How To Care For A Parrot
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Whenever anyone considers adopting and owning a bird as a pet, a parrot is the first bird that comes to mind. Parrots are brilliant and can learn and mimic sounds and phrases that you make on the regular. Not only that but there are plenty of different color arrangements that they can have. From the highly colorful Scarlet Macaw to the monochrome African Grey. But how do you properly care for a parrot?
When you are thinking of getting a parrot, there are quite a few things that you need to be knowledgeable of before you adopt a parrot.
- Purchasing a safe yet large enough cage for your chosen parrot.
- Cage placement
- Knowing what temperature and humidity your parrot will need
- Cleaning and maintaining your parrot’s cage
- Buying the right food and snacks
- Keeping your parrots water-filled
- Buying toys for your parrot to keep them engaged and prevent boredom
- Setting up Veterinarian visits for medical care and grooming
Something else you should be prepared for is the lifespan of a parrot. Parrots are notorious for long life spans in captivity and can live to be 80 years old. However, it depends on the species and the amount of time and care you put into your parrot.
As you continue to read this article, we will be discussing the most common breeds of parrots you might be considering owning. Along with that, this article will then break down how to properly take care of your parrot to guarantee good health and a long, happy life.
What Are The Most Popular Species Of Parrots?
Choosing a parrot to adopt can be quite a daunting task. There are over 350 species of parrots around the world that include a multitude of sizes and colors. Some of the most popular parrots to own as a pet include
- Amazon Parrots
- African Greys
- Quaker Parrots
- Scarlet Macaws
- Ring-necked Parrots
- Blue and Yellow Macaw
This is just a small list of the more popular species of parrots owned around the world. Keep in mind that each parrot species will likely require a specific diet or need to be kept above or even below certain temperatures. Not only that, but the humidity level in your home is another critical factor in properly caring for a parrot.
With that said, be sure to thoroughly research the needs of the species you want to adopt.
How To Care For A Parrot
As previously stated, knowing how to take care of your parrot correctly can vary depending on your bird species. For instance, quaker parrots need to live in frigid temperatures. In contrast, an amazon parrot needs it to be hot and humid. Not only that, but larger parrots like the African Grey or the scarlet macaw need huge cages to move around effectively. The type of food and treats you feed your parrot can also vary depending on the species.
Purchasing The Right Cage For Your Parrot
Your new parrot will require a cage to call their own. Enclosures are available in a range of forms and sizes. An essential thing to remember while shopping is that the cage must be large enough for your parrot to stretch its wings. Because here is where your bird will spend most of its time, you don’t want to get a cage that is too tiny.
A single pet parrot’s cage should be at least one and a half times the breadth of the bird’s wingspan. This is a bare-bones recommendation. For instance, if you have a larger species like an African grey with an average wingspan of 29 inches, you will need to aim for a cage at least 43 to 57 inches wide. However, no matter the size of the bird, a bigger cage will always be better for your bird.
You should also select a modest padlock for the door. Birds are intelligent and clever creatures, so if you’re not careful, your parrot may find out how to escape the cage. When you’re not home, a padlock will keep your bird within its cage, where it will be secure.
You may also put paper bags, cartons, and small towels in the cage to provide cover for your bird. Most birds value security, so providing them with something to snuggle up beneath might help them feel at ease in their cage.
Your parrot’s cage should also have at least three perches in its cage. These perches should be of different lengths and textures. It would be best if you also considered using different types of perches like a rope perch. Providing your parrot with different lengths and textures to stand on helps promote healthy joints.
Always remember, the bigger the cage, the more perches you will be able to place in their cage. However, don’t go overboard with the number of perches in the cage. Remember to leave enough room for your parrot to fly and move around.
Choosing The Right Spot To Place Your Parrot’s Cage
One of the most crucial aspects of learning how to care for a parrot is determining the optimum location for the cage. Birds are sensitive to temperature, light, and pollutants, and they require enough ventilation.
Cleaning chemicals, cigarettes, cooking gases, and fresh paints can all cause harm to your bird. As a result, do not place your bird’s cage in the kitchen. You may spend the majority of your time in the kitchen. However, the fumes from cooking and cleaning might be lethal to your feathery companion.
Another place to stay away from is near a window. Although it may appear to be a lovely setting with a beautiful view, direct sunshine might cause your bird to overheat. Drafts can also be an issue, which is why you should keep the cage away from vents, windows, and doors. However, because birds are social creatures, keep the cage in a room that receives a lot of use, such as a living room, where you can spend a lot of time with your parrot.
Keeping Your Parrot In The Right Temperature And Humidity
Except for Antarctica, parrots are found all over the planet. Given that they are located in places with ambient to warm temperatures, cage placement plays a part in your parrot’s daily life. It should be considered when adding one to your household.
Keeping parrots in parts of the home that are not directly affected by rapid, drastic temperature changes is essential. Keep temperatures in their area ambient or warmer based on where your parrot species is native. But a good starting point if unsure is keeping your parrot’s area above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that if you do not acquire a bird-safe heater, using a space heater in your bird’s habitat might pose a toxicity risk to your parrot. Several chemicals used in heaters, such as Teflon, are poisonous to birds.
While temperature is crucial, humidity is equally vital for parrot owners to manage. Parrots may easily bathe in the wild, are frequently caught in the rain, and many species are native to wet tropical regions. Adequate humidity impacts skin and feather health and appearance, as well as a bird’s respiratory tract. Thus regularly bathing your parrots is essential in a bird’s routine.
