As of 2019, there are one million pet birds in the UK. Parrots are one the most popular pet birds, with thousands of UK households providing the perfect home for them. If you are thinking about bringing a parrot into your own home, then you need to make sure you have thought of everything from food to litter and grooming. By taking the time to research and learn before you bring the parrot home, you can ensure they are a happy and healthy addition to your household.
Please keep reading for our top care tips for your parrot, so you feel capable and ready to take on such a commitment. You need to be prepared, and understanding of all of your pets needs to be a responsible owner. Taking a look through this blog should help cover some of the most important aspects of parrot care, and give you an insight of what owning a parrot will look like.
Think About Your Cage
Your new parrot will need a home to call their own, but it is much harder than going to the local pet shop and choosing the first cage you find. Cages come in all shapes and sizes, and the most important thing you need to consider is selecting a cage wide enough for your bird to spread its wings. Your bird will spend most of its time in this cage, so you want to make sure they are comfortable.
Birds are also incredibly smart and given a chance, they can figure out ways to open their door and escape their cage. Make sure you purchase a padlock for the door to ensure your parrot stays inside the cage and doesn’t fly off.
You can make this cage more like home by adding boxes, paper bags and towels into space. Parrots like to feel safe and secure, and these items will allow them to snuggle under them and hide when they want to feel relaxed.
Finally, you need to make sure you set up your cage in the perfect location. Birds are sensitive to changes in temperature, fumes and light and need to be placed in a room with proper ventilation. Fumes from cigarettes, cooking and cleaning chemicals can all harm your parrot, so putting their cage in the kitchen isn’t a great idea. Similarly, don’t place their cage close to the window as the direct sunlight can cause your parrot to overheat. Drafts can cause their temperature to change quickly too, so avoid places near vents and doors. Try and choose a room or space which suits all of these necessities, but is also used frequently by your family. Birds are social creatures and would be happiest when they are close to a member of the family, like in the living room.
Keep It Clean
Like you would clean cat litter or a dog cage, you need to keep your parrot’s cage clean too. The easiest way to keep your parrot’s cage sanitary is to clean it out every two days. Keeping a schedule ensures you never forget, and your parrot is happiest in their home.
We recommend using paper as litter in your parrot’s cage as this is cheap, readily available and easy to clean. You want to choose a cage that has a grate over their litter as this prevents them from making direct contact with it. Used litter can be rife with bacteria and mould and therefore extremely harmful to your pet. Stick to your schedule and clean this litter every two days to prevent harmful bacteria and odour.
Choosing a Nutritious Diet
Your bird needs to be fed at least once a day if they are to be happy and healthy. However, the precise amount of food can vary parrot to parrot, so check with your vet to determine how much food your pet needs.
If you have researched pet parrots, you may be aware that mixed feed is the go-to for food. But, it’s essential you know parrots also need a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Nuts and seeds can also be fed as treats to reward good behaviour. Seek veterinary advice for precise advice for your pet on the amount of fruit, vegetables, mixed feed and seeds to feed your bird to avoid under or over-feeding them.
You must understand that birds have sensitive digestive tracts. You may think certain foods seem healthy and okay for your pet to digest, but in fact, they can be harmful or even fatal for your parrot. Make sure you research extensively what you cannot feed your parrot like chocolate, avocado, garlic, fruit pits and apple seeds so you can compile a comprehensive list. You need to be sure everyone in your household is aware of these foods, so no one makes a mistake – perhaps you can print a list and post it in the kitchen!
Parrots are very low maintenance grooming wise, only needing nail and wing trimming depending on owner preference. The AVV guidelines suggest trimming your bird’s nails when they become sharp or uncomfortable to handle. However, regarding clipping your parrot’s wings, this can be dependent on personal opinion. Before clipping their wings, consult your vet for more information. Some parrot owners choose not to do this so their bird can fly around freely – but you must make sure they can’t escape from their flying space.
Birds do love to bathe often! Most birds enjoy splashing in the water to clean their feathers and keep them in perfect condition. However, each bird is different, and you will see from the first time you try to bathe them what their preferred method is. Some birds like to shower under a sink while others prefer a spray bottle, or to soak in a shallow bowl or dish of water. Make sure they have access to plenty of water throughout the day so they can choose their preferable bathing method.
Some species of parrots can live for 60 years, so owning a pet parrot is a long-term commitment. Just like with a dog, you have to think about care when you are away on holidays or for work. At House My Pet, we provide outstanding pet care, sitting and boarding services (and so much more!) for your pet parrot. Please take a look at our website to learn more and take an in-depth look at the different services we offer.