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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
She kept hiding it under her tongue so we couldn't get it out; I finally managed to get her to open her beak large enough that I could blow hard and the bead flew out. Something that small could get caught in the bird's crop, and have to be surgically removed. We were very lucky with 'dita, that both of us were sitting on the couch with her when this incident happened.
By one.of.a.kind from AL
Birds have sensitive beaks and, if trimmed wrong, it can affect their ability to eat, not to mention the pain if the beak has to heal. Their beaks have a generous blood supply so there is also the risk of severe blood loss. Toenails have a "quick", that is very sensitive, and if cut into, bleeding can be a huge problem. Also, if a blood feather is accidentally cut during wing-clipping, there is a possibility of tremendous blood loss. Incorrect wing-clipping can cause a bird to fall heavily when trying to glide down, causing possible broken bones. I have a Congo African Grey who is permanently crippled because of this.
I have seen the results of these errors since I have been volunteering at Avian Rescue. I have an Avian Vet who only charges $35 to do wings, nails, and beak. It is worth every penny to me to let the vet be the bad guy.
By one.of.a.kind from AL
I recently received my Drs. Foster and Smith mail order catalog and was looking into purchasing a travel carrier for my birds. The weather is getting nice and it would be great for them to join me outside in their carriers while I work in the garden. However, the prices nearly gave me a stroke!
Then I had a brainstorm. I went to my local Petco and found a smaller Cockatiel cage that my African Grey Parrot would fit into. It cost $30, opposed to a $60 model with similar measurements. Now, she can join me on the deck as I work on my garden.
By JenniP from Lincoln, NE
When running through a self cleaning cycle, the oven will get abnormally hot. Birds can be very sensitive to the fumes omitted during the self cleaning cycle.
The calcium in crushed egg shells can be beneficial to your indoor pet birds and even the chickens themselves. This is a guide about eggshells for birds.
This is a guide about stocking an avian emergency kit. Birds like other pets may at times need emergency first aid, either to easily treat a manageable injury or illness or until you can get to the vet.