6 things that we have to consider before buying a bird

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Birds

What to start with?

First we have to consider the following :

What can I afford?

The price of on parrot varies in large bounds in dependence with the species. You can buy for example a budgie for less than 10 $. The price of the cockatiel varies between 25 and 35 $. An Amazonian parrot and grey parrot can be purchased for about 300 – 400$, cockatoo for 1,000 $…… and the price of some parrots reaches $15,000! This is one of the initial questions which you have to answer.

How much space will the bird need?

Larger birds and even some of the small ones are very active physically and need big cages and space in which to play.

Is there any free time for the bird?

Probably this is the most important question. Birds are intelligent, playful and mostly “ social ” creatures. Will you have time to play with your bird? To care properly of it? Will it have the chance to be a part of your family? Consider the fact that birds live fairly long. A small parrot cockatiel lives for 20 years and more! Amazona or African grey parrot can live for 50, 60 and there are documented cases for birds that lived up to the respectable age of 100 years! Can you devote to this? It is not unusual to inherit birds for previous generations. Don’t buy a bird if you think that you will soon get bored of it.

How noisy is the bird? Will the neighbors murmur?

Budgies and cockatiel are comparatively quiet. They are suitable to look after in a flat. Moluxco cockatoo could live in flat just if you have neighbors around you and six floors above / below you that like listening screams to cracking their ear – drums. The African grey parrot tends to be one of comparatively non-noisy parrots. Certainly, there are individual differences between birds. Somewhere there could be cockatoo, that don ‘ t make noisy to heaven. If really there could be found such, an enterprising person could make a fortune of it. Remember that noise is a subjective and relative sensation. A bird can be considered as “ non-noisy ” only at the background of another one,considered as noisy.

How “ destructive ” could a bird be?

Do you possess peerless old furniture? Rare books? Remember that these birds have strong beaks,. Some of them are less inclined to “ nibbling ” than others, but nibbling is completely natural behavior for them.

Does the parrot need special food?

Lori parrots, for example, need a specialized diet. Do you have an opportunity and means to provide it? Once you have made a preliminary investigation and have decided what kind of parrot you want, you can go looking for it and buy it. NEVER, NEVER BUY A PARROT IMPULSIVELY!

Bird House Building

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Birds

PetSmart - Bird
Birds are great additions to your backyard. Putting up bird houses is an excellent way to attract them. However, not all birds opt to nest in bird houses. Birds differ in their habitat preferences and only cavity-dwellers are probably interested in the bird shelters in your backyard. As it is, these cavity-dwellers also have their own specifications about the kind of house they like. These are minor measurements or feature issues but they are important for the birds. However, there are general guidelines in building these houses.

First, it is important to identify the species of birds that visit your backyard. It is also necessary to distinguish which are the cavity-dwellers from the tree and burrow dwellers. Common cavity-dwellers are wrens, chickadees, bluebirds, and flickers. Choose one you like best and focus your bird house design on it. Even if the idea of building multiple bird houses appeal to you, refrain from doing so because birds are territorial animals.

Second, determine the required dimensions of your chosen bird. Forget asking the birds for these because you’ll get no answers. Dimensions of bird houses include entrance-hole, height, depth, and floor size. Smaller birds like wren and chickadees usually prefer 4×4 floor size and a reasonable 8″ depth. Consult a bird book or the internet for information regarding the measurements of your bird house.

Third, it is better to use untreated wood and lumber for bird houses. Aside from mimicking the birds’ natural habitat, natural wood also minimizes risks of poisoning and overheating. Treated and processed wood like plywood contains preservatives like formaldehyde, which poses serious health hazards to your feathered friends. Lumber that is classified as pressure-treated often contain toxic chemicals which can poison the nesting birds. Paint is also a no-no. Chipping paint can be mistaken by the bird for food and eat it. Also, metals and plastics are not suitable for building avian shelters since they are both prone to overheating. You would want to provide the birds shelter, not an outdoor oven.

Fourth, in drafting or designing a plan for your bird houses, it is important to consider the birds’ safety against the elements and predators. Slanted roofs are preferable so rain, dirt, and moisture would not collect on top and rot the wood. It is also preferable that the roofs extend over the sides and front. Perches are not really necessary since cavity-dwellers do not perch. Consider drainage and ventilation needs. Drill small holes on the floor but make sure that these are smaller than the bird’s feet. These holes are also best placed on corners to help in draining water out in case of rain. Baby birds drown easily and a bit of collected rainwater in their shelter is enough to send them to their deaths. Aside from the relatively larger entrance holes, place ventilation holes along the house’s walls or back. These let heat escape to keep the structure comfortably cool. Placing the bird house atop a pole is a good way to discourage predators like cats and raccoons.

