Give your pet bird a boost of health and happiness in the year ahead by taking a close look at its gear and replacing the pet bird essentials that might be past their prime. Here are some tips to get you started:
Have you had to “modify” your pet bird’s cage to keep things in working order? Perhaps you’ve incorporated binder clips, paper clips or zip-ties to keep things in place, such as a loose or broken bar from falling off, or the cage door shut. Quick fixes such as these might help you penny pinch, but you run a risk of your bird being seriously injured if its toe, beak, wing or head gets caught up in non-cage-issued part, which might also have traces of lead in it. The end result might be a veterinary bill that dwarfs the cost of what you would have paid for a new cage. Also, use the “New Year, New You” motto as inspiration to finally upgrade your bird’s “starter cage” to a one that is more spacious and has features that make daily maintenance easier on you.
It’s sometimes hard for pet bird owners to say goodbye to their pet bird’s toy after it is no longer of service to the bird, or it becomes a downright hazard. Look at the toys in your bird’s cage. Are any toys destroyed to the point that all that is left is a piece of rope or a string hanging from a hook? Your bird chewed off the wood and cardboard pieces months ago, and has no interest in what’s left behind, yet the toy still hangs in the cage. Most pet bird toys are designed to be destroyed, so keep this in mind when you buy toys; you will have gotten your money’s worth when there’s almost nothing left. Go through your bird’s toy box and make sure that it’s not full of the “skeletal remains” of toys your bird has chewed up and is done with; make new toys part of your pet bird’s new year.
Additionally, consider replacing, or relocating to a different area of the cage, any toy that your bird ignores. If your bird’s toy is made of destructible parts like cardboard, wood pieces and other easily chewed-up parts yet looks just like it did when you bought it, your bird might not be interested in that particular type of toy. Sometimes moving the toy to a different area of the cage, such as near a favored perch spot, will pique your bird’s interest in it, but be prepared to try out new toy types until you find ones your bird takes a liking to. (You can always use an ignored toy as a keychain … you’ll never lose your keys again!)
Perches are easy to overlook. As long as they are hanging in the cage and/or perched on by your pet bird, you might not think twice about them. However, just as we occasionally need to re-carpet a room or replace a loose floorboard, perches need to be inspected and replaced if worn down. (Perches should also be taken out of the cage and cleaned from time to time.) Parrots love to chew wood and, since most perches are made of wood, a bird owner shouldn’t be too surprised to discover that his or her bird chewed up its perch to the point where it looks like a beaver snuck into the cage and gnawed a section down to the core. Similarly, rope perches add a cushy and comfortable place to perch; however, even if this is your bird’s favorite place to perch that doesn’t mean your bird will not chew on it. Some parrots can turn a rope perch into something that looks like a shaggy mop head, which warrants buying a new one.
This is the time of year when many of us vow to make healthier choices, including eating better. Why not extend this commitment to your pet bird? Parrots love treats, even the ones that aren’t so good for them. One way to start the New Year off right is to replace not-so-healthy foods with ones you can feel good about offering to your bird. Check out Lafeber Company’s healthy yet fun-to-eat foods, and help your bird get the balanced nutrition it needs.
Bird Owner New Year’s Resolutions
This year, I vow to do a thorough cleaning of my cockatiel Buddy’s cage at the beginning of each season. Also, I want to change his toys more often.
This is Frances’, the pearly conure’s first Xmas and New Year with us, his new adoptive family — we are hoping his New Year’s Resolution is to stop smearing his face in his poop. (Wishful thinking). Our New Year’s Resolution for him — to take him on more outdoor adventures come summer (and hopefully get him used to his Aviator Harness). We have already improved his diet by switching him to Nutri-Berries, which have made his feathers brighter and more beautiful! Thanks! Frances loves his Nutri-Berries!
My New Year’s Resolutions are: To gain my rescue bird’s trust! I rescued a peach-fronted conure about 8 months ago and, while he is now healthy (avian vet says so… cost a fortune, but so worth it!), he still is un-trusting of our hands. He will gladly sit on my shoulder and chirp or beak grind, but if anyone tries to pick him up with our hands he will bite out of fear (except if he gets on the floor and wants to be up, then he will step up to hands). He will take treats out of our hands now, so the next step will be to try to get him to step up on our hands willingly. Calypso’s resolution will be to be more trusting of us (even though it will be hard to undo years of abuse) and try not to bite out of fear!
— Mouse Simpson
Do share! What’s your New Year’s Resolution as it relates to your pet bird? Share your resolution by adding a comment below. You can also comment on behalf of your pet bird … what do you imagine your pet bird’s New Year’s resolution might be?