A Happy Pet Bird Is a Healthy Pet Bird
by Larry Jandrew
Bird ownership is unlike any other pet ownership. A happy pet bird is a healthy pet bird. Birds are unique creatures with human-like actions. Large birds have mental capacities equal to small children. They can reason, solve simple puzzles, speak (sometimes even in complete sentences), and even do simple arithmetic.
Universities have done multiple studies on birds’ ability to communicate and interact with humans. Not all bird behavior is mimicking or duplication of actions. Pet birds tend to bond with one particular human and will often pick up on that human’s behavior and actions. My African Grey talks in my voice. My wife is always asking me what I said when it was Frisco talking all along.
A bird’s interaction with humans develops through trust. Once their trust is earned they will be at ease and embrace their environment. This can lead to talking, tricks, singing or whistling, and playing with toys. A bird’s attention span is short. Learning is done on their schedule. You can tell when they are interested by the way they are acting. They look curious and attentive. This is when they are most receptive to new experiences. Everyday customers coming into Pet Source ask me if I can make them talk. The answer is no. Birds talk when they want to, usually when no one is paying any attention to them. This is also when they are willing to learn new things. Patience is crucial for bird owners. Don’t rush or pressure them. Let them respond on their terms.
A healthy, diverse diet is crucial to your bird’s health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and a healthy seed diet are important. You want to make available everything they live on in the wild. A good seed diet plus fresh produce will insure they are getting the required balance of vitamins and minerals.
A daily bath is also important for your pet bird. In the wild, birds live in a rainforest and get a natural bath regularly. You can give them a shower or use a bottle to spritz them. This will keep their feathers healthy. Just make sure they do not get cold from their baths. Make it a game and they will look forward to bath time. Sunlight is also important. If you cannot give them natural sunlight, artificial lighting is available to simulate the sun’s light.
Rotating toys in their cages will expose birds to new challenges and stimulate their brains. It is always good to have three or four different toys that you can change out periodically to keep your bird interested.
If you learn what your bird’s needs are and then provide them, your pet bird will respond and often amaze you. Birds have long life spans and can be happy and healthy members of your families for years, even decades.
Larry Jandrew has owned Pet Source since 1999. He says: “My goal is to give you the knowledge needed to make your own choice in deciding what to feed your pet.”