Most parrots are purchased from a retail pet shop. The retailer may cage the birds individually or with a few in a cage.
Parrots are most easily observed in individual cages. Look for a retailer that displays his birds well and provides a rich diet. The shop should be clean and the cage bottoms changed daily. Feed and water cups should be kept clean and feed and water fresh.
Look at both the bird and the cage. If the water is obviously dirty from the day before and the feed is unchanged, look for a different retailer.
The shop should have a supply of adequate parrot cages and accessories. Many pet shops carry high-quality feed for parrots and important vitamin and mineral supplements that you must give the bird.
A well-supplied pet shop offers written material on the type of parrot that it has for sale. Literature is often the pet buyers’ best guide for feeding and maintaining the bird properly. A good retail store can answer your questions or obtain information from other sources.
They can often provide the name of a veterinarian that treats birds. Many pet shops sell non-prescription drugs and preparations for use with parrots but always seek advice from a knowledgeable person regarding your pet birds’ health. You may be able to locate a breeder of Parrots, but this is unlikely.
Breeding Parrots is a difficult undertaking at best. However, if you do know of either a local breeder or one in a nearby state, it is worth the trip to see what he has to offer.
Be certain that the out-of-state breeder is not selling you imported birds as domestically hatched. In addition to the retail pet shops, some breeders offer hand-raised parrots. These are by far the best candidates for taming and training.
Usually, the hand-raised parrots cost more, but the birds are worth more. Sometimes you get a parrot that has been someone else’s pet. These birds are often untamed, confined to the cage. If the bird is in good health, take it.
With older parrots, be prepared to spend a great deal of time in the taming process. Sometimes people buy Parrots and resell them when they are unable to tame the bird.
Again, if the bird is in good health, buy it. Don’t pay a premium price for a parrot that someone else has bought and failed with, but be reasonable in making an offer. Some people travel to Mexico and South America and buy a parrot, expecting to bring it home with them.
Years ago this was not uncommon. These days, however, you must abide by the law that regulates the importation of parrots.
You must have documents to prove the parrot’s good health, origin, amount of time in your possession, and destination. No more than two parrots can be brought into the United States per family. Many South American countries demand additional documents before you can leave their country with a parrot. If you plan to bring a pet parrot home from a foreign country as a souvenir of your vacation, be sure that you have followed the procedures exactly.
Write to the Department of Agriculture for information pertaining to bringing parrots into the country as an individual. The wholesale outlet can usually offer parrots at a lower price than the retailer. Many will not sell single birds to the public as their business is in quantity sales.
Their parrots are not caged for easy viewing. The usual setup is many birds in a single cage. The inexperienced buyer has a hard time trying to choose a good parrot out of a large group. The wholesale employees have no time to educate the buyer. For these reasons and others, it is best to buy pet parrots from a clean, reputable retail store.
Best parrots to buy
The best parrot to buy is a young bird that has recently been weaned. Make sure that the bird seems to be calm but alert. Some birds have emotional problems that are genetic in origin. These birds will probably end up plucking their feathers and having behavioral problems. You can usually tell if a parrot is young by its eye pupils. Look to see that the pupil is less defined in color. This indicates a bird to be less than 1 year old. One should define what qualities that he or she is looking for in a parrot. If one is interested in a bird that is a good talker consider the following birds in ranking order:
- Yellow Naped Amazon
- Double Yellow-Headed Amazon
- African Grey Parrot (usually ranked as first but I beg to differ with this claim.)
Prices of parrots will differ wildly between species. Parakeets tend to be the cheapest, while some rare parrots may cost thousands of dollars. It is best to search for the price of each bird separately. Below you can find links to prices of different parrot species.
Things you should ask yourself before buying a parrot
Parrots are sentient creatures capable of experiencing a range of emotions.
Any person wanting to own a parrot should be ethically and financially responsible for the parrot’s health and happiness.
Responsible ownership includes educating oneself on the ever-evolving research that has developed and information that is constantly becoming available.
All parrots require daily interaction with their owners.
Most Cockatoos require a great deal of attention, but a good rule of thumb is not to provide more today than you can provide 5 years from now.
Before purchasing a bird, view a variety of parrots, categorize and take note of their needs, and then compare to what you can provide.
Don’t choose a large, loud bird if you live in an apartment. You may find yourself or your bird, homeless.
It is important to find an avian veterinarian beforehand, both for the well-bird check-up and in case of emergencies. Once a year vet checks help you to keep track of your birds health.
Purchase the largest possible parrot cage you can, as exercise is as important as mental stimulation. Outfit the cage with a variety of perches and appropriate size toys. Install the cage in the main living area, but away from kitchen fumes.
Parrots can be MESSY, NOISY, EXPENSIVE, AND DESTRUCTIVE! In addition, they need frequent baths and not all of them talk.
The fact that parrots are messy is a given. They are responsible for re-foresting the forest floor. They are noisy in that their normal vocalizations are to flock call in the morning and evening.
Plus they love to chatter in between. This is their way of communicating and should not be discouraged.
Aside from the initial investment of the parrot itself and cage, there are ongoing costs of food, routine vet checks, grooming costs (parrot clipping wings, trimming nails), parrot toys, and occasional emergencies requiring veterinary care.
Being intelligent creatures, parrots need to occupy their time, and if not provided with a variety of toys, will turn on their (your) environment. That translates into your woodwork, blinds, coffee table, and antiques. Most parrot species originated from a tropical or rainforest environment. For good health and feather condition, frequent baths are necessary either in the shower, with a spray bottle, or in the sink.