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Are You Interested in a Pet Bird? Adopting a Parrot

Pet birds can make wonderful companions when they are provided for properly. Taking care of a pet bird is very different than taking care of any other animal, such as a cat or a dog. In order to help you determine if owning a pet bird is the right choice for you, we have compiled some need-to-know information about bird care!

Housing

  • At a minimum, your bird’s enclosure should be large enough for them to stretch out their wings fully, the bigger is better!
  • Provide perches of varying size and shape – this promotes foot and leg health.
  • Provide some privacy – cover part of the cage or offer a perch cover.
  • Parrots are messy animals, and the cage will need to be cleaned frequently.

Feeding

Pellets:

  • 60-70% of the diet.
    Filled with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
    It helps complete your birds’ diet.

Fresh Foods:

  • 30-40% of the diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables: squash, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, herbs, berries, tropical fruits, and apples.
  • Cooked pasta and rice.

Enrichment

Exercise:

  • Allow flight if possible.
  • Provide at least one exercise session per day.

Mental stimulation:

  • Parrots are incredibly intelligent animals and require mental stimulation.
  • Spend time daily interacting with your parrot.
  • Provide a range of appropriate toys, including puzzle toys.
  • Change up your parrots’ toys frequently.
  • Avoid very bright toys.

Veterinary Care

  • Minimum once yearly veterinary visit.
  • Make sure you find a veterinary clinic, such as Moncton Animal Hospital, that is familiar with pet birds.
  • Beak, nail, and wing care can be provided by your veterinary clinic. See our “Beak Care” blog post for more information.
  • Contact your veterinarian with any concerns you have regarding your bird. They can be good at hiding signs of illness.

Household Dangers

  • Toilets: keep the toilet cover down to prevent drowning.
  • Windows: decorate your windows to prevent your bird from flying into them.
  • Ceiling fans: never turn fans on while your bird is out.
  • Lights: open-top lamps can burn your bird. Use lighting that prevents your bird from landing on a hot bulb.
  • Teflon: overheating non-stick cookware can release fatal toxic fumes.
  • Aerosols: birds are highly sensitive to household cleaners, perfumes, and air fresheners.
  • Cigarette smoke: birds are highly sensitive to cigarette smoke.
  • Toxic foods/plants include chocolate, caffeine, avocado, garlic, onion.
  • Other animals: keep your bird a safe distance away from other household pets such as cats and dogs.

Please see our “Toxins in Pet Birds” blog post for more information.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 506.857.4271

Written by Dr. Nicole Mann

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