Bird Petcare Information
Pelleted rations and seed mixtures are widely available and nutritionally balanced for cage and aviary birds, however dietary supplementation with other feeds may still be necessary. Depending upon the species of bird, these can include apple, fresh grasses, and cuttlefish.
Birds in the wild do not eat a diet composed of just seeds, due to a lack of availability year round. Seeds and seed mixtures have a very high fat content, thus diets high in seed content may lead to malnutrition and obesity.
Hygiene is most important in the feeding, drinking and roosting areas. These areas are the most frequented by the bird. Never place roosting areas or perches above feeding or drinking areas, because this may lead to faecal contamination. Good feed hygiene and regular cleaning out of faecal material is essential to control lice, ticks, mites, fleas, cockroaches and mosquitoes. It is important to protect the bird(s) from mice, rats and cats. Any new birds should be adequately quarantined before being introduced to the existing bird collection.
It is important that the bird(s) have enough space to fly within the cage or aviary. Curved cages are better than those with corners as this helps to prevent dominant birds bailing up other birds. Cage edges should be smooth and well finished, to ensure no broken wiring or similar is protruding, which may result in injury. A good quality perch is essential to ensure there is no malformation or damage to the feet. Perches should be carefully placed, avoiding possible faecal contamination of water and food areas.
Birds are relatively intelligent creatures and are quite susceptible to a range of stressors. Stress can lead to illness or behavioural disorders such as feather plucking and overeating. Overcrowding, boredom, extremes of temperature, and aggression between birds are all potential stressors.
For those people who feed our native birds...
Feeding native birds can lead to developmental problems and nutritional deficiencies. For example, feeding bread coated with sugar or honey to rainbow lorikeets can lead to poor development of flight feathers due to a lack in protein. Feeding meat to adult magpies, kookaburras and currawongs has been associated with poor growth in the offspring of these birds. A far better way of attracting native birds to your garden is to plant native trees and shrubs.