How To Take Care Of A Parrot
How To Take Care Of A Parrot...
That's a very good question. How do you take care of a parrot? Well, such a broad question requires a broad answer. To the uninformed out there, all you have to do is buy a parrot, feed it some seeds and teach him to talk. Well, I'm afraid it's a lot more involved than that. Proper parrot care is a varied task that involves a couple of things.
Choosing the right parrot for you or your family.
Deciding on the cage.
Preparing the cage.
Adopting the parrot.
Training the parrot.
Maintaining the parrot.
The things listed here are the MINIMUM requirements to take care of a parrot. If you have already adopted a parrot, then you know what I am speaking about. But if you are about to take the plunge, then you will need to find out all the information that you can on adopting parrots. Taking care of a parrot is not a hard job, it just requires an adjustment. Like all pets, parrots require some very specific dietary requirements, I will cover these requirements at the end of the page. Just remember, these beautiful animals don't live to be 50 and 60 years old on seeds alone!
Choosing The Right Parrot For You Or Your Family.
When it comes to choosing the right parrot for you OR your family, it all comes down to how much time do you have to devote to your newly adopted parrot. Parrots are very social creatures and will make very loud noises if ignored! You have to be prepared to devote at least 30 minutes a day to them. Remember, scientific research has determined that a parrot's I.Q. is comparable to a 4-year old child. That being said, can you ignore your 4-year old child and get away with it? I didn't think so!
Deciding On A Cage.
When it comes to deciding on a cage, you have a couple of options. In the old days there were only a few cages to choose from, and these cages were barely suitable for the parrot. But nowadays, with the advances made in metal and manufacturing, it seems that there is an utter limitless supply of birdcages to choose from. One of the dilemma's that you might have to deal with is the choice of aviary or birdcage.
For the layman out there, an aviary is essentially a VERY LARGE, birdcage. This construct holds SEVERAL birds! The debate is if you have the money to spend on a parrot, (because parrots are not cheap...) then the price tag for an aviary should be no problem for you. This deduction remains to be seen. Maybe you can afford the bird, but not the aviary? Who knows?
Whatever your current economic situation, you should have no problem picking out an appropriate bird cage for your newly adopted parrot because there are an infinite number of birdcages that can sufficiently handle the task, and they are not expensive. Whatever you do, do not buy a cage where your parrot's feathers are sticking out! That is very unacceptable! The cage should be big enough so that your parrot will be able to open his wings! It's a bird, it will still want to fly!
Try to stay away from those cages that have painted surfaces. The strength of the cage will be tested by your bird and the first place that will be tested are the bars of the cage. A painted surface has a chance to be ingested by your bird. And this, in turn has a chance to get your bird sick. Also, make sure that the bars of the cage aren't too wide. This wil give your bird a chance to play Houdini on you. Parrots are very smart and will try to escape if given the chance.
Preparing The Cage.
After you have decided on what cage you are going to buy, you then have to make sure that you prepare the cage for your parrot. You should make sure that the cage has enough toys to keep your parrot busy when you can't. A mirror in a cage can provide you and your parrot with hours of comedic enjoyment. Parrots like to do all manner of things with their toys. They will hold on to them while they are climbing the cage. They'll climb on top of them! The addition of toys in your parrot's cage will make their time in the cage that much more enjoyable!
Adopting The Parrot.
After you have done everything that is needed to prepare your parrot for your home, it's now time to bring him OR her, home. The decision on which type of parrot that you want should have been made some time ago so, you will know by this time which parrot it is that you want. At this time, you'll be trying to make your new adoptee feel at home by talking to him, feeding him and just generally taking good care of him. But this is when you will notice that the parrot will try to start to bite you. "The nerve of this animal! I go through ALL of this stuff to make his new home comfortable, and he tries to bite me!" No need to get your drawers in a bunch, it's just time to train him.
Training The Parrot.
When most people think of training a parrot, they think of training it to talk. Rarely does training the parrot to behave cross their mind. Well, this is exactly what you will have to do, FIRST! Think about it. The parrot doesn't know you, you don't know the parrot. This is going to be a learning experience for the both of you. The training will also take some time. This will not be an overnight session. Your parrot has to get to know you and one of the best ways for him to get to know you is by rewarding good behavior with edible treats.
Edible treats is just one of the ways to get your parrot's attention. The other is verbal reinforcement. You will have to use this in later training sessions because, like I told you before, the parrot's intellect has been compared to that of a 4-year old child. And what happens if you constantly give a 4-year old child treats? Yep! You spoil it!
Just like a small child, the parrot will do exactly what you want it to do to get that treat. You will have to mix in some verbal reinforcement in there to let him know that treats are not ALWAYS on the menu. This will make him understand that maybe he can't get what he wants ALL the time. Eventually after a few weeks, your parrot will learn to trust and respect you, and then you can start to train him to talk. As with all parrot training sessions, you should make them short, about 10 or 20 minutes at a time because parrots, just like children, get bored real easy!
Maintaining The Parrot.
Maintaining the parrot is basically making sure that it's dietary needs are being met. Just because your parrot is a bird, don't assume that all that they want to eat are seeds. That is far from the case. While it is true that seeds are an integral part of their diet, this is not the only thing that they eat.
A parrot's diet consist of many things, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the fresh fruits that parrots are known to eat include: apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, and pineapples. Some of the vegetables that parrots have been known to eat include: carrots, green beans, cauliflower, cucumbers and sweet potatoes. As you can see, a parrot's diet is varied and wide ranging. These beautiful creatures don't live to be upwards of 60 years just eating seeds! If you try to make your parrot's diet as varied as yours, then he will have no problem reaching that age! Good Luck!