2Parrot Family Contains some of the smartest birds. Many species can be taught to talk, are affectionate, and make excellent pets.Members of the parrot family are known for their large beaks, especially the Macaws.Includes Cockatoos, Cockatiels, Conures, Macaws, Parrots, Parakeets, Lovebirds, Hanging Parakeets
3Cockatoos (Parrot Family) Crest or tuft of feathers on the top of the headAbility to mimic words and soundsIntelligentRange in length from 13-30”Popular birds that make excellent petsTame easily
5Cockatiel (Parrot Family) One of the most popular pet birdsAbout 12” long (the size of a small cockatoo)Commonly found in pet stores at a reasonable priceGray cockatiels are mostly available.Ideal for beginners and youngstersEasy to raise and affectionate
9Budgerigar-budgie (Parrot Family) Most popular pet bird in the worldAustralian bird that gets its name, which means good bird or good food, from the AboriginesAbout 7” long with a primary color of yellowish- greenCan be taught to talk with proper trainingEasy to care for, inexpensive petEats food from floor of cage
13Perching Birds Largest family of birds Almost 60% of all birds (5,100 of 9,000 bird species)Good singers known as song birds
14Starlings (Perching Family) Talking Mynah bird is in this group. It is a black bird with an orange billHas the ability to mimic the human voice and other soundsRequire lots of careCages must be cleaned daily because Mynah birds have a diet of fruitPrices range from $300 to $500
20Perches Size and style depend on the bird Most store bought cages come with hard plastic perches which may be uncomfortable for birds.If birds refuse to perch, replace plastic perches with wood perches that are more natural for birds.
21PerchesLarger birds like larger perches, smaller birds like smaller perchesFinches/canaries- ½” round perchBudgerigars- ½” oval perchParrots- 1’ square perch
22PerchesThe perch for large parrot- type birds must be replaced as these birds destroy wood perches. However, the bird exercises its beak and stays busy in the process.
23PerchesLimbs and tree branches make natural perches, but care must be taken to insure they are free of mold and pesticide residue.
24PerchesTapered perches work well because they give the bird a choice of most of the comfortable perching spot.
25Water and Feed Containers Water containers need to be hard and easy to clean materials like glass, ceramic, or stainless steel
26Water and Feed Containers Gravity-type waterers that hang outside the cage with a metal spout/tube extending into the cage work excellent.
27Water and Feed Containers Feed containers may be plastic for smaller birds, but parrot-type birds need the same kind of material used for watering containers
28ToysPrevent boredomLarge parrot-type birds need stainless-steel chains with bellsSmaller birds like canaries and finches can have mirrors, chains with bells, and ladders
29Cage LocationLocation of cage must be out of direct sunlight, free from drafts, in a place of constant temperature, and protected from hazards like poisonous plants and pets.
30FeedingMost birds eat one of three things—seed, fruit, and/or nectar
31Seed The vast majority of birds have a diet of seed Cereal seeds—higher content of carbohydrates compared to oilCanary seed, millet, corn, dehusked oat kernalsOil seeds—higher in fat content than cereal seed and lower in carbohydratesSunflower, peanuts, safflower, pine nuts, rape, maw niger, linseed
32SeedUsually bought in a commercial premixed ration of cereal and oil seed that is formulated for certain bird species and provides balance and varietyShould be dry and free of dust and dirtMoldy seed should never be fed (peanuts are very susceptible)
33SeedMay be soaked in warm water for 24 hours for young birds who may have difficulty cracking the seed with their beak or for birds during the breeding and molting season
34Soaked SeedsSoaking stimulates germination which causes a chemical change that increases the protein content of the seeds.Before feeding, rinse in tap water and examine for mold or fungiDiscard any soaked seeds not consumed within a few hours and clean containers before feeding more soaked seeds
35Fruit Consumed by Mynah, lories, and lorikeets Diet does not include seeds, grit, and cuttlefishSoft bill pellets or foods from the pet storeFruit—apple slices, grapes, orange slices, and banana or dried fruit can be fedMealworms are live food that can be fed also
36Nectar Nectar and pollen are consumed by lories and lorikeets Powdered nectar is available from a pet store to mix with water
37Other Feed Options Green plant material Carrot tops, chickweed, dandelion leavesKale and spinach in moderation (too much green can cause diarrhea)Avoid lettuce because it lacks nutritional valueWash to remove any pesticide residueFeed after it has warmed to room temperature
38Other Feed OptionsGrit aids in the ventriculus in grinding food up since birds have no teethSoluble-oyster shell breaks down and is a source of mineralsInsoluble-crushed granite provides the base for food to rub and work against to be ground up
39Other Feed Options Cuttlefish bone (marine mollusk) Provides a source of calcium and will readily be eaten by larger birdsSmaller birds may need cuttlefish shaved or chippedParticularly useful to female birds who need calcium for egg production
40Handling and TrainingAllow birds to adjust to new locations for 2 to 3 days before any handling is attempted.Offer a treat at regular intervals until it will take the treat through an open door cagePress a stick perch up against the bird’s chest above the legs to encourage the bird to step up on it
41Handling and TrainingOnce the bird is comfortable one may substitute a finger or hand for the bird to perch onLeather gloves may be needed for larger birds that use their beak to climb to perch
42Clipping WingsWings can be clipped to restrict their ability to fly and prevent escapePainlessPrimary and secondary flight feathers are cut just above the base of the feather shaftCutting into the feather shaft will result in injury and bleeding
43Clipping WingsThe two outer primary flight feathers are left for aesthetic purposes
44Teaching to TalkBudgerigars, cockatiels, parrots, macaws and cockatoos can be taught to talkYoung males are usually the best learners and easiest to teachRemove distractions such as mirrors, toys, and feed during lessonsThe same person needs to work with a bird on a regular basis. Usually women and children are better trainers.
