What usually comes to mind when thinking about pets are cats and dogs. Though most pet parents do have a cat or a dog (sometimes both) there is also a large bird parent community too. Birds are a unique pet to add to your family, and before many people adopt birds into their family, they often have many questions. Below we have listed some facts about pet birds that you may find helpful if you are a current bird parent or if you are thinking about adopting one into your family.
Birds are often happier among other birds: Just like it is described in the old saying “birds of a feather flock together” birds are social animals. For this reason, some bird pet parents buy two birds of the same kind.
If having more than one bird doesn’t apply or appeal to you, do not be concerned. Often what many bird parents do if they have only one bird in their family, is to find a neighbor who also has a bird. They then set up times for the birds to interact with each other. This is also a great way to reach out to other bird parents in your community!
If there are no other local bird owners or if you cannot find the time to meet with them, just be sure to spend some time with your bird every day. Speaking to them daily can help with their mental health and growth.
Bird hygiene is unique: Hygiene is important for any pet, but especially for birds. There are several ways that you should put special care into properly maintaining your bird’s hygiene.
Birds do take care of themselves, but they do need baths from us. Birds generally enjoy getting baths, and it usually does not take long to bathe them. One tip if you want to try to get them to bathe themselves regularly, is to have a bowl for their drinking water and a separate bowl for them to bathe in. They can easily begin to bathe themselves once they learn which bowl is for bathing and which bowl is for drinking.
As a bird parent you will want to make sure that your bird is preening properly. This is to make sure that their feathers are nice and neat and pointing in the correct directions.
If their nails become too long or too curved, then those are some signs that it is the proper time to trim them. Trimming a bird’s nails must be done very carefully so that your bird does not get hurt. It may be best to have your local vet trim them.
Signs of good health: There are a few indicators to look for in your bird if you want to make sure that they are healthy. Some indicators include bright eyes, clean and shiny feathers, and a healthy appetite. Healthy birds are often very energetic and active.
Warning signs of sickness: Making sure that your bird is heathy is very important. There are several warning signs to look out for to show you if they may be sick:
- Closed or swollen eyes
- Diarrhea or fecal stains on the feathers surrounding the vent
- Sitting in one place for extended periods of time during the daylight hours with feathers puffed out
- Noisy or labored breathing with wheezing or clicking sounds
If your bird is experiencing any of these signs, please contact your local veterinarian.
What types of food to feed your bird: Your bird’s diet is very important. You may want try feeding your bird a variety of different healthy foods. There are a many different foods that are both healthy and enjoyable for your bird:
Food pellets: Many veterinarians recommend that most of your bird’s diet (about 30-50%) should be pellets. This is especially the case if your bird is a parrot.
Fresh food: The remaining part of your bird’s diet can contain various fresh foods. Several popular fresh foods to feed birds are vegetables, cooked whole grains, and fresh fruit.
For more information about how to maintain a healthy diet for your bird, please contact your local veterinarian.
What food to avoid feeding your bird: Though most birds can eat a variety of food, there are certain ones that should be avoided. Several common foods to avoid feeding your bird include dairy products, meat, chocolate, and peanuts. These foods can be toxic to most birds and should never be fed to them.
Your birds cage type and placement are important: When selecting a cage for your bird you must find one that will accommodate them for many years to come. It is important to remember that your bird will be spending a good amount of time in their cage.
The first thing is to find the right size cage. The more room the better, so they can spread their wings. Please be aware that purchasing a large cage is great if you anticipate your bird will grow or if you simply want them to have more room.
The second thing is to find a good place for their cage. You may want to choose an area where your family or guests gather a lot. This will allow your bird to be a part of social activities with everyone.
The placement of the cage will ultimately depend on your personal preference and the size of the cage will depend on the type of bird and the space in your house.
Birds are an interesting and unique pet to have as part of your family. Many bird parents constantly learn new tips and tricks on better ways to care for their birds. Since the average life span of most pet birds is between 30 and 50 years, birds become a part of your family for a long time.
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