Regardless of birds being one of the vital widespread pets, the final inhabitants doesn’t know a lot about correct avian husbandry. Caring for birds is way completely different from caring for different domesticated animals, so all potential chook homeowners should take the time to teach themselves properly earlier than signing the adoption papers. Failure to take action can result in extreme sickness and even untimely loss of life.
For those who’re contemplating adopting a chook for the primary time, you’ve come to the suitable place. Learn on for 12 suggestions and methods first-time chook homeowners have to know earlier than bringing their new pet residence.
The 12 Tricks to Take Care of a Pet Chook
1. Get the Proper Cage
Guarantee that the cage is a house and never a jail. Protecting a correct surroundings on your new chook is important, as it should doubtless spend a good period of time in its cage. The cage have to be appropriately sized on your chook’s species and the variety of birds you’re preserving. Usually talking, the bigger the cage you may afford and match into your own home, the higher.
A great rule of thumb is that the cage’s width ought to be, at minimal, twice your chook’s wingspan. After all, the extra birds you retain, the bigger the cage must be. An aviary could be far more applicable for those who plan on proudly owning many birds at a time.
You need to additionally take a look at the cage’s bars and the way they’re spaced. They shouldn’t be too far aside that your chook’s head might get caught between them or too shut that its talons can get caught on them.
Spherical cages are usually frowned upon within the chook neighborhood as they don’t present corners the place your chook can retreat to really feel secure. Circle cages can even current sure security hazards, so select an oblong choice to be secure.
2. Put the Cage within the Proper Room
Your chook’s cage have to be stored in a heat, comfy room with frequent visitors. Birds are social creatures, so that they shouldn’t be remoted in a room separate from all of the motion. That stated, your chook’s character can play an element within the room you select to accommodate them in. For instance, a social chook who loves being the focal point will want an area that people frequent, whereas one with a nervous character may want someplace quieter with much less visitors.
Don’t put the cage too near a window, as outdoors components like canine, storms, and different birds can spook them. Being too near a window can even trigger temperature shifts, making your pet uncomfortable. The perfect place for the cage is in a nook, so your chook may have two partitions and never really feel it at all times needs to be on a 360-degree lookout for predators.
We don’t advocate placing your cage within the kitchen or lavatory as temperature shifts and chemical compounds can hurt birds.
3. Discover an Avian Vet
Birds are unique animals that not each veterinarian is certified to deal with. Guarantee you could have an avian vet in your space earlier than adopting a chook. You also needs to have your new pet examined earlier than bringing it residence, particularly in case you have different pets. The very last thing you wish to do is carry a pet with a contagious situation into your own home. Talk about along with your vet about correct quarantine procedures earlier than welcoming your chook in your family.
You also needs to know that veterinary look after unique pets tends to be pricier than different widespread pets like cats or canine.
4. Educate Your self on Avian Diet
A balanced weight-reduction plan is as essential for birds as every other residing creature. Domesticated birds, identical to their wild counterparts, can’t thrive on a seed weight-reduction plan solely. When you may supply your yard birds seed in your chook feeders, it’s not the one factor they’ll eat. A seed-only weight-reduction plan may be detrimental to a chook’s well being because it doesn’t present all of the vitamins your pet might want to thrive. You’ll be able to sometimes supply seeds as a deal with, nevertheless it’s greatest that your chook will get most of its vitamins from a high-quality pelleted weight-reduction plan.
Along with pellets, you’ll have to complement your chook’s weight-reduction plan with recent fruit and greens which can be applicable and secure for its species.
Please be aware that sure meals may be poisonous for birds. Meals you need to by no means feed your feathered pal embrace:
You may additionally contemplate investing in a cuttlebone on your chook’s cage. Cuttlebones are the inside shell of a cuttlefish that acts as an essential dietary complement for birds because it offers an awesome supply of minerals and calcium. Cuttlebone may be hung in your chook’s cage and act as a toy and pure beak trimmer.
5. Let It Fly
Giving your chook time outdoors its cage is important in preserving it joyful and wholesome. They aren’t designed to be cooped up in cages all day, so attempt to let it out as a lot as potential. For those who can, convert a room in your house right into a bird-safe house so your pet can fly to its coronary heart’s content material.
We advocate at all times supervising your chook when it’s outdoors of its cage. Nonetheless, for those who don’t have the free time to look at your pet consistently, you may contemplate investing in a flight cage to present it loads of house to roam whereas staying secure inside its enclosure.
6. Purchase a Number of Toys
Like different domesticated animals, birds want toys of their surroundings for psychological and bodily stimulation. The kind of toys you purchase will rely in your chook’s species, however there are a number of sorts you need to contemplate.
Foraging toys require your chook to unravel an issue: the right way to get the deal with you’ve hidden within the toy. This may embrace puzzles like untying knots or opening compartments.
Chewable toys are product of bird-safe supplies and are designed to be destroyed. These toys are enjoyable on your pet and provides them a way of accomplishment and a job properly executed as soon as the toy is ruined.
