Parrot questions

MochaDuck

Crowing
Jun 7, 2018
1,265
2,931
266
So I'm thinking of getting a parrot one day, but I have a few questions for those of you who have knowledge of, or experience with parrots :)
1. What is the best breed(s) for a beginner?
2. Are they typically happier if you have at least two parrots of some sort, or are they ok by themselves (I know they need human attention too)?
3. As far as diseases and parasites go, how dangerous are they for chickens, ducks, dogs, and/or cats?
4. If I'm looking for a healthy one, where would be the best place to get one (pet store, online breeder, etc)?
5. How do you tame them if they're not already tamed?
6. Are males or females typically tamer?

Thanks all in advance :)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
A parrot is a huge commitment. They are often moody, loud and destructive, so make sure you really are ready for the commitment of decades they require.

Parrots all have their own individual personality. Most prefer the opposite sex for a human partner. How do they know? They just do.

You might be better off trying to keep one of the smaller species like a budgie or cockatiel to see if birds are for you. In hindsight I would have preferred sticking to smaller birds. Lovebirds, and parotlets are nice birds. My Amazon isn't always pleasant to be around, but I chose to keep her, so here we are.

I routinely take mine outside during summer with clipped wings. She's been near the chickens, but never touching them, or on the same ground.

I recommend finding a parrot rescue if you are interested in getting one. You may find a better match at one.

It's best to get a hand tamed parrot. A wild one or one not used to handling can be a big problem. Some like mine will still bite me despite being hand fed by me. When she hit sexual maturity I was no longer her best friend.
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 27, 2017
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Prescott, AZ
Looks like you have ducks, sounds like you have chickens and dogs and cats, too. Dogs and cats are the biggest cause of death for small indoor birds! They are a lot more dangerous to the bird than the bird is to them. Just as with chickens, most of the cages you see for sale for your indoor birds are too small. If you have young children, parrots can be a problem, because they want to hold them and the parrot will draw blood if it does not like the manner the child holds it! Even a little budgie can draw blood if grabbed! Budgies live 7-10 years if well cared for, cockatiels can easily live 20 years, I had one live to 23. They know you, and will have a favorite person. As the previous poster mentioned, the favorite might not be you! They are smart, they will train you if you do not train them.
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 27, 2017
6,260
26,429
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Prescott, AZ
You did not say where you live, but parrots can harbor Newcastle disease for up to a year. Newcastle is not a problem most places, but California is having a problem right now, you might not be able to buy parrots there now. I used to live in CA, and now I live in AZ, so Newcastle is very disturbing to me. It is a danger to chickens, because the state kills any chicken anywhere near an outbreak of Newcastle. Parrots are susceptible to Newcastle, and the survivors are carriers for as long as a year. So, the state of Ca would kill your parrots if you were in a quarantine area.
 

