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How to care for your pet bird

December 1st, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized

Birds make great pets and they are nice to look at too!

However, they need special care to keep them happy and healthy.

Here are a few tips:

Housing

 -Your bird’s cage should be at least twice its wingspan in width, length, and depth.  Try to buy the biggest cage you can afford.

-Provide a variety of sizes of perches

-Let your bird have lots of time out of the cage but keep it inside the cage when you are out, to keep it safe.

-Keep your bird away from hazards such as houseplants, electrical cords, open sources of water (such as an open toilet or a sink with soaking dishes) and objects containing harmful chemicals.

-Beware of sources of lead and heavy metal poisoning in birds, including curtain weights, curtain pulls, leaded and stained glass, fishing sinkers, pocket change, and ammunition carelessly discarded in ashtrays or dropped on the floor, costume jewellery, and in the lead wrapping around the tops of wine bottles.

-Provide a variety of toys. Birds are very intelligent and need lots of stimulation!

-Do not keep the bird cage in the kitchen!  Non-stick cookware emits fumes that are toxic for birds.

-Keep the cage away from furnace vents and air conditioners. Temperature fluctuations are bad for your bird!

-Cover your bird’s cage at night so that it has darkness when it is dark outside and light when it is light outside.  Our indoor lighting can really mess up your bird’s hormones.

-Change the bedding at the bottom of the cage and wash the food bowls daily.  Clean and sanitize the cage once a month, using a 1:10 bleach/water solution.

Wing Trimming

Consider keeping your bird’s wings trimmed, so it can still glide short distances but cannot fly far if it accidentally gets outdoors.  This is best done by a professional, because a bird can bleed to death if you accidentally cut a blood feather.

Foot and Beak Care

Beaks and toenails can become overgrown. Sandpaper perch covers will NOT keep them short but they can cause foot disease and they are not comfortable. Trimming beaks and nails is best left to the avian veterinarian.  You can provide cuttlebones and natural tree branches to help your bird have a healthier beak.

Diet

 -pelleted (kibble-like) diets are better than seed mixes because they are usually nutritionally complete

-grains, including seeds, should compromise no more than 50% of the diet!

-also offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green, yellow, orange and yellow vegetables

-lean meat and cheese (birds like it!) are great sources of protein and should make up about 5% of your bird’s diet.  Beans (the legumes kind) are another important source of protein and nutrients

-the remaining 5% of the diet can be treats

-provide a cuttlebone and an iodinated mineral block

 

Much of the information above came from the link posted below.  It also has excellent information about the signs of illness in cages birds.

 

https://www.vet.purdue.edu/vth/sacp/documents/generalhusbandryofcagedbirds_000.pdf

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