Finding a parrot

Breeders know about parrots, they hand tame and feed them proper food. More often than not breeders are passionate parrot people who deeply care about them and want to find them good homes.
They keep their parrots healthy and clean. If you go with a breeder make sure they have taken the parrot you are interested into the vet to make sure they are healthy. Also if you go with a breeder usually they will have the parrots sexed so you know if you are getting a male or female. Breeders are usually with the babies when they hatch so they keep records of when they hatched and when they were weaned, so you will know exactly how old the parrot is. Also, make sure the parrot has been weaned before you buy it. That is very important!

Pet shops usually have parrots, but most do not feed the parrots properly. This doesn’t mean that the parrot will never learn to eat better, but once you give a child a candy bar sometimes it’s hard to get them to eat veggies… At some shops the cages are dirty and the parrots look stressed or sick. It saddens me to see parrots this way, but not all pet shops are like that & parrots at all shops need loving homes too!
Some pet shops specialize in parrots or have employees that personally have parrots so they take better care of them at the shop.
Parrots at pet shops are usually (but not always) more expensive than breeders, but from time to time will go on sale. This is something to keep in mind and research. If you do decide to go with a pet shop, ask if they have papers from the breeder or other store where they came from. Check to see if the parrot has been seen by a vet and if they know what gender it is and how old the parrot is.

When we were looking to buy a parrot we searched around a lot looking for the best place. It’s a little easier to figure out where to buy a parrot if you know what kind you would like to get.

After a lot of research, we decided that a Black Capped Conure and a Lineolated parakeet were the right parrots for us and we wanted to buy from a breeder. We don’t have any breeders around us so we researched where the closest breeders are. We came across an awesome site that helped us find Hilo & Hana 🙂

I would recommend this site to anyone looking for a good breeder in the U.S.A.. Birdbreeders.com
The breeders on this site usually own their own stores and you can find their websites on this site.
We often check back just to see what parrots or other birds are available.

So remember no matter where you decide to buy your parrot please make sure to find out:
The gender (if known), the age, if the parrot has been to the vet, and if they have papers from the vet.
If the parrot has been to the vet make sure it has been tested for Psittacosis and it was confirmed that the parrot does not have it. (Psittacosis or parrot fever is contagious to humans and can cause severe pneumonia)
Make sure the parrot is weaned! You do not want to buy an unweaned parrot. The reason I say this is because if your parrot has not been weaned you will have to buy formula and a dropper and feed them several times a day until you wean them onto pellets yourself. This is not impossible to do, but it’s a lot of work.

Bringing your parrot home

Bringing home a new pet is very exciting, but keep in mind that your new parrot has a lot to get used to.
New surroundings, noises, smells, voices, cages, toys, and new people, all of this can cause a lot of stress.
​If you can, make sure you have the cage already cleaned and set up, ready with food, water dishes, and toys. Having the cage ready is important because it will help calm your parrot, they feel safe in their own space.

Depending on the personality of your parrot, it may take a few days for them to get used to you and your family.
Try not to cause undue stress, let them come to you.

Place them into their new cage and allow them to get used to their cage and toys. Give them the same food that they’re used to eating so they’ll eat and feel right at home.

Speak gently to them while they are in their cage and explain who you are and where they are. Some may feel this is silly, and your parrot may not understand the words you are saying, but they do understand that something is different and it’ll make them feel calm seeing and hearing you make the effort to help them.

After a few hours or a day or two (depending on their personality) open the door to their cage and see if they would like to come out.

Don’t force them to, but patiently wait for them to follow curiosity and come out to visit you. This may take a few tries but don’t give up.
Once you feel they are getting used to you and their surroundings try to see if they would like to “step up” on your finger and spend time with you out of the cage. Offer them treats such as fresh fruits and veggies.
It will take work and effort, but don’t give up.

When we brought Hilo home he did not want to be in his cage at all, he only wanted to be with us and is still that way.
Hana was different, at first she didn’t want anything to do with us. She was nervous and scared. It took a while, but with patience, she is getting better and now gets mad if we don’t include her in our daily home activities.

Remember to be patient and talk calmly and gently, don’t yell at your parrot or say mean things to it, no one responds well to that and your parrot is smart, like children they will remember how you treat them and learn by how they are treated.
You can’t force your parrot to do what you want it to do or to love you right away. Parrots can be stubborn and will not respond well to being forced to do something they don’t want to do.
​With love and patience, in time you will earn your parrots love and respect and will have a great friend for life!

