Meyer’s Parrot – A guide to care for the Brown Parrot

Birds Human Classroom

If you are looking for a bird that is small and quiet, Meyer’s Parrot ( poicephalus meyeri meyeri ) is one of the best options available. It may not be as popular or eye-catching a bird as a Macaw or Cockatoo, but it certainly earns its place in family homes thanks to the differences it has from these and other more popular species. Like other African birds, the poicephalus parrots have an excellent personality and are usually easy to handle, which makes them an ideal bird for the family environment. But, before making your decision I invite you to read this little article about this wonderful winged fellow that is so closely related to a bird like the Senegal Parrot

HABITAT & A BEAK OF HISTORY

This small companion bird owes its name to a German naturalist named Bernhard Meyer. Besides this name, you can find it as Brown Parrot or Sudan Brown Parrot. Its scientific name, Poicephalus meyeri, places them in the same group as the Senegal (Poicephalus senegalus), where the Poicephalus are known and with their well deserved fame, being these two birds the most popular in their group. Besides this, the Meyer Parrot has another 6 subspecies. The Meyer Parrots are native to Central and Eastern Africa, also southern Africa, where they are most commonly seen in areas such as savanna’s and woody grassland. The different subspecies of Meyer’s have their specific areas or zones within these spaces.

DESCRIPTION

The Meyer’s Parrot shares more than its personality with its cousin the Senegal Parrot, in size, being about 8.2 inches long and weighing about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces (100 – 135 gm). Despite this, some consider this African parrot to be the smallest bird among the Poicephalus, which in itself are usually small birds. The coloration of the plumage does not vary so much among the various subspecies, where a grayish brown shade predominates in its body in general with a touch of blue or green, in what corresponds to the lower part of its body or what would be its chest with a turquoise belly. The color of its eyes can be between brown and green, which are surrounded by a ring that stands out despite being the same color as the body plumage. In the crown and in a portion of its wings it also carries a yellow coloring in its feathers. This shade of yellow is what helps distinguish a bird from the other subspecies, where some have turquoise markings instead of yellow markings on their chests. anyways, this brown headed parrot can have a variety of colors, but they are still a grey parrot.

The male and female are really identical, so it is difficult to differentiate or identify the sex of this bird. Some say that the male has a certain difference in the shape and size of his head compared to the female, but if this is an essential factor or aspect, it is best to do a DNA test in order to determine the sex of your new feathered pet. 

PERSONALITY

These small companion birds are excellent for the family home and in case you have some sensitive neighbors. The Meyers Parrot is a bird that despite being energetic is usually easy to carry, which does not require and will not demand so much attention, can entertain themselves inside their cages as long as they have a toy at hand, as well as some things in life, the more they have the better. Well may not be talking birds but if they get to memorize certain sounds of the house, that they can play or mimic then often choose to entertain their fellow humans with their wit and personality so playful when they are not quietly watching the rest of the family. This is not to say that they are independent birds, but it is equally important that you get to socialize and share with your Meyer for a considerable amount of time throughout the day, either by carrying him around a bit or playing with him. This type of care or way of spending time with your pet is something that he will value more than you can imagine, and is an important aspect of his development and growth. 

A sociable bird is a friendly bird, but no matter how perfect the Meyer may seem, it is still below Senegal because the breeding of this parrot is somewhat more complex than that of its cousin. The Meyer Parrot will be able to learn and adapt to new situations or people with certain ease while they are young, but as they grow up it is best to avoid exposing them to certain situations that may make them uncomfortable, or that they may have to face a new environment if you move. As much as it is something that sometimes gets totally out of hand if you have a good relationship and management with your Meyer birt, it should not present a major problem in this aspect. This is where teamwork is usually important, where everyone must agree and be in tune with each other on how to handle and raise your Meyer throughout his life with you. Socialization is very important, and if it becomes a bird that has been hand raised it will be an advantage over other birds, since it is used to dealing with people. Something very important in all this is that you prevent him from having a favorite person, or becoming a one-person bird because he can become bitter with the other members of the family, so no one can give him more ” crackers to the little parrot”. 

To help them in their little moments of independence while you are away and no one else in the house can take care of your Meyer, it is best that you learn to use their toys and accessories to your advantage. Imagine being given a new toy or having those little gadgets that you get so attached to for something that you can ” chat “. In the beginning, it is like an addiction and you take care of it as you can, you see it as something revolutionary and that it is an improvement for your lifestyle. But there comes a time when the monotony becomes tedious and you lose some interest in your device, which does the same functions as the beginning but no longer satisfies your needs because you are looking for something new, something “better” that in the end, all do the same function of brainwashing you, humans. The same thing happens with your Meyer Parrot, except for the brainwashing part, where it gets boring or loses interest in a toy that you will have to change, therefore spending more and more money on accessories that you may well save if you play your cards right. 

