Birds need more food than just seeds. They need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Besides seeds; fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and any wholesome nutritious food that we eat is good enough for your birds. Carrots, broccoli, corn, lettuce, spinach, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, melons etc and even meat can be given to birds. Nutritional requirements vary depending on the species of bird you select. But the more varied their diets, the less chance of them having dietary deficiencies. But there are some foods that can cause them harm and should be avoided. Avocados can poison them, hence should be avoided and so also chocolates, caffeine, heavily salted, spiced or greasy food. Ideally, their diet should comprise 15% to 20% of fruits, and the rest should be vegetables, cooked beans, and whole grains (either sprouted or cooked), nuts, seeds, and other healthful whole foods. Further it is important to provide foods in appropriate amounts. In addition to fresh mixes of food twice a day, leave a dish of pellets in its cage for free choice eating. Whenever a new food is introduced, top it off with a little seed to make it desirable to the bird.
Bathing is not only a natural behavior, but it is an activity that many birds enjoy. Most birds love water and they spread their wings, chirp and sing as they bathe. Give them access to frequent baths in slightly warm or cold water during the day when the temperature is warm. Do not use soap as it removes natural oils from their feathers and dries up the skin. Leave a bowl of water in their cage or use a sprayer or the shower to bathe them. Thoroughly wet the bird. You can help pat them dry by wrapping them in a towel.
One of the most common reasons birds bite is out of fear. Mishandling a bird, poking or making a sudden movement can startle the bird and put on its defensive act. Birds are sensitive to the changes in the environment- they react negatively to strangers invading their territory, neglect or lack of attention. Introduce strangers, new pets etc slowly, give the birds time to adjust to them. Mature birds during their breeding season are prone to unruly behaviour. Leave them alone during those times.
Young ones during their growing period- when they are beginning to learn to use their beaks may nibble on your fingers. Never allow them the privilege. Say a firm 'no' or offer them something else to nibble on. If you allow them to nibble on your fingers they may continue doing that even when they grow older. Never react violently when a bird bites you. You can blow on its face and say a firm 'No' or put them back in the cage immediately. You could try covering the cage or ignoring the bird completely for sometime. Understanding your birds personality, giving them enough attention/ privacy whenever they need it, goes a long way in checking its aggressive behaviour.
A clean cage is a healthy cage. Keeping the cage clean and free of excessive fecal material and food is important in controlling bacterial infections; decaying food and feces that remains in the cage for more than a day can become heavily contaminated with harmful organisms. The material- paper at the bottom should be changed daily to prevent the growth of mold and fungus. P Perches and toys should be scrubbed weekly. Clean all feeders and water containers daily with a mild detergent and water. Soft foods and fruits should be placed in a separate container and should not be left in the cage for more than 2-4 hours. Your bird will need a cage that will give him plenty of room to stretch his wings, move around and leave room enough for the toys and different perches he will need. Proper ventilation is also important in preventing infectious diseases.
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