45Teaching to Talk Lessons should be given at the same time everyday. Limit the length to about 15 minutes each dayUse short phrases and words and slowly repeat them
46Competency 20.00Use principles of bird management to create a healthy habitat for pet birds.
48Internal Parasites Rarely a problem with birds Roundworms Diagnosis is by observing feces for long, thin, white worms.Contracted from ingesting worm eggs in contaminated feces, soil, or food.Symptoms: blockage of intestines, poor plummage, weight loss, diarrhea.Treatments are available
49Internal Parasites Tapeworms Diagnosed by observing small rice-like segments in the fecesContracted from eating an intermediate host such as house flies, fleas, ticks, or earthworms.Proper cleaning and sanitation are the best prevention.Treatment with piprazine, nicotine sulfate and Kamal powder
50External Parasites Red Mites Appear as tiny red specks and feed on blood of infected birds at night, causing restlessness, scratching, and picking at their feathers.Spread through contact with infected birds.Adults may be dusted with pyrethium powder.Clean and disinfect all cages and nest boxes.
51External Parasites Feather Mites Cause a bird to chew or pick its feathers.Look for small, gray-colored moving specksFeed on the bird during both day and nightSymptoms: restlessness, severe scratching, feather picking, skin irritationCages and equipment should be treated with nicotine sulfate, Malathion, or coumaphos and birds should be sprayed with a mite spray.
52External Parasites Scaly Leg Mites Tunnel under the scales on the legs of budgerigars, lovebirds, and canaries.Live their entire life cycle on the bird.Symptoms: white scaly deposits that become thickened, enlarged, and encrustedTreatment: Use Vaseline or mineral oil to kill the mites and loosen deposits. This also suffocates the mites.
55Parrot Fever Chlamydiosis or psittacosis Bacterial disease that affects the liver and spleen.Contracted mainly through feces and contaminated food and water.Symptoms: nasal discharges, listlessness, appetite loss, weight loss, greenish-colored diarrhea and labored breathing.
56Parrot Fever Psittacosis can be transmitted to humans. Treat birds with chlortetracycline-impregnated seed for at least 21 days.
57BumblefootA painful ailment associated with staphylococcal infections.Symptoms: feet and joints become hot and swollen with a thick, grayish white fluid and not walking or clasping onto perch.Prevent by using suitable perches and sanitation.Treatment is with antibiotics.
60Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease A.K.A. French MoltViral disease that attacks the immune system.Symptoms become evident at the first molt when new feathers do not emerge or are deformed and break off.Nails may be soft, overgrown, and lose their pigment.
61Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease There is no cure for this disease.Treatment is with vitamins, minerals, and control of secondary diseases through sanitation.
62Newcastle DiseaseViral disease that has high mortality rates and spreads rapidly.Imported birds are the main source of possible infection.Symptoms: Respiratory difficulty (wheezing) followed by tremors, wing droop, and a twisted neck.Birds should be vaccinated to prevent the disease.
64GoiterSwelling of the thyroid glands in the neck and interference with breathing.Major cause is iodine deficiency.Especially a problem for budgerigars
65Rickets (Osteomalacia) Imbalance or deficient amount of calcium, phosphorus, or Vitamin D3 that causes deterioration or softening of the bones.Symptoms: lameness, stiff-legged gait, constant resting in the squatting position, decreased growth.Oyster shell or coarse limestone in the diet and Vitamin D3 supplementation is the best preventative.
66Obesity Too much food, not enough activity or seeds high in fat. Bird owners should avoid feeding too many sunflower seeds if obesity is a problem.
68Overgrown ClawsCan result in injury if they become entangled in the cage.May be clipped with pet nail clippers.Avoid the pinkish streak in the center of the claw. It is a blood vessel.
69Feather Plucking Boredom, bad diet, needs mate, lack of bathing Birds living indoors need regular bathing or spraying to encourage preening.Preening is the process that birds go through in cleaning and trimming its feathers with its beak.
70Symptoms of Problems with Birds Sleeping on two legs may indicate that a bird is uncomfortable or ailing. Birds normally sleep on only one leg.A bird that fluffs its feathers out is usually chilled and trying to retain body heat.If feces are runny, a digestive ailment may be the problem.Not flying and lack of activity may indicate the bird is sick.
71Symptoms of Problems with Birds Eye discharges or continually closed eyes are an indication of cold, etc.Wheezing, noisy, or irregular breathing may be a sign of a respiratory problem.Not eating or very little eating indicates a loss of appetite that is often associated with sickness.
72Prevention of Diseases and Ailments Select a healthy birdPlace bird in a dry, warm, draft-free placeSubject the bird to little stressNo other animals should be aroundQuarantine and observation period of at least 3-4 weeks before introducing to other birds.Keep perches and cage clean
73Prevention of Diseases and Ailments Sanitation is extremely important—should provide fresh food and water.
74Prevention of Diseases and Ailments Bathing and spraying reduces feather dust and dirt and cuts down on mitesSmall birds prefer to bathe in a container which may be placed in the cage at regular intervals for 30 minute time periods.Large birds need to be sprayed with a fine mist from a plant sprayer. Mist should be sprayed above the animal and allowed to filter down. Do not saturate, but gently spray 2-3 times per week.
75At the First Sign of Illness Cage temperature should be maintained between degrees F.Move the cage to a warmer locationAdjust the temperature with a light bulb near the cage or a heating pad under the cage.Provide 2 or 3 perches so that the bird can find the most comfortable temperature
76At the First Sign of Illness Partially cover the cage to prevent draftsProvide quick energy fluids such as sugar water, honey water, or orange juice.