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As a parrot lover, I thought I knew what it was like to own a bird because I used to have one growing up. While much of what I have learned about parrots previously was still true, my green cheek conure still managed to add to my knowledge. You wonder how a bird can teach me anything? You wonder which are the lessons I learned from my Green Cheek Conure? Let's discuss below.

1. There is so much love in such a small creature

At first glance, the green cheek conure is a small, colorful birdie that screams for things that he can’t have. How can such a bird focused on self-interest show its love?

The first sign of love that we picked up on was that he fearlessly jumped on our shoulders after only 3 days in our home (his new home). To us it showed that he is open and willing to start building trust and be close to us. As time went on he started preening us: chewing on my hair, my partner’s beard, our ears and our sweaters! As research shows, these are all signs of love. 💗

After this he started making lovely greetings screams every morning and when one of us would return home - with such screams you definitely know you were missed! I cannot even imagine entering the room in the morning and not having my loud greeting and a jump on the shoulder with his lovely tail rubbing across my face.

2. Another lesson learned from my green cheek conure: The prettiest but also the messiest family member

As responsible green cheek conure owners, we were prepared: we got him a big, strong cage to call his home. We were happy that the cage had a play area on top (where the waste would just collect on the tray) a bottom tray and seeds catchers on the bottom (to catch the other waste that falls down). Even so, now that we have him, we clean the house 7 times more a week! Meaning we have to clean every day now!

Our parrot does not seem to have a sense of saving his food. For example, he does not realise that eating something on the edge of his cage means he could drop it (which happens almost every time) and that he will not be able to eat it anymore. Sometimes he even poops in his food!

There is also a general eating pattern: somehow small pieces of food will still end up flying across the room and we will find remains of his fruit and veggies hanging in the most unexpected places throughout the house.

3. Happiness of the parrot is the responsibility of the owner

Having a parrot is a big responsibility and a big investment of your time, energy and money. The responsibility of the owner involves: ensuring that you do the right things for the bird to be happy (spend time with him, buy him lovely toys and perches), keeping him healthy (provide him with the appropriate diet) and educated (teach him the right habits).

Spending time with the bird is of big importance. Our parrot is calmer and happier when we are near him or when he is with one of us on our shoulders. When we leave the house and put him in the cage, he immediately looks upset and almost depressed. That is why, socialising time is a must for a happy and healthy bird.

An appropriate bird diet is also very important. While he came with seeds and pellets when we bought him, they need to have diets diversified beyond that. For example, they need to have fresh fruit and veggies every day, not mentioning that they also love eating them. Be careful, not every fruit or veggie is allowed for parrots, even though they would gladly taste anything on the table (including our meals).

Therefore, in general as owners, we need to make the right choices for them in order to enjoy our birds the most. That leads us to the following point: a good education!

4. Parrots can follow the household rules - if systematically reminded

I knew something needed to change when I found myself getting pooped on every morning! What also surprised me was that the size of the poop each morning was 3 times larger than his usual poop during the day. After some research I found out that it was normal and that conures do not poop overnight and the first one in the morning is huge (especially beautiful!) after building up.

Then we needed to decide how to potty train him. We decided that he would not get picked up first thing in the morning unless he pooped first (on top of his cage). He was disappointed in the beginning as he could not wait to get out of his cage and jump on our shoulders. But later on he got used to it. Now, even during the day when he wants to be picked up, he poops first and then flies over.

He also learned that he is not allowed to bite nor to be too loud. If he misbehaves, he goes into his cage and we do not pay any attention to him: his worst punishment!

5. Sharing is caring

Since owning the Green Cheek Conure, we share everything with him. We share our food (only the bird approved one), we share our space (he is normally allowed to join us in the whole house) and recently other pleasures (when we enjoy the sun at the balcony, he comes with us in his travel cage).

This makes our parrot a true part of our family and we are happy to have him around us during all our activities.

6. A joyful happiness teacher: Green Cheek Conure Elvis

As with most pets, having a parrot increases the levels of happiness and overall good mood in the house. It is a pleasant and grateful feeling to watch him play with his toys and hop around in his cage. It taught me to relax more and enjoy every day for what it brings, while having my bird on my shoulder to love and be loved.

In a nutshell - Parrots bring the household closer together

Owning a parrot is a great responsibility and at times even difficult. Even the smallest parrot requires good care just like a human baby: they need to learn everything, from stepping up to the behavior expected of them.

Every decision also needs to account for the bird. For example, you cannot go on holidays as easily as before: you need to decide whether the bird will join. If not, a good alternative care placement needs to be arranged.

However, owning a parrot fills any heart with love, even if they show their love to us for 3 minutes a day in total. His careless behavior and pure personality can make anyone fall in love with him.

