10 ways to thrive with your parrot.

Kathy LaFollett
4 min readJan 17, 2019

1) Healthy foods! I’m not saying expensive trendy foods. I’m saying plain old healthy choices. No need to break the bank creating complicated chops. Our foods around here are healthy, raw and simple compared to some conversations and recipes online. There’s almost a competition in the parrot community about feeding. Not everyone can afford these items, and those that do not have the resources feel less than because of their inability to keep up with the latest and greatest trend. I want to make it clear, it’s okay if you‘re not creating the latest chop recipe containing quinoa and dragon fruit. Apples go a long way in nutrition. We stay in the simple lane at our home. Investing the savings into their yearly healthcare, toy needs and environment.

2) Communication! Companions are friends. When we forget to communicate with our human friends, there can be a breakdown of trust and understanding that’s assumed. Our parrots are no different. They may not know about birthdays, but they are aware of us walking right by their cage without saying hello, or taking a moment to give them some attention. Communication comes in all kinds of forms, and the more creative you are with communication the deeper your relationship can grow.

3) Sharing! Every thing. Oh yes, our companions assume everything we have is theirs and everything they have is theirs and everything not yet negotiated should be theirs. There is nothing more powerful than the thing you and your companion share. Food, time, toy, play, couch, pillow, view, conversation, jokes, and games are all commodities to share. And every one is a brick in the relationship’s wall only companion parrots can create. It’s unique and special.

4) Choice! Choice is in a parrot’s DNA. The more we can build choice into our parrot’s world the happier and healthier our parrots are for it. Choices of location, materials, foods, company, views and us. And the most important choice of all; being able to say no. Allowing a parrot to turn you down is the absolute epoch of empathy and love.

5) Healthcare! Oh yes, yearly vet checkups are that one step that seals the deal and removes the guessing game of health questions. You can guess about problems by asking questions to groups of people in social media or you can know your parrot’s baseline status and feel secure in knowledge backed by science. I know it’s expensive, but so is chasing food changes, cleaning processes, throwing out items some person told you to get rid of because it ‘worked for them’. Every single parrot is different, and every single parrot lifestyle is unique. You are literally joining a guessing game when throwing a question about your unique companion and life into the social media grinder. We don’t like strangers coming up to us in public places making remarkable suggestions about our parrots, dogs, children or our own moments, so why voluntarily open yourself and parrot up to costly frustrations and stress? Know yourself, because you have a partner in healthcare.

6) Routines! Not to worry, you may not think you have routines because your life is busy full of family demands; you have hidden routines. Anyone who can make an appointment on time is in a routine. And parrots do best in routines. Met expectations tell them they are safe, they are in the right flock, and they need not worry. Flocks operate on a schedule for safety and successful flock living. Sometimes the only changes you need to make to help a “mean” or “scared” companion is setting up routines, so they can expect things on time. Routines are a foundation of communication.

7) Humor! RELAX! Unlike humans, parrots take nothing seriously. Every thing is a game, an experiment and a selfish act. We are all lucky to have a parrot tongue stuck in our ear, because, how can you possibly not laugh at that? Parrots have a sense of humor and they understand surprises, ironic moments and you laughing with them.

8) Sleep! And by sleep I mean darkness. A good night of 10–12 hours of dark year round delivers a very level companion. Parrots do not sleep the night through. I sleep with 4; I know. They wake up, poop, laugh, preen, mutter, chuckle, shift and turn around. It’s the darkness they need. Let them suss out the sleep pattern.

9) YOU! Oh yes, do not forget the equation of you. You, your company, your voice, your energy, your attention and intention all create the companion relationship. It starts and ends with you.

10) You must write this point out for you and your flock. Only you know your bird, your life, your finances, your tastes and your available times. This is all personal. You and your companion need to create Thriving Rule #10. I suggest the 1–9 to start. I‘m certain 1–9 will create your 10.