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Tip Sheets

Store Hours:
Mon., Thurs 10-8
Wed., Fri., Sat 10-6
Sun 11-3
Closed Tuesdays

(301) 424-7387

Bird Tip Sheet

1. Birds must eat daily -  Correct food - in the birds' eyes, Accessible food - not covered with chaff, Located where they can comfortably reach it.

2. Birds need fresh water daily. We recommend water with Avitron vitamins one day, Avimin minerals the next, and clear water the next day.

3. Calcium is necessary - either a cuttle bone, mineral treat and/or oyster shell should be available, especially during molting or egg laying. We also use Avimin by Lambert Kay, an iodine and calcium supplement, in the water.

4. Gravel or grit - Have some on the floor or in a separate cup, lower than the food supply. Gravel in the gizzard helps grind seed.

5. Perches - Birds' feet should go about 2/3 around the perch. Offer a variety of perch sizes, but don't overcrowd a cage. Try to have two perches opposite each other, especially for canaries. Natural tree branches are fine. Keep perches clean to avoid foot problems.

6. All birds should have table food offered routinely - kale, chicken bones, carrots, and anything else you eat (not avocado)

7. Clipped wing feathers? -  Yes, if your pet will be out of its cage. Do not depend on clipping to keep your bird from flying off outdoors, but clipped feathers will avoid broken necks from encounters with windows and other household hazards.

8. Toenails - If they grow too long, trim with a bird toe nail scissors (we use Miller Forge bird nail scissors) Provide a rock toy to play with, or a single rough perch - not sandpaper perch covers - to avoid sharp nails.

9. Freeze extra bird seed, especially from August to November - Any fresh seed that is not sterilized can hatch seed web worms and other insects.

10. Spray millet - A natural treat for all birds, should go in with new birds, and also will serve as an excellent weekend feeder

11. Birds do not perspire like we do -  A bird that is too hot will hold its wings out from its body and "pant".

12. Food -  Seed cups always look full. A parakeet with only seed hulls to eat in its cup will die in 48 hours. Be sure food is readily available AND the bird is eating. A parakeet normally has 40 droppings a day. Any decrease in your bird's normal droppings should cause concern.

+ Emergency First Aid +

Heat -  Birds' body temperature is higher than ours. They use a lot of their food energy to maintain about 1040F. Their feathers are insulation to retain heat. Any time a bird is abnormally "puffy" (feathers puffed to retain heat) or depressed, provide extra heat!! Right away!! Either a heating pad under the cage (safely) or a lamp next to the bird will do the trick. If the bird huddles by the heat, you have a problem. Sometimes an egg will appear, and the "problem" becomes obvious and is resolved. Otherwise, consult an avian veterinarian.You may have an emergency on your hands.

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