5 Must-Have Things To Keep Your Pet Bird Comfortable and Healthy

March 11, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Birds

Animal-World's Bird Care - How to Take Care of a Pet Bird

Birds can be amazing pets!

Birds are very low maintenance. When keeping them as pets they take up little room, they are great at socializing, they are easily trained, and best of all… a pet bird can be beautiful to look at!

A happy bird will make a happy owner.

If you’re thinking about getting a bird there are a few easy ways to ensure they remain comfortable and healthy.

Here are the 5 must-haves that every pet bird needs:

See Bird cages at Real Smart

1 – A Nice Big and Airy Cage

Remember that birds are wild animals. They are used to the freedom of flying around and hunting for food. If you are going to enclose them make sure you invest in a good cage, which is the appropriate size for your bird.

Put the cage in an area out of direct sunlight but where your pet bird can see action, nature, and other living things. Although they are great socializers and will thrive on human contact, high traffic areas may be stressful for them, so keep them out of the traffic corridor.

2 – Plenty of Toys

It’s very important that your bird is entertained. Remember, they have nowhere to go so need to be stimulated throughout the day, especially when you’re not there to talk to them. If they get too bored they can develop behavioral problems such as screaming, plucking their feathers, and biting. Essential toys a bird should have are:

  • Foraging Toys: These allow your bird to work for their food like they would in the wild.
  • Chewing Toys: Chewing is a major part of a wild bird’s life and it is essential they can do this while caged.
  • Preening Toys: Preening toys such as rope will satisfy your bird’s needs and stop them plucking their own feathers.

3 – Exercise Equipment

Birds are animals that exercise a lot in the wild so exercise equipment inside their cage will keep them happy and entertained throughout the day. Swinging perches and ladders will not only instigate movement, they are very important for foot and muscle health. Perches that look like natural branches are the best choices, but be sure to get the correct thickness for your bird. Ladders and net climbing obstacles will be great for your pet birds play time and discovery. Also check on the latest innovation that could help your pet. It shouldn’t hurt to try new exercise thingies especially if they look promising.

4 – A Cozy Retreat

Make sure there is a nice place to go so that your bird can find solitude as they would in the wild. This is easily achieved with a bit of fabric on one corner. At nighttime, it’s always a good idea to cover the cage entirely to convey comfort and sleep time. You can also add a small birdhouse inside so the pet can go there anytime it feels like it.

5 – House Keeping

A clean bird cage is essential for your bird’s health and happiness. It’s an easy job to do and made even easier with pre cut cage liners. Changed daily, you will avoid unpleasant smells and bacteria on your cage floor. There are also non-toxic sprays which dissolve droppings, and remove stains and marks from your cage. A good example of this is Poop-Off. Also learn how frequently cleaning should be. The cage doesn’t have to be squeaky clean, because hay and some newspaper trimmings inside can create a nice forest-like atmosphere. But it will be helpful if wastes are removed from time to time.

Melianie Cho of Real Smart, works with pet care and has been working in a pet store for several years, where she advises customers on the best products for their pets. She is also a regular contributor in pet forums and blogs.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Green-cheeked Conure!

May 27, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Birds

The Green-cheeked Conure

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Green-cheeked Conure!

Green-cheeked Conures are one of many conure species. They are essentially small parrots and appeal to many people! These birds are one of the more popular types of conures available. They have extremely cute personalities, which I can personally testify to! On more than one occasion I have seen someone come into the pet store and have their attention immediately captivated by one of these little guys. And, eventually, they end up taking the bird home!

Some reasons why the Green-cheeked Conure Pyrrhura molinae is more popular include being smaller and quieter than some other species of conures. They actually look almost identical the the Maroon-bellied Conures, except for having a reddish tinge on their upper tail feathers. Overall they have mostly green bodies with blue flight feathers and maroon colored tails. They also have purple on their bellies. As I mentioned above, these conures tend to be more quiet than other conure species, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still make noise! Make sure you can cope with some noise before choosing one of these birds for a pet. And even though they can make some noise, they are not known for great talking abilities.

Green-cheeked Conures originate in Bolivia but are bred and shipped to many other countries where they are kept as pets. In their natural habitats they are extremely social birds and love to hang out with other Green-cheeked Conures. They often sleep in groups and forage for food together. For this reason these birds often do very well bonding to their owners. They enjoy attention and will love being held and spending time with you. If you want more than one bird, they will generally be happy with another companion bird as well.

