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Ten Good Reasons for NOT Bringing a Parrot into Your Life

  1. Parrots are NOT domesticated animals.
  • Parrots are essentially wild animals. They can be tamed, but they are not domesticated like dogs and cats. They will retain their wild instincts and behaviours. 
  1. Parrots are LOUD.           
  • Parrots are flock animals and they communicate loudly and frequently with other members of the flock. Even the happiest parrot will yell and screech. If they talk, they may practice favourite words endlessly. This is normal behaviour. Keeping a parrot covered or in a dark room to keep them quiet is ABUSE.        
  1. Parrots will BITE.  
  • Parrots have large, powerful, and sharp beaks. Bites can cause very serious damage and even small nips hurt. Parrots will bite those they "love" as well as those that they "hate". Parrots bite for many reasons and if you have a parrot you will eventually be bit.
  1. Parrots are DESTRUCTIVE.
  • Parrot beaks are powerful tools and parrots keep them in top shape by chewing things. They do not differentiate between toys and expensive furniture, clothing, eyeglasses, carpets, wires, etc. Chewing is normal behaviour and eventually something important will be chewed. Keeping an essentially wild creature locked in a cage to prevent damage to belongings is ABUSE.   
  1. Parrots are EXPENSIVE.
  • Everything associated with parrots is expensive and is not optional. Proper cages are very expensive. Providing an ongoing supply of toys which are quickly destroyed is costly. Feeding a parrot is expensive and much of the food is wasted. Regular vet visits for beak and claw trimming and wing clipping is expensive, and a sick or elderly parrot requiring blood work and medication can be extremely expensive.
  1. Parrots are DEMANDING.
  • Parrots are sentient, living, social beings. They can not be turned on and off like a cell phone. They are not toys or decorations. They need companionship and interaction. Because they must be kept in a cage for their safety, they are entirely reliant on their caregiver for everything in their life. They must wait for food, clean water, freedom from their cage, someone to talk to, physical interaction, etc. They may wait all day for you and will not be happy with a quick few minutes of your time. They can not be ignored or put off until it is convenient to be with them. Parrots are extremely intelligent. They know when they are being dismissed. They need your interest and time every day. Neglected parrots develop a variety of unpleasant neurotic behaviours. 
  1. Parrots are TIME CONSUMING.
  • Aside from needing companionship and interaction, keeping a parrot is very time consuming. Their cages must be thoroughly cleaned and checked for damage regularly, their water replaced several times a day, food checked and replaced daily, and fresh food provided twice daily. Toys must be rotated and replaced regularly to keep the parrot stimulated and safe. They can not be left unsupervised for long periods of time as they will foul their water and food, their cages become dirty and smelly, and unhygienic conditions result in illness. They can get caught in their toys and injure or kill themselves. Neglected and bored parrots become neurotic and self destructive.  
  1. Parrots are HORMONAL.
  • Baby and juvenile parrots are very cute and loveable. But baby parrots grow up. They must be properly handled and socialized while young or unwanted and neurotic behaviours can develop. Every parrot will eventually become sexually mature and want to find a mate and build nests. They may become aggressive with their caregiver or reject their caregiver in favour of somebody else. This is normal behaviour and not a personal affront to the caregiver. This is simply a parrot maturing and leaving the parental relationship behind in order to find a mate. Parrots are cavity nesters and build their nests in hollow trees. They will look for similar places in the home, such as cupboards or closets. They will be very persistent and territorial and can be unpleasant to live with. Females will lay eggs even without a mate. This can lead to calcium deficiencies or serious conditions such as egg binding.  
  1. Parrots are MESSY.
  • Parrots are made to live in trees and fly around. They are not neat and clean. They drop and throw their food when they eat. They slop water around when the bathe in their water bowl. They chew things up and toss the pieces everywhere. They strew feathers over everything and the ones which produce powder will coat every available surface with dust. They are not suitable for people with allergies or those who insist on an immaculate home. They poop everywhere! They will poop in their water and food bowls and on your favourite clothing. Yes, they can be trained to poop on command, but they have to be allowed to poop very often or the can become toxic and become sick (expensive vet visit) or die (no more expensive parrot).
  1. Parrots are FOREVER!  
  • Parrots are extremely long lived. They will outlive you. Parrots are more than a lifetime commitment. Parrots are not commodities. They are very intelligent beings who form complex relationships. They will suffer emotionally and psychologically from being moved from home to home. If you wouldn't sell your child because you no longer wanted it, or lock your child in a dark room and ignore it because it is loud, inconvenient or no longer fun, and cannot even imagine being saddled with a two year old child for 50 plus years, then you do not want a parrot. Unwanted parrots are ignored, neglected, and eventually sold cheaply or given away. They suffer greatly.
Ten Bad Reasons for Bringing a Parrot into Your Life

