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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.

Types of parrots

Choosing a parrot Before you decide what kind of parrot you really want you must learn as much as possible about parrots in general as well as about the specific attributes of the individual type that interests you. If you have no parrot experience then choose one of the smaller kind, the needs of which in captivity are well known. Budgerigars and cockatiels are well suited for beginners. The bigger types such as macaws and cockatoos demand considerably more specialized attention and suffer more greatly in inexperienced hands.

Think carefully about the special attributes of the parrot and how much time you can give before you make your choice. If you want to teach your parrot to talk, he must be purchased as young as possible - although he must be fully weaned. The breeder should be able to tell you exactly how old he is but as a general rule for most species: Young parrots typically have blue-grey eyes. The beak colour is also often different (pale whereas the beak of an older parrot is dark, or the other way round, depending on the species). Do beware, there is no guarantee that your parrot will talk and even if he does, he may not do so in the presence of humans, especially not strangers. Even the so-called 'talk CD' is not always successful. In any case, parrots only learn to talk if they are comfortable and happy.

Budgerigars: quite cheapwidely availableeasy to houseeasy to tamereasonably good talkersmany colour varieties

Parrotlets: quite cheapwidely available easy to house easy to tame do NOT talk, many colour varieties
, rather nervous behaviour, very active, harsh voice like the company of their own species

Cockatiels: more nervous than budgerigars good pets if bought young NOT good talkers, but can be good singers! active, loud voices, like the company of their own species

African grey: may be nervous and not like to be touched good talkers tendency to pluck their own feathers if they are bored

Amazons: noisy may be unpredictable may bite hard good talkers may have relationship problems and a tendency to be one-person birds

Cockatoos: demanding generally reasonably good talkers tendency to shriek

Macaws: very noisy may be aggressive to strangers very strong beak generally not very good talkers

Things to consider when buying a parrot

A parrot should be lively.
His eyes should be bright and he should be moving about in his cage actively. A parrot sitting still and hunched up on his perch is probably sick. A bird that is sitting hunched up will respond to tapping on the cage by becoming active in a natural kind of way in order to mislead potential attackers so it is better just to watch the parrot for ten minutes or so to ensure that he is able to be active.

A parrot should have good smooth and shiny feathers. Feathers that are sticking out, uncared for feathers or feathers that do not sit tightly against one another, may be indicative of sickness! In young parrots the feathers are often all over the place or may not yet be fully grown.

See if the food bowls are being used. A parrot that is not eating or who eats poorly may soon have many problems. A poor eating habit will always cause sickness!

If the droppings are watery or if there is a watery ring around the solid component may be indicative of disease or poor diet. The droppings should always be firm and green!

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