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Parrot Guide Part 1: Buying parrot and accesories


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Hello everyone!

This guide is supposed to help those who think about buying parrrots or already have one and want to educate further. Even if you do not have a parrot and you do not plan on getting one, please give it a read so maybe you can educate other people as well! Also I think most of these things will apply to other birds like canaries and such.

Table of Content:

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I. Introduction
II. Where to buy parrot
III. What cage to buy
III. What food to buy
IV. What toys and accesories to buy
V. Closing statement

I. Introduction

For the clarity of everything: I am NOT a breeder, and I am NOT a parrot therapist. I am however a person that was unable to buy a parrot for a long time (since my parents did not allow me to) and I got my parrots only recently. I had like 10 years to do my research about how to treat parrots correctly and I think I know a thing or two. Everything I tell you here is from my personal experience or form other people's experience.

If you want to learn more, please consult these people:

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https://www.youtube.com/c/BirdTricks

https://www.youtube.com/c/WarGamingParrot

Disclaimer: I do not always agree with them, but these people do have amazing educational videos! If you know any more, feel free to PM me.

I decided to make this guide just because I experienced ONE AGAIN what basially is animal abuse in a common pet store. So PLEASE if you do want to buy a parrot read this!

About my parrots:

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Meet three parrots I live with:

- Sigma (7 months old cockatiel)

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- Notche

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- Watson (Yes there was Sherlock. Both Sherlock and Watson were my girlfriend's parrots, but Sherlock died due to my girlfriend letting him eat human food,. and feeding him only seeds. I will say more about it later.)

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Also if you want to have some fun check this out: https://myrightbird.com/quiz

II. Where to buy a parrot

This is what ultimately made me want to write this guide. Pet stores.
TL;DR: You should NEVER buy a pet from the pet store.
Explenation:

Spoiler

You know these common pet stores located in galerries? The ones that have food, toys and accesories for pets? They also sometimes sell parrots. Yesterday (04.03.2022) I saw in Cracow such a place and once again I had seen pet store treat parrots like they are a toy not a living thing...

Let me elaborate... These shops usually sell budgies and cockatiels. but to do so and save space, they place like 6 or more budgies in a small TRANSPORT CAGE, or worse - in something even smaller. Transport cage is essencially a cage small enough so you can pick it up, and allows you to transport your parrot to let's say - vet. Transport cages ARE NOT made or you to keep your parrots in them forever, but I will talk about it more in section "III. What cage to buy". Let's just say it's too damn small.

Parrots need space to flap their wings or their mussles will get weaker and weaker. Imagine you cannot walk out of your room for a year or so... doesn't seem fun, does it? Parrots in pet stores usually are in such a small "cages" that there is no space for more than one perch... and if 6 budgies live in such a place they are gonna get stressed by living there itself. Analogy would be: Imagine living in one 20m2 room with 6 other people, and there's just one bed you're all supposed to fit into. Doesn't seem fun does it?

Another thing the pet stores do wrongly is using really bad perches and bad quality of food. I will say more about it in "III. What food to buy" and "IV. What toys and accesories to buy".

The longer the bird stays in the pet store - the more mental and health issues this parrot will have. This means the parrot will be territorial, they will have issues with their mussles on their feet. They might have liver problems due to the low quality of food. But the most problamatic thing is that they are going to be stressed there all the time.

Also FYI: Most of the parrots in pet stores are old parrots. Just the parrots the breeders did not manage to sell fast enough. and it is WAY harder to bond with older parrots.... The parrots there are also overpriced. You can get healty parrot that is hand fed for like HALF of what pet stores charge....so...

!!!PLEASE DO NOT BUY PARROTS FROM THE PET STORE!!!

So Quark where do I buy a parrot?
PRIVATE BREEDERS!

