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Posts Tagged ‘pet bird’

Teaching Your Bird To Behave

Birds with behavioural problems usually have social problems too.  Sometimes  behaviour issues with birds can be brought about by lack of interaction with owners, conflict with other animals or just because of sickness.  It is important to identify the reasons why birds are showing negative behaviour so that you can eliminate the stress from your birds life.

Positive reinforcement is an effective method to train and tame birds. Positive reinforcement focuses on what birds want like food, a scratch, verbal praise, comfort and other similar things.  Negative reinforcement, of course, is the opposite of this and is rarely successful in the long run.

Tips to treat negative bird behaviour:

  • Frown at bad behaviour.  Birds can pick up facial expressions and body movements.  The best method of showing dissatisfaction towards your pet bird is by your body movements.  Maintain eye contact when doing this.
  • Turning your back on your birds or ignoring them also discourages them from bad behaviour as birds are a social creature.
  • Tell your bird what they did was wrong in a low tone.  But be concise and short as possible. Too much negative attention can have negative effects on your pet.
  • Never hit a bird.  Birds have fragile bones, physical force may injure them fatally. Bird abuse is also a cause of aggressive and vicious behaviour.
  • Never compromise your birds health when disciplining them.  Examples would be insufficient food and water supply, neglecting the cage and even bathing them.  This can result into deep emotional and physical injuries.
  • When giving birds food as rewards for their good behaviour, choose a food which they enjoy but rarely eat. Just be cautious of offering treats with too much sugar and fat. Alternative treats could include petting, and scratch them as positive reinforcements.

Severe aggression and viciousness may need to be treated with mood-modifying drugs.  When having problems with your birds you can consult your avian behaviourist or your vet.  However, any treatment will be ineffective if the issues causing the bad behaviour have not been addressed.
If you have notice any unusual or aggressive behaviour with your bird take them to your vet to make sure that medical issues are ruled out, as these can often result mood shifts in a bird too.

Do not be disappointed if your birds are not showing improvements immediately as attitudes don’t change overnight.  Just as when disciplining children, consistency is the key when training your birds.  Birds would understand what you would like to happen when you start being consistent with your method and ways.

Balance is the key to disciplining your pet birds.  Of course you wanted to correct bad behaviour, but it is equally important to reinforce of point out the good behaviour.

This method may require hard work, patience and love.  It may take a long time, but when you look at your happy pet bird, I think its going to be worth it.

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Are You Ready To Own A Pet Bird?

If you have been considering owning pet birds but are still not sure what to expect once the bird moves in, then you should know about the top issues affecting bird owners.

Choosing the right kind of bird to match your lifestyle is the first thing that you will want to research. Each species vary in terms of talents, time requirements and other vital factors that you must be ready to face once you accept the role or being their master.

The three biggest factors in bird ownership are:

1. Budget considerations. The price of your chosen bird will depend on the species and where you will buy it. That is only the beginning of your expenses.  Your next expense will be a cage and the necessary toys and other things to help them become more active and happy. Of course food will be an on-going expense as well.

You must be able to sustain their nutritional requirement so that they will have the energy to last long as your companion. You should also anticipate visits to vets and associated medicines that they need. When buying your bird, you must select the right store and the right breeder so that you won’t run the risk of acquiring birds that are unhealthy and sickly.

2. Time commitment. If you cannot afford to allocate time to care for your birds, you should not continue with the purchase. Although some breeds do not necessarily have to be pampered if you cannot afford large amounts of regular time investments. You can also choose the breed based on their life spans. This way, you can opt for those that live longer if you want a pet for many years to come.

3. Noise level. In choosing your birds, you must also consider your neighbours. Larger parrots like macaws and cockatoos tend to be more noisy. If you want the kinds that you can keep in setting like town houses and condominiums, you may want to opt for lovebirds and budgies. Or to be more on the safe side, you may want to settle for the likes of doves, canaries and finches.

These are all essential matters in choosing the kinds of pet bird that will be ideal for your lifestyle and the quality of commitment that you can afford to give.

Singing Bird in Cage

Buy at AllPosters.com

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Starlings are not a particularly pretty bird, and they may be common to the point of being a pest, but they are also a great mimic.  With a little patience you can teach these birds to talk, and talk pretty well.

If it was good enough for Mozart to have a pet starling then why not you?

Often we pay exorbitant amounts of money to buy the latest in exotic pets when some of the most common animals in your back yard can make equally entertaining pets.  In times of economic crisis you can still entertain your children with great pets that don’t cost a fortune.

Do be aware that Starlings are a highly intelligent and inquisitive bird if you are planning to let your pet roam free around the house.

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Choosing a parrot for a pet is a life long commitment.

Parrots are another example of needing to think through your decision thoroughly before getting a pet.  With a life span of a potential 60 years adopting a parrot is not a commitment to be made lightly.

They are a most entertaining and intelligent pet that will bring joy to friends and family alike.  Many can be trained to talk or at lest respond to commands.  And they all have individual personalities and are not shy about expressing them.

However, they are a bird that thrives on community.  Parrots that are kept in isolation for extended periods will not be happy, and many will show signs of stress and possibly self destructive behaviour.

Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph of drellenrudolph.com informs us that:

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the companionship of another parrot may impact adversely on the individual bond between owners and their parrots. However, results from this study demonstrated that 57% of the birds housed singly developed stereotypic behaviours such as pacing and bar chewing, while paired birds exhibited none of these behaviours.

Read Dr Ellen’s own entertaining experience with keeping an  Orange-winged Amazon parrot, Marteen.

Other recommendations Dr Ellen makes with regard to keeping healthy parrots include:

  • A healthy diet is extremely important to a healthy birds well being.
  • Get a LARGE cage for your bird.  The larger the cage the happier your bird will be.
  • Keep your bird near the centre of things, not shut away in a back room.
  • Find a veterinarian who is a board-certified Avian Specialist.

Most importantly, make sure when committing to keep a parrot you keep that commitment.  This could mean feeding, entertaining, and housing your pet for the next 60 years.  Think about where you might want to live in the future and what kind of travel or lifestyle you hope to have in the future.  Does this fit with the pet you are choosing?

If you think a parrot is a pet you are prepared to commit to, I recommend finding a local breeder to help guide you as to which breed and sex would best suit you.  They will also be able to give you advice in the best care tips.

Namara Pets dotcom


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