Caring of Pet - Bird

 
There are lots of different types of birds, and all sorts can make wonderful pets. Many birds enjoy close contact, which makes many of them nice, social and sometimes cuddly friends. Some just love to talk or sing to you, giving you friendship and relaxation. A lot of parrots will enjoy sharing meals with you, napping with you, and even showering with you. Pet birds love to interact with their human companions.

Pet bird care is simple and enjoyable if you have the right type of bird. Make sure to choose a bird that fits your personality and lifestyle. Then learn all you can about the type of bird you are getting and its needs. Providing the right care will ensure a long, happy life for your pet bird, and tons of enjoyment for you.
  • While birds differ by breed in terms of specific needs, there are some basics that apply to taking good care of all pet birds:
      Housing:
    • Bird care starts with housing for your bird. Birds need a good environment that provides a place to rest as well as places to play and exercise. Primary bird houses can be bird cages or an aviary.
    • Choose a cage that is appropriate to the size of your pet bird and make sure that it has enough room to stretch its wings and fly about. A large Cage is also ideal for making sure your bird gets the recommended amount of exercise and toy time.
    • The space between the bars should be small enough to prevent injury or escape. The environment around the cage should be free of wires, chords, plants, and other household dangers.
    • The cage should be non-toxic and easy to clean. It should be strong enough to resist bending or dismantling by the bird.
    • Cages should be placed at human eye level in a well-lit part of the home where there is lots of family activity. Natural sunlight is desirable but the bird should always have access to shade.
    • Cage liners such as newspapers, paper bags or paper towels can be placed inside the cage for easier clean-up.
    • At least one perch should be provided inside the cage. Some types of birds prefer more than one perch. The perch should be placed high enough that the bird’s tail does not hang down into its food or water or touch the floor of the cage.
    • Food or water should not be placed directly below the perch as bird droppings will contaminate them.
    • Generally, pet birds can tolerate temperatures that are comfortable to humans. Sudden changes in temperature may be a potential threat to the bird.
    • Bowls are needed for foods and treats, water, grit and crushed shell. Small birds can use plastic bowls. Ceramic or stainless steel bowls generally are needed for medium and large parrots.
    • Do not place your bird in the kitchen or in a room that is too near to the kitchen. Birds are highly susceptible to airborne fumes and toxins. A small amount of smoke or the vapors from Teflon cookware could kill your bird.
    • It is really nice if the cage is easy to clean. Many bird cages have a slide out tray and an easily removable grate. Clean droppings and dried or discarded food out of your bird’s cage daily.
    • Cages should be cleaned weekly with an odorless cleaning solution. Remove and clean all toys, bowls and other removable parts of the cage.
  • Take bird out of its cage:
    • Everything about a bird's physiology is designed for flight. They have wings, hollow bones, and specialized respiratory systems that allow them to use air differently than we do. Because they're prey species, they need flight as a means to feel safe and normal.
    • If you have the space, consider dedicating a room in your house as your bird's room so she has to spend as little time in her cage as possible.
    • When you're at home commit to having the bird out of her cage in a safe and always supervised space. This is important for enrichment and the opportunity to fly.
    • Birds will chew anything in sight: wires, cords, the wall (most paint is hazardous), furniture, etc. Remove or adequately cover any of these materials, and ensure that all windows and doors are closed. Keep your bird away from other pets in your home. Keep all ceiling fans off while your bird is out. Toilet lids should be kept closed. Most birds like to play in water but water play should be supervised.
  • Exercise and Play:
    • Exercise and activities are extremely important to keep your pet bird healthy and happy. Birds are inquisitive, social, and they like to play. Exercise is natural for them and easy to provide.
    • A cage should be at least three times their wingspan if they are kept caged all the time.
    • Short flights are important for birds as they make exercise their wings.
    • Some birds love to climb on ladders and the horizontal bars of their cage while some like to hang from the top of their cage.
    • Natural perches not only provide exercise for the parrots toe muscles, they also keep birds gnawing on the bark and the wood. Cuttlebones are good for beak trimming as well as a calcium supplement.
    • The playpen is a play areas located outside the cage. They have a variety of perches, ladders and swings that give birds a place to exercise and play.
    • You can provide them entertainment by placing in their cage usual bird toys. A swing can ease the boredom of your pet bird.
    • Bells are a favorite toy and reflective surfaces, like stainless steel mirrors, can be enjoyed by some birds.
  • Diet:
    • A bird’s diet is one of the most important aspects to keeping a healthy bird. Birds require a nutritionally balanced diet for a long and healthy life.
    • Be sure to research what types of foods are best for your species of bird.
    • A good overall rule is no more than 50% of a bird’s diet should be seeds and nuts.
    • A nutritionally balanced diet includes:
      • 1. Formulated diets
        • Formulated diets or bird pellets provide a good nutritional base, containing all the necessary minerals and vitamins, so additional vitamins are not required.
