Before you get your parrot, here's a list of the things you will need to give it a good home:
- Aviary (if living outdoors)
- Cage (for indoors)
- Cage cover
- Food and water bowls
- Food — seeds, fresh fruit and veg
- Bird sand or sand sheets.
Different species of parrot vary in size, so the larger parrot you get, the larger their cage needs to be. Firstly, you need to know that you can accommodate a cage in your home, and secondly, that you are comfortable with letting your parrot out of its cage for some much needed exercise. This may help you decide what species/size of parrot you get.
Try to get the largest cage you can for your money, and make sure that it is safe, and designed specifically for your size of bird. This will ensure that the spacing of the bars, and overall height and width is ideal for your parrot and there's no risk of him escaping from his cage, or getting stuck between the bars.
It's always best to get a cage that has horizontal bars too, as your parrot will be able to climb up and down without sliding off. The cage will need to have a few perches placed at different heights — with one at the top of the cage as parrots like to be high up. Make sure that the perches aren't hovering over any food or water bowls as the birds are likely go to the toilet on their perch, and this will avoid any droppings falling into their food.
Branches from trees such as elm, willow, apple, and maple are good to use as perches, providing that you wash them thoroughly and can be sure they are free from any chemicals that could be toxic to your parrot. Using branches will also give your parrot a variety of textures and widths to grip onto, which allows them to exercise their feet. Bird sand or sand sheets are good to use at the bottom of the cage, which will make for easy cleaning each day when you remove any mess. Always replace with fresh bird sand or sand sheets once you have cleaned the bottom of the cage.
What toys do parrots like?
Your parrot will need a few toys to keep him entertained during his time spent in his cage. There's lots of toys you can choose from, but the most popular tend to be ladders, swings, hanging bells and some wood that they can chew. You can introduce new toys or alternate what toys they have each day so that they don't get bored.
Remember, it is your duty to check that the toys are safe, and that any wearing doesn't become a danger to your parrot. Any loose threads from the rope on a ladder, or toys that have been chewed and sharp leftovers which could end up choking them – these are just examples of things you will need to keep an eye out for, and remove any toys if you do notice any potential hazards with them.
Where should I put my parrot cage?
Position your parrot's cage in a place that will get lots of interaction from yourself and your family. Shutting a parrot away is not advised, as they love to have company and you'll enjoy their company too. Don't put them near a window, but put them somewhere that they'll have access to some natural light. They may feel safer if their cage is up against a wall or near the corner of a room. The room will also need to be safe for them to fly around when they are out of their cage each day. Put away free-standing ornaments that could fall, turn off ceiling fans, keep windows and doors shut, electrical cables out of reach and have no open fires / candles near your parrot. Always supervise your parrot when he is out of his cage, and keep any other pets out of the room during this time.
At night time, put a cover over the cage — this will help to calm your parrot, and he should settle and go to sleep for the night. This will also keep him protected from any drafts, or stop him feeling cold if there's a slight drop in temperature during the night.