It all depends on the bird. Parrots come in many different shapes and sizes. Their compatibility with children varies on their breed, training, and personality. A number of different types of parrots are commonly kept for pets: African Grey, Amazon, cockatoos, conures, Poicephalus, macaws, budgerigars or parakeets, and a few others. All of these birds could become great pets for an adult, but some of them aren’t as good with the kids. Some birds naturally respond better to children than others in an individual way, yet generally there are certain breeds that are considered to have better overall temperaments with children than other breeds.
Experts and bird owners will debate which breed is the very best for kids and some may even debate the birds being placed in this category. It’s important to remember that birds are individual and they each have their own personality. In other words, a bad experience with one individual bird in the category doesn’t mean that its fellow birds of the same breed will behave similarly.
Best Breeds for Children
Both poicephalus parrots (African hook-bills) and pionus are considered to be good with kids. They are both known for having good personalities and being gentle, tolerant, and quieter than other breeds. Pionus don’t have a preening gland, so they produce dander and dust. Additionally, they carry a slightly musky smell.
Parakeets and cockatiels are both small birds considered to be good learning companions for children. Kids and the parrots can learn and practice sounds together. Parakeets are the most popular breed of pet parrots. They are trainable and can be tamed. Before they are tamed, parakeets can sometimes be nippy and flighty. Cockatiels are known to be calmer and quieter than other small birds. They can be trained to whistle very well.
Some Say Yes, Some Say No
Conures and Macaws are both common parrot pets in which owners and experts have varying opinions. Conures are reported by some to be good with children and other owners claim that they don’t like kids and will bite them. Remember to teach children never to poke their fingers through the cages at the parrot. Parrots may feel threatened if they are being poked at and the child could end-up being bitten.
A number of experts and bird owners claim that Squawker Macaws are the best parrot pets for kids. Others claim that their large beaks are too powerful to have around children for fear of safety. They all agree that macaws are known for being cuddly, talkative, and relatively quiet compared to other breeds of parrots. They also do not go through a hormonal phase. Hormonal phases can make birds very irritable and sometimes bad-tempered.
Breeds that are Better with Adults
African Greys are known for being incredibly intelligent parrots with the largest vocabulary, however they may make better pets for adults than children. Amazons are also not the best parrot for kids.
There are some things that anyone who is considering buying a parrot should know beforehand. Parrots have extraordinarily long lifespans for a pet, which is something to keep in mind when making the decision to add one to your family. All breeds of parrots are “high maintenance” pets. They need food, grooming, and regular exercise. They also need a lot of attention, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation. The upkeep involved with a parrot is similar to having an additional child.
Breeds can be used as a general guideline, but how the parrot has been raised and trained plays the most important role in developing its personality and overall temperament. Not all parrots make great pets for kids, but some parrots can become wonderful pets for children and valued members of the family. Considering the parrot’s lengthy lifespan, one of the greatest things about having one as a pet for your child is that they can grow-up together and share their lives with each other. It’s a unique experience to give to a child.