Pet Bird Care For Beginners
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Pet Bird Care For Beginners
When you bring home a new pet, no matter what type of animal it is, there are always measures your should take to ensure your new family member lives a long, healthy life. This is no different with your new pet bird. Consequently, you should be sure to read up on pet bird care , and speak to your vet to learn about best practices.
There are many different species of pet birds, and not all species are the same. This means that you cannot care for all pet birds in the same way. As a result, be sure that you know what you are getting into no matter which species you adopt. Many species can live for many decades, so be sure you are ready for a life-long commitment.
Your bird will depend on your care, so before you bring a pet bird home, make sure you do lots of research on that species of bird. Do not rely on general information. Go to the library and read as many different books, journals and magazines on your bird as you can find. And of course, the internet is a great place to do some of your research on pet bird care. Be a responsible pet owner and get to know know all the needs of your bird.
What Are The Most Popular Pet Birds?
According to PetMD, here is a list of the most popular types of pet birds:
- Parakeets, or budgies
- African Grey Parrots
- Quaker Parrots
If you are just starting out with pet birds, you will find helpful information on how to care for the most popular breeds. None of this information is intended to replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian. When in doubt, call the vet!
What To Feed Pet Birds
Many beginners who have never owned pet birds believe that a diet only of seeds is sufficient to keep a bird healthy. However, this is far from the truth. If you truly want to keep your bird healthy, you need to make sure it gets enough vitamins, calcium and amino acids. This is impossible with a diet exclusively of seeds. Therefore, you should also feed your bird vegetables and make sure your bird gets enough calcium and vitamin A. Similarly, you should take care that your bird does not eat too much fat. If your bird has been eating a diet exclusively of seeds, you should only change its diet very gradually. The reason for this is that a sudden change of diet may cause your bird to stop eating entirely.
What Foods Are Poisonous To Birds?
If proper pet bird care involves knowing which foods to feed birds, it also means that you should know which foods to avoid. Hence, here is a list of foods you should never feed your pet bird:
- Fruit pits
- Coffee, tea, soft drinks etc.
General Pet Bird Care Advice
On the other hand, there are some general rules that that you should follow that will ensure you take proper care of your pet bird. First, put your bird’s cage in an area where you can easily control the temperature. This should be an area of your home that never gets too hot nor too cold. If you place the cage near a window, make sure it’s away from direct sunlight. Similarly, avoid drafts that might give your bird a chill. Proper environmental control is the first step to make sure your bird is happy and healthy. In addition, make sure you put the cage far away from harmful chemicals, like cleaning solvents.
Next, make a feeding schedule to ensure your bird always has access to high quality food and clean water. Watch your bird carefully to learn the best times of day to change the water and provide more food. Furthermore, before to place perches well away from food and water bowls. This way, you will avoid droppings falling into your bird’s food and water supply. Finally, clean your bird’s cage regularly to avoid unpleasant smells and to ensure harmful pathogens don’t make your bird sick.
How To Know If Your Pet Bird Is Sick
Although you take excellent care of your pet bird, it still might get sick. Good pet bird care means always watching out signs of illness. In the wild, birds hide their illness from predators to avoid appearing vulnerable. Hence, you should always have a sharp eye for signs or symptoms of illnesses in birds. If you notice your bird exhibiting any of the following symptoms, you should take your bird to an avian vet immediately.
Sick Birds – What To Look For
- Your bird is clinging to the top or side of the cage and is not moving, or is moving very little.
- Your bird has an infected or closed eye and is blinking rapidly.
- You notice your bird breathing heavily and/or its heart is palpitating.
- Even from far away, you notice that your bird is bloated.
- You notice blood in the cage.
- Your bird is very nervous and will not stop flying around inside the cage.
- Your bird is lying at the bottom of the cage and moving very little.
Always take these symptoms seriously and do not delay going to the vet!
Here is some more specific advice on caring for specific breeds of pet birds.
Parakeets make excellent pets because they are extremely sociable and easy to tame. In addition, the cost of acquiring a budgie or parakeet is very low. This means they make great first birds. Even if you budgie was not hand-fed as a baby, you can tame it very easily with a little patience. Furthermore, budgies can even learn to talk if they are happy and content in their environment. Taking good care of your budgie has obvious benefits for both you and your bird, so be sure to heed the following advice!
Keeping Your Parakeets Healthy
Budgies are extremely intelligent animals, so it is important to provide your bird with lots of emotional and intellectual stimulation. Ideally, you should not keep your parakeet in the same cage all day and all night. Furthermore, depending on the climate and temperature where you live, you can keep your parakeets in an outdoor aviary during the warm weather, and inside in roomy cage during the colder weather. As we always stress, good housing is an important part of pet bird care. Placing your parakeet in a covered cage in a quiet corner of the room to sleep is also highly recommended.
It is important to provide your parakeet with a mixture of of healthy foods, including parakeet seed or pellets. Also, you can supplement your parakeet’s diet with meal worms or spray millet for parakeets. A cuttle bone will help your parakeet’s beak stay healthy.
