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Member Name: danielleg1989
Date: 06/08/12, updated on 09/08/12 (179 review reads)
Advantages: A great companion for as long as 50 years depending how well your Eclectus is looked after.
Disadvantages: Can be messy but worth it
I have chosen to write about Eclectus Parrots because my gorgeous little Oscar is one of the most wonderful pets that I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I absolutely adore him! I got him about a year ago just before Christmas and not long before moving into my first home. He is not even one year old yet and already has an extensive vocabulary. When I got him I was still living with my Mum. She got a female Eclectus which she has named Nikita at the same time that I got Oscar.
GETTING OUR EKKIES
When getting Oscar and Nikita we found two lovely people who breed birds of all kinds and we arranged to get our Parrots. We went to the breeders house and visited Oscar and Nikita to see how they were doing before the wonderful day when we finally were able to bring them home. On the visit I walked over to Oscar in his cage and he walked right towards me. Well maybe walked is the wrong word to describe it. He marched towards me. Yes that is a much better way to explain it lol! He does this little walk and it is like he is marching and he even hops. The first time I saw him he tilted his little head inquisitively as if to say who is this? I fell in love with him in a heartbeat. The whole experience of getting our Parrots was great and one I will never forget.
The people who bred the Parrots had so many different types of beautiful birds and in such beautiful surroundings too. They made us feel really welcome for the duration of the time we were there. I even got to see a Hawk Head which was great. It was so comical and cute and I have never seen a bird like it before. The breeders always kept us up-to date on how our Parrots were doing. Going home without Oscar on the day that we visited was really difficult though. I wished I could of just brought him home straight away but we had to wait another few weeks until they were both ready. While we waited until the day when we could finally pick them up. Mum and I prepared everything required for their arrival. We got a large shiny new cage. We made sure it was more than big enough for them both and that it had plenty of perches for them to climb on and toys to keep them entertained. Mum rang the breeders to ask about our ekkies and was told that Oscar loved showering and even done belly flops in the shower and heard about her Eclectus Nikita too of course.
BRINGING THEM HOME
On the day when we were getting them I was so excited. So much so that I did not even sleep the night before. We were told that Nikita (mums bird) was the tame one but my Oscar still needed a little bit of work. I did not let that deter me though and I was handling him from the very first day that I got him home. When we got them in their cage (they already knew each other) as they are Brother and Sister and that helped a great deal with them not biting each others heads off. They looked so beautiful standing next to each other. Each has their own very bright and different colorings making their feathers stand out even more and they really complement each other when they are together because of that. Handling Oscar from that first day was easy because he learned so fast and now he never bites. Well unless play biting and that does not hurt at all. All parrots including the Eclectus use their mouth in a similar way to how we use our hands. So sometimes you would be forgiven for getting confused and thinking that your parrot is biting you. In that instance it is actually just trying to grab onto you and probably wants to climb onto your hand, arm or shoulder. It took them a few days to feel at home and really settle in. This was seen in how they behaved towards us. They went from being a little shy to making a lot more noise once they had settled in and they wanted out of their cage much more. Whereas to begin with they retreated back to the comfort of their cage very quickly.
As with any type of animal it is important to know exactly what you are letting yourself in for. Me and my Mum studied a great deal on how to keep, feed, train and keep our Ekkies happy. We also got a book which was of great use and helped us to feel more informed but it seems no matter how much research you do. Every day you are still learning new things about your parrot. I am not ignorant enough to think after less than a year that I know everything but I can share my experiences and maybe inspire someone else to let one of these wonderful little parrots in their life. They really are such a rewarding animal to have.
Ultimately research led to us feeling more comfortable with our little friends when we got them home and I feel we maybe would not of felt so comfortable if we had not done it. In light of that I would definitely recommend researching these Parrots before giving one a home because it is important to know which sex you want. Male and Female Eclectus are so different from each other. Often Females are reported to be nasty and Males are said to be more laid back and friendly. There is always exceptions of course and it is best to form your own opinion and decide which you prefer. In my experience though I have found Oscar to be a sweetie because he is so loving. Nikita has a bad temper and has bitten me under the eye. She bites mum regularly and has bitten my Dad and my Brothers on several occasions.
Oscar has attacked me only once and I believe it is because of his protective instinct. I was brushing my hair and he was on his cage right in front of me. Something about the motion of the hairbrush hitting my head really made him uncomfortable and it seems he just does not like anything to touch my head. He kept growling at the hair brush and eventually he flew at me. I spun around to try and stop him biting me but he kept flying until he got me. He sunk his beak into the right side of my face and it was cut and bleeding quite badly. I told him off and put him in his cage and he has never done anything like that since. Eclectus picks up on things very quickly and are really intelligent. In my experience with Oscar once they know you are not happy with any particular behavior they desist.
