Maximising the happiness and activity levels of your bird is not rocket science and involves taking some basic precautions to ensure the Alp to exercise that their mind and body in a safe environment these include: –

  • Get the biggest cage you can fit in your home. There will always be a recommended minimum size cage for your bird, but recommended minimum size cages are exactly that – the absolute minimum. If you have space for larger cage always go to the larger cage. A larger cage provides a bird is more room to move to spread their wings and in some cases even to fly around. These extra levels of activity inside the cage will promote their good health.
  • Birds are intelligent creatures in many activities throughout the day to amuse themselves will get bored and depressed. Your bird cage should contain a variety of toys designed to your bird variety. Take great care in choosing toys, many birds such as the larger parrots and cockatoos have incredibly strong beaks and can destroy lesser quality toys, ingesting parts of and causing intestinal blockages and sometimes death.
  • Nutrition Regardless of bird species your bird will require a balanced and varied diet. What makes up his varied diet will of course differ from bird breed to bird breed. Rarely is bird seed or feed from the pet shop enough you will need to be supplemented with extra protein sources such as from meat fish or insects fresh vegetables (bird safe only) and in some cases vibrant supplements. Like children, birds will have a favourite food and may overeat in one type regardless of their nutritional needs. Be careful to ensure that they are encouraged to eat the variety of food that is presented to them. I stress encourage as opposed to force its very dangerous to start a bird to force them to eat a different type of feed.
  • Supplements. Vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplements can be a great way to ensure your bird is getting all its dietary requirements. Ensure you seek out the supplement is it exactly designed to your bird. Some birds require very high amounts of vitamin A whilst others can’t tolerate these high doses. Some birds require a high protein diet others low. Still others will require a moderately high protein diet could be intolerant to iron. The bird is likely to initially be on accepting of supplements as all birds are wary of new foods or drinks to introduce and slowly for the best result.
  • You are of the Flock. Many species of bird very social and love attention and companionship. Indeed the desire to your company is an extension of the natural behaviour, this desire to companionship being the reason they say the flock in the first place. Remove them from their flock and you become the flock. Most birds are intelligent and highly emotive. As beautiful as they can be should never buy a bird for its decorative effect only. The bird is better require a great deal of interaction with your insurer is physically and mentally healthy. A bird that is not entertained and interacted with will develop depression and may resort to self-destructive behaviour such as feather plucking, the health effects of which are often irreversible. Ensure that your active member of your birds flock interacting with it, playing with it give it time at the cage the flock with you!
  • You are in charge of safety. For those of you who have had children may remember baby proofing your house and being suddenly aware of all the dangers your house posed for them. With the introduction of a new bird to your home this process must be repeated. For example: –
    • The toilet lid must always be left down. It is a place of poison and drowning.
    • Any container of water, is coming to be drunk from. All containers of water can harbour bacteria and biological poisons such as from fly spray. 
    • Power chords are often wonderful to chew on, not only can your bird ingest plastic from them causing intestinal blockages they can of course be electrocuted.
    • Never let your bird out of its cage when you are cooking in the kitchen.
    • There are foods which are toxic to all birds such as chocolate and avocado, but there are other foods that are toxic only to some breeds. For example high iron vegetables can be toxic to toucans which need a low iron diet. (Yes these birds have good reason not to eat broccoli!)
    • Yes your bird loves you, know he would never want to leave you, if you leave your door window open likely exactly that will happen. Birds that have lived inside your house no means a find their way back into the escape that will likely be the end of your relationship with your bird.
    • Overheating Teflon coated pan releases toxins into the air, birds seem to be very sensitive to this toxin and never let your Teflon coated pans overheat.
  • Wing Clipping You may choose to clip your birds wings to prevent it from being able to fly. There are arguments for and against this practice. Clipped wings can prevent your bird having an accident trying to fly around in the enclosed space that is your house, and it can prevent unintended escapes from your house which invariably prove fatal to your bird. Others argue it impacts on the mental health natural behaviour of the bird and thus it should not be performed. If you do decide to clip the wings of your bird, ensure you do it evenly or your bird will not be a balance. Only clip the flight feathers at the tops of the wings. Don’t clip so far down the feathers that your bird bleeds this will hurt it and it will also lose trust for you. Don’t have all the feathers on the wings this will do denude their back which may result in them getting cold.
  • Nail clipping It should also be possible to clip the nails of your bird at home but do note, too little is better than too much. If your birds have good scratching perches they may in fact keep their nails short enough in any case. The birds nails should not blead when cut if they have you have cut too far. If you do accidentally cut your birds nails resulting in bleeding, put some special bird antiseptic powder on them to prevent infection. Don’t use human antiseptic, they may eat it and it could be toxic.
Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.