Having a companion bird is a much longer commitment than bringing home a dog or a cat. Birds can live from 15 yrs to 80 yrs, yes that little Parakeet can live 15 yrs., Cockatiels 30, Macaws 80. Their longevity and your age should be factors that are seriously consider before deciding to share your life with a companion parrot.
How much time do you have to devote to a parrot each day? Happy parrots spend 3 hours or more per day interacting with their humans and even more on your days off from work. They thrive on spending time with their loved ones, they needed it and will become a very unhappy bird who screams, plucks or even bites. Ambient attention can also play a part in keeping your companion happy, just stopping to say “hi” as you walk by the cage will win you points. Spending time with your bird does not mean you must be holding it entire time, in fact that is not healthy for either of you. They enjoy watching TV with you, sitting on a play stand at the dinner table with their own bowl of healthy food. Do you travel frequently? If so then a bird may not be the best companion for you.
Do you have adequate room in your home to accommodate a large cage? You can not downsize a cage to make it fit, your bird needs all the space they can possibly get. They need room in their cage to spread their wings, climb and play while they are not with you or you are at work.
Is noise a problem for you? Even the smallest of birds makes noise, in fact some of the small birds are just as loud as a big one. Conures have a very high pitched call that many find unbearable on their ears. Do you have neighbors close by that will be bothered by the noise or a HOA that could force you to find anew home for your companion? All birds will flock call at night and in the morning, this is instinct and cannot be trained out of them.
Can you afford proper vet care for your bird? The yearly blood work alone is approximately $200 plus the visit fee and anything else your vet may want to do. If your bird becomes ill, will you be able to afford the proper care? Can you set up a vet fund for your companion or carry Care Credit for him? Sick birds cost a lot of money! They also require a special vet since dog and cat vets are not trained in avian medicine.
Will you be able keep your bird in toys? A Macaw size toy can cost upwards of $20 to $50. If you can’t purchase then do you have the time and resources to make your toys? A good pellet diet will cost about $20/month for a small bird and a large bird approximately $30. This is just for the pellet! You would also need to feed your companion healthy vegetables, fruits, pasta, etc. so even more money out the door.
Like some dogs, birds can be destructive if left unattended or if they escape the cage while you are gone. Over the years I have seen kitchen cabinets destroyed, flooring destroyed and the list goes on.
How will you handle a bird that decides it does not like your spouse or your children? Some species are more prone to being 1 person birds or the bird may decide after 10 yrs of loving you that he now loves your spouse best. That’s another thing you need to think about, what species of bird fits your life style? Some species are more needy than others.
There are even more things you will find that you need to consider before getting a parrot, some things will be specific to you and your routine, living arrangements, etc. Please do your homework in advance so that you, your family and your companion are all happy!Things