FEEDING MY ECLECTUS
When we first got our Ekkies the breeders gave us a special mix of food just like baby food and Oscar and Nikita loved it. They would of done anything for it and as soon as they saw the syringe full of the special mix they came running and would always make this adorable little noise when they were getting it. Once Oscar and Nikita were the correct age we stopped giving them the special formula. The correct age to stop feeding them the formula is between four and five months and we chose to stop feeding them it at around five. It is important to feed Eclectus a healthy diet and not give them foods that do not agree with them. Oscar loves Corn and Fruits. Chopped apples, bananas and strawberry's. Occasionally I treat him to some scrambled egg which he goes nuts for. He lifts his food in his claw just like we humans do with our hands and munches away on it. It is entertaining to see an Eclectus eat. It turns its head and its eye dilate and it looks like it is extremely deep in thought every time it eats. I currently feed him a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and Jollyes Premium Parrot Food which has ingredients such as SunFlower Seeds, Whole Oates, Flaked Maize, Whole Maize, Flaked Peas, Sultanas, Banana Chips, Pineapple, Pasteurized Egg Powder, Chilli's etc. And I always keep his water topped up. I never give him Chocolate or avocado as those are two of the many things toxic to parrots. http://birds.about.com/od/feeding/tp/poi​ ;sonousfoods.htm That website is helpful for owners of parrots or potential owners doing research as it lists ten of the most toxic foods.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE EKKIES
The differences between the Male and Female Eclectus are actually very profound. The Male has a lovely green plumage with varying colors under his wings. Oscar has light blues and red and yellow colors on him. Nikita mums Eclectus has reds, blue and purple coloring and a yellow tail. Oscar has a bright orange beak with some yellow on it but Nikita's is all black. As previously mentioned there are rumors in regards to the difference in temperament between the Male and Female Eclectus. I personally have found my Male Eclectus to be much sweeter but I am sure there are gentle Females Eclectus out there too. I have also noticed my Male Eclectus speaks much more than mums Female one. Another thing is that Oscar seems to be quite more trusting with new people and he will climb on them without biting but Nikita does not let anyone hold her except mum. Oscar is only really cheeky to someone if he is being protective of me.
I wanted so much to get a parrot that could talk a lot and was not sure which one to get. I got Oscar after seeing Riley the Eclectus on YouTube. I just had to have one and once my mind is set on something there is no changing it. Riley spoke loads and was hilarious to watch and I knew I would benefit greatly from having a lovely little bird like that in my life. At the time I was ready for leaving mums and moving out into my own home and was nervous and very aware of how lonely it could be. I needn't of worried because Oscar has been a wonderful companion pet and I can only hope to have loads more years with him. Now I have Oscar, my BF and our dog Magnum I feel much more content but it was Oscar before they entered my life who kept me company and brought smiles, laughter and happiness into it. Oscar has in an incredibly short time learned so many words. I am amazed but then I did spend a lot of time with him. Talking to him constantly has paid off. He use to sit on my shoulder all night until he fell asleep and seemed to start talking most just as he was getting sleepy but now much to my delight he never stops talking. He currently says the following. Hello, Omg, What are you doing?, What's your name? My name is Oscar, I love you, Whose a gorgeous green birdie?, Night night, Ouch, Hahahaha, Danielle, Wheres my gorgeous Paul?, Hiya, Peekaboo, I'm sorry, Wolf whistles, Whose a good boy?, Good birdie, Scary grudge noise, Ooooh, are you being cheeky?, Are you being a cheeky bird?, Naughty, Oi, Wheres my gorgeous wee bird, Hello Oscar, Owww, No, Screams, Where were you?, Mumbles, Paul, Ok, What? And he also sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The cage you house your Eclectus in should be to be at least 30" wide, 24" deep, and 36" high. Oscar now has his own cage and seems much happier. Even though he had plenty of space in the one he shared with Nikita. He seems to have come out of his shell a lot since moving to my new home with me and having his own cage. Ideally they should have lots of toys and things to climb on. Oscar has a swing and he loves it and it is an added bonus that it is so enjoyable to watch him use it. His cage needs cleaned out regularly and becomes mucky very fast seeing as Oscar is a messy little green devil. It helps to put newspaper or something like it in the bottom of the cage because then all the mess falls onto it and it makes cleaning much easier. Cages vary in price the one Oscar has cost over one hundred pounds but you can shop around if you want better deals.
Eclectus are not cheap to keep but neither are most animals and I am lucky in that my mum gives me half of the food that she gets for Nikita. That means I do not have to buy Oscar food because the bag is so big it feeds them both easily for a month at a time. Buying fresh fruit and veg and the odd treat here and there can be expensive. You may want to insure your parrot as they are very expensive animals and particular sites offer cover for an accident, sickness or disease, up to £2,500 or £5,000 etc. Oscar and Nikita cost 600 pounds each. Expensive but so worth it and I know mum would agree as she loves Nikita as much as I love Oscar. I once bought a pinata for Oscar on Ebay because I read that parrots love to forage. I was so looking forward to when Oscar finally opened it all up and found all of the parrot style treats inside. Instead it had just one tiny bit of food for him and I was really disappointed because I spent around 15 pounds on it and it was Santa shaped and I got him it for Christmas.
Eclectus like any pet can be prone to different types of illness and some of those include foot tapping, feather plucking, bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Some illnesses can be avoided by keeping your Ekkie on a healthy diet. Some like feather plucking can happen if the Eclectus is distressed and to avoid this you should keep your parrot contented. Eclectus are intelligent and need a lot of attention and they are a big commitment because they live so long. They need a lot of love, mental stimulation, space and they need to exercise. The fact that they are referred to as companion parrots really is true to them. If you get one of these birds it will quickly become your best friend. They are such expressive and intelligent birds and getting mine was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Grand Eclectus (Eclectus roratus roratus)
Red-sided Eclectus (Eclectus roratus)
Solomon Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratus solomonensis)
Vosmaeri (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri)
Biaki or Biak Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratis biaki)
Sumba Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratus cornelia)
Australian Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi)
Tanimbar Islands Eclectus or Riedeli's Eclectus (Eclectus roratus riedeli)
New Guinea Red-sided Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus polychloros)
Aru Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus aruensis
Westerman's Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus westermani)
Summary: A brilliant pet parrot to have