Birds are beautiful, intriguing and playful. They are great pets, and if you live alone you only have to take your own desires for a pet into consideration. Families, however, need to make sure the pets they bring into the home are going to be a good match for all members of the household, even the youngest. Some of the larger, more aggressive species may not be safe enough to have around young children.
It is important to consider the ages of the children in the family, and be reasonable with expectations. No amounts of warnings are enough to risk accidents that could be emotionally and physically damaging. Young children may stick an unsuspecting finger through the cage bars to pet their bird’s feathers, only to be met with a very large, strong beak. Rowdy toddlers may be too active for excitable species of birds. There are some great matches for families with children that make fantastic early pets for youngsters with family members who are ready to assist in the daily care and get them started on pet ownership.
Like any top list, this is subjective. It is built of species of birds known to have the attributes that make them generally good with children. Care should always be used when introducing young children to pets of any type, and parents should always observe very young children while they play with animals that could be injured by improper handling.
Even though these species listed here are great, that does not mean other species, even the most aggressive could never be good fits for families with children. Each individual bird will have its own personality and attitude.
Number 1 – The Popular Budgie
Budgies, formally known as Budgerigars, and sometimes called parakeets, are colorful, fun, bright and cheerful little birds. Pet shop budgies tend to be unhandled and fearful. When looking for a pet bird for a child, or a family with young children around, a breeder who hand raises these delightful little clowns would be a better choice. Even a pet bird that has never been handled will eventually warm up to its owners over time, and the small size of the budgie makes handling wild, untamed pets easier and less dangerous.
Number 2 – The Sweet and Quiet Pionus
Parrots tend to be fairly noisy, and not a good fit for families living in smaller quarters, or apartments. The gentle little pionus is a great parrot for beginners and youngsters, because it is not as needy as some of its larger cousins, but at the same time, is colorful with its beautiful blue head and olive green body, and loves to cuddle.
Number 3 – The Cheery Cockatiel
Cockatiels make great pets for any household. Their very gentle and easy-going attitude makes them especially great for younger children, although they may still be a little large for the under 5 crowd. Cockatiels are endearing and often learn to mimic owner’s behaviors, whistle tunes and even say a few words.
Before the Bird
All three species above are well-known for their easy-going attitude, and easy trainability. Many parrots go through hormonal stages that can make them harder to handle, but these three are not known for having those types of behavioral difficulties. They are also not among the more expensive parrots. The cost of some parrot species makes them unaffordable for the average family looking to introduce their children to the joys of bird ownership.
All three are also good pets for people who have never owned birds before, because they are generally more accepting of little mistakes or errors. It is important to know that even though they are considered fool-proof types of parrots, they are still living animals that must be treated with care, respect and given the attention they deserve.
Is a Bird the Right Choice for Your Child?
Before bringing home a new bird for a pet, be sure your child will really enjoy having a bird. The idea of any pet, especially a bird, is fun. The reality is work – okay, and it is fun too. It is important to consider the chores involved in any type of bird. No matter what size they are, they will require daily feeding and a fresh supply of clean water. They will need their cages cleaned regularly, and they need attention even if the child gets tired of playing with them. Getting pets for kids is great as long as the parents are as much on board as their children, and are prepared to take over for the kids if necessary.
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