What to Know About Birds for Pets
Birds can make good pets
Birds are great companions if you take the time to train them.
They can understand every word you say to them. Don't underestimate them because they are small.
I own a Quaker Parrot and she reminds me of a Puppy since she plays like one. Biting, wrestling, playing chase, fetches a ball.
Except she can talk and puppies can't.
Owning a Bird, especially a Parrot is a much greater responsibility than you realize.
Many potential owners tend to regard a parrot as a beautiful or amusing object, not as an individual that is almost as complex emotionally as a human.
Do NOT SPRAY AEROSOL or ANY AIR FRESHENER in the SAME ROOM the Bird is in!!
Spraying any disinfectant's or air fresheners in the same room that your bird is in will Kill it. Very Dangerous!
If you like to spray air fresheners then make sure your bird is not in the same room that you are spraying. Move the cage and bird into another room all together. Then after 30 minutes you can return the bird.
African Grey Parrot
African Grey parrots are considered to be talented talking parrots. Unlike other parrots, wild African Greys have been documented imitating the calls of several other species. African Grey parrots have been tested using rigorous scientific standards, and are classed alongside the most intelligent animal species. Wild African Grey Parrots frequently whistle, shriek, squeak, click, etc. The African Grey owner should expect to hear regular renditions of the microwave, telephone, alarm clocks, dripping water, wild birds, video games, and any other electronic sound that is often heard by the parrot. Learning to tolerate and even respect this natural quality of your Grey is important if a peaceful, pleasant companion pet relationship is to be maintained.
The peaceful bird
H yacinth macaws have the nickname "gentle giants: because of their peaceful nature. they also seem to always have a smile on their face. Incredibly strong, they can talk, cuddle, crack nuts like no nutcracker you've ever owned, and bathe like a duck! This is one of the most easy going laid back of the macaws.They require a very special diet of expensive nuts. Hyacinths eat mainly raw nuts in shell such as macadamias, Brazil nuts, walnuts, filberts, almonds, and hazel nuts and fresh coconut. They really do not eat vegetables and fruits very well in most cases. They will also take snails.
DO NOT PURCHASE AN UN-WEANED BABY HYACINTH MACAW!
Hand-rearing of this species can be difficult and, tragically, many chicks die each year at the hands of inexperienced hand-feeders.
The Hyacinth Macaw is 100 cm (39 in) long and 1.5-2 kg (3.3-4.4 lb) in weight. The wingspan is 120-140 cm (48-56 in). It is almost entirely blue and has black under the wings. It has a large black beak with bright yellow along the sides of the lower part of the beak and also yellow circling its eyes. The female and male are nearly indistinguishable, although the female is typically a bit more slender.
Finch are cute and quiet little birds . Although they don't interact with us and they can't be trained like the other birds here on this lens. They are very energetic and nice to watch. It might be possible to tame them a bit but they have to be raised from a baby and interacted with on a daily basis.
Finches require minimal interaction and are easy to care for. Their "chirps" are soft and sweet don't think it can ever be annoying.
It's best to have two so they can interact with each other.
It is a perfect pet for Apartment owners. Since they are so small and the cages are too. Some people hang the cage from a small link chain from the ceiling in a basket type cage., which is very adorable.
Foods should include finch seed, millet, sprouts, plenty of fresh water daily. Cover them up at night to prevent any disturbances.
Also known as Monk Parakeet
Quaker Parrot sometimes called Hooded Parrots or Monk Parakeet . They are Intelligent and social birds and can live up to 30 years. They can be fussy and overly protective about their cages. They like their cages to be a certain way. They don't like to much change and can tell if anything has been moved, taken away or added to the room.
Quakers are known for their talking ability.
The following foods are toxic to your Quaker: Avocados, chocolate, apple seeds, and the pits of most fruits, i.e. cherry, peach, etc.
Unfortunately they are Illegal to own and sell in 10 States. Contact your state's Fish & Wildlife Department to find out if Quaker Parrots are legal in your state.
How to raise a Quaker Parrot as a pet at home and the things they like
Schatzi, my Quaker
2 months old at the time
Schatzi loves music, Michael Jackson, dancing giving kisses, playing peek-a-boo and loves to drink cherry kool-aid and has been drinking it ever since. She especially likes it "cold".
