Sweet Mabel

Saturday, 19 December 2015


So you want to be a parrot owner?!!? Here's a MUST KNOW list that everyone should learn about to help be a responsible parrot owner. There is a lot more that could be added to it, however it has a good amount of information to start off with. Fortunately for me, compiled by awesome members in our bird groups. Thanks guys!

  1. Parrots are a LIFELONG COMMITMENT. That's right. It means they won't be moving out in 18 years from today to go out and get a job. Depending on the parrot species, high chances are that they may even outlive you. How do you feel about that?
  2. Parrots and Vet Bills are expensive to maintain. Make sure you can afford both before getting one.
  3. Parrots need appropriate and a variety of natural wooden perches for the health and comfort of their toes.
  4. Parrots can be VERY NOISY. That's NORMAL.
  5. Parrots need spacious cages, the largest you can afford.
  6. Parrots have extremely sensitive respiratory systems. Buy a high quality air purifier like the Austin Air. 
  7. Raw, shelled and unshelled peanuts are a NO.
  8. Happy Huts are a NO NO.
  9. Never try to potty train a bird. This is VERY dangerous for their health. Research Cloacal Prolapse. 
  10. Do NOT use Teflon, Non stick Products, scented candles, air fresheners and any other type of product that emits chemical fumes, odours and toxins. Scentsy products and essential oils are a NO NO too.
  11. Birds may BITE sometimes. Love your bird unconditionally and never take bites personally..
  12. Read and research EVERYTHING you can about POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. Experts in the field are Dr. Susan Friedman, Barbara Heidenreich, Steve Martin. 
  13. There is no such thing as a BAD bird. Only BAD OWNERS
  14. NEVER purchase an unweaned baby bird. This would be both irresponsible and dangerous.
  15. Birds need your TIME. Regular out of cage time. Quality time, interactive and SOCIAL TIME. If you are OUT alot, do not get a bird.
  16. Enrichment is a NECESSITY, not a luxury or BONUS. It also does not mean your bird is spoiled, only properly taken care of both mentally and physically.
  17. Birds need to have the opportunity to fly for physical, emotional, mental and cardiovascular health. Flying is a form of enrichment. Do not clip their wings. If you want a bird that does not fly, buy a stuffed animal.
  18. Birds are MESSY. Embrace the mess! They need opportunities to forage and work for their food.
  19. Parrots require NUTRITION. Do NOT feed them junk food, fried food, meat, candy, etc. Join facebook group Feedingfeathers.
  20. Parrots are not for everyone.
  21. Parrots benefit immensely from flock socialization with other birds. They do not need to be best friends in order to enjoy each other's companionship from afar.
  22. Be an excellent student and observer of your parrot. Their body language will teach you a lot.
  23. Teach your bird independance and how to enjoy their own company. A parrot who is overbonded to their caretaker is not cute, nor is that psychologically healthy for them in the long run.
  24. Not all parrots talk and that doesn't mean they are less loveable.
  25. Do not smoke around your parrots. They will also absorb nicotine through skin absorption just by perching on someone who has been smoking. 
  26. Consider doing volunteer at a bird shelter before becoming a bird owner. Bird shelters are often  short handed and really appreciate the extra support in cleaning cages, socualizing with the bird etc,
  27. Always consider ADOPTION, before buying. Bird are regularly relinquished by bird owners who can no longer take care of them, are no longer interested in having a bird, got pregnant, the bird does not like the new spouse, the list goes on, ETC  ...
  28. Protect your birds. Keep them in a separate room with a closed door away from other pet PREDATORS, like dogs, cats, snakes, rats, ETC. Your parrot depends on you to keep her safe.
  29. Parrots need to be seen by an Avian Vet. Someone who specializes and sees birds on a regular basis. Not one who specializes mostly in other creatures, except birds. Besides a physical exam, your bird needs to also receive a full blood workup and chemistry to make sure their inside health looks as good as their outside health.
  30. Parrots benefit immensely from exposure to direct sunlight. Make sure they are either in a secure cage with the door closed or wearing a harness like the Aviator. 
  31. Parrots are sensitive, intelligent and emotional beings who are capable of feeling stressed, feeling pain and suffering. Treat them with DIGNITY.

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