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"A study of the too in a common household. I'm not a professional trainer or a breeder. I've just had lots of experience with too's owning one and being involved with them in other families, pet stores, vets, etc. Being in a small town, I get the phone calls to come assist with large birds because their owners are afraid of them or even the vet is a bit afraid. The most important thing is don't let your too rule you - and they will if you think of them as an object or a conversation piece. They are almost human! LOL! Little feathered boogers. I have a 12 year old too named Ziggy. He is definitely the boss and the joy of the house hold. World's best doorbell and burglar alarm. LOL! He notices things outside even before the dog does. Too's are wonderful birds and wonderful pets if you have the courage and the patient nature it will take you'll be a good "daddy" or "mommy". They are the most affectionate of all the birds and that's what draws people to them. They can play so coy and sweet. But, be prepared as your mighty too will be a perpetual 2 year old for his/her entire life. They are very curious and get bored easily if not interacted with all the time. Hence the antique furniture and everything else getting chewed up if you are not watching them like a 2 year old. Extremely intelligent and can have a very large vocabulary if you work with them. Ziggy can carry on a full conversation with you and it makes sense. He can argue, reason and barter with you. Loves people. Laughs like a human. You just really need to know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to get one of these mighty birds. They can be very sneaky and they have great precision with their beaks. They can peel wallpaper right off of the wall and also remove the label off a CD without damaging the plastic. They also act out if they are mad or during a full moon. They want to be a part of your world and they are almost human. They want to do what you do and go where you go. Indoor or outdoor. Ziggy will follow you right out the back door and into the back yard. They are the world's best snugglers and will just love all over you. They are EXTREMELY LOUD!!! I mean, hear them 5 blocks away loud! Ear piercing shreiking scream! You just can't have a too if you are in an apartment. No way. And there's no way to quiet them either. With work they won't scream as much but that is still part of their nature and a game. If Ziggy gets on a screaming binge I go scream with him. He loves it! It's a game and he'll calm down very quickly if I play with him and scream. For example, when we first got Ziggy it was in the fall and warm enough to have the windows open. He wasn't secure in his surroundings yet so he did do a lot of screaming. Neighbors showed up and were ready to call the police. They wanted to know what autistic child we were beating! That's not a joke! That really happened! They lived 3 blocks away. They aren't usually, however they will bite if threatened or scared. A loud sound like a truck backfire may cause the bird to nip you simply because it depends on you to protect it. That's your cue to get rid of the scary thing. If they are mad they will bite. If they are on you and feel like you aren't paying enough attention they will bite. "If bird is displeased - bird will let you know!" Converse with the bird. They love to talk back and its so interesting to watch them shape that tongue and beak trying so hard to form words and talk back. They are so sincere in their response. They want to communicate with you. They are very social and love people. You usually don't have to worry about them being a one person bird. However, most guests you have are a little leary so you need to be with them while they are interacting with the bird. They don't understand the behaviors like you do and they can misinterpret behaviors and possibly get bit. The bird will show off and jump and down and giggle, and whistle and yell while the bird is on their shoulder. That scares people and they will jerk back and the bird will bite to hang on. Warn your guests of this. Just stay calm and don't jerk around. Everybody wants to see the pretty birdie! Especially children and too's don't particularly like jerky, small, fast moving children. Not a good idea to let the bird get on children unless the bird is already used to children being in the house. Also have guests remove earrings, glasses and necklaces before handling them because birdie will go straight for them. Not that birdie will pull them out but the guest will jerk away and rip their earrings out that way. Its an automatic reaction to them, whereas to you, you can just say, "Quit it" and the bird will stop. Guests don't realize that and it is a natural reflex to jerk away. Ziggy has a strict rule, "No hats on in the house." He will take your hat off your head and throw it on the ground and laugh. They can be trained to do tricks. Play dead or even ride a skateboard if you are willing to work with them. His laugh is what gets everybody going. A hearty robust laugh that is appropriate. He knows what's funny. He can watch TV and laugh at the appropriate moments. Loves music and loves to dance and show off. Usually Ziggy is very quiet and calm when it's just us but when company is around he stays animated and won't calm down until everybody has played with him for a minute. Then you are excused. LOL! Talking? Watch what you say! Of all the wonderful cute little