Do you think you are ready for a parrot ?
Please take a few minutes to read this and ask yourself some basic questions about your lifestyle, motivation and your ability to care for one of the most incredible, intelligent creatures on the planet. Whether you are thinking about a cockatiel or a cockatoo, or a macaw, the commitment requirements are the same.
Are you looking for a parrot as a gift for someone?
This is in most cases a very bad idea which we will not permit. Occasionally, someone will assure us that the intended receiver has always wanted a parrot or had a parrot previously. Despite this, we will only adopt a parrot if the receiver has come to the sanctuary prior to the bird’s adoption and that both the parrot and person appear to have a connection. The adoptive person also needs to be fully aware of the customary nutritional, behavioral, social and environmental needs of the parrot.
Are you looking for a parrot for a child?
In most cases, parrots are not good pets for children. Based on years of experience, we have a general policy that we do not allow this unless there is the support of the entire family, and that counseling is done prior to the adoption. In truth, most children lose interest and are not fully capable of caring for the complex requirements for parrots. The larger species of parrots is also too great a risk for personal injury and accident.
How much time are you willing and capable of committing to a parrot daily?
While most people interested in adopting a parrot are looking for a sweet, talkative, cuddly, not loud, beautiful parrot…..most parrots do not fit all those requirements. If a parrot likes to be handled, they will require more attention than a parrot that prefers not to be handled. A parrot that is already bonded with another parrot will not require as much attention. Regardless of the handling requirements for a parrot, it is a huge commitment that should not be taken lightly. When parrots are adopted, it is best to have the commitment of every member of the household prior to this decision being made.
Have you considered the cost involved?
All of our parrots are currently in environments where they have been given lots of love, emotional support, and a diet rich in nutrition. The cost of an adequate caging environment may be costly, as well as proper lighting, toys and stimulation. Proper diets on a daily basis can be costly as well as unexpected visits to an avian veterinarian.
Do you realize that all parrots are messy?
Despite certain things that you can do to minimize the mess that a parrot can make, they are all going to make a certain amount of mess. Parrots love nothing more than to plunge their beaks into their feeding bowls and fling food everywhere. Not only does this require constant clean-up, but if uncared for, will lead to bacteria which is harmful to parrots. Messes on the bottom of the floor or cage will also encourage unwanted rodents and disease.
Do you think that your parrot needs a companion?
If you are thinking about adopting another parrot to fulfill your commitment to your first parrot, this is a bad idea. In many cases, we have had parrots come to our sanctuary in pairs because they were put together and never got along. It is impossible for us to determine which parrots will get along, and in some cases they can get aggressive towards a long-time companion.
Are you ready to prepare cooked foods, sprouts and fresh fruit and vegetables for a parrot?
Our parrots have a better diet than most of the “civilized” world. The diet for all of our parrots includes a cooked bean mix, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, pellets and an expensive seed mixture. To achieve a health parrot diet, you must be willing to spend the time and money required to make this happen.
Do you know how long the parrot you want will live?
The world famous San Diego Zoo had a Moluccan cockatoo who was the greeter to the zoo. He lived to the age of 90. Most of the parrots in our sanctuary will out live us. We need to be prepared for a life-long commitment to our parrot, and determine who will care for them in our absence. Many families with parrots have set up provisions in their wills for their parrot companions. Most non-profit sanctuaries will not accept a parrot into their sanctuary without the person giving the full amount of financial support for the remainder of the parrots’ life. This amount in most cases can be in the tens of thousands. These decisions are all something to consider before bringing a parrot into your life.
Do you know how many parrots are abandoned every year?
No one knows for sure how many parrots are abandoned, but this problem has reached epidemic proportions world-wide. In some cases, a parrot’s owner believes that they will simply release their parrot into nature to live out the remainder of their lives. This is not only an illegal practice, but it is cruel and does not address the fact that captive parrots do not know how to forage for food on their own, how to fly and land in trees, and how to fend for themselves against the forces of nature including bad weather and predators. If after reading all these thought provoking questions and still have no doubt that you can care for a parrot companion, then truly we can begin to find the right parrot to fit into your life. But please consider that life is unpredictable and you may need to alter your lifestyle at some point where it may be impossible to keep your parrot companion. That is why Parrots in Paradise Sanctuary exists. We will be happy to help you in your decision making process. Feel free to ask questions, do research, and prepare to enter into a life-changing process which has the potential for some of life’s greatest joys !!!