African Grey

For the people that love birds and pets, they might become as important as other pet.  Here we have several tips and advises for you to provide a better care and environment to your pet.

 

 

Housing and Environment:
Most of birds need a clean, warm, mentally stimulating environment. A single bird’s cage can be about 24” x 20” x 20”. Two birds should have a cage no smaller than 28”x 24”x 36”. The basic rule of thumb is the bigger the better! The spacing between the bars of the cage should be no wider than 3/8 inch to a ½ inch. If the bars are too far apart, your crafty bird is very likely to try to squeeze through them and get stuck. The cage should be placed in a family centered room where the bird(s) will feel a part of the “flock”; however the back of the cage should be positioned against a wall to provide security. Your cockatiel will feel threatened and nervous if it is in direct traffic. Avoid drafty areas and any placement that will get too much direct sun for any portion of the day. If your bird spends time out of his cage, make sure that any ceiling fans are off while he is out.


Do not place your bird’s cage in the kitchen, as cooking fumes and even a small amount of smoke can be fatal. Average room temperature will be fine for your bird, not to exceed 78 degrees. Be careful of drafts from air conditioning, especially when bathing and misting. Perches of varying materials and types should be included in the cage. We recommend having at least three different types. Having different types will exercise the feet and prevent sores and foot related health issues. See the recommended supplies section. At least three clean bowls should be ready for use: one for fresh water, one for seed/pellets and one for fresh foods. Your bird may appreciate a cage cover for nighttime. The cover can block out any extraneous light and create a more secure sleeping place. Be careful not to use any fabrics that your bird might catch his claws or beak in, or that he might pull strings from and eat. Some cockatiels suffer from “night frights”. This problem can occur when the cockatiel is fast asleep and a sudden noise or light startles him awake. The cockatiel will flap and thrash violently around his cage, possibly injuring himself. If your cockatiel seems to have suffered a night fright, do NOT cover his cage at night any more.


Do not use sandpaper covered perches or floor paper.  These products are dangerous and can cause severe damage to your bird’s feet.  A
lso, do not use “bird disks” or “mite disks”.  These are not effective and may harm your bird.  See your avian veterinarian if you suspect parasites.


Do not use bird gravel. bird gravel is used for birds who do not crack the hull or shell of the seeds they eat. it is meant to grind the seeds in the crop of the bird. doves and pigeons can be given bird gravel, but canaries, parakeets, and all species of parrot will crush the seed or nuts before ingesting them and therefore do not benefit at all from gravel. gravel can be seriously dangerous for birds other than doves and pigeons - it causes severe impactions, which are often fatal.


Corn cob bedding can quickly breed mold and mildew, which is dangerous to your bird. birds can also become impacted from swallowing corn cob bedding.


Cage maintenance:
Your cockatiel’s cage should be checked daily for any dirt that is accessible to your bird. Feces and spoiling food should be wiped clean of perches, cups and cage bars consistently to prevent health problems. Cage paper (which should be under a floor grate to prevent access to droppings) can be changed every to every-other day. Check the metal parts & bars of your bird’s cage periodically for chipped paint and rust, which can cause serious health issues if your bird chews or swallows any flaked pieces.


The entire cage should be cleaned thoroughly at least once every month with: A mild dishwashing liquid in warm water (make a weak dilution), THEN Vinegar & water (1:8) OR bleach and warm water (1:32) Cage “furniture” should also be scrubbed clean with the same dilution.



Grooming and Hygiene
All birds should be gently misted with a water bottle dedicated to this use only. The spray should be room temperature and misty, sprayed up and over the bird to replicate a fine rain. NEVER spray the bird directly in the face. In addition to misting, a room temperature birdbath should be offered to your bird at least twice weekly. Monitor your bird while he is bathing, and remove the bath when he is finished. During misting and bathing procedures, make sure there are no drafts that may chill your bird when he is wet, which can cause respiratory issues. If your bird seems to stop grooming himself and becomes dirty and unkempt, contact your avian veterinarian. He may be ill.

 


Be sure to take your bird to your avian veterinarian for regular nail trims.

Do not clip your canary's wings.   Canaries and finches depend on their wings to flit around their cages from perch to perch.  If problems arise, call your avian veterinarian immediately.

 

It is also highly recommended to have your bird seen by an avian vet for a yearly exam to make sure your pet stays healthy.  Birds hide illnesses well; yearly exams can catch small issues before they get worse.

 


Some TIPS are the following:
• Fluffed feathers, missing patches of feathers, feathers being purposely plucked.

Evidence that your bird has stopped grooming him/herself.
Bird sitting still and low on perch with a puffed up appearance, drooping wings - may also stay at bottom of cage.
Beak swelling or unusual marks on cere.
Nasal discharge, eye discharge, wheezing or coughing.
Any change in stools including color or consistency.
Loss of appetite.
Favoring of one foot, holding a wing differently, presence of any blood.

 

 

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