phrases you teach your birdie, you can rest assure that it has learned EVERYTHING else you've said or that they've heard on TV! Just let the preacher come over for a visit and the birdie will shoot off a string of cuss words knowing EXACTLY what he's doing! LOL! They are very loveable but I tell people up front when they think of getting a too that the name of the bird should be "destruct-a-birdie." They love wood and they can splinter it in a heartbeat. I always keep a supply of 2x4 pieces for Ziggy to chew up. Works better than any $40 colored wooden thing you can buy in the stores and its cheaper too! He doesn't like toys and will ignore them. He only wants wood to chew on. Highly intellengent and great problem solvers. When I first got Ziggy he was peeling the wallpaper off the wall so I was going to be smart and put plexiglass around the top of the cage so he wouldn't chew. (The walls are painted now. LOL!) I got the plexiglass and drilled holes it in to mount to the cage with "U" bolts. I threaded the nuts down on the U bolts finger tightened. I went to the kitchen to get a pair of plyers to tighten the bolts down good. When I got back to the cage, Ziggy had one of the U bolts in his beak and handed it to me and giggled. THAT'S how fast they are and that's how smart they are. You just shake your head and laugh. "My bird chewed up all the doors, baseboards and door frames! We had to get rid of him!" Yep! That's why all mine are wrapped in tin and that's why you keep a fresh supply of wood for the bird to chew on. Food? Ziggy is a bottomless pit. LOL! He loves anything you love. He gets his own plate at the table and climbs the chair himself and hops on the table and eats with me. This causes problems because during dinner parties he expects to be part of the dinner. LOL! Most guests do not want a big bird at the table even on his perch. Yes there is seed for him to eat in the cage but too's love anything. Fruits and starches and even meats. They need other foods besides the seed. You also have to watch house plants. You will find you have your own personal gardener. LOL! Some plants can be deadly to birds so watch the plants you have. Also they love things with bright colors. Cleaning chemicals, etc. come in brightly colored plastic jugs. Need I say more? Remember - 2 year old child. Just use common sense and you and your too will be very happy together. Not to scare you off but just use good common sense. If a child can get hurt doing it, so can a too. We didn't know anything when we got him. He was handed over to us and he was very unsocialized. Look at the pretty birdie! In that first few months I don't know how he survived because we didn't know what to watch out for. He ate a battery. He ate a gallon jug of bubble bath. Each time I thought, "Well, that's the end of THAT bird!" Be proactive and remember you have a 2 year old in the house. Sharp beak? Sharp claws? Use a dremel. You can get battery powered dremels for dog nails. You'll be surprised at what a game you can make to get your too used to it. Ziggy lets me do his nails and his beak without any fluff of the feathers. He feels very pretty after they are all done. They have that much trust in you. I wouldn't use a dremel bit on a drill. Too forceful. The battery operated one is much safer. Even clipping the wings he'll just sit there and let me do it but you have to work with them. He used to grab the scissors with those big pink feet and throw them across the room. If you have ceiling fans then you must keep those wings clipped because birdie is gonna fly at some point. Either scared by a noise or just looking for you. Messy? Oh yeah! They are mess cats. If you can't handle bird seed flung all around the cage and poop - go no further. "Doo Dissolve" is a wonderful product and smells wintergreenish to get rid of the poop. Putting a towel down on the floor around the cage will help. We have lots of "birdie towels." And they love to start pooping and throwing seeds right after you've cleaned up. LOL! They'll show YOU! They have to interact and they can't just be locked up in their cage. They'll start plucking from neglect. Ziggy runs free in the house when I'm home and sleeps in his cage while I'm at work. I come home at lunch and play with him every day. And then of course when I get home he's usually on my shoulder, running around the house or on his perch waiting for me to finish cooking dinner. Vacations are a problem too. You can't leave the bird for a week or two. You must get somebody to come at least take care of the bird or board it. Fortunately, we have a vet in town that boards large birds and Ziggy is allowed to run around the shop and they feed him their lunch. He gets to play all day and the customers love him. Is all this worth it? YOU BET IT IS! That is my baby! I wouldn't let Ziggy go for a million bucks! And you'll be the same way. At least you will have some insight and be prepared for the little feathered monster. LOL! Just don't be scared of the bird. You have to be in charge and the bird will respect you. If you are timid and cower away from the bird, he will take charge of YOU. And that means doing it with finese. NEVER hit your bird! You may be frustrated but NEVER EVER hit your bird! Both of you take a time out and work on the behavior problem that was unacceptable. They will learn and they will stop certainly behaviors if you do it right and not lose your cool. "
"ALAN"

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