Exotic birds and parrots are native to warm and temperate climates where the weather is pretty constant for twelve months of the year. Even the winter months are warm which means these lovely birds need to be kept in the right conditions when they are kept as pets in colder countries. Exotic birds are totally reliant on their owners to keep them warm during the winter months but the problem is that many of the ways we heat our homes can prove quite harmful to captive birds which is why it's important to be prepared and get everything ready for your pet before the weather turns colder which may harm them.
Diet is very important to birds because they need to be fed top quality food but they also need a rich and varied diet. Healthy birds that have been fed a vitamin rich and varied diet throughout the year will be better prepared for the colder winter months. Their diet needs to include a good variety of bird safe fruit and vegetables which helps them build up their immune systems. A strong immune system in turn helps birds fight off any nasty winter infections.
Birds do not like draughty conditions so it's really important to make sure their cages are in a nice warm area of a room and out of any draughts. Birds have very sensitive systems and if they are exposed to constant draughts they will soon become ill and it may even prove fatal! Exotic birds like to be kept where the temperature remains stable so you need to organise an area in your home where you can make sure the environment is just that – warm, draught-free with lots of light.
Open fires are not recommended if you own an exotic bird or parrot because both the smoke and the fumes an open fire gives off may cause a bird to suffer from all sorts of respiratory problems which could eventually prove fatal. Space heaters are out too whether they are electric or gas. Again the fumes from this type of heating can seriously harm your pet bird and present a fire hazard too. You need to remember that the chemicals used on the heater's surface are toxic to our feathered friends.
Homes with central heating and good air circulation are the best environments for exotic birds to live in during the cold winter months. A centrally heating home provides a stable, constant temperature which can provide adequate warmth for parrots and other exotic pet birds. You can set the temperature to suit your pet and these days some radiators can be controlled independently of each other which means you can set the temperature to a constant level in the room your bird's cage is placed in.
It's always a good idea to book a date with the vet so your pet bird can be checked over before the winter chill sets in. This will give you the peace of mind that your bird is perfect health which in turn will help them cope that much better with the colder weather. You might like to ask the vet to recommend a “tonic” that is full of the right sort of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your species of bird would do well on over the winter too!
As previously mentioned, draughts can kill exotic birds especially when it is extremely cold outside. Even if you make sure their cage is placed in the warmest room of the house, you still need to make sure any draughts are sealed which means taking a look at the windows and doors. You might want to fit a draught excluder at the bottom of the door as well.
Even though your house may be draught free, nice and cosy it is still a very good idea to cover your bird's cage at night. There are some great cage cover designs around these days too. The cover will offer your pet that extra warmth as well as making sure they feel comfortable and protected. It is never a very good idea to have a bird cage near a window or door because this puts your pet more at risk of being in a draught.
You need to keep a watchful eye on your bird during the winter months to make sure they are warm enough. There are certain signs to look out for which could be a clear indication they are suffering from exposure. When a bird is cold and has a low immune system, they will appear lethargic, hunched over and not at all responsive to you. They will not be interested in their food either which means they become even weaker something you need to avoid at all costs. If you notice your bird looks chilled, you need to take the necessary steps to place them in a warmer environment that is draught-free so they can recover as quickly as possible.
Exotic birds and parrots make wonderful pets and companions. They are a constant source of amusement, always full of mischief and surprises but they depend on their owners to keep them safe and warm during the colder winter months. The tips above don't take much effort to set up and if it means your pet stays happy and healthy, they are definitely worthwhile.