Now, going back to the benefits you get when you buy a Meyer bird, is that they are usually an excellent choice for the little ones of the house, the sounds they make when “talking” or repeating are pleasant instead of using an annoying tone and they are comfortable being the only pet in the house thanks to their little independence. Of course, if you leave him with the children of the house you must always be alert because they can bite if provoked. For some reason, the small versions of humans tend to be the most harmed by this issue, although there are some who call themselves adults but act in the same way as the little ones. To avoid problems in this type of scenario, it is the best and most advisable to socialize with your feathered partner as much as possible. Certainly, this is something you will see in many articles about domestic birds but some are usually because the species demands it. In the case of the Meyer Parrot, it is so that you can get to know the habits and body language of your pet, so that you can prevent or predict those moments where your parrot might bite a person or do something out of the ordinary. No matter how calm a bird is by nature we all have our limits and it is best not to provoke them as much as possible. A parrot bite is something that produces a lot of pain so it is better to avoid accidents by training and educating your new pet bird, as well as the guests or the rest of the inhabitants in the household. Meyer’s parrots are usually territorial birds but it is still said that they can grow up with other species of birds, but it is best to keep a couple of Meyer’s parrot. It is usually better to keep birds of the same species as long as they allow it, since they know each other better and have the same tastes, so there should be no problem in terms of coexistence. 

CARE & HEALTH

The care and handling of a bird is a topic that many people overlook and underestimate. Starting with something as simple or basic as food. Something that people often call the media, they get the idea that their feathered friends will only eat seeds. While it’s not entirely wrong to feed them this way, the problem is that it’s not something that’s completely nutritious and will eventually bring problems to your new pet without you even realizing it. Very few will recognize that they have done this in a bad way but most will look for ways to excuse themselves by pointing out to the breeder that he never gave them any indication or that if the vet did not notice it in time. Having a pet is a big responsibility, which not all people are willing and able to carry out in the best way due to lack of information and interest really. A pet cannot be something temporary, time is something fundamental for living beings and no pet deserves to lose its own with an owner who does not deserve it. If you are going to have a pet for an exhibition where you are not going to interact with it, the best thing is to look for a virtual one that does not have feelings. 

Socialization is very important for all pets so that they have independence and do not demand your attention. Birds tend to take a self-destructive attitude when you don’t meet their needs, so it’s something you could easily avoid if you only spend a minimum amount of time during the day so your Meyer can be a happy bird. The feeding must be balanced and taking care not to give him any food that could hurt him. The best thing for these issues regarding your pet’s health is that you consult with your bird’s veterinarian to ensure that nothing will harm it. The Meyers Parrots usually eat fruits, seeds, nuts, flowers, berries and may even eat some insects. In pet stores, you can get a variety of foods that can help you get complete food for your bird, but what I recommend is that you look for those that do not contain any type of additive or artificial compound, focus on those that are natural to avoid any problems with your bird. In addition to this, there are some concentrated food presentations that come in a similar style to the type of food that they would get in a natural habitat, which could keep them interested in their food and thus avoid them from stopping eating out of boredom. 

As for the rest of the handling of your bird, I invite you to read my article about the care and management of pet birds where I explain in a general way those details that you should be aware of before adopting a feathered pet. Even so, you must remember that every detail matters no matter how small it may seem to you. The size of the cage, the quality of the cage or its material, the amount of accessories, toys, the location of its food and water bowls, the way in which you handle the time outside and inside the cage are part of all the things you must cover at the time of taking a pet bird home. As I mentioned before, this requires teamwork from the other members of the family so that they don’t confuse your bird with different rules depending on the person handling it at the time. Regarding the grooming of your Meyer Parrot, a professional will be the best option to avoid any unnecessary damage to your bird and at the same time, you can cover their routine checks by taking them periodically to the vet so that he can cut (trim) their beak, nails and if necessary the tips of their wings. Some accessories such as a cement perch in the house may help a little with the care of the nails, but the rest should keep as usual visits to the vet to ensure that everything is in order. Since pets do not express how they really feel, the professional will be the one who can detect any change that compromises the health of your bird. 

The Meyer Parrot is usually seen as a fairly healthy bird where it will give you very few problems as far as its health is concerned, even more so if you get to give it the proper handling and care that all pets deserve. A condition or pathology that is usually common among Poicephalus is Aspergillosis which is a fungal disease and Bornavirus (PDD) that affects the digestive tract. Maintaining a well-balanced diet, hours of exercise, and mental stimulation are the key to keep your Meyer Parrot in optimal conditions in addition to the rest of the requirements in its management to avoid exposure to conditions that may predispose it.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

All in all, the Meyer Parrot is a quiet and relaxed bird that will happily provide you with a good experience as a bird owner. They may not be as clownish or entertaining as other species but equally being in their world and playing with each other can be a pleasure to watch. They won’t be completely quiet or reserved but the sounds they make will depend on their living environment and whether you can teach them. Of course, if at any time you scare her or something alarms her, she will make a loud sound, but they are not a bird that causes problems with the neighbors. 

I hope this article has satisfied your needs and that you understand a little more about the Meyer Parrot. It is a long term commitment since there are reports of a bird that reached 35 years of age thanks to excellent management and care but on average they go close to 25 years of age, so it is best to always look for that species of pet that best suits the family environment they carry at home. If you have any doubts or you think I missed something please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers

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