Whether or not parrots make good pets is largely a matter of personal opinion, as there are many advantages and disadvantages to keeping them as pets. Similarly, some of the advantages to keeping these birds may be considered disadvantages by certain pet owners, and vice versa.
For example, parrots have a long life expectancy. If properly cared for, many species can live for around 50 years. This is more than twice as long as the life expectancy for dogs and cats, which are the most common household pet. Therefore, someone looking for a nearly lifelong companion may find parrots to be an ideal choice. At the same time, a parent looking to purchase a pet for his or her child or someone who is not prepared to commit to caring for a pet for such a long period of time may find the life expectancy to be a disadvantage.
Parrots also provide excellent companionship because of their ability to learn how to speak. Although there is little evidence to suggest that these birds understand the words they are using, it is still quite amusing to the owner to hear them repeat the words they have been taught. In addition, the time spent talking with the bird in order to get it to learn new words is a bonding experience that many owners and their parrots enjoy.
There are many different types of parrots to choose from when shopping for one for a pet. In general, males that have been raised by hand make the best pets, because they tend to interact more and are less likely to experience illnesses related to breeding. Females are also good pets, but they are more likely to have health issues and problems with egg laying. Therefore, females may require a bit more care than their male counterparts.
With many breeds of parrot, however, it can be difficult or even impossible to identify their sex while they are young. Therefore, a pet owner looking specifically for a male or a female will need to wait until the bird is a bit older before making a purchase. Another alternative is to use DNA or surgical sexing, which can be a costly means for determining sex.