Nutrition

February 9, 2009 by  
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Bird nutrition is vital for your pet bird to remain happy and healthy. A balanced diet will ensure that your bird will live a long healthy life and be able to cope with mental and physical stress. An unbalanced diet will lead to poor health, and perhaps even death.

Of importance is the fact that seed alone will not provide sufficient nutrition for seed-eating birds, even if a variety of seed is offered. To supply your bird with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, include pellets, fruit and vegetables as part of its diet. Formulated diets consist of seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits and proteins. Fresh fruit and vegetables must be washed and remnants left in the cage must be thrown away before it begins to rot.

Non-seed eating birds are fed on a formula which is served either dry or moistened. Formulas which are made into nectar must be changed several times a day. Offer the bird fruit such as: apple, pineapple, figs, pomegranates, grapes and kiwi. Fresh corn on the cob and flowers such as pansies, roses, marigolds and dandelions may also interest them.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are available should such be necessary for the good health of your bird. Buy the product that will specifically meet the nutritional needs of your bird. Vitamin A deficiencies commonly affect birds. You should feed the bird orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables and egg yolk to overcome this nutrient deficiency. Mineral supplements are important for nutrition, especially for breeding birds. Minerals are found in: mineral blocks, cuttlebone, bones/ bone meal, milk and cheese. To provide the necessary protein consider feeding your bird, in moderation: meat, milk, fish and egg.

Certain foods will be detrimental to the health of your bird. Avoid such foods as: those that contain large amounts of fat and sugar, avocado, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and fruit pits.

Also important to remember in caring for your bird’s nutritional needs is water. Fresh water must be given daily or more frequently if your bird fouls up the water.

Correct
avian nutrition is important if you wish to keep your bird in good health, bright and full of life. Thus you can take pleasure in owning and caring for your bird.

A Closer Look at Beak Problems

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Those of us fortunate enough to own one or more feathered friends will understand that it is always a good idea to have at least a basic knowledge of common bird ailments. Forewarned is forearmed, or so they say, and this is especially true when it comes to your bird’s beak. Birds use their beaks for numerous things, so anything could go wrong with it at virtually any time.

There are a surprising number of bird beak problems which occur fairly commonly across the globe. One of the most common is probably that of trauma. Pet birds can easily break or injure their beaks by engaging in activities such as fighting with other birds, chewing on electric cords, flying into windows or fans or trapping their beak between cage bars. They can even hurt them by falling accidentally onto a hard floor. As a result, the beak can be punctured, fractured or partially or completely torn off the face. If anything like this happens to your bird, it would be best to rush it to the vet immediately.

Another thing to look out for is infectious disease. There are a number of viral, parasitic, bacterial and fungal pathogens that can affect the bird’s beak directly or indirectly. Examples of this are psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), avian pox and scaly leg and face mites. None of them are pretty, but many of them are easily treatable with antibiotics and antifungal treatments.

Then there are those bird beak problems that occur at a much slower rate and may not be noticed until they are already quite well-developed. Some baby birds develop beak abnormalities early on, where their upper or lower beaks grow longer than they should. This is not great for the bird but can be fixed with dental appliances which are similar in application to human braces. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause beak problems, with scaly beaks or overgrown beaks being caused by inappropriate nutrition. Sometimes a bird’s beak can become soft or rubbery. It may take a while to notice these things, but once it has been spotted the bird should be put on a more appropriate diet so that it can recover.

One of the more serious bird beak problems to watch out for is that of cancer. Birds can develop squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma on their beaks which can manifest as an erosion or a discolored mass on the beak. If it is caught early enough it can usually be surgically removed. If you notice anything abnormal about your bird’s beak, the best thing to do is usually to contact the vet as soon as possible. Don’t waste time as you may miss a critical window period that could make all the difference.

Clutch Size Research Reveals Interesting New Insight

December 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Anyone with an interest in birds may have spent at least a little time wondering why it is that some bird species lay only one egg while others lay up to ten eggs. The question certainly seems to have been plaguing biologists who have gone out of their way to come up with an answer.

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Share With Your Bird To Improve Your Own Diet

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Depending on how it’s done, sharing your meals with your pet bird can be a great way to bond. More than that, however, it can be the best reason you’ve ever come across to start eating more healthy meals and perhaps even lose weight too.

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The Feather Picking Phenomenon

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

According to veterinary estimates, as many as 50% or more of pet birds taken to the vet engage in some form of over-preening or other feather damaging behavior. The problem is quite commonplace, but it is distressing for bird owners and difficult to get rid of. Moreover, any bird can start to exhibit this problem. So what do we do about it?

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