Birds make great pets for families who have limited living space or those who have modest living means. If you live in a flat or by yourself then a pet bird makes an ideal companion.
Birds are undemanding animals that are very simple to look after and care for. Birds are highly intelligent animals that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. It’s important to ensure these needs will be met when choosing how to house your pet birds.
Most bird species are highly social, living in either groups or at least pairs in the natural environment. Pet birds should be housed in groups or pairs of compatible species or individuals to ensure that their need for social contact is met.
Any enclosure should provide a large space relative to the size of the bird, allowing for free movement and flight.
Birds that are permanently confined in a cage must have regular access to a flight aviary or opportunities to fly in a safe environment.
The types and variety of food that are offered to pet birds are usually very limited when compared to the diet of their wild counterparts so it is important to provide a balanced and varied diet in adequate amounts. Consulting an experienced aviculturist and bird veterinarian regarding your birds nutrition is highly recommended.
The health of pet birds is a specialised area and resolving health problems can be difficult. Checking your bird’s health regularly is a key step in ensuring good welfare and preventing disease. Any problems should be dealt with promptly and appropriately by seeking veterinary advice as soon as possible.
Some things to check for include:
- Appearance of droppings (quality and quantity).
- Amount of food or water consumed.
- Behaviour (eg ability to fly).
- Appearance or posture (eg sleepy or fluffed-up).
- Rate and depth of respiration.