If you are reading this, you probably have a family to take care of, but want an animal friend to compliment the structure of your family and add some zest to your lives. However, not every animal will work well with your kids, especially when it comes to taking care of them and ensuring your kids are patient enough to handle their demands – after all, many children are loud and too quick moving for parrots to like, and these animals are still wild at heart.
Even so, these feathered friends can be a great addition to the family. If you are thinking about adding one to your home, it is important to think about whether it will be a worthwhile addition. Compared to most other pets, parrots will love for a very long time, and they will still be a part of your lives even when your kids grow up and move out of home. Therefore, take your time to research all you can about these birds before deciding to buy them, and consider other factors such as the household schedules, noise levels and activates you enjoy doing.
All parrots, regardless of their species, will require plenty of understanding, patience and stability, and your kids will need to learn to handle them carefully (for instance, avoiding poking or screaming at them). With that said, there are certain species that adapt well to living with human beings and children in particular, and we will discuss some of them in this article.
Factors to consider
Many of these factors will apply to other types of birds as well, so consider them too if you want to purchase another bird type alongside your parrot.
Engagement with them and interactions
For parrots, they will need constant stimulation, regardless of their species; so caring for them is a very intensive process. This will help to curb the incidences of unhealthy behaviors such as destroying the cage, plucking out feathers (a major sign of unhappiness) or excessive noises. When you think about it, parrots are quite similar to kids – when you give them toys that keep them entertained for hours, the positivity of these things will go a long way to ensuring their proper development.
There is also the training of the bird to be kept in consideration, because this helps to make the bonds you have with the bird stronger. In fact, parrots are very loyal to their masters, and they always look forward to the one-on-one attention they get during these sessions, as well as the rewards they get afterwards. The more you spend time with your bird and training them, the easier they will be to handle in the long term.
It is also important to ensure that high standards of hygiene are always maintained. That means cleaning the cages and toys on a regular basis, washing your hands after handling the bird, and ensuring the bird is kept clean.
Hazards in your home
You might not think much about it, but there are numerous items that are considered as hazards to your winged friends. Items such as deodorizers, scented candles, cookware, as well as ceiling fans and cigarettes, will prove to be dangerous for the wellbeing of your friend.
Always remember that birds have very delicate respiratory systems, even the larger birds like cockatoos and macaws, so avoid keeping them if you happen to be a smoker or live with a smoker in your home. Even plants play a major role in the safety and health of your birds, believe it or not – some plants are considered harmful while others are fine.
All birds can bite, although some are more prone to this behavior compared to others. The worst culprits are always the smaller parrots and birds, such as parrotlets and lovebirds, although the bigger ones like Amazons can be particularly devastating.
What forms of bonding do you want to do?
If you are thinking about getting a parrot for cuddling purposes, then you would rather not get one anyway – consider getting a dog or cat instead. Parrots are not good for cuddles, and the same is the case for other bird species – cuddling will trigger hormonal reactions in them, and the parrot then exhibits negative behavior or turns on you because they are frustrated.
This is particularly the case with certain species like cockatoos, which are infamous for their cuddles – so that alone makes them very difficult to own.
This might seem like a strange thing to consider, but there are numerous species of parrots that are actually known to live for very long – for instance, macaws and cockatoos have an average lifespan that exceeds 60 years. If you thought that is wild, the BBC reports that the longest living macaw is roughly 111 years old, as well as a cockatoo being documented alive at 80 years old.
Therefore, when getting a parrot, you need to consider this in mind, because your parrot will probably outlive you – ask questions such as what happens to it in case you pass on, and who will take care of it.
Whether you want talking birds
Not all birds will have a talking ability, although some species are better at this compared to others. In particular, African Greys are very famous for their ability to speak, although there are many African greys that will never say anything. If you want other parrots as well, you can get an Amazon, or a budgie (these are highly praised for their extensive vocabulary).
Quiet vs. Loud parrots
If you want your home to remain peaceful even when the parrot is there, then consider getting a smaller species instead of a larger one. However, remember that no parrot really stays quiet, regardless of what type it is, so if noises bother you, then avoid getting parrots entirely.
When should you not get a parrot for your child?
Even though parrots can be wonderful companions for your children and family, there are certain instances where you should avoid purchasing these animals – for the sake of your child as well. these include:
- If your child is younger than 12 years old, and there is no older person to supervise the time they spend with the bird. Unfortunately, some kids do not know or understand the consequences of what they do, so they can forget to give the bird its basic needs such as water, food, or cleaning its cage and toys. Make sure that your child knows that taking care of the animal is their responsibility, and they will receive punishments if they fail to do so.
- The child lacks money to take the bird to the vet – if you are not willing to take extra care of the bird, then do not get it at all; you are better off without it.
- If the child does not have time to spend with the bird due to being busy with extracurricular activities
- If your child is not willing to look up information about taking care of birds, or they do not show signs of caring for these animals
- If the child has issues with controlling their emotions, as these birds never respond well to emotional outbursts.