What do I mean by this? In Poland you can buy parrots from breeders on OLX (website) and similar places. Just write in googles "Parrots on sale <city>". You may also specify the race like cockatiels and such. Parrots that people sell there are:
a) not wanted parrots - I would recommend aagainst buying those
b) Parrots that hatched within last year - buy those

Some of these parrots are hand fed. That means they were fed food from the hand and so they can be expected to not be as scared of hands. If they were not hand fed, you have to train them to not be afraid. and this takes time. They are also WAY cheaper than parrots from pet stores. They are also probably kept in better cages.

When you buy a parrot you should always ask to see their living place to make sure you're not buying it from someone who abuses them!

I really hope this answers the question "Where do I buy parrots?".

III. What cage to buy

Cages are the living space of parrots. Even if you do plan on having the cage all the time open, the cage itself should be big

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My cages:
-Sigma cage:

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- Watson and Notche cage:

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First thing you have to do is to check what bar spacing you need. If you plan on buying a specific race of the parrot, make sure you check the maximum bar spacing of the cage. You should NEVER buy a cage with bar spacing bigger than that. Why?

There are videos of parrots literally exiting cage by slipping through the bars. This is:
a) Dangerous because it can hurt itself and I think it should be obvious?
b) Dangerous because if you lock your parrots in cage and open the window to let the fresh air in, your parrots might just slip out the cage and fly away
c) Dangerous because they might slip out when you're not home and eat something toxic...

The worst case scenario is when your bar spacing is big enough so they can fit their head through, but not their body. They will get stuck and freak out which leads to most likely strangling themselves.

How big should the cage be? THE BIGGER THE BETTER!
You should have cage big enough for your parrots to be able to fly from one perch to the other. If it's not then well... the cage is too small. The cage should also be big enough for your parots to have freedom of movement. They should not be forced to sleep together on one perch.

I personally recommend the cages that are on the wheels. They are easy to move during cleaning and are usually big enough for budgies and cockatiels.

And for the LOVE OF GOD please CHECK the behaviour of the parrot species you want to buy! You HAVE to understand that SOME parrot species can get EXTREMELY territorial during mating season and they will kill each other if they are both males of females. These parrots have to be kept in different cages! And each cage have to be big enough!

Please do not use tranposrt cages as normal cages! Pet stores sell small cages like 60x50x50cm and label them as "proper cage". No this is NOT a proper cage for a parrot. This cage is too small, and you should buy bigger cage than this... Parrots should not feel claustrophobic in their cage...

III. What food to buy

!PARROTS DO NOT EAT JUST SEED!

If you feed just seed to your parrot, you are literally killing their liver! Parrots in the wild eat greens! Leaves,vegetables and such.

When buying a parrot you have to ask the breeder what they feed their parrots. My parrot Sigma was being fed only seeds, and that is not healthy.

Generally you should make CHOP. What is chop? Chop is well... chopped vegetables and greens. You take for example: brocolli, carrot and pepper and you chop it. My parrots like it well chopped into small bits (but other parrots might like it differently). You can freeze the chop in "doses" and unfreeze it everyday. You should generally change the chop at least twice in the morning and in the middle of the day.
FYI: AVOCADO IS POISONOUS FOR PARROTS! DO NOT FEED THEM THIS! Please whenever you make chop, check if it's safe for parrots!

Things that can be used for chop:

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-brocolli
-cauliflower
-carrot
-red/yellow/green pepper
-basil
-potatoes
-and many more! please check it on net!

Pet stores like to feed their parrots only seed. My girlfriend had a parrot 'Sherlock' that she fed only seeds and allowed him to eat human food. They died being 3 years old, so more or less 5 years too early. The cause of death was liver failure. She also has Watson, the parrot that has a permanent fat fold on her chest due to her being fed only seeds. I expect Watson to not live that long either due to the liver problems she might have.

Another thing you should consider is.... pellets. Pellets are a small bits of food. There are different types of pellets for parrots. I would recommend Harrison's and Top's. They are both not colored (so no artificial coloring = is healthier) and they are organic. They are expensive yes, but parrots are expensive pets if you want them to be healthy and happy!

