Interested to own birds as pets? Well, before you purchase or acquire any kinds of birds, it is important that you first learn about them so that you know what to expect and that you will have enough time to prepare for the things they will need. Getting a bird is a serious decision that requires time to think over. This is because some bird species particularly large breeds of parrots could live over 80 years which means having a pet bird could be a lifetime commitment.
Photo: Michael Dunne | Flickr
Maintenance of Birds as Pets
Caring for birds may seem to look easy in terms of maintenance because some think that you just put them in cage, give them food and water and that’s it. Well, this is partially true, but birds need more than that. Aside from housing them in a large bird cage where they can fly around and freely flap their wings, birds will also need interaction.
In fact, communicating with birds is part of their basic necessities. Birds are socially active animals that needs some of your time and attention. It would be best if you communicate with them on a regular basis. If your bird is a solo pet in its cage, it is important that you give them a companion (of the same specie). But of course, it will depend on the type of bird you have as some birds would prefer to be alone.
Birds’ Health and Well-being
Birds eat all throughout the day and it is important that you give them variety of food aside from bird seeds and pellets. Giving them highly nutritious food could supplement some of the nutrients they need. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be given to them on a regular basis. You can also offer them grains, sunflower seeds, and crackers made from wheat.
Aside from healthy food, always make sure that water is available. Never leave them without water. You may also place a small tray in their cage with water at least 1 centimeter deep. This is important especially during hot weather and may serve as their “bath tub” to keep them refreshed during the heat.
Birds also need adequate exposure to sunlight at least 4 hours a day. This provides them with Vitamin D and promotes Vitamin A absorption in their body. Also, they need at least 10 hours of sleep every day.
Clean Surrounding to House Your Pet Bird
Adding to their good health, it is important that you house your bird in an area that is clean and where they can get fresh and clean air. This is because birds’ lungs are very sensitive. Their respiratory system works differently as they replace all the oxygen contained in their lungs in just one breathing.
This means that if they are housed in a polluted environment, their lungs will absorb purely contaminated air. This is also one of the reasons why bird species are slowly diminishing and the same reason why some bird species could carry diseases particularly the avian tuberculosis which can be transmitted to human through the air we breathe.
What to Expect in Your Household When Having Birds as Pets
Birds, particularly parrots, cockatiels, and parakeets are naturally noisy birds. So expect weird noises at home when you have these pets. These species are known for mimicking human voices. Birds vocalize as a form of communication.
Aside from the weird noises, birds also shed feather dust. If you have an asthma or allergies this could be difficult when your bird is housed indoors as it could aggravate your condition.
In terms of attention and social needs, parrots in particular are like toddlers. They could grow old but their behavior will remain similar to toddlers that is why constant interaction with them is needed
When housing birds as pets, it is of high importance that you get rid of the things around your home that could pose hazard on their health. This includes the use of Teflon pans or non-stick cookware. These stuff release fumes when heated that are poisonous to birds. In fact, this fumes can cause them death in just a span of minutes.
Birds as pets can be wonderful companions as they could live very long compared to other companion animals. However, this lifespan could only be reached if you take care of them well enough and provide them with love and affection they need as they grow in life.