Category Archives: Parrot and exotic bird care

Advise on the care for your companion pet birds like parrots.


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 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.

A Great Discovery for Older Parrots

Many of you already know of my Yellow Nape Amazon, Jose.Yellow Nape Amazon, Jose picture.  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.

Keep Your Bird Safe in a Multi-pet Household

Birds, dogs, cats, oh my!    One rule to never break is indexalways supervise pet birds when they are out of their cage. When other pets are present, supervision is even more critical.

Birds and Cats – If a cat bites or scratches a bird, it can infect it with Pasteurela bacteria, which can be fatal. A scratch may not even be noticeable underneath feathers.

Birds and Dogs – Whether or not a dog and bird can live peacefully together is a very individual matter. Never assume it will be a match made in heaven. If a dog jumps or barks whenever the bird flaps its wings or makes any kind of movement, this is cause for concern. This situation can cause undo stress for the bird and is a warning that the dog is in predator mode.

Birds and Snakes – Snakes are predatory and many parrot species are instinctually fearful of snakes. Never house a snake in the same room as a bird.

Birds and Fish – A tank with fish can be visually entertaining for birds but, there is the possible danger of the bird falling in the tank and drowning. The tank should be covered at all times. However, it is possible that the noise of the filters and pumps could interfere with your bird’s sleep.

Birds and Small Mammals – Rabbits and guinea pigs are prey animals so there is no need for concern. However, most small mammals are active at night and this could interrupt your bird’s sleep.

However, there is concern for ferrets. They may be small but ferrets are true carnivores and have a natural desire to hunt. Never allow a ferret to be housed in the same space as a bird.

Birds as Aggressor!

Of course there are occasions when you need to protect other pets from your bird. Some birds are territorial around the cage, especially when hormonal. A larger bird like a cockatoo or macaw might climb down and chase another pet. A parrot’s bite is certainly strong enough to inflect injury.

Another concern is if your bird is in the habit of throwing down bits of food. Nuts and raisins can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Rabbits , too, might look for spilled food and develop digestive problems. Also, a vocal parrot can be irritating to the sensitive hearing of other pets.

Bottom line: always supervise your pets and wash your hands especially after handling litter boxes or using flea/tick treatments on your dog/cat fur. If washing handsyou are lax on proper hygiene, you are likely to transfer harmful bacteria or chemicals to your bird.