Healthy Pet Bird Tips - 5 Ways to Insure a Healthy Pet Bird
By Debbie Davis
Having a healthy bird as a part of your family can be a wonderful addition, and a rewarding experience on many levels. Here are 5 ways to help insure a healthy bird which will ultimately extend their lives and your enjoyment.
Feed a Healthy Diet
A bird's diet, like ours, should be varied and well-rounded. The goal is to try to duplicate what your particular breed would eat in the wild. Vegetables, sprouting seeds, nuts, and some fruits are good choices. Foods to be avoided include chocolate, tea, and coffee which all have the potential to cause an uncontrolled increase in heart rate, and death. Alcohol is to be avoided because their livers are not equipped to eliminate it in a timely and efficient way. To be safe, avoid avocados as they are poisonous to many breeds. Organic strawberries are fine, or regular strawberries that have been washed in a special rinse that removes pesticides and bacteria. Check with your veterinarian to fine tune amounts and frequency of various foods.
Make Sure the Cage Is Safe
Make sure that the cage you house your bird in is free of zinc, lead, and brass. Beware of bird cages made in other countries that sometimes still use lead-based paint or enamel. Ingestions of these metals can cause heart-breaking complications such as seizures, blindness, and even death.
Supply Appropriate Toys
Birds get bored too! Having several toys in the cage and rotating the toy supply frequently will help keep your bird happy and stimulated. A bird that is happy and stimulated is less likely to fall into depression, and/or mutilate themselves because of boredom. Avoid toys with ropes, or open linked chains because of the possibility of your bird choking, hanging, or getting nails caught and panicking with disastrous results.
Allow for Social Interaction
Some birds, like people, need more social interaction to be happy, and so placement of the bird in your home will greatly affect their happiness and overall sense of well-being. Parrots, for instance, are very social so putting them in a high traffic area in your home will allow them to feel very much more a part of the family.
Filter the Air
Using a high efficiency particle arresting or HEPA air filter (which by definition removes particulates as small as .3 microns) will go a long way to protect your bird and your family from the complications caused by airborne diseases associated with birds. In addition, a HEPA air purifier will filter particulates such as bird dander, feathers, and dust, and will minimize the number of respiratory infections that your bird is likely to get. And by the way, clean air is good for humans too!