Caring for a ParrotCaring for a parrot is often compared to caring for a small child. This is actually a pretty good comparison.
A parrot needs at least 2 meals of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday, as well as a few snacks. He needs fresh water in a clean dish as often as it becomes dirty (with some birds this is fairly often). He's going to need a bath or shower a couple of times each week and occasional grooming and trips to the vet.
Real EstateA parrot takes up more space than your average pet. He needs a safe roomy cage that will need to be cleaned very frequently. Most people put the cage in a "bird room" that can be closed off when the bird's sleeping and they're not, or when the bird needs a "time out". He’s also going to need a couple of play areas in other parts of the house so he can hang out with people and get away from his cage. These will also need to be cleaned very frequently.
Time and MoneyIn addition to the duties already mentioned you’ll also need to spend time interacting with a parrot. They’re highly intelligent and social creatures that want to spend time playing with their “flock” (that’s you). Hopefully you’ll learn how to train him properly and take the time to work with him. It’ll be well worth it.
I should probably mention that parrots are wild animals. They’re not like dogs or cats that have become domesticated by living with people for thousands of years. Parrots are only a few generations out of the wild and as a result their instincts are those of a wild animal. In order to care for him and meet his unique needs you’ll need to do some serious learning and work with him to gain his trust and communicate with him.
You’ll also need to buy (or make) him lots of toys. He’s going to spend much of his time destroying them, so he’ll need a steady, ongoing supply of them! He’ll also need supervision while he’s not in his cage to keep him safe. Keeping an eye on him will also keep him from mis-identifying your belongings as toys and destroying your couch, keyboard, shoes, woodwork, etc.
It’s Not a Kitty!Going out of town for the weekend? You can’t just dump in some extra food and take off. Your parrot will either need a pet sitter who knows what he’s doing, or will need to go to a professional boarding facility. He needs care several times a day, every day!
In short, caring for a parrot properly is more expensive and much more time consuming than most pets. If you own a parrot, or are considering getting one, we’ll try to provide helpful information (and links to other resources) so that both you and your bird have a wonderful experience.
Here's a link to a primer video called "Bringing Birdie Home". This is a YouTube video produced by several parrot professionals to give prospective parrot owners some idea of what to expect.
If you have a specific question that we haven’t addressed here, please email us.
If you just saw a parrot on TV and decided that you simply can’t live without one - Please consider the following...