Birds make good pets, but before I begin I would like to add a personal note to it. If you really want to keep birds as pets don’t cage them all the time. They have got wings for a reason. So if you saw your neighbor getting a pair of love birds home and you wish to get a bird friend too, go for a parrot. Parrots are social and intelligent birds. They are trainable and develop very strong bonds with their owners. You can cuddle them; play with them, they simple love interaction, be it with their owners or other parrots. Now that you have decided upon buying a pet parrot, you have got a number of species to choose from.
Parrots as Pets
There are a lot of things to keep in mind if you have decided to keep a parrot as pet. Some of them include cost, space available in house, interaction and time spent with your pet. Generally parrots’ diet includes a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, sprouts, nuts and seeds. Parrots create a lot of mess while eating; one has to be patient to clean the cage regularly. Be careful when you let the parrot out of cage, usually parrots have tendency of chewing upon things like furniture. Protect your belongings before you let the parrot out of the cage. Parrots need exercise and should be left free to roam around in the house. May be you can make a place to play around. Parrots screech and create lot of noise. The owners should be committed towards the pet, and should give enough time and attention to the pet. Parrots are social birds. They need attention from their owners. They might get irritated and can cause a lot of destruction if not comfortable. If you think you can’t pay required attention to your bird pet, then better by it a companion.
These tiny parrots are about 7 to 12 inches in length. Caring for parakeet involves going for regular round to a veterinarian, even at first signs of illness. Also parakeets shouldn’t be kept with other species of parrots, they don’t along much together. It might lead to behavioral problems. Parakeets are good at learning and can be easily trained. They can be trained to talk, sit on owners shoulder, perform tricks etc. But all of this is only possible if your pet is comfortable with you. A strong bond needs to be built before you start making him learn things. They love petting and pampering. Care need to be taken care as they get ill easily. Proper cleaning of cage, regular change in water, washing of food and water dishes, regular exercise, and proper nutrition needs to be taken care of. The bird’s cage should be placed at some secure place, away from too much noise and direct sunlight.
They are usually grey or cream yellow in color with blushing cheek patches. The difference between male and female is so undistinguishable visibly that a DNA test needs to be done. Cockatiels require more seeds in their food. Some other food items include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn and few fruits like apple, mango, pear and pineapple. Chocolates, ice-creams, pastries etc should be strictly avoided. These birdies require big cages, preferably longer in length than in height. Cockatiels don’t usually learn to talk but males can be made to talk and whistle more likely than females. Patient and soft training sessions can possible earn good results. Breeding is a little difficult and requires time and commitment. It is best practice to delay breeding until your pet is mentally and physically mature enough.
The most popular parrot species is a beautiful blue colored Pacific Parrotlet as the name justifies. Now several colored mutations have been developed though. These species though puny are bolder than expected on seeing their size. There are different species even in Parrotlets based on their color and size. Green Parrotlets are a little smaller than Pacifics and slightly intimidated by new things while Spectacle Parrotlets, which are similar to Greens in size, turn out to be more curious and inquisitive. The cage size for parrotlets should be 18” in length breadth and height on an average. The cage should be longer than being tall. These species require a lot of food in contrast to their size. This mostly includes fresh fruits and veggies, grains, seeds and high protein foods. Fresh clean water is must for you pet. They bond well with person who spend maximum time with them.
Considered to be the most intellegent of all parrot species, it originally belonging to Africa, is about 12 to 13 inches in length from beak to tail. A big bird, if you have decided to pet it, you should consider having a big cage and spacious living place for your parrot. They will give you company till 50, although some can even live till the age of 70+. These are intelligent beings and that shows in their behavior. They are affectionate towards their owners, but if bored or frustrated it will create havoc. As the name says they have grey feathers, with threads of white over the fur and black beak. They have shiny red tail color in contrast to old grey look. Like other parrots their diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables but they can even be fed pelleted food along with egg, cheese bits and nuts and seeds. They provide a good company and can easily be trained to talk. If properly cared for they develop strong bond with their owners. But care should be taken as to what you speak in front of them as they tend to repeat everything and remember it too all thanks to their high IQ levels. That may land you in trouble later.
Macaws are large, colorful parrots named after their feather colors like scarlet macaws, blue and gold macaws, military macaws and hyacinth macaws. There also exist mini-macaws which include species like Hahn’s noble and yellow colored macaws. They reach to a length of 20 – 40 inches depending upon the species. The life span is about 30-50 years though if cared well they live beyond that. They are playful, exuberant, and affectionate and remain happy when they get enough attention from their owners. Yes they screech, they are loud and noisy. They have excellent ability to imitate but not as good as African Grey. Macaws need large cage about 24”x36”x48” for an average size macaw. The cage must be strong enough to withstand their strong beaks. Since they are quite playful, you can get them wooden toys to chew upon and play with and some hangings to climb upon. Their diet can include pelleted food with usual fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.