Ask Lafeber

Question:

October 14, 2020

Parrotlet information


Good morning
I am in the process of adopting a baby parrotlet (he arrives at the end of October).
My (soon to be) vet has pointed me in your direction.
I was hoping you could send me some information on them?
I am new to bird community and would like to prepare myself, however your website does not seem to have a lot of information on parrotlets.
I am specifically looking for dietary needs, signs of distress, cage specifics (sleeping, temperature of house, lamp needed?) etc.
Anything you can send me would be much appreciated.


Answer:

Hi Tammy,

I know you are looking forward to your new bird! Parrotlet care is much like any other small parrot. However, they have a big personality with the attitude of a large parrot. They are generally fearless, so you have to be careful with them around other birds or other pets as they will go into attack mode to prove how big they are. LOL

For caging, you need to make sure the bar spacing isn’t too far apart. Any cage that would work for a lovebird will be fine for a Parrotlet. In fact in general, use a lovebird as an example for what size food & toys to buy. Since they are more common, you will find more items labeled for lovebirds. Food for small conures will also be fine. Some Parrotlets like cockatiel or parakeet size foods. It’s best to offer a variety and see what your bird prefers. While they have a small beak, it is very strong. A foraging food – Nutri-Berries, Avi-Cakes or Pellet-Berries –  or a combination of pellets with a foraging diet is best, with some fruits, veggies and healthy table foods offered a few times a week. Parrotlets can get territorial and hormonal when they get around a year old so it’s best not to ever give him anything that resembles a nest – no bird tent, bird hut, cardboard box, etc. nothing he can get inside of. He will be fine at whatever temperature you keep your house – if you are comfortable, he will be. Birds are more susceptible to getting too hot than too cold. In general it is best to avoid abrupt temperature changes – heat or AC needs to be left on for him when you are away. And birds don’t do well with drafts. As far as sleeping, he doesn’t need anything special to sleep in. He will likely choose his highest perch, or he may hang from the side of the cage. Since he will be young, he might start out sleeping on the cage floor and eventually move higher as he gets old. He does not need a nest – a nest is only used by adult birds during breeding season, it is not used for a bed. You can cover the cage at night to give him a better sense of security, or cover part of the cage. Birds do like to have their own space, and will choose a toy to “hide” behind when they aren’t in the mood for company.

You will learn a lot by watching our weekly webinars, which are normally broadcast on Fridays. The video is always available on our youtube channel afterwards. This week’s topic is nutrition! I’ll give you some links to our training information including how to handle the first few days he is home, behavior info and our nutrition page.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Bird Food Guide

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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