Pet Parrot Ownership
How to have a happy, healthy parrot!
Here are some basic parrot care guidelines from the World Parrot Trust.
Parrots are intelligent, charismatic and beautiful, but sensitive and demanding – as pets they are a BIG responsibility!
With over 300 species, parrots vary greatly in their size, habits and diet.
So learn all you can about your parrot, find out where in the world your species comes from, what kind of habitat it would live in, how it would behave, and what would eat if it lived in the wild.
Hi! I am your pet parrot, and this is what I need…
- A Big Room
I need room to move about, exercise and stretch my wings. Plus more room to keep my toys, branches, food and water. Please get me the BIGGEST cage possible.
- Air Space
If my cage is really big, I may be able to fly from one end to the other. This is good, but a flight around a safe room (windows covered, no cats!) will be better. Flying is natural for parrots but some pet owners ask their vets to clip our wing feathers, if we are not in a safe environment for flying.
- The Right Diet
Variety, that’s what I need. Not just seeds or pellets, but fruit and veggies too. Do your research and ask your vet and pet store for advice on diets and supplements.
- Branches and Toys
In the wild I’d be forever busy, active and chewing all the time, so please give me fresh bird-safe branches to chew once or twice a week. Also interesting toys to enrich my life and keep my brain, claws and beak busy.
I need lots of water to keep my feathers in good condition. If I was in the rainforest I’d bathe in the treetops, but you can give me a lovely shower with warm water twice a week.
Understanding parrot behaviour will help both of us have a happy relationship. ‘Positive Reinforcement Training’ is a wonderful way to interact with me, and I will enjoy learning basic commands which help keep me safe.
- Company Human or Bird!
Every parrot needs a friend. If I haven’t got a parrot pal, a human being will be OK, but I MUST have a lot of attention. Talk to me, feed me sensible titbits, play with me. I’m like a bright child who never grows up! I will live a long time, so think of the future – who will look after me if you go on holiday?
- An Aviary the ultimate luxury
If you can manage it, an indoor or sheltered outdoor aviary would give me a superior quality of life. Plenty of space – sheer bliss!
- A Special Doctor
Remember, I am a wild animal, and have special medical needs. Find out who your nearest veterinarian with expertise in parrot care is, for check-ups, and always get help quickly in emergencies. Get a microchip fitted so that you can identify me if I should get lost.
You can download an A4 leaflet Happy Healthy Parrot poster
What more can I do for my parrot?
Find out more from books and magazines, including ‘PsittaScene’ from the World Parrot Trust, (‘psittacines’ are members of the parrot family). The internet is a great resource – try www.parrots.org first, where you’ll find lots of free advice, a parrot encyclopedia with photo gallery and video clips, members can also ‘Ask the Expert’ and chat to others through forums.
World Parrot Trust UK
Glanmor House, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 4HB, UK
World Parrot Trust USA
PO Box 935, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, USA
Further country contacts on-line including: Europe, Africa & Australia.