Could a bird be the right pet for you? PetAge recently sat down with Mazuri nutritionist Dr. Troy Tollefson to discuss some of the finer points of bird ownership, including six things prospective bird owners should consider before setting out to find their new best bird friend.
Among the things to consider before getting a bird, Tollefson says that birds’ tendencies to be long-lived is one of the most important.
“The number one thing to keep in mind when considering an exotic bird for a pet is understanding that they’re very long-lived,” Tollefson said. “Small animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs or rabbits are short-lived compared to a parrot. With life expectancies upwards of 50 years, most parrots will likely outlive their owners.”
Birds, like other companion animals, have different needs depending on their species and breed. Unique factors like birds’ individual dietary and enrichment needs should play a big role in determining whether a bird is a good match for you and your lifestyle.
“Just like with caring for any other animal, you should ask the basic husbandry questions before bringing your bird home,” Tollefson said. “Is it going to be an active bird that needs a lot of space? Can you accommodate a large enough cage? Where can you let them out to explore?”
Other things prospective bird owners should consider include:
- Longer lifespans
- Specialized diet
- Exercise and activity needs
- Veterinary care
- Environmental enrichment
“Some of the same exotic birds that I’ve previously worked with in managed care can also be found in homes throughout the world. In either case, the same principles apply for keeping an exotic bird happy and healthy.”
— Troy Tollefson, Nutritionist, Mazuri
To see the full list, read the full article on PetAge.