Give Your Bird All It Needs
Birds make great companions, and some can even chat with you, so let’s make sure that if you are bringing one home for the first time, you have all their needs covered. Birds need quite a lot of equipment and they love toys, so you should always make sure what you are buying is non-toxic, uses safe dyes, and doesn’t pose a choking hazard.
The size of this will depend on what species of bird you get. As a minimum, the cage needs to be big enough for the bird to spread and flap its wings, although the more space you can provide the better. Different birds also have different needs.
For example, parrots like to climb, so a vertical cage is good for them. The spaces between the bars also need to be species-safe so your pet’s head or foot cannot get trapped.
It’s also important to give your bird plenty of time outside their cage to fly and exercise. This not only relieves boredom but keeps them fit and healthy. Ensure their free time is done in a safe environment, and they cannot escape through any open doors or windows.
While some birds prefer to sleep in an uncovered cage, others prefer the security of a cover that mimics a nesting environment. Birds will sleep for around 12 hours each night, and they can easily be disturbed by light or noise. The cover offers an extra level of protection.
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This is a good place to keep your bird safe while you are cleaning its main cage. You will also need it if you have to take your bird anywhere, such as veterinary visits.
Perches and Ladders
Birds like to move around so providing them with a range of perches will make them more comfortable. Natural materials are best, so stick to wood and rope rather than plastic, and ensure they are wide enough for your bird to hold onto without their toes overlapping. A branch perch, rope perch, a swing, and a ladder are the minimum you should provide.
If you can add more, as long as there is space, they will have more fun.
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For a general all-purpose cleaner for the cage and toys, it’s best to go natural and stick with a half water, half white vinegar solution. Food and water containers are fine to be cleaned with mild dish soap, and should be cleaned daily as they can easily be fouled. If your bird has made a mess of fabrics or furniture in your home, you can use a simple enzyme cleaner.
Food and Water Dishes
There are two types of bowls you can use. Hoppers, which fit through the bars of a cage, are safer for smaller birds as they prevent the risk of drowning. Ceramic bowls can also be used for birds that enjoy dipping their head in the water. Use brackets on the inside of the cage to keep the bowl off the floor and to try to keep the mess to a minimum.
Birds must have an ample supply of water at all times, so in warm weather when evaporation is high you might want to include a couple of hoppers and a bowl so they never run dry.
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Your bird will need a regular bath, and depending on the species, you will need a bowl or basin which can accommodate it. It’s best to do this in the bathroom to keep the mess to a minimum.
If you have a hook-billed bird, chew toys will be important. Birds also love to destroy wood and paper so keep their cage stocked up with these materials, but again, always keep safety in mind.
If your species of bird lives in foliage you will also want to provide them with places to hide so they can relax.
We have all seen budgies ringing bells and looking at themselves in the mirror; this is an important element of their behavior. Preening toys are there to be pecked and groomed at, just as they would another bird. Some birds even enjoy a warm toy to snuggle up against, and as long as the materials are safe for them, they will even chew it up.