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General Care

Birds are very different than cats and dogs. Good husbandry practices will help you take the very best care of your bird. This means providing a healthy diet, a clean cage, fresh food and water, safe toys, exercise, and lots of attention every day. Cages should have a grate to separate the bird from the substrate and plenty of space for activity.

Diet and Treats

Birds may eat a wide variety of food items in the wild, foraging to meet their needs. As companions they have the same needs, and with the premium diets manufactured by Kaytee all of their nutritional needs are met.

Interaction/Socialization

Parrots are social animals in the wild. They roost, fly and forage many times in a flock. This fact helps us understand that parrots need a flock. Your family is the flock for a companion bird. That means they want to be part of family activities. One reason parrots scream is to call the flock. If the family is in one room and the bird is in its cage in another, the bird will scream to get the flock's attention. In the wild they would make the same call to locate the flock, and then fly to join the other members of the "family."

Many species of parrots mate for life. Sometimes this means that a parrot will bond with one person and be aggressive toward another. They are protecting their "mate." Other parrots are more social and will interact with several people. Understanding the behavior of birds in the wild is very important to understanding their behavior as companions.

Environment

Parrots require a lot of space, the larger the cage the better. They need a lot of room to exercise their wings and climb. It is recommended that the width of the cage be two times a parrot's wing span. Parrots need toys that provide enrichment activities (from those purchased at a pet store to a simple toilet paper roll.) It is best to rotate a variety of toys and give these intelligent animals plenty of things to do. Finches and canaries enjoy flying throughout their cage; therefore a flight cage with plenty of horizontal space is always preferred, especially with more than one finch or canary. Unlike parrots, finches and canaries do not require toys for chewing. However they will enjoy a bell or swing.

Intelligence/Mimicry

Parrots are very intelligent! Some Macaws, African Greys and Amazons (to name a few) can mimic speech and other sounds they hear in their environment. Some species are better at mimicking than others, but remember that each individual bird is different. Some soft-billed birds are good at mimicry too. Mynahs can copy many sounds in their environment.