I can confidently say: our life became brighter since Elvis is home. He brought us closer together: we have our own personal parrot show and noisy podcast daily, for free! 😊

 

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

 

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

Product Overview: A10 Parrot Bird Cage

Bird Cage fully assembled

Price: EUR 190 (Bol.com), USD 122 (Amazon.com)
Places to buy from: 
Worldwide - Amazon.com
The Netherlands & Belgium - Bol.com
Material: Wrought Iron
Size: 46cm x 46cm x 156cm
Weight: 35kg
Suitable for: small to medium birds
Quality vs price: 9 out of 10

 

 

A10 Parrot Bird Cage, product review


One of the main purchases when owning a bird is providing it with a place it can call home. The bird cage is not just comprised of bars which your little friend sleeps in, it is also the place it will have most of its meals to eat, naps to re-energise and toys to play with. Therefore the parrot bird cage needs to be strong, practical and spacious enough.

Pro's & Con's

High Quality A10 parrot bird cage

You'll be getting a strong, spacious and tall bird cage.

The bars are high quality which prevent chipping and do not allow the bird to break bits off.

Great features for the price 

For the price of the cage you will be getting many features. It comes with:

  • 2 Trays, 1 on top allowng for extra play space and 1 on the bottom which catches fallen seeds and other mess;
  • 2 Feeder doors which can be opened to refill the food bowls without needing to open the main cage door;
  • 4 Stainless steel feeding bowls, 2 inside the cage and 2 on top;
  • 2 Wooden perches, one inside and one (outside) on top of the cage;
  • Seeds catchers around the cage;
  • 4 bottom wheels.

  Bar space is suitable for small to medium birds

bird cage bar space
bird cage bar space

The bar space is approximately 1.6 cm (0.6 inch) which means it is safe for small to medium birds. It allows the bird's tail to stick out so he or she can bend over properly and eat the food in their bowls.

So far (after 2 months), my Green Cheek Conure has been hanging upside down in his cage, is jumping everywhere from all directions and has not got stuck in any way between the bars.

Plenty of space

The cage is very spacious. Currently I have 4 toys, 4 perches and 3 food bowls inside the cage. There is still plenty of space left for more.

My green cheek conure has also plenty of room to move around, jump from one toy to the other and flap his wings.

The height of the cage allowed us to create 3 levels (with still more possible). We have toys hanging on the highest level, food bowls on the second level and multiple perches on the third level. My parrot can jump up and down as much as he wishes.

Easy to move around the room

Due to the 4 wheels underneath, the parrot bird cage can be easily moved around the room  provided a single floor space.

For example, if my parrot wants some private time in the evenings, we just roll the cage to a quieter corner.

Less than 1 hour assembly time

The cage comes in separate pieces and you will need to follow the instructions to put it together. Here are pictures of the instructions that came with the cage:

parrot cage assembly instructions

parrot cage assembly instructions

It took us around 1 hour to figure it all out and the results last up until today. Please click the photos for a bigger size 🙂

 

There are a few disadvantages too:

Bottom bar spacing on inside of cage too large for small birds

Even though the bar spacing fits well for small to medium parrots, the bottom bar spacing on the inside space is too large for small parrot feet such as a conure. My bird's feet used to slide between the bars and hurt himself as he was trying to walk on the bottom of his cage. Sometimes he would also jump to the bottom which could hurt his feet due to the height of the cage.

To fix this issue we had to place strong paper or cardboard at the bottom of the cage to soften his landing. Now he can easily step around and jump to the bottom with confidence. However this does mean that bird seed can sometimes bounce outside of the cage.

Climbing to the top outside of the cage is difficult for small birds

parrot bird cageAfter 2 months of living in his cage, my Green Cheek Conure still has not figured out how to reach the top of his cage. He signals to us that he needs our help if he wants to get on the top of it. The reason for this is that the top tray does not have any bars for the bird to grab on to (see screenshot). Therefore our small bird always gets stuck at the top tray.

Furthermore he cannot manage to get back inside the cage through the main door when he is on top of it for the same reasons. 

We hope he will manage to figure this part out as he grows older.

In conclusion

Overall it is a strong, spaceous and practical cage. There are many aspects that I am happy about but also a few minor points that could do with improvement.

Overall Score: 9 out of 10

If you would like to purchase this cage, please click on the links in this article or below to get your A10 Parrot Bird Cage today!

 

Hello dear Parrot Lovers!

Since over a month I am a proud owner of a baby Green Cheek Conure that me and my partner named Elvis. He has been the focus of our attention for the past period as well as the subject of most of our conversations lately. In this blog post I want to give some updates on latest developments and adventures that our family went on 🙂

For the very first impressions and adjustments, you can revisit my previous post below:

How did I teach my Green Cheek Conure to Step up?

When we brought our green cheek conure home for the first time, he was very afraid of us and the world around him. He would indicate with his behaviour though that he liked being outside of his cage and spend time with us. He was a natural in staying on our shoulders, no training was needed there!

However, we wanted to pick him up on our fingers. That is how the step up training became a necessity. In the beginning he was very uncomfortable with my finger around his feet. After a bit of research we found out that we can use peanut butter as a training treat. It took our parrot about a week to understand how to handle the spoon with peanut butter on it held at about 3 cm in front of his beak and my finger under his feet.

