• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

BEFORE you decide to get a Parrot

janicedyh

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
7/24/16
Messages
1,820
Real Name
Janice
I read this on the Parrot rescue site in my city. I think anyone entertaining the idea of getting a parrot needs to read something like this. I know we have lots of info here....a ton, (good, bad, ugly for example) but, there are so many people that come here trying to decide on what type of parrot they want and those people are dreamy eyed and may not realize until its too late that they just are not prepared...hence...another bird needing to be re-homed. This post is from the parrot rescue where I have an application on file, have taken the "birdie bootcamp" that is required plus taken the follow up test as proof I now have knowledge of the material. Even when they say " Parrots, in a sense, are lousy pets!", people need to GET IT .... they are our companions ... not our pets and certainly not our toys

Living with a Parrot

Before you head out to the pet shop or breeder’s, you need to know one simple fact. Parrots, in a sense, are lousy pets! Why would I say that? Think about it for a minute. They are expensive to buy and even more expensive to maintain. They are noisy, dirty, dusty, messy, domineering, destructive, demanding, unpredictable, can be mean as a snake, and they can hurt you. Honestly, what more could you NOT want in a pet? It is an indisputable fact that parrots are not the right pet for everyone. It is our intention to inform you of some things you need to know before making a decision that could be one of the most rewarding or most regrettable of your life.

What we are about to present are just the facts of living with a pet Parrot. Have you considered:

Parrots are wasteful – Buy $30 worth of groceries and throw $24 worth in the trash as soon as you arrive home. Do this several times a month. Parrots require fresh food in addition to pellets (not seeds) and are wasteful eaters. If you can’t afford the wastefulness of a parrot, you can’t afford the parrot.

Parrots bite – If you have a parrot, you will be bitten, usually just hard and sometimes really hard. Consider yourself lucky if they bite and release. Walnuts and Brazil nuts are no challenge to a large beak. How do you think your skin and bones will fare? An angry parrot may bite and continue to clamp down.

Parrots are demanding – Plan on spending several hours every day interacting with you bird. In the case of Cockatoos, they crave the physical contact of their flock – YOU are their flock. If you don’t have the time or the desire to have this much interaction with a parrot, reconsider your decision to bring one into your home.

Parrots are messy – Anything within their reach is fair game to be dropped to the floor. This includes food, treats, toys and of course, poop. Dried droppings can become hard as concrete and fresh droppings can be difficult to remove from porous surfaces like clothing, carpets and furniture. Plan on cleaning the area around their cage 2 to 3 times a day. Cage papers must be replaced several times a week. The cage, toys, perches, play areas and stands, must be cleaned at least once a week and sometimes more depending upon the bird. Birds are clean by nature. They spend several hours a day, every day preening themselves. Don’t be selfish and ignore the mess. If you can’t or won’t spend the time necessary to keep the parrot’s home clean, then a parrot isn’t right for you.

Parrots are noisy – All parrots talk, squawk, sing, or scream. They do it when they’re happy, scared, mad, on alert, or just for no reason at all other than to do it. If you live in an apartment or condo, your neighbors may become your enemy. Do loud noises bother you? Are you a nervous person? If the noise would be a reason to find your parrot a new home, DON’T bring the parrot into your home!

Parrots poop – It’s inevitable. it will be on your floors, carpet, on their cage, on your furniture, and yes – on you. More important is the daily observation of what the poop looks like. You can tell if they are sick, if they are eating too many watery fruits, if they aren’t eating enough of something, etc. The poop must be cleaned off daily or the build up will be more disgusting than daily clean-ups. Birds are messy, not dirty. Don’t force them to live in substandard conditions because you are too busy or too lazy to tend to the mess.

Parrots require daily care – Planning a vacation? Travel a lot with business? Enjoy frequent weekend getaways? Need to paint? What about if you are ill, have an accident, or die? Where will your bird stay? Find someone to care/board your parrot before you get a parrot. Local bird shops may be a place, but do you really trust them? Parents, friends, siblings, neighbors are a good choice, but find out if they are truly willing beforehand. The day will come when you must board your parrot for one reason or another. Make certain you are prepared for that day.

Parrots should see an Avian Vet – Routine vet check-ups are a must, but what about medical emergencies? Is there an avian vet in your area? Not all vets see birds and not all vets that see birds are qualified avian vets. Locate the nearest avian specialist before you need them and get prices on routine care vs. emergency care. Wings and nails can be clipped by yourself, your vet, or qualified pet shop. Be careful, blood feathers and nails will bleed if a mistake is made. Do you have the money to spend for the initial vet exam, the yearly exams, and medical emergencies? If not, then please consider your overall financial situation. Parrots are expensive from the very beginning. If you get a great deal on a “used” parrot, there may be health problem and $1500 (or more) later, you may have a healthy parrot. If you don’t have an emergency stash, get one now. If you can’t afford to divert any funds to an emergency stash, you can’t afford a parrot!

