Which Age Parrot is Best?

If you are thinking you would like to add a parrot to your family, and you have read all the literature on why NOT to get a parrot, plus you know exactly what kind of parrot you want, there’s still one decision to make. Do you get a young fledgling or an older bird?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96g6Em5bO9I

Don’t you just love the huge dark eyes and wobbly movements? Many people think unfledged baby birds are ugly, but I think they are adorable. But a chick is a blank slate. It could grow up to be a plucker or a screamer. Even a picky eater. What about an older bird whose behavior and personality are known? It might require some work to go from this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZF_1HtUggk

To this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWnWz5bY4I

And let me say that I really want a copy of the Parrot Wizard’s book. He knows his stuff. That transformation is amazing. So here are some Pros and Cons on Chicks vs. Older Parrots.

C: A young bird can be trained exactly how you want, from words to tricks.

OP: You won’t be to blame for the bad words your older parrot knows.

C: If you are young, and you keep the bird healthy, you will be together for a lifetime.

OP: If you qualify for the Senior Discount at Hometown Buffet, you can expect he won’t outlive you vy very many years.

C: You can expose your young parrot to lots of foods, a variety of healthy choices.

OP: You can have the satisfaction of teaching your older parrot to enjoy new things and have a healthier life.

C: If, for any reason, you had to rehome the bird, he’ll be easy to place because you taught him to be quiet and do tricks and say good words and eat good food.

OP: If you had to rehome your older bird, it would be just another in a long string of moves, new people to teach his ways, and disappointment for him.

Let’s talk a bit about parrot rescues. There are too few, they are underfunded, and there’s not much chance the bird will get the one on one attention they crave. Not all are that way. Here’s a great video on the inside workings of a rescue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAqJn06EQCo

And here’s a normal home focused on parrots and other rescued birds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC6P0amIBvk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9MIx5y9Lm8

While young parrots are wonderful, and I am not at all in favor of stopping breeders (cause I are one!) I do agree that there has to be more oversight to prevent situations like this:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-bird-rescue-20110814,0,2417976.story

Where does it stop being a hobby or a new member of the family, and start being abusive? If you can say yes, I cleaned my pets’ cage in the last month. Yes, I gave my pet fresh water today. Yes, I gave my pet fresh seed and food today. You are still okay. If not, ask a friend to see if you should be downsizing or getting help to clean, feed, and water your birds.

And it’s interesting how many people start with cockatiels. I did myself. Could cockatiels be the Gateway Bird? I’ll be back on Sunday.

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