Caring and maintaining
these conures is practically the same as other birds of similar size and is not too difficult. They love big cages, so if you have the means, provide them with a large cage! Or plan on letting them out of their cage for long periods of time. A minimum size cage should measure 24”x16”x20”. Make sure to provide them with at least 2 perches inside their cage. Toys are a great addition as well. Providing a playpen area outside of the cage with perches and toys is also recommended. You will want to keep the cage away from drafts. Thoroughly cleaning out the cage once a week will keep it sanitary and prevent illness in your bird.

A good small parrot or conure mixture will work perfectly for feeding your Green-cheeked Conure. It has all the needed nutrition. Feel free to supplement regularly as well. Supplements could include many fruits and vegetables, including spinach, lettuce, carrots, apples, and grapes. They also will sometimes like dog food or monkey chow! Just make sure to never offer avocado, as it is poisonous for birds. Also provide a cuttlebone in the cage. This helps keep their beaks healthy and trimmed. Provide a water dish for drinking, and a larger dish in the bottom for them to take baths in. All dishes – food and water – should be cleaned out daily. If you want to let your conure out regularly, it is a very good idea to have his wings trimmed. This will keep him from accidentally escaping through an open door or window.

If you follow the minimum recommended care guidelines, you most likely will have a hardy and disease-resistant bird! Birds which have problems are generally those who are kept in unclean conditions and not fed a balanced diet or given any supplements. But even the best cared for birds will sometimes get sick. Watch out for ruffled feathers, diarrhea, sneezing and discharge from their noses, labored breathing, and behavioral changes. These could all indicate your Green-cheeked Conure is ill and not feeling well. Taking them to a veterinarian is usually the best course of action in these circumstances. Also, if your bird is stressed or not given enough attention, they can resort to feather plucking, biting, and/or screaming. These problems generally just indicate a need to pay more attention to your bird or to change their environment. For example, simply moving the cage to a different, quieter, room can dramatically reduce the stress your bird feels.

Green-cheeked Conures are usually readily available almost everywhere in the United States. If you are wanting to commit to one of these birds you should be able to acquire one from most pet stores or even look up breeders online. These birds are the perfect pet for many people! Check out the Guide to a Happy, Healthy Conure for more information on Conures in general!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Eclectus Parrot!

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Birds

The Eclectus Parrot

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Eclectus Parrot!

The Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus is one of the most beautiful and brilliant colored parrots! My primary experience with them was at the pet store I worked at, as well as visiting at various bird breeding facilities. We had several pairs come through the pet store and they for sure attracted quite a few people over to ooh and aah over them! One of the most interesting facts about them is that the males and females are different colors. The males basic colors are green on top with red on their bellies and under their wings. The females basic colors are red on top with purple or blue on their bellies and under their wings.

Although their colors alone make them desirable to look at, they also have several traits that make them good pets as well. They are very good talkers and have calm personalities. If they are well-socialized with humans while young, then they often become very affectionate and accepting of them as their companions. They tend to like quieter environments and become very attached to their cages and play areas. They also do very well with routines and are easy to care for because of this. These attributes make them ideal pets for older people or people without noisy children and/or lots of visitors. They become stressed easily if there is lots of noise or new routines every day.

The Eclectus Parrot originates in Australia, Maluki Islands, New Guinea, Soloman Island, and other Pacific Islands near Eastern Indonesia. It was described in 1776 by Muller. Only one species is currently in existence from the Eclectus genus and that is the Eclectus roratus. There has been fossils found of another species however, Eclectus infectus, which is extinct now. There are now 10 or more subspecies from the existing Eclectus roratus, and four of these can be found as pets.

The care and feeding of the Eclectus Parrot is mostly easy and straight-forward. Provide them with a hookbill bird seed mix and supplement with whatever fruits and vegetables you have on hand. The fruits and vegetables are a necessity because these foods are what provide them with most of their Vitamin A and fiber, which keeps their digestive track healthy. The two foods that should definitely be avoided are avocado and chocolate, which are poisonous to birds. A cuttle bone should be provided for them to chew on. This keeps their beaks trimmed down and is a good source of calcium for them. Provide them with fresh water daily as well, to keep them healthy. You may also want to provide a dish of water on the bottom of the cage so they can bathe.

