Basic Care for your Pet Bird

              Biological Facts

              • Budgies may live 10-12 years or more
              • Cockatiels may live 15-20 years or more
              • Larger parrots may live 25-50 years or more
              • Cockatiels weight averages 75-125 gm; Budgies average 30 gm; cockatoos average 300-1000 gm; other large parrots average 300-600 gm with macaws getting up to 1500 gm


              • Parent-raised (until weaned) birds are better adjusted those raised entirely by humans
              • Human handling during this time results in more tame adult birds
              • Tamed birds readily adapt to new surroundings and activities – expose early to daily activities in your household as well as to other pets
              • Birds are intelligent, curious, and are easily amused with simple toys and love to explore their surroundings
              • Birds need environmental enrichment to reduce the chance of feather picking
              • Birds with unrestricted access in the home will encounter numerous dangers and should be housed in a “bird friendly” safe room.


              • Birds need fresh, specifically formulated diets, such as Harrison’s or Zupreem diets
              • Treats should be limited to only 5% of the diet; dark green vegetables and fruits can be 10-30% of diet
              • Clean, fresh water should be provided daily


              • Enclosures should be as large as possible, with the bird able to fully extend it’s wings and flap without touching the sides of the enclosure
              • Enclosure should be clean, secure, safe and constructed of durable, non-toxic materials, with varied perches such as Polly’s Pet Perches
              • Avoid placing perches directly over food or water to prevent contamination
              • Access to natural light is preferred, but avoid drafty areas.
              • Birds outside of cages need constant supervision to avoid access to other pets, small children, and any household toxins.

              Preventive Care

              • Bi-annual physical examinations
              • Fecal examinations
              • Blood work annually for adults
              • Wing trimming every 3-6 mths, as needed

              Common Disorders of Chicks:

              • Crop disorders/ burns
              • Trauma
              • Foreign body aspiration
              • Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections
              • Candida yeast infection
              • Hypothermia

              Common Disorders of Adults:

              • Behavior – feather picking, screaming, aggression and biting
              • Respiratory diseases
              • Fungal, viral , and bacterial infections
              • Obesity
              • Parasites
              • Reproductive disorders, such as egg binding and cloacal prolapse
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