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The Tipping Point

When does one more pet become too many?

By Melissa L. Kauffman

It is important for bird owners to know their limitHow many birds is too many? This something BIRD TALK’s editors have chatted about a lot over the years. I’ve seen people live quite happily with anything from one bird to 10 birds. I’ve seen people who are miserable with one bird or 10 birds. Some people believe one cockatiel is enough; others think nothing of having five cockatoos.

I have always tried not go over my tipping point, as I’ve talked to so many other people who have gone over theirs, and my heart has broken for them and their birds. But even my best made plans have recently been thwarted. Here’s what happened:

Many years ago, after I got my first bird, Carlisle, a cockatiel, I received a second bird as a gift, a budgie named Kistler. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle both birds, a busy work schedule and my social life. However, I did and my fears soon melted away. Not too much time passed when I adopted a third bird. Once again, I didn’t choose to adopt another bird. Natty, another cockatiel, lost his home when his owners moved away and I took him in after letting myself be guilted into it. So there I was with three small birds, three medium cages and a playgym in my bedroom. I was a renter and low on the workplace food chain.

**For the full article, pick up the December 2008 issue of BIRD TALK**

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