Why Parrots Don’t Make Good Pets

Parrots, with their vibrant plumage and incredible intelligence, captivate the hearts of many aspiring pet owners. However, beneath the allure lies a reality that often goes unexplored. In this in-depth exploration, we delve into the multifaceted world of parrot ownership, shedding light on why these magnificent birds may not be suitable pets for everyone.

The Parrot Reality Check:

1. Lifespan:

Parrots are not short-term commitments; they are lifetime companions. With lifespans ranging from 15 to 80 years, depending on the species, prospective owners must consider the enduring responsibility and emotional attachment that comes with caring for a parrot throughout its entire life.

2. A Parrots Complex Social Needs:

Parrots are highly social beings with complex emotional and social needs. They thrive on interaction and mental stimulation. For individuals who cannot devote substantial time and attention to their feathered friends, the risk of behavioral issues like anxiety, aggression, or depression significantly increases.

3. Dietary Requirements:

Parrots require a naturalistic and nutritionally diverse diet. A simple seed mix won’t suffice. A proper diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a variety of grains. Maintaining this balanced nutrition is not only time-consuming but may also require extensive knowledge to meet the specific needs of each parrot species. Luckily we have you covered on this issue, CLICK HERE to use our Parrot Nutrition Calculators for small to large parrot species.

4. Need for Outdoor Aviary and Flying Time:

Parrots are not meant to be confined to a small cage. They thrive in spacious environments, preferably in an outdoor aviary. Adequate flying time is crucial for their physical and mental health. Without the freedom to fly, parrots can develop obesity, muscle atrophy, and behavioral problems.

5. Vocalization and Noise:

Parrots are known for their vocalizations, which can range from charming mimicry to ear-piercing shrieks. The noise level can be disruptive and may not be suitable for apartment living or for individuals who require a quiet living space.

6. Potential Health Complications:

Parrots are susceptible to a range of health issues, including respiratory problems, nutritional deficiencies, and beak and feather diseases. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential, and medical care can be costly.

7. Cage Size:

Adequate cage size is crucial for a parrot’s well-being. Many commercially available cages are far too small for larger parrot species. A spacious and stimulating environment is necessary to prevent stress and encourage natural behaviors. The larger the cage the better, all parrots require a minimum cage size of 2x their wing span according to Purdue University, College of Veterinary Medicine:

“When purchasing a bird, consider its wingspan;  the cage you house the bird in should be at least twice the bird’s wingspan in width, length, and depth.”

  • Cage minimum for large parrot species: 110″x62″ (279.4cm x 157.5cm)
  • Cage minimum for small parrot species: 48″x30″ (122cm x 76cm)

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While the allure of parrot ownership is undeniable, it is essential to recognize the significant challenges and responsibilities that come with caring for these intelligent and long-lived creatures. Before considering a parrot as a pet, potential owners must thoroughly assess their lifestyle, commitment, and resources. For many, the complexities of parrot ownership may outweigh the rewards, making other, more suitable pets a better choice.


Parrots deserve optimal care and attention, and those considering them as pets must be ready to invest the time, effort, and resources needed to provide a fulfilling life for these extraordinary beings. Before bringing a parrot into your home, thoroughly research the specific needs of the species you’re interested in and carefully evaluate your ability to meet those needs throughout the bird’s entire lifespan.

Click here to use our Bird Nutrition Calculators


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