Ask Lafeber


November 2, 2018

What Birds For This Schedule?


I was looking into some species of bird that I could possibly get within the next few years. I am currently a sophomore at a high school which means that I am away from the house for at least six to seven hours and even more if I have an after-school activity.

I am really liking some of your birds on your list, like Goffin’s Cockatoo. What bird species would be suitable for my schedule? I have a very spacious area for a cage, nearly half of a room and my budget would likely be a bit smaller for food since my family already has enough to feed and I would not like to stress them with a large price for the bird. What would you recommend?

Hanno C. Bohman


Hi Hanno,

Pet birds can get used to most schedules as long as you have time to handle them daily. But there is a lot more to think about in your situation. You may be going away to college or some other venture in a couple of years, so this may not be an ideal time to get a pet bird.

As far as expenses go, while the bird can be expensive, you also have the cost of the cage, a quality nutritionally balanced food, toys and other enrichment items and most importantly Veterinary care. A trip to the Avian Vet can be several hundred dollars for the first exam since it is important to have bloodwork and other testing done to make sure the bird is healthy. And you need to be prepared for unexpected Vet or other costs. Pet birds are fairly high maintenance and high cost.

Right now I would suggest that you keep researching different species and learn as much as you can about parrots. You might check and see if there is a parrot rescue in your area where you could volunteer. Or see if you can get a job working at a pet store that carries birds or at a bird breeder. You should try to handle some tame birds before you settle on a species. The Goffin’s Cockatoo you mentioned is not an ideal starter bird. They are very intelligent and really need an experienced owner. A cockatiel or small conure would be a better starting point. And when I say starter, this does not mean a bird you get rid of when you want a larger bird. But mainly a smaller bird can teach you a lot and if things work out, you can get a larger bird in the future as a second bird.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,



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