With all of that said, what do I do with seeds? I use them for training. This is not covered in this guide, but parrots LOVE seeds. Seeds are fat, and parrots like it. You should give them some seed, but only as a training treat! If you do not feed them seeds daily, then they will do all kind of tricks for some seed! Training also makes your bond with them stronger.

How do you convert from seed diet to chop and pellets? Just start with giving them pure seed, then start giving them a little bit of chop and pellets in their bowl. After some time (might be a few days or a month) start giving them more chop and pellets and less seed. Repeat till they eat just chop and pellets! It takes lot of time I know, but it's for the better of your parrot!

Also if any of you say "But my parrot likes seed and they are happy with it" Yeah sure they are happy, and will be happy. Except when they die prematurely due to health problems (liver issues, heart attacks, etc.). That is quite mean from me I know, but that's the excuse my girlfirend gave me when I tried to convince her to stop feeding Sherlock pure seed and human food, and he died prematurely....

 

Disclaimer: On that note. If any of you like to feed ducks and swans bread... you are feeding them toxin. Ducks and swans do not eat bread, and their bodies are not made to digest it. In Poznan there's a park "Soladzki". There used to be 2 adult swans and 4 baby swans, but people fed them bread and they all died save the male swan.... This is just ensaddening.

IV. What toys and accesories to buy

First thing is perches. With your cage you will get a plain wooden perch. Just a plain piece of wood with no texture (sometimes it's plastic).
This has to go. And you need to buy a proper perches. Proper perches look like normal sticks. Why are they better? The parrot has a different grip on the perch depending on where they stand. This is good. If you have just plain wood/plastic perches, the parrots will have exactly the same grip on it everywhere. This can make their feet hurt, and later make it problemtic for them to grip onto something different than their perch. You don't want that. You can generally just to into the woods and pick up some stick there. but you HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE STICK YOU HAVE IS NOT TOXIC! I persoanlly think it's better to be "safe than sorry" so I buy perches from net.

In case you need to save some money and you want to gather sticks yourself, seaarch the guide how to process the sticks. You need to make them sterile (which includes but is not limited to - drying it out and heating it up in oven). Again: make sure the tree you have the stick from is NOT toxic.

Another thing is: mirrors! No. Just no. I know someone who had a mirror next to their cage and I saw a parrot trying to feed their reflection. Why is that bad? Feeding another parrot is mating thing. If your parrot is EVER trying to feed anything it means they are hormonal. And being hormonal towards your own reflection can make your parrot sexually stressed. It may or may not result in them being territorial towards you or other parrots. Just PLEASE remove all mirrors from their cage and make sure there are no mirrors near their cage!

Another thing: Rope toys! No. Again please no. I can get away with rope perches, but by parrots do NOT eat them. If your parrots eats some of this rope, it may cause blockade in their throat, and that means they will most likely starve to death or suffocate. So please avoid them if possible. Again: I can get away with this one, because I am REALLY monitoring the rope perches, sometimes daily, and I see that they do not eat it. I will agree tho, that I should move them, and maybe I will do so.

I could also talk about less important things, but please do your own reseach with them. I am tired of writing this guide a little bit since it requires me to focus on it for like uh... 2 hours now?
V. Closing statement

Well... that's the end of this guide! Hope it was educational at least a little bit. If needed I can make "part 2" where I describe other things. If not, then that's fine!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here. If you disagree please do so too!
Am happy to talk!

Again: this guide is made for people that just do not know things. Maybe they do not know what food parots eat, or maybe they want to buy a parrot but they do not know that pet stores are garbage.

 

 

PS: If any of you want to, I can make similar guide to taking care of dogs. I was living with a dogs since I was born, I was also attacked by one (and almost lost my left eye) so I know some things about it. My family has (inactive now) fundation dedicated to education about dogs.

PS2: I am too tired to format the guide properly, sorry about it! I might come back to it later and recolor some things here!

Have a good day everyone!

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Edited by BottomQuark
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