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Hi all,
I just thought I’d do a little introduction here (as I’ll probably be on here looking through the threads a lot).
I’ve been looking to purchase a bird for a couple of months and recently found parrotlets, I’ve been in contact with a breeder for the past few weeks and have finally arranged to pick a little guy up in two weeks time. He’s around 6-7 weeks old right now, and I’m just here to get some general advice on what to expect when I bring him home.

His breeder has been honestly amazing, keeping me updated and answering all of my questions, making sure I knew what I was doing/signing up for etc.

I did have some specific questions though:
The cage I want to get is the yaheetech 52 inch, but I’m a little wary of the bar spacing as many places say 1/2 inch max and it’s just under 5/8 Inches. I’m still in full-time education with a part-time job, so I want the cage to be as large as possible so he doesn’t get bored, but I can’t find a similar size cage with smaller bar spacing.
My second question refers to diet, the breeder has told me not to feed him pellets,I’m perfectly fine with this, but i did just want to check because they’ve recommended a 50/50 diet of seeds and fresh fruit and veg (chop), but I’ve read elsewhere that seeds can be fattening and should be used as treats/rewards.
My final question is in regards to vets, is it necessary I take him to a vet as soon as I get him, or should I just make sure he gets a check up when he’s more comfortable with me and the new environment he’ll be in?

Sorry if this isn’t the right area for questions, I just want to be sure I don’t do anything wrong, I’ve done a lot of research but some of it seems to contradict itself, and the people on here seem really helpful and informative from what I’ve seen so far.

I’ll attach the best picture the breeder has sent me so far, I’m thinking I’ll call him Jet, but I wanted to see him in person and find out about his personality more first before making a final decision.
Bird Vertebrate Parrot Beak Feather

Thank you all so much, and I’ll definitely be on here more once I’ve got him home.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! He is adorable!
As far as bar spacing, 5/8 inch would be too big for sure. It can be challenging to find nice, large cages that have the proper spacing. I am not in the UK, but hopefully a UK member can find a link to something that would work. If the bars are too big, it is unsafe, so unfortunately it is better to settle for smaller than have the bars be unsafe.

Regarding vets, it is recommended that you take your bird in for the first check up pretty much right away - I took Tumi within the first week. It was absolutely essential for us, and later saved his life when he got sick that the vet had already seen him and was willing and able to fit him in right away.

Regarding diet, PLEASE talk to your VET about this. Breeders are often amazing at breeding, but they are NOT experts in nutrition. They do not attend any schooling to become a breeder - they just have to have a male and female bird that like each other and produce eggs and young. I can tell you that Tumi's vet had me switch him to pellets because his body condition was less than ideal even though I did not feed him any of the fatty seeds. It is much more challenging to do the switch with an adult bird than a young bird, so please consult with your avian vet about this. I am not saying that breeders don't know how to breed birds, but I am saying that they are NOT avian vets and their knowledge and recommendations should not be substituted for professional recommendations that come from years of education. Not all pellets are alike, just like some dog foods are much higher quality than others - I am currently feeding Tumi "Tops" brand pellets which is the highest quality (and most expensive) available in the United States.

When it comes to names - male parrotlets can mimic, and find it easiest to say names that you could "whistle" in a way. It's hard to describe, but Tumi has no trouble saying his own name. But most of us call our birds a million different things in a day!
 

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I would not use bar spacing larger that 1/2 inch. Anything bigger than that can be a major issue depending on bird size and personality. I definitely would not use larger bar spacing with a baby bird.
Cage size is important but it depends a lot on how much interaction you are going to have. For a long time I had smaller cages but my guys had a lot of out of cage time and my past two were perch potatoes so it was not an issue. My newest young Rio is all over the place so I got him more room to play in when we are not around.

In your new cage make sure to have plenty of perches and maybe a towel and the bottom so if they fall it would be less for them. Birds can be clumsy. Baby birds especially so.
 

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Hi there and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your new baby bird! That is very exciting! What a cutie pie he is too. His colouring is amazing. I am sure you two will have many years of joy together!

I never ceases to amaze me how many divergent opinions there are out there on literally everything. I totally agree with Dana that you should speak to your avian vet about diet. I have a very experienced avian vet who recommended that I switch to a high quality pellet when Kiwi was young. She is 18.5 years old now. I use Harrison’s. She also eats pretty much anything we are eating that is safe for a bird to eat including small amounts of fish and chicken, pasta, fruits and veggies, plain popcorn - you get the idea. There is a list of no-no food in the Parrotlet Diet forum here that will be useful for you. I should also add that I do give her seeds and millet from time to time. The fat can be good for them in moderation and depending on their activity level.

As for cages, Kiwi’s large cage for daytime has 5/8” spaced bars and her small sleep/travel cage has 1/2” spacing. She has had her large cage for probably 5 years - it was given to my bird sitter who did not need it so she gave it to me. Before that, all her cages were 1/2” spacing as is the recommended spacing. I have never had any problems but Kiwi was an older bird by the time she got it and less active than a young one. I would never have gone as wide at 3/4 inch but felt safe personally with the 5/8”. As I said, lots of opinions out there. I am not sure I would have chosen the 5/8” spacing when she was little though.

I took Kiwi to an avian vet a few weeks after I got her. I think it is good to establish a baseline the vet can work from should anything happen. She has been with the same avian vet her entire life and it proved very useful when Kiwi got a gastric yeast infection a number of years ago. I was able to get her in very quickly and they already had a good knowledge of her physiology. It also showed me that specialized avian vets are not prohibitively expensive as I had assumed for some reason. In fact, they are quite reasonable particularly compared to the vet bills for my dog. It allowed me to more quickly make a call to take Kiwi in if I was concerned about something.

I am really looking forward to hearing about the big day and your adventures together! It is so fun for us to have new members and see the wee ones. I particularly love to see them given my girl is a senior bird now. They always look so fresh and smooth - lol! Makes me appreciate the years that show on Kiwi all the more.
 

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We love our parrotlet, Bokeh. He's 8 years old and he never ceases to amaze us with his intelligence and personality.

Anyway, I got him a really big cage and he loves it. It cost about $200, and it took some time to assemble. Here's a link to another thread on this forum, talking about Bokeh's castle. I agree with the 1/2" spacing advice!

Bokeh in his new (huge!) castle
 
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