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5 ways to keep your bird healthy and happy

Posted Bonnie Dater Jay on 10/25/2019
5 ways to keep your bird healthy and happy
By Bonnie Dater Jay

 

1. Diet
Feed a healthy diet consisting of a high quality pellet in a size your bird enjoys. Not all large birds want large pellets, some prefer the fine size. Also, by using the small size there is far less waste.  

Veggie and veggie/fruit baby food can be a wonderful addition to increase interest and change the flavor of the otherwise dry pellets. Be sure not to leave them out too long when they are moist and refrigerate after a while. 


A variety of dark leafy greens and veggies of all the colors of the rainbow should be made available in rotation. Peppers of all colors, carrots, sweet and purple potatoes, dark greens mentioned above. Very little corn as it is all sugar with no food value. Peas have protein so use them as well.  


 

2. Environment

Provide the largest cage you can afford that is as wide as you can find. Parrots will always go to the highest branch, perch or landing so having a wider cage is far more desirable than a tall one which limits their movements. 

Add lots of toys of various kinds and materials and rotate them often. Toys that are destructible and made of cardboard and other easy to destroy materials. Toys that offer challenges in order to reach a treat hidden within. A few other interactive toys that are not so easily destroyed and offer opportunities for challenges that require brain power as opposed to beak strength are very important.


3. Perches

Use a variety of sizes in order to keep little birdie feet healthy and active. Bird safe natural branches that offer variety and interest are important. Woven or braided perches offer a softness that wood cannot and should be included. A flat platform on which to stand is part of a healthy cage environment and if it has an edge to be chewed even better. A swing is a wonderful addition and should be in every cage. 


4. Exercise

All birds are beings of the sky and flight helps keep them healthy. No bird should be confined to a cage unless absolutely necessary. If they do not have a huge amount of out time, perhaps it’s not the right time to have a parrot. Exercise consists of wing flapping and if appropriate, and in a safe area, flying is the most wonderful thing they can do. But be certain that there are no hazards or traps that are dangerous… no open doors or windows…


One of the ways to encourage flight is to have a wall on which there are perches and platforms attached and a swing hanging from the ceiling. Some people have built boxes on the floor and and filled them with material that is easily changed like butcher paper or newspaper. 


A tree stand is important because it gives the bird a place to hang out when not hanging out on you. It should have wheels so it can be moved around to keep your bird with you as much as possible. You are their friend, their comfort, their companion and provider. Being alone in a cage is not what they want if it can be prevented.


5. Interaction and Education
Play games with your bird. Roll a ball and teach them how to  run after it and bring it back to you. To learn how to do this and other fun behaviors go to http://www.BehaviorWorks.org and read the articles and graphics. The idea is that you need to make it worth the bird’s while to do whatever you are inviting it to do. They love to learn… give them that opportunity all the time. They may even make up a game and teach you how to play it.


Parrots are smarter than we can imagine. They are more sensitive than we know. They love to play, cuddle and be with their person… give them all the opportunities that you possibly can provide. They are worth it and they deserve it.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.