Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pet Care (birds)

Birds are a great pet to have.From finches to canaries. From budgies to cockatiels
A bird is a great companion. The things you will want to consider before purchasing a bird is:
Cost  
When you first get your bird, you’ll need to spend about $75 for a cage. Food runs about $75 a year, plus $30 annually for toys and treats.
Housing
Always buy the largest, most well-constructed cage you can afford. No matter the species, your bird will need a cage that’s large enough for her to stretch her wings and fly short distances. A typical cage for small birds should be about 25 inches tall and 25 inches from front to back. To prevent escape or injury, the bars on the cage should only be .4 inches apart—a little larger than the tips of your fingers. Note that canaries and finches prefer a cage that’s wider than it is taller, while parakeets and cockatiels like tall cages with horizontal bars they can climb. And don’t forget perches, please! You’ll need to install several, at varying heights—and do make sure that one is level with the food dishes.
Line the bottom of the cage with plain paper or paper bags cut to size. Newspaper is fine, as long as it’s been printed with non-toxic, soy-based inks. You’ll need to change the paper daily.
Where should you set up your bird’s new home? Location is everything. Place the cage in a warm, bright part of the house, close to where the action is but away from all drafts and direct sunlight, and off the floor. Avoid setting up the cage in or near the kitchen at all costs. Birds are extremely sensitive to fumes, and those from s elf-cleaning ovens and Teflon-coated cookware, if overheated, can be fatal.
Diet
Although seed has been the traditional staple of a bird’s diet, most experts recommend pelleted food as the way to go.
Be sure to offer fresh veggies and fruits to your bird every day. Dark, leafy greens are packed with vitamins, and many birds also enjoy carrots and broccoli. Common fruity faves are apples, pears, melon and kiwi. Take care to remove any uneaten food after a couple of hours, and please do not give your bird avocado, cherry pits, rhubarb or apple seeds.
Fresh, cold water should be available at all times. Change it at least once a day, preferably twice.

• Toys & Exercise
Always offer toys for your bird and plenty of exercise.Every bird needs to stretch their wings, so put them in a closed off room and let them fly around for a while.
Birds may enjoy ladders, swings and mirrors with bells, and wooden chew toys are great for keeping beaks trimmed.  
General Care
A thorough cleaning of your pet’s cage is required once weekly. Remove and wash the cage tray and perches, and wash the area around the cage. Make sure all toys are clean and damage-free, without loose or broken parts that could hurt your pet.
You can help keep your pet’s plumage looking perfect with a bath as often as he likes it. Put a shallow dish at the bottom of the cage and see what happens. You’ll probably want to schedule bath time just before you plan to change the paper, however.
•Vet Visits
Take your bird to the vet for An annual visit for regular check ups as well as for any Weight loss or gain, which is often an indicator of illness.
Keep your pet healthy and happy!  

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