Pet birds – The best species to choose for children
If you have always fancied having birds as pets at home then this might be of interest. And if you have children and they ask you regularly if they have pets then consider these bird species as options. As every pet owner knows pet birds can be a joy. Here is a list of 6 of the top bird species to consider if you are choosing pet birds for your home and children.
Top 6 Pet Bird Species Perfect for Children
Ever heard the question “Can we get a pet?’ It is inseparably connected with parenthood. Finding their beloved best friend puppy, kitten, or bird is every child’s dream come true. Unfortunately, younger kids usually don’t understand that being a full-fledged pet owner is not only joy, happiness, and kisses but also walks, cleaning, and other responsibilities.
Does keeping birds appeal to you?
Before you buy your child a pet bird, gather the rest of the family in the kitchen and think it over carefully. Parrots and birds may not need walks and mountains of food, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have personalities (just take a look at temperamental goffin cockatoos) and are low maintenance.
Birds get scared if they hear loud noises (like crying) or feel sudden movements. They may bite or fly away in response, so it would be best if they were chosen as a companion of at least a 12-year-old child who is calmer than an energetic 6 year old.
If you have already researched all pros and cons of a pet bird owner’s life, and are 100% able to help your child with cage cleaning and other maintenance, then it’s time to review the species!
Which pet birds should you consider?
Below you will find a list of the best pet bird companions for your child. Each species is different and unique, but they all share those four characteristics: ease of care, medium life expectancies (oscillating around 30 years), low noise level, and maintenance cost.
Let’s meet the contestants!
Cockatiels make amazing pet birds. They have a graceful appearance (they blush!) and the sweetest voices. Your child can teach them how to talk, do tricks, and whistle, making them once-in-a-lifetime companions.
Cockatiels will feel the best in large cages (between 20 to 24 square inches) full of toys and branches to jump and fly. They need a diverse seed diet, water changing, baths, and daily playtime for mental stimulation. Cockatiels need gentle hands, attention, and time, so an older child will make the best owner. They may live up to 14 years.
Canaries are one of the easiest to care pet birds on this list. They don’t require one-on-one time with their young owners (they don’t like handling), so all you have to do is give your pet bird food, water and clean the cage regularly.
The canaries are colorful (the most common color is yellow) and lively with beautiful singing voices. Choose this species if you want a relatively low maintenance pet and if you are unbothered by hours of singing during the day (but only if your canary is male). Canaries can live up to 15 years.
Red-beaked finches are another perfect first pet bird option that requires zero to no interaction. They don’t sing but chatter and chirp softly, which, connected with their colorful feathers, makes them a lovable older children’s companion.
Finches are not solitary – they are pretty social. It is best to keep them in pairs rather than alone. They don’t like handling and human interaction, so they might get bored and sad if they are the only cage tenants. And make sure that you keep them in roomy cages with plenty of flying space! Finches live up to 8 years and love sunflower seeds.
Budgies, also known as parakeets, are colorful little birds who like to play and interact with humans. They are easy to care for, learn how to talk, and create an unbreakable bond with their owners.
It is always good to bring home hand-fed pet birds (as children are inexperienced aviculturists), and the same goes to budgies. Those birds don’t need large cages (as they are tiny), but an immense amount of toys, and a diet consisting of seeds, vegetables, and “chop.” Parakeets may live up to 15 years.
A Lovebird is nothing else but a small (around 6 ½ inches) parrot. It has a peachy face, a colorful body, and lots of energy. Choose Lovebirds if your child would love lots of interaction and bonding time. They can have a strong personality, so it would be best to get a professional bird expert’s advice before buying one.
It is best to keep a lovebird in a bigger cage with lots of toys and perches. You and your child will have to clean the cage regularly, feed it and change the water daily. You should also consider that lovebirds are incredibly active and they love to sit on their owner’s hand or shoulder to be in the middle of attention. A lovebird can live up to 15 years.
Pacific Parrotlets make great first pet birds for elementary school children and quickly adapt to family life. You can teach them how to speak and do tricks (little ones), but those birds have strong personalities, so they can be aggressive if they get too excited. It would help if you kept them as single birds to avoid dominant and hostile behaviors.
Parrotlets are very active, so they require big cages with plenty of toys (like ropes and ladders) to play. To keep your bird strong and healthy, replace its food twice a day, and keep the diet in 50% fresh veggies, 30% pellets, and 20% seed mix proportions. Pacific parrotlet lives up to 30 years and doesn’t require an experienced hand.
Best Pet Birds for Kids
You should give your child a pet bird only if you and a new owner know all the responsibilities that come with this privilege. Daily cage cleaning, playtime, mindful feeding, and wing and claw clipping are necessary to keep your bird a happy, cheerful, and healthy companion for long years.
Raising and taming a pet bird takes attention, time, patience, and a certain maturity level, so don’t make it a surprise. Treat your child as a responsible individual, and consider their opinion in the species decision process.
A final word on keeping birds and your choice of pets
If your child likes to pet and wants to become lifetime friends with their pets, get a social cockatiel or pacific parrotlet that will be delighted with love and attention. It’s vital to find a species that is not only colorful and sings beautifully but matches the young owner’s personalities and lifestyle.
FURTHER READING FOR HOMEOWNERS & PETOWNERS
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on renovating and decorating a home.
Best pets for children – Points to consider
Managing home to maintain children’s health
Becoming financially independent – How to help my child
Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money
What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities