Making sure your pet bird gets enough exercise
Yes your bird needs exercise and you need to drop the images of cardio and ab crunches that the word conjured up.
Your bird’s lack of exercise can lead to problems with weight, muscle atrophy and poor conditioning.
In the wild birds get a lot of exercise when they go foraging for food and when they fly or avoid predators. Your caged bird depends on you to get the exercise that he so needs to stay in top physical condition.
Some owners decide against clipping their birds’ wings so that they could participate in some flight exercise. You have to weigh the dangers of having a flighted bird before you make this decision.
Birds with clipped wings can be encouraged to fly short distances providing that you offer proper motivation. Treats help as well as placing food on opposite ends of large cages.
A fun exercise that you can get involved in is flapping motions which are good also for birds with clipped wings. Have the bird step onto a narrow, short rod and when he does raise and lower the rod a few inches at a time. Your bird will immediately begin flapping his wings to stay on the rod. You might have to try this a few times to get it right and don’t be stingy with the rewards.
It takes a little investment of your time everyday to ensure that your bird gets exercise to stay happy, healthy and strong.
Pet bird grooming
No doubt your bird looks pretty sharp after grooming but that is not the only reason for grooming your bird.
Birds need their strong beaks, long feathers and long claws in the wild for survival but for a caged bird poor grooming can be a hazard to its health.
Overgrown nails can get caught in perches or in the cage. Birds with unclipped wings are a flight risk or they can injure themselves within the home.
Grooming is important and it should be performed by two people even if it’s a small bird.
You may prefer to take the do it yourself approach while or maybe just drop your bird off at a specialty store and have the bird taken care off.
Some areas that you want to pay attention to in the grooming are the wings, nails and beak.
If you want to limit flight then you’ll need to have the wings clipped. These do grow back quickly so you will have to keep up with the clippings after the first time.
Overgrown nails are a hazard. Clip them where the nails begin to curve and sprinkle liberally with styptic powder if you cut too far in. Grooming perches help to maintain the nails.
Toys, especially wooden toys help to keep the beak groomed. Watch out for overgrown beaks though since they can are indication that something is medically wrong.
It takes a while for a bird to get used to grooming so give him/her a nice reward when you’re done!
Be good to your bird and keep on flapping!