Let’s know about Amazon Parrot. Parrots are popular animals to keep as pets. They look stunning and have bags of personality. However, you must remember that they are not pets like dogs and cats. They do not have the breeding years to mold them into creatures that fit well with humans. This presents owners with some challenges and it is always wise to know what you are getting into before you pick one up. If you do your research properly and make the right preparations, a parrot can be a great pet and will become a much-loved member of your household. Here are some basics to get you started.
Caring for an Amazon Parrot
To keep your Amazon parrot healthy and happy, you need to know how to properly care for them. Here are the basics.
Amazon Parrot Diet
Good nutrition is vitally important. Amazon parrots require a high quality parrot mix that is the right size to suit them. It should be supplemented with fruits, green vegetables, millet spray and occasionally with food. Look for labels such as ‘organic’ or ‘all-natural’ on the label. You want to steer clear of anything that says ‘strong’ because they often have artificial additives that are less than those naturally occurring in fresh food. You can purchase a special bird supplement if your parrot feels deficient in a particular nutrient. The best commercial blends contain a combination of dried fruits, dried vegetables, herbs and some superfoods such as bee pollen. Some owners prefer to avoid dried produce that contains sulfur because it uses a lot of harsh chemicals. Instead, he chose to buy a human mix of seeds, nuts and grains because these would only contain un-sulfured produce and then buy bee pollen and mix it in himself. Organic bird mixes are expensive but well worth it. Steer clear of all artificial colors and flavours. As well as the main grain/vegetable mix your parrot needs the following.
- fresh fruit. Parrots prefer fresh produce such as apples and grapes.
- fresh vegetables. Garden vegetables such as spinach, watercress, carrots, peas and sweet potatoes.
- field production. Parrots also thrive on things like poppy seeds, chickweed and dandelions.
- human baby food It contains lots of fruits and vegetables and is sold in convenient pouches and jars.
- Dehydrated fruits and vegetables. These are very useful when fresh produce is not available or when you are traveling. Parrots love the dense texture and leave them in their water dish to rehydrate them before eating them. This means that you will have to change the water frequently. You can also moisten them yourself with warm water as parrots love it.
- Sprouting vegetables. These are nutritionally dense and therefore excellent for parrots who do not like to eat large amounts. Sprouted seeds are also low in fat and are especially important for breeding or molting parrots. They are also perfect for repelling and fetching baby parrots. You can sprout your seeds by soaking them overnight and then popping them in a sieve over a bowl.
- germinated seeds. Sprouts mix can be easy to germinate. These seeds provide valuable nutrition and are long lived.
- extra protein. Most parrots need some extra protein to keep them fit and healthy. You can provide by adding cottage cheese and hardboiled eggs to your diet.
- Groundnut. These are a very popular source of protein for parrots but you have to be careful. They are often contaminated with a fungal toxin called Aflatoxin. It can cause cancer in parrots and can cause liver damage. Roasted peanuts have lower levels of aflatoxin but they still have residual amounts. For this reason, some owners prefer to avoid peanuts altogether.
- Minerals. Your parrot will also need additional minerals such as calcium and this is usually provided by a cuttlebone or mineral block although other owners prefer gravel or oyster shells.
- Water. Fresh water should always be available to your parrot to provide adequate levels of hydration.
An important note about dried fruits and vegetables is that you should get a variety that has no artificial colors and no sulfur dioxide. This preservative has been linked to hyperactivity and aggression in parrots as well as allergies and feather shredding.
Amazon Parrot Health Issues
Amazon parrots have a long life expectancy and can live up to 60 to 80 years. You can help keep them healthy by feeding them a healthy diet and giving them a suitable environment to live in. However, they may suffer from some health issues that you should be aware of.
Parrots can suffer from lung infections. They can be caused by bacteria or fungi. Aspergillosis is a common cause such as nutritional deficiency. Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus but it is not contagious. This causes many captive birds to become very ill and, sadly, many will die. As well as affecting the lungs, it can invade other organs. Most parrots get the infection by breathing in the spores. It can be treated with anti fungal therapy but surgery is sometimes required. Prevention is all about removing the source and it could be moldy straws or moist bedding around water dishes.
Many common bacteria that can cause infection in humans can still infect parrots. Therefore, they can be infected with E. coli, Citrobacter, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. They pick up these infections from outside through contaminated water and from seeds or food that have been clogged. Bacteria can thrive in damp and humid areas of the cage and also in dusty spots so cleanliness is important. Some birds have reduced immunity and are more likely to get infected. If you notice that your parrot has green or watery droplets, sneezing, excessive swallowing or coughing, this could indicate an infection and they need to see a vet immediately. They will provide treatment and advise you on how to clean and disinfect the cage.
