If you want a pet that is not your typical four legged furry companion, then a pet bird might just be perfect for you. Not only are they fascinating, with their beautiful plumage and delightful song but they can provide hours of entertainment and affection for the whole family. For children, a pet bird can encourage responsibility as they learn to care for their avian friend, as well as providing them with an entertaining companion.
There is a large variety of birds available in different colours, shapes, sizes and with varying degrees of temperament. Given this multitude of options it is very difficult to know which bird breeds are the most suitable for a pet. A lot of bird breeds may actually be unsuitable pets for the average family with children, as the bird may be dominant and require expert handling or they may dislike the noisy energy of young children. Large parrots often fall into this category – they are very attractive because of their brilliant colours and mimicking ability but they may be too aggressive, demanding and noisy for an inexperienced owner. At the other end of the spectrum, some birds may be too fragile to cope as pets for boisterous young children, who may not understand how delicate a bird is and that it is not just a stuffed toy.
Whatever type of bird you select, it is best if possible to buy from an experienced breeder rather than from a pet shop. The best pets are birds which have been hand-reared and well socialised with humans. This also implies that they are used to frequent handling and also domestic environments. While some pet shops do source their birds from reputable breeders and are experienced in caring for the birds while in the shop, you have to ask before you buy. It is very important also to find a local veterinarian who is experienced in dealing with birds and seek their receommendation before purchasing a bird.