Bringing a New Parrot Home

green parrot in bird cage near green ficus and rack in living room

Suddenly leaving the only home that you’ve ever known and leaving behind all of your kind is traumatic for humans or birds, especially if they are very young.

Everything should be ready for the new arrival, with their cage set up in an area that will give them human contact and supervision but where they are protected as far as possible from loud noises or unsupervised confrontations with young children or other pets.

Be supportive and respect your bird’s need to have time to adjust to their new situation – it must be something like visiting a different planet and they’re probably the only bird on it!

The bird should have a private area near the top of the cage to which it can retreat, especially during this period.

You should try to give it a routine and some basic ground rules to focus on from the day it arrives.

Decide your parrot’s new name and use it at every opportunity.

You might try to handle it but, unless the bird gives an immediate positive response, let it alone until the next day.

Never, ever physically punish any parrot – it will almost certainly create a permanent barrier to gaining its trust which is essential to building a fully comfortable relationship between you and the bird.

You are stronger, but if you feel you have to prove it by slapping the bird or any other aggressive act, you risk putting a permanent barrier between you and the bird.

Introduce Parrot to Family

Before you introduce the bird to the rest of the humans it will share your house with, you need to have a session just for your family so they know what to do and what not to do around the new arrival.

All of the family must be made aware of the potential dangers facing the parrot around their home.

You also need to be sure they are all aware that they should:

  • Never pick up the bird unless it seems happy to be picked up
  • Never rush toward the bird, yell at it or strike it
  • Never cuddle the bird. All parrots, especially the small ones, are liable to serious injury if their chest area is pressed.
  • Never put the parrot on an unmade bed or a pile of clothing or drapery. Many pet parrots suffocate each year because they become trapped under these items or their owners fall asleep and roll on the bird when it is lying on or in the same bed.
  • Try to be aware of the parrot’s location, especially when it is out of its cage. Parrots can be squashed by people’s shoes, scooters, or tricycles.
  • Be extra careful that the bird is never near a door they are opening or closing. That door might crush the bird or offer a quickly accepted path to freedom and almost certain death from attacks by wild birds. 
  • Always use the parrot’s name at every opportunity and speak in a friendly tone.
  • Never raise their voice near the parrot or do anything that might scare it. Some parrots can be frightened to death.
  • Always tell you or your partner if they notice anything about the bird’s behavior or appearance.
  • Not act or give any indication of fear or uncertainty around the parrot. If they feel any fear of the parrot, they should act bravely and unconcerned. Parrots are highly intelligent and will act in a bullying way to anyone that acts fearful near them.
  • Never leave other pets unsupervised near the parrot, even if it is locked in its cage. In fact, you must try to ensure that a responsible adult is always present in those situations. It’s an unfair level of responsibility to put on a child.
  • To accept that the parrot may seem to act as if it prefers some family members over others, maybe even over you!

You should arrange it so that all members that want to can share in some training and fun time with the parrot when it is ready. Bonding is a two-way street.

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