Parrots chew – If you don’t provide chew toys, they will find their own (sheetrock, furniture, wood trim, themselves, etc). Parrots don’t care what value an item has to you, all they care about is chewing, so provide plenty of chew toys at all times, as well as stimulating toys. Play with your parrot, remember they are intelligent and enjoy a variety of activities. Toys are a MUST to achieve a happy, healthy parrot. Add the cost to your budget, if your budget can’t absorb the cost, don’t get the parrot!

Teflon kills – All nonstick surfaces have Teflon type coatings that produce a gas that kills birds quickly! Opt for stainless, alum, copper, glass, ceramic or enamel. TEFLON coatings can be found in many household appliances such as ovens, toasters, irons, waffle irons, coffeemakers, blow-dryers, etc. If you think just this one time won’t hurt, YOU ARE WRONG! If you can’t part with the nonstick stuff, then at some point you will be parting with your parrot from death of the fumes.

Other Toxins – Certain plants, smoke, aerosols, fragrances, candles with wicks that contain a metal stem, carpet fresheners, air fresheners, FeBreeze, some essential oils, certain hair products, certain foods (avocados, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate) contain toxins that are hazardous to your bird. As new products are added to the market, new dangers arise. You must continue to educate yourself on these hazards. Be prepared to parrot proof your home. If you can’t forgo the use of these items and are unwilling to keep your parrot out of harm’s way, why spend the money/time for a parrot at all?

Parrots require daily attention – Your parrot needs your undivided attention for a considerable amount of time. Each species and each bird is different. A Cockatiel may only want 20 mins 3 times a day, but a Cockatoo may only be happy when they are by your side for hours at a time. Are your evenings filled with school activities, work from the office, college courses, etc? PLEASE reconsider the notion to bring a parrot into your home if you can’t spend quality and quantity time with that parrot!

Parrots need discipline and structure – Discipline is not punishment. It is establishing boundaries, respect, schedules, education, and acceptable behaviors for both you and your parrot. In order to effectively discipline yourself and your parrot, you must first learn what is considered normal behavior and what is considered destructive behavior. This means you are going to have to READ, READ, and READ some more. Do you have the dedication it takes to effectively discipline yourself and your parrot? If not, don’t set yourself up for failure and jeopardize the well-being of another parrot by unknowingly encouraging behavior that will only pave the way for the parrot to placed in another home.

Parrots are destructive – A large parrot can and will remove gemstones from their settings! Earrings or other piercings will be removed with or without a piece of flesh. Parrots seem to love metal and enjoy breaking chains into pieces. Clothing will have a new look that is personalized by your parrot. Little holes around the arms and neck is normal. Anything that is 3 dimensional is considered fair game (rhinestones, studs, sequins etc). Eyeglasses are no exception! If this behavior is unacceptable, then a parrot in your home is unacceptable!

Parrots can be jealous – Parrots may consider children and other pets as rivals. Be cautious of this fact. If you have or are planning on having children, you are in for a rocky ride. Be forewarned!

If after reading this you still want a parrot, I welcome you and ask that you commit yourself to being the best friend you can be to your companion Good luck and remember that right now may not be the best time for you to become an owner, you be the judge. Please remember to always keep the parrot’s best interest at heart.
 

camelotshadow

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/9/11
Messages
21,493
Location
S California
Real Name
Christine
All of it is very true.

I tell people all the time birds do not make the best pets. If you've never owned one you can hardly realize the time & work they are but I love my Rio to bits & he is the best!!!!

My guy is pretty good & I have most of it under control. Just hate those poops that sometimes are aimed at & through the bars & run down the cage. Those are time consuming to clean & always unnerve me. I scold which I know is without benefit as birds poop & sometimes its not in the most convenient places.

I guess Rio's accidents are when he poops near the side of the cage he sometimes holds on to the bars with his foot which angles his butt toward the cage bars & yikes what a mess to clean.

Gosh was so busy today forgot to change his water.

Better get to that right now!!!!
 

janicedyh

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
7/24/16
Messages
1,820
Real Name
Janice
I got this from Alabama Parrot Rescue. They also have tons of other info. In fact, before you rescue from them you have to complete what they call "Birdie Bootcamp" and take a test. They also require a home visit and to visit with them several times so they can see if the bird "chooses you. Honestly, they are one of the finest rescues you will find.
 

birdnerd

Meeting neighbors
Joined
12/11/12
Messages
64
Location
australia
Real Name
claire
this is great! im still researching...I had my lorikeet for ten years with me until about a month ago..miss him dearly...I miss having someone on my shoulder, wrestling with my hands as i try to put on my shoes...yeling at me to get off the phone..throwing spoons off the table...good times! But im still reasearching...... but man i miss the birdy ways!
 

