Bird Care Instructions
If you notice any of the following symptoms or behaviors, we recommend bringing your exotic bird to our animal hospital:
- Little to no appetite
- Unusual body language (appearing uncomfortable)
- Fluffed feathers
- Less active or quieter than typical
- Repeatedly resides on the bottom of his/her cage
Seeds may be desirable to birds; however, they need a variety in their diet and won’t flourish on seeds alone. An overabundance of seeds may increase your bird’s risk of liver, heart, or kidney disease in addition to vitamin A and calcium deficiency and weight gain. Pellets are a more nutritious option and should make up about 75% of your bird’s diet to provide the nutrients needed for your pet. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also supply valuable vitamins to your bird’s health, but vegetables such as potatoes, corn and yucca should be avoided as they may cause weight gain. Other foods to keep out of your exotic bird’s diet include the following:
- Garden Cress
- Bok Choy
- Brussel sprouts
- Any human food (pizza, cheese, chicken wings, hamburgers, cookies, etc.)
A balanced diet combined with regular opportunities to exercise will help your exotic bird maintain their health.
It should be noted that while this process is possible to accomplish at home, it is an ongoing transition that typically occurs over a period of 15 days. We suggest reducing the amount of seeds you provide for your pet to half their usual amount. To determine how much seeds your bird consumes daily, we recommend the following:
- Measure the amount of seed mix you place in the cage in the morning by teaspoons or tablespoons. All seeds should be entered in your measurements to ensure accuracy.
- 24 hours later, measure the amount of seed mix that is left in your bird’s cage.
- Subtract the remainder from the amount of seed you first gave your bird to determine how much your bird consumes in a day.
To convert your bird from seeds to pellets, we recommend the following process:
- Feed only one half of the amount of seed you previously fed your bird each day. Add an equivalent amount of the new pellet diet to your bird’s bowl as well.
- Slowly reduce the amount of seeds you feed your bird over the course of 15 days until you no longer provide seeds at all.
- Closely monitor their weight for a loss of more than 10% of your bird’s body weight. If this occurs, please call Glenwood Pet Hospital as soon as possible.
We are happy to help this process if you don’t feel at ease trying this at home.
Like any pet, birds require proper housing that is suitably ventilated and is large enough to allow them to spread their wings and move around comfortably. If more than one bird is housed in one enclosure, it is vital to make certain all birds can move about comfortably. The temperature of the room their enclosure is in should be about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. We also suggest supplying toys such as those made of paper or wood, which are great for engaging your birds and filing down their beak to prevent overgrowth. Birds also may benefit from their enclosure receiving natural sunlight on occasion, or a shower or bath of water mist.
If your bird is housed by themselves or does not interact with other birds, it is important to their overall well-being that you interact with them for at least a few hours each day outside of their enclosure. This can also help prepare your bird for appointments at our animal hospital by helping them become accustomed to being handled.
Candles, incense, aerosol products, or cooking fumes may wreak havoc on your exotic bird’s respiratory track. If your pet is exposed, we recommend bringing them to a breezy area and calling your avian vet immediately. A humidifier may be beneficial to your bird and may decrease the risk of respiratory issues and inflammation.