Pet Health Library

Birds + Care & Wellness

  • African greys are vulnerable to both calcium and/or vitamin A deficiencies, as well as obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet and making sure your parrot consumes the proper proportions of foods offered will help prevent the development of these conditions. Pellets are the ideal food for your pet African grey and should represent approximately 75-80% of your bird's diet. The remainder of the diet should be comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of seed (if any).

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Amazons are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies, and when fed a predominantly seed-based diet, they are prone to obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet in the proper proportions will help prevent the development of these conditions. This handout provides guidelines for providing your Amazon parrot with an optimal diet to thrive and flourish.

  • Some commonly kept Amazon parrots include the double yellow-headed Amazon, yellow-naped Amazon, blue-fronted Amazon, green-cheeked Amazon, and orange-winged Amazon. They bond readily, often with one member of the family. This one-on-one bond occasionally may lead to aggression towards others. Amazons are generally very affectionate and often solicit petting and head scratches. Like all pets, Amazon parrots require regular, preventative veterinary health check-ups.

  • Bathing is very important for the proper maintenance of feathers. The dry air in our homes created by central heating and air conditioning is not conducive to the maintenance of healthy feathers and skin, so pet birds should be encouraged to bathe at least three to four times a week. This handout provides helpful tips and safety precautions for bathing your bird.

  • Elongated beak and/or toenails are reasons for veterinary care in all pet birds. Beaks should not be trimmed regularly unless performed by an avian veterinarian. Toenail trimming may be done at home, but only when taught by an experienced bird breeder/owner or avian veterinarian.

  • Blood feathers are a normal maturation process for all feathers on birds. When feathers first erupt from the skin they contain blood. Injury to the feather as it grows may cause the blood feather to become broken causing blood loss that at times may require emergency treatment by an avian veterinarian.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds' different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. Poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds.

  • The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates), also referred to as a parakeet or more commonly a budgie, is perhaps the most popular pet bird worldwide. This beautiful, small bird originates from the drier regions of Australia.

  • Cleaning a bird cage should be a weekly routine. Since food particles and fecal material can harbor and entice bacterial and fungal growth, cage cleaning is extremely important to maintain a healthy environment for your bird. Soap and water make excellent cleaning solutions. Some materials, such as wood, wicker, and rope are impossible to disinfect and, therefore, should be replaced regularly.

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