ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Birds As Pets

Updated on October 8, 2010

Sanitation and Feeding

Sanitation and diet are the most important items in the care of birds, as in the care of all pets. Droppings should be removed frequently from the cage. This is easy enough for small birds kept in individual cages. Many of these cages have a removable tray on the bottom which may be taken out and washed. Where there is no such tray, a newspaper sprinkled with sand may be used and removed daily. In the case of pigeons and doves, birds kept in populous cotes, sanitation is more of a problem, but its neglect may result in widespread disease.

Food and water should be kept fresh and clean. Semicovered trays are best so that the birds do not walk or defecate in them. Food should not be allowed to stay in the cage long enough to become sour.

There is no one food that is satisfactory for all kinds of birds any more than one kind of food can be fed to all four-legged pets. By nature some birds live on foods of vegetable origin only, while others feed largely on insects as well as vegetable matter. An owner should keep the natural requirements of his pet in mind. Parrots, parakeets, all members of the psittacine family are herbivorous; canaries, linnets, crows are omnivorous.

There are a number of commercial bird foods which offer a wide variety of seeds. They should be given in fairly small quantities so that the bird does not eat only the type it likes best and ignore the others which would give a more rounded diet. But it must be remembered that all birds will not eat all kinds of seed. Besides the commercial foods, some supplementary feeding is necessary.

Parrots are great fruit eaters, and bits of banana, apple, grape should be added to their diet. Raw peanuts, cereals, carrots, and turnips are also good, as is toast, cooked rice or potato, and oatmeal porridge.

Canaries need more protein than is available from seed alone, especially when breeding. Mashed hard-boiled egg is excellent, but should be given in very small amounts. The shell may be mashed with the egg, and some experts mix in a little alfalfa-leaf meal and add a drop of percomorph oil. Bread soaked in milk may also be given.

Most birds need something to peck at to keep their beaks in condition. Cuttlebone is good for small birds. For parrots a bit of mortar or soft wood will serve.

Source

Breeding and Other Care

If the bird is to breed, the owner should consider its natural habits when furnishing space and material for nesting. The wild canary builds high in trees, in fairly open places, exposed to light. Parakeets nest in hollow trees, in the dark. Canaries like a nest of dried grass and string, perhaps padded with cotton. Parakeets use only the bare floor of the nest. Caged birds should be given a chance to duplicate their natural nests as nearly as possible.

Only the male canary sings, but he should sing when given a rounded diet and when not molting. The introduction of a mate, or listening to another male that does sing, will usually start the silent bird going. It has also been found that if the hours of light to which the bird is exposed are increased gradually (an extra hour each day for a week, then an hour and a half to two hours daily the second week), the bird may start singing. Occasionally, however, there is a male that will not sing under any conditions.

It is as natural for a bird to molt as for a mammal to shed its hair, but occasionally a bird will begin to pluck out its own feathers. This may sometimes be due to lice, but more likely it results from sheer boredom. If the bird is given more exercise and if the temperature of the room where it is kept is reduced, the practice usually stops. If possible, every bird should be given a cage large enough to allow it to make short flights. For this reason square or oblong cages are preferable to round ones. Though a bird may be kept healthy in a small cage, exercise is beneficial for it, as for all animals.

Disease in birds may be caused by bacteria, parasites, virus, fungus, and dietary deficiencies, just as with other pets. The symptoms of many of these are so similar that even the trained veterinarian may have difficulty in determining the exact cause of illness. It is always best to isolate the sick bird immediately and take thorough sanitary precautions, removing from the reach of other birds all its droppings and any food or water it may have touched.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)