Housing and General Information
HOUSING FOR MY PARROTLET?
One of the very first questions that I am asked is what is the best cage for my Parrotlet? Although there are many different brands and configurations, I would always say that the bigger the better! A friend of mine once told me, " You could live in a closet, but would you want to?"
Just a few things to consider when purchasing, and planning the room placement of your cage:
* Regarding the width of the bars. They should be spaced approximately 1/2" apart.
* The most important measurement is the width. Many folks think that a taller cage is better but since birds fly horizontally, and not vertically, the width is the most important measure.
* A rectangular cage is probably the best shape for a cage since it allows it to be placed against a wall or in a corner. Although round cages look nice in a room, they are very disconcerting for a bird since they never feel safe. When a bird only has to keep an eye out in one direction, it allows them to relax. A round cage, or a cage placed in the middle of a room, makes them feel very vulnerable. My cages are in bookcases so three sides are covered and the birds only feel exposed on one side. Of course you can use a cloth covering to get the same effect.
WHAT TYPE OF LIGHTING DO PARROTLETS REQUIRE?
Parrotlets, and all birds, require full spectrum UVB light daily if strictly indoors. Although many people keep their pets by a window, many times the glass in these windows filter out the UVB light. Proper lighting is essential for the health of your pet. The link below provides valuable information regarding this topic.
WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY PARROTLET?
My parrotlets have a base diet consisting of a mix of seed (Sunseed), pellets (Roudybush), and Goldenfeast Austrailian Blend. I provide a wide variety of chopped fruits and vegetables mixed daily for a period of approximately two hours. (Don't leave these treats longer or it will spoil.) I also keep these additional food supplements readily available for my birds at all times: cuttlebone, various freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, dried greens, mineral block, and egg food.
One additional tip which I have found helpful concerns the water that I supply my birds. I change the water daily and add a drop or two of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. This helps to keep the water fresh while providing valuable enzymes. Although I use tap water, because of the added minerals, I keep it in a pitcher with the lid left off so that the chlorine will evaporate over a twenty-four hour period of time. The minerals in the water are good for your parrotlet whereas the chlorine is not.
TO CLIP OR NOT TO CLIP? THAT IS THE QUESTION...
There are different schools of thought regarding keeping your parrotlet's wings clipped.
In general, your baby's wings will be clipped when you first adopt him/her. That is done primarily to promote the bonding process between you and your new companion pet. A bird's first instinct will be to fly away when you let them out of their cage. The bonding process would be dramatically postponed if this happens. Clipping a baby's wings properly allows them to glide downward, usually to the floor, so that you can gently retrieve them and replace them to where you want them to be, (i.e. you shoulder or perch). This kind of consistent, patience guidance allows your bird to very quickly become accustomed to their new environment.
Here is a link to an excellent explanation of the pros and cons of clipping wings:
Here is a wonderful link explaining how to clip your birds wings with a cautionary note about "blood feathers":
WONDERFUL INFORMATION FORUM SPECIFICALLY FOR PARROTLETS
One of the most informative and helpful forums that deal specifically with Parrotlets is TalkParrotlets.com
I highly recommend this resource!
The following links are a provided as resources.