If you are a first-time parrot owner, you have a lot to learn about the avian species you have taken responsibility for. Being a responsible bird owner means not overlooking all aspects of avian care. Here are four factors you shouldn't dismiss, including some you might not have realized.
1. The Need for Daily Social Interaction
If you want to establish a bond with your new feathered friend, you cannot expect to keep him or her in a cage most of the day. Assuming you have acquired a tame parrot that is accustomed to being handled, you should continue physical contact and interaction on a daily basis.
Many birds enjoy being close to their humans. Set aside some quality time for daily interaction. You might want to perch your parrot on your shoulder for a period of time just to be near you, or scratch your parrot's head gently. Doing either one of these actions will help you form a tighter bond and have an enjoyable experience.
2. The Value of Mental Stimulation
Parrots are intelligent creatures. Parrots needs to be stimulated with activity, entertainment, and challenges or they could become bored. Boredom in a domestic bird could lead to destructive issues such as feather plucking or screaming. Avoid these bad behaviors by providing activities and bird-safe toys for your pet.
In the wild, parrots naturally enjoy foraging for their food. Consider offering your pet some foraging toys to satisfy this need. Some foraging options include chewable toys with hidden treats to discover. Be sure any toy you offer your pet is bird-safe, and rotate these offerings on a regular basis.
Another way to keep your parrot occupied and entertained is by providing plenty of time outside of the cage. Invest in a parrot play gym with climbing branches and perches. Many of these stands are equipped with hooks for attaching toys or ladders.
3. The Importance of Clean Air and Environment
As a first-time parrot owner, you might not be aware that birds have delicate respiratory systems. While you may been accustomed to using scented candles, air fresheners, or room deodorizers in you household, doing so around birds is an unsafe practice. Fumes from chemicals and cleaners may cause your parrot distress or cause illness. Play it safe and clean with vinegar or mild dish detergent.
On the same note, use extreme caution with non-stick cookware or appliances that contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). You'll find this coating in Teflon products. When overheated, PTFE produces fumes that may cause serious illness or death to parrots, so be aware of this hazard.
4. The Requirement of a Varied Diet
Those who have never owned a parrot may be surprised to learn that an avian diet should include more than bird seed. Seeds are deficient in many of the nutrients parrots need to maintain their good health. In the wild, birds will eat fruit and vegetation, as well as nuts and seeds.
To keep your parrot in optimal health, provide fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to nuts and seeds. Protein is important as well, so you may offer your bird some hard boiled or scrambled eggs once or twice a week. You should also ditch the seed diet and opt for a fortified parrot pelleted diet instead. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
In addition to the above mentioned tips, remember one essential aspect of parrot care that should not be overlooked. Have your feathered friend examined by a veterinarian who treats exotic pets. Establish a good working relationship with your vet and keep an emergency phone number handy. Contact us at Riverview Veterinary Hospital today for more information.