Parrots such as the African Grey, Amazon and Eclectus Parrots are intelligent affectionate and gentle birds that require lots of daily interaction.
Average adult size: 10-15 inches from head to tail, depending on the species
Average life span: 20-60+ years depending on the species
Shopping list for your new parrot:
- Appropriately sized cage
- Cage cover
- High quality food
- Cage paper or litter
- Food and water dishes
- Variety of perches
- Variety of toys
- Mineral block chews
- Mister spray bottle
- Vitamins and supplements
- Grooming supplies
- Play gym
Because all birds are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Chlamydiosis, always wash your hands before and after handling your bird and the content of its cage. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases.
A well balanced bird diet should consist of a high quality seed mix, fresh fruit and vegetables and constant access to fresh drinking water.
Birds should not be fed avocado, fruit seeds, caffeine or alcohol as these can cause serious medical conditions. Also avoid treats that are high in fat and sugar.
Always remember to give your bird continuous access to fresh food and water. Fruit and vegetables that haven’t been eaten should be thrown away within a few hours. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your birds diet.
Birds acclimate well to average household temperatures that do not exceed 27˚C. A birds home should be placed off the floor in an area that is well lit and away from drafts. We recommend providing your bird with the biggest cage possible, this gives them room to fly and stretch.
Perches should be at least 9” long and ¾-1” in diameter. Provide your bird with a variety of perch sizes so they can exercise their feet and help to prevent arthritis.
Placing a metal grate over their droppings tray will help keep your bird away from droppings. Line the tray with cage paper for easier cleaning. Avoid contamination by not placing food and water containers under perches.
Parrots can be kept alone to bond with human companions or in pairs to bond with each other. Different types of bird should not be housed together.
Eclectus parrots are often calm and quiet in their habitats. African Grey parrots are able to learn a very large vocabulary with human-like inflections; they love to learn tricks and games. Amazon parrots often mimic, sing and enjoying showing off their skills and can be very loud. Provide your bird with plenty of foraging toys as these will provide them important mental stimulation.
Cages and perches should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Cage liners should be replaced at least 2-3 times a week. Toys, perches and dishes should be replaced when they are worn or damaged and introduce new toys into the cage regularly. Make sure all cage accessories and toys do not contain lead, zinc or lead based paints as these can cause medical issues if your bird ingests them.
Do not use too many cleaning agents around your bird as the fumes can be harmful to them.
Grooming and Hygiene
Mist your bird using a spray bottle with fresh, clean lukewarm water. Clipping your birds’ flight feathers is not necessary, but when it is done correctly it can help them prevent injury or escape. Consult your vet to see what is best for your bird. Their nails should be trimmed by a qualified professional in order to prevent injury.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
An active bird is a happy bird; they should be alert and sociable. A good sign of a healthy bird is seeing them regularly eating and drinking. Their nostrils and eyes should be dry and bright and their beaks, legs and feet appear normal. Their feathers should be clean, smooth and well groomed and their bottom should be clean and dry.
Common Health Issues
|HEALTH ISSUE||SYMPTOMS OR CAUSES||SUGGESTED ACTION|
|Chlamydiosis||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge, green stools||Seek immediate veterinary attention|
|Diarrhoea||Faecal portion of stool is not formed. Multiple causes from diet change to internal parasites||Consult with your vet and ensure a proper diet|
|Feather Plucking||Bird plucks own feathers: may be due to boredom, poor diet and other illnesses||Consult with your vet and relieve boredom with new toys or new space|
|Polyoma Virus||Anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, sudden death||Seek immediate medical attention from your vet|
|Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease||Abnormal feather colour, feather loss, beak deformities||Seek immediate medical attention from your vet|
|Pacheco’s Virus||Rapid death, diarrhoea, appetite loss, depression||Seek immediate medical attention from your vet|
- Beak swelling or accumulations
- Fluffed, plucked or soiled feathers
- Sitting on the cage floor
- Wheezing or coughing
- Runny or discoloured stools
- Eye or nasal discharge
- Red or swollen eyes
- Loss of appetite
If you see any of the signs in your bird, then please seek professional advice.