Thursday, November 12, 2009

7 Things to Think About BEFORE You Buy That Bird!

 This is similar to an article I posted last week.  Although it is not exactly the same I am sure you will get the general idea.

7 Things to Think About BEFORE You Buy That Bird!
Once you have decided to buy a bird there are several things you should think about before you actually buy one.  The breed, the size, the cage, and the joy they will bring should be secondary to the things you should know first.

I‘ve had a number of smaller caged birds over the years. I’ve had ones that talk and ones that don’t.  Some that are loud and obnoxious and some that are quiet and shy.  Some that sing and some that squawk.  Some that screech and some that chatter back and forth to each other all day long.     

They All Make a Huge Mess!!  

All birds preen. 

That is, they are constantly either fixing their own feathers or the feathers on another bird.  Sometimes the cat and sometimes the person that lets it perch on their head.  Preening is a whole other story.  Suffice it to say – birds preen and they moult.  Their feathers fall out and new ones grow in.  Of course, every time the birds flap their wings for exercise those feathers are scattered everywhere.  

All birds eat.

Caged birds usually eat seeds and seeds have shells.  Most birds don’t eat the shells so they have to get rid of them and as they don’t have hands to hold the shells – they use their beaks and those shells fly.  Sometimes I think the shells have wings when I find them so far away from the cage. 

However, all is not lost – you can buy cage skirts or make your own that fit around the bottom of the cages to keep the seeds and feathers on the inside, not on your floor. 

If you don’t mind the feathers floating around your house you can always try feeding them the seeds that have no shells.  Bits of fruit and veggies.  Or just resign yourself with the fact and get on with sweeping it up every day.   

 All birds need water.

Clean water to drink – and clear of feathers and seed shells.  I know – you ask – how am I going to keep it clear of feathers and shells when every time one of them flaps – there will be more things in the water.   I have a bird bath attached to the cage but the birds prefer to bathe in their drinking water cups instead.  So every day and sometimes twice a day – the water has to be changed. 

All birds need exercise.

Now with all that eating, preening, bathing and drinking you need someplace for them to exercise.  You will need a cage with enough room in it that is free of toys, drinking and food cups and anything else you might have in there so the wings can be fully expanded.  I must admit – I do allow mine to fly outside the cage now and then and they just love it. 


Now with all that done – they are going to relax – and well, they must get rid of some of that food and water they had.   Rather than you trying to catch the droppings when they gotta go - you can use ripped up newspapers, cedar chips, grit paper and a host of other products that are disposable in the bottom of the cage.   Try to find a cage that is easy to clean – it sure saves a lot of time. 

After a hard day.

All birds sleep – at least all mine do.  It is the only time they are semi-quiet.  Those budgies still chatter when they are napping! 

A cover over the cage at night stops the chatter and they are all tucked in but.... I have a cockatiel.  Cockatiels suffer from night fright and often in the middle of the night the ruckus is enough to wake the proverbial dead.  Squawking, flapping and not only the cockatiel is at it now but the whole lot of them.   After a few nights of that – I have a nightlight in the room for the birds and we all sleep peacefully.

Location to park the bird cage.

You will need a stand or a table to put the bird cage on.  Be careful to ensure that the cage is away from any plants because some plants are toxic to birds and to ensure that the birds don’t make a mess of those beautiful leaves.   They have chewed up some of mine and they take a long time to recover. 

Enjoy your birds!