Parrots can make wonderful pets and they are clever as well. If you are thinking of bringing home a parrot, you will have to consider a lot of things to provide a proper care to rear it at home. Parrots are not tamed pets like dogs and cats and therefore they exhibit some wild behavior until you train them. On the other hand, parrots belong to different classes and you will have to learn the individual behavior of the class of parrot you own. Lastly, parrots have a long lifespan when compared to other pets. Parrots that are smaller in size like cockatiels can live up to 30 years. The larger class of parrots like macaws, cockatoos, etc can live up to 80 years.
Creating a habitat for parrots
It is better you set up the cage before you get your parrot home. You can set up a parrot cage on your own or buy from shops. Set up the cage where your parrots get good ventilation and light. The place should have some kind of activity always. You can either keep it in the living room where people come and go or in any of the rooms where you mostly spend time. Isolated parrots will be certainly unhappy which might lead to self mutilation, depression, screaming, biting and ultimately death. See to that the cage is fitted with toys, swings, ladder and perching woods to keep your bird busy. It is important that feed bowls are filled with fresh food and water and the cage is hygienically maintained. Also keep a big bowl filled with water for it to have splash bath.
Clean the cage every day by removing any liner put at the bottom. Remove the seeds, shells, gravels, etc that are scattered at the bottom.
Feeding your parrots
Parrots have to be given an assorted diet with lot of nutritional value. It is not necessary that you have to feed them only seeds and pellets always. You can feed them fresh fruits and vegetables. Feed them after rinsing them thoroughly under water. Most of the parrots are fond of apples, grapes, bananas, berries, carrots, greens and cooked varieties like peas, squash and green beans. However, fruits need not be given in excess as they contain sugar.
Big parrots like Macaws would like to break open the nuts and eat the inside stuff. You can feed them with pecans, and macadamia. Do not feed the parrots with human foods like salted and sugary snacks, greasy foods, cabbage, eggplant, honey, beans, dill and rhubarb leaves. Caffeinated beverages or alcohol should not be given at all. Avocado is very harmful to parrots as it causes cardiac arrest at once and leads to the death of the bird. Likewise, feeding onions is not recommended. Water consumption of parrots ranges from 20 to 30 ounces depending on the sizes.
Make friend with the bird
Spend some time around the cage daily. At the beginning, do not make eye contact with the bird as it might get frightened thinking you as a predator. If the bird behaves drastically, allow it to stay calm. Stay at a distance from the cage and slowly get nearer to make the bird feel comfortable. Start training your parrot gradually by giving its favorite treats.
Visit the vet regularly
Mostly parrots stay healthy; however if they fall sick you will have to consult with the vet. Ensure that the vet you consult is specialized in treating the birds. You can also plan up for yearly checkups with the vet. You will have to meet your vet when you observe the following symptoms in your bird:
- Deformation or weak beak
- Difficulty in breathing
- Discoloration around eyes or nostrils
- Differences in stools
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Eyes or eyelids swollen
- Thinning of feather
- Problems in chewing and plucking
- Being dull or lethargic