Bird of the Month
Parakeets - November 2017
Parakeets or budgerigars, as they are also referred to, are one of the most commonly accessible avian pets. Commonly available in pet stores at reasonable prices, they are frequently a “first bird” for many enthusiasts.
Parakeets have a life span of 2-8 years, though some enthusiasts have reported life spans closer to 10 years with good care and a varied diet. Due to their small size they are considered fragile when compared to larger common birds. Although, they can tolerate some cooler temperatures, they cannot tolerate drafty or damp environments. Appropriate housing should be considered large enough for ample movement and wing extension, safety from direct or strong sunlight and an area free of drafts from windows, vents or fans.
Many excellent seed sources are readily available to feed your parakeet but some supplementation of fresh fruits and vegetables in moderation is advised to provide optimum nutrition. A cuttlebone should be provided for birds to be able to file and trim their beaks; however, not all birds will appropriately utilize this. Observe not only your parakeet’s beak for overgrowth but also his/her nails. You may need to call our office at 407-297-7528 for assistance in trimming and maintaining your bird’s nails and beak!
Parakeets can be quite tame but children should be supervised when handling. They have also been known to mimic voices and talk a little. Males are often more talented talkers than females. Your parakeet’s gender can be visually determined. Ask our doctors for help with this.
Please call us for lots of help and guidance in the care of your parakeet! We can’t wait to meet you both!
Cockatiels - October 2017
Cockatiels are an excellent “first bird” choice in that their size (approx. 12” long) makes them a little hardier and less delicate than a similarly available bird such as a parakeet. They are very appropriate for young children as long as their handling is supervised by an adult to insure gentle care. They have a curious and active nature which makes them interactive and entertaining as pets. They commonly mimic whistle s and tunes and are even known to talk a bit!
Popularity of the species allows for a lot of options when selecting a cockatiel. Hand raised varieties are often more friendly but even birds who have not been hand raised are receptive to handling with time, a gentle nature and patience. Several color varieties are available and an experienced and knowledgeable enthusiast can even breed them with some education and study. Males and females are differentiated by color without the need for surgical sexing. Cockatiels can often be acquired, here in the south, from local breeders in addition to pet stores. Anytime you purchase a new bird ask the seller if they offer any kind of health guarantee and plan to bring your bird in for an exam not only to detect any potential problems, but also to discuss the highest quality care and diet with our doctors.
A varied diet of high quality seed in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables should certainly be on the menu for your cockatiel! Like many birds they can be messy so frequent changing of water to allow for a constant and clean supply should be part of your bird’s daily maintenance.
Plan to provide plenty of space and species appropriate toys to entertain your cockatiel. During your health check our doctors will provide you with lot of specific knowledge about your bird’s care:
- Proper Diet/Supplementation
- Whether to clip his/her wings
- Appropriate housing
- Potential household toxins and common risks to your bird’s safety
- Warning signs of poor health
- Everything to promote happiness, health and longevity!!
We can’t wait to meet your new cockatiel!!
Call our office today to schedule an appointment. At that time we can also offer you valuable tips on safe and low stress transport. We can't wait to see you!
Quaker Parakeets - August 2017
Quaker Parakeets are considered to be one of the hardier pet birds. They are small to medium sized parrots most commonly bright to variegated green in color with a lifespan of 25-30 years. Their temperament can range according to their environment and upbringing. Of course, hand raised birds tend to be much more socialized, however, it is important to consider that consistent time and socialization will be part of your Quaker's care throughout its lifetime.
Quakers tend to be very active and are notoriously good eaters. Dietary offerings should be broad to include the best nutritional sources for your bird. They can also be quite territorial, this coupled with their high activity level should be considered when providing an appropriately large play space with lots of safe items to stimulate your Quaker's high energy level. In spite of their small to medium size, ample and spacious housing is necessary for these birds.
Quakers can be aggressive and vocal! Depending on their upbringing (hand raised vs un handled) they may or may not be appropriate for families with small children.
Whether you acquire your Quaker from a breeder, pet store or rescue, please plan to schedule an exam to discuss proper care, diet and most appropriate considerations for your new feathered family member. What can you expect on a vet visit? The doctor will examine your bird and assess any obvious health problems. At that time, we will be able to make appropriate recommendations for diet and overall care. Establishing a relationship with your bird's veterinarian can be a valuable factor in your Quaker's health, wellbeing and longevity.