In photo: trying out some parrots at Sentosa
Keeping a bird in captivity entails responsibility. It is all about being accountable for another living thing. It can be a good way to teach kids duties and obligations, but it still requires adult supervision for a successful bird care. It takes understanding and identifying the many possible bird care problems in order to keep captive birds happy and thriving in their cages.
Now if you have a pet parrot or you are planning to get one, here are the most basic bird care problems that you may likely encounter. Researching your bird’s particular needs and habits gives you a good start.
The Bird Diet. Birds can’t be happy just by eating seeds. Like people, they need variety. For instance, parrots need more than seeds. The nutrients in seeds are inadequate and the fat content is too much. It can make the parrot obese and sick. High quality parrot pellets or crumbles is better. They also need fresh foods – nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, remember to keep their water fresh daily and not to feed them with chocolate, alcohol, onion, or fatty/salty ‘human’ foods.
The Bird Home. Birds need to exercise their wings and that means they need space. Make sure that they have enough of it to be able to expand their wings and fly; the wider the better. Keep their home clean to prevent growth of harmful disease-causing microorganisms. Line the floor with old newspapers that can be changed daily and throw day-old water that can be a good medium for bacterial growth. Make sure that the cage is coated with something that is non-toxic.
The Perch. Birds fly and perch all their life. Thus, the right perch is important to keep the feet of your pet healthy. Birds can develop ailments as they grow older from bad perches such as arthritis and bumble foot. Never use concrete perches that can cause harm the feet. Rather, use natural branches that they can also safely chew such as eucalyptus, bottlebrush, grevillea, and banksia while avoiding Oleander, Rhododendron, Azaleas, and Hydrangea. It is good to use perches of varying widths ranging from small ones that can be wholly grasped by the bird’s feet to wider ones that can let their feet rest. Set up a high perch that has no water or food bowls to be used at night.
The Bird Bath. There is a good reason for birds to keep them coming back in the garden where there is a birdbath. Bath is so vital for birds; it is something that they enjoy, that keeps the quality of their feathers, and that makes them energetic. Put a small birdbath in the cage and watch them have fun with it.
Quality Rest and Recreation. Just like you, they need to rest and sleep as well as have fun. They also need 10-12 hours of dark, quiet time each night to make them totally rested. You can put a thick cover on the cage in a quiet room so they can sleep. There are birds that enjoy longer daylight hours. It is important to research what your bird prefers. Birds also like playing; they will chew and destroy anything they fancy. Therefore, it is good to give them something that they can safely chew. Be innovative. There are many ways to keep them having fun and rewards inside the cage. There are many kinds of fun toys available in pet and bird shops.
Budgies can live from seven to 9 years and parrots can live longer than 25 years if they are well taken care of. The secret of their healthy and happy long life lies in providing them with quality bird care. You can avoid all bird care problems by knowing what they need to live well. You can start by researching and setting an appointment for a health check and advice on creating the best life possible for your little friend.