Summer has come, and with it has come beautiful weather and (hopefully) some free time. Many of us would like to take our parrots out to enjoy the sun, but doing so can be dangerous. Even the best behaved bird can take off, whether it’s due to being startled or mischievous. Having properly clipped wings is no guarantee. Wings that have been clipped appropriately still grant some gliding power, therefore the wind can grant lift that can take your bird to unexpected places. Even if they glide safely to the ground, a bird of prey or non-aerial predator can grab them, or they can land in the path of a vehicle.

These dangers are why we always strongly advise you to never take your bird outside without a harness, or a cage/carrier and never leave your bird unattended for even a minute. Even in a cage, an bird left alone can be harassed or attacked by predators, or stolen by unscrupulous humans. Many of our customers have bought an Aviator Harness from us for birds as small as parrtotlets or as large as moluccan cockatoos.

Want something that you can use all year and for more reasons? Our Celltei bird carriers can be taken on bike rides, hiking, to and from the vet, and make an excellent night-time cage that is perfect for emergency situations.

Now that the fall is upon us, many people are beginning to be concerned about power outages.  A question some bird owners may be asking is, “what can I do to make a power outage as safe and as non-scary as possible for my bird”? The two issues that you may face are:

  1. The drop in temperature
  2. The darkness

The lack of light is a slightly easier problem to tackle. Keeping your house stocked with battery operated lights and lamps for both your own benefit, and that of your animal friends, along with spare batteries, is a great way to prepare for anything ranging from a simple power outage to the aftermath of an earthquake. Always keep multiple ones in your home so that you can use them in more than one room, and tackle varying degrees of darkness. .

Gas run heating devices may seem like the most attractive and obvious option, but, in actuality, any heating device or generator that can produce fumes from fuels such as gasoline or kerosene can be dangerous to your birds’ sensitive respiratory system.  In the event of a power outage, you can begin with the following steps:

  1. Bring your bird into a room with no windows, or with ones covered by heavy curtains
  2. Ensure there is sufficient air flow, but try and keep the room from losing any heat to the rest of the house by shutting doors in rooms not in use
  3. If your bird will not be scared by it, over the sides and back of the cage, to insulate the cage. Leave the front uncovered during the waking hours so they still can see what’s happening and don’t feel trapped
  4. If you have generators that run on fuel, use them as far from your bird as possible. Remember, just because you can’t smell the fumes doesn’t mean its not If it gets very cold, you can use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and put it in the bottom of the cage
  5. Warmer water and food can also be provided to help warm them up. Don’t worry if it’s a bit unhealthy, a bit of extra fat helps your feathered friend warm up.

If there is a long lasting outage, such as a several day outage, you may need to bring your bird somewhere less stressful, such as a friends’ house. Even if you can maintain a safe temperature, the darkness and disruption may be overwhelming if it continues on too long.

Benefits & Risks

One of the goals of enriching the lives of our companion birds is to ensure that they receive optimal environmental conditions. As Guardians of our birds’ health, another important goal is to avoid causing harm. UV lighting has both the potential to improve as well as harm the health of our birds. Client education on proper UV lighting for birds had received little attention from the veterinary community until only recently. In addition, there had historically been a considerable amount of misinformation and lack of information from the pet industry on this subject. This discussion will focus on parrots but applies to all birds in captivity.

Key Points

  • The benifits of UV light warrant that all companion birds should receive some exposure.
  • UV light can help maintain good bone density and can help stimualte exercise.
  • Most windows filter out the beneficial UVB rays that help birds produce vitamin D.
  • Natural Sun Exposure for 20-30 mins, 2-3 times a week in the warmer months is ideal.
  • During the winter, UVB bulbs are highly recommended.
  • Birds on a poor diet (all seed therefore calcium deficient) and birds that are cronic egg layers will especially benefit from year round UVB Light.
  • Bulb exposure time and distance depend on the bulb used.
  • The goal is to mimic mid morning sun (UV index 2-4).
  • Generally, the bulb should be on for a minimum of 3-4 hours a day.
  • Always mount the bulb above (not to the side of) the cage.
  • Always provide a UV gradient so the bird can move away from the light if it wants to.
  • In general, high output bulbs should be no closer than 6 inches and low output bulbs should be no futher than 12 inches from the top of the birds head at its highest perching location.
  • At this time, it is recommended that linear tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs are used rather than mercury vapor flood lights
  • Always carefully read the package instructions for your bulb
  • Bulbs should be replaced every 6 months because UV output will decrease over time.

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