I captured the first results in a video. You can check it out below:

How did I potty train my Green Cheek Conure?

Every morning Elvis is exited to be out of his cage. That is the first thing he wants to do the moment he opens his eyes. I am also more than happy to let him out of his cage every morning, as that allows me some time with him before I need to leave for work. We would have nice bonding moments every morning, until he would leave a big and ugly "present" on my shirt or on the floor.

Even though I am a big parrot lover and I enjoy each minute I spend with my bird, these situations in the morning started to become frustrating. It turns out there is a solution to it: potty training!

The green cheek conures hold their poop in for the whole night and that is how in the morning there is a big one ready to go. The solution that me and my partner have implemented is to allow him a few moments on the cage until he performs and only after that we pick him up. We try to follow this procedure on a consistent basis: every morning and also every time he has been in the cage for a longer period, we leave him on his cage first and then we play.

In the beginning Elvis was a bit resistant. He was getting upset and angry on us, as he would fly to our shoulders and we would put him back on the cage (about 10-15 times). He would even misbehave by flying around us and leaving his present on the couch 🙂 This behaviour would be immediately punished by getting him back in his cage.

Now he is used to it and knows the procedure, he waits (almost) patiently until he goes and only after he flies to us.

We were very happy to have managed to teach him that and we went even a step further. We started creating pooing stations: tissues and pieces of paper that we would put next to us or on the table. Periodically we would pick him up (if he is on our shoulders or cuddling under the sweater) and simply put him on the piece of paper. In the beginning we could read deep confusion on his face, but now it works almost 90% of the times. He knows exactly what he needs to do and he does it quickly so he can get back to his cuddling.

What does my Green Cheek Conure eat?

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our parrot is curious about new foods and is willing to give it a try to anything to allow him to have. Apart from the usual food recommended for parrots (half of the amount pellets and the other half seeds) we spoil him with the following:

  • Bananas: He already recognises the banana the moment I have it in my hand! He totally adores it and would not allow me to go anywhere without sharing it with him. He then dives his whole beak in it and stays busy for the next few minutes;
  • Apples: This is another top item on the list of favorites. What makes apples special is that they are crunchy apart from being tasty and super healthy for birds. That means that there is a natural tendency to eat them;
  • Oranges/mandarins: These are another favorite that Elvis will not refuse. Actually the contrary, he will keep complaining until he manages to get his piece;
  • Salad leaves is another natural choice when it comes to my green cheeked. It crunches and it tastes amazing!
  • And many more like kale, boiled potatoes, peas, beans, corn, paprika, etc.

Among the veggies that were not as successful as the ones above are broccoli and carrot - he simply did not like them. We hope that in time, as he gets older, he will give those two another chance.

The first New Year's Celebration in Elvis' life

 This is the picture from this New Year's Eve. No, he did not like the fireworks, even though they were beautiful!

For the new year's celebration we decided to take a small trip and enjoy a few days away from home. Elvis consequently had to do the same, except that his enjoyment turned out to be less.

The travel cage

There is no place like home and therefore the travel cage is nothing compared to his permanent home cage. The travel one is smaller (so that Elvis can be easily transported when needed), it consequently fits fewer toys, fewer bowls with different kinds of foods and generally has less space to move around. And poor bird had to accommodate himself there for a few consecutive days!

The fireworks

On top of the cage issue there were the fireworks (quite a few of them) that were scaring him. At the end of the trip our bird was less relaxed than before it, he was getting scared by each small noise he would hear and after those few days away from home he was very happy to finally be back.

Now he is slowly recovering while still getting scared at times for loud and unexpected sounds.

One month learnings: Green Cheek Conures are the best!

It is very exciting to watch my green cheek conure growing and becoming friendlier and a full member of our family. He is now used to his environment, he eats on top of his cage and he has learned the rules of the house. He adores being under warm sheets or being cuddled with warm hands, especially after one of his daily baths. However, he is still afraid to be left alone when outside of his cage, he then cries for us or flies over.

Below is a video I took as he was warming up of my hands:

 

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

At the end of each calendar year it is the time to reflect on the previous year, previous achievements and past developments.

The year 2019 has been a bright year for me from many perspectives: personal, professional and emotional. New learnings and new successes came my way. I visited Australia for the first time in February, I obtained my driver's license in August, I obtained a promotion at my day job in October among others.

But most importantly: our family grew with a colorful, happy and feathered member Elvis the green cheek conure. He does not know this, but he was already my muse and motivation of www.bestparrottoys.com even before he became a member of our family. Now he is a crucial presence on our shoulders without whom nothing in the house is done. He is our best friend and loyal puffy conure. I hope he will be part of our lives in the many years to come!

In the new year there are big plans for Best Parrot Toys platform: more interesting and informative articles, product reviews and an improved general look of the website.

I hope all the readers of this blog will be blessed with unwavering heath and will be supporting me in those many years to come. I wish you all more accomplishments than you can imagine and more love and friendship than you can expect!

Have a wonderful 2020!

