There are several critical elements in the care and keeping of pet eclectus parrots.
Foods to Avoid
First, in terms of diet, these parrots should never be fed colored pellets. Apparently the dyes are extremely irritating and cause the birds to try to “fix” the problem, leading to feather destruction and even chewing on the flesh. Physical problems are also encountered when these parrots are fed commercial treats which have added vitamins. Apparently it is the man made vitamin A in the treats that cause an inability of the bird to utilize calcium in the muscles and thus experience muscle spasms. Serious health problems have been noted in eclectus parrots that have been routinely fed cooked eggs. Necropsies on dead young eclectus parrots reveal a thick build up of plaque in the arteries leading to strokes.
Soft Wood Perches
In terms of housing, it is very important to provide eclectus parrots with soft wood perches. Most perches provided with cages are simply too hard for eclectus parrots to chew and this discourages them from chewing, which often results in overgrown beaks. A simple solution to this problem is to provide a pine or fir untreated 2×2 or 2×4 perch in their cage. They will chew these perches and maintain a normal beak.
One Bird Per Cage
In keeping more than one eclectus parrot as a pet, it is absolutely critical to provide each bird with their own cage and not to try to cage them together. Most eclectus parrots, even siblings or mates, will not tolerate another parrot in a pet type cage. Once young birds have gone thru the weaning stage and entered the young adult stage, they become far more intolerant of another parrot in their immediate environment. One or both of the birds will be stressed and anxious in this situation. The stressed bird will then be subject to bacterial or fungal infections and likely will chew on its feathers. While an eclectus does not tolerate a cage mate in a pet type cage, the situation changes when the two birds are out of their cages and stationed on a play stand or flying around the area. They are then often quite comfortable and interested in interacting with another bird.
Parrot Species Differ
It is important to remember that parrot species differ widely in their species behaviors. is A common behavior in an amazon, for instance, would generally not be found in an eclectus, such as the amazon’s preference for drama. Therefore, if one has experience with another type of parrot, one should not assume that an eclectus will have similar behaviors.