Many people cannot imagine life without a pet. But not everyone has the opportunity to get and care for a dog and even a cat. In this case, the question often arises on the agenda: should I buy a parrot? For children in the family, this is not only an important means of education (after all, you will have to take care of the parrot), but also an object of love, friendship, and affection. For lonely people, parrots may be the only creatures to communicate with.
And there is another category of people who paid attention to domestic parrots – businessmen. Look at how many training sites on the Internet with the topic “Breeding parrots as a business.” In any case, regardless of the reason, it is imperative to learn as much as possible about these pets before buying a parrot.
Typical inhabitants of tropical countries – parrots, representing a detachment of parrots – this is a fairly closed group. The physique and a very characteristic beak sharply distinguishes them from other birds and speaks of an ancient origin. According to the description of ornithologists, such a beak is found only in birds of prey and owls. The legs of parrots are called thick and fleshy, which are never high. The bird has 4 long toes on each foot, 2 of which look forward and 2 look back.
The wings of different species of parrots are quite well developed: large, pointed, tapering or rounding towards the end. The tail depends on the species, differs in length and shape. The color of the plumage is very diverse, which is what attracts domestic parrots. Moreover, the bird itself can be of the same color or multicolor. Most often, there is no difference in plumage color between females and males, as well as adult birds and chicks. But it all depends on the type.
Ornithologists also call the language of parrots interesting: it is short, thick, soft, in some species the tip of the tongue has countless filiform papillae. All this distinguishes parrots from other orders of birds. But there are many differences not only in structure, but also in lifestyle and behavior.
Large parrots have a difficult take-off, but a fast flight, while small parrots are more agile. Someone flies in zigzags, while other species fly in a wave, earthen parrots rarely use wings at all, but they run fast. On the ground, most parrots look awkward, jumping more than they walk. But to move along the branches, they use both the beak and legs with long strong fingers.
The voice of these birds is strong and piercing. A flock of pygmy parrots creates a noise comparable to the sounds from the forge. Other species bark, whistle, grumble, purr, croak. Still others sing or whistle songs to their females. And we all admire the ability of parrots to adopt the human voice.
Modern ornithologists are still inclined to the theory of intelligence of these birds. That is why they do not just repeat memorized sounds and phrases, but are able to conduct a dialogue. A vivid example is Jaco Grigory, a favorite of the Internet.
But in order for the parrot to develop intelligence, you need to constantly deal with it. This is exactly what can be observed in the series about Grisha.
A distinctive feature of the life of parrots in nature is the constant hunting for them: flocking birds cause too much damage to agricultural land, so they are exterminated. The result is extinct species of parrots that were still found in the 20th century, but now they are no longer there. An example of such an extinct species is the Carolina parrot. Small birds, gathering in flocks, destroyed the fruits of fruit trees and cereals in the fields. The place of the extinct Caroline parrot was taken by a relative of the parrot – a monk.
The second reason is capture for the purpose of selling for domestication. The third is parrot feathers, which are used for decoration and national costumes. And the meat of parrots is used for food, although it is harsh. Therefore, breeding parrots at home can even be considered as the salvation of rare species of these beautiful birds.
Currently, about 400 species in the world of the parrot family are divided into five subfamilies: woodpecker, lorian, nestor, owl, real parrots. But in order to choose a pet for the home, you need to determine the purpose of the purchase and the conditions that you are able to provide a feathered friend. You also need to know the following facts before buying.
- The female and male do not differ much in behavior, but the character depends on the breed and individual characteristics. Boys are more jealous, girls are calmer.
- Males are more amenable to learning to speak.
- It can be difficult to tell a male from a female by appearance. In male budgerigars, the place above the beak is blue and shiny, in females it is grayish-white with a brown tint; male macaws have a larger and more powerful head, and at the base of the beak is wider than that of the female; in Jaco girls, due to a wider pelvis, the paws are wider apart than in boys.
