Apex Animal Hospital

Birds

Husbandry requirements for cage birds can be drastically different depending on the species.  Do your homework before purchasing a bird to make sure you can provide their needs.  Some of the more common cage birds we see at Apex include Budgerigars, Cockatiels, parrots of many varieties, lovebirds, and macaws.  These Psittacine species are best housed in large wire based cage.  Extending horizontal space may be more valuable that vertical space as many birds will retreat to the highest point in a tall cage and just sit there.  Use cages with large door openings especially for the large species so they are easy to remove from the cage. Be sure to avoid galvanized wire or toy products that contain zinc as this is a common cause of toxicosis. Room temperatures are usually adequate but be sure to avoid drafty areas near doors or windows.  It is often useful to provide separate night and day cages so that the bird can be in a main room with lots of activity to keep them stimulated during the day and a quiet dark place to sleep.  Maintaining a 12 hour light and dark cycle yearlong using artificial lights and night caging (in rooms without windows) can help broodiness and egg laying that may occur when exposed to increasing day lengths.  Enrich cages with lots of opportunities to destroy things.  Use paper products like toilet paper rolls, cardboard, and newspaper to hide treats to encourage foraging. Rotating toys so that the birds are exposed to new items regularly can keep them from getting bored.  A commercial pellet is highly recommended as greater than 85% of the diet.  Lafeber and Harrisons are two great brands.  Try to encourage eating pelleted diets at a young age as many cage birds can get hooked on seed mixes that are way too high in fat and carbohydrates.  These incomplete diets can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease.

More about birds.