Birds are beautiful and intelligent animals which makes for a wonderful companion. To enjoy the benefits of owning a bird, and to ensure your bird is healthy and happy, great love and care is needed.
Feeding Your Bird
It is vital that your bird gets the required nutrition for growth, health, and adult development. Choose a feed that has been designed by a nutritionist to provide all the nutrients and vitamins required for healthy development, and assists in the prevention of disease. Feeding the right food throughout your bird’s life will assist in fighting various health problems.
Provide cuttlefish or mineral stones at all times for your bird as it’s a great source of calcium and helps with your birds’s beak health and shape.
Grit is essential in your birds diet to help breakdown seeds in it’s gut, and help with egg shell formation when breeding.
Avoid feeding your bird avocados, fruit seeds, rhubarb, chocolate, onions, raw or dried beans, eggplants, cherries, beetroot, cabbage, and oxalis.
Safe food to feed your bird in moderation include pears, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, celery, capsicums, cauliflowers, carrots, cuttlefish, spinach, zucchini, or pumpkin.
Always keep fresh water available for your bird and change daily.
Aviaries and Perches
Birds are usually housed in aviaries or cages, however, aviaries are the preferred housing option as they provide a lot more room for you bird to exercise. When choosing a cage, try and choose the biggest cage you can allow space for, and enough room for your bird to stretch it’s wings. Your bird shouldn’t be able to fit it’s head through the bars, and the cage should be strong enough so your bird won’t be able to bend or chew through the bars.
Cover the flooring of your bird’s aviary with grit or newspaper and clean the aviary at least once a week, including emptying and replacing the grit.
Have the aviary or cage placed in a well ventilated area and away from any drafts and direct sunlight.
Most cages and aviaries come with a perch, but usually the perches are too smooth. A perch should be fairly rough to help nails from over growing and lesions forming on the skin. A branch from a tree is a free and great option, or perch covers and mineral perches are available from our stores.
As birds can get stressed quite easily, it is ideal for your bird to get used to you over several days. Don’t try and grab your bird straight away, instead put your hand in the aviary or cage with some food, and eventually your bird will step on your finger.
Toys and Exercise
It is important to provide your bird with toys and puzzles within their housing. As birds are very intelligent animals, they need stimulation to keep them from boredom. For tame birds, it is vital to let your bird out of the enclosure to help maintain fitness and keep your budgie from becoming overweight.
Birds that live in aviaries should be wormed every three months, and inside birds need to be wormed at least twice a year.To prevent mites and lice, treat your bird every 6 weeks with a mite and lice spray. Spray your bird according to the instructions on the bottle, and on the cage and toys. Be sure to remove any food and water prior to treatment.
Vet visits are required when your bird is looking ill. Keep a close eye on your bird for any of the following symptoms: not eating, puffed up feathers, sleeping excessively, throwing up, abnormal droppings, sitting low or at the bottom of the aviary/cage, and discharge from nostrils, eyes or beak.
Common illnesses and diseases associated with birds include:
Malignant Tumors, Lymphomas, and Fatty Tumors. These may be cause from seed only diets, and can be benign or cancerous.
Scaly Face, which are little organisms that can live on your bird and weaken the bird’s health. This is mainly common in Budgies.
Goiter is from a lack of iodine, and causes the thyroid gland to enlarge.
Megabacteria is a large organism which causes a bird to lose it’s strength, energy and appetite very quickly.
For more information, download our care sheets:
- Budgie Care Sheet
- Canary Care Sheet
- Finch Care Sheet
- Small Parrot Care Sheet
- Large Parrot Care Sheet