Guest Author - Mavis Metcalf
Children & pets seem to just belong together. When the pet is a bird, there are certain precautions to consider.
If you already have a bird (or two) and you have a child, the child grows up learning the proper way to treat your bird. In this case, it really doesn't matter if your bird is a budgie or a macaw or something in between.
If you have a child and want to bring a bird into the house, this is a different circumstance. Accept the fact that the major chores dealing with the bird must be the responsibility of the parent whether the pet is to be mainly for the child or for the whole family. Many chores can certainly be done by the child, but the parent must be responsible to make sure these chores are done.
I grew up with birds in the house. We had a canary for many years, followed by budgies & various finches. These birds provided plenty of activity, song & entertainment. My parents provided the care for the birds until each of the children were old enough to assume some of the responsibility.
Very young children do not understand how delicate a bird can be and do not understand that this pretty & soft creature is not a stuffed toy so if your child is very young, please think seriously about adding any new pet to the household. You know your child better than anyone else and can make this decision in the best interests of everyone involved (including a potential pet bird).
Many birds are suitable for a child’s pet, but some birds do not like the noisy energy exhibited by many children and would not be happy being brought into a home with a child as the intended caregiver.
Suitable pet birds for an older child to have as a pet would be a budgie, canary, lovebird or cockatiel. Several types of parakeets and some of the smaller conures would also be good companions. These birds are very social and should be kept in an area of the house where people are usually situated (other than the kitchen). The child’s bedroom is normally not a good place unless the child spends a lot of time in there, although you could certainly have a second cage in the bedroom for a sleep cage.
If you have never had a pet bird before, please check out the article Bird Proof Your Home, in the related links section to the right.
After many years of pet bird ownership, I have decided to write e-books about the care of some of these wonderful birds.
Birds (Aspca Pet Care Guides for Kids) at Amazon.com for some helpful advice for kid & pet birds.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop by the Bird Forum anytime (see the most recent topics below).