Spritzing birds with water and providing a bowl or basin for a bath are excellent ways to ensure your bird gets enough humidity. You can also bring your bird into the bathroom while you shower so they can enjoy the warm water vapor. Suppose you detect feather irregularities such as feather falling, the presence of stress bars, or feather picking and plucking. In that case, you should take your bird to an avian specialist vet as soon as possible. A variety of factors can cause these changes, and an avian pet veterinarian can assist.
Cleaning Your Parrots Cage
It is critical to keep your bird’s cage clean, and the simplest method to do so is to clean it every two days. Paper is the best solution for this. Paper is inexpensive, widely accessible, and simple to clean. Newspaper, paper bags, paper towels, and shredded paper are all suitable. Choose a cage with a grate over the bedding. You don’t want your bird to come into close touch with its litter, which can house bacteria and mildew.
Depending on your bird’s cage cleanliness, you will need to do a deep cleaning of the cage at least once a week or more as needed. Ensure that all cage wires, perches, and toys are clean, as well as any gaps that may hold food or excrement. Natural material toys can be challenging to clean and should be replaced if they become soiled or damaged.
Feeding Your Parrot
Feed your parrot at least once a day for a happy and healthy bird. Consult your veterinarian to find out how much food your parrot will need. Remember that parrots require a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to enhance their balanced meal. To promote excellent conduct, use nuts and seeds as rewards.
It would be best if you gave a parrot various food options. Still, quantities are the key to providing your parrot with a balanced diet. At the same time, fruits are undoubtedly healthy for your bird and should be provided daily. Ensure that your parrot’s daily diet has a 75% vegetable to 25% fruit ratio. It is essential to ensure that your parrot does not overeat fruit and sweets while not receiving enough vegetables.
It would help if you also fed your parrot a high-quality pellet-only diet. Some species, like lorikeets, have specific food requirements, thus recognizing any special species requirements is essential.
It should be noted that birds’ digestive systems are pretty delicate. Foods that appear to be healthy might be hazardous or even fatal to your parrot. Some of the foods you need to avoid feeding your parrot include;
- Fruit Pits
- Apple Seeds
- High-fat foods
- High-sodium Foods
- High-sugar foods
Another tip for caring for a parrot is to be careful where you set the feeding dish. Birds, like people, eat when they are bored, so keep your bird’s food as far away from its perch as possible to encourage regular activity.
Your parrot should have constant access to water. So make sure that the dish always has water in it. You must also be sure to clean the parrot’s water bowl daily to ensure good health.
Keep Your Parrot Entertained With Toys
Birds are naturally playful, which means they like playing with toys. If your bird is left alone at home for an extended period, toys might help relieve boredom. They can also stimulate physical activity. Birds enjoy chewing on toys and food, and chewing helps maintain their beaks in good condition, so make sure your parrot has lots of chewable items.
Pinecones, rawhide chews, natural fiber rope, and tree branches are all chewable toys. Some birds even like tearing up cardboard and corn on the cob. Your parrot should avoid toys made of metal, rubber, or plastic since they are readily damaged and potentially swallowed. These materials can often expose a bird to lead or zinc poisoning from the components of the toy. These toxins frequently make a bird very ill and can occasionally be deadly.
Make Regular Visits To The Vet For Medical Care And Grooming
Because parrots are predatory birds, they are excellent at concealing their ailments due to their survival instincts. These impulses drive parrots to hide illnesses and injuries for as long as they can. Thus, parrots hide their injuries or illnesses as a weakness in the wild, making them less appealing prey for predators.
Because birds are good at disguising their problems, regular 6-month to 1-year avian veterinary visits are advised. Then, depending on your bird’s cage and health state, ensure preventative steps are taken to give your feathery companion a long, healthy, and happy life.
When you bring a parrot home, make an appointment with an avian pet vet. The veterinarian will do a complete physical assessment at the initial visit. Next, your vet will recommend yearly blood work and fecal tests. They will also discuss any additional concerns with the patient’s owners. Finally, weights are collected and tracked to compare to previous visits.
During these yearly visits, how you should be taking care of your parrot will be discussed to ensure that the best treatment is offered at the avian hospital and home. When working with parrot patients, discussions on behavior, enrichment, and socializing are also essential parts of any assessment.
Parrots can preen their feathers, but they still require assistance in grooming themselves. This entails taking them to the veterinarian to get their nails clipped. If you decide not to let your parrot fly for safety concerns, your vet can appropriately clip its wings. It is critical to get your wings trimmed by a veterinarian to avoid excessive grooming, leading to damaged blood feathers and dangerous falls.
Beak trimming is only essential if your veterinarian deems it necessary, and it can be dangerous if done needlessly. You can naturally maintain your parrot’s beak trimmed by providing all-natural wood toys and perches. Your parrot can groom their beaks on its own by chewing on its toys and perches.
Properly taking care of a parrot is an around-the-clock ordeal. Cage maintenance, feeding, and cleaning your parrot will take a lot of time. Not only that, but some birds like the African Grey can live up to 80 years if they are adequately taken care of.
So if you decide to adopt a parrot of any species, be prepared to make a lifelong friend. With that said, we hope that this article has given you everything you need to take care of your new feathery friend.