Thinking of becoming parrot parents- need advice!

by Dorsey
(Baltimore, MD, USA)

My husband and I are total animal lovers. We currently have a cat (de-clawed, by previous owner, not me!) 2 dogs and a horse (lives at boarding farm) and we're thinking about adding a parrot (or 2?)- we like the parrotlet or the conure. Since we do have other animals that require attention and we both work full-time, would it be best to get 2 birds? Or nix the idea altogether? I should mention that we would be purchasing the biggest indoor cage possible and we'd also build or buy an outdoor cage for a change of scenery....

Thanks for your advice,
Dorsey in Maryland

Comments for Thinking of becoming parrot parents- need advice!

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 15, 2010
first time parrot parents
by: Anonymous

Wow- thanks so much to Linda and Tracie for your speedy and thoughtful responses! We have decided to shelve the idea for now. We've done tons of reading and visits to bird forums and this seems best. Parrots really are a HUGE commitment- not only because they live so long, but because of their need for stimulation and socializing. If one of us retires we shall revisit the idea!

Jul 15, 2010
New parronts
by: Anonymous

Please, before you do anything, research, research, research. Did you pick parrotlets and conures because they are pretty? Please research the different personalities of all parrots before making a choice. All birds, are loud, messy, require much more than just seed thrown in a cup for diet, and a lot of your time. Parrots are social and need lots of time with the flock, and that would be you.
And if you do research and decided a certain kind of parrot would fit your lifestyle and would be happy with you. That you can provide a forever home, please consider rescue birds. Bird rescues have many many parrots in need of loving homes. 4 of my 6 are rescues and have no major behavior issues. Just lost their previous loving homes for a variety of reasons. The parrot overpopulation problem is now so great, some shelters are euthanizing. Consider giving a homeless bird a home.

Jul 14, 2010
Thinking of becoming parrot parents- need advice!
by: Linda

Thank you for asking for advice BEFORE buying a bird(s). A lot of people buy them as impulse purchases, and the birds then suffer lives of neglect and possible cruelty at the hands of ignorant people who should have done their homework beforehand.

Birds are very complicated beings, and have roughly the emotional/intelligence development of a 4-5 year old child, so are a handful on a good day.

Read and study everything Tracie talked about and here is another link for more study before you take the plunge:

This is an informative article with sections for you to study.

You will also need to have an Avian Vet in your driving area. Find your Avian vet BEFORE YOU NEED THEM, so in case of an emergency or acute illness or injury of some kind, you will not have to waste time finding one.

You are very much appreciated for your interest in the birds as well as for doing your homework before getting one. Parrots are not for everyone, and most live a long time, and so require a long-term commitment. Thanks for writing and for being aware of the need for education when it comes to birds and/or any animals we are not familiar with. You are a shining example for anyone contemplating BEING OWNED BY A PARROT!


Jul 13, 2010
Thinking of adopting parrots
by: Tracie

Wow, this is complicated to answer. LOL

Yes, it would be best for you to adopt 2 birds, since you both work. But...there are things to consider when adopting two birds.

1) The birds may need to be housed in separate cages. If you purchase birds of the same sex, that already share a cage, then housing the birds together is no problem.

If you purchase two birds that you are unsure of the sex and have not been housed together, then you will need to keep them in separate cages. They will still keep each other company, so having two birds is still preferable.

2) Two birds = twice the mess, noise, food and toy expense, and twice the time needed to spend with each bird. Some birds make more noise than others, some birds are messier and some birds NEVER decide to like their humans.

You can do some research on birds right here on .

Research different birds by clicking on a species. After you read about the species, there are links to stories people that own those species have written at the bottom of the species page.

You can look at the Parrot Comparison Chart for an overview of the most popular parrots. Just remember that the chart can not be exact, because every bird is different. For instance, my mother's African grey only learned a few words, and it was with my mom in the same room 24/7. Our conures are said to be quiet, but they are LOUD. LOL

Once you determine the species you like, then make a few visits to the breeder and spend time with the birds. It is best to let the birds pick you. By playing with the birds, you will see what birds are comfortable with you and what birds want to fly away as quick as possible.

Also, ask the breeder about the noise factor etc. Make sure the breeder will give you a wellness certificate, stating that the bird has been seen by an avian vet and is healthy, or will take the bird back if your avian vet finds a problem with the bird.

I hope that others will respond to your post also.

Click here to add your own comments