Parrots are extremely intelligent, social birds requiring much mental stimulation and interaction. The following information is appropriate for all members of the parrot or hookbill family, ranging from parakeets to macaws.
Without proper care, parrots can develop bad habits such as screaming, biting and destructive chewing. Their wings should be kept properly clipped, a service that we offer here.
Your parrot needs the largest cage you can afford. Cage width and depth are more important than height. Make sure the cage is zinc-safe and lead-free, and has appropriate bar size and spacing; your parrot should not be able to fit its head between the bars, or to bend or damage the bars with its beak. Natural hardwood branches make the best perches; sandpaper perches should never be used. Choose a variety of non-toxic wood or acrylic chew toys to occupy your bird, and rotate them to avoid boredom.
Parrots need a large variety of fresh, healthy foods, whether on a pellet or a seed diet. Beneficial foods include dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, dandelions, and chard, as well as carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. Healthy table foods like cooked eggs, corn, beans, pasta, and rice can also be offered. Remove perishable foods after a few hours and at bedtime. Grit, gravel, and oyster shells should never be given. A seed-only diet will result in malnutrition. Eventually, a parrot should become acclimated to a diet containing specially formulated pellets. An AVIAN vet can help with more information.
Tray liners should be replaced every day and the cage bottom, fittings and dishes regularly washed with hot water and soap. Once a month, disinfect the cage with diluted bleach and rinse thoroughly. Line the tray with black and white newspaper or paper towels. It is unsafe to use pine/cedar shavings, corn cob or walnut bedding.
Egg-laying is very common in the smaller parrots and can start any time from five months to over ten years of age. Excessive egg-laying can be a health risk, check with a vet.
Parrots should be examined by a qualified AVIAN vet at least once a year or ASAP if any bleeding, injuries, or other signs are noted. It can be hard to tell when a bird is ill, and by the time you notice a problem, the sickness is usually well-advanced. Delaying a visit with an AVIAN vet or using over-the-counter or human medicines may be fatal.
Parrots have very sensitive respiratory systems and should not be exposed to cigarette smoke, aerosols, harsh cleaning products, overheated Teflon pans, or other toxic fumes.
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