Parrots are awesome! They come in a wide range of colors, breeds, and sizes.
We’ve all, at one time or another, wanted a parrot in our homes. Some for the companionship, while others want a parrot for their amazing talking abilities. However, as much as we want these birds to live in our homes, they can be challenging. If you’re looking to adopt a parrot there are some things that you need to consider in advance before doing so.
Things to Consider Before Adopting a Parrot
Parrots are wild by nature. They’re not domesticated like our family pets. Many parrots still retain their survival instincts as those found in the wild. This means that when they’re bred or captured, they’re only a couple of generations removed from their native habitats. However, did you know that there are over 350 DIFFERENT species of parrots? According to Best Friends Save Them All website, you’ll need to “learn about that particular species’ care and behavioral needs, and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
They’re also long-lived creatures, which is something you should seriously consider when you go to adopt a parrot. Smaller parrots can live up to 20-30 years old, where larger breeds can live up to 60-80 years. That’s a lifetime commitment where your parrot could eventually outlive you. Are you up for that challenge? Here’s a cool video I recorded while at Disney World last year. The trainer gives a snippet of information on how long they live. The parrots in the video are already three years old and look how large they are!
Types of Parrots
Parrots come in many shapes and size, from small to large breeds. People forget that, when adopting a parrot, they come in smaller sizes. Let’s take a look at a few small parrots!
Image: Wonderful World via Facebook
These parrots are among the most popular among the smaller breeds. They’re a delight to both children and adults because they’re affectionate and playful. Being loving parrots, these little guys need time to spend with their owners. Each day they’ll need time out of their cages to socialize. They also need exercise and love to play with their owners as well. Cockatiels have been known to mimic sounds around them such as doorbells and ringing phones. However, they do not mimic spoken words. These parrots are easy to train and respond to positive reinforcement.
Image: Bird Addicts via Facebook
Looking for a parrot that is cute and adorable? Look no further than the smallest breed of parrot on Earth — the Parrotlet! These little parrots come in several varieties and beautiful colors. With proper care, they make great pets! Your Parrotlet will need lots of attention and exercise as they’re very social creatures. Some can even learn to talk! Prepare for fun and antics because these adorable animals have giant personalities.
Image: Pak Birds Planet via Facebook
Look how freaking cute these parrots are! Who could pass up a Budgie? The Spruce states that “is one of the smallest species of true parrots.” They are smart, can learn how to talk and known to rack up quite a vocabulary. Unlike other hookbills, Budgies can remain quiet for long periods of time. Being a small parrot is a bonus; they’re able to be housed in small cages. This makes them perfect for apartment dwellers who are not able to have dogs or cats.
Parrots come large, too. In some cases, really big. Here are some commonly kept large breeds.
Blue and Gold Macaws
Image: Birds Gallery via Facebook
These parrots have big personalities and are happier with owners who are experienced with hookbill behavior. They come in different colors to choose from, blue and gold being very popular. They need a lot of time out of their cages to socialize, so expect to spend a significant time with your macaw. Since they’re a very intelligent parrot they’re able to learn tricks well, which includes learning how to talk. If looking to adopt a parrot, the Blue and Gold Macaw are the least expensive. For more information on Macaws visit BeautyofBirds.com
Image: Wild Birds via Facebook
Eclectus Parrots are sexually dimorphic and have distinct plumage. The males are vivid green, where the females are a deep-red with blue-purple color on their bellies. These parrots come in three subspecies that can offer bird owners with more color variety. The Eclectus can live over 50 years if properly taken care of. Unfortunately, these parrots tend to be quite noisy birds. They’re inquisitive, like to chew, and also like to follow their owners around during daily activities.
Yellow Naped Amazon Parrot
Image: Animal Facts via Facebook
If you’re looking for a great companion, look no further than the Yellow Naped Amazon Parrot. They have been known to live up to 70 years or more! With its sunny disposition, you are sure to have a lot of fun with this parrot. The Yellow Naped Amazon Parrot bonds closely with their human owns. It is considered to be one of the best talkers in the parrot family, as well as being able to learn various other tricks.
