What Are The Most Difficult Parrots To Keep As Pets For Most Bird Owners

Kea Bird biting tourist s car at Otira Viaduct Lookout, New Zealand
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To say that smaller birds are not as expensive as larger birds is misleading.

 

We spent $3000 treating our (free rescue) cockatiel for cancer treatments.

 

I agree that you really shouldn’t have a full-time job and leave your bird at home all day.

 

That said would we rather see the bird in a loving home being part of a family or sitting isolated in a rescue or stressed in a retail environment for most of its life?

 

Getting a second bird sounds one problem and creates another.

 

In most cases the second bird will bond with the initial bird and cut the human out of the deal making you a zookeeper rather than a parrot companion.

 

Well intention-ed caged bird keepers try to recommend the easiest and the hardest birds to keep in this Quora thread.

 

If keeping birds was so predictable, why are the rescues overflowing with unwanted feathered companions?

 

I love to use the example of a good friend of ours, Kim.

 

Kim never had any bird before but she recently acquired a Timneh African grey.

 

“How dare she start with a gray as her first bird” you say.

 

What you don’t know about Kim is that she’s run a world-class daycare for 25 years.

 

In that we defined parrots as basically three-year-old autistic children, in feather suits, what person is better suited to care for such an animal?

 

A year and the relationship, Zoe has been remarkable interacting with the entire family as well as all the children that come through the home.

 

She is actually now seeking a second African grey, something we are helping her work through.

 

I would advocate that avian veterinarians take a deeper dive into bird nutrition because typically I hear the same brands from all the vet’s ” They should eat a balanced pelleted diet like Lafebers, Harrisons, or Roudybush”.

 

I never hear recommendations for Hagen, Kaylor of Colorado, Scenic or Higgins.

 

I’m dismissed when I talk about the effectiveness of light therapy versus veterinarian recommendations to introduce terrible drugs like Lupron and Haldol.

 

If we are to successfully become caged keepers, then we must rethink and redefine our captive bird keeping practices of the last seven centuries.

 

I will leave you with this video in response to “If you do let them out of a cage, it is usually very difficult to get them to go back in, even for food or bedtime”.

 

As long as we’re on the subject of how to learn about keeping birds in your home.

 

Please stop recommending that you need to spend time volunteering in a bird rescue so as to better understand the nature of keeping captive birds.

Because when you think about it that’s like saying before you have a child spend some time volunteering in an orphanage before you give birth.

 

It’s time to end the insanity of captive bird care.


Also published on Medium.

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.