Today's guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats was Susan Chamberlain, an Executive Board member with the Long Island Parrot Society. The Long Island Parrot Society was founded in 1985 as a bird club. They hold monthly meetings, provide outreach, networking and a lost and found service for parrots.
There's lots to think about before getting a bird:
1. Birds live a really long time. As a result, be prepared for a lifetime commitment - yours and the bird. Be sure to include your bird in your estate planning by creating a pet trust with sufficient money to provide for lifetime care. Be sure and identify a pet caregiver willing to take on the responsibilities of your bird.
2. Birds can bite. Be prepared to learn about their behaviors and their body language. You will want to become educated about the unique needs of birds.
3. Patience. Birds require lots of patience and care.
4. Mess. Birds can create a mess with their feathers and dander. Susan tells us your vacumn clearner will be your new best friend.
5. Noise. Birds are not silent. They like to make noise including squawks, chirps, songs, talking, etc. Some can be as loud as 135 decibels (a jet liner is 140).
6. Socia Environmentl. Birds are social. They want and require your attention, especially cockatuoos.
7. Expense. Birds can be expensive. There is the cost to acquire, the cost of their cage, their toys, their food, their veternary care. Anytime you acquire a new pet, it's smart to be aware of all of the costs associated with that pet. A three (3) day stay in a bird hospital could cost as much as $1,000.00!
8. Family. It is important to think about your bird in the context of your family. Who will provide care? Whose bird will it be? Birds can be particular about who they love (like)..
9. Bird Illnes.. Birds can get sick and need to have regular veterinary care. It's important to locate an avian veterinarian prior to getting your first bird.
Before bringing a new bird into your home, there are some other important considerations. There are some every day items that can be hazardous to birds; non-stick cookware and appliances; scented candles, aerosol sprays, new carpet, spray paints and other household pets. Introduce birds into a multi-pet family slowly. Keep fish tanks covered. Don't allow cats to get their paws or dogs to get their noses into cages.
Get the biggest cage you can afford, along with toys and perches of different media. Make sure bar spacing will keep your bird safe, as well as provide opportunities for climbing. Avoid bars that could cause a foot to get trapped.
Thanks again to Susan Chamberlain and the Long Island Parrot Society.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO