped him when we were gone at work/school all day. He went through a few companion birds but really enjoyed them.

                But I have given animals away in the past too. In my experience, just put out some feelers and see what shows up. Sometimes nothing and sometimes the greatest possible person shows up. Use due diligence and if you decide to let him go, shut the door and wish them well.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                • #9
                  While I'd never put an ad on craigslist or anything, I've had great luck rehoming dumped kitties via Facebook. I toss it up there, it gets shared around, and usually a good home comes out of it. Many of my kitties have gone to friends of friends...and we become Facebook friends and they tag me in photos of their new kitty, just so I can stay somewhat connected.

                  All of mine go out completely UTD on everything (and spayed/neutered if the idiot who dumped them didn't do that) and with a lifetime "I'll take them back at any point" guarantee.


                  • #10
                    There isn't any harm in putting up an ad on craigslist or at local stores. Advertising doesn't mean you have to let him go but it will give you an opportunity to see what kind of homes emerge. The perfect home might be right around the corner.


                    • #11
                      If you're close to me I would love to give him a chance! We have a 9 yo cockatiel that we've been discussing finding a pal for him because he really loves talking with other birds. We give him attention too of course but he used to have a bird friend that passed away years back and he's been a little more off since then, I just don't want another young one due to his age we thought one around the same age would be good. I'm in Stroudsburg, Pa. Just a thought for you I would do a home visit and contract too. And of course if you're near me you can certainly come visit too!
                      The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


                      • #12
                        If you're near a vet hospital big enough to have an avian specialist or department, you could put the word out through them in case they have a client looking for a new bird.
                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry