I have had many pets in my life but parrots for pets are my all-time favorites. This is primarily because most parrots have long lives. Moreover, parrots are one of the best pets in the world. As pets, parrots provide a lot of entertainment and they bond with humans just as they would with their flock.
For pets, parrots are the right choice for people with small children at home and for those who have retired from active professional lives. Parrots can be a lot of fun to be with and are ideal companions of little children.
Parrots fill up your life with laughter and fun. Watch your parrots repeat your words in their own tones. It is simply hillarious! Be careful, though. See to it your parrots don’t tell your mother-in-law what you think of her!
Pet parrots can be trained to talk and perform amazing tricks. However, it is not easy to train parrots. They are intelligent, graceful and often moody birds. You can derive immense satisfaction to see your pet parrot repeating the words or the tricks they have just learnt from you.
Keeping a pet parrot implies a lot of time and understanding of their minds. Having kept parrots as pets for over twenty years now, I know it is difficult for all new owners of parrots. However, it is such a fulfillment to see them playful, happy and healthy that the pains and the efforts in taking care of them are just a small price to pay.
Caring for Parakeets
Caring for parakeets is the most important step in keeping parakeets as pets. Remember their immune systems can be touchy. This means that at the first sign of illness, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Even a simple virus can turn deadly overnight. A regular care and checkup of your parakeet can keep you away from visiting the vet too frequently. Caring for parakeets means
A regular checkup of their plumage birds keep their plumage in peak condition by preening. You can encourage this by occasionally misting it with warm water.
Selecting the right cage for your parakeet choose a cage that is large enough to allow it plenty of exercise. Most cages come with 2 perches. For more specialized caring for parakeets, you can attach a cuttlebone to the side of the cage. It will help keep the bird’s beak in good condition and will serve as a source of calcium and other minerals.
A proper and adequate diet this is the single most notable aspect in shaping the health, vitality, and permanence of your parakeet. Give them leafy green vegetables, rice, tofu, some seeds and fruits like orange and papaya. These would give them all the required nutrients to keep them healthy.
Regular bathing of your parakeet give your parakeet a regular shower of 5-7 times a week in the summer and 3-5 times a week during the winter. This routine will help you keep your parakeet clean and avoid skin related diseases.
Proper grooming of your parakeet proper and regular trimming of the toenails is very essential. Consult a veterinarian if you wish to clip its wings.
Lack of parakeet care can result in feather plucking, moody and ill-trained parakeets at home. It is always a good idea to know what injuries and what diseases can affect your parakeet, what is the ideal diet for a parakeet, how many times a week should you give it a bath. These would help you undertake foolproof caring for your pet parakeets.
A healthy parakeet is more likely to be immune to diseases and can stay around for a long time to make you laugh, make you entertained and give you a moment to smile…
The Cat and the Evil Parakeet
Parakeets were “in” during the winter of 1952, and my little brother David had his heart set on one. On December 24, Mamma, Daddy, and I went to a parakeet breeder, paid $7.95, and brought home the pretty green bird we had reserved. The parakeet was hidden in the back bedroom overnight, but, in the early morning dark of Christmas Day, the softly glowing bubble lights on our tree revealed the birdcage on the living room floor among the other gifts.
At six that morning, Daddy and Der Doc the cat came into the house after milking the cows. Der Doc always supervised as Daddy and the hired man milked. He was rewarded for his efforts with a bowl of fresh milk and a good many compliments from Daddy. Pussycats can tell by your tone of voice that you are complimenting them. They love compliments and believe every one. Therefore, though Der Doc was a rather ugly grey tiger-striped cat, he believed he was good looking. He further believed that he was a superior member of the milking team.
The Superior Milking Team of Daddy and Der Doc stepped through the living room door side by side, heads held high. Der Doc saw and smelled the parakeet in the same instant. Without thinking, he instinctively made a flying leap across the room and onto the cage.
And, without thinking, Daddy instinctively gave Der Doc a boot with his foot that sent him flying.
Our good-looking member of the Superior Milking Team did not believe for a moment that Daddy, who was so very kind, had given him the boot. Clearly we had an evil bird, one who could, from inside its cage, send a cat flying.
Der Doc never again stayed in the same room as the parakeet. This inconvenienced him a good deal, particularly when the parakeet flew into the room while Der Doc was asleep on the living room sofa. He nevertheless stuck by his motto, “Better safe than sorry.”
Parrots & Birds Pets
There are 27 species of Amazon parrots, ranging from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean.
The Amazon parrots are very energetic, playful and social creatures that crave lot of interaction with its human owners. It is well known for its often moody character.
The Amazon parrot is very good at talking and imitating sounds.
Clearly, they are birds of high intelligence; studies put the intelligence of these feathered friends on the same level as three-year old humans!
The Senegal parrot is a green bird with a grey head, sports different colored under parts and belly and has piercingly bright yellow iris.
It quickly learns to talk and imitate sounds such as the creak of the garage door and the ring of the telephone, voices, words and all kinds of noises. It is a robust bird and not prone to feather plucking.
It is important that this strong-minded bird gets trained; the more you interact with it the more a Senegal parrot will relax and obey you.
African Grey Parrot
There are two sub-species of African Grey Parrot — the Congo African Grey and the Timneh sub-species.
All African Greys have the potential to speak and imitate, not only human, but all manner of sounds and whistles. African grey parrot bonds strongly to one person and make a wonderful companion.
The most amazing fact about them is that everyone is so different from each other, as humans are between them. Each one develops its own personality, talking and plucking ability.
Green Cheek Conure
The Green Cheek Conure is an impressive bird to look at, olive green body and wings and a maroon tail.
It is found mainly in Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.
It is an intelligent and playful bird that makes a wonderful pet, with vary sweet nature. It can also be easily trained to talk.
Owing to its quiet nature, the green cheek conure is the perfect choice as an apartment bird.
A typical Scarlet Macaw’s general plumage is bright scarlet. It is red with green and yellow markings on blue wings.
They are very smart birds. A young scarlet macaw picks up a limited number of words very quickly. The Scarlet Macaw is extremely intelligent and can be a very talented talker. It has a strong personality and should be given a lot of attention and freedom. This bird gets very attached to the owner, as long as it is provided with lot’s of love and care!
Blue Crown Conure
The blue crown conure has a small light-blue color on the top of the head and has the characteristic Conure white-patch eye. It is mostly found in Venezuela, Columbia and Brazil.
It is a bird of high intelligence that learns quickly. A blue crown conure can be taught to perform several tricks, such as sticking out their tongue, waving their foot and even kissing.
But as in lots of cases, an untrained blue crown conure can be very unnerving; it can become aggressive and destructive. If you are to benefit from a Blue Crown Conure’s good companion, you need to make sure that you train it well and take care of it!
The word hyacinth refers to the bird’s color and is defined as ‘a deep purplish blue to vivid violet. The plumage of the magnificent hyacinth macaw is predominately a deep cobalt blue. Impressive, colorful birds, are a delight to look at.
A hyacinth macaw not only pretty, but also smart and inquisitive. It is an affectionate bird with a very sweet disposition and very, very strong.
True, it has no idea of its own strength in it’s fingers and can injure a person without realizing it. That’s why they need to be trained and learn how to relax their grip when interacting with their human companions.
Things To Think About Before You Buy A Pet Bird
While a bird is an easy pet to care for, they do require just as much commitment and preparation as any other type of pet. Whether you are buying a small parakeet or an large parrot, you should make sure that you are prepared to care for your new feathered friend properly.
One thing that all pets, including birds need is attention. If your schedule has you working long hours and not spending much time at home, perhaps you should consider a fish tank instead of a bird. A bird cannot be left in it’s cage alone all the time and still be expected to be friendly on the odd days when you feel like playing with it. Some birds require more interaction than others, but they are social creatures and need you to set aside some time each day to play with them. You can use this time to teach them tricks and strengthen the bond between you.
When considering bringing a bird into your home, you must think about the safety of your new pet. Are there other pets in the house that could be threatening to the bird? Are there tiny nooks and crannies that a bird could get into and hurt himself? Do the other members of your family leave the windows and doors open where the bird could fly out and be lost? All these things must be considered for the safety of your new pet
The purchase and placement of his cage is another consideration. You must buy a cage that is the right size for your bird. Many parrots become quite adept at opening their own cage doors so you should consider how easy the cage is to break out of. The cage should be made out of a safe material and have bars spaced in such a way that the bird cannot get his head stuck in between them. There should be no sharp edges and their should be appropriate food and water dishes as well as perches inside the cage. Cages can be expensive, but don’t skimp on this as it is your pets new home!
Before you buy the cage, consider where you will be keeping it. It is best if the cage can be in a quiet corner but near family activities as your bird really wants to be part of the family. You should keep it out of direct sunlight, and away from any drafts or anywhere that could have a sudden change in temperature like in front of the heater or air conditions. Avoid placing the cage in the kitchen as fumes and hot surfaces can be hazardous. Be aware that the fumes from nonstick pans can be deadly to a pet bird, so make sure you get rid of all your non stick pans before bringing your bird home. Of course, you will want to keep the cage out of the path of traffic so you need to buy a cage that is the appropriate size for your bird as well as the right size to fit in the intended area.
Depending on the size of your bird, you may want to consider the level of noise that he will produce. Parakeets make little chirpy noises that, for the most part, are not annoying. Conures, on the other hand have a shrill call that goes right through you. Most happy birds will not yell constantly, but it is natural for them to call out at times so make sure you (and your neighbors) can handle the level of noise produced by the bird.
Finally, make sure that you want to commit to the care that is necessary to have a happy healthy bird. You’ll need to clean out the cage daily and make sure you provide fresh food and water. Food your bird a varied diet and have him checked by a vet (preferably one who specializes in birds) every year.
Birds can be very rewarding pets and take minimal care but they must be provided with a comfortable and safe environment and your companionship in order to thrive. Many birds can live for 20 years or more, so you are making a long commitment when you bring home your new feathered friend. This commitment to care and companionship is well worth it, however, as the rewards of owning these enchanting creatures are many!
Bird Cage Stands
Like us, birds need variety in life. To be happy and healthy, they need socialization and exercise. This cannot be accomplished if they are cooped up in a cage all day. Birds need time out of the cage to move freely.
Bird cage stands help birds get their required exercise. Similar to a tree, a bird cage stand is a tall structure with several branches for a bird to perch. This simulates the wild and allows the bird to enjoy a bit of freedom. Bird cage stands can also host toys for added play and enjoyment.
This fist type of bird cage stand is especially popular with parrots. With their large wingspan, parrots require more freedom of movement than cages can usually offer. These stands can be found at pet stores and specialty bird supply stores.
Another type of bird cage stand is a base that holds a bird cage. This is usually used for smaller cages and allows them to sit higher in the air. This also makes the cage a bit more mobile, as the stand can be moved from room to room. It can even be moved outside to give the bird more variety in its environment. Without this variety, a bird can become bored and unhappy.
Often, these stands are sold with the bird cage as a single unit. These can be found in online and at pet stores.
Training a Bird: Basic Guidelines
Most birds are very smart, and if taught correctly, will be able to learn a wide range of tricks. Training will create a better behaved, more social and happier animal.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
The training area should be safe and secure.
Eliminate distractions, noises, sudden movements.
Use a room that is brightly lit, colorful and quiet. Take the bird way from its cage.
Begin by talking with your bird in a cheerful, but calm voice.
Remember, birds are very sensitive. Don’t make any sudden or fast movements.
Offer your pet a small treat right in the beginning. That sends a signal that this is going to be an enjoyable time.
Keep rewarding with healthy snacks if it cooperates or when it does something right.
To keep it fun, it is important to not tire the bird by an overly long training session. You should only work with young birds for about five minutes. Older pets can usually take 10 minutes.
When your bird completes this trick or any other trick successfully make sure you praise them!
Finally, once a trick is learned, you should regularly ask your bird to perform the trick so that it is not forgotten.
Teaching Your Parrot To Talk: Some Guidelines
The first words your parrot learns will be the hardest. After that they will begin to come easier until the bird reaches the age where it can’t learn any more. Let’s see what you can do to make the process successful and easy for both you and your bird.
