Common name: Parrotlet
Latin name: Comprises several genera, namely Forpus, Nannopsittaca, and Touit
Length: 8-14 cm (3-5.5 inches)
Weight: 18-28 g (0.6-1 oz)
Life Span: 10 – 20 years
Origin: Middle and South America
Noise Level: Moderate pleasant little chirps
Parrotlet – Food, Toys, Cages & Accessories suitable for Parrotlets.
In spite of their size, these little birds possess all the intelligence and the attitude of some of the biggest of Macaws. Unlike the big Macaws, Parrotlets are easily suited for apartment dwellers as they cannot scream and are actually one of the quieter parrots you can have. They can learn to talk and can even whistle songs. Parrotlets are very social beings and form strong pair bonds. With enough work like any bird, they can be taught simple tricks providing hours of entertainment for you and themselves.
These birds can learn to mimic, but they aren’t the best talkers of the parrot family. Some individuals can learn quite a few words, however. They aren’t noisy, so neighbours won’t be disturbed.
Parrotlets are known for feather plucking. Because they are such active little birds, they do require a substantial amount of mental stimulation and an adequate amount of undivided attention from their human companions.
HOUSING FOR YOUR PARROTLET
- The cage that you purchase should be as large as possible.
- As general rule for the cage size for a Parrotlet is 24″x24″x24″ but if you select one that is at least 18″ on each side and 20″ high it will work perfectly fine.
- The bar spacing is very important. And it should be 1/2″ – Parrotlets can get caught between the bars of cages if they’re not properly spaced.
- Make sure doors and cages can be closed securely, as Parrotlets are so small that it is a danger for them to escape from the bird cage.
- Make sure the cage has a grated bottom. This will make it easy for your parrotlet to grasp onto it and walk around or rest.
- Place the cage in a spot that’s warm but not too toasty. Parrotlets will want to be kept out of drafts to stay comfortable. However, you should also avoid placing the cage in direct sunlight, since this may make the parrotlet feel hot or disturb its rest
- Only fill your parrotlet’s cage with safe toys, feeding bowls, and perches designed specifically for your species of bird.
FEEDING & SUPPLEMENTING YOUR PARROTLET
- Parrotlets utilise a lot of energy in their limitless enthusiasm for play; therefore, they require top quality nutrition. Parrotlets thrive on a basic diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, seed or pellets.
- Look for a mix that contains little sunflower, but it is high in nutrients. Unlike many other parrots that tend to put on weight, parrotlets need the extra fat in order to keep them in peak condition. They also love millet spray, but it should be limited to once a week or they can eat it to the exclusion of other foods. Babies, however, should be provided with as much millet as they will eat especially right after weaning.
- Never feed grit to a parrotlet. Parrotlets hull their seed with their beak rather than swallow it whole. Therefore grit is not needed to grind up the food. It is unnecessary and has been known to cause crop impaction and death. If the parrotlet is on a well-balanced diet and has access to mineral block, cuttlebone and vitamins, they will have no need for grit.
- It’s always a good idea to make sure your parrotlet is receiving enough nutrients. Some seed mixes are coated with vitamins. Since parrotlets hull their seeds, however, it is doubtful they are receiving any of the vitamins. There are many good commercial vitamins on the market. Find one recommended for pets and not formulated for breeders. Always ask your vet before supplementing.
- Spirulina(tm) and wheat grass powders are two supplements recommended to be used together for optimum benefit. Primarily used by breeders and exhibitors, Spirulina(tm) is the trade name for algae that is grown in the sea. It aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system and increases fertility. Spirulina(tm) also improves feather color and condition. Wheat Grass is used in conjunction with Spirulina(tm). Wheat Grass contains all essential amino acids as well as trace minerals. Both supplements can be beneficial to pet parrotlets for their feather conditioning and immune enhancing properties, especially when they are molting. Spirulina(tm) and wheat grass powder are also used to enhance fertility in breeding pairs. Added to hand-feeding formula, chicks grow up stronger and healthier, with a beautiful sheen to their feathers.
- Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.
Parrotlets in general are feisty, affectionate, and willful. If someone wants a great companion they should keep only one bird, because a pair of parrotlets will probably bond closely to each other to the exclusion of the owner.
Newly hatched parrotlets are just the size of a bumble. But even when they reach maturity, these birds will still be the “littlest brother” of the parrot family. They are just half the size of a love bird, and about three-fourths the size of a budgie.
Parrotlets are dimorphic and easy to pair up, and they do enjoy each other’s company. They can also be kept peaceably in groups in large aviaries, but it’s best to keep them separate from other species. They will quibble and fight over object and territory, so keep that in mind.
Baby parrotlets are practically blind and deaf when they are born. They rely completely on their parents for survival. However, they are not mute—you can hear them begging for food just hours after they are born!
Big appetites. Parrotlets may be small, but they’ve got huge appetites! Gram for gram, they eat more than macaws!
Male parrotlets have blue markings on their wings, back, and napes. The female parrotlets have light blue markings near their eyes.