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Here is more information about me 🙂

The time has finally arrived! We got a handsome, colorful and most joyful green cheek conure! How exciting! His name is Elvis. He might very well be a girl, but we decided not to invest in a DNA test (this is the only way to tell in the case of most parrots). Therefore, we came home with our handsome baby boy Elvis 🙂

Before arriving at the bird shop, we already knew exactly what kind of parrot we were going to get. We had his main cage and travel cages bought, we even had his name chosen! More information on how we decided on the type of parrot and how we chose his name, you can revisit my previous article here:

https://bestparrottoys.com/green-cheek-conure-how-did-i-choose/

The green cheek conure's first night in his new home

The first night and first two days were pretty stressful and challenging. None of us (me nor my boyfriend) has had a green cheek conure before. Therefore, we did not really know how to behave with him, nor understand the best cage arrangements for him, except for the small advice we were given by the pet shop assistants. They advised us on the food to give him, on the cage to keep him in, but they could not have foreseen everything that might happen in the first period.

We were advised to keep him in his smaller travel cage and not allow him out of it for the first whole week. That was mainly due to the fact that our green cheek was below the weight they would normally sell him (60 grams). As a consequence, we were advised to provide him with less space to move around and to eat fattier seeds (sun flower seeds, peas, beans, corn, etc.) so he can preserve his energy and store everything to gain weight.

However, that was easier said than done. Shortly after we arrived home with him from the pet store, he became very anxious and active all around his cage. We assumed that it was maybe the first reaction to his new home, new surrounding and the absence of his fellow siblings. Therefore, we focused on arranging his cage in a way that he has easy access to everything, that he has enough nice, tasty food around him and sufficient toys to keep him busy, etc.

Leaving him to sleep in the living room for the first night was quite worrying for us. We just wanted to keep an eye on him all the time and make sure that he is okay, and we wanted to make sure that as part of his anxiety he does not fall somehow in the cage and hurt himself. But waking up the following day assured us that everything was fine. He had picked the highest point on one of his toys and slept like a sweet baby (like he is) on it all night!

I have made a video of Elvis' first morning in his new home. You can check it out below:
First morning of our Green Cheek conure Elvis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ynuxn16Umk&feature=youtu.be

Daily weight check - our green cheek conure is getting fat!

Our baby Elvis was still unsettled in his small cage. He was jumping up and down, he was acting unhappy and so we have decided to move him to his big, permanent house. Once he found himself in a bigger space, filled up with all his toys, he started displaying a more calm behavior. In a few days he even started playing with his toys and allowing us to slightly touch and pet him.

It melted my heart to see how nicely he manages to play by himself in his cage and how sweet he had been to us.

As part of the advice that we were given by the pet shop assistants, we were supposed to weigh him every day to make sure that in the worst case he is not losing weight and in the optimal case he is gaining some weight. The starting point for Elvis was his first weight check in the shop when he was 54 grams. And I am proud to announce that only after 7 days in his new home he has gained 3 extra grams and has now a proud bunch of 57 grams! 🙂

First finger bites

As part of the weighing process, I had to pick him up and put him on the scale. And that part was challenging.

Given that my bird is still a baby, he does not know how to step on my finger (just yet), he does not know that I will not hurt him and he is having a hard time comprehending all the changes that have recently happened to him. Therefore, as a responsible baby parrot owner, I am trying to scare him as little as possible, to approach him as nicely as possible and to talk to him as softly as possible. But he is still scared and to him everything is threatening including my hand approaching him. That is when I realized that such a small bird can actually bite really hard!

However, I noticed that his bites became looser and looser as I was reaching to weigh him. I can proudly say that he has got used to us over the past week and does enjoy spending his time with us.

You can check the below video out for more information on the first week of Elvis in his new home!
First week of our Green Cheek conure Elvis!

https://youtu.be/NU_wujUSdlI

Exploring our living room with the bird

On day six we have finally opened his cage and allowed our baby bird to explore his surroundings. He jumped on our shoulders right away, it seemed natural to him. I can tell that sitting on our shoulders is his favourite place to be: from there he can see everything and can be part of everything that we are doing. He calmly and joyfully stays on our shoulders as we were doing the house choirs. Isn't that the most loyal friend!

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

One of the things to consider when getting a parrot but also when already owning a parrot is what is it that they eat.

In my case, I don't just want to give some kind of food to my bird to keep him alive. I want to make sure my bird is healthy and energetic, remains curious and enjoys its time with me. Therefore, I had to get my head around the question: What do parrots eat?

Do parrots eat seeds alone? Is it OK if I share my ice cream or cookie with him? Can I give him a sip of wine?

I will try to debrief all the above in the upcoming segments.

Is a seeds-based-only diet healthy?

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a parrot diet is of course seeds. While seeds are definitely part of a parrot's diet, they should not constitute the only, not even the main part of the diet.

