How to Birds Care and Husbundery

Bird physiology and behavior is different from that of dogs and cats. Before you adopt a bird, you need to learn about their behavior and their needs.


Birds Husbandry and Diseases

  • People enjoy a bird’s song, the way it talks, and its bright colors; canaries, Amazon parrots, lady Gouldian finches are all examples of smart, fun, or colorful birds.
  • Many pet birds do not require their owner’s attention all of the time. For example, canaries need only feeding, watering, and cleaning the cage.
  • Some birds, such as those in the parrot family, need to play with their owner at least half an hour a day.
  • Few birds want to live with a flock, like African grays and Moluccan cockatoos. When they live in a family, the family supersedes the parrot’s flock.
  • Almost all birds enjoy taking a shower daily. Their owner should provide them with a flat dish of freshwater each day.
  • Some birds live up to or more than 70 years, like cockatoos. You may not lose your lovely pet in your lifetime.
  • Most birds scatter their food or seed, shed dust and/or flakes in and around their cage, and leave their droppings behind.
  • However, birds do not require walking several times a day. Birds can be accommodated in very small spaces and can be trained to say ‘hello’ to you when you come.

*One should consider all the above before adopting a bird.

What should you do with your bird?

  1. Before purchase consideration: You need to know an avian vet. A new bird should be seen by a vet for a general check-up before you take him home. Diseases may be transmitted to your family or your other birds by introducing the new bird. Always keep the new bird away from other birds you own for 3 to 6 weeks.
  2. Buying a bird:
    1. Make sure the bird is active in his environment. A quiet bird with fluffed-up feathers might be sick.
    2. A healthy young bird has shiny and smooth feathers without any bald spots on the body.
    3. A healthy bird is always alert and has bright eyes without discharge.
    4. The leg scale should be smooth and clean.
    5. The bird’s vent feather should be clean. A dirty vent means illness in the bird.
  3. First Examination:
    • Generally include a physical exam
    • Complete blood count
    • One or more Gram stain
    • Psittacosis test
    • Feather and beak disease test
    • Paloma test and vaccination
    • In most cases worming and vaccination
    • Beak, nail, and wing trim
    • During the first exam the bird owner will be advised by the vet technician:
      1. How to catch the bird?
      2. What to feed the bird?
      3. What kind of accommodation does bird require?
      4. Daylight requirement?
    • Husbandry

Environmental management is a key factor for a healthy bird:

A clean cage, fresh air, balanced diet, and direct sunlight, all help birds to fight metabolic and infectious diseases. A sick bird benefits greatly from an increase in temperature and humidity.

  • The cage should be large enough for a bird to be able to flap their wings without any interference.
  • A new cage should be brushed with vinegar thoroughly to remove zinc particles and to prevent zinc toxicity.
  • Different size perches and toys should be provided to let the birds' fingers stretch and relax.
  • Water bottles are preferred over dishes.
  • A newspaper is best for catching droppings and food under the cage. You can often determine illness by observing a bird’s droppings.

New Bird Care:

What will stress your bird?

  • Transportation - mixing or crowding with too many other birds.
  • Inadequate heat or excessive air conditioning.
  • Incorrect nutrition.

When you receive your stressed bird make sure you perform the following steps carefully to prevent further stress:

  • Have the cage ready before the bird’s arrival.
  • Although most people prefer to keep the cage in the busiest part of the home, I have found that most birds prefer privacy.
  • Slide or transfer the bird gently into the cage.
  • Cover the cage at nighttime. It will make the bird feel safer. Take the cover off early in the morning to allow the bird at least 12 hours of daylight.
  • For the first week, do not have direct contact with birds other than feeding and watering. Let him get used to his surroundings first.
  • Every time you approach the cage to be very gentle and talk to the bird.
  • Provide fresh food and water daily.
  • If your bird is still not tame by the second week, consult with your vet.

Removing Hazards:

To keep your bird free from danger wing clipping is recommended. This will protect from a lot of problems caused by flying and banging its wings around. If you prefer that your bird have full feathers on his wings and be able to fly around the house, you must understand the possible dangers to avoid problems:

  • The bird should be hand tamed.
  • Remove toxic plants and sharp objects.
  • Close windows and doors.
  • Drapes or blinds should be pulled and closed to prevent injuries resulting from flying into windows.
  • Stop ceiling fans. A bird can receive a serious injury.
  • Keep birds away from the kitchen and bathroom to avoid hazardous areas such as a hot stove-top, boiling water, or sinks/tubs full of water.