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Lost duck tragedy & cockatiel question

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  • Lost duck tragedy & cockatiel question

    We have a lot of poultry: thirteen chickens and three ducks. They're all lovely birds, but ONE was special. Pickle was my eight year-old daughter's Rouen drake, whom she got as a duckling. We wanted her to try owning a duck before getting a budgie or cockatiel, which she had really wanted.

    She ADORED that duck. She taught him to come, heel, fly on command, walk on a leash, and come into the house for cold baths in the tub. He seemed really fond of her, too.

    This week, right around his 1 year birthday, Pickle went missing from our fenced (but uncovered) yard. There are no signs of a scuffle but after four days we've lost hope of having him return. We haven't lost other birds, so it's a really surprising tragedy.

    Our daughter is devastated, and I don't think we're going to get her another duck. We like letting our poultry range in the yard during the day, and can't risk having her lose another cherished friend. Instead, we plan to help her buy a house bird (probably a cockatiel) after some grieving time has passed. She's definitely demonstrated her enduring interest in birds!

    I had lots of budgie and cockatiel experience as a child, and my birds always did fine in a poorly insulated, wood-heated farmhouse. Now that I'm an adult and the owner of my own poorly insulated wood-heated farmhouse, I wonder how those birds survived! Anyone else with pet birds and a woodstove? I'm thinking we would be OK as long as the little guy was caged in a different room (not too close to the stove) and kept comfortable with a heat lamp or fume-free space heater.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

  • #2
    I have macaws (Red front and a Blue and Gold) and a wood stove -I also had a cockatiel and green cheek conure (these are very small birds). You should watch them bask in the heat. I have a catalytic stove so I don't know if that makes a difference. I have asthma myself and don't have any issues with the stove.

    One thing that is very important -the stoves come covered in a grease like cosmoline or something. You have to burn that off before you use your stove. That's best done in the warm months with all your windows and doors open. I thought with all the doors and windows open the birds would be okay for it, but they showed distress (wet head feathers indicating nasal discharge) and they had to go outside.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

    Comment


    • #3
      As long as they aren't in a draft cockatiels can handle the cold fairly well. And as long as the woodstove is working correctly it should not be an issue. The biggest danger I can see is tbe bird being out of its cage, getting spooked, flying and landing on the stove and burning its feet.

      Comment


      • #4
        My friends from Talk Budgie do suggest that the bird room is kept cool in the winter. Some say they keep it as low as 60 degrees!

        of course, the feed has to be adjusted accordingly.


        Since I have forced air central heat, I can't single out one room to be that cold, and if, it would be my bedroom....

        The key is that it isn't drafty. oat groats are suggested as additional feed during cold spells. Mine love it in their supplement feed.
        (that reminds me, i meant to hang the feeders up...)
        Originally posted by BigMama1
        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
        GNU Terry Prachett

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        • #5
          Aww, you sound like such a nice parent. Sorry for your daughter's loss--I hate it when that happens. Just a quick question, as from my experience "losing" chickens with no signs of distress (feathers, crime scene type stuff), is there any place Pickle could have gotten stuck in? I've had chickens get into wooden boxes, a barrel etc. and was so lucky to find them alive and fine. Anyway, good luck to you and your family.
          I LOVE my Chickens!

          Comment


          • #6
            We've had four parakeets in completely wood heated drafty houses. We've had the birds for probably nine years now total. I always cover them at night in the winter-they don't care how cold it gets and they're really been in some cold temps, lower than 60 for sure, but I always cover them with a good blanket for the night. I lift the front or two side of the blanket off the cage in the day but I rarely take the whole blanket off in the winter, I always leave them a little corner where they can get under cover. If our wood cook stove (which is all we use in the winter) has a "dietary indiscretion" I always run for the birds and shut them in a room with good air, never spray bug killer or anything into the air. I feed ours lots of spinach and vegies, cooked quinoa... and I keep all the doors shut with scissor snaps. We have had the birds figure out how to open the doors and with six cats in the house that was a little too Wild Kingdom... Ours are right out with us so they go through the temperature variance that we do on a daily basis, from cold nights to toasty warm evenings. If we have a sunny winter day and the wood stove is going really well I give them a bowl of lukewarm water to bath in and make sure they dry off in the heat; they love the spa day.

