Education & Resources
Education is crucial to ensuring that your parrot lives a long, healthy, and rewarding life. Here at Kiki's, we find that education is critical, and an absolute necessity, when you are thinking of adopting a parrot. Below we have offered some helpful information that we feel you may want to know before you decide to add a parrot to your home and family.
11 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a “Bird Parent”
1. Consider the parrot's lifespan. Adopting a parrot is like adopting a 2 or 3-year-old toddler who will never grow up. Many parrots have long lifespans. Even small parrots can live 30 to 45 years. Larger parrots can live 70 to 90 years.
How old are you? If you’re young, what are your future, lifetime plans and will a “permanent toddler” be in the picture? If you’re older, will your parrot outlive you? If so, what provisions will you be able to make for your parrot when you’re gone?
2. Parrots (like toddlers) require enormous amounts of attention and they are social creatures.
What is your schedule? What are your other commitments? Do you have time to provide the emotional and physical stimuli they need for an enriched and happy life?
3. Captive parrots require clean environments. As well as providing emotional and physical enrichment.
Will you have time to thoroughly clean your parrot's cage and environment daily?
4. Parrots require a varied, well balanced diet of specially formulated pellets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of healthy seeds.
Will you have time to buy “parrot groceries”? Fresh foods spoil quickly so uneaten food should be taken away as soon as your parrot is finished with his meal. Parrots need fresh water that may need replacing multiple times during the day. Will you be available to do those things?
5. Parrots, like all companion animals, need regular veterinary care. Veterinary care is often expensive. Whether your parrot is a budgie, or a large macaw, the fee for examinations, treatment, medications, surgery, etc. are the same.
What is your financial situation? Can you afford general maintenance veterinary care, and can you afford to pay for a medical emergency if something should happen? Not all veterinarians will treat parrots. Do you have an avian veterinarian near you? If not, are you willing to drive long distance for your parrot's care?
6. Parrots are notoriously noisy and even the smallest of parrots can have amazingly loud and boisterous and/or shrill screams. If a parrot is not terribly loud, they may make repetitive and nerve wracking sounds.
What is your “noise” tolerance and how patient are you? What is your neighbor’s noise tolerance?
7. Parrots not only love to chew things up and tear things apart, it’s their natural behavior. In the wild, they break open nuts and fruit, they build nests, and break off tree branches. Chewing also provides emotional and physical stimuli, and it is also a form of recreation and play. Captive parrots need toys and plenty of them. Parrot toys will need to be replaced regularly. If you’re unable to make appropriate and safe toys for your parrot, you will need to purchase them. Parrot toys are expensive.
What is your parrot toy budget?
8. Safe and secure housing for your parrot will be expensive. Cages and appropriate housing can cost into the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars. Beware of used cages and bargain cages. And yes, your parrot will need a cage or an aviary. Cages are expensive.
What is your cage or housing budget for your parrot?
9. Are you prone to allergies? Have you considered other family members’ allergies and sensitivities? Some parrots are prone to cause allergies in people and create dust in the air which can aggravate some people who have respiratory problems. (Example: African Grey, Cockatoo, and Cockatiel.)
Even if you’re not prone to allergies, the settling dust lands on furniture, clothing, and the surrounding environment, necessitating additional dusting and cleaning. You may need to purchase an air purifier to control air impurities and you may need to dust more often. What is your air quality budget? How much time can you invest in additional cleaning?
10. Do you rent or own? Does your landlord allow parrots? If you have to move, will you take your parrot? Will there be enough room to properly house your parrot and their environment?
11. Think about your life and what you plan to do in the future.
Are you married? Do you think you will divorce? Do you plan to marry? Do you plan to get pregnant? Are you going away to college? Are you going to change jobs? Do you plan to have a new boyfriend/girlfriend? (While these are common life events, surprisingly they are just a few of the many reasons people give up their parrots.)
Click above to visit our veterinarian's website. Dr. Clarence Dunning is a certified avian vet located in Morganton,NC.
Click above to visit Harrison's Bird Foods; Kiki's preferred food provider
Click above to visit parrots.org for more educational content
Minimum Cage Requirements
30 x 40 – species such as African Grey, Amazons, Eclectus, small Cockatoos, etc.
48 x 36 – species such as large Cockatoos and some Macaws
64 x 32 – larger macaws such as Greenwings, Hyacinths, Scarletts, Catalinas, and Harlequins
Please note: Some of our parrots may require different cage requirements. Minimum requirements subject to change.