- You can buy a bird from a domestic or foreign nursery, as well as a wild bird. Cons of buying savages: the possibility of contracting exotic diseases, they are difficult to tame, they are more difficult to teach them to speak. But wild-caught parrots are much cheaper than parrots from nurseries. For a bird – a foreigner, the seller is obliged to present a document of origin – Cites.
- To determine health by external signs, you should pay attention to these factors: a parrot should not look sleepy or disheveled; litter should not be liquid; plumage – even, without bald spots; beak and nostrils – clean, shiny, without secretions; the keel visible on the chest is a sign of exhaustion; eyes – shiny, clean; the parrot is active.
Of the nearly 400 species grouped into 90 breeds, there are many varieties suitable for keeping at home. And since the size of a pet is important for many of our families, we will also talk about these varieties from the position of this category. But it is worth paying attention that the division is very conditional.
In nature, the smallest woodpecker parrots have a height of 8 cm, among domestic species, small ones include popular wavy, lovebirds, pyrrura, passerine, white-bellied and others.
- Budgerigars reach a height of 17-20 cm. In captivity, they live 8-15 years. In nature, they have a bright green color, but they have long learned to breed yellow and blue, motley, purple, white, gray and other colorful birds. For beginner parrot breeders, budgerigars are an excellent breed, as they are unpretentious. It is possible to teach to speak only under the condition of constant training with young individuals, and even then with difficulty. But they will delight you with their love and affection.
- Lovebirds got its name due to the fact that after the mating season, the birds do not scatter, but remain together. The legend that in the event of the death of one parrot the second will not survive separation is not true. You need to try to find a replacement for the bird, and the parrot will get used to the new pair. All 9 types of lovebirds are similar in diet and conditions. Parrots are energetic and agile.
- pyrrura refers to rare exotic species that are not easy to get, but several varieties are commercially available. For wild birds, the traditional green color is typical, but red tail plumage is also found. Pyrrura has a strong body 30 cm long, this species is larger than wavy ones.
- parrots are considered a good choice for domestication. These small birds with a short tail can have green, yellow, blue plumage and a beak extending to the sides. If you decide to have several types of birds at once, then you should keep them separately, since these birds are quite aggressive, including in relation to their chicks. That is why it is recommended to plant young parrots separately.
- white-bellied also have several varieties, differ in their bright appearance. Birds with a developed intellect and an unpleasant loud voice, an obsessive character and difficult learning, get used to humans well, repeat individual sounds. Pets from them will turn out funny, as they are very sociable, they love to tumble and dance. But they need attention, so either get ready to devote a lot of time to them, or immediately buy a pair. White-bellied live up to 20 years.
medium sized birds
There is an opinion that it is medium-sized parrots that are best suited for home breeding for both beginners and experienced breeders. Moreover, there are enough species of birds with a body from 30 to 45 cm.
- Cockatoo Goffina it belongs to this group in size, its length with a tail is 32 cm. This is a very noisy and active bird that lives up to 35 years. A white cockatoo with a pale yellow tail and a rounded crest on its head slowly gets used to a person, but forever. In the top ten most expensive parrots, this species is the cheapest – about $ 1,000.
- Royal has a body length of 40 cm and a tail of 21 cm. The neck, head and abdomen of the male are bright red, the back with wings is green, and the beak is orange. The female, in addition to these flowers in plumage, also has blue, and the beak is black-brown. But this coloring appears only in the second year of life.
- Luxurious mountain parrot has a body of 40 cm, tail – 20 cm, grace and quick wits. You can be friends with this bird if you get used to the sharp and loud voice. Males are yellow-green in color with an olive tint to the head, much brighter than females, which are more of a calm olive green color. In captivity, birds can live up to 30 years.
- Rosella different variegated scaly color. The older the individual, the brighter the color. The parrot has a length with a tail of 25-35 cm, life expectancy is up to 15 years. The bird is shy: after purchase, you should not catch it with your hands in a carrier and transplant it into a cage. The perch from the carrier is installed in a new housing, the cage and the carrier are moved towards each other, the rosella itself will fly over to its perch.
