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There are many species of Parrots. Some examples include Conures, Macaws, Cockatoos, Galahs and many others! Please note that some species do require a license to be kept in Western Australia.
A wire birdcage with a removable tray will make a wonderful home for your new parrot. Don't leave your parrot outside of their cage unless you're in the room. Parrots love to fly so the taller and bigger your cage is, the happier your parrot will be. It is best to remove the wire bottom above the cage's tray. This can trap their feet and can be very difficult to clean. Line the try with newspaper and a sprinkle of shell grit. Your cage should be cleaned twice a week as it is better to do frequent small cleans, then irregular large ones. There are a variety of different cage cleaners available.
When Keeping Parrots, here is a rule of thumb: Everything in 3's!
- 3 Wing lengths: A good cage should be three times the Parrots wingspan.
- 3 Perches: Have perches of different widths, this will exercise the Parrots feet. Natural perches are beneficial as they are generally more comfortable and allow for further exercise than generic pine perches.
- 3 Bowls: Most cages have two. One bowl for food and another for water, an extra bowl is good for treats!
- 3 Toys: Parrots do get bored quickly, so have a number of different toys for them. Parrots do love to chew so they do need durable toys. Pet Magic stock a range of toys designed just for parrots. Avoid mirrors. Many cat and dog toys are great for parrots too!
There are numerous brands of Parrot food and Pet Magic bag a fully balanced 'Large Parrot Seed Mix', which is available in numerous sizes. Your parrot will also like to eat charcoal and calcium treats such as cuttle bone.
Fresh water daily is a must, and should be provided in a bowl. To keep the water clean during the day place some mint in the bowl as it will control bacteria in the water if the bird accidentally toilets in it.
Your parrot will love treats but it is important to remember which are the safe options.
SAFE: apple, pear, strawberry, broccoli, cauliflower, cuttlebone, carrot, dried fruit, mixed nuts, Chinese greens, sprouts, rawhide chews.
AVOID: avocado, rhubarb, oxalis, potato, cherry, beetroot, cabbage, tomato, eggplant, beans, onion, lettuce, bread.
Parrots are social animals and if hand-raised love attention from their owners. Hand-raised parrots are amazingly affectionate and trusting. With proper care, handling and attention parrots can become an affectionate and long-lived member of the family. As some large parrots live 60 years or more, they are a life-long commitment. With character and personality, your parrot will become a much-loved family member.
Training your parrot to talk is easy (but it all depends on the individual bird).
Talk to your parrot in a soft manner at night, starting with simple 'ch' sounding words. During the day have your parrot near the TV or radio as this can encourage social interaction. Your parrot is more likely to mimic a feminine voice, so keep this in mind. Both male and female parrots can be trained to talk, but males seem to learn faster.
Parrots should always have a number of toys available in their cage to keep them entertained. Pet Magic stocks a huge range of bird toys, just try to stay away from mirrors to avoid damaged beaks and possessiveness. We also stock a range of foraging toys.
A Family Parrot
Eating is a social occasion for parrots, so when you are eating give your parrot a treat at the same time. This helps to reinforce social bonds with your parrot and can be the basis for starting new ones. Parrots should be handled by everyone in the family, as a strong bond with only
one owner will cause possessiveness and anxiety. This will only get worse once your parrot reaches maturity between 6 months and 5 years depending on the breed.
Hand raised birds should be handled daily and allowed to spend time out of the cage. At first your parrot may hesitate to leave the cage. Simply leaving the cage door open can give your parrot that extra freedom. Keep in mind that an uncomfortable parrot will bite if needed so handle them with care. If your parrot looks stressed while being handled immediately stop! Stress is a killer for birds.
Parrots need little grooming and a healthy parrot will groom themself regularly. If your parrot appears un-groomed it is usually a sign of illness and they may need some vitamin or medication supplements.
Clipping wings is a potentially dangerous process so it is best to visit the Vet if you wish to do so. Only ever clip the wings of hand-raised parrots, never aviary bred parrots as it can seem inhumane.
Parrots kept inside may suffer from moulting issues. Parrots moult based on seasonal changes in the environment; in a controlled area (like an air conditioned room) the bird doesn't experience seasonal fluctuations, which can cause moulting irregularities. Moulting tonics are available and should be given every month for inside parrots.
It is best not to breed hand raised parrots as it can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Breeding parrots should be done by those who have experience and time, as it can be VERY demanding. If you choose to attempt this, always get advice from those who have done so successfully.
Parrots need a nesting box with Parrot Peat® on the bottom of the box to breed. Place the nest box in the highest corner of the cage. Its best to breed most parrot species in spring and autumn, and void the extreme seasons of summer and winter. If you don't want your parrots to breed simply remove the box.
Health - "Prevention is the Best Cure"
Parrots need to be wormed every 3 months. There are many brands to choose from but Pet Magic recommends Science Product® Complete Bird Wormer. Dosage for parrots is easy as it is a simple dilution in the drinking water. During worming, don't give the parrots any fresh fruits or vegetables.
Parrots need to be treated against mite and lice every 6 weeks. We use and recommend Aristopet® Bird Mite and Lice Spray. Just a small spray on each parrot in the cage at the same time is all that is needed. Make sure to spray the cage, toys and perches, remembering to remove food and water bowls before spraying. Any new perches should be sprayed before being placed in the cage. If your parrot is not treated regularly they can become infected, which leads to feather plucking.
Parrots from Pet Magic have been frequently wormed and lice sprayed.