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            Basic Care for your Pet Bird

            Biological Facts

            • Budgies may live 10-12 years or more
            • Cockatiels may live 15-20 years or more
            • Larger parrots may live 25-50 years or more
            • Cockatiels weight averages 75-125 gm; Budgies average 30 gm; cockatoos average 300-1000 gm; other large parrots average 300-600 gm with macaws getting up to 1500 gm


            • Parent-raised (until weaned) birds are better adjusted those raised entirely by humans
            • Human handling during this time results in more tame adult birds
            • Tamed birds readily adapt to new surroundings and activities – expose early to daily activities in your household as well as to other pets
            • Birds are intelligent, curious, and are easily amused with simple toys and love to explore their surroundings
            • Birds need environmental enrichment to reduce the chance of feather picking
            • Birds with unrestricted access in the home will encounter numerous dangers and should be housed in a “bird friendly” safe room.


            • Birds need fresh, specifically formulated diets, such as Harrison’s or Zupreem diets
            • Treats should be limited to only 5% of the diet; dark green vegetables and fruits can be 10-30% of diet
            • Clean, fresh water should be provided daily


            • Enclosures should be as large as possible, with the bird able to fully extend it’s wings and flap without touching the sides of the enclosure
            • Enclosure should be clean, secure, safe and constructed of durable, non-toxic materials, with varied perches such as Polly’s Pet Perches
            • Avoid placing perches directly over food or water to prevent contamination
            • Access to natural light is preferred, but avoid drafty areas.
            • Birds outside of cages need constant supervision to avoid access to other pets, small children, and any household toxins.

            Preventive Care

            • Bi-annual physical examinations
            • Fecal examinations
            • Blood work annually for adults
            • Wing trimming every 3-6 mths, as needed

            Common Disorders of Chicks:

            • Crop disorders/ burns
            • Trauma
            • Foreign body aspiration
            • Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections
            • Candida yeast infection
            • Hypothermia

            Common Disorders of Adults:

            • Behavior – feather picking, screaming, aggression and biting
            • Respiratory diseases
            • Fungal, viral , and bacterial infections
            • Obesity
            • Parasites
            • Reproductive disorders, such as egg binding and cloacal prolapse
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