Birds are beautiful creatures that can fill your home with color and song. They often live long lives, so to ensure their bird’s life is happy and healthy, owners should understand and follow basic care instructions.
Choosing the Right Bird
Before committing to owning a bird, do your research and understand characteristics of the species you are interested in. Consider reading an expert-recommended book about your desired type of bird. For a bird with beautiful coloring that is relatively low maintenance, consider Zebra Finches. If you want a bird that will sing frequently, a Canary may be for you. A Budgie or a Cockatiel could be the perfect fit if you want a bird that enjoys interacting with your family.
Regular Veterinarian Visits
Regular visits to the vet are vital to keeping your bird healthy and happy. Annual visits should address health screenings as well as nutrition and weight management.
When choosing a veterinarian, visit the American Animal Hospital Association’s website for a list of accredited vet practices in your area and ask for recommendations from friends and family—especially those who take skilled care of their birds’ health and welfare.
Handling Your Bird
Be very gentle when holding your pet bird. Birds’ bones are very fragile and even the slightest pressure can cause a fracture. Teach young children to be kind when handling their feathered friends.
Housing Your Bird
Buy the largest and most well-constructed cage your budget allows. Your bird will need to be able to stretch out its wings and fly a short distance within the cage.
Position your bird’s cage in a warm, bright part of the house that is away from direct sunlight, air conditioning and heat vents, radiators, and drafts so that temperature is regulated.
Clean your bird’s cage thoroughly once a week. Make sure all toys are clean and damage-free. Disinfect the entire cage monthly.
You can place a shallow dish of water at the bottom of the cage for your bird to bathe in. Some birds enjoy being sprayed gently with water. Be sure to keep your bird out of drafts when giving a spray bath.
Your Bird’s Diet
Offer your bird fresh fruit and veggies each day in addition to seed or pelleted food. Also provide fresh, cold water and change it twice a day.