Any month can be a good time to adopt a new friend, as long as you are prepared to take on their care. January is Adopt a Rescued Birth Month - a great time for spreading awareness about homeless pet birds waiting for new homes. It's not only cats and dogs who find themselves needing rescue!
It's true - birds can be challenging pets. Rough economic times, coupled with the demand of caring for exotic pets, means that many birds are, unfortunately, finding themselves in the care of animal shelters and rescues.
Luckily, there is hope for adoption for shelter birds! Do you think you're ready to bring a new feathered friend into your family? Here is a list of things you should consider before taking on a new feathered friend.
- Birds, depending on the species, can live a very long time! Be prepared for a lifelong friend, one that may actually outlive you.
- Birds require vet care just as a dog or cat would. Finding a veterinarian who specializes in birds is important, but not always easy. It's important to find a reliable avian vet, ideally before you adopt your first bird.
- Birds can be noisy. They sing and chirp, but also screech, squawk, and scream. This is something that should be taken into consideration, especially if you live in an apartment.
- Birds need plenty of space. A small cage is not enough - birds in the wild fly far through jungles and across savannas. Be prepared to keep your new pet in a decent sized cage, plus give him plenty of time outside his cage as well.
- Where you place your bird's cage is important. They are sensitive to their environment and should be kept away from drafts and direct sunlight. You'll also want to avoid kitchens - fumes from self-cleaning ovens and Teflon-coated cookware can prove deadly.
- Like any other type of pet, birds can become overweight and unhealthy if they don't get regular exercise. But before allowing your bird free flight time, make sure the room he's in is safe.
- Be prepared to provide your bird with a varied diet. A seed mix you buy at the pet store is not enough. Depending on the species, you can offer grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, and high quality pelleted foods. Birds also eat a lot - so don't keep these things in short supply.
- Birds can be loving pets, and should be interacted with daily. They are social animals, and can become depressed if left alone for too long.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few things to think about if you are considering a bird as a pet. One thing I recommend is to talk to a good avian vet before adopting your first bird, or see if you can find a bird owner who is willing to talk to you about what living with a bird is really like. They can be great pets for the right people, but can also be very demanding, expensive pets.
Comment below - have you ever had a bird as a pet? Would you ever consider adopting one in the future?