Bird Care Guide

If you're considering a new feathered friend, there are a few things you should think about in terms of care. Of course, the specific care requirements will vary by age, species and variety. However, there are a couple of things that are true across the board when you get a pet bird. Here is how to get a pet bird that will be a great companion and how to care for him or her with great success.

First, make sure you're choosing a healthy bird that has been well cared for. Avoid picking an ill or badly treated animal unless you have a lot of experience with the species and its health problems. Rehabbing a sick bird is no easy task. Instead, if you encounter a pet store or breeder that seems to have a lot of unhealthy animals, consider calling a local animal welfare organization for help.

Sick birds may seem fluffy or ruffled. They may seem unresponsive, withdrawn, tired, or tend to hide their heads under their wings. Birds shouldn't sneeze or have droppings on or around their feathers, and there should be no evidence of discharge near the nostrils.

A bird that only sites on the bottom of its cage needs attention as it's seriously ill. These are all big warning symptoms. Healthy birds will have bright eyes, clean feathers with a good sheen, a healthy appetite and plenty of energy.

The degree to which your bird has been handled will also be important, as a poorly socialized or badly treated bird will never be a good pet. Look for birds that are loving and inquisitive, not those that shy away from gentle handling. Remember that you should let the experts show you how to hold and touch your bird, however - most need relatively gentle care.

Reputable stores and breeders are the best place to look for a healthy, happy pet bird. Avoid chain bird stores or any place that looks like a bargain. Remember - your are buying a living creature, not a decoration.

Once you have found a bird you know you would like, you should take him or her to a vet who is knowledgeable about birds well in order to get that first checkup. You ought to be allowed to bring back a bird which is unhealthy to any reliable pet store. It also helps your vet learn what your pet is like when he or she is in good health, and lets you build a relationship with them.

Your vet can tell you a lot about what to feed your new pet, how to care for him or her, what medical needs are likely and what training is appropriate. This may be different from what you heard at the shop - trust the vet, as he or she has more experience.

Your bird's new house should be the biggest you can get in your home, but with bar spacing that your new bird can't squeeze through. It’s fine to try and find cheap bird cages, but don’t cut corners when it comes to your new pet. There are plenty of bird cages for sale at very reasonable prices.

The perch should be made from natural wood branches when possible, and out of safe woods. Remember to wash off any branches obtained from outside. In addition, quarantine your new pet from other birds before introducing them, to prevent the spread of any problems you may not know about. Follow the veterinarian recommended diet closely, and don't try substituting cheaper foods or different percentages, as this can make your bird ill.

Likewise, avoid cedar, pine, and walnut shell bedding, as they can be dangerous for your bird. Change bedding frequently, and remember to socialize with your pet on an everday basis. Big birds like parrots need quite a bit of socialization, so think carefully about the one you get.