Dang, this is a dicey😓😨, somewhat icy🥶 conversation we are about to have!
See, in all honesty, there is no one way that is better than the other when it comes to adopting or buying a pet bird, more so parrots.
Both situations are classic catch twenty-two, each with its fair share of pros and cons.
I know from face value (and a humane perspective, to say the least), adopting a bird seems like a no-brainer and the best way to go.
Besides, the maths will favor you, especially if you adopt the bird at no cost because the alternative would be everything and pricey.
Pet birds (particularly parrots🦜) come at a sufficiently hefty price.
However, there is a whole lot of an adopted bird's life you will have missed, which might make all the difference.
You could get a well-raised and socialized parrot whose owner can no longer take care of for whatever reason, but you might also land on a mistreated hence guarder feathered kid with all kinds of behavioral issues.
On the flip side, pet stores and breeders will offer you a young bird at a hefty price that you'll need to teach everything from scratch.
You will also have to deal with a pubescent hormonal birdie, which could ruin your love for birds forever.
Well, too much of this intro, let's get to the nitty gritties of adopting a bird versus purchasing one. Hopefully, by the end of this post, I will have made your decision a lot easier.
Why You Should Adopt Your Pet Bird
Perhaps the reason most people would choose to adopt a bird (parrot) instead of buying one is that they are good, noble, and responsible members of society.
Choosing to take care of a live bird that would otherwise be living in an unfit environment not only improves its quality of life, it might also be what helps it live to its full potential in the first place.
Your somewhat trivial deed has some wave effect as well because it frees up cage space at a rescue for one more bird to be saved from a bad situation.
See, although most parrots that need rehoming do not come from bad backgrounds but from owners who, for some reason, can not continue caring for their pet (mostly from old age and ailment), they need love and affection regardless.
Plus, we can't overlook the fact that some birds owners deliberately neglect their parrots, and the world needs people like you to save these cute, cuddly feathered babies.
Another reason you may want to consider adopting a bird (though secondary) is you'll get to save not very few dollars.
Most pet birds, more so parrots, cost upwards of 20 dollars, and the larger, more beautiful, and talkative birds like African grey parrots may easily set you back 120 dollars (plus), US.
As well, when you take the adopt-a-bird way, you won't have to deal with your parrot's puberty, which is when most people give up on them.
The birds you get will most likely have already developed an independent personality, talking abilities, and skills, thus easier to interact and bond with.
Adopted juvenile or adult birds will also have a fully developed plumage and colors, so you will have a clear idea of the countenances of the bird you are getting.
Nothing sucks more than getting a budgie that you thought was blue in color, and in a year or so, it turns out to be yellow or whatever color (this is on a light note, don't🚫 judge👩⚖️👨⚖️ me💁♀️💁♂️).
However, adopting a grown bird does not come without its fair share of cons.
Perhaps, the most glaring is when you land on a parrot that is not well socialized and has developed awful behaviors, such as biting, scratching, destruction, self-mutilation, territorial and all-around, bad attitude.
This is quite a big deal since most parrots take time to unlearn, leave alone learn new tricks at an advanced age. Most are only trainable from a tender age before puberty sets in.
It's harder to break habits than to stop them from forming in the first place.
Besides, even if you land on a well-mannered bird, you will still need to put in a lot of time and work for it to trust and bond with you.
One other hurdle to adopting a bird (you may not know this) is you may need to have a home inspection for the rescue to determine if you are a suitable parent for the parrot you want.
Essentially, it should not be a bad thing, but it's unnerving when your fate (and that of the bird) lies in the hand of the rescue.
Here are the reasons why you'll want to (or not) buy a parrot (instead of adopting).
- You won't have to deal with your bird's puberty and hormonal period, which is the time most owners lose interest in keeping pet parrots.
- You will most likely get a fully independent bird, and if it's coming from a good home, will have honed an extensive chest of vocabulary.
- The bird you get will most likely have developed its mature features and coloration, so there is no chance it will change as it gets older.
- If you adopt a grown bird, it's more likely it won't outlive you and need to be rehomed again.
- When you adopt, you will free up space in a rescue for another bird, which makes you a pretty awesome🦸♀️🦸♂️ member of society.
- Most adopted birds are vet checked, so you know their medical and ailment history if any.
When is The Best Age to Adopt A Bird
How old or young a bird (parrot) you want to adopt depends on how well the birdie was treated by his previous family. If the bird has been trained, hand-tamed, and healthy, adopting the feathered kid at any age is fine.
Of course, older birds are more difficult to work with, so you do not want one with bad habits and behaviors.
You do not want to adopt a bird that will go back to the rescue in a couple of years. Only adopt one you can commit a lifetime of care and love to.
Even so, you also need to know younger parrots might outlive you. As such, if you are in your prime, you are better off adopting an older bird.
Small and mid-sized parrots live for 20 to 25 years, while large birds, such as Greys and Macaws, can easily top 70 years.
On the flip side, adopting a young bird means you will have to deal with a hormonal phase (adolescence), which is the period most owners give up their parrots to rescue centers.
A hormonal bird is often frustrating to an ill-prepared owner.
Moreover, after adolescence, some birds become independent and change their affection towards the owners, wanting to spend more time exploring and playing rather than cuddling up (to you) like a typical parrot.
A bird that you may have enjoyed and thought of as exciting may become more like a roommate than a little, goofy feathered pal.
These are the reasons why you'll want to (or not) buy a parrot (instead of adopting):
Why (When) You Should Buy A Pet Bird
Arguably, it's best to get a bird while young for hand taming, which is more feasible when buying one.
Considering behavioral issues from mishandling and ill-treatment form a significant part of a parrot's suitability as a pet, I suggest new owners purchase a chick and raise it from the start.
Seasoned owners with more experience handling birds will do ok adopting a parrot since they'll know how to handle even pre-owned birdies from a not-so-loving home.
Another thing to consider is the cost.
If you want to purchase a pet bird, more so parrot, please know they don't come cheap, and you'll need a pretty handsome budget to own one. Otherwise, consider adopting a pre-loved birdie.
That's all for this post. See you in the next one.