Taking on a pre owned parrot is a bit like buying a second hand car. You know there could well be problems ahead but you don’t know what they might be. Here are 7 tips to help you manage and successfully integrate your new parrot into your home.
- Try and find out as much as you can about your pre owned parrot’s history. It could be that the previous owners found looking after a parrot to be just to arduous and time consuming. On the other it could have been living in appalling conditions with owners who didn’t care who eventually decided to get rid of it. Whatever his background rest assured your home will be totally different to what he is used to. There will be new surroundings, new people, new toys and perhaps even a new diet. So your bird will be very wary. This will all be a new experience for him and you need to bear that it in mind. The more you know about his previous background the better you will be able to help him adjust to his new surroundings.
- To make his transition easier make sure you put him in the right size of cage. Leave a towel or baby’s blanket in a corner for him to burrow into when things get a bit too hectic for him. Make sure you put the cage out of “high trafficked” areas so there is not too much movement around him.
- When attempting to handle your new bird take your time and be aware that whatever baggage your bird brings with him may mean it will be quite a while before he trusts you enough to step up on to your hand. Begin with non-threatening, easy , slow movements so he has time to see what’s coming. If your bird will allow you to handle him then handle him often to get him used to you. If your bird lunges for you when you attempt to pick him up then use a stick for him to climb up on. Leave the cage door open so he can come and go as he pleases. If there is more than one person in your home your parrot may decide he prefers one particular person over all the others. This person should become his “primary” care giver. Given time as he becomes more trusting he may decide to go to others in your house.
- If your bird was on a seed diet before he came to you you will need to slowly phase it out. Whilst you do this offer fruits and vegetables. This transition could take a long time so you will need to be patient but do keep it up. Feeding your parrot purely on seed can in fact be fatal. It is also a good idea to let him eat with you. Offer him food from your plate.
- Your bird may never have bathed before! Bath time is good for your bird’s feathers and, believe it or not, is also good for promoting good behavior. Start by misting your bird with warm water from a spray bottle and get him used to the idea that water is fun. Then slowly get him wetter and wetter. An African Grey should be drenched at least once a week to keep him healthy.
- Your bird may never have seen a toy before. Bird toys are good for your bird to play with and also help to keep him from getting bored. Introduce new toys slowly and play with them yourself so he can see they can be fun.
- Your bird may previously have been kept shut away in some back room somewhere so once he has got used to his new surroundings indoors gradually introduce him to your garden, if you have one, a little bit at a time.
A pre owned parrot can get tired very easily if there are a lot of changes happening quickly so put him to bed early and let him get plenty of rest.