June 19, 2010

Helpful Things You Can Do For Your Bird & What Not To Do

  • Give your bird(s) a lot of love, time, and patience.
  • Consider subscribing to Bird Talk magazine. This is a helpful source of information on caring for pet birds.
  • Wash fresh fruits and veggies before giving them to your bird and give him/her fresh food and water every day.
  • Allow your bird to bath frequently at least a couple of times a week and daily if possible. My bird prefers a bath taken in a small 5-6" wide (2-3" high) bowl of water (room temperature).
  • Teach your bird the "up" and "down" commands. Although with grey cheeks, they don't always wish to obey the "down" command. They sometimes grip their owner's finger even tighter when one gives the "down" command!
  • Take your bird for regular well-bird check-ups with a certified avian vet. Also consider keeping an Avian First Aid Kit in your home and check out NetVet.    
  • Consider purchasing the following books to keep as references in your home: 1) The Bird Care Book: All you need to know to keep your bird healthy and happy by Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld, V.M.D., 1989--$12.95 and 2) First Aid for Birds: The Essential quick-reference guide by Tim Hawcroft, 1994--$10.00.
  • Clip your bird's wings when the primary coverts grow out and trim your bird's nails when they get long and sharp (if you are not acquainted with these procedures, please have a professional do it for you; it is fairly inexpensive to have done).    
  • Dismantle and clean your bird's cage completely, including toys and perches, with hot, soapy water to which a capful of liquid bleach (like lemon Clorox) has been added. This will clean and sterilize the cage to provide a safe environment for your pet.
  • Consider leaving a radio on during the day when you are away at work or school to keep your bird entertained and allow some supervised "out" time for your bird when you are home.
  • Research a bird species you are interested in before you buy one to determine if it is right for you.

Visit Birds n Ways' Library of Articles/FAQs which has a listing of excellent bird care articles too numerous to reference here.

What Not to Do
  • Never buy a bird merely for its color, buy a bird on impulse, or for the sole purpose of expecting it to be a talker (and then be disappointed if it is not).
  • Do not lose your temper or get frustrated with your bird or its behavior. Birds, like other animals, are in tune with their owner's emotions and will react accordingly.
  • Do not use teflon or other coated cook ware (fumes from overheated pans can kill your bird if heated past a certain temperature).
  • Do not keep your bird shut up in its cage all the time. Birds have feelings too and will be extremely unhappy if shut up constantly and may develop behavioral problems as a result.
  • Do not feed your bird avocado, chocolate or foods full of sugar, fat, salt, or an all seed diet.
  • Do not use soaps or other chemicals directly on your bird or use aerosols, paint, or other chemical products around your bird(s); they have very delicate, sensitive respiratory systems and could die from asphyxiation.
  • Do not place your bird directly by a heater or place your bird in direct sunlight without providing a place for him/her to be in the shade (sun/heat stroke could occur). Do not place your bird near an open window or near an air conditioner as birds are susceptible to upper respiratory infections.
  • Do not let your bird chew on jewelry, buttons, dried paint, metal blinds, treated wood, etc. (paint and costume jewelry, especially, could contain lead; and wood can be treated with harmful chemicals).
  • Do not walk blindly into bird care without knowing how to care for them.
  • Do not let your bird's nails get too long as they can get caught in frayed ropes or other toys in its cage or let your bird's primary coverts completely grow out. Free-flying birds can accidentally escape through an open window or door, fly into windows, mirrors, water boiling on the stove or a hot frying pan, or land in the commode and drown.
  • Do not let your bird's cage go uncleaned as mites, bacteria, old food, and feces can adversely affect your bird's health.

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