Many people love having parrots as pets because of how quickly and easily they bond with their owners, and how unique each and every single one of them is. Parrots can have big personalities and sometimes even a big vocabulary, as they are great at mimicking human speech. But if you want to get a parrot, then there are some things to consider first. Here is what you need to keep in mind before buying your parrot:
1. Signs of health
Though you should always take your new parrot for a veterinary exam, you should also look for signs of health in the pet store or when with a breeder. A healthy parrot will be alert and inquisitive (unless, of course, they are sleeping), will have clear eyes, clean feathers, and no droppings stuck to their tail feathers. Take some time to note these factors before picking one out.
2. Potentially expensive vet care
Speaking of veterinary care, it can get quite expensive for a parrot, even for the smaller varieties such as budgies. Some parrots hide illness well, so you need to take them in at the first sign up trouble, or you could end up with some hefty bills. You need to be aware of these potential costs before buying a parrot and neglecting to get it the proper care.
Parrots are noisy; it’s simply in their nature. While most are able to sit quietly amidst a few squawks here and there, even this kind of intermittent noise could bother your neighbors, your family, or even you! It’s not unheard of that people living in an apartment complex have had to give up a parrot because of neighbor’s complaints, so you need to make sure that this wouldn’t be a problem first.
Parrots love to preen themselves, but their cages can get messy. You are going to have to clean their droppings every day, and you’ll be dealing with a lot of feathers while they are molting. Some types of parrots might even have a tendency to destroy their toys, leaving you to clean up and buy them new ones!
5. Life span
Parrots usually have longer lifespans than most common household pets, and so when you buy one you are committing to taking care of it for anywhere from 8 years on the lower end and over 50 years on the higher end. Try to be as sure as possible that you are not going to have to give your parrot up down the road.
6. Social needs
No matter what type of parrot you’re thinking of getting, you need to be aware that almost all parrots are very social and require a lot of attention. Some parrots, such as the African grey, can become very distraught if not given enough attention, and may even start plucking out their own features. Make sure that you’re willing to put the effort and, most importantly, the time, to taking care of your parrot’s social needs.
7. Exercise needs
Parrots can’t be left to sit in their cage all day. They love being taken out to play, and they need regular exercise in order to stay both physically and emotionally healthy. If your parrot can fly, then consider letting it fly around sometimes, but make sure to supervise. If not, then you need to provide it with ample structures to climb and play on, as well as ample space to move around.
8. Amusement needs
Parrots get a lot of amusement out of simply hanging out with their owners, but since you’re not going to be able to be with your parrot all the time, you need to provide it with enough amusement. Make sure that the cage has enough toys to play with and chew on while you are gone. Pet stores carry lots of great items, so stock up!
9. Spatial requirements
Parrots come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and you need to get a cage that is big enough for one. Your parrot should have ample room to stretch its wings, hop around, and explore. Different types of parrots have different needs than others, so make sure you do some research on your parrot’s unique requirements.
10. Dietary requirements
Finally, parrots need a proper, balanced, and varied diet. They certainly love seeds, but they also need grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Feeding them properly can take some time and maybe even some money, but it is crucial if you want your parrot to stay happy and healthy.
You should get a parrot if, and only if, you can meet all of its needs and deal with its many requirements. If you can’t, then maybe now is not the right time for you to get one, but if you’re up to the task, then you’ll possibly be getting one of the best and truest companions of your life.