The Best thing to do: make sure the birds receives a good mixture of seeds, pellets, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables.

what do parrots eatThe main part of the diet will be composed of seeds and pellets (about half of the total food intake). Parrot seeds mix are most of the times composed of the following:

  • sunflower seeds
  • safflower seeds
  • canary seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • millet seeds, etc

The pellets represent dry mixes of healthy ingredients containing vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables, Omega 3 and other fatty acids. Together (the seeds and the pellets) constitute the half of your little friend's diet. You can mix the two together for a nice and healthy meal.

Nuts can serve as a great addition to the bird's diet. However, they need to be eaten with moderation due to their fat content. Therefore, about 1-2 nuts daily is the average recommendation. Among the parrot favorites are: almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, etc.

The remainder of the diet (the other half) needs to be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables. Parrot-proof vegetables are: kale, broccoli, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, etc. Parrot proof fruit include: apples, bananas, mangoes, etc.

A big DO NOT GIVE to your parrot is avocado, onion and garlic. These act as poison to our parrots.

Does my parrot have to eat fruit and vegetables every day?

Same as with humans, the parrots need their intake of vitamins daily. That doesn't mean that you need to have 1 kilogram of fresh fruit in your house every day. You can just share your apple or your banana with your little friend 🙂 Just a little piece of apple (without the skin) or banana or mini-branch of broccoli ripped off as you prepare to cook it can do the trick. Think of your parrot as an incentive to eat fruit and vegetables daily (it will keep both the owner and the parrot healthy and happy) 🙂

As an alternative, frozen fruit and vegetables can do the trick. Just defrost a small spoon worth of them and serve them free of seeds and skin.

Can I share my dessert with my parrot?

Let's start with my favorite: chocolate! Even if I love chocolate and many parrots love it as well, it can be fatal to them and is totally a non-safe parrot food. Even in extra small quantities, it can cause diarrhea and general unfitness to your bird. Therefore,: avoid giving chocolate to your parrot!

Next comes ice cream and all the other dairy products like yogurt, cheese, milk, etc. Generally birds are lactose intolerant. That means that dairy products are not necessarily toxic for them but their intake should be limited if not at all.

Cookies and other sorts of sweet bakery are to be limited as well. While a small bite will not directly kill your bird, daily and big quantity intake of these products can harm the parrot (and the owner).

What if my parrot had a sip of wine?

While some parrots like alcohol, it is not recommended serving it to the bird. Alcohol does make our parrots drunk, that can damage their ability to coordinate while flying and can cause accidents. Also, big quantities (and I mean bird measure big quantity) can be fatal for the parrot. Therefore, avoid sharing your drink with your little friend.

Same goes for coffee and tea: they trouble the digestive system of our birds and they can get sick. However, herbal tea can have a relaxing effect on the bird and is parrot-safe. And there comes another incentive for a parrot owner healthy lifestyle: have a herbal tea that you can share with your little friend! It is healthy for both of you, you get to have quality time together and you make the bond between you two even stronger!

In a nut shell:

Feeding your parrot with the right foods takes a bit of research and investment but pays off in the long term. You will be enjoying the company of a healthy, active and happy parrot! On top of that, it will force you to have the fruit and veggies closer at hand every day, which also increases the chances of the whole household increasing its vitamin intake! A big healthy and happy family together with the parrot!

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

 

So the decision is made: I am getting a parrot! But with that other questions arise like: which parrot, where will we place the cage, how much are we going to spend, are we ready for it, what will it eat, how will we call it, etc.

While all these go through my mind, I found it important that me and my boyfriend take our time and research the topic and all our questions and make an educated choice when deciding all the above.

Below are a few actions we took before deciding on buying the green cheek conure but also some characteristics of this specific bird.

First interaction with a green cheek conure - the local breeder

As we did not know anybody who owns a parrot in our circle of friends, we decided that it would be nice to have a look at the local breeder. We checked the pictures, it looked promising and there we were in the middle of hundreds of birds singing and screaming all around us. From large to small parrots and from completely quiet and almost freaked out to totally anxious birds, we found ourselves in the middle of it all.

While looking around, every parrot in there seemed like a good fit for us (we both love animals, especially parrots). But we knew we wanted one parrot for now and we had to stick to our decision.

Some parrots were outside of their cages and walking freely in their dedicated corner with seeds and toys. We discovered that the sun conure and the galah cockatoo were among the cuddliest and most social birds. They would allow me to pick them up, cuddle and pet them, even put them on my shoulder. Other species like macaws, cockatoos, African gray's and Amazon parrots distinguished themselves by the displayed intelligence. For example some would greet us the moment we approached the cage, others would reply to us when we left, while others would perform and dance for us while looking and talking to them.

While on our way out, happy and disoriented with regard to our choice still to make, there it was: a huge cage full with many joyfully playing green cheeked conures!

We watched them for a while and noticed how well they interacted with each other. Also, as I was speaking to them they showed interest as they were approaching me and looking curious. We noticed as well that their voices were not very loud and they were not that noisy in general. They were also beautifully colored, many various colors on one single conure: green on the back, orange on the belly and tail with black or white heads. We knew then and there: one of them will be our family in the near future!

