Finding a Reputable Bird Breeder

October 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

You are looking to add a new baby bird to your family. You have chosen the best species for your family. You pick up the newspaper and find an ad for someone who breeds this species. But their advertisement seems a little suspicious. Still, you give them a call. But, once you talk to the breeder, you become even more concerned. They refuse to send photos, and they want you to send them a check before they give you the bird. This article will help you avoid this situation & help you find a reputable breeder you can trust.

First off- check this person’s website. Normally, but not always, a reputable breeder will have a website with contact information, prices, and photos of the babies and their parents. It’s also good if they give a little information about themselves and their birds. If a breeder is committed enough to put up an informative website with photos, they are likely experienced, well-informed breeders. If you find advertisements for breeders with only emails and no websites, it may mean that they are inexperienced or un-reputable breeders.

Try to find reviews for this breeder. Can you find any bird owners that have purchased birds from this breeder? Ask them some questions. Are their birds healthy, active, socialized, friendly birds? When they bought the bird, was it hand-tamed, or did they have to work with the bird for a while? Did the bird have any health problems when they purchased it? Does it have health problems now? Did they get to meet the parents of their bird? You may not always be able to find customers of the breeder, but if you do, be sure to get some information from them.

Ask your breeder what the name of their avian vet is. If they cannot seem to give you the name of the vet or the veterinary practice that they work at, this is a bad sign. Ask the breeder for the veterinary records of your potential new baby. If they are unable to provide them, you may want to consider getting a bird from another breeder. If they are able to give you the name of the veterinarian, ask the vet some questions. Make sure that your bird’s parents are healthy and in good condition.

Although this may not always be the case, if the breeder refuses to let you into their home or breeding facility, it is a reason to be suspicious. How do you know that the birds are kept in sanitary conditions? If the breeder wants you to meet him/her in a parking lot, at a store or gas station, or at any location other than where he keeps the bird, it is a little unusual, and you should be cautious. If the person has no website, doesn’t appear to have a vet, his/her reviews are negative, and asks you to meet them at an unusual location, you should probably go to another breeder. The person may have a ‘bird mill’ where his/her birds are kept in unsanitary conditions, are kept in tiny cages, and are not provided fresh food and clean water.

And remember- if you cannot find a reputable breeder in your area (which is highly unlikely), check out a shelter or parrot rescue. You may find that your best friend doesn’t have to come from a breeder after all.

Article submitted by: Eliza Kuklinski

Monitoring Your Bird’s Body Condition

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Even though our pet birds are domesticated, there are still some natural characteristics that remain in them, such as the instinct to hide weight loss. In the wild birds are able to mask illness and weight loss as their lives depend on it. It is a survival feature that allows them not to look like the most vulnerable bird, thus protecting themselves from predators. Even in captivity birds can still do the same, and monitoring their weight will allow bird owners to establish if their bird is hiding illness or is in good body condition.

Body condition refers to the weight of your pet bird. If a bird is too thin, it could show signs of illness. If a bird is overweight, owners will be able to monitor their feeding habits to assist them in losing weight. It is vital for the bird owner to monitor the bird’s weight, as obesity can also lead to a number of health problems. The most effective and convenient way to monitor a bird’s weight is to buy a bird scale or any scale that is able to measure weight in grams. It is usually recommended that birds be weighed once a week when they are adults, and daily in younger birds, enabling owners to monitor their weight closely. When weighing a bird, owners should take into account whether the bird has been given a treat and depending if weighing times vary, the weight could vary too.

Another method of ensuring that a pet bird is in top body condition is to feel its keel bone. The keel bone is stands out from the chest bone and runs down the front of the bird, from the chest wall, at right angles. By gently moving one’s fingers across the keel bone, moving from top to bottom, the body condition can also be assessed. There are muscles attached to the keel bone, so in healthy birds, the edge of the keel bone should be able to be felt, while in obese birds, the keel bone will be harder to feel. In sickly birds, suffering from weight loss, the feel bone will be sharp and extremely prominent. Monitoring the body condition of a bird is vital to the overall health and welfare of domestic birds, and by assessing their weight and keeping notes on their weight variances, owners will be able to ensure that their birds are always healthy and happy.

