Tips to buy a parrot

There are over 9000 bird species in the world and out of which the parrot group itself consists of about 330 species and are particularly popular with pet owners.


Buy a young parrot

Rearing a new parrot from young helps to facilitate taming. An older parrot can also be tamed just that it takes more time and patience. However, the tricky part is in determining the age of the bird. However, some basic things to look out for are the scales on its legs, colour of the eye and the colour of the body. A young parrot often has a dark grey iris that becomes white or brown when it grows up. The scales of young parrots are also much smoother than that of mature birds. Their body colour also appears initially to be much duller than when they are matured. The best option is to buy one which is newly born which is independent of its parent.


Choose the right species of parrot

Ø  Know the characteristics of the parrot you are interested in buying

Ø  Know if they make tremendously loud voices which can cause huge disturbance to the neighbours or have powerful beaks that can damage your personal belongings if let free in the house

Ø  Know if they need special accommodation, which will potentially incur higher costs for you. Bigger birds would require bigger cages made of metal so that the parrot cannot damage it.

Ø  Know if need special nutritional foods. Some birds such as the lorikeets need special foods since they feed on nectar. This also relates to cost.


Check the condition of the parrot

If possible, ask for a certified health certificate by the veterinary so that you have assurance of buying a healthy parrot home. If that is not available, don’t worry, you can check out the below factors for some tell-tale signs on the conditions of the bird.

Ø  Inspect the living conditions of the bird. Dirty or poorly maintained perches, food and water containers, excess faecal wastes in the cage, all show poor management of the birds leading to bad health. The eyes should also be clear and not showing any discharge. Also look out for any swelling signs which will indicate rising health problems.

Ø  The bird feathers should be tidy and clean. Any bald areas on the parrot body could indicate an infection which is very unsightly and may not be able to cure, or it may also be due to the parrot being a feather plucker which means it is getting very bored. This activity may stop when you start to show it more attention. Then again, it is better to stay clear of such birds, since they could be carrying diseases on their bodies which you don’t want it to spread to your family members.

Ø  Support the bird on its back and check the vent for cleanliness. Also check for any crusty appearance on and around the beak which could indicate a mite issue subjecting from unclean environments.

Ø  Also feel the flesh on both sides of the breastbone, and ensure it is solid and not hollowed. If protruding, it also indicates a nutritional deficiency, and should be avoided.

Ø  Ensures all claws are there. There should be 2 toes pointing forward, 2 facing backwards.

Ø  Check for any protruding leg scales as they could be potential sources for leg mites.

Ø  Beware of birds that act aggressively towards you when you try to approach it. Symptoms include fluffing up feathers and eyes dilating when you try to move your hand close to it. These birds are probably not young birds, and they will likely bite you if you cross its safety zone.


Buy from reputable, reliable sources

Buying from well-established and reputable pet shops assures you the best quality services, and often the pets you are buying through them have been certified to be in good health before they release it out for sale. Avoid open markets, and buying through mail order. It is always good to see and feel what you are buying so that you don’t regret your buying decisions later.



To summarize, it is great to have parrots as pets, as they can be good source of fun and companionship. However, it is important to know some essential tips on selecting and buying the right parrot, and this can be categorized into 4 great tips namely to buy a young parrot, choose the desired parrot species, check condition of the parrot, and always buy from reputable pet shops.