Birds make fantastic pets. They are much cheaper to feed and maintain than cats and dogs and they have very likable personalities too.
Many different species of parrots can be trained to speak and do amazing tricks. They are also very affectionate animals.
There are many different birds now available for pets. Some are much easier to keep, like budgies and cockatiels and others can be quite difficult like some of the larger parrots and specialty finches.
Before you purchase your pet, make sure that you understand what its needs are. The cage is the most expensive item you can purchase for your bird and if it is not right, you may be looking at buying another. Make sure that it is the right size – not too big or too small. Make sure that the distance between the bars is not too big that your bird can fit through too. Also make sure the feeder coups or cups are easy to remove and clean; and replace – many cages sit empty in garages because the feeders are not replaceable.
Budgies are probably the easiest and cheapest of all the birds. They are also full of personality and spunk and will be a wonderful addition to any household. They are cheap to buy and would only cost a few dollars a month to keep.
Also make sure that you understand what the lifespan of your new pet bird will be. Many people don’t realise this and end up facing pet bills for many years longer than they expected. And unlike, cats and dogs it is difficult to re-home many pet birds at professional shelters.
When choosing finches and canaries always look for healthy birds that interact with each other and that are moving quickly about the cage.
Birds that have puffed up feathers and are quiet are often hiding illness so it is best to avoid purchasing these. Also look for patches of balding, missing toes and signs of wounds. These signs don’t necessarily mean that the bird is going to die but it may be living in a stressful environment and may have difficulties settling in to a new home.
Birds are not expensive pets unless you want one of the more exotic parrots. Hand reared and tamed birds are more expensive than untrained ones but make much more interesting pets because they have already bonded with a human. You can try and tame a bird yourself but ask your local pet shop for advice as there are some skills too.
Don’t get fooled into purchasing an expensive bird that is the ‘latest’ fashion. Some colours are rare and essential the bird’s character and personality will be the same. Green budgies are common and people are less likely to buy them than blue or yellow ones and yet they make just as good pets and in most cases are hardier. For this reason, some pet stores price their birds on colour or wing pattern; the rarer ones being more expensive.
Like all pets, birds not only need food and water, they need entertaining and companionship. If you do not have the time for your bird, then consider getting another one to keep it company or purchase a mirror. Make sure that you get compatible sexes so there is no fighting. Female budgies, for example, are more aggressive on the whole and it is easier to keep two males than two females. Most female parrots are more aggressive and can be more difficult to train. Female cockatiels don’t talk but males do and males make better pets.