Welcome to Parrots Living Together in Harmony. We do not claim to be experts. We are fortunate to have a good avian vet, who assists with any issues that should arise from grooming, to the ABC’s of parrot behavior, to our one altercation we had. We have three companion parrots; Lambeau a Hahn’s Macaw 15, Gonzo is a Red-Lored Amazon 13, Zara is a Blue-Streak Lory 11 and Sparky is a Congo African Grey 4.
Luckily we have the good fortune to live with our parrots in a cage-free environment so they have the chance to experience a variety of other opportunities such as play pens, climbing gyms and their cages to roam on. This unique arrangement is exceptional and your parrot may really enjoy this set-up as well.
Think of their cages as bedrooms where they roost at night and at times during the day. Roosting is when they sleep and rest. It gives them a sense of security. We have to recognize not all parrots can live unhoused. Parrots thrive on security and that sense of it. This is their chance of knowing that they are safe and sound.
If you do decide to cage your parrot you have to bear in mind that they need ample time out of their cage. It means hours of quality time so they may play and socialize. This their way of exploring away from their cage or “roost” which mimics their natural wild habitat and how they interact with their flock; their flock is who they socialize with on a daily basis.
These are choices you can make and knowing how to set-up their environment will be key for successful cage-free living space. Keeping the well being of our feathered companions is our top priority on a daily basis and our most-important goal.
If you were to decide to set up a cage free environment safely, be sure to provide lots of enrichment, toys and activities to help stimulate your bird(s) mind; a cage free setting can be quite rewarding, for both you and your flock.
Keep in mind they have the emotional needs of a two year old and the intelligence of a five year old. They are probably one of the most intelligent animals in the world. When it comes to an African Grey it possibly has an even greater IQ. When an African Grey speaks in it is in the 3rd person like you and I; it is not all just repetitive jabber. When your parrot looks at you and says “I love you,” that is when you remember how intelligent this animal truly is.
Remember this is an intellectual animal. You always have to keep their needs in mind, the emotional and their intelligence; to not just feed them and water but you have to interact. Remembering that their intelligence is far beyond a dog or cat needing to keep one step ahead of them. You will find that you can manage a house with multiple parrots. Remembering their needs, behavior and actions with knowing that each one is an individual. That is how we have managed to keep our house in harmony.
It is nice to get baby, you have the chance to bond with your parrot as you would with a child. It would be best to adopt or rescue an older parrot. As parrots are the third most popular pet. You can still get an older parrot and bond with it, though it may take time. It could take days or even years or it may never happen . One never knows with a parrot. They are thinker’s, like people.
We increased in size when we got babies. The benefit is that the smallest, Lambeau has gotten the confidence to rule the roost, that they are top dog or one may think alpha. Lambeau has the knowledge by being the first and can lead the way for the larger cumbersome baby, Sparky a Congo African Grey. My thinking is to also get them close in age. Lambeau and Gonzo are a couple of years apart and get along extremely well; as Sparky is 9 years younger and Lambeau and Gonzo have been set in their ways. Probably because there is such a huge age difference; Lambeau is 15, Gonzo is 13 and Sparky is 4, they may not fully understand him. I don’t know if it is because of the larger size or the age difference, they just won’t preen Sparky.
This may not be in every household but this what I have perceived. If you decide to have multiple birds keep their ages close and go from smallest to largest. Gonzo and Lambeau grew up together for 12 years, whereas Sparky came into the picture after these 12 years, they know each other through and through from babies. The first two are very mellow in temperament; as Sparky is very rambunctious, outgoing and forward.
They are parrots and there is so much to learn from them. We are learning new things about them every day. When you decide to bring another parrot into the flock keep an open mind and be cautious to their needs.
Obviously all homes have dangers to kids or animals. You have to parrot proof your home as you would with a child. When you use your living room as an adventure playground anything could happen. Fortunately for us nothing has. This is where you must see the dangers they face. They love wires as you know there are electrical wires in every room. Cover them as it will deter them to play with something else.
Parrots are very inquisitive as everything goes in their mouth, like a two year old child. This is where you must realize the dangers and prevent them before they happen. Think like they do and you will be on your way to a safe home.
We will not lie parrots are destructive! We have soon learnt that we will never have a decent couch. They love to chew, from the stitching on your couch to the wooden legs on your grandmother’s antique dining table you got. If it is chewable they will chew! Keep in mind their psi (pound per square inch) is 500 for a small parrot to 1500 for a larger macaw.
Last but not least a home with tiles or wood will put up with all the mess that they will make. For obvious reasons the cleaning is much easier to have under control. I found when we had carpet; I put mats under their cages that you would put under a chair in the office. I found it to help tremendously with all the mess. Please don’t go out and replace your flooring, unless this is a great excuse to get new flooring.