If you are going to buy a parrot there are some important things to consider. The key questions to answer are where to purchase the parrot and how to select the right bird. Once you’ve purchased the bird you will have to decide on the food you will feed him with and learn how to train him.
Where to Buy
You can purchase a baby parrot in your local pet shop or from the actual parrot breeder. We recommend purchasing a baby parrot via the breeder and we’ll explain why. Parrots offered for sale in pet shops may lack attention from the shop employees and this can cause some behavioral problems.
Also it is important to inquire how the parrot was hand reared, and whether it was fed using a syringe and tube or the spoon. When the baby parrot is fed using a spoon the bird had greater contact with the hand rearer and was able to taste the food as it is consumed. Unfortunately, salespersons in the pet shop are unlikely to to answer these questions, but the breeder certainly can.
How to Choose the Right Parrot
Choose the baby parrot which is active and alert, looks healthy and will have an eye contact with you. Make sure the bird will step onto your hand without fear once he knows you a little. If the bird bites your hand or steps back it means that he is afraid of humans and is possibly older than the post weaning stage. It is a common mistake to think that the parrot will change his behavior when you take him to his new home. Buy the bird only if you are absolutely sure that he is compatible with you.
Some bird owners clip the wings of a parrot so he couldn’t fly around the house, or out the window or the door. Of course, it is an effective method that ensures your bird’s safety and makes teaching your parrot the discipline easier. However, he won’t be able to fly from his cage onto your hand or shoulder from some distance away. According to the most recent studies clipping wings during the fledging period can cause serious health problems, such as weak heart and poorly developed wing muscles.
If you don’t feel like clipping your bird consider getting a parrot harness which has become rather popular lately. Harnesses are available in various sizes and range from the smallest Conures to the largest Macaws. The earlier you introduce your parrot to the harness the better. Ideally it should be done at the end of the hand rearing process. Bird owners opt for the harness so that their pet could accompany them outdoors. Never force the parrot to wear a harness because it can be traumatic if the bird panics outdoors. Nor should you secure your parrot to a perch in the garden and then leave him outside unattended. Sometimes accidents may occur, or you parrot can be attacked by the predators and get injured or even killed and you won’t be able to help your pet.
Ideally, your pet parrot’s diet should consists of a quality parrot mix with fruit and vegetables added. Parrots enjoy eating kiwi fruit, pears, apples, oranges, bananas and all other seasonal fruits. When it comes to vegetables consider treating your pet with brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, peas and beans that have been soaked for 24 hours. Parrots also love berries like hawthorn and rosehip, and are always happy to chew the attached branches. The parrot food tastes best when mixed with fruit and vegetables, plus it’s easier to add to that mixture various powdered supplements like calcium, that will help the bird stay healthy. If calcium is in liquid form it can be added to the drinking water.
There are also pellet diets that contain the complete set of vitamins and nutrients your parrot needs to thrive. You can give pellets to your bird throughout the day, but most parrots prefer eating seed mixed with fruit and vegetables. In fact, birds feel bored eating a purely pellet diet and it does not provide enough mental stimulation. The best solution is the combination of pellet diet and seed mixed with fresh fruit and vegetables.
It should be noted that excess consumption of tea and coffee may cause hyperactivity and heart disease in parrots. Such fatty products as cream, milk and butter can be bad for the stomach so make sure you give these products to your parrot only in small quantities.
Never give avocado to your parrot as it can even cause rapid death of the bird. Other food products you shouldn’t give to your parrot are rhubarb, aubergine, asparagus and chocolate. Keep in mind that branches from lilac and laburnum trees are poisonous for the birds.
All parrots like eating tinned sweetcorn or corn on the cob which is useful for them. Sometimes you may treat the bird with a biscuit.
We don’t recommend letting the bird stay out of the cage more often than he is in, especially during the first week or two in a new home. The bird needs time to get used to new environment. In fact, calm routine life is better for birds than sudden changes.
When a parrot feels bored he may develop the habit of feather plucking on the breast which is hard to break. To prevent boredom make sure your parrot has plenty of entertainment, such as special toys, ropes, fresh branches from fruit trees, etc. It is also important to keep the cage clean. Food and water should be changed daily and the cage and perches should be cleaned daily too. It is recommended to have the cage disinfected once a week.
Training Your Parrot
When it comes to training your bird remember that the key to success is repetition without boredom. Be patient and very soon your parrot will entertain you with the phrases you’ve taught him. We would like to focus your attention on the fact that training doesn’t mean taming. If you parrot is hand reared he will already be tame.
Try not to leave your parrot alone for a long time. Even when you have to leave the room do your best to maintain contact with your parrot. You can do it by whistling tunes. Once your bird learns the tune you can start with the first lines and he will finish the tune.
If you pet is hand reared you can teach him to deposit his droppings in his cage, but not just everywhere in the house. When parrots are going to deposit their droppings they squat down. Once you’ve noticed that you should immediately take him to his cage. After he has deposited a dropping, take him out of the cage and praise him. After doing so for a while your parrot will develop a habit of flying back to his cage to do his droppings. This is a very important area of training as it will save your time and will help keep your house clean.