Armidale Vet - North Hill Vet Sarah Butler Veterinary Surgery Dogs Cats Pets Horses Equine Farm Animals - "Friendly and caring service for all your pets and working animals"

A new feathered friend

May 17th 2019

Author: Sarah Butler

If you’d prefer a pet that didn’t slobber, shed, or eat you out of house and home, then a bird could be the animal for you.


While Australia is very much a country of dog and cat lovers, there is still room for bird lovers who prefer feathered pets to furry ones. Birds have a lot of love to give, while also being more affordable to own, in many cases, than a cat or dog.

Here’s what you can expect as a bird owner.

DIET

A bird’s diet can depend on the breed, with some having stringent requirements such as fruit nectar. What you will find, however, is that providing the correct diet is crucial. Seed should only
be a “sometimes” food due to its fat and lack of nutritional content. Instead, opt for fresh vegetables and pellets that are recommended for your specific bird.

EXERCISE

Birds need to spend a lot of time out of their cage for the good of their health. Set time aside for free-flying, but birdproof your home in advance. Close blinds to stop them hitting windows, and remove obstacles and potential dangers. You may also find that regularly changing the toys in their cage can be beneficial to relieve boredom, as well as offering toys they can destroy such as paper towel rolls.

HOUSING

The larger the cage, the better it is for your bird. After all, they need all the room they can get to move around. Stainless steel or powder coated enclosures are better to avoid metal poisoning from zinc powder, or you can clean the cage with vinegar before housing your bird in it. There are minimum size requirements for enclosures, so check what your state requirements are before going ahead and purchasing one.

HANDLING

If you have brought home a baby bird, the sooner you can begin handling them, the more relaxed they will become with you. Start by talking gently through their cage without looking at them. Then, place your hands inside the cage so they can see them. You can encourage them to take a closer look by placing seed in your hand for them to nibble at. Socialisation is a slow process, so have plenty of patience.

Bird ownership can be as rewarding as owning a dog or cat, however, they do require significant amount of time and care. If you are contemplating bird ownership, ask us for advice.