Cockatiels are another very popular pet bird, and with good reason. They are generally happy and very social birds, especially if they have been raised around people. If you work with them, they are easy to tame, and are not as destructive as some of the larger breeds. In addition, pet bird care for cockatiels is not difficult if you keep a few basics in mind.
Housing Your Cockatiel
As with all birds, we recommend providing as large a cage as possible. The more room your bird has to move, fly and stretch, they happier it will be. Giving your cockatiel lots of room in a spacious cage will go a long way to ensure ensuring its mental and emotional health and long live. At the minimum, you should provide your cockatiel with a cage of about 2 feet x 2 feet. Its tail feathers should not touch the floor of the cage when sitting on a perch. Finally, fill the cage with toys that will keep your bird entertained. Balls, bells, swings and other toys work really well. Also, be sure to change up the toys from time to time.
You should always keep your cockatiel’s cage in a safe location, away from stored chemicals or harmful fumes, especially tobacco smoke. Like other birds, provide your cockatiel with a separate cage to sleep, and cover the cage at night so you bird can get adequate rest.
Make sure you change your cockatiel’s water at least twice daily. Likewise, you can feed your bird a good mix of seeds and pellets. Pellets offer the best nutrition. You can supplement your bird’s diet with fruits, vegetables and healthy food you cook at home.
People have been keeping parrots as pets for hundreds of years. As most bird enthusiasts already know, these birds are excellent mimics. In addition, the fact that they live so long will allow you to form a close bond with your bird. Of course, this also means that you will be making a life-long commitment when you adopt a parrot. In fact, many parrot owners make provisions in their will to ensure their parrot will receive good care in the event of the owner’s passing.
Parrots are very social animals with a rich emotional life. Therefore, you should always ensure that you will have enough time to spend with your parrot prior to adopting one. If you parrot gets bored or lonely, it might being exhibiting undesirable behaviors, such as plucking its own feathers or screaming. For this reason, you should be sure to take your parrot out of its cage to spend some quality time with you on a regular basis.
Cages For Parrots
You should always house your parrots in the largest cages possible. Better yet, buy or build a bird aviary. Parrots make perfect aviary birds. This will not only give them enough room to stretch their wings, it will give them room to actually fly. When housing your parrot indoors, we recommend stainless steel cages. They are the healthiest and most durable for your pet bird. In addition, you should avoid galvanized metal cages and bird aviaries. In addition, make sure the cage you choose is rust resistant. Medical grade stainless steel is completely rust proof.
Remember that parrots are hook bills and have very powerful beaks. For that reason, you should ensure that that your cages have strong latches and secure locks to prevent accidental escape or injury. Even more important is wire spacing for your parrot’s cage. Make sure that the amount of space between the bars is appropriate for the size of your bird. This will avoid the danger of your bird getting its head caught and of accidental escapes!
One Of The Best Parrot Cages We Have Found
As you can see by now, proper housing is one of the most important aspects of pet bird care. Since we always recommend stainless steel as the safest and most durable for your pet bird, we highly recommend this stainless steel parrot cage. This cage is perfect for birds, like the African Gray. It is made of medical-grade stainless steel, which means that it won’t rust. In addition, customers report that the customer service is great and that the cage is easy to put together. You can even do so without tools!
This cage is perfect for larger birds because it has extra strong door latches. In contrast to many other parrot cages you may find, this is easy to transport because it comes with casters. For extra stability, you can lock the casters into place until your ready to move the cage. You will always have easy access to your birds thanks to a super-large cage length door in the front. This cage is a breeze to clean and maintain. Finally, this cage has lots of great reviews on Amazon, so we are confident that you and your bird will love it!
Conures make excellent pets, and they have been popular with bird enthusiasts for many years. They are beautiful to look at, and have a great disposition. Because of their docile nature, conures make excellent first pet birds. In addition, they are likely to get along with all members of the family, including kids. Conures are hearty birds that you can easily train to say simple words and phrases.
Food For Conures
First, always make sure your conure has access to a supply of clean water. For food, you can provide pellets, which are much more nutritious than seeds. However, you should remember that birds have access to a wider variety of foods in the wild. Therefore, you should provide your conure a steady diet of green vegetables on a daily basis. You can also provide fruit, such as apples, bananas and various types of melon weekly.
As with all pet birds as intelligent as the conure, make sure you provide a wide variety of toys to keep your bird from getting bored. When setting up your conure’s home, make sure you provide at least a few perches and place these below your bird’s food and water bowls to avoid contamination. Make sure the perches are of various thicknesses and are not completely smooth so your bird will be able to grasp them more easily.
Conures can be nervous when placed in a new environment. Therefore, be sure to give you bird a few days to adjust to their new home after bringing them home for the first time. Try to avoid handling them for a few days after you bring them home. You should bring you pet conure to the vet right away if you see him or her spending a lot of time sitting at the bottom of the cage, sitting with fluffed feathers for long periods, losing weight or being lethargic.
Because conures are so intelligent and sociable, you can buy a t-stand to provide your bird with quality time outside the cage. Time out of the cage will give your bird the time and space necessary to exercise and remain fit.