That’s What You Should Know If You Want A Bird As A Pet

MUST HAVE ITEMS:

Cage – The largest appropriately constructed model you can afford with no sharp edges (hookbill birds with curved beaks, such as conures, cockatiels and parakeets need a cage with horizontal bars, as they are climbers by nature)

Cage papers black-and-white newspapers are great, as are brown paper bags

Grate for the bottom of cage; can be made from 1-inch mesh or purchased at pet store

Plastic paint scraper for cleaning cage without damaging it

Perch, preferably several, of differing shapes and thicknesses; branches of fruit trees are ideal (cherry branches, however, are toxic to birds)

Cleaning supplies for cage and perches

Food and water dishes that fit the cage openings

Food – seed mix or pellets

Toys – just a few in the cage at one time, including tree branches, popsicle sticks, toilet paper tubes, knotted pieces of string, crumpled white paper, rawhide dog bones for chewing

Specially made bird carrier for trips and vet visits, or a heavy cardboard box with a lid and holes poked in it

Blanket for wrapping carrier in cold weather

birds-of-paradise

NICE TO HAVE:

An extra, inexpensive cage to be used when cleaning the regular cage

Gram scale for weighing your bird to make sure it’s in good health (a tiny drop in weight could indicate serious illness)

A fan to circulate fresh air for your bird, who needs temperate conditions

Nightlight so the bird can find its way to its dishes in the dark

Cage cover, especially if it gets cold in your home in the evenings

Extra set of food and water dishes for when dishes are being washed

Bellbirds often enjoy having a bell in their cage, but choose a model without a removable clapper or other small, swallowable parts

Jungle gym – Make it yourself from dowels and boards or purchase at pet store

T-shaped stand on wheels for moving the bird around your home

Hair dryer with low setting for drying bird after baths

Vitamins to be added to food only, such as wheatgrass powder

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