There are myriad birds that make good pets. In fact, birds are among the most popular common house pets. But care must be taken in the choosing of birds and in their care. Here are some pointers.
Choosing a Bird
- While small birds, such as parakeets and canaries, require minimal care, large birds, such as parrots, cockatoos, and cockateels, can require a great deal of care and demand a lot of affection. Make sure you know about the requirements of the bird you're considering.
- Avoid buying a canary between July and October, which is the canary's molting season. A sudden environmental change during that period may send it into shock.
- Before buying a parrot, be prepared for a lifetime relationship -- it may live longer than you do. Parrots become extremely attached to their owners.
Caring for Birds
- When holding a pet bird, be very gentle. Bird bones are fragile -- even the slightest pressure on the wrong spot can cause a fracture.
- Never let a pet bird loose in the kitchen. It may land on a hot pan or burner.
- If a pet bird breathes through its open mouth, you know it's sick. Buy a bird antibiotic at the pet store, pulverize it, and add it to your bird's drinking water. If this doesn't help, get it to the veterinarian.