beautiful yellow blue parrot

How to Keep Your Parrot Alive for 30+ Years?

Parrots are beautiful, exotic birds that fill our homes with color and joy. Unfortunately, many parrots have a short lifespan and some parrot owners face the horrible experience of losing their feathered friends at a young age, because of common diseases and infections. According to the Parrot Society of America, about 80% of parrots die before the age of 20, because they are bred in captivity, which increases their exposure to disease.

To help you keep your parrot for 30+ years, we’ve put together this ultimate guide on everything you need to know about keeping a healthy parrot.

Know Your Parrot’s Diet and Nutrition Requirements

Parrot eating guava
Parrot eating guava (Juan Camilo Guarin P – Unsplash)

Parrots are omnivores, which means they eat both plants, insects and meats. While their natural diet includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries, they must also be given a diet of grain-based pellets, vegetables, and a small amount of seeds, nuts, and fruits to ensure they get enough vitamins and minerals and do not develop nutritional deficiencies.

We recommend giving your bird a nutritionally balanced diet that includes vegetables and fruits, and seeds, as well as high-quality pellets.

  • Vegetables and Fruits : You can feed your parrot a variety of vegetables and fruits, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, blueberries, blackberries, and other berries, pears, peaches, mangoes, and avocados. However, avoid feeding your parrot broccoli with the stems and broccoli that has been frozen, as well as grapefruit, oranges, and tomatoes, as they can be toxic to parrots.
  • Seeds and Nuts : They are a staple of a parrot diet, but they can also be fattening. If you’re worried about your parrot getting too fat, you can replace some of the seeds with sprouted sunflower seeds, which have less fat than normal seeds. However, avoid giving your bird coconut and peanuts that have been roasted or salted.

Provide Proper Ventilation and Lighting Conditions

Parrot eating guava
Parrot eating guava (Zdeněk Macháček – Unsplash)

You need to provide proper ventilation to keep your parrot healthy, especially important during the warmer months. To prevent your parrot from getting sick or contracting diseases, keep your house at a temperature that is neither too cold nor too warm, and of course, don’t blow the air conditioning on your parrot. Try to keep the temperature around 22 to 26 degrees Celsius. If you feel that the temperature in your house is too warm, you can try to lower it with one or more fans.

You also need to consider your parrot’s lighting requirements. Parrots are diurnal, which means that they are most active during the day. If you have a parrot that will be inside for most of the day, you should make sure you have appropriate lighting in their cage.

You can use a combination of natural sunlight, as well as artificial light from lamps.

Don’t Forget the Daily Exercise!

African grey parrot on a perch playing with a bell
African grey parrot on a perch playing with a bell (Drew Avery – Wikimedia Commons)

Part of keeping your parrot healthy also involves giving him daily exercise. When you exercise your parrot, you lower his risk of developing heart and joint diseases, as well as obesity, diabetes, and other diseases that can shorten his lifespan. You do that by playing with him, spending time outside his cage, or using a parrot swing.

You can also engage in outside activities with your parrot, such as hiking or cycling, as long as you keep him safe and protected.

Don’t Forget the Veterinary Care

Veterinarian diagnosing a parrot
Veterinarian diagnosing a parrot (LuckyBusiness – Canva)

Parrot owners commonly forget that their parrots need veterinary care. In fact, many people wait until their birds are seriously ill before taking them to the vet : do not make that mistake!

This is a mistake. Instead of treating your parrot’s illnesses after they appear, make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as you notice changes in its behaviour. Do not forget that you can take your bird to the vet for a general health check-up, or you can have your parrot vaccinated against common diseases. Waiting too long can cause you to miss the best time for a vaccination against deadly diseases. A vet visit can help you catch any potential health problems before they become too serious.

Header Image Credit : Ilona Frey – Unsplash

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Claire Howell

Claire Howell

Claire Howell is a Knoxville-based veterinarian who loves nature and all types of animals, from dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and rabbits. She graduated from a vet diploma in 2013 and has been working as a vet since. Claire lives with her husband and two children - both of whom are also animal lovers!

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