Use positive reinforcement. When your bird begins to talk, reward it with a healthy snack. Turn off all TV sets and radios. You must be the center of the birds attention without distractions.
Try to associate the word with some kind of action. This way they learn easier.
Let in lots of sunlight. A bright room always help.
Say the word you are teaching the bird in a loud clear voice and hesitate between each repetition of the word.
Train the bird either early in the morning or late at night. This is when the birds use to socialize in the natural habitants.
If you have patience and follow the above guidelines, be sure that your parrot will develop quite a vocabulary!
Some Tips to Help you Teach your Parrot to Speak
- If you utilize the bird’s natural inclinations and abilities, teaching your pet bird to speak will be a much more enjoyable experience for both you and the bird.
- Parrots are most vocal during the morning and the evening. Since they are inclined to be noisy at these times, it is a good idea to work with your bird then.
- Try to speak with emotion and emphasis. This way the words will stick in the mind of the bird much easier than if you say something in a monotone, bored voice.
- If you imitate the tone of your bird’s voice, you will increase the chance that the information is retained.
- Another great way to quickly teach your bird is to put it with other birds that speak. This is the most natural way for a bird to learn speech.
- And last, but not least: Have fun!
Your home might be “kid-proof” but how does it measure up when it comes to safety for your pet? Do you know all the hazards your pet is exposed to? How about what plants are poisonous and what foods should be avoided?
Caring for your pet is more than just making sure he has enough food, water and gets the appropriate veterinary care, it also means providing a pet safe environment so that your furry, feathered or scaly friend can stay safe and healthy. Unfortunately, there are many hazards your pet is exposed to each day that could put them in danger. Being aware of them so that you can keep your pet out of harms way is the responsibility of every pet owner.
Sometimes your guests can be the biggest hazard to your pet. If you have indoor pets, your quests may not realize this and open doors or windows around them that could allow them to “escape” to the great outdoors. Well meaning dinner guests and party go-ers could overfeed your pet and cause him to become ill. Imagine if you had 20 guests and each one fed “treats” to your pet! To insure pet safety when you have guests try keeping the pet in a crate or another room that the quests will not be allowed into. This may actually be more comfortable for your pet too as it may make him nervous to have so many people around if he is not used to it. Instruct your guests not to let the animals outside if they should get into the main house. Make sure your pet wears tags so he can be identified and return should he get out by mistake.
The holidays should be enjoyed by both you and your pets, so keep pet safety in mind when decorating and celebrating. Remember that small objects can cause an intestinal blockage if eaten so be sure to remove all tinsel, Easter grass, confetti, small toys and wrapping paper. Don’t leave candles unattended with pets near. Pet costumes can be cute, but make sure there are no lose strings that could choke your pet or that he can get his limbs caught in. It is best to not leave your pet unattended when you have him dressed up. Make sure electrical cords are kept away for pets especially puppies. They can chew through the cord and get burned or even electrocuted. After decorating for a holiday, make sure to observe your pet around the new decorations for several hours to see if they develop any unsafe habits around certain items you may need to remove or rethink your decorating if it looks like there could be a hazard. I had a ferret that liked to jump into the tree and grab all the shiny ornaments so I stopped decorating the bottom of the tree to prevent this as I was afraid the glass would break and injure her!
When feeding your pet treats, it is important to know that they should not eat certain foods. In general “people food” should be given to pets sparingly if at all, but some foods can be toxic. Most of the greasy holiday foods that we love to eat are not good for them and overfeeding can make them ill. In particular do not feed them chocolate it can be fatal especially to cats. So make sure you move those valentine candies, Easter eggs and chocolate Santas out of pets reach. Other foods to avoid are onions, alcohol and poultry bones. In addition, birds should not be fed avocados, dairy products, fruit seeds, potatoes, cabbage, green beans, lemons, rhubarb, grapefruit, plums and, of course, caffeine, chocolate, and alchohol. Any of these can be harmful and even fatal to your feathered friend! Also, keep in mind that the fumes from non stick pans can be fatal for pet birds so keep your bird out of the kitchen, or better yet, switch to cast iron pans.