Clueless

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Avenue Concierge
Joined
11/3/12
Messages
22,321
Love this.
 

madison nicole

Walking the driveway
Joined
10/10/15
Messages
290
If only my friend would read this maybe she'd take my advice and stop buying/selling birds trying to find "the right one " everyone considering a bird should know this stuff
 

Riptide Queen

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Joined
11/12/16
Messages
890
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
Real Name
Uri
Amen to this post for sure!! This is the exact things I always have to lecture to people when they see Melon! "I want a bird!" "So cute!" etc... We all know the same old things people who have no idea what it's like to actually have a bird. And this is what I exactly preach to those people. Some of them do argue by saying Budgies and Cockatiels are "easy" so why should they listen to me, which I also tell them, "budgies and cockatiels are not "easy" they require a lot of care and maintenance as well. Please don't treat them like 'throw away' pet because they are just as marvelous as macaws and cockatoos."

... Hmm.. I should print these out and hand them to people when they tell me when they want a bird.
 

Jen b

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
1/31/18
Messages
1
Hi, question I have dogs and cats. Will they stress the bird out too much. I want a conure but want to be fair to the bird. I love animals and this was a concern. Does anyone else have animals? I read the thread but just wanted opinions,
Thanks
 

janicedyh

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
7/24/16
Messages
1,820
Real Name
Janice
My personal opinion is that dogs, cats and birds are a bad mix, I have heard sad horror stories. I am aware that some people on the forum do have dogs and cats and make it work. You have to be extra cautious. since my birds are out of their cages most of the day it would not be possible in my house
 

karen256

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
3/12/12
Messages
2,556
Location
WI
Dogs and cats will probably not cause your conure any stress unless the bird has had a prior bad experience; tame birds just don't see them as predators, same as they don't see people as predators.
That said, this also means that if your dogs and cats ARE dangerous, your conure won't know to fly away from them.
You're the only one who knows how well you can supervise, and what your cats and dogs are like. My birds have always been around my dogs (and cat, until he passed away). I consider the current dog totally harmless, to the point where I would not worry a bit about leaving him alone with the birds. Even the cat was pretty harmless, he never tried to hurt the birds but did like to watch them, and I was sure to keep him in a different room if no one was home.
But even though my dog and my cat got along with my birds with no issues, some dogs and cats can be dangerous. My mom lost her childhood canary to the family cat, and my dad's cousin had her Amazon parrot killed by her sister's dog (she had her own dog, which was trained to respect the bird, but her sister's dog ran inside unexpectedly one time, and grabbed and killed her parrot almost instantly).
 

flappergirl35

Meeting neighbors
Joined
5/27/18
Messages
59
Real Name
Jennifer Beckman
This is absolutely brilliant. I've often cautioned people who have met my birds and want one, about the work and time involved with being a bird guardian. It's not just about having a pretty bird that talks. It's time, attention, cleaning, behavior training and patience. Birds who are ignored will end up with serious problems such as feather plucking and screaming. Novelty wears off and the poor thing gets rehomed, for no other reason but being a bird. I am a neat freak, and spend a lot of time cleaning up the messes that my birds create. There's also issues such as biting.
BUT...when my conure says, "I love you Mummy, and gives me a hug and kiss, I know I've found the right pet for me. I am thinking of fostering or adopting another one, despite all of this because there's something about the love and bonding that happens. It's absolutely priceless.
 

Brittany0208

Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/8/18
Messages
2,877
Hi, question I have dogs and cats. Will they stress the bird out too much. I want a conure but want to be fair to the bird. I love animals and this was a concern. Does anyone else have animals? I read the thread but just wanted opinions,
Thanks
I have an indoor cat, who I've had for 5 years, and just recently got a bird 4 months ago. I know the risks involved but I am extra vigilant and have already prepared myself to never have another mammal as long as I have my bird. As much as I love cats and dogs, I made the decision to adopt a bird, so his safety comes first, despite me never having a home without a cat or a dog. It will be an adjustment, but the paranoia of 'what if' never goes away as long as there is a threat in the house. To answer your question, it is very possible to have them co-exist peacefully, but you have to double and triple check all your doors and cage locks, regardless of the size of your bird.
 

metalstitcher

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
2/29/16
Messages
3,431
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Rhiana
They forgot to mention jealous of the spouse as well. Gracie tolerates my husband on a good day on a bad one.... he bleeds.
 
Top