Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, FL Playing: Grey Parrot "Cressi"
Rough housing your bird is actually a VERY good thing to do with them early on. It's a form of play that some birds LOVE and NEED. Other birds, maybe not so much, but every bird can enjoy it. Even my most mellow parrot, Bondi, lets us know she wants to play rough once in a while. Not as often as our grey parrot, Cressi, though! Cressi LOVES to rough house!
It's important to remember your own strength when playing hard with your bird, because you can easily knock the wind out of them. They're small so remember to be gentle even though you're playing rougher than normal. You never want to hurt your bird or it will be scared to play like this with you in the future.
The positive side to rough housing:
- It helps let your bird know you're fun to be around!
- Your bird is less likely to get upset if someone accidentally bumps it.
- It will make your bird more handle-able because it will be used to all sorts of handling from play time.
- It's fun for you and your bird and anyone watching!
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, FL Playing/falling: Grey parrot "Cressi"
It can be scarier rough housing with a large bird like a macaw, so in that case I'd recommend using toys, objects, props or even blankets to make it possible to play rough without getting accidentally bit into during the process. Sometimes our birds forget their own strength as well!
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.