Parrots are very intelligent and provide companionship to their owners. Many species can even be trained to talk.
There are more than 350 species of parrots available in different colors. The traditional color of parrots is green with a red beak, but they are available in many brilliant color combinations as well. Parrots are easy to take care of and don’t require too much space, but they do need regular stimulation.
Selecting a parrot
You can buy a parrot from a pet shop, a breeder or adopt one, which will be the cheapest option. A breeder or previous owner will be able to give you lots of advice on caring for your bird. However, you have to be ready to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of and training your parrot. In fact before you decide to keep a parrot as a pet, you should talk to owners and see how much work it entails.
There are many internet forums, too, from where you can seek advice. You should buy the size and species of parrot which is right for you and your home. Basically, a parrot is more of an adult companion than one for kids.
You should buy a parrot which looks healthy and clean with good feathers. A parrot which has been hand trained or brought up in an aviary will make a better pet.
Among parrot species which are kept as pets are:
- African grey parrots
- Macaws and Conures
- Lories and lorikeets
- Cockatiels, Parakeets, Lovebirds
Housing your parrot
The cage should be as large as possible and certainly large enough to house the parrot when it spreads its wings. There are many different kinds of cages available at different price points. The cage should be simple to clean and easy to open and of course lock.
The bottom of the cage should be lined with newspapers which are easy to remove, to keep the cage clean. Do not keep the cage in direct sunlight or draught and also keep it away from gas or cooking fumes.
It is very important to keep a perch for your parrot. Also provide it with various toys and perhaps branches made from non-poisonous varieties of wood. It needs something it can chew, destroy and play with. Keep a variety of toys and change them regularly to keep the parrot stimulated and happy.
What to feed your parrot
Parrots are easy to feed. You can get ready made parrot feed which should be supplemented with whatever foods you eat, including nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and even cooked meat and fish, cheese and biscuits. Don’t give it chocolate or avocado, both of which are dangerous.
Once your parrot has bonded with you, you can leave it out for sometime to allow it to spread its winds and fly. Also keep a couple of perches in and out of the house to allow it to rest and survey its surroundings.
Interacting with your parrot
Parrots are extremely intelligent they are reputed to have the intelligence of a 3-4 year old child. So they can be trained to do lots of tricks, talk and sing. However, parrots get territorial and possessive, particularly if they are always interacting with only on person constantly.
They may not do well with other pets, unless they get used to them. Parrots with ferret, cats and dogs are not a good idea. If you have dogs or cats, they can fight with the bird. The other point to remember is that parrots live a long life and can live for as many as 70 years, so keeping a parrot can be lifetime commitment.