KEEPING parrots as pets is not just about providing them with food and water. The owners must be willing to sacrifice their time to care for their feathered pals and treat them as part of the family.
A parrot owner may undertake long trips to engage in free fly activities to prevent the birds from being stressed.
Free flying refers to the act of temporarily releasing parrots into an area to fly with relative freedom, before returning to their owners either upon command or through their own free will.
According to bird owners, if not cared for well, parrots can sulk or pluck out their own feathers due to stress.
Parrot owners turned up at the “Silaturahim Santai Free Fly” programme organised by Perak Parrot Community at Iskandar Polo Club in Ipoh, Perak.
Perak Parrot Community president Mohd Fairul Mohd Mustafa, 40, said the programme brought together nearly 200 parrot owners and enthusiasts from all over the country.
Used-clothes dealer Mohd Rozilan Mat Yusoff, 43, from Alor Setar, Kedah, began watching YouTube videos of parrot owners caring for the birds and was surprised that many Malaysians were involved in this as a hobby.
It was during the Covid-19 movement control order in 2020 that Mohd Rozilan and his wife Steaphnie Saiful Ahmad Savaran, 33, became interested in rearing parrots.
“It is not hard to rear a parrot. As a hobby, one can’t put a price on it.
“I rear parrots from the time they are young because it is easier to bond with them then,” he said.
Steaphnie said rearing parrots was a hobby that she and her husband had not planned on and they even faced disappointment when two of their three parrots were stolen in August last year.
“However, we were not disheartened by the incident,” said Steaphnie, who owns 10 parrots of various types, ranging in ages from three months to three years.Food trader Mohamad Fakharuddin Mumfit, 35, who owns three parrots, said the freefly group activity could indirectly foster camaraderie among bird lovers and owners.
Keeping parrots as pets, he said, was not an expensive hobby when compared to others.
“For those interested, don’t be afraid, and remember to give time to the birds.
“The parrots should be treated like your own children or family members,” said Mohamad Fakharuddin, who hails from Langkawi, Kedah.
Owner of three parrots, Fahmi Abu Bakar, 38, from Batu Pahat, Johor, said the free fly activity was an opportunity for him to spend time with his family.
He said big free fly events were sometimes only held once a year, but it was not a problem because almost every Friday and Saturday, he spends leisure time with his family and pet parrots.
He said all types of hobbies could be considered expensive but the most important thing was the satisfaction one got from a hobby. — Bernama