Parrots are amongst the most common birds kept by people in their homes. Extremely intelligent and exceptionally beautiful, these birds are considered as the ideal way to spend your time on a hobby. Taking care of them, talking to them or simply enjoying the way they become a part of your life, parrots are one of the best pet birds you can find. However, taking care of parrots isn't as plain and simple as it might seem. You need a lot more than a cage and in terms of time & effort, there's a lot more waiting for you at the other end.
That said, parrots are a great way to get children to keep pets and with pets come responsibility. So if you are looking to help your child understand the true meaning of responsibility, help them take care of a parrot and give them the kind of opportunity they need to prove themselves. Even for adults, parrots can be a great hobby because they aren't overly needy, as some delicate animals might be, but aren't too aloof to make you feel that they don't know you exist.
Preparing for a Pet Parrot
Without any doubt, the first thing you need to do is shower your love and affection on the bird. The parrot requires a lot of attention and if you want it to stay away from bad behavioural habits such as biting or feather picking. To keep it free of sickness and disease, you need to give it a lot of room to stay in. The aviary or cage needs to be big and roomy enough to keep the kind of bird you are getting. There needs to be a play-stand on which the bird can get some exercise, considering it won't be flying too much.
If you have other pets, you might want to look at the combination you are going to end up with. A parrot, or any bird for that matter, will get extremely nervous if there are cats around. Noisy dogs also might be a problem, as might be snakes. In fact, you might even find parrots not getting along well with other parrots too!
Finally, you need to focus on the cleanliness aspect - the cage needs to be cleaned regularly and droppings or waste food & water needs to be cleaned up to prevent rotting things from lying inside the cage. The cage material, itself, needs to be clean and spick & span! You cannot have rusty cages because they are a hazard to the bird as well as to you. Parrots tend to be quite messy birds so if you are taking one in, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning up after them. Parrots might also require a lot of trips to the vet, especially if you are planning to buy an exotic variety. Get prepared to fork out a bundle if you are really interested in getting one of those to your home.
Choosing your Bird
If you are picking a parrot and are prepared to do the work that comes with it, then you can start by looking at the Monk Parrot or the Quaker Parrot. These birds come from South America and grow up to 30 cms long. They are known for their ability to talk and if you take good care of them, they can live up-to almost 30 years. However, if you have any other pets at home, you might stress them out so make sure you aren't planning to get other animals in with them.
Another excellent talking species is the Amazon parrot, an excellent variety that's extremely social and affectionate to its owner. They are very easy to get along with and once they attach themselves to you, they will stay loyal to you for a long time. As the name suggests, they too come from South America and can live up to 60 years, with proper care. They are great with other animals too, as long as they don't get attacked i.e.
Then, there's the Eclectus parrot, a bird that demands a lot of love and care in return for their ability to become brilliant talking partners. They are an incredibly curious bird that loves the attention you shower upon it. However if you don't have too much time for your bird, then this might not be the animal for you - you might just end up finding a lot of things chewed & bitten because the Eclectus parrot gets very sore when left uncared. Although these three varieties are amongst the most popular, the Amazon parrot gets picked most often for its social nature and its ability to adapt to different animals and environments. That said, there are over 400 species of the bird to pick from so read well before making that buying decision.
Parrots are a great bird to keep as a pet or as a hobby, although they require a lot of love and care. Mostly people who have a bit of time on their hands find them a great pet to be with, teaching them new things to say and giving it a lot of attention. If you want to own a bird that looks gorgeous, is quite clever and is a lot of fun to be with, then the parrots your choice!