Bird Care

HUSBANDRY

  • Captive bred and hand raised birds make better pets than wild birds that have been caught.
  • They are best kept as a bonded pair.  Advice: find a compatible mate of the same species and opposite sex as soon as possible, otherwise the bird may bond to its owner and have inappropriate behaviour, eg: masturbation, courting rituals, feather plucking and self mutilation.
  • Birds need company and will develop behavioural problems if left alone for long periods, especially galahs, cockatoos, corellas and macaws, who expect to be within sight and hearing of their bonded pair (or human) every hour of every day.
  • Many birds have problems due to mismanagement, ie: owner not thinking like a bird.
  • Birds need to be protected from: rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, possums, snakes, cats, dogs, foxes and most of all people.  Also other birds, as not all species are compatible.

CAGES

  • Birds are not helicopters, so choose a cage for length not for height.
  • Bird poop falls down, so consider position of food and water containers and perches.  Place food and water bowls so that your bird does not defecate in them.
  • Caution: wire is metal – High risk of heavy metal toxicity.
    • Treat cages with vinegar then paint.
    • Don’t use metal food or water containers.
  • Do not put sandpaper on perches or on the floor

PERCHES

  • Use clean natural branches of non-toxic trees (avoid Avocados, Easter Oil Plant and any with milk sap)
  • Choose irregular diameters and surfaces, and different types of bark.
  • Replace often.

HAZARDS FOR PET BIRDS

  • Over crowding – both of toys and number of birds in cage
  • Wild birds
  • Predators eg: rats
  • Overhanging plants
  • Exposure to fumes eg: insecticides
  • Wire, threads, and some toys
  • Mirrors contain mercury and are easily broken. Birds also fly into them, and they cause the bird to become frustrated
  • Dirty floors
  • Regurgitated debris
  • Faeces
  • Mouldy food
  • Any opportunity for escape
  • Fans
  • Potential burns and drowning
  • Alcohol
  • Fumes from Teflon non-stick frypans

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

There is no one completely balanced food source for any bird.  Dietary mismanagement is common in pet birds.

SPECIES GRASS VEGETABLES FRUIT PELLETS SEED NATIVE PLANTS NATIVE BLOSSOM
Cockatiel Daily Daily Occasional Daily 5-10 sunflower seeds daily Daily Occasional
Budgerigar Daily Daily Occasional daily Budgie seed daily Daily Occasional
Galah Daily Daily Occasional Daily 10 sunflower seeds daily Daily Occasional
Sulphur crested cockatoo Daily Daily Occasional Daily 10 sunflower seeds daily Daily Occasional
Eclectus Occasional Daily Daily Daily 10 sunflower seeds daily Daily Occasional
Canary Daily Daily Daily Daily Canary Seed daily Occasional Occasional

Related Blogs

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