I don't see many tips or articles about birds on this website, and thought that it might be helpful to give some general guidelines about basic bird care. At one time, I was a first-time bird owner, and even the most basic information was something that would have been a blessing to me at that time.
Birds keep their beaks in condition by chewing on things, the bigger the bird, the bigger the chew-toys need to be. Macaws can easily chew through 2X4 pieces in a day. Plenty of chew toys will greatly improve your bird's disposition and health. And healthy birds mean lower vet bills. (My average for a vet visit to an avian vet is between $200 - $300, and I am owned by 6 birds. )
Bird toys can be anything from baby toys, to scrap pieces of wood, (make sure not pressure-treated). Also, paper towel rolls, old paperback books, small limbs from fruit trees, a water bottle suspended from the top of their cage, with nuts or something along those lines inside. (birds love to forage for their food).
Pine cones smeared lightly with peanut butter, and rolled in grains, (oatmeal, rice, barley, etc.), make very good foraging materials and toys all in one. Don't smear the peanut butter too thick, you don't want your bird to choke.
You can drill holes in baby blocks and string them on a piece of wire, and hang from the top of the cage. (If you use rope or something that the bird can chew through easily, it won't last very long. Perches can be made from wooden dowels, or small pieces of bamboo, but expect these items to be chewed on as well, after all, it IS the bird's job to chew.
A happy bird is a more healthy bird, and not only will it cost less to have a healthy bird, but you, as the bird owner, will not be all stressed out when your "FID" (feathered kid) is sick. It's not fun to try to get medicine past that fearsome beaky-boo, and down a Moluccan Cockatoo's throat. :)
By one.of.a.kind from Locust Fork, AL
These are very informative tips for a new bird/parrot owner. As someone who is owned by a 15 year old Senegal parrot, the only thing I would like to add is that if you give your bird a paper towel roll to play with, Please make sure you cut it all the way down the length of the roll first. You don't want your bird to get his head in there and possibly get stuck or suffocate!
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