Fifth, maintenance and cleanliness are also factors in bird house building. Unkempt bird houses are causes of diseases, according to experts. To help you in maintaining cleanliness in the bird house, add a backdoor. This way, you can easily remove unused nest and disinfect the vacated house. Droppings and other dirt also contribute to the contamination and cleaning these out limits risks of infecting other birds.

With these tips, you are on your way to designing and building your own bird houses. Help the birds by treating these houses as if you live there. Considering the birds’ safety in your bird houses ensure you of longer years with your feathered friends.

9 ways to protect our bird from illnesses

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Birds

1. Good hygiene – regularly clean the bird cage and the appliances in it. The cleaning must be accomplished minimum twice a week .

2. We mustn’t let our birds have contacts with wild or free – living birds, who are the main carriers of diseases and infections .

3. Do not put the bird cage exposed to droughts – the birds can catch a cold , and they should be exposed to the sun no more than 1 – 2 hours , because they can get overheated and can suffer from hypothermia .

4. If you have other pet animals – a dog , a cat, first get sure that they are not aggressive towards the birds and only then you can leave them in the same room together.

5. Examine the bird cage for protruding parts and objects that can hurt the birds .

6. A very important factor for the good health of the birds is the proper and balanced feeding . Except for grain mixture, they should get enough quantity of fruit and vegetables, from which they will supply themselves with necessary vitamins .

7. Also, with great importance for the health of birds is the proper supply with minerals . You can buy them from the zoo in combined form.
8. It is also necessary that your birds get small stones and sand in a separate container , which contributes to the good digestion and food – assimilation.

9. Overfeeding the birds with proteins of animal origin is very dangerous for them and it can cause podagra and lead to abnormal appetite .

Choosing Bird Cages

October 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Birds

With so many bird species, as well as the various sizes and types of bird cages on the market today, choosing the correct one for your pet bird can be quite hard. If you consider all general factors of bird cages, you can easily choose one that is safe, comfortable, and very convenient regardless of the type of pet bird you have.

A very important factor when choosing bird cages is the size of the cage. You should make sure to get a cage that is the largest you can find of the type of bird you have. It is always best to not try to stick to the minimum size recommended, instead opting for a larger size to ensure that your bird has the most space possible.

Next to consider when choosing bird cages are the various shapes available. Cylindrical shaped bird cages should be avoided since they are often too small. In fact, many bird can feel quite insecure in that type of cage.

When it comes to small birds, length is definitely more important than height. Birds often fly within their cages for exercise and their flight pattern tends to be side to side rather than up and down. For birds such as large parrots, taller cages are ok because the extra height enables the bird to exercise by being able to climb, but they should also be wide enough for the bird to stretch and also play.

Bird cages often have different types of bar/wire spacing. This spacing should be adequate because it is a very important aspect of a bird cage. If the spacing is incorrect, it could cause the bird to get its wings, head, feet, or even beak caught. This could be fatal to your pet bird.

Parrots need a cage that have horizontal bars so the bird can climb on the cage’s side. But for those birds who do not use their beaks when climbing, such as finches, doves, and/or canaries, it doesn’t matter what the bar orientation is.

Of course, you definitely want to make sure you buy a quality cage for your pet bird. Those that are well-made using high quality materials can be quite expensive. But they are well worth the expense since they are not only safer, but last much longer than those that cost less.

You want to make sure to choose bird cages made from safer, non-toxic materials such as stainless steel and/or powder-coated wrought iron. These are definitely more durable and look much better than their cheaper counterparts.

Bar spacing isn’t the only aspect to consider when choosing safe bird cages. Your pet’s wings, head, beak, and/or feet can also get caught in other features of a cage. Any intricate designs or fancy scroll work should be avoided, as well as doors, latches, or any other parts of the cage that can potentially trap your pet bird.

Also, high levels of lead and zinc can be a problem and are usually found in older, painted cages. Avoid cages made with galvanized wire that contains zinc, as well as those with zinc components like hinges and latches. Any cage with a sharp edge is definitely a hazard.

Last, but not least, the cage you choose should be easy to maintain. Pull out trays will help to make cleaning the cage’s bottom very easy and wider doors help to make access for cleaning easier. Make sure you can also easily remove/replace the bird’s food and water dishes without having to open the main doors. Be aware that cages made of stainless steel and wrought iron are generally easier to maintain.