You think you are prepared for a pet bird?


Active member
Jun 15, 2020
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 cockatiel named pikachu^^
First of all, if you want a bird, do your research on the bird you want, check your living conditions,etc. Just a simple google search isn't enough. PLEASE, DO NOT IMPULSE BUY. Lots of birds end up in shelters or surrendered because of this. And if you live in a "no pets" home, ask your landlord first. If you sneak one in, you might have to give it up!

1: Space.

Depending on the bird(s) you're getting, it needs a good amount of space. The biggest you can afford. Remember, the smaller the cage, the more time it needs OUTSIDE of the cage.

2: Bar spacing.

If you get a nice, big cage, good for you and the bird! But for example, if you buy a macaw cage for a budgie flock, the bar spacing might be too much, letting your bird squeeze through.

3: Noise.

So, do you want to get a specific species of bird that's a bit loud? (i.e: budgies, cockatiels are quieter and Pikachu's screams are LOUD, just because the bird is small doesn't mean they are quiet! Budgies are good birds though, all birds are <3)

4: Personality.

Birds are toddlers until they die :30:
Basically, they are always acting like toddlers.
They always need food, water, attention, if they don't get it, be ready for the p e a c e f u l sounds of AAAAA!

5: Feeder doors, Guillotine doors.

By "feeder doors" I mean the doors that you use to put your food,water bowls in. Most open like normal doors, but some cages come with "guillotine doors". My birdcage does... They aren't necessarily "bad", but the chances of birdy escaping are high. If they come with a lock - type - mechanism, that's good! If not, it would be best to add one!

6: The Cost.

A bird might only cost around 30$, if you are re-homing or adopting it might even be free, but there's more to the bird.
Vet bills
Water (well, not really!)

And some other not money - related things.


7: toxic things

1. Heavy Metals, Especially Lead, Zinc and Copper
Metals are everywhere in our environments and are an often overlooked source of toxicity in pet birds. Metals can be found in paint, linoleum, soldering, wire, zippers, twist ties and many other objects on which birds love to chew. Even some older bird toys, especially the clappers on metal bells, have been found to contain lead. Birds who may chip away over time at a lead-painted windowsill, lick a metal bell toy, nibble on the soldering of a stained glass Tiffany lamp or chew on a metal zipper are constantly ingesting heavy metals and can potentially become intoxicated. So, if you think your bird may have ingested any of these substances, speak up to your veterinarian immediately, as it could be the difference between life and death.

2. Avocado
Several parts of the avocado plant, but especially the leaves, contain a fatty acid derivative called persin, which has been reported to cause heart failure, respiratory distress and sudden death in a variety of bird species. It’s better to be safe and not offer your bird the guacamole.

3. Caffeine
Caffeine may be a pick-me-up for you but a downer for your bird. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda are tempting to share with your bird, but even a few sips of these beverages can be extremely hazardous to your feathered pal. Caffeine may cause increased heart rate, arrhythmias, hyperactivity and even cardiac arrest in birds. So stick to water and occasional sips of safe fruit drinks, such as apple or cranberry juice, and keep him heart healthy.

4. Chocolate
Like us, many birds love chocolate. But chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in birds. Even worse, chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, which can increase heart rate, cause hyperactivity, induce tremors and seizures, and potentially lead to death in birds. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the percentage of cacao (which are the seeds that contain theobromine and caffeine) and the more toxic it is to your pet. Do your birds a favor β€” give them a sugary fruit treat, like a slice of ripe banana or some juicy grapes, and save the chocolate for yourself.

5. Onions and Garlic
These yummy spices, believed to be heart healthy for people, are well-known toxins to dogs and cats and have caused fatalities in geese and other pet birds. Onions β€” cooked, raw or dehydrated β€” contain sulfur compounds that, when chewed, can cause rupture of red blood cells, Bland is best in birds β€” keep the spices out of your birdie’s body.

