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Tyyping With a Paarrot
Member Name: Ophelia
Date: 18/02/02, updated on 18/02/02 (723 review reads)
Advantages: Friendly, intelligent
Disadvantages: Naughty, pooh
Before purchasing a parrot you must ensure that it will be the right pet for you. Small parrots can live for 20 years but large parrots can live up to 80 years, so it is a long term commitment inviting a parrot into your home.
Parrots are extremely intelligent; they are on a par with a five-year-old human. It is important to bear in mind, therefore, that they will need a lot of stimulation. They like human company and need to be out of their cage for several hours a day.
Darwin is out of his cage whenever I am in the house, so normally at least 7 hours a day. Having seen how adventurous and curious my parrot is I can see how awful it would be for such an intelligent creature to be caged all day. In this respect I think they need as much companionship as a dog.
Parrots love to be with people. As I speak (or rather, type), Darwin is sitting in front of the keyboard, balanced on my cup of herbal tea, sharing my beverage with me. I can predict that within minutes he will be trying to eat buttons off the keyboard.
Darwin will follow me around the house all day; yes, you guessed it, even to the bathroom. Such close prolonged contact is bound to lead to an affinity between man and bird.
It is important that you do not allow your bird to become overly attached to one member of the family, as they may then become jealous, to such an extent that they may attack others who try to approach their favoured human.
should ensure that the bird has as much contact as possible with all members of the family, who should all be involved in the handling and disciplining of the bird.
Most of important of all you should not encourage your parrot to become sexually attracted to you (no, I’m not accusing you of bestiality). If this does happen then the bird’s aggression towards other people may be very threatening. Do not stroke your parrot on the stomach or tail, as these are erogenous zones!
You should not allow your parrot to sit anywhere where it is above your eye level, as they will then be in a dominant position. If your parrot is being disobedient then it is worth moving its cage to the ground for a couple of weeks, to re-establish its place within your family’s pecking order.
You should not allow parrots to sit on your shoulder. Partially because this will often put them above your eye level, but also because parrots, just like young children, can be temperamental and throw tantrums. There have been numerous incidents of parrots lashing out in anger and causing terrible facial injuries to their owners.
As satisfying as hearing your baby’s first words is, this cannot compare to the happiness you feel when your parrot first speaks!
Darwin was not very original in his first word: ‘hello’. His vocabulary has now extended to:
‘Good Morning Darwin’
‘What are you doing?’
‘Loxley’ (the name of my pet house bunny!)
‘Broccoli’ (bizarre I know)
and, briefly remembered after a visit from my mother, ‘Oh bloody hell’
Parrots also like to imitate noises and Darwin’s favourite trick is to impersonate the telephone. It is a brilliant impression but, as you can imagine, causes much confusion.
He has also begun to repeat the noise of the modem dialling. What a clever parrot!
Unfortunately birds produce a lot of pooh and wee. A fact of nature I’m afraid! However, it is possible to house train them.
When you let your parrot out of its cage, time it to see how long it takes to pooh. Parrots normally pooh at regular intervals.
Then the next time you take it out, put it back into the cage just before it is due to defecate and wait until it has done so before taking it out of the cage again.
Once a bird has been house trained it will stick to its routine rigidly. If you train your bird to go to the loo in a location other than its cage, you must be very careful to ensure that you give it regular access to its bathroom, as there have been incidents of parrots holding in their faeces for so long, while waiting for access to their allowed pooh area, that they have died. Honest!
Parrots love to be entertained by you and to play games.
Darwin’s favourite game is ‘peek-a-bird’; you have to hide behind your arm and then pop your head up and say ‘peek-a-bird’ before disappearing behind your arm again. This normally results in frantic head bobbing from Darwin.
Parrots love to listen to your voice and especially like to hear their name. If you tell them a story involving a parrot with their name, they will be rapt for hours.
The most useful discovery I have made so far is that singing soothes Darwin. So, when he is having a strop I just start singing and he calms down and sits intently listening.
Anything! Don’t think you’ll ever eat in peace again.
Balanced dry parrot food can be bought from all pet shops and a handful of this can be fed to them in the morning. In the evening you should feed them some fresh food (fruit and vegetables). It is, however, imperative that they are not
fed avocado, as this is toxic to them.
You should feed your parrot at the same time as you have your own meal and it should be in the same room as you, so that it can see you eating. This is a very important social occurrence for parrots and your bird will suffer behavioural difficulties if this is not done.
MAN AND BIRD
Your parrot will slowly become a true member of your family. He will speak to you, want to be with you and miss you when you go away. Don’t forget the downside of families though; you will also get tantrums, arguments and moods!
A parrot is a very stimulating pet but also extremely demanding and time consuming. You will develop a real relationship with your parrot and, at the end of the day, that is very rewarding.
Happy flocking from both Darwin and me.
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