Pet Bird Beak Health and Trimming

February 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

The practice of beak trimming is somewhat controversial, and in making up your mind as to whether or not to trim your bird’s beak, it may be helpful to look at why a bird’s beak may need to be trimmed. The beak of a bird is made up of the jaw bone, which is covered by a sheath of keratin known as rhamphotheca. Keratin is the substance that our fingernails are made up of, and just as our fingernails continue to grow, a bird’s beak continues to grow throughout its lifetime. In the wild, this growth is worn down through the bird foraging for food, eating a hard diet, using its beak to climb, grooming activities and rubbing its beak on abrasive surfaces.

To ensure a healthy beak, provide your pet bird with a range of toys to chew, preferably something with different textures, such as a rope with pieces of wood, mineral blocks, pieces of leather and tough fabric attached to it. Most pet stores have these types of toys for sale, or you could make your own. Providing a cuttlefish is always a good idea. While some may advocate the use of sandpaper perch covers, others are against them as they may be too rough for the bird’s feet and cause problems. Rather see if you can find a cement perch, which is made specifically to ensure beak and nail health. Be sure to house your bird in a sturdy cage appropriate to its size, as biting through flimsy bars of a cage can cause damage to your bird’s beak. However, despite taking all these measures, at times a bird may develop problems with its beak overgrowing, and when this happens, it is imperative to go to an avian vet for an assessment and treatment, as there are some medical problems which can cause beak overgrowth.

Bearing in mind that the beak is used for climbing and playing, as well as for eating and obtaining nutrients for overall health, if a bird is developing beak problems, the quicker it is dealt with, the better. It is a good idea to check your bird’s beak on a daily basis, taking note of any cracks, discoloration, flaking or overgrowth. If your bird’s beak appears to be growing unevenly it could be an indication of an imbalance of nutrients in its diet, or even an underlying problem such as a liver disease. Even if the overgrowth has no medical cause, trimming a bird’s beak is best left to an expert to ensure a minimum of discomfort to your bird.

Should you be concerned about any aspect of your pet bird’s health, including beak overgrowth and abnormalities, nothing can substitute for the care and advice provided by a qualified avian veterinarian.

Mustached Parakeets

April 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

When looking at the Mustached Parakeet, it is evident that belonging to the same family does not mean that you share the same characteristics. The Mustached Parakeet is related to the Ringneck Parakeet, and is often referred to as a Java Mustached Parakeet. These colorful little parrots make wonderful pets and their laid back attitude assist them in being great companions. Just as any other captive birds, Mustached Parakeets have certain dietary needs to ensure their health and welfare.

This fascinating bird has coined its name from the mustache-like markings that is found on its face and once the birds have reached maturity, the males’ beaks are orange in color, while the females are recognized by their black beaks. Growing to approximately thirty three centimeters and weighing on average a hundred and thirty grams, the Mustached Parakeet is a small parrot. They have predominantly green plumage, lighter coloring on their heads with a blue tinge and indentifying salmon to pink colored plumage on their chests.

Being extremely intelligent means that the Mustached Parakeet can get bored very easily, and therefore needs an assortment of chew toys and toys that can stimulate their thought process. Spacious cages are also recommended. When compared to the Ringneck Parakeet, the Mustached Parakeet is much calmer and can speak clearer than its counterpart. They are playful and social birds, but can test their boundaries if they have not been disciplined correctly. In the wild, these birds travel in flocks and can get very lonely if they are without a companion and do not get sufficient attention from their owners. In their natural habitat, these birds will feed on a variety of foods which include seeds, fruit and berries, and it is therefore recommended that owners seek advice from their veterinarian to ensure that the correct diet is followed.

Mustached Parakeets are very popular pets but many owners do not research their choice of pet or species and can be surprised by their natural call, which is quite vocal. Before any pet owner decides to purchase a parrot or any captive bird is it essential that they know what their care involves and how to ensure the health and welfare of these magnificent birds.

Bird Care

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Caring for your pet bird is not difficult once you know the basics. The first step in bird care is understanding your bird’s behavior as this can give you insight into your bird’s health and mood. It is most vital to ensure your bird receives the correct nutrition as this can affect both his/her physical and mental health. Part of bird care is grooming, which includes bathing, clipping of wings, cutting of nails and trimming the beak.

Birds are very active creatures and therefore it is important to take the safety of their environment into careful consideration. You should keep first-aid supplies as well as your Veterinarian’s telephone number on hand in case your bird injures itself. A well cared for bird will be a happy bird.

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