A parrot's cage is their own personal sanctuary, that is why its very important to choose the perfect birdcage for them. In addition to the toys, food and water, it also offers them a sense of security and protection against potential predators (even if there are no predators around). But many owners leave their parrot cooped up for several days or even weeks on end, without taking them out to experience the surrounding environment.
Leaving your parrot in their cage for several days at a time will increase their risk of depression. Parrots are adventurous creatures with the innate desire to explore their surroundings. Failure to provide your parrot with this stimulation can trigger a range of psychological problems, only one of which is depression.
So, how much cage-free time should your parrot have on a daily basis?
Benefits of Cage-Free Time For Parrots:
- Introduces them to new sights, sounds and scents.
- Wards off loneliness, depression, anxiety and other physiological ailments.
- Encourages physical activity, which in turn helps prevent obesity.
- It's a fun bonding experience between the owner and parrot.
- Certain tricks are easier to teach a parrot when they are out of their cage.
- You'll get some amazing photo opportunities with your parrot sitting next to you on the couch or loveseat!
Only Let Your Parrot Out When It's Safe
You should only let your parrot out of their cage when there's nothing that could potentially harm them nearby. For instance, cats, dogs or small children may cause harm to a pet parrot. And even if they don't physically your parrot, they will likely terrify the parrot so it never wants to leaves its cage again.
Perform an inspection of your home before taking your parrot out of its cage, identifying any objects or elements that may injure or otherwise harm your parrot. Household cleaning products, pets and kitchen knives are just a few common household hazards for parrots.
Only allow your parrot out of its cage if the surrounding environment is safe and hazard-free.
Slow and Steady
The sight of your hand rushing into its cage at full speed may frighten even large species of parrots. And when a bird is frightened, it's more likely to lash out in aggression by attempting to bite the attacker.
When attempting to remove your parrot from their cage, place your hands inside very slow, using extra caution to ensure you aren't making any fast, sudden movements. The slower you place your hands inside the cage, the higher your chances of success. If you notice your parrot exhibiting signs of aggression, step away and come back later.
Rather than pulling your parrot immediately out of the cage, take a few minutes to pet and talk to them. Doing so will show your parrot that there's nothing to fear, which subsequently should make it easier for you to remove them.
Removing Your Parrot
After petting and talking to your parrot for while, gently pull them out towards the door. I've found that placing a couple treats by the cage door often helps to coerce a parrot out of their cage. When your parrot is fully out of the cage, give them a treat.
The 2-3 Hour Rule
Now for the million dollar question: how long should parrots be left out their cage? It really depends on their species and size, as smaller parrots require less out-of-cage stimulation than larger parrots.
A good rule of thumb to follow, however, is to take small parrots out of their cage for 2 hours a day and large parrots for 3 hours. This should be more than enough time for them to get some exercise, experience the surrounding environment, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells.
Some parrots will immediately jump at the opportunity to leave their cage, flying out the moment the door is open. Others, however, will require a bit more coercing to convince them to leave the safety of their cage.
Your parrot will probably be timid and reserved after first leaving its cage. However, this will soon pass as they begin to explore this thriving new environment.
After a couple of 15-20 minute sessions outside of their cage, you should have a much easier time getting them out. Just remember to closely watch your parrot for signs of aggression and back off when necessary.
Note: it's recommended that owners first survey to ensure there are no potential hazards that could injury or otherwise harm a parrot. Other pets, including dogs and cats, should be confined to a different part of the house for the time being.