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IS OWNING A GREY PARROT THE RIGHT THING FOR YOU?

by

SIMON ESPLEY

Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Grey parrots can live as long as their owner, if not more depending on the age of the owner when acquiring the parrot. They also have very specific needs and demand a great deal of care and attention. No-one should venture blindly into such a commitment, and here are some crucial guidelines and resources for potential parrot owners.

Only consider buying pet grey parrots if:
a) The birds have closed leg bands (proving they were captive-bred).
b) The owner is prepared to invest 30-50 years into a caring and demanding relationship.
c) The owner is prepared to provide a varied and balanced diet that mimics their wild food as far as possible. Sunflower seeds, apples and biscuits are not sufficient.
d) The owner is prepared to provide an environment with plenty of stimulation and exercise opportunities.
e) The owner buys more than one bird.

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A vital resource

World Parrot Trust has a useful learning centre and reference library for pet parrot owners on their website. Among many other resources, it includes a discussion forum, expert advice, a guide to ethics and a listing of avian veterinarians:
WORLD PARROT TRUST -ALL ABOUT PARROTS

Useful reading

To inform your decision, learn more about the pet parrot industry and the impact on wild populations in this week’s feature:
SHADES OF GREY

To understand the grey parrot’s natural behaviour and dietary requirements, read:
GET TO KNOW THE GREY PARROT

 

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A well adjusted grey parrot eating a balanced diet. ©Anton Crone

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