birds may be caged or allowed to remain on a perch while the owner is
home and can supervise their activity. All birds should be confined
to cages while their owners are away to avoid accidental injury and
other misfortune. DO NOT keep your
bird's cage in the kitchen. Fumes from gas stoves, super heated Teflon
non-stick coated pans and smoke from the occasional burnt food can kill
your bird. Birds have very delicate respiratory systems and will die
within minutes of inhaling these types of deadly fumes.
sure the cage that you purchase is an appropriate size for your bird.
Ask the shop owner what he or she would recommend. Also, ask the shop
owner where you should locate the bird in your home. Supply your pet
with lots of toys and shredding materials. Buy only those toys that
are specifically designed for birds.
let your pet bird be comfortable on the floor. It is very easy to accidentally
step on it, thereby severely injuring or killing your bird.
grooming is essential to a happy and healthy pet bird. Be
sure to have your bird's wings clipped. The decision to deny
a caged bird free, unrestricted flight was unconsciously made by each
bird owner at the time the bird was made a captive pet in the home.
Wing clipping is merely a procedure that makes this confinement safer
for the bird. Besides the safety factor, this procedure often makes
birds that would otherwise develop dominant, aggressive personalities
more manageable within the home. We prefer that both wings be clipped
so that the bird's descent to the floor will be balanced and relatively
and toenail trimming is extremely important.
Since caged birds live in a human engineered environment, there is little
if no irregularity in the surfaces with which they come in contact.
Therefore, their beaks and claws have a tendency of overgrowing and
becoming rough. This can create eating and perching problems in the
long run. Most caged birds need their beaks and claws trimmed periodically
depending on the species and the time of the season. We DO
NOT recommend using sandpaper covered perches.
They do not prevent claw overgrowth, but instead cause irritation and
excessive wear to the soles of the feet.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU HAVE A PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED PERSON PERFORM
GROOMING ON YOUR PET BIRD FOR HIS SAFETY AS WELL AS YOURS!
to popular opinion, drafts are not harmful to healthy pet birds. A draft
is merely a slight movement of air, usually accompanied by a mild decrease
in temperature in the immediate area where it is experienced. Drafts
are, therefore, usually inconsequential as far as pet birds are concerned.
However, most caged birds are relatively intolerant to the rapid temperature
extremes produced by thermostatically controlled air conditioners. We
would recommend that cages and perches certainly not be positioned beside
or underneath air conditioning, heating, and ventilation outflows. Furthermore,
sick birds should be removed from drafty circumstances in order to prevent
the additional stress of heat loss to them.
of our pet birds forefathers came from tropical climates where rainfall
is a daily occurrence. (NEVER buy a bird that
wasn't bread from DOMESTIC parents) These birds take advantage
of the rainfall or the puddles to bathe themselves. Our domestic pet
birds need the same luxury of bathing to keep their feathers healthy
and to restore and maintain a brilliant sheen to their plumage. You
can provide an appropriate size container for your bird to bathe in,
or your bird may tolerate letting himself be sprayed with a mister bottle
filled with tap water, or perhaps he'll enjoy sharing the shower with
you. All of these methods of bathing can be done once daily or as often
as your bird will permit. It is important to let your bird air dry in
a warm room or in the warm sunshine. Hair dryers can be used to blow
dry your bird, but should be held at a safe distance (at least 10 inches)
from the bird to prevent burns to the skin.
the Cage at Night
is a debatable question. Because of the tremendous insulating capacity
of feathers, we believe that covering a bird's cage at night is not
necessary in order to protect the occupant from a cool and drafty home.
