What parrot is best for us?

by Sam C
(United Kingdom)

Hello my name is Sam, me and my girlfriend Emily are going to get a parrot but are stuck with the decision of which one!! I was hoping to get some advice as i am more concered about this decision as Emily is. Our situation is this, i am 24 and still live at home, Emily is 21 and still lives at home. My parents will not let me have any pets where as Emilys are easily persuaded and we have their blessing now to go ahead with getting a parrot.

My concern is that ive read alot about parrots only bonding with 1 person and as i am not always over Emilys house im worried that im going to spend alot of money on a pet that doesn't want me near it. Don't get me wrong when i am there i will be giving him or her alot of attention and love that the bird will need, just not as much as Emily as you can imagine as she will be living with it.

The parrots we have are eye on is an African Grey i think along with a few others (i can't remember the names) so could you advise us on which breed would be suitable? I understand that all birds personalities will differ and theres no telling what our eventual pet will be and act like. But as we don't really no anything about these birds any advice will be much appreciated. Hope to hear back from you soon, Thank you for your time

Comments for What parrot is best for us?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 30, 2012
Get a conure
by: Anonymous

Conures are good birds if u both spend time with it! They are extremly loving birds. I have one myself!:)

Jul 03, 2012
I hope I can help
by: Ekki

We have a male eclectus. I don't know who told you that birds only chose one person. Our bird is in perfect balance with both me and my husband. First 3 months he would try to protect me from other people and then for just a moment he changed his mind. He adores my husband now- they play together - they even dance together. I am the person who gives the food, changes the water, cleans the cage, he showers with me- trust me it’s a show to remember. We kind of balanced with each other. We also have two dogs- when we play with them our eclectus is also trying to get involved. I am in love with birds and as a responsible person I would advise you to think twice before you get a parrot. They live long and if he or she has to choose between you and your girlfriend for some reason it would be difficult. If you are sure 100%, then go to a store- ask everything about the birds they have there. Go there as often as you can and I am certain you'll find your parrot. Make sure you'll get the biggest possible cage. That’s your big spending. Then it is not as expensive as you think. Please don't push your new bird to love you- it will eventually.

Editor's note: Do not trust large pet store chains, the employees often do not know what they are talking about and give deadly advice. A bird specialty store will be able to help.

May 25, 2012
what parrot is best for us?
by: Anonymous

An African Grey is a great bird. I own 2. I also have an amazon, and an indian ringneck.

Greys have a tendancy to bond strongly with one person, however, if socialized properly, and daily, you shouldn't have an issue. My 2 females will go to anyone who asks them to step up. Greys who become agressive to other people, are ones who are sexually matured, sexually bonded as well. If the bird is kept well socialized, especially as it matures, agression shouldnt be an issue.

Greys need 4 hours of your attention per day to keep them stimulated mentally. A grey who isnt will be prone to plucking. Greys are known pluckers. They are also known to be phobic as well. To prevent mine from being phobic I introduce one new item to them per day.

I dont think you need to stick to a smaller bird as last poster suggested. I would however recommend an Amazon for a first bird. They are resilient, and require a bit less time then a grey. They dont have a tendency to be a plucker unless they are completely ignored, or sick. They aren't phobic, like greys. However they can be louder then a grey.

Keeping your bird well socialized with as many ppl as possible will prevent them from being agressive to anyone who isnt the bonded human is the key.
I would suggest getting a bird that is young as well. Around 5-6 months old. 5-6 months old, they are weaned and on normal food. Younger birds are more accepting of new homes, people, toys, and new foods. From there, socialize them with family and friends. Let people pick them up and hold them, talk to them, give them treats, and let them play with it.

Make sure the bird has plenty of foraging toys, constant food and water supply, Keep them off the floors, and wouldnt hurt for them to have small "foot toys" they can pick up and play with outside of the cage. Getting a playstand is a good idea as well, since a bird shouldnt be locked up all day. I move our play stand to differnt spots in the house each day. This gives the birds something new to look at, and stimulate them mentally, and prevents phobias.

Birds are great, however they can be expensive at first when buying everything it needs. Bird, cage, toys (lots of toys as they will CHEW them up bc thats what parrots do, CHEW!), food, playstand or gym. Oh yes, and VETS. When you buy a bird, within the first wk Take it to the vet for a wellness check up. Ensure you got a healthy bird, and that it's not gonna die on you 2 wks after spending a huge chunk of change on it. Birds need to see an avian vet once a yr. An aivan vet can also give you info, to help keep your bird happy and healthy.

Good luck! I suggest an Amazon for a first bird. Not just bc it was my first parrot, but bc he was patient with me as I learned how to care for him. My cousin is mentally disabled, even she has an Amazon. It's her first and only bird, and he does extremly well with her.

May 25, 2012
Decisons decisions!
by: Anonymous

Beginning with an African Grey is a risk.. Especially if you have no bird experience.. I learned that from my own experience. My first bird was a Grey, but me coming to own her was after 2 years of working in a pet shop that sold large parrots so I had plenty of hands on experience. But I can tell you that I was in the exact position as you and your girlfriend are.

My boyfriend and I adopted a 11 y/o Grey and for the first 6 months she lived with him. She would attack me through the bars of the cage, i couldnt even touch her, but she loved my boyfriend, because he dealt with her all the time, as I was just a frequent visitor. This of course was upsetting because I am the one who initially wanted her. Then 6 months later the tables turned, I brought her in to live with me when my boyfriend's work hours became excessive. For an additional 2 months it took hard patience to get our bird to let me even pick her up. My hands and fingers took a beating.

She has been with me now for 2 years at my house, and I have to say that we are best of friends, and she has become less friendly to my boyfriend who initially took care of her and loved her! She has especially become bonded to me, I am the only one she allows to do most things. Thats the nature of an african grey. They will choose one person, but then could change their mind! They are exceptionally smart but also very emotional.

Do as much research as you can on their behaviors and needs. There are many books out there. I suggest you read them. See if this will be the right bird for you guys. They are a huge commitment and you must know you cannot take it personally if it becomes attached to your girlfriend.

I also have a Caique now who I actually would reccommend to get! They are wonderful family birds who just want to have fun and mine gets along equally with all my family members and I wouldnt say he is bonded to anyone in particular. However they are extremely high strung and need lots of attention as well! But then again every bird does.

I would advise you to start with a smaller species that doesnt necesarily have a tendancy to bond to one person, because I understand how much it means to you and your g/f.. So a bird such as a caique, maybe a Cockatiel, or various species of conure would be good. It is a big decision so use your time wisely to pick the right one, because after that it is a lifetime commitment! Goodluck with your decisions!

Click here to add your own comments