- Lorikeets, perhaps the most colorful parrots. To maintain color and food must be bright, they are very fond of pollen and nectar. They live for about 20 years. Friendly, sociable, active, able to repeat sounds and language. Not very noisy, for which they are popular with breeders. The noble or two-color parrot, related to the lorikeets, generally refers to loners.
- Senegal parrot differs in the size of 35 cm, a serious and independent disposition, a life expectancy of 25-40 years, the ability to train. Feathered loves to sleep very much (at least 10 hours a day). The Senegalese has a green back, wings and tail; yellow-orange belly, dark gray head, no crest.
- Corella – a popular home look. Red or yellow plumage on a 30-35 cm body with yellow, white or blue cheeks and a long, wide tail. These parrots live for about 15-20 years, easily contacting family members. These smart birds, with the intelligence of a five-year-old child, unfortunately, can not imitate human speech well.
- ringed parrot – beautiful appearance, but has a loud voice. The bird has a body length of 30-50 cm, green plumage, a long tail in the form of a wedge. They have a good level of adaptation to life in captivity (they will live for about 30 years), while they are trained in human speech.
A distinctive feature of medium-sized parrots is curiosity, they do not like monotony. But at the same time, they are not as whimsical to the conditions as large species.
It is among the large breeds of parrots that the most intelligent are found. Maybe related to the fact that these birds are the most difficult to raise at home. The following types are the most popular.
- ara – the largest (up to 90 cm) and the most expensive (blue macaw costs $ 50,000). These are very bright birds that look like a rainbow. The parrot just needs constant communication. If this is not the case, then the bird becomes aggressive and even dangerous. If it is not possible to personally devote time to the arena, then you need to provide him with a large number of toys and periodically change them. This species can live 50-60 years.
Birds are trainable and can say they want to drink or eat, as well as other phrases. Ara is very child-like.
- Amazons inexpensive, more affectionate, but capricious. Having recognized one of the family members as their master, the rest can be ignored and even bitten. During their 50-year life, they grow up to 40 cm. They also really need communication, but having remarkable intelligence and feeling love for their person, they begin to become impudent and hysterical if they haven’t received something from the owner. Breeders call them hooligans and talkers, but Amazons respond very well to training.
- Big size cockatoo – This is an individual 60 cm long, difficult to maintain. But with proper care, it will live 60-80 years. There are many types of large cockatoos. They differ in white or white-pink, gray colors, but all are crested. Big birds need an aviary, not a cage, made of strong vertical bars. And do not forget that a smart cockatoo is able to open the cage if it is a regular valve. This species is not for beginner breeders: birds have a problem with excessive chewing and biting as a method of rearing all humans and animals.
- Jaco (grey parrot) – among large ones it is considered a small representative – up to 33 cm. Under different conditions, it can live up to 80 years. The level of intelligence corresponds to a child of 4 years old (communicates in sentences, asks and answers questions). But the Jaco, like the Macaw, needs communication for at least 6 hours a day. If the buyer is unable to provide this, then you should not start a parrot. These are vulnerable and touchy birds, tied to their master, who is considered a relative.
It is the lack of attention and the wrong diet that are the most serious problem of large parrots – self-plucking. This is a neurosis, from which it is very difficult to cure a bird. Another problem is loudness, based on the desire to attract attention.
The right cage or aviary is the basis of the content. The bird should spread its wings freely in the cage. It is better to choose a long cage, horizontal, with horizontal bars. The house is placed away from drafts and windows with bright lighting, electrical appliances. It is advisable to press it with one side against a vertical surface (wall, cabinet, board), at the height of a person’s eyes. It is important not to overload the cage with objects, filling it with only the most necessary:
- there must be perches here (it can be made of different materials);
- two permanent non-plastic feeders (for grain and mineral mix) and one temporary (for wet food);
- drinkers (open – get dirty quickly, closed – more hygienic, automatic – the most reliable);
- toys, ropes and ladders;
- a lamp (ultraviolet or broad spectrum) is placed in the cage, above it or on the side: even if the room is sunny, this electrical appliance is still required due to the structural features of the eyes of these birds and for heating them.
