How to Choose a Pet Bird

Birds make great pets! And not only the parrots, either - there's a lot of types out there. But how to choose? Read this how-to!


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    Parrots have the best pet quality of birds. They can be taught to speak, are very devoted to their owners, and have beautiful colors. However, remember that they're also hard to care for. They require a sizeable cage, pellet-based diet, lots of toys, and at least an hour of attention each day. A good parrot for a first-timer is the Budgie, a type of Parakeet - they're small, easy to care for, and make wonderful pets.
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    Though they aren't the best pets, chickens can be wonderful for your garden and relaxing to watch, along with supplying eggs for the kitchen. They're fairly straightforward to care for and don't need much attention, too. However, they need to be kept in flocks of at least three in large chicken houses, and are illegal in some areas as technically they're livestock. If you give them lots of attention and love from when they're chicks, you can have yourself a friendly, loveable pet chicken!
    • Along with the yummy eggs, chickens also provide you with an excellent fertilizer for your plants and they keep away pesky bugs that eat your plants such as slugs and snails.
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    Hawks have an essential coolness about them that attracts many people. They are, however, quite difficult to care for, and are mainly used for hunting purposes as they are wild animals, not pets. You'll need to be fourteen or older to have one of these, and get a hawking licence as well.
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    Finches are brightly colored and love to chirp. Canaries are the most popular of them due to their beautiful song (yes, Canaries are Finches). As they need no more attention than maintaining their cage and a yearly visit to the vet, they're good as pets for young children or those who want a beautiful, fascinating pet that's easy to keep.
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    Ducks and geese are messy but cute. Geese can charm anyone with their long neck and clumsy walk, but tend to bite without socialization from the first day you get the downy gosling. Ducks are more friendly and easier to keep due to their small size, but like geese are messy and illegal in some places (like chickens, they count as livestock).
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    Peacocks and turkeys are always a fascination. Domesticated turkeys are much more beautiful than their plain wild kin, with beautiful colors and a larger size that can be intimidating to some. Peacocks are known for beauty, but peahens (the females) don't have much to boast about in the beauty compartment, and both sexes have incredibly loud voices that they like to show off in the middle of the night, to the despair of any neighbors and their owners alike. Again, they are livestock and illegal in some areas.
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    Ostriches and emus are practically dinosaurs pretending to be birds. Ostrich females are difficult to control, and the males are flat-out impossible to and should only be handled by professionals. Emus, on the other hand, have good pet potential. If you buy a hand-raised baby, it's likely your 5-foot-tall bird will think she's a human. They are, however, livestock.
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    Enjoy your bird! Whether it's a tiny yellow Canary or a huge white turkey, I wish you and your new pet the best of luck.


  • If you're choosing a bird for your child, or if you are a junior yourself, please restrict yourself to small birds like budgies, finches, chickens, or ducks as they are the safest and easiest to keep and care for.
  • When choosing your bird, please adopt from a shelter or purchase from a reliable breeder. "Backyard" breeders or pet stores should not be bought from.


  • Birds such as emus, ostriches, and hawks are physically capable of severely injuring you. Because of this, use caution when handling them and learn from an expert before purchasing.

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