Cage for birds
Today there is a huge selection of cages for keeping birds. But often cell manufacturers forget that the cage is intended primarily for keeping birds, and not for decorating the interior. The materials used to make the cells can pose a real threat to the life of the bird.
Here are signs of cages that we do not recommend for keeping birds.
- Spherical shape. A small pyramid or cube.
- Short or long cylinder of small diameter (less than 2 meters).
- A cage made from bamboo.
- Strongly curved shape.
- A cell with many nooks that are difficult to clean. A cage that impedes the full wingspan of a bird.
- Too many stems or their arrangement such that the lower stitches are contaminated with droppings.
- Such placement of poles, in which the bird pollutes litter water and food.
- Cells made of galvanized metal (there is a danger of poisoning with zinc or lead).
- Oxidizing metal drinkers.
- Copper components of the structure.
- Loops or hooks, sharp edges or sharp objects inside the cage. Thin, easily destroyed component cells.
- A small space between the rods that makes jumping or flipping difficult.
- Too many toys or feeders.
- Cells that are difficult to clean.
- Excessive decorative elements that the bird can swallow.
- Cells in which it is difficult to catch a bird.
- Cells with poorly closing doors.
The cage should be as spacious as possible, the length should be greater than the depth and height. The minimum cage size should allow the bird to fully open its wings without touching the cage walls. A good cage is made of non-toxic materials, it is convenient to maintain, easy to clean. The bird is in the cage at night, and when there are no owners at home, therefore there should not be potential traps in the cage. The space between the rods in a well-made cage should be minimal, so that the bird could not get tangled in its claws, beak or wings. It is important that the cage is designed so that the bird is as isolated from its litter as possible. The best material for litter is paper, such a litter is inexpensive, it, unlike sawdust or peat, is easy to change, it inhibits the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Avoid the use of sawdust conifers.
It is necessary to place the cage in such a way that several poles are at eye level of standing family members. With this placement of the cage, the bird feels more secure than if it were below the level of the eyes of a standing person, at the same time, if the bird is higher than the level of the eyes of a standing person, then some species (especially parrots) may develop a feeling own dominance, which can lead to aggression. Since the hormonal cycle of birds is directly dependent on sunlight, it is desirable for the bird to get natural light, but at the same time there should always be a shaded corner in the cage where the bird can wait out the heat. It is necessary to monitor the level of humidity, the air should not be too dry. It is advisable that the bird was in absolute darkness at night, but it is better not to close the cage at night so as not to deprive the bird of fresh air. The ideal option is a combined aviary with a street compartment and a part located in the room when the bird itself has the opportunity to choose where to be. That is what an ideal summer cage should be. The outdoor part of the enclosure must be protected from the penetration of ground and flying predators and rodents. Water and food should not be accessible to free-living birds and their feces.
Poles must be made from hardwood tree branches, toxic trees and pesticides and other chemicals must be avoided; there should be no rot or parasite damage on the branches. It is desirable that the cage had poles of different diameters (see photos of perches), so the smallest diameter should allow the claws to almost touch when sitting on the perch, and the largest diameter of the perch should be such that the bird’s claws rest on a tree when sitting on it. (photo on the right – the perch is "correct") It is best that the poles along their length are of uneven thickness, if possible, it is necessary to avoid a cylindrical shape (photo on the left – the perch is "wrong") this will prevent constant pressure on the same sole points, and will not develop subdermatitis. According to modern ideas, subdermatitis is caused primarily by malnutrition, but an irregular shape of the perforation can contribute to the development of the disease. In order for birds to destroy poles less often, it is necessary that there are toys in the cage that distract the attention of the bird.
Periodically, the needles to be changed, especially if they are contaminated with droppings. Do not place poles on top of each other, and also in such a way that birds contaminate water and feed.
Nowadays, in “developed countries” “edible” hearts are becoming very popular, but it must be taken into account that their use is justified as long as the diet is balanced and there are natural, natural hearts in the cell. It is also often suggested to use sandpaper perches. The use of such poles should be warned, since they do not affect the growth of claws, but they can lead to serious diseases of the legs.
I would like to warn against overloading the space of the cage with feeders and toys. Many birds love swimming, but bathing is better to place outside the cage, so that they do not interfere with flight or jumping. Feeders and drinkers must be positioned so as to stimulate the mobility of a healthy bird, it is desirable to place drinkers higher at one end of the cage, and feeders lower at the other end of the cage. If the bird is sick, drinkers and feeders should be positioned so that they are easily accessible with minimal effort for the bird.
In order to satisfy the natural curiosity of parrots and their tendency to destroy, toys must be placed in the cage. The best option is if you have a collection of toys, and you will change them daily in the cage, so that the bird is not bored, as the bird quickly gets used to one toy. Bird toys should not contain toxic metals, hooks, sharp edges, or small easily swallowed parts. Since there are no organizations that monitor the safety of toys for birds, the responsibility in choosing a toy lies primarily with the owners. Toys made for small birds cannot be used for large ones. There are no 100% safe toys; there are some components of toys that are traditionally more dangerous than others. For example, a self-locking carabiner, open, large links in the chain, a bell tongue that can be bitten off and swallowed. Safe toys have twisted carbines and closely sealed chain links. Most toys with a thin rope or a long chain should be accessible to the bird only with direct supervision by the owner. If you leave such a toy in a cage without human supervision, then the bird can easily become entangled in it, which will lead to asphyxiation or injury. Conventional toys offered to birds without direct human control are made from food ingredients such as grass shoots, various seed pods, liquid nectar, pine cones, vegetables, apple peels, a bunch of grass sprinkled with water, and a short piece of soft wood with unbaked bark. All plant materials should not be treated with chemicals. Very good toys are fruit tree branches with bark, a vine or bunches of grapes.
