What you see online does not portray what animal ownership is really like
Pet ownership online is extremely glorified, every time you see a goofy little pet your initial instinct is to scream “I want one!” because it’s cute and doesn’t seem that difficult to care for.
What is posted on Tumblr and other networks does not accurately display what it’s like really working with these animals on a daily basis.
Here’s a few personal examples:
Online: “All the birds online do this, it must be a common behaviour, they all must love it! I want a bird so I can do this!”
Reality: Months of refusing human contact, seldom wanting to be around people, every moment of my free time spent training and working to create a positive bond where she would then allow me to do this, not all birds like being touched, there’s never a guarantee they would learn to like it
Online: “Wow this is neat, I want a bird so I can do this, I would look really cool!”
Reality: Years of setting up a good diet, years of basic training, years of trust building, her refusing to cooperate, lack of training interest, struggling to get her back on track, months of learning the concept, making sure the right muscles develop properly, feeding a diet to help muscle development, training her so she flies correctly without harming herself, gaining her confidence so she takes off on her own,
Online: “I want a bird so I can take it out for walks and show off!”
Reality: Months of getting used to the harness, learning to put on the harness, learning to be comfortable with the harness on, getting her used to the outdoors, climate adjustments, watching her behaviours, making sure every outdoor experience is a good one, months of recall training and trust building so if something goes wrong there’s a better chance of her coming back.
Online: “Aw they’re so cute I want them!”
Reality: Introducing them properly, making every encounter positive, weeks of quarantine, making sure they get used to each-other over the course of a few months, setting up multiple food bowls, eliminating aggression that occurred, spending a lot of time trying to figure out what they’re fighting over, solving the problems, there’s no guarantee two birds will ever get along
Online: “wow what a pretty blue! I want a blue bird, it’s such a cool colour!”
Reality: Trying to set up a proper diet, refusing to eat vegetables, developing fatty liver disease, feather pigmentation faded, spent several months trying to convert her on to a fresh food diet, running out of ways to serve foods so she’ll eat it, finally converting her, struggling to convert her on to pellets, spending every single present day working to feed this picky eater, spending hours preparing meals just so she will be healthy
Online: “wow those feather sure are pretty! I want a bird to be flighted so it can fly to me on command!”
Reality: Years of proper training, setting her up on the right path, making sure to exercise certain muscles so she can control her flight, bird proofing the entire house, having loads of safety precautions put in place, doing training to exercise her brain so the reactions develop properly, putting obstacles in the way so she learns to maneuver, flight training so she has the strength to fly against winds if she ever escapes, recall training in case anything goes wrong, working to build confidence in her flight abilities, daily flight sessions so she continues to build muscle.
That doesn’t even include all the cage cleaning, expenses, socialization, stimulation and day to day care these little birds need.
Almost everything online is glorified to some extent, if you see something you think is cute or that you would like one in the future please research it! Get hands on experience and learn about them, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that you may think.