Having a pet parrot is having endless days of fun and happiness. You can train your pet to be a loyal friend and companion and of course, you can teach it to do some amazing tricks. But to care for a parrot also requires some important supplies; things that you don’t usually need for any kind of pet. Can you tell me what other animal requires a T-stand?
In case you have a small to a medium-sized parrot, let is help you care for it properly with a list of the most important supplies that you must have at home and even on the go. These supplies will ensure that your pet is safe, happy, and healthy living with you.
A medium-sized birdcage
The very first thing that you must consider getting your pet is a proper birdcage. A birdcage should accommodate the size of your pet in such a way that it can open its wings without touching any side of the cage. The size of the cage you must get must also be according to the number of pets you want to keep. As a rule, two or more birds require a large enclosure.
Should you get an indoor cage or build an outdoor enclosure. Again, this is entirely up to you. If you want to keep your pet indoors, then a cage with a seed cover and wheels would be a good idea. The seed protector will prevent a mess as it catches leftover food, and the wheels allow you to transport the cage anywhere you want to set it.
If you want a spacious cage, then an outdoor aviary may be a good idea. This allows your pet to fly and to socialize with other pet birds. And since an aviary is set outdoors, your pet will have plenty of sunshine and fresh air daily.
Consider the following important features of a good birdcage
- The material should be safe for birds like wrought iron, aluminum, and more.
- The cage should be appropriate for the size of your pet and the number of birds living inside the cage
- There should be perches or at least places where perches may be installed
- There must be food and water cups with individual doors for easy refills
- The door should be large enough to move your pet in and out the cage
- The bottom should have an easy slide-out tray for easy cleanup
- The base must have lockable wheels for easy transport and added safety
- The cage must have room for toys, nets and other accessories
You can buy a proper birdcage from a local pet store or aviary, or you have something particular in mind, you can always buy one online.
Proper cage lining or bedding
You want a cage liner or bedding that is easy to clean, easy to replace and cheap. Some use special materials like wood shavings or coconut husks, but most bird owners prefer newspapers or paper towels. Not only are these materials cheap, but these will also absorb smells and spills and are easy to remove when these are soiled. Newspapers can also catch leftover food and thus makes it very easy to clean.
Different kinds of perches
Pet birds need to condition their beaks and feet properly because if not, these can grow differently and can become tough or diseased. Birds in the wild naturally condition their beak and feet by perching on trees with different textures. Birds can sit for hours on a soft branch and afterward perch on a rough surface. They also take this as a chance to scratch their beaks using the wood, and this helps condition it.
It’s a good idea to keep these kinds of perches within reach. These are available in most pet stores online or from a local supplier as well.
- Wooden perches – you can buy wooden perches or fashion one from a tree from your backyard. Just make sure that these trees are not peppered with pesticides, herbicides or any toxic chemical that can make your pet sick. Safe wood to make perches are apple, ash, birch, beech, elm, hawthorn, larch, lilac, maple, mountain ash, mulberry, willow, poplar, rose, spruce and sycamore trees. Don’t buy or use plastic, which has been designed to look like real wood.
- Therapeutic perches – therapeutic perches are perches that come in varying sizes, diameters and surfaces. Some are smooth like fabric, while some have irregular bumps on them, and these are designed to keep your pet’s claws and beak well-conditioned and healthy. Also, therapeutic perches are for senior birds, sick birds who need comfort. These birds can rub, gnaw or perch for a long period over this kind of perch.
- You can make therapeutic perches out of ordinary ones by wrapping these in different fabrics and materials. But don’t use sandpaper because this can cut your pet and bruise its beak and feet.
- Rope perches – the best thing about rope perches are your pet can dangle from it and check out the world upside down, and this is fun for them. Also, they can nibble on the rope and try to unknot knots so don’t be surprised to see a well-woven rope get destroyed in just a few hours! Nevertheless, rope perches are cheap, offer a good surface for your pet to sit on and offer a fun place to stay in.
- Heated perches – in places where it can get very cold, give your pet some comfort by using heated perches. This type of perch can be battery operated or a corded device where your pet can sit nice and warm. High tech perches can even adjust its temperature automatically depending on the environment. But make sure that the perch has a temperature adjustment to avoid burns and avoid hurting your pets. Never use a heated perch near water or any wet surface to avoid electrocution.