These are just a few of a wide variety of parrots you can adopt. There are others such as the Quaker Parrot, Lorikeet, and Senegal Parrot, to name a few. There are several places you could adopt a parrot, such as Companion Parrots Re-homed. According to their website, “All potential adopters spend hands-on time with their potential adoption bird before adoptions are finalized.” This is particularly important for people who are not familiar with parrots. They can get a hands-on education of what it takes to take care of these beautiful creatures.
You’ve done your research on the type of parrot you want to adopt. Now comes the trickier part, especially if you’re serious about adopting a parrot. How to take care of one. There are things you are going to have to consider such as diet and nutrition, and what kind of cage they’ll need. You also need to think about how you’re going to bird proof your home. Every parent does this with a new child on the way, or as their children get older. It’s no different with a parrot. Let’s take a closer look at a parrot’s diet and nutrition.
Diet and Nutrition
It’s important to educate yourselves on what kind of foods your parrot are allowed to eat. Each species is different, though a lot of dry foods are similar to each other. However, with proper research, you can see that most parrot’s diets are the same. Clean water, dry seed mix, fruits and vegetables, and supplements are needed to stay healthy and live longer.
Parrots need variety in their diets, as they’ll become bored with their food. Never force them to eat something they don’t like. Their water should be clean and changed daily. Make sure to wash their dish with hot soapy water as to kill any fungus or bacteria. Their diet consists of dry foods such as a variety of seeds. Make sure to avoid fruit seeds as they can be toxic to your parrot.
Fruits and Vegetables
They enjoy a diet of fruits and vegetables as well. Like humans, parrots need these vitamins from their food to stay healthy and live longer. Sprouts, spinach broccoli, dried tomatoes, cooked sweet potatoes or yams are great vegetables for your ‘tiels. Avoid avocados, onions, garlic, and mushrooms as these are toxic to your parrot.
Mangos, apricots, bananas, oranges, grapes are great additions to any diet. Make sure to take out any seeds or pits before serving as some can be very dangerous. Make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before serving to wash away any pesticides residue.
Vitamins and Mineral Supplements
Supplement with a cuttlefish bone. These hold the calcium and minerals that are essential in their diets. They can be hung somewhere in the cage so the bird can nibble on them. You can give these up to twice a week.
According to Planned Parrothood, “A good probiotic or acidophilus will act to keep the bird’s gut flora at a ph level for proper absorption of food.” Also, limit table scraps that you give to your parrot. They can have small amounts of what we eat ourselves, but never give chicken bones as the marrow has a high level of cholesterol.
Parrots need a safe place in your home away from other animals that may do them harm. Parrot cages come in all shapes and sizes, which means adopting a parrot may cost you some money in this area. Now that you’ve gone to a rescue center or a pet store, you’re ready to adopt a parrot. Before you bring him or her home, you’re going to need to make room for them. Bird Cages 4 Less offers cages for all types of parrots. Here are some cage options to help you!
Here are some examples of cage options:
If you’re looking to house Cockatiels, here’s a birdcage on the cheaper side. Starting at $99.95, this cage is 20″W x 20″D x 59″H and comes in three colors, as well as two bar sizes.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger, this parrot cage starts at $229.00. It comes in four colors, is 27.5″W x 21.5″D x 70″H, and has a bar spacing of half an inch and a thickness of 2.2 mm.
Other options, other vendors
You can also find parrot cages on Amazon as well. The bigger the bird, the more expensive your cage is going to be. If you’re looking to adopt a Macaw or two, here are a couple of parrot cages to choose from.
This cage starts at $623. It is 46-Inch long, 36-inch wide, 78-3/4-inch high with 1-3/8 inch wire spacing. The bottom pulls out to make cleaning easier. This is the largest cage available from Prevue Pet Products.
This enclosure starts at $110 and comes in different sizes. Cage showed here is 40″ X 30″ X 73″H with a bar spacing 1 1/4”. It also comes with two feeders, a wood perch, and the bottom drawer pulls out for an easy clean.
Also, don’t forget, many parrot owners choose to build an Aviary, or large enclosure, to suit their needs, both indoors and out.
Housing parrots can become expensive, but having them is a joy in life. Take the time to find a parrot that suits you and your personality. If you are adept at carpentry, you can also save a little bit of money and build your own parrot cage. Either way, you’re going to need the room to house them.