        • However, formulated diets do not contain the phytonutrients (antioxidant pigments) that are found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds.
        • Phytonutrients are believed to boost the immune system, help a body to heal itself, and to prevent some diseases.
        • Many birds also become bored with a formulated diet due to the lack of variety. Offering supplements can help provide the phytonutrients and help offset boredom.
      • 2. Bird seed
        • Seeds offer much more variety but require additional vitamin and calcium supplements.
        • All seeds contain protein and are roughly divided into either a cereal type seed such as millet, or an oil type seed such as sunflower seed.
        • To provide a balanced diet, minerals, amino acid, vitamins and trace elements can be added as a supplement to seed.
      • 3. Vegetables and Fruits
        • These include soaked and sprouted seed and even some green plants (make sure they are non-toxic).
        • All types of fruits are a good supplement such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, oranges, bananas, mangos, papayas, and even berries such as strawberries and blueberries.
        • Vegetables are also good supplements such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, many garden vegetables, and even dandelions and chickweed.
        • Do not feed avocado as it may be toxic to birds.
      • 4. Protein Supplements
        • Additional proteins can be offered to some birds such as cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, and even canned dog food.
        • Many birds will eat what you eat. Be sure anything you offer is not toxic to your bird.
      • 5. Mineral Supplement
        • Cuttlebone and calcium blocks will also provide necessary minerals for maintaining your birds health.
        • Finely ground shells, such as oyster shell, and other natural minerals can be added to regular grit.
  • Visiting the vet:
    • So as to make sure that your pet bird is healthy, you should visit the veterinarian once in a while.
    • This would keep your pet bird in shape. The veterinarian can give you useful advice in taking care of your pet bird better.
    • Because birds hide their signs of illnesses so well, you need to learn to recognize subtle changes in your bird. Try to observe your bird without being noticed by him or her.
      • The signs your bird might be sick:
        • More frequent fluffed feathers.
        • Any discharges from eyes or nostrils.
        • Matting feathers around eyes and beaks.
        • Labored breathing.
        • Sitting on bottom of cage instead of perch.
        • Decrease in vocalization.
        • Decrease in food and water consumption.
        • Less active.
        • Less preening.
        • Significant change in color, form or consistency in droppings over a 12-24 hr period.
      Remember to always take your bird to a veterinarian when you see any of these signs.
  • Grooming:
    Before you start doing any grooming on your own ask your veterinarian to teach you the safest and most comfortable way to groom. Once you're accustomed to the grooming process you may want to purchase small scissors, bird nail scissors, a grinding file, bird misters or spray bottle, and a styptic powder.
      Wing clipping:
    • Trimming a bird’s wings prevents the bird from being able to fly around nonstop.
    • Clipping the wings is a painless process and, in fact, a temporary one because the flight feathers will grow back with each successive molt.
    • Clip both wings to give bird proper balance.
  • Nail and Beak Trimming:
    • Nails should be trimmed frequently. If a nail is sharp or is starting to curve past the plane of the toe you know it is time for a trim.
    • Styptic powder should always be on hand in case you trim the nail too close to the quick. Placing styptic powder on a nail will stop the bleeding.
    • Some birds have been trained or taught that filing the nails is fun, and this makes the process go much more smoothly.
    • If you provide sufficient things for your bird to chew on, in most cases it will keep its beak trimmed on its own.
  • Bird Baths:
    • Most birds love a bath. Frequent bathing can help remove oil buildup from petting and handling.
    • A bath placed in the bottom of the cage will allow small birds to bathe. Often birds will take a bath in the fresh water of their water dish if not provided with a bath.
    • Larger birds usually like a light misting from a spray bottle 2 or 3 times a week. Birds anticipating a bath will often spread their wings out to catch the mist and call loudly when being sprayed. Hand-tamed birds often prefer to shower with their owners.
    • Bathing not only keeps the bird clean but it also controls the bird's dander, applies essential moisture to the feathers and softens the new pin feathers.
  • Consider adopting more than one bird:
    • Imagine living your life without seeing another human. Same is the case with your pet bird.
    • Parrots and other birds kept as pets are flock animals and they enjoy living and playing with other members of their species.
    • So buy a little friend and keep it entertained.
  • Relationship and bond:
    • Birds aren't decoration; they're highly intelligent, social, and demanding so expect to have a close relationship with your bird.
    • Birds have a personality, definite likes and dislikes, feelings and a surprising amount of sensitivity and emotions.
    • Pet birds enjoy interaction, in as little as 30 minutes a day you can enrich your bird’s life.
    • The relationship you share with your companion bird can be extremely rewarding. It will be a life time of joy since birds can live 10 to 60 years.
    • For a mutually rewarding relationship prepare to invest a considerable amount of time with your bird.
    • Pet birds are social flock animals and thrive on attention. Your bird will consider you part of its flock.
    • Certainly the more time you spend with them the better they feel, and the more enjoyable pet they become for you.