Home > Kids and Pets > Are Parrots and Parakeets Safe Pets for Children?

Are Parrots and Parakeets Safe Pets for Children?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 27 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Parrots Children Families Suitable

In general, it is felt that parrots are just not ideal pets for children. Many parrots dislike the loud, boisterous, quick-moving behaviour of children, many do not like being touched or handled by over-enthusiastic little fingers and many are also too large, powerful, aggressive or dominant to be safe for children to handle and enjoy. However, with some dedicated research and care, it is possible to incorporate a parrot as a loved and loving addition to the family.

Parrots for families?

Parrots can become good pets for families with children providing you devote enough time and effort to understanding and meeting their needs. Remember, despite their often comical or fluffy appearance, parrots are definitely not toys for children to play with. All parrots require much patient, understanding and a sense of security and stability from their owners.

In addition, choosing the right breed and temperament of parrot is vital when you have a household with children. The key to successfully combining parrots and children is understanding that not all birds will be equally good at adapting to little humans and taking into consideration the level of noise, activity and general schedules of your own household.

Finally, don’t forget that parrots live for a long time – 50 to 80 years in many cases – so this is not a commitment to be taken lightly. They will be part of your family for many, many years.

Parrots that are good with children

Within the parrot family, there are a few species which are considered more suitable for households with children:

The Budgerigar – The budgie is an Australian parakeet and although often not recognised as such, is a member of the parrot family. It makes a charming, affectionate pet, with the ability to learn a large vocabulary, as well as trained to do tricks. They can be a lot of fun for children because they tolerate being handled relatively well and are generally easy to care for. Hand-reared budgies will usually be very sweet and affectionate and bond well to their young owners. Their small size, however, does make them more delicate and fragile than their larger parrot cousins so care needs to be taken when handling.

Meyer’s Parrots – these parrots are ideal for apartment dwellers or those who live in close proximity with others as they tend to be quieter than many other types of parrots. Their smaller size means that they are not as intimidating and are safer for children and they are less likely to bite. They can very acrobatic, entertaining and affectionate. Their calm, steady nature also means that they are more suitable to homes with children, as they are sweet but not shy.

The Pionus – These are one of the most overlooked parrots due to their lack of colourful, bright plumage and their lack of talking ability. However, they have great personalities that make them ideal family pets for families with children: they are gentle and not so noisy or demanding of attention. However, one potential drawback is their distinctive musky odour and their lack of a preening gland also means that they may produce more dust and dander – something to consider if anyone in your family suffers from asthma.

The Cockatiel – Probably one of the most common choices for a pet parrot, it’s not hard to see why. Cockatiels are intelligent, sweet and entertaining, while being less flighty and hyper than some of the smaller birds. They often don’t have many of the behavioural issues that can plague other parrots and are companionable, without being overly needy or noisy. They can whistle tunes well and can learn to talk and do tricks too.

Remember that no matter what their size or general temperament, all parrots are intelligent social birds that will need significant time out of the cage and will live a long time, thus requiring a large commitment in proper care and training. Unless your children are interested enough and mature enough to devote time to their pet parrot, choose another kind of pet – unless you are planning to put the time and effort in yourself, for your own interests and amusement.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Sprinkles
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    I live beside someone who has 3 dogs. This person doesn't work but disappears for over 10 hours or all night and doesn't come back until…
    14 June 2019
  • sherrie
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    our calico cat was in a fight last monday morning and we had to take her to the vet. We had to put her down because she had a deep…
    12 June 2019
  • Kiwi
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    We recently moved into an apartment that has lots of outdoor cats I don't know if these are ferel cats or pets my cat Kiki likes to go…
    26 May 2019
  • Rani
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hi I live with my in laws and they have recently bought a dog, hes a big alsatian. I have 4 kids 6,4,2 and 8 months. It's hot and they want to…
    23 May 2019
  • Jillybags
    Re: Keeping Mammals in an Aviary
    So it's ok to have 2 bunnies and ( say ) 4 budgies, lovebirds or cockatiels in the same outdoor aviary ? They'll have plenty of…
    21 May 2019
  • Soph
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    Just herd me cat (maui) and another tabby fighting opened the door and both cats scattered I do have a female tabby (tiger-lily) who…
    11 May 2019
  • Nightfall
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hi, I know it’s illegal to not have a ID tag but does the tag have to go onto a collar, can it go onto the dog harness we have instead?
    6 May 2019
  • Rae
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    I had luck once by putting a little bit of butter on the new kittens back. Then the older cat naturally wanted to lick it…
    28 April 2019
  • Fin
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    With the antibiotic jab at the vets, Quin recovered really quickly. I think it's inbuilt resistance, especially with moggies…
    25 April 2019
  • Fin
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    I have been seriously mauled - on both hands - by a cat, that I was putting into a carrying box... My comment to the…
    25 April 2019