The only time she drinks water is when she is eating her pellet food, which I crush up in a blender for her. I was afraid she was not drinking enough water so I leave fresh koolaid in a smaller dish, daily in her cage and she drinks it all.
Another one of her favorites is " Bell Pepper Seeds". Just the seeds. I go through a bunch of Bell Peppers a week. Half the time I don't know what to do with the rest of the pepper because i can't keep up with her. So I freeze what I don't use. i have to tell you, I am officially sick of "Bell Peppers" but she loves them.
She mocks my husbands whistles to the Tee and tells me "love you".
She also has mood swings. When she is in a bad mood I can't do anything to make her happy.
So I just tell her that I love her and I leave the room. A few hours later I come back to check on her and usually by then she has come back around and want's my attention again. I never force anything on her this just makes matter's worse.
If she is to out of hand then I sing to her, this actually calms her down and she is friends with me again. Crazy Bird!
My Quaker Laid 4 eggs
Yes, she thinks she's a Mama now!
Schatzi is 3 years old and out of the Blue, she laid 4 eggs.
To bad they will never hatch because their is no male bird to fertilize the eggs. All day every day for the past two weeks she has faithfully been snuggled up with her ( babies). Her attitude has totally changed. She barely comes out of the cage. I have to put her food dish in front of her so she will eat. She never leaves them. She would make a wonderful mother, so very protective and consistent.
Sometimes I feel bad for her.
Yesterday, I went into the room and said to her "Don't you think it's time to take a Bath? Next thing I knew she got up came to the door of her cage , stepped onto my shoulder we went into the kitchen to put water in her bird bath and she excitedly jumped in and began to splash like a small child. That's when I figured out that she understands normal conversation. Not just one or two words.
Well, she has figured out by now that her little eggs aren't going to do anything so she is back to normal again. I just waited her out, she finally got tired of sitting on the none hatching eggs. I know I should probably get a male Quaker for her but I'm afraid too.
See, Schatzi doesn't interact with anyone but me. I have tried to introduce her to my grand children but she won't do it. She pretty much likes her peace and quiet and ME. That was my fault in the way I raised her. If I had to do it all over again I would do it differently. That goes for the saying "I wish I would have known then what I know now".
The thought of getting her a male, UGH!!!!!! Just because it's a male doesn't necessarily mean she will like him.
I surely don't need two birds on my shoulder. LOL....
Her famous little Egg!
Here it is! Schatzi's egg. Well, one of them. Secretly I took the unfertilized bird egg from here cage. She isn't missing it so don't be alarmed.
I waited her out. When she lays a set of eggs she will sit with them for a couple of weeks. When she realizes nothing is hatching she gets off of them and starts coming out of her cage and interacting with me again. Then I still give her a few more days with them and then I begin day by day taking one away at a time.
What should I do?
Can you help me with my dilema?
Should I take the chance and get Schatzi a Male Quaker?
Parrots have a strong, direct flight. Most species spend most of their time perched or climbing in tree canopies. They often use their bills for climbing by gripping or hooking on branches and other supports. On the ground they often walk with a rolling gait. Parrots have the distinction of being able to mimic human speech and are considered the most intelligent of birds. Parrots can make excellent companion animals, and can form close, affectionate bonds with their owners.
The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometimes insects.
Parakeets come in all sorts of colors. They are very entertaining and have a sweet little chirp you just can't resist.
They can be trained to speak and do tricks and are easy to maintain. Since they are so small they don't require large cages and won't take up much space in the house.
Some foods they enjoy are millet, grass seed, fruits, pellets, seeds and oats.
Neglecting the bird will make them fight back with full Amo
It only takes a few minutes a day to spend with your bird if that is all the time you have
When your bird keeps biting you it is just displaying dominance over you. Don't scream, holler or make any hand movements, because the bird will know you are afraid of it and will just keep on biting you for it's own enjoyment. The situation will only get worse.
Instead in a soft voice say "No biting, that's not nice". Distract him by doing or saying something else, just change the subject!
