Do’s and Don’ts of Parrot Ownership

The Do’s

  • Do concentrate on good behavior.
  • Do give your birds a bath with water only or mist with a spray bottle at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Do feed a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Do feed and replace with fresh food daily and provide clean water at all times daily.
  • Do clean and change the bottom of the cage daily. Scrape off any poop or organic material daily and wash and disinfect the cage weekly with a bird safe product.
  • Do provide toys (8-10 is preferable) and rotate toys at least once a week.
  • Do be sure your bird(s) has plenty of stimulating destructible and non-destructible toys to attack and chew.
  • Do play directly and give your bird attention daily. Birds need at least 10 to 12 hours of sleep in a quiet dark room.
  • Do give protein, in the form of cooked meat or scrambled, hard-boiled eggs at least once a week but no more than 3 times a week.
  • Do remember that your bird(s) are intelligent. You need to interact with them and teach them.
  • Do treat your bird like it is an intelligent 3 to 4 year old human, you’ll get better results.
  • Do be persistent and consistent with rules and boundaries.
  • Do walk away, turn your back and act insulted with bad behavior. With good behavior is even more enthusiastic than usual during this training period to help develop your own habits. Your voice should be higher and a bit louder when praising and low and snarl when noting bad behavior.
  • Do be patient, training takes time and there are no quick fixes for long-term results.
  • Do ask questions. The most stupid question is one that is never asked.
  • Do read as much, on your bird, as you possibly can.
  • Do research online, with other bird owners, your vet and behaviorists but do it with an open mind and think completely over what you are going to try to do before doing it.
  • Do teach your bird to be handled by others.
  • Do teach your bird the command to step up and step down.
  • Do travel with your bird in a safe carrier if you must travel with your bird at all.
  • Do make sure your vet is a licensed avian vet and have his or her phone number posted by the phone in case of an emergency arises.
  • Do make sure that your bird sees an avian vet at least once a year for a check up.
  • Do keep the bird(s) toenails, wings trimmed and beak trim, for their own safety.
  • Do give your bird playtime away from its cage every day.
  • Do sanitize all new toys, cages, bowls and perches before giving them to your bird!
  • Do provide a cage that has more than ample space for the bird(s) to move around and flap its wings or buy the largest cage you can afford.
  • Do remember your bird(s) are your companion for life. Take responsibility for your bird(s) seriously, they do depend on you to take care of them.
  • Do keep a close watch on your bird(s) with children, strangers and other animals and do not leave your bird unsupervised.
  • Do remember that your bird(s) are as comfortable with people as people are with them.
  • Do inspect toys everyday for frayed rope , sharp objects, broken pieces and etc.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t concentrate on bad behavior. If you cannot address bad behavior immediately then don’t address it at all.
  • Don’t reward bad behavior with treats, no treats should be given at least 20 minutes after bad behavior.
  • Don’t use water or physical hitting as punishment.
  • Don’t place toys in the middle or in the front of the door opening.
  • Don’t during the winter skip misting, humidity is very important to tropical birds and when you run your heater in your home it dries out the air. (same with air conditioner)
  • Don’t take your bird outside unprotected or leave your bird outside unobserved.
  • Don’t take your bird outside without its wings trimmed and inside a carrier, cage or on a flight leash. All it takes is a gust of wind, something to spook or scare the bird one time to take off. The wind current can still carry a bird, even though its wings are clipped and if a bird gets to a tree the instinct is to climb to the top of the tree.
  • Don’t leave the toilet seat up if you are going to allow your bird to fly free in your home; they can’t swim and will drown.
  • Don’t use sandpaper perch covers, grit, gravel or gravel paper. Grit is not necessary for parrots and can cause impaction of the digestive systems.
  • Don’t use moth protectors, mite or lice spray anywhere that your bird can come in contact with them; they are TOXIC!
  • Don’t smoke around your bird(s). Nicotine is deadly to birds. Not only does 2nd hand Smoke harm them, but you need to wash your hands very well because it comes through the pores of the skin of smokers’ hands and can cause the bird(s) to have a severe contact reaction or even death.
  • Don’t cook with the bird on your shoulder or have the bird loose in the kitchen. This can be very dangerous.
  • Do not use Febreeze products in any areas of the home that the bird will be able to touch – it is toxic to birds.
  • Do not use any type of scented oils or heated scented oils in areas around the birds – this is also toxic.
  • Do not have lit candles around your birds unless they are soy candles. These are the only candles that are safe around birds.
  • Do not use Teflon or any kind of coatings on your pans. Teflon, etc. overheated will cause death in birds.
  • Don’t buy toys with dog leash type clips or jingle bells. This is an injury waiting to happen. Toes can get caught very easily in these.
  • Don’t have toys that have small rings that the bird(s) can put their heads through. They may choke and die, from trying to get their heads back out.
  • Don’t use “S” hooks with birds that have strong beaks. They can open these up and do some serious harm to them, they can even cause death.
  • Don’t use litter made of walnut shells or corncobs. It can cause life threatening Impaction if ingested by birds. They also harbor fungal spores when soiled or wet. Newspaper is much safer.
  • Don’t use kwik-stop and other styptic products applied to avian skin. They are safe For bleeding toenails when broken or cut too short, but they destroy skin. For broken or pulled blood feathers, either cornstarch or flour is safer. Aloe gel can be applied first to help the flour or cornstarch to adhere to the wound and to help with pain and healing.
  • Don’t use lead, zinc, copper and iron. They can cause metal toxicities if ingested by birds. Some sources are house keys, (especially gold colored keys), galvanized wire, and lead based paints, metallic paints, paint containing zinc, linoleum, vinyl mini-blinds, foil from champagne and wine bottles, lead weights, and bells with lead clappers, stained glass, some improperly glazed ceramics, costume jewelry, mirror backing, copper pennies, zinc oxide, artist paints containing cadmium, and cardboard or paper with high gloss inks. Aviary wire treated with zinc is also dangerous.
  • Don’t handle or touch a bird if you or know somebody that is having chemotherapy treatments. The radiation can be transferred thru the birds skin and can be deadly.