August 18, 2011 § 17 Comments
I admit that I have, on occasion, entertained the idea of relinquishing Sabrina. Translate: I’ve thought about rehoming Sabrina.
There, I said it.
Have I made an plans to do it or am I actually going to do it? No, probably not, or at least not at the current time. I’m definitely committed to trying my best to make it work. But I needed to get this off my chest.
Rehoming is not something I take lightly, at all. I definitely think of myself as my birds’ forever homes, and brought them home with the attention of keeping them forever. They’re more than pets to me; they mean the world to me. But I do understand that there are many valid reasons to rehome a parrot. I have always thought that for me personally, it would only happen under one circumstance: both that the parrot was causing a serious upset of a violent nature in my household or flock, and that I could find the parrot a better or more suitable home than that with me. Both parts of the equation are very important to me, since I don’t take the adoption or bringing home of a parrot lightly, either. If I made the decision to bring him or her home, I made the decision to give it all I’ve got to making it work. I know that parrots don’t take rehoming easily and that the bonds, trust, and relationships broken aren’t easy on such a sentient creature. So it would very seriously not have to be working for us, and I would have to have a clear alternative that would be better for both my flock and the parrot in question.
With Sabrina, I would say that with her recent developments, we definitely have the first condition fulfilled. She has posed a serious threat to Charles in the past two weeks. Her chasing him and pulling his tail has escalated into full on beak fighting, pouncing on him, biting toes and feet, and other very aggressive behaviors. I don’t allow them out of the cage together anymore, but the problem is that even when I allow her out, she immediately goes to his cage and starts provoking him through the bars. The other difficulty is that she absolutely hates me now for trying to break up her squabbles, and completely runs from me. She used to be very good about stepping up, but now it is literally a thirty minute ordeal when I need to get her back into the cage. On the one hand I feel that it is so utterly important for her to get out of cage time, but on the other, I really can’t do that as often as I’d like to if she is going to literally make me chase her around the room from high to low for half an hour. It’s good exercise for me, perhaps, but sometimes I have other things to tend to and can’t afford to leave her scrambling about the room by herself– especially considering that she has discovered that she can fit through the cage bars on Lola’s cage and likes to terrorize Lola, too. (Talk about a kamikaze budgie.) So she’s getting less out of cage time now, and neither of us are happy about that.
Then there’s the other half of the equation– finding her a better home. I’m just not sure about that half right now. I’m a big advocate for budgies. I adore them and I always try to treat them with the same dignity and loving adoration that I treat my Cape Parrot, despite the wide difference in price tag. But would most people spend the money on a welded swing to protect Sabrina’s toe nails– a swing that cost the equivalent of a pair of budgies at the pet store? I’m not sure. She gets freshly chopped veggies and sprouts every morning, as well as a freshly cooked meal nightly. All of it is organic, and I even tie up a big, organic leaf of chard or kale or broccolini in her cage as well because she likes to eat and climb at the same time. She wastes a lot of it, but she has a lot of fun in the process. She throws food up to four feet away and she screeches like a banshee. Finally, she bites indiscriminately and has a beak like a razor blade. She’s a whole lot of budgie and a whole lot of effort.
I have considered finding someone or somewhere with an aviary setting for budgies only, where she could be with other budgies and join a flock and just be a bird. But I’m not sure that that would necessarily be what she wants. She is kind of a menace to other birds and she also needs an inordinate amount of toys to keep her busy. I have never seen a budgie destroy like she can. She saws through willow wood!! She is also an avid metal chewer and I wouldn’t trust her with anything but stainless steel.
So therein lies my dilemma. If I really, sincerely thought she’d be happier somewhere else– well, it’d be hard, but I would strongly consider rehoming her. But I won’t let her go to just anybody, anywhere. I’m also hoping that maybe, just maybe, we can turn it around. I’m sincerely hoping that the new cage helps. I guess I should finally write an official entry on it one of these days.
Why am I writing about this? I guess on the one hand, it is somewhat cathartic for me. But more importantly, I don’t feel that I talk about the “downs” of parrot ownership enough. I love bragging about my birds. I’m definitely guilty of that. They are gargantuan sources of joy and even learning in my life. But not everything is peachy keen, not even for my small flock of three.