27 October 2020

45 Life-Hacks for Parrot Owners

A collection of tips (‘life hacks’) for people with parrots in their lives, making those days just a little easier.

Parrot life hack #1: The office mat

Mop up messes with ease.

Parrot life hack #2 Drop cloths out of old flat sheets

Contain (some of) that mess.

Parrot life hack #3 The only cleaning agents you’ll ever need: White distilled vinegar, steam, mild dishwashing soap, and GSE (grape seed extract).
Parrot life hack # 4 Build your own aviary – try checking out the Parrot’s Workshop for ideas and advice

There are all kinds of benefits to having an aviary for your parrots.

Parrot life hack # 5 UV lights and direct sun

UV light promotes good health and feather condition, plus improves mood and therefore helps behavioural issues like biting, screaming, and plucking. AND it helps parrots try new foods.

Parrot life hack # 6 Chop (which you should freeze in ice cube trays)

As per Parrot Nation and the Parrot’s Pantry, chop consists of finely chopped veggies. Picky parrots will often eat this!

Parrot life hack # 7 Homemade toys as per the Parrot’s Workshop… or, let your parrot be your shredder.

Parrot life hack # 8 Recall training

The equivalent of teaching a dog the ‘here’ command.

Parrot life hack # 9 Station training

Otherwise known as ‘stay.’

Parrot life hack # 10 Homemade harnesses

Use at your own risk. Pattern by Island Parrot Sanctuary

Parrot life hack # 11 Fruit frozen in ice cubes

Photo credit: VisualPhotos.com

Parrot life hack # 12 The bath in a sink (in a bowl)
Parrot life hack # 13 Grain bakes – picky parrot’s delight

Hint: Try feeding it to wild birds in the extreme cold weather when food is hard to come by, too.

Parrot life hack # 14 Foraging skewers and balls

You can also replace nesting birds’ bowls with skewers and other foraging toys.

Parrot life hack # 15 Foods as toys

Stuff a bell pepper or mini bell pepper with your parrot’s meal.

Parrot life hack # 16 Hemp seed

Organic hemp seed is good for parrots (in moderation). We’ve been using pre-shelled, as we can mix it in new foods to tempt them to taste it.

Parrot life hack #  17 Coconut Oil

Safe for cooking – and good for us and our parrots.

Parrot life hack # 18 Sweet potato mash

Most birds will eat this warm delicacy (best NOT fed in the spring), and you can hide all kinds of veggies in it.

Parrot life hack #  19 ‘Parrot Wine’ and syringe training

Watered down Ribena or fruit juice can help syringe train a parrot, or give a sick bird a boost of energy enough to get it to the vet.

Parrot life hack #  20 Removing stains (hint: get them while they’re fresh!)

Parrot life hack # 21 Unused popsicle sticks and coffee stirrers as toys

Parrot Life hack #22 The cat carrier

You can modify the cat carrier by adding a wood perch. Also note that washed dandelions and roses without the thorns are safe toys!

Parrot life hack # 23 ‘Parrot T.V.’

It’s as simple as this – Maverick is entertained for hours.

Parrot life hack #24 Buy many, many extra bowls. Dozens. More than you think.

Breakfast bowls.

Parrot life hack # 25 Clicker training. Not so much a ‘hack,’ as a must-try.Parrot life hack # 26 Cheap toilet roll (paper)

Cheaper for mopping up poop, spills, and other messes, plus they make a fun toy.

Parrot life hack # 27 Hide medicine or veggies in almond or peanut butter whole-grain toast

Parrot life hack # 28 Wrap millet or nuts in some plain computer paper


Parrot life hack # 29 Iceberg secrets a calming substance

Not very nutritional, but it makes a good toy for beating up – and the white substance it secretes will calm them. (Island Parrot Sanctuary tip.)

Parrot life hack # 30 Different styles of perches

Not every parrot wants to sleep on wood; not every parrot wants to perch. Mishka loved sleeping on a corner perch – we got her a chinchilla platform.

Parrot life hack # 31 Lightly spray the bottom of the cage/the papers before pulling them up

Keeps the dust and cage debris from flying into your face as you clean

Parrot life hack # 32 Skewer a box full of paper and treats for foraging. Put this in the cage before you have to leave the house to keep them occupied

Not so big as they can nest in it, but it still counts as foraging fun.

Parrot life hack # 34 Grapes, cored apples, and other watery/sugary fruits are good for travel

Parrot life hack # 35 Buy up too-small or round bird cages and make them into travel cages or art sculptures

Sanitise travel cages first, to prevent the accidental spread of disease Just remember that this can’t be used as a cage anymore.

Parrot life hack # 36: The water-fountain bath by Thun Fisch

Life hack # 37 Cornstarch, not styptic powder, for wounds!

Styptic powder can burn on an open wound (bleeding cut) and actually cause further damage, but is okay for broken nails, beaks, or feathers.

Life hack # 38 Your blender’s food processor attachment

Your new best friend.

Life hack # 39 Baby toys whose parts can’t be broken off/aren’t toxic can be sanitised and given to parrots

Life hack # 40 Courtesy of BirdTricks: Freeze several bowls half full of water and place these beneath the birds’ regular dishes of fresh food, as if stacking them. Keeps it fresh a little longer in hot weather.

Life hack # 41 Stainless steel pans

The parrot-safe alternative to non-stick, as are earthenware and glass.

Life hack # 42 In your emergency birdie first aid kit, add some organic baby food pouches

Should you have a disaster and run out of food, or simply need to convince a sick bird to eat, this often works.

Life hack # 43 Spice their food up

Click for a list at Cockatiel Cottage full of safe foods and herbs for parrots.

Life hack # 44 Use a blanket in aviaries to provide a shaded place

Island Parrot Sanctuary

Life hack # 45 Vacuuming means bath time?

For some reason, many parrots are stimulated into bathing by the sound of a running vacuum cleaner. Just make sure you swap their bowl after!


Sweet Potato Quinoa Pops – perfect foot toy by Lisa Southerland at the Parrot’s Pantry. (Click to go through.)

What are your tips for making life a little easier with parrots?


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