Many people often consider acquiring a pet bird, sometimes this is a good relationship, but other times it ends in disaster, either for the bird, or the owner. Let us consider some points in regards to owning a bird.
Many Species of Pet Bird are Noisy
Many birds are noisy, they wake early as the sun rises, and tent to chirp, squawk, sing, or yell, from the time the sun shines to the time it gets dark. Some birds are quite loud, such birds are parrots, and outside birds such as Roosters or Guinea Fowl – the noise with some birds can be a problem with neighbors even if it isn’t an issue for you.
Birds are Messy
Birds, particularly those who eat seeds, can be messy as they toss the hulls of the seeds from their cage. No matter how many “seed guards” one uses there will always be mess. Additionally loose feathers and dander can become a problem.
Not all Birds Eat Seeds
You need to be aware that not all pet birds eat seeds, some eat nectar and this may provide problems on its own. This is one reason it is very important that new bird owners learn about the type of bird they are interested in getting, so they feed it correctly. Chickens can eat insects and weeds, but also need proper food, as well there are some people foods you can feed to chickens.
Space – Cruelty
Space is often something few owners think about, and here we see harm to the bird as a result. Even the smallest bird should have a cage that is big enough to allow flight space, but the problem is that most cages are vertical, designed to fit our homes, not the needs of the bird. When we do not provide enough space for our pet, it suffers, either mentally, or physically. In this case we see birds suffer from stress as well their wing muscles often atrophy.
Sure you might think “Who cares.. it’s in a cage, pet birds do not need to fly”, but it is a bird and flight is a major part of being a bird. Even chickens fly a bit! If you intend to deprive your bird of flight, why not get a different type of pet altogether?
To this end some of the better bird owners have aviaries, flight rooms, for their pet birds. In terms of outside pet birds, they may be contained at night in their aviairy or coop, but allowed to free range in the day once familiar with their home.
photo source - you can see that the cage below the bird is clearly too small for it to be truly happy in.
Speaking of Flight
Birds who are caged in small cages need time out of the cage. People who own larger birds, such as parrots, often allow the birds time out of the cage, typically all day, and cage it again at night for safety.
Some owners deprive their bird by cutting it wings, as mentioned above, why get a pet that is meant to fly then take away this ability?
Not all Pet Birds are Friendly
Certainly you may know that some species are not the types you carry around on your shoulder, but you need to be aware that even when you are looking into the types of birds you may “think” of as friendly, this is only when they are hand raised, or raised with plenty of human contact. This is one of the reasons it may be best to buy from a breeder rather than pet store.
Not all birds bite, but novice bird owners often make the mistake of training their birds to bite. They do this when their bird uses its beak to test their hand to see if they will pull back, but if the owner does panic and pull back, the result is a bird that bites harder each time just to see the reaction. There are ways to train a bird to stop biting.
If a person has spent a lot of money on their pet they want to be sure they can afford, and have, good veterinary care. Not all vets are familiar with birds, or willing to treat them. Anyone serious about keeping birds should be sure they have a bird veterinarian near by.
Birds are Social Animals
It may come as a surprise to many, but birds are not a pet that you can keep at home when you go to work for many hours in a day. Most species of bird are not happy if alone for long, some of the smaller birds do well with another bird companion, but many of the larger birds, such as parrots who thrive on human attention and activity. As such parrots (or single birds) are best in homes where somebody is home most of the day, as with people who work out of their home, or are stay at home parents.
Some Thoughts on Outdoor Birds
There are many species of bird that can be kept as outdoor pets, depending on where one lives. Such birds are chickens, pigeons, doves, ornamental pheasants, ducks, guinea fowl, and so forth. One advantage of keeping such birds is that they will eat insects in your yard, even fleas and ticks. Laws may prevent some of these birds in urban yards, but otherwise they are well worth considering, depending on the climate.
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