BIRD / new pets
A Set-up guide for Your New Pet Parrotlet
Tips for home, health and fun
Five things to know about your parrotlet
- Parrotlets (there are lots of varieties) are the smallest kind of parrot
- They can live up to 20 years
- They’ll grow up to 7 inches long
- They need at least an hour of daily interaction with their pet parents
- They can be noisy, especially at dawn and dusk
Your parrotlet’s home
- Parrotlets are social birds that can live in pairs or larger groups. Keep them in a cage large enough for them to stretch their wings, climb and play. The bigger the cage the better, especially if the cage will house multiple parrotlets.
- Provide at least two perches of different thickness and materials. Variations help keep parrotlet feet strong and healthy. The perches should be placed at different heights.
- Don’t put perches over food or water dishes or droppings will make a mess where your pet eats and drinks.
- Parrotlets like a small fleece hut hung from the top of their cage. They use it for privacy and for games of hide-and-seek.
- Birds are sensitive to smoke, strong smells and drafts. Keep your parrotlet’s cage away from the kitchen and open windows. Don’t place the cage in direct sunlight.
- Cushion the floor of the cage with an inch or two of corncob, aspen, wood-pellet or recycled-paper bedding, or use a cage liner. Remove droppings frequently, spot-clean the liner or bedding weekly, and replace it completely once a month.
Playing & grooming
- Parrotlets are smart and with practice, they can learn some tricks like “step up” and “step down.” Some can also mimic human speech.
- Your parrotlet will enjoy spending time outside of the cage every day.
- Inside the cage, keep your parrotlet busy with at least two or three different toys, including foraging puzzles and squeakers. Parrotlets who regularly pick at their feathers may be bored. If you notice yours doing this, it’s time for new toys.
- Two or three times a week, put a bowl of warm water in the cage so your parrotlet can take a bath. Alternatively, you can gently mist your bird with warm, clean water from a spray bottle.
Keeping your parrotlet healthy
Try not to handle new parrotlets for three or four days after bringing them home, to give them time to adjust.
Even a settled-in bird can feel sick. If you notice any of these signs of illness or distress, contact a veterinarian who treats birds:
- Decreased appetite or weight loss
- Decreased activity or grooming
- Feathers fluffed up for a long time
- Long periods sitting at the bottom of the cage
- Discharge from nose or mouth
- Change in droppings for more than two days
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