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Care Tips Every Bird Owner Should Know: Part 2

cage3If you’re looking for some good tips on bringing your new bird home and how to help your bird develop good behaviors, check out Part 1 of this series of posts. In this post we’ll talk about some general care tips to keep your bird happy and healthy at home.

Better Bird Care

Keeping your bird interested and engaged. You can help your bird stay interested and stimulated while you’re away from the home. You can give him something to look at and study. A mirror, for example, can hold a bird’s interest. Be aware, however, that your bird may become attached to his mirror, preferring the company of his reflection to the company of you or your family members. Leaving a TV on can act as a sight and sound stimulant. Playing different kinds of music might interest your bird. You may even find that he’s inclined to sing along. You can also give your bird new toys to play with and explore. Study your specific bird breed and find out what capabilities he has. Choose entertainment that plays to your bird’s strengths.

Picking the right perches. While you’re out finding new and fun toys for your bird to use, or if you’re setting up a bird cage for the first time, be sure to buy perches of differing sizes and textures. The varying textures of perches will allow your bird to choose the perch he prefers the most, or it will give him a new sensory experience to keep him interested in moving from perch to perch. The different sizes of perches also prevent your bird from developing pressure sores on his feet, which are caused by consistently applying pressure and weight to the same points (think of how you get blisters by having the same spot on your feet irritated over and over again).

Getting better at bird talk. Birds are social creatures. They sing and trill and coo to each other. Many birds use a call and repeat pattern where they sing back and forth to one another. You are now your bird’s flock. Socialize with him by talking, whistling, and singing to your bird. Who knows, you might come up with some great duets!

Check the droppings. Bird droppings can be a very good indicator for checking your bird’s health. If you keep track of daily droppings (as you clean out the cage paper daily at around the same time) you will be aware if your bird has fewer droppings, indicating a drop in appetite or a digestive tract problem. A change in the appearance of droppings could also be an indicator of changes in your bird’s health.

The Life, Schedule, and Living Space of a Happy Bird

Keep your bird socialized with all family members. If your bird has one best friend, that means that he’ll probably treat the rest of the family like strangers. This could result in aggressive behavior towards those who are less involved in the bird’s care. To avoid this, get everyone involved in socializing with and caring for your pet.

Keeping it clean. One of the most important ways to keep your bird healthy is to clean his cage regularly. The paper at the bottom of the cage should be changed daily. This will keep the cage area smelling more fresh and clean, which will encourage you and other family members to want to be around. Deep clean the cage weekly. This means wiping down all the cage surfaces, perches, feeding and water dispensers, and toys. Take the chance to also check for potential hazards to your bird. This could be as simple as removing small toy pieces that your bird may choke on and being aware of any string or wire that could possibly get tangled around your bird’s neck, wings, or feet. Also be aware of any small cracks or holes where your bird’s toes might get caught.

Privacy please! Everyone likes a little quiet and alone time. Give your bird a hiding place in his cage so he has the option to get a little privacy. This would be particularly important if your bird’s cage is located in a busier area where a lot might be going on.

Respect the bedtime. Birds need quite a lot of sleep. In the wild, they’re used to sleeping through the night, from sundown to sun up. That means a full 10 to 12 hour block of darkness and quiet time. The artificial light in your home and the late-night activities of people coming home from work and other events can interrupt your bird’s sleep schedule, making for a tired, cranky, and unsocial bird. Find a way to give your bird 10 to 12 hours of dark an quiet, either by having a sleeping cage in a quiet room, or closing the door to your bird’s room, or using a cover for your bird’s cage.

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