Monday, October 5, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department
You adopted a bird – now what?
Your bird may enjoy a wide range of food options. Healthy foods include pre-packaged seed options, fruits, vegetables, pasta and some breads. Avoid avocado, pits of any fruit varieties and dairy products.
Variety is key in making sure your bird has the best nutrition possible. Remove any uneaten, fresh produce within four hours. This will help keep your bird healthy.
Your bird should be housed in a cage that’s large enough for natural movements (stretching wings, etc). Fixtures in the cage should promote natural behaviors, such as perching or foraging. Do not overcrowd or under-decorate your bird’s new home.
Place the cage away from direct sunlight and avoid overly drafty areas. The cage should also be a safe distance away from the kitchen, as cooking fumes from food and chemicals can be harmful to the bird.
Due to the sensitive nature of birds, use gentle cleaning products to disinfect cages and cage fixtures.
Just like cats and dogs, birds need to be seen by a veterinarian twice a year for regular check-ups. Common procedures may include:
Unfortunately, not all veterinarians will treat birds. Call around to find a local veterinarian that will treat birds in their office.
There is a slight risk of contracting illnesses from your birds (example: the bacterial infection Psittacosis). The easiest way to prevent spread of illness is regular hand-washing before and after holding your bird, or any fixtures in the cage.
Training and forming a mutual bond will take time. Use your bird’s favorite foods as a training reward. Make sure that your bird is well-socialized. Have visitors engage in simple training with the bird, such as “step up,” to keep the bird well adjusted.