Blue and gold Macaw

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Parrot

Everyone thinks of parrots as cute and colorful birds with a unique ability to talk. But there’s a lot more to them that you must know before you decide to have them as pets.  

Weighing out the cost and benefits of owning a parrot can be helpful in understanding whether or not it is suitable for you and compatible with your living arrangement. 

Parrots have a number of qualities that make them great pets, but there are also some downsides too. We’ll discuss the many advantages of having a parrot and the different factors to help you determine whether you are cut out to be a parrot owner.

Pros Of Owning A Parrot

Parrots Live For Many Years

Parrots live longer than any other pet, which is kind of both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on how you look at it.

From one perspective, you have a companion for a huge part of your life that you can bond and make great memories with. But for some people, getting a pet that potentially going to outlive them can be a bit overwhelming. 

The average lifespan of a parrot is definitely something to consider before buying one. If you don’t think you are ready for a long-term commitment there are a number of pet birds with short lifespans that might be the right choice for you. 

They’re Affectionate 

Once parrots have developed a bond with their owner, they can be very affectionate. Parrots do not cuddle like other animals, but they have their own ways of exhibiting love. Parrots can be very loving. Parrots also like to be pet on their head and nape, but they only allow very close people. 

They’re Highly Intelligent 

Parrots are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. Their intelligence level has been compared to other smart animals like apes and dolphins.

This means they are highly trainable and quick learners. You can train them to perform complex tricks, follow your commands, and have interactions that deepen your bond.  

Talking Ability 

For many people, the reason they want to get a pet parrot is because of their talking and mimicking abilities. And yes, it is quite fascinating. The unique ability of parrots to imitate words, phrases, and sounds so fluently makes them an entertaining pet.

However, you should know that not all parrots talk or have the same level of talking ability. Different parrot species have different levels of talking abilities, and individual birds vary in their aptitude for learning new words and phrases. 

Fairly Low Living Expenses

Parrots do not add much to the living expenses like some other pets. Aside from the one-time cost of buying cages, perches, and other accessories, there are no hefty ongoing expenses for parrots. Parrots mostly eat pellets. Their diet also includes vegetables and fruits, which can already to found in your kitchen. 

Cons Of Owning A Parrot

Parrots Are Loud And Noisy 

Constant screaming in parrots is one of the most commonly reported problems by parrot owners. Parrots chirp and scream almost all day. Their nosiness can be managed to a certain extent with training, but parrots are not exactly quiet. 

Parrots are also extremely loud. Some parrots like the sun conure, green cheek conure, and cockatoos can produce sounds over 100 decibels, which is well above the safe hearing limit for humans. 

Many people living with parrots for several years can develop hearing issues. According to Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice Volume 4, Issue 3, prolonged exposure to these loud vocalizations can easily contribute to serious hearing loss in humans. 

The loud and constant screaming can also create disturbances for neighbors and family members, especially when living in close quarters. You can go for parrots that are not as loud, but most parrots are generally noisy. 

Parrot screaming loudly

Parrots Are Messy Creatures 

Even though parrots are quite dexterous at using their beak and feet to handle their food, they tend to make a mess while eating. And most of it is actually on purpose. 

Parrots throw their food around, a habit that serves an important ecological purpose in their natural habitat as they help disperse food to ground-dwelling species and also give life to new plants. 

Parrots Poop Frequently 

Parrots have a fast metabolism and a small body, which makes it natural for them to poop frequently.

Smaller parrots tend to poop even more than larger parrots. This is often one of the first things new owners have to contend with and are most surprised to find out. 

Although the poop itself can be wiped pretty easily and does not stink, it can be challenging to clean so many droppings, especially if the parrot is allowed to roam freely outside of its cage.

Parrots Chew On House Furniture

Being wild creatures, parrots have an inclination to chew on everything. In the wild, they trim their beaks and nails on tree branches and nibble on different kinds of foods, including the hardest of tree nuts.

Naturally, parrots are equipped with the tools to chew and tear through some tough items, which might also include your furniture. 

Some Parrots Shed Dander

There are two types of secretions that parrots use to coat their feathers. Most parrots use oil secreted from the uropygial gland to preen their feather. These birds have oil-based feathers. However, some parrots use dust to preen their feathers. 

They have dust all over their feathers including inside their down feathers and shed a profuse amount of it. If you have someone in your family who is allergic to dander, you should go for non-dusty parrot species

Lack Of Vets Who Specialize In Avian Care

Most veterinarians you will find specialize in cats and dogs. While they are qualified to examine your parrot and can offer medical advice, they do not specialize in avian care.

General veterinarians lack knowledge about bird behaviors and other areas of bird ownership, so you might not get the guidance you need from them. You should find an avian veterinarian in your area as it is generally better to have your parrot seen by an expert. 

Parrots Hide Their Illnesses

Veterinary care is expensive as is, but what makes it worse is that parrots have the instinct to hide their illness. So until the time, they are taken to a veterinarian, the condition has progressed further, which leads to more health complications and consequently higher vet bills. 

Parrots Require A Lot Of Time And Attention.

Parrots have high social needs, meaning they require a lot of attention from you. A parrot that does not receive daily interaction from its owner and stays cooped up in its cage, is likely to become stressed and develop behavioral problems. 

There is a certain amount of time that you need to commit to your parrot. This can be difficult since most people have regular jobs and taking out any amount of time would require changing routines. 

Some Parrots Are Not Suitable For Apartments

While most parrots do not take much space, there are some species that require more open experience. Larger parrots like cockatoos and macaws are not ideal for apartments. They are loud, which can get you in trouble with the neighbors. Also, they require more out-of-cage time.  

Parrots May Bite

Parrots are not inherently aggressive, but they can bite out of fear and when feeling like they’re threatened. Parrot bite can be severe and may even draw blood. Larger parrots can bite even harder. So it is not safe to let children around them.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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