Traveling with your parrot

Travel cages are very important to have, almost as important as their regular cage. It’s their little house when they are out with you. When looking for a travel cage make sure it has a place for food and water and that it’s the right size for your parrot, you don’t want them to be squished.

There are many different styles of travel cages out there, but when we were looking to buy one we did a lot of research on what’s the best and we decided on the Celltei Pak-O-Bird. It’s very high quality and makes transport of our parrots easy and comfortable. It’s made with either a nylon mesh for parrots that don’t chew a lot or a stainless steel mesh for big chewers. No matter your parrot’s chewing habits I would opt for the stainless steel mesh, that way if you get another parrot you’re set for if it’s a chewer. It’s worth the extra cost!

I love that it comes in sizes for every parrot and it comes with a shoulder strap and backpack straps, also comes with a natural wood perch, a place for food dishes (and comes with food dishes), and a place for a water bottle!
Plus there are many other accessories you can get with it. (Tail pouch, monogramming, fleece cover, stroller, etc..)
I would recommend this travel pack, but don’t take my word for it, I encourage you to do your own research to decide what the best travel cage is for you and your parrot. Believe it or not, you will actually use a travel cage a lot, from taking your parrot to the vet, going hiking, just for a walk, traveling, visiting friends, etc…

We also opted for the Poquito Avian Hotel (shown below) to use as a small cage if we’re staying overnight somewhere. I use this small cage a lot for taking Hilo and Hana outside while I’m in the garden or we just want to sit on the porch and enjoy the sun.

Vacationing
Vacationing with your parrot can be an enjoyable experience, but you need to do a little work and planning before you’re ready for a relaxing getaway.

Find out if there are avian vets in the area you will be vacationing in case of emergency.
Make sure your parrot is okay riding in the car and that their travel cage is comfortable and safe for them.
If your parrot is unsure about traveling in the car, take them on small drives to get them accustomed to riding in the car.
If you will be traveling by bus, train or plane, call ahead for pricing and restrictions for traveling with parrots.
Some airlines will allow parrots to ride in the cabin with you but call ahead for size requirements.
Keep in mind that travel by bus, train or plane may not always accommodate pets so always call ahead.

Packing

Make sure to bring:
Plenty of toys, snuggle hut
Couple of gallons of bottled water
Plenty of food
Avian first aid kit
Cuttlebones, mineral blocks
Fresh fruit and veggies
Cooler to keep refrigerated food fresh
Cutting board and knife
Small cage for when you’re at the hotel or place you’ll be staying
Cleaning supplies
Any medical records and/or medications
Towels & cage liners
Spray bottle
Proof of ownership
Anything that your parrot will need to feel at home

Hotels
Some hotels allow pets to stay as guests. Although some hotels allow pets not all allow parrots.
Make sure to call and make reservations in advance to be sure your parrot will be a welcome guest. You may need to pay extra per day for pets, so be sure to ask about rates and any hidden charges.
When you are at a hotel make sure to clean up after your parrot. We all want the experience to be a positive one, so if you clean up after your parrot and leave little to no mess for housekeeping, then hotels will continue to allow parrots to be guests. Also, make sure to leave a tip for the housekeeping staff.

Clean the room for your parrots. Hotels use nasty chemicals when cleaning the rooms. Bring your own natural cleaners to make the hotel room a welcome space for your parrot. Request a Non-smokers room so there won’t be a heavy smoke smell in the room, which is toxic for your parrot.
We like to keep the ‘do not disturb sign up that way housekeepers won’t come in and disturb the parrots.
Check here for a list of pet-friendly hotels.

Campgrounds
Most campgrounds allow pets, so remember the dangers this could pose.
Dogs, cats, and other predators may be present so always keep a watchful eye out.
Tent camping is not the best option. There are too many risks for your parrot when staying in a tent. Dropping temperatures, predators, heavy winds, storms, etc…
It’s better to stay in an RV or cabin when taking your parrots camping with you.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. The material on this site is not intended to be, and should not be relied on as, a substitute for professional advice. Read my full disclaimer.

Sprouting Organics is an offshoot of Willowbottom Homestead, a website about our homestead where we share practical ways to help save the environment through Eco-Friendly & Sustainable living.