  1. Parrots are BEAUTIFUL.
  • Parrots are lovely to look at. Some have soulful eyes, some have brightly coloured feathers or beaks, some have interesting plumage. Parrots ARE NOT DECORATIONS! They are living, emotional, sentient beings. If they are not given the attention and care that they need they become unhappy and develop neurotic behaviours. One of these behaviours is self-mutilation. A parrot who has plucked or chewed it's feathers is not beautiful anymore.

  1. Parrots can learn TRICKS..
  • Some parrots are natural clowns and do enjoy learning tricks. Other parrots have no interest in performing and trying to force them to learn tricks causes stress. They may become aggressive or neurotic if their preference for not doing tricks is ignored. Parrots who do tricks are not doing them to please you but because that behaviour results in attention and possibly food. Tricks can themselves become neurotic behaviours.

  1. Parrots can TALK.
  • Some parrots can talk very well. Some parrots do not talk at all.  Even within species known for their ability to talk, the desire to do so depends on the individual parrot, the relationship with the caregiver, and the amount of time spent interacting with the parrot. Attempting to teach a parrot words when the parrot is not receptive may discourage any talking on the parrots part. Parrots repeat sounds that they like. These sounds or words may not be desirable by the caregiver and may be repeated loudly and often. Parrots do not have an ON/OFF switch.
  1. Parrots are unusual and EXOTIC pets.
  • Parrots ARE NOT STATUS SYMBOLS. They are long-lived, non-domesticated creatures which require a lot of care if they are to thrive. They are expensive, loud, and messy. They can be aggressive, unpredictable, and uncooperative. They can be very rewarding to be around, but are also time consuming and a lot of work.

  1. Parrots are good, quiet COMPANIONS and easier to care for than a dog or cat.
  • Some parrots are quiet and pleasant to be around. Others are loud and obnoxious. Parrots require a lot of work if they are to be cared for properly. They are very messy and their cages must be cleaned thoroughly and regularly. They must have fresh water and food several times a day. They must have toys and human interaction on a regular basis. They can not be ignored or acknowledged only when it is convenient for the caregiver. Unlike a dog, or even a cat, parrots have no sympathy for an ill or disabled caregiver and can become stressed by the erratic routines and behaviours of their caregivers. This can lead to the parrot developing neurotic behaviours and becoming very difficult or impossible to deal with.

  1. Parrots make good house DECORATIONS.
  • Parrots are not inanimate objects. They are ALIVE AND SENTIENT.  

  1. Parrots are ENTERTAINING.
  • Some parrots have extroverted personalities and are active and fun. Some are introverts and are less active. All parrots are individuals and react to their environment and the type of care they are given. Parrots are selfish and self-serving. Entertaining behaviours are generally either for the parrots own amusement or to garner attention or food from the caregiver. These behaviours can become less entertaining and more demanding and manipulative very quickly.

  1. I saw a parrot on TV, or in a movie, and I want one!
  • What you see on TV or in a movie is NOT REAL LIFE. You can not have a parrot be a fun and agreeable companion without a lot of commitment and work, and even then there are no guarantees that you will have the parrot that you imagined. Parrots are individuals and there personalities, likes and dislikes, and behaviour evolve and change with time and life experience. They cannot be moulded to an ideal.

  1. Owning a parrot is prestigious and will IMPRESS my friends.
  • Cleaning cages and dealing with noise and endless mess and destruction is not prestigious or glamourous. Neither are being covered in bird poop and band-aids. Friends may be initially amused by the novelty of a parrot but are not impressed by the time and financial commitment required to have a parrot, or by being around a parrot which will quite possibly not like them and even try to attack them. Friends are more likely to think that you are crazy than to be impressed once they see what you have gotten yourself into. Parrots require a lot of time and attention. Depending on your lifestyle, there may are not enough hours in the day to spend sufficient time with a parrot and still have time for to socialize with friends. No friends, no one to impress. 