Train toys are precisely what they sound like—toys designed to stimulate train for various elements of your chook’s physique. This may embrace issues reminiscent of swings and bungees.
Foot toys are small toys your chook can maintain with its ft. That is nice for selling good foot dexterity.
The extra toys you could have, the higher, however don’t put all of them within the cage on the identical time. Your chook will develop bored of its toys after a number of days, so change them out weekly.
7. Get a Number of Perches
When your chook isn’t flying, it’s standing. That’s why having quite a lot of perches in your pet’s cage is essential, as it should virtually at all times be utilizing one. Birds use perches for standing, sleeping, climbing, cleansing, and chewing. Be certain that they’ve a very good grip.
Perches are available in varied supplies (e.g., wooden, rope, ceramic, cement, and many others.) and sizes, so put money into a number of completely different varieties to present your chook’s ft a very good exercise. Birds can develop sores on their ft if the perches are all the identical in diameter, as they at all times put stress on the identical space.
8. Spend Time Collectively
Being a social animal, companionship is important to most chook species’ well-being, so setting apart time every day to spend along with your pet is essential. Many birds will roost, fly, and forage collectively in flocks within the wild. Whereas your domesticated chook could not have a feathered flock to name its personal, it seems at you as a part of its flock, so it’ll wish to be a part of the actions you’re doing round the home. Many crave socialization and grow to be lonely and unhealthy if left to their very own units all day. The extra you may deal with the chook, the extra doubtless it should bond extra deeply with you.
As well as, birds are extremely smart creatures, and plenty of may be educated for obedience. Coaching is a improbable, productive method to bond along with your pet. It doesn’t come with out persistence and arduous work, nevertheless it’ll profit you and your pet to have some coaching below its belt.
Some chook species, like cockatiels and parrots, can mimic speech and the sounds they hear. So the extra you speak along with your pet, the extra doubtless it’ll be to study phrases and phrases.
9. Present Tub Water
Birds can deal with their very own grooming wants, however they want you to supply them with a spot to wash themselves. If the water dish within the cage is sufficiently big, your pet in all probability gained’t suppose twice about leaping into the dish for a very good bathtub. If the dish isn’t sufficiently big, you may carry your pet to the sink to see if it wish to bathe there.
Some birds love being within the bathe with their homeowners. We advocate a very good bathe perch if so on your pet. They keep on with the partitions of your bathe with suction cups and provides your pet a secure place to perch whereas it enjoys its bathtub.
10. Chook-Proof Your House
Whereas cats and canine usually have free reign of their houses, the identical can’t be stated for birds. Many family hazards might severely injure and even kill your avian pets, so it’s essential to bird-proof your house earlier than bringing one residence.
Contemplate the next when letting your chook out to free fly:
One other essential facet of chook proofing consists of eradicating objects in your house that might be hazardous.
Birds have very delicate respiratory programs, so any scented merchandise, like candles, wax melts, air fresheners, and perfumes, shouldn’t be used. This additionally consists of cigarette smoke and family cleaners.
11. Change Your Pots and Pans
Non-stick merchandise in your house containing Teflon or different PFAS chemical compounds can kill your chook.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is widespread in lots of family objects however is usually used as a non-stick coating on cookware. Teflon is probably the most simply recognizable model title of the PTFE coatings. Different objects in your house which will include PTFE embrace waffle irons, air fryers, clothes irons, hair straighteners, ironing board covers, and many others. When the coating is heated to over 530℉, it should launch poisonous particles and gases that may grow to be poisonous when inhaled. The gases are odorless and colorless, so you would unintentionally launch them and never even realize it.
Most cases of PTFE poisoning in birds happen when a pan has been overheated or burned, although instances have been reported when PTFE-containing objects have been heated to really useful temperatures.
It’s higher to err on the aspect of warning and donate your Teflon-containing pans. As an alternative, search for ones that explicitly state that they’re PTFE, PFOA, and PFOS-free. The perfect bird-safe cookware is made with forged iron, ceramic, or chrome steel.
12. Clear the Cage Every day
Cleansing the cage every day is a actuality for each chook proprietor. A clear cage reduces the chance of micro organism, fungi, or viral infections and is important for sustaining good chook well being.
Change the cage liner/bedding daily. It will maintain issues bacteria-free and permit you a better method to monitor your chook’s well being. You’ll be able to inform so much a couple of chook by its feces, so preserving tabs in your pet’s poop is essential.
Clear the cage utilizing non-toxic cleansing provides, reminiscent of white distilled vinegar and scorching water. You too can use steam to scrub play gyms or porous perches.
Take away uneaten meals an hour or two after placing it within the cage to forestall bacterial development. In line with the USDA, micro organism can begin doubling in numbers in as few as 20 minutes.
With their specialised stage of care, adopting your first chook can really feel extraordinarily overwhelming. However when you get the cling of issues, you’ll have a buddy that might be with you for a few years. Take time doing all of your analysis to seek out the proper species on your way of life and familiarize your self with that chook’s care wants properly earlier than signing the adoption papers.
Featured Picture Credit score: Dusan Stevic, Shutterstock