Have you been thinking about getting a pet parrot of your own? Parrots are quite unlike any other pet and they have distinct attributes that make them both loveable and frustrating. Before you choose to own a parrot it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of their qualities to ensure that they will fit with your lifestyle.
How long does a parrot live?
Are you planning to commit to a pet for your entire lifetime? While a dog may average 10 to 15 years and a cat slightly longer, some species of parrots live up to 65 or 75 years! That means that not only will the bird live as long as you, quite likely it will survive you and its living arrangements will need to be provided for in advance.
Many parrots find themselves in new homes every few years. Despite your loving commitment your bird will likely need a new home when you are no longer able to care for it. You don't want your aged bird to suffer the stress of constantly changing homes so determine what arrangements can be made to satisfy your bird's needs.
What kind of a mess does a pet parrot make?
Birds are messy - no matter what species. Their natural instincts to spread seed throughout the forest has not disappeared and you will need to deal with the seeds thrown out of the cage on a daily basis. Leaving seeds strewn about can attract rodents and become a source of bacteria.
Parrots will also produce a fair amount of waste every day. Not cleaning their cages and dishes routinely can lead to infections and is also not healthy for humans.
Parrots that are allowed to roam freely can also cause extensive damage to furniture and other items. Large species like the Macaw have a strong bite and can chew furniture, rip wallpaper or knock items over.
How much noise does a parrot make?
While you may find their calls and chattering adorable, your neighbors may not. Different species have different vocalizations. If you live in an attached or semi-attached housing you may have to rule out certain species like Cockatoos which are extremely loud.
What kind of demands will a parrot make of its owner?
Owning a parrot is a privilege and with that comes responsibility. Taking care of your bird does not have to be costly if you clean and feed your bird properly but you will have to invest in proper housing so your bird is comfortable.
If you have other pets, such as dogs or cats, you must protect your parrot from being harmed. Never leave other pets alone with your parrot.
Many parrots will also develop strong attachments for a certain individual in the family. While the growing loyalty may be appreciated by the favored person it can cause problems when birds become overly protective of their loved one. On the other hand, a parrot is a social and intelligent animal which will become easily bored. A busy home or single owner who has time to give plenty of attention to the bird would be best.
Along with people you may find your parrot craves the company of another bird. This is particularly true when the bird matures (around 5-8 years for large species). If you decide to provide a mate for it you must also take responsibility for the increased care and possible babies that may arrive.
Parrots bring great joy to the lives of individuals who appreciate them despite the work involved. You owe it to your pet to learn as much as possible about their care so you can commit to them and provide a loving home for as long as possible.