Knowing ones limitations is so very important when it comes to rescuing a Feathered Angel. I know that we want to help them all, our hearts go out to these beautiful creatures and we want to take them all home with us. It is so very important though that we look at all the facts first and be prepared financially and emotionally for what is needed in providing for them properly. Otherwise they just end up being rehomed or worse, once again.
These angels require a great deal of time and commitment. ALL parrots need lots of out of cage time, as much as we can possibly give them. Lets face it they truly should never have been put in cages to begin with. They have wings to fly with, and they require a great deal of exercise daily to keep healthy. So the very first thing we must consider is how much time will I have to devote to them on a daily basis. Will I be able to give them the proper amount of mental and physical attention. A couple of hours per day just isn’t enough. They are flock creatures and in the wild, they are with their flocks 24/7. I know most folks have to work and so that will eliminate at least 8 hours of your time right there. Are you willing to give up the rest of your time and spend it with this loving creature who sees you as their sole flock mate? This doesn’t mean just being in the same room with them, while they sit in their cage. This means that you have to interact with them, talk to them, play with them, generally share your life with them. They are not a cat or dog, they need and thrive off of mental stimulation. They are highly intelligent and suffer greatly if not given enough positive interaction from you.
The cost of keeping a parrot as a companion is very expensive. They need regular avian checkups. An annual Well Check visit can be a few hundred dollars. If your bird becomes ill, the vet bills can run into the thousands. Cages are very expensive, and your bird needs the absolute largest one you can possibly afford, especially if they have to be in it for any length of time on a daily basis. They need toys and wood to chew on. They destroy them and so they have to be replaced on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. If you do not make the toys yourself then purchasing them can cost hundreds of dollars every month.
Feeding parrots is time-consuming. They need more than just seed on a daily basis, in fact seed is one of the least needed food items. They require fresh greens daily. They need some foods cooked. They don’t have the wilds to forage and find what they need and so in captivity it is required to do a great deal more for them, in order to provide a balanced diet that will help them maintain their health. Do they readily eat all that we painstakingly prepare for their benefit? Nope, we have to encourage, eat with them and offer all these wonderful foods over and over again in hopes that they will try it. Sometimes what they gobble up today, they toss aside tomorrow like it is nasty. It is a never-ending process to try and make sure that they are getting a well-balanced diet always.
Our homes can also be very dangerous to these Feathered Angels. Almost every item that has a scent is most likely toxic to our birds. Cleaning products, Teflon, candles, perfumes, air fresheners, carpet fresheners, paint fumes, cigarette smoke, pesticides, the list is just endless. If you share your home with a bird then all of these things must go! You also have to be very aware of anything they might chew on, and you better bet they will chew on everything. Is your furniture valuable to you? If your bird chews on that expensive dining room set, how will you feel and react? A birds nature is to chew and they will. You also need to be careful of exposed wiring, or anything that could hurt your bird should he decide to fix it!
What is your age, do you plan on having children or possibly have small children already? Parrots and children don’t always mix well. A parrot has hundreds of pounds of pressure in their beak and can possibly break or even remove a finger of a small child. Some parrots just don’t like small children due to their fast movements. I am not saying that this is true for every situation, but it is definitely something one needs to consider before adopting a parrot. If you adopt and something does happen how will you react, will that bird be given up to a rescue once again if something does happen? You also need to consider that a parrot who falls in love with you, may seek out and even stalk other family members. Parrots can be finicky in who they like and dislike. Are you willing to live with that for possibly the rest of your life? You have to keep in mind that these are very long-lived creatures.
Parrots have hormonal seasons and can become very moody and aggressive. The very loving parrot you live with for months with no incidents may suddenly lash out at even you. Are you going to be prepared and know how to handle this, and be willing to help this angel ease through this period every year? They cannot help it when their hormones take over. They are driven to reproduce, it is imprinted into their very beings and no amount of love can remove this from them. You have to be educated on how to help them through this time, and by preventing it from being even worse by handling them properly all year round.Making sure they get their full 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Not allowing them to snuggle, not giving them pets under their wings. Not allowing them to have small boxes or nesty type areas. All of these things can promote and trigger hormonal behaviors.
Parrots can live a very long life. Due to this we must also consider our age, and what will happen when we can no longer care for them. Too many times there is no plan in place and a very beloved parrot is left with nobody to care for it once their owner is no longer able to, or passes on. Many parrots end up in rescues due to this very reason. It is so important for us to make sure we have a plan for our parrots when this time comes. It needs to be documented and discussed with family members, so that everyone knows what your wishes are. There are many sanctuaries that have a living trust plan for your parrots.
For those of us who already share our lives with parrots, it is very important for us to know and accept our limitations. How many can we care for properly. How much time and room do I have to adequately share my home with. What is your living situation like. Can you afford the vet bills for another angel, even if they become ill. Do you have room to house different sized birds. Larger birds can hurt or even kill smaller birds. Do you live in a home or apartment. Do you have neighbors that might complain with all the noise. If you rent then should you have to move someday, will you still be able to continue caring for your birds there? I know that our hearts go out to every single feathered angel who is in need. We cannot rescue them all, we must know and accept what we can do for them, or they are no better off than they were. There are many ways to help birds in need, you can help at your local rescues with dollars or time. You can help educate others with good truthful accurate information. Make toys and donate them to your local rescues. Buy much-needed food and deliver that to the rescues. There are so many ways to help out, and it truly can make a huge difference.
Knowing and accepting your limitations is truly the most loving thing you can do for these Angels.
Copyright © 2011 Deborah FeatheredAngels
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(My articles are free to repost, just do so in their entirety)