When most people think about having a pet, they tend to envision a cat or a dog; however, in the last few years, birds have begun to increase in popularity as a pet. This is because they tend to be just as rewarding but are far less maintenance than other, more traditional pets. If you are considering getting a bird, then conducting a little research is key to ensure that you have chosen the right species of bird for your lifestyle and preferences. Let’s take a look.
Choosing the Right Species of Bird
One of the first things you will need to do is choose what species of bird; while a lot of the equipment that you will need can be used across the board for multiple different species, the level of care will vary. If you have never kept a bird before, you should look into birds that are better suited to beginners. There are a few species considered to be lower maintenance, like canaries; you could also choose a budgie or a lovebird.
On the other hand, if you are willing and able to put in the work to learn, then a few other species require more upkeep and training but are often seen as more rewarding. For the most part, these tend to be the species that are more vocal that can mimic human sounds, like Cockatoos, African Greys or Macaws. That being said, they do often live longer, and they do pose more of a challenge which is why you need to be willing to put the work in.
It is also worth considering that birds tend to be incredibly social creatures which means that, for the most part, they aren’t necessarily suited to being solo pets. Of course, this does vary depending on what species you are considering, but it is something to keep in mind. If you do decide to go for a singular bird as a pet, then you need to make sure that you are interacting with it regularly to fulfil its social needs.
The Lifespan of a Bird
There is no hard and fast rule here; it depends entirely on the species and the living conditions that it has been kept in. For the most part, you can expect your bird to live for at least a few years. For example, Finches often live between four and five years, but some have been known to make it over ten. Most Cockatiels live to around the age of sixteen, but some make it to well above thirty. It is tough to predict exactly how long your bird will live for.
Most of the time, the only thing that you can guarantee is that you are likely to outlive your bird unless, of course, you are an older individual yourself. Some birds do end up outliving their owners, which is why it makes sense to have a care plan for your bird in place. Mention them in your will and outline your wishes. If you have someone in mind that you would like to take over your bird’s care, then make sure to discuss this with them to ensure that they are amenable.
Birds as a Family Pet
When you envision the perfect family pet, most people will think of a playful little puppy or kitten, something that requires more hands-on interaction. While some birds do indeed like to snuggle with their owners and be petted, some don’t. This can be particularly hard for young children to accept who have a hard time regulating their emotions or exercising restraint at the best of times. Obviously, children should always be surprised when interacting with animals for the child’s and the animal’s safety.
Birds really can be as affectionate and cuddly as any other animal. The species of bird will again come into play here because some of them are more solitary and have a general dislike towards being fussed. This, again, is why it is so important that you do your research. Birds can be a great pet for the whole family, but they are perhaps better suited to those who suffer from mobility issues or spend a lot of time indoors because they are kept inside.
Keeping a Bird
Birds are pretty easy to look after, they need feeding and letting out of the cage to stretch their wings, and their cages will also need to be cleaned out regularly; however, for the most part, that is it. In this respect, keeping a bird is also relatively inexpensive too.
As a general rule, the bigger the bird, the more you can expect to spend on it. In addition to their food, cage and enrichment tools for their cages, you will also need to think about vet bills and pet insurance too. Little Peckers is an online retailer with a huge range of bird supplies, so before to look them up when ensuring you have everything you will need for your new bird.
Birds are a really great option when it comes to choosing a pet. They are just as good as many other animals. They also benefit from requiring less maintenance and being cheaper to keep too. There are obviously other factors which you will need to take into account, too, so be sure to carry on researching.