Avian Care & Nutrition

Buying a pet bird is an exciting experience.  Pet birds range from singers such as canaries, smaller parrots such as parakeets, cockatiels, lovebirds, and conures, and larger parrots such as cockatoos, amazons, and macaws. Speak with your Global Pet Food Healthy Pet Care Specialist about helping you choose the bird most suitable for you. or your family

One of your first priorities is the selection of the cage and environment.  In general the cage should be large enough for the bird to be comfortable.  However very active small birds such as canaries and finches do best in a longer, shorter cage as they are more mobile and tend to fly from perch to perch.  Parakeets do well in taller or round cages. Cockatiels are active climbers and prefer taller square cages with a few perches or tree branch. The larger parrot species need plenty of room and very large cages.   Don’t forget to have adequate perches and some artificial branches to exercise feet and keep them healthy.  It’s critical to provide birds with toys.  Provide ones that offer your bird different types of activities, both physical and mental, and rotate them regularly.  Most importantly, remember that a clean cage is a healthy cage!

The single most important element for a bird’s health is a fresh supply of water and good nutrition. Your Global Pet Foods Healthy Pet Care Specialist can direct you to the proper food. The best diets have a proper mixture of seeds, grains, and pellets fortified with vitamins and minerals that meet the nutritional needs of the individual species.  Birds generally need additional sources of calcium. Most good diets are calcium fortified but it is recommended to have a cuttlebone or mineral stone to supplement. Feed birds in the morning with fresh food and water in clean bowls.  One of the most fun aspects of pet bird care is sharing human foods and spending mealtime together.  This requires some education and research first but if done correctly adding fresh fruits, vegetables, pasta, beans, and even pizza can be a fun way to add diversity to the bird’s diet and really bond with your new pet.  And yes, they even like chicken.

Article courtesy of Vitakraft Sunseed

It’s a Dog, it’s a Cat…no, it’s a Bird!

If you’re reading this article there’s a good chance that you’re either a pet owner or thinking about becoming one.  It’s well known that pet ownership can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, and promote an overall healthy lifestyle.  While cats and dogs work hard at this every day and deservedly enjoy most of the spotlight we want to take a few minutes to talk about one particular category of heroes – the sometimes humble pet bird.  Many of our feathered friends can talk quite well and they have asked that we remind everyone that they too are looking forward to owning a human someday.    If you’re not ready to have a dog or a cat and you feel that you can manage caring for a bird, we do recommend that you start with sharing part of your life with these fascinating animal companions.

Whether you own a pet (or find yourself being owned by one) there’s no doubting the strong relationship that forms between pets and humans.  This is especially true among pet birds – most notably parrots – who like to remind us they are among the most intelligent of all the creatures in the animal kingdom.  It is this level of intelligence that creates a special kind of companionship.  With all due respect to our four legged companions, most pet birds could walk circles around them in many fields of study.  If you doubt this fact watch a bird that has fresh newspaper placed on the bottom of his cage.  Yes, it will soil the paper as much as a puppy would, but the bird will do so only after reading the really good articles.  While this is purely speculation, it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?

A significant percentage of parrot owners consider their birds to be children and due in no small part to the birds’ constant efforts to bond and interact with us as members of their flock.  It is this activity that makes them such a rewarding source of enrichment and entertainment.  The end result of this is not pet ownership at all but the inclusion of the bird into the family.

Deciding to add a pet bird to the family should be no small decision.  The selection of every pet should be taken seriously and thought should be given to the amount of time that can be spent with the animal, both short term and long term, and management of the workload that the pet entails.  The good news is that most pet birds are extremely forgiving as a companion pet.  For the most part birds are very affordable to own and care for and don’t require large amounts of our time.  There are certainly exceptions to this but almost certainly there is a species to fit with your “flock.”  When it comes time to choosing a bird, you will most likely be asked lots of questions to make sure that the bird is placed into a family structure that best matches its needs.  Don’t take offense and keep an open mind.  This is a relationship that is going to last many years so a little “compatibility” check may be in order.  Truly the best part of pet bird ownership is the companionship that they provide.  While some birds will learn to talk, there are no guarantees.  Some are very pretty, some are not, and some are, quite frankly, a little bit goofy.  Listen to the advice of people who know and do a little research and you’ll end up with a feathered friend for life.

Article Courtesy of Vitakraft Sunseed