Yesterday I said Clyde was sick, and that I was taking him to the vet. He was very very sick. I found out yesterday that he had gout in all of his joints, due to kidney disease. The thing about birds is that they don’t tell you when they’re sick, at least not until it’s too late. It was too late. Clyde passed away just a little after midnight.
I’m sitting here staring at clyde’s now empty cage and I feel there is a lesson that needs to be taught. Deciding you want to own a parrot is a commitment. They are the most loving creatures you will ever have the joy of loving if you treat them right. Their diet is super important to their well being. You can not let a bird thrive on pellets or seed alone. You have to include greens, berries, fruits and nuts into their diet. If you don’t, they get sick. They can get kidney and liver diseases amongst other things. Seeds should be a minimal part of a diet for birds.
They need to have exercise. You can not coop them up in a cage and keep them as a living decoration. They are built to forage and fly, don’t deny them of that. They need to chirp and sing, don’t stifle their loud activity. If you can’t handle that, you don’t need to own a parrot. They need attention, and stimulation. Playing with your bird and talking to them is very vital for their mental health and if you don’t have time for them they will not have a very good life and will become depressed.
Today, I am not sad. I am thankful. Thankful that I was able to give Clyde the treatment he has deserved his whole life. Thankful that I was able to make the last few weeks of his life the best I could make them. Thankful that he is no longer suffering from his kidneys failing. Of course I love him and of course I will miss him dearly. I’m thankful that he loved me as much as I loved him.
My point, before you decide to get an exotic animal, make sure you know what you’re getting into, make sure you can handle the responsibility. Don’t dump the animal off on someone else once you realize how sick you have made them. It’s all preventable. This little guy was not my pet, he was part of my family, and that’s how they should be treated.
Clyde may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. I will hold this lesson next to my heart for as long as I live and make sure people know, parrots are not for the weak.