do birds like to cuddle

Are you planning on getting a pet bird? If so you are probably wondering if they like being pet and being in a cage, but the truth is, it depends on the type of bird you get and the bond you have with them. In this blog, our Westfield vets explain how you can pet a bird, and answer common questions asked by bird owners.

Are Birds Happy in Cages?

Even though they value having a cage with enough food, water, toys, and a perch, birds don’t always enjoy being housed in cages. For your bird’s mental and physical development, you should be giving them enough time outside of their cage—at least a few hours each day.

Your bird will flourish even more when it is not in its cage if you are consistent about when and how long you let it outside.

Allowing your bird to spend prolonged amounts of time outside of its cage encourages exploration and helps it become acclimated to its new environment. Your bird may grow fearful if you don’t give them enough time outside of their cage or if you split up their free time into small periods.

Additionally, you must ensure that your birds receive the physical, mental, and social attention they require during the portion of their time spent with you outside of their cage. But, you are not required to stay with your bird the entire time that it is free to roam.

Make sure the area you are letting your bird out in is secure and birdproof before releasing them from their cage. Here’s how to make a room in your house bird proof:

  • Make sure the room you let them out in is one that they cannot escape.
  • When you let them go, make sure all of the windows and doors are shut.
  • Make sure all sharp objects and points are covered
  • Close all cabinets or cupboards they can get stuck in
  • Any curtains or blinds that could tangle your bird should be secured or removed.
  • Remove any toxic or poisonous plants they could ingest
  • Toys like swings, ladders, mirrors, and perches should be provided so they can play outside of the cage.
  • Keep all chemicals and cleaning supplies out of sight and reach.

Note: The advice in this post is not meant to be medical advice for pets; rather, it is meant to be informative. Please schedule a visit with your veterinarian so that they can accurately diagnose the condition of your pet.

It would be lovely to occasionally scratch little Ché and Este’s heads, but it is primarily for their benefit that I don’t do this. If you’re wondering if this is difficult for me, the answer is yes.

In theory, protective oils on the feathers that may be removed or disturbed by stroking them will be replaced during the next preen because parrots regularly preen to maintain the health of their feathers. But it’s best to exercise common sense and refrain from petting them for extended periods of time. Additionally, and this may seem like a no-brainer, make sure your hands are clean as well. You wouldn’t want to get anything on your bird’s exquisite feathers, including your lovely perfumed hand cream!

ESPECIALLY during breeding season, petting anywhere other than the top of your bird’s head may inadvertently trigger an ‘over-friendly’ and inappropriate reaction. All kinds of behavioural challenges can come about as a result of your bird thinking you’re a potential mate, and then being ‘turned down’ by you in that way. Put simply, if they appear to like it *a bit too much* then stop and definitely don’t try to pet your bird if they’re already in an excited mood! The below is from Jamie’s post on Spotting Inappropriate Parrot Body Language.

Parrots prefer things on their terms, as is common knowledge, so you should only cuddle or stroke them when you’re both content. In order to make sure your bird will accept your touch, pay close attention to their body language. If you try to stroke or cuddle them when they’re not in the mood, they may become agitated or even violent.

Although raptors, also known as “Birds of Prey,” are not exactly “cuddly,” you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that very few people would try to pet a bird like a falcon or hawk because you would probably end up hurt! Still, some “stroking” can be beneficial when handling a bird of prey.

Do Birds Love Their Owners?

Some birds have strong emotional bonds with humans, but not all of them do, and they can make devoted and loving pets. Although the scientific proof of birds’ ability to love remains unproven, bird watchers can discern a bird’s affections based on its behavior and personality.

If raised away from their flocks, some birds will develop attachments to humans over other birds. Furthermore, these attachments aren’t based on transactions for their benefit, like knowing when dinner is ready. These are actual bonds between a bird and their human.

FAQ

What bird is most cuddly?

Hyacinth Macaws Not everyone has the space to care for these gentle giants, but those who do can be rewarded with an enduring and deep friendship with these incredibly social and cuddly birds. Hyacinth macaws love to be handled by their owners and want nothing more than your affection.

How do birds show affection?

This type of behavior isn’t just seen in wild birds—ask any pet bird owner, and most will say they’ve enjoyed signs of affection from their avian friend. Parrots, budgies, and other birds often give cuddles and kisses—and sometimes regurgitate their food for you! —as a sign of their love.

Should you let your bird sleep with you?

And never let your bird sleep with you. There have been countless tragedies where a bird gets crushed or smothered by the owner during the night. You can have perches at various heights in the cage.