Best birds to look for
Another sub-species of parakeets that are good to consider getting are the Quakers – they mostly come in a silver and green color combination, and they love to vocalize as well. as long as you start socializing with them when they are young and handle them properly and carefully, they will become very loving and quite attached to you.
Before getting them though, keep in mind that certain states actually made them illegal because they posed a threat to native agriculture. If you are unsure of whether it is fine to get them, check with your nearest fish and game authorities or your Department of Agriculture. If they are legal in your state, they are totally worth getting.
These belong to the parrot family of African hook bills, but are the friendliest of the bunch. They also do not make too much noise compared to other parrots, so this makes them a good fit if you cannot stand having loud screeching in your home, or you live in an apartment.
Some of their traits include being very affectionate, acrobatic and highly entertaining. Since their nature is steady and calm, they are a good choice if you have younger children because they can maintain balanced relationships with various people, and are not likely to bite.
These are considered as good starts because of their availability and small price tags. Because of this though, many consider them to be a throwaway bird; easy to replace, easy to buy, and easy to dispose. This unfortunately makes many people fail to recognize that the bird has a very good personality, and some of them even become very good with language, even though they talk in small voices.
You will usually get them in blue or green, although this has now expanded to other colors as well. The birds are also quite timid when you first get them, but they slowly warm up to you if they see you are patient and gentle with them, even sharing quite a close bond with their human masters. This also makes them a great fit for families, especially if you have gentle children.
These might be overlooked by many people because they are not as flashy as some of the other parrots, and they are not prominent talkers. Even though they do not look as bright though, they will make up for this with their winning personalities.
They are also slightly larger in size compared to the poicephalus, although they still remain small enough to handle and keep. they will also have a quieter personality, as they are not as loud compared to other parrot species – many people consider them to be fantastic at picking up phrases and words, even though their talking abilities are not as good as other species.
In fact, the main word that is associated with them is ‘sweet’, and looking at their behavior, it actually fits. The best part about them is their plumage though; once you get to love one, their subtle beauty will captivate you, as their feathers have an iridescent quality.
These are among the most common pets in the United States, if not the most common – although not many people think of them as parrots. They are widely popular due to their sweet, smart and delightful natures, and they are also not prone to being spastic and hyper like most other parrot types.
Their hormones are generally easier to manage as well, which makes them quiet, less prone to being needy, and other behavioral issues – although they still need plenty of love and affection. They will also not require as large cages as other bigger birds do.
All these factors make them good for a family that does not have experienced parrot owners – but you should remember that it does not make them ‘disposable’. They are capable of living for very many years just like other parrots, and they will still need plenty of care, affection and training to thrive.
This is among the top options according to bird lovers when it comes to getting a parrot friend or your family. They meet so many requirements that many other species might lack.
First thing is that they are not loud, even though it is a guarantee that they will talk frequently (they are macaws after all, and gifted in learning and using language). They will also not poop all over the place, as long as you train them from when they are young, and they will never demand to have large cages. In addition, they are very friendly and never bite – making them a perfect fit if you have young children in the home.
These birds also happen to love cuddling, which is not something you can say about all parrots (in fact, the only other parrots that love cuddling are the lovebirds and some cockatoos), and many people underestimate them but they are quite affordable to take care of as they are quite strong.
Why consider small and medium size birds?
It is well known that smaller birds are easier for a beginner to take care of compared to larger ones, and this is mainly due to their overall requirements. However, that does not mean you should underestimate smaller birds – they can be just as emotive, intelligent and sensitive as any large parrot.
Smaller parrots will have their own unique challenges, such as lovebirds that can easily bully you if they are not getting what they want. Smaller birds also tend to be quite territorial despite their small size, so if you have a child and they are not patient enough, they will not be a good fit.
If the idea of caring for a larger bird is intimidating to you, then get a smaller one. The good news is that we live in a time when information is easily accessible, so you can easily find out whether taking care of a parrot is a good idea for you. Remember that every parrot in existence is equal to other parrots, so they will still give you plenty of happiness as long as you are willing to keep up with them.
Are parrots generally good with children?
it will depend on several factors, although the general observation is that parrots can do well as long as the children are well behaved and very aware of the bird’s needs. However, keep in mind that they are also not a good pet for a child because of the extra care they need, as well as the potential lifespan.
It is important to remember that parrots will need a lot of daily attention and care, and they will also live much longer than other pets.
How will I get the experience of taking care of these birds if I am a beginner?
Regardless of the type of bird you are thinking of getting, the best way to obtain some experience is volunteering with a bird rescue shelter or organization, and you can take your kids along for this if they are not too young. In the long term, this will also be much cheaper for you if the idea of being a slave to a bird’s needs for more than a decade is not the most exciting idea.
Volunteering will also teach you and your child a variety of skills that are important in taking care of these animals, aside from being a lot of fun. For instance, you will learn the basics of preparing parrot food, as well as restraining them when their hormones are playing havoc with their behavior. Above all, it will give you a chance to connect with other parrot owners and learn on parrots, as well as taking good care of them.
When it comes to getting a pet parrot for your family, it can be a tricky process because there are many things to consider, similar too when you are starting out taking care of them and want to purchase one.