ChaddiX

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2011
86
18
116
Los Angeles (Leimert Park), CA
I live in the heart of Los Angeles and my parrots are very much still alive and free flying everywhere. BTW we have 9 different species of feral parrots flocks and 90K parrots up and down the California coast - there have been no culling for New Castle on parrots. But, back to your questions about parrots.
There are so many species of parrots with so much variances, even within a breed, perhaps we could help narrow down your advisement if you let us know why you're interested in owning a parrot.
I sport fly my parrots (falconry except with parrots, basically), so my birds are strong and agile fliers by themselves and don't need a flock for protection from birds of prey. Budgies, especially English, were out of the question for me.
If you want a pretty bird you intend to leave in a cage for life or don't have the quality time to spend with a parrot, I would recommend a smaller song bird like a Canary or finches.
Cockatoos are the dustiest most attention-needing parrots ever so I would never recommend cockatoos (especially Umbrellas and Moluccanes) to anyone.
Whichever parrot you decide to take, please DO NOT CLIP ITS WINGS. Parrots are extremely intelligent birds with the ability to attain the intelligence of a 4-year old human. Please take the time to train and bond with your parrot so it may have a mentally healthy life. Many breeds live up to 20-40+ years. and if not well stimulated mentally and physically they can go into depression and pluck themselves bare.
1.) Caiques or Green Cheek Conures tend to be "easier" to handle for beginners and aren't too loud. They are easy get along with and tend to enjoy being part of the family.
2.) Again, too many varieties of parrots to say, but budgies tend to enjoy being in pairs or a group. Budgie males in a flock are more gentle than having all females, which will tend to be more ornery. Love birds are ferocious little birds and I do not advise them for beginners. They do better in pairs, but unless you allow them to breed, they will tear the place apart intent to mate and lay eggs. If you go with a new world parrot, I cannot stress the importance of bonding and spending quality time with it, even if you get a second one.
3.) As far as disease goes parrots are extremely clean birds and are more likely to die/get ill from chickens and dogs (saliva especially), than the other way around. and Avian vet on hand and close by is always advised.
4.) I would recommend to obtain your bird from a rescue as there are great birds out there that are in rescues. Again, parrots are super smart, so bonding with your bird will help acclimate it to it's new life. Even rescued birds who have clipped wings and have never flown before can be rehabilitated and learn to fly. The bonding experience will just be that more enriched ;-)
Pet stores = BOOOO!!
5.) YOUTUBE!! LoL -- has such a wealth of knowledge, but it can be like finding the best advice in a sea of dull needles and stale hay. you can start with these quality channels: bird tricks, parrot wizard, adventures of roku, and marlene mc'cohen. I guess Facebook might have groups too :)
6.) Males tend to be easier to work with than females.
7.) I kind of think of parrots like dogs. You want them well behaved, have great recall, and to be well socialized. Playing fetch and running of leash with your dog is like free flying your parrot ;-)

HAPPY FLYING!!
 

ChaddiX

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2011
86
18
116
Los Angeles (Leimert Park), CA
A parrot is a huge commitment. They are often moody, loud and destructive, so make sure you really are ready for the commitment of decades they require.

Parrots all have their own individual personality. Most prefer the opposite sex for a human partner. How do they know? They just do.

You might be better off trying to keep one of the smaller species like a budgie or cockatiel to see if birds are for you. In hindsight I would have preferred sticking to smaller birds. Lovebirds, and parotlets are nice birds. My Amazon isn't always pleasant to be around, but I chose to keep her, so here we are.

I routinely take mine outside during summer with clipped wings. She's been near the chickens, but never touching them, or on the same ground.

I recommend finding a parrot rescue if you are interested in getting one. You may find a better match at one.

It's best to get a hand tamed parrot. A wild one or one not used to handling can be a big problem. Some like mine will still bite me despite being hand fed by me. When she hit sexual maturity I was no longer her best friend.
There are hundreds of wild Amazons flying all over my neighborhood in Los Angeles :) Check out my video:
BTW: Try to free fly your Amazon, she may be more pleasant and happier. Chris Biro, also on youtube, has some great videos and he also keeps Amazons. Mikey the Macaw (and his mate Mia), on youtube, were also clipped parrots that learned to fly. Check 'em out.
 
Last edited:

Lemon88

Songster
Nov 25, 2018
156
184
111
Although others have answered all your questions I'll add to this a bit:
For a beginner I'd reccomend budgies/parakeets or conures. They are small, not as loud (though still very loud as all parrots are) and have great personalities. I think having two parrots is best, but many have single parrots that are perfectly happy as they have the time to dedicate to them. If you can, I think it is best to find a parrot rescue or someone who is rehoming their bird rather than supporting breeding, because there are already too many homeless birds out there. Taming birds is all about gaining their trust. Get them used to you by talking to or reading to them (my parakeet LOVED being read to) and handfeeding them. Understand that parrots are a huge investment from proper cages, special diet (a healthy diet for a parrot is fresh fruits, vegetables, high quality pellets, etc and not just seeds), vet bills and more. Having a parrot is like having a toddler from anywhere between 10 and 80 years.
 

Quailobsessed

Crowing
Oct 12, 2019
2,026
3,219
351
Australia
Flocks of parrots in your neighborhood?! That's insane I would love that soso much. ❤🦜

Come to Australia. Around here we get wild sulpher-crested cockatoos, galahs, corellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, red rumped parrots, Australian ringnecks, rainbow lorikeets, scaly-breasted lorikeets, to name a few :D
 

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