how to take care of a small bird

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Welcoming a pet bird into your home for the first time is incredibly exciting, but it can also be quite daunting. If you’ve never cared for a bird before, there’s a lot of important stuff you need to know to give your feathered family member the best possible care.

There are also lots of common myths and misconceptions out there about the best way to care for a bird, so it’s essential that you know how to give your bird the best start to life in your home. At the same time, remember that birds come in different breeds, shapes, and sizes, so individual care needs will vary.

But if you’re preparing to become a pet parent to a bird for the first time, keep reading for our bird care 101 guide.

First and foremost, the secret to a happy life for your pet bird is good health. Just like for any type of pet, diet plays a crucial role — so check out the “Feeding” section further down the page for details on the best nutrition for your feathered family member.

Parasite control is a must. Birds can be susceptible to external parasites like lice and mites, as well as internal parasites like worms and giardia. Your vet can advise you on the best parasite prevention methods for your pet, while it’s also important to recognize the signs of a parasite infestation.

Keeping their cage clean is also a must, so head to the “Cleaning” section on this page for tips on maintaining your bird’s home sweet home.

Just like you’d take steps to keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny, you also need to keep your bird’s feathers in tip-top condition. To do this, give them the opportunity to bathe in lukewarm water at least once a day. How often they’ll like to bathe will vary depending on the bird, but bathing a few times a week will ensure healthy feathers and skin.

Pet bird care for beginners: key takeaways

It may seem intimidating to bring home your first pet bird, but don’t let that stop you. Birds can fill your life with so much happiness and make wonderful, loving pets. You’ll be rewarded with a cute companion if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort necessary to provide your feather-baby with a loving home.

Here’s a brief summary of all the fundamentals of bird care that we’ve already discussed:

  • Because pet birds are good at hiding their illnesses, you should closely monitor your bird for any symptoms of illness.
  • Because some diseases can transfer from birds to people, it’s important to keep your pet clean and to wash your hands after handling them.
  • Birds naturally engage in a variety of vocalizations, beak grinding, and preening.
  • It could take some trial and error to find a solution for behavioral problems like feather plucking and biting because there are numerous potential causes for these behaviors.
  • Since most birds are gregarious animals, they need a companion to be happy and healthy. However, introducing a new bird to an existing pet requires careful handling.
  • Your pet will benefit greatly from environmental enrichment, which includes toys, perches, swings, and other items that will stimulate their minds and keep them active.
  • For your bird to fly in a secure environment, it needs time each day spent outside of its cage.
  • Most pet birds need a commercial pelleted diet supplemented with fresh fruit, vegetables, and cuttlefish bones for a balanced diet.
  • It’s crucial to select an appropriate enclosure for your bird; the more room they have, the better.
  • Clean your bird’s cage every day and give it a thorough cleaning once a week to ensure its health.
  • Safe handling is crucial for the wellbeing of your pet and will foster a trustworthy bond between you and your bird.


  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/4/47/House-Lovebirds-Step-1. jpg/v4-460px-House-Lovebirds-Step-1. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/4/47/House-Lovebirds-Step-1. jpg/aid307555-v4-728px-House-Lovebirds-Step-1. Get a sizable cage for the bird to live in.jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 1 Choose the largest cage your housing space can hold because birds do best in large cages. As a general guideline, the cage’s width ought to be at least twice the bird’s wingspan. For certain birds, having a healthy living space inside the cage may depend on their ability to fly short distances. Other generally accepted specifications are as follows: the bars of the cage shouldn’t be too small, as the birds’ talons could become entangled in or on them if the bar wires or lengths are too small. Likewise, the bars shouldn’t be so big that a bird’s head gets stuck or that bird can squeeze through and get away. The bigger the space in the cage, the better. Larger bird cages are more expensive and require more maintenance, but if you don’t have the time to take the bird outside for exercise or aren’t home frequently, the bird needs plenty of room in their cage. Small cages can lead to behavior problems.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/a/a9/Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-5-Version-2. jpg/v4-460px-Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-5-Version-2. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/a/a9/Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-5-Version-2. jpg/aid307555-v4-728px-Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-5-Version-2. Select a rectangular cage for your bird. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 2 Circle cages are bad for the bird. The bird has very little room, and there are no safe havens. Furthermore, the bird will often twist its head in response to the circle, which may lead to behavioral issues. Avoid purchasing doors with guillotine-style hardware because birds can more easily escape from them. Advertisement .
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/e/e7/Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-14. jpg/v4-460px-Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-14. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/e/e7/Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-14. jpg/aid307555-v4-728px-Introduce-Two-Birds-to-Each-Other-Step-14. When housing multiple birds, make sure the space is more than sufficient. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 3 Never house more than one bird in a small cage. The more birds being kept, the larger the cage needs to be because birds require space to flee, forage, retreat, and be apart from other birds. It is more appropriate to keep multiple birds at once in aviaries, which are large cages similar to small sheds. [2] If you are raising different species of birds, you must ensure that the creatures get along with one another.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/2/20/House-Lovebirds-Step-8. jpg/v4-460px-House-Lovebirds-Step-8. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/2/20/House-Lovebirds-Step-8. jpg/aid307555-v4-728px-House-Lovebirds-Step-8. Make sure the cage is placed in a warm and comfortable area. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 4 Cages ought to be kept inside, preferably in a space that sees a lot of movement. Since birds are social creatures, isolating them in a room will make them unhappy. Additionally, keep in mind that you will be cleaning out the cage often, so hang it in a location that is convenient for you. [3] Hanging caged birds are frequently taken outside to hang under porches or other similar structures for daytime access to fresh air. Never forget to let the bird back inside before the crisp night air and evening breezes arrive. The disposition of the bird will also influence where the cage is located. A more timid bird might be better off being kept somewhere calmer and away from the bustle, even though it would still be able to interact with the family. A more gregarious bird might enjoy being the center of attention and witnessing constant human traffic. An area with part of the back of their cage covered or a corner of a room may be more comfortable for anxious birds. Avoid placing a cage in front of a window permanently. The bird may become anxious because it will be constantly alert for “enemies.” Placing a cage up against a wall can help a bird become less concerned about potential predators.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/f/fa/Set-Up-a-Bird-Cage-Step-9. jpg/v4-460px-Set-Up-a-Bird-Cage-Step-9. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/f/fa/Set-Up-a-Bird-Cage-Step-9. jpg/aid307555-v4-728px-Set-Up-a-Bird-Cage-Step-9. Put some old magazine papers on the bottom of the cage. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 5 This makes cleaning up much simpler because you can easily throw away the papers and set fresh ones down for use the following day. Have a supply of paper goods on hand; outdated newspapers and junk mail are also useful. Sand, wood chips, or cat litter can be used to line the bottom of your bird cage if you’d like to use a more conventional method of lining it for waste removal.
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Thank you for reading our article! Check out our extensive interview with Roger J. if you want to learn more about birds. Lederer, PhD.