Love your pet: Owning your first cage bird

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Information about Love your pet: Owning your first cage bird

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: GJWTitmuss



Our third entry in the "looking after your new pet" series presents everything you need to know about owning your first cage bird. This handy guide is filled with tips and advice on equipment, cage fittings, healthcare and bird behaviour. Read on, and you'll be having fun with your feathered friend in no time.

Love Your Pet: Caring For Your Cage Bird Created By GJW Titmuss

Contents Your First Cage Bird Equipment and Supplies Housing Cage Maintenance Cage Fittings Handling Food And Diet Foods To Avoid Water Exercise Health Registering With A Vet Insurance Introducing Children To Your Bird Integration With Other Birds Introducing Other Birds Final Thought Contact Details Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5 Slide 6 Slide 7 Slide 9 Slide 11 Slide 12 Slide 13 Slide 14 Slide 15 Slide 16 Slide 17 Slide 18 Slide 19 Slide 20 Slide 21 Slide 22

Your First Cage Bird Despite their small size, birds make fantastic pets. But, as with any pet, you must be prepared to take on new responsibilities and offer enough care and attention to ensure that your cage bird lives a happy, rewarding, and fulfilling life.

Equipment and Supplies Purchase the following items before bringing your bird back to its new home: • • • • • • • Bird cage Perches Swings Toys Food dishes Mineral blocks Water bowl or bottle • • • • • Cage liners Bathing bowl Cage cover Grooming supplies Disinfectant and cleaning products

Housing When it comes to choosing a suitable cage, be sure to pick something that’s big enough to accommodate both your bird and all the internal fittings whilst still leaving plenty of room for your animal to thrive. Consider the following factors: • • • • Size Spacing between bars Location Fittings

Cage Maintenance Liner: It’s important to keep your bird cage free from mess, and the cage liner clean. You should sweep the floor and put a fresh liner in the cage every day. Food and Water Dishes: Any dishes or bowls used by your bird should be washed in hot soapy water. Ensure they’re completely dry before putting them back into the cage. Spare bowls can be used whilst you are cleaning other dishes and letting them dry.

Cage Fittings You should make the cage as homely as possible by inserting toys and perches to keep your bird entertained. Perches: • It’s essential that you provide your pet with plenty of perches in order to give them plenty of footing. • Ensure you don’t overcrowd the cage though, as you bird should still be able to spread its wings without hitting any of the perches. • If you maintain your perches daily, you’ll be able to keep them clean and splinter-free for longer.

Cage Fittings Toys: • Birds like to have fun too, and there are all kinds of toys they can play with. • These should also be monitored for wear and tear to ensure they’re completely safe.

Handling The more time you spend with cage birds, the tamer they will become. Begin by spending at least 10 minutes with them three times throughout the day. After repeating this for a few days, your bird should trust you enough to let you hold them.

Handling Pt 2 Slowly place your clenched hand in the cage, and extend a finger for your bird to perch on. Once they’re relaxed, cautiously remove your hand from the cage. WARNING! Make no sudden movements, and if your bird seems distressed, return it to its cage slowly. As long as you are patient, your feathered friend will eventually become comfortable with you holding them. Be extremely gentle with your cage bird. Holding it with too much force may cause damage.

Food and Diet Seeds aren’t the only food to feed your feathered friend. A healthy diet consists of multiple different foods, including fruit, vegetables and pellets: Food Species specific pellet food (75% of birds diet) Fruit Vegetables Nuts and grains Beans Table food (treats) Examples N/A Banana, papaya, apple, blueberries Carrots, cooked sweet potatoes, spinach Almonds, cooked brown rice Kidney beans, garbanzo beans Whole-wheat pasta, cooked squash, scrambled eggs

Foods to Avoid The following foods should NOT be fed to your bird: • • • • • • Avocado Chocolate Alcohol Onion Celery Meat Always be aware of exactly what food your bird has access to.

Water Birds require clean water at all times, so you should refresh their water bowl at least twice a day. It’s best to keep two bowls filled with fresh water, one for washing and one for drinking.

Excercise Cage birds need to stay both mentally and physically stimulated. In order to get the necessary exercise, birds need to be allowed out their cage for at least two hours a day. Ensure your bird has a safe area to explore by closing any windows and doors and cleaning up any small objects or loose food.

Health The following chart depicts the symptoms attached to various avian illnesses: Infection Aspergillosis (respiratory tract diseases) Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) Candida (overgrowth of yeasts in the birds digestive system) Polyomavirus (unusual development or lack of feathers) Psittacosis Symptoms Lack of appetite, breathing difficulties, depression, weakness, loss of coordination Weight loss, vomiting, changes in the bird’s droppings, a swollen crop (where bird’s store and soften their food) Feather loss, growths, abnormalities of the beak, unusual feather development White lesions around and in the mouth and throat, vomiting, loss of appetite Appetite loss, enlarged abdomen, diarrhea Lethargic, breathing difficulties, eye infection, runny droppings If your bird begins to display any of the above symptoms you should seek medical assistance right away.

Registering With A Vet You should register with your local vet to ensure that your pet can receive medical treatment if needed. Qualified avian vets are specially trained to work with birds, so check if there is a local one available. Without registered veterinary care, you’ll end up paying more in an emergency situation.

Insurance Insurance will help protect you against the costs of: • Vets bills • Theft • Accidents • Public liability • Bird-rooms and equipment • Death Be sure to check exactly what you’re covered for before you take out any policy.

Introducing Children to Your Bird There are some important points to remember when introducing children to your new pet: • Tell children to keep their voice low when close to the cage • Avoid panicking the bird by approaching the cage slowly • Don’t put anything through the cage, including toys, food and fingers • Don’t rattle the cage or try and disturb the bird, as this will cause distress

Integration with Other Birds The younger the birds, the easier integration will be. Older birds may get territorial, so it’s best to integrate them at an early age. Keep different species in separate cages. Integration between different species is not guaranteed to work, but given time it is possible.

Introducing Other Birds Birds should first get to know each other in separate cages. As they become more comfortable with each other, move the cages closer together, eventually integrating both into the same space. Pay equal attention to both birds so that neither gets jealous. Continue to monitor your birds over time to spot any issues that may arise. WARNING! Animals in close confinement can transmit diseases to one another. Look out for any anomalies in health or eating habits.

Final Thought Caring for a bird takes time and dedication, but with lots of love and attention, you’ll have a feathered friend for life. For all your pet-related needs, visit GJW Titmuss today.

GJW Titmuss As a leading online pet store, GJW Titmuss offer a wide range of pet food, products and accessories. Based in Lamer Lane, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, customers can view our website or visit our store directly. Contact us today: Web orders - 01582 839114 / store - 01582 833883 Store opening hours: Monday-Friday 7.30am-5.00pm Saturday 9.00am-4.00pm Closed Sunday and bank holidays /GJWtitmuss @GJWTitmuss

Image Credits • • • • • • • • • • Slide 1: Slide 3: Slide 4: Slide 8: Slide 9: Slide 12: Slide 13: Slide 17: Slide 18: Slide 21:

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