Provide them with a large enough cage or aviary that they have plenty of room to move and climb around. They should be given several perches and toys and swings to play with/on. You will also want to take them out daily and have a separate play area. These parrots crave routine. They can become territorial over their certain “areas” as well. As I mentioned before, these birds are social and can become very attached to their human owners as well as to other companion birds. They are fairly easy to tame and handle. In general, the females are the more dominant of the sexes and can become more aggressive – especially near breeding time.

The Eclectus Parrot does not have any general health problems and usually remains healthy if well taken care of. Some signs of illness to look out for include wheezing, watery eyes, diarrhea, plucked or ruffled feathers, and extreme changes in their mood. If you see any of these, it is best to get them to a veterinarian to have them checked out.

These really are fascinating birds with their amazing colors and personalities! Check out more on the them on Animal-World’s Eclectus Parrot page!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Parakeet

February 5, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Pet Birds

Parakeets

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Parakeet!

Most likely, you or someone you know has owned a parakeet! They are one of the more popular of the smaller birds, for many reasons. They can learn to talk and whistle, have a shorter lifespan than many of the larger parrots, and are relatively easy to care for. While working at the pet store, I saw many of these birds come and go to new homes. I enjoyed cleaning their cages every day and whistling along with them!

Parakeets are also called Budgerigars, or Budgies. Their scientific name is Melopsittacus undulatus and they are part of the Psittacidae family. They come in many various color combinations, over 100 actually! This makes for a very interesting and unique looking bird! Their primary colors are green, blue, gray, white, yellow, opaline, and pied. Parakeets in general are usually very affectionate towards their owners (especially if trained while young). They are inexpensive and can be trained to do a multitude of tricks. They do require a lot of interaction because they are very social birds by nature. If you do not think you will have a whole lot of one-on-one time available to be with your bird, you should consider bringing home at least one companion bird as well. They have an average lifespan of 12-14 years with proper care.

The history of the Parakeet begins in Australia. They were first noted by European John Gould in 1865 in his book, “Birds of Australia.” These birds are actually part of the parrot family and belonged to a tribe called the Platycercini in Australia. They originate in the desert-like part of central Australia where there is little precipitation. This little to no rain environment has truly helped this bird become hardy! They are also monogamous birds in the wild as well as captivity and so will generally pick a mate for life. Unless of course, their primary mate dies.

Now onto the care and feeding of the Parakeet/Budgerigar. As I stated above, they are relatively inexpensive with fairly easy care requirements. The housing requirements of the parakeet include a roomy cage with plenty of places to climb. A play area that can be put on top of the cage is also a good idea. This will give your parakeet(s) a place to hang out when not in the cage and that helps give more interaction time with you and different scenery to your bird. Include perches and toys/swings/mirrors in the cage. Parakeets also love taking baths, so a bath house or bowl is another good idea. Free-flying time is very important for these birds for both exercise and their mental well-being, so make sure that there is a block of time most days that you can allow them to be out and flying about!

As far as food goes – they need a variety of seeds and fresh foods. A good parakeet seed mix can be bought at local pet stores. Give them fresh fruits and vegetables occasionally as well. However, some food items are not good for them, including cabbage, avocado, green beans, and several others. Good fresh foods for them include Lettuce, carrots, spinach, apples and bananas. Also provide spray millet, cuttle bones (for their beaks) and mineral blocks. Fresh water should be given daily.

Parakeets or budgerigars are pretty hardy birds. They of course can get respiratory illnesses if kept in drafty areas and that is something to watch out for. If you notice them plucking their feathers that is also a sign of a problem. If they are lonely due to not having a companion bird or enough interaction time with you, they can become bored and begin plucking their feathers.

Animal-World’s page on Parakeets/Budgerigars is a great place to start reading if you want to familiarize yourself more with these birds!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Bird Care Basics

December 10, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Birds

Bird CareBird Care
“Keeping a pet bird means good bird care! This bird care basics guide includes everything you need to know from bird cages, food and supplies to health care, exercise and safety!”

To have a great pet bird, it must begin with the best bird care!

Many different types of pet birds are available and they can all make amazing pets if given the best of care. Most birds are social creatures and need and love close contact with their owners. Some other birds just love talking and singing which can give you feelings of having a friend there. The largest birds, parrots often become very close friends, loving to nap, sometimes shower, and eat with you! Most just love interaction of any kind.

Taking on a bird as a pet does take some work and dedication as well as some common sense. All birds have the same needs as far as bird care basics are concerned. For instance, every bird needs a cage that is tailored to their size and includes perches, bird feeders with the appropriate food, and fresh water… Read More

More on Bird Care Basics!