Parrots as pets


DIY and how-to

Blue-and-gold macaw parrot with striking yellow breast and green wings.

Parrot ownership is a greater responsibility than most new owners realise. The level of commitment to the parrot to prevent behavioural problems from developing is very high.  Many potential owners tend to see the parrot as a beautiful or amusing object and not as an individual that is almost as emotionally complex as a human.  Parrots are highly social and need to form close relationships with either a human or a member of it’s own kind.
If a parrot does not form these relationships then they become sad and stressful and will become impossible to re-home. The decision to take on a parrot must therefore be done with great care.

Before buying a parrot you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you an experienced animal/bird owner?  Parrots are the most difficult and complicated birds to look after and experience gained with easier birds or animals will be beneficial.
  • Can you commit yourself to caring a parrot that will leave between 30 to 60 years?  Finding a new home for a parrot is difficult and change in ownership can cause stress.
  • Can you spend at least one hour of one to one time with the parrot?  Quality time with your parrot is the best way to form that strong bond that parrots desire.
  • Will you or other family members be in the house for at least 12 hours daily?  Parrots should not be left alone for more than 5 hour periods.
  • Are you prepared to provide your parrot’s essential diet components so that it will not die prematurely of a dietary deficiency?
  • Can you tolerate some damage to your home?
  • Will you be able to stand the noise?
  • If you smoke, can you give it up?  Secondary smoke has been known to kill parrots after prolonged exposure.
  • Do you have asthma or any other respiratory problems?  The feather dust that parrots emit can exacerbate respiratory problems and may harm your health.

If you are able to meet all these questions then a parrot will make an ideal companion and you will be rewarded with a long  wonderful relationship.


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