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Chapter 3

Care and Feeding Basics



Although every breed of bird comes with its own individual needs, there are some basics which you can apply to your new bird regardless of his particular breed.

First, feeding your new bird does not have to be complicated if you know what is available and adjust it to your own bird’s preferences. Similar to any other kind of pet, he may express different tastes, likes, and dislikes. It is not harmful to indulge a picky eater, as long as the food he is given supplies the balanced nutrition he needs for good health.

There are three general types of diets for pet birds. The most basic form of diet is a diet which consists of only seeds. While your new bird can manage quite well on a seed diet, for his optimum health it is a good idea to also give him vitamin supplements. A seed-based diet can be enriched by providing him with a nice variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. Many birds love berries, grapes, and carrots; and they are as healthy for him as he love to eat them.

Bird feed mixes are an easy way to ensure that your bird has a healthy diet. Each type of mix that you can purchase has been specially made for particular breeds of birds. When you buy a bird feed mix, you will know that he is getting the food that is right for him.

Although it lacks variety, a formulated diet can provide your bird with everything he needs. These diets are specifically tailored to fulfill your bird’s nutritional requirements. If you decide to use a formulated diet, it is the easiest way for your bird to get everything his body needs to stay in prime condition.

Selecting the diet that is best for your bird and easiest for you is one of the most important parts of the care and feeding of your bird. However, there are other factors in keeping him healthy and in the best spirits. All birds should have a supply of fresh water available to them at all times.

When you accommodate your bird’s need for consistent, fresh drinking water, it will aid in his digestion and promote overall good health.

Some breeds of birds also require a consistent supply of grit for proper digestion. The reason for this is some birds do not shell their seeds while they are eating, and consume the shells also. The grit is necessary for helping the shells to disintegrate. While grit can be a healthy addition to most birds’ diets, it is essential for those who are in this category.

Your bird’s care and feeding basics include much more than his daily diet. The good news is that taking care of your bird is not difficult, and the time you put into it is as much fun for you as it is for him.

Your new bird is no different from any other living being in that he requires proper exercise in order to stay healthy. It will also serve to keep him in good spirits. If he is your very first bird, you may be surprised at the variations and effects exercise can have for him.

Similar to any other kind of pet, you will surely be amazed to see that he has his own individual preferences. One bird may prefer to exercise by flying around the room every day, taking in the sights, and making a show of his wing span, while another may delight in performing little gymnastic-like routines in his own cage.

Some birds love the freedom of being outside their cages, while others do not like it at all. His own unique personality is the key. After you have had him for only a short while, it should be easy for you to see what kind of exercise he likes the most. When you cater to his personal preferences, the result will be a healthier, happier bird.

When you have a new bird in your home, you will be pleased to see that it is not all about work and little play. In fact, playtime can be one of the highlights of owning a bird. It is during playtime that you begin to see him as your delightful little friend and your favorite companion.

If you have never owned a bird before, you might not know what to do or what to expect from playtime. Having a few ideas in hand, and taking the cue from your bird himself, is a great way to start.

One playtime activity which most birds love is the bath. It is suitable for all birds of bird, and they all tend to love it equally well. Depending upon such factors as the size of your bird and the space which you have available in your home, you have a number of options from which you can choose. He can bathe and play in your regular bathtub, in your sink, or in a special indoor bird bath made especially for him. Regardless of the specific method you choose, your bird is sure to choose it as one of his best-loved activities.

Playtime for your new bird should also include some toys. The best way to go about this is to purchase toys solely for his use. Ladders, swings, bells, and balls, are amongst the kinds of toys which are favored by most birds. In addition, when you supply him with toys of his own, you will find it much easier to train him to not grab or chew on objects which he should not be playing with, such as household items and items that belong to you.

Caring for your pet bird includes protecting him from harm and danger. While birds are generally quite strong and resilient, this is still an important factor in keeping him safe and healthy. For example, if you have small children in your home, they must be taught to not annoy
or provoke him. Poking him through his cage, making unnecessary loud noises, or taking him out of his cage without an adult’s permission and supervision, should be clearly avoided.

If you have other pets in your home, your bird must be protected from them as well. While in some cases cats and dogs can be trained to coexist nicely with a bird, it is unwise to allow any unsupervised interaction, or to have the bird cage in a place that is easily accessible to them.

There are many common household plants which are deadly to birds. In order to ensure the safety of your pet, it is best to not have them near your bird’s cage or in a room where you allow him to fly freely.

Basic common sense goes a long way in helping your bird to be safe. For example, making sure all of your windows and doors are closed, and that there are no fans operating in the room, can prevent unnecessary disaster when your pet is let out of his cage. A room that has been checked for its safety features prior to allowing your bird’s freedom makes his exercise and play a fun,
beneficial experience.

Your new pet bird can be the delight of your life! A little attention to the basics of his everyday care will make owning your new bird an enriching, positive experience.



  Chapter 4



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