Some species of Amazon parrots can suffer from deficiencies and this can cause health problems. Mealy and Blue Crown Amazons are prone to vitamin A deficiency as well as hypothyroidism. Most deficiencies can be avoided by giving your parrot a diet that is 20-25 percent fruits and vegetables.
Amazon parrots may be the ‘couch potatoes’ of the bird world and unfortunately many people are overweight from eating too much starchy food. Obese birds can suffer from fatty tumors and reduce life expectancy. Fatty liver syndrome, where the liver is filled with fat, is a metabolic disorder related to obesity but also due to long-term exposure to toxins.
These cause twitching, inculsing or complete loss of consciousness. The red loggerhead Amazon is particularly likely to be visited. This condition has many possible causes and should be investigated by a vet. It can be heavy metal poisoning (which can lead to green droppings, vomiting and lethargy), dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes or an infection such as aspergillosis or pox virus.
Cancerous tumors occur in older parrots. In addition, benign fatty tumors called lipomas are common in obese parrots. Fibromas are common on the wing. These may need to be removed by surgery or the wing may need to be amputated. Known carcinogens to parrots include pesticides, tobacco smoke, radiation and some viruses.
Caring for an Amazon Parrot
Here are some top tips on how to care for your parrot and what equipment you’ll need.
a parrot cage
The most important thing is to choose the right cage for your parrot. They are a large bird and need lots of space. Even birds that don’t like to fly around need somewhere to spread their wings at least occasionally. The bar spacing should be close enough together to keep your parrot inside! They also have a habit of getting their heads stuck between the bars so make sure there is no chance of them getting through their heads! Parrots love to climb, so get a cage with horizontal bars.
The cage should have surfaces that are easy to clean because dirty cages can be dangerous for Amazon parrots. A removable tray is a great idea and should be made of a material that can be washed. Just add some shredded paper or wood shavings if you prefer. Parrots get bored easily so they will need to do a lot. Pop in a variety of perches, some toys to climb on. Remember that parrots are naturally inquisitive and can be very good at opening cage doors. So, make sure you have a strong elasticity. You may also need a smaller padlock.
Cage position and exercise
Your parrot will spend most of their time in their cage, so make sure you choose the best position. Avoid extremes of temperature and keep it out of the kitchen where cooking pans or even gas could be harmful. Avoid cleaning product aerosols, tobacco smoke and any type of air freshener or scented candle. Keep the cage away from drafts and direct sunlight. Large parrots need regular exercise time outside of their cage. Hand-taming your bird is the best way to approach this. Stay in the same room as they can be quite destructive and have been known to chew on books, wallpaper and houseplants.
food and water bowls
If you have more than one parrot, they will each need their own bowl as they can be very territorial. The bowl can be rested on the bottom of the cage but it is best to have another in an elevated position fixed to the side of the cage. Water bottles keep food fresher than water bowls. Open bowls get food and droppings in them and this is uncontrolled. Food bowls and water bottles should be cleaned regularly.
amazon parrot personality
All Amazon parrots are social creatures and they demand loads of interaction and attention. However, there are individual personality traits associated with different types. Here are some important examples.
- Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot . These are the classic performers of the parrot family and would happily put on a show. The more you react, the more they love it. They sing and talk and can be really loud.
- Red Laure Amazon Parrot . They bond quickly with their human family but choose a preferred one so that they are known as ‘one person birds’. They are quick to talk and sing, but can also be dangerous.
- Orange-winged Amazon parrot . An adorable, sweet born parrot who has an affectionate personality and will form a close bond with you. However, as they reach sexual maturity, they can go through a “bluffing” phase when they become aggressive and can be difficult to handle.
- Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot . Highly intelligent and quick-witted, they have amazing speech abilities and will want to bond with you. They are the most recognizable of all Amazon parrots.
- Double yellow-headed Amazon parrot . They can be affectionate but will be hand fed from a young age to achieve this. This parrot is very talented and eager to talk. They like to be the center of attention and hence are very time consuming.
- Lilac-Fresh Amazon Parrot . A very curious and active variety. They will need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them happy. You’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to social interactions, but if you do, the rewards are great.
- Bailey Amazon . A good choice for the owner of a lay-back parrot. They are gentle and docile but not as demanding as most other varieties.
With the proper guidance and the right equipment, an Amazon parrot can be a fun and engaging pet for your family. Once you know how to look after them properly, you’ll have a friend for life.
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