How To Take Care of Baby Parrotlets (with Pictures)


Raising parrotlet babies is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Although this tiny bird does not require particular care, raising baby birds is not as easy as taking care of adult ones. Nonetheless, one of the main benefits of nurturing baby birds is that they will become extremely attached to you, which will allow you to develop a long and rewarding relationship with these fascinating and jovial feathered creatures.

Make sure to follow this guide for tips and recommendations on how to take care of baby parrotlets.divider-bird

Quick Facts about the Parrotlet

Blue Parrotlet
Image Credit: klickblick, Pixabay

The parrotlet is the smallest species of the Psittacidae family. Indeed, it measures between four and five inches long and weighs about 30 grams. Its body is rather stocky with a short tail. However, it has a sturdy and strong beak for its size, which allows it to perform stunts in her cage.

Species Name: Forpus coelestis
Size: between 4 and 5 inches
Weight: 30 g
Longevity: from 15 to 20 years

Before You Start: What You Need to Know

  • They live a long time. Parrotlets usually live for several years – between 15 and 20 years. Are you ready to make such a long-term commitment?
  • They get attached to their human. This endearing characteristic of this species can become problematic if you do not have enough time to devote to him. Your little bird will then become stressed, start to pluck its feathers, and may even stop feeding. So, never neglect your parrotlet if you don’t want to deal with disastrous consequences.
  • They need to fly. Make sure your parrotlet will be able to do this in his cage. To do this, get a large enough cage or even an aviary.
  • They are very fond of bathing. Therefore, you will have at least one suitable birdbath in the cage.
  • They are granivorous birds. Their basic diet consists mainly of seed mixtures containing millet, seed, oatmeal, or sunflower. You can supplement their diet with fruits and vegetables. This little bird is, however, greedy; make sure you don’t overfeed it!

Step 1: Choose the Right Breeder

Before adopting or purchasing your baby parrotlet, do extensive research to find a suitable breeder. Hand-reared baby parrotlets are generally very affectionate; it is easier and faster to tame them. Because of this, make sure that the potential breeder has taken great care of the babies from birth. They should have been used to being hand-fed and handled daily from an early age. Visit the breeder’s facilities to make sure his birds are being raised in optimal conditions.

Note: It is advisable to adopt a parrotlet of at least three months old. Indeed, babies who have not been well tamed will require several months of constant interaction before being comfortable with you. However, each parrotlet has its own personality; It is, therefore, difficult to predict whether your baby will be more fearful or, on the contrary, very exuberant.


Step 2: Give Your Parrotlet Some Time to Get Used to Its New Home

Take your new baby home and put him in his cage; he will need to get used to its new surroundings. Give him a few days to get used to his new home. Your parrotlet should eat, drink, explore its cage, and examine its toys before you start interacting more with him. However, you should talk to him softly from the first few days to get him used to your voice and your presence.


Step 3: Begin the Training of Your Baby Parrotlet

Once your baby parrotlet is used to your presence, you can start training him to climb on your hand or shoulder:

  • Choose a quiet time when there’s not a lot of activities in your house.
  • Get a small hand towel and approach your parakeet’s cage, talking to it softly.
  • Open the cage and place the towel on your parrotlet. This towel will allow you to gently hold the bird while you take it out of the cage. Since your bird will have no idea what you are doing, it will flap its wings. Just grab it and take it gently; birds have hollow bones, and you don’t want to crush them or hurt the bird.
  • Take your parrotlet to a small space. It might sound silly, but the bathroom is a great place. First, use the tub stopper in the bathtub to prevent your bird from falling down the drain, then close the shower curtain: you’re now ready for the proper training!

Training Your Parrotlet to Climb on Your Finger or a Perch

Here, you have two choices: you can start teaching your bird to ride your finger right away, or you can use a perch. Baby parrotlets can bite your fingers when they’re scared, so if you’re nervous about the idea, use a small wooden perch.

  • Put your finger or the perch under the bird’s legs and remove the towel. He will flap his wings to descend without knowing what to do.
  • Put the towel back on it, pick it up, and put it back on your finger or perch. You’ll probably have to repeat these steps six or seven times before he understands that you want him to stay on the perch.
  • Talk to your bird When he stays on the perch without leaving, praise him using a high-pitched voice and telling him he’s a good bird. He won’t understand what you say, but he will know that you are proud of him. When he understands it, you will know: a happy parrotlet will puff up its feathers, wag its tail with joy, stand erect and proud, and chirp.
  • While your parrotlet is standing on your finger or perch, gently place another perch or finger at its belly level, just above its legs, telling it to “go up”. He may flap his wings, but with persistence, he will put his leg on the new perch. Then continue doing this method three or four times until your bird starts climbing on each perch you present to him.