  1. Parrots are for sale everywhere and I can get one CHEAP.
  • There is no such thing as a free or cheap parrot. Parrots require proper cages, toys, perches, food, and veterinary care, all of which are very expensive and will continue to be expensive for the life of the parrot. Considering that parrots can live for well over 50 years, the initial cost of obtaining a parrot is insignificant compared to the cost of keeping a parrot. 

Ten Good Reasons for Stewarding a Parrot 

  1. Don't buy or breed, steward a parrot in need!
  • If you truly believe that you can offer everything that a parrot needs and can make a lifetime commitment to a parrot, then bringing an unwanted parrot into your home takes one more parrot out of the cycle. Every time a parrot is bought from a breeder or a pet store, that parrot is replaced by another for sale. These parrots may be re-homed more than seven times in their life. They are often neglected or cared for improperly and develop behavioural problems. They end up with one of the many parrot rescue and sanctuary organizations and these organizations are overwhelmed with too many homeless parrots.

  1. Steward a parrot which is suitable for your home and lifestyle.
  • Stewardship parrots are mature and have life experience. Although they may have some behaviour problems, you know exactly what you are getting into. You know the size of the parrot and it's cage requirements, you know how loud the parrot is, and you know the level of aggression that the parrot has. A stewardship parrot will not require more work than your home, lifestyle, and parrot experience can handle.  

  1. Stewardship allows you to learn how to properly care for a parrot.
  • Stewardship parrots come with instructions and support. You will not be abandoned to learn parrot care by trial and error and you will not be subjected to sorting through all the information and misinformation available on the subject.
  1. Stewardship provides a stable Forever Home for a parrot.
  • Because parrots have such long lives and can be difficult to live with and care for they may be re-homed many times during their life. Not all homes are ideal and even the nicest and best behaved parrot may ultimately suffer from neglect and boredom. A stewardship home ends a parrot's eventual decline into unhappiness and neurotic behaviour. If the steward can no longer care for the parrot, it returns to Parrots Forever Sanctuary & Rescue Foundation.

  1. Stewardship provides a more certain future for the parrot.
  • Potential stewards are carefully screened and educated in the care requirements of the parrot that they take into their home. Stewardship is not approved unless the parrot and the caregiver are compatible. This ensures that the relationship between parrot and caregiver begins well and will be happy and enduring.

  1. Stewardship is very rewarding.
  • Providing a loving home for a neglected or unwanted parrot is very rewarding. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a neurotic or depressed parrot respond to proper care, consideration and love and come back to life.

  1. Stewardship ensures a loving home for orphaned parrots.
  • Not all stewardship parrots are neglected or have behaviour problems. Many are well loved and happy parrots whose caregivers simply cannot care for them anymore. Stewardship prevents these parrots from entering the stream of unwanted and poorly cared for parrots and ensures that these parrots remain happy and well adjusted.

  1. Stewardship parrots are not used or damaged goods.
  • Stewardship parrots have life experience, both good and bad. Parrots offered for Stewardship have been carefully assessed and rehabilitated if necessary. They are used to being around people and to being handled. Parrots with permanent disabilities or serious behaviour problems are not offered for stewardship. Stewardship parrots are simply looking for a chance for a happy and loving home.

  1. Stewardship parrots are healthy.
  • All stewardship parrots have been assessed by an Avian Veterinarian. Any health or medical issues have been resolved or stabilized before a parrot is offered for stewardship. Parrots with serious health issues are not offered for stewardship.. 

  1. Stewardship is a win, win, win situation.
  • Stewards get to bring a suitable and compatible parrot into their lives. A needy parrot is given a loving home and a chance at happiness. One less parrot is brought into a system where parrots are often neglected, unwanted, constantly moved from home to home, and ultimately end up depressed and neurotic and given to a rescue organization. If the unwanted and homeless companion parrots are given homes and fewer young parrots enter the pet trade, maybe eventually there will be no more need for parrot rescue and sanctuary organizations 

          Parrots are not domesticated and are not born to be pets. It is against their nature to be locked in a cage and totally dependent on a caregiver. Forever. 
© Parrots Forever