Q:

What should you consider before buying a parrot?

A:

Quick Answer

Before buying a parrot, a prospective owner should consider the amount of upkeep and space such an animal demands, the amount of noise it is capable of creating, and the fact that parrots can easily live as long as, or even longer, than their owners. Parrots are demanding pets because they are very intelligent, very loud, and can get violent or destructive when bored.

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Full Answer

Parrots are not domesticated animals, although they have been kept as pets for generations. Individual parrots can become accustomed to humans, but even friendly animals still exhibit behaviours best suited for the wild. For example, parrots can shriek extremely loudly, a talent that serves them well in isolated jungles. These cries can be a nuisance to their owners and neighbors.

Parrots can also be destructive toward their owner's belongings and cannot be trained to defecate in certain designated areas. They are also capable of strong, painful bites. However, they cannot be kept in their cages continuously as a preventative measure: because parrots in the wild live in large home ranges, they need to be let out of their cages to roam and fly.

Parrots need cages big enough to fly in, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pellets to eat, and toys to keep them entertained. Their claws and beaks must be kept at a reasonable length. Parrots are also very sensitive to Teflon fumes and other inhalants, so such items should be restricted near their presence.

Parrots can be extremely long-lived, with some species living more than a hundred years. This makes them a long-term commitment, possibly being passed down to an owner's loved ones if the pet outlives their owner. Prospective owners should make arrangements beforehand to ensure the animal receives the long-term care it needs in the event of an untimely death.

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