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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Large Parrot Setup Steps

Large Parrot

Experience Level: Advanced

large parrots in habitat


Did you know? Large parrots are brightly colored and highly intelligent. Parrots have been known to have the intelligence of a four year old child.

Step 1Choosing a Habitat

• Your Parrot’s cage must be large enough for your pet to comfortably stretch its wings, climb and play with toys. Minimum cage size is 36x36x48".

Sleep Cage
• Many Large Parrots will take comfort in a smaller sleep cage (minimum cage size is 18x22x24"); pets should spend their awake, daytime hours in their larger play/daytime cages.

• Place a minimum of two perches (A) at different heights. Do not place over food bowls (B). Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to keep your pet’s feet healthy.

Cage Placement
• Place your Parrot’s cage at or below eye level, away from drafts, open windows and the kitchen.
• Be aware that Parrots are sensitive to smoke, scorched Teflon and strong odors. The cage should not be placed in the kitchen.


Step 2Play and Hide

These items are essential for your pet’s comfort, health and wellbeing.

(C) Provide at least 2-3 toys (at all times) to keep your pet busy. Foraging toys provide a food reward for task completion and may reduce boredom and/or feather picking behaviors. 

• Provide a warm birdbath 2-3 times per week.

• Large Parrots enjoy time outside of the cage with these activity centers.


Step 3Bedding

• Corn cob bedding, aspen, wood pellets or recycled paper products can be used. Cage liners are also appropriate.

• Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed monthly.


Traits and Behavior

• Large Parrots want to interact with their Pet Parents as much as possible. They require at least two hours or more of daily interaction.

• Smart and easily trained, these birds can be taught basic commands such as “step up” onto your hand and “step down” when putting them back into their cage. This will ensure easier handling.

Good Speaking Ability
• While most Parrots have some speaking ability, Amazons and African Greys have excellent speaking abilities. Cockatoos, Macaws and Eclectus tend not to be good talkers. Talking depends on each pet’s personality and home environment. These birds, even if not speaking, are very loud and are not recommended for living in apartments.

Messy Eaters
• Your Parrot will drop a lot of food while eating.


bird cage

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your bird, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

• Decreased appetite; weight loss
• Decreased activity and grooming behavior
• Change in droppings in excess of two days
• Prolonged sitting at the bottom of cage
• Discharge from nose or mouth; sneezing
• Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or avian veterinarian about the health of your pet.