A good fit for our apartment

As we returned home from the breeder, we had more research to do. We discovered that the green cheek conure was one of the most quiet parrots (exactly what we noticed while watching them at the breeder). That was a plus point for us, as we did not want the bird to announce even the neighbors across the road when it would be left alone at home.

green cheek conure

We also assumed that once it is a small sized bird, the poop is also a small sized one 🙂 That made me recall my childhood experience with the budgies when the poop was small and almost unnoticeable after 30 min when it would dry out. This concern was one raised after the breeder's visit and noticing the flooring under the big guys like macaws, cockatoos and large Amazons.

We also learned that there are many types of green cheeked conures:

  • Yellow-sided green cheeked conure;
  • Cinnamon green cheek conure;
  • Pineapple green cheeked conures;
  • Dilute green cheek conures;
  • Dilute yellow-sided green cheeked conures;
  • Sun cheek green cheeked conure;
  • Turquoise green cheek conure;
  • Turquoise cinnamon green cheek conure;
  • Turquoise pineapple green cheeked conure, etc.

All these types of conures are is just a modification of their feather colors, in essence it is the same kind of parrot 🙂

We have not decided yet what color would suit us best, but we have decided that this parrot will definitely suit us.

The budget

Money is involved of course as well. While a green cheek conure costs around 200 euros at the breeder, a mature galah, cockatoo or macaw is priced well above 1,000 euros.

And that is only the price for the parrot itself. What about the cage, toys and food? All of that needs to be counted in before making a final decision.

For more information on how to choose a parrot cage, please visit my article Small parrot cages or LARGE parrot cages – which one to choose?

The Name: Mr. Green Cheeked Conure

For me it is important to have as much ready as possible before the arrival of the green cheeked conure in our house, up to having decided the name. In my opinion, once the parrot has a name, it makes him/her an integrated part of the family, it feels more personal.

So we scratched our heads and looked through the options. We thought he is (mainly) green so it has to be some name related to that. The options were: Green, Greeny, Gru. I also remembered that I like the pistachio ice cream which is green and then we thought that hazelnut is also a nut just like the pistachio so why not call the bird Hazel. Then we realized that hazel wasn't green so we turned to Google for names.

We decided that Elvis was a representative name for a parrot, as hopefully it can talk or sing just as nicely. So despite the green color of the feathers we thought that the green cheek conure's traits might indicate better an Elvy or Elvis 🙂

That is my experience, what's yours?

Choosing a parrot involves many things to consider given that it is a long term commitment. But keeping the important factors in mind (like the ones touched upon above) can lead to the right decision and the best fit companion for many years!

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

Well the answer to the above question is simple: it depends 🙂

small parrot cagesAnd it depends on many things like:

  • the size (and number) of your parrot(s);
  • the material of the cage;
  • the size of your living space;
  • the amount of toys you would like to spoil your little friend with;
  • your budget.

You would also want to already have an idea regarding where in the house the parrot area/corner would be before you make the purchase. Having an idea of the size of small parrot cages and large parrot cages would allow you to understand if the cage needs additional space or support to place it on. Also that specific area will most likely be characterized by frequent falling seeds or pieces of vegetables, toys and feathers.

At the same time, the cage needs to be placed in an area where the bird does not feel threatened by the outdoor or indoor noises or other birds or pets. While keeping the above in mind, the parrot needs to be in the same room with you (or where you spend your time with the bird). That will allow the parrot to be social and used to the household inhabitants.

Usually small parrot cages would have the length (L) between 45-65 cm, width (W) 45-60 cm and the height (H) of 45-60 cm.

Large parrot cages would be about 90-120 cm long (L), 60-90 cm wide (W) and 90-150 cm high (H).

The size (and number) of your parrot(s)

As a rule of thumb: the bigger your parrot (or the number of parrots) the bigger the cage should be.

You would not want to see a cockatoo or macaw not fitting their tail inside the cage, nor would it be necessary for a budgie to fly withing the cage.

Another thing to consider here is the space between the cage bar spacing. Smaller birds have smaller heads and therefore they have a higher risk of getting their heads stuck in between the bars (and trust me, these active birds will find the time and curiosity to do it! 🙂 ).

A small cage will typically have between 0.6 cm to 1.2 cm.

A large cage will vary between 1.5 cm and a maximum of 3.8 cm.

The material of the cage

The typical and mostly used material for parrot cages is wrought iron. This type of iron is also used in the manufacture of gates, various bars and racks. The iron is then polished with a powder-coating (a non-toxic paint) to give the cage bars color and nice texture.

Another material used is stainless steel. These cages are designed to last for abut 50 years, provided no intended or unintended damage is produced beforehand. They also tend to outlive the powder-coated cages by around 5 to 6 times.

While both of these materials are a great choice, they will most likely determine the price and long-term durability of your parrot's home.

The size of your living space

As pet owners, we might find ourselves in the lack of additional free space to dedicate to our feathered friend. If, for example, the space in your living room can miss about half- to a full square meter, excluding the additional food dropping and mess making in surrounding perimeter, then you might consider a large cage.

