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Important Considerations if you Are Thinking of Getting a Bird

Important Considerations if you Are Thinking of Getting a Bird

Birds are amazing creatures and they are highly intelligent. If someone calls you a bird-brain, just say, “thanks!” The intelligence and social nature of birds can make them really excellent pets for the right home. They are inquisitive, clever, and beautiful. However, birds are NOT low maintenance pets.

Here are some things that you should consider before you bring a pet bird into your home:

  1. Birds live a LONG time. Some of them can live over 100 years. Even small birds can live for a decade or more. Thus choosing to bring home a bird is a serious commitment. In many cases birds can outlive their owners and its important to have carefully laid plans in place to ensure they receive adequate care for life.
  2. Birds are sloppy little guys and gals. Many people who have never owned a pet bird are not prepared for just how messy these animals are. They eat (and poop) all day long. It is a natural behavior for them to make a mess with their food, digging in it, tossing it around, and scattering it all over your floor throughout the day. They urinate and defecate when the mood strikes regardless of where they are. If you are thinking of bringing home a bird be prepared to clean their cage, play stands, and surrounding area daily. Their water should be changed twice per day minimum to be sure they have access to clean fresh water at all times.
  3. Birds require a lot of consistent socialization. Birds are social animals by nature. They are also closer to wild animals than most other domesticated pets. If they are not handled regularly by their people they can get out of the habit and become fearful of people. Often when birds are afraid, they will behave in an aggressive manor. Bird bites can range from small nuisances to serious injuries (think, loss of digits) depending upon the size of the bird. In addition to helping them remain calm and friendly with people, regular interaction is also important for their overall well-being. Single birds left alone in cages all the time will often become seriously depressed and can even die (many small pet bird species do much better when kept in multiples so they have social time with their own species as well). You must have time to interact with your bird and provide them with stimulation. If you don’t have time, you should not bring a bird home.
  4. Birds are loud, AND, they are morning people. Birds vocalizations are designed by nature to carry across vast distances. Some birds sing beautiful songs, many more squawk and squeak and screech and scream. Birds also tend to rise with the sun, and once they rise, they make noise. If this will bother you, they may not be an ideal pet for your home. If you ask us what kind of birds are quiet, we will probably recommend you get a fish.
  5. Birds are destructive. Many birds’ beaks grow for their entire life and chewing and shredding are natural behaviors that help to wear their beaks down. Although birds are very smart, when they get a hankering to chew they may not distinguish easily between their toys and your antique furniture. This means that its important to carefully supervise your bird when it is out of its cage and also to provide a wide variety of toys and items that are safe to chew on. This is why we carry such an enormous variety of bird toys at the store. They need to be replaced often and the variety of shapes and colors and textures help to provide additional mental stimulation to the birds.
  6. Birds need to think. The toys noted above are great for providing stimulation for pet birds. Additionally, providing species-appropriate fresh food items and nuts and seeds can provide both nutrition and activity for your bird. Larger birds need to spend time outside of their cages every day. Optimally you can work on training them, but they should at least be allowed time to move about and play with novel items.
  7. Birds have sensitive systems. Birds respiratory systems are incredibly delicate and sensitive. Fumes from cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, personal care products and other items can be fatal to birds, even in small amounts. The fumes released from Teflon cookware when its heated can be deadly to many bird species. Bringing home a pet bird requires changes to your routine and environment to ensure that they are kept safe. You should also be sure to have a reputable avian veterinarian on speed dial before you bring your bird home. You don’t want to be caught unprepared if your bird becomes ill or injured.

We love pet birds at Pet World. Many of our team members have birds at home. But, like all living animals, bringing home a pet bird is a serious commitment. We are always ready to talk in more detail about bird care when you visit us at the store. This is by no means an exhaustive list of bird information, but it provides some helpful points to consider when doing your research.

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