Tips:

  • Don’t stop talking to your baby bird and praising him. Again, you will know when he gets the hang of it because he will puff up his feathers and be very proud. Consistency is essential!
  • Always make the same request and the same physical cues in the same place each time.
  • After a few consecutive climbs, take a moment to rub your bird’s head and cuddle it.

Repetition is the Key to Successful Training

You should repeat these steps two or three times a day. The goal is to be able to open the cage, put your finger in front of your bird, and ask it to come up. He should not hesitate to climb since the times outside the cage are times of play and cuddles. Most young parrotlets will achieve this after just about a week of practice. However, do not leave the cage open and allow the bird to enter and exit as it pleases. A young parrotlet that decides when to go out is difficult to train and can get lost looking for you, or someone might walk on it.


Step 4: Feed Your Baby Parrotlet a Balanced Diet

Your baby parrotlet’s basic diet should consist mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, cut into small pieces, baby bird pellets, and nuts and seeds, such as millet. However, do not give them more than a tiny portion of seeds per day. By the way, the best fruits and vegetables for your babies are bananas, pears, apples, pomegranate, corn, celery, peas, and green beans.

Important: Do NOT feed your baby parrotlet the following foods (as this can be toxic to your little bird):

  • Avocado
  • Parsley
  • Beetroot
  • Raw potato
  • Chocolate
  • Bread
  • Whole birdseed
  • Milk
  • Pet bird food
  • Worms
  • Kitchen scraps

Step 5: Socializing Your Baby Parrotlet

Parrotlets are mostly gregarious, which means they love to live with their peers. Therefore, from an early age, the bird is involved in group activities and learns to “live in society.” Captive breeding is consequently a bit unnatural for these birds who need the company of their fellows. This is why you must involve him as much as possible in your life and the lives of other members of your family.

Indeed, every member of your family should handle it; in addition, do not hesitate to present it to visitors and your friends. The more contact he has with different people, the more he will learn to be open to strangers, and the less he will be afraid of them. In addition, repeated contact with humans will prevent your pet from developing behavioral problems related to stress or fear.divider-bird

Other essential factors to consider:

Room temperature

Young birds are more sensitive to cold than adults; indeed, they have less reserve and fat and fewer feathers. Therefore, the room temperature should be around 75 ° F. You could also add a heat lamp (like for reptiles) above his cage. Make sure, however, that your baby parrotlet cannot reach it, let alone the wire of the lamp! This lamp can be turned on for two hours in the afternoon – birds often take an afternoon nap, and being less active, their body temperature drops.

Sleep

Babies and young birds need as much sleep as possible to promote proper growth and good health. They need 12-14 hours of sleep per night, which means avoiding noise and light. Cover the cage with an opaque blanket and set it up somewhere a little out of the way, especially if you’re planning a noisy night out with guests.

Flight

Unfortunately, most of the birds sold have their wing feathers cut off. It is not recommended to cut birds’ feathers even in adulthood, and it is even more critical in young birds because they still have not learned to fly. In doing so, they may not develop the flapping reflex and build their muscles properly. To remedy this, you can place your baby on your index finger, hold one paw with your thumb, and gently move your hand up and down to encourage him to flap his wings. This will work out his flight muscles and vaguely teach him how to fly. It will also give him a better chance of escaping a cat’s fangs!

Bonus Tips:

  • Letting your bird fly freely across the room: If you decide to release your parrotlet for a while during the day, always watch him carefully! Indeed, watching your bird is essential to ensure that it does not hide on the sofa or under a pillow. The parrot is so tiny that an accident happens very quickly.

divider-bird

Final Thoughts

Raising baby parrots can be extremely rewarding and fun. By taming this fiery and loving bird at such a young age, you will strengthen your bond; you will be able to share many years of avian company with this adorable little creature. So, be sure to give your baby the best possible care and start training as early as possible. This way, you will make sure you have the best-feathered companion possible.

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Featured Image Credit: Baby parrotlets, Siobhan Bickerdike, Flickr, Attribution CC 2.0





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