Also endowed with great intelligence, they compare themselves to large primates and dolphins. Their cognitive and learning capacities are similar to those of a child of about 3 or 4 years old. They can learn colors, shapes, and counting. No wonder they exert such fascination with people.
5 THINGS TO PREPARE BEFORE YOU GET A PARROT
SOURCE:Flock of Five
To learn more about parrots:
Tips before adopting
Oddly enough, they are among the most abandoned animals. There are many reasons for such a dropout rate (too frequent or inappropriate vocalizations, bites, difficulty in maintaining, etc.). In order to have a great experience adopting a parrot, you have to learn about the species and its needs. We must also take care to educate the parrot (and not try to tame it). Unfortunately, the majority of parrot behavioral deviations are directly related to human errors regarding their socialization and education.
- Choose the species that suits us. Parrots are not all the same. For example, powdery species (cockatoos and African grays produce keratin powder from their feathers) are not recommended for people with asthma or lung disease, caiques do not get along well along with other species, large macaws require a huge living space (if possible an entire room), ululations and brown-headed parrots have a very strong personality and are often difficult to educate and discipline, female lovebirds are often very aggressive, Australian parakeets (examples: Bourque parakeets, turquoise) are not noisy and non-aggressive, male Eclectus is much nicer than females, Quakers, budgerigars, and African gray parakeets are the best talkers, etc.
- Choose a breeder, a pet store, or another that inspires our confidence. The premises must be clean without an unpleasant odor. The cages are not overcrowded. The water and food bowls are not soiled with droppings. A written health guarantee is offered.
- Pay attention to the behavior of the bird in its presence. Parrots choose their master. Do not insist on a bird that does not like you.
- If possible, choose a baby raised by its parents and handled in the nest by the breeder. Babies removed from the nest a few weeks old and fed by humans have identity issues that can later lead to behavioral problems.
- Adopting an adult is advantageous because the character is already defined. The shelters are full of good parrots.
- Make sure the bird’s appearance is good: the plumage is shiny without imperfection, the edges of the nostrils, eyes, and anus are clean, the bird is not drowsy, and its tail does not move when he breathes. Since it is possible for a bird to carry the disease without showing symptoms, a purchase examination by a veterinarian is required.
- Parrots are not recommended pets for children due to their fragility and the potential for serious bites. An adult must supervise the interactions at all times.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED Before You Get a Parrot!
Living conditions and captivity
All birds should roam free in the wild. For this reason, our responsibility towards them is very great. Everything must be done to ensure the optimal conditions of captivity. Here are a few things to remember:
- A cage is never too big.
- Plenty of toys are needed. Each species and each individual has their own preferences. We must be attentive to the desires of each one. For example, the Quakers are builders. They love paw toys, straws, leather thongs that they can pile up to build great structures. Cockatoos are good analysts. They study the operation of closing cage doors and they are the champions of escape. They, therefore, like to play with rings that are put into each other or untie a long series of knots in sisal ropes. Macaws love to destroy with their beaks. Their toys should therefore contain large pieces of hardwood to be shredded.
- A play area outside the cage is not a luxury. A tray with perch and toys for the little ones, ropes, and toys installed on the ceiling for the big ones.
- An overflowing toy box cannot fill the need for interaction with humans. You have to interact often with your bird.
WATCH THIS BEFORE YOU BUY A PARROT!
Parrots are social animals that live in well-organized groups where each member is respected and valued. Their social interactions are complex and varied. The majority of parrot behavior problems are directly linked to human errors in the way of educating them. Raising a parrot is more like raising a child than raising a dog. The parrot does not need a pack leader! By integrating it into family life and avoiding creating an exclusive relationship with one person, many troubles will be avoided.
- Claws are pruned when they are too long (the claw is more than a quarter of a circle) or too sharp.
- The size of the flight feathers is not absolutely necessary. Flying is great for a bird’s morale and the cardiovascular system. However, if the chances of running away outside are too great, the flight feathers can be pruned. This non-trivial procedure should be performed by a knowledgeable person.
- The size of the beak is irrelevant unless the bird has a health problem that involves its abnormal lengthening.
- The bath is appreciated by the majority. It is enough to determine what the bird prefers: a bowl of water, a bottle with spray, the shower, a trickle of water in the sink, etc.
You should not think that a bag of seeds is enough to feed a parrot well. Since they are very tasty and birds become addicted to them very easily, it can be difficult to get them to eat more variety. Since many health problems result from poor nutrition, it is worth the effort to feed your bird well. A balanced diet consists of:
- About 80% of the feed. Avoid those whose sugar is listed in the first ingredients or which contain colorings.
- The remaining 20%: vegetables (prefer those of orange or dark green color), fruits, seeds, healthy table foods (examples: rice, quinoa, oatmeal, fat-free yogurt, etc.).
- Some foods are toxic: avocado, chocolate, fruit stones, garlic, onion, shallots.
- Certain foods should be avoided: those containing refined sugar, salt, or fat.
Lorises and lectures require an adapted diet. It is recommended to check with your veterinarian.
Unlike other parrots, macaws need a bit more fat in their diet. Various nuts are added to their daily diet.
WATCH THIS BEFORE GETTING A PET BIRD
Most common health problems
Birds are great at hiding disease symptoms and can die with their mouths full. An abnormal symptom in a bird should never be taken lightly. The survival rate greatly increases when the patient is presented to the veterinarian promptly.
Symptoms announcing a problem:
- Swollen plumage
- Change in color or consistency of droppings
- Behavior change: the nice bird that becomes mean or the other way around
Several diseases can be diagnosed in parrots. Some of them are more often found in certain species:
- Obesity: Roseate Cockatoo, Amazon
- Increased sensitivity to vitamin A deficiency: amazon, Eclectus
- Chronic sinusitis : Amazon
- Atherosclerosis: Amazon, Quaker, African Gray
- Respiratory problems secondary to allergies: large macaw
- Pecking, self-mutilation of feathers: cockatoo, an African gray, Quaker
- Digestive infections: Eclectus, Lori
- Panic disorders: African gray congo
- Calcium deficiency: African gray
- Aspergillosis: African gray
- Chronic egg-laying: lovebird, budgie, cockatiel
- An abdominal tumor (especially kidney): budgerigar