Birds make great companions and there are a huge variety of birds available in Australia. Like dogs, each breed of bird has unique features and temperament so it’s very important that you do your research and obtain as much information as possible before you select which breed it right for you.
Owning a bird is a serious commitment as some birds can live for 40 years plus so making sure you select the right companion is essential.
Aviary set ups are the most ideal housing for birds as they allow amble opportunity for flight and movement. However due to circumstances most birds are housed in cages. Select the largest cage that you can accommodate especially if your bird will be confined for most of the time. Choose a strong, easy to clean cage made of nontoxic material and position in a well-lit area where the bird will have amble human contact. The cage should contain perches to provide a place to stand and perches should be positioned so that droppings do not fall into food and water dishes. Choose wide food and water bowls that are easy to clean.
Daily cleaning of the cage floor and bowls is essential and it’s recommended to perform a thorough clean at least weekly.
Toys such as ladders, bells, swings, mirrors etc are vital to encourage physical exercise and provide mental stimulation to your bird. Chewable, natural items such as branches, natural rope and pinecones should also be provided. Human interaction should be plentiful and will result in enjoyment for both you and your bird.
Dietary needs vary depending on the breed of your bird and research into your bird’s nutritional needs is essential to ensure your providing a proper diet. The easiest way to fed is to use a commercially formulated diet made especially for pet birds as homemade diets are time consuming and without professional advice, are often not balanced and don’t provide the necessary nutrients. Access to cuttlefish bone provides many trace minerals required by birds and should be placed in all cages. Fresh water is also essential.
Routinely, healthy birds require nail and wing trimming on a regular basis. Wing clipping should be considered carefully and many bird owners clip their pet bird’s wings to prevent escape or injury. If you choose to not clip your bird’s wings, it’s important to bird proof a free flight area in the house to prevent injury when flying. Bird’s nails should be trimmed when they become sharp and uncomfortable. Many birds enjoy bathing but for those that don’t a daily misting with clean water will help to encourage grooming.
Veterinary care is important and as with other pet’s, regular health checkups are recommended. Regular visits to a veterinarian help to detect signs and symptoms of illness early and keep your bird as healthy as possible.