On the other hand, if space is a challenge, you might want to choose a smaller, less long and less wide cage.

The number of toys you would like to decorate the cage with

Of course, as parrot lovers we want to keep our little friends happy and engaged at all times. Therefore we purchase the very most and the very best!

While the intention is good, we could also be overdoing it. If you need to move the toys around in order to find your bird, that is an indication that the cage might be overcrowded. The bird needs extra space to jump around and hang from the bars and climb on the toys, etc. The right balance though is something to strive for.

Your budget

While the cages are a necessity in order to have a pet parrot, it can be an expensive one. The prices can vary drastically from the very basic small cage priced at about EUR 35 up to EUR 800 for a large parrot cage. The material and overall durability will also have a role to play in the final price.

Small parrot cages vs. large parrot cages: the choice is yours

......well, almost 🙂

All the above are important factors to take into account if not the main factors to consider. Some of them might be outside of your current influence, as for example the amount you are prepared to pay for the cage at this stage or the space available in your house.

As a main takeaway: the priority is that you and your parrot are happy. And your parrot is happy when it has the optimal living conditions surrounded by plenty of love, play time and much fun!

Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

 

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

 

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

Deciding upon a parrot pet purchase is a difficult task and requires serious consideration as it may involve a long, very long term commitment :). Having parrots as pets can be as rewarding just as it can be exhausting or painful (physically painful for our fingers). Below I put together a list of my parrot suggestions that can make great pets but which are different based on various characteristics. In my review I will consider the following: size, lifespan, noisiness, cuddleness and other considerations.

Budgies

parrots as petsProbably the most common and fastest moving of them all are the cute, little budgies. They are mostly blue and green but can also be yellow or white.

While for most of the parrots it is difficult to tell whether the bird is a male or female representative, with budgies the decision is simple: look at the nose! If their nose (the soft portion immediately above their peak) is blue, then you are looking at a male. If however the nose is pink or light orange then you're looking at a budgie lady.

Even though they are not the best speakers in the parrot community, the male budgies are very well capable of repeating some words and even short phrases. Be aware however, that before the bird wold be able to repeat anything it will need to hear it a few good amount of times. The possibilities here are either letting the budgie listen to the prerecorded word or phrase that he is to repeat, or become a mini-budgie ourselves and keep repeating the word or phrase. You will be surprised at the amount of interest these birds will show and how carefully they will listen!

  • Size - about 18 cm
  • Lifespan - 5 - 10 years
  • Noisiness - they tend to make quite some noise but they are not very loud
  • Cuddleness - not very cuddly while they might enjoy a peak cuddle or cheek cuddles
  • Other - suitable for apartments (your neighbors will probably not even know that you have a bird), suitable for small living areas, can make good companions, including children

Cockatiels

Cokatiels are a smaller version of the cockatoos but bigger than the budgies, they are cuddly, very parrots as petsfriendly and social.

They are commonly known for being mostly quiet but when they do chirp, it is mostly a song-chirp. The male is mostly gray with a yellow-orange head. Cockatiels can also be yellow or white colored.

  • Size - 30-33 cm
  • Lifespan - 10-14 years
  • Noisiness - not very noisy but you need to love them singing
  • Cuddleness - yes, they love head scratches and cuddly interaction with humans
  • Other - very social, interact with everyone from the household, can make good companions, including children, suitable for apartments and small living spaces

Lovebirds

parrots as petsJust as big as a budgie (but with a considerably shorter tail), these little friends will color your day with any color you please, as they are probably the most varied in colors from light bright to black color.

Same as every pet parrot, they can be very friendly and sweet companions after getting to know you. Lovebirds are not the best talkers of the parrots, but the same as budgies, they can mimic some words or short phrases.

  • Size - 13 -17 cm
  • Lifespan - 10-15 years
  • Noisiness - mostly quiet and not a loud parrot (however somewhat louder than the budgie)
  • Cuddleness - not very cuddly however very friendly
  • Other - suitable for apartments and small living spaces

Conures

parrots as petsConures is a generic word that is applied to a group of small to medium-sized birds. The same as for the lovebirds above, conures can have various colors, different characters and make great companions. A few examples are:

-> sun conure parrot: mostly yellow body with orange cheeks and green wings;

-> green cheeked conure parrot: mostly green cheeks and wings, gray head, red belly and tail.

  • Size - 25-50 cm
  • Lifespan - 10-30 years
  • Noisiness - green-cheeked conures tend to be much quieter than the sun conures. For example, a flat neighbour would get to hear your sun conure while the green cheeked one might remain a secret (considered to be one of the quiet parrots).
  • Cuddleness - while I have seen the sun conure making a great cuddler, the green counterpart will be more of a companion than a cuddler
  • Other - because these birds are small to medium birds, considerations need to be given regarding a bigger cage, a potentially bigger mess and bigger poop

Cockatoos

parrots as petsGorgeous and elegant cockatoos are among the smartest parrots out there. They do not only mimic human speech, but they are also able to reason and reply to you, just like a toddler of around 4 years old. Cockatoos are mostly white but there are also black cockatoos. These birds are large ones, with big bodies, heavy grip (can scratch your arm with their feet nails), strong peaks and extrodinary friendly companions.