If you never interact or talk to your bird it will not learn to respond to you. Believe me they understand more than you think they do.
Just start off by doing and saying the same things and words over and over a few times each day. Until you see their response to it.
They seem to love music. if you sing and dance to music in front of them, they will eventually mimic you.
Keep your bird healthy
Here are some tips to keep your bird Healthy
1) Wash your Bird's food bowls with warm, soapy water each day. Keep a second set of bowls on hand so you can switch out the dirty set with the clean set.
2) Encourage your bird or birds to do something active.
3) Start your bird's day with a healthy breakfast. You might want to introduce it to new healthy foods, such as Mashed sweet potato, sprouted seed and leafy vegetables.
4) Wash your hands before handling your bird.
5) Protect your bird from exposure to toxic fumes in your home. Avoid using aerosols or trigger sprayed products near your bird.
6) Change the bedding in your birds cage at least every other day and wipe down it's perches and toys.
7) Don't put your bird's Perches over their food and water dishes, you don't want them defecating into the dishes.
Who say's a bird can't Bathe in style????
Would you have ever thought to let your bird bathe in a Martini Glass? WOW !!!!
Birds like to stay clean and they love water. It is so adorable to watch them bathe.
Bathing is a necessity for them. This keeps their feathers soft and fluffy, washes any little critters off. Get's rid of the Feather Dust. Bathing is important to a bird's health.
1) Use only plain, clear water.
2) Only bathe your bird during the warmest part of the day.
3) Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature.
4) Never saturate your bird's feathers.
5) You can use a fine mist from a clean spray bottle
Of course the birds pictures here are not real. But I thought this was a neat Idea
When trimming your bird's nails, to reduce stress for yourself and your bird, work quickly to trim the nails and then release your pet. Talk softly to your bird and reassure him as you work. Wrap your bird in a towel and hold securely by the neck and it's feet gripping your finger or hand. Do not apply pressure to it's chest for any reason. Then, trim only the tips of the nail. When it's all over you should praise your bird for being good.
Birds love Chewing, Foraging, Problem solving, Climbing, Shredding and Destroying. you should accommodate them with various toy's to keep them busy. Just don't over crowd their cage.
Hand feeding baby Robin birds - My first experience raising Baby Robin Birds
The Adult Robin parent's left these 4 babies 4 days after they hatched. So I started taking care of them.Taking care of a wild baby bird is a difficult task to take on. At first I had to feed them every 30 minutes for a couple of days. Then it went to every hour, then every 2 hours and so on. They stayed with me for 8 weeks. Luckily they taught each other how to fly out of the nest one by one. How to search for bugs and worms. Then at the end I only had to feed them every 4 hours. In between they were venturing off flying a few yards away from their nest, when I would call for them, all four of them would come from different places and come to the feeding spot where I would feed them. Then one day they flew off and never returned. That was over a year ago,I still think about them hoping they would come back to visit me. It was a difficult experience for me. I did not get much sleep those eight weeks. But it was most gratifying since they all survived.
I still to this day look for them hoping they will stop by. For all I know, they just might have.
Raising 4 baby Robin birds from my back yard
A Comfortable bird is a Happy bird
If your little birdie is not happy at home, he will let you know by making loud sounds. When I say loud sounds it will be the same sound over and over again. Instead of sweet whistling songs.
Be sure to chose the right size cage. He should have plenty of room to spread his wings and hop around. Not like "TWEETY" here. Which only has room for his swing.
Your bird's cage serves as it's bedroom and it should be where it can get 10-12 hours of sleep. Be sure to cover the cage at night so it can have it's quiet time to sleep.
Feather Plucking in birds
What causes feather plucking?
Environmental problems worth considering are a cage that is too small for the bird, using the wrong types of perches, exposure to airborne toxins, low humidity, the wrong kind of lighting, All of these things are distressing to a bird and may cause it to pluck its feathers
Physical problems include viral infections, bacterial and fungal infections, external parasites, allergies, poor wing-feather trimming, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and trauma. All of these can be diagnosed by a qualified avian vet and treated accordingly. Once the immediate problem is dealt with, the real cause behind the behavior can be addressed and the chances of the bird continuing this behavior become slim.
