Preparing for Pet Parrots

Parrots come in sizes from the iconic red, blue and yellow macaw to small parakeets. All are in the same family; they have the same shape beak and generally have rich, bright plumage, and all require special care and accommodations.

Small Birds

The smaller pet parrots' species, such as the parakeet and cockatiel can be enjoyed by any family in almost any size house. Kids especially like to see the crest of feathers that a cockatiel can raise at the crown of their head.

Both kinds of birds can live comfortably in a relatively small cage of about 20 by 20 by 30 inches. And both remain healthy on a diet of readily available seeds or pellets, though they will appreciate the occasional fruit snack.

These pet parrots are also sociable - but only with birds of their own species, and only with other individuals they know well. If you want a pair of birds, it is a good idea to buy siblings, or some that have been socialized to live with each other.

Large Birds

Large pet parrots are more of a serious lifestyle choice than even a cat or a dog. In captivity, some parrots may live more than fifty years. Some must be fed nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables meaning that their keeper has to prepare their meals daily. Parrots also have loud voices designed to carry in the jungle, and as well they need big cages along with some leisure to walk around the house or yard. Some species can be aggressive toward strangers.

These species are beautiful but as pets, pet parrots require probably about two hours of attention every day. The birds like to talk, play and watch the world go by. Neglecting a bird leads to health problems and even issues like aggressive behavior.

Other Pet Parrots

The size of pet parrots is generally related to that of the amount of responsibility you will have to take care of it. A small parakeet or two can be a kid's responsibility. A large macaw is an adult's permanent part time job. But besides these considerations, make a few more preparations before adopting a bird.

First, pick a bird appropriate for your family and lifestyle. If the house is empty all day, for example, think about a cat instead; a bird will get lonely. Make sure your pet comes from a reputable breeder and is not harvested from the wild. It is illegal to take a parrot from the wild and sell it as a pet. Finally, make sure you are in touch with an aviary vet before you bring the bird home.