You’re considering a pet for your children and thought, do birds make good pets for kids? We have a definitive answer for you below and get into the different types of species available to you and what you can expect with each. First, let’s find out if birds are good pets for kids.
Yes. Birds make great pets for children, and they also make great first pets. But, not all birds are great for kids. The best birds for children are finches, cockatiels, parakeets, and canaries because they are more independent than other species and will not require much care.
When you consider pets for your children, especially if they have never had one before, certain bird species are an excellent option for many reasons. They don’t require as much attention as dogs or cats, and their upkeep is less labor-intensive.
One of the biggest reasons parents is apprehensive about giving their child a pet is their fear that they won’t take care of it. They find themselves walking fido and cleaning out the litter box. Birds require cage cleaning but, for the most part, are somewhat independent.
Birds also give children unique learning experiences. Your child can teach them to whistle, talk, fly to them from across the room, and so much more. People who have never owned a bird don’t realize the connection that comes with it. Many bird species bond for life, and that bond could be with your child.
Is bird caretaking easy?
Yes. Birds require care, attention, daily maintenance, and all the same love any other pet needs, but they are minimal compared to other pets. Below is a list of ways a bird needs care.
Food: Twice daily
Freshwater: Twice daily
Clean cage: Weekly
Outside cage time: 1 hour a day the least
Love and affection: As often as you can give it
Avian vet visits: Once a year
As you can see, birds are not as labor-intensive when it comes to caring. Sure, they want to love and affection, and you should be giving that to all your pets equally, which we are sure you are. But, pets come with the responsibility that you will likely lay at your child’s feet.
While the opportunity to learn about obligation, caring for another and animals is excellent, you have to be honest with yourself. Will, your child, be taking care of this pet, or will you? If you suspect the “care” portion, meaning the work, will fall back into your lap, then go with the bird.
Birds are much more manageable than dogs and cats, and there is a better opportunity to connect over pets like gerbils or hamsters. Other great options are Diamond Doves and Pacific parrotlets.
What is the best age for a child to have a pet bird?
Children that are twelve years of age or older are best suited for pet birds, especially if you expect them to do all the chores that come with the responsibility of owning a pet. Younger children have not matured enough to understand the ramifications of an obligation for a bit of life.
Young children can be unruly, forgetful, and even sometimes careless. It’s not their fault they’re that way. Children have not developed enough to be any different, and that’s okay. Kids do things like forget to feed animals and leave the cage door open, which could mean life or death to a bird.
We realize parents will plan to watch out for a bird that they leave in their child’s care, but life gets busy, so if you or your partner doesn’t have the time to take care of the bird, you, you, which is always fun for kids.
What about finches?
Finches are another fantastic choice as a pet for children. They don’t require as much attention as other pet birds, and they don’t need as much upkeep. Finches are also calming to listen to, and they sound better in pairs.
Unlike the birds we’ve discussed already, finches prefer to be left alone and can’t learn to talk. Butdestructiveat doesn’t mean they make destructive pets. Maybe your child doesn’t have the two hours every day to spend with their pet, so a finch would be a great alternative since they like to keep to themselves anyway.
Finches get lonely, so you should always get two when choosing this bird. Unlike other birds, they don’t do well as solitary pets, likely because they don’t socialize with humans in the same way.
They need larger cages and a lot of room to fly around, but you’ll see how they are content to stay in their cells.
What about canneries?
Canaries are good pets and cousins to finches. They are also less social. They do well alone in their cage, but they need room in there to fly. Some canaries will be interactive with humans, but they don’t like humans handling them. They’re a great choice if you want a pet that doesn’t require connection and attention.
If you choose a canary, you need to be sure you have room for a large because they love to fly. While these birds won’t let you handle them and they aren’t fans of cuddling, canaries still make good pets for kids because they are entertaining and don’t require a lot of attention.
Another plus is that canaries don’t have to leave their cages, which omits and fear of biting. Canaries are not an aggressive breed and aren’t biters.
What about conures?
Conures tend to be more aggressive and might bite if they don’t get their way. They make great family pets because they are interactive and entertaining, but they are not the best pet for a child who will have the sole responsibility of the caretaking.
It’s important to remember that birds are individuals and, like anyone else in the world, they like what they like, and some things make them angry as a species. Conures get jealous and annoyed, which will cause them to nip at people, including your children.
If you’re considering a pet because you want your children to learn to get close to animals, a conure is probably not the best bird to get. But, if you’re going to get a conure and are unsure of how it will be around your children, then you shouldn’t count it out.
Conures are fun and charming, which can delight people of all ages responsible, so they don’t upset it. If your child grabs at a conure or starts acting up, the bird might have a bad reaction and bite. Then your child could learn to be afraid of all birds, which is not the direction you wanted.
What birds are not suitable for children?
Birds that will not work as pets for children are African grays, macaws, Amazon parrots, cockatoos, Eclectus parrot, ringneck parakeet, and crimson rosella. Some birds are more aggressive than others and have adverse reactions when they feel anxious or threatened.
Below, you will find specifics on why these birds don’t work with children.
- African grays require the same mental and physical interaction as a child. Kids do not have the patience or tenderness needed for this bird.
- Macaws have large beaks and can do serious harm to a child’s fingers, or anyone’s for that matter. They are also noisy.
- Amazon parrots need a lot of socializing, or they start acting out. They are too high-maintenance for a child.
- Cockatoos can be affectionate and need a great deal of attention that would be too time-consuming for a child. They have strong beaks that can harm as well.
- Eclectus parrots can be affectionate but, like the others, need more socialization time than a child could offer. They also have a hard time dealing with kids running around.
- Ringneck parakeets are challenging to train and have a tendency to nip at fingers.
- Crimson rosella also nips and needs a great deal of attention.