According to research, certain species of parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels, parakeets and lovebirds are particularly predisposed to this sort of destructive behavior.Especially if they are not getting enough attention from you. It can also be that the bird is losing it's feathers due to not getting the right nutritions it needs.
Water is Important
Make sure your bird is consuming water
Some birds don't drink enough water. Which can cause dehydration. You should keep an eye on that. If you have a bird that isn't drinking water then experiment with some of these ideas that introduce some source of liquid.
1) Moist food's, fruit's and vegetable's.
2) Maybe your bird doesn't want a water dish and prefers a Water Bottle
My bird doesn't drink much plain water but she LOVES to drink cherry Koolaid.
Once a day she likes to have her pellets dissolved in warm water made into a mush.She cleans her beak in her water dish after eating.
So you see she does get water in one way or another. This is what I mean with Experimenting.
Choosing the Right Food
When you think of bird you think "Seeds". Except, not all birds eat seeds! Some like to feed on Pellet food which has a variety of fruits and vegetable flavors.
Sunflower Seeds are Okay to give every now and then as a treat. Just don't make it a daily meal since sunflower seeds are loaded with fatty oils.
Birds are Little pigs in a cage!
I have to warn you, birds are messy little critters. Especially if you let their play time be out and around their cage. Then you have food and their droppings all over the floor.
I let my Quaker Parrot ( Schatzi) out of her cage during the day. She pretty much has her own room. She has a play stand and other perches branching from her cage. My husband took a big sheet of Plexo glass, cut it to the size I wanted and laid it in front of the cage and play area.
It catches all her droppings. Then all I have to do is wipe up everything with a damp cloth. Saves a lot of time and keeps the mess off the floor.
Choosing the right bird
Consider some of these before you decide.
Don't get just any bird! When in a pet store communicate with the one your getting ready to choose. See how it interacts with you. Choose a young one over an older one so you can train it.
Consider getting a bird as a pet if you have a quiet, tranquil home where your new friend can get his bearings in peace. If your household is boisterous or you have small children, a bird may not be your best choice.
A bird is easily startled at every sudden noise, squeal, or laugh, and if there is a lot of commotion, a bird will be forever wary and grumpy.
If you want a bird that thinks he's a person, consider getting a parrot. This is the biggest, the smartest, one of the most expensive, and perhaps the most beautiful of all pet birds. But parrots also require the most supervision and attention. They live a long time and continue acquiring personality traits for as long as they live. You'll spend a lot of time -- perhaps a lifetime -- with a parrot and you should be ready for a serious commitment before you buy.
If you have a house with plenty of space and you need a little company, nothing could be better than a large talking bird.
A new African gray parrot will learn a vocabulary of about 200 words and will become a chatty friend. Or you could get several finches, canaries or a couple of lovebirds. They will sing and chirp and provide plenty of chatty company for you.
Before you decide on a particular type of bird, think about how much interaction you want to have. A parrot can make a wonderfully chatty companion, but just try to get him into a cage, and you'll get quite an earful. In general, the larger and smarter the bird, the less he's going to tolerate a life behind bars.
If you aren't looking for an interactive bird, your best bet is something smaller, perhaps a canary or finch. These birds have very pleasant calls, and some have brilliant plumage as well. They are perfectly content in their cages and don't need to be brought out. In fact, they don't like much contact with people. They'd rather be admired from afar.
If you're looking for a cuddly, friendly, social bird, ask for one that has been hand-fed. As the name suggests, these birds were removed from the nest as newborns and fed by hand. They are completely tame and comfortable around people. After they warm up to you, they will not fuss or start when you try to bring them outside their cages. In fact, they love human contact. You can find a hand-fed bird in almost any variety, from an exotic parrot to a common finch. These birds cost a bit more than birds born in captivity and raised by their mothers.
If you do get a hand-fed bird, you will need to bring your pet out, hold her, and talk to her every day. Otherwise, she will be miserable. Birds raised in captivity can stay in their cages most of the time and will need only to get out for a little air about once a week.
© 2009 Ramona