A varied set of food is the key to health and a good life expectancy for a pet. For this, there are purchased feed mixtures with minerals for birds – this is the first part of the diet. The second half – fruits, vegetables with herbs, cereals boiled in water without salt and sugar, germinated cereals, fresh twigs. Water must be changed every day, in the summer – even more often.
The control of the day regimen is a daily 9-10-hour sleep in the dark, which is created using a dark-colored breathable cape. Teaching to the bedspread occurs gradually, otherwise the pet will be frightened.
The cleanliness of the parrot and the order in the cage involves daily cleaning inside the house, washing the feeders and drinkers, as well as regular washing of the cage itself. This is best done in the bathroom without the use of chemicals. But the parrot itself needs to be washed regularly in the way that he likes: under the tap, in the basin, sink, bathroom. If the bird does not like to wash, then you can hang wet lettuce leaves in the cage: while eating, it will wash. Bathing should be enjoyable for the bird, so it is important to understand how to achieve this. Don’t forget to dry your bird.
If the parrot is alone at home, he must have something to do. A pet should not be bored, so toys are a must. Boredom is the cause of unhealthy parrots. Many want to have intellectually developed birds. For this, there are interactive toys – foragers. Inside she has a delicacy: she overcame obstacles, completed tasks – she earned a treat.
In nature, most species of parrots live in flocks. Social birds vitally need communication. Moreover, “vital” is not a metaphor. This is not a mechanical golden bird in a golden cage. Especially if you dream of getting a talking friend. It is important to deal with a pet, it is even more important to do it when you and your parrot are in a good mood. If there is no mood, it is better to reschedule the lesson and just talk with your pet.
Healthy birds are allowed for breeding (age depends on the species). Before hanging the nest house, the daylight hours are artificially increased to 14 hours, and the diet is changed in the direction of increasing protein foods. Boiled eggs, sprouted grains are removed from the menu after the first egg appears. In different species, a clutch of 2-4 eggs is incubated by both parents or only by the female.
But you need to know that parrots not only choose a mate for themselves, but they will also be able to recognize it among others. If the birds did not have feelings, then, as they said in the famous film, “There will be no wedding!”
To start breeding, it is better to choose a warm season. In autumn and winter, more efforts will have to be made to maintain conditions for the growth of chicks. In the spring, it is generally not recommended to breed parrots due to the lack of vitamins in vegetables and fruits.
You can buy a house or make it yourself, but keep in mind that soon there will be not only a male with a female, but also restless chicks. At the bottom, it is imperative to pour sawdust and buds of non-coniferous trees.
Presumably, the larger the parrot, the longer the female incubates the eggs: wavy ones acquire the first chick on the 16-18th day, macaws – on the 29-30th day. If the female has not refused to play the role of mother, then there is no need to interfere in her actions. Just enrich her diet, and also regularly check the nest for dead chicks.
By the tenth day, feathers begin to appear in the young. At the age of 10 weeks, they are ready to leave the nest, although their parents still feed them.
- the first parrot in Russia appeared in 1490;
- African Jaco Nkisi uses 950 words, and our Jaco Gregory has recently learned to add numbers;
- wavy Pak, listed in the Guinness Book of Records, used 1728 words;
- in the USA, a parrot was able to remember the names of the robbers and repeat them to the police;
- parrots have a sense of rhythm, but no vocal cords (they reproduce all sounds with their mouths);
- these birds do not see in the dark;
- in Australia, schools have been opened to train parrots in human speech;
- a person distinguishes 16 images per second, a budgerigar – 150.