            I'm so so sorry for your daughter; I can only imagine how heart-breaking it was to her and for you to see her go through that! We have a very spoiled pet duck too and I can imagine how hard it was to lose yours.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't have a wood stove, but I do keep my house pretty cool - 62 usually in the winter - and I have 4 'keets and a lovebird. I think as long as they are healthy, and not in a draft or drastic temp changes, they're fine. I actually love to burn candles when the house is closed up - usually just one or 2 yankee candle jars in my 2000 SF house. They are not too close to the cages but I can smell them when I'm near the cages. Never had a problem.

              As far as a wood stove - as long as it's not smoking up the house I think it should be okay. Also be careful about burning treated wood (ie, from the lumber store where it's treated for outside use). That can give off not-good fumes that are not healthy for you or the birds.

              Cockatiels can be fun birds to have. I had one who lived to be 18 years old. He didn't like to be petted or handled (he was a pet shop rescue, not hand raised), but he loved to be talked and whistled to and would whistle and sing back. My parents inherited my sister's 'tiel and they love her. She loves my Dad especially and loves to 'help' him eat his breakfast.

              'Keets can be cool but they don't live as long as cockatiels do, and they're harder to find hand-raised. (I would recommend a hand-raised bird from a good bird store or local breeder).

              I like a single lovebird better than a tiel because they have the big-bird personality in a small bird. But they are not for everyone as they can get nippy if not handled regularly. Mine divebombs and torments my dogs if I don't watch him. Luckily they are very tolerant.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for all the great advice! I'm in touch with a rescuer who has a Pionus who might suit our family. She and I are both doing some research on whether this particular bird could live safely with a woodstove and an air filter, and I have a call in to our vet (she and I use the same one, who's great with birds) for advice on the subject. I'll keep you guys updated!
                My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

                Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Megaladon View Post
                  Aww, you sound like such a nice parent. Sorry for your daughter's loss--I hate it when that happens. Just a quick question, as from my experience "losing" chickens with no signs of distress (feathers, crime scene type stuff), is there any place Pickle could have gotten stuck in? I've had chickens get into wooden boxes, a barrel etc. and was so lucky to find them alive and fine. Anyway, good luck to you and your family.
                  That's a good question! We have looked everywhere we can think of, in every nook and cranny, but I'll head out to talk to the neighbors in case he squeezed out and got stuck in someone else's odd spot!
                  My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

                  Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I grew up with a cockatiel. He was a great bird! They're pretty hardy little things. We treated him like a little dog. He came when called. He'd hop off his cage and run over - generally yelling, "COME HERE ALEX!!!" the entire way. It made sense in birdy logic. That's what we said to him... He'd also yell "COME HERE ALEX!" if he wanted someone to come pay attention to him. He had a whole bunch of things he said. He was a funny little guy.

                    He liked to get on the dinner table after we'd eaten and pick at the crumbs. Bread was usually involved and he LOVED to get all the crumbs.

                    I'd definitely recommend a 'tiel for a kid's pet!

                    My friend has two 'tiels and an African gray in her house. They've got a wood burning stove. The gray is actually in the living room that's really drafty. The back door where the dogs get let in and out is there and the ancient dog wants to go out about 37 times a day. His cage is only about 15 ft from the stove. The 'tiels are in her bedroom, but it gets fairly cold in there (and the entire house really) down into the 60s some nights.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One thing; some parrots are dusty -their feathers break down into dust. If you're an asthmatic like me you can't keep dusty birds. Cockatoos, Cockatiels, and African greys are dusty birds. If you have dust issues like allergies or asthma you should probably bypass these.

                      Paula
                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                        One thing; some parrots are dusty -their feathers break down into dust. If you're an asthmatic like me you can't keep dusty birds. Cockatoos, Cockatiels, and African greys are dusty birds. If you have dust issues like allergies or asthma you should probably bypass these.

                        Paula
                        I second this!! Used to breed Cockatiels, & am now the owner of a Citron-Crested Cockatoo. They produce what's known as "feather down" or "powder down", & it's specific & necessary to their health. Unfortunately, it also makes them highly unsuitable pets for anyone with allergies to dust or dander - animal-related or not.

                        Some folks devoted to these birds invest in specialized air purifiers (I believe the "Rabbit" brand is considered the best), but this is normally not feasible for the regular pet-owner.

                        Comment

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