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  • Writer's pictureProfessional Pet Sitters

Things To Consider Before Buying A Parrot

Birds are fabulous creatures. They delight us with their hilarious behavior, have a lot to say, and strut about as if they own the world. It's no wonder so many people want to own a feathered companion of their own, and how cool would it be to walk around with a parrot on your shoulder like you're a pirate? Unfortunately many people don't realize how much of a commitment they can be and that not every bird is the right bird for you. If you really want a smooth-talking parrot hanging out in your living room, here are a few things you should consider when choosing your new best friend.

1. Size and Noise:

The bigger they are, the louder they scream. This is the first thing you have to consider when purchasing a parrot. If you live in a tiny apartment surrounded by grouchy neighbors, a vocal African Grey or Macaw might not be the best choice. Keep in mind that big birds have big beaks too. Some people are willing to risk a few nasty nips in order to train their new friend but if you have no patience and no desire to have a few scarred digits; then a big bird isn't right for you. Smaller birds will still be nippy during training but they leave fewer scars. All birds are messy, but bugger birds also make a bigger mess; both in terms of poop size and food being tossed about. If you have no problem cleaning up frequently and have enough patience, a big bird can become a wonderful and loyal companion.

2. Behavior:

Just like you get birds of all sizes and colors, so you get birds of all temperaments. Some like to be cuddled while others are moody and nippy by nature. Before buying the first parrot you see at the store, research the breed. They may have some quirks that you need to know about before taking them home. For example the lovely Indian Ringneck goes through a stage called bluffing in which they turn into moody aggressive teenagers. If you're not expecting that, you may end up with a few bites and a rocky relationship. But if you have researched their behavior, you will know it's temporary and that at the end of it all you'll have a companion as loyal to you as you are to them. It's good to have a general understanding of bird behavior and bird language. It has helped me understand my parrot on a number of occasions and saved me a few sore fingers.

3. Food:

it is vital that you know what food your parrot can or cannot eat. Certain foods like avacado is toxic to them while others like apples can make a delicious treat. Research their diets so that you can provide them with healthy foods. For this I advise you ask your local bird veterinarian. Don't be fooled by the food sold by some stores and pet stores. They may say parrot food on the package but have no nutritional value. Many of them are just filled with sunflower seeds which is unhealthy. Vets that specialize in birds will most likely sell the right food for your parrot.

4. Time and Money:

Purchasing a parrot won't be a once off expense. You have to take them for daily veterinarian checks, buy the right food, make sure they have enough toys to stimulate their highly intellectual brains, and be prepared to replace what they have damaged. And be prepared to spend as much time with them as possible. If you want to socialize them, which I highly recommend you do, you'll have to spend as much time handling them as possible. This means every day exposure. Once they're attached to you, they'll demand attention. Literally. I've had my Ringneck climb on top of my phone and calling my name. If you have no time; they'll become a nuissance. But if you do, they'll become wonderful companions sitting on you while you work or just making you feel wanted as they demand you give them love. It's also important to note that parrots need to be kept busy or they'll entertain themselves. Oh, good, you say. I won't have to worry if they do that. No, you do. If you value your cellphone, laptop, and curtains; then you have to give them some form of entertainment because they'll chew through it all.

5. Their Lifespan:

Birds are not like hamsters. You won't just take care of them for two years. Some can live up to ten years while others will most likely outlive you. Many people have had to leave their cockatoos and African Greys in their wills. They will literally become your companion for life. To many of us bird lovers, that seem like a wonderful thing but just keep in mind that there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that.

6. They're not novelties:

Don't just buy a parrot because they can talk. Sometimes they end up not learning to talk at all. Indian Ringnecks are known for being talkative, but my lovely Iris can only scream my name. This doesn't bother me because I adore his whistling, dancing, and quirkiness. Birds are not meant to stay in a cage and entertain us. If you're going to get a parrot, get them because you want a feathery friend and accept them for all they're short-comings. In the long run they'll give you all the love their little bodies can generate.

7. One Last Thing:

Consider adopting. There are many parrots out there who have outlived their humans or have simply been abandoned. You might find your perfect companion waiting for you. One of the benefits of adopting a parrot is that you'll get a bird that is a little older making it less likely to outlive you, and many of them will be acclimated to human interaction and have already learned to talk. Plus, you'll give them a second chance at happyness.

Birds can be wonderful companions, just look up a few YouTube videos of them strutting about and singing or talking and you'll see what I mean. They have wonderful personalities and are extremely loyal. To make sure they can live their best lives, we have to give them time, money and most of all love. Before you shop for a parrot, make sure you do your research and know which one is the best fit for you and your family.


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