If you are thinking of buying a parrot, whether it is for breeding purposes or as a pet, then there are several things that you need to be aware of. We asked the experts over at The Parrot Society for some advice. Here’s what they said – you should read this before you speak to the seller.
• Always make sure that this species of parrot can be legally sold in the UK. Some species will require licences. If you’re not sure please contact the Parrot Society using the link at the bottom of this page.
• If you are buying a pet parrot, prices will be much higher than for birds sold for breeding. A pet parrot should be completely tame and within a few minutes of you seeing a pet parrot you should be able to stroke it and have it sitting on your arm without any problems at all. If the bird seems scared of you and will not come to you then be very careful, as it is possible someone could be trying to sell you a bird that is not very tame. It is always a good idea to view several different parrots before you make a decision.
• If possible always try and see the bird you are thinking of purchasing in the environment it has been kept in. If, where the bird has been kept it is very clean and tidy and obviously well looked after, then the risk of buying a bird with any disease or problems is very small.
• If you are thinking of buying a parrot such as an African Grey or a species of similar size or larger as a pet, please keep in mind that some species can live for 30 years or more. Also it is essential that you do research into the needs and dietary requirements of any parrot you’re thinking of purchasing. Take a look at some of our parrot food selection below (click on images to find out more info). As always, please contact The Parrot Society if you have any questions.
• It is a good idea to buy a parrot from a source that has been recommended to you, especially if they have already bought a parrot from that seller. If you are buying from a pet shop, always have a good look at the shop. If it is very clean and tidy and the staff are knowledgeable about birds and willing to offer helpful hints about bird-care, then these are always good signs. If you’re going to buy your bird from a breeder, then always try and see where the parrots are being hand reared and how they are looking after the breeding birds.
• If you are buying a parrot for a pet, it is essential that the bird is completely tame as this will mean the bird will be very relaxed in your home. If you’re buying a species like an African Grey parrot or an Amazon parrot — which both make very good pets — try and buy ones that are approximately 11 to 13 weeks old and fully weaned. At this stage they are normally very tame and easy to move from one home to another with hardly any stress involved. Older birds can be more difficult to move and settle in their new home. If you’re not 100% happy with purchasing a parrot always hesitate and take advice.
• Ideally a parrot should be kept in an aviary where it can fly and climb around at will. However, if kept as a pet within the home, it should be housed in a large cage, which allows it to stretch its wings properly, and provided with appropriate toys to occupy it (we’ve got a good selection in store and online, see above for some of them). It should be allowed out of the cage for extended periods, but only under supervision as it may bite electric power cables or damage furniture or fixtures. It should not be kept in the kitchen or bedrooms occupied by members of the family.