A Guide to Bird Care




Caring for pet birds is not an easy task. The way that birds are kept, fed and taken care of has a big impact on their health, behavior and breeding capabilities. The first and foremost in bird care is to know all you can about the species and its environmental and nutritional needs. For this, you can talk to your local veterinarian or other bird owners. The point is to have as much useful information as possible about your pet to be.
However, just knowing about the bird you have is not enough. The following tips will help you in taking optimum care of your pet bird.
Basic Rules for Bird Care: An article containing some basic rules to follow for your bird’s well-being
How to Care for Pet Birds: An informative article on caring for your pet bird
Tips for Bird Care: Important tips for taking care of your bird

Caging and Housing Your Pet Bird

The following are some very important considerations when it comes to your bird’s cage:

  • Size of the Cage - Whatever the species of bird you have, it is necessary that its cage is spacious enough for the bird to stretch its wings and fly short distances. The size of the bird will thus dictate the size of the cage that you purchase.
  • Perches - The cage should also have perches for the bird. These should be installed at varying heights with one at level with its food dishes. Make sure that the food dishes are not placed under the perches as the food might then get contaminated by bird droppings. If there are any droppings in the food they should be removed immediately.
  • Lighting - Make sure that the cage is placed in a well lit area which is warm and where there is regular human contact.  However, the cage should be kept away from drafts and direct sunlight. Also do not place the cage near the kitchen as birds are very sensitive to fumes.
  • Paper Lining - The cage needs to be lined with paper. Paper bags or newspaper printed with non-toxic inks can be used. The lining paper needs to be changed daily.
  • Covering - To help the bird sleep and rest, at night the cage should be covered. This will also protect the bird from drafts.
  • Comfort - Place the bird cage against the wall. This will give the bird a secure and comfortable feel.
  • Height of the Cage - The bird cage needs to be kept at eye-level or lower. This will lead to a good social interaction for the bird.
  • Cleaning the Cage - Clean the cage thoroughly at least once a week. This includes removing and washing of the tray, perches and feeding dishes. In addition to this the cage should also be cleaned with a disinfectant once a month.

Care for Your Bird: A comprehensive article containing tips on bird care
Birdchannel.com: The official site of the Bird Channel providing all the information you require on bird care
8 Bird Care Tips: A list of 8 important tips for bird care
7 Important Bird Care Tips: 7 bird care tips to help your new bird thrive at home

Pet Bird Diet

Traditionally speaking, birds feed on seeds. However, today most experts suggest that pelleted food should be used as the diet for birds. In addition to this a bird’s diet should also contain green foods, fruit and cuttlefish bone. Cuttlefish bones provide certain minerals that are needed by birds. Extra proteins such as cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs can also be given to birds every one and a half weeks.
Some people leave uneaten bird food in the cage till it is consumed; this is not good for the bird. Make sure that uneaten food is removed from the bird’s cage after a few hours and do not feed your bird avocado, cherry pits, rhubarb or apple seeds.
It is also essential that birds are provided plenty of fresh water, especially in hot weather. Make it a point to change the bird’s water frequently.
Allaboutbirds.org: This a site that is dedicated to everything about birds
Birdcare.asn.au: The official site of the Bird Care & Conservation Society, Australia
birdcare.com.au : Australia's largest aviculture web site

Exercise and Toys for Pet Birds

Just as with humans, exercising is very important for birds in order to keep them healthy and happy. Exercise is a natural thing for them and not very difficult to provide. For this, you could:

  • Have a large enough cage for the bird to fly in. in general the cage should be 3 times bigger than their wingspan. Small birds fly from perch to perch, which is why it is very necessary to have ample perches in their cages.
  • If your bird is tamed and trained you might want to take it out of the cage and let it fly for some time in an enclosed area. Always shut all doors and windows of a room or secure the area where the bird is to be let out before letting it out. Also cover mirrors and windows or else your bird might accidentally fly into them.
  • Bird toys are made by combining wood, leather, ropes, chains, bells, etc. These toys can be very helpful in combating boredom and can also provide some exercise.

8 Ways to Care for Your Bird: An article on caring for your pet bird
Australian Bird Keeper: The official site of the Australian Bird Keeper magazine
Bird Care Resources: This site contains links to various resources related to birds and bird care
Information on Bird Care: A comprehensive article on various aspects of bird care
Native Bird Care: An article on caring for native birds

Handling Pet Birds

Another important aspect of bird care is training your bird and domesticating it. The most important advantage of this is that it helps in examination for signs of ill-health.
The first step to training your bird is getting them finger trained in the cage following which you will be able to take them out of the cage perched on your finger. This however, requires a lot of patience and gentleness just like with a child.
Caring for a Bird: An article that talks about how to care for your pet bird
Bird Care Tips: A list of tips that will help you take care of your bird

Veterinary Care for Your Pet Bird

It is important that the owner be able to ascertain if their bird is sick. Although a yearly visit to the vet is a recommended routine to keep your pet bird in good condition, if you feel that your bird is sick you should not wait for your scheduled appointment and take it to the vet immediately.
An unwell bird may fluff out its feathers or sit on the floor quietly with its eyes closed. Other signs that your bird is not well are:

  • Change in the consistency, frequency, or color of its droppings
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nostrils
  • Crusty beak or eyes

General Bird Care: An article providing complete details on general bird care
Taking Care of Your Bird: A comprehensive article on bird care
Caring for Your Pet Bird: A detailed article on how to care for your pet bird
Bird Care Guide: A complete guide to general bird care
Pet Bird Care and Safety: An article detailing facts about care and safety of pet birds

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