At McGehee Clinic for Animals, we recommend all companion pet birds should visit our animal hospital at least
once a year
to maintain their overall wellness. Our highly trained veterinarians are here to help educate pet owners to ensure your feathered friend is properly taken care of and flourishes in your care. If you notice your bird has decreased or no appetite, seems uncomfortable, is acting more lethargic than usual, or spends most of their time on the bottom of his/her cage, we suggest contacting our team immediately.
Call McGehee Clinic for Animals to schedule an appointment for your companion pet bird today!
Requirements for Companion Pet Birds
There are a few elements of care to ensure your companion pet bird thrives including:
Bird Care Instructions
Despite being delicious to birds, a seed-only diet may lead to heart, liver or kidney disease or a lack of calcium or vitamin A. A nutritional diet consists of a pellet-based diet, such as Harrison’s, ZuPreem Natural or Roudybush, in combination with fresh fruits and vegetables. It is best to refrain from feeding your bird vegetables that contain carbohydrates such as potatoes, corn, and yucca and cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Human food such as pizza, cheese, chicken wings, hamburgers, cookies, crackers, rice, pasta, beans, and chocolate should not be given to birds. A proper diet along with various opportunities to exercise can greatly benefit your pet bird and prevent weight gain.
If your exotic bird currently consumes a seed-only diet, it is possible to convert them to a pellet-based diet in the comfort of your own home. It should be noted that this process typically takes about 15 days to complete, however the health benefits are plentiful. You will need to decrease the amount of seed your bird consumes on a daily basis by one half. To determine the usual amount of seed your pet eats, consider the following:
- Measure how much seed mix you give your bird in the morning. This measurement will need to be in teaspoons or tablespoons and contain all seeds, including millet spray and seed trees.
- Once again in teaspoons or tablespoons, you will need to measure how much seed mix is left in the enclosure the next morning.
- Subtract the remaining amount from the initial total you provided the previous morning. This is how much seed mix your bird consumes in a day.
To convert your bird’s diet to pellets you will need to perform the following:
- Provide your bird with one half the amount you previously determined. Add an equal quantity of pellets to the same bowl.
- Over the next 15 days, slowly decrease the amount of seed mix your bird receives.
Keep an eye on your bird’s weight throughout this process using a gram scale. If your bird loses more than 10% of its body weight, please contact your avian vet immediately.
Appropriate housing for your bird should be an enclosure that is large and well-ventilated. It should be large enough for your bird to comfortably spread and stretch their wings and play with their toys. If you are housing several birds in one enclosure, there should be enough space to allow them to move freely inside the cage. Be sure to place your bird’s enclosure away from windows, air conditioning vents, or drafty areas of your home. An optimal temperature would be between 70-80 °F. If you are using a wired cage, ensure there is no lead or zinc which is toxic to birds if ingested. Do not use candles, incense, or aerosol products around your pet’s enclosure as it may lead to a respiratory attack. Fortunately, nighttime humidifier use can help counteract potential respiratory effects.
Birds are social animals and require interaction with their owners for a few hours a day to help them thrive. Be sure to only pet their head, neck, and feet. We suggest providing toys that will engage your exotic pet such as wooden or paper toys they can shred. If the weather is mild, you may move the enclosure outside to allow your bird to get some sunlight. They may even enjoy a nice misting of water. It is vital for your pet bird’s safety to ensure they are supervised at all times when outdoors to make certain there is no risk of predators.