There are a huge variety of birds available as pets in Australia. Each type has unique characteristics, colours, sizes, temperaments and needs so it’s important that you learn and gather as much information as possible. This will help you choose the right bird for you, and also cater adequately for the bird.
Some birds enjoy handling whilst others don’t. Many birds are enjoyable to watch, listen to and have around. Some birds are great talkers, others have a beautiful song and some bring endless fun antics to each day.
Learn all you can about the type of bird you are getting. Equipped with knowledge and understanding, you will have a better idea of what to expect. You'll then be able to provide the pet bird care it needs and the result will be maximum enjoyment for both of you!
Owning a pet bird provides a child with companionship and teaches the child responsibility and care. Parents must still supervise the day-to-day care so that the bird is not neglected through ignorance or loss of interest.
A canary or budgerigar can be a good choice of pet for a family with limited space or modest means. They are suitable for people living alone, especially flat dwellers. The care of these caged birds could hardly be more simple or undemanding, but the individuality they show depends on the degree of freedom they are allowed and on the stimulation provided by their surroundings and their companions.
Only the male canary sings and whistles, and the male budgerigar is usually easier to teach to talk. There are important differences to be aware of between the genders of each species.
Please ask one of our vets regarding a good health care routine.
A well-designed and built aviary is the most satisfactory housing for birds, enabling them to live with freedom of movement and adequate opportunity for flight. Circumstances often dictate that birds are kept in cages, usually manufactured from metal with wire mesh screening. The minimum size of cage to house one bird will depend on the breed of bird. Queries regarding cage sizes can be referred to the RSPCA. The cage should be positioned in a well-lit, sunny area where the birds will have frequent human contact, and in which it will be safe to be released for exercise if possible. A portable cage stand permits the birds to be repositioned for their comfort. Appropriate perches of varying size must be provided as well as well-secured food and water troughs. The food and water receptacles should not be positioned beneath bird perches and any accidental contamination of the food and water by bird droppings must be removed immediately.
Ladders, bells, ropes, swings, mirrors, and suitable toys provide some stimulation for a caged bird, but you should avoid over-furnishing as this crowds the cage and may result in injury.
At night the cage should be covered with a cloth or towel to permit the bird to rest and to protect it from draughts. Should the cage be placed outside the house at any time, it must be in a position that is safe from predators – cats and wild birds – that could scare or directly injure the bird. Birds should not be left in the sun without shade and should be protected from overheating on hot days.
A tray on the floor of the cage will collect excreta and should be removed each day and thoroughly cleaned. The cage itself should be easy to scrub out, whilst water and food troughs and perches should be easily removable for cleaning purposes.
It is important to train your bird to be handled, especially to permit examination for signs of ill-health. Begin by letting them become accustomed to being handled in the cage. Soon they will become finger-tame, and then they may be able to be handled outside the cage. It requires a good deal of patience and gentleness when handling birds, especially small species like canaries.
Some birds that have constant close contact with their owner will learn to talk. These birds can start to talk from about six weeks of age, however if they have not succeeded by six months, they probably never will. Teaching a bird to talk starts by using the same word over and over. Once the bird has learnt one word, new words or complete phrases may be added.
The caged bird's basic diet should consist of the specially prepared seed mixtures. This diet should be supplemented with green foods and fruit. A cuttlebone (the internal shell of a cuttlefish)can be added to a pet bird’s cage to provide trace minerals such as calcium, act as a source of entertainment and help to clean your bird’s beak. Fresh water is essential to a bird’s life and must be replenished frequently, particularly in hot weather or if it becomes fouled.
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