- Many avian veterinarians suggest that parrots should be fed a pelleted diet, supplemented by fresh food and a small quantity of seeds as snacks.
- They should have fresh, clean water at all times.
- Their cages should be lined with papers that are replaced regularly.
- Parrots enjoy regular time outside of their cages interacting with owners, and as they are intelligent, they need plenty of toys to keep them busy. A good rule of thumb is, "A busy bird is a happy bird!"
- When you bring home your first parrot, be sure to find an avian veterinarian -- one who specialises in birds -- to bring your new friend to. It is important to schedule a well-bird exam to ensure that your cockatoo in good health.
- Any future birds you bring home should spend approximately 45 days in quarantine from the bird(s) already in your home. This is to prevent the spread of disease.
- Do not cage incompatible types of birds together. For example Cockatiels are so docile that they can easily be hurt by other, more aggressive birds -- even smaller ones, like budgerigars and parrotlets.
- Many veterinarians recommend that prospective bird-owners seek out a breeder, for breeders' birds are likely to be healthy (as they are not "factory-farmed") and friendly (as they are typically hand-fed and well-socialized).
- Never give a pet parrot chocolate, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, avocado, or rhubarb.
- Avoid using PFTEs (often referred to by the brand name of Teflon) around all pet birds. When PFTEs/ Teflons get very hot, they emit particulates into the air. Birds are more sensitive to particulates than humans are, and they can die suddenly when exposed to PFTE. PFTEs are found in cookware, hair dryers, irons, printers, and more -- check all labels before using electric products near your birds.
- Also avoid using candles, air fresheners, etc. near birds. Their respiratory systems are much more susceptible to pollutants than those of most mammals.
- Although cockatiels are capable of reproducing by the time they are a year old, they should be prevented from doing so until they are at least two years old. This is especially important for female cockatiels: Laying eggs requires much calcium, and when a hen lays eggs at too young an age, the egg-laying can interfere with the calcium required by her bones.
- Birds that lay eggs frequently -- especially cockatiels -- are extremely prone to a dangerous condition known as oviduct prolapse.
- Do not give parrots gravel for their gizzards. Unlike softbills, parrots do not need it to digest their food.
Last modified on 23 December 2011, at 08:37
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- Tiel Talk, a Cockatiel bulletin board for tiel owners
- The Association of Avian Veterinarians' guide to Basic Pet Bird Care
- The American Board of Veterinarian Practitioners' List of Certified Avian Vets
- The Association of Avian Veterinarians' Vet Lookup
- Vetafarm Australia's list of Australian Avian Vets
- Stainless Steel Bird Cage
- Adequately sized Cockatoo bird cages
- Bird cage basics