Training Your Parrot
Training parrots can be fun and intimidating. This is your first bird, so it can be frustrating if they aren’t getting it right away. Be patient. Training a bird is almost like training your furry friends their own commands. Parrots are smart, and zoologists say that they have a cognitive ability like that of a three or four-year-old child. Here are some tips on how to train your parrot. Just remember, it takes time and sometimes years, to get a parrot trained.
Parrot Basics 101
After adopting a parrot, you’re going to need to transfer it from the carrier it came into the cage you purchased. Take the carrier into the same room or area where their cage resides. You’re about to find out if you’ve adopted an aggressive or non-aggressive parrot. Open the carrier and place your hand in slowly, keeping the carrier somewhat closed with your hand blocking the exit. Keep moving hand closer. Aim your fingers towards the feet. You can use one finger or your arm, say “step up” and it should step onto your finger or arm. Slowly take it out and introduce it to its new home. Close the cage door, talk to your parrot for a bit, and then leave it alone with its new home to become accustomed.
If you’ve acquired an aggressive parrot, or it didn’t step up when commanded. Use the same steps as above, yet grab quickly to the parrot’s feet. You’re not hurting it, and your new friend will get over this mishap in no time. Place in a new cage and repeat the same steps as with a non-aggressive parrot. If you’re still unsure, or nervous, watch this video on how to cage your parrot. There is also a great video on how to take your parrot out of the cage.
My Parrot Bites, Now What?
A lot of new parrot owners are going to experience their parrot biting them from time to time. However, it can become a behavior problem if not addressed asap. The number one reason your parrot bites is out of fear. It’s a self-defense mechanism. Make sure to form a positive relationship with your bird. Take a look at this video to prevent your bird from biting.
Training Your Parrot to Talk
This is one of the tricks most, if not all, parrot owners/trainers want to teach their parrots to do. Talking. You have to remember that not all parrots can talk. However, the ones that can talk, or mimic sounds around them, become very entertaining. Do the proper research on the species of parrot you adopt to find out if they can talk or not. For more training, take a look at this video, by HowCast.
Bird Proofing Your Home
Remember that birds use their mouths to explore their surroundings. Having a bird is like having a flying two-year-old in the house. So how do you bird proof your home?
- Windows: like wild birds, parrots are not going to understand glass. Clip their wings. It slows down their speed, yet still allows them to fly. Have drapes or blinds downs when you want your parrot out of the cage.
- Fans: These can pose a threat to your bird due to extreme temperature differences. Turn off all your fans when your parrot isn’t in their cage. Also, avoid putting their cages anywhere near a drafty area.
- Suffocation or Crushing: Parrots like to “hide” in or under small places they’d consider making a nest in. Make sure to check where you step or sit, so you don’t crush your bird. Also, make sure to check cupboards before closing them in case they decided to hide out inside one. They can easily suffocate if not noticed. Never sleep with your bird. Unlike a dog or cat, you could easily crush the little guy. Make sure to cover all air ducts so your parrot cannot explore these small mazes.
- Smoke and Fumes: A bird’s respiratory tract is very different from other animals. By the time we notice a smoke scent it is already harming your parrot’s respiratory tract. Smoke or fumes that are harmful to parrots include secondhand smoke from cigarettes and cigars, marijuana, kerosene and gasoline, paint and wood stains, beach, pine oil, ammonia, scented candles. The list can go on. If you’re using cleaning chemicals in large areas of the home, make sure to put your parrot outside temporarily while cleaning. Smoking outside is also a good idea.
Parrots, A Life-long Commitment
Parrots are wonderful creatures, and amazing to see in the wild if you’re in their designated domains. They’re also a very challenging creature to adopt or rescue. A lot of care needs to go into adopting a parrot. If you ever consider getting a parrot, make sure to do the proper research on the type of species you adopt, how to care for them, as well as keeping them safe in your home. Parrots are not like our family pets and need special attention each day to keep them happy, their minds occupied, and to build a relationship with their owners. Just remember, these birds can outlive you, making them a lifelong commitment. Are you up for the challenge?
Featured image: CC0 Public Domain via Pexels.