For 8 years now, I've owned an exotic pet. While he isn't as exotic as a lizard or snake he is a massive character that I can't imagine not being in my life but owning an exotic pet isn't easy. With the variety of exotic species now available outnumbering the traditional species, I thought I'd shed a bit of light on what it's like to own one!
George is a Senegal parrot, part of the Poicephalus parrot which are considered pests in Africa. He is made up of four different colour feathers green, grey, yellow and orange.
In the wild Senegal parrots live in open woodland and savanna, living off berries, seeds and blossoms and are a very noisy breed of bird. Domesticated Senegal's are just as loud, with his screeching and whistles that can be heard from the street outside.
Senegal's are known to live around 30 years in the wild but it has been known that in captivity they can survive for up to 50. I've only had George for 8 so there's a good chance he'll still be around of many years to come!
While wild caught Senegal's generally do not become tame, we brought George from a breeder in Kent who hand reared him. They are social animals and enjoy being around people and other birds although they are quiet independent and stubborn.
George is a massive character in my household, he whistles, speaks and basically rules the roost. He is a proper cheeky little chappy and will outright refuse to do things he is told. He answers back if you tell him off, bites the dogs while they are asleep, flies off around the house and then calls because he's lost, screams if you don't wake him up at a reasonable hour in the morning and gets a grump on if you wake him too early.
Being an exotic pet, George has to have a mixed diet of parrot seed, fresh fruit and lots of clean water. When he gets stressed or upset he can loose feathers and become very aggressive. It's like having a naughty toddler that can fly.
He isn't a massive fan of trying new things and utterly hates being given new toys or perches. Everything has to be introduced slowly so he doesn't freak out and get stressed, even replacing a perch can be a mission as it takes weeks for him to get used to something before he'll even consider going near it. However he adores destroying his toys and loves wood based toys best, costing us a small fortune!
Despite all the work and moods, George is awesome. He's funny, loving and although he can't be left alone for too long, he chews virtually anything and everything and his mood swings are like nothing else, I wouldn't swap him for the world. Who else will call me pretty when I'm sitting about in pjs with no makeup on?!
You can find out more about how to look after exotic pets on the RSPCA website or by using the hashtag #TropicalChronicals
What pets do you have?
Until next time,
*sponsored post with the RSPCA