Parrots - 12 essential points you should know

Your parrot’s cage should be as large as possible. The diameter should be at least twice the wing span of both wings when stretched open....

Owning a parrot is very rewarding. However, as any parrot owner knows, there is a lot to learn about caring for such a beautiful bird. Our 12 point checklist offers some advice and guidance on some of those essential points.

  1. Your parrots cage should be as large as possible. The diameter should be at least twice the wing span of both wings when stretched open, and the height should be at least one and half times the height of the bird, from head to tip of the tail.
  2. Locate your parrot’s cage in an area where it’s likely to receive lots of family interaction, but not get startled.  All parrots need stimulation, and whenever left alone in the house, a radio or tv left on is always worth considering for this purpose.  You should avoid locating your bird near a kitchen due to the increased risk of exposure to toxic fumes.
  3. Have you thought about the benefits of Parrot Insurance?

  4. Provide your bird with entertainment and toys.  Parrots are intelligent birds, and can be prone to psychological disorders if they become bored.   Ensure the toys you buy do not have parts that can be removed, will not get tangled around your bird, and are not toxic.
  5. Parrots are very sensitive to fumes.  Exposure to Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) fumes, more commonly known as Teflon can be fatal.  It is often used on non-stick cookware.  When PTFE is over-heated, it can break down, causing fumes which are highly toxic to parrots.
  6. Other common household items can also be toxic to parrots. This includes perfumes, deodorants and room scents. Careful research should be conducted before bringing items into the home.
  7. Your parrot’s diet should include a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. You should never just rely on parrot pellets from the pet shop.  You should fully research the food stuffs that parrots can eat.  Some foods can be toxic, for example chocolate and avocado.  The Parrot Society offers some information regarding some poisonous substances for parrots
  8. You should provide natural perches inside your parrot’s cage, in order to enable your bird to flex its feet.   The Parrot Society recommends fruit tree or sycamore branches.
  9. CITES and parrots:  Some parrot species are listed on Annex A of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).  If listed on Annex A, the vendor should hold, by law, an Article 10 certificate and the bird should be rung with a closed ring or be microchipped (Thanks to John Hayward , our Animal Security Advisor).
  10. When you purchase any pet including parrots, ensure that you have the correct ring and microchip number recorded and keep the details in a safe place, as recommended by John Hayward.  Also, consider maintaining these details in the pet parrot passport available via the Parrot Society website, together with copies of any photographs of the bird, especially any unique identifiable features.
  11. Ensure you know the pet’s history.  Ask whether the pet has had any previous illnesses or temperament issues, and ask about previous owners.
  12. Register your parrot with a specialist avian vet as soon as possible. Traditional ‘cat and dog’ treating vets often won’t treat exotics, and can charge significant fees when referring you to a specialist. 
  13. Purchase pet insurance.  Should your pet become poorly, the last thing you want to be worrying about is escalating vet fees.  Pet insurance can help you focus on what really matters, at that stressful time – your pet.
Did you know we offer up to £5,000 vet fee cover for parrots?

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This checklist is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of care information you should read regarding your pet parrot.  Research carefully your parrot's care requirements, to help it to have a long, healthy and happy life.