  • Size - 45-60 cm
  • Lifespan - 20-60 years (depending on the species)
  • Noisiness - can be very loud, this bird you will not be able to hide from your neighbors for too long
  • Cuddleness - exceptionally cuddly, looooove being among people and receiving cuddles
  • Other - large birds with a larger need of living space, larger potential damage, large mess and large poop

Below is how I made friends with a wild cockatoo in the absence of a pet one (yet) 🙂

Conclusion

While parrots can be adorable to look at in the pet store and in the wild, parrots as pets require much more consideration. The choice is of course, personal, depending on a variety of factors (apart from those above): your life style, amount of money you are willing to pay, commitment expectation, etc.

Please be aware that the list above is not extensive and does not include all and every parrot species.

Feel free to share with me your experience with any of these amazing birds in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!

 

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.

As parrot lovers and potentially owners, we all adore our joyful friends who are always greeting us entering the room or replying when we speak to them. We try to create the best environment for them in our homes, making a part of it their home too.

But simply getting them a cage and some food, placing them under our roof and keeping them safe from the neighbor's cat might not be enough. Even if our bird has always been among people and interacted with other parrots of the same upbringing, it does not mean that it lost the instincts of its fellow wild counterparts. Think of the daily routine your parrot could have in the Australian tropical rain forest, African tundra or South American jungle.

For this reason it is important to keep our buddy active and mentally stimulated as much as possible to ensure that it remains a healthy and social bird.

The more play, the smarter the bird

Parrots are extremely smart birds. Apart from reproducing human speech and different voices, simulating various sounds from their surrounding and being able to learn various tricks and responses to our commands, some parrots reply accordingly when spoken to in full and well formulated sentences, use their beaks to crack open wall nuts and prove an advanced ability of problem solving.

Parrots were not born in their cages originally. Even though we all know that, we tend to think that once a parrot is brought up as a pet all its life, it will get more used to humans and their indoors way of living. While this statement is mainly true, pet parrots have never lost their natural instincts of surviving in the wild: searching for food, finding a partner, building nests, etc. Of course all of these capabilities might manifest at lower degrees compared to a parrot in the wild, they are still there in our little friend's brain.

Assuming the origins of our parrots, our responsibility as parrot owners and lovers is to try our best to reproduce and recreate the environment their ancestors once used to live in. We need to offer them an environment of daily challenges, adventures and fun while maintaining it safe at all times. And this is where the variety of the parrot toys for daily playing makes a difference.

The benefits of toys

Parrot toys can be associated to the toys that we buy to our children. They love to play with a new toy every time simply because it is new, it might come in bright colors and therefore looks attractive and last but not least it can make various sounds when played with.

Toys play an important role in the daily routine and the development of the parrot. Among the benefits:

  • Toys keep your parrot active and engaged

Similarly to a child, toys are attractive to our pet parrots due to them being something new in their cages, brightly colored or joyfully jingling. However, in order to keep your bird engaged over longer periods, it might be a good idea to rotate the toys in its cage or simply take some of them away for a while and them reintroducing them.

  • Toys keep your parrot mentally stimulated

Some toys can stimulate the logic of your parrot (like the puzzle toys for example). It forces the bird to figure it out regarding what shape it has to pick, what color is the right one, which way to turn certain part of the toy or what is hidden under another layer of the material.

For every parrot a good match

All the parrots love to play and therefore will appreciate their toys. If your parrot does not love the toys you get him/her, it simply means you have not found the right one yet.

While parrot toys come in different shapes, materials, sizes and produce various noise levels, finding the one that suits your household and your parrot is the key. Important is to consider the size of your parrot. If you have a small parakeet or cockatiel, buying a toy that is five times bigger than the parrot will not be a good idea. That is because a toy so big will mainly frighten the bird and he/she will not want to come anywhere near it.

More advantages of getting parrot toys for your little friend

While the main user and beneficiary of the toys is of course our beloved feathered cohabitant, you as his/her best human friend have also plenty to gain.

The parrot toys are a great source of boding with your bird. While playing, you are also spending quality time together, and that will result into a stronger connection in the long run.

Also, stimulating the development of your bird by getting the toys and interacting with the parrot more and more will make him/her more social. That means that the parrot will get more used to having people around, being open and playful with you and your family or guests.

Parrot toys - final note

Your parrot can have too many toys. If you see that your parrot's cage is too full with toys that the bird does not have enough space to move, that is a sign of too many toys. The solution could be removing some of them and then rotating those with other ones currently in the cage. In this way you will manage to keep you bird engaged and moving more freely in the cage.

If your parrot destroys the toys that you bought with so much care and consideration, do not worry, that is a trait of a happy and healthy bird!

To all the Parrot Lovers,

Tatiana

Founder of Best Parrot Toys

Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.