If you're a first time parrot owner, you must understand that keeping a companion bird requires specific care and precautions. In addition to providing a nutritious diet, there are a few measures to take to ensure your parrot does not end up in the animal hospital due to illness or injury. Before you bring your feathered friend home, here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind:
1. DO Be Sure to Have the Bird's Wings Clipped
While your parrot is out of the its cage for play time, it could get hurt or in trouble by flying into objects or out of an open door or window. Having the veterinarian (or bird breeder) clip your bird's wings will prevent it from flying high and far. A clipped bird may still be able to glide for a short distance.
2. DON'T Feed Your Parrot a Predominantly Seed Diet
Your parrot will require nutrients not found in seeds alone. It will need protein and amino acids, in addition to vitamins and minerals. Choose a well balanced pelleted diet (formulated for your species of parrot) that includes all of these nutrients. It's best to introduce your parrot to pellets at a young age so the bird will become accustomed to them and accept them.
In addition to the pellets, you may feel a seed mix as a treat, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Some hard boiled egg will add protein, and you may feed a small portion to your pet a few times a week. Never feed your bird chocolate or avocado, as these foods are toxic to birds.
3. DO Find Yourself a Qualified Avian Veterinarian or Animal Hospital That Treats Exotic Pets
Not all animal hospitals will treat exotics. Call ahead to be sure the animal hospital treats parrots and is staffed with an experienced avian veterinarian. At the animal hospital, you will want to have your parrot weighed and tested for disease. A gram stain and a blood count should be performed to rule out any signs of illness or disease. Consider places like Phoenixville Animal Hospital - R B Wolstenholme DVM for your pet care.
4. DON'T Overheat Non-Stick Cookware If You Own Birds
Non-stick coating (known as Teflon) contains the chemical polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). When cooked at high temperatures and overheated or burnt, the coating will emit fumes that are toxic to birds. Many pet birds have become seriously ill or have died when exposed to the toxicity of overheated non-stick coating. Rather than risk the danger, you might want to replace your non-stick cookware with aluminum pots and pans. Check labels and be sure any appliance or cookware you use does not contain PTFE.