The one exception to this would be cold nights in colder climates than
we have here in Southern California. Covering your bird's cage does,
however, allows your pet to enjoy a regular period of privacy. Furthermore,
it tends to keep your bird quiet in the early morning when it would
otherwise become active and vocal.
subject of hygiene of caged birds is an extremely important one. Cages:
droppings often accumulate on cage parts, perches, and they also tend
to foul food and water cups, resulting in spoilage (bacterial proliferation
and overgrowth) and mold growth. We recommend that perches be kept scrupulously
clean at all times. Soap, water, and sandpaper may be used to clean
perches. Cage bottoms should be changed daily. Cages should be given
a thorough scrubbing and cleaning at least once a month.
and Water Cups: these should be
thoroughly cleaned once or twice daily
before they are replenished. We
suggest having 2 - 3 sets of water and food dishes that are changed
on a daily rotating basis. When not in use they can be soaking in a
"bird safe" disinfectant solution. Whenever possible, use
a dishwasher to clean water and food containers as the extremely hot
temperatures reached by these appliances aid in the disinfecting process.
should be changed at least twice a day, if not more frequently.
The water may look perfectly harmless to you, but large numbers of bacteria
which can be fatal to your bird can grow in a matter of hours from food,
saliva or feces. Let the tap water run for a couple of minutes before
filling your bird's water dish as there is bacteria in the water lines
that seems to be tolerated well by man, but can have devastating consequences
for caged birds.
like people, "are what they eat." Therefore, in order for
them to be healthy, they must consume all of the necessary nutrients
(protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water) and do
so in the proper proportions. No actual studies have been done in this
area so some of the commercial diets available in the retail marketplace
that state they are "complete" or "balanced" haven't
scientifically tested, but are the result of breeding successes of approximations
of poultry diets. A number of reputable pet food manufacturers have
recently developed and are currently marketing specialized processed
foods for caged birds. These foods should be part of your birds diet
and are available from pet stores or through bird oriented publications.
for birds is highly recommended. Powdered
vitamins should be sprinkled over table foods, fruits and vegetables
to which the powder will adhere. The powder does not adhere to the seed
and moreover the bird usually discards the shell so it won't get the
benefit of the vitamins.
vitamins and minerals are water soluble and can be used quite
effectively. DO NOT distribute this
type of product over seeds because of the risk of them becoming rancid.
The water containers should be scrubbed out thoroughly and changed 2-3
times daily because liquid vitamins and minerals tend to promote bacterial
growth. Vitamin supplements for birds must contain Vitamin D-3 because
this is the only D vitamin that can be utilized by birds. You
may even provide your bird with a cuttle bone or a mineral block that
you purchase from the pet store.
vitamins and minerals supplements represent an "insurance policy"
in case your bird's diet is lacking in one or more types of nutrients.
Bottom line, make sure your bird gets a varied diet.
disease in caged birds is either directly or indirectly related to three
important factors: poor hygiene, malnutrition and/or stress. All caged
bird owners must understand that birds tend to "hide" their
symptoms for fear of being thrown out of the flock or possibly even
being killed by other birds living in the same group. Consequently,
it is important to realize that when you recognize one or more symptoms,
your bird may well have been sick for one or perhaps two weeks. You
CAN NOT take the wait and see approach
if you notice something is not right with your bird. As a general rule
of thumb, any caged bird that that appears to be ill to its owner is
seriously ill. Make an appointment and get them to a qualified Avian
following list includes clinical symptoms, easily recognizable by the
concerned bird owner, that either alone, or in combination, signify
potential illness in you bird:
in clarity or color of eye/eyes
from nostril/nostrils or vent
of feathers around nostrils or of the head feathers
to adequately manipulate food within the mouth
in appetite or complete cessation of eating
in preening activity and maintenance of feathers
break in the bird's routine
of vocal quality (may be very serious)
problems (very serious)
to perch (bird on bottom of cage)
or lack of full weight-bearing on one limb
foot/feet and or joint/joints
in quality and of quantity of droppings
breathing when at rest (very serious)
pumping (up and down motion of the tail when at rest)
lumps or masses anywhere on the body
- always an emergency situation (regardless of the origin of the blood)
The above information was provided courtesy of
Avian & Exotic Animal