Most people admire birds for their fascinating colors, ability to communicate, and graceful aerial skills. For all those reasons, pet birds have become all the more popular around the world. A national pet owners survey in the US revealed that 20.6 million birds were kept as pets in the US in 2017, whereas the latest population details reveal that over 1 million birds belong to households in the UK.
Bringing a pet bird into the family is, however, an enormous responsibility and owners should have in mind that each species has its unique characteristics and needs proper attention.
Birds Should Not Live on Seeds Alone
Keeping the bird’s diet balanced and varied is really important since wild birds cannot live on seeds alone. Depending on the bird’s species and special characteristics, owners should provide a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, cooked beans, and grains.
Since it has been estimated that improper nutrition accounts for 90% of the health problems of pet birds, it is really important to search thoroughly for your bird’s diet or take the advice of a vet.
In any case, pet birds need the optimal combination of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals in order to stay healthy. A birdseed mix from the pet store is naturally not enough.
Let the Birds Out of the Cage Daily
Various types of pet birds have different needs when it comes to spending time out of the cage. However, a minimum of 2-3 hours daily should be the rule for bird owners.
Ideally, leave the cage door open whenever at home to allow the bird to get out at its own pace, but always close the door once you leave home for your pet’s safety.
It is also important to make the house as safe as possible, by removing sharp and hazardous objects, like ceiling fans, electric wires, or open toilet bowls and by making sure that no other pets, like cats or dogs, are free in the same area.
The balcony could also be converted into an aviary if you want your pet to have more space to fly around.
Provide Time to Preen
Birds usually spend a lot of time combing their feathers with their beaks. Owners should encourage preening by providing a birdbath full of water. Some birds prefer to get misted from a spray bottle, so it is good to inquire about your bird’s preferable habits.
After the bird’s bath, the feathers should get totally dry, and keep your pet away from drafts while its feathers are damp. Beaks or overgrown nails could be related to some type of health issue and should be properly checked by a veterinarian.
Birds are beautiful and fragile creatures, so make sure to care for them gently.