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Parrot eating Carrot

We are thrilled that you are thinking about providing a home for an exotic bird.  To make your time with your new friend a pleasant as possible, we would like to provide you with a series of facts to help you consider before making a long-term commitment. 

Bird ownership is a series responsibility, and we are looking to place our birds in permanent, forever homes. 

The following are true for your bird, regardless of ownership:


  • Exotic birds can be noisy. For the most part, the larger the bird, the louder the noise they can (and will) make. If you live in a multi-family dwelling or don't like noise, there are quiet(er) species, but you need to check out the noise level you can handle comfortably.

  • Birds are messy. Once again, the larger the birds, the bigger the poop. Many species also love to make swamp stew with their food and water. Some have excellent aim with their poop for a distance of several feet. Food particles and feathers will be found all around the cage area.

  • They require clean, nutritious food and fresh water. A pelleted diet is best for birds, but you may need to experiment as to which one your bird will eat. Many human foods (pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, veggies) are safe for your bird and may be enjoyed by them. Seed should be a small percentage of their diet for maximum health.

  • You should acquaint yourself with an avian vet. Rainbow Feathers has a list of avian vets in the state of Michigan here if you need a referral. Exotic vets do not have the background to treat your bird with the specialized care it needs if it should get sick. Birds tend to hide their illnesses until it is too late to save many of them, so at the least sign of something amiss (change in behavior or eating pattern, loose or discolored stools, etc.) take your bird to the vet. If you have built up a good relationship through routine visits, most are willing to work with you on paying the bill to save your bird.

  • They require toys that should be rotated, and are likely to be destroyed, sometimes within minutes of being placed in the cage. They can be destructive and don't care if it's a piece of scrap lumber or your favorite antique- if they can get at it, they'll chew it

  • They require the largest cage you can afford and have room for in your home. Imagine having to live in a room the size of your bathroom. This is what it's like for them in a cage, so the large the cage, the more room they have to climb and play.

  • They need human interaction on a regular basis if they are to remain friendly. They are flock animals and you are their flock. It is best (not not always possible) if you can train your bird to go to more than one person. If you are suddenly unable to care for the bird (illness, accident, etc.) or want to go away on vacation without them, they need to be socialized to allow others to care for them.

  • Many species will live 50 or more years. Plans for their care after you are no longer able should be part of your estate planning, just as provisions are made for your children and other assets. 

  • All birds will bite. They are still wild animals even though they live in our home. Not reacting to the bit (or other bad behavior) in a dramatic way will avoid encouraging them to bite again for the reaction they get.

  • All parrots can talk, but not all will. It's the same as all humans being physically able to speak all languages, but not knowing or wanting to. Some species show a sexual difference for talking (males more than females usually), and for some other species gender doesn't matter.Some prefer to whistle over talking. The important thing is to love and play with your bird regardless of whether it learns this one "trick" or not.

  • Birds have a very sensitive respiratory system. If there are smokers in your household, you should consider having them go outside to smoke so as not to compromise the bird's health. Scented candles are also harmful for them to breathe. Teflon products emit an odorless gas when heated that can, and does, kill birds within minutes. If you have a bird, you need to get rid of any Teflon cookware you have, even if you know it's bad to use and don't use it. Company may not know and think they are helping by cooking for you. We can't stress enough how quickly birds die from people using Teflon- please don't let your bird add to the statistics!

  • Flighted birds can get into all kinds of trouble. A toilet seat lid left up or even a glass of water unattended) can cause drowning. Mirrors and windows are not recognized by birds as a barrier and they can be seriously injured or killed flying into them. Clipping their flight feathers is a quick, painless way to keep your bird safe and any avian pet store or avian vet will show you how or do it for you. 

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