If you are a first time parrot owner, there is a lot to learn about your new feathered child. This may seem overwhelming. But don’t get discouraged. Read books, talk to experienced parrot owners and do the best you can. Try reading as much about parrot ownership as possible before bringing your new bird home. This will help you avoid costly mistakes that could harm your feathered friend. Here are a few common beginner mistakes to avoid:
1. Never washing food. Parrots need a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and veggies are sprayed with pesticides and insecticides, which can be toxic to birds. So ALWAYS wash fresh produce, even organic varieties, before feeding them to your parrot. I always wash off the fruits and vegetables that we eat in our home….our feathered friends are our like our children and thus they get only the best royal treatment.
2. Leaving dirty, stale or contaminated food in cages. Many parrots use their feet while eating. This means that food particles cling to their feet and get tracked around their bird cage, and onto their parrot playgym. They also like to clean their beaks from the food they just ate on anything that is around them at the time. To keep things sanitary, you will need to clean your feathered friends cage regularly. You should also wipe down their bird perches and parrot playgyms several times a week. Remove food from your parrot’s cage (home) after a few hours. Fresh fruit and veggies will dehydrate and start to go rancid after a while. Even seeds and pellets will go stale and oxidize. So always keep fresh food in your bird’s cage.
3. Feeding a seed-only diet. Many people mistakenly believe that parrots eat only seeds. However, feeding a seed-only diet is not a healthy choice. Since seeds contain a high volume of fat, they can cause your parrot to gain unnecessary weight. Instead, offer your feathered friend a variety of different foods. Provide him with plenty of exercise through the use of his parrot playgyms, and parrot toys. This will help your feathered baby stay in optimum health.
4. Contaminating the air. A parrot’s respiratory tract is extremely sensitive to smells and chemicals. As a result, never use a commercial cleaner to sanitize your bird toys, or cage area. Instead, use a mixture of vinegar and water or unscented dish soap. Never spray air freshener when your parrot is in the room. Scented candles, hairspray and other strong scents should also be kept away from your parrot.
5. Not providing adequate Bird Toys. Parrots are active, curious creatures who need plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Just because your new parrot does not appear to be playing with his bird toys does not mean you should eliminate toys all together. Instead, search for a bird toy that engages your feathered friend. Most birds love toys that have bright colors and dangling objects. Remember, birds, like humans, are individuals. What interest’s one parrot may bore another. Take some time to discover your parrot’s individual tastes and preferences. Having an abundance of stimulating bird toys is one of the keys to a happy, well-adjusted parrot. Don’t forget to add foraging toys. Foraging for food is an important daily activity that wild birds engage in. Our domesticated feathered friends are not different. You can hide some of your birds favorite treats and watch them search for the surprise inside.