6. Salt and Fat
Salt: Many of us overindulge in this favorite condiment, and birds love it, too. Let’s face it β€” what bird doesn’t love to munch on a bunch of salty chips, popcorn, crackers or pretzels? But for a small bird, a few chips or pretzels can contain potentially toxic amounts of salt that can upset his electrolyte balance, leading to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction and even death. Similarly, fatty foods, such as large amounts of butter, nuts and fatty meat, can lead to the buildup of fat deposits within arteries (known as atherosclerosis) that can make some birds, like people, prone to heart disease and stroke. Some bird species, such as Amazon parrots and Quakers, seem to be predisposed to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to coronary artery disease, just like humans. Also, in general, the smaller the bird, the higher the risk with even a few bites of high fat or high salt foods, so to be safe, simply avoid these foods in birds’ diets.

7. Fruit Pits and Apple Seeds
Most birds love fruit, and most fruit is safe for birds. But when offered certain fruits with seeds (like apples and pears) and pits (like cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums), birds should never be allowed to eat the seeds and pits, as they contain small amounts of cardio-toxic cyanide. The seeds found in other fruits, such as grapes, citrus fruits, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, mangoes, pomegranates and berries, all are safe for bird consumption. Just core out the seeds and pits of cyanide-containing fruits and let your birds eat the rest.

8. Xylitol
It causes severe hypoglycemia, liver damage and potential death in dogs. Consequently, it’s best not to take chances in birds who have a higher metabolism than most mammals and who could potentially be affected by very small amounts of this chemical. Birds don’t need to chew gum or eat artificially flavored low-cal foods. Overweight birds can munch on low-starch veggies to keep calories down. Keep the sugar-free stuff away.

9. Smoke and Other Aerosols
Along with the edibles, there are some other things that can be highly toxic to birds. The moral is: If you’re going to spray, keep the birds away.

10. Teflon
In general, the rule is for bird owners is: Just say no to nonstick.

Of course, there are many other toxic items potentially toxic to birds, such as certain plants, lurking in our homes. If we just use common sense, supervise our beloved birds when they’re out of their cages, and offer them only nontoxic foods and toys to chew on, they are more likely to remain safe and happy. As always, if you have any questions about whether something could be potentially toxic to your pet, consult a bird-savvy veterinarian.

8: here are toxic woods:

Fruitless Mulberry
Ginkgo Grape Vines
Grape Palm
Ironwood Larch
Mediterranean Laurel
Norfolk Island Pine
Sweet Gum
Tree Fern
Umbrella Tree Vine

Toxic Woods
Bis d'arc
Horse Apple
Sitka cedar
Yellow cedar
Unequivocally toxic:

Box Elder
Crepe Myrtle
Chinese Popcorn
Chinese Snake Tree
Chinese Tallow
Pitch pine
Sumac (Rhus/Toxicodendron)
Can you handle it all?

Again, PLEASE do your OWN research!

Here are some links to help with your research;

Training Parrots | Parrot Training DVDS & Books
Exclusively Lories | Lory and Lorikeet Conservation
Welcome to the Feather Picking Website!
Parrot Enrichment

You can also go to a rescue or shelter to meet and have some experience with birds.
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Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Nice break-down in general! Welcome, BTW.

If I added to this list, I would include (at the top) the changes to cleaners and scented products/chemical and non-stick coatings in the home..You can't use non-stick anything anywhere in the house (no matter the floor)..not worth the risk.

Also- for a long-lived parrot that is large, you could be looking at a lifetime cost of upwards of $70,000 dollars (and then some)...A larger parrot could cost upwards of $3000 but that is the TIP of a very expensive ice-berg...
and a budgie (while cheaper) should still cost a lot if you are housing, feeding and providing enrichment properly (the different is, they don't live as long as bigger birds and their beaks destroy things more slowly so the toys aren't as expensive).

Finally, certain birds are capable of SUPER loud noises..larger birds especially (but the small ones can still drive you crazy when motivated).

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