Having a parrot is a lifetime commitment and also a great companion, not only because their lifespan is 25-30 years for smaller birds and 50-60 for larger species, but also because being the fluffy little social creatures they are is what makes them a heartwarming everyday experience. For those reasons, it must be mentioned that they are somewhat expensive and attention – demanding little beings. If you have a parrot or think about getting one there are a few things that must be considered given their needs:
Housing and Environment
Firstly, knowing that parrots are active and playful, you must acquire a proper cage, make sure that there are corners and enough lines so that the parrot is given space to move, play and climb. According to experts and veterinarians the minimal size of the cage should be around 24” W x 24 H x 24 D for smaller parrots and for larger parrots around 5 ft W x 6 ft H x 3 ½ ft D where you must pay attention to the space between as it should be 1/2” for smaller parrots and 4” for larger parrots.
Also, you must make sure that the cage has enough space for a water supply item, food supply item, a rest area and possibly some toys.
If you already have the proper cage you must know where to put it, namely parrots being social and playful they need to be put somewhere where they can interact and hear sounds, otherwise they can develop separation anxiety and possibly become aggressive – An ideal place for this could be the living room if you as their human master spend time there. But it must be mentioned that if you have other pets at home, such as cats and dogs, you might need to put the cage somewhere where it can be closed off or otherwise unavailable for the other pets, also make sure to observe the behavior of the other pets around the parrot and see if there is negative energy between them – although it sounds abstract a pet owner knows his/hers pets and can see the difference in behavior.
Secondly, make sure to have a proper temperature for the bird knowing that they are tropical or subtropical animals – this would mean that they can probably handle temperatures from 60 to 85 Fahrenheit, failure to do so might cause anxiety and stress to your parrot, so if you are in a situation where you cannot keep a temperature within these numbers, it would be helpful if you can maintain good airflow in the facility.
Diet and supplements intake
When it comes to the life of a parrot and its everyday needs you should know that a parrot’s diet should vary the same as any being, so they need food with higher nutritious values. Even if it’s easy for an owner to feed his pet with pellets and seeds, here are some of the things that could be added to pellets and seeds as supplements: bananas, apples, berries, cooked peas and green beans – all of which should be washed and rinsed before giving, the same as for any human – but you must be careful of the quantity because of the sugar they all contain. On the contrary – here are some examples of food and drink that are strictly forbidden for parrot’s intake: Avocado and onions (they both are toxic and deadly), alcohol, caffeine, sugary and salty snacks and chips, raw beans, also you mustn’t give your parrot honey nor greasy food.
Considering food intake of a parrot, one thing every owner must learn how to do is to feed the right amounts – which means do not fulfill the whole food container because not only that the bird sometimes doesn’t know how much is enough, more importantly, because you might not be able to see that your bird is not eating for a while.
Also, it is imminent that you change the water from the container about 1-2 times a day, this is because most of the parrots love bathing there much more than they like drinking water – so make sure that your water container is large enough to give this pleasure to your parrot. Another important must-know thing here is to remember to NEVER put vitamins in the drinking water, even if sometimes a veterinarian or the package of the vitamins tells you to do so, this is because your bird might never drink the vitamin and because the vitamin can cause bacteria growth in the water. Also make sure to throw out any food that rots after feeding and try to be thorough when cleaning the water and food containers because hygiene is very important for birds so try cleaning their cage every day, they don’t make such a mess but the shells, the leftovers from destroyed toys and chewables can be harmful to your parrot, this is because parrots are prone to bacteria and it is imminent to maintain the cage as clean as possible. Please note that everyday cleaning disinfectors can be too strong and toxic for a parrot so try finding a bird-safe alternative solution at a local pet shop.
When it comes to proper and ideal care for a parrot’s health it needs to be said that regular visits to the vet are a must, never wait for something to go wrong to go for a check up – some things an owner cannot see that are visible to the veterinarian and giving preventive medical attention to your parrot might be life-saving. Also, it is important to be informed of the abnormalities that can be a sign of sickness: inactiveness, deformed or ulcerated beak, stains around eyes and nostrils, weight loss or loss of appetite, swollen eyes or eyelids, change of texture of feathers and other similar.
If your parrot is out of the cage try not using non-stick pans – this is because your parrot will probably like to get your attention while you are doing something else, and being around non-stick pans has been proven to be toxic for parrots because of the reaction between chemicals used in them and heat. Try not to smoke around your parrot – if second-hand smoking can cause damage to people, it can also harm parrots.
Remember that your parrot is your companion, interact with it, spend quality time with it, and try to have conversations with it so that it knows that it has your attention. This will benefit its emotional health. And you will surely witness its happiness through the image of an active, friendly and playful parrot.
After reading this whole article you probably thought that being an owner of a parrot is a lot of hard work and that is true, but what is also certain is that your little, feathered buddy will interact, play with you, cheer you up and even talk to you – making its existence a wonderful and unforgettable experience.