PET BIRDS 101:
Should I get a pet parrot?
If you are reading this, you or someone in your family are possibly interested in having a pet bird. And while this is an exciting venture, it can also be a bit confusing as there are a lot of different choices for you to make. The first and most important decision, is if a bird would suit you as a pet.
Researching the different kinds of parrots out there can be a huge job. There are so many of them and each come with their own specific requirements and personalities, making it hard to know where to start! These next few questions should give you some idea of what to consider when thinking about getting a pet bird:
- Why do I want a pet parrot?
What do you find attractive about the idea of having a pet bird? Do you like them because of their beautiful and vibrant colours? Are you looking for a pet that will have a close bond with you? Is the ability to talk and mimic the characteristic that is most important to you?
- What can I afford?
Have you decided how much you are able or willing to pay for a pet bird? What you might expect to pay for a parrot can differ hugely between the different breeds, buying a Macaw for instance will not be nearly in the same price-range as buying a Budgie! Also remember that appropriate housing, food, toys, vet bills etc all need to be taken into consideration and, as some birds can live very long (more than 50 years), the financial commitment could be a lifelong one.
- How much time do I have to spend with my new pet?
All pet birds need their owner to spend time with them daily. How much time, will depend on the kind of bird you choose. Do you have time for the daily feeding and cleaning? Will you be able to spend time talking, bonding and playing with it? Are you looking at getting a single parrot or more than one? Can you keep a close eye on the health and general condition (mental & physical) of your pet bird?
- Is my home a suitable home for a parrot?
A pet bird can be the best companion ever. They can be sweet, loving, interactive and entertaining. They can also be extremely loud, destructive and aggressive! Bearing this in mind, you need to know, for example, if your neighbours are going to be bothered by noise. Are you, or anyone living with you, bothered by noise? Do you have other pets in the house? Do you mind a mess in and around your parrot's cage? Does anyone living in the house have a habit that might be harmful to the bird's health or cause it stress in any way? Is anyone in the household allergic to birds?
Hopefully these questions have given you an idea of what needs to be considered before getting a pet bird. So what comes next?
By working through these questions, you might now have an idea of what you would like/ not like, and be able to cope with/ not cope with, in your pet bird. You might also have realised that it can (and almost always will) bring change in your life in some ways, but by choosing the right kind of parrot for you, it will most definitely be a good and rewarding change! Keep an eye out for the next installment, when we will discuss the smaller parrots & parakeets.
NEXT UP, THE SMALLER PARROTS & PARAKEETS: COMING SOON!!!