There are so many different types of birds people can own these days. So, that poses the question—do birds make good pets? The answer is a complicated one, but yes—birds can make perfect pets sometimes. Even though these animals can make very rewarding companions, there is a lot to consider.
Ultimately, only you can decide if owning a bird is right for you. But let’s go over some things you should think about before you commit.
The 4 Options for Pet Birds
First, you need to pinpoint exactly what kind of bird you want. Owning a bird isn’t limited to only those you find in the pet store. You can also own farm birds and keep birds of prey. Let’s go over each one in detail.
1. Domesticated Birds
There are many birds that you could buy at pet shops and from local breeders near you. The bird trade is bustling, with many owners buying different species from across the globe and acclimating them into their households. Your choice of bird will depend on the kind of companionship you’re looking for—so be selective.
- Large Birds – Larger birds like parrots and cockatoos can be incredibly rewarding for the right owners. However, you have to consider that these birds require special care to stay healthy, as they are tropical creatures that need specific environments and diets. Because of their high levels of intelligence, larger parrots don’t do well being home alone for long periods. They require interaction and affection from owners and might become depressed or agitated without it. They also have impressive lifespans, sometimes outliving their owners, which can cause concerns. If anything happens to you, you might need to put a plan in place so your bird is not left without a home.
- Medium Birds – Medium-sized birds like lovebirds, conures, and cockatiels are generally pleasant to own. They have less extensive lifespans than their parrot cousins. They make terrific picks for novice owners because they are easy to care for and bond well with owners. Some of these birds can be more vocal and spirited than others. For instance, conures tend to be much more vocal than their quiet cockatiel cousins. It’s important to research the specific bird of interest that describes what to expect from the specific species.
- Small Birds – Tinier bird species like parakeets, parrotlets, finches, and canaries can be excellent pets. However, there is such a huge difference between the species. Smaller tropical birds seem to take on many of the attributes of their larger cousins. However, other birds—like finches and canaries—are never quite as calm or personable. You have to be very careful when you handle them, as they are frantic and fragile. Many smaller birds work best for experienced avian owners.
2. Flock Birds
If you’re not too keen on having a single pet bird cooped up in your house—we have another idea.
If you live on the land with some acreage, you might be able to keep a flock of chickens, ducks, peacocks, geese, or guineas. Each one will need specific setups, but they are flock animals, which means you should have at least four or more at one time.
Even though this may not be a traditional pet, these animals can be beneficial and fun to care for. You can reap the rewards of having your very own egg production., too. And if your flock is big enough, you might even be able to sell the eggs for profit—which can be a good investment.
Flock animals are generally easy to keep in feed, as they spend most of their time foraging for their own food. However, you have to put safety measures to protect them from predators and other dangers.
While not everyone considers these birds to be traditional pets, they can make very entertaining barnyard friends. Plus, these animals can serve as an outstanding lesson in responsibility for growing children.
3. Wild birds
In most places, it is not legal to own a wild bird. Birds that are used to the outdoors need to be in their natural habitat—especially if they are fully grown when you find them.
Most states have laws against wild birds in captivity. However, in certain situations, you might find an orphaned or injured bird. To ensure the safety and recovery of the bird, you will need to contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility near you.
Even if the facility you called cannot help you with your present issue, they will direct you and give you advice. Each state has a wildlife department that handles these situations. They often try to rehabilitate the animal and release it back into the wild where they belong.
Even though it is tempting at times to keep a wild bird if you ever run into one, the reality is that most people are just not equipped to deal with the challenges that come along with it. Not to mention wild birds can carry diseases, so always wash your hands after handling them.
In some states, you could obtain the proper licensure to own a variety of prey birds. Typically, this process involves trapping the bird in the wild and domesticating them. You then train the bird to hunt, which could be rewarding for a sportsman.
Although most of these birds are returned back into the wild after several years, the time you have them is advantageous and certainly a learning experience. However, there is a rigorous process that you have to go through to do that.
This method of bird own is a bit of a challenge, and it isn’t what you would consider a traditional pet situation.
Pros of Having Birds as Pets
Birds can be exceptional pets for the right types of people—but are you one of them? Here are some major upsides to show you why bird-owning might just be your thing.
- Birds are very affectionate
- Birds are full of personality
- Birds are beautiful creatures
- Birds are very interactive with people
- There are many species to choose from
- Birds are generally easy to keep
- Birds are cage animals
Cons of Having Birds as Pets
With any pet, there comes a series of downfalls. Here are a couple of things you may want to think about before committing.
- Birds in the home need to be in cages
- Birds must have their flight wings clipped regularly
- Birds require a lot of interaction and bonding
- Birds need very specific living conditions
- Birds can suffer malnutrition easily
- Birds sometimes have very long lifespans
- Healthcare can be expensive
Do Birds Make Great First Pets?
Certain birds can make very good first pets for a child or young adult, permitting the child is old enough to accept the responsibility. It is important to highlight that most birds are very fragile and require lots of care and attention.
If you think your child is old enough to own a bird of their own, some terrific starter choices include:
- Pionus Parrots
Ultimately, only you can decide if a bird is the right pet for you. One thing to reiterate is that there are so many types of birds that you can keep. It would be best if you made sure to thoroughly do your research to make sure you are compatible with the species you choose.
Ask yourself—do you want your bird living in the home? Would you prefer a flock of outdoor poultry? Are you interested in a possible apprenticeship to keep birds of prey? Once you narrow down your wants, you can select the one that works best for you.
Featured Image Credit: Anita_Morgan, Pixabay