Monday, October 5, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department

You adopted a bird – now what?

Feeding your bird

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.

Veterinary care

Just like cats and dogs, birds need to be seen by a veterinarian twice a year for regular check-ups. 
Common procedures may include:

  • Feather trimming (prevents prolonged periods of flight)
  • Beak and nail trims
  • Physical exams
  • Blood work

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.


You Can Help Save A Life

Adopt A New Best Friend

You are the answer to providing homeless pets a second chance. Adopt, don’t shop and offer deserving pets a bright future.

Adopt Today

Help An Animal

Rescuing, Rehabilitating and Rehoming animals is not cheap…but it’s the right thing to do. Help us fund lifesaving treatments and programs.

Donate Today

Get Involved

You can make a huge difference in the lives of shelter animals  by offering your time and TLC. 

Get Involved

E-Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter with Nebraska Humane Society news, resources and stories or update your info.

Get Social With Us!

NHS is a not for profit 501-C3 organization; EIN: 47-0378997. Copyright © 2024 Nebraska Humane Society. All Rights Reserved.
8929 Fort Street Omaha, Nebraska 68134

Designed by Blackbaud