Library

Birds + Care & Wellness

  • As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Macaws are vulnerable to high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, stroke, vitamin A deficiency, insufficient dietary calcium, egg-binding, and other nutrition-related problems. Seeds are highly palatable and preferred by birds, but nutritionally they are incomplete, lacking vitamins, minerals, and protein. Fruits, vegetables, and greens should account for no more than 20-25% of the daily diet. Pellets are the ideal diet and should ideally represent approximately 75-80% of the bird's diet. Converting seed-eating birds onto a formulated diet is not always easy. Consult your veterinarian if you encounter any problems with this transition or with the health of your bird. In general, a bird that is eating 75-80% of its diet in the form of pelleted food does not need supplements. Macaws do not need gravel or grit because they remove the outer hull of the seed before ingesting the kernel.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The finch is a popular pet bird with a fascinating personality and colorful community life. They originate from various countries around the world. There is a large diversity of species and varieties available in an abundant assortment of colors and patterns.

  • Hand feeding baby birds is only a substitute for parent-raised birds, but it does have certain advantages. The hand-raised baby usually makes a better pet, as it has been completely socialized with humans.

  • Birds are naturally mischievous and if not properly supervised, will get into many predicaments. It is crucial that you bird proof your home. The bird's cage is its house and the confines of your home represent the bird's environment.

  • A pet bird is entirely reliant on you for everything in its life. Its well-being is dependent on you, the caring pet bird owner. It is important to continually strive to better your bird's life and help ensure the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.

  • Bird cages must be big enough for birds to move around with ease and to not strike their wings or tail as they move from perch to perch and stretch or flap their wings. Bars on the cage must be close enough together to prevent the bird from escaping or getting its head caught. Natural wood branches of varying diameters make the best perches, as they more closely mimic birds’ perches in the wild. Wood perches may help wear birds’ nails down and provide birds with something to chew on. Sandpaper perches should be avoided. Natural hemp or braided cotton rope are softer on birds’ feet and are another great perch option. Food and water dishes should be made from sturdy, non-toxic materials that are easy to clean and disinfect every day. Enriching bird toys must be provided, such as ladders, rope, swings, mirrors, bells, hanging toys, hidden food items in the cage, or pieces of wood or leather to chew on. Introduce new toys slowly to allow the bird to become accustomed to them over time. All toys should be periodically washed and disinfected.

  • Contrary to popular belief, pet birds not raised with other birds typically bond to their owners and are unlikely to want to live with another new bird. If you feel your bird is lonely or bored, first consider providing more enrichment in the form of safe toys and entertainment. If you decide you want to introduce another bird into your household, be sure you are ready to take on the work of caring for more than one bird and be certain to introduce him slowly. All new birds should be checked by a veterinarian before exposing the original bird to a new one, and the new bird should be quarantined in a separate, isolated room within the house for 30-45 days. Some birds never accept new birds in their territories. Consult your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems.

  • Lead is a common household hazard for birds. Due to the curious, explorative nature, house birds can be exposed to lead around the house (compared to wild birds which are frequently poisoned by lead sinkers or by being shot with lead bullets). Lead causes heavy metal toxicity, affecting the blood, nervous system and gastrointestinal system. Lead poisoning can be fatal if not treated.

  • Leg bands are often applied by the breeder to help identify and keep track of their birds. Breeders usually apply closed (solid) rings or bands at an early age when the small feet will fit through the hole.