Some mirrors have mercury in their composition, which when poisoned in the digestive tract. Some correctly made and designed glass and plastic mirrors are suitable for small birds, but easily destroyed by large birds. For large birds, mirrors made of polished steel plate are most suitable. If the design of the mirror allows food debris to accumulate, it can become a source of fungal infection and mycotoxins. When a young and inexperienced bird is allowed to walk around the apartment, it is necessary to close windows and large mirrors, this will prevent injury to the bird as a result of the collision.
Hygiene and sanitation
When keeping birds it is better to be a fanatical cleanliness than to resort to disinfection from time to time. Hygiene is the frequent cleaning of cells – this is more important to combat the spread of disease than the use of disinfectants. Before using disinfectants, it is necessary to mechanically remove organic residues (food, excrement, feather). To prevent the development of fungi and algae, drinkers and feeders must be thoroughly cleaned manually or placed in a dishwasher.
As a litter, you can use wrapping paper, cardboard or newspapers. The litter must be changed daily, and once a week carry out thorough cleaning and drying.
Often ectoparasites and helminths are found in birds. Insect protectors are not effective, and poisoning can develop when inhaled vapors of the protectors are constantly inhaled. Against tick damage, the therapeutic effect in case of a lesion is effective, and not preventive therapy. Appropriate disinfestation and deworming measures, as well as therapy and the regimen of the use of drugs, will be prescribed your attending doctor.
Occasionally, in near-medical circles, an increased likelihood of contracting pulmonary diseases in people containing pet birds is discussed. As a rule, publications on pulmonary diseases of people are associated with the maintenance of pigeons in open enclosures, with a trellised floor, where feces and feathers were either not cleaned or extremely rare. We know of one publication about the development of lung cancer in the owner of a poultry, but this article did not provide details about what kind of bird it was, how it was kept, in addition, the patient smoked a lot.
Owners should keep their pet’s living space clean; it should always have fresh air. You can recommend installing air conditioners with a good filter system, this will reduce the amount of feather residue in the air. If people have any signs of the disease, it will not be out of place to inform their attending physician that a bird lives in their house. This information can be valuable for the diagnosis of some zoonotic diseases.
Many bird species are territorial and aggressive towards other bird species. Such birds cannot be kept in mixed aviarias at all. Other birds become aggressive only during the breeding season. Third, taste habits change during the breeding season and they can eat eggs or chicks of other birds. Four can remain calm during the day, and at night they become aggressive and behave like predators.
A strict hierarchy is established in the mixed aviary among birds, and when new tenants are introduced into the collective, the hierarchy is violated. The period of establishing a new relationship is fraught with great stress, which weakens the defenses of the bird’s body and predisposes the animal to diseases. Therefore, the best option is the advance selection of birds and their simultaneous settlement in the aviary. In order not to provoke aggression, it is necessary to install several feeders and drinking bowls, which should be easily accessible for replacement and cleaning, without causing trouble for the birds. At least a few feeders and drinkers should be equipped with small trap cages. Normally, the doors of the traps should be constantly open so that the birds get used to them and are not afraid, and at the moment when it is necessary to catch this or that bird without disturbing the others, the door is simply shut. Mixed airlines should be equipped with poles and prads of different types, (photo aviary inside), it is also necessary to equip appropriate shelters for each type of bird, which will allow them to feel safe.
Watering and Feeding Technique
A healthy bird should always have clean, fresh water. It is often discussed the need to add antiseptics, such as chlorhexidine, to drinking water to reduce bacterial contamination, but by reducing the bacterial contamination of drinking water, antiseptics disrupt the normal intestinal microflora. Therefore, caution is advised against the prophylactic use of antimicrobial agents. If the drinkers are made of plastic or copper, water can accumulate toxins, therefore, before drinking water, the drinkers must be washed several times. During the summer months, in some cities, disinfectants and mercury inhibitors are added to the water; such water can be dangerous for birds. In some cases, it may be advisable to conduct an analysis of drinking water, and perhaps switch to drinking birds with bottled water.
Many birds easily adapt to drinking water from car drinkers, while it is easier to protect water from food debris and excrement than in an open drinker. This behavior should be encouraged if the birds do not destroy the drinkers. It is not recommended to introduce drugs into drinking water, this is especially true if drinkers are used, as if the drug does not completely dissolve, it precipitates and accumulates at the bottom, which can lead to poisoning.
The bird should receive fresh food daily in a clean feeder. The best way to ensure full-fledged nutrition for granivorous birds is to use ready-made grain mix by 70%, the remaining 30% is provided by fresh vegetables and fruits.
Many bird owners allow their pets to eat at their table, from their plate, while the bird is allowed to eat anything that she likes. Many take pieces of food in their mouths and give the bird to eat from their mouths. This behavior cannot be approved. Human food contains too much salt, and some types of food can lead to poisoning (chocolate, avocado).
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