BIRD / new pets
A Set-up Guide for Your New Parrot
Tips for home, health and fun
4 things to know about your medium-sized parrot
- “Medium” is a catchall term for various kinds of parrots, including the Eclectus Parrot
- Medium parrots grow to be about a foot long
- They can live up to 25 years
- Parrots need at least two hours of daily interaction with their humans
A parrot’s paradise
- Keep parrots in a cage large enough for them to stretch their wings, climb and play. The minimum cage requirement for a medium-sized parrot is 18x22x24". The bigger the cage, the more your parrot will like it.
- Provide at least two perches of different thickness and material; the variation helps keep parrot feet strong and healthy. The perches should also be placed at different heights.
- Don’t put perches over food or water dishes because droppings will make a mess where your pet eats and drinks.
- Birds are sensitive to smoke, strong smells and drafts. Keep the cage away from the kitchen and open windows. Don’t place the cage in direct sunlight.
- Some parrots sleep more comfortably in a second, smaller cage that’s used just for snoozing. Make sure to cover any cage your parrot sleeps in at bedtime.
- Cushion the floor of the cage with an inch or two of corncob, aspen, wood-pellet or recycled-paper bedding, or use a cage liner. Remove droppings frequently, spot-clean the liner or bedding weekly, and replace it entirely once a month.
Playing & grooming
- Parrots are smart and with practice, they can learn some tricks, like “step up” and “step down.” Some parrots can even mimic human speech.
- Your parrot will enjoy spending time out of the cage every day. Provide a T-stand or playpen as a hangout.
- Keep your parrot entertained with at least two or three different toys in their cage, including foraging puzzles and squeakers. Parrots who regularly pick at their feathers may be bored. If you notice yours doing this, it’s time for new toys.
- Two or three times a week put a bowl of warm water in the cage so your parrot can take a bath. Alternatively, you can gently mist your bird with warm, clean water from a spray bottle.
What to feed your parrot
Your parrot’s main course should be a fortified pellet diet. These pellets contain essential nutrients for your pet, plus many have grains, fruits and veggies. Refresh your pet’s pellet supply daily and keep the bowl at least three-quarters full. Always make sure your pet has access to clean water as well as a cuttlebone or mineral block.
Fruits and veggies are a great way to mix up your parrot’s menu. They’ll enjoy the variety, though these offerings should be seen as treats, not a main staple. Veggies can be given every other day and should make up no more than 20% of your pet’s diet. Fruits can be offered more sparingly—about once a week, making up about 5% of your pet’s diet. Remove any uneaten fruits and veggies after four hours.
Veggies your pet will like: kale, mustard greens, dandelion, broccoli, zucchini, squash and shredded carrots.
Fruit your pet will like: papaya, banana and melon.
Help keep your parrot healthy
Try not to handle your new pet for three or four days after bringing them home, to give them time to adjust.
Even a settled-in bird can feel sick. If you notice any of these signs of illness or distress, contact a veterinarian who treats birds:
- Decreased appetite or weight loss
- Decreased activity or grooming
- Feathers fluffed up for a long time
- Long periods sitting at the bottom of the cage
- Discharge from nose or mouth
- Change in droppings for more than two days
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