PARROTS AND THE HOLIDAYS – BE MERRY, BUT SAFE
The holiday season is a time of decorating, parties, and festivities. Here is a list of holiday dangers for birds.
Candles, potpourri, incense, room and carpet fresheners are all hazardous to birds.
Christmas trees are often chemically treated, including the spraying of artificial snow. Do not allow parrots to climb on or eat the trees.
Holly, Poinsettias, Philodendron, and Mistletoe are all toxic.
Christmas decorations, including wrappings are all made of materials hazardous to birds.
Remember that non-stick cookware containing PFOA and PTFE, including fondue fondue pots, waffle irons, etc. will poison a bird’s respiratory system, resulting in death.
Educate visitors on the respect for birds and the proper way to handle them.
Avoid stress – birds require 10-12 hours of sound sleep. Keep your bird(s) on their usual schedule for eating, etc. and move them to a quiet place if visitors seem to to be making your bird(s) uncomfortable and stressed.
ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR BIRDS ON YOUR GIFT LIST! WE HAVE NEW EXCITING HOLIDAY TOYS IN STORE AT BIRDPARADISE AND ON-LINE @ http://www.mybirdstore.com/.
Tons of holiday savings on bird supplies
Some criteria to consider when purchasing a cage:
1. Is it spacious?
2. Is it comfortable?
3. Is it safe?
4. Is it easy to clean?
5. Does it have proper bar spacing to prevent a bird from getting its head stuck between the bars?
6. Will the cage material hold up to the beak strength?
7. Is it mobile?
8. Are doors secure to prevent a bird from escaping?
The dimensions of the cage must be adequate for the size of the bird. Macaws have a large wingspan and so their cage should have opposing sides greater than that of their wingspan. If your bird has a long tail, the cage should accommodate that tail so when the bird turns 360 degrees, the tail fully clears the sides of the cage.
The activity level of the bird should be taken into consideration. For instance, caiques and parrotlets, although smaller birds, are highly active and require cages with plenty of room to run around and expend their energy.
Canaries and other finches require wide cages so they can fly back and forth. Long, rectangular cages are much preferred over tall cages without much flying room.
Never put a bird in a round cage – they need corners for orientation.
All bird cages should be lead and zinc free. Do not use decorative cages, as those found in antique stores, as these are for aesthetics only and not to be used as functional bird cages.
Proper bar spacing is very important and a crucial safety concern. The general rule is to purchase the largest cage possible; however, be aware of the bar spacing. Larger cages usually have wider bar spacing. No bird should be able to fit its head through the cage bars. This can be life threatening.
Rule of thumb is: Parakeets and Lovebirds 3/8”
Cockatiels and small Conures ½” to ¾”
Amazons, African Greys, and similar size birds ¾” to 1”
Macaws and large Cockatoos ¾” to 1 ½”
The security of the food and entry door(s) is important, especially when larger birds are concerned. Birds such as cockatoos and macaws can be masters of escape. Also, it is common for cages meant for smaller birds like parakeets and cockatiels to have doors that slide up and down. Bird like conures and larger should have doors with locking mechanisms.
Bird Paradise and our on-line store at mybirdstore.com carries the full line of A&E cages. These are all toxicity tested and with the exception of those cages geared to the small birds, all come with secure locks on food and entry door(s).
Owning several birds of my own from cockatiels to macaws, all of my cages are A&E. They hold up to the strength of a hyacinth as well as the “Houdini” tendencies of a cockatoo! Shop A&E with confidence.
Many of you already know of my Yellow Nape Amazon, Jose. Jose was named by my son many years ago. Jose was a well known baseball player at the time, Jose Conseco. Well, Jose turned out to be a girl.
Jose was an import back before the laws were changed. So, the exact age of her will always remain unknown. However, I have had Jose for approximately 25 years and so she is considered a senior parrot. Jose has generally been a good eater, accepting a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, her affinity to pellets has been somewhat of a challenge. Until now!
Lafeber recently came out with a new product called, Senior Bird Nutri-Berries. They are not seed based, as are the original Nutri-Berries. Instead, they are 61% pellets, 26% grains, and 13% fruits and herbs – herbs such as milk thistle for anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects and dandelion for bone health and liver function. Ginger is also part of this food, another powerful anti-inflammatory herb to help ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, glucosamine has been added to fight osteoarthritis and chondroitin for joint pain and swelling.
The moment I offered Jose these round nutritious nuggets, she immediately went over and began to eat. She absolutely loves them. I give her half of the Senior Nutri-Berries along with half of our Bird Paradise Build-a-Blend as her dry diet. In addition, she also gets a generous amount of fresh produce each day, including broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, squash, green beans, kiwi, mango, papaya, etc.