People all over the world keep birds as pets. Budgies, macaws, lovebirds, cockatiels, cockatoos and all different types of parrots. The most common pet bird is the cockatiel. If you are thinking about getting a pet bird, the following information may assist you to decide if it is the companion of choice for you and/or your family, how to take care of it and more.
Issues To Consider Before Buying A Bird(s)
There are many issues to consider when deciding to purchase a bird for a pet. Aside from whether you have the time to care for it is just one factor. Birds such as parrots, lovebirds, etc are a social animal so leaving them in isolation is very stressful and unhealthy. They thrive on interaction and can make great pets if you are in a position to dedicate yourself to owning one.
Parrots are a lifelong commitment with a lifespan that can go from 35- 50+ years as a pet. The oldest Macaw is stated to have lived 112 years!
Budgies prefer to be kept in pairs but can be kept alone. They can live 5-10 years in captivity and can be taught small tricks. They come in many colors and combinations.
Parakeets are very social birds and need company frequently. A pair is definitely best. Parakeets usually bond for life with a mate and can live in captivity for 15-20 years.
Lovebirds are extremely social birds. Without as much interaction that another bird could give, their health is at risk. They live to be around 15 years old.
Aside from how old they live to be there are other factors you should consider before purchasing any of the exotic species listed above.
#1 Space - Can you afford the space to house your cage and bird(s)?
#2 What Other Animals in The Home - Some animals are best not kept together. (See Below)
#3 Veterinary Costs - Can you afford the cost of medications, trips, and examinations?
#4 Bird Talk - Most birds sing, communicate or chirp often. If you like quiet, it won't happen.
#5 Patience - It may take a while for your bird to bond with you.
#6 Survival & Happiness Costs - The cost of specific bird food, toys, treats, cage, etc.
#7 Your Health - Do you have respiratory issues? Allergies to dander? Feathers? Bird Droppings?
#8 Commitment - Can you commit the time, money, investment and care for the animal?
Birds With Other Pets
Pet birds get along well with certain other pets in a household if properly introduced and trained. This can be beneficial if your pet escapes the cage one day when no-one is home. To see how to train your pets together
There are some pets that DO NOT make good companions for pet birds. In some cases, your pet bird could be the victim & in some cases, they may be the instigator. Ferrets, hunting dogs & feral cats (If housing birds outside), can all injure or kill your bird. Even a domestic house cat carries the bacteria Bartonella Hanselae which can be fatal to small birds and rodents. This bacteria causes CSD (Cat Scratch Disease) and can make humans sick. If your bird ever gets scratched or bit by a cat, seek veterinary care for it immediately. Anti-biotics can be administered such as Rifampin, Ciprofloxacin and others.
Interacting & Social
Birds are very social animals once tamed. Some birds tend to have aggressive tendencies and it may have a harder time becoming socialized. This is usually due to trauma at a younger age or there are still wild instincts in the bird deep within its' genetics. Most aggressive behavior can be lessened with time, patience and practice. The information contained within the images below may help you understand your bird's behavior and help you interact and make your pet more sociable.
Teaching Budgies, Parakeets, Etc
There are many tricks you can teach even small exotic birds to create interaction with your pet. Interaction creates a bond and this, in turn, helps keep the bird happy and healthy. They also like treats.
Parrots are masters of mimicry, They can be taught words & phrases and repeat them back. For a larger understanding of parrot behaviors such as biting, fear etc, click the image. (Recommended)
There are many types of foods that your pet birds can and cannot eat. Much of your pets nutritional needs can be met with a balanced bird feed specific for your type of bird. Birds love treats and they may be given but you need to be careful of what they eat. Many foods can get your birds sick and some can be deadly.
Different species of exotic birds have different diets. Some need to have fruit as the primary food, some need seeds, some need nuts. Some foods are bad for your bird such as high fat junk food. Some food is deadly and may kill your pet. Know what is safe and not.
Did you know birds cannot digest milk? Did you realize some people food such as certain vegetables are good for birds? Sometimes presentation decides on whether your pet will eat what is offered or it won't. Did you know Vitamin A can be toxic to your pet bird?
Parrots can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables such as peaches, kale, broccoli & more. As well as some types of nuts and commercial seed mixes, your pet can also have wild food and certain weeds such as blackberries, plantains, chickweed, dandelions and more.
Do Not Feed Your Pet Bird Avocado, Coffee or Chocolate As These Are Highly Toxic To Them!
Providing a good habitat for your pet bird is essential for its overall health. If the cage is too small it could lead to many problems stemming from health, stress, sanitary and psychological issues and lead to serious non-reversible conditions. Always make sure your pet has well over enough room to fully stretch their wings to the maximum.