Bird Safety Tips for Your Home
Here are some of the things you should be aware of to keep your pet bird as safe as possible in the home.
Above all use common sense. You already are likely aware of most of the items on our pet bird safety list below, but we are all human, and sometimes just forget or have other things on our mind. Non Stick or Teflon Coating This coating is found on non stick cookware but also waffle irons, bread machines, irons, ironing board covers, curling irons, space heaters, blow dryers and more. Kerosene or Gas type heaters which give off fumes Open Toilets, or any other deep water source. Once birds get wet, it’s ll over for them, they have no ability to swim. Pets, cats are notorious for stalking birds, even dogs cannot be trusted. Electrical wires, extension cords…any wire a pet bird can and inevitably will chew on. Poisoning….insecticides sprayed in the home, ammonia, bleach, oven cleaner, glues, nail polish remover, paint, perfumes, heavy metals, and many other home cleaning products. Poisonous plants and some foods are also a danger.
Go Here for a complete list of Poisonous Plants Foods for Birds http://petcaretips.net/poisonous-plant-bird.html Toys…a bird can strangle themselves with ropes made to hang toys. Rubber toys are a no no, birds have also been known to chew plastic toys and swallow the pieces. Ceiling fans Windows and mirrors…birds can fly in to these and seriously injure themselves. Impure Air….wood and coal stoves are a big source of indoor pollution, smoke will kill your bird quickly. Aerosol products of any kind should not be used around your bird.
Cigarette smoke has been implicated in respiratory disease in pet birds.
Carbon monoxide is also dangerous to birds, so use a carbon monoxide detector in the home, and be careful not to run your vehicle in an attached garage. Air Pollution….smog, dust in the air, exhaust fumes from vehicles, all can be very harmful to your pet bird.
Birds have a very delicate respiratory system, it must be protected at all times.
Find out more about how a bird’s lungs work here: http://petcaretips.net/pure-air-bird.html Tap water….birds are much smaller than humans and will react to the chemicals in tap water, fluoride and chlorine much quicker. Both of these chemicals are toxic and can harm your bird. Even well and spring water often has high concentrations of certain minerals and bacteria.
We recommend using Only steam distilled water. It is 99.9% pure water. Paint…in older houses the paint on the walls may contain lead. Bird Cages….some older bird cages have components made our of lead Scented Items…candles, potpourri, soaps, strong perfumes, etc. Loud Noises….birds can become scared and stressed when hearing loud, unfamiliar noises….stress leads to disease, being scared can cause them to flutter and fly in to things harming themselves. Hot Water…check the temperature of the water before giving it to your pet bird for a bath or drinking, also don’t let your birds fly around the kitchen when you are cooking, steam rising from a boiling pot of water can cause the bird to be unable to fly and possibly drop on to the hot stove or in the pot of boiling water.
Quick List of common items which will harm your pet bird:
Asbestos Bleach Chlorine Carbon Monoxide Cigarette Smoke Diazanon Flea Bombs and Collars Floor Polishes Formaldehyde Hair Dye and Spray House Paint Kerosene Matches Moth Balls Nail Polish Remover Oil Paint Oven Cleaner Overheated Nonstick Cookware/Teflons Paint Remover Perfume Permanent Wave Solution Pesticides Shoe Polish and Cleaners Spot Removers Spray Starch Suntan Lotions Surgical Acrylics Toilet Cleaners Wax
What to Do if your Pet Parrot Flies Away
Start by staying calm.
If the bird is chased, it may become more frightened and keep flying. Follow as closely as possible without running.
Maintain sight and sound of the bird. Talk to it calmly, calling it. Parrots love to call back and forth.
When the bird flies, pay attention to wind direction. Your bird would be opposite to it, as it’s trying to take off to fly quickly.
Remember, a parrot doesn’t just disappear; someone will see it. Create a network with friends, neighbors, and strangers on the street.
Post advertising, including handbills seeking anybody who has seen your bird.
The most important, never give up. It usually takes less than a day to recover a bird but it can take weeks, months, or sometimes as long as a year. Be patient, and your beloved friend will be back.