How To Exercise Your Parrot
Having an exercise routine for your parrot is a crucial part of their care. When a parrot is kept in captivity it is our job to supply them with enough mental and physical stimulation.
Parrots in their natural environments will work for food, build nest, care for young, and of course fly. So we need to take a better look at the way our parrots receive exercise.
Before beginning any exercise routine you need to make sure your parrot is in excellent health. This should include an exam, an avian chemistry panel, psittacosis test, aspergillosis test, fecal exam, chloaca and chloana smears, and any other veterinarian recommended tests.
Your parrot should also be on a diet with a base of pellets and fresh vegetables and grains.
Wing flapping: Make your parrot flap their wings for five minutes a few times a day.
You can stimulate this by holding them on your arm or hand and lowering your hand up and down to encourage flapping.
You may also swing them around in a circle or figure eight (you must have a good grip on their feet).
You can simply swing back and forth if you are not sure of how to grip their feet properly. If your parrot is flighted, simply call them back and forth from one person to another, or from a stand to you and back.
You may also take your bird outside and toss them gently into the air; they will fly about six to eight feet and then run back to you.
Wings should be properly trimmed before taking any parrot outside. If your parrot is flighted a flight harness is an excellent alternative.
Chase: You can place your parrot on the bed, outside, or on a blanket on the floor and chase them around. Most parrots thoroughly enjoy this game.
Climbing: promote climbing by having them go up and down a staircase in your home if you have one.
If not take a rope and attach it to the ceiling from the floor and encourage them to go up and down on command.
Step-ups: simply encourage your parrot to do multiple step-up exercises from one hand to another (laddering).
Play ball or fetch with your parrot on a bed or on the floor. Aggressive birds should not be allowed free roam of the floor.
If your parrot is aggressive place a blanket down first to establish boundaries for your parrot.
Dancing: Play your parrots favorite music and encourage them to dance around with you. If you have children have them dance in front of the parrots cage.
This will get the parrot excited and jumping around with the child. This will tire both parrot and child out. Always supervise children and parrots.
Remember that when starting any exercise routine you will need to begin slowly and build up your parrot’s stamina. A parrot that is properly exercised is a well-behaved parrot.
Courtesy of: Michelle Karras, The Polite Parrot