So you have a pet bird. That is a HUGE responsibility, isn’t it? While there are many different types of birds all birds have the same basic needs.
Just like your dog or cat, and just like YOU, your bird needs to be looked after and taken care of every day. It is your responsibility to make sure she has a high quality of life. She depends on you for her most basic needs. You are her guardian…her life is in your hands!
So how do you take care of your bird so that it can live a long, happy, healthy life? Here are a few tips to help you along:
Tip #1: This is the most basic rule of bird ownership: change your bird’s food and water EVERY DAY! Not every two days, not every week, but every day! When you get hungry you can go to the fridge. Your bird can not. She can not change her own food and water either. Her food tray and water bowl is her equivalent of your refrigerator. That is where she goes when she is hungry, so make sure you change them every day before you go out the door.
Tip #2: Birds like to eat more than bird seed! You can feed your bird other foods as well (grains, fruits, vegetables), but what it can eat depends on what kind of bird you have. Parakeets and cockatiels can not eat the same things. Have mom or dad check with a veterinarian or local pet store to find out what your particular bird can eat before giving her something besides seed.
Tip #3: Your bird needs a good cage. I know…”Duh!” But what makes a good cage? For starters it needs to be nice and roomy. Go to your room and sit on your bed. Roomy, isn’t it? Then go sit in your closet. Not so roomy, is it? Which one do you like more? Think of your bird’s comfort. A good rule of thumb is to have a cage that is at least three times as wide as your bird’s wingspan, but the more space the better. Your bird likes to fly. A cage also needs to have horizontal bars as well as vertical. This is especially important for birds that like to climb, such as parakeets.
Tip #4: Place your bird’s cage in an area that is free from drafts and is well lit. Do not put the cage in direct sunlight! Place the cage in a corner or against a wall.
Tip #5: Clean your bird’s cage daily! This is important for your bird’s health as well as the health of you and your family! Birds poop wherever, so ensure the bottom of the cage is lined with newspaper or some other easily removable material. When you do change your bird’s cage, wear gloves, and make sure you wash your hands after you have finished cleaning her cage!
If you ever have any questions about how to properly care for your bird have your mom, dad, or other adult relative call a veterinarian or local bird shop to ensure that you have the right information to take care of your bird properly. Learn all you can about your particular bird and spend time with it every day. By following these basic tips your bird will bring you many years of happiness and enjoyment. Your bird is depending on you!