- Dowel perches – Dowels are easy to use as perches and most of all, these are cheap. Some dowel perches come with grooves at the ends to let you use it inside your pet’s cage or as a perching station outside your pet’s cage. These also come in different sizes, so have perches that can accommodate your pet’s size and weight. Don’t use colored or painted dowels, and only natural non-painted dowels will do.
- Shower perches – some parrots love to be around you all the time even when you shower! So instead of placing your pet on your bare shoulders or a metal shower curtain rod, install shower perches instead. There are many kinds available, and most of these are easy to install.
Parrot food for medium-sized birds
You can’t have a parrot supply without the ideal parrot food. You must have at least a few pounds of grains, fresh fruits, and veggies, and don’t forget training treats. Keep these in appropriate containers and always feed your pet the appropriate ratio of grains, fresh food and treats daily.
- Grains – the largest portion of a parrot’s daily diet must be composed of grains. This is commercially-prepared parrot food that should be given in appropriate amounts. Grains are made of processed seeds, grains, and nuts and are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to promote your pet’s growth and development. You can buy grains for parrots from local suppliers or check out quality grains from an online store. Having trouble deciding which product to feed your pet? Consult an avian vet if you can’t decide. If your pet has issues with digestion or has medical conditions, it’s best to talk to a vet or dietician about this to get the most appropriate type of grains and diet.
- Fruits and veggies – a larger part of your pet’s diet must be composed of fresh fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables must be fresh and as much as possible organic. To give vegetables and fruits to your pet, cut these into small pieces, bits that your pet can easily hold and swallow. You may simply offer a large chunk so it can just bite from it.
Your fruit and veggies supply must be kept in a cold and dark area of your fridge, but don’t freeze it. Remember to check daily for molds and other pests and throw anything that looks suspicious. Don’t feed your pet fruit seeds like apple seeds or pits because these are toxic to birds.
- Dairy and some meats – Parrots are natural herbivores but mostly, this diet may not provide enough nutrients like protein and amino acids to keep your pet healthy. Small pieces of meat like chunks of chicken and fish are acceptable. But this has to be cut into very small pieces so that your pet can easily grab hold and swallow. Dairy like cheese and yogurt may also be given since these are perfect protein and amino acid sources.
- Parrot treats – now treats are controversial to all pet owners. They argue as to giving or not giving treats to pets. Giving treats in small amounts is acceptable but slowly transition it to other supportive gestures like offering his favorite toy, saying nice things to your pet, and petting or patting him.
If you must give treats, give your pets some healthy treats instead. So instead of seeds that don’t have any significant nutritional value, try other delicious foods like dried fruit, raisins, bread, pasta, beans, corn, and popcorn.
To keep your supply of treats, place these in individual containers inside the fridge. Popcorn should be fed quickly since this will lose its crunch, so if you must prepare popcorn for your pet, make only a small batch.
Toys for medium-sized parrots
Your parrot supply won’t be complete without toys. Parrots are very active, social, and bright creatures and therefore, love constant stimulation. Since it’s impossible to be there 24/7 to play and interact with your pet, you may use toys to distract them in the meantime.
There are many kinds of toys for medium-sized parrots, and the most common are toy swings, nets, climbing nets, ladders, ribbons, hoops, beads, blocks, mirrors, and bells. If you’re shopping for toys for your pet, remember the following:
- The size of the toy matters, especially when you’re setting it up inside the cage. There must still be room for your pet to perch, sleep, eat and rest.
- The material of the toy counts. It must be made of safe materials because usually, parrots will try to bite on it and chew it. It’s best to get destroyable materials that are safe like ropes, ribbons, native hats and fans, paper, and wood.
- Some toys are not available in stores because you can easily find these at home. Give your pet a chance to work up all his energy on blocks of spare wood (wood has to be safe for birds, check out the perch section), old telephone directories, old hats, and old toys.
- The number of birds you have also matter. Most parrots are social, but some are not quite happy sharing their toys and this can cause extreme noise and even fighting. So if your pet is the possessive type and dislikes other cage mates, then give it its toys. But if your pets are buddies and don’t care about other birds sharing their toys, you can go for a communal toy instead.
Food and water cups
Choose stainless steel cups than plastic cups because your pet can easily bite into plastic accessories. Have spare cups at hand in case you need to wash them. Also, take note of the type of cups that came with the cage you purchased. You must buy this kind of cup or replace it if it is made of plastic.
Get more cups if you have more birds and make sure to clean these every day with warm water and soap. Any leftover food must be removed at once.
Birdcage cleaning supplies
Parrots are messy eaters and are also messy birds. They are a handful to potty train and they do their business inside their cages. And most of all, some birds like cockatoos shed white dust like crazy! So, you must have a complete cleaning supplies kit. This kit must-have cleaning products, including cleaning solutions, brushes, rags and spray bottles. You must also have protective gloves, masks, and an apron so you won’t touch droppings or inhale white dust. Have trash bags ready to gather all the dirt and dust. These supplies must be placed in a small basket and must be refilled at all times.
Parrot first aid kit
A first aid kit for parrots is a kit that has emergency supplies in case of any accidents or mishaps at home or while you travel with your pet. Consider carrying spare medicines and supplements that your pet parrot takes daily. Have wound cleaning and dressing supplies like disinfectants, wound cleaning solutions, bandages, band-aids, tapes, splints, and wraps.
Include items like oral rehydration packs, blankets, and ice packs in your kit. The number of your avian vet and other important contacts must be inside the bag along with your pet’s vet visit book.
For an average trip to the vet, a small and lightweight carrier will do. This is similar to a handbag with wire mesh sides and a perch in the middle where your pet can sit on as you move. This carrier is only for short distances and is only for one parrot.
Optional long-distance carriers are for people who want to travel with their pets. This carrier may be carried around like a handbag, shoulder bag, or a backpack, and this comes with stronger material for the sides and with fine mesh wire as sides for added ventilation. A perch is inside and has a removable bottom so cleanups won’t be a problem.
A long-distance traveling bag has pockets where you can store your pet’s supplies while you travel too. But before you plan on buying this kind of bag or carrier, consider the appropriate kind of bird carrier that’s allowed in the airline carrier you will be using. It’s best to call the carrier before you buy anything.
A T-stand is usually a tall wooden stand where your pet can stay when it is outside its cage. A T-stand should be durable as it is where your pet will stay for a long period. The perch has to be contoured so your pet will remain comfortable as it sits. It has to be adjustable too and must have a hook where you can secure your pet’s leash.
There are many types of stand, and some are even a part of a mini-training gym for parrots with ladders, swings, and ropes. This can be a splurge but think of the hours that your pet will spend in his mini-gym! But if you have the time and the materials, you can DIY a mini gym for your pet.
Parrot harness and leash
A parrot harness has a similar design to a dog’s harness but the latch for the leash is at the breast of the parrot and not at the back. This is worn by a parrot to prevent flyaways as you take your pet out. A leash and harness come in varying sizes, colors and styles. This may not be available from a local pet store so check out aviary supplies shops, or you can order one online.
As much as parrots love morning madness feeding and playtime, these fellas also love quiet times, especially during the evenings. You can keep your pet quiet and feel safe with a cage cover. Cage covers can be any heavy fabric as long as it can keep the light out.
Spray bottles, shampoos, and pest control products
Parrots need to keep their feathers healthy and clean and to do this, and they need proper parrot shampoos. Parrot shampoos are formulated using safe and effective ingredients. Since most parrots are not into bathing with soap or any chemicals, the shampoo must be easy to rinse off and won’t leave any residue on the skin. Consider the following in choosing the right parrot shampoo
- Choose shampoos with natural ingredients that are safe even for pets with sensitive skin
- Choose shampoos that are easy to apply like mist bath sprayers. With this kind of shampoo, you don’t need water to rinse it off since it’s in spray mist form
- Choose a shampoo that can get rid of irritation and itching
- Choose a product that can ease conditions like feather plucking and unnecessary molting
- Choose shampoos with pest-fighting properties such pests are mites, ticks, and lice
- Choose shampoos that are for parrots or all bird types
- Choose shampoos to clean your pet on the go
- Choose shampoos from trusted brands and those with good reviews and ratings
Parrot health/checkup book
As your pet visits the vet, your doctor will provide a checkup book, a record book of all your parrot’s medical treatments. It also has specific instructions about his diet, any supplement, or any treatment you need to do. You must have this handy always and never leave home to go to the vet without it. Have a copy of this book inside your first aid bag.
Parrots are special animals and require a different style of care from other pets like cats and dogs. These birds may even be different from other birds as well. You should try your best to keep to this list, for it has all the things your pet needs, especially when caring for your pet every day and also for any accident or mishap at home.
Remember, if you have two or more parrots, you have to double up on your supplies. In the case of a pet carrier, every parrot has to have his carrier. Parrots may fight if they are placed in small cages or carriers. And when taking your pets to the vet, take them one at a time so you can provide each bird your undivided attention.