Summer bird care
Tips for Keeping Your Bird Healthy This Summer
Sometimes, bird owners get overlooked when it comes to pet
tips. But birds can suffer in hot weather, too. Just like people, birds get hot and thirsty. Especially
during the blistering summer months, your favourite flying friends may be roasting in their feathers.
Although they have a body temperature that's higher than humans' -
about 104 degrees Fahrenheit - they can still develop problems if overheated. So, it's a good idea to take a
look at some of the things that can affect birds during the summer months. Here are some tips for keeping your
pet bird healthy this summer.
Know the Signs
Many well-meaning bird owners will put their birds in
sunlight, since most birds are light-lovers. But direct sunlight can cause heat exhaustion and other problems,
especially if it's indoors. Veterinary sources claim that outdoor aviaries rarely produce heat problems in
birds, but confined spaces like cars and closed rooms can be lethal. If your bird is overheated and suffering
from heat exhaustion, he or she may exhibit the following signs.
Ø Holding the wings out from the body (beginning
Ø Excessive panting (beginning sign)
Ø Agitation, pacing, and balance problems (later
Ø Convulsions after falling from perch (late sign)
If this happens, take action by getting your bird to a vet as
soon as possible. Before you get to the vet (or as someone else is driving you), sources recommend taking steps
first to get the bird's temperature down, such as giving a cool bath, using a fan, or spritzing the bird with
water. Of course, the first thing you should do is get the bird out of the hot conditions and into a cooler
Mites and Other Pests
For dogs and cats, summer is flea and tick season. For pet
birds, summer might be thought of as mite season. Mites can affect birds all year round, but the summer months
are when bird mite infestations are most common, sources say. Use whatever mite preventative your veterinarian
recommends, and watch for signs of mites: scratching, bare patches (especially around the tail), and black or
red specks on or around your bird. Keep your bird's cage very clean to prevent mites as well.
Toxic Chemicals in Lawn and Garden
If you treat your yard, garden, or any part of your property
with pesticides, weed killers, fungicides, and/or fertilizers, make sure your pet bird is well away from the
area when you apply these substances. If you bring your bird outside, do not place him or her in the outdoor
aviary or cage for at least a week, according to sources. You can certainly wait even longer, or better yet,
don't use chemicals on your lawn and garden that can harm your bird. You might prefer more natural options.
It is very important during summer to make available to your
